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
Welcome Intelligentsia To The Neighborhood – Hollywood’s Newest Coffee Bar Opens For Business

Welcome Intelligentsia To The Neighborhood – Hollywood’s Newest Coffee Bar Opens For Business

Contributions by Anthony Stafford

Los Angeles is a melting pot of some of the best executed cuisines and drinks. From vegan and ketogenic masterpieces, to magically junk-filled delights, everyone can find something they’re looking for in the city that truly has it all. (West coast, best coast?) Joining the ranks of your favorite coffee and tea houses throughout LA with multiple locations, Intelligentsia Coffee has once again entered the fray with their fourth California coffee bar. The coffee pioneer opened it’s newest location in Hollywood last week, and it’s a welcome addition.

Located on Hollywood and Cahuenga, this is the first Intelligentsia location to open since the 2010 Pasadena opening. Their Silver Lake location opened over a decade ago, way back in 2007! In addition to Intelligentsia’s in-season, single origin coffees sourced from around the world, there is a rotating selection of trendy sparkling teas on tap — including matcha and chai tea lattes —  along with nitro cold coffee

As if that weren’t enough, the incomparable bakery known as Mr. Holmes’ Bakehouse is supplying the Hollywood coffee bar with its signature creative, and over-the-top baked goods! After all, what good is a coffee bar without matching snacks? This will be a first for Mr. Holmes’ Bakehouse, as it’s they operate outside of their namesake bakeries to offer their brand new savory sandwiches (like habanero bacon).

The new Intelligentsia Coffee is a 38-seat beauty, and was designed by Standard Architects. It boasts a beautiful, vaulted mosaic tiled ceiling and outdoor stenciled wall painting, which both echo poppy fields from artist Paul De Longpre’s work. It’s important to note that the location sits on the site of his former estate, which explains it all. But it doesn’t stop there. Taking cues from “old Hollywood” institutions, like Musso & Frank (located just west of the coffee bar), Intelligentsia has interior walls paneled in dark stained wood, accented by quilted stainless steel and fluted mirrors.

The bar is a 30 foot-long island block clad in terrazzo (complete with a Poursteady system), and the seating is arranged like a subway car parallel to the bar. With a new shop on the scene, and just in time for Spring, Intelligentsia coffee is bound to be the hit in Hollywood. Get your mugs ready — Intelligentsia is open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., daily!

Freedman’s Teams Up With Avec Nous for the Ultimate Brunch

Freedman’s Teams Up With Avec Nous for the Ultimate Brunch

We’re fresh off the heels of the Grammy’s and Valentine’s Day, yet we all know the cycle continues! What’s next, you say? The Oscar’s and a special brunch event that you cannot miss!
To cap off this year’s awards season, Silver Lake favorite Freedman’s (@freedmans_la) is bringing their award-winning, new-school Jewish comfort food to Beverly Hills. In what could only be considered an extremely limited time event, Freedman’s will be taking over the kitchen at the Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills restaurant, Avec Nous (@viceroybevhills), for brunch (11:00am – 3:00pm) from Saturday, February 23rd through Monday, February 25th.
While it may not seem like enough time, it’s sure to be the buzz of Beverly Hills in the coming days. Reservations are in high demand for the exclusive brunch, and guests can count on a pretty large crowd. Freedman’s, named the #4 restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit last year, will be serving their sought-after bagel towers, complete with an assortment of house-made smoked fish and caviar; along with signature standouts, including a babka sticky bun, corned beef tongue hash, and scrambled eggs with (waffled) potato latke and smoked salmon.
Exquisite? Yes. Limited? Most definitely.
Make your reservation here: https://www.opentable.com/avec-nous
Social Media:
Details:
Avec Nous at Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills
9291 Burton Way
Beverly Hills, California 90210
A SoCal Valentine’s Day Special Roundup

A SoCal Valentine’s Day Special Roundup

Contributions by Anthony Stafford

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, with about a week to go before it’s too late to land the perfect outing. In a city with a surplus of amazing food choices, you’d think it would be simple to just pick a place to have a Valentine’s dinner date, but it’s so much more difficult than that. Take five minutes to give it some thought and consideration, at least. If you’re still scrambling to find a great gift and the right reservation, then you can now consider half of the job done! We’ve got a roundup of some of the best restaurants in LA featuring Valentine’s Day specials across the spectrum of whatever suits your wallet, and taste. The clock is ticking. Dive in and discover your options:

Avec Nous at Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills

Avec Nous — the contemporary take on the classic French bistro with a St. Tropez vibe, is ready for the day of lovers with their Mediterranean-inspiried dishes. Spanish and Italian touches compliment their Riviera feel, and diners can expect a dosage of European spices to accompany their locally sourced seasonal ingredients. What’s in store for Avec Nous’ Valentine’s Day specials?

A refined yet inviting dining experience featuring a 5 course tasting menu (and optional wine pairing), with appetizers like Lobster Raviolo, Armagnac Cream, and Chili-Chive Espuma; while the entrees include a choice of Seared Scallops, Sweet Potato Purée, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and Candied Pork Belly. You can view Avec Nous’ entire Valentine’s Day 5 course menu here. Reserve now, as it’s likely to be a full house.

In their own words, “Our passion is defined by our name: Avec Nous – dine with us, drink with us, celebrate with us.” Celebrate your love with Ave Nous!

Other details:
Category: 5 course tasting menu with optional wine pairing.
Time: 5 pm – 11 pm
Address: 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Cast at Viceroy Santa Monica

When you see what Cast at Viceroy is, and what it has to offer, you’ll most likely be reminded of a movie that features scenes of a luxurious dining experience. Creative food, hand-crafted cocktails, and stylish outdoor cabanas where you can enjoy both, with a side of coastal personality? That should be enough to persuade you into making a reservation, right? If not, maybe you’re picky, but don’t fret.

The Santa Monica restaurant Santa Monica restaurant stars a unique indoor/outdoor scene and commitment to sustainability. Keeping with the trend of healthy eating and fresh, local ingredients, Cast works with nearby farms and prepares their dishes from scratch. Their Valentine’s Day plans involve a specialty dinner paired with a decadent cocktail menu:

Roasted Tomato & Fennel Bisque, Grilled Little Gem Salad, and the Baby Beet & Burrata Salad are just a few starters to get you all warmed up. Entrees include Branzino, Maine Lobster and Tagliatelle, and Farro Risotto to name a few. You can check out the rest of Cast’s Valentine’s Day offerings here, along with photos of the cocktails available for the lover’s holiday. The cocktails by Anuar Chavez, are as dreamy as you can imagine, with chocolates, fruits, and liqueurs — yet their names alone should be enough to entice you: Old Fashioned Love, Cherries on Top/Bubbles on Cherries, and Chocolate Covered Strawberry.

Are you convinced yet? If the answer is “yes,” make your reservation. If you’re still not sure, don’t worry. We’ve still got a few more stops to make.

Other details:
Category: Specialty dinner & cocktail menu
Time: 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Address: 1819 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Love & Salt

The name is clearly an indication that Valentine’s Day should be celebrated here! Love & Salt’s Valentine plans include you and your date, along with a special menu themed “Is it love or lust?” What’s in store? Pasta tasting is being offered as a supplement to the Love & Salt dinner menu, and served by the course to each guest. In addition, themed cocktails and oysters on the half shell are available a la carte. Pasta tasting options include Papparadelle, Potato Gnocchi, 15 layer Lasagna, and Love Letter. Love & Salt’s steamy cocktails, named “Lady in the Ballroom” and “Lady in Red,” will seal your night with a kiss of citrus and mint.

In this appropriate pairing, the restaurant’s story goes fittingly with the season:

“Love & Salt is a story that begins with Cafe Pierre, a restaurant birthed by Guy Gabriele in 1977 to bring a taste of France to Los Angeles’ South Bay. While Cafe Pierre was a beloved part of the community for nearly 37 years, in 2014, Guy and his daughter Sylvie Gabriele, now the owner of Love & Salt, closed the restaurant to bring new life to the iconic space.

Love & Salt is a philosophy: that food needs only two ingredients to be great. It’s a sensibility that informs the feeling in the restaurant and the dishes on the menu — Italian-inspired with Southern California soul. An approachable wine list and classic cocktail program similarly reflect the vibrant SoCal setting of the restaurant, located just steps from the Manhattan Beach pier.”

Make your reservation here.

Other details:
Dates: February 13 & 14
Time: Dinner
Address: 317 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

Southern dining meets love at Yardbird, and it couldn’t get any better! Yardbird’s Valentine’s Day offerings consist of elevated comfort food, including appetizers, entrees, “finishing touches,” and desserts. Black truffle lobster mac and cheese, grouper, steak, sea scallops, and red velvet coconut cake are only a few of the impossibly difficult choices you’ll have to make when you reserve at Yardbird.

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is owned and operated by 50 Eggs Inc., a multi-faceted, full-service creative firm focused on developing irrepressible brands within the hospitality and entertainment industries. CEO, John Kunkel says, “We’ve been blessed with an extremely talented, intelligent and enthusiastic group of people who possess a roll-up-your-sleeves work ethic second to none. That has been, and will continue to be, the driving force behind our success, plain and simple. We have more concepts in the works and our goal is to continue to develop ideas that we’re passionate about. We’re proud to be developing, building and operating the kind of places that we want to share with our families and yours.”

Other details:
Category: Special menu served Feb 14 – 17
Address: 8500 Beverly Blvd #112, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Umami Burger x Coolhaus

Burgers can be romantic too!
In our final stop you’ll see why, like a cute Valentine’s Day couple, Umami Burger’s latest partnership with Coolhaus will have you and your Valentine swooning!
Umami Burger has partnered with Coolhaus this Valentine’s season to bring a special in-restaurant offer to the lover’s — and even those who aren’t! From February 11 through the 17th, when you order free delivery from DoorDash, Postmates, or Caviar (at a $15 minimum/order), you’ll receive an in-restaurant offer to redeem at a participating Umami Burger location on your next visit!  Any purchase of a burger or salad means guests are eligible to receive 1 complimentary Coolhaus sandwich of their choice. (Limit one per voucher. Not valid to combine with other offers or promotions. Offer expires after February 28, 2019).
Also, for those redeeming their free Coolhaus sammie, receive an additional $1 off coupon valid for any Coolhaus Pint at a Whole Foods nearest you (in SoCal and NorCal only).
Clearly, this holiday was made for pairings, and that includes dinner choices and drinks. Now that you’ve got a great list of potential places to romantically grub out, there’s no excuse for disappointing your Valentine this year. Still, make sure you find an equally amazing gift for your love!

SoCal Spotlight: Ivana De Maria’s StoryPlace

SoCal Spotlight: Ivana De Maria’s StoryPlace

Contributing Editors: Anthony Stafford and Joshua Pinkay

In Los Angeles, it’s no secret that millions of people move into the city to pursue their dreams of entering the world of entertainment. Little does everyone know, those who reach their success still have other dreams like the rest of us! Ivana De Maria is one of those successful individuals who grew up with an attraction to the entertainment industry, moved to Los Angeles to pursue that dream, and continued dreaming — pursuing an uncommon endeavor: an entry into the tech world using parts of what she already learned. Ivana saw an opportunity in something that each of us has – our stories. We sat down with her to find out more about her background, and to learn about her new dream to take the entertainment world by storm in the way aspiring dreamers will find new projects. Here’s a peak into how your stories, our stories, and the world’s stories will be revealed.

Q: What inspired you to enter the entertainment industry?

A: Since I was a little girl I was always very attracted to the entertainment industry. My great grandfather founded the first Radio and TV station in Mexico and my two oldest brothers have a production company as well. One of them is a producer and the other one a director. Growing up, I spent a lot of time on set with them, helping them in any way I could. I was always very enchanted by the magic behind creating a film.  I always knew I wanted to eventually work in the entertainment industry, specifically as an actress. However, I also had many intellectual curiosities, which I wanted to explore before focusing on my long-term career. I studied high school in Switzerland and after graduating I moved to Boston for College. I attended Boston University where I completed a bachelor’s degree in Business and Law, always knowing that upon graduating I would focus on acting full time. Over the course of those four years, during summers while all my classmates would look for finance internships, I would attend acting school in NY and LA, and then during the school year I would enjoy learning the theoretical aspects of business and law, skills I felt would come in handy no matter what I did. Upon graduating I immediately moved to LA to pursue acting full time.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge you face working as an actor and producer in Los Angeles?

As soon as I got to LA, I starting the casting/rejection/waiting process, and the more I learned about it the more frustrated I got by the system. I hated the idea that my results would depend on so many factors that were not in my hands. I called my brothers and asked for advice. Their answer was “make your own short film”. I had no clue how to do this, but my frustration with the industry was bigger than my fear of the unknown. I began writing my own characters, which then turned into my own stories, then my own projects and finally my own productions. I wrote, produced and acted in two short films, which to my surprise had great success in the festival circuit.

As an actor you accept a life of instability and this is the hardest part of it. Financial instability, physical instability and emotional instability. Because it is so volatile, one day you have a job and the next its back to square one. You have to be available at all times which makes planning anything very difficult. I found that my personality required a bit more structure that what acting offered, and so I decided to find other ways to make a living that would let me be selective with my acting jobs.

Q: You recently took on the tech world with the upcoming launch of your app StoryPlace? How did your background in entertainment influence your decision to start this business?

When I began creating my own content I learned everything about the process of telling a story. From writing, to producing, acting, editing, the business… and I fell in love with all of it. I realized that my generation had an opportunity: the industry was changing and the power was now in the hands of the creative. There was a new currency going around: STORIES. If you had a good story and knew how to tell it, you had a big opportunity. By looking closer at the story culture around the world, I realized that this demand for stories was not exclusive to the entertainment industry. Every industry, product or brand is founded on a story.

A couple of years ago I started developing projects based on real life stories and quickly became enchanted by the idea of finding these stories and bringing them to life, giving them a voice. I found a beautiful combination in social responsibility and film, and decided I would create entertainment content based on true stories, specifically those with messages, stories and voices that needed to be heard today. As I embarked on this journey to find extraordinary stories, I found that everyone’s story had a lesson for me in some way. This led to a thought and an actual dream that that kept me up at night: “How many stories go unheard in the world?” I could not stop thinking of all the lost learning opportunities and decided I would do something about it. I wanted to create a place for these stories. Taking into account technology and generation trends, I decided to create a platform that would inspire people to connect through story sharing, to realize the importance of sharing and listening to stories. That is why I created StoryPlace, an egoless social platform that promotes empathy by connecting people through sharing and reading real life stories.

Q: Why is Southern California the perfect place to launch and grow your business?

Southern California is the hub of startups! It is a place that promotes entrepreneurship and Los Angeles is a city that is truly designed for the self-employed. Every street has cute café’s and working spaces that help young entrepreneurs have a working environment without the need for a formal office. In terms of StoryPlace specifically, SoCal culture is very open and friendly, everyone is always open and excited to share his or her story!

Q: What advice do you have for someone looking to break into the entertainment or tech industries — two highly competitive fields?

I am a true believer that as an artist, it all starts with creating your own content, and therefore you own opportunities, so believe in your vision and don’t be afraid to tell your own stories. Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t try to please anyone but yourself.Let your goal be making your own self proud, and then things will start happening. Furthermore, when they start happening don’t question your “luck”.Many times I would feel insecure or question myself when something went right and I got “lucky”, but luck is where preparation and opportunity meet. So give yourself the credit for being prepared when that opportunity comes along. And most importantly, enjoy the path! 

Q: Where do you see StoryPlace going in the next few years?

Hopefully many places! I’ve learned that in the app world you never know what you’re going to get. It can have 1 user for the first week or a billion users in one day. The entire team has been working hard on making sure that do everything we can in order to get those billion users, and most importantly we are ready to scale at any given moment.

My hopes with StoryPlace are that it becomes a leader of empathy in the world. Hopefully other industries will follow and people will be able to appreciate the power of empathy and storytelling. I would love for StoryPlace to eventually expand into more than just an app, a community, a festival, a book, a non-profit… who knows! The possibilities are endless.

Q: Do you have any local LA or SoCal spots that inspire you in your work?

I like to explore SoCal any chance I get and every time I do so I find new places that inspire me. What inspires me the most is meeting someone with a great story, and there are many of those in California!

I recently stumbled upon a small hotel called Moonlight Inn, which is in Moonlight beach. My boyfriend and I were driving and started getting tired so we decided to find a place to spend the night. Never did we imagine that this place would be an absolute oasis. It is a “WELL” hotel, which we learned meant that everything about it, from the design to the service, was tailored to promote wellbeing. This is just one example of all the incredible places I have found in SoCal. Every place you go has a story as well, its just a matter of listening.

Q: Anything else you want Angelenos to know about you or your company?

I’m always happy to hear stories and eager to discover new places! Contact me through my social media @ivanamaria and tell me your stories. More importantly, if you have a story to tell (which I know you do), download our app and StoryPlaceIT!