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What are you doing tomorrow? Wanna deal on some designer clothes and housewares? How about 80-90% off names like Nicole Miller, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, and Ralph Lauren? Even if you have never heard of DLM or know where the City of Commerce is located, you will want to get to know both if you would like to pay wholesale prices for merchandise that is normally sold in department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and Kohl’s.

Whether you are shopping for a man, woman, a child, or your house, there will be something in the 100,000 square foot warehouse for you. Prices mean that you could pay about $5 for an item that retails for $60, or $60 for an item that retails for $500. What makes all the difference at this sale is the quality you get for your money.

The warehouse is only open once a month on the last Saturday of the month, so that is tomorrow. The sale starts at 8:30am and goes until 4:30pm at 2343 Saybrook Ave, Commerce, CA 90040. Remember to wear your walking shoes and bring some water because you will want to hydrate during your shopping marathon; ready, set, shop!

There are a few pleasures in Los Angeles that make living here close to being in Heaven; finding easy parking, eating fabulous food without having to fight for a table, and enjoying a poolside lounge on the shore. What if you could have all three? Would that make Los Angeles the utopia that everyone sees in the movies?

There are many places I don’t even bother going because of the lack of parking, and that goes for events too, especially when there is a sold out event at Staples Center or the Nokia Theater. Park Whiz now has a lot downtown which guarantees you a prime parking spot for $20, and you don’t have to worry about having cash or finding a free spot. You reserve your space online for the date you want, print out the receipt and show up at the structure with your prepaid proof. It is nice to know in advance you have a space and that it is already prepaid; it just makes it so much more enjoyable to attend any event downtown.

Getting good food is easy, but can be pricey and time consuming, especially if you are trying to lose some weight and eat properly. Z.E.N. (Zero Effort Nutrition) is a food delivery service that provides breakfast, lunch, a snack, and dinner delivered to you for whatever your dietary desires dictate (say that three times fast). You can choose to lose weight, gain weight, avoid certain foods because of allergies, stabilize your blood sugar, or lower your cholesterol. It all costs about $50 a day and they offer discounts for mutiple day packages ranging from 5-90 days. The beauty of this service is that it is tailored for your needs and tastes (is you hate beans, there will not be any in the meals) and they provide fresh and tasty meals that are delivered so you don’t have to fight traffic to get your food. Considering that dinner and lunch out could easily cost $50, this deal not only provides more food (breakfast and a snack), but food that is designed with your body’s needs in mind.

People come to Los Angeles all year around because the weather is so good, after all, where else can you sunbathe on the beach in December? Casa Del Mar is the restored bath house on Santa Monica Beach which is now home to a hotel with a pool. How fitting that locals can now buy pool passes for a year of use (no blackout dates) through Club Casa De Mar. You also get access to the fitness center, 25% discount off spa services, and one night in the Penthouse with breakfast and 2 massages. All this luxury is yours for $2,500 a year, which is less than $7 a day, and you probably spend more than that on your vente soy lattes.

I love combining things I love, like food and charity; this Saturday you can go to Venice High between 12 noon and 4pm to enjoy the Westside Food Fest, where you can taste food from 14 food trucks, like Fishlips Sushi, Ahn-Joo, Del’s, and the SweetsTruck, so there is something for everyone whether you want something savory and spicy or sweet and tangy. You can listen to live music, participate in raffles for Dugout Dodgers tickets, an autographed Derek Fisher basketball, or a signed lithograph by Metin Bereketli.

All this only costs $5 and all event proceeds will go directly to programs for low-income children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.

It is a rare morning when I am awake in time to try breakfast anywhere since I rarely get up before 11am (yes, you may envy me). But on the rare occasion when I actually see morning in the PST time zone, I enjoy going out for breakfast. I had to wait for a service that required an early morning appointment and I was in the vicinity of Bistro Laurent, so I passed the time by having breakfast at this very cute cafe. I loved walking into this intimate clean space with jazzy French music. It was nice to see a diverse clientele of business, locals, and tourists all frequently this new cafe. The counter displayed some very impressive pastries with croissants and pain au chocolat that were bigger than three would be in Paris, but this is the US where I guess French pastries are super sized just like everything else here. Service is very effiecient and friendly with a server who actually spoke French (always a plus when eating in a French bistro).

I ordered an orange juice that was at least 14 ounces, made of freshly squeezed juice that was good enough to finish.

For my breakfast, I chose the waffle with blueberries. It was a beautiful plate, with fresh cut melons and plump blueberries. I was only disappointed with how the waffle was a bit soggy because it was soaked with blueberry juice from the macerated blueberries. The waffle itself was nice and chewy with a crunch in the parts that had not been blueberried and I did not even use the syrup. The waffle was huge and I could only manage to eat half of it, but not for lack of trying, only for lack of stomach space; the waffle had about a 12″ diameter!

One day I will wake up before noon again, and when that day comes I may come back and try something else on the menu here, but more than likely I will share it with someone else because the portions here are enormous.

Mondays can be a good day of the week because you can drink and eat all you want from 5-7pm at Bastide for only $15, starting today. For the price, you will even have a choice of three wines, soju martinis and a cocktail. For nibbles, you get bites of yellowtail tartare.

Of course if you get hungry after your bites and drinks, stick around for dinner; like the Black Cod with shitaake mushrooms, fava beans, arugula, and a coconut mussel broth ($31), the Steak with peas, mac and cheese and bone marrow au jus ($32), or the Pork Chop with grain mustard potatoes, long beans, fried almonds, and apple rosemary sauce ($36). Don’t forget to save room for dessert, like the chocolate souffle with rum vanilla ice cream and a mango chocolate sauce.

Bastide may make you like Mondays from now on; well maybe not the day, but Monday evenings could definitely be more fun.

Bastide on Urbanspoon

Please vote for my essay. You may vote once a day through your Facebook account or simply register for a regular account on the website to vote with only your email. Thanks to everyone who has voted I am now 107 of 1083 entries!

Now that my favorite restaurant, Grace, has closed to move to their new location downtown in the Vibiana Cathedral slated to open next year, now the only restaurant which showcases their wonderful food is BLD (which stands for Breakfast Lunch Dinner). I went with my friend Ro for lunch today and was so happy to find the quality has remained and the service has improved remarkably since my last visit here.

Ro chose the house made turkey sausage frittata with oven dried tomato, arugula, feta cheese, choice of bread and potatoes (she substituted a salad for the potatoes and skipped the bread because of a gluten allergy) for $13. She loved the house made sausage in her frittata and literally cleaned her plate, so I can safely say he loved her meal.

I chose the grilled lamb burger, made with feta cheese, tsatsiki sauce, grilled marinated onions, french fries or salad (I chose the salad) $16. This was a great rendition of a lamb burger with enough zest from the grilled marinated onions and feta to balance out the rich meat and a nice creamy tsatsiki on the side to add moisture to the grilled patty for anyone so inclined. I loved the toasted bun that was both chewy and soft, with a nice texture that was irresistible. I even loved the half pickle on the side which added both a spicy and crunchy counterpoint to the richness of the burger.

Somehow we both had enough room for dessert so we chose the Meyer lemon ripple cheesecake made with a gingersnap crust $6 which we completely devoured between the two of us. The ripple of lemon was our favorite part, but since the ripple was throughout the dessert, we didn’t have to fight over our forkfuls.

Lunch is always a nice way to spend time with a good friend, but it’s even nicer when it included great food and good service.

Wilshire restaurant has a beautiful patio so you can dine outdoors surrounded by greenery in the balmy summer nights of Los Angeles, but in their sleek sexy bar area, you can now have dinner with a glass of wine, beer, or a specialty cocktail for only $15. Menu selections are Steak Frites on Mondays, Polenta Fried Chicken with corn salad on Tuesday, Meatloaf with egg and smashed red bliss potatoes on Wednesday, Mussel Frites on Thursday, Fish & Chips on Friday, and spaghetti, meatballs and garlic bread on Saturdays.

One of the reasons I go to Las Vegas is to eat at Capital Grille, but starting July 26, I can just drive over to the newest outpost of this wonderful steakhouse here in Los Angeles (Beverly & San Vicente). Even though it is famous as a steakhouse, I order their fish as often as I order the red meat here. I highly recommend the seared tuna salad and the coconut cream pie for dessert. For carnivores, any cut of their steaks is sublime, but please order it less than well done so you can savor the actual taste of the meat that has been dry aged to perfection. The ambiance in this place is very East Coast masculine (read semi-formal), so if you are comfortable in that kind of environment you will be rewarded with excellent service and some of the best beef served in a restaurant.

The Capital Grille on Urbanspoon

Green Peas is such clever name for a healthy restaurant that I decided to try it based on the name alone. The exterior has several outdoor tables, so since today was a perfect summer day, I combined my car’s oil change appointment with a vegan lunch to keep my body running smoothly. The menu has meat choices including beef and chicken, so this is a great place to come with friends who are either meat or vegan eaters. You can choose to have either meat or vegan protein in every dish, whether it is a salad, sandwich, pizza, or quesadilla for the same price. They use Gardein for the meatless versions of beef and chicken, and Daiya for the vegan cheese, so the quality of their products speaks volumes for the care they take in preparing their dishes. The coffee they serve is free trade and their vegetables are organic or local, so you can be green just by eating here.

This is a casual place, so you order at the counter and they bring it to your seat. Since everything here is under $10, they save on things like printed menus; the only menu is written on a huge chalkboard above the counter and the servers are also the busboys. Since I had come in for a late lunch, they seemed a bit overwhelmed with the crowd; only one of the four empty tables was bussed and clean. I chose to sit on the patio and wiped down the table myself with some napkins.

I ordered the Chicken Picatta Sandwich, made with Chicken breast, capers, garlic, fresh oregano, spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, pesto aioli and grilled onions ($9.95). I had a choice of soup, or salad with my sandwich so I chose the special creamy potato with garlic.

The soup was surprisingly tasty and rich for a nondairy soup. It had enough of a smooth mouth taste to satisfy even a cream loving non vegan. If it had not been a summer day, I would have wanted to have a big bowl of this for lunch.

The Chicken Picatta Sandwich came on a lightly toasted baguette, but all their sandwiches give you a choice of other breads from whole wheat pitas, non gluten bread, and ciabatta, to sweet soft pretzel bread. Since I am so picky about baguettes, I thought it would be a good test and I am happy to say their baguette passed with enough texture to hold up to the sandwich and enough give to make chewing and biting easy. Since I chose the vegan Gardein chicken, I also got the veganaise and if I had not placed the order myself I would be hard pressed to say it was not the meat version. Although it was light on the capers, garlic, and grilled onions, it was a nice savory combination of ingredients that worked well together.

The server offered to wet wipe down my table when she brought out my meal, after I had done my napkin wipe, and it was nice to know they actually do get around to cleaning tables even if it takes them awhile to get to every table. The pots of flowers on the terrace are a pretty distraction from the bustling traffic on Sepulveda Blvd, and the free wifi seems to keep the place fairly full even in the later afternoon hours.

I was watching the line at the fast food restaurant across the street and thought if those people would simply cross the street, they could have a healthier fresh choice. It is sometimes a huge step to simply try something new, so for everyone looking to be a little greener, this is a great place to start, even though I didn’t see any peas on the menu.

Green Peas on Urbanspoon




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