Dreamscape Immersive Reopens in Century City

Dreamscape Immersive’s reopens at the Century City Mall on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Without leaving Century City, guests ages 10+ are once again transported on a mind-bending, heart-pumping adventure to faraway worlds. 

Before the pandemic, I rode Dragons Flight Academy, inspired by DreamWorks Animation‘s critically acclaimed film trilogy – “How to Train Your Dragon”, this interactive experience allowed eight VR participants a reserved time to experience the 20 minute journey together.

Closed for over one year, I wondered how this fun, family activity would reopen. I learned that in order to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all, Dreamscape has added enhanced cleaning procedures, social distancing standards, and mandatory masks wearing for guests and employees.  

Also, they are only selling private adventures, where one travels only with their trusted crew.  Just purchase two or more tickets per experience and the POD is all yours. Tickets are available for presale now for $23.50 online.

The adventure begins the minute you walk into the flagship Los Angeles Dreamscape, near Eataly and step inside a replica of a train station.

Bruce Vaughn and Walter Parkes

“At Dreamscape, our goal is to create the ultimate immersive experiences that allow our customers to enter into, and in this case fly into, worlds that they never dreamed possible,” said Walter Parkes, Chairman, Dreamscape and Producer, DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy. ”

Bruce Vaughn, CEO Dreamscape Immersive is living his dream of animation and movie magic. Ever since he was 12 years old watching the first Star Wars movie, he knew he wanted to create stories and experiences for people. Now he has taken his dream to a new level with his Dreamscape vision, creating virtual 3D environments, enabling people to become the star of their own movie adventure.

Christina Lee Storm, Producer, DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy, DreamWorks Animation said, “The thrilling adventure will bring guests to new heights in a fun, wondrous way that will inspire repeat visits.”

Click here to reserve your Dreamscape ride. Other Dreamscape Immersive Theaters open includes Easton Town Center in Columbus, OH; NorthPark Center in Dallas, TX and Mall of the Emirates, Dubai UAE.

Best Ice Skating during the Holidays in LA

When shopping during the holidays at the Westfield Century City take a trip through The Market at Westfield to explore a charming winter village with cobblestone streets, dotted with pine trees and twinkling garland.

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Peek inside curated specialty shops and food purveyors offering holiday gifts and delicious gourmet treats. Santa and Mrs. Claus’ bungalow is inside the village neat the sleigh parking area. The Town Square clock tower showcases the latest must-have L.O.L Surprise! collectibles and chances to win holiday toys. Get your holiday gifts expertly wrapped at Santa’s Post Office. Hourly snow falls and clock chimes.

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Look above to see a one-of-a-kind 600-foot skate rink that circles the market overhead, for an elevated perspective.

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This unique ice skating experience is now through January 12, 2020. Skate along to holiday music around The Market at The Atrium. Live performances are on Wednesday – Sunday by a village town villager cast. Stop along the wrap around ice track for a warm beverage.

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Shop 13 charming and curated specialty shops and food purveyors offering limited-edition gifts, gourmet treats, and accessories. Featured brands include:

  • Dandelion Chocolate (Level 1 & 2): From their award winning two-ingredient chocolate bars to assorted gift boxes, hot chocolate mixes, and their famous chocolate maker kit, the Dandelion pop-up will have it all. On Level Two at the Skating Rink, they will serve their famous hot chocolate drinks and treats for the first time in Los Angeles, including their popular European Drinking Chocolate, Cold Chocolate Oat Milk, chocolate chip cookies, and more!
  • Ghost DemocracyGhost Democracy is a direct-to-consumer skincare brand whose mission is to make exceptionally clean skincare accessible to everyone. It’s focused on a higher standard of clean and higher ingredient concentrations for results you can see, at a price that doesn’t break the bank.
  • GoodiesGoodies offers uniquely handcrafted home goods for nothing over $25. Their products are made in small batches with new items added every two weeks. They believe in sustainability, using natural materials and no plastic in their designs. Their mission is to make sustainable design attainable for everyone.
  • Lady M Confections
  • Lord Jones: Lord Jones formulates, manufactures and distributed the world’s finest hemp-derived CBD infused products. The collection features best-in-class skincare, handmade confections and daily supplements.
  • Mac Shackk: This Buttered Beer Pop-Up Shop is home to the finest purveyors of (non-alcoholic) Buttered Beer Beverages and Magical Macaroni and Cheese Bowls. The Buttered Beer Beverage is full of notes of vanilla, caramel, and other secret flavors that will enchant your taste buds and  leave you hooked like most famous wizards. At the shop you can also purchase their glittery Mac n Cheese in homemade Bread Bowls and buy yourself a mystery wand.
  • NURA: Nura produces the nuraphone —  world’s only headphone that automatically learns and adapts to your hearing creating the best experience of your music possible, now available as a monthly subscription.
  • Outerknown – For People and Planet. At Outerknown, they’re known for making every decision with the highest regard for the hands that build our clothes and the world we call home. From seeds to suppliers to circular design, their mission is to protect natural resources, empower the people crafting our clothes, and inspire change within the industry and beyond. Outerknown want to be the world’s most progressive digital brand and believe that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice style for sustainability – the two should be synonymous.
  • Tiary: Make gift giving personal this year by designing your own custom piece of jewelry from Tiary. Designers will be on hand to help you choose the style, metal, stones, personalized letters and engraving to make each piece as unique, as the person you are gifting. Each piece is then custom made in the USA from high quality and ethically sourced materials and shipped to you or your gifting recipient. Jewelry is one of the most personal gifts you can give or receive, be the gifting-giving hero this season with custom, made-to-order jewelry from Tiary!
  • VEJO: Vejo is the first integrated health and wellness platform to provide access to targeted on-the-go nutrition without compromising nutrients or convenience. Vejo has created the world’s first connected, pod-based blender that allows users to consume doctor-formulated and athlete-tested blends anywhere.
  • Von Holzhausen: Von Holzhausen has reinvented leather with their 100% animal-free Technik-Leather. They are a Malibu–based collection of accessories with a focus on design, sustainability, and quality of life at prices that leave out the traditional retail mark–up.
  • Waffleshot: An edible cup made out of a waffle cone and coated with Belgian chocolate. Depending on the flavor you choose you will find a hidden filling nestled at the bottom.

Skate times are from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Dodger Dreams at the InterContinental LA

Dodger fans seeking to make the most of the World Series can stay in Los Angeles and enjoy the LA Dodger Dreams package at the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City.

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Situated on the famed Avenue of the Stars, next to Fox entertainment movie studios, and within walking distance to the Westfield Century City Lifestyle Center, Eataly LA, Annenberg Space for Photography. Beverly Hills’ world-class shopping on Rodeo Drive and farm to table items at the Original Farmers Market is right on the way to Dodger Stadium. Within minutes is the Pacific Ocean providing year-round sunny and soft sand beaches.

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Guests receive a discount staying in a Studio Suite at InterContinental Los Angeles Century City. The hotel offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean to downtown Los Angles and the hills of Dodger Stadium. Baseball-themed welcome amenities include cookies & Cracker Jacks.

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Rooms include Italian marble bathrooms with in walk-in showers and separate soaking tubs, plush Italian down bed linens, bathrobes and slippers, flat screen televisions and balconies or terraces featuring unbeatable panoramic views.

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The hotel will arrange private round-trip transportation to Dodgers Stadium, and guests will receive a $25 Visa gift card to be used on Dodger dogs and beers at the game.

Before of after the game, guests can enjoy meals and blue themed cocktail down at the lobby’s Copper Lounge or in the hotel’s elegant Mari Restaurant. Executive Chef Shane Hosac showcases creative fusion food made from seasonal, local and sustainable products that celebrate what’s growing in Southern California.  

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To properly celebrate a Dodgers’ win, guests can enjoy two complimentary Dodger-themed cocktails at Copper Lounge upon their return to the hotel.

This special Dodger Deal starts at $539.00 per night. Call (310) 284-6546 and mention the “Dodger Dreams” package. 2151 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, California 90067

Healthy Eating is a Breeze

DSC_0697After experiencing a Paleo dinner prepared by Chef Ali Parvinjah last Saturday night at Breeze Restaurant and Bar, I vowed to start my New Year’s resolution early, by eating like my ancient ancestors in the Paleolithic era.

Chef Ali at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza is an expert at Paleo cooking and inspired me to adjust my culinary lifestyle.

Born in Connecticut on the fourth of July, Chef Ali was overweight as a child and bullied. He went to the California Culinary Academy to become a chef, because he loved eating food. Later, he worked at Patina and helped Joachim Splichal open the downtown steakhouse, Nick and Stef’s.

Seven years ago, Chef Ali was at his all time highest weight, 270 pounds. He was miserable and decided to do something about it. He met Roger Machado a professor of Brazilian jiu-jitsu who taught Chef Ali to become a vegetarian, while learning the martial arts-combat sport. While attending classes for two years, Chef Ali dropped down to 205 pounds. Feeling good about himself, he competed in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments and became lighter, faster and leaner. Chef Ali surrounded himself with people who ate a healthy Paleo eating plan, and dropped down to hisDSC_0689 current trim 185 pounds.

Meanwhile, Hyatt offered him a job to be a chef at various Hyatt Hotels. Chef Ali created a successful gourmet vegan menu for the Hyatt in London, and then came to the Century Plaza Hotel a little over two years ago.

Here he has created a Paleo menu to accompany the regular menu at Breeze Restaurant and Bar. Even the regular menu offers fairly healthy dishes that included vegan, gluten free, perfectly portioned dishes that are lighter and only 500 calories or less.

“Paleo is a modern nutritional plan based on a hunter-gatherer diet, also known as a caveman diet,” Chef Ali said. “The development of farming and grain-based diets that are reconstructed are the root to obesity.”

A Paleo diet consists of sustainable fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. It excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. He believes our bodies can’t digest these foods properly and stores them as fat. “You take in the calories, yet don’t get much in nutrients,” he said.

IMG_5892You will not see any of these on Chef Ali’s Paleo menu, but what you will see is an appetizing array of dishes that you could easily eat daily.

“I go to the Farmers Market every Wednesday in Santa Monica to be inspired by the soil and what grows from it,” said Chef Ali. “Recently while choosing fresh vegetables and produce, I created my winter and holiday season Paleo menu.”

The Breeze Paleo Menu features appetizers titled “The Early Days of Man,” with two dishes that peeked our interest; a roasted butternut squash bisque and a pear and arugula salad. When our dishes arrived, I asked our attentive server, Robert, how this soup can be so creamy without any dairy. Robert has worked at the Century Plaza since 1995, and explained to us that Chef Ali adds coconut milk to the butternut squash, some onions and thyme, and then smooths it out with a Vitamix.

The salad had a natural sweetness and tartness to it with the sliced pears and honey, next to fresh cranberries filled with good antioxidants.

Our server Robert recommended a glass of Canvas Chardonnay made exclusively by Michael Mondavi for the Hyatt Hotels. It’s a clean tasting

food-friendly wine. Also, we had a glass of a more oaky and buttery Franciscan Chardonnay with our salad.

Inquiring about the wine list, I noticed there are 14 wines by the glass and various bottles that range from $52 to $235. What piqued my interestDSC_0690 was the Director’s Cut on the back page. Robert sent sommelier Nicholas Trznadel over to our table to explain these wines. Nicholas looks at his inventory of wines and chooses a variety of bottles to sell at discounted price to make room for new incoming wines. “It’s an added value to guests and keeps our wine list current and fresh,” said Nicholas. Every two to three weeks, he changes the wines offered on the Director’s Cut list.

Under the entrées is a char grilled New York steak topped with a grainy mustard sauce and served with sautéed winter greens, and an appealing sweet potato and leek gratin. Chef Ali’s mustard sauce is made with almond milk, honey, herbs and spices. There’s no butter

Nicolas brought out a bottle of a 2011 Justin – Justification that is made with 59 percent Cabernet Franc and 41 percent Merlot. The Merlot softens the blend. It paired nicely with the steak offering deep blackberry, blueberry and currant notes with soft spice and earth tones.

I ordered a moist and tender seared Patagonian tooth fish, also known as a seabass. It was served on a bed of cauliflower “rice” with roasted artichokes, sliced fennel, and colorful baby tomatoes next to robust olives decorating the plate.

The dishes are presented to appeal to your eyes and tastebuds
The dishes are presented to appeal to your eyes and tastebuds

The “rice” is blanched cauliflower put into a Cuisinart to resemble Jasmine rice. It doesn’t taste like rice, yet is a much healthier option.

Nicholas offered a healthy pour of 2011 Chalk Hill Sonoma Chardonnay with just a wisp of green apple, pear, soft oak and elegant butter tones.

Desserts are under “The Sweeter Side of Man” and include a Mason jar pumpkin pie with coconut whipped topping. Our favorite was Chef Ali’s mint chip ice cream made without any dairy. It’s made with raw cashews, maple syrup, vanilla bean, fresh mint and raw cocoa nibs from the seeds of the cacao tree. The nibs give the frozen delight texture and a delicate crunch. Three tablespoons of cacao offer more antioxidants than a cup of blueberries. It also has the chemicals that produce one to feel blissful and euphoric.

So for my New Year’s resolution, I am going to try to change the way I look and the way I dine. I look forward to visiting Chef Ali again for inspiration, guidance and to enjoy his healthy,

It looks like ice cream, tastes like ice cream, yet has no dairy.
It looks like ice cream, tastes like ice cream, yet has no dairy.

seasonal fare.

If the Paleo menu does not appeal to you, a regular breakfast, lunch and dinner menu is offered.

For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Chef Ali is preparing a maple yam bisque with fried leeks and lemon misto oil, herb cashew crusted prime rib with Yorkshire pudding. Finish with a raw pecan pie with coconut whipped cream or a chocolate Yule log. Dinner is from 5:30 to 10 p.m. for $50 per person. This celebratory dinner includes a glass of Canvas Chardonnay or Cabernet. On New Year’s Eve, Chef Ali is cooking up a special three course prix fixe dinner for $80 a couple.

Breeze is open for breakfast on Monday through Friday from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.  On Saturday and Sunday breakfast is open until 11:30 a.m. Lunch is offered daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The sushi bar is open from Monday through Friday at 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner begins at 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. daily. $$ 2025 Avenue of the Stars (310) 551-3334.

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