LA Vibes

Moving from NYC to LA has definitely required some major adjustments.  After landing the perfect place, finding a fulfilling job and trying to build a new network you still have something very vital to think about in your day to day; that something being style.  I never want to compromise my style no matter where I live but I can say living in LA, you lean more towards cute and casual.  I found myself completely overdressed during my early visits to LA for like a nice outing or dinner because I was so used to the NY way of life.  Here you can simply wear a plain tee, biker jacket over the arm as a complimenting accessory or actually wear it once the night falls with nice booties and you’re all set.  Heels aren’t a must here in LA (thank goodness)

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I say all that to say, I’ve adding a ton of tees to my everyday wardrobe.  Simplicity is key.  A nice tee with boyfriend or slim jeans and a fresh pair of vans can be worn Sunday-Monday and I’m loving it.  The look below showcases a Mondo Taco tee I grabbed from Goodwill for $1 and light washed jeans I snagged from Uniqlo for $9.  To lighten the look a bit, I wore classic neon yellow Van’s.  I thought this complimented well with the light denim and added a pop of color for a casual, spring look.  LA, I’m still learning and adjusting to the vibes here.  One thing for sure I am definitely becoming more aligned with comfy looks.  Be on the lookout for more comfy, casual looks from this citygal 😊

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Sweet Chick

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?

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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 😊

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Mc’Dowell’s: Home of the Big Mick

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For those who participate in any Halloween festivities, it’s all about the transformation into your favorite character or artist, trying new makeup tricks and showing the world just how creative you can get.  Well Fat Sal’s took this Halloween by storm by transforming their Hollywood location restaurant into the one and only, Mc’Dowell’s.  Also known as the Home of the Big Mick, the place where Akeem’s hard work earned him the employee of the Month in the all-time classic movie ‘Coming to America’.  This movie has to be one of the greatest of all time and to have this concept brought to life for Halloween was a remarkable idea.  We often stress over the perfect costume but to change an entire restaurant and offer specialized menu items from the actual movie was simply genius.

The workers of McDowell’s wore the exact uniforms that were shown in the movie.  All nice in plaid with the golden M stamped on each vest, matching plaid hats and black pants were worn by every employee.  Akeem was showcased as the Employee of the Month with a perfect portrait of himself smiling with complete joy for this accomplishment from a renowned prince.  To add to the ambiance, the movie played throughout several screens in the restaurant while you waited to order and staff members were kindly available to snap just as many pics as you like.  The menu offered the infamous Big Mick, Zamunda fries and the Sexual Chocolate milkshake.  I mean when I say they absolutely nailed this, I mean it!  I couldn’t man down both the Big Mick and the shake that came with a slice of chocolate cake on top so I opted to try the sandwich.  I was a bit hesitant to try this but it did not disappoint.  The Big Mick was made with cheeseburgers, lettuce, onions, pickles, fries and the “special sauce”.  The sauce added a nice flavor and the beef was cooked to perfection.  This place became so popular, even Drake stopped by to indulge lol.  I’m not sure how this could be topped but Fat Sal’s definitely won me over with this concept for Halloween.  If you couldn’t make it, live vicariously through me and take a peek at the gallery below.

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Frankland’s Crab & Co

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 🙂

img_0947So 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!

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Don’t Mind if I DO

Living in New York, you quickly learn the trendy spots that take foodies by storm.  We are always looking for the next best dessert, dinner or brunch spot to showcase and recommend to friends.  With that, I present DO.  The place that actually promotes indulging in as much cookie dough as you like.  Yes I said cookie dough.  You know that childhood favorite thing to sneak a taste of right before the cookie batch made it to the oven.

DO serves scoops of cookie dough of all flavors including classics like chocolate chip and sugar or more fancy ones like gimme s’more or peanut butter snickerdoodle; their creative takes on a classic s’more or snickerdoodle cookie.  They also have a handful of other delightful treats like their cookie dough ice cream sandwich, cupcakes, milkshakes, sundaes and freshly baked cookies.  I decided to try the ice cream sandwich which did not disappoint.  I will say to hurry and take your best picture for your insta or snap before the ice cream melts :-).  So now you can still sneak a bit of the cookie dough before you bake a fresh batch or simply visit DO and order it by the scoop.  It’s DOlicious!!

California Dreaming: A Leap of Faith

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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!IMG_9034

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LES Kitchen

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The Lower Eastside of Manhattan is the home of some of my favorite food spots.  Let’s add LES Kitchen to that list.  Nestled on Essex St this neighborhood burger spot does not disappoint with their menu.  If I had to put their food in a category, comfort would be the most fitting.  I love a good burger but especially when it has a different touch of something special that the restaurant adds as their little signature.  The house sauce is that special something at LES Kitchen along with the burger and topping combos they offer.  I went with the Truffle Shuffle which had the grilled portobello, caramelized onions, provolone cheese and their house sauce.  Cooked medium and tasted amazing!  My husband went with the Mighty Bacon which kind of gives you the American classic cheeseburger feel since it has the applewood smoked bacon, cheese and their special sauce.  You can never go wrong with a true burger classic.  We also tried the Kitchen Sink fries.  Okay let’s just say the kitchen sink name may be an understatement.  These fries came with cheese, roast pork, ribeye, peppers, bacon, fried egg, and caramelized onions.  I think this was the best part of our meal!  I am so glad I could make it here. It’s a nice little counter serve restaurant that’s serving some of the best comfort food in town.  Please give them a try whenever you’re in the LES.  Tell them I sent you 😊

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BEC

imageAfter my recent visit to LA, I raved about the place Egglsut for their take on a simple breakfast; their bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on a brioche bun.  Well guys BEC is coming as a strong competitor here in New York.  Same concept but their bun has bacon bits and cheese baked on top.  Yes! You read that correctly 🙂

I stumbled across this little gem while venturing in Chelsea for new eyeglasses and immediately jotted it down in my notes to come and check it out later. Well the day had come and I made my way back over to BEC to have breakfast for lunch.  It’s cue and quaint inside with the long wooden shareable bench seating along the wall and other small tables for dining in.  I went with the BEC classic which only seemed like the right thing to do.  The classic has  two eggs, bacon and sharp cheddar cheese on a brioche bun.  Not forgetting the bacon and cheese on top of the bun.  To stay within my breakfast themed lunch, I ordered freshly squeezed orange juice as well.  This sandwich literally melts in your mouth.  They’ve mastered this classic breakfast sandwich and added their own little twist to it.  I love when I find a new restaurant and they exceed my expectations.  Guys please give this place a visit if you’re in the Chelsea area.  You won’t regret it!

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XIX Tour

imagePromptly at 8pm the lights dimmed in the Highline Ballroom and the first opening act appeared.  After a few songs, the artist revealed his name.  Major Myjah.  Major definitely wowed the crowd with his melodic tunes and kept the energy high with a few upbeat songs as well.  I absolutely loved his energy and the vibe from his song with the hook “California Living” was perfect for this crowd.  Shortly thereafter, the second act, Candace Boyd, also held down her own with very relatable tracks.  Some about being in love, others about the break up and indifference you feel afterwards with her track titled”What’s her name”.  The ability for both of these artists to capture the crowd and keep the energy flowing throughout was very admirable for two up and coming music artists.  Hats off to them!

Now it was time.  The fluorescent XIX sign was lit and Ro James appeared with a bright orange jumpsuit resembling that of a car mechanic, round gold rimmed frames, a striped hat with a patterned scarf underneath.  Oh so fitting for his Eldorado album.  The soulfulness and R&B was heard in every song that he sang with much passion and clarity so you could hear every word that he spoke.  I always immediately think of the perfect mix of Maxwell and Prince when I hear him sing.  James’ vocal abilities and variation in range shown on his tracks automatically captivate you.  I just sat and watched him lay it all out on the line while he sang “Everything” and knew it was very much heartfelt.  I appreciated the intimacy and personal stories that James shared as well.  From the naming of his album, as his first car was a 92′ Eldorado, the love he experienced with a Scorpio and his incomparable relationship with ‘Lisa’.  Or the relationship he shared that allowed him to make my favorite track ‘A.D.I.D.A.S.’ and the influence from his mother to write a song not just about love or relationships but other real life factors that we all face, hence the creation of ‘Holy Water’.  I’m sure I can pinpoint a couple favorites that are in fact your go to’s that you can relate to.  To hear Ro explain the meanings behind the songs and share the stories with fans put his music into a different perspective for me.

As the night progressed, James performed songs from his 3-part EP Coke, Jack and Cadillacs as well as Eldorado.  Some of the crowd favorites were ‘Already Knew That’, ‘Burn’ and A.D.I.D.A.S.  Toward the end of the show,  James did an acoustic opening of his hit ‘Permission’ and his band joined shortly after for the grand finale.  To say I enjoyed this concert is definitely an understatement.  I am definitely a fan of Ro James but left an even bigger one.  I  believe I recall James advising he had been doing music for about 10 years.  Well Ro, job well done.  Wishing him continued success.  More pictures below and check out the live video in the video section.

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Harold’s Meat + Three

imageThere’s a new kid on the block in Lower Manhattan and he isn’t playing fair.  Chef Harold Moore has opened a restaurant called Harold’s Meat + Three and when you dine here, you get just that.  All entrees come with your selection of a meat and then you pick three sides to compliment your selection. Pretty awesome concept!  I had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Harold, before we ordered.  Such a humble guy and very appreciative to hear his restaurant was recommended through great reviews and word of mouth.  To ease our decision making for side dishes, he even let my friend and I add a additional side on the house.  I literally wanted to try mostly all of the side dishes so it helped to add one more to my entree.

While we waited for our dinner, the waiter brought cheddar baked biscuits with a soft butter.  Okay these cn be trouble guys!  Try to only eat one of you can.  As my entree, I had the veal meatballs, recommended by Harold himself.  For the sides, I went with the cucumber salad, Japanese sweet potatoes, grilled broccolini and mac and cheese.  Okay the flavors in the meatballs are undeniably delicious.  I cannot even describe just how great they were and how many happy dances I did at the table.  To balance the sides, I normally try to order at least one cold served dish.  I was glad I tried the cucumber salad which was simply cucumbers tossed in a citrus vinaigrette.  So refreshing!  I also had never tried or even heard of Japanese sweet potatoes.  They weren’t too sweet but had a nice flavor.  The broccolini had a nice grilled flavor and seasoned to perfection.  The mac and cheese literally had just the right amount of cheese and creamy texture that I look for in a good mac.

I love hearing about new places to try and I love even more when I try a place and have nothing but great things to say so I can recommend it myself.  Chef Moore has nailed it with his restaurant and I will definitely be back.  If you’re looking for a nice vibe and good eats, please give them a try.  More pics from my dinner below.

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