Friday, June 26, 2015

The Art of Pampering Yourself at the West ISPA Event

Edible Skinny was lucky enough to attend West Coast International Spa
Association Media Event a few weeks ago at the Montage Beverly Hills where we discovered the art of pampering yourself.

From creating Tangerine scrubs with the Oaks at Ojai, to the healing vibrations of Miraval Resort Tibetan Healing Bowls (on both our feet and head), to dinning on cocktails, ceviche, and trail mix ice cream cones we definitely embraced the art of indulgence.  

While crafting our Pixie Tangerine (which is exclusively grown in Ojai) scrub we learned more about the all-inclusive destination spa of the Oaks at Ojai.  Nestled in northern Ventura County, a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles, the Oaks is a peaceful, healthy fitness retreat offering guests everything from guided hikes into the mountains, to aquatic workouts under the warm Southern California sun, and winding down the day with calming restorative yoga.  The Oaks was voted by Refinery29 as one of the “20 of the Coolest Spas in the States” along with being “One of the top five destination spas in the U.S.” by Conde Nast Traveler. 
Founded by internationally-known fitness expert Sheila Cluff, a wellness visionary who created cardiovascular dance in the 1950s, later known as “aerobics,” and pioneered the concept of the modern destination spa in the 1970s.  Long before the fitness industry came up with the term “aerobics,” she drew from her choreography as a professional ice skater to create “cardiovascular dance,” adding a spark of fun to exercise.  In the ’70s when those seeking to lose weight on vacation had little choice but to trudge off to the grim “fat farm,” she conceived of a contemporary spa that combined luxurious European body treatments with exciting exercise and healthy delicious food. Thus was born The Oaks at Ojai, which would come to be declared the best destination spa in the United States by Spa Magazine. 
Another spa that we discovered while at the Montage was the Miraval Resort in Tucson, AZ.  Situated on 400 acres in the warm shade of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Miraval is a top-rated all-inclusive destination resort and spa dedicated to helping guests live life in the moment.  Since 1995 the property has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s top destination spas by Travel + Leisure, SpaFinder, and Condé Nast Traveler.

While being housed in a vibrating Tibetan Healing Bowl we learned of Miraval’s Himalayan Sound Bath treatment.  This spa treatment tunes your body into its natural state and creating a balance emotionally, mentally, and physically as the sound from these ancient healing bowls radiates profoundly through the water.  The result is an increase in mental clarity, stress relief, and a decrease in anxiety as you float effortlessly in the warm water of their therapeutic pool and surrender to the healing vibrations.

So where ever you end up, here’s to treating to treating yourself and life being delicious!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

David Hertz's McKinley House on the LA Design Fest West Side Home Tour

Edible Skinny was lucky enough to attend the Los Angeles Design Festival and we saw some of the most visually stunning homes West of the 405 on their West Side Home Tour.  
One of these houses was the Venice located McKinley House by David Hertz, which is also his family home. 

The house was designed in two phases.  The first featured two separate volumes connected by a bridge.  Some years later the lot next door became available making the compound into four discrete two-story buildings linked by three enclosed bridges that all face onto the courtyard.

The building is a case for green building techniques.  Materials include an array of 20 solar collector panels on the roof and recycled and FSC certified sustainable woods.  

Here’s to life being green and delicious!   

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rock It Out: Beating Stuff with Sticks with a POUND Workout

A couple of months ago I attended the best concert of my life!  Matt and Kim, fronted by Matt and Kim (go figure…) are Tasmanian Devils of energy going 110% on every song.  Female drummer Kim Schifino pounds her sticks like a tornado (sometimes while summiting the top of her drum kit).  Every girl wanted to be and every guy wanted to be with the badass that Kim was on stage.  And last week I was able to grasp a glimpse of what that was like when I took a POUND workout class at 7 in the morning.  

POUND is a rockout workout, a full-body cardio jam session, combining light resistance with constant simulated drumming.  It’s the simpleness of Zumba minus the Latin influence plus drum  sticks, and it’s catching on all over the country like a hit Taylor Swift single. 

Founded by Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom the workout fuses cardio, Pilates, isometric movements, plyometrics and Isometric poses paired with rock, dubstep, and old school music.   With POUND you can burn between 400 and 900+ calories per hour, strengthen and sculpt infrequently used muscles, and drum your way to a leaner, slimmer physique – all while rocking out to your favorite Kanye song!

Through continual upper body motion using POUND’s lightly weighted drumsticks, called Ripstixs, you'll turn into a calorie-torching drummer, POUNDing off pounds as each song flies by.   Twice the weight of a standard drumstick (¼ lb each) and slightly shorter in length, Ripstix are designed to maximize your workout by alter the physics of your arm movement to burn more calories.  These sticks will make you wish you were ambidextrous (my left hand was absolutely pitiful) so you can rock harder. 

There’s something truly primal about beating the shit out something with sticks, whether it’s the floor, yesterday’s calories, or both.  As you POUND away you’ll be a rock star crafting a leaner you through a rockout workout!

Here’s to life being delicious and rocking it out!

(Photos by Mark Sacro)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Santa Monica's Lo/Cal, the Hipster Lifestyle West of the 405!

Recently Edible Skinny checked out the newest and hippest coffee spot in Santa Monica’s Pico District: Lo/Cal Coffeeand Market. 

Opening in late of 2014, Lo/Cal is a small minimalist café that’s so hipster you'll want to start buying all your music on vinyl (but in a good way… READ: focus on craft).

Lo/Cal focuses on the details of the experience, from the large like the giant California flag painted on their brick wall to the small such as the manager double checking on my Latte order for a friend because I had been in the week before and got an non-dairy Chai (now that’s the art of service). 

Cold brewed Stumptown coffee is prepared by steeping freshly roasted DTLA coffee in room temperature water for over 12 hours, and using a double filtration process to procure the end result: a complex, smooth and sweet, full-bodied brew with bright juiciness, low acidity and a long chocolate finish.  You can purchase a glass of cold brewed ($3.50) or a limited edition 64oz growler ($35 full, $20 for a refill).

For those looking for the ultimate caffeine fix they can get their cold brewed Nitro ($4); which injects nitrogen into the coffee giving it a luscious creamy Guinness like finish.  

And for something uniquely Lo/Cal but perhaps not as intense as a Nitro, another great option is their Honey Latte ($4.35).   It’s sweet and smooth without being sickly sucrose. 

For the perfect nibblet to compliment their coffee, Lo/Cal offers Honey Butter Biscuits, LA's first and only boutique biscuit bakery.  Since 2014 Honey Butter Biscuits’ golden brown crust have housed tender buttery flaky goodness inside that just begs for an organic strawberry jam or cinnamon honey butter pairing.   But if you don’t want to exert that much energy (in true southern fashion) you could try their The Boobazoo, the world’s first jam filled biscuit. 

So if you’re looking for the Hipster lifestyle West of the 405 Lo/Cal is the place to be. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Highlights from the Santa Monica Grand Tasting

Edible Skinny was lucky enough to attend Santa Monica Grand Tasting last weekend.  
Held on the Santa Monica pier the event featured numerous well-known chefs and renowned restaurants.

Some of the highlights included:

--Meeting Tom Booth, owner of Southern California Vineyards, an organic grapevine installation company for Los Angeles based homeowners.  Tom has installed backyard vineyards all over Los Angeles county included the Hollywood Hills.    
Once planted, you can hire Southern California Vineyards to manage the grapes or they can provide you with tips for you or your gardener to maintain the vines and harvest.   Typically grapes are available for harvest the second year after planting.  Pouring at the event was Memory Maker, a wine created by Southern California Vineyards and Harmata Family Wines.  At the Santa Monica Grand Tasting Tom was pouring both their Rose Cabernet and Reserve Cabernet.  
--Reconnecting with Friend of Edible Skinny Ash Owner/Manager of Manchego on Main Street.

--Checking out some amazingly decorated (nautical and pop art!) cakes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Inside and Out with the Venice House on the LA Design Fest West Side Home Tour

Last weekend Edible Skinny was lucky enough to attend the Los Angeles Design Festival and we saw some of the most visually stunning homes West of the 405 on their West Side Home Tour.  

One of these houses was the Venice House designed by Sebastian Mariscal Studio with interior design by Delta Wright at Curated Studio. 

The Venice Home combined the concepts of "Interior/Exterior Living,” taking into account human interaction and space & energy reduction.

Throughout the space were strategically placed outdoor rooms (with fireplaces) that created harmony in the transitions from inside to outside allowing for the entire space of the property to be utilized.  

It was an awesome house that caused one to ponder the art form of design in our City of Angles. 

Here’s to life being delicious, both inside and out!  

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Good Life, Korea Style, at POT at the Line Hotel

One of Edible Skinny’s favorite Koreatown hotspots for the perfect KTown dinner is the Line Hotel, POT at the Line Hotel to be specific.  
POT is Koreatown and Korean food through the eyes of an American with Korean blood, Roy Choi to be specific.  Choi famed for his Kogi food truck and Chef movie has noted he has had many addictions throughout life, and the one he has right now is feeding people.  As POT’s menu proclaims he’s “passionate about Hot pots, blood soups, frenetic energy, bbq.  It’s the late nights on the streets, it’s a joyous celebration of life.  Most of all, it’s good times and good food in the hood. “

Although the menu is very meat heavy (as is the world of Korean food in general...) the veggie dishes that POT does it does stupendously!  
Every Korean meal always starts with some fun banchan’s (aka panch'an).  Banchan (the word can be singular or plural) are small dishes of food served along with cooked rice in Korean cuisine.  The most popular banchan is Kimchi.  Many Koreans don’t even consider a meal complete without Kimchi.  Unfortunately I couldn’t get their version of a full meal because  Kimchi is traditionally made with fish sauce, but  fortunately I was able to sample other banchan’s including their Cucumber and Daikon and their Namle Soybean.   Both were fantastic necessitating seconds!

POT’s menu proclaims “Tofu is Not Dead” and nowhere is this more true then in POT’s Cabbage Pot.   Composed of Soybean Paste, Veggies, Mori-Nu Tofu the taste is delicious, full of an umami richness that comes from a multitude of mixing flavors.  
POT’s pots come in a few sizes With a Friend/A Few Is More Than Two/Group Love, but if you ask very nicely they’ll make one individually for you.  Trust me, you should ask them…

Another fantabulous dish on the POT’s menu is their Barbeque Vegetable side dish.  Large veggies charred to perfection and topped with dried onions and sesames seeds.   It is dream dish for any vegetarian.  

So for the good life, Korea style, POT is a great place to discover the taste of life being delicious!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Rocking Tequila Herradura ULTRA at The Jimmy Goldstein Estate

This week Edible Skinny was lucky enough to attend an event at The Jimmy Goldstein Estate to launch the new product from Tequila Herradura: ULTRA. 

Fairing the rain (in June… in Los Angeles…) we sipped on Herradura ULTRA Margaritas and Bellinis on the outdoor tennis courts while entertained by beats by Balthazar Getty and dueling marionette performers (Black Michael Jackson vs. White Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger vs. Keith Richards, Frank Sinatra vs Sammy Davis Jr.).  Guests in attendance included singer Joe Jonas, recording artist Kid Ink, actor Jon Lovitz, and baseball player Anthony Gomez.

The Jimmy Goldstein Estate was definitely the place to party in the Hills on a Tuesday night!   Designed by John Lautner, a student/disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright, in 1963, the stunning house has been featured in a number of movies, including Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, French Exit, and The Big Lebowski.  Conceived from the inside out and built into the sandstone ledge of the hillside it’s a cave-like dwelling that opens to embrace nature and view.  It the ultimate Los Angeles Hills mansion: cool, designer, and breathtaking!

A fitting piece of architecture for a fitting bottle of tequila.  Casa Herradura’s Añejo tequila provides the base for Herradura ULTRA. The Añejo is blended with premium Extra Añejo that has been aged for up to 49 months in American White Oak barrels.  A subtle hint of agave nectar is added before the liquid is filtered, creating a rich, crystal-clear tequila with a full-bodied. 

Once we’d finished sipping our drinks and taken in our fill of the view (regardless of the fact that the clouds hindered the sunset) we ducked downstairs to the event’s Bootsy Bellows pop up at The James Club to dance the night away with music by Arkade and Midnight Men.

So here’s to Tuesday partying, Herradura Margaritas, and, as always, life being delicious!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Santa Monica Grand Tasting: A Showcase of Culinary Craft

One of the most difficult things about dining out is deciding where to go. While Los Angeles has many delectable destinations, Santa Monica has always been one of Edible Skinny’s Go-To’s for foodie fun. With its stunning landscape and diverse eateries this Westside town offers endless edible options that never skimp on flavor. But how do we choose? Thankfully with this weekend’s Santa Monica Grand Tasting, we don’t have to. In fact, this amazing event brings some of the most talented Westside chef’s to one-stop dining destination with a breathtaking backdrop. 
Santa Monica Grand Tasting, happening this Saturday and Sunday on the Santa Monica pier, will offer the ultimate pairing menu, featuring numerous well-known chefs and renowned restaurants. Guests will sample an endless array of plates that encompass the eclectic tastes of Los Angeles, as well as showcase the ideology of each eatery. Featured chef Susan Feniger, of the Border Grill, heads the event, which supports the Chill Foundation. This walk around culinary expo with beverage pairings features over 100 of LA’s top chefs participating in the kitchen, presented by the Santa Monica Wholefoods Market. Participating chef include: David Hands of Bouchon, Adam Steudle of Hotel Erwin, Phillip Frankland Lee of Scratch Bar and many more. Other participating brands include Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Kerry Gold Cheese & Butter, Choctal, GG's Toffee, Cutco, Fresh Brothers, Nature's Bakery, Gourmet Blends, and many more.
The event, sponsored by Evian, BADOIT, and The St. Regis Monarch Beach, will be held from 7pm-10pm on June 13-14 with VIP admission beginning at The event also has free rides offered by to event participants along with an awesome after party at the Hotel Erwin.  For more information about event and to purchase tickets please visit 
For those who are interested in checking out this showcase of culinary craft the Santa Monica Grand Tasting is offering 65% of the Sunday ticket price to our readers:
As always, hope life is delicious and we look forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Klatch Coffee, Where Coffee is a Conversation

On our road trip return from the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend (which I was covering for Workin’ The Tease) we found a sojourn from the blazing heat of the Inland Empire at the delightfully delicious Klatch Coffee (where coffee is a conversation).
Both a roaster and coffee shop, Klatch Coffee has been searching the world over for the finest coffee since 1993.  Owner and Roastmaster Mike Perry blends a background of chemical engineering with a love for great coffee to balance science and artistry in achieving the perfect cup!

The result is multiple accolades including Micro Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine, multiple winners at the United States Barista Championship, and America’s Best Coffeehouse at Seattle’s Coffee Fest!

Since I’m off coffee, I sampled the deliciousness that was their Iced Chai Latte.  Made from scratch, it was the perfect combination of sweet and spice.  Full of Cardamom and Cinnamon it swirled around in my mouth like a Thai Iced Tea you’d procure on the streets of Bangkok.  

Klatch Coffee is has three locations in the Inland Empire (San Dimas, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga), but I was delighted to discover they also have a location closer to home: LAX (Terminal 7)!

So next time your taking that red eye from LAX to JFK forgo the ‘Bucks for an espresso that’s the only espresso ever awarded "Best Espresso in the World" at the World Barista Championships.  Boom!  

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Holman Ranch, Where the Past is Always Present

On our sojourn to the north Edible Skinny was delighted to be granted a night’s stay at the 400-acre property of Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley, California.  We’ve previously covered their tasting room and olive oil, but never had the opportunity to personally encounter this magical location where the past is always present.

Located in the world-class growing appellation of Carmel Valley, Holman Ranch’s enchanting stone hacienda offers old world style with its native gardens, the breathtaking vistas from every angle, olive groves, and vineyards.  It’s a Central Coast charmed place for weddings, family events, special events, family gatherings, and corporate retreats.  

The Ranch, which is approximately 12 miles inland from the Pacific Coast, has quite the past.  In 1928, a San Francisco businessman, Gordon Armsby, was attracted to the rich farmland and leisurely pace of Carmel Valley, and purchased 600-acres in the Valley, inclwuding what would be Holman Ranch.  Armsby hired architect Clarence Tantau, of Monterey’s Del Monte Hotel fame, to design the home that would reside on his new property.

Tantau and Armsby chose a classic Spanish-style hacienda, shielded by Carmel stone walls and adorned by handmade Mexican terracotta roofing and hand-carved oak-beamed ceilings.  The Hacienda sits atop a grassy knoll, offering breathtaking 360-degree views of the Santa Lucia Mountains.  Nestled in a stand of mature oaks, nicknamed “Casa Escondida”, or “Hidden House”, the estate served as an exclusive hideaway for many Hollywood celebrities including Charlie Chaplin and Theda Bara.
In the 1940s, Clarence Holman, eldest son of Holman’s Department Store family purchased the Ranch and converted it into one of Carmel’s first resorts (including installing the first pool in Carmel Valley).  It quickly became the center of social life, hosting a plethora of “Who’s Who” parties and community events.  In the tradition of their predecessors, the Holman’s had the pleasure of hosting Hollywood’s finest: Clark Gable, Vincent Price, Joan Crawford and Marlon Brando (who’s cabin we stayed in!), to name a few.

In 1989, Dorothy McEwen stepped up to preserved the Ranch’s historic past as a private estate and event venue.  She planted vineyards, founded the stables, and outfitted the hacienda to accommodate celebrations of all kinds.

Thomas and  Jarman Lowder learned of the property, fell for its charms, and purchased Holman Ranch in 2006 and began restoring, refurbishing, and updating the Ranch to bring it back to its original grandeur, adding 17 acres of vineyards and wine caves.   Today the Lowder Family are fulfilling their dream of making estate grown wine and olive oil. 

Holman Ranch has always been a unique location, not only for breathtaking views and natural beauty, but also as a private estate that opens its doors to the public for their special events.  Their daughter, Hunter, who continues in the fashion of all previous owners, runs all of the property’s special events.  The Lowder Family updated the Ranch’s old-world charm, providing modern conveniences including heat, air conditioning, Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TVs, abundant indoor and outdoor electricity, and an integrated sound system.
Holman Ranch is perfection for vistas, vineyards, and vows, a magical place where the past is always present.

Here’s to life being delicious!