Up For the Picking, National Watermelon Day Done Right

Up For the Picking, National Watermelon Day Done Right

August 3rd is officially deemed National Watermelon Day, and it just so happens to be my personal favorite fruit of all time. I’ve legitimately been anticipating this day all year long, and now that it’s here, I just can’t contain myself.  For SoCal Mag, I wanted to come up with ideas on how to celebrate this day and share my own personal love for nature’s juiciest, sweetest delight. Here’s a curated list from our editors on some fun recipes, watermelon infused products, and locations that Southern Californians can enjoy all weekend.

1.First up, if you’re in Beverly Hills and want a refreshing treat, order the “One In a Melon” cocktail from Citizen Beverly Hills. This cocktail treat is mixed with Vodka, St. Germain, Lime, Fresh Watermelon, Cucumber, Petite Cane Syrup,  & Soda. If you’re dining in, start off with their delicious Watermelon Salad paired with Cucumber, Heirloom Tomato, Chili,  & Lime.


2. The Bamboo Face Scrub from GOLDEN DOOR is infused with Watermelon Fruit Extract. This delightfully aromatic facial scrub effectively exfoliates dead skin cells leaving a deeply cleansed, smooth, even-toned complexion. Retail value $48.


3.  How about a game you can enjoy with the whole family? Word-A-Melon is the new family-fun word search game grown by BANANAGRAMS! Players take turns rolling the die, flipping the letter chips and creating words with the overturned letters. The unused letters get flipped back over so players must be sure to use their melon to remember where they are! The player with the most chips wins the game! Retail Value $20


4.  If you want a beach day, take this Super Chill Cooler Bag from ban.do and go in style for the occasion. Their watermelon bag is officially a national obsession, so join the party! Retail Value $32


5.  One of my absolute favorite drinks is WTRMLN WTR, and there are so many options with this refreshing drink. Check out their Five Facts You Didn’t Know About Watermelon.

  • Beyoncé has her own ‘Watermelon Water’: As a partner in the popular drink, WTRMLN WTR,  she launched her own LMN-ade flavor timed to the Lemonade album. The LMN-ade flavor is WTRMLN WTR’s Vitamin C Superstar and is packed with watermelon flesh, watermelon rind and Vitamin C, which supports health and happiness.*Since Beyoncé’s investment into the company, WTRMLN WTR has accomplished to be in over 15,000 stores nationwide and in all 50 states – giving Americans a healthier choice. 
  • They’re called watermelon for a reason: They’re 92 percent water, making them a perfect refresher for those hot summer months and is an ideal hydration solution.
  • Watermelon is what your skin is craving:Watermelon is packed with antioxidants and free radical fighting lycopene, meaning the delicious fruit is really good for your skin, too. It also is rich in beta carotene which will give the body protection from UV light this summer!
  • 6 Billion Pounds of Watermelon are Considered ‘Ugly’:Billions of pounds of watermelons go to waste each year in the U.S. simply because they are they are blemished, dented or discolored. Brands like WTRMLN WTR are using these cosmetically challenged watermelons and turning them into health fuel.  In 2017 alone, WTRMLN WTR is predicted to save over 50 million melons that would otherwise be discarded.
  • Watermelon is full of Vitamin A:Vitamin A helps to promote healthy eyes and can be attributed to better eyesight. It also maintains healthy skin and teeth!

 


6.  If you’re in San Diego, Check out Café 21 in the Gaslamp District. The cocktails were created by Owner and Chef Leyla Javadov in collaboration with Greenbar Distillery. The Sandia Beach $14 is crafted with IXA Reposado Tequila, watermelon, lime and chili salt. 

Also in S.D. is Madison on ParkBar Manager Danny Kuehner has crafted the Motor Bike $10 with El Jimador Blanco Tequila, local watermelon, aperol, ginger and lime. Paired perfectly with the Watermelon Stack, made with local watermelon, radish, jalapeño, grilled halloumi cheese, avocado, mint and lime, $12.


7.  American Heirloom has a great maple Watermelon Cutting Board perfect for today and any other occasion. Retail $30


8.  Courtesy of Minibar Delivery, here are two delicious watermelon cocktail recipes for any party.

Watermelon Margarita:  2 oz tequila; ½ oz lime juice; 2 oz fresh watermelon juice; 1 oz cointreau; Watermelon balls to garnish.

Combine all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled and pour into glass. Garnish with Watermelon balls and enjoy.

Frozen Watermelon Cucumber Cooler:  ½ a watermelon cubed; Cucumber slices; 2 oz Vodka; 1 oz triple sec; 1 oz lime juice; Ice.

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until well combined. Pour into glass and garnish with watermelon slices.


7.  There’s something for everybody today, and for the cannabis enthusiasts, there’s the Watermelon/Peach flavored CannaSmack’s “Coral Kiss” tinted lip balm. This lip balm offers a pop of moisturizing coral-pink pigment to match your summer tan – apply lightly for a more subdued tint, or achieve a much bolder lipstick-like appearance by layering. The formula is infused with premium Hemp Seed Oil, providing the highest plant-based source of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A, B, D, E, for an uber-moisturized, kissable pout. It’s also cruelty-free, paraben-, sulfate- and gluten-free and Made in the USA.


8.  For the Fashionistas in your life, California-based KAYU has an option. Available exclusively at J. Crew, this hand-woven watermelon clutch is made from raffia and features embroidery and shell embellishments, with a fun pom pom accent and removable crossbody chain. The bag retails for $84 at J. Crew.


9.  Let’s also sport a fresh face today. What better way to celebrate in this summer heat than waking up with the refreshing Bliss What A Melon Reviving & Destressing Overnight MaskWhat a Melon creates a nutrient veil to remove dead cells and toxins for a dewy complexion, all while boosting the skin’s defenses against stress and the environment. The mask calms and rehydrates as it tops off moisture levels and electrolytes to plump and soften. Just smooth on a layer, let it soak in, sleep on it and wake up to vibrant, supple skin. The cruelty-free (recently PETA certified) mask is available at Ulta and BlissWorld.com ($16) and is Blissfully free of Parabens, Phthalates, SLS/SLES and more.

     


10.  And for the whole body, there’s Shea Nilotik’ Oil (KALAHARI MELON)100% Natural, multi-use organic oil for the whole body, even hair. Silky smooth skin and lustrous, soft hair can be achieved in only minutes a day with this easy to use spreadable form of “shea”. Help decrease the appearance of stretch marks, help improve skin tone and texture, help give skin a healthy glow, and more. Condition and help improve hair growth with this fractionated shea butter oil. Use for massage or even to soften bath oil. Contains Kalahari melon oil and scented with natural watermelon extract. Retails for $18.

If It’s a Commerson Brunch, It’s the Right Brunch!

If It’s a Commerson Brunch, It’s the Right Brunch!

Brunch in Los Angeles has turned into common play for Angelenos. Frankly, if you’re not brunching, then what are you doing at all on your early Sunday afternoons? It’s where we come together, enjoy particularly delicious food that crosses the boundaries of meal labels, and most importantly, gives us a good reason to drink one too many mimosas on a given period.

Though, I digress, I love to brunch, especially in L.A. There are so many options and in so many neighborhoods, you can almost never run out of ideas on where to eat. Every so often, I find a gem of a restaurant that leaves such a lasting impression on me, well, it deserves any audience I can bring to it.

Enter Commerson, a fairly new establishment near Miracle Mile whose menu options blew my mind and changed the game for my brunching standards. First off, the space is beautiful with a minimalist approach that incorporates concrete details, white walls, large glass windows, and light greenery. The space allows for the vibrant food to stand out as the stars of the room.

The heavy hitters on the menu, and my personal favorites, were the Tinga Sopes, Pork Belly Toast, Sourdough Waffles, French Toast, and the Salmon Benedict.

      

      

Even more impressive were Commerson’s mimosa options. Anyone can mix some champagne and orange juice together, but Commerson created two exquisitely crafted drinks in their Guava, Pear, & Sage mix and the Peach Thyme mimosa. I opted for the bottomless, so I made sure I was able to try both. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed in either.

Brunch is served at Commerson on Saturdays and Sundays between 10am – 3pm.

Regular Business hours are Tuesday – Thursday and Sunday from 5pm – 11pm, with Friday and Saturday from 5pm – Midnight.

Make sure to follow Commerson on Instagram at @CommersonLA and tag your experience.

 

Reflections on the Los Angeles Food Bowl with Lady Boss, Jenn Harris

Reflections on the Los Angeles Food Bowl with Lady Boss, Jenn Harris

SoCal Mag loves seeing female entrepreneurs in action, especially when they’re creating experiences for Angelenos that wouldn’t compare to other cities. Jenn Harris gave us a quick reflective interview about this year’s past Food Bowl, and why it had such a significant importance on giving back. Consider this an LA event you no longer want to miss!

Q. Why is Food Bowl such an important culinary event for SoCal residents? Tell us about the mission and charity component.

A. This year we partnered with three really important charities: Midnight Mission, Food Forward, and LA Food Kitchen – all of them are doing really fantastic work in LA. LA Kitchen puts food that would go to waste to people that need it and help create job training programs. Midnight Mission is doing their best to feed the homeless here in LA. So Food Bowl is important because as much as we want to celebrate the great chefs and restaurants we have here in this city, we also want to shed some light on some of the serious issues that people face everyday.

Q. What can fans of this year’s Food Bowl expect next year? Any returning chefs or new highlights not to miss?

A. We had the best chefs in LA this year – and we have even more next year. Josef Centeno was back doing events. Michael Samurusi from Providence headlined a sustainable seafood dinner in Manhattan Beach, which was phenomenal. We also had the brothers from Lasa which is a great Filipino restaurant in Chinatown. They did a huge outstanding in the field long table dinner at Night Market, which is also returning next year. It was our five-night food festival in Grand Park, where we just take over the entire park with food and restaurants. There are food trucks, entertainment, and that’s going to be even bigger and better next year too.

Q. What is your day to day like at LA Times? What do you love the most about this position?

A. I think what I love the most is that I get to eat everyday. I basically get paid to eat, run around, and try new food. I meet new people and hang out with chefs and share that experience with everyone. I pinch myself everyday that I have my job. It’s really fun.

Q. What are your favorite hotspots for dining that you’d recommend to anyone visiting SoCal?  

A. For out-of-towners, I always say you’ve got to go to Cassia in Santa Monica, because Chef Bryant Ng is doing amazing things with fresh produce and his flavors are just always on point. Any of Josef Centeno’s restaurants in Downtown LA… I’d recommend going to the Far East Plaza in Chinatown and basically doing a little eating tour; hit up Howlin’ Rays, hit up Chego, and hit up Lasa. There’s a lot of great food choices here. Also, Langers in DTLA has the best pastrami ever, so I would definitely go there too.

Q. Anything else you want to add about Food Bowl?

A. Just that if you’re someone who likes food and you’re here in LA, then I think it is the perfect time to eat around LA. It really does give people a taste of the great chefs and the restaurants around here. It’s a fun month to eat.

For everything about the LA Food Bowl coming in May of 2019, be sure to bookmark the official website and stay tuned!

Reserve a Seat for Cleo Third Street Winemaker Dinner with Darioush

Reserve a Seat for Cleo Third Street Winemaker Dinner with Darioush

Summer is here, and as Mother Nature turns up the heat, some of LA’s finest chefs will be doing the same! LA’s tastemakers are joining forces for a night of wining and dining at Cleo’s Third Street. Sam Nazarian, Founder & CEO of sbe, Daniel De Polo, President of Darioush Winery, and Chef Danny Elmaleh, Cleo Executive Chef will host an evening of Cleo favorites crafted by Chef Danny Elmaleh and a pairing of the finest wines from Darioush Winery. This one-night-only unique dining experience has limited seating and a reservation is required.

What can you expect from this special occasion? Cleo, known for their delicious shareable plates, mezzes, and flatbreads and cocktails, is leaving no holds barred. The ambiance at Cleo provides a warm, intimate restaurant setting that playfully marries old Hollywood glamour with relaxed Mediterranean charm.

Learn more information, and purchase tickets to this exquisite event to kick off your summer on the right foot! Details below:

THE DETAILS
Cleo Third Street
8384 W 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Tuesday, June 14, 2018 @ 7:30pm

Umami Burger x Cholula = A Spicy Collaboration

Umami Burger x Cholula = A Spicy Collaboration

Come close…a little closer.  That’s right, perfect!  We’re about to let you in on a little secret with big flavor — the world-renowned premium burger concept Umami Burger is teaming up with cult favorite hot sauce, Cholula, to launch their first ever grilled chicken sandwich.

The exclusive secret menu collaboration is only here for a limited time starting, May 5th and ending June 5th. This limited edition offer features an array of colorful, spice-filled and flavorful ingredients “Sweet Habanero” Chick-Me-Out Burger will be available at select Umami locations in Los Angeles, New York & Chicago. The Adobo Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast Burger comes with delicious Smashed Avocado, Pickled Red Onion, Lime, Green Mango Slaw & Charred Pineapple.

Umami Burger Chief Culinary Officer Chef Martin Heierling, says:

“The sweet flavors of Cholula Sweet Habanero inspired me to create our first grilled chicken menu item – something our guests have been asking for. I set out to design an unpredictable and outside-the-box sandwich so I featured an array of colorful and flavorful ingredients. The ‘Sweet Habanero’ Chick-Me-Out Burger is a combination of Adobo marinated grilled chicken breast, smashed avocado, pickled red onions, lime and green mango slaw, and charred pineapple. It’s the perfect marriage of flavor and heat and something our fans will certainly love.”

Sounds like the perfect beginning of summer treat! You can find the Chick-Me-Out Burger at Umami Burger @ The Grove: 189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

Options Galore at EIGHT Korean BBQ

Options Galore at EIGHT Korean BBQ

Any Angeleno can tell you that L.A.’s famed Korea Town district has an endless array of dining venues, a majority of them having Korean cuisine as the primary menu of choice. It’s easy to argue that most of the restaurants here are one in the same with little to no variety between a two-block radius. When we found out about the unique concept in the area known as EIGHT Korean BBQwe knew we had to get a better idea of what they had to offer.

With the logo donning an exclamation point, E!GHT certainly makes a statement with its choice of meats for personal grilling. What’s different about this venue is their distinct selection of Mangalitza Pork Belly options available in 8 different flavours. This offering alone makes E!GHT stand out as a destination dining spot to target when in the neighborhood. The individual flavours are:

Wine: Wine (in moderation), lowers the risk of heart disease, and opens blood vessels for better circulation.

Original: All natural with no additives. Unveiling pork’s natural flavonoids, rich in Vitamin B1.

Ginseng: Ginseng stimulates the metabolism and promotes general wellness of health.

Garlic: Garlic lowers cholesterol and high blood pressure, and helps the body’s natural flow.

Herb: Natural herbs alleviate stress and depression.

Curry: Curry’s complex components prevent Alzheimer’s disease, as well as certain cancers.

Miso Paste: Miso Paste is rich in flavonoids and beneficial in circulating the body’s natural biochemistry.

Red Pepper Paste: Gochujang contains protein, healthy fats, Vitamins B2, Vitamin C and carotene.

For SoCal Mag, we enjoy finding the hidden gems in our neighborhoods, and E!GHT is certainly it. The staff was friendly and inviting and are knowledgeable about the individual flavors, giving the diner a good idea of what to expect with their meal. When you go to E!GHT Korean BBQ, you can expect to partake in a dining experience that is not only delicious, but pleasing in a way that makes you want to enjoy your meal with loved ones.

Currently, E!GHT has two locations:

Korea Town, 863 S Western Ave, L.A., CA 9005 and

Buena Park, 6681 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90621

Also, make sure to Follow them on Facebook Here.