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

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.

MLB FoodFest Presented By Budweiser Comes To Los Angeles

MLB FoodFest Presented By Budweiser Comes To Los Angeles

Premier Stadium Standouts Offered From All 30 MLB Franchises  

 

WHO:
Major League Baseball (MLB) – the professional baseball organization overseeing and marketing 30 U.S. based franchised teams.  

WHAT:
The 2019 MLB FoodFest presented by Budweiser hosts its first Los Angeles based food festival highlighting the best concession items of each of the 30 MLB Stadiums. The selection ranges from ballpark classics to stadium-exclusive fan favorites and new items debuting this season at a number of ballparks.

Each MLB stadium will be represented with fan favorites like the World Series-winning Boston Red Sox’s Hot Lobster Roll, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Sisig Fries, the Diamond-Backs’ Churro Dogs as well as the Mariners’ Toasted Grasshoppers. International favorites will include: Fish and Chips with Mushy Peas from London, the Sultanes de Monterrey “Monster Dog” from Monterrey, Mexico and Japanese Curry from Tokyo.  To review all offerings, click on to the MLB FoodFest full menu.

WHEN:
Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28
Friday: 4pm-11pm
Saturday: 11am – 11pm
Sunday: 11am – 8:30pm

WHERE:
Magic Box at The Reef
1933 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90007       

MORE INFO:
Various ticket packages are available including 21 and over packages – offering beer samplings and beer pairings. This is a community wide, all ages event bringing the culture of the MLB franchises to life through an extraordinary food experience.

SweetFlower Blooms in LA All Week Long

SweetFlower Blooms in LA All Week Long

SweetFlower, a luxury cannabis lifestyle brand committed to modernizing the retail customer experience, opened its first retail concept on April 8th, on Melrose — directly across from LA landmarks “The Improv” comedy club and Fred Segal. Headquartered in Culver City, CA, SweetFlower’s second location opens on April 15th in Studio City, in a space formerly occupied by famed cannabis retailer, Perennial.

The hallmarks of the SweetFlower experience are unparalleled customer service, the highest quality, locally-sourced products, and retail environments distinguished by their design and inviting ambiance. Founded in 2018, the company is headquartered in Culver City, Calif. and has filed an application for a Cannabis Business Permit in Culver City. SweetFlower is committed to being an inclusive and diverse employer and to addressing the needs of the communities it serves. In a warm Spring welcome, SweetFlower has created four fun in-store activations to celebrate their official brand launch. For more details on how you can take part in the fun, read the full breakdown of each themed moment below.

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 at the Melrose Store:

  • Who: Sunday Goods, Original Pot Cookie, and Cool Haus
  • What: Join us for an evening of Creativity with Sunday Goods brand ambassadors educating guests on key products and use. Cool Haus serving their famous non-cannabis ice-cream cookie sandwiches, and Original Pot Cookie will hand out non-medicated cookies
  • When: 4 pm to 8 pm
  • Where: 8163 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA
  • Instagrammable Moment: Large mural of wildflowers with artist painting in store.

Tuesday, April 16th at the Studio City Store:

  • Who: Lowell Smokes and Think BIG by CJ Wallace
  • What: Join us for an evening of Connection with Lowell Smokes and CJ Wallace’s Think BIG brand. Son of Notorious BIG and Faith Evans, CJ Wallace created the Think BIG limited edition pre-rolled pack being sold exclusively on April 16th and 17th at SweetFlower stores and at Think BIG’s website on April 20th.
  • When: 4 pm to 8 pm
  • Where: 11705 Ventura Blvd. – Studio City, CA
  • Instagrammable Moment: “Get Lit” lounge and “Your Royal High-Ness” Photo opportunity.

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 at the Melrose Store:

  • Who: Lowell Smokes and Think BIG by CJ Wallace
  • What: Join us for an event of Connection with Lowell Smokes and CJ Wallace’s Think BIG brand. Son of Notorious BIG and Faith Evans, CJ Wallace created the Think BIG limited edition pre-rolled pack being sold exclusively on April 16th and 17th at SweetFlower stores and at Think BIG’s website on April 20th.
  • When: 4 pm to 8 pm
  • Where: 8163 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA
  • Instagrammable Moment: “Get Lit” lounge and “Your Royal High-Ness” Photo opportunity

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 at the Studio City Store:

  • Who: Sunday Goods, Original Pot Cookie, and Cool Haus
  • What: Join us for an evening of Creativity with Sunday Goods brand ambassadors educating guests on key products and use. Cool Haus serving their famous non-cannabis ice-cream cookie sandwiches, and Original Pot Cookie will hand out non-medicated cookies.
  • When: 4 pm to 8 pm
  • Where: 11705 Ventura Blvd. – Studio City, CA
  • Instagrammable Moment: Large mural of wildflowers with artist painting in store.

Thursday, April 18th, 2019 at the Melrose Store:

  • Who: Beboe, Mary’s Medicinals, and Dosist
  • What: Join us for an evening of Wellness, Dosist founder, Jeremy, will speak on the science of proper dosage for wellness and sleep use at 6 pm, Mary’s Medicinals to demonstrate use of and benefits of creams for beauty and health purposes. Beboe brand ambassador will discuss the use of their products. Enjoy hand and neck massages using non-cannabis products.
  • When: 4 pm to 8 pm
  • Where: 8163 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA
  • Instagrammable Moment: Stop & Smell the Flowers photo wall

Thursday, April 18th, 2019 at the Studio City Store:

  • Who: Hot Nife, Quim Rock, and Dosist
  • What: Join us for a night of Adventure with Hot Nife and Quim Rock. Brand ambassador and pro snowboarder Circe Wallace will be on site to discuss key products and vision behind Hot Nife. Dosist founder, Jeremy, will speak on the science of proper dosage for wellness and sleep use at 6 pm
  • When: 4 pm to 8 pm
  • Where: 11705 Ventura Blvd. – Studio City, CA
  • Instagrammable Moment: “Ride the High” photo op with a 3D wave and Hot Nife branded surfboard.

Friday, April 19th, 2019 at the Melrose Store:

  • Who: Hot Nife and Quim Rock
  • What: Join us for a night of Adventure with Hot Nife and Quim Rock. Brand ambassador and pro snowboarder Circe Wallace will be on site to discuss key products and vision behind Hot Nife. Lead educator for Quim Rock will discuss sexual health and product benefits with guests.
  • When: 4 pm to 8 pm
  • Where: 8163 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA
  • Instagrammable Moment: “Ride the High” photo op with a 3D wave and Hot Nife branded surfboard.

Friday, April 19th, 2019 at the Studio City Store:

  • Who: Beboe and Mary’s Medicinals
  • What: Join us for an evening of Wellness. Mary’s Medicinals to demonstrate use of and benefits of creams for beauty and health purposes. Beboe brand ambassador will discuss the use of their products. Enjoy hand and neck massages using non-cannabis products.
  • When: 4 pm to 8 pm
  • Where: 11705 Ventura Blvd. – Studio City, CA
  • Instagrammable Moment: Stop & Smell the Flowers photo wall
A Reintroduction to POPS and a Special Relaunch Event

A Reintroduction to POPS and a Special Relaunch Event

Contributions by Anthony Stafford
POPS Creamery, formerly Helados POPS, is re-launching their concept with new flavors and desserts! If you have yet to learn about the mind-blowing experience you’re missing, check out our in-depth coverage of their famous ice cream and the story behind the incredible people who make POPS Creamery who they are. Located in San Fernando, CA, the popular family-run SoCal ice cream shop isn’t changing their formula despite the rebranding. Guests can continue to look forward to POPS’ famous, wide variety of ice cream flavors in freshly hollowed coconuts, and also an additional array of waffle cones, hollowed pineapples and a new take on creme brûlée.

The owner, Marthin Ken, creates different flavors of ice cream and sorbets daily, using organic and fresh ingredients such as nutmeg, ginger, caramel, and of course coconut. With an exotic assortment of flavors you couldn’t dream of, it’s no wonder people travel from near and far just for a taste of the “frozen gold”. Marthin’s recipes have been in his family for 6 generations and are strongly rooted in his Belizean culture.

To ring in the new name, POPS Creamery is hosting a grand re-launch party on Saturday, April 27th, from noon to 9 pm. As the weather warms up and spring makes way for summer, it’s really the perfect kickoff for everyone. Kids and adults can indulge in their curiosities while enjoying everyone’s favorite cold treat.

POPS Creamery Re-launch Party
Date & Time: Saturday, April 27th from noon to 9 pm.
Address: 450 N Maclay Ave, San Fernando, CA 91340

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