Beverly Hills’ Avec Nous Has a Secret… Menu!

Beverly Hills’ Avec Nous Has a Secret… Menu!

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 jowl with green apple, sage and tuscan white bean, lamb shank with creamy polenta puree, kohlrabi, baby carrot and demiglace, ora king salmon with Vadouvan, black lentilles, red endive and lapin deux facons with confit leg, seared loin, chantarelles, morels, huckleberry demiglace and calvados carrot puree.

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.

Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue Fall Festival Arrives Oct. 20

Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue Fall Festival Arrives Oct. 20

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:

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!

An LA Fall: Three Perfect Tequila Recipes Crafted by JAJA Spirits

An LA Fall: Three Perfect Tequila Recipes Crafted by JAJA Spirits

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

Glass: Highball

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!

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

Imagine Fest Brings Music & Yoga to Agoura Hills While Creating Social Impact

Imagine Fest Brings Music & Yoga to Agoura Hills While Creating Social Impact

Founder Natalie Backman & The Young Leaders Council created a fundraising festival that united the Yogi community in helping carry out Unlikely Heroes mission to end human trafficking.

Imagine Fest was a Yoga + Music + Conscious Conversation fundraising festival created by Natalie Backman and The Young Leaders Council to benefit the non-profit, Unlikely Heroes. Taking place on Sunday, September 22, 2019 from 12:00 PM – 10:00PM, guests opted to enjoy a Sunday Funday full of live music, yoga, meditation and powerful panel sessions aimed at creating social change. 100% of the proceeds acquired at Imagine Fest were used to help fund Unlikely Heroes’ efforts in saving & restoring the lives of child victims of sex trafficking around the world. Performers like Maya Jupiter, Satsang, Tubby Love & Amber Lily; and Player Won provided music sets that fused entertainment with conscious healing and awareness. Acro yoga workshops were lead by renowned yogis, Modern Tarzan & Sprout. A wide array of artisanal vendors and food trucks were on site providing guests with a multitude of options to eat delicious, health conscious food and shop from local businesses. Panels were held by a number of thought leaders, including the founder of Unlikely Heroes, Erica Greve.

The most notable thing about the event isn’t who was in attendance, or what they did, however. In fact the objective of the event was to raise funds for Unlikely Heroes to provide healthcare, shelter, education, recreational activities, rehabilitation resources, love, and hope to rescued victims of sex trafficking domestic and abroad. Many of the world’s most frightening and unimaginable issues are often closer to us than we know. Unlikely Heroes is here to combat these real-life nightmares.

The list of notable guests in attendance included Satsang; Maya Jupiter; Dustin Thomas; Tubby Love & Amber Lily, Aloe Blacc, Inetra Brazil, Anisha Gibbs, Modern Tarzan, Sprout, Robot Nature, and Player WON; Founder of Imagine Fest, Natalie Backman; and Non-Profit, Founder of Unlikely Heroes, Erica Greves. In addition, the event was sponsored by The Goldhill Group, California Commercial Investment, The Ave, Brian Fung, Quadranet, Andrea Gootnick, Pranamaya.

About Unlikely Heroes:

Unlikely Heroes, is a local non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating child victims of sex trafficking in countries such as Nigeria, Thailand, Mexico and the Philippines as well as the United States. The organization strives to rescue and rehabilitate the lives of these children as well as post trauma therapy, education, medical care and job training and most importantly, a happy, healthy childhood.

About Natalie Backman:

Natalie Backman is a yoga teacher, and the Founder of Imagine Fest. Originally from Washington State, Natalie has called Los Angeles home for nearly seven years and has been teaching yoga for five of them. She is currently a 500-hour Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher of the Himalayan Tradition and is working toward certification in ParaYoga with Rod Stryker. She teaches weekly at Agoura Power of Yoga as well as Horizons Senior Center, MUSE School, and for several private clients. She, along with the entire Imagine Fest family, donates her time and energy to offer healing and empowerment to their local community, as well as an opportunity to be the change we wish to see.

Vital Proteins Collagen Water Hits Costco Shelves

Vital Proteins Collagen Water Hits Costco Shelves

(Contributing Editor: Anthony C. Stafford) If you’re seeing a blissful, colorful, vacation-like ad recurring on social media, chances are you’ve seen Vital Proteins‘ coveted Collagen Waters! This hot new must-have refresher is taking over by storm, and SoCal residents can now purchase Collagen Water at Costco, who’s selling variety packs nationwide.

What is Collagen Water?

Collagen Water is Vital Proteins first ready-to-drink product that offers 10 grams of proprietary Collagen Peptides, 3g of sugar or less (from real fruit juice), and reverse osmosis H2O to help you hit refresh on your morning routine, during a cool down after a much-needed sweat session, or as a grab on-the-go anytime, anywhere hydrator. Collagen Water is packaged for convenience and comes in 5 different flavors, including Original, Blackberry Hibiscus, Lemon Ginger, Blueberry Mint and Strawberry Lemon. Delicious!

What does this Collagen Water intend to do as it hits the scene? The goal is to ween everyone off of the not-so-healthy “ades,” and onto something natural, that’s also packed with essential nutrition that the body can use more efficiently. Each drink is the perfect single-size serving to throw in a bag while traveling out and about this summer. Vital Proteins Collagen Water offers hydration, protein, and… That’s right — collagen, as the name implies! Using only high quality, all-natural ingredients, Vital Proteins contains key proteins and nutrients needed to look and feel your best while the collagen improves hair, skin, and nails within just a few weeks! It’s only become easier to make this summer heat bearable, so go easy on yourself with Vital Proteins.

Delicious Ways to Drink More Water

Read on for tips directly from the Vital Proteins team on how to improve and increase your consumption of Earth’s essential life-giving ingredient. (Courtesy of Jenn Randazzo, Associate Director of Education at Vital Proteins)

How can someone know how much water they should actually be drinking? While the general recommendation is to drink eight glasses of water a day (sigh), hydration needs are truly different for each of us!  When working with my clients, I encourage them to take a peek at their urine to best determine their hydration status. The ideal color should be a pale, or light, yellow.  Dark yellow means you’re probably dehydrated, while completely clear could indicate you’ve maybe drank a little too much. Drinking water is incredibly important because it helps to support the body’s ability to achieve fluid homeostasis, or fluid balance.  Along with eating a diet rich in water-dense fruits and veggies, drinking water helps to support optimal hydration and electrolyte status.  I always make sure to have easy access to water, whether it’s having a hydroflask on my desk at work or sipping a refreshing beverage in my car, like Vital Proteins’ new Collagen Water., pub-2907176749232271, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0