Spill Your Heart Out Valentine’s Cake

Celebrity chef Zac Young is thrilled to share his new interactive ‘Spill Your Heart Out Cake’ for couples and families to enjoy on Valentine’s Day.

This fun and easy, DIY expression of love can be enjoyed throughout the week. Imagine layers of devil’s food cake, with chocolate mousse and frosted in strawberry cheesecake. Then the cake has a separate rosé champagne glaze and festive sprinkle mix. Put it into the ring on top of the cake, remove the ring, and watch the sparkly glaze flow. Young likes to call it a literal outpouring of love.

Click here to watch how to DIY. This The cake feeds six people (or one or two with plenty of leftovers) and is available for nationwide shipping on Goldbelly for $99. 

Take Your Sweetheart Here on Valentine’s Day

Where are you taking that special guy or gal this coming Thursday to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Some are celebrating before the big day and others will continue to celebrate afterwards and into the weekend.

Here is a list of Weinlein approved destinations featured in the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News:



Montage Beverly Hills

Settle into a private poolside cabana at the Montage Beverly Hills with chocolate-covered strawberries, a mimosa flight and plush terry cloth robes. This special package for $450 is available from Saturday, Feb. 9, through Thursday, Feb. 14. Cabanas can accommodate invited to treat their sweethearts and themselves to bottomless mimosas at The Rooftop Grill on Feb. 14 for $42 per person. The Bar at the Montage Beverly Hills also welcomes guests on Feb. 14 for special cocktails like the Opposites Attract, The Heart and The Spirit. Enjoy live music starting at 7:30 p.m. For dinner, The Restaurant will offer a romantic four-course meal. Chef Monica Olaes’ menu is laden with rich and decadent offerings, including leek and potato cream soup with black truffles, seared scallops and beef tartare. Entrées include vegetable lasagna, Chilean sea bass and filet mignon. Sommelier-selected wine pairings are available exclusively on Feb. 14 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. The dinner is $105 per person with an additional $55 per person for optional wine pairings. Stay overnight for a perfect getaway for two that includes luxurious accommodations, chocolate-covered strawberries and a bottle of Champagne upon arrival. Enjoy complimentary access to the Spa Montage Beverly Hills, breakfast in bed or at The Rooftop Grill, and Canon Drive, (855)691-1162.

Skyspace LA

Celebrate romance with Skyspace Los Angeles’ “Toast From The Top” package. The $50 admission offers wonderful views; two chocolate-covered strawberries; two Skyslide rides, one per person; and two splits of Pommery brut Champagne and rosé, or a bottle of G.H. Mumm Champagne for an additional $25. The special is available now through Feb. 17. For tickets, visit bit.ly/2Sto8OY. 633 W. Fifth St., #840, (213)894-9000.

Dinner and a movie at The Grove

In honor of awards season, The Grove offers the ultimate movie-going experience for two. Enjoy an award-nominated film and a three-course dinner at select dining destinations at The Grove. Participating restaurants include 189 by Dominique Ansel, Bar Verde at Nordstrom, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, Ladurée, La Piazza, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Umami Burger, and The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge. For $70 per couple, this special package includes dinner for two, complimentary valet parking and two reserved movie tickets for one of the nominated movies playing at the Pacific Theatres. Caruso Rewards members will receive free popcorn. The special is available Monday through Friday until March 1, but not on Valentine’s Day. 189 The Grove Drive, (323)900-8080.

Preux & Proper

Executive chef Sammy Monsour prepares a Southern spread on Feb. 14 for couples and friends to share. Start with a charcuterie paired with pâté de campagne made with rabbit and pork, green tomato chow-chow, seasonal accoutrements and fresh baguette. The seafood gumbo pot is made with Louisiana crawfish, tiger prawns, Willapa Bay oysters, Prince Edward Island mussels, rice and tobacco leeks. Another dish perfect for sharing is the traditional rabbit jambalaya prepared with Oz Family Farms rabbit, heirloom squash risotto, sage, pecorino sardo, golden raisins and pumpkin seeds. Finish with dulce de leche bananas Foster beignets with powdered sugar, or the Mama’s Key Lime Pie, featuring a secret recipe served with whipped cream. Beverage director Kassady Wiggins is making two special Valentine’s Day cocktails, the Love Potion #9 with Sipsmith London dry gin and the 50 Shades of Lavender with sparkling rosé. The restaurant is open from 4 to 10 p.m. 840 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, (213)896-0090.

The Belvedere

The Belvedere offers a four-course, prix-fixe menu featuring fresh lobster caviar, a juicy and tender filet mignon, and puffy chocolate soufflé or tiramisu for dessert. Resident pianist Antonio Castillo de la Gala will play during this special Valentine’s Day dinner from 5 to 10:30 p.m. The meal is $125 per guest. 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310)975-2736.


Jean-Georges Beverly Hills

Walk through the elegant Waldorf Astoria to the Jean-Georges restaurant for a special tasting menu after 5 p.m. on Feb. 14. Start with an amuse-bouche, and sea urchin and caviar. Other offerings include fresh tagliatelle with black truffles, and fresh cod with a nut and seed crust. The wagyu beef tenderloin is served with silky glazed and roasted carrots. Finish with a chewy chocolate meringue topped with blood oranges and roses. The meal is $155 per person. 9850 Wilshire Blvd., (310)860-6566.


The recently opened Spanish-influenced restaurant located in the heart of Highland Park is offering a Spanish-Japanese Valentine’s Day prix-fixe dinner menu for $80 per person. Optional sake and wine pairings are $20 per person. Dinner reservations are available from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Menu items include Japanese vegetable tempura, Baja sea bass sashimi, chicken heart yakitori and unagi paella for two. 5715 N. Figueroa St., (323)474-6624.IMG_0010Circa 55

The signature restaurant at The Beverly Hilton is serving a four-course dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. with live guitar music starting at 6 p.m. The evening includes an amuse-bouche, appetizer, entrée and sweet treat by renowned pastry chef Thomas Henzi. This special includes one bottle of Le Grande Courtâge sparkling wine or one virgin cocktail per person. Couples get to take home a mini box of chocolate truffles to enjoy later in the evening. The special meal is $130 per couple or $65 per person. 9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310)887-6055.


Enjoy chef de cuisine Luca Moriconi’s five-course, prix-fixe menu at $125 per person. Start with a special sangria cocktail, featuring red wine, Asian pear, strawberry, orange and honey, garnished with fresh fruit. The menu begins with an oyster amuse-bouche, followed by antipasto choices such as tomato soup with ricotta agnolotti and taggiasca olive dust. Next, enjoy mozzarella with candy cane beets, marinated strawberries, aged balsamic and mint, or carabineros prawn crudo with red pepper corn, sea beans, grapes and citronette. For the first course, choose between black mussels with artichoke lasagna or asparagus risotto with edible gold. The second course offers a choice between baked Dover sole filets or roasted Cornish hen served with truffled white polenta, green peas and seasonal black truffles. Finish with a passion fruit semifreddo for two, served with chocolate torsion and a candied rose. An à la carte menu is also offered. Reservations are from 6 to 11 p.m. 300 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills, (310)860-4000.IMG_0011

Institute of Culinary Education

On Feb. 14, make and enjoy classic shrimp cocktails, Caesar salad, grilled New York strips, creamed spinach, truffled mashed potatoes and mini New York cheesecakes with strawberry compote at the Institute of Culinary Education’s Pasadena campus. On Feb. 15, couples can learn how to make, shape and stuff pasta dough. You and your partner will create a complete fresh Italian dinner of pappardelle with Bolognese sauce, butternut squash ravioli with sage butter, tomato basil bruschetta, and a shaved fennel and radicchio salad. Each class begins at 6 p.m. and costs $240 a couple. 521 E. Green St., (888)718-2433.

Crustacean BH

Among cascades of flowers and elegant décor, chef Helene An makes romantic creations with seafood, apples, saffron, chili, banana, pomegranate, vanilla and watermelon. Start with the chilled watermelon consume, chilled Fanny Bay oysters with yuzu and truffle ponzu, and warm Alaskan king crab leg with sweet corn and tamarind sweet chili. The Eros Salad is made with pomegranate seeds, strawberries, kale, Brussels sprouts, almonds, red onion and cauliflower croutons. The surf ‘n’ turf dish features A5 wagyu and Maine lobster. For a sweet ending, try The Forbidden Apple made with pound cake, cobbler crumble, Baileys caramel liqueur and maca. An also makes her banana à la mode with turbinado brûlée, Baileys, caramel and Tahitian bean ice cream. 468 N. Bedford Drive, (310)205-8990.

Không Tên

On Valentine’s Day, Không Tên is offering 50 percent off all drinks all night for all singles sitting at the bar. There’ll also be a special flaming version of The Golden Pineapple cocktail for two. Throughout February, couples on any of the dating apps, including Tinder, Grindr and Bumble, can get 50 percent off drinks by showing the server or bartender both phones to prove a match. 11520 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, (424)832-7000.

E.P. & L.P.

Aussie-Fijian executive chef Louis Tikaram’s five-course menu begins with a glass of Champagne and hiramasa kingfish tartare. Couples will then share Australian king prawn and Maine lobster garlic butter noodles, hot and sour salad with wood-grilled short rib, and truffle fried rice. Finish with the Coco-Nuts About You pudding. This special dinner is $100 per person. 603 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, (310)855-9955.


Enjoy a French-inspired Saint Valentine prix-fixe menu for $95 per person with an optional wine pairing for $55 each. Start with caviar toast, purple potatoes and crème fraîche, and entrées of chicken oysters with cappuccino, hazelnut and porcini, or a New York strip with bone marrow, barley and root stew. For dessert, enjoy a decadent chocolate dessert for two. An à la carte menu is also offered. 14. 8500 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (310)360-3866.

Valentine’s Day Fun at Disneyland

Now through February 18, 2019 Disneyland is decorated festively to celebrate Mickey and Minnie’s romance during Valentine’s month. Bring your loved one to celebrate “Love in the Air.”


Entering, guests will notice the famous Mickey Mouse pink floral design on the grassy slope below the Disney Railroad station.

Inside the Disneyland Park entrance is a “sweethearts” photo opportunity featuring a Valentine from Minnie Mouse at the Town Square on Main Street U.S.A. The street storefronts and lamp posts are decorated in red with white polka dot banners, colorful hearts and flags.


Guests can ride in festively heart decorated historic motor cars to the Neo-romantic Sleeping Beauty Castle. Design inspirations for this centerpiece of the park include both Bavarian Neuschwanstein and French Chateau de Chenonceau castles. On January 29, the castle is closed for paint and repair enhancements. It will be dazzling soon.


Throughout Valentine’s month, visitors can purchase a Minnie’s Valentine’s Day Surprise Scavenger Hunt game board for $6.99 plus tax. Have fun using your investigative skills in search for secret valentines that Minnie has hidden around Disneyland park. There are hints for each location, such as “You can pull my heartstrings in Frontierland” and “Let’s share a treat at the Candy Palace.” Place a corresponding sticker on the colorful heart to reveal a secret message for Mickey and friends. When you find all the valentines, take it to Disney Showcase by February 28, 2019 for a special surprise. One game board per prize. Boards and stickers available while supplies last. Purchase a Minnie valentine game board with stickers at Bonanza Outfitters, The Briar Patch, Disney Showcase, Disneyana, Emporium, Little Green Men Store Command and Pieces of Eight.


Valentine food options include caramel apples, rice crispy treats and adorable Toontown sundaes. The new Tropical Hideaway offers open-air dining next to the famous Jungle Cruise waterfront and Enchanted Tiki Room. At sundown, it’s a romantic ambiance to sit and share one of the new Dole Whips. Besides pineapple, they now also offer orange and raspberry whips. Sit with a loved one next to one of the flickering torch lights and share a Loaded Whip – Orange and Pineapple swirl with exotic fruit (mango, pineapple, toasted coconut) with crystalized hibiscus and chocolate Pocky cookie sticks.


During the evening various designs are projected on the facade of “it’s a small world” and Main Street U.S.A., that will leave guests swooning.

This review was featured in JustLuxe on February 2, 2019.

11 Hot Spot’s For Cocktails on Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, Celebrate Love with A Cocktail or Two!

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(Photos by Jerica Coert, Moretti Photo, & acuna-hansen)

Los Angeles has some of the most creative bartenders and mixologists in California. Here are 10 new cocktails that will be offered on Valentine’s Day at various hot spots in Los Angeles. If you don’t live in Southern California, here are the ingredients the mixologists shared with me to inspire you to make the same cocktail at home.Casita Del Campo- Pomegranate Margarita Blended

  1. Pomegranate Margarita at Casita Del CampoForget a bouquet of roses for your sweetheart. Instead, celebrate Valentine’s Day with a delicious spin on a classic margarita. It’s prepared blended or on the rocks with a pour of tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice, a splash of triple sec, pomegranate juice, and fresh pomegranate garnish. Open Feb. 14 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m; 1920 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles, (323)662-4255 www.CasitaDelCampo.com .
  2. Shot At Love at CHAYA Downtown  There won’t be any broken hearts for those who enjoy this libation created by Marco Currasco at CHAYA Downtown. Prepared with love with a pour of Deep Eddy Vodka, Yuzu Sake, muddled strawberries, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white, and garnished with a Campari heart and lime twist. After sipping this, enjoy the special Valentine’s Day menu offered from 5 to 10 p.m. 525 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, (213)236-9577 www.TheChaya.com.CHAYA Venice - Love Potion Cocktail (1)
  3. Love Potion by Erica Venning at Chaya VeniceThis beautiful cocktail will give your the courage to declare your love for that special someone. Tantalize the taste buds with vodka, lemon, simple syrup, egg white, and pomegranate elixir. Chaya Venice is also offering a Bottomless Rosé Brute all night for just $15 per person. Open 5:30 to 10 p.m. 110 Nacy Street, Venice, (310.396.1179) www.TheChaya.com.
  4. Just Footloose at Springwill inspire you to give your loved one a twirl. Mixologist Freddy De La Paz creates an elegant libation made with Tarea Silver Tequila, Grand Marnier, blood orange, agave nectar, and lemon. Open from 5 to 10 pm. 257 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, (213)372-5189www.SpringLosAngeles.com.Spring- Drink, Pray, Love
  5. Drink, Pray, Love at SpringFreddy De La Paz is preparing a special cocktail on Valentine’s Day at Spring’s romantic Springside lounge. Prepared with Hangar One Rosé Vodka, Dolin Blanc, Luxardo Maraschino, and rose water, this cocktail embodies romance with every sip. After ordering your drink look over special four- course menu. Open from 5 to 10 pm. 257 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, (213)372-5189. www.SpringLosAngeles.com.
  6. Actually Love Actually – Freddy De La Paz also makes a lip licking cocktail to toast with your loved one in the Atrium of Spring. It’s a blend of Burnett’s London Dry Gin, strawberry, basil, and lime. This cocktail is to be enjoyed until every last drop. Open from 5 to 10 pm. 257 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, (213)372-5189. www.SpringLosAngeles.com.Sunset & Vinyl - Off Sunset 1 (2)
  7. Sunset & Vinyl’s Off Sunset – Mixologist Devon Espinoza creates a pretty drink that will elevate your mood. Sit at the bar or lounge to sip a Tequila Blanco, grapefruit, house grenadine, and jalapeño cocktail. This drink will have you dancing while listening to the classic record player spin records all night long. Open for Valentine’s Day from 6 to 2 a.m.; 1521 Vine Street, Los Angeles, (424)646-3375. www.SunsetandVinyl.com.
  8. The FLATS in Beverly Hills – Sit in the hanging basket chair in the bar and order one of Mixologist Shaun Summers’ beautiful Angel Face cocktails. It’s made with cranberry infused apple brandy and gin blend, apricot liquor, Nocino, and garnished with a housemade fruit roll-up. This drink will make you swirl before enjoying Chef Paul Shoemaker’s creative dinner. 8400 Wilshire Blvd. (310)909-7549. www.TheFLATSRestaurant.comThe FLATS - Angel Face Cocktail (1)
  9.  The Raymond 1886 offers Cupid’s Arrow – Mixologist Peter Lloyd Jones will get you in the mood for love this Valentine’s Day while sipping a pretty drink made with hibiscus, cava, and lemon. It’s bright, bubbly and will liven your spirits as if you were just struck by Cupid. 1886 is open Midnight on Valentine’s Day. 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, (626)441-3136. www.TheRaymond.comThey Raymond 1886 - The Sazerac Cocktail (2)
  10. The Sazarac Lover – The Raymond 1886 – Peter Lloyd Jones creates a soulful cocktail that will warm your heart. It’s made with Ritten House Rye, Peychaud Bitters, Absinthe Rise, sugar cube, and a lemon peel. 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, (626)441-3136. www.TheRaymond.com.Twohey's Tavern - Rose Bowl Cocktail (1)
  11. Sip a Rose Bowl created by Patrick Tang at Twohey’s Tavern This blush colored cocktail has a rosebud garnish to brighten your spirits. Prepared with Pisco, gin, rosé syrup, egg whites, and strawberry, this effervescent cocktail is easy to enjoy during your romantic evening with that special someone. Open for Valentine’s Day for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m., with the Bar open until 11 p.m. 2835 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, (626)449-2337 www.Twohey’sTavern.com.

5 Experiences You Will Love at Universal CityWalk

With Valentine’s Day approaching, love is in the air at Universal CityWalk. Celebrate the fun with a loved one or friend from Feb. 8 to Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

Here are 6 Romantic Moments to experience at The Entertainment Capital of L.A.img462_250x209See a movie – Universal Cinema offers plush recliner loveseats to cuddle up with your sweetheart to see the newest movies on enormous screens. Click here to see movie times AMC Universal.

  1. Grab a pre-movie and post-movie drink at the Director’s Lounge Cocktail Bar. img30604_1200x406
  2. On Thursday, February 8 starting at 1 p.m., relive every passion-filled moment of Fifty Shades of Grey & Fifty Shades Darker with a movie marathon at Universal Cinema.p12656913_p_v5_ab
  3. Catch advance screenings of Fifty Shades Freed, the final chapter of the provocative film franchise start on Feb. 9, 2018.
  4. Be sure to check out the authentic costumes worn by the stars of the movie, Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele) and Jamie Dornan (Christian Gray). They are exclusively on display through March 4, 2018.opti-img25788_1200x406
  5. Good Things Come in Pink Boxes. Treat your loved one to an exclusive Voodoo Doughnut. Now open at Universal CityWalk, the Portland, OR based Voodoo Doughnut brings you their sinfully delicious, unconventional line-up of fried creations. Signature favorites include Bacon Maple Bar, Grape Ape and Voodoo Doll doughnuts. There are four colorful, mouth-watering Valentine’s Day themed  Devilishly Delicious Heart Shaped Sweets available from Friday, Feb. 9 through Wednesday, Feb. 14.

For more information and to purchase movie tickets, visit CityWalk Hollywood. Regular updates can be found on Universal Studios Hollywood’s Twitter @UniStudio, Facebook-Universal Studios Hollywood and Instagram @UniStudios.

Universal CityWalk – 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Valentine’s Cocktails at True Food Kitchen

Exploring the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, my husband and I wandered into True Food Kitchen for an early evening drink after witnessing a spectacular sunset.
The manager Serene Murray welcomed us and escorted us to the bar. She introduced us to bartender Renn Hershey and asked him to make us a few of their upcoming Valentine’s Day cocktails.


As we sat on stools at the long, solid wood bar, we watched Hershey pour, shake and garnish a variety of drinks. There is a produce bar behind the bar, for him to freshly juice citrus and ginger to dazzle each one.

(Mixologist Renn Hershey creates four special cocktails for Valentine’s Day – “Hot in the Dark,” “Bows and Eros,” “War of the Roses,” and “Love a Pear.”)

We started by sharing a spicy tequila-based cocktail called “Hot in the Dark.” Hershey told us that it is made with Greenbar Distillery tequila, one of his favorite spirit makers. Greenbar Distillery is a local, award winning husband-and-wife company founded by Melkon Khosrovian and Litty Mathew. They began making spirits in 2004, working with organic farmers who grow aromatic produce to enhance the flavor of their vodka, gin, tequila, rum, bitters and liqueur. Greenbar distributes the world’s biggest portfolio of organic spirits in lightweight bottles with 100 percent recycled labels. They give back to earth by planting a tree for every bottle sold. To this day, they have planted over 500,000 trees.


Hershey used Greenbar’s IXÁ organic tequila for this cocktail. The tequila is handmade the traditional way from fully mature agave plants.

After a generous pour of tequila, he added lime juice and a little pomegranate juice for a float of pretty pink color. It was poured into a shallow, champagne coupe. This type of saucer shaped stemmed glass, was originally designed in the 1600s for sparkling wine and champagne in England. Filled to the rim, Hershey topped it with a sliced jalapeno pepper, giving the drink a little kick.


We ordered the kale guacamole and baked pita chips. The guacamole was chunky with slices of pink grapefruit, chopped cilantro and roasted poblano pepper. It’s crunchy with toasted sunflower seeds and healthier than traditional guacamole and tortilla chips.

The next cocktail was made with another Greenbar organic spirit – a dark Crusoe rum made with organic molasses, offering a dense caramel aroma. Named “Bow and Eros,” Hershey added fresh ginger juice and honey syrup, coconut cream and a squeeze of lime juice. It tasted similar to a mellow piña colada. Served in a highball glass filled to the top with ice cubes, the frothy yellow beverage was adorned with a pineapple crown leaf and spear of fresh pineapple chunks.

This drink goes well with one of the four pizzas on the menu. The simplest is a Margherita and the sweetest is the butternut squash with smoked onion, kale, vegan almond ricotta, and dried cranberry. The most savory pizza is the chicken sausage with tomato and roasted fennel.img_0723

The most festive looking drink is the “War of the Roses” made with Smirnoff vodka and rose petals. Hershey adds pomegranate juice and rose petal syrup and tops it with a Prosecco float, a slice of lime and a pinch of dried rose petals for decoration. Served in a tall champagne flute, this cocktail pairs well with one of the five bowls on the menu. My favorite is the spicy Panang curry bowl filled with organic potato, long bean, bok choy, carrot, Thai basil and a coconut shrimp broth.


We finished with a pleasing, smoky flavored pear and vanilla flavored bourbon drink titled, “Love a-Pear”. The cocktail offers the essence of cinnamon with a trace of lemon juice. It’s hearty and pairs nicely with one of the six entrées, especially the sustainable seabass with grains drizzled with an umami sauce and served with broccolini, sugar snap pea and roasted mushroom.

Hershey said the lasagna Bolognese with housemade chicken sausage would pair nicely with any of the four drinks or a glass or bottle Italian Cannonau Sella & Mosca “Riserva.”

For a sweet ending, the flourless chocolate cake adorned with caramel, vanilla ice cream and cocoa nibs promotes a look of love with each spoonful. The four amorously appealing cocktails we enjoyed are available starting Feb. 10 through Valentine’s Day for $11 each. The regular craft cocktail list is also available.

True Food Kitchen is open for lunch and dinner starting at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday open for brunch 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Weekend dinner after 4 p.m. $$ 395 Santa Monica Place, Suite 172 (310)593-8300. For other locations, go to truefoodkitchen.com.

This article was featured in the Beverly Press and Park La Brea News on Feb. 9, 2017 – Find True Love at True Food Kitchen