Best Of

Best Of

All things must end—that includes 2019. It was the Year of the Pig, the year that we discovered that beer is good for you, cheese can protect you from salt, human bodies can continue to move over a year after death, the Lovers of Modena were men and dolphins are right handed. The climate in SoCal was extraordinary this year—not much humidity, ample rain, ample sunlight and we even experienced an earthquake or two! The Best Picture was Green Book (remember that?), Olivia Coleman won for her performance as Queen Anne then promptly went to work on The Crown as Queen Elizabeth II. The record of the year was Hey, Ma by Ben Iver as music slowly moved to aural epic sounds (especially soundtracks!) With all that in mind, we asked all our editors what stood out for them this year.

Joshua J. Pinkay

-Favorite Album: Scenery – Emily King
Emily King released her third studio album, Scenery, this year and has garnered two Grammy nominations for 2020. The record is a beautifully engineered piece of art that blends Soul, Folk, R&B, and real songwriting to create a melodic masterpiece.
 
-Favorite Restaurant/Meal: K-Town Smash Burger at E!GHT Korean BBQ
E!GHT Korean BBQ introduced their “Smash Burger” to L.A. this year which is an absolutely decadent mix of two pork belly x brisket blend patties, Gochujang Mayo, mozzarella cheese, Seoul slaw, all on a Bolo bun!
 
-Favorite Movie: Avengers: Endgame
This climactic film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe closed what many fans know as the Infinity Saga spanning 23 films worth of characters and connected story lines. It has since gone to break the World record for highest grossing film of all time.
-Favorite TV Show: A Million Little Things (ABC)
ABC launched their critically acclaimed drama series, A Million Little Things, which centers around the interpersonal relationships between friends and their families. The bonds of friendship in this series are tested when this group loses a core member of their lives to suicide, which in turn, unravels a series of questions that will affect how they see and interact with one another for the rest of their lives.
 
-Favorite TV Special:   HΘMΣCΘMING: A Film by Beyoncé
Beyoncé & NETFLIX released this record-breaking documentary that gave fans a closer look at her most iconic performance to date as the headliner for Coachella in 2018. No other artist in the history of Coachella’s existence has used such perfectly executed footage to create a show that has buzzed pop culture to the core and even making social media solidifying it’s impact by aptly creating the name “Beychella” as stamp to its place in history.
 
JOSHUA J. PINKAY is our Senior Editor

Randy Dunbar

Favorite Movie: Pain and Glory by Pedro Almodóvar. It’s a strange observation, but this film about an over-the-hill director connecting to his past is a devastating work of art; more than a film, a poem really to the beauty of survival, memory and how we manage survival. The Other: Once Upon a Time In Hollywood—maybe it was the time itself, but the acting, the memorable scenes (except the last 10 minutes) were powerful reminders of what movies can do.

Favorite TV: Years and Years: Russell T. Davies’ British drama that takes us on a journey with the fascinating and relatable Lyons family over 15 eventful years over only six episodes, and we start in 2019. A drama that had some predications about the future, insight into the nature of love and the endless fascination we all have with family. The Other: Succession—because we all want to think we could live this way.

Tech of the Year—Though no fan of Apple, I broke down and bought the high-end iPhone max—mostly everything stayed the same, but the camera continues to dazzle with a clarity and depth heretofore unseen.

Favorite Hangout: PRANK Bar— a block away from work, great drinks, brunch and company—the vibe is unpretentious cool in a relaxed setting.

Favorite Restaurant: Massilia—to hang with the owners and chef’s of a restaurant always brings a unique perspective to a dining experience, and here, the food was great as we pondered is it French, is it Italian? Located in Santa Monica near the Promenade, Massilia is another epicurean creation from Emmanuel Dossetti, the founder of Zinqué cafe,

Dennis Richardson

 

  1. Favorite Movie: Godzilla: King of Monsters
  2. Favorite Tech: Nintendo Switch
  3. Favorite Drink: Gik Live! Blue Wine
  4. Favorite Grooming/Hygiene Product: Lumē Deodorant
  5. Favorite Restaurant: Mambo International Kitchen

Niki Smart

Best Restaurant: Blair’s in Silverlake

Best Film: Parasite

Best TV Show: Succession (Seasons 1 and 2) and I’m already excited for Season 3 – but I also loved Fleabag and Barry.
 
Best Travel Experience: sitting in the street in San Pancho, Mexico, watching the happy chaos of people, kids, scooters, dogs, cars, bicycles, roosters, and even donkeys passing by.
 
Best Purchase: Solar panels for my house. Now my EV is powered by the sun – woohoo!
 
Best Show in Los Angeles: Scott Nery’s Boobie Trap (go see it!)
 
 
 

Anthony C. Stafford

 

  • Favorite Movie: Captain Marvel
  • Favorite TV Show: The Masked Singer
  • Favorite Shoe Brand: Mobs
  • Favorite Tech: Apple AirPods Pro
  • Favorite Restaurant: Mambo International Kitchen

 

Katie Nartonis

2019 High Desert picks

Favorite desert restaurants:
La Copine, Landers CA
Pappy + Harriets, Pioneertown, CA
29 Palms Inn, Twenty Nine Palms CA
 
High Desert Sites :
Integratron, Landers CA
Noah Purfoy Art Site, Joshua Tree CA
Sculptor Cybele Rowe private Studio Tour, Landers CA

Ask the Experts: Beauty

Ask the Experts: Beauty

​Because it’s winter, what can I do about dry, flaky skin?

The best way to combat winter skin is to replenish lost moisture, as a result of cold weather and central heating etc..
I recommend using a hyaluronic acid serum. Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the skin, an important lubricant and an integral part of tissue regeneration, holding up to a thousand times its weight in water.
Apply serum to clean skin morning and night before moisturizer. In the cooler months of the year, I recommend replacing lighter summer moisturizers & adding richer more emollient products into your skin care routine.
Facial oils are also an excellent way to soften and smooth dry flakey winter skin… warm the oils with your fingertips, press & lightly massage into skin to improve circulation.
 
My Pro tip:
For an extra moisture boost, add a few drops of hyaluronic acid serum to moisturizer, & massage into skin before applying an SPF or make-up or simply as an extra night time ritual before bed.
 
Exfoliation is equally as important as moisturizing to keeping skin hydrated and smooth.
Using an exfoliator 1-2 times a week (depending on skin type /sensitivity) buffs off old dead skin cells brightening the complexion and making product absorption much more effective.
 
 

My mascara always clumps. What’s the best remedy for that?

Before applying, I recommend wiping off excess mascara from the wand back into the tube (to save wasting product). this prevents a thick clumpy application.
Layering several coats of mascara & building up length & thickness slowly will produce gorgeous lashes & reduce flaking.
After applying mascara, gently run a clean spoolie/mascara wand over the lashes to separate & remove any clumps or flakes…
 The older a mascara get the drier & flakier it will become. If you are taking your make-up from day to night I recommend keeping the lower lashes mascara-free for the daytime which minimizes those pesky flakes through out the day.
When bumping up the look for evening, apply mascara to the bottom lashes for a wide eyed glam.
 
My Pro tip:
Always wipe clean the top of the mascara tube after use and make sure the lid is tightly screwed on. exposure to air will cause the mascara to deteriorate & dry out.
 

Can you recommend a good moisturizer that isn’t too expensive?


Depending on your individual skin care needs. Here are my selects of good quality affordable moisturizers.
 
Acure -seriously soothing SPF 30 Day cream (sensitive skin) $18.99

Meet Yolanda Price

Yolanda Price is a professional Hollywood make-up artist, she has been working in the entertainment industry for over 15 years . on commercials, promos, print, tv & film.
She has a passion for skincare and beauty. “My obsession starts with the canvas of skin and that’s just where the fun begins and the process of creating a look unfolds.
 Making people look & feel beautiful is such a rewarding part of my job”

Send it over! [email protected]

The Most Exciting L.O.L. SURPRISE! POP UP Experience Opens Its Doors

The Most Exciting L.O.L. SURPRISE! POP UP Experience Opens Its Doors

Calling all B.B.s! MGA Entertainment has officially launched its new interactive experience, the L.O.L. Surprise!® LA Pop Up in Chatsworth, CA. Open for a limited time, the stand-alone brand experience is designed to ‘surprise and delight’ fans during the holidays, making them feel like they truly stepped into the L.O.L. Surprise!™ world.

Every visitor will have an immersive and photo-friendly experience as they walk through the seven interactive surprise installations featuring games, photo moments, fashion walks, product and more, including the ultimate Winter Disco experience room! Guests can also head to the incredible MGA gift shop after the tour for a true holiday treat as fans will also have a chance to purchase limited-edition L.O.L. Surprise! product, including exclusive apparel, merchandise and keepsakes.

Tickets for the L.O.L. Surprise! ® LA Pop UpSM are available at www.lolsurpriselapopup.com for $28 per person. A select number of VIBB (Very Important B.B.) experience tickets are also available for $55 each.

“We are bringing to life the ultimate holiday experience for L.O.L. Surprise! fans,” said Isaac Larian, CEO and Founder of MGA Entertainment “The temporary Pop Up has been created for the fans and we have worked diligently to ensure that it opens in time for the holiday season! We can’t wait to welcome all L.O.L. Surprise fans!”

The L.O.L. Surprise!® LA Pop Up is only here for a limited run so don’t miss out — tickets are available now!
Bring your camera for lots of fun photo fun, and don’t forget to tag us @lolsurprise

#lolsurprise #lolsurpriselapopup #collectlol #letsbefriends!
The L.O.L. Surprise!® LA Pop Up is located at 9220 Winnetka Ave. Chatsworth, CA 91311.

L.A. Restaurants Open On Christmas 2019

L.A. Restaurants Open On Christmas 2019

Sometimes, on any given holiday, a home-cooked meal just won’t do. Maybe you have seriously complex taste, or maybe you’re trying to impress a special someone. Either way, we’ve got a brief list of some highly coveted restaurants in L.A. that will be open on Christmas Day. Whatever your tastes, consider yourself covered! Read on for more on each location, their menu, and get an eyeful of what they’re offering!

Avec Nous

Beef Wellington & Croquembouche; Photo Courtesy of Aliza Sokolow

About: 5-course tasting menu with optional wine pairing

When: Christmas Day, December 25, 5pm – 11pm

Location: Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Price: $95/person, $40 additional for wine pairing, $45 for 3-course children’s menu

Full menu: here

Menu Highlights: Mushroom Consomme Soup (white truffle, morel, chanterelle, garlic flower, micro basil), Cured Scallops (red beet, turmeric, arugula, tomato, blood orange), Grape Leaf Wrapped Turbot (saffron beurre blanc, forbidden rice, harissa carrot)

Reservations recommended: https://www.opentable.com/avec-nous

 

Genghis Cohen

About: The SUPER BOWL of Chinese food is here! This LA legend is serving up all the classic favorites on its biggest night of the year. The NYC-style Chinese fare standby on bustling Fairfax Avenue (on the same stretch as another LA icon, Canter’s Deli) is 35 years strong. Founded by a music industry vet in the 80s complete with an attached music venue, it changed hands to restaurateurs Marc Rose and Med Abrous in 2016. Since then, the duo have pulled inspiration from the nostalgia of their youth frequenting similar Chinese-American establishments in their native New York City to breathe new life into the property.

When: Christmas Day, December 25, 12pm – 10pm

Location: 740 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Pre-order for pickup available

Reservations recommended: https://www.opentable.com/genghis-cohen-reservations-los-angeles

 

Mason

Photo Courtesy of Dylan + Jeni

About: Special 4-course tasting menu with optional wine pairing

When: Christmas Eve, December 24, 6pm – 10pm 

Location: 108 W. Channel Road, Santa Monica, CA 90402

Menu highlights: Grilled Prawns (blood orange, red onion), Pulled Duck Confit (arugula, figs, truffles, pecorino, balsamela), Prime Rib (pommes puree, port wine demi), Baked Alaska (almond cake, lemon ice cream)

Price: $95/person, Regular wine pairing = additional $40/person, Reserve wine pairing = additional $75/pp

Reservations required: Call 424-644-3034

https://www.masonrestaurant.com/

auburn Restaurant Launches New Brunch Menu

auburn Restaurant Launches New Brunch Menu

If you’re in Los Angeles, brunch means everything. What place doesn’t have brunch?! Well, if you’ve been keeping tabs, you can take auburn off of that list. In its newly launched menu, guests can expect a wide range of options, that only Chef Eric Best could put together. Much like how Chef Bost provides an alternative approach to finer dining by creating the framework of a set menu (4/6/9 courses) and allowing the freedom for each guest to choose their own dishes, he is giving the daytime offerings a truly auburn interpretation, too.

Guests now have the option of ordering from a new a la carte brunch menu and the opportunity to experience the beautiful indoor/outdoor restaurant, created in collaboration with Jon and Maša Kleinhample of Klein Agencyduring the day.
 
Varying in size from delicately plated servings, such as crudite featuring a bounty of vegetables, leaves and flowers with avocado butter and bernaise; to dishes from the hearth including abalone mushrooms with kabocha squash, red endive and preserved persimmon nectar; to larger, ingredient-forward dishes including brassicas with broccoli, brioche, duck egg, and aged beef fat vinaigrette, Bost took an uninhibited approach to the typical brunch format.
Chef Bost’s savory offerings are seamlessly complemented by Executive Sous Chef Armen Ayvazyan’s take on the standard brunch pancake — complete with smoked late season figs, earl grey and toasted hay cream, and unlikely desserts from Pastry Chef Dyan Ng — including pan roasted brioche with caramel. A daytime-focused cocktail menu rounds out the brunch experience as seen through beverages including a coffee fizz with coffee infused Campari, Cocchi di Torino, soda water and yellow Chartreuse white foam, and the charred tomato variation on the Bloody Mary — complete with vodka, smoked tomato, ancho chili, horseradish, worcestershire, celery salt and hot sauce. 

Brunch is served from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every Friday through Sunday. Looks like it’s time to start planning for this weekend, doesn’t it?

About Auburn

“Chef Eric Bost’s (République, Guy Savoy, Alain Ducasse) debut restaurant auburn juxtaposes the higher echelon of traditional fine dining with an emphasis on guest exploration and conviviality while paying homage to Los Angeles’ uninhibited culinary identity in a space designed with honest materials by local makers.”

About Chef Eric Bost

“Chef Eric Bost grew up in North Carolina, running around his grandparents’ restaurants at an early age. Upon graduation from business school, he enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America. After an externship at Le Cirque in NYC, Bost traveled across Europe, where he met his future wife, Elodie, and made Paris his home. During their time in France, Bost worked his way through some of the world’s best restaurants, including Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée and Les Ambassadeurs at the Hôtel de Crillon. His experience led him to be chosen by Guy Savoy for his opening team in Las Vegas in 2006. Two years later, the restaurant received 2 Michelin Stars with Bost as Chef de Cuisine. Within months, he was appointed Executive Chef and maintained their prestigious rating, garnering numerous accolades along the way. With the opening of Guy Savoy Singapore in 2010, Bost established a restaurant consistently voted amongst the best in the country. Most recently, Bost was the Executive Chef at Los Angeles’ beloved République. Now, after nearly a decade at the helm of revered restaurants, Bost ventures on his own with auburn.”

Photos Courtesy of Justin Chung

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