Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and when it comes to the holidays, we all know a last minute week of planning can go by in a flash. Whether you plan on doing a little cooking, or you need all the help you can get, Citizen Sprout wants you to know that they’re here to keep your holiday plans from falling apart. Available next month for pre-order, Citizen Sprout is offering an extensive menu of Family Style Starters, Sides, and Desserts, from Winter Squash Soup, to Cornbread Stuffing. There’s something for everyone, and it might be just what you need to not stress yourself this holiday season. Read on for more details.
Family Style Starters (priced $20-$60) include Winter Squash Soup with House-made Croutons and Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Candied Almonds, Parmesan Cheese, Currants and Maple Dijon Dressing.
Sides (priced $20-$65) include: Cornbread Stuffing, Caramelized Onion Gravy, Roasted Butternut Squash with Pomegranate Molasses, Pomegranate Seeds, and Sage, Cranberry Sauce and Maple Roasted Carrots with Lemon and Thyme.
Desserts include: Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake with Fresh Whipped Cream ($70), Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies and Ginger Date Molasses Cookies. (Cookies priced $2.25 each.)
When and How to Pre-order and Pickup
Preorders can be made from November 11 to November 21, via Citizen Sprout or by calling (424) 280-4123. Pickups will be available on November 27, from 10 am – 6 pm, at Citizen Sprout in Santa Monica. (Address: 1128 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401)
About Citizen Sprout
Citizen Sprout is the brainchild of former professional chef turned mom, Jennifer Jewett. What began as a passion project to fill the need of Jennifer’s fellow parents seeking easy, wholesome meals to feed their children has now turned into a full-fledged business serving Santa Monica and beyond. Five years since its inception, Jennifer now provides healthy, nutritious meals to students at more than a dozen private schools while also manning Citizen Sprout’s retail location in the heart of Santa Monica’s Wilshire Blvd. Originally the byproduct of Jennifer’s solution to reducing the amount of food waste that resulted from the meals she prepped for schools, the Santa Monica storefront now offers fresh, on-the-go meals for adults and children alike. Catering to everyone from the conscientious parent to the busy working professional and time strapped millennial, Citizen Sprout provides a range of offerings from snacks to complete meals along with a variety of beverage and kitchen goods from local purveyors including Sqirl and Larder Baking Company. Citizen Sprout is located at: 1128 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401. More information can be found at: www.citizensprout.com
Do you know what’s better than a Christmas present? An early Christmas present! Culinary madman Michael Cirino from A Razor/A Shiny Knife (behind uber creative food & drink experiences like Lunch on the L Train and Cocktails with Drones) is bringing his next big idea — the 100 Course Meal — to life for the first time ever in LA this December! Tickets just went on sale, and guests can expect to be in for quite an unbelievable treat this holiday.
Cirino has lined up some of LA’s top culinary talents to take part, including favorites like Bub & Grandma’s Bread, Coolhaus, Homestate, Konbi, Jewel, Ms. Chi, SLAB, and The h.wood group. In addition, 100 Course Meal is an expansive, seemingly never-ending table of highly choreographed delivery of 100 artfully presented dishes throughout the course of the event. Each of the 100 guests per dinner (or lunch!) will be able to sit and enjoy ten dishes at the table in rapid succession. As if that weren’t enough, exploring the space via ultra-experiential elements like drone bartenders, laser-printed food, chef demos, beverages galore and more alongside 100 dish presentations like 100 pieces of sushi, tacos, sandwiches and donuts – all for guests to photograph and consume. Imagine an over-the-top 100 person dinner party.
100 Course Meal is the brainchild of Michael Cirino who’s been bringing his highly sought-after A Razor/A Shiny Knife dining experiences to sold-out crowds around the world from New York City to Panama for more than 15 years. In collaboration with Thrillist, Cirino is excited to bring his latest concept to Los Angeles, a city with a diverse, rich food history and insatiable zest for culinary innovation.
“At Thrillist we are always trying to push the limits of traditional dining to create one of a kind food experiences that elevate the senses,“ said Ocean MacAdams, President of Thrillist. “Michael has a history of creating these innovative culinary moments that surprise and delight and we are confident that this event will create an atmosphere, unlike anything our audience has had before.”
The trademarks of the 100 Course Meal will be an expansive, seemingly unending table and the highly choreographed delivery of 100 artfully presented dishes. Each of the 100 guests per session will be able to enjoy ten dishes at the table in rapid succession along with tableside preparations ranging from Lawry’s spinning Caesar salad to traditional dim sum. Bringing together notable LA farmers, chefs, bartenders and coffee roasters the event aims to foster a sense of community and collaboration and serve as a reflection of the city through an examination of its food culture.
In addition to the seated experience, guests will be given the opportunity to further interact within the 7,000-square-foot space via multiple activations including the culinary lab, showcasing the future of food and beverage. The lab will be complete with cutting-edge demos highlighting everything from a drone bartender stirring cocktails to a food laser and popcorn ice cream made with liquid nitrogen. Additional components include multiple demos led by the event’s culinary contributors including tortilla making and knife skills.
For more information on the 100 Course Meal and forthcoming ticket sales, please visit this link. Tickets are priced at $100 and include ten seated courses and access to unlimited beer, wine, and cocktails and all the food and fun happening inside the venue.
Thrillist means fun; we are the essential resource for how to spend your time and money. We’re eaters, drinkers, travelers, and doers. We serve the curious and believe that new experiences are what drive the richest lives. We bring our passion, expertise, and taste to bear on the things that are truly worth your time and money. Life’s for living, and that’s why we’re here. Today will be great. In December 2016, Thrillist joined forces with NowThis, The Dodo and Seeker to form Group Nine Media – a global top 10 publisher.
About 100 Course Meal
100 Course Meal is a multi-sensory celebration portraying diverse cities through a unique lens that exposes their culinary identity through the framework of their storied history and current innovations. Characterized by its interactive format, the event allows guests to taste, experience and explore. 100 Course Meal is presented by Michael Cirino of A Razor/A Shiny Knife whose creative studio and hospitality group focuses on creating larger than life immersive experiences that are brought to life through trans-media storytelling. Over the last 15 years, Cirino’s seminal experiences have included a multi-course, haute-cuisine lunch served on the NYC subway, a birthday party for the 125th anniversary of pizza with a pizza delivered from every pizzeria in New York City and a life-sized Monopoly game gala dinner for the Panamanian elite Calicanto Foundation. Cirino and his team have also collaborated with Fortune 500 brands including Chanel, Google, Sothebys and Pepsi. With work in nearly every major city in the US and extensive international locations including Panama City and Milan, Cirino and his team bring their brand of experience to a global population.
How would you describe Los Angeles? Colorful, vibrant, diverse, or perhaps, a multicultural melting pot?
If any of those adjectives came to mind, you would be right in believing so. However, when it comes to the “melting pots” of the world, it is rare to find a restaurant that authentically captures the different essences of the world. Sure, there are plenty of themed restaurants offering cuisines from exotic places, but how often do you find a singular restaurant offering unbelievable cuisines from around the world? Luckily, for Southern California, there is a special place, tucked away in the city of Northridge, which offers exactly this: Mambo International Kitchen (IG: @MamboResto).
We recently had the opportunity to try some of their newest menu items, along with a few other popular dishes we missed during our first visit. In addition, we could not pass up a unique opportunity to meet with co-owner Donna, who, like our first visit, was immensely kind and hospitable. The love of food, culture and people truly flows throughout every dish, drink and dessert that the owners share. Mambo International Kitchen should be on your foodie radar — otherwise, you are doing yourself a major disservice.
Upon our arrival, we prepared for the amazing food journey we were about to embark on — from the Philippines to the Americas. Our anticipation set in, and before we knew it, it was chow time. It’s worth noting that dishes typically don’t take long to come out, and even during peak business hours, Mambo tries not to keep customers waiting longer than 15 minutes for their order — great for any workday lunch.
The Best Hydration
If you’ve seen the news recently, you’ll know it’s been discovered that water alone is not that great at hydrating humans. In fact, water infused with fruit is substantially more effective. Cue Mambo’s new Pineapple and Watermelon Agua Frescas! Light, sweet, and tasting like they had just been squeezed from their respective fruits, these drinks were not only cool and refreshing, but they also prepared our palates for the new high-profile appetizer— fried tofu! (Bonus: Mambo also now offers Stubborn Soda — a healthier alternative!)
Wake Up, Buds!
Tofu is not particularly known for flavorful attributes and understandably so. It’s all about how it’s used, combining flavor, texture, or both. In the case of Mambo, the fried tofu provides exactly one half of this dish: texture and appeal (… and preventing you from drinking a flavor-filled zingy sauce, alone). Crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, we received over a dozen fried tofu cubes, piping hot and stacked next to their “other half,” a ramekin of savory vinegar sauce for dunking them into. A mouth-awakening sauce, this specialty is packed with flavor from its namesake vinegar, soy, onions, cilantro, garlic, ginger, spices, and subtle sweet undertones. A match made in heaven is an understatement for these two, however, if you’re not a big fan of vinegary flavors, Mambo offers a sweet and sour sauce as well.
A Flavor Flight with a Side of Garlic Noodles
With freshly receptive taste buds ready to go, our jaws were seething to dig into the entrees and main dishes. We were presented with some of Mambo’s newest offerings, as well as some older favorites. It’s safe to say that Mambo can take the likes of Buffalo Wild Wings head-on with their own chicken wings, aptly named “Frequent Flyers”. #TeamFlats, anyone?
Mambo presents an impressive list of international flavors for their Frequent Flyers which come in 6 or 12 count orders, with up to 2 to 3 flavors each. Equally impressive is the size of the wings, which put some other wing specialty places to shame. We’re looking at you, Wing Stop. Mambo’s saucy options include Filipino Sweet and Sour, Atlanta Lemon Pepper, Indian Tikka Masala, and Mexican Chipotle Aioli to name just a few. The flavors we had the privilege of tasting were Tokyo Umami Aioli and Korean Barbecue.
Boldly vibrant and orange, the Tokyo Umami Aioli wings visually reminded us of traditional American buffalo wings. What these lacked, however, was the nose-tickling aroma of vinegar and spices, and signature tear-jerking spiciness. Despite what they lacked in comparison to a traditional buffalo wing, Mambo’s wings stood in their own spotlight, covered in savory, sweet, umami goodness. On the other hand, the Korean Barbeque Flyers were almost unlike any chicken wing we’ve ever had. If you’ve ever had beef bulgogi, you’ll understand that sweet and bitter barbecue flavor that is barely reminiscent of teriyaki sauce— but on chicken. If you’ve never had bulgogi, the best way to describe it would be barbecue sauce with a soy sauce and ginger-like “twang”.
At this point, Mambo seems like they can do it all, and then when you consider we’re only halfway in, you just know they can do it all. Up next were the Garlic Noodles. There are noodles, and then there are noodles. Mambo provides an experience so strikingly authentic, that if we were to wake up blindfolded and try their Garlic Noodles, all signs would point to us being overseas and ordering freshly made street food in Asia. Not a soup, not a bowl, but nearly pad Thai-style noodles in a barely there flavorful coating of whatever decadent magic Mambo’s chefs put together. It’s as if they injected each noodle with garlic flavor, then cooked them in even more flavor, and immediately delivered them to us. Fortunately, our tour didn’t end here, as we devoured tacos, a recently controversial sandwich, and a Filipino favorite.
Let’s Taco ‘Bout It: Who Has The Best Chicken Sandwich?
Imagine for a moment you’re basking in the tropical sun of a Mexican beach. Well, that’s exactly where Mambo’s Tacos will take you. These tacos are a culinary masterpiece of crunchy fried shrimp, lettuce, pico de gallo, and a smoky, mild chipotle aioli all coming together on a corn tortilla for a tearfully delicious union. One of our favorite tacos, we’d recommend this to everyone — with extra aioli! Mambo’s Taco comes in a flavorful trio, and sets the stage for a filling time.
Our next dish — another Filipino favorite — was the Tapsilog Rice Bowl, and it brought back strong memories of the Hong Kong Rice Bowl. The main comparison here was the unforgettable garlic rice, however, this time we received a sunny side up fried egg atop the rice, and beef tapa, rather than pork. Each bite of this bowl set off a savory explosion of love as we mixed the egg into the rice, and tossed the strips of beef into the fray. Yet and still, we had quite a way to go: Mambo’s Chicken Sandwich with sweet potato fries.
America was recently overcome with strong emotion about who had the better chicken sandwich between Popeyes and Chick-fil-a. With all the arguments, fussing and fighting that went on, we shook our heads at the poor souls who fell victim to that debacle. Little did everyone know, Mambo was the savior they needed at the time. Easily one of our favorite dishes from this list, Mambo’s Chicken Sandwich features a large fried chicken fillet, melty muenster cheese, garlic aioli, tomato, lettuce, and onion, embedded between a buttery soft bun. Juicy, tender, and delivering an addicting flavorful crunch, Mambo has perfected their chicken sandwich, as they have everything else. Seasoned to perfection, we couldn’t recommend this sandwich more.
What More Could U-be Excited For?
Finally, we couldn’t be any more disappointed to reach the end of our voyage with the arrival of dessert. What could quite possibly be the most unique sweet treat we’ve ever had, Mambo’s Ube S’more was not nearly what we expected, and we couldn’t be happier! It took us by surprise because this s’more was not melty and messy, but rather neat and cold. A perfectly cylindrical presentation of lemon custard, ube jam, and lightly torched meringue sat upon a graham crust. While it may seem more like a cheesecake with its density, foundation, and temperature, Mambo’s Ube S’more was pleasantly surprising, and brimming with a sweet arrangement of exciting citrus, gentle ube, and the familiar graham cracker taste most kids come to love. If no other part of this massive meal filled us up, the ube s’more was the key that locked the door. The density of this dessert is enough that two people can share it and be well beyond satisfied.
If the exhausting run down of the food wasn’t enough to sell you, we have to ask if you’re human. If money is a concern, and your pockets aren’t very deep? Well, rest assured that Mambo International Kitchen offers plenty of money-saving options to help guests spare a few bucks. You can find a number of penny-pinching methods to save below, and try different ways to combine the savings where applicable.
Yelp: Check in for a free Korean taco.
Mambo Loyalty Punch card: A free dessert on every 5th visit, and a free rice bowl on every 10th visit.
Happy Hour: Tuesday through Friday, from 2 pm to 5 pm, $1 off all appetizers.
Every Tuesday: $10 rice bowls
Catering: Mambo does have catering options, and you can even reserve the entire restaurant for an event!
In addition to all these money-saving methods, we must say, Mambo International Kitchen has quite an extensive menu. It’s exciting to see so much that sounds so amazing, yet heartbreaking to have to come back to give some of those other things a try. It’s easy to go crazy ordering from the menu, but expect to be well over your head, as Mambo’s dishes are filling, and larger than one might expect. While this tasteful journey does have to end, it’s always reassuring to know that that another delicious trek around the world isn’t too far away, and always available at Mambo International Kitchen. We’re always delighted to step into the miniature world within our world, and hope for more people to experience their “food trip around the world.”
The owners of Mambo are very passionate about good food and equal to that is their delight in hosting and serving people. For many years they’ve dreamed of opening a restaurant that people will love and finally that dream is now a reality.
Our company is established with a passion and desire to serve high quality and cost-effective gourmet food with excellent customer service; quickly and consistently. By combining homestyle comfort food with creative and fun dishes, and a family friendly atmosphere with old industrial decor, we know Mambo is soon to be a community favorite.
8300 Tampa Ave
Northridge, CA 91324
Delivery: Yes: @MamboResto
There are many kinds of vacations—the relaxing, island vacation, the adventuruous trip up the mountains of Peru, the majestic splendor of old churches throughout Europe, and then there is the Middle East. A term coined in 1850s by a British India official, it is composed of 18 countries, 60+ languages and nearly four million people. It is the birthplace of most of the world’s religions and “has been a major center of world affairs; a strategically, economically, politically, culturally, and religiously sensitive area.”
So, let’s just say, it’s not Hawaii.
The river Nile. The view of the river as seen in Aswan.
Photograph by Zuke Oshiro
“What you can expect from a Nile River cruise is the adventure of a lifetime.”
DAY ONE we board the Santuary IV. The Sanctuary Sun Boat IV is a contemporary chic, sleek boat with heavy art deco influences. There are 36 standard cabins, two presidential suites and two royal suites. We are greeted as enter the plank by the entire staff offering refreshments and introductions. We are divided into groups and assigned an English-speaking tour guide, who will accompany us to the various temples along the way. Afternoon tea will be served. Everynight an activity is planned—tonight, after a gourmet dinner is served, we watch as traditional fokloric music and a “whirling dervish” perform.
As one look about it becomes clear that this journey invites all kinds of people—local Egytians, A London-based Sufi businessman with his family, and elderly couple from Scotland, a couple from Cape Cod, a Brazilan opera singer and her daughter, and Egyptian family with their California-based son-in-law. The staff is attentive, ocassionaly too attentive, but the dinner, which is buffet-style, is a nice start to the this ride up the Nile.
A felucca is a traditional wooden sailing boat used in protected waters of Egypt. Its rig consists of one or two lateen sails.
Photographed by Zuke Oshiro
DAY TWO a large buffet breakfast is served each morning. Groups gather on the first deck and we head out for adventure. We journey to the majestic Philae Temple on the Island of Agilika. We begin to make friends with some Egytian locals and their California-based relatives. The temples are surreal. Over three thousand years old, the preservation is impressive. We are to dress like and Egyptians for a post-dinner party. We bargain with the locals to buy a “galabeyya”, the traditional Egyptian outfit. Each night, at dinner you are seated in the same place. We are seated next to a Brazilian opera singer and her daughter. The after-dinner party is a chance for everyone to mingle and dance into the wee Egyptian hours. This is the requisite fun of travelling by boat—it’s a small party, you get to know everyone, and their stories.
DAY THREE we set off the visit the Temple of Horus. We begin to understand some aspects of the Egyptian pharoah culture. The mythology is deeply complex. For example Horus, is the sky god and there are two, Horus the Younger and Horus Elder. There is a surprising lack of sexuality in these temples, and everyone is quite fit. The drawings are impeccable and rarely vary in form.
We head to The Temple of Esna. The Temple of Esna, which was buried beneath its own debris for many centuries, is located in the center of the town, close to the River Nile and only a short walk from your boat through the local market. We are given passage by way of carriage. The remains of the Temple contain a hall of columns with 24 pillars beautifully decorated with lotus and palm capitals. Also notable is that while looking up, astrological symbols can be seen, 12 of them.
To suggest that it is overwhelming is an understatement. One has to pinch themselves to remind themselves of the reality—you are in Egypt, in the MIddle East and these are the temples that Hollywood has been in love with for so long.
So that evening, as entertainment, they have set up a projector to show the 1978 film, “Death on the Nile”. This version features Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian sleuth. Actually filmed along the same route we are on, this two hour and twenty minute film runs late into the Egyptian night—we all retire early for our last day.
DAY FOUR The east and west banks of Luxor. This is the big one, the grandaddy of temples. We’re suddenly seeing more people at these temples. First stop, Temple of Luxor, dedicated to the god Amun. We have had a change in our tour guide! The people in our group requested a new guide. Welcome Medhat, looking like something out of a central casting for Indiana Jones, he is informative and affable. We move onto the Temple of Karnak.
After lunch, visit the Valley of the Kings or The Great and Majestic Necropolis of the Millions of Years of the Pharaoh, Life, Strength, Health in The West of Thebes, as it was once known. We will have the chance to visit at least one tomb in the Valley of the Queens, and visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. On the way back to the river Nile, you will pass by the famed Colossi of Memnon, known in Ancient Greek times for their haunting voices at dawn.
It’s over. We arrive at our final moments on board the Santuary IV — saying goodby the ship is abuzz with activity. Rooms are quickly seen to. We head to the Luxor airport to head back to Cairo. We have made friends. We travel over vast stretches of desert, broken by the sudden appearance of a great lake, which seems to run for miles. We are back in Cairo for 12 hours.
There was something about this trip, that for the well-worn traveler speaks to that ocassional need for danger—not physical danger, but to be somewhere where your native language is foreign, the landscape, the people, the culture is vastly different than anything previously experienced. Bali was one of those places, The Maldives certainly. Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, all spoke to a distance of things known, flavors never tasted, history seen in terms of thousands instead of hundreds. Dangerous? Sure—you’re in the Middle East—you cannot get to Israel easily from Egypt though it is under 500 miles away. But it’s Egypt, it’s Cairo. It’s the Pyramids! It’s everything you ever imagined and more. To be sure, there was a moment, leaving the hustle of Cairo in a taxi and the Pyramids suddenlhy appear in the distance—it’s a moment. Crusing up the Nile via a five star luxury boat, that too, was many moments.
Gigantic, startling, illuminated, and altogether breathtaking humanoid figures will descend upon Downtown Los Angeles later this month at the FIGat7th Plaza. The Australian artist Amanda Parer’s latest must-see light installation opens Tuesday, October 30th and will live among us through November 10th.
While seemingly peaceful and ethereal, the figures are also imposing and daring. They seem to display an extraordinary curiosity for their onlookers, just as onlookers are fascinated by them. These giants from above give audiences the impression that they have just landed and are quietly observing us and gently exploring our, you guessed it, “fantastic planet.”
Parer’s edgy artworks explore the natural world and our place within it. As with Parer’s globally successful public art exhibit Intrude, these forms will not be randomly placed sculptures but are strategically placed to give the impression that the giant humanoids have taken over the entire event site and, perhaps, the world.
As Parer describes her work, “I raise questions about our relationship with the natural world. I communicate these themes by use of, scale, light, dark, humour, and drama. In these works, the audiences are enticed with beautiful, mostly invasive (which includes us) or endangered species, enlarged and dominant within their given habitats.”
Parer was inspired by the 1973 Czech/ French film Fantastic Planet (La Planète Sauvage). This stop motion science fiction film was directed by René Laloux and depicts a story set in an unimaginably distant future in a world of gargantuan humanoids where human beings are treated as animals and sometimes even kept as pets. The film was awarded the Grand Prix special jury prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, and in 2016, it was ranked the 36th greatest animated movie ever by Rolling Stone.
In her eerie and surreal installation, Parer lightly touches on the idea of a struggling human race through her Fantastic Planet installation, opening the door for existential questions about our place in today’s world.
While wondrous and life-affirming, Parer’s work also offers jarring examinations into our world today. Fantastic Planet is a sight to behold, but also crackles with emotional and political resonance.
Fantastic Planet will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and is located at 735 S. Figueroa. The light installation is free and open to the public, and very close to the 7th Street Metro stop. Be sure to stop by, say hello, and welcome them to our City of Angels.
See more of Amanda Parer’s work at Parer Studio and watch a live one minute video of Fantastic Planet below.
While seemingly peaceful and ethereal, the figures are also imposing and daring. They seem to display an extraordinary curiosity for their onlookers, just as onlookers are fascinated by them. These giants from above give audiences the impression that they have just landed and are quietly observing us and gently exploring our, you guessed it, “fantastic planet.”
Ah, Fall. We can expect the usual as the season sets in: cooler temperatures, changing foliage, and shorter days — but who knew it would also have a delicious secret?!
Back by popular demand, Avec Nous’ classic French favorites are now available for lunch and dinner… If you know what to ask for! With favorites like French onion soup, escargot and pissaladiere, guests of the modern French American bistro can indulge in the secret French menu upon request only. In addition, Avec Nous has an all new selection of seasonal tastes that are worth pairing with the secret menu items.
CAVIAR & CHAMPAGNE – Guests looking for the ultimate indulgence can take advantage of Avec Nous’ new caviar and champagne offering. The $120 pairing includes 15 g Regiis Ova Osetra Caviar served with 375ml bottle Ruinart Blanc de Blanc.
NEW FALL MENU ITEMS – Additionally, Chef Nicholas Loncar just added a handful of new seasonal menu items that incorporate all of the best fall ingredients.
Highlights include: crispy pork jowlwith green apple, sage and tuscan white bean, lamb shankwith creamy polenta puree, kohlrabi, baby carrot and demiglace, ora king salmon with Vadouvan, black lentilles, red endive and lapin deux facons withconfit leg, seared loin, chantarelles, morels, huckleberry demiglace and calvados carrot puree.
About Avec Nous
https://avecnous.com 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Open daily for breakfast lunch & dinner 6:30am – 11pm. Reservations can be made online here or by calling 310-860-8660.
It’s that time of year! Pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, and… a Guinea Pig Fall Festival?! Yes, Los Angeles will soon have its very own Guinea Pig Rescue Fall Festival, and it’s all for a good cause. While it may be normal and expected to see pet adoption events throughout the year featuring cats and dogs, guinea pigs deserve a special event because they have a story of their own — proving why a Rescue Festival is needed. Read on for an interview with Saskia Chiesa, the Founder of LA Guinea Pig Rescue — the largest rescue for guinea pigs, for not only SoCal, but the nation!
You run the biggest animal rescue charity in the country that is dedicated solely to guinea pigs and the only one in Southern California. Tell us how you decided to start this organization?
When I first arrived in the U.S. some 22 years ago, I became involved in dog rescue. I learned that there were so many animal rescues focused on dogs, cats and even bunnies, but there were NO guinea pig rescues. I also found that guinea pigs are victims of unintentional neglect due to lack of or inaccurate information. I wanted to advocate for these little innocent beings and improve their lives, so part of my mission is educating owners on their proper care.
What are some unique things about guinea pigs that the average person might not know? Why do they make great pets?
Guinea pigs come in many different colors, hairdo’s and coat textures. Each one is unique.
Guinea pigs make a sound that is only for their humans, it is the iconic “Wheek Wheek” which means FEED ME and you will usually hear them make that sound when you rustle a plastic bag or open the fridge door; it is adorable. In the conversations they have among each other you will never hear this particular call, it is just for us and their way of training their humans.
Guinea pigs are very particular about their food. Some may love strawberries, for instance, while their buddy can not stand the smell of them. Guinea pigs are so much fun to watch. They squabble, run off with each other’s food, play and they are goofy little things. Guinea pigs are extremely social and love the company of other guinea pigs so always have more than one of the same sex piggie.
Here in SoCal, we are no strangers to animal rights causes. We commonly hear about dog, cat and horse rescues. What are the issues that face guinea pigs?
There are quite a few actually and one of the main problems are pet stores. The guinea pigs you will find in the pet stores come from companies located in huge warehouses with row upon row of bins with breeding animals. Thousands of them!
With that many animals housed together there is bound to be disease among the population. The most common ailments pet store bought guinea pigs suffer from are upper respiratory infections and skin parasites like ringworm and scabies mites. If a guinea pig falls ill while at the supplier they are not going to be taken to the vet. I was in a Petco a few months ago and out of the six guinea pigs for sale that day three were sick. Store managers bonuses are tied to expenditure. Taking a sick animal to the vet will add to the stores expenses so the animals are often denied veterinary care. Guinea pigs require at the very least a cage space of 2 x 3 for one or two animals and more if there are three or more. However, pet stores promote small cages. In fact, most of the time proper housing for guinea pigs is not even sold. The reason for this is that if their clients were made aware of the actual needs of a guinea pig, I think a lot of people would not get them as pets. Another problem we encounter quite a bit are pregnant guinea pigs. The owner has no idea that they got more than they bargained for and are often ill prepared and ill informed. Guinea pig baby boys need to be weaned and separated from females at three weeks of age or another unwanted pregnancy will be underway. We pick up those pieces all the time and take in animals from situations like the one I just described all the time. All of that can be avoided. If we can halt the sale of animals from pet stores a lot of suffering will be avoided or at the very least, it will force pet stores to provide accurate information and remove incorrect habitats from the shelves.
Where is SoCal is your ranch located and can the public take tours or come by for adoptions?
We are located in Chatsworth right outside Los Angeles right off the 118. It sounds super far but we are only 35 minutes from the Westside. We are open to the public and we offer adoptions, free health checks and nail clips We usually have more than 200 guinea pigs at any one time looking for forever homes, both adult and babies. We are open on Saturdays for self-guided tours to meet all the other animals we have at the ranch including pigs, horses, birds and more.
Do you have any big fundraising events for the rescue?
On Sunday 20 October we have our annual Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue Fall Festival!
We open the rescue for families, animal lovers and children of all ages. Guests are invited to bring their own guinea pigs to the event as well. The event is free and it includes: Guinea pig Adoption Services, free health checks for your guinea pig, guinea pig competitions and many more activities. We use the event to teach about guinea pigs and to raise funding for the rescue. Running a private animal rescue is very expensive. We rely mainly on donations from the public.
What are your plans to expand the rescue in the future?
It is my dream and on our road map to open a low cost teaching and community clinic for just guinea pigs. What if your vet had only been taught how to treat cats- would you want to take your dog to see that vet? So you see we have a big problem! Vets, fresh out of school where they spend an average of only 4 hours total covering the medical needs of an entire species, are let loose on your guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, snakes, turtles and actually have no business treating them until they have completed a thorough academic program for each species. People are starting to demand that their veterinarian actually has the skills and certifications to be allowed to treat their pets. That means a certification program for individual species. Currently these animals are all being filed under the blanket term of “exotics” which can lead to disastrous consequences. We have only four veterinarians in the whole of Los Angeles that we deem competent and recommend to our clients for treating guinea pigs. We are fundraising like mad to make this come to life.
SoCal is more vegan friendly than most places! We heard you are a vegan. Can you share any tips for readers thinking about committing to the vegan lifestyle?
Veganism is not a lifestyle for me, it is life, literally. We humans are the guardian protectors of those that are vulnerable and none more vulnerable and innocent than the animals. Most people talk about the physical changes a vegan diet will bring about and yes, you will feel much better when you are no longer consuming food tainted with the memory and emotions of the mistreatment, murder and torture of that animal. The day I decided to not eat meat anymore was a spiritual revelation for me. I felt like a huge weight had fallen off my back. And then as a vegan, I was able to really enjoy the companionship and interactions with animals whereas before I I didn’t feel worthy because of the guilt that surrounded me- guilt from eating those meat and dairy foods and doing so very wrong to my animal friends. So liberate yourself! It is not easy- changes will have to happen! You will have to learn new recipes, find new restaurants but as you are taking this journey, I think you will start to feel happier every day a little more. This quote has always resonated with me, “May all that have life be delivered from suffering.”
Any other fun facts about guinea pigs or your career you’d like to share with our readers?
Yes, here are a few!
Guinea pigs like to eat … a lot! I always say when they are wheeking and begging- just like a dog does but noisier- feed them. It is such a fun way to interact. They are very food motivated which is how you can teach them tricks. Anything to get that juicy piece of romaine lettuce. It’s important to point out that they do not overeat; they know when to stop. Vets will often tell owners that their guinea pig is too chunky and needs to be put on a diet. Do not ever put a guinea pig on a diet!!! I did a video on this subject that got a lot of views though my Youtube Channel and I encourage you to watch it: https://www.youtube.com/losangelesguineapigrescue
Guinea pigs on average will have 2-3 pups per litter. Yes guinea pig babies are called pups. How cute is that?
Did you know that guinea pigs do indeed get dumped near or inside dumpsters? Such a terrible monstrous thing to do and also not legal.
Their favorite foods are Romaine lettuce and dandelion. Guinea pigs need daily fruits and veggies. Their body does not make and store Vitamin C so they need to get it though their food. A lot of people do not know this and those animals are prone to scurvy. Pet stores for instance are the worst perpetrator. Their guinea pigs receive pellets and hay only. So new owners of animals bought from the stores are incorrectly advised with terrible consequences.
We use 250 lbs. of vegetables and fruit every week!
THE UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) MASQUERADE BALL IS UNICEF NEXT GENERATION’S SIGNATURE PHILANTHROPIC EVENT. MASKED GUESTS, DRESSED IN THEIR FINEST ATTIRE, DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY IN CELEBRATION AND SUPPORT OF UNICEF’S LIFESAVING WORK. OVER 800 EMERGING GLOBAL LEADERS, INNOVATORS, CELEBRITIES AND PHILANTHROPISTS ATTEND THE UNICEF MASQUERADE BALL EACH YEAR.
UNICEF’s mission is to do whatever it takes for children everywhere, and UNICEF’s lifesaving interventions have helped cut child deaths by more than 50% since 1990.
What:UNICEF Next Generation will host its seventh annual UNICEF Masquerade Ball in Los Angeles at Kimpton La Peer Hotel. Inspired by the organization’s signature color and logo, this year’s Blue Moon theme celebrates the beauty and mystery of the celestial. The night will feature a collection of immersive experiences, curated entertainment, and out-of-this-world fashion. Funds raised at the event will go towards supporting UNICEF’s work in creating a better future for every child.
Plus,Billie Eilishwill be performing a special acoustic set at this fundraising event.
Why:UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF Next Generation is a group of young leaders, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and innovators in their 20s and 30s who commit their resources, resolve and enthusiasm toward supporting UNICEF’s lifesaving work.
Who:Event Chair: Nima Nejat Event Vice Chair: Kenna
Creative Chair: Carlton DeWoody & Babs Burchfield
NextGen Chair: Kelly Wilson
Honorary Chair: UNICEF Ambassador Halima Aden
Event Committee: Cal Amir, Kate Becker, Mike Cribari, Corinne Crockett, Allie Dinielli, Alex Fadil, Eric Galen, Erica Henderson, Christopher Hughes, Nabilah Jiwani, Alice Carroll Johnson, Harleen Kaur, Stacey Kenealy, Katya Khazei, Michelle Lea Kim, Brittany Letto, Carmella Rose, Stafford Schlitt, Alexis Simon, Robin Warren, Brett Williams, Tallulah Willis
When: Saturday, October 26, 2019
9:00 pm – 2:00 am
Where:Kimpton La Peer Hotel 627 N La Peer Dr, West Hollywood, CA 90069
About UNICEF The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.
While summer has departed, we’re all pretty much preparing to bundle up a bit and reminisce about warmer weather and longer days. Luckily, JAJA Tequila — the most vibrant, small batch tequila (crafted by creatives, for creatives), is here to warm our cores. JAJA makes the perfect spritzer, Paloma, or margarita for any fall or winter party; and pretty much other drink you can think of for every occasion.
This agave elixir breaks the mold with its beautiful packaging and meticulous distillation process in the brand’s birthplace of Jalisco, delivering a smooth and elevated taste. JAJA is sweet and herbal — inspired by the lightness of free-spirited days and intimate nights, while perfect for bringing color to any seasonal outing! The brand comes in two selections — JAJA Blanco ($34.99) and JAJA Reposado($39.99) — and can be shipped right to your doorstep. In addition, JAJA is available in over 2,000 retailers across the country!
Now, if you’re looking for the perfect spooky season sip, or even something a little festive, look no further. We’re including 3 recipes to suit your mood and occasion:
Blood Orange Spritzer: 1.5 oz. JAJA Reposado 2 oz. Blood Orange puree ½ oz. fresh lime juice Fill to the top with seltzer water
Garnish: Orange slices (round) and/or a lime wedge
Instructions: Mix blood orange puree, JAJA Reposado, and lime juice; pour over ice in a highball glass and fill with seltzer water to taste. Slide an orange round into the drink, or top with a small lime wedge!
Pomarita: 1.5oz JAJA Blanco ¾ oz pink peppercorn grenadine ¾ oz lime juice Thin slice of habanero Dash of bitters Top soda water
Blackberry Sage Tequila Smash: 2 oz. JAJA Reposado 1 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice 3 large blackberries 8 Sage leaves 2 cane sugar cubes
For those who know him as a filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick’s early career as a photojournalist is a revelation. In 1945, the future director of such classic works as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and A Clockwork Orange (1971) was just a teenager—but one with an uncanny photographic sensibility, who was already scouting human-interest stories for Look magazine. Explore this formative phase in the career of one of the twentieth century’s most influential figures in cinematic history.
Stanley Kubrick (1928–1999) was seventeen when he sold his first photograph to the pictorial magazine Look in 1945. In his photographs, many unpublished, Kubrick trained the camera on his native city, drawing inspiration from the nightclubs, street scenes, and sporting events that made up his first assignments and capturing the pathos of ordinary life with a sophistication that belied his young age. He produced work that was far ahead of his time and focused on themes that would inspire him throughout his creative life. Indeed his photography laid the foundations for his cinematography: he learned through the camera’s lens to be an acute observer of human interactions and to tell stories through images in dynamic sequences.
Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs is organized by the Museum of the City of New York, drawn from its Look magazine archive, which explores this early and influential work from Kubrick’s formative years. The exhibition follows along as he developed his talent for storytelling and honed his visual style in Look assignments that offer a kaleidoscopic view of city life, from the gritty to the glamorous. In these images of celebrities and everyday people alike, Kubrick revealed the hundreds of human dramas unfolding at any moment.
Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs was organized by the Museum of the City of New York in collaboration with the SK Film Archives LLC.