The Best Pumpkin Treats in South Park

Birdie’s Pumpkin Spice Donut

If you haven’t been to Birdie’s yet, do yourself a favor and get over there immediately.  Their artisanal donuts are made fresh on the hour so you’ll never meet a stale donut at Birdie’s.  Their famous pumpkin spice donut is crafted with real pumpkin, topped with brown sugar and spice glaze, and topped off with spiced whipped cream pumpkin seeds and gold flakes.  Oh, and if you’re in the mood for something savory with your sweet, Birdie’s also makes free range fried chicken sandwiches that will melt your heart.

Brite Spot Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Venture just up the street from South Park into hip Echo Park and you’ll find a favorite breakfast and lunch hangout called Brite Spot.  This low key restaurant happens to make the most delectable pumpkin whoopie pies for the Fall season using real pumpkin spices for the ‘sandwich’ and sweet vanilla cream frosting in between.  It’s the perfect way to treat yourself to something sweet and seasonal!

Pumpkin Macarons at Le Petit Paris

Experience Parisian sophistication at its finest when you visit Le Petit Paris’ gorgeous brasserie and lovely patio.  Pumpkin macarons are on the menu for the Autumn season, and they’re truly something else.  You can order an assortment from the boutique and take them home as well!

Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding at Miro

Miro is known for its handmade pastas, charcuterie, and Basement Bar, and during Autumn patrons rave about their pumpkin pie bread pudding.  Made with bacon fat caramel, braised pears, pork skin, and topped with Belgian beer ice cream and cranberry chutney — this dessert is sinfully delicious and a must-try for local Angelenos!

Enjoy your pumpkin perusing, be merry!

The Best Cross Fit Studios in City West

By now you’ve probably already heard all about crossfit — a high intensity training program that blends weightlighting, gymnastics, circuit training, and aerobic exercise.  But perhaps its best known for its loyal followers, so much so that crossfit has become a way of life.  There is a reason for the fervor, crossfit is one of the best cross disciplined exercises you can do for your body and mind. So if you’re ready to join in on the craze, here’s a few great spots in our downtown City West ‘hood!

CrossFit 213

CrossFit 213 in the heart of Downtown LA is the real deal.  Their mission to get your looking, feeling, and performing your very best is not taken lightly, and you’ll be supported whether you’re a total newbie to crossfit or a seasoned crossfitter.  A two hour fundamentals class will help newcomers get up to speed on the workouts and give any sort of individualized attention or modifications you may need.  In fact, they even offer one on one time with a coach and/or chiropractor!  The instructors and the clientele are known to be passionate about their workouts and helping one another reach fitness goals — you have nothing to lose (except a few lbs) and everything to gain by checking out CrossFit 213! @crossfit213

Trojan Athletics CrossFit

Trojan Athletics is a comprehensive workout space filled with equipment and plenty of experienced coaches to help you be fit and happy!  The cool thing about Trojan is that you’ll have open access to the gym from 6am to close, and over 12 group coaching sessions per day.  From those 12 sessions, you can choose from three different goal-based programs. Choices, choices, choices! Another bonus you’ll find at Trojan is their paleo meal pick-up services and nutritional guide services.  So if you’re already thinking ahead on your New Year’s resolutions, Trojan might be the place for you to stick to your goals! @trojancf

The Rec Center CrossFit

The Rec Center is all about a broad, general, and inclusive style of fitness — whatever it takes to get you faster, stronger, and more efficient throughout your life!  They help you meet your goals with a logging program.  The logging program is for your personal progress, but not to worry, there’s plenty of incredible coaches on The Rec Center team to help you along the way.  It’s a super friendly atmosphere


Halloween Events in DTLA

Just because you’ve come to the terms with the fact that you’re too old to trick-or-treat doesn’t mean you have to skip out on all of the Halloween fun! Get that costume ready and take yourself out on the town for one of Los Angeles’ hottest Halloween soirees!

Unicef Masquerade Ball at Cliftons

Always wanted to try out one of those mysterious and elegant masks?  The Unicef Masquerade Ball is just the place!  This high-brow celestial themed bash at Clifton’s, a DTLA historical landmark and super cool maze of bars and old-school cafeteria,  boasts an open bar, DJ sets, and plenty of opportunities for dancing in your evening wear.  Ticket are pricey, but the proceeds benefit UNICEF’s emergency funds and empowering Syrian refugee women, well worth the spooky ticket price!

KCRW’s Masquerade Ball

LA’s favorite radio station returns to form once again this Halloween for another masquerade ball (hope you’ve stored up your masks this year).  At MacArthur park, you’ll be lost in a maze of new experiences from circus troops, to ghost stories, and DJs spinning for costume-clad masqueraders.  Plus, food trucks will be lining up to give you a taste of LA when you’ve worked up an appetite from all that dancing!

a Belle et la Bête + Beastly Ball

A fancy gothic theater and lobby make Downtown’s Ace Hotel is the perfect venue for a Halloween night to remember.  Early in the evening you can catch a screening of La Belle et la Bete with a live score.  Beauty and the Beast comes alive on stage with the help of the wildly talented LA Opera as a part of the Off-Grand Series.  A soundtrack by Phillip Glass plays elegantly alongside Jean Cocteau’s 1946 work of cinematic art.  You’ll surely be enchanted on Halloween night at the Beastly Ball!

Cabaret de L’Enfer

If there’s a right to spend beneath the earth, it’s Hallow’s eve.  The Edison will give you a taste of the underground as you take in Cabaret L’Enfer featuring DJs, live performers, stilt walkers, tarot card readers and “Attractions Diaboliques”  (direct quote) .  Expect to have an old-fashioned good time in the dimly lit subterranean party. Best of all, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg at $25.  

Cheers to getting your chills and thrills this Halloween!

The Best Pumpkin Patches in DTLA

Halloween is creeping up on us both literally and figuratively, so it’s high time to go out and find your perfect pumpkin for carving!  Sure you could snag a pumpkin on your next run to the grocery store, but there’s something truly magical about a trip to a pumpkin patch.  Whether it’s a trip out to a farm or a city lot with games, this list has all your pumpkin picking needs covered!

Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch

Besides having the cutest darn name out there, Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch has a killer pumpkin selection and a history too!  The Campbell family has been operating the patch since 1987 where they brought farm life to Los Angeles kids at an urban pumpkin patch.  It’s a little bit spooky, plenty of fun for families and kids, and even educational with some opportunities to learn about nature and the environment along with the Fall harvest! These days it’s become quite the celebrity haunt and a premiere Halloween destination for Southern Californians.  

Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch

If you love a good farm feel, Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch is the perfect place to peruse for pumpkins.  Wander through the corn stalks and straw bales as you move through a sea of orange along with rare gourds and squashes.  Shawn’s is also stock full of carving kits and accessories to help you do your best Jack-O-Lantern art. Kids will go bonkers for the activities — a ball house, bouncer, train, face painting, petting zoo,  pony and train rides.  It’s an all-out fall amusement park in the city!

Tapia Brothers Farm

Feel like getting lost this weekend?  Then Tapia Brothers Farm is your spot!  They have a truly incredible corn maze that comes with a map and trivia questions.  Trivia and maze winners are entered to win $100 cash.  Even if you don’t win cold hard cash, the pumpkin selection will bring you joy.  Pumpkins as far as the eye can see, plus a farmers market, kettle corn, corn stand, a tractor-pulled train, hayride, and much more. Needless to say, you’ll be entertained while you seek out your pumpkins!

Happy pumpkin hunting and carving everyone — hope you scare up some fun along the way!

Your Guide to Haunted Houses in DTLA

What’s Halloween without a few good shrieks of terror?  If you’re a thrill seeker, we’ve got a few places on our list that might send some chills up your spine.  In downtown Los Angeles and surrounding areas, here’s where the thrills at:

Creep LA

Magic Box LA; 1933 Broadway Blvd

You know how sometimes real stories are actually scarier than legend?  Creep LA embraces this idea full force while inviting you into an alternate universe where folklore is oh-so-real.  Secrets out at Creep LA, the frightening truth makes for a far better story.  In the space stories aren’t just camp tales, it’s an entire experience that will creep inside your mind and have you freaked for weeks!

Haunted Hayride

4730 Crystal Springs Dr

You might have hiked Griffith Park during the day or peered over the sweeping views from the Griffith Observatory, but have you ever explored the hills at night?  This ain’t no pumpkin patch, the hayride reveals all kinds of boogey monsters and demons as you ride through park in the dark.  You’ll be escorted to a number of frightening mazes, scare zones, and even a pitch black maze filled with who knows what.  This year’s theme happens to be clowns, you’ve been warned.  


Scare LA isn’t just a haunted house, it’s an entire expose dedicated to the spirit of Halloween.  Located in the Convention Center, ScareLA showcases the city’s top talent and hottest Haloween attractions in Southern California.  If you’re a Halloween devotee, you’ll definitely meet your people while partaking in classes, industry panels, screenings, games, and much more.  Attendees raved about the VR and AR horror experiences from previous years, it’s definitely an experience you won’t want to miss!

Dark Harbor

In Southern California’s largest port, the transformed Queen Mary awaits visitors looking to experience a good haunting.  The Queen Mary has long been rumored to be haunted whether or not it’s Halloween, but during the season it becomes the Dark Harbor where visitors come to have the bejeebers scared right out of them.  Several mazes actually explore the bowels of the Queen Mary, as if that weren’t scary enough, aided by fog, actors, and horrifying props.  It’s an experience not for the faint of heart, but it does make for a singular experience for those willing to risk it!

Check Out The Best Parties in DTLA on the 4th of July

Have you put your plans together for July 4th yet? Downtown LA is filled with things to do so we thought we should put together a short list together of what’s going down and where you might like to spend your July Fourth.

Why not head to the Fourth of July Block Party in Grand Park? It’s a fun time with food trucks, live music and plenty more. The music begins in the afternoon so pack for an all-day picnic (and bring plenty of empty water bottles). No booze is allowed – but your pets are, so bring Fido (and seriously, why are you still calling your dog Fido?). While there you can see Downtown LA light up – and it’s all free. And did we mention you can use Metro to get there real easy?

It’s not in Downtown but it’s darn close; you can see in July Fourth in Pasadena at the Fourth of July Americafest at the Rose Bowl. This festival comes with a motorcycle stunt show, lots of food (hooray!) and, of course, the world-famous fireworks show at 9pm. The Rose Bowl opens at 2pm with a host of things for the kids to do – from inflatable rides to games and crafts. Parking will set you back $20 but make the most of it by tailgating!

There’s also the July 4th Fireworks Spectacular with Pentatonix at the Hollywood Bowl. Appearing there is the pitch-perfect Pentatonix who will be unleashing their a capella a mazingness (see what we did there) for a red, white and blue celebration under the stars. Make sure to stay hydrated because it’s going to be hot out there.

Wherever you choose to celebrate your Fourth, if alcohol is involved please make sure to drink responsibly. And have a great July Fourth, especially in Downtown LA!!

2017’s Best 3 Happy Hours in City West

Ah, Happy Hour; that time of day when work might be over but the day isn’t and there’s some serious unwinding to be done. But which are the best Happy Hours here in City West? We went out, got VERY happy, and put together this blog for you!

We highly recommend the happy hour over at The Black Sheep, located at 126 E. 6th Street. You can find it by looking for Cole’s which is next door. Once you’re inside, you’ll find modern furniture as well as a booths, stool seats, a couple of large TVs and a huge bar! We moseyed on up and found Happy Hour drinks range in price from $4-$7 as well as Sake bombs for just $3. And the sliders they serve up are delicious! More please!

Another great Happy Hour in City West can be found at the Library Bar over on 630 W. 6th Street. Their Happy Hour goes from 3-6pm Monday through Friday and for $6 you can get excellent cocktails or for $7 plum for the “bartender’s special”. We loved the ambience there – it’s quite dark. They’ve got a great selection of small plates on hand too. We sampled the mushroom boursin crostini – four small crostinis topped with herbed cheese and mushrooms and it was yummy!

Another amazing place to go for Happy Hour in City West has to be Seven Grand over on 515 W. 7th Street. Their Happy Hour goes every day and extends until 8pm and it really delivers on the Happy! They sell $6 cocktails and $5 beers and if you’re in the mood for whiskey, are you in luck. They carry one of the biggest menus of premium whiskeys in the country and display some of the fancier bottles in vintage cases. Seven Grand also comes with live music, pool tables and if you really want to get involved, a Whiskey Society. You have to pay for this but it provides comprehensive tastings. Amazing stuff!

Wherever you go for Happy Hour in City West, be sure to drink responsibly – and have fun!

The Best 4 Juice Bars in South Park

Sweet, refreshing, cooling and delicious – that’s what you get out of a good juice bar. But where are the best Juice Bars in South Park? We’ve got all the answers in our latest blog so let’s dive straight in!

The Green Grotto Juice Bar is located over at 541 S. Spring St. The Grotto is all about organic fresh-pressed juice and tasty smoothies and they taste utterly delicious. All the juices are pressed on site and all the produce is sourced locally to make sure you have the best and healthiest juice in front of you. We love the Green Grotto and think you will too!

Talking of the best juice bars in South park, you really should check out Earthbar too, over at 523 W. 6th Street. Start off with their acai bowls (and various add-ons) for a delicious treat. And try their smoothies too; we sampled their Earthberry smoothie and fell in love at first sip. They use honey to sweeten a lot of their stuff so make sure you’re not getting too much extra sugar (if at all).

The winner of best name for a juice bar is Amazebowls located at 300 S. Santa Fe Ave. But they don’t just have a great name; their Acai bowls are indeed amazing! We sampled the Dragon Bowl-Z with strawberry, blueberry, and kiwi with nut butter, and we’re literally going to have dreams about it! They offer up all sorts, from acai bowls to smoothies to other super-food treats.

Rounding out our list of the best juice bars in South Park is Om Nom Organics over at 215 W. 9th St. Om Nom (another place we love just saying out loud, over and over!), comes with locally-sourced ingredients all of which are prepared daily. It can’t get any fresher! Their menu is designed to appeal to all; from meat-lovers to gluten-free enthusiasts and more – and we’re sure you’ll find something there for you too that you can’t live without.

So what are you waiting for? The weather’s gorgeous so go out and treat yourself to something at one of these amazing juice bars right here in South Park!

The Best 4 Gyms and Fitness Studios in DTLA’s Financial District

Work hard, play hard. And if you’re working Downtown – especially near the Financial District – you know that ethos all too well. So where are the best fitness studios in the Financial District? Let’s dive straight in.

First off is City Athletix on 626 Wilshire Blvd.  City Athletix comes with top notch weightlifting and cardiovascular equipment along with group fitness classes and, of course, personal training. Work those burgers off with classes that include BodyPulp, BodyCombat, as well as cycling and Zumba. And if that’s not enough – and don’t you think it is? They also have a suspension training area with TRX equipment. We love it!

Next up, check out Sanctuary Fitness over on 718 Jackson St. We really love this place as it offers up two free classes of indoor cycling or high intensity interval training classes for new members! Sanctuary also offers up free cycling shoes, free parking and – get this – hot showers! Wooh! You can also sign up for their strength-focused HIIT classes which really push (and push AND PUSH!). Each day brings a new workout so you can’t get too complacent!

There are plenty more fitness studios in the Financial District – and if you want to try something a little different then hit up The Jyim which offers up not just personal training but boxing classes too. They offer up a free day pass so head on over and check out the classes – including hybrid yoga, body sculpt, circuit training and TRX. In our experience there we found that the classes are small (yay!) and the instructors were fantastic (double yay!).

We’re going to wrap up our list of the best fitness studios in the Financial District with Speedplay over on 1113 ½ S. Hope Street. Speedplay really tired us out – in the best way possible – with their amazing trainers and their workout programs that give you the energy to see it to the finish. The calorie burning continues on even after you’re done!

So get out there and burn off those calories the best way possible – at one of the great fitness studios in the Financial District!

The Best 4 Rooftop Pools in DTLA

One of the best perks of living in Downtown LA are the gorgeous rooftop pools; places of wonder that you can both swim in and soak up the rays while taking in some breathtaking views. But which are the best rooftop pools in DTLA? We went out and found them!

No list of the best rooftop pools in Downtown LA would be complete with The Standard Downtown LA. Located at 550 South Flower, this pool has been voted by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the Top 10 hotel pools in the world! Not bad, right? So what do you get there? Oh, only the most amazing views. And summer pool parties. And vibrating water-bed pods. And DJs. And a rooftop beer garden. Why are you still reading this and not actually there?

Another amazing rooftop pool in Downtown LA is the The Ritz-Carlton  with their stunning (and heated) pool. Whether you’re swimming laps or just splashing around the views are stunning! Stunning!!! The lounge chairs are beautifully and comfortably cushioned and your day there will be a hoot. You also have the option of hitting up both Wolfgang Puck’s WP24 restaurant as well as the Ritz-Carlton Spa. Good times!

Then there’s  Kimpton’s Hotel Wilshire– another of the best rooftop pools in Downtown LA. It comes with private cabanas as well as, for those nights, cozy fire-pits and of course, there’s the view. The view! You won’t be able to stop taking pictures so make sure your smart phone is water proof. You can also get pictures of the Hollywood sign which casts its eye down on you. They also have a great wifi which you can easily access by the pool. You’ll love it!

Have you visited the Ace Hotel DTLA? As the last on our list of the best rooftop pools in Downtown LA, you might want to! This pool also comes with great views and you can enjoy them while supping cocktails you can buy at the rooftop bar. The ambience here is definitely focused on all things modern and you can expect DJ events as well as the occasional pool party. People watching is on fleek here.

So many rooftop pools in Downtown LA – and so little time! So get out there and don’t forget your sun tan lotion and a towel.  A towel is just about the massively useful thing any interstellar Hitchhiker can carry!