Where to Watch (Oscar-nominated Movies)

Where to Watch (Oscar-nominated Movies)

Ready, Set, Go: Don’t lose the Oscar party competition because you haven’t seen all the films. Here is an inclusive guide as to where to watch the winners

this weekend:

Best Picture:

“Judas and the Black Messiah” — in theaters (no longer on HBO Max); VOD release TBA

“Mank” — stream via Netflix

“Minari” — in theaters; stream on VOD

“Nomadland” — in theaters; stream via Hulu

“Promising Young Woman” — in theaters; stream on VOD

“Sound of Metal” — stream via Amazon Prime

“The Father” — in theaters; VOD starting March 26

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” — stream via Netflix


Best Animated Feature Film: 

“Onward” — stream via Disney Plus

“Over the Moon” — stream via Netflix

“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” — stream via Netflix

“Soul” — stream via Disney Plus

“Wolfwalkers” — stream via Apple TV Plus

Best Documentary Feature: 

 “Collective” — stream on VOD

“Crip Camp” — stream via Netflix

“The Mole Agent” — stream via Hulu

“My Octopus Teacher” — stream via Netflix

“Time” — stream via Amazon Prime

Best International Feature Film:

“Another Round” (Denmark) — stream via Hulu

“Better Days” (Hong Kong) — stream on VOD

“Collective” (Romania) — stream on VOD

“The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia) — TBA

“Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia and Herzegovina) — stream on VOD

Best Animated Short Film:

“Burrow” — stream via Disney Plus

“Genius Loci” — stream via Vimeo

“If Anything Happens I Love You” — stream via Netflix

“Opera” — TBA

“Yes-People” — stream via Vimeo

Best Documentary Short Subject:

“Colette” — stream via YouTube

“A Concerto Is a Conversation” — stream via YouTube

“Do Not Split” — stream via YouTube

“Hunger Ward” — stream via Pluto TV

“A Love Song for Latasha” — stream via Netflix

Best Live-Action Short Film:

“Feeling Through” — stream online

“The Letter Room” — stream via Vimeo

“The Present” — stream via Netflix

“Two Distant Strangers” — TBA

“White Eye” — TBA

Additional Feature Film Contenders:

“Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm” (Best Supporting Actress; Adapted Screenplay) — stream via Amazon Prime

“Da 5 Bloods” (Best Score) — stream via Netflix

“Emma” (Best Costume Design; Makeup and Hairstyling) — stream via HBO Max

“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” (Best Song) — stream via Netflix

“Greyhound” (Best Sound) — stream via Apple TV Plus

“Hillbilly Elegy” (Best Supporting Actress; Makeup and Hairstyling) — stream via Netflix

“Love and Monsters” (Best Visual Effects) — stream on VOD

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Best Actor; Best Actress; Production Design; Costume Design; Makeup and Hairstyling) — stream via Netflix

“Mulan” (Best Visual Effects; Costume Design) — stream via Disney Plus

“News of the World” (Best Production Design; Cinematography; Sound; Score) — stream on VOD

“One Night in Miami” (Best Supporting Actor; Adapted Screenplay; Song) — stream via Amazon Prime

“Pieces of a Woman” (Best Actress) — stream via Netflix

“Pinocchio” (Best Costume Design; Makeup and Hairstyling) — stream on VOD

“Tenet” (Best Production Design; Visual Effects) — stream on VOD

“The Life Ahead” (Best Song) — stream via Netflix

“The Midnight Sky” (Best Visual Effects) — stream via Netflix

“The One and Only Ivan” (Best Visual Effects) — stream via Disney Plus

“The United States vs. Billie Holiday” (Best Actress) — stream via Hulu

“The White Tiger” (Best Adapted Screenplay) — stream via Netflix

Catch It While You Can…

Catch It While You Can…

The drive to the Griffith Observatory is always a fun-filled drive. It is where Vermont Avenue meets the hills as one passes the rich homes of Los Feliz, the open spaces where the coyotes roam, the Greek Theater and up the hill to the Observatory. On a recent Friday night, the drive was interrupted by the twinkling of lights on the left—and a parking lot full of parked cars! Turns out, it was The Cinespia Drive-In at The Greek Theatre, a drive-in movie presentation in Griffith Park.

Make it an “Only In LA” event (an event that is popular but you need to be on some very hip list to know about it), but it looks like great fun. On April 17, the film Hairspray will be played against the backdrop of foliage and landscape. Here’s what we know:

Sat, April 17, 2021, 8:00 PM PDT  Doors at 6:30 PM It is $45 per car.

Limit 4 customers per car.

Patrons must remain in their car, masks must be worn when using restroom.

Bring food and drink, no alcohol permitted. (ah huh)

Occupants of your car must be members of your household.

PEN America Virtual Gala

PEN America Virtual Gala

PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. PEN America champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Their mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Show your support by attending the PEN America Virtual Gala on Dec 8th and offering a donation. This promises to be a profound and power-packed event!

This year, the PEN America Gala will merge their annual New York Literary Gala and Los Angeles LitFest Gala into one national, virtual celebration on December 8. This digital program will be a crucial moment for the PEN community to stand together in recognition of the deserving honorees and to fortify PEN‘s mission at a time of extraordinary needs and demands. The fight for creative expression is so important, now more than ever and PEN hopes you can join for a unique, one-night-only event to toast to human rights and the power of words.

Featuring Patti Smith, Darnella Frazier, Marie Yovanovitch, Frank Bennack Jr., Spike Lee, Bono, Emma Thompson, Madeleine Albright, and JUST ANNOUNCED: former U.S. President Barack Obama. All registrants receive a free Audible credit.


Tuesday, December 8, 2020
6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT: VIP Virtual Reception
7:00pm–8:00pm ET / 4:00pm–5:00pm PT: Gala Livestream  

Register for the 2020 PEN America Virtual Gala

As part of this year’s virtual celebration, former U.S. President Barack Obama will receive PEN America’s Voice of Influence Award and sit down for an author-to-author interview with Ron Chernow.

100% of every dollar raised goes directly to support PEN America’s mission: to celebrate free expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.
For more information, contact Caelan at cfortes@pen.org.


2020 Honorees

Barack Obama, Voice of Influence Award

Barack Obama, Voice of Influence Award

Obama served as the 44th president of the United States…

Read More

Frank A. Bennack Jr., Corporate Honoree

Frank A. Bennack Jr., Corporate Honoree

Bennack Jr. is executive vice chairman of Hearst, one of the nation’s largest private companies. . .

Read More

Patti Smith, PEN/Audible Literary Service Award

Patti Smith, PEN/Audible Literary Service Award

Smith is a writer, performer, and visual artist. She gained recognition in the 1970s for her revolutionary merging of poetry and rock. . .

Read More

Xu Zhiyong, PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award

Xu Zhiyong, PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award

Xu, an established organizer and lawyer, has been an integral member of China’s most important civil rights movements over the last 20 years. . .

Read More

Marie Yovanovitch, PEN/Benenson Courage Award

Marie Yovanovitch, PEN/Benenson Courage Award

Yovanovitch is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service. . .

Read More

Darnella Frazier, PEN/Benenson Courage Award

Darnella Frazier, PEN/Benenson Courage Award

Frazier is the quick-thinking and dauntless young woman who filmed the murder of George Floyd.

Read More


Madeleine Albright            Joan Baez

Madeleine Albright                                       Joan Baez

Bono           Ron Chernow

Bono                                                            Ron Chernow

Steven J. Corwin       Spike Lee

Steven J. Corwin                                        Spike Lee

Soledad O’Brien          Steve Swartz

Soledad O’Brien                                          Steve Swartz

Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson


Franklin Leonard headshot

Franklin Leonard
Film executive, founder of The Black List, and PEN America Trustee


Hearst logoNew York-Presbyterian logoJamie Wolf

Penguin Random House • Frank A. Bennack Jr

Audible, Inc. • Pamela and Peter Barbey • Lawrence B. and Elyse Benenson

Roxanne Donovan and Tom Scarangello • Facebook • Elizabeth Hemmerdinger and Alix L.L. Ritchie • Margaret Munzer Loeb • The Muriel Pollia Foundation • Anya Salama and Albert I. Salama • Andrew Solomon and John Habich Solomon

Colette and Daniel Bennett • Kimberly Blank • Jill Braufman and Daniel Nir • Murat and Beth Bugdaycay • Bridget Colman • John Chao • Discovery, Inc. • Embrey Family Foundation • Sarah, Sheree, and Jerry Friedman • Google • Hachette Book Group • Holly Peterson Foundation • Tracy Higgins and James Leitner • Zachary Karabell • Sean and Mary Kelly • Sandra Leong • Alexandra Munroe • Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk • Arnold & Porter • Aidan Donnelley Rowley • Seedlings Foundation • Katrina vanden Heuvel • Suzy Wahba • Robie Harris • Marvin & Keri Putnam • Latham & Watkins

Mila Atmos • Ted and Helen Boustrous • Amanda Bennett • Leslie Belzberg • Abigail E. Disney • Jeanmarie and William Fenrich • Patricia Fili-Krushel • Miranda Heller • Elizabeth R. Koch • Macmillan Publishers • The Marc Haas Foundation • Evangeline Morphos • The New Yorker • Katia and Christian Oberbeck • ReaderLink • Chip Rosenbloom • Simon & Schuster • Sydney and Stanley S. Shuman • WarnerMedia • Waterman Interests, LLC

Tom Healy and Fred P. Hochberg • Nancy Rubin • Scholastic, Inc. • TIME Magazine

Gala Committee Co-Chairs
Markus Dohle • Roxanne Donovan • Sean Kelly • Anya Salama • Jamie Wolf

Gala Committee
Dennis Abboud • Mila Atmos • Pamela and Peter Barbey • Elyse and Lawrence B. Benenson • Colette and Daniel Bennett • Kimberly Morgan Blank • Jennifer Finney Boylan • Beth Bugdaycay • Bridget Colman • Aidan Donnelley Rowley • Patricia Duff • Jeanmarie Fenrich • Sheree and Jerry Friedman • Judith Greenberg • Miranda Heller • Elizabeth Hemmerdinger • Tracy Higgins • Zachary Karabell • Cindi Leive • Sandra Leong • Margaret Munzer Loeb • Yvonne Marsh • Jay McInerney • Alexandra Munroe •
Claire Paull • Holly Peterson • Michael Pietsch • Marvin Putnam • Theresa Rebeck • Alix L.L. Ritchie • Andrew Solomon • Katrina vanden Heuvel • Suzy Wahba • Jamie Wolf

Santa Monica gets Festive!

Santa Monica gets Festive!

The holidays are happening in Santa Monica! Restaurants, retailers, and businesses are offering an array of festive, physically-distanced attractions and charitable food and clothing drives to give back to the community this season. From free holiday art installations at the iconic Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier, socially-distanced Santa Claus photos at Santa Monica Place and festive dining and shopping along holiday-trimmed streets like Main Street, Montana Avenue, and Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica continues to shine through the holidays while keeping the community safe and healthy.

Self-guided holiday art installations will light up the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier for the season in partnership with the City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Art of Recovery initiative. The program is dedicated to funding projects by local artists and highlighting the important role arts and culture play in recovery efforts as they strengthen and connect Santa Monica. Both installations are free and open to the public.

Santa Monica Pier will welcome another LA icon, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, and their precocious puppets for a one-of-a-kind retrospective. The “Windows of Wonderment” art installation will bring marionette magic to the historic merry go-round and celebrate the theater’s most memorable moments and charismatic characters in six puppet-packed windows from Wednesday, November 25 – Thursday, January 7. Visit SantaMonicaPier.org for more details.
Winterlit holiday art installations and festivities will light up Downtown Santa Monica all season long Friday, November 27 – Sunday, January 3. Third Street Promenade will glow under tens of thousands of lights illuminating festive outdoor retail and dining, as well as eleven different holiday-inspired storefront art installations created by a variety of Los Angeles-based artists. The official City of Santa Monica 24-foot-tall tree and festive garland will deck the Promenade and a new holiday-inspired augmented reality experience will allow guests to transform physical structures, spaces, and trees along the Promenade into holiday elements and decor. For more information, visit DowntownSM.com.
Miracle on Main Street returns this December with free festive tidings including two iconic holiday trees, roaming carolers and socially-distant visits from Santa with help from the Santa Monica Fire Department on select weekends in December. The world-famous 40-foot-tall Shopping Cart Tree featuring 84 shopping carts, 1,500 lightbulbs and held together with 4,000 tons of zip-ties will be lit up for the 26th-year in a row inside the Frank Gehry-designed Edgemar building and the beloved 13-foot tall Noble fir will stand tall over Main Street on the Heritage Museum lawn to welcome holiday shoppers and diners beginning December 5. For more details, visit MainStreetSM.com.
Festive photo moments will be in full swing along the holiday-trimmed streets of Pico Boulevard and Montana Avenue. Shop, dine, and make a wish for the season at Pico Boulevard’s nine-foot-tall festively lit Wishing Tree on the corner of Virginia Avenue Park beginning Saturday, November 21 and the Pico Pop Up decked out in festive decor and a spectacular window display. On Montana Avenue, children can drop off a letter to the North Pole at one of Santa’s mailboxes along the street. For locations to submit a wishing card and more holiday experiences on Pico like free professional holiday ‘paw-traits’, visit PicoPassport.com. For more details on Santa’s mailboxes, visit MontanaAve.com.
For those looking to send holiday cheer this year within the community, Santa Monica has a number of different ways to give back or get involved with volunteer opportunities including food banks, clothing and blanket drives and more. The City of Santa Monica has joined forces with Santa Monica College and its foundation on a goal to give 1,000 Santa Monica families and college students struggling with food insecurity free Thanksgiving groceries. The City is also working to bring a happy and healthy season to community members in need through its Virginia Avenue Park holiday food pantry and provide holiday meals and food boxes for families this December. For a full round up of how to donate or get involved, visit SantaMonica.gov/coronavirus-volunteer or SantaMonica.com/volunteer-opportunities.
Restaurants and retailers throughout Santa Monica have implemented a number of convenient amenities including curbside, in-store pickup and takeaway dining options to make holiday meals and shopping easier than ever. Santa Monica remains committed to the health and wellness of the community and is taking extra precautions to ensure the community feels welcome and safe this holiday season and beyond. Face masks are required in all businesses and outdoor public places. The public is strongly encouraged to celebrate the holidays with household members and maintain six feet physical distance from non-household members.  For a complete list of all of the holiday happenings in Santa Monica, visit SantaMonicaShines.com.

Santa Monica Place will also offer an array of physically-distanced, festive activities for the whole family to enjoy. Santa Monica Place is dedicated to prioritizing visitor’s health and wellness and providing safe opportunities for shopping, dining and celebration.  Santa is coming to Santa Monica Place December 4 and taking residence in Center Plaza through December 24. Guests can enjoy a contactless visit with Santa, share a wish list, and take home a keepsake photo. Visit SantaMonicaPlace.com/SantaPhotos for reservations.

Sing along to holiday classics and get in the holiday spirit with a House DJ mixing hip beats with traditional favorites for the perfect holiday vibe. Next, snap the perfect photo with Santa Monica Place’s iconic 50-foot tree returning to Center Plaza with thousands of sparkling lights and ornaments, along with candy cane stilt walkers, story book characters and the new 14-foot larger-than-life Snow Globe. Shop in-person and pick out meaningful gifts for loved ones this year. Take advantage of Shop Your Way amenities including curbside pickup, virtual queuing, in-store pickup and take-away dining options available from a variety of restaurants and retailers including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Coach, Nike, Gourmandise, Tiffany & Co., True Food Kitchen, The Curious Palate, Sonoma Wine Garden, The Cheesecake Factory, and more. Two convenient curbside pickup locations will make holiday shopping at Santa Monica Place easier than ever. Location 1 is on 2nd Street between Colorado and Broadway and location 2 is on Broadway at 3rd Street Promenade. Santa Monica Place Concierge is available on-demand, during mall hours, to answer questions, make reservations, assist with curbside pickup and provide general holiday shopping recommendations. Simply text (310) 499-2928 to chat with our helpful Concierge.

So that guests will enjoy their visit and shop with peace of mind, Santa Monica Place is committed to promoting public health in the era of COVID-19 and has implemented intensified operating standards to ensure an optimal retail environment. Some of these measures include enhanced cleaning & sanitizing, queuing & designated paths of travel, increased Security to require mask use & promote social distancing, and placing hand sanitizer stations throughout the property.

For more information about holiday happenings, shopping and dining at Santa Monica Place, visit SantaMonicaPlace.com/Holiday.

Cover Photo credit: Mathew Tucciarone

Kástra Elión Vodka And Stephanie Beatriz Host Virtual Mixology Class, Pairing  Dinner, And Concert Event Featuring Kongos

Kástra Elión Vodka And Stephanie Beatriz Host Virtual Mixology Class, Pairing Dinner, And Concert Event Featuring Kongos

On Saturday, September 26, premium vodka brand Kástra Elión will welcome guests to a virtual event hosted by acclaimed actress Stephanie Beatriz. Guests are invited to tune in online to experience a full evening of fun, including a cocktail demonstration from Matthew Biancaniello of Eat Your Drink, a three course paired meal by celebrated caterer Jennifer Naylor, a sip and chat with the Kástra Elión founders, and a performance by alternative rock band Kongos. The special evening is presented in celebration of Kástra Elión’s launch of their new premium sipping vodka distilled from Greek olives

Family-owned, artisan crafted in Greece, and three generations in the making, Kástra Elión combines tradition, innovation, and a love for the flavors and heritage of the Mediterranean. While most vodkas are made with just grain, Kástra Elión is distilled from the finest hand-picked olives found in the Nafpaktos region of Greece, creating a profile with subtle notes of ripe olives refined with peppery undertones and a soft, battery finish.

Along with host Stephanie Beatriz and Kástra Elión founders Mike Camello and Brandon Cohen, guests will experience a cocktail demonstration on how to make the perfect cocktail using Kástra Elión. Chef partner Jennifer Naylor will also provide a walkthrough of her curated Meditteranean meal that includes a mezze platter, Greek salad, grilled marinated chicken and vegetables, plum and nectarine crisp, and much more for guests to enjoy pairing with the vodka. At the end of the presentation, the founders will open up the discussion for attendees to ask questions, engage, interact, and learn more about the brand. The evening will conclude with a special performance by Kongos.

Having launched just prior to the global pandemic, Kástra Elión understands the value of engaging and giving back to the community. Proceeds from ticket sales for this event will be donated to The Art of Elysium – a nonprofit artist organization built on the idea that through service, art becomes a catalyst for social change. Philanthropic efforts, especially during this time, are deeply rooted in Kástra Elión’s brand DNA, and they believe that we are stronger when we work together to make a difference.

Premium tickets purchased for the virtual event will include two meals prepared by Jennifer Naylor, a cocktail kit for two featuring Kástra Elión, and access to Kongo’s performance.

Tickets are available for purchase at https://kastraelion.eventbrite.com

Join POPSUGAR in L.A. for GROUNDED, An All Day Fitness & Wellness Event to Kick Off International Women’s Day

Join POPSUGAR in L.A. for GROUNDED, An All Day Fitness & Wellness Event to Kick Off International Women’s Day

It would be deemed appropriate for a powerhouse digital lifestyle brand such as POPSUGAR to offer women an experience that would maximize their best selves in celebration of International Women’s Day. Coming off the huge success of their Play/Ground Festival series, POPSUGAR has now added “Grounded” to the fold, which targets Los Angeles’ sector of health-conscious and fitness focused women. Details on this full day of programming below after the jump:

The “Grounded” Fitness event will be held on Saturday, March 7 at Goya Studios in Los Angeles to kick off International Woman’s Day. The day will have two sessions with tickets priced at $25 for either the morning or afternoon session, or $40 for the entire day.

Filled with positivity, Grounded serves as a place to steer yourself to center and recharge both mentally and physically to power yourself forward toward your goals. “Our audience is eager to learn everything they can about the latest fitness trends and how to live a well-balanced life. We saw their passion and enthusiasm at our Play/Ground festival, particularly within our dedicated fitness and wellness villages.” Said Lisa Sugar. “In expanding the success of Play/Ground, we wanted to break out those villages and create a dedicated event that was laser focused on getting women the tools they need to live the healthiest and happiest lives possible – from the inside out.”

 Curated wellness activities throughout the day such as electric workouts, self-care workshops and inspirational panels will reinvigorate guests and get them primed to tackle any obstacle and reach any goal. The powerhouse duo of “Tone It Up” Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott will serve as headliners for Grounded’s Body Garage, a fitness studio offering back to back, heart-pumping classes from today’s top influencers, athletes and studios. Other fitness experts confirmed to lead workout sessions include: Koya Webb, LIT Method with Taylor and Justin Norris, Deja Riley, and Jake Dupree.

Core Hydration, Natural Vitality CALM, U by Kotex, Nature’s Way Alive! join POPSUGAR’s Grounded as the event sponsors given their shared desire to celebrate female empowerment and provide the tools that help ensure women’s mental and physical health.

Grounded’s main offerings will include:

  • The Body Garage: Where you can gear up your body and mind with electric workouts led by top instructors.
  • The Rest Stop: A soul space for spirit-expanding moments, centering spaces, self-care workshops, and inspirational panels.
  • The PS Mini Mart: A chic convenience store where you can shop exclusive POPSUGAR merch and a collection of our Must Have favorites.
  • Fuel Station: A healthy pit stop serving up snacks and refreshments for purchase all day long.
  • Exclusive, always-on access to healing rituals, beauty consultations, self-love practices, and more to unwind, recharge, and reconnect.

Tickets are available now @ www.popsugargrounded.com




$3.99 OG Margaritas All-Day! What a deal!

Who:       National Margarita Day at Trejo’s Tacos/Cantina.

What:      Trejo’s will be offering $3.99 OG Margaritas all-day!

When:     Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

Where:    At all Trejo’s locations.

A Weekend in the Country: DAOU Winery Sojourn

A Weekend in the Country: DAOU Winery Sojourn

The road to SoCal’s local wine country is the El Camino Real, or Highway 101. Located 219 miles from Los Angeles,  Paso Robles is precisely the halfway point between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Paso Robles used to be a dusty pioneer town famous for its almonds, but that has all changed. A burgeoning wine country, it is home to over 200 wineries, 40,000 vineyard acres and many winegrape varieties, but primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, and Chardonnay. It is that rare combination of warm days and cool evenings that helps produce these wines. It should also be noted that the town El Paso de Robles (which means Pass of the oak trees) was co-founded by Kentucky outlaws Frank and Jesse James’ uncle Drury around 1869.

One of the finest among them is the family owned Daou Winery in the Adelaida District. The Daou brothers, Georges and Daniel started the winery in 2007, moving their life and fortune from San Diego to Paso Robles. The Daou Winery is beautifully set in the mountains at an altitude of 2,200 feet; rich with rolling hills, a faint hint of the Pacific 14 miles away, the winery enjoys some of the best climate and soil (calcareous clay) to produce a great Cabernet Sauvignon.

We meet Daniel Daou, a man passionate about his winery and wine. In fact, there are moments where is he so engaged in the science of winemaking you too want to live this life of juice, soil, rain, air, wood and glass. It becomes clear that winemaking is indeed a science as well as passion—so many elements must come together perfectly to produce a good harvest, a good year, a good wine.

Georges and Daniel Daou hail from Lebanon, by way of France. Their father, Joseph Daou, grew up in Beirut, in a modest, urban family. Joseph was 10 years old before his father, who grew up an orphan, was able to buy the family’s first bed. The prevailing culture of Joseph’s youth was one of genteel French colonialism—Lebanon having only gained its independence from France in 1943. In time, Joseph became a successful businessman, and Beirut would become known as “the Paris of the Middle East.”

Remarkably, the greatness of DAOU Mountain was foretold 40 years earlier when the property, then known as Hoffman Mountain Ranch, was hailed by California winemaking legend André Tchelistcheff as “a jewel of ecological elements.”

The mountain was first planted to grapes in the early 1960s by Dr. Stanley Hoffman and his wife Terry. To test his faith in the Adelaida District, Dr. Hoffman enlisted the input of Tchelistcheff, who was California’s foremost winemaking authority at the time.

Tchelistcheff was impressed with what he saw, and his seal of approval gave Dr. Hoffman further confidence to go forward. Hoffman Mountain Ranch released its first wine—a Cabernet Sauvignon—in 1972.

Dr. Hoffman was nothing if not ahead of his time, and that was ultimately the winery’s undoing. The market for his Paso Robles wines was outpaced by costs of running the winery, and he was forced to sell the winery in 1981. The land’s potential would remain untapped for more than two decades to follow.

As Dr. Hoffman once recalled about his first years in Paso Robles, “There were some Zinfandel growers in Paso, but nobody that I know of who wanted to grow French varietals like I did. We were the first. People were not encouraging. They said we were crazy.”

Fatefully, Georges and Daniel were met with similar skepticism when they arrived here with their stated intent to produce wines rivaling the world’s greatest.

Five years after acquiring the mountain and planting their vineyard, the Daou brothers were presented with an opportunity to purchase the adjacent property that included the old Hoffman Mountain Ranch winery facility. Their architect recommended that they raze the building and start over, but their respect for Dr. Hoffman’s legacy was too great. They decided to restore the building instead.

A year later, they held a ribbon cutting with two very special guests of honor: Stanley and Terry Hoffman. As one observer of that day wrote, “It’s not always easy to go home, especially if there are some broken dreams involved. But dreams delayed are not always dreams denied and sometimes you just have to wait awhile to see the work you started come to fruition.”

These and other stories are related with a quiet satisfaction that they did indeed take these mountains and produce some of the finest wines in the region.


After the winery tour we were invited to lunch at the winery restaurant. Cody Thomasson, Estate Chef, DAOU Family Estates serves a table of distinctly Lebanese fare—kabobs, mezze (Hummus, Muhammara, Bali Butternut, Castelvetrano Olive Tapenade, Spicy Whipped Feta, Tzatziki, Garlic Toum, Lime Zested Medjool Dates, Almonds & Pita Bread), an offering of cheese and charcuterie, lamb chops and of course the perfect sampling of wine, direct from the barrels. If you have never had wine from a barrel, it is a tasteful experience to be enjoyed in the cooler room temperatures—even the Cabernet is cool, and Daniel admits to liking his wine slightly on the cooler side. Indeed.

Later that night, a party, a soiree has been organized at the winery— This will be the 8th iteration of DAOU’S flagship Cabernet Sauvignon, Soul of a Lion. A wine that represents the family patriarch, Joseph Daou and the lessons of persistence, passion and courage he instilled in his sons during their childhood. Food, wine, friends and music, this is a night of celebration for the 8th reiteration of the wine. The music is Lebanese, the food is a mix of Middle eastern fruits, vegetables and lamb chops. The wine is DAOU, both  Soul of the Lion and other varieties—all incredible! We are atop a hill in the middle of Pasa Robles, so when we spot Twilight actor Taylor Lautner, it is a surprise. This of course, leads to a mental discussion about the nature of celebrity: you cannot go anywhere without people talking about you, circling about to attempt a hello, you are judged. As the night progresses, everyone gets to meet Taylor and he turns about to be exceptionally sweet about it. He ultimately joins his friends and everyone on the dance floor for the last dance song of the night (see video below).

Random Thoughts: winemaking is a business and a science—at times Daniel delved so deeply into soil texture, climate and the conditions needed to produce a great varietal. There is a quiet competition between Napa and Pasa Robles although the current notion is to keep PR as rural as it can remain despite the blossoming wine trade taking place. Asked where the next wine making region might be, all answered, Livermore, CA. People who work in the wine industry seem to genuinely enjoy it. Maeve Pesquera, Senior Vice President, DAOU Family Estates has likely told her story countless times, but it is clearly evident that she enjoys her job—and why not? Daniel Daou sports the best Prada shoes we have ever seen.


Address: 2777 Hidden Mountain Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446

Appointments: daouvineyards.com
Phone: (805) 226-5460


Left to right: Daniel offers Zuke Oshiro some wine from the barrel; entrance to the winery restaurant; the spectacular view looking west from the winery; the kabobs have been served.


THE WINE | Soul of a Lion is DAOU’s crown jewel, named after the father of Georges and Daniel Daou. The 2017 vintage displays richness, elegance and balance—the hallmarks of a superb growing season that allowed for extended ripening. A deep, complex bouquet reveals notes of cassis, black currant, licorice, incense, ripe plum and vanilla. The palate is full-bodied, layered and complex, while smooth, silky tannins lead to a persistent finish. It is impossible to drink this wine without respecting the great structure that will allow it to evolve nicely for years to come. In short, this is a blockbuster vintage that showcases the innate power of DAOU Mountain.

THE VINTAGE | The 2017 growing season was preceded by one of the wettest winters in recent memory, with nearly 35 inches of rain recorded on DAOU Mountain. The vines were energized by the much-needed moisture, setting one of our best crops yet. The weather remained steady from spring through mid-summer. However, a heat wave descended upon California during the third week of August. Many vintners chose to harvest immediately, but we made the brave decision to allow the fruit to hang. As we suspected, a cooling trend snapped the heat wave ensuring that the fruit achieved optimal ripeness. The result was our latest harvest ever on the mountain, reaching all the way into the third week of October. The long hang time yielded the deepest color and concentration we have seen from our estate. The tannins are silky and beautifully integrated. We feel that the 2017 wines will rival the best ever from DAOU Mountain.

DAOU VINEYARDS & WINERY | Family owned and operated, DAOU Vineyards & Winery is committed to producing collectible, world-class wines to rival the most respected appellations in the world. DAOU Mountain’s combination of remarkable geology, microclimate, a 2,200-foot elevation, and steep slopes gives it a terroir described as “a jewel of ecological elements.” As stewards of this beautiful terroir, our goal is to make fine wines that honestly and accurately reflect the potential of the estate.

VARIETALS | 79 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot BARREL AGING | 22 months in 100% new French oak ALCOHOL | 14.7%

Wine Education

There’s more to wine than just drinking it—here are some interesting facts:

A single bottle contains:

750 ml of wine which is 25.6 ounces made from 2.4 pounds of grapes (39.0 oz) and is enough for four to five glasses.

A case of wine is a dozen 750 ml bottles or 307.2 ounces total, which comes from 30 pounds of grapes.

One standard oak barrel of wine holds 295 bottles of wine (or 59 glasses) made from 740 pounds of grapes which works out to approximately to 24 cases wine.

An acre of vineyard land can give the grower five tons of grapes (greatly depending on variety, farming practices and location) which will give you 797 gallons of juice or thirteen and half barrels, which is close to four thousand bottles of wine.

Leap Year Disco in Santa Monica

Leap Year Disco in Santa Monica

Dance the Night Away at a Leap Day Silent Disco in Downtown Santa Monica

Enjoy a free silent disco, dueling DJs and leap day birthday treats from Carlo’s Bakery at Third Street Promenade

Saturday, February 29 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Dance like no one is watching in Downtown Santa Monica during a free Leap Day Silent Disco on Saturday, February 29 from 6 – 9 p.m at Third Street Promenade. Celebrate February’s extra day with friends, families, and loved ones making memories that last a lifetime while enjoying unlimited dancing, dueling DJs, free treats and Carlo’s Bakery cupcakes for all the leap day babies.
Grab your dancing shoes and get your groove on to one of three live DJ sets with a personal light-up headset at this exciting leap day festivity. Attendees celebrating their leap day birthday will be given a free cupcake and birthday treats from Carlo’s Bakery, as featured on Cake Boss, with valid Photo ID. No matter your age, all are invited to experience a fun evening dancing under the night sky on Third Street Promenade to bring in 2020’s long awaited extra day.
Saturday, February 29 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
1300 Block of the Third Street Promenade
Parking is widely available in the downtown structures including the Santa Monica Public Library or Parking Structures 9 and 10 just north of Wilshire Boulevard. Biking, walking and public transit are encouraged.
Leap Day Silent Disco is free and open to the public. A photo ID is required to use the headsets. For more information, visit www.downtownsm.com/ or follow along on social media on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.
Cover photo: provided courtesy of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
02-15-2020 Catalina Island Museum : Project Azorian

02-15-2020 Catalina Island Museum : Project Azorian

Catalina Island Museum presents Project Azorian: The CIA’s Greatest Covert Operation, a lecture detailing the story of the highly secret and elaborate 6-year effort to retrieve a sunken Soviet submarine from the Pacific Ocean floor through mission artifacts and a slideshow on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. in the Ackerman Family Amphitheater.

In 1968 at the height of the Cold War, K-129, a Russian submarine on patrol in the North Pacific was lost. The Russians searched for the sub but could find no trace of it. The U.S. located the submarine on the ocean floor 16,800 feet below water.

The CIA was desperate to recover the submarine and especially its contents to determine if the submarine carried nuclear weapons and what krypto equipment was recoverable. But the Russians were watching closely. Using Howard Hughes mining the ocean floor as a cover, the CIA built a 650-foot ship, the Hughes Glomar Explorer with the goal of secretly raising the submarine from the ocean floor – some 3 miles deep – without the Soviets knowing. The mission, codenamed Project Azorian, was one of the most complex, expensive and secretive intelligence operations of the Cold War.

Local Catalina Island resident, Charlie Canby, a naval architect and marine engineer, worked on the design of the ship and sailed on the Hughes Glomar Explorer in the capacities of an ordinary seaman and welder. Canby served as the Resident Naval Architect on the actual recovery mission in 1974. During the lecture, Canby will take attendees on a journey telling the story of this 6-year mission through artifacts and a slideshow lecture including the conceptual design of the ship, the cover story and the recovery mission itself. He will also detail the mysteries of why the Hughes Glomar Explorer anchored four times at the Isthmus (Two Harbors) at Catalina Island.

Saturday, February 15 | 6 p.m. (Doors open at 5 p.m.)

Ackerman Family Amphitheater
Catalina Island Museum, 217 Metropole Avenue, Avalon, CA 90704

Members: $10
Non-Members: $17
Children (ages 3-15): Free with paid adult admission
About Catalina Island Museum
The Catalina Island Museum offers the best in art and history exhibitions, music and dance performances, lectures by guest speakers from all over the world, and the finest in silent, documentary and international film. Open seven days a week, the new Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building is located in the heart of Avalon at 217 Metropole Avenue. For more information, the museum may be reached by phone at 310-510-2414 or at its website: CatalinaMuseum.org.
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.

Japan 47 Artisans: Quietly Spectacular

Japan 47 Artisans: Quietly Spectacular

The JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles JAPAN 47 ARTISANS exhibition on Oct. 29, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles)

JAPAN HOUSE, Los Angeles is showcasing the diversity of Japan’s 47 prefectures through a collection of art, crafts, and design created by 47 young artisans (one from each prefecture). The exhibit, called 47 ARTISANS, runs through January 5, 2020, at Japan House Gallery on Level 2 of the plaza at Hollywood & Highland.

Each of Japan’s 47 prefectures has its own regional history, culture, and flavors that the exhibit’s 47 ARTISANS have drawn from; infusing their own childhood memories from their hometowns into their work. The results are beautiful, useful, and sustainable works – as the artisans incorporate traditional materials and techniques with the needs and flavor of the present.

The design pieces capture what makes each prefecture and artisan unique, but the collection as a whole exemplifies the shared respect for design and beauty that Japanese craft has carried for centuries—a balance of tradition and innovation.

Go see these innovative, delicate and heartfelt takes on traditional crafts—they are quietly spectacular.

Address Hollywood and Highland  * 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

(800) 516-0565