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Beverly Hills Favorite Choice for Healing, Find out Why Patients Choose Vivie Therapy

Feeling Pain? Beverly Hills Vivie Therapy can help with 100s of 5 Star Reviews

We talk so much about food and drinks, nights out,  and travel all the time, but we don’t always talk about our bodies and our health; keeping ourselves in shape and in fitness. 

Vivian Eisenstadt from Vivie Therapy

Vivian Eisenstadt from Vivie Therapy

That’s why I wanted to talk with Vivian Eisenstadt from Vivie Therapy. 

Joe Winger: 

Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background and what kind of certifications it takes to be the owner of Vivie Therapy?

Vivian Eisenstadt:

I am originally from Brooklyn, New York, and I got my bachelor’s in Athletic training from Brooklyn College.

I went on to get a second bachelor’s in Health Science from Turo College in Long Island, where I also got a Masters in Physical Therapy. 

Then moved to Los Angeles where I worked in Cedars Sinai outpatients, Physical Therapy Center. 

While I worked there, I actually went on to get an extra credential called Orthopedic Specialist.

Then when they opened Cedars Sinai Spine Center, I was one of the physical therapists who went there and integrated physical therapy into the spine center to collaborate with the spine doctors and help them understand actually what physical therapy was. 

I became a director of a pilates-based physical therapy center in Brentwood and then later in Beverly Hills.

That inspired me to open up my own place. 

I first opened up in a gym on Robertson Boulevard, and now I have been working on my own, in my own space since 2005.

I went on to get a Spiritual Psychology Degree in 2014, which I really think has taken my ability to help a person heal holistically.

By holistically, approaching physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, chemical at the same time. When you address them all you get more. Totality and healing and more long term results.

Joe Winger: 

Something you said a minute ago that I want to touch on and go deeper on is you help the doctors learn more about physical therapy.

What did you teach those doctors about physical therapy?

Vivian Eisenstadt:

The doctors actually didn’t really know much about physical therapy as most doctors don’t know.

It might’ve changed over the past 20 years. 

But doctors are taught chemicals and drugs and surgeries.  Physical therapy is actually how to avoid all of that, or how to get past that phase to get ultimate healing. 

Physical therapy is an art by which, when a person gets injured, the body will heal, but there are speed bumps along the way to healing, such as the creation of scar tissue, or creating habits that you had when you were in pain, like limping, that you don’t want to have because that’ll lead to other issues and will not help you heal correctly.

So physical therapy is about getting better quicker and getting better in a way where you prevent future injury and where you could be stronger. 

If somebody gets injured because their body was out of balance and their weakest spot is what got affected, as physical therapists, we evaluate the entire body and see, where is the source of the pain.

Like you can have an ankle that is always in pain, but it could be coming from the fact that your lower lumbar vertebrae in your back are out of place. 

So physical therapy is a really good way for someone to analyze where your pain is stemming from in a different way than doctors do. 

In a way that if it is repaired, you get fully better and move on with your life.

Joe Winger: 

Almost like a body detective. Is it more affordable than most surgeries and hospital operations? 

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

Unfortunately, the insurance companies try not to pay. 

So I have so many patients where we’ve submitted our reports and they’re just finding reasons not to pay, but for some reason they listen to doctors and they’re like, “Oh, you need a shot.  Here’s a shot.” 

It’s amazing the different listening that insurance companies have. You will save money in the long run when you go to a physical therapist.

If you go to a proper physical therapist who will help you not only heal from your current issue, but help you address the underlying causes and the underlying reasons, like neck pain due to poor posture.

Then you come in, we teach you how to sit straight. 

So not only are you making your back feel better, but you won’t end up in my office again. 

I tell my patients that the best compliment you can give me is to send your friends to me. 

I don’t want you in my office. I just want you to refer your friends and family.

Joe Winger: 

I’m assuming there’s a wide range of services you offer. 

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

We have physical therapy evaluation, which is about an hour where I help detect where your pain is coming from and all the different things that are feeding into it.

So you have the evaluation, which includes the treatment, and then we decide what kind of path we want to go on together. 

Massage Therapist on Staff

Follow up sessions are an hour, and then we also have a massage therapist on staff.  An amazing one who’s been working with me, Marcia, since 2002. 

You might just need a lot of deep tissue work, so you’ll get a couple of massages.

Then we also have modalities that help your body feel better as a whole. 

Detox Foot Baths

For instance, detox foot baths that pull out the toxins from your body. The less toxins in your body, the more you feel better. 

Infrared Sauna

We also have an infrared sauna, another way to detoxify. 

We get a lot of people post chemotherapy or radiation, or if you’re on meds for a while and you want to sweat them out. So we help you sweat them out in the infrared sauna. 

Lifestream Generator

We have a machine called Lifestream Generator, which puts a high frequency of electricity through your body, and that works on every level because our brain is made up of electric signals. 

If you put a high vibration in you, it kicks out the low vibration.

So we’ve seen people feel emotionally different after they come here, like sleep better or feel more motivated or have more energy throughout the day or just be able to process things that they weren’t able to process without it.

Joe Winger: 

Are there common, everyday people living their life – nothing traumatic may have actually happened to them – yet they could heal better, they could feel better by coming to visit you?

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

What’s fascinating is that when people think that they need to feel better, they think of like a massage. Okay. 

Physical therapy is people that are actually trained to analyze your body and find out where your imbalances are and then directly go and start working on them.

Not just work around your body and hope they get somewhere that feels good.  The longstanding effects.

People come to me usually because their lawyer sent them for a personal injury case or their doctor sent them for physical therapy or they know that they need physical therapy because of an injury. 

But over the past, but once they come in and I give them a couple of treatments, they didn’t realize that they could feel as good as they feel.

They thought that their “normal” was the way you’re supposed to feel, but their “normal” is out of balance in general. 

Once you get put in alignment and put in balance, you don’t remember how it feels until you’re feeling that way again. 

Then you’re like, “Oh my God, I didn’t know that I could feel this way.”

You don’t know until someone does it to you because nobody promotes wellness as preventative. We do. But not enough people listen.

I always say people come to me when they’re ready to get better and not a day before. 

I try not to make them feel bad about it. 

I truly believe that people step into my office when they’re ready to get better and some people come in and they’re just not ready to get better. 

You can just see it in just our interaction. And that’s okay too.

Everybody’s on their own agenda and their own souls path. 

So I help the people where they’re at.  

Joe Winger: 

I went on Google and Yelp, just wanted to see how many physical therapists were in the area. And you probably know this, there’s a lot.

If someone’s out there looking for a physical therapist, why would they choose Vivie Therapy? 

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

That’s an easy one. The reason why people would want to come to Vivie Therapy as opposed to other ones is because I am a sole practitioner.

I am a physical therapist who will be with you the entire time. 

Most of these physical therapy centers are playing the insurance game where they’re trying to get as many people an hour because they have to deal with all those insurance issues that I mentioned where they don’t pay a lot so then it’s a numbers game.

I have dedicated myself to being an extremely good diagnostician. 

So we figure out what’s not working very early in the game, and then we get straight to work. 

As you can tell by my over 200 reviews by now, that I come in, I do my job, I get you in and out of here as soon as possible, as quickly as possible.

You get quality of care. You are heard here. 

I am here to listen to what is going on for you. Most of the time, the patient is what tells me what’s wrong with them. 

Unlike in most doctor’s offices and many physical therapy offices, I’m not on autopilot. 

I’m present. I’m in the conversation. I’m here to see why you’re in my office and what you want to get out of it.

Then we just get straight to work.

Joe Winger: 

You have a lot of machinery at your office.

Can you walk us through some of the more popular pieces? 

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

Being a physical therapist, I have the standard physical therapy modalities, ultrasound, electric stim, infrared light, which is amazing at getting the cells to stimulate them to work harder in an area. 

But I also have all the Pilates equipment that you would need.

I have spinal traction.

I have some alternative modalities that have helped me when I had Epstein – Barr and got my own body into remission, a Whole Body Vibration Machine, which you stand on. 

It was originally created by the cosmonauts so they wouldn’t lose muscle strength and bone density in space.  When patients go on there, I feel that they get better in 2/3 the time. Because we’re not just working on the muscle or the tendon that’s injured, but we’re making the body actually pump your blood around and move your lymph around and put oxygen in the cell and release serotonin, testosterone ,growth hormone, all that the whole body vibration machine does. 

So unless you have an underlying illness, I start my patients on that machine because it’s literally like working out and getting the body into a healing state.

I find that has made such a big difference and it also turns on your muscles.

You could ask somebody to turn on their transverse abs for posture.  But if you’ve been sitting in a chair your whole life, your body just forgot the signal. 

Now, the good thing about muscles is that once you turn that signal on, muscles have memory.

So the whole body vibration machine actually uses lower motor neuron contractions to turn on those muscles. 

Then afterwards, when I ask you to find them, there’s a chance you could find them.

Joe Winger: 

When you’re talking about all this, I can see your eyes light up.  You’re inspired. You’re passionate. 

Is there a moment that just sparked you, realizing you wanted to devote your life to this?

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

I was lucky. [Author] Wayne Dyer has this thing called “The shift.”

It’s a moment in your life where you remember [everything about it]: where you were, what the temperature was, like a light bulb, the aha effect. 

I was a tomboy my whole life.  I was a basketball player, but in The Jewish Hebrew schools where your average height is 5’6”.

Then I went to Brooklyn College and the average height is 5’11” for someone who wants to be on the girls basketball team. 

So what’s a little me to do? 

I became an athletic training major and for our field trip, we went to an outpatient orthopedic physical therapy place and I walk in and: “Aha!”.  

That was it. There was life before that and life after that. 

This will satisfy the doctor / lawyer side of the family. And I’ll be able to work with sports for the rest of my life if I want. 

I went back to school, got the list of classes, and that was the end of that. 

It’s funny because when they tell you to go and do residencies when you’re in physical therapy school, you’re like, Oh, you got to try this.

You got to try geriatrics. 

You got to try cardio. 

You got to try everything. 

I’m like, Nope. I know what I’m doing. 

That’s exactly what I did from the first job I had out when I was done was in an outpatient orthopedic physical therapy place. 

Joe Winger: 

So you have a new patient. They come into your Beverly Hills office. Is there a common misconception by new patients that you have to help break through?

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

There’s a couple of things that sadden me a little bit. 

One is people really just don’t know what physical therapists do. At the same time, I’m different than most physical therapists on top of that. 

Most people go to other facilities where they’re given to one person and given some ultrasound and then given exercises.

I don’t hang out in other physical therapy places often, so I have nothing to compare it to.

But when people come here, they’re in gratitude over how much we accomplish in one hour.

They feel, in general, 50% better quickly.

Then the other 50% takes a while. 

The fact that I’m able to actually make a 75% shift in their symptoms by the end of the first visit. That’s the expectation you should have.

Some people have gone to therapy for 6 months not knowing what they should expect just because their doctor told them to go. 

I tell people that if you don’t feel significantly different over a month or two, then that might be your plateau and you should look somewhere else.

People have to be an advocate for their own wellness and not just hand over the power to whoever is treating them.

Joe Winger: 

Let’s talk about the life cycle of a patient.

Can you walk us through an average or a common problem from  beginning, middle, end to any patient story working Vivie Therapy?

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

Yeah, postural issues are my bread and butter. 

People sit at computers, they sit in cars, they’re just sitting all day. So we get a lot of neck pain and headaches and tingling down the arms and low back pain.

First, I isolate exactly where the pain is coming from.  

I teach ergonomics, how to sit the right way, proper stretches to do throughout the day.

The same way you bring your car in to get your tires [rotated] and your oil changed.

For the same reason you have to take care of your car, you have to take care of your body. 

So if you’re gonna be sitting at a computer for 8 hours a day, you’re gonna have to set your timer and get up every couple of hours. 

Do a little stretch in the doorway or stretch when you get home.  Stretch in the morning before you go to work.

Make sure you’re sitting correctly.

Make sure that your laptop or desktop is in the right angle. 

Take  appropriate breaks, drink enough water. Handle your stress.

But everybody’s a different amount of each of that. 

Fixing the immediate issue is part of looking at why are they in my office.

Joe Winger: 

All your different patients.  All the different industries you’ve services.  Any memorable stories?

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

One thing being in the entertainment industry, in Hollywood, is I get a lot of actors.  Literally actor’s tools are their body. 

So I’ll get patients that are in the industry, that are in front of the camera, and they’re standing like crap.  They’re sitting like crap.

I’ve seen their Callbacks improve because how you hold your body…  How you do anything is how you do everything.

So when an actor has a nice elongated neck, broad shoulders and an open heart chakra.  They’re presenting themselves to the camera, chances of them getting hired improve significantly. 

So literally their job depends on it. 

They come in because their neck hurts. But the truth is their neck hurts because they’ve been [hunched] over the computer and on their phones.

Another thing I’ve seen is a beautiful actress who I just started working with. She went to an Oscar party and she was wearing the most beautiful dress and her posture was so crappy and it made her look so ugly. 

What’s the point of getting yourself together if you don’t know how to present your body physically to match the time, energy and effort it took for you to put on the beautiful dress and get your makeup done by five people?

Another one was a pilot that I had.

Imagine if the guy that’s flying your plane is not focusing on what he’s doing because his neck hurts?

When I saw the pilot and I made his neck feel better, he started telling me about just how distracting it is to be in pain while he’s trying to fly a plane with the 300 passengers on it.

So the importance of pain not being the primary thing you think about in your life is just life altering.

Another one is doctors. 

Doctors don’t know what physical therapy is in general. When I work on them. I feel like they haven’t learned what physical therapy is and what it does. The reason I say that is that patients should advocate for themselves. 

When they go to a doctor, the doctor is going to want to give you drugs or surgery, not because that’s all he gets paid for, even though that’s all he gets paid for, but because that might be all he knows.

Instead of having somebody stick needles into your body, they could possibly hit a nerve. 

Ask your doctor to take you to physical therapy.

To give you a prescription to physical therapy, and be adamant about it. 

Be your own advocate. 

You can just go to a physical therapist and then go to a doctor if the physical therapist feels that what they’re doing can’t make you feel better.

Unfortunately, because of the way that the wellness industry has been presented in the past 50 years, people think of going to a doctor first when they’re in pain.

Where I hope in the future, unless it’s something severe, if it’s just an ache or a pain, choose to go to a physical therapist first, then go to a doctor.

 

Joe Winger: 

I know you love your neighborhood.  Talk about your favorite things in Beverly Hills.

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

I like my mornings where I take my four dogs on an hour walk. It’s very quiet in the neighborhood.  That’s where I prepare my day, talk to my East Coast friends because they’re three hours ahead. 

My mornings are always pretty sacred, special and consistent for me.

Then after work, I like going to restaurants, Hillstone in Santa Monica. Excellent. 

I love that I live in Pico Robertson, which is 20 minutes from Hollywood, 20 minutes from the water, 20 minutes from downtown, 20 minutes from the restaurants I want.

I’m very localized.

I’ll get patients from Brentwood, Malibu, Santa Monica, Palms, Culver city, West LA. Mid Wilshire, Koreatown, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Hollywood.

Some people really travel to see me because of word of mouth.

I’m proud to say that I’ve probably hit my tipping point in terms of working with personal injury lawyers around here, working with doctors around here. 

At this point, word of mouth.  If you’re happy, you’re going to tell people what to do when they need you, when they need someone like me as well.

Joe Winger:

A lot of people who are reading this are foodies.  Any great food spots in your neighborhood?

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

Just in the Pico Robertson area. Yeah. Dr. Sandwich. The food is just that good.  I get the chicken shawarma bowl to-go.  You’re pointing to all the things you want in it, you can have everything that’s in there. 

Peppers, cauliflower, mayo cabbage, with the hummus, tahina and their laffa bread.

[For me] each bowl lasts three meals. So you get your bang for your buck. 

Trattoria Bella Roma SPQR

I think it’s not such a best kept secret of the neighborhood, because I see a lot of people that come from West LA and West Hollywood come down, like people travel to this place, 

It’s an authentic Italian restaurant with the guy from Italy making your food.

I just like hearing him talk about the food because he’s talking about the soup and the “no sugar, no this..” and he’s got gluten free penne.  So he’s catering to the neighborhood.

But the food is spectacular.

I like places that I could bring people, they go, “Oh let’s go there again sometime!” You always want to impress your friends in the neighborhood.

Some people eat to live and some people live to eat. 

Summer Fish and Rice

Another place around here.  Summer Fish and Rice. It is one block south of Wilshire, right off Robertson.  And again, good food, good sushi. An amazing spicy tuna crispy rice. I don’t know if I want to talk about this place because it’s crowded enough as it is. You don’t want too many people knowing about your places.

Joe Winger: 

Tell us what kind of dishes you make at home.

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

I make Every plate, they send it to you with the cards and I become a chef with every plate.

The food is so good because you just follow it verbatim.  Last night I had chicken with garlic rice and carrots, this soy buttery dressing on top. 

Another time I had chicken lettuce cups. Another time you make some burgers with fresh fries. I’m just saying I am not a cook. I am a direction follower from Every Plate.

Joe Winger: 

Whether it’s cooking food or eating food, is there any therapeutic value with the food we love?

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

Usually when you crave something, it means your body needs it. 

If I’m craving tomato sauce, it usually means I’m low in magnesium. And you are what you eat. 

At every moment we’re coming from a physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and chemical place. When you move one, you move them all.

That’s why they say drugs and alcohol, low vibration, so people feel sluggish

Things with nutrients and high vibrations, you feel better. 

At every moment,  your body’s either going towards balance or away from balance.

When you give your body what it needs nutritionally, you’re going to be more towards balance. 

When you do things that hinder your body’s wellness, you’re going away from balance. 

Homeostasis is your body’s homeostasis. Consistent, trying to balance everything you’re giving it. Of course, what we put in our bodies is literally what makes us or breaks us.

So you need to remember that. 

But know your game so you know how to play. I’m an excessive moderate. I never tell somebody it’ll only be one way. What’s the use of living longer if you’re living miserably? 

It’s not about how long you live. It’s about caring about yourself and loving yourself.

What does it look like when you love yourself?

Usually when people are physically abusing their body, there’s a mental and emotional part of that. So it’s one thing if you’re going on a vacation and you’re eating wonderful food because you’re just enjoying your space.

Or whether you’re eating sugar and ice cream at night because your marriage sucks.

 There’s  how and why you’re doing what you’re doing matters as much as what you’re doing.

I believe that the intention of what you’re doing will affect how your body takes it in. 

Joe Winger: 

As we wrap up Vivian, tell us all the ways to learn more and to get in touch with you?

Vivian Eisenstadt: 

For more information, you can go to www.VivieTherapy com. 

You can also reach us by phone at 310 623 4444. We are also at VivieTherapy on Instagram, Vivi Therapy on Facebook, Vivi Therapy on Twitter,

I also created a word for pain free. Vivie.

 

East LA ‘ Birrieria Chalio ‘ Serves Big Flavor Birria from Raul Luis Family Secret

East LA ‘ Birrieria Chalio ‘ Serves Big Flavor Birria from Raul Luis Family Secret

One of East LA’s most popular restaurant serves Kings, Queens and Food Royalty.  You can get a taste if it too.

Raul Luis brings Flavor with East LA’s birria

Today’s conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, un-edited conversation, visit our YouTube channel here

Joe Winger: 

We have a really special treat today. We’re talking with Raul Luis from Birria the restaurant here in East LA. We’re going to talk about family. We’re going to talk about flavor. We’re going to talk about how he creates these amazing dishes. And then we’re going to talk more about how you can have a bite and taste his the food from his restaurants.

Raul Luis, thank you for joining us today.

Raul Luis: 

Thank you for having me here. I’m very honored to be here speaking to you.

Joe Winger: 

What’s the most important message you want the audience to hear today?

Raul Luis: 

I think we can start talking about how Birria came to LA. How do we get it here? What caused that trigger to start selling the food here in LA? 

My dad was given a certain skill set, handed down to him to make birria.

Birria is chivo goat meat. He used that skill set back in Mexico. He came to the U. S. when he came over during the Bracero program. He was talking to his buddies and he told them he’s a Barriario. He doesn’t know how to cook birria. So they would ask him if he would cook that dish from because that dish was only traditionally eaten during those special once in a lifetime events, baptisms, quinceañeras, weddings.

So the common denominator in all those events was the birria. 

You went [to an important life event], you knew you were going to have birria. I tell people the story because I remember being small myself when I was young, that we wouldn’t eat meat too often because we were vegetarians, not by choice, but because of circumstance.

When someone was having a party, we said, “Wow, we’re going to eat birria today.” We knew we look forward to, we’re going to eat meat. It’s time. Let’s get ready to go eat some meat. Get ready, put on your Sunday clothes and go. When my father came to the U S People knew about him. They asked him to cook their dish for him.

When he cooked the meal for someone’s wedding, quinceanera, baptism, for their special occasion, he would cook extra. 

So his friends would come over. When his friends would come over, he would serve whatever portion it was, usually like a whole carcass of lamb, 50 pounds. And then there was some leftover, so he would feed his friends.

And he would tell the stories when he would feed his friends. His friends wouldn’t leave. They would stay there for hours and they would be talking and my dad was, “I gotta go do my Sunday [errands], my day off. We gotta go to our family.  They were there for hours and all their memories, all memories, special occasions.

Remember this? Remember that? And my dad said, “Man, what? Why are you talking? Why are you staying here so long? 

It was the food. 

He didn’t realize the time. It was the food that was triggering those special [memories], triggering their mind. 

They’re time travelers, they’re going back to other special events.

I tell people,  it’s those once in a lifetime events that are much more exponential, much more magnified because it was somebody’s wedding.  It was somebody’s baptism. 

That’s how it began, by cooking.

 

Joe Winger: 

Your father was an amazing person. Back in the early 1960s, back in Mexico, he’s working in a tiny little five chair restaurant in the Mercado before migrating here to the US.

What have you learned from him taking this huge life journey?

Raul Luis: 

I look back, how do the immigrants do this? How do they leave their country, leave everything behind? 

He had a small spot, maybe five people to sit there.  He would sell on the weekends. Business wasn’t that brisk. 

They were opening up a new spot, but they required a down payment to secure it. So he had to come to the U.S. so he could save up some money. 

They asked, does anyone know how to cook? Dad raises his hand. I’m a birriero. 

So he began cooking birria for the farm workers. He was limited because now he was out of his comfort zone.

He was no longer in Mexico. He didn’t have access to all the spices that he used back home. 

In the preparation of the different birrias, before they put the red adobe sauce, it’s white.

All the farm workers ate it up, but the people who were in charge wouldn’t eat it because it wasn’t easy on the eyes. People eat with their eyes. 

[So he changed his process]

Why don’t you add the red before? 

So, we marinated before we cook it, 

[The second change]

There wasn’t all the spices we needed, so the chef that was there helped them get new spices or tweak the recipe a bit.

That’s what happened.

You have aspirations, and dreams, as many immigrants.  They come to the U. S., make some money, go back.

He never went back. 

Once you plant roots, then it’s hard to go back to your country of origin. 

Joe Winger: 

Fast forwarding to the present day.  Your Birria in East LA is very popular.

What’s the most common dish at the restaurant?

Raul Luis: 

We’re known for Birria.   9 out of 10 plates will be the Birria. 

Sometimes we have new customers who want to try it but are hesitant.  I explain our 10-hour cooking process [to get them excited.]  Underground pits, cooking it with the mesquite wood to add that flavor.

The gaminess, the taste, our process, all that fun stuff, secrets.

Raul Luis ‘s East LA Birrieria Chalio most popular dish

Joe Winger: 

Can you walk us through the flavor and process? 

Raul Luis: 

It’s a 2-day process. You get the [goat] carcass, cut it up into pieces. 

The ribs, the neck bone, the French rack. There’s all these different cuts. Every single cut has a different taste profile and texture. So when you walk in, it depends on you. How dirty do you wanna get? 

Do you wanna get down and dirty?  You get the bones. 

I tell people the neck is the best because it’s so tender, so soft, not too much fat on it. 

If you’d like the nerve, then you get the ribs.

The flavor is amazing. In the bones, it’s amazing. 

There’s people who don’t like to deal with the struggling or getting dirty. So they go with the all leg meat. That’s the drier part.  It’s good, but it’s not. Not my first choice.

We cook it, we steam it, we marinate it, let it sit for about 24 hours and we put it into a our pressure cooker.

Part of the science is the way you stack it up, like a pyramid, and then they put firewood under it.  If you don’t stack it correctly, part of it won’t cook. 

You have to put it up a certain way to make sure that all the meat gets cooked properly. 

We take it out.  We’ve got to separate it so we can have all the different parts. Distinguish the leg from the neck bone from the ribs, put that aside. Then we put it in the oven so we can get like a slow roast, nice little crispy.  Tender on the outside, real soft on the inside.

The most important thing is the consommé. 

That’s the broth, we call it the “honey”. You can’t have it without the consomme. The birria isn’t birria without the consommé. That’s what gives it the flavor. That’s what takes it to the next level.

Some people say, “Oh, I had birria.”  No you didn’t.  That was a taco.

No, you’ve got to have it with the consommé.

The new movement with the birria, they dip the sauce. It’s the same concept, but I would like to think that our consommé is a little more intense, more flavorful, because we use the broth from the goat and from the mince that it distills.

So it’s really flavorful. You got to try it. 

East LA Birrieria Chalio from Raul Luis – A Family Secret

Joe Winger: 

You have a deep family history, you have a cultural history. Obviously food is part of that history. Can you talk a little bit about the cultural value and the meaning behind Birria and why it’s important to you?

Raul Luis: 

I tell people it’s made to feed kings and queens.  How? 

Because in our region, Central Mexico, the birria is eaten by most of the population in Mexico.  About 85-90% are Catholic. 

So one of the first steps when a child is born, they take them to the church and that’s where he becomes a king.

They baptize them. They have a festivity. There’s a party going on.

Then the second phase is they feed the Quinceaneras. 

That’s a rite of passage where you go from childhood to adulthood for the girls. So now you feed the princesses. 

The next step is when the lady gets married, she’s the queen.

All three of those things, traditionally, was birria. 

That’s the only thing that was in common.  That helped people look back to those special occasions. When people eat the birria, they go back to that once in a lifetime event. 

It’s time traveling for them. 

It’s the memories. 

Fast forward to when we came to LA, the parents would bring their kids, [and now their kids say] ”I used to come here 20 years ago. My dad used to bring me when I was a kid.”

So that’s what it does. It brings the family together. 

Raul Luis Battles Fast Food Giants …and Wins (kinda)

Joe Winger: 

You mentioned some fast food places now working within the same cuisine.  Rubbing you the wrong way.  

Raul Luis: 

Yeah, it’s fascinating how many people called me [about it].

Del Taco and a few other places that were selling birria, but they’re not selling it the way it’s supposed to be. That’s wrong. At first I was a little worked up explaining that they’re missing the point here.  What it means to the people from back in Mexico. 

But there’s always a silver lining. Now the dish is mainstream. 

I would have never been able to do that. These guys with these big budgets are able to cross over and speak to different generations, different ethnic groups.

Before, when we first opened up our restaurant. [Everyone would ask]  “What’s it called? What is that?  I don’t know what that is.”

Now people know when before they didn’t. 

So I give them credit for being able to make people aware and bringing attention to this dish. 

I see myself as the missing link. I’m the one that’s going to fill in the gaps to tell what the dish really means, what significance it has, what historical cultural value it has.  That’s what I’m doing with our YouTube channel at Birria World.

East LA Birrieria Chalio leads the Birria Movement

Joe Winger: 

Let’s talk about the Birria movement. Everyone says you are the leader.  What does the future of Birria look like in East LA and in the country itself?

Raul Luis: 

In a perfect world, everybody would switch over from beef to goat, which is actually one of the most eaten meats across the world.

If you go to the Middle East or China, they eat that dish.  Here in the U. S., it’s not as popular. 

Introducing them to the dish so they can try out the different textures, different profiles. They can see that there’s another option. 

I source from a vendor in Texas.

The meat we use is paleo certified. It’s halal, all this special stuff. Probably a little more nutritional than beef.

There’s more taste, more flavors in the meat. 

My job is to go out there and have people be aware that [this] exists. 

There’s potential growth across the US to be provided for different ethnic groups and different generations of people.

Joe Winger: 

You’ve had world-famous food stars visit you.

Raul Luis: 

Anthony Bourdain came to our LA location.  I guess he saw something before everybody else did and realized it was a special dish. 

The second person was Jonathan Gold.  He was a writer for the LA times. He wrote beautiful articles on us.  He also saw what the dish meant to our community. 

They gave it a little approval. Come on, try it. Take your turn. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. I’m sure you’ll be back

 

Joe Winger: 

Raul Luis with his Birria restaurant in East LA. Tell us all the ways that our audience can find you and learn more about you.

Raul Luis: 

They did a documentary, “Mexi Papa: Chronicles of Birria” on YouTube.  That’s just the basic history of how Birria got to LA and the US.

Then you can go to Birria World on YouTube.  We do a birria tour, going to different restaurants, we showcase how they cook it, why it tastes different, how it’s served differently in certain regions. 

On Instagram, you can go to Chalios Birria for my Texas location and East LA Chalios Birria Instagram.

Then on Facebook, it’s a Chalios Seminary.

 

 

LA’s best kept Sushi Secret: Yama Sushi Marketplace celebrates 40 years

Yama Sushi Marketplace, LA’s best kept secret, celebrates 40 years

This June 2024, Yama Sushi Marketplace, a rare gem in Los Angeles will celebrate 40 years of the freshest Sashimi and Sushi Angelenos have come to crave and if possible, keep a secret.

“Please don’t tell anyone about this store” whispers one customer while another admits that “It is just not right to gatekeep this any longer!”

https://www.facebook.com/yamaseafoodla

In June 1984, Kenzo Yamada and his wife Nobuko opened Yama Seafood on Las Tunas Drive in San Gabriel.

After many years working as a fish power broker in Los Angeles, Kenzo Yamada or “Yama San” decided to open up his own shop where because of his contacts, was always assured the freshest and best cuts of fish when he visited the fish market every morning.

Today, these same fish companies provide Yama Sushi Marketplace with the freshest fish from all over the world, delivered daily.

https://www.facebook.com/yamaseafoodla

The network of Japanese sushi specialists is quite impressive and Yama san knew them all, from Nobu Matsuhisa (Nobu Restaurants), Katsuya Uechi (Katsuya Sushi) and  Kazunori Nozawa (Sugarfish and Kazunori).

No doubt that Los Angeles was ground zero for Sushi in the USA

There is no doubt that Los Angeles was ground zero for Sushi in the USA, especially with the guidance of Noritoshi Kanai of Mutual Foods (Japanese Food Distributor who introduced Sushi to the American palette).

Although through the years, many larger Japanese Super Markets began to grow in Los Angeles, Yama Seafood stayed true to form, giving customers personal service to choose the freshest cuts of Salmon, Yellowtail, Blue Fin Tuna as Yama San would personally slice each serving of sashimi for the customers.

https://www.facebook.com/yamaseafoodla

Nobuko San, his wife, would run the front and cook the most delicious side dishes for customers, and customers were always given a bag of ice to keep the fish nice and cold.

One of Yama’s first employees, Enrique Moreno (“Kike San”) became Yama’s right hand man, and helped create the now famous Yama California Roll.  “We wanted something special with the correct balance of filling, texture and rice”.

https://www.facebook.com/yamaseafoodla

Last year, in 2023, the Los Angeles Times recognized Yama as having LA’s Best California Roll, and still today, customers line up at Yama for this special sushi.  It is true that customers would literally fight over the last California Rolls in the fridge as two customers famously played a tug of war with the last California Roll Sushi as it went flying into the air and spilled on to the floor.

Yama Seafood was San Gabriel’s “Best Kept Secret”

Although Yama Seafood was San Gabriel’s “Best Kept Secret,” many customers through the years heard about Yama and still to this day travel across state lines to grab the Yama Sashimi and Sushi.

Yama San was a fixture in San Gabriel as many customers had a very close and personal relationship with him as he was always very generous with his support of the community.

In May 2021, Yama San decided it was time to pass the torch, and the Kohno Family of San Marino, stepped in to take over this precious gem.

“The actual interview took 6 months”

Scott Kohno

the CEO of EJL Entertainment

Yama San wanted to make sure that he could trust the next generation to maintain the quality and vision that he firmly established in San Gabriel.

With Scott’s extensive background in retail and food throughout the USA and Asia and his family’s experience in finance, marketing and operations, the store was gradually upgraded, and an expansion plan of the new Yama in West LA (opened 2022) and a brand new Yama in K-town (September 2024) commemorates an exciting time for the Yama Sushi Marketplace brand.

Today, Yama Sushi Marketplace has been named the “Adult Disneyland” by one of Yama’s customers as it transcends just a typical market or restaurant.

From the freshest sushi prepared by sushi chefs on the hour every hour,  to the largest selection of Sake, curated by Scott’s wife, Wendy a Kikisakeshi (Sake Sommelier) Yama has something for everyone.  Unique Shoyu (soy sauce) with Matsutake mushrooms, fresh wasabi, party platters including the new Temaki Time Hand Roll Party Platter and unique gifts and kitchen goods from Japan make the shopping experience second to none.

Whether it is the monthly sushi making or sake tasting classes or the cute Japanese stationery products, Yama is a store that is truly a feast for the eyes (a customer literally walked into to the store with her eyes shielded so she would not be tempted by Yama’s Specialty Gift Table.  “I just want sushi today and cannot get distracted by these tempting Japanese gifts!” she insisted.   A West LA Father holding the hand of his 4 year old daughter commented “thank you so much for bringing this store to West LA.  My daughter and I love Yama and it is now our Friday Night Date Night!”

To commemorate Yama’s 40th milestone, Yama will feature special events during the entire month of June, including retro nostalgic dishes from 40 years ago, mystery grab bags, special 40th anniversary merchandise and the festivities will conclude with the June 29th 40th Anniversary Celebration featuring a Blue Fin Sashimi Cutting Demonstration and Japanese Taiko Drummers.

Yama Seafood LA is a Japanese sushi marketplace

Yama Seafood is a Japanese sushi marketplace with 39 years of history in the San Gabriel Valley. They specialize in offering authentic Japanese meals that customers can enjoy at home, including a variety of party platters.

Both of their stores (San Gabriel and West LA) feature a unique selection of imported Japanese products, snacks, sake and beer, carefully curated and seasonally refreshed by their dedicated team. Additionally, they cater to diverse dietary preferences with grab-and-go items like Chicken Katsu, Somen Salad, and an assortment of Vegan Sushi options under our special brands, Sushi With Attitude and Vegan Sushi With Attitude.

This combination of tradition, quality, and variety makes Yama Seafood (Sushi Marketplace) an ideal destination for anyone seeking an authentic Japanese culinary experience.

For more information, to order online or for grand opening & anniversary celebration activities please visit: https://www.yamaseafoodla.com

Premiere Dining Destination Just an Hour from LA! Conejo Valley’s Selvin Restaurant and Lounge, Grand Opening June 2024

Ventura County ‘s Selvin Restaurant and Lounge, the Conejo Valley premiere dining destination Grand Opening June 2024

Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge opens in June 2024, becoming Conejo Valley’s premiere dining destination for all occasions.

Selvin Restaurant and Lounge

Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge

Ventura County’s dining destination

Ventura County’s dining destination provides a lush interior oasis serving a signature California coastal cuisine menu and mixologist-crafted cocktails. It is located next to the Palm Garden Hotel, TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s number-one Choice since 2019, fostering a welcoming neighborhood vibe and inviting you to relax, celebrate, and savor the moment with us.

Chef John Vega’s stellar culinary background

At Selvin’s, guests can expect a culinary journey curated by, Chef John Vega. With a stellar culinary background from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa, he’s celebrated for his exquisite palate, creative flair, and extensive experience working at the Three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago. Having honed his skills in prestigious kitchens, Chef Vega brings a wealth of experience and a passion for culinary excellence to Selvin’s.

Special Grand Opening Menu

To celebrate the grand opening and to thank guests for joining, Selvin’s is offering a limited-time tasting menu and complimentary signature cocktails to the first 97 guests.

Conejo Valley’s  Selvin Restaurant and Lounge

Featuring timeless dishes that exemplify the restaurant’s commitment to freshness, innovation, and American cuisine with a Coastal California twist, the restaurant will showcase the breadth of its culinary ambitions.

Sweet Corn Agnolotti

Sweet Corn Agnolotti, Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge

Featuring tantalizing starters, a variety of shared plates, elegant main courses, and divine desserts, from all of the finest locally sourced ingredients. This is the perfect place for quick meetings, family and friends gatherings, and corporate and social private events.

“Our hospitality team isn’t just a group of individuals;

we’re a family united by a love for creating memorable experiences.

With boundless energy and fresh perspectives,

we infuse each dish and every interaction with our passion for hospitality,

ensuring that every visit is not just a meal but a memorable experience.”

Steven Ortmann

Chief Operating Officer

Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge is the brainchild of a team that’s passionate about bringing an extraordinary dining experience to Ventura County.

Bruzu, Selvin Restaurant and Lounge

Bruzu, Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge

Inspired by the rich culinary landscape of coastal California and the contemporary American dining ethos, Selvin’s aims to be an establishment where every visit celebrates the vibrant, diverse flavors that define the community.

Conejo Valley Selvin Restaurant and Lounge Owner Harry Selvin

Harry Selvin, Owner and Founder has been a community icon for decades. Traveling the world for years, Harry’s always had an itch for hospitality. Acquiring the Palm Garden Hotel in 2012, warranted Harry the opportunity to transform hospitality in the Greater Conejo Valley.

Vegas Vesper, Selvin Restaurant and Lounge

Vegas Vesper, Selvin’s Restaurant and Lounge

In the years ahead, Steven Ortmann and his team decided to create something special to celebrate the legacy of Mr. Selvin, introducing Selvin’s Restaurant + Lounge.

“Building a restaurant with a passionate management team

is like crafting a symphony;

each member brings their unique instrument,

but it’s the harmony of our passion

that creates the perfect dining experience.”

Harry Selvin, Owner

Their mission is to create a space that feels like home but inspires a sense of adventure, allowing visitors and locals alike to create memorable moments over exceptional hospitality. Welcome to Selvin’s — where good food, great drinks, and even greater company await.

Selvin’s is the premier restaurant and lounge

Selvin’s is the premier restaurant and lounge found next to the renovated Palm Garden Hotel. Modern yet classic, the food is described as California coastal cuisine. Indoor dining, outdoor patio, champagne room, and banquet event space make Selvin’s the perfect place for any celebratory occasion.

Executive Chef John Vega

John’s culinary journey began as a young prodigy at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa, where he quickly distinguished himself as one of the institution’s brightest talents. His exceptional skills earned him a coveted position at Alinea, a world-renowned Three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago, making him one of the youngest chefs to grace its kitchen. Fueled by fond memories of bonding with his father in the kitchen, set against the backdrop of classical music, John understands the intimate nature of food—the power it holds to create lasting memories and forge meaningful connections.

Driven by an unwavering commitment to perfection and a relentless desire to explore culinary boundaries, John embarked on a quest to craft unparalleled dining experiences.

For reservations, contact at reservations@selvins.com

Selvin’s Website

Selvin’s Instagram

Selvin’s TikTok

Selvin’s Facebook

A night of Incredible Flavor for a Worthy Cause: 35th Annual “A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters!” at Burbank’s Warner Bros Studios Saturday, May 18th

Celebrate The 35th Annual “A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters!” on Saturday, May 18th

A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters

Courtesy of California Winemasters

The countdown to the 35th Annual “A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters” has officially begun!

Courtesy of California Winemasters

This year’s celebration coming up on Saturday, May 18th, 2024, from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm at the iconic Midwest Street Backlot at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, promises to be a culinary extravaganza like no other and is set to attract approximately 1,200 wine and food enthusiasts, all coming together to support Cystic Fibrosis research and care.

A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters

Honorary Co-Chairmen Glenn Salva, Estate Director for Antinori Napa Valley, and Sam Marvin, Chef & CEO of Echo & Rig Steakhouse / Courtesy of California Winemasters // Courtesy of California Winemasters

The event proudly announces Glenn Salva, Estate Director for Antinori Napa Valley, and Sam Marvin, Chef & CEO of Echo & Rig Steakhouse in Sacramento, and Las Vegas, as this year’s Honorary Co-Chairmen. Their commitment to this cause adds a distinctive touch to an already illustrious event.

“A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters!” on Saturday, May 18th

A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters has earned its place as a WINE SPECTATOR “Top 10 Charity Wine Auction” and a BizBash Top 100 Event.

The evening will showcase the talents of over 50 Celebrated Chefs and Restaurateurs alongside 75 Award-Winning Wineries and Winemakers.

With local Angeleno’s and guests from  across the county in attendance, this year’s event promises an unforgettable experience for all.

Courtesy of California Winemasters

This year’s Celebrated Chefs and Restaurants include:

AK’s Mercado

Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena

Alisal Ranch

Angustina – Mezcal Y Cocina

Ayara Thai

Bacari Restaurants

Backyard BBQ

Bistro 45

Blossom Catering Company

bon meez

Café Eighteen48

Cavatina

Chameau Catering

Chef Charly

Chef Joseph Manzare

Chef Scott Renney

Cooking with Corralez

Drago Centro

Echo & Rig Butcher/Steakhouse

Eden Hill

Enebla: Recipes from an Ethiopian Kitchen

Epicurus Gourmet

Espelette Beverly Hills

FIVE on the Hill

Georgia’s Restaurant

Heavy Handed

Local LA Catering & Events by Chef David Lefevre

Lil Pig

Lunetta

Maestro Pasadena

NOÉ Restaurant & Bar

Ocean Prime Beverly Hills

Original Tommy’s Hamburgers

Pez Coastal Kitchen

Primal Alchemy

Rikas Peruvian Cuisine

Sea Level @ Shade

The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills with Breads from The Underground Bakery

The Front Yard at The Garland

The Hook and Plow

The Poke Bistro

Trefethen Family Vineyards

Urban Press Winery & Restaurant

Warner Bros. Food Services

Wok Star Catering by Chef Katie Chin

YAKIYA

Desserts will be presented by Magpies Softserve, The Beverly Hilton, Truffles ‘N Coffee and Unique Distributors, Inc. / Florentino Ice Cream.

Award-Winning Wineries and Winemakers

This year’s Award-Winning Wineries and Winemakers will include Ackerman Family Vineyards, ADAMVS, Alta Colina Vineyard & Winery, Anomaly Vineyards, Antinori Napa Valley, Aperture, Arrow&Branch, Baldacci Family Vineyards, Barbieri and Kemp Wines, Barnett Vineyards, Bernardus Winery, Boars’ View, Bremer Family Winery, Cadre Wines, Calafia Wines,Chenoweth Wines, CHEV., Chimney Rock Winery, CIRQ Estate, Convene By Dan Kosta, Cornerstone Cellars, CourAvant,Crocker & Starr, Domaine Carneros, Donald Patz Wine Group, Duhig Wine, DuMOL, Dutton-Goldfield Winery, Earthshine Wines, Farella, Glass Slipper Vineyard, Grgich Hills Estate, Guarachi Family Wines, Hitching Post Wines, Hyde de Villaine,Hyde Vineyards Estate, Jaffe Family Wines, JONATA, Kindred, LOCALISM Wines, Lombardi Wines, Mailbu Vineyards,Mending Wall, Merus, Mi Sueño Winery, Monochrome Wines, Monte De Oro Winery, Murder Ridge Winery, Navarro Vineyards, Olivia Brion Wines, Outpost Wines, Paradigm Winery, Parallel Napa Valley, Patz & Hall, Peter Michael Winery,Post Parade, Pott Wine, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Ridge Vineyards, Sans Liege Wines, Sciandri Family Vineyards, Scott Harvey Wines, Silverado Vineyards, Skylark Wine Company, Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery, Talisman, Tercero Wines, Terre et Sang, The Hilt Estate, The Setting Wines, Three Wine Company, Tom Eddy Napa Valley, TOP, Trefethen Family, Truchard Vineyards, and VIVIER Wines.

Don Francisco’s Coffee is the official coffee provider and FIJI Water is the official water provider, along with beveragesCelsius and VitaminWater at Winemasters 2024.

Guests will have the opportunity to participate in the legendary auction with over 600 silent and live auction items, featuring rare wines, unique experiences, and exclusive items. The event’s auction is a testament to the generosity and support of the community in making a tangible difference in the fight against Cystic Fibrosis.

Anticipated net proceeds of $1,500,000 will contribute to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s crucial research and care programs. Over the past 34 years, this event has raised an astounding $36 Million, playing a pivotal role in transforming the median age of a CF patient from 12 years old to 56.

“We cannot express enough our gratitude for the unwavering support

we’ve received over the past 34 years

from some of the world’s most prominent Wineries, Winemakers, Chefs, and Restaurants,”

Olivia Younan

Development Director

Cystic Fibrosis Southern California Chapter.

“As we celebrate our 35th Anniversary, we extend an invitation to everyone to join us for this special occasion and make a meaningful impact on the lives of those affected by Cystic Fibrosis.”

Ticket Information: The 35th Annual “A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters” will take place onSaturday, May 18th, 2024, and this is a 21+ event. VIP Guests can enter at 5:00 pm and General Admission will be from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm. Tickets are on sale now until Saturday, May 11th, 2024.

For more information on the 35th Annual “A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters, please visit www.CAWinemasters.org

ABOUT A CULINARY EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA WINEMASTERS:

A Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters is a WINE SPECTATOR “Top 10 Charity Wine Auction” and BizBash Top 100 event that showcases 55 celebrated chefs and restaurateurs and 75 award-winning wineries and winemakers. 1,200 guests from all over the USA are in attendance.

The event features over 600 extraordinary silent and live auctions.  Anticipated net proceeds of $1,500,000 will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s vital research and care programs. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system.

The event has raised $36 million in 34 years and in that time, the median age of a CF patient has gone from 12-years old to 56.

ABOUT THE CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION:

The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment, and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care.

LA Celebrates More Years of Good Food at the Bowl: Hollywood Bowl Extends Agreement with Sodexo Live! and the Lucques Group Through 2034

LA Celebrates More Years of Good Food at the Bowl. Hollywood Bowl Extends Agreement with Sodexo Live! and the Lucques Group Through 2034

Sodexo Live!, the leading hospitality partner to the world’s most iconic venues, announced a long-term, milestone extension with the Hollywood Bowl.

Sodexo Live!, in tandem with the Lucques Group, curates the renowned Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine program that delights music fans with gourmet summer supper menus, extensive wine lists and a best-in-class picnic box program that’s become a quintessential part of the experience.

suzanne goin & caroline styne | photo credit suzanne lanza

Since its opening in 1922, the Hollywood Bowl has been the premier destination for live music in Southern California, serving as the summer home of the LA Philharmonic under the iconic silhouette of its concentric-arched band shell.

“Securing this long-term partnership and commitment will ensure we continue the time-honored tradition of premier picnicking and dining at the Bowl, while also providing concert-goers with enhanced choices and a commitment to quality ingredients and menu choices,” said Laura Connelly, General Manager, Hollywood Bowl.

“We know the future is bright for the Food + Wine program,

and we look forward to continue working alongside Sodexo Live!

and the Lucques Group.”

Laura Connelly

Hollywood Bowl.

General Manager

“We’re honored to be entrusted with such a world-renowned entertainment venue,” said Belinda Oakley, CEO, Sodexo Live!. “Our entire team, working in lockstep with Suzanne and Caroline, looks forward to crafting unique and immersive dining experiences that redefines the standard for hospitality in outdoor entertainment venues.”

Dining at the Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine team is a vital part of the Bowl’s in-person gastronomic experience, which includes:

  • Pre-order box seat dinners or picnic boxes to enjoy in the Bowl’s beautiful picnic areas

  • Mobile ordering available from anywhere at the entirely cash-free venue

  • On-site marketplaces that feature a wide selection of options to build the perfect picnic, including plentiful beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages

  • The South LA Cafe which serves coffee and more in the Plaza Marketplace

  • Street Food stands that serve a range of offerings from LA’s diverse foodscape, including tacos, all-beef hotdogs, vegetarian and vegan friendly fare, Magpie’s softserve, pizza, burgers, BBQ, popcorn, and more

Full-Service Restaurants

The Bowl also features three beautiful restaurants to enjoy a sit-down meal brought to life by Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne.

Ann’s Wine Bar: Inspired by Suzanne and Caroline’s local a.o.c restaurant. Ann’s Wine Bar features a wide selection of Caroline’s favorite new- and old-world wines, all paired with Suzanne’s signature small-plates menu and a.o.c favorites.

the backyard: Two giant wood-burning grills are the focus of this farmers’ market-driven restaurant featuring grilled fish, chop, steaks, and plenty of vegetables.

Lucques at the Circle: This exclusive fine-dining experience is for Pool Circle ticket holders, with a seasonal three course, prix fixe menu and exceptional wine list styled from Suzanne and Caroline’s award-winning first restaurant Lucques.

Green Initiatives

Further, to affirm the Hollywood Bowl as one of the World’s Great Natural Amphitheaters and a leader in sustainable business practices, the Food + Wine program commits to: using 100% biodegradable food-service items, pledging to source a high amount of food from local vendors and farmers, donating excess food to community food banks and diverting food waste from the landfill and into compost instead.

About the Hollywood Bowl

One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922 and plays host to the finest artists from all genres of music. For a century, the Bowl has been a Los Angeles County public park, operated in collaboration with the LA Phil to welcome visitors from all over the world. It remains one of the best deals anywhere in Los Angeles; to this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many classical and jazz performances. This past February, the Hollywood Bowl was also awarded the Outdoor Concert Venue of the Year award at the 35th Annual Pollstar Awards, an honor bestowed 16 previous times, as well as Top Amphitheater prize at the 2017 and 2018 Billboard Touring Awards.

For millions of music lovers across Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is synonymous with summer. hollywoodbowl.com 

About Sodexo Live!

Sodexo Live! manages prestigious convention, cultural, and sporting venues and major events all over the world. With 40,000 employees and 500 sites, Sodexo Live! offers clients a range of bespoke catering, sales, and event management services, helping to transform the consumer experience into unforgettable memories.

Sodexo Live! commits to unlocking customers’ full potential while favoring local communities. Sodexo Live! contributes to the success of prestigious events such as Royal Ascot, the Tour de France, the Rugby World Cup and soon the Paris 2024 Games, and showcases exceptional venues such as the Eiffel Tower Restaurants, Bateaux Parisiens, Yachts de Paris, the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Hard Rock Stadium, the Scottish National Gallery, and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Strawberry Kabobs, Strawberry Pizza, Strawberry Funnel Cake and so much more! California Strawberry Festival, May 18 and 19

Strawberry Kabobs, Strawberry Nachos And Strawberry Tacos–Just Some Of The Tastes At The California Strawberry Festival, May 18 and 19

Fifty food and drink vendors will be at the festival, many with strawberry-themed offerings.

Festivalgoers can treat themselves to chocolate-covered strawberries, strawberry-topped funnel cakes, strawberry pizza, strawberry nachos, deep-fried strawberries, berry kabobs, strawberry tacos and strawberry beer and smoothies.

Yum! Big Flavor At This Year's California Strawberry Festival, May 18 and 19

Yum! Big Flavor At This Year’s California Strawberry Festival, May 18 and 19

There is also strawberry-covered fried dough, strawberry kettle corn and strawberry lemonade.

“The food and drink list goes on and on,”

Michael Thompson

festival board member

“For $5, you can pile on strawberries and whipped cream as high as you can at our ‘build-your-own’ Strawberry Shortcake Experience.”

The Kabob Shack will offer a kabob skewer with fresh strawberries and a choice of bananas or brownie bites drizzled with white and brown chocolate. “We use about 120 flats of strawberries at the festival,” says Stacia Mizukawa, Kabob Shack owner. “Each kabob is made to order and chocolated right in front of the customer. Nothing is premade. We want the customer to experience everything firsthand.”

Many of the food and drink booths are run by volunteers. Buena Music Association is a nonprofit that raises funds to support the Buena High School music program. Its festival specialty is strawberry and whipped cream-topped funnel cakes.

“People love funnel cakes.

Even with all the other festival food,

last year, we made over 3,000,”

Angie Palacios

the association’s board president.

“Parents and students volunteer for our booth. It’s a wonderful experience for everyone and a great way to finish off the school year.”

The Oxnard Buddhist Temple has been serving chocolate-dipped strawberries at the festival for about 10 years. The booth sells about 20,000 chocolate-dipped strawberries over the two-day festival.

“Most of our strawberries are donated,” says Yoshi Usuki, a longtime volunteer. Shifts of 25 volunteers first melt chocolate in crock pots. The strawberries are dipped, put in cupcake holders and set on racks to cool. The strawberries are then sold individually and in three and six-packs.

Festival general admission is $15, active military with ID and family and seniors 62 and over, $10, youth ages 5 to 12, $8, and children 4 and under are free.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.CAStrawberryFestival.org or upon entry to the festival. A limited amount of parking is available onsite for $20 per vehicle.

Festival-goers are encouraged to use the free shuttles, which will run every 15 minutes to the festival from nearby locations in Oxnard and Ventura. Metrolink offers a $10 day pass, good for unlimited rides on the day of purchase, and up to three kids ages 17 and under ride free with each adult fare. The station is located next to the fairgrounds.

Festival hours are 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.

For more about the festival visit www.castrawberryfest.org or follow on Facebook and Instagram.

The California Strawberry Festival pays tribute to California’s $3 billion strawberry industry. Strawberries are Ventura County’s largest crop generating over $662million in value in 2022.

San Diego: Tequila and Taco Music Festival Returns April 6-7, at a New Venue

Tequila and Taco Music Festival Returns to San Diego April 6-7, at a New Venue

The 8th annual Tequila and Taco Music Festival returns to San Diego at its new venue in Thrive Park at Snapdragon Stadium on Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7.

8th annual Tequila and Taco Music Festival at Snapdragon Stadium April 6-7

Festival goers will enjoy an enticing array of tequila tastings, delectable tacos, artisan vendors, and an exciting lineup of live music performances.

8th annual Tequila and Taco Music Festival

8th annual Tequila and Taco Music Festival

This annual festival has etched itself as a regional highlight, drawing thousands of attendees from across the state.

“We are thrilled to bring the Tequila and Taco Music Festival to Snapdragon Stadium for an unforgettable weekend of festivities,”

Vincenzo Giammanco

CBF Productions President

“This event is a celebration of delicious Mexican food, craft tequila, and great music. We look forward to welcoming attendees from near and far to join us for a memorable experience.”

8th annual Tequila and Taco Music Festival

A carefully curated and diverse selection of over 20 premium tequilas, from smooth blanco by Nosotros Tequila to aged añejo by Rancho La Gloria, will be available for tequila enthusiasts and newcomers alike. Attendees will also enjoy different variations of traditional street tacos and innovative creations from over 15 local and regional chefs and eateries including Global Tacos GrillBarra CrudaBaja Tacos and more.

Beyond culinary delights and libations, attendees will enjoy two days of live music spanning various genres, including Shaggy and Ozomatli. Artisan vendors will also be on-site, showcasing unique crafts from Temascali and Kopacetic Kreations, jewelry from JorgeGeorge and Roni’s Treasures, apparel from Alberly and SD Cork Hats, and much more.

Tickets are available for purchase online, with various options to suit individual preferences. General Admission ($24.99) includes admission into the festival (food and drinks purchased separately);

Margarita Experience (2 for $50) includes admission for two people who will receive a complimentary margarita upon entry (food and additional drinks purchased separately;

Tequila Experience ($59.99) includes admission into the festival, a souvenir tasting cup upon entry and six .5 oz samples of craft tequila.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.tequilaandtacomusicfestival.com/san-diego.

About Tequila and Taco Music Festival

Tequila and Taco Music Festival is an annual celebration of Mexican culture, culinary delights, and live music held at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, California. Featuring tequila tastings, gourmet tacos, live music, and artisan vendors, the festival offers attendees an immersive and vibrant experience.

About Snapdragon Stadium

Snapdragon Stadium is a premier event venue located in San Diego, California, renowned for hosting a variety of concerts, festivals, sporting events, and community gatherings throughout the year.

About CBF Productions

CBF Productions is a leading event production company dedicated to creating memorable experiences that bring communities together. With a passion for excellence and a commitment to innovation, CBF Productions produces a diverse range of events that inspire, entertain, and delight attendees of all ages.

Los Angeles’s newest Cocktail Bar from Jared Meisler ‘The Moon Room’ Opens on Melrose

Los Angeles’s newest Cocktail Bar from Jared Meisler ‘The Moon Room’ Opens on Melrose

Renowned Los Angeles bar proprietor Jared Meisler (The Roger Room, Bar Lubitsch, The Friend, The Little Friend, The Brig and Gin Rummy), in collaboration with multi-talented textile and graphic designer Tria Jensen Meisler, announces the grand opening of their latest venture, THE MOON ROOM, in the Melrose District on Friday, March 15, 2024.

Multi-award-winning mixologist Annemarie Sagoi will lead the cocktail program, ensuring an unforgettable drinking experience.

THE MOON ROOM, located at 7174 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, occupies a prominent spot at the southeast corner of Melrose and North Formosa Avenues, just a stone’s throw from La Brea Avenue.

Surrounded by the bustling energy of the city’s chic boutiques and culinary hotspots, it stands out as a beacon of allure in the heart of the Melrose District, beckoning with its inviting atmosphere and promises of unforgettable experiences.

“I have always loved that stretch of Melrose Ave.

It’s iconic and feels like a geographic center of Los Angeles,”

Meisler

“The idea was to create a chic and sophisticated room that is not pretentious and feels fun. A place to gather and celebrate. It’s a hub for people all over LA that come to life when the sun goes down.”

Guests are enveloped in a chic and sophisticated ambiance within THE MOON ROOM’s walls. Velvety black lacquer banquettes complement meticulously carved wood panels. White marble tables and contemporary café chairs with brass accents offer a striking juxtaposition against the sultry darkness.

The floor boasts a mesmerizing herringbone pattern, leading the eye to walls adorned with a curated collection of provocative art that intermingles with vintage abstracts, pop art, black and white nudes, and other avant-garde pieces from modern and contemporary artists. This eclectic mix creates an atmosphere of playful sensuality.

An enormous, mirrored ball gently gyrates at the heart of the space, casting a soft glow reminiscent of the moon’s seductive luminosity.

The fusion of chic 1970s and 1980s Paris and New York styles with the contemporary essence of Los Angeles creates a luxurious, sophisticated, and sensual environment that invites guests to immerse themselves in an experience beyond the ordinary.

Step out onto the narrow balcony and indulge in a bird’s-eye view of the bustling late-night activity along Melrose Avenue. Sip on your favorite cocktail, puff on your favorite puffable, and relish the cool breeze of the Los Angeles evening. It is the perfect setting to unwind and soak in the city’s vibrant energy below.

Music is a defining element at THE MOON ROOM, where the baby grand piano exudes a seductive appeal, setting the stage for captivating live performances. As the evening unfolds, the ambiance shifts to pulsating funky disco grooves.

THE MOON ROOM’s beverage Director Annemarie Sagoi has crafted an exotic menu of inventive and playful craft cocktails, each exuding a steamy and seductive vibe.

Drink prices range from $12-$18 and include Andromeda with Reposado Tequila, Mint, Cilantro, Jalapeno, Pineapple, Chartreuse & Habanero; Phoenix with Vodka, Sticky Rice Syrup, Longan, Ginger, Lychee and Lime; Pavo with Byrrh Quinquina, Sweet Vermouth, Fresh Berries, Lemon & Apricot; Cassiopeia Spritz with Kumquat, Jasmine, Cocchi Rosa, Lemon & Pet Nat; Orion with Reposado Tequila, Mezcal, Spiced Cocoa, Camel Milk, Coconut, Chartreuse & Black Salt; Lynx Martini with Gin, Bianco & Dry Vermouth, Za’atar Oil Wash, Pistachio & Orange Blossom; Hercules with Irish Whiskey, Coffee Liqueur, Cold Brew, Chai Spices, Honey & Averna Foam; Selene with Zubrowka Vodka, St Germain, Cinnamon, Apple, Angostura & Lemon; Draco with Dark Rum, Rhum Agricole, Creole Shrubb, Cocchi Di Torino & Manzanilla Sherry; and Pegasus with Bourbon, Date, Amaro & Black Walnut Bitters.

There are several NO BOOZE options including Grus with Lyre Aperitivo, Zero Proof Sparkling Rosé, Mineral Water & Lemon; Fornax with Mint, Cilantro, Jalapeno, Lime, Pineapple, Habanero and Mineral Water and CBD Tart Cherry Phosphate.

In addition to the assorted list of Wines by the Glass, Bottled Beers, Dry Ciders and a High Life + Well Bourbon orTequila Shot, there are snacks including Assorted Olives; Marcona Almonds; Pecorino Romano; Wasabi Peas; Salami with Stone Ground Mustard; Spicy Pepitas and Kettle Chips.

AbilityFirst 2024 — 50th Annual Food & Wine Festival — unveils Date and New Location!

AbilityFirst 2024 50th Annual Food & Wine Festival unveils Exciting Plans Announcing Date and Unprecedented New Event Location!

50th Annual AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival Sunday, June 9, 2024

AbilityFirst proudly announces the 50th Annual AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival, scheduled for Sunday, June 9, 2024, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and in celebration of this milestone, the event will take place at a new and enchanting location: The Urquhart Residence in South Pasadena!

The Urquhart Residence in South Pasadena!

Great crowd at the event, Courtesy of the AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival

Great crowd at the event, Courtesy of the AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival

The 50th Annual AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival is a landmark outdoor event renowned for its gourmet food and beverage tastings.

Guests will have the opportunity to indulge in culinary delights presented by a diverse array of top local restaurants, cocktail bars, breweries, and vintners.

Dulce Vida Tequila

Dulce Vida Tequila, Courtesy of the AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival

As AbilityFirst marks this special anniversary, this year’s festival promises an evening filled with exquisite flavors, entertainment, and a vibrant celebration of AbilityFirst’s mission.

Inspiring program at the event

Inspiring program at the event, Courtesy of the AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival

For 98 years, AbilityFirst has been at the forefront of providing person-centered programs to empower individuals with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Anita Lawler Wine

Anita Lawler Wine, Courtesy of the AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival

These programs guide individuals through each life transition, fostering social connections, independence, and providing essential employment preparation, training, and experience.

El Cholo Cafe

El Cholo Cafe, Courtesy of the AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival

Proceeds from this year’s AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival will directly benefit AbilityFirst’s programs which help an individual successfully transition from childhood to adult life; providing employment preparation, training, and experience; build social connections and independence; and offer participants and their caregivers an opportunity to refresh and recharge through recreational activities.

Fun music from DJ Q Nice

Fun music from DJ Q Nice, Courtesy of the AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival

AbilityFirst’s person-centered programs empower individuals to discover what is important to them in their lives, and to develop the skills that are important for them to achieve their goals.

Anita Lawler

Anita Lawler

Ticket Information:  The 50th Annual AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival will take place on Sunday, June 9th, 2024, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Urquhart Residence in South Pasadena.

For more information and to purchase Tickets directly to this year’s 50th Annual AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival, please visit Tickets to the 50th Annual AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival 2024.

Dave Saeta

Dave Saeta

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