DineLA happens at least twice a year in Los Angeles; once in the summer and again in the “winter”. A nice selection of restaurants from all neighborhoods have a prix fixe lunch and/or dinner menu selection ranging from $15-25 for lunch and $29-99 for dinner. Dinners are usually 3 to 5 course meals so definitely worth the price. I normally try to make it to at least one of the restaurants during this time. Luckily, this year I was able to try two places.
I created a list of all the restaurants that peaked my interest to try for both lunch and dinner. For lunch, I decided to try Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse. This hidden gem is tucked away in Downtown Los Angeles. Upon arriving, I immediately thought this place would be a good recommendation for the summertime. There’s a bit of construction going on around the vicinity but the outside dining area gives a nice, unobstructed view of downtown and a cute little garden area nearby. There was a good selection for the lunch menu. For the appetizer, I went with the caesar salad. For my main entree, I tried the oak grilled salmon atop marinated kale with a nice chimichurri sauce and my husband went with the short rib (my initial choice but I didn’t want to get the same thing). Neither meal disappointed although I will say the short rib was the better option to me. It is a heavier meal for lunch so maybe it caters to a late lunch goer like myself. The flavors were great and overall I’m glad I was able to make it over to this place.
Oak Grilled Salmon
Braised Short Rib
For dinner, I tried Fin located in Culver City. It’s an Asian-fusion inspired restaurant that offered a good variety for its dinner entrees. $29 got me salmon sashimi, baked crab rolls and an 8oz ribeye with mashed potatoes. Definitely not bad for the price. I loved the smoked soy ribeye. The marinade went perfectly with the steak and it was cooked quite well. My husband decided to be fancy and ordered the filet mignon (not on the prix fixe) but it was good nonetheless. I fell in love with the plum reduction sauce used a base for his dish. Overall, the ambiance was very nice and the food was very good but I must admit the service was kind of slow. Maybe there were more diners out trying the DineLA options during the time I visited. I will definitely be back to try it out again, especially since there’s a speakeasy located in the back called ‘The Alley’. Looking forward to the DineLA summer edition 🙂 . If you’re in the LA area during the next one, I would definitely recommend trying one of the many restaurant options that cater to every type of cuisine you can think of.
Brunch always seems like a good idea to me. On Sundays, I normally try to venture out and find new brunch spots but on this particular Sunday I decided to do a repeat. Good ol’ Sweet Chick. I was first introduced to this chicken and waffle staple in Brooklyn, New York. Hop off the L train at Bedford Ave and just a few steps away is Sweet Chick in Williamsburg. Why not do a repeat while on the west coast?
Fairfax Ave is a trendy street/area in Los Angeles. You can literally stop for coffee, grab lunch, dinner and or drinks, stop at Supreme, check out kicks at Flight Club or grab brunch at Sweet Chick 😊. As you can see, I opted for the latter option. Sweet Chick is very popular and known for their take on chicken and waffles. You can get a classic waffle of course but why not try one of their many flavors like bacon cheddar, apple cinnamon or spiced pecan? I was torn between the shrimp & grits or chicken and waffles; from the luck of the draw I went with the apple cinnamon waffle and fried chicken. Probably the best decision I made on that Sunday was stopping for a bite to eat here. Something about the perfect crisp of their chicken that gets me every time. Not to forget, the three butters they serve with the waffle; regular, vegetable/herb and like a raspberry one I believe. Try them all if you haven’t before. Each offers a different taste that will not disappoint. There are a ton of other entrees too that I still need to try So if you’re ever in LA and are looking for a good brunch spot, stop on Fairfax and try Sweet Chick. Tell them I sent you 😊
As we all know, all-star weekend took place in Los Angeles, CA this past weekend. This is the biggest event for the NBA organization and I was elated to participate in some of the festivities. My first all-star experience happened to be in New York and I thought to myself, now what’s going to be able to top when I met Paul George. There were a number of events going on that weekend so you had to make yourself an itinerary and stick with it; discipline is key people. Trust me on this 😊
To kick off the all-star weekend, I went to see Black Panther. Although this has nothing to do with the actual all-star event whatsoever, the fact that it was released during this weekend meant I had to go and see this. I mean, I think everyone put this on their agenda for opening weekend. Now back to the NBA. I had the pleasure of meeting both Andre Drummond and Lou Will at the Kia Loft space. Their setup was cool as you could take on a match of NBA 2K, try to beat the escape room within the 10 minutes allotted or post to your social using their hashtag and get an instant Polaroid printout of that picture. Pretty cool stuff, right? I also was able to check out the American Express event in partnership with Shaquille O’Neal. It was cool to see the converted bank safe that stored a few of the Lakers prized possessions including and autographed Shaq’s jersey, a replica of the championship trophy and the king’s chair with the crown made perfect photo ops. Not to forget the infamous slam dunk gif that I had way too much fun with.
Of course, there were events like the rookie game, the dunk contest and celebrity basketball match-ups. I was able to catch the celebrity game at the convention center which was cool to see people with other talents showcasing their basketball skills or lack thereof lol. Overall still something cool to catch to be a part of the festivities. In addition to that, I was also able to stop by an event sponsored by Spalding that showcased customized basketballs and featured Demar Derozan and my favorite, Damian Lillard aka Dame Dolla, in a 2K match.
As if the sporting events weren’t enough, there were also a ton of exclusive releases happening as well. From the Dame 4 Bapes that dropped at the Adidas 747 St Warehouse, to Russell Westbrook’s pop-up featuring his new fashion collection ‘Inner City’, to the Kobe Protos made available at Nike’s own ‘Makers of the Game’ and even a pop-up from the NYC-flagship store, Kith; soon to have a home in LA as well. If you’re a fan of the NBA, all-star is definitely something you would want to experience at least just once. Checkout some of the shots I was able to capture during this LA All-Star weekend.
I made a commitment to myself to be more consistent with my blog and dish out as much content as I can for you guys. The blogging community is huge in LA and I’ve been more active in terms of finding social events centered around blogging. I’m so happy to have discovered Bloggers Who Brunch. I mean it’s the best of both worlds. Nearly everyone has a blog, has a favorite blog they follow or nearing to create one in the future and EVERYONE loves brunch. So, this concept in itself is dope and will bring together a lot of like-minded individuals.
I had the pleasure of attending this event in collaboration with Bumble Bizz at the Grove in Los Angeles. Bumble Bizz is also focused on creating a space for creators and networking. Upon entry, you received 2 drink tickets which already was a good sign to me. Convos go so much better over a glass of prosecco or a cocktail right? They also had various set-ups for cute photo ops and many giveaways including a swag bag, t-shirt, mini notebooks and stickers. Oh not to mention they passed around mini chicken sandwiches and mini lobster roll hors d’oeurves. Another win for the event.
There were no formal introductions of the creators of Bloggers Who Brunch or panels with the other influencers in the blogging community so it was all up to you to get out of your comfort zone and actually talk to people; I did like that aspect. I met some cool people including those that were starting to blog as well, creators of new YouTube pages, up and coming photographers and a brand consultant/stylist. All of whom I never would have met or spoken with if it weren’t for this event. I will definitely be staying up to date with this group and upcoming events for the future.
If you were able to catch my last post, I talked about completing a fast which basically boiled down to eating only fruits and veggies for 3 weeks. Since I’m a foodie at heart, I love looking for new restaurants to try so I just had to incorporate finding vegan/vegetarian options during this time. I learned that this community is huge and LA offers a ton of restaurants catered to both vegans and vegetarians. I often opted for places that had dishes like a Tex-mex bowl with rice, beans, sautéed vegetables, pico de gallo and guac. Anything with guacamole and I’m sold 😊. This was the simplest route to take food wise and easy to find everywhere. However, I did venture out a few times and stumbled upon some wonderful places. One being Gracias Madre, offering 100% organic, plant based Mexican cuisine.
Gracias Madre is tucked away in West Hollywood on Melrose Ave. I’ve probably passed this place a million times and never noticed it before. It kind of resembles a nice house from the street view but when you walk in you are totally taken aback. The décor and ambiance is just so chic. There was a lounge area with comfy chairs and couches adjacent from the bar area. The outside dining area had communal tables with the heated lamps for those cooler days/nights in LA along with cute little tables for smaller parties. From the outside, the space looked so quaint but once inside it was a huge space and very accommodating for the large crowd in attendance that day.
To stick with my go to bowls that I’d been consuming, I went with Bowl Tres as my entrée. This bowl has quinoa, kale, roasted squash, white beans, peppers, onions and pesto cashew crème. Okay let’s start by saying the roasted squash was the best!!! The kale was also very seasoned and added a nice taste to the overall dish. Before I ordered this, the waiter did let me try the pesto cashew crème and I went for it and decided to order this bowl. I will say I did not know the bowl was heavily dressed with that sauce. I think sometimes dishes are overly compensated with a sauce to make sure we get a good amount of flavor and I probably should of asked for it on the side to be safe. That being said, the sauce did compliment the dish well and I was pleased with this entrée. I heard the drinks are pretty good too so I will definitely be back to give those a try as well.
10/27….The best day of the year (to me 😊) So here we are in October in LA and its peaking at above 85 degrees. Talk about a good birthday gift. Over the weeks leading up to my special day, I went over a number of things that I could do and just settled on the fact that I wanted to have loads of fun. So my first trip for this fun adventure began by making it to the infamous Paul Smith “Pink Wall” on Melrose for photo ops. I finally made it!!! Yay. For my day birthday fit, I decided to work with what I had in my closet. It was such nice weather so I went with a black cropped top, my favorite ripped jeans from Zara and an all-black suede Steve Madden mule. If you don’t know by now, I love me a nice mule. I gave so many retro chic 90s vibes with this look. I recently cut my hair so that added a different element to this vibe too of course. Although it is definitely fall, LA allows you to dress for the weather not season.
Afterwards, I went for margaritas at Velvet Margarita and decided to give Halloween Horror Nights a try for the evening. I’m not one that desires to be scared but I went for it and had such a wonderful time. Of course, a night in a theme park required a quick wardrobe change but overall this birthday was one of the best. Doing something that was actually fun (including an impromptu photo shoot lol) First birthday in LA in the books! Check out the great birthday shots I was able to get.
Coming from the east coast, moreso NYC, it’s always good to find a place with a tasty lobster roll. I remember in the summer mostly always wanting to find the perfect roll. Well here in California, I stumbled upon Frankland’s Crab & Co. Particularly during DineLA week in which they offered a nice lunch combo that included a drink and an ice cream sandwich; double win 🙂
So here we have it. A nice, toasted brioche roll with succulent lobster meat tossed in a melted butter. This sandwich literally melted in my mouth. I mean pure perfection. I was worried about the sandwich not being dressed since I was used to a mayo base but they’ve nailed it over at Frankland’s. The homemade ice cream sandwich was also a hit. Way to top off a cute lunch. As I continue to let you in on my LA food adventures, please mark this one down as a place to try. I will be coming back for sure!
I have been a fan of Kendrick Lamar for quite some time now. To see how much he’s grown as an artist is just simply amazing. The first time I saw him live was back in 2009 or 2010 at 1OAK in Las Vegas. The next time was at an intimate art gallery space in Brooklyn. I’ll save the story behind how I finessed my way in but it was definitely worth it seeing that it was right after the release of Good Kid Maad city. The time after that, I saw him again in Brooklyn, Williamsburg to be exact, and he did a show for like $10 or $15. This was around the time the Meek Mill beef was introduced and quickly ended once Kendrick made it clear he was not a force to be reckoned with. The next time I saw him live in concert was right after my birthday celebration in Vegas in 2015. I literally hopped off my flight and went to Terminal 5 in New York to catch Kunta’s Groove Sessions. Something about him and his performances that I never want to miss. So here we are now to speak about the DAMN Tour.
When the album first released I couldn’t wait to hear it. There was so much anticipation for it. I wanted to know the theme he would have for this one, the overall tone of the album, if any artists would be addressed, etc. After hearing the complete project, to say I was elated would be an understatement. I listened to both Element and Lust over and over again, loved the vocals from both he and Rihanna on Loyalty, reminisced about my own childhood with Fear and smiled uncontrollably on my train ride to work when I heard ‘God’. At the time when the news about the DAMN Tour was released, I stayed in New York and decided that I wanted to experience the show in Los Angeles. Fast forward a few months and I not only relocated to California but kept my wish and saw Kendrick live at the 2nd show in Staples Center. To be able to attend the show in LA meant everything to me.
Before the show, Kendrick tweeted about a pop-up being hosted at Blends in Downtown Los Angeles. Of course I stopped by and was able to snag a tee. The wall was plastered with the iconic picture from the DAMN album and filled with merch including DAMN tees, coach jackets stamped with ‘Pray for Me’ on the front and tour dates on the back, hats and hoodies. The pop-up setup was very simple but effective. Okay now I can re-focus on the tour highlights.
The tour opened with the high energy of DRAM and Travis Scott. Both did a phenomenal job live but the performance from Travis Scott on the eagle throughout his set was pretty epic. The Butterfly Effect and Goosebumps would have to be my favorites of the night from him. Now it was time for Corn Row Kenny himself to make an appearance. The moment was finally here. A brief news clipping aired while smoked filled the stage and then Kendrick appeared with a yellow tailored fit for his DNA opening performance. The crowd went wild! As the night continued, Kendrick stayed true to the Kung Fu Kenny theme with interactive film scenes and live fighting scenes to add to the theatrics of the show. Although this was a tour for DAMN, I loved how he gave the audience hits from prior albums. He comforted us with “Alright” and let us knew that no matter what even when being tested in this thing we call life, we will be alright. The momentum of the crowd continued to heighten with each song from Good Kidd Maad City including ‘Money Trees’ and ‘Swimming Pools’ and we even got to his infamous untitled album with his performance of ‘Levitate’. Everyone sang every word and we even got to show our true talent with our acapella version of ‘Humble’. I watched all of the performances of each song in pure amazement and awe. I know I actually experienced this show to the highest potential because I didn’t get a lot of video. I wanted to be in the moment and actually enjoy the show. The final song the Compton born legend performed was very fitting; the song entitled ‘GOD’. I will continue to follow him throughout his musical journey and I’m so glad he shares his life and experiences with us through his lyricism. You may not grasp the full message the first go round or second or third. But once you really listen and consume his music the way he intended, there are meaningful and powerful messages throughout each album. Kendrick Lamar I thank you! Enjoy my instastory below and a few snapshots of the pop-up.
Kendrick Lamar- The DAMN Tour, Staples Center from Lifeofacitygal
As of June 9, 2017, new beginnings were just ahead for me. That was my official last day at my current 9-5 and my final night living in NYC. My husband and I decided we’ve conquered the jungle and wanted to change the pace just a bit. Be somewhere more aligned with our lifestyle and actually be more at comfort while at it. We decided to take our talents west. All the way west to the City of Angels better known as Los Angeles. The next morning we finished packing, loaded a Caravan and started a journey towards our true dreams. When I shared this story, a lot of people could not wrap their finger around the decision to quit a full time job without having another one and the idea of abruptly leaving NYC to road trip it to California. We also didn’t have a place of our own just yet. This just added to the craziness and idea of packing up and taking it across country with pretty much ourselves, clothes and shoes.
It took 3 days to make it to California with 2 pit stops in Texas; one in Dallas and the other in El Paso. After trying to capture all of the state welcome signs, I finally saw the one I had been waiting to desperately see after over 30 hours of travel. Welcome to California!! Within 2 weeks, I landed a job and a little before 3 weeks secured an apartment. I say all this to say, never give up on your dreams and do not live a life with fear. With the faith of a mustard seed, things were able to come into fruition and just fell into place so perfectly. I’ve made a number of trips to LA and decided awhile back this would be my next home. So many things I have yet to do but I now can scratch off move to Los Angeles 🙂
Thank you for staying with me on the journey with Lifeofacitygal. This is a passion project of mine and I will continue to bring great content, food recommendations and a bit of fashion sense. That being said, this cute little number came from one of my favs, H&M, and is absolutely perfect for LA nights. I paired it with my classic neutral mule to give me a little height due to the length of the dress. Stay tuned for more greatness and again thank you for your continued support. Don’t forget to share this with a friend!
I was able to get my hands on this hoodie awhile back at YG’s pop up in NYC. I love, love camo so getting this was a no-brainer for me. I finally decided to pop the plastic and wear this. Just an FYI, this hoodie is greatly made and the material inside feels wonderful on my skin. Now that that’s been covered back to the basics. I simply paired this with black ripped denim from Old Navy. Since its fairly cold, I wore fishnets underneath. I thought this gave a pretty cool look to have the nets show through the rips. Also, fishnets keep you quite warm. For the shoes, I immediately thought about a chill, Cali look. You know what that means. Bring out the classic vans! These paired well with the camo and black. Simple street style at its best. Check out more pics below.