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Mark your calendars for the next three Thursday nights if you want to support the art of dance and enjoy a discount on the art of fine dining after being entertained.

City Ballet of Los Angeles is showcasing some new choreographers in a summer dance series downtown at City National Plaza from 7-8pm July 8, 15, and 22. It’s only $20 per person and the entire amount goes to benefit the scholarship fund for City Ballet of Los Angeles. Not only can you watch the newest rising stars perform unique pieces, but you also get a 30% discount at both Chaya and Drago Centro by showing them your ticket. It is handy that both restaurants are located directly below the performance space, so you can get a show and a meal without having to move your car, and that reason alone is enough to make this a date at least one Thursday this month.

Even though I do not play video games, anyone who does, knows the initials EA (Electronic Arts). They publish some of the most popular names in the industry including titles like Sim City, Scrabble, Boggle, Madden NFL 2010, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010, NBA Live, Trivial Pursuit, CLUE, Battleship, Yahtzee Adventures, the Game of Life: Classic edition, and Tetris, all of which are on sale for the next day during EA’s semi-annual sale of game applications for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. The 20-50% off sale even includes the new Mirror’s Edge and Need For Speed game versions which utilize the HD graphic quality of the iPad.

Most of the games are on sale for 99 cents each, which means you can play two games for under a dollar! Even if you are saving your pennies, this sale is worth spending a few just for the fun of it.

I love to eat and I learned how to cook in self defense because my mother and grandmother were terrible cooks. Any food lover who is unfortunate enough to grow up without a good cook usually winds up cooking so he or she can eat well in spite of the skill set of the adults.

Food Network has a “reality” show which searches for cooks (both trained and untrained) to be their next national television star and even if you don’t watch the show, you can go to The Grove this Saturday and watch as a local winner is selected from recipes they submitted this month as the winner of A Taste of the Grove.

There will be a full day of food related entertainment from cooking demonstrations by local Chef Jean Francois Meteigner from La Cachette Bistro and two of the contestants from the show, as well as live music and Cadillac test drives. All the fun starts at 10am and goes until 6pm, but you can stay longer and shop, eat & drink as long as you wish, or at least until the Grove closes.

Los Angeles is the nucleus of the movie industry, so it makes sense that the Los Angeles Film Festival June 17-27 is a film aficionados delight; what is better than enjoying what you love on your home turf?

More than 200 films will be shown, with gala showings, documentaries, shorts, and foreign films at screenings scattered among old and new venues like Ford Amphitheater, the Grammy Museum, and the new L.A. Live Center. You can buy single tickets ($12-15) or packages for multiple events either online or at the venues. For people who want to enjoy a discounted hotel package at the festival hotel the Standard Downtown, they are offering film festival rates starting at $135 per night. All parking for the events is $8 and your ticket stubs will give you discounts or deals at several of the downtown restaurants and bars before of after your movie.

What are you doing this Sunday June 6 from 1-4pm? If you would like to eat food made by some of the most famous chefs while donating to a charity, I will see you at the Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation event at Media Park in Culver City. Admission is $100 in advance or $125 at the door or $150 for VIP advance tickets and $175 at the door.

Even non foodies have heard of Jose Andreas (Bazaar), Michael Mina (XIV), Nancy Silverton (Mozza) or Nobu, but the roster includes Los Angeles stars like Ludo Lefebvre (Ludo Bites), Neal Fraser (Grace), and Suzanne Goin (Lucques). There will be more than 40 restaurants offering bites that range from savory to sweet (Sprinkles will be there), and more than 15 wineries will be serving up drinks to go with your food.

There will be music, a culinary demonstration, comedians, a live auction (for all things food and wine related), and to cap off the event a waiter race which is worth the admission price alone!

Everyone who knows me also knows that I go to many G and PG rated movies because I can not watch violence and I love happy endings. Even though I do not have children, I end up seeing films made for families because they are made for my tastes, not that I only watch children’s films; I do also enjoy adult dramas and comedies.

With movie ticket prices hovering around $10 per person, taking a family out can cost a small fortune these days, especially if you also buy snacks and drinks for everyone. And with so many films coming out in 3D today, premium prices are hard to avoid these days. Regal Theaters is giving families a break starting today through August, they are offering 10:00 AM showings of G and PG rated films FREE on Tuesday and Wednesday! There are participating cinemas throughout the US, so check this link for the movies being offered and to find the one nearest to you. The films are not the newest releases, but if you missed “Where the Wild Things Are”, “Planet 51″, Monsters vs. Aliens”, or “Charlotte’s Web”, you can catch them this time.

With a free movie, you can even afford to buy popcorn, candy, and drinks at the movies.

Although many celebrities live here in Los Angeles, it is not often that they appear in local venues with locals. If you would like to try Dan Akroyd’s new Crystal Head Vodka (in a clear glass bottle shaped like a skull), go to the Wine House tomorrow between 5-7pm. Not only will you get a bottle signed by Dan Akroyd, but you can buy the bottle at $41.00 (you will save $3).

The Wine House is also the location for the celebration of libations Up On The Roof on June 13, 2010 from 5-10pm literally up on the roof of the store. If you don’t want to go bar hopping to the hot spots finding the bartenders who are making original concoctions around town, then come to this event. There will be food to soak up the spirits, music and dancers, so if you want to taste brands like Macallan, St. Germain, and Sazerac, pay your $75 and enjoy a warm summer night up on the roof.

Today’s post is (mainly) for the women who read this blog and who are eagerly awaiting the opening of SEX AND THE CITY 2.

The Landmark Theatre is throwing a party for their Film Club Members (just click on the Landmark Link and join) May 26 at 8:00 pm followed with a screening of the movie at 9:00 pm. This means that you will get to see the movie BEFORE the official opening at midnight! Tickets are $32.50 for the movie and party which will include drinks like Cosmopolitans, pink bubbly, and appetizers. Like any party, go dressed up in your bling and heels because they will be giving away prizes for best dressed and most outrageously dressed. There is free parking in in the building, so you can wear your 5″ heels to the movie and enjoy being in the company of others who are navigating the escalators in their stilettos too.

Go to this link to buy your tickets for Wednesday, May 26 and select the special secret title FILM CLUB MEMBER EVENT, or you can purchase your tickets in person at The Landmark box office. This is an adult party with adult beverages, so everyone attending must bring proof that you are over 21 (ID) with you to enter this event and to see the movie.

Cosmo anyone?

This weekend there is a Strawberry Festival in Oxnard where all things strawberry will be celebrated and served from strawberry funnel cakes to strawberry wine, and for the adventurous there will be unusual combinations like strawberry pizza and nachos. There will be live entertainment, contests, and a build your own shortcake tent. Entries cost between $12-5 depending on your age and you can buy your tickets online or at the event when you arrive for the same price. An added bonus is that 100 percent of proceeds from non-profit food and concession booths benefit close to 20 charitable groups throughout the Southland. Since the Festival began in 1984, they have raised over $3 million for donations.

Farmer’s Choice just opened yesterday next to Trader Joe‘s on Pico Blvd in Santa Monica and this store will be good competition for fresh produce at the well known chain. I recently bought some organic lemons for $2.99 at Trader Joe’s which all started to rot where the organic stickers were placed; for exactly the same price I got twice as many lemons at Farmer’s choice and they have no stickers (the bag is marked organic). Everything in the store had comparable or lower prices from the organic fruit to the conventionally grown greens. They even have a few prepared foods in containers like vegan soups and desserts, so you could make a meal from ingredients you find in the store. Right now they have a great sale on organic strawberries, one pound is only $1.49 and they are as delicious as they look, so have your own strawberry festival before, during or after your week-end jaunt to Oxnard.




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