Jazz Up Your Fridays at LACMA With Patina’s Picnic Baskets

The Louis Picnic Basket (minus one serving of chicken)

The sun is out – when June Gloom isn’t in, that is. But when the high of summer arrives, you’ll bet it’ll be time for that picnic. Whether at The Hollywood Bowl, Cinespia or Barnsdall Art Park, picnicking in Los Angeles has become more than a rite of passage. It’s now an act of communal expression, with everyone in the party bringing their own contribution to the portable, potable feast.

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Hail a Cab in L.A. via Smartphone App with Flywheel

Rza at Bedrocktoberfest

These days, there are a ton of options when it comes to getting from point A to B without your car. With cabs representing the old guard, alternative Smartphone start-ups such as Uber (including UberX), Lyft and Sidecar are giving taxis a good run for their money – usability, competitive pricing, driver competence and friendliness not withstanding.

The taxi industry tried unsuccessfully to shut them out of business, and California’s Public Utilities Commission adopted rules last September on regulating these new companies. With L.A. also trying to get a hand in on regulation, it’s clear that the new services are operating on new battleground. This is all interesting, of course, but it doesn’t really play a part in what service I use. I just want a quick pick-up, ride at a great rate and a friendly, competent driver. And I want a free market to drive the realization of this. 

(Yeah, plus free $20 code for new Flywheel users after the jump. –>)

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A Hotel Rooftop For All Occasions

SLS Hotel’s Altitude Pool

We’ve had quite a heat wave lately, but as it cools off (as much as it does here in Los Angeles, anyway), you’re probably going to want to spend one of these lazy days enjoying the view. Sure, there’s not as much urgency to the end of summer because we’re in lovely, if sometimes scorching, Southern California, but there are some great specials around town that are incentive to enjoy the weekend or evening panorama. Discover a new scene with opportunities like Sunday suppers, pop-up vendors and wine happy hours.

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Test Drive a 2013 Lincoln MKZ, Get Treated to Dinner at Red Medicine

RedMedicineLA.com

There are a lot of freebies and promotion deals to be had in our wonderful city, but I can’t say I’ve run across the offering of an entire dinner in exchange for the test drive of a car, before. And now, we have.

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Spreading Beery Cheer at City Tavern

City Tavern Interior | Photo courtesy of City Tavern

You don’t have to wait until L.A. Beer Week to celebrate beer.

Today is Free Pour Wednesday at City Tavern in downtown Culver City. Sit down for dinner (maybe even at one of the tap-equipped tables) and sample your choice of craft beer (6 oz. pour) from the total 22 available on draft, for free. Limit one per guest with food order.

And tomorrow, you can celebrate Sierra Nevada Pint Night.

Spare yourself the drive up to their Chico tasting room. Tomorrow at City Tavern, you’ll find Sierra Nevada’s Schwartz Bier, Vienna Lager, Foam Pilsner, Oktoberfest, and Life & Limb 2 (a highly-coveted limited release) on tap. Feeling especially beer-social? One of the reps from Sierra Nevada will be present to answer all your questions and share in your beery cheer. Plus, purchase any one of the aforementioned pints and receive a commemorative glass, while supplies last. And of course, City Tavern would never limit you to just one. Or two. Want to try all five? Go with the tasting flight. Starts at 6PM.

Oops! Almost forgot that Munich Marzen beers (Oktoberfest-style beer) have taken over the City Tavern taps from now through October 2nd. Guests who are able to grab a seat at the table tap booths ON October 2nd will receive a commemorative growler.

Love Firestone beer? They’ll be doing the same format as tomorrow’s Sierra Nevada’s pint night (beer list TBA) on Thursday, October 6th.

After all, it’s just a matter of time before L.A. Beer Week becomes L.A. Beer Day…everyday.

City Tavern
9739 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-2739
310.838.9739

Mondrian Sessions Offer (Good) Free Music, Poolside Vibe, Eclectic Crowd

Fool's Gold

Last week, I fortunately caught on Kevin Bronson’s Buzz Bands blog that LA-based Afro-pop group Fool’s Gold was playing at Skybar at The Mondrian for a free show. Sure, Arcade Fire was playing a surprise show the same night – and people had started lining up for tickets the night before – but that whole …shebang… was just not my bag.

It was Skybar and I had no trouble getting in. There were no sexagenarian gentlemen with appletinis and women half their age. In fact, it was a rather mixed crowd with a casual vibe. My Jameson, neat, was still $14 – no surprise – but more a product of The Sunset Strip than the fault of The Mondrian’s. This collaboration with IAmSound could mean that Skybar could be on to something and perhaps even turning a new page.

Fool’s Gold sounded great. With the exception of Surprise Hotel and Poseidon, the 5-piece (for the night, anyway) played all new material for over an hour. I was a wondrous hour filled with electric melodies – and lyrics in Hebrew – floating over African beats and rhythms. Saxophone, flute, bongos, guitar, drums – it really doesn’t get any more “world music” than this. I was surprised well everything was mixed.

So check out the dates for bands to come – including the awesome Dum Dum Girls tomorrow. It’s free – and all you have to do is email [email protected] to RSVP. Word is, the Lykke Li date is practically booked – but if you love her Swedish pop sound enough, it may be worth a try.

Thursday, February 17 – Dum Dum Girls
Saturday, February 19 – Ted Leo (Solo)
Saturday, February 26 – Zola Jesus
Thursday, March 10 – Lykke Li
Saturday, March 12 – Gonzales
Friday, April 8 – Twin Sister

See you poolside!

Various dates: 8 PM – Midnight

Set time is usually 9 PM

RSVP:
[email protected]

Skybar at The Mondrian
8440 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Picks For Fashion’s Night Out Los Angeles

Studio Beauty Mix, Fred Segal Melrose

Tonight’s the night! Exactly a year ago I was in New York during Fashion Week and had an absolute blast during the first ever Fashion’s Night Out. Goodie bags, champagne, cocktails, discounts, free make-overs, cupcakes – you name it. But we’re doing our best here, in LA, so I thought I’d highlight the events going on around town that I would want to hit up.

For the complete listing, just head on over to the Official LA FNO site, which groups the retailers by neighborhood. You can also check out Mondette’s run-down, which expertly and succinctly lists what each store is doing for tonight’s special occasion. The @FNOlosangeles and @FashionWeekLA twitter accounts are also great resources. And while you’re out there on the town, don’t forget to bring your appetite because the food trucks will certainly be out in full force.

I’ll be elsewhere tonight but if I were to make a night out of succumbing my wallet to temptation (and a portal to get me all over town in a jiff), I’d go here:

Custo Barcelona, Beverly Center

  • Free Custo Jelly Bag with $50 purchase. I love Custo’s vibrant designs and mix of fabrics and patterns. Not for gals who are most comfortable with the little black dress.

A Ferris Wheel and surrounding shops, Rodeo Drive

  • I’ve never seen a ferris wheel on Rodeo Drive, so maybe this is just a cheap thrill. Still, Rodeo’s the perfect place to be a tourist in my own city since the price points at many of these shops boutiques shoot my moon. A girl can dream…and canoodle.

Paige Denim on Robertson Blvd.

  • I love Paige Jeans. The store in LA will be giving away a prize every hour on the hour starting 7 PM. If you buy a pair of jeans, you’ll get a Carasoin Spa gift. Refreshments and bites will be served.

The Dandy Warhols play Fred Segal, 8100 Melrose

  • I can’t really argue with putting music in the mix, especially on an occasion celebrating fashion. The Portland alt rock band will be playing a live set. And while you’re there…

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SoBe’s Lean Into Summer Party

This is a last-minute one, folks. But hey – it’s free, and it’s at the über-hip De La Barracuda, an art-music-skate venue located in West Hollywood. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another art gallery that also houses a mini skate park, hair salon and tattoo parlor. Hosting you tomorrow will be LA designer Dr. Romanelli and De La Barracuda founder Miguel de la Barracuda. Sip up your SoBe drinks and soak in all the urban culture via ultra-exclusive art, skate decks, and other apparel from Dr. Romanelli.

The Dublab Soundsystem DJs Ty Segall and Very Be Careful will be spinning tunes for your audial sensibilities. It’s all ages, so there will be SoBe flavors for everyone – including mixed drinks for those over 21, so bring your ID. Food trucks will be on-site, cool activities with prizes and giveaways will happen throughout the day. All you have to do is RSVP via email with your name.

See you there.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

3 – 9 PM

RSVP: rsvpnightmoves [at] gmail [dot] com

De La Barracuda
7769 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
323.852.7179‎

L.A. International Wine & Spirits Giveaway

L.A. International Wine & Spirits Competition

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of tasting the fruits of labor of those having judged over 4,000 wines for the L.A. International Wine & Spirits competition. Originating at the L.A. County Fair 71 years ago, the competition arose out of awarding medals to the finest California wines. Since then, it’s expanded to not only international wines but liquors and even olive oils. The competition is also symbolic of a love of wine from all different walks of life, including the sports star power of Tommy Lasorda, Mario Andretti and Greg Norman – who are all entrant winemakers. And let’s not forget Francis Ford Coppola and his winery. How very L.A., indeed.

This is where you come in. I’m giving away a “swag bag” with a $75 value. Included are:

  • A variety of winning wine and spirits from this year’s competition
  • A pair of tickets to the upcoming L.A. County Fair
  • Vouchers to the wine-tasting seminars at this year’s Fair

The L.A. County Fair this year is from September 4 – October 3, 2010. So make sure you aren’t out of town during that entire time so you can take advantage of the tickets should you win. I think the most exciting part are the vouchers to the wine-tasting seminars at the Fair. OK – free booze is great, too. 😉 But you might as well learn about what you’re drinking, while you’re at it, right?

To enter, leave a comment below, detailing what you’re most looking forward to at the Fair. You can also enter by Tweeting:

“I entered to win LA Int’l Wine & Spirits swag bag & LA Cty Fair tix at: http://estar.la/e/6t via @estarLA”

So, you can enter a total of 2 times!  Contest is closed a week from today, July 4, at 4 PM. At that time I’ll pick the winner using a randomizer. Then, I’ll contact you to get address info, and the goodies will be shipped directly to you. Good luck, and have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 4 – Sunday, October 3, 2010

L.A. County Fair
1101 W. McKinley Ave.
Pomona, CA 91768
909.623.3111

Open Labor Day weekend, closed subsequent Mondays & Tuesdays (23 days and nights)

Free Lunch to First 100 at BLVD 16 in Hotel Palomar

Reuben

BLVD 16 at Hotel Palomar is introducing a their lunch service this week. To celebrate, starting 11:30 AM today, they’ll be giving out free lunches to the first 100 people to show up. You’ll get a sandwich, bag of chips and drink.

Crispy Chicken Sandwich

This should have the UCLA students in a tizzy. Yesterday, I got to try a few of their sandwiches, and the standouts were definitely the Reuben and the Crispy Chicken sandwich. These sandwiches, which go for $10 each when not given out for free, are a great portioned size and a good deal, anyway, for the price. The pickles are housemade and Chef Simon Dolinky – another native Wisconsinite like myself - regularly visits the farmer’s market for his ingredients.

Validation for valet is free for all guests visiting BLVD 16 for lunch ($5 during dinner), though this 100 free lunch promotion will be more of a grab-n-go kind of deal. Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Get over there and claim your sandwich! The countdown begins…

Lunch menu

BLVD 16 at Hotel Palomar
10740 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90024
310.474.7765