A New Restaurant Pops Up at The Shay: Meet Prima Donna

A New Restaurant Pops Up at The Shay: Meet Prima Donna

Cowritten by Anthony C. Stafford

Last year, we covered our experience after an overnight stay at The Shay Hotel. During that time, we had a complete blast seeing the uniqueness that makes The Shay what it is: a platform and incubator for small and local businesses and artists, while also a thriving scene for guests to stay in comfort, style, and excitement. In addition, we highlighted a restaurant that helped put the cherry on top of our stay — though that restaurant has closed and an entirely new concept has sprung up in its place!

Credit: The Shay Hotel

We recently had the opportunity to revisit the hotel, and were introduced to the newest restaurant to grace the ground floor of The Shay: Prima Donna.

Familiar, Yet Fresh: Prima Donna

Prima Donna is in many ways a sigh of relief, and in other ways, an exciting addition to look forward to.

Officially opened in January of this year, Prima Donna is an elevated Italian restaurant, featuring everything from pizzas to pastas cooked in the iconic hearth and brick oven that so many recognize. They also recently began live music on Friday nights, making the evening atmosphere that much more energetic and memorable.

We were surprised to find familiarity in Prima Donna, with the overall experience being upbeat, lively, and playful. We recognized some of the same friendly faces that graced the previous establishment returned at Prima Donna — like the impressionable Kelly, who knows the dishes inside and out while giving the best descriptions of them. We learned that The Shay helped take care of the team after the previous restaurant’s departure, which smoothly transition them into this new chapter with Prima Donna. The crowds flocked in soon after the restaurant opened, proving that the love lives on.

Prima Donna Menu

If you’re comparing Prima Donna to what existed before, don’t. Instead, think about your favorite Italian dishes, and how they can possibly be any better. The Prima Donna team came in with their own vision and you can rest assured that you’re in for a familiar, yet new and elevated experience with many options to look forward to. For example, Prima Donna’s lamb meatballs with garlic bread rang bells in our memories, but packed an incredible punch – a reminder that this is a new restaurant with its own identity. The crispy-soft garlic bread stood out on its own, decorated with mouthwatering flakes of salt and the pungent burst of buttery garlic flavor. It deserved to be its own plate and still paired perfectly with the tender and juicy lamb meatballs wading in tomato sauce.

We chowed through Grilled Prawns bathed in fennel pollen, burnt lemon, and a subtle smoky oil, a White Lotus Pizza (fennel sausage, white sauce, caciocavallo, crispy potato, and red onion), and Rigatoni Pasta as the heavier selections for the evening. And a notable mention we just couldn’t get enough of remains the Crispy Brussels, complete with farro and sitting delicately atop a cloud of lemon-yogurt bagna cauda and golden raisins. Finally, the Lemon Pistachio Cake and Magic Sundae were both incredible. Tangy, lemony sweetness of cake alongside the smooth, creamy and crunchy sundae made for a perfect ending to our evening.

According to Mosaic, Prima Donna will be around until at least June 2024, but given the popularity and immediate embrace from the community, they’ll likely and hopefully be around for years to come.

Comfort, Style, and Excitement: The Shay

In regard to The Shay itself, not much has changed, as it continues to lift its small business community up high and periodically hosts events of all types for these businesses and artists to gain exposure. This time around, there were no events during our visit, but still ongoing support of the community, with the lobby’s Gallery Shop bursting with products just waiting to be bought. From shirts and dresses, to spa goods and essentials, there’s almost no stone unturned when it comes to what you can expect to find at The Shay’s Gallery Shop. In fact, it beckons you to come back from time to time to see what’s new in stock.

Next up, rather than a room with a view of the Hollywood Sign and DTLA, we enjoyed a larger space thanks to a private and spacious patio on the inward-facing side of the building. This allowed for fresh, cool air during the night hours, and even a space to sit out for a drink, a book, or editing. But even then, you’ve got the rooftop where the pool and Canopy Club await for unique views, more irresistible dishes and cocktails, and exclusive lounging.

We can’t recommend The Shay enough, as it lies in the heart of Culver City’s Arts District with more than enough going on to never get bored. Plentiful shopping, nightlife, fine dining, and small business & local artist support all in one place gives the hotel an advantage that others should be hungry for. Having the opportunity to visit The Shay once again feels like a return to home. Some things have changed, but enough has stayed the same, even with the addition of Prima Donna. It’s nice to not feel like a stranger and know that you can count on consistency from The Shay Hotel.

Read our previous coverage of The Shay Hotel and their Mercado y Más event, here.

Spring Menu Launches at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Spring Menu Launches at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Following a limited-time run of their St. Patrick’s Day themed Minty Matcha Ice Blended® drink, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is gearing up for another seasonal offering. While the Minty Matcha Ice Blended® drink had a refreshing twist on CBTL’s classic Matcha topped with handcrafted mint whipped cream, the cafe will tap into a cultural favorite for some classic flair.

The deliciously sweet taste of Mexico will be arriving at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf this spring!

Credit: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

On March 20, the iconic Southern California favorite, serving premium coffee and tea for the past 60 years, will launch its spring seasonal menu with festive beverages that include the Horchata Latte (hot or iced), Horchata Ice Blended® drink, Horchata Cold Brew and the Horchata Cream Cold Brew.

The beverages are inspired by Mexican Horchata flavors of rice milk and cinnamon and are blended with the iconic cafés new Single Origin Mexico Organic espresso or cold brew for a premium elevated taste experience. The Single Origin Mexico Organic features a dark roast, originating from a single estate in Mexico’s Sierra Madre range near Puerto Vallarta. These Arabica bourbon beans certified organic by OCIA and USDA, yield a robust flavor and fragrant aroma. Often compare to the milk leftover from a bowl of cinnamon cereal, horchata is beloved favorite, and a welcome addition to The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Credit: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Even more, there’ a new bakery item to pair with the popular, refreshing, and creamy beverage: the Concha! Conchas are a soft and sweet Mexican pastry with a cookie-topped bread that resembles a seashell, and is a symbol of comfort and community.

These new seasonal and festive items are available for a limited time so get them while you can!

Smallhold Launches New Mushroom Pesto

Smallhold Launches New Mushroom Pesto

Smallhold began delivering locally grown, USDA Certified Organic specialty mushrooms to Southern California in its first West Coast expansion, alongside existing farms in Brooklyn and Austin in May of 2022. Then, a little over a year later, the sustainability-focused company started a new first, with the launch of a new product: a Mushroom Rub Trio.

Now, the company has launched a Mushroom Pesto, stepping up their culinary offering even more! Suitable as a spread, sauce, filling, and so much more, this new umami-packed offering reimagines pesto, ultimately eliminating many of the ingredients that are a headache for those with allergies and dietary restrictions.

Some highlights of the Mushroom Pesto include:

  • Made with upcycled, Organic Mushrooms
  • Free of Big 9 Allergens
  • Clean Label
  • Dairy-Free
  • Certified Plastic Neutral

Smallhold earned their B Corp Certification last year—marking a significant milestone in the company’s dedication to addressing our planet’s greatest challenges. The number of B Corp businesses is over 6,000 long and growing, with Smallhold joining the ranks of Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, and other vocal companies who don’t shy away from their stances on social and environmental standards. Smallhold voluntarily upholds rigorous social and environmental performance standards, fostering accountability and transparency. The company will measure and manage its impact on its workforce, local communities, and the environment with the same level of dedication and scrutiny that it applies to its financial performance.

Smallhold’s Mushroom Pesto is available to purchase online, in addition to their entire product lineup. Their other products are also available at Whole Foods and Sprouts nationwide.

About Smallhold

Smallhold is a growing network of organic mushroom farms with operations in Brooklyn, Austin, Los Angeles, and beyond. Named one of Fast Company’s 2023 Most Innovative Companies, Smallhold is upending the traditional farming model. By operating urban farms in strategic regions, growing mushrooms on byproducts from other industries, and exclusively using compostable cardboard packaging, Smallhold reduces overall food miles traveled, improves product quality, and extends shelf life, all while drastically reducing carbon footprint, food waste, and plastic usage.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Launches New World Of Tea Program

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Launches New World Of Tea Program

Exciting news for the tea and boba lovers!

It’s Tea Time at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, the Southern California favorite serving premium coffee and tea for the past 60 years. Today, December 1st, the iconic specialty coffee and tea brand has launched the World of Tea pilot program, an exciting new tea collection that aims to fuel American consumers’ increased interest and consumption of tea beverages.

Over the past few years, the popularity of tea has grown steadily in the U.S. fueled by the increasing variety of tea options and the expanding popularity of matcha and bubble tea.

“The rise in specialty teas and new flavors is an emerging trend in the U.S. and around the world. Our new World of Tea collection is a natural evolution for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®,” said Sanjiv Razdan, President, Americas & India, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®. “We have long been regarded as tea experts and are now taking our guests on a deeper, more transformative journey. We invite everyone to discover our World of Tea, where the highest quality teas are blended with invigorating fruits, spices, boba, brown sugar and salted caramel.” 

Building on its robust range of core teas, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®’s World of Tea collection puts exciting twists on classics to bring new flavors and experiences to its guests. This is also the first time The Coffee Bea & Tea Leaf® is introducing boba.

The World of Tea Collection, which will be exclusively available at nine locations during the pilot program, includes:      

  • Ceylon Milk Tea with Brown Sugar BobaA delightful fusion of flavors and textures, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s signature fragrant Ceylon Black Tea is infused with caramelized brown sugar, creating a symphony of sweetness and complexity. Chewy brown sugar pearls add a delightful burst of texture, making each sip a refreshing experience.
  • Japanese Matcha Cream Strawberry Latte The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s premium Japanese Matcha is skillfully layered with strawberry puree, creamy whole milk, then topped with a decadent Matcha cream cap for a treat that is as beautiful as it is delicious.
  • Oolong Tea with Strawberry and Cream CapThe Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s rich Oolong tea blend is perfectly complemented by the vibrant fruity flavors of a summer berry puree and freeze-dried strawberries. Topped with a luscious cream cap, this perfect pick-me-up will instantly refresh your tastebuds and your day.
  • Chai with Salted Caramel Cream CapThe Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s signature Chai latte, crafted with a full-bodied black tea and an aromatic blend of cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom, is comfort in a cup. A Salted Caramel cream cap and brown sugar waterfall completes the treat with a perfect balance of salty, spice and sweetness.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® takes their teas as seriously as they do their coffee, meticulously sourcing the youngest and freshest leaves from the top five percent of the world’s tea and botanicals to craft bold and flavorful teas, starting with hand-plucked, single origin whole tea leaves.

The World of Tea Collection will be available at nine select locations in Southern California and Arizona.

Visit www.coffeebean.com/its-tea-time to find your local World of Tea!

Why Fogo De Chão Should Be On Your Lunchtime Radar

Why Fogo De Chão Should Be On Your Lunchtime Radar

Cowriter: Anthony C. Stafford

To many, they’re known as the premium, luxury dinner destination for romantic date nights, family celebrations, and business meetings. To others, they’re a top Brazilian steakhouse with an endless assortment of exquisite meats—a place only reserved for special occasions. And then there are those who swing by to indulge in a varied selection of iconic weekend specialty drinks. However, everyone should know that there’s so much more to Fogo de Chão, making them worthy of being a daily destination that doesn’t break the bank, and they’ll be the first to say it.

The Warmest Welcome Home

We had the opportunity to visit one of the newest Fogo locations to open this year in Woodland Hills, and whatever you thought you knew about Fogo de Chão before, we’re here to tell you that it’s even better and more accessible than you imagined! Our experience centered around the coveted Bar Fogo, which is arguably an unrealized gem staring us all in the face, but we’d like to start with the amazing people who completed this experience and made it possible in the first place.

If you happen to stop by Fogo de Chão Woodland Hills, rest assured that the team here will take great care of you! Restaurant Manager Steven Marshall and General Manager Stephany Rodarte are incredibly warm and welcoming, making rounds to ask firsthand how patrons are enjoying their visits. Stephany was available during our visit and ensured the comfort of guests while also providing us with some history behind Fogo de Chão, answering our questions, and even teaching us Portuguese! In fact, we learned that everyone you see at Fogo locations across the country is promoted in-house, rather than being pulled from other companies. This helps instill the values that Fogo believes in and maintains the very reputation they have earned today.

In addition, the gaucho chefs, waiters, and servers are some of the nicest and most personable people you can meet, and we can only recommend asking for them by name. Alfredo Cruze, Gabriel De La Cruz, and Ray will take great care of you and have smiles that light up the room! Bartender Tori will also be more than happy to turn those cocktails into mock-tails for your lunchtime needs.

Like Having Lunch Abroad

To start, All Day Happy Hour is the headliner, and it’s never a bad time to stop by ahead of dinner to indulge in the many affordable and filling options. Bar Fogo is available at all Fogo de Chão locations, but at the Woodland Hills location, you’ll sit on the patio and bar area, which also feature slightly more secluded and intimate tables for your bar experience.

The Bar Bites are not only offerings of a few of the delicious items the brand is known for, but they come at just $6, making for a lunchtime snack that doesn’t break the wallet. The $6 Bar Bites are smaller, irresistible servings of some of Fogo’s most popular menu items at an equally smaller price tag while maintaining their big flavor. This includes the unforgettable quiejo assado (fire-roasted Brazilian cheese topped with Malagueta honey), Brazilian empanadas (pillows of flaky pastry, seasoned picanha, onions, and chimichurri aioli), and crispy parmesan polenta fries. In addition, the bites include some items that may be more filling than you bargained for, like Saucy Legs (fire-roasted chicken, hot Brazilian BBQ, Pão de Queijo crispies (cheese stuffed bread), dedo de moca peppers), Spiced Chicken Sliders (marinated chicken breast, arugula, tomato, pickled onion, mango aioli, brioche bun), and Seasonal Hummus (house-made seasonal hummus with crisp toasts).

Next up, Fogo’s Shareable Plates add even more bang to your buck, with almost all offerings at or below $15. Shareable plates range from meat-focused to plant-based dishes for a selection of proteins and veggies that don’t skimp on flavor. The Shareable Plates include:

  • Lobster & Shrimp Tacos: Napa cabbage wrap, citrus aioli, shredded slaw, and dedo de moca peppers
  • Warm Hearts of Palm and Spinach Dip: Steamed spinach, hearts of palm, and crispy toasts
  • Grilled Beef Tenderloin Skewers: Served with chimichurri salsa
  • Gaucho-Style Hummus: Topped with seasoned picanha
  • Braised Beef Rib Sliders: Xingu-beer braised, caramelized onions, and smoked provolone on a brioche bun
  • The Bone Churrasco Board: Large beef rib, served with chimichurri sauce
  • Cordeiro Churrasco Board: Three double lamb chops, served with mintchurri sauce
  • BPQ Churrasco Board: Brazilian Sausage, crispy pork belly, and BBQ sauce

The Lobster & Shrimp Tacos are a must-try, as they’re a perfect appetizer to your full lunch meal. Light, fresh, and crunchy, bold flavors unite for this reimagined “seafood salad.” Hints of citrus aioli mesh with the spicy kick of dedo de moça peppers to deliver balanced and transformative bites through and through. Share them, or keep them all to yourself!

Finally, the big star of the lunch menu is the Picanha Burger. Where else can you get a burger and fries (that are actually worth it) for less than $10 these days? Well, Fogo de Chão. Not even fast food has deals like this anymore! The Picanha Burger is fresh ground in-house and dressed with smoked provolone, Bibb lettuce, tomato, onion, chimichurri aioli, and a brioche bun, while served alongside crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside parmesan polenta fries. The best fries around, with the thickest, juiciest, and most decadent burger you’ll ever get, probably shouldn’t cost $9, but they do here. Fulfilled is an understatement if you’re wondering how the meal will leave you feeling.

While the Woodland Hills location has been very popular for lunch, don’t pass up the opportunity for luxury-level deliciousness at a fraction of the cost at your own local Fogo de Chão. And yes, the meats that they’re so famous for are still available at lunch. It’s time to forget about the occasional trips to Fogo and celebrate what they’ve got to offer on a more frequent basis, especially during these times when the dollar is getting us less and less.

Pumpkin Spice And More Have Landed At The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Pumpkin Spice And More Have Landed At The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

It’s that time of year when we wait in anticipation of announcements for all things Fall-themed, like pumpkin spice drinks. And right on cue, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf have made their move!

Hey, Delicious! Fall Is Knocking

The longstanding Southern California icon amongst coffee and tea lovers launched their highly anticipated fall seasonal menu today, complete with a variety of flavorful options. Serving premium coffee and tea for the past 60 years, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf continues to keep a pulse on what consumers want, with the new menu offerings celebrating the nostalgic sweet, spicy, and savory flavors of the season: all things pumpkin, chocolate, and even orange.

That’s right, favorites alongside new surprises are here. The seasonal menu includes the return of the Pumpkin Spice collection of beverages, the all-new Valencia Orange Cream Cold Brew Tea and the Salted Caramel Mocha Latte and Ice Blended® Drink. In addition, guests can all indulge on a Pumpkin Old-Fashioned Donut to compliment any of the beverages.

Here’s a full rundown of the menu and what makes each of these offerings so seasonally sweet:

  • Pumpkin Latte, Iced Latte & Ice Blended® drink – The fall favorite is back! Reminiscent of the classic fall dessert, these Pumpkin beverages are a creamy blend of authentic pumpkin flavor combined with a delicate and festive blend of nutmeg and cinnamon. A sprinkle of cinnamon at the end completes the beverage and brings out the flavors of fall. Made with real pumpkin puree. Can be made with coffee and in pure style.
  • Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew – The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s signature Cold Brew with Pumpkin and a hint of vanilla bean, finished with a vanilla Cream Cap, a sweetened cold velvety smooth foam.
  • Salted Caramel Mocha Latte, Iced Latte, and Ice Blended® Drink – New to the fall menu, these beverages feature The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s signature espresso that is highlighted by a salted, buttery caramel flavor and Special Dutch chocolate powder that creates a sweet and savory beverage that is good for any time of day.
  • Valencia Orange Cream Cold Brew Tea – A new addition to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s Cold Brew Tea Platform. This refreshing beverage is made with the iconic café’s signature cold brew tea and its Valencia Orange syrup, topped with a smooth vanilla cream cap.
  • Pumpkin Old-Fashioned Donut – New and just for fall, the pumpkin donut is perfectly spiced and glazed, and will complement all of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s beverages.

In case you needed any incentive to join the Coffee Bean® Rewards App, members received early access to the Pumpkin Latte and Ice Blended Drink, giving them weeks of yum before everyone else! The cream cap on top is that every month, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf drops a special offer for members to take advantage of, like discounts and freebies. Who knows what offer will arrive for September?

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf also recently introduced the Everyday Essentials menu, where everyone can indulge in the best in coffee and tea for everyday prices. The new budget friendly menu features breakfast and drink bundles, a selection of rotating premium coffees and teas, along with food items that are thoughtfully priced to make everyday indulgence accessible.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s fall menu offerings are available to guests now through October 31, 2023. Visit The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for more information.

About The Coffee Beans & Tea Leaf® Brand

International Coffee & Tea Leaf, LLC, doing business as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® brand is a leading global roaster and retailer of specialty coffees and teas. It is widely credited for driving high quality and innovation to the coffee and tea industry. The company sources the finest ingredients and flavors from around the world, and hand blends coffee and tea for the freshest flavors. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® brand started the frozen coffee drink craze with the invention of The Original Ice Blended® drink and is also the first global coffee and tea retailer to offer cold brew tea. The company currently has 1,094 retail locations across the globe and can also be found in grocery aisles as well as specialty locations, including airports and hotels. For more information, visit www.coffeebean.com.
Oh Mona!

Oh Mona!

Left to right: Pesce Crudo, Spaghetti alle Vongole, Caesar Salad, Casarecce.

Below: Calamari Fritti; Devin in the new digs; a view of the restaurant; Executive Chef Freylin Morales Salazar

“A rare gem that feels like Ettore Sottsass meets Taylor Swift on a date night gone right.”

Downtowner Devin Carlson has designed and opened Mona Pasta Bar, a rare gem that feels like Ettore Sottsass meets Taylor Swift on a date night gone right. Carlson’s reimagining of the former 9th Street Ramen space is a welcome, sexier surprise to the row of storefronts stretching to Spring Street.

Walking into the slowly seductive, jewel box space you feel a comforting intimacy that prepares you to relax and savor the delightful Italian wine selections and smartly crafted menu. Chef Freylin Morales (Silverlake’s L&E Oyster Bar) offers sensual takes on Italian stalwarts from delicate, light as a feather calamari fritti; a divine pesce crudo in kosho beet vinaigrette from the appealing list of starters to pastas including spaghetti alle vongole and casarecce with lamb sausage and rappini. The vongole suffered from an uncharacteristic overdose of butter but that won’t deter future explorations into the menu including a whole branzino for a fair $37 and a coffee-dark rum tiramisu!

Carlson’s experience crafting a successful fashion line and immersive yet minimal designed environments shines through joyfully at Mona.

Address: 111 West 9th Street, Los Angeles, California 90015

Happy Hour 5-7pm Wednesday thru Sunday

Website: www.monapastabar.com

Dinner Hours:
5pm-9pm Wednesdays and Sundays, 5pm-10pm Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays
Happy Hour: 5pm – 7pm nightly (all wines by the glass – $10, dishes $10 – $13)

Menus (dinner and beverage):

Reservations or Walk-Ins: Available on OpenTable and walk-in’s also welcome at the bar
Executive Chef: Freylinlsai Morales Salazar
Architect/Interior Design: Suplex Agency
Floral Artist: Lera Pen
Other Design Collaborators: Bar Stools by Suplex Agency – Build by OTG, Soffit Sculpture and
Bathroom Artwork by DOT

Barra Santos Opens in Los Angeles

Barra Santos Opens in Los Angeles

Last Word Hospitality Introduces Intimate Portuguese Restaurant Barra Santos to Cypress Park

If you’re looking for something new to try in Los Angeles, on March 21st, LA-based restaurant group Last Word Hospitality (Found Oyster, Nossa Caipirinha Bar, The Copper Room) announced the opening of Barra Santos, a cozy neighborhood restaurant in Northeast Los Angeles opening on March 24th. Barra Santos is named after LWH’s Director of Operations and Partner Mike Santos who is bringing the spirit of Portugal’s quaint authentic restaurants and his Portuguese-American childhood in Rhode Island to the West Coast. Melissa López (Barbuto, Bestia) serves as Executive Chef and Partner, joining the team at this welcome new addition to the community.

Embracing the ethos of creating food that is simple and straightforward, Chef López has developed a thoughtful menu based on classic Portuguese dishes both inspired by research trips to Lisbon with the team and Mike Santos’ memories of family meals and special occasion feasts. The menu spans snacks like Bacalao Fritters to larger items like the traditional marinated pork sandwich Bifana, Buttered Sardine Toast, and Piri Piri Chicken all prepared in the open kitchen viewed from the bar. Expect a wide selection of wines from Portugal and Spain alongside a curated list of sherry, port, and Madeira and the requisite cold draft beer of the house, LA’s Skyduster Super Dry Lager, all from hand-selected by LWH’s Wine Director Evelyn Goreshnik. Be sure to ask for the porto tonico, made with white port and tonic.

The jewel box of a space features a handsome 25 foot red oak bar punctuated by hanging milk glass light pendants, concrete floors, white gauzy curtains, and original artwork from Sasa Studio depicting a tableau of Portuguese daily life. Throughout the restaurant, from the exterior to the bold interior arch, are hand-painted tiles made in Los Angeles featuring historic, licensed representations of the traditional Portuguese glazed blue and white tiles, or azulejos.

SANTA ANA, CA – February 13, 2023: Heeva Ghane, the first “patient navigator” for Planned Parenthood in Santa Ana on Monday. (Allison Zaucha for The San Francisco Chronicle)

With indoor and outdoor seating to accommodate 40 guests, Barra Santos is a friendly neighborhood destination whether you’re popping by after work for a glass of cold beer or catching up with a friend over lingering glasses of wine and small plates. Barra Santos is honored to be joining the tight-knit Cypress Park community and fellow mom-and-pop businesses like Castro’s Barber Shop, Loquat Coffee, and Permanent Records.

Barra Santos is located at 1215 Cypress Ave Los Angeles, CA 90065 in Cypress Park. Barra Santos is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 4pm – 10pm. For more information, please visit barrasantosla.com and follow along at @barrasantosla.

About Last Word Hospitality:

Established in 2014, LWH’s mission is to create charismatic neighborhood restaurants and bars that also serve as city-wide destinations. The LWH team’s passion lies in the equitable development of charming neighborhoods, providing inspired platforms for chefs and hospitality professionals to become owners, integrate themselves into the local community, and tell their own stories through food, drink, design, and a persistent commitment to making people feel welcome.

Every restaurant we create is built around the personalities of our operating partners and the neighborhoods we are joining.  Each partner brings their own passions and life experiences to each store, and it is that direct connection that builds concepts that are truly distinct.

LWH first established their model while launching Same Same Thai, and have since launched Found Oyster, Caipirinha Bar, the Red Dog Saloon, and The Copper Room.

How To Celebrate Espresso Day In SoCal – Rain Or Shine

How To Celebrate Espresso Day In SoCal – Rain Or Shine

Did you know that March 15th is National Espresso Martini Day? If you’re in need of the perfect reason to celebrate with the uniqueness that only espresso martini’s can offer, then it’s your lucky day — and you can celebrate whether it’s still raining in SoCal or not!

The Espresso Martini has got to be the “it cocktail” of 2023, always served in a sleek glass; its rich coffee color makes for an ultra sophisticated sip. If you were looking for the perfect place to celebrate this special day, take a trip to LA’s beloved hotspots who are doing it like no other: The Nice Guy and Sant’olina, and with El Silencio Mezcal, the largest independent mezcal brand in the US.

If you can’t make it out for any reason, the fine folks from El Silencio even have you covered with recipes you can take on in the comfort of your own home.

Located in West Hollywood, The Nice Guy’s dim lighting and moody atmosphere make it the perfect place to enjoy their classic Handsome Johnny ($20). Crafted with cold brew, ristretto and hints of vanilla this traditional cocktail is a must order.

Handsome Johnny

For the quintessential Hollywood cocktail moment, Sant’olina, located on the rooftop of the historic Beverly Hilton, offers the CC Rider ($19). This espresso martini is carefully created with cognac, hints of traditional arak and  brewed with a smokey cold brew.

CC Rider

For a unique Oaxacan twist on the classic espresso martini, Silencio’s Carajillo recipe is crafted with 2.5 oz of espresso, 1.5 oz. of licor 43, and 1 oz. of Mezcal El Silencio. This classic Spanish cocktail is the perfect afternoon pick me up.

Silencio Carajillo

About The Nice Guy

Tucked away in the heart of West Hollywood, The Nice Guy is an intimate restaurant and lounge, complete with world-class culinary offerings. A step above a restaurant, but not quite a club, the venue is a cozy, reservations-only destination for h.wood friends and family. Its aesthetic evokes the decadent lore of mafia bars and restaurants, where the owners and their friends could enjoy an evening together. Whether grabbing an early dinner or mingling into the early morning hours, the space cultivates a feeling of camaraderie among its clientele, which keeps guests coming back night after night.

About Sant’olina

Sant’olina is a melting pot of Mediterranean cuisine with a Southern California spin. Chefs Michael Teich and Burt Bakman combine vibrant herbs and spices to create a healthy menu packed with flavor. Each dish tells a different story – from the traditional recipes straight out of the Tel Aviv shuks to the modern Californian touches.

With its timeless Mediterranean color palette and open-air views of Los Angeles, Sant’olina captures the essence of a seaside escape. Located atop the historic Beverly Hilton, Sant’olina will offer dinner service nightly.

About Silencio

Mezcal El Silencio revived the ancient art of mezcal, pioneering a unique approach and delivering the hand-crafted spirit to a new generation of creative drinkers and cultural innovators. Founded in Santa Monica, California by Fausto Zapata and Vicente Cisneros in 2013, the company creates its mezcal in Oaxaca, Mexico, using the traditional process carried on by generations of mezcaleros. Meticulously picked agaves are roasted, crushed, and double distilled resulting in a full-bodied flavor. El Silencio goes beyond the bottle, transforming the ordinary and disrupting the status quo. For more information, visit www.silencio.com, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. #MezcalElSilencio #DefiantSpirit

Catalina Crunch Launches Two New Flavors

Catalina Crunch Launches Two New Flavors

If you’re still holding strong to your New Year’s resolutions, or the one that matters most (dieting), this may be just the boost you needed to keep holding in there.

Catalina Crunch, the fastest-growing Keto snack brand, just launched two new seasonal-inspired limited-edition products: Lemon Creme Sandwich Cookie and Triple Berry Blast Cereal

Created with a mission that no one should have to choose between healthy and tasty, both of the new flavors are made with clean ingredients so you can feel confident knowing real food does taste really good. Combining nutritional science with culinary arts, all of Catalina Crunch’s products are made with zero to low sugar, high-protein, high-fiber, and real ingredients.

  • Lemon Creme Sandwich Cookies: Creamy on the inside with a buttery, vanilla crust on the outside, the Lemon Creme Sandwich Cookie is delectable yet healthy – made with 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and only 2 grams of sugar per serving.

  • The Triple Berry Blast Cereal: Reminiscent of a freshly-made berry pie, is bursting with juicy notes of strawberry, raspberry and blueberry, and is gluten-free, grain-free, Keto-friendly, non-GMO, and plant-based. Packed with 11 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of fiber, this cereal will keep you fueled all day long.

The flavor launches come off the heels of a very successful 2022 year for the brands’ growth. Catalina Crunch has seen explosive growth and is leading the industry by being the #1 contributor to the cereal category’s dollar growth, selling over 5 million pouches of cereal nationwide and increasing their own cereal dollar growth by 68.7% YOY in 2022. Additionally, Catalina Crunch has seen an impressive 89% YOY increase in their sandwich cookie sales. 

“We are excited to bring two new innovative product tastings to those who value, and are on the search for, healthier snacking options,” said Krishna Kaliannan, Founder and CEO of Catalina Snacks. “At Catalina Crunch, we are dedicated to providing cleaner snacking options to traditional boxed
cereals and cookies that are filled with additives and sugars. As consumers begin to enjoy the warmer weather, prioritize healthy resets, and gear up for travel and on-the-go activities, I’m especially excited to offer delicious and nutritious flavors that emulate the seasons.”

The Lemon Creme Sandwich Cookie is creamy on the inside with a buttery, vanilla crust on the outside. This delectable, yet healthy cookie is made with 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and only 2 grams of sugar per serving. For a sweet treat you can feel good about, the cookies are baked with a
non-GMO blend of plant proteins and fibers designed to keep you full longer.

Catch them while you can, before they disappear and leave you alone with your diet.

About Catalina Crunch

Founded in 2017, Catalina Snacks® uses breakthrough science and food technology (no magic nor wishes) to make food nutritious, while continuing to focus on delectable taste and texture profiles. The brand’s mission is to make healthier foods that are accessible and convenient for a variety of lifestyles, while simultaneously delivering on amazing taste and nutrition content. The Catalina Crunch® brand offers a robust line of healthy snacks including keto-friendly Sandwich Cookies, keto-friendly Cereal, and new keto-friendly Crunch Mixes.

The Habit Burger Grill Partners with Tarantula Hill Brewing, and Launches Summer Salad

The Habit Burger Grill Partners with Tarantula Hill Brewing, and Launches Summer Salad

In what could be one of the best summer pairings of an adult’s life, The Habit Burger Grill and Tarantula Hill Brewing teamed up once again to create the sip of the summer: a limited edition Sun Soaked Hazy IPA. Launched on July 9th, this delicious brew is inspired by, and pairs perfectly with, The Habit Burger Grill’s new summer salad – the Chargrilled Peach Salad.

If you’re looking to fill your stomach with grub, rather than booze, The Habit Burger Grill’s Chargrilled Peach Salad is made with sweet peaches and marinated chicken both chargrilled over an open flame, mixed with flavorful ingredients like pickled red onions, Parmesan cheese and a citrus Dijon dressing. Inspired by the salad’s fresh peaches, the Sun Soaked Hazy IPA (which retails for $8) has an overall tropical taste with floral, stone fruit notes making it the perfect warm-weather.

This special can comes off the heels of The Habit Burger Grill and Tarantula Gill Brewing’s first collaboration last summer, the Habit Hazy IPA, which was a fan favorite. To celebrate the launch of The Habit Burger Grill and Tarantula Hill Brewing’s second collaboration, the two brands hosted a party at Tarantula Hill Brewing on Saturday, July 9th from 12-3pm. It was the summer kickoff that you could only dream of.

VYBES Launches New Line of Adaptogenic Elixirs

VYBES Launches New Line of Adaptogenic Elixirs

LA-based functional wellness brand, VYBES, has officially launched a new line of Adaptogenic Elixirs! Drinks are all the rage these days as the spotlight shifts onto brands who bottle up wellness boosters, alcohol-alternatives, and health-focused concoctions. VYBES’ new line of delicious sparkling elixirs come in 3 different flavors: Apricot Lemon, Pineapple Ginger and Watermelon Lime. In addition, the elixirs feature powerful adaptogens for mood, immunity & vitality.

Each flavor includes adaptogenic elixirs that target the root causes of chronic stress, and these highly effective plant-derivatives help improve mood, mental clarity and the body’s immunity & vitality. It’s refreshingly delicious, and packs a ‘mean’ exhilarating bubble.

  • Apricot Lemon: made from Turkish apricot juice, lemon juice

  • Pineapple Ginger: made from Dole pineapple juice, lime juice, Peruvian ginger juice

  • Watermelon Lime: made from watermelon juice, lime juice, sour cherry juice

Perfect if you’re looking for a healthy swap for sodas or alcoholic beverages for all of your summer festivities — VYBES Elixirs are available for DTC shipping right to your doorstep online at Idrinkvybes.com, starting at $29.94 for a 6-pack.

VYBES also offers beverages made with 25mg high-quality CBD, under 30 calories, locally crafted in Los Angeles, and is vegan and organically produced!

  • BlackBear Hibiscus (Limited Edition)”: To celebrate the launch of music artist Blackbear’s latest E.P. debuted earlier this month, the wellness drink is made from freshly brewed hibiscus tea, cold-pressed blackberry juice and a touch of clove & cinnamon for a slightly tart beverage

  • Strawberry Lavender: Made from fresh squeezed strawberries, lemon juice & wild lavender. Subtly sweet and not too tart

  • Blueberry Mint: Made from organic blueberries, Meyer lemon juice and a hint of mint for a distinctly tart and subtly sweet beverage

  • Honeycrisp Apple Basil:  Made from unfiltered apple juice (unfiltered is creamier and less tart), Meyer lemon juice and a pinch of organic basil, even those who don’t like apple juice will probably love our HCAB

Put your wellness on the forefront this summer when you indulge!