Spoke Bicycle Cafe — New Eatery in Frogtown

Spoke Bicycle Cafe — New Eatery in Frogtown

Longing to escape the L.A. freeways? At Spoke you can. This quaint combo café and bike shop on the L.A. River is an oasis from the typical L.A. gridlock. Owners Laurie Winston and Rich Latronica opened Spoke with the hope of getting people out of their cars, closer to nature, and into relationship with their neighbors.

Accessible by the L.A. River bike path, Spoke is one of the only places in the area locally known as ‘Frogtown’ where cyclist and pedestrians can pit stop for biking needs and quality fare. Expert repairs, custom builds, and even bike rentals (even tandem!) are available at the bike shop. At the Café the vegan-friendly menu features breakfast all day, sandwiches, salads, locally roasted coffee and California wines and beers. Try the Spoke Veggie Burger (smoked mushroom and beet patty with heirloom tomato) or the Breakfast Bun (scrambled egg, bacon and aged cheddar with chipotle aoli).

Photo Credit: Sarah Hanks

Seating is a large outdoor patio with a community feel, suggesting that this hip new spot is not just about exercise and eats, it’s a way of life. Owner Laurie believes that people who are closer to nature and more connected to each other make for happier neighbors. The café makes it a point to source products locally, encourages patrons to walk or bike whenever possible, and fosters relationships in the neighborhood by hosting community events.

Follow Spoke on social media for upcoming event information: local musicians, arts events, kids activities and a by donation Yoga class (Saturday mornings at 8:30) to name a few.

Come by bike or on foot if you can as parking is tight. (If you have trouble, try parking at Marsh Park). Here’s to more Spokes and fewer cars in L.A.!

3050 North Coolidge Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039 323.842.4313

Cafe: Tues-Thurs 8a-6p; Fri-Sat 8a-10p; Sun 8a-9p                    Bike Shop: Tues-Sun 10a-6p

www.spokebicyclecafe.com    twitter: @spoke_lariver     Instagram: @spokebicyclecafe 


Limited Offer: California Donuts x Num Noms Treat + Free Toy

Limited Offer: California Donuts x Num Noms Treat + Free Toy


California Donuts and iconic toy company NUM NOMS have partnered on a custom, limited-edition NUM NOMS donut creation and will offer the first 150 customers a FREE NUM NOMS toy with purchase of the donut!

Starting Sunday, July 30th at 10am Los Angeles families can treat their kids to a simply delicious California Donuts x NUM NOMS donut with a Free NUM NOMS Mystery Pack toy featuring one of the new characters from the company’s Series 4 collection! All you have to do is be one of the first 150 customers to purchase the limited-edition NUM NOMS donut! The NUM NOMS toy brand is widely loved by celebrity moms and kids – Kourtney Kardashian and Kim Kardashian West’s children are among its MANY big fans!


Available only at California Donuts 3rd Street Location on Sunday, July 30, 2017:
California Donuts
3540 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Open 24 hours
Franco on Melrose Serves up Italian Authenticity

Franco on Melrose Serves up Italian Authenticity

It’s been proven time and time again that Italian cuisine is America’s favorite choice when it comes to dining out.  No matter where you go, almost any city in America will have Italian offerings in restaurants and eateries.  Los Angeles alone has hundreds to choose from.  I personally love a good Italian meal, and when I was asked to review Franco on Melrose, I jumped at the opportunity to make a visit to this fine establishment.

To note, upon entering Franco’s, the first thing you’ll see is the kitchen, as you have to pass it before entering the dining room.  I found this unique because it reminded me of visiting someone’s home.  There’s an intimacy of the layout itself that really pulls in a feeling of comfort and realness to the restaurant.  The dining room is surrounded by a beautiful stonewall entrenched with greenery and decorative accents limited to the lighting and table ware.  The ambiance of this room really allows for the food to be the stars of the room, which they are.

Chef Franco de Dominicis delivers a menu that is comparable to other Italian restaurants, but the difference here, is that there is a level of authenticity in the food that surpasses other eateries.  Chef Franco creates beautifully crafted, quality food that tastes and feels home-made.  Each dish is delicately prepared with the finest ingredients offered in Southern California.  Standout items from the menu include the Polpette Di Carne, a serving of house made pork & beef meatballs with tomato-basil and melted mozzarella; the one of a kind Pappardelle Alla Vaccinara, a pasta dish made with corner stone slow braised oxtail ragu and parmiggiano; and the Brasato di Manzo, a 12oz slow braised Creek Stone beef short rib paired with a spinach saute, root vegetables, and wine reduction.  If I had to pick a favorite, I have to admit that I always love a classic pasta, and the Fusilli, nicknamed “Franco’s Mom”, was incredible, served with pork sausage and beef meat ragu parmiggiano.  When asked about the name of this dish and his favorite items to cook for his guests, Franco says, “This is my mother’s recipe, and I grew up eating it.  My favorite things to make are definitely pastas because it brings back memories of my childhood when I cooked with my mother, making everything from scratch.”

Franco on Melrose is located at 6919 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038.

Hours: Monday – Thursday (dinner): 6 pm – 10 pm
Friday – Saturday (dinner): 5:30 pm – 11 pm
Sunday: 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Book a Reservation HERE.

Billboard + Ford Present: Tinashe and BJ The Chicago Kid at #FordFrontRow

Billboard + Ford Present: Tinashe and BJ The Chicago Kid at #FordFrontRow


Billboard and Ford Motors have teamed up this Summer to create a multi-city concert series called, Ford Front Row, with each city showcasing one chart-topping artist and one rising star.  The series kicked off its first show in downtown L.A. at the Belasco Theater and featured the critically acclaimed Tinashe and three-time Grammy nominated, BJ the Chicago Kid.

BJ the Chicago Kid kicked off his set with various cuts from his latest album, In My Mind, while making sure to give an extremely soulful performance through each song.  The room was completely tuned into his melodic groove and beautifully arranged vocals on his tracks like “Church”, “Love Inside”, and fan favorite, “Turnin’ Me Up”.  Immediately after BJ’s set, Tinashe took center stage to perform a riveting set from her album, Aquarius, and from her upcoming project, Joyride.  There was no shortage of stage presence when Tinashe performed, as she delivered impeccable choreography and vocals without missing one beat.  Fans sang along to every one of her songs and amplified their excitement at every dance break, because one thing was certain, Tinashe came to deliver high-energy performance at all costs.  Her set ended with her chart-topping hit, “2 On” and finished it off completely engaged with her audience in a back and forth sing-along.

Billboard and Ford succeeded in making a truly memorable experience for the fans with the concert itself being completely free along with gifting all guests with promotional giveaway items by simply downloading the FordPass App.  Follow the rest of the concert series on social media through the hashtag, #FordFrontRow.  Next up on the tour is Miami, followed by Atlanta, and then culminating in New York.  For more information on how to Enter to Win a trip for you and a guest to one of the next shows along with a chance to win a Ford vehicle of your choice, make sure to visit Billboard’s Ford Front Row portal by Clicking Here.