The Ultimate Veuve Clicquot LA Polo Classic

The 10th annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Los Angeles returns to Will Rogers State Historic Park on October 5, 2019. Guests staying at the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel can enjoy an ultra-luxe package to make the weekend even more memorable.

The exclusive La Grande Dame package includes a two night stay in a luxurious suite, and enjoy a Michelin-starred dinner at CUT by Wolfgang Puck, along with a post-Polo Sunday Brunch at THEBlvd.

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Guests will be offered a private shopping appointment at Louis Vuitton Rodeo Drive to discover all of the Flagship Maison’s categories in their private salon with the styling help of a Louis Vuitton expert. Be sure to stop by the Louis Vuitton X exhibition with exclusive front-of-the-line passes.

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Keep your car at the hotel garage, because a chauffeured Maserati Levante will take you to the prestigious polo match. Your two tickets to the 20th annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic La Grande Dame Garden allows entry and exclusive access to a reserved space with prime field side views and champagne bottle service. The price of this one-of-a-kind weekend is $10,000.

This review was also featured in JustLuxe

Temecula Wine Country Wedding

Guests walk down a paved pathway among ancient oak trees to meadows and a historic stone cottage. Built in the late 1800’s as a bunkhouse for quarry workers, this picturesque spot is a romantic setting for both a wedding ceremony and reception.

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The two beautifully landscaped lawns overlooking the Temecula Creek Inn golf course, are connected by rustic bridges allowing for both the ceremony and reception to be held at the Temecula resort.

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Minutes from Temecula Valley wine country, this wedding venue is ideal for a destination wedding. There are 130 guest rooms and suites with a patio offering wooded and golf course views. The bride and her bridal party can stay in a private Creekside three-bedroom guest house to prepare for her big day. There is a fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryer, and back patio perfect for catered barbecues and rehearsal dinners. Fun activities include a putting green, outdoor fire pit, game room with billiards, poker table, foosball, darts and plasma-screen televisions.

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After the wedding, the bride and groom can retreat into a one bedroom suite with access to the swimming pool. The suite contains a king size bed, oversized patio, golf course and rolling hill views.

Before or after the wedding, guests can hit a bucket of balls or play a round of golf on the 27-hole championship set among 300 acres of natural beauty. The elevated greens challenges all levels of players.

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Plan a wine tasting tour for your guests with the help of The Grapeline shuttle. Their semi-open buses offer an insider tour of some of the 40+ wineries in the Temecula Valley. Have guests meet in the lobby, and board for a half or full-day wine experience. A picnic lunch can be arranged among the vineyards before returning back to the resort or in between visiting a few more tasting rooms.

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Offer a Hot Air Balloon ride for guests to soar up high and have a bird’s eye view of the vineyards, or arrange a horseback vineyard tour by Wine Country Trails. One of the tour packages includes a 90 minute horseback tour and visit to Maurice Car’rie winery for a five glass wine tasting experience.

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The wedding planners at the resort will help with your engagement announcements, flowers, entertainment and dance lessons. Choose one of the popular reception and wedding menu packages, or custom create your own special wedding dinner with the resort’s culinary team.

Weddings in the meadows can accommodate up to 150 people on the ceremonial lawn. The tree-lined venue can be set with a covered lounge with swinging chairs, firepits and couches. A dance floor can be installed for dancing under the stars.

Venue hours are from 4 to 10 p.m. The typical cost for 100 guests begins at $15,000.

This review was also featured in JUSTLUXE.

BLUE MAN GROUP will leave you SPEECHLESS

Actress and talk show host Busy Philipps, along with Dancing with the Stars contestant Kate Flannery, and actor Jeremy Sisto were some of the celebrities walking on the “blue” carpet during Opening Night of BLUE MAN GROUP at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. Just as they were hitting their mark in front of paparazzi, the BLUE MAN GROUP took turns silently posing and upstaging guests.

The first time I saw Blue Man Group was in Boston during the 1990s. This collaborative show’s roots began when three close friends, Chris Wink, Matt Goldman, and Phil Stanton donned blue masks and led a street procession along Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1987. Receiving a lot of attention, they soon started performing an art show on small and larger stages. Now BLUE MAN GROUP performs in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Berlin and on tour worldwide with their premiere in Los Angeles for two weeks.

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This new show SPEECHLESS, had me feeling as if these blue men were part of an outer space tribe taking over the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Capturing two human musicians (Corky Gainsford who has been a BLUE MAN GROUP drummer for 18 years, primarily in Las Vegas, and Jerry Kops on strings and multi-instrumentalist with the group since 2006) to perform in the background, the show pushes the boundaries in color, bright lights, music, art, a little magic, and exciting human connection without a spoken word.

Inside the program is a yellow tear card that audiences use later in the show. On the card it states “The people are mailing codes to space. They are receiving letters from space, in the form of codes. These codes are being delivered all around us, on paths, making an invisible architecture.” This validates my out-of-this-world show.

New director Jenny Koons helps bring these codes to life with new music, fresh stories, custom instruments, and sensory-stimulating graphics.

It’s loud from the beginning when this blue trio enters onstage and pull a gong out of the bag to bang. With each strike, lights on the back wall sparkle along the chaotic floor to ceiling set by Jason Ardizzone-West. One soon realizes their senses will be challenged and at times overloaded by New York-based lighting designer Jen Schriever’s enhancements.

Every time the audience applauds, hoots and hollers, the blue performers onstage look out into the theatre bewildered. Without one word, they convey their intentions with their movements and eyes.

SPEECHLESS blends the best of the BLUE MAN GROUP spirit with paintballs, spin art, marshmallows, and running up and down the theatre aisles interacting with the audience.  A cameraman follows close behind and displays part of the compelling show, and people in the audience on an onstage screen. Don’t be late to the show, because you may be called out with lights, music, and your enormous face displayed for all in the theatre to see.

Other favorite scenes include white plastic PVC experimental tubes that become unique and pleasing sounding instruments. Each strike ignites a flash of light, and television monitors display images and colors.

What didn’t work for me was the colorful strings scene towards the end of the show, and the rubber chicken scene. It appealed to younger audience members but seemed a little staged and sophomoric to adults. Appealing to families with children ages 5 and up. Be aware that strobe lights, atmospheric effects, and sounds may be too overstimulating for younger children.

SPEECHLESS is part music concert and part light show offering a kaleidoscope of color and sound that has the audience vibrating in their seats.

BLUE MAN GROUP is owned and operated by Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, and at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre from September 24 – October 6, 2019.

The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.

The L.A. Premiere of BLUE MAN GROUP has a limited number of tickets to winners of the Official Digital Lottery for $25 each. The lottery is hosted online by Broadway Direct.

Fans may enter the lottery by visiting http://www.HollywoodPantages.com/Lottery.

BLUE MAN GROUP has a running time of 90 minutes with no intermission.

Individual tickets for BLUE MAN GROUP start at $39. Prices are subject to change without notice.

For tickets or more information about the Los Angeles engagement of BLUE MAN GROUP, please visit the official website for Hollywood Pantages Theatre: http://www.HollywoodPantages.com/BlueManGroup.

This review was featured in OnStage Blog

So Cal Mexican Cuisine at Tallula’s

Eager for some elevated Mexican fare, my husband and I drove to Tallula’s in Santa Monica Canyon for Sunday Brunch. The owners Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan acquired a former Japanese restaurant, that later turned into the legendary Marix Tex-Mex near the beach. Pulling up to the parking lot, we realized Tallula’s is where my husband and I met over margaritas 32 years ago.

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The Japanese blue tiled roof is still intact, but the Japanese pagodas have been removed. Along with Colby Goff, they hired design firm ORA to upgrade the interior into a colorful eye-catching dining room and bar, reminiscent of something you would discover in the Mexican beach town of Tulum or Loreto.

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Similar to a Spanish hacienda, the interior has terra cotta floors and a coastal color palette inspired by nature. Walls are turquoise blue sea, peach sunset, and green palm. Artistic hand-embroidered macrame pieces, along with vintage Mexican posters and Californian artwork hang on the wall.

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Original features from Marix days, include the beautiful large oak and glass doors, dark wood beam and paneled ceilings, rustic columns and ornate Hawaiian Koa wood banquettes, now with turquoise blue leather seating.They also saved an array of vintage orange glass lanterns and added some hanging basketweave lighting.

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Loeb and Nathan named the restaurant after their daughter Tallula, and the pink neon sign displaying “Felix’s Bar,” is named after their youngest son. The bright hand-painted Mexican Talavera tiles by Silverlake’s Further Store are featured throughout the bar area and patio. The bar showcases one of the largest collections of Mexican spirits including mezcals, tequilas, rum and lesser-known spirits from small-batch producers in Mexico. There is also a nice selection of craft beers, and their margaritas are made with housemade syrups and fresh produce from the market. 

Rustic Canyon Family Wine Director Kathryn Coker crafts the eclectic wine list, featuring wines from boutique producers in Mexico, Spain, Argentina, France and California.

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What used to be the host stand, is now a colorful lounge area with rich leather and wood chairs. The staircase is now a vertical garden of pots with greenery acquired from Potted, of L.A.’s Atwater Village. It leads up to a private event space and bar for a 50 person standing cocktail party, or private seated dinner for 32 people. 

Looking into the open kitchen from the main dining room, James Beard six time nominee Executive chef Jeremy Fox oversees Executive Chef Saw Naing and his team. Together they prepare familiar Mexican dishes using seasonal fresh ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market and other local purveyors. Naing graduated from Pasadena’s Le Cordon Bleu, and worked at Joachim Splichal’s Café Pinot, and Thomas Keller’s (now closed) Bouchon in Beverly Hills, before with Fox.

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While we were dipping chips into guacamole, we noticed Fox walk in with his family and friends. That is always a good sign, when a chef is not working in his kitchen, that he comes in to break bread or tortilla chips with loved one.  

As the assistant manager Max Mueller welcomed us to Tallula’s, he shared that the restaurant takes “family” to heart, including the staff and guests to feel at home, be inspired, nourished and leave satisfied.

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The imaginative, home-cooking includes fresh chile pastes and salsas, and heirloom corn masa for fresh tortillas. We ordered their signature Caesar salad that arrived in a bowl with long Little Gem leaves loaded with crunchy pumpkin seeds, shaved parmesan, anchovies, garlic and lemon juice. 

The chefs at Tallula’s also make the best blue corn pancakes and chilaquiles. The pancakes arrive in a black skillet topped with fresh berries, and a pour of unrefined Mexican cane sugar called piloncillo syrup, powdered sugar, chopped mint and whipped cream.

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The chilaquiles are artfully arranged in a beautiful terra cotta serving dish, layered with corn tortilla chips, salsa rojo, black beans, cilantro, red onion, cheese, pico de Gallo and a fried egg on top.

Be sure to order the crispy potatoes with a drizzle of chipotle aioli. They are a little hidden on the menu, and delicious.

Other Mexican fare includes a rotating Taco del Día, wet breakfast burritos with verde sauce, pork, eggs, potatoes, crema and pepper jack cheese, and local Channel Islands rock cod tacos.

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Heartier options include grilled carne asada with grass-fed hanger steak, is served with house-made tortillas, carrots, blistered shishito peppers and chipotle tamarind sauce. 

Zoe Nathan Mexican-inspired dessert recipes, including a tres leches cake drizzled with honey, chamomile and fresh market berries, are lovingly made by the Tallula team. 

Tallula’s is part of the Rustic Canyon Family, a collection of chef-driven dining destinations that includes Rustic Canyon, Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe, Sweet Rose Creamery, Milo & Olive, Cassia, Esters Wine Shop & Bar, Milo SRO, Cassia Rice & Noodle Kitchen and Birdie G’s. 

Weekend brunch is served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Happy Hour is all-night long on Mondays and from 4 to 6 p.m., and every Tuesday through Friday in the bar, lounge and patio. Weekday dinner service is nightly at 5 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the weekends. Tallula’s is offering a takeout and delivery-only menu starting at 5 p.m. $$ 118 Entrada Drive (310)526-0027.

This article was featured in the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News.

The Gentle Barn Celebrates 20 Years

Meet The Gentle Barn founders, Ellie Laks and Jay Weiner on the red carpet on Saturday, Sept. 28. Wear your farmhouse chic attire as you strut under the stars, as Ellie and Jay recognize individuals who have embraced the organization’s purpose, pay tribute to the animal ambassadors, and honor the organization’s mission to create a kinder, more gentler world for all.

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While visiting The Gentle Barn I met with Ellie and Jay to learn how this special sanctuary got it’s start.  “I started The Gentle Barn in my half-acre backyard in Tarzana after rescuing animals from an abusive petting zoo. Two decades later, The Gentle Barn has welcomed more than 500,000 guests, rescued more than 1,000 animals, hosted hundreds of at-risk and underserved youth groups, and has expanded to two more locations in St. Louis and Nashville,” says Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve received from compassionate people around the world – and we’re just getting started!”

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Comedian and actress, Whitney Cummings hosts a special anniversary celebration, along with presenters former MLB All-Star Chase Utley and actress Nikki Reed.

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Enjoy plant-based food and beverage dinner curated by Goldenvoice’s culinary director Nic Adler, owner of Monty’s Good Burger and Nic’s on Beverly. Dinner is served from 5 to 7 p.m.

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The evening program includes live entertainment, and a special awards ceremony, followed by desserts, a nightcap and DJ follow until 9:30 p.m.

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The Gentle Barn, a national non-profit animal sanctuary celebrating more than 20 years of rescuing animals from abuse and neglect, inspires hope and healing to children and adults facing similar circumstances.

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More than 2,000 volunteers, 50+ employed people, 500+ businesses, and 200+ celebrities and influencers support The Gentle Barn. For more information about The Gentle Barn please visit: http://www.gentlebarn.org.

Purchase tickets at https://www.gentlebarncelebrate.org. 15825 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita. (661)252-2440.

 

 

 

Gelato Festival Opens in West Hollywood

Walking into the new Gelato Festival Gelateria on Melrose Ave., I met with Master Gelato & Pastry Consultant Filippo Cianciosi to learn about Gelato Festival’s concept store. Recently established in West Hollywood on Melrose Ave., the purpose is to celebrate and share the craft of making gelato with the community.

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Inside the 3,000 square foot scoop shop, is also a museum, gelato lab and classroom in lively bright colors, fun Instagrammable moments, interactive touches, and a rotating contemporary art installations. The first is a wall of enormous giant, recycled plastic spoons created by celebrated Italian artist Simone d’Auria.

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There are four different delectably indulgent areas to the inspire creativity:

  • The ROTATING MENU of award-winning, artisan gelato includes 15 flavors. Visitors can come in an try 10 of the flavors that are from recipes created by master gelato chefs from around the globe. These chefs won awards at Gelato Festival’s worldwide championships, including Strawberry & Red Pepper and Pecorino Cheese with Caramelized Pear & Honey. The store’s in-house gelato chef creates five additional flavors, as well as gelato cakes, gelato popsicles, Italian coffee and affogatos. 
  • Visitors can come in and view the process of making fresh gelato daily in an open-concept LAB equipped with state-of-the-art machinery.
  • Take a class inside the CLASSROOM for fun, weekly interactive gelato and coffee workshops open to the public. This space is also available for private events and parties.
  • Along the wall is a GELATO MUSEUM highlighting the history of gelato with gelato cone lights displaying an array of gelato history, starting with its founding in the 16th century in Florence, Italy. Florentine architect, Bernardo Buontalenti in 1559 added milk, cream, and egg yolk to sorbet at the Medici Court.  Learn that the first public place to consume gelato was in Paris in 1686. Display cases include artifacts such as a famous spoon, and an antique Florentine gelato maker. 
  • The calendar of lively COMMUNITY EVENTS, including special visits by award-winning gelato chefs, kids’ juries, and all-you-can-eat gelato challenges.IMG_5058.jpg

This weekend local and visiting International gelato artisans are gathering at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center on Sept. 28 and Sept. 29 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Every ticket-holding guest gets a vote and opportunity to participate in gelato eating contests, scoop stacking, and other fun family games. The gelato artisan who earns the most votes, wins the coveted gold medal and continues the journey towards the industry’s ultimate stage, the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021. Tickets are available on Eventbrite. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gelato-festival-america-west-hollywood-2019-tickets-61930715437#pdc.

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Gabriele Poli, Founder & President of Gelato Festival is enthusiastic about the upcoming two-day festival. Gelato Festival has partnered with Project Angel Food to create a number of initiatives that will launch next month to support the organization. To start, Gelato Festival created an exclusive, limited edition flavor for Project Angel Food’s 30th Anniversary Angel Awards on September 14. It is available in the store. Proceeds from the sale of each scoop will go directly to the organization, which prepares and delivers medically tailored meals to feed people impacted by serious illness throughout Los Angeles County.

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Gelato Festival’s flagship store is open Sunday through Thursday 12-10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 12-12 p.m. Visit gelatofestival.com/store and follow along on Instagram @gelatofestival. (424)249-3966.

 

 

 

Couples Getaway at Carter Estate Winery & Resort

Early in the morning, colorful hot air balloons fly right over the grapevines at the Carter Estate Winery and Resort in Temecula Valley. Each of the Tuscan-designed villas on the estate have an outdoor patio to sip coffee and watch enormous balloons soar by.

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Temecula Valley is the ultimate couples getaway for wine tasting, bicycling, golf, and relaxation. Rolling hills, mountain views and a warm climate make Temecula a popular destination for those needing an escape. It’s less than a two-hour drive from San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and Palm Springs.

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Each villa has a large sitting area and fireplace to sit by with a glass of wine. The expansive marble and granite bath offers an over-sized soaking tub, separate shower and upgraded bath amenities. There are luxurious robes and comfortable slippers to slip into after a day of wine tasting.

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A king size pillow top mattress with elegant bedding and multiple pillows, under a vaulted ceiling with a ceiling fan, offers a quiet night’s sleep.

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Upon check in, guests receive a door hanger with a list of items to select for a complimentary continental breakfast for two. Once completed, leave the hanger outside for a Carter Estate staff member to collect and deliver breakfast to the room in the morning. Guests at the resort also receive two complimentary tasting tickets to experience.

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The wine tasting room offers pours of spectacular still and sparkling wines. Their Méthode Champenoise sparkling wine is the only style wine produced at Carter Estate Winery’s wine production facilities. There are three different sparkling wines to taste or purchase by the bottle. The 2014 Blanc de Blanc offers a classic bright green apple and pear essence made from Estate Chardonnay grapes. The 2014 Blanc de Noir is a pretty pink, with notes of strawberry and raspberry with just a hint of sweetness.

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Even though Champagne can only be made in the Champagne region of France, from grapes only grown there, their 2015 Brut Méthode Champenoise is a fermented sparkling wine with a hint of melon and a wonderfully smooth finish.

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Owner Jim Carter proudly owns 400 verdant acres in Temecula Valley, located at the Carter Estate Winery and Resort, and at the larger South Coast Winery across the street. Together with his head wine makers Jon McPherson and Javier Flores, they have garnered over 2,000 distinguished awards and medals. In June of 2016, South Coast Winery broke records with its fourth win in the California State Winery of the Year Wine Competition.

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The heated swimming pool for Carter Estate Winery and Resort guests is ideal to enjoy during the day after wine tasting. Another before dinner activity offered to couples is an indulgent in-room 80-minute custom couples aromatherapy and deep tissue massage. It also includes a scalp massage and reflexology. A bottle of pre-selected wine is poured after the service. Take a glass out onto your patio to watch the sunset, or to the soaking bathtub for a warm bath and before dinner across the street at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant.

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The natural beauty of gardened landscape and acres of picturesque vineyards make Carter Estate Winery and Resort a relaxing couples getaway to indulge all of your senses.

This review was featured in JustLuxe.

 

 

 

 

 

GRAPE STOMP at South Coast Winery

During September Wine Month in California, harvest season at the South Coast Winery begins with an annual Grape Stomp. Participants enjoy wine tasting, a sparkling wine harvest blessing toast, buffet dinner and live music. Upon check-in “stompers” register, sign a waiver and receive a competition instruction sheet. It’s an ideal couples or friends activity, as one person stands in a wine barrel stomping grapes, while the other stands outside the barrel collecting the grape juice into an empty wine bottle.

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The winners of each round compete in The Stomp Off, and the first team to fill a bottle of grape juice up to the top, wins bragging rights as the stomping champions, and a one night stay in a villa at the South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, plus dinner for two at the award-winning The Vineyard Rose Restaurant.

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After a night of wine and stomping, the winemakers at South Coast Winery and their team wake up around 2:30 a.m., to start harvesting the grapes in the cool vineyards to make their award-winning wines.

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Guests staying overnight gather at the 17,000 sq. ft., South Coast Winery Resort’s GrapeSeed Spa to enjoy a variety of therapeutic treatments in a tranquil setting. Besides a heated 83-degree saltwater pool, there are two whirlpools, private lockers, spa dining menu and a full fitness center.

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The South Coast Stone Massage with heated black stones is ideal to melt away tension, ease muscle stiffness from stomping and increase circulation. Not only do warm stones expand blood vessels, they encourage blood flow throughout the body. After each massage at the GrapeSeed Spa, guests receive a choice of South Coast Winery’s award-winning Chardonnay or one of their red wines.

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During harvest season GrapeSeed Spa offers two Fall specials that include Chardonnay Bliss and a Fall A Peel Facial. Spa guests receive a locker, luxury robe and spa sandals. For the Chardonnay Bliss spa package, guests receive a 50-minute massage infused with Olavie’s signature Chardonnay Oil. The artisan hand-blended botanical oil offers long-lasting repair and nourishes dry skin. The package also include a poolside lunch and glass of Chardonnay.

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The Fall Peel Facial takes away summer lifeless cells and enhances skin with a Jessner peel that exfoliates skin to be smooth, bright and hydrated. This package includes a glass of wine, lunch poolside and deluxe samples to use at home. Both these specials are available Monday through Thursday all September through October 31, 2019.

Make a reservation at South Coast Winery. This review is featured in JustLuxe.

BBQ your own Impossible Burger

Good news for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. The Impossible Burger phenomenon that is on over 17,000 restaurant menus, can now be prepared at home.

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Starting today, Friday, September 20, Gelson’s Markets are selling Impossible™ Burger. This weekend you can now cook kosher, halal, plant-based, gluten-free and bioengineered burgers. It is sold in a 12-oz package and costs $8.99.

All 27 Gelson’s Market Southern California locations are selling it, including Century City, Pacific Palisades, Sherman Oaks, Westlake Village and La Canada Flintridge.

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This meat alternative looks like ground beef, and delivers all the flavors, aroma and nutrients that meat-lovers enjoy.

Three years ago Impossible Foods introduced plant-based meat to top chefs in America’s most important restaurants. They consistently told the CEO and Founder Dr. Patrick O. Brown, that the Impossible Burger “blew them away” and if you haven’t tried one yet, it will blow you away too.

Free samples will be available September 20 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Westfield Century City’s Cabana, located on Level 3 of the shopping center.

To learn more, go to Impossible Foods

BEST GIRL at the Ace Hotel DTLA

A James Beard and Michelin star-winning chef Michael Cimarusti returns to downtown Los Angeles with Best Girl located at the luxury boutique Ace Hotel DTLA. Cimarusti is known for his acclaimed restaurants Providence and Connie and Ted’s.

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Best Girl is an ideal pre-theater or downtown Los Angeles dining venue, offering a relaxed vibe and menus crafted towards farm-fresh comfort foods. Located on the ground floor of the Ace Hotel, it was one of the tallest buildings in Los Angeles in the 1920s.

Dining at Best Girl is a great people-watching spot. The wine list includes French sparkling wines, French and Californian chardonnays, rosé and select red wines. A nice selection of rotating draft beers, dry ciders and low-to-no alcohol beverages round out Clay Wendel’s beverage list.

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Fun fall cocktails include an “Indi Rose” made with gin, rose water and sweet vermouth. The “LA Intervention” is a tequila-based cocktail with a citrusy pamplemousse liqueur, and the “Osaka Sour” is made with Iwai Blue Label whisky and spiced plum wine syrup.

Thick grilled slices of Bub and Grandma’s bread arrived with silver containers of herb butter that offered a pleasing pesto finish and another container with Sicillian anchovies. A mixed garden salad with a handful of small yellow and red tomatoes, sliced radish and baked croutons glistening in olive oil. A light buttermilk dressing made this salad extra special.

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Another winning salad was the sugar snap peas tossed with thinly sliced radishes and red onions. Chopped hazelnuts tossed with Italian parsley and a pleasing crème fraîche dressing finished the salad nicely.

The Lumache alla Norma, one of their most popular dishes and one of the highlights of the evening, is comprised of Sicillian-style large macaroni-shaped pasta, dark purple eggplant, chopped simmered tomatoes and a generous shaving of pecorino cheese.

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We also enjoyed the grilled Jidori chicken with purslane, salsa verde and charred lime halves. A great plate to share with others at the table, the purslane adds a healthy greens to the dish. Its bright, lemony flavor enhances chicken or fish, plus the green leaves offer high omega-3s. Purslane is said to have high levels of melatonin to promote a good night’s sleep.

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Best Girl’s Pastry Chef Crisi Echiverri, who is Cimarusti’s wife, recently updated the dessert menu with her take on Eton Mess. Echiverri’s “Mess O’ Berries” is made with crisp meringue, whipped cream and sweet farmers market berries.

Cimarusti offers a Sunday Supper menu representative of his favorite meals he makes at home for his family and friends. Through the end of the month, enjoy a three-course meal for $35 with an optional wine pairing for an additional $18. One week, it might be a pizzieria salad and charred Jimmy Nadello peppers, and the next course might be chicken and ricotta meatballs with house-made spaghetti and garlic bread. Finish with tiramisu that includes a shot of Sambuca.

Best Girl is one of the best culinary options for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner when in downtown Los Angeles. $$-$$$ 927 S. Broadway (213)235-9660.

Read this review also in the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News .

Girlfriend’s Weekend at Pechanga Resort

Meeting friends for a Girl’s Weekend Reunion at Pechanga Resort nestled in Temecula Valley, this destination that offers a multitude of activities that appeals to everyone.

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Besides the 20,000 square foot gaming casino, there is an event theatre showcasing sell-out concerts. This Las Vegas style resort has a water oasis featuring four-acres of pools, waterslides, a swim up bar, restaurants and spacious cabanas. Next door is a world-class spa facility, and fitness center.

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Recently, Pechanga recently completed a $300 million expansion, nearly doubling its guest-rooms. The new luxury Pechanga’s Tower offers spacious Junior Suites. The bedroom offers a king or two queen beds, and a separate sofa bed in the living area. The quartz countertop bathroom has a large rain dome shower and in-shower bench, with an array of luxury bath products.

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The tastefully decorated rooms feature indigenous and locally created artwork among floor to ceiling windows looking out to the verdant Journey at Pechanga golf course or Temecula valley and hills.

During the day, there are three swimming pools, including a zero-edge main pool with a swim-up bar. The family pool has two waterslides and a splash pad. Throughout the 4.5 acres there are five whirlpool spas.

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There are plenty of lounge chairs and cabanas for friends to catch up while enjoying the topical oasis called The Cove. Day Beds accommodate four friends, while pool cabanas seat up to six people. The Cove also offers seating in the Premium Cabanas for up to 8 guests. All day beds and cabanas include sun care amenity, bottled water, and cabana services.

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Golf course architects, Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest, created a par-72, links-style Journey at Pechanga golf course (The course will be closed for overseeding beginning September 23, 2019 until October 14, 2019).  After a round of golf with girlfriends, the acclaimed Journey’s End restaurant offers a healthy lunch and dinner menu inside the modern club house and outdoors with firepit and golf course views.

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Relaxation time at Spa Pechanga is inside a 25,000-square foot sanctuary designed for year-round rejuvenation of the mind, body and spirit. Amenities include a warm indoor whirlpool and another whirlpool spa outdoors with a flowing waterfall. Inside are steam rooms, saunas, and relaxation areas for napping. Upstairs, the luxurious treatment rooms offer tranquil hillside views.

Inside the hotel there area a variety of international dining venues including The Great Oak Steakhouse, Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar, Paisano’s, Bamboo, and Blazing Noodles. There are also a handful of casual options, bars and lounges.

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In the evening Pechanga Resort and Casino has the largest casino floor with over 4,500 slot machines, 154 table games, a non-smoking poker room with 38 tables, and an ultra-modern, 700-seat bingo.

Pechanga is a winning destination for all to enjoy fun, sun, and relaxation.

 

 

 

 

Inside the 2019 Emmy’s Governors Ball

This weekend the Television Academy is hosting the 71st Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. After the televised award show, the stars and guests will walk on a long red carpet to one of Hollywood’s largest dinner party.

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Cheryl Cecchetto and Sequoia Productions have created a gorgeous “Brilliance in Motion” theme for the Governors Ball inside the L.A. Live Event space. The multi-layered design dazzles in reds, corals, magentas and eggplant colors. On tables and throughout the event, Kevin Lee and his floral team from L.A. Premier enhance the dining and lounge areas with thousands of blooms in four different colors and fragrant aromas. Illuminated filaments create a shimmering cascade of color throughout.

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New this year, the home furniture and accessories retailer Living Spaces generously provided all of the sofas, settees and tables. Partnering with the Television Academy, the furniture will be donated to the Hollywood Community Housing Corporation and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles to furnish interiors of homes for those in need.

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L’Oreal Paris is offering celebrity touch-up lip color, powder and sparkle backstage at the Emmy Awards and inside the Governors Ball for photo-ready finishes.

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The night’s winners are treated to a glass of Sterling Vineyards wine while waiting for their personalized Emmy statuettes in the Emmy’s Winner’s Circle. Throughout the night Sterling Vineyards will pour 2017 Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon throughout the evening. They also are bringing bottles of their 2015 Platinum Cabernet Sauvignon and 2015 Iridium Cabernet Sauvignon for guests to taste.

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Governors Ball guests will also toast the evening with flutes of Ferrari Trento Blanc de Blancs Ferrari Brut and Ferrari Brut Rose’. Ferrari Trento was crowned Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year 2019 at The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships and the Producer of the Year 2019.

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Other beverages include bottles of FIJI Water on the red carpet and inside the Governors Ball, and Ketel One family-made vodka. For another year, award-winning bartender Charles Joly crafted an Emmy Awards Season cocktail collection including an exotic fruit and spice The Drapper Dragon, a pineapple juice, cold brew with banana chai foam called The Moonlighter and a twist on a classic Moscow Mule.

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Patina Catering will once again prepare elevated dishes for over 8,000 guests over three nights. The first catered party is The Creative Arts Governors Ball on September 14 & 15. During the televised Television Academy Emmy Awards on September 22, Patina Catering will prepare culinary delights for 3,700 Emmy nominees, VIPS and their guests.

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After the Emmy telecast, Governors Ball guests will enjoy a variety of elegant, free flowing tray passed hors d’oeuvres and small plates created by renowed chef Joachim Splical and his team including chefs Alec Lestr and Gregg Wiele. Instead of sit-down service, there will be a variety of epic stations that include a Chefs carving station with menu items from Joachim Spichal’s Nick & Stefs restaurant. Patina’s lavish tasting menu is designed to please all including vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free diets.

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Don Francisco’s Coffee is providing 100% Arabica coffee to enjoy with Patina Catering Executive Pastry Chef Frania Mendivil desserts. There will be a display of mini verrines, chocolate cup tarts, homemade gooey chocolate chip cookies and warm double chocolate S’more brownies.

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Premium Swiss chocolatier Lindt will display Chocolate Pot de Creme and melting Lindt LINDOR truffles for guests to enjoy throughout the evening. LINDOR milk, white and fudge swirl will be given to guests for a sweet ending to a memorable culinary award winning evening.

The 71st Emmy Awards will air LIVE coast-to-coast from the Microsoft Theater at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 22 (8 to 11 p.m.ET/ 5 to 8 p.m. PT) on FOX.