Wisdome: an immersive art park

Wisdome: an immersive art park

Left: Leon Hendrix, Jimmy Hendrix’s younger brother and Randy Hanson

Legendary writer/photographer Belissa Cohen goes psychedelic to experience L.A.’s hidden gem of an “immersive art park,” Downtown L.A.’s Wisdome

If you haven’t yet been to downtown L.A.’s Wisdome, we suggest putting it on your nightlife bucket list, and maybe stock up on your favorite psychedelics beforehand.

Called an “immersive art park,” this enormous 35,000 sqare foot space houses a collection of five huge interconnecting domes, one of which hosts nearly continuous showings of a 360 degree short film called Samskara by innovative experimental artist Android Jones. The other domes host other immersive art installations, live music events in 10.1 surround sound, and are surrounded by a commodius grassy outdoor area for hanging out on glorious summer nights with bars, ethnic food and drink purveyors, and trinket vendors selling wares of a vaguely spiritual nature —  it’s the whole enchilada in one place, with enchiladas. It’s both comfortable and hella trippy!

We experienced the Wisdome when Randy Hanson, who is considered arguably the best of the Jimi Hendrix tribute performers among those in the know about such things, did the first of his spot-on two-night performances in the largest of the Wisdomes, while psychedelic art in the form of constantly morphing mandala images were projected on the walls and ceiling of the dome, and many audience members took in the multimedia show from reclining seats. Like them, we found ourselves gazing ceiling-ward during the show, mesmerized, as the images changed organically, all the while absorbed in the expertly executed music.Randy, who is in demand all over the world for his Jimi Hendrix realness, and is, like Jimi, a Seattle native, played and sang all the hits note for note, from “Foxy Lady” to “Purple Haze” to the Bob Dylan-penned “All Along the Watchtower,” on what just so happened to be Dylan’s birthday.

As happens in L.A., we found ourselves Ubering to the Wisdome with the famous-adjacent:  Leon Hendrix, Jimi’s younger brother and an edgy blues musician in his own right, who sang with Randy and his band very appropriately  on “Castles Made of Sand,” a song Jimi had penned back in the day about his family’s dysfunction. Leon’s own show the very next weekend at The Mint in West L.A. was a sold out success.


The world-renowned Randy Hanson brings his Jimi extravaganza back to the Wisdome at the end of June. For all of us who missed Jimi’s legendary L.A. performance at the Hollywood Bowl in 1968, we now have a second chance to Be Experienced!

Umami Burger Celebrates Nat’l. Hamburger Day with STVMOW

Umami Burger Celebrates Nat’l. Hamburger Day with STVMOW

Another year means another National Hamburger Day to celebrate! And who better than the professionals at Umami Burger, to kick off the special day?! Umami Burger has partnered with St. Vincent Meals on Wheels to celebrate the national holiday. On the 28th, Umami Burger is giving $1 from each Truffle Burger (Umami’s most popular selling Burger in 2018 and throughout 2019 thus far) sold across all locations nationwide back to Meals on Wheels to help those in need.

Whether with family, a friend, or on a date, Umami Burger knows how to pull us in every time with savings, charity, and special events and occasions.

About St. Vincent Meals On Wheels:

Every day, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, the nation’s largest, privately funded senior nutrition program, prepares, delivers and serves over 2,000 meals to some of L.A.’s most vulnerable residents including homebound senior citizens, disabled and terminally ill patients and homeless adults and children, regardless of age, illness, disability, race, religion or ability to pay. The organization was founded 42 years ago by Sr. Alice Marie Quinn, Daughter of Charity, whose legacy continues thanks to the hundreds of staff, volunteers and dedicated donors who make the program’s mission of feeding the hungry and homebound of Los Angeles possible. The $8.2 million budget is completely privately-funded.
Mambo International Kitchen Brings the World’s Cuisine to Southern California

Mambo International Kitchen Brings the World’s Cuisine to Southern California

Contributions by Anthony Stafford

It’s rare to find a restaurant that has the courage to take on the challenge of offering a variety of international dishes, and even rarer to find one that does so flawlessly. And we’re not talking about a buffet-style restaurant, either!

We present to you, Mambo International Kitchen, where you can truly “savor the world on your table.” Located in Northridge on the Northeast corner of Roscoe Blvd. and Tampa Ave., the family owned business is a bit of a hidden treasure — at least until they get their new sign up to let the world know they exist! Upon entering the restaurant, it felt as if we were immediately whisked away, stepping through a portal into some other part of the world. Mambo’s interior looks and feels like a high-end, industrially repurposed dreamscape. Complete with branded wooden planks accentuating the concrete walls, and creatively reimagined colorful seating, tables, and decor, Mambo feels wildly alive — even when there aren’t many guests dining. Interestingly, Mambo’s design comes full circle, once you learn the backstory from one of the owners, Raymond Magsaysay, below.

Words From The Owner

Naturally, when you encounter a restaurant as ambitious and amazing as Mambo International Kitchen, you may feel inclined to know just how they pulled it off, along with some interesting tidbits. Luckily, Raymond was more than happy to answer a few questions from us.

Q: What inspired you to open the restaurant, and ultimately settle on an international menu that highlights flavors from all over the world?
A: Originally, it was supposed to be a modern Filipino kitchen, but then we decided that it [would] limit our clientele, wherein we have so much more to offer than just Filipino fusion. Since, as a family of 6, we love eating various cuisines and normally have a hard time deciding where to eat because each one has their preference, we thought of combining the cuisines we love to eat.

Q:  What was the hardest part of getting started and opening Mambo International Kitchen?
A: Our biggest challenge was having the restaurant open because of permits and construction issues. The landlord hired an incompetent contractor to do all the rough construction and he cut corners. I had to intervene and get it all corrected and passed. It helped that construction is my primary business. Good thing [we] also, protected ourselves when we signed the lease, so those expenses were paid for by the landlord and we didn’t start paying rent until the restaurant was ready to open.

Q: What is your ultimate vision of what you want Mambo to become in 5 to 10 years?
A: Our vision is to franchise and expand Mambo, providing both brick and mortar, and mobile restaurants.

Q: How did you choose which international dishes made the cut to be served at Mambo?
A: This is the hardest part, because there is so much more we have to offer. As it is, the menu is huge! That’s why in the future we plan on highlighting a cuisine weekly and offer specials for that week. We started with what we love to eat at home, and what can be efficiently prepared since we don’t have a big kitchen.

Q: Will you feature more international dishes on the menu someday?
A: Yes, definitely.

Q: What is your favorite menu item and why? Or is that item not on the menu at all?!
A: My personal favorite is really steak and sushi. I’m still trying to figure out how to incorporate it in the menu. (Laughs.) What stands out for me in the menu is the pita wrap, Hawaiian bowl, sisig, truffle fries and under s’mores.

A Tour for The Tongue

Raymond, and his wife and co-owner Donna, were kind enough to welcome us into their restaurant to try a variety of menu offerings, and if we had to use one word to describe our experience, it would be “authenticity.” Anyone who has traveled abroad would find that Mambo’s dishes taste exactly like they should. There is a very limited “fusion” aspect to Mambo’s dishes. A great example of this would be the extended variety of tacos they offer. We feasted on their Filipino, Korean, Indian, Vegan, Irish, Vietnamese, and English tacos, and taste after taste was an immediate gateway into a new culture. Each taco brought its own unique flavor and traits altogether in a corn tortilla — and the only taco that rang close to the traditional Mexican taste was the Vegan version — filled with truffled infused mushrooms, roasted corn, pico, black beans, and Korean barbecue sauce.

The English Taco comes with melt-in-your-mouth fried fish and pico de Gallo, while one of our favorites, the  Korean Taco with its bulgogi, tastes exactly like a traditional bulgogi meal, but shrunken down into a fun-sized package. The Indian Taco with its potent chicken tikka masala and cilantro didn’t come anywhere close to being short on flavor, while the Filipino Taco delivered an all-around complex of spicy, saucy, salty pork adobo topped with salted egg salsa. Our favorites, the Vietnamese (inspired by banh mi) and Irish Tacos came with sweet pork, hoisin sauce, chicharron; and corned beef, lettuce, and a delightful mix of spices, respectfully. In a true whirlwind of flavor, a taco tour may be all you need to experience some of the best dishes from around the world.

Donna’s Crab Cakes, named after co-owner, Donna, feature a lemon horseradish aioli. If you grew up on the coast and have ever had crab cakes, you’ll know that Donna knows what she’s doing! Crispy, flavorful bites with a spicy kick will accompany you through each crab cake. Vito’s Pita Wrap is a mediterranean refreshment that awakens the taste buds. Complete with beef kabob, tomato, onion, garlic, lettuce, and tzatziki sauce, this gut filler comes with a side of fries to seal the deal. Our sides were Truffle Fries and 4 Cheese Mac and Cheese, both of which could be their own individual meals with a drink. The Mac and cheese was a perfect, creamy, smooth (small) pot of gold, subtly different from your usual. And if you love truffle, get the fries!

We saved some of our bests for last. While everything was amazing, and we recommend it all, Mambo offers so much within their menu that it’s almost impossible to figure out what you’d like to try first. From rice bowls to Specialties, Sides, Starters, and Desserts, it’s jarring to see the options. For that reason, we’re providing you with the first thing you should try upon your visit. As recommended to us by Juliano, Raymond and Donna’s son, the Wintermelon Tea with Boba, and the Hong Kong Bowl are absolute must haves. Wintermelon Tea is like drinking a dessert, and tastes nothing like a fruit. In fact, this refreshing milk tea tastes like a creamy, sweet graham cracker and caramel blend. Think s’mores in a cup. Incredible!

On the other hand, the Hong Kong Rice Bowl is a mandatory must-have. This isn’t your regular old sticky rice. Garlicky and  buttery undertones penetrate the cores of each grain of rice, making for a truly dimensional experience, while the fried pork spareribs greet the palate with the sweetness of cinnamon and the savor of deep fried meat. The spareribs seemingly melt away with each bite, and paired with the rice, it’s a perfect match.

The conclusion of our meal meant it was only right to close things out with a sweet treat that would be none other than Mambo’s banana Nutella egg roll with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. We were stuffed, but how could one pass this up? Sweet, fried crispy, hot, and the perfect end to our tour.

Amazingly, it doesn’t feel like this restaurant is doing too much when you see their menu. Instead, it feels like you’ve got some catching up to do. Mambo has proven that a focus on International Cuisine can be done successfully. Raymond and Donna have mastered the art of bringing the world under one roof, and offering the best of it to the colorfully diverse Southern California. If you crave some Indian flair, or even Korean sophistication, you don’t need a passport to get it. Mambo International Kitchen took our mouths on an international tour, and we never even had to leave our seats.

Mambo’s Story

The owners of Mambo are very passionate about good food and equal to that is their delight in hosting and serving people. For many years they’ve dreamed of opening a restaurant that people will love and finally that dream is now a reality.

Our company is established with a passion and desire to serve high quality and cost effective gourmet food with excellent customer service; quickly and consistently. By combining homestyle comfort food with creative and fun dishes, and a family friendly atmosphere with old industrial decor, we know Mambo is soon to be a community favorite.

Address:
8300 Tampa Ave
Northridge, CA 91324
Delivery: Yes

The Office of Angela Scott Partners with GO Campaign to Pay It Forward

The Office of Angela Scott Partners with GO Campaign to Pay It Forward

Teachers are arguably the most undervalued superheroes in today’s workforce — and The Office of Angela Scott knows that all too well having had many teachers throughout her life becoming psuedo-family as she developed her creative muscle to become the designer — and woman — she is today.

 
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day on May 7th, the female-founded footwear brand is paying it forward by giving 40% of all web sales on May 7th to the GO Campaign to support the Redeemer Community Partnership (RCP). The Office of Angela Scott launched the Pay It Forward program in August of 2018 to honor our incredible teachers with an investment piece that gives them confidence, comfort and a strong foundation to stand tall. The Pay It Forward Program offers teachers a continuous 40% discount applicable to any collection.

The Office of Angela Scott is proud to announce its partnership with GO Campaign for Teacher Appreciation Day 2019 (May 7). GO Campaign, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, identifies deserving pioneering Local Heroes throughout the world and partners with their organizations to give opportunity to vulnerable children around the world. Since 2006, GO Campaign has improved the lives of over 133,000 children throughout 35 countries.  In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, The Office of Angelea Scott is partnering with GO Campaign to support Redeemer Community Partnership (RCP). RCP is an organization focused on nurturing some of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable youth and providing them with the critical academic support they need to ensure that every child growing up in Los Angeles’ most impoverished neighborhoods has the access to education they deserve.

Founded by Richard Parks in 2001, RCP was created to build a safe, healthy, opportunity-rich community where children, youth and families living in Los Angeles’ University Park neighborhood can thrive.  This neighborhood is densely populated, low income, and home to many immigrant families. The median household income is $30,205, much less than the City’s median of $54,501. The schools in RCP’s community struggle to meet the needs of their students. At most schools in the area, the concentration of low-income children is above 90%, and often 30-50% are English Language Learners (ELL).  With large class sizes, high teacher turnover and limited support staff, many students never get the help they need.

At Mack Elementary, just four blocks east of the RCP facility, only 3% of last year’s fifth-graders achieved proficient scores on the state standardized math test. Children entering middle school with math and reading deficits face overwhelming obstacles to college-readiness. . . but RCP is changing all this!  RCP offers an individualized reading curriculum to students during the academic year – giving children the access to the academic support they need to provide them opportunities they never imagined possible. RCP aims for all fifth graders who graduate from their program to have reading skills at or above state grade-level standards. And not only that, but children who are a part of their program are learning to enjoy reading, to feel confident about their ability to learn challenging material, and to use technology without intimidation.  RCP is giving these children the confidence they need to face the world with hope and pride. RCP’s results are a gift to teachers, making their students more engaged and eager to learn.

GO Campaign & The Office of Angela Scott believe in the work RCP is doing and that is why in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, The Office of Angela Scott is committed to raise funds to provide RCP with three teachers for the fall semester.  These additional staff members will enable RCP to reach its goal of making sure that every fifth grader who graduates from their program not only has reading skills at or above state grade-level standards, but the confidence they need to go on to thrive in middle school.

5 Best Westside Spas for Mother’s Day

5 Best Westside Spas for Mother’s Day

What do Mothers want for Mother’s Day? Short answer: Relaxation and me time… Or, as we like to call it, a spa day. If you’ve been scrolling through Yelp wondering which is the best Westside spa for Mother’s Day, or if you’re simply scratching your scalp trying to find the perfect gift for your Mom, then you are in the right place.

This year we got together a group of Moms and asked them “which are the 5 best Westside spas for Mother’s Day?”. Below we’ve listed them.

Burke Williams

Mom will feel: Serene, peaceful
Perfect if she loves: Quiet, nurturing, European style spas
Price Range: $$$
Treatment time: All day

Burke Williams Spa is the classic Day-Spa choice for many women in the Westside. This European, dimly-lit space has various baths (both silent and social), private massage rooms, and a reading nook with coffee and fruit too. You can enjoy just a massage, or indulge in the the all-day Spa facilities too. Though this place is on the more expensive end of the Spa spectrum, it is absolutely worth it for the many hours of luxury and relaxation that is on offer here.

Learn more about Burke Williams here.

Hideko Spa

Mom will feel: elegant, pampered
Perfect if she loves: Japanese hospitality, luxury, grace, Japanese tea
Price Range: $$
Treatment time: Typically 1.5 hours

A Japanese luxury spa, Hideko is a modest yet elegant space that offers unparalleled hospitality and grace. With a deluxe Japanese massage experience, the spa uses only organic products and materials, including oils, woods, scrubs, wraps, and refreshments. After your massage you can enjoy your own private bath in a luxury tub adjacent to your massage room, as well as warm cup of herbal tea and a selection of Japanese cakes.

Learn more about Hideko Spa here.

Cryo Healthcare

Mom will feel: Energized
Perfect if she loves: Fitness, Biohacking, a less traditional wellness experience
Price: $
Treatment time: Typically 1 hour

Notoriously loved by Mom of three, Demi Moore and Mom of five, Tori Spelling, the Cryo Healthcare facility provides a uniquely elegant Cryotherapy experience on the Westside. Originating from Japan, Cryotherapy has quickly gained popularity with the ever-expanding biohacking community. Known for its immediate energizing effects Cryotherapy is the perfect gift for any Mom who likes keeping up with trends, and trying new things.

Before booking make sure you check out the list of medical conditions that determine your Mom’s suitability to the treatment.

Find out more about Cryo Healthcare here.

Raven Spa

Mom will feel: Healed and opened up
Perfect if she loves: Thai Massage, acupuncture
Price Range: $$
Treatment time: 1.5 hours

The Raven Spa is a sweet oceanside spa that is nestled in the side streets of Santa Monica. It specializes in Thai massage yet also offers an impressive menu of alternative treatments like acupuncture, infrared saunas, and Reiki. If your Mom prefers deep tissue massages with a focus on relieving tension and muscle soreness then this is the place for her!

Learn more about The Raven Spa here.

Willow Spa

Mom will feel: Grounded
Perfect if she loves: Soft touch, energy healing, Asian-inspired spaces
Price Range: $$
Treatment time: Typically 2 hours

Willow Spa offers a tropical Spa experience for any Mom who wants to indulge in soft healing. Nestled in a renovated home, WIllow Spa is the perfect haven-away-from-home for any Mom who wants to experience massage with a spiritual focus. There are a number of specialized treatments at Willow Spa–from their Blooming Lotus Massage (a treatment specifically designed for pregnant women), to their Reiki practice (an ancient healing technique used by the Tibetans to enhance the flow of life-energy), to Shiatsu (a Japanese method of unlocking energy in your body by using the meridians of your body).

Learn more about Willow Spa here.

You Can Help Celebrate Vans’ 10th Custom Culture Competition: Vote Now!

You Can Help Celebrate Vans’ 10th Custom Culture Competition: Vote Now!

In its tenth year, Vans’ esteemed Custom Culture Program continues to inspire high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design, while bringing attention to diminishing arts education budgets nationwide. This year marks a milestone, and in the last 10 years, the competition has inspired more than 12,000 high schools while Vans has donated over one million dollars to support art education. On April 22nd, Vans announced the 50 semi-finalists from the national competition, and opened the vote to the public to help determine the top 5 finalists, who will be in the running to win $75,000 for their high school’s art program! The public vote will be open until May 3rd.

 

A number of celebrities, influencers, musicians and artists elect to be ambassadors for the program each year, designing their own pair of Vans to help spread awareness. This year, Jasmine Sanders, Arielle Kebbel, Sydney Sweeney, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, Rebekah Steen of Goldfish Kiss, and Zooey Miyoshi of Zooey in the City are among this year’s ambassadors. You can check out the Vans Custom Culture Instagram to view more ambassador shoes.

50 U.S. High Schools Reimagine Vans as a Canvas for Creative Expression

Vans has selected the top 50 semi-finalists continuing on to the public voting phase of the tenth annual Vans Custom Culture art competition. Now, through May 3rd at 5 PM PST, individuals can cast their vote for their favorite designs on customculture.vans.com. Votes will help determine the top five finalists who will continue and have a chance to win the grand prize of $75,000 towards their high school art program.
“The Vans Custom Culture competition has really been a source of pride for our community and school, and it’s great to see how it has flourished over the last 10 years,” said Dave Fuller, an art teacher from Parker High School, and the 2017 winner of Custom Culture. “Since the competition, students have entered other art competitions and we have noticed a rise in students entering our art class. It provided so many memories for myself, students and chaperones – it has been the highlight of my teaching career.”

Among the 500 qualifying schools, Vans chose 50 schools based on design, craftsmanship and overall execution to continue to the next competition phase. Each school designed two pairs of Vans shoes around themes representing ‘Local Flavor’ and ‘Off the Wall.’ Each school also submitted an Impact Document to further explain how the monetary donation would benefit their school’s art program and community.
“Each year, we’re blown away by the imagination of our youth across the country as they redefine Vans as a literal canvas for their creative expression,” stated Kristy Van Doren, Vans Senior Director Brand Marketing for North America. “Our 10th anniversary year was no exception, as each of the top 50 semi-finalists offered unique representation and distinct storytelling through their shoe designs.

As the competition proceeds, we encourage communities to support these students so that they can continue to change the world of art and how it comes to life.” Public vote is the time for schools to excite and involve their communities and help take them one step closer to winning the $75,000 grand prize. With support from partners including Journeys, Yoobi, Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) and Americans for the Arts (AFTA), this year’s winner will be surprised with a special event and a $75,000 check for the school’s art program. The four runner-up schools will not leave empty handed either, as they will receive a limited-edition gift from Vans and a $10,000 donation to their art programs.
Vans Custom Culture continues to provide a platform for high school students to embrace their creativity and self-expression. As art education budgets are often the first to be cut, Vans puts it foot forward and strives to contribute more than $1,000,000 behind youth culture and creativity.

For more information and to cast your Vans Custom Culture vote, visit customculture.vans.com.

The Top 50 Schools competing for their place in the Top 5:

Anadarko High School (Oklahoma)
Andrew P. Hill High School (California)
Atherton High School (Kentucky)
Bel Air High School (Texas)
Branson High School (Missouri)
Bunker Hill High School (Illinois)
C. E. King High School (Texas)
Cache High School (Oklahoma)
Carl Junction High School (Missouri)
Central Park East High School (New York)
Chicopee Comprehensive High School (Massachusetts)
Danville High School (Arkansas)
David Brearley High School(New Jersey)
Deming High School (New Mexico)
Earl Warren High School (Texas)
East Central High School (Texas)
Elk Grove High School (Illinois)
Flagstaff High School (Arizona)
Greater Lawrence Technical School (Massachusetts)
Harbor High School (California)
Harding High – Saint Paul Public Schools (Minnesota)
Harrison County High School (Kentucky)
Highlands High School (California
Kirby High School (Tennessee)
Middle Township High School (New Jersey)
Moanalua High School (Hawaii)
Monterey High School (Tennessee)
Muleshoe High School (Texas)
Munster High School (Indiana)
New Bedford High School (Massachusetts)
North High School (California)
Porterville High School (Porterville)
Portola Junior Senior High School (California)
Ridge Vue High School (Oregon)
Ridgeview High School (Oregon), Riverside High School Visual Arts (Texas)
Roselle Park High School (New Jersey)
Saint Ignatius High School (Montana)
Seneca Valley Senior High School (Pennsylvania)
Sheboygan South High School (Wisconsin)
Sheldon High School (Oregon)
Shenandoah High School (Iowa)
Sierra Vista High School (California)
Thomas Kelly High School (Illinois)
Tomah High School (Wisconsin)
Vallivue High School (Idaho)
Van Weert High School (Ohio)
Windham High School (Connecticut)
Wright City High School (Missouri)
Yuma High School (Colorado)

About Vans

Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans® authentic collections are sold in 84 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans® has over 2,000 retail locations globally including owned, concession and partnership doors. The Vans® brand promotes creative self-expression in youth culture across action sports, art, music and street culture and delivers progressive platforms such as the Vans Park Series, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, Vans Pool Party, Vans Custom Culture, and Vans‘ cultural hub and international music venue, House of Vans.