Ask the Experts:Travel

Ask the Experts:Travel

If you’re travelling with a budget in mind, KAYAK offers a great service: find locations for travel based on location and price worldwide. Here’s how it works: Go to the flight section, under “anywhere” click and you wil find explore your options with anywhere search. Click on any price and it will give you the current price AND a forward look at upcoming prices. Deal of the day would appear to be Kahului, Hawaii. Also known as Maui, a roundtrip today would coast $338, roundtrip. If you like adventure and can afford it, you might take an expensive flight to Tolinaro in Madagascar for $3343.


Meet Zuke Oshiro

Zuke Oshiro was born in raised in Hokkaido, the north island of Japan, and moved to Los Angeles in 1999. While he had his own educational agency business, Zuke has continuously traveled around world, and writes for numerious publications and journals.

Ask the Experts: Real Estate

Ask the Experts: Real Estate

How many Open Houses does it take to sell a home in Los Angeles?

 For the past several years Los Angeles has been in a sellers’ market and homes have been selling in 30 days or less. In this kind of market, it might only take 1 or 2 open houses to sell a house. On Average, I would expect 4 – 6 opens houses to sell a house.

Open houses are a great marketing tool and help sell homes faster, but I would look at this question from a different angle, not as the number of open houses it takes, but the number of showings with qualified buyers.

In my experience, about half of open house visitors are not real buyers. You will get a few neighbors who want to see what is going on in the neighborhood, or homeowners looking for ideas on their next renovation project, and I know some folks that just like to go look at open houses on the weekend as a fun thing to do.

In a normal market, it takes about 40 showings with real buyers to sell a home. I find keeping track of showings is a better way to monitor marketing activity than the number of open houses. Only count the real buyers that attend the open houses.

Meet James Campbell

James grew up in a California Bungalow north of Beverly Blvd in Hancock Park. For most of his formative years, he lived in Minnesota until graduation, whereupon he packed his bags and moved west! James has been living in sunny Los Angeles for the past 10 years and sells real estate. In addition to helping clients Buy, Sell and Lease, James is active on the web with his real estate website Thebirdstreetblog. James is a guest contributor about real estate for SoCal Magazine’s new series “Ask an Expert”. Have a real estate related question? Send it over! [email protected]

A Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide For 2019

A Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide For 2019

Updated 12/13/2019: This list has been updated to include more options for adults.



Auburn and Bon Temps

PRODUCT: Custom Furniture Line by Klein Agency 

ABOUT: Design mavens who’ve coveted the furniture at auburn since the LA restaurant opened doors in March can now recreate the look in their own homes, making them the perfect high-end gift for the holiday season. The bespoke items, made special for Chef Eric Bost by Masa and Jon Kleinhample of Klein Agency, are now available for sale as part of the latest collection of Klein Home. The recently launched line (which also features a custom piece made for another LA restaurant newcomer Bon Temps) includes such eye-catching high design elements as the white oak dining room tables and chairs, to the raw leather lounge chairs and stools that fill auburn’s well-appointed bar area. Each piece of the new collection is hand-fabricated by Klein’s team of craftsmen within 15 miles of their downtown LA studio. 

PRICE: Varies



Go Get Em Tiger

PRODUCT: Coffee Club Subscription

ABOUT: As part of their new coffee club subscription service, LA’s own coffee brand Go Get Em Tiger is offering up the option to gift a subscription of bags of their house roasted beans in either single origin, Minor Monuments espresso, or dark filter options. The bags are shipped every two weeks on a rotating basis and can be gifted anywhere from two to twenty-six deliveries.


  • Single origin (rotating): $38 – $432

  • Minor Monuments (espresso): $35 – $402

  • Dark filter (rotating): $38 – $432



PRODUCT: In-house designed merchandise 

ABOUT: Go Get Em Tiger’s in-house design team creates limited edition merch that is released on a quarterly basis for purchase online and in the shops. Get their signature “Roasted in LA” tee or one of their many artist collab products like the playful GGET x Clay Hickson mug as the perfect holiday gift for friends and family.

PRICE: Varies




PRODUCT: Ludlow Red expertly blends blackberry, violet, black pepper, dandelion, and fig vinegar for a dark and silky sip with your evening meal. 

ABOUT: Proteau is a new non-alcoholic botanical aperitif created by John deBary, the former Bar Director for the Momofuku restaurant group, and former bartender for the celebrated neo-speakeasy PDT (Please Don’t Tell). After years of working in some of the world’s most renowned bars and restaurants, John challenged himself to create a non-alcoholic drink that had the same level of culinary intrigue as those with alcohol. Based on his years of research into spirits, amaros, and fortified wines, John scoured NYC’s markets and spent months developing recipes. From this comes Proteau, a harmonic convergence of terrestrial botanicals from all over the globe that present a balanced arrangement of bitter, floral, and fruit notes with every sip. 

PRICE: $70 for limited edition 2-pack (includes tax & shipping)

PURCHASING DETAILS: Available online


The Spare Room

PRODUCT: The Spare Room Mad Libs

ABOUT:  Iconic LA bar and game parlor The Spare Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel teamed up with Mad Libs to create their own funny and entertaining game book, available for purchase at the bar and online. This collaboration, which features a sleek leather-bound design and an undeniable bout of childhood nostalgia, is sure to be the highlight of holiday gatherings this year.

PRICE: $10

PURCHASING DETAILS: Available for purchase at the bar and online at



Sunday Goods

PRODUCT: Effect Pens (Rest, Delight, Spark, Soothe)

ABOUT: In April, Sunday Goods introduced its oblong disposable effect pens boasting a refined metal finish that were custom-designed by Pattern (formerly Gin Lane) and are available in four different effects: Rest, Delight, Spark, or Soothe. Each has been expertly formulated with the right balance of THC, CBD, CBN, natural terpenes, flavors and aromatherapy to create the desired effect and curated cannabis experience. 

PRICE: $60

PURCHASING DETAILS: Available in select dispensaries in Northern and Southern California; find a store here


The holiday season is officially upon us, and understandably, many of us need help determining the right gifts for our loved ones. Luckily, there are a variety of offerings from MGA, the makers of the hottest holiday toys;  including L.O.L. Surprise, Poopsie Slime Surprise, Rainbow Surprise, Little Tikes and more. L.O.L. Surprise and Poopsie have already been named as the hottest toys of the season by Target, Kmart, Amazon, and Walmart. Your toy guide for the 2019 Holiday Season is below.


(NEW) L.O.L. Surprise 2-in-1 Glamper Fashion Camper

Ages: 6+

Price: $99.99

Description: The 2-in-1 Glamper includes 55+ surprises to unbox, 10+ hangout areas and an exclusive doll. The front detaches to become a separate car with D.J. booth, working headlights, and horn. The back opens up to 2 feet tall by 3 feet wide for the full glam life experience. Dolls can get the L.O.L. Surprise! party going by sliding down the 2-story slide, swimming in the light-up pool, then getting ready for their star moment at the vanity before strutting their stuff on the fashion runway. The 2-in-1 Glamper fits L.O.L. Surprise! dolls of all sizes and includes lights and sounds that really work!

(NEW) L.O.L. Surprise Winter Disco Chalet

Ages: 6+

Price: $249.99

Description: The L.O.L. Surprise! Chalet has 3 stories and 6 rooms, and includes a light-up ice skating rink, working ski lift, a chimney that really snows, and it fits both L.O.L. Surprise! and O.M.G. dolls! Use the included 15 ft. of lights to decorate the Chalet and make it glow. Freeze water on the real ice-skating rink, slide down the slide into the hot tub or take a ride on the real working ski lift!


(NEW) Poopsie Claw Machine

Ages: 6+

Price: $49.99

Description: The Poopsie Claw Machine really works! Three directional joysticks can be used to move the claw to collect surprises. Unbox six included surprises–2 Cutie Tooties characters and 4 D.I.Y. slime packets. The Poopsie Claw Machine also includes lights, music andother arcade sounds. Refill the Poopsie Claw Machine with your own surprises to play again and again.

(NEW) Poopsie Slime Surprise

Ages: 6+

Price: $9.99

Description: Make your own magical unicorn slime with Poopsie Slime Surprise! Each magical package includes 10 magical surprises, including the ingredients for surprise unicorn slime! With water, a little unicorn magic and some sparkle, you can customize unicorn slime and transform it multiple times! And now, each package includes gold foil, so you can make slime sparkle and shine! Add surprise scent to make slime smell fabulous.


(NEW) Rainbow Surprise Girls

Ages: 6+

Price: $54.99

Description: Make D.I.Y. slime fashions with Rainbow Surprise by Poopsie! Unbox 20+ surprises including a gorgeous 14″ doll with stunning features and beautiful, brush-able hair. Will you get Rainbow Dream, AmethystRae, Blue Skye or Pixie Rose? Unroll the package for the longest unboxing experience ever. Inside, find D.I.Y. slime powders and fabulous fashions with clear details, ready for a rainbow slime surprise!


(NEW) Little Baby Bum Sing-Along Piano

Ages: 2+

Price: $49.99

Description: Kids can sing, dance, and rock out with the Little Baby Bum Sing-Along Piano. The Sing-Along Piano plays all of kids favorite Little Baby Bum nursery rhymes, and they can play along with the interactive piano and real working microphone! There are four unique play modes for kids to choose from! Kids can even speed up, slow down, or add to the music by bouncing on the interactive seat.

(NEW) Tasty Jr. Bake ‘n Share Kitchen

Ages: 2+

Price: $99.99

Description: Bring home all the amazing fun of Tasty recipe videos with the Little Tikes Tasty Jr. Bake ‘n Share Kitchen. The play-set has 2 grow-with-me modes: starts wide for younger kids and adjusts to a higher countertop for preschoolers. Features a built-in smart phone holder so kids can snap & share their creations. There are 40+ pieces of play food and accessories included, and three exclusive pretend play recipes based on your favorite Tasty videos!

Cozy Cubcoats Stampede into Los Angeles with Amazon Popup

Cozy Cubcoats Stampede into Los Angeles with Amazon Popup

What’s cute, cozy and taking over Los Angeles? Cubcoats! From online to IRL, the 2-in-1 stuffed animal turned cozy hoodie will be available in-store from November 1st through January 5th at the Del Amo Fashion  Center in Torrance, CA.

As the #1 Best Selling Toy (and kid’s fashion statement!) on Amazon Prime Day, Amazon has partnered with Cubcoats to create this magical experience for families and kids. Ranking #1 Most Wished for on Amazon, customers have shared how Cubcoats have been a source of comfort, imagination, and empowerment for their kids. “We want to put that feeling front and center. Cubcoats partnership with Amazon & Simon Properties is the first time we’ll be able to bring this unique world to life,” states Cubcoats CMO & Co-Founder Zac Park and Cubcoats VP of Design & Creative, Mimi Chao.  
Let your child’s adventure unfold at the Amazon pop-up with exclusive Cubcoats characters including Hello Kitty, Winnie the Pooh and Frozen. The space emphasizes the magic of Cubcoats with fun photo opportunities, interactive adventures and special programming. Cubcoats x Amazon IRL popup store is also the perfect spot for holiday shopping with exclusive sales & promotions all season!  
This is the first retail footprint for the incredibly fast growing brand, and what better holiday present than a two-in-one?!


Del Amo Fashion Center
Address: 3525 W Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90503  
Pop-Up Dates: November 1st – January 5th
Chef Zamora Brings Latin Flare to Avec Nous

Chef Zamora Brings Latin Flare to Avec Nous

We’re all looking for ways to warm our cores this upcoming holiday season, and prestigious restaurant, Avec Nous, has just the fix. Avec Nous, at 5-star Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, is where highly regarded Riviera Maya chef Carlos Zamora will be posting up through the end of the month, offering his artistically presented authentic Mexican fare for Angelenos and visitors alike.
During the limited time run at the five-star hotel property, Chef Zamora will be giving guests a taste of the cuisine that’s drawn crowds for the past couple of years to his popular fine dining restaurant La Marea, located in the heart of Playa del Carmen. A native of Mexico City, previous to helming the La Marea kitchen, Chef Zamora has cooked in restaurants across Mexico from San Miguel de Allende to San Miguel where he was chef de cuisine at Moxi, operated by world-renowned Chef Enrique Olvera.
A five course tasting menu priced at $78 is offered through November 30th with highlights including:
Scallop and coconut ceviche with scallops, coconut tigers’ milk, cucumber, radishes, cilantro, serrano pepper and avocado puree
Soft-shell crab and tamarind tacowith soft-shell crab, guajillo pepper tortilla, tamarind-morita sauce, cilantro and avocado
Fish of the Day  a corn leaf wrapped fish of the day, heirloom tomatoes, purslane, watercress, red onion, black recado and lime
Beef tenderloin with corn, huitlacoche and chipotle jus
Chocolate flan with chocolate custard, macadamia nuts, Breton cookie and vanilla bean ice cream
And finally, a specialty ancho mezcal pineapple cocktail is on the special menu for an additional $18. See full menu below.

About Avec Nous

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., pub-2907176749232271, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0