Monday, August 31, 2015

The Tale of Two White Parties Closing Out the Summer, Diner En Blanc LA & Walk With Sally's 9th Annual White Light White Night

By Laura Medina

 A fascinating lady with blinking fascinator & the Chairman of the Board.

Back in the East Coast, where this socializing-loving scribe hailed from, they welcome Summer with White Parties, when the temperature is just right.

Over in the West Coast, they close this current Summer with two White Parties in two distinct locations that span the opposite ends of wide-ranging Los Angeles.

Due to location permits on a location last year, Diner En Blanc Los Angeles did a skip a beat last year but they returned with party vengeance this recent Thursday night.

A party army in white, representing a wide swath of Los Angelenos who love to dress up, feast on fine dining-catered or home-cooked, and party, descended on the under-utilized Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles.  An ample, centralized park with a decent amount of underground parking.  Heaven-sent.

Anyone can join Diner En Blanc.  No one has to be a celebrity.  There might had been some celebrities incognito but anyone can participate, as long as they dress up in all-white and haul their own gear.

Think of Diner En Blanc as all-white version of this scribe's favorite holiday, Halloween, with better cuisine.  Everyone has a chance to dress up...but it has to be in all-white.

Diner En Blance, dress-code wise, allows everyone's inner party animal to fully all-white of course, whether you be a 18th-century aristocrat in a powdered wig and coat-tails or an Indian raj trimmed in gold.  Fascinators abound and glowed, flashed, and blinked since this is an evening picnic as well.

This scribe loved that Diner En Blanc LA's unofficial mascot is a Frenchman decked out in full United States Naval Admiral regalia.  He's Mister Captain Diner En Blanc.

 Diner En Blanc LA is a full cast of characters...this scribe loves this.

Diner En Blanc, the Los Angeles Edition, is fortunate enough to have polite volunteers who are willing to be team leaders for each neighborhood, directing their neighborhood team to their designated table site to...

set up their fancy-schmancy, gorgeous table setting, decorations, and their gourmet dinner, whether it be catered or home-cooked.  Where lighted candles and silverware in gold were considered de riguer basic, the Diner En Blanc army goes all out on table-setting...that they gladly hauled themselves.

These glamorous hardy souls hauled their own table, chairs, tablecloth, decorations, silverware, and obviously their own multi-course gourmet meals.

The table decorations would have an home decor magazine editor in a tail-spin of an decor orgasm.  Tents, tamed flamed candelabras, and crystal chandeliers were abound but so too, were the glowing and spinning decorations.  This scribe's fave was the glow-in-the dark mini Ferris Wheel that you can spin on a dinner table. Spectacular..;and these party animals did this all themselves.  Imagine if they actually get paid for this.  Think of the food and decorations.

Diner En Blanc is a party army, this scribe tells ya.

Can't forget the food, the meals, and the feasting, it's called Diner En Blanc for a reason.

The food has to be equally fancy and chic to match the diners' outfits.  There are some rules to be followed:  white wine, champagne, white sauces and dips, seafood, and poultry.  Basically, chicken, crab, lobster, and shrimp cocktail...encased in puff pastry... ruled.  Plus, it's handy to have some club soda to dissolve the food stains off your white outfit.  Basically, any food and drink that doesn't stain the all-white attire.  White chocolate was very popular that night.

One reason doing any type of event in Los Angeles is jaw-dropping awesome is that Los Angeles is the world's entertainment capital where all sorts of musicians abound.

From the start for an hour and an half, Diner En Blanc LA had a full concert then the party raged on when the electronic violinist closed out the party.

This is why the Diner En Blanc LA is such a loyal party army.  Bringing out the best of LA is alchemy.  

At the end of the night, everyone...celebrity or average Joe...has collected then toss away their own trash then politely haul away their gear then magically disappear as though as if nothing had happened at all.

Diner En Blanc LA is a polite, party army.

 El Segundo's Walk With Sally's 9th Annual White Light White Night

Diner En Blanc and Los Angeles proper weren't the only ones who ruled the White Party circuit.

Keep your eyes out on the emerging South Bay area, just below LAX airport.

The South Bay may be a world unto itself but it's equally just as swanky and fabulous as Los Angeles proper above but the celebrities who do show up are from a different league...professional athletes.  

Plus, El Segundo's 9th Annual White Light White Night party is for charity, Walk with Sally.

Basically, this White Party is a fundraiser for a "Big Brother, Big Sister" mentorship program where an available, caring adult is willing to be a substitute parent/sibling for a child whose parent is stricken by cancer and is unable to take care of them.  These "Big Brothers & Big Sisters" consistently take care of the kid until she or he graduates from high school and turn 18.  Unlike most mentorship programs, "Walk with Sally" match-make the kids with a Big Sister or Brother who has also witnessed a love one who has suffered or died from cancer.  This creates a special bond between the adult and the kid so none will not feel isolated or different.

If Los Angeles proper, okay, Hollywood has it's cadre of actors and musicians, even the South Bay can rely on being home of the professional women vollleyball players, L.A. King hockey players, and L.A. Lakers and L. A. Clippers to bring on the celebrity game wattage.

They also have television personalities as well,  KTLA Cher Calvin, Dallas Cowboy's James Anderson, ESPN Sports Reporter Arash MarkaziGood Day LA Liz Habib, Fit TV's Devin AlexanderFood Network Star Adam Gertler, Framework's Nolen Niu, beauty media maven Dawn McCoy and the stunning American Fitness Instructor, Denise Austin,  Fox Sports host, Jessica Rosales, Greg Daniel, from True Blood, actresses Linsey Godfrey, Jacqueline Macinnes Wood, Ashleigh Brewer and Kim Matula from Bold and the Beautiful.

Walk With Sally's 9th Annual White Light White Night has the coolest red carpet.  It was curvy, making the gala more surreal, more awesome.

The walkway leading to the white tented fete were dotted with inspirational stickers and data from the Walk with Sally charity leading up to...

twenty-something booths of the best restaurants in the South Bay, from Manhattan Beach to Redondo Beach to Hermosa Beach, served up the best meals that the South Bay has to offer.

McCormick & Schmick's served up platters of the new So Cal cuisine and this scribe's new fave, ahi tuna in rolled-up cones, served up like ice cream cones but will ahi tuna.  Since California is bursting out in strawberries, drought or no drought, best to use them up in strawberry shortcakes.

People do the White Party circuit prove to be a fun-loving, tenacious sort.  Gotta applaud this lady who still dress appropriately despite having an amputeed leg, go get'em!

Alright, personalities and sport celebrities were in attendence but the headlining entertainment was Super Diamond, Neil Diamond Tribute band but they had the crowd jumping well into the night.

But,you gotta remember what this charity white party fundraiser is all about. Throughout the evening, Walk With Sally hosted a silent and live auction which led to a net profit of more than $220,000 raised!

White parties is Los Angeles' way of saying "good-bye" to Summer.  This White Party loving scribe can't wait for another year to arrive, while savoring the delightful memories.

Cheers to Summer.




Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How to Recharge & Cleanse In-Between LA's Food & Booze Season, Pure Juice LA

By Laura Medina

What to do when you want and need to be fit and healthy so you can endure rounds and rounds of Los Angeles' bountiful Food and Booze Festival Season?

Well, the same fresh fruit and vegetables used in that night's cocktail are the same fresh fruit and vegetables being cold-pressed into energizing smoothies and juice cleanse.

Yes, yes, it's pretty obvious sipping smoothies for breakfast and lunch and guzzling juices before and after that day's work-out is what keeping your body weight in check while detoxing last night's booze while replacing the electrolytes.

It's these same juices that will ease off the hangover right after that night's Food and Booze Festival.

If you're real clever and really lazy or burnt-out, it's a good investment to buy extra of your favorite smoothie and juices and use them as bases for your cocktails at home.

Where to buy?

You can buy your juices and smoothies and shots to add to your concoctions at Pure Juice LA,

If it's good enough for Larry King, it's good enough for us.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Kiehl's LifeRider Motorcycle Gang Rides Into Santa Monica.

By Laura Medina

A week ago, Kiehl's celebrity motorcycle gang, the Kiehl's LifeRiders strode into Santa Monica, on Montana Avenue, while there was a major fire down the street.

If they can criss-cross the country in all sorts of weather, they can make it through a fire, with police escort.

Kristy Swanson has new, bad-ass motorcycle/rocker chic look with close-cropped, bleached hair.

Their Santa Monica stop at the Montana Avenue shop is their third-to-last stop before hitting their latest store at Los Cerritos Mall then finishing it all up in San Diego.

On this last leg of the tour, they're raising AIDS Research funds for AmFar.

The Kiehl's LifeRider Motorcycle gang was a sight to behold for these Santa Monica yuppies.

Monica the Medium, the Everyday Girl Who Talks to Dead People, on ABC Family.

By Laura Medina

Another deep, coming-of-age reality show is premiering on ABC Family on Tuesday, August 25th, "Monica the Medium."

Monica is your average, out-going, bubbly college junior at Penn State University until she senses something close by...

Then, she transforms into the blunt and out-going Monica the Medium.

Since she experienced her first "reading," in high school at a funeral, communicating with her best friend's recently departed mother, Monica is using her talent as a spiritual communicator for good, helping bring resolution and closure so the living can move on in life.

"I only give it to those you need the most, not the ones who want it."

Remember, she's still very young and out-going.  There are times, in the series, where she suddenly blurts out a dead relative of a nearby person, out in the blue.  This makes everyday errands and occasions socially awkward.

Sometimes, her good-hearted reputation reach potential dates then they stood her up on blind dates.

Don't worry, Monica has good friends and roommates to back her up while socially guiding her.  Sometimes, that works.  Sometimes, not.

Picking up a guy isn't easy when Monica feels something then starts discussing intimate matters, having the recently departed using her to communicate living love ones; and the living love ones aren't exactly ready for it.

At the Beverly Hills' Questions and Answers, after the premiere screening, Monica is now under the tutelage of an older medium who helps train her in approaching and setting an appropriate time and day for a reading.

With Monica's sharp insight, the cases of the recently departed will only get deeper and scarier.

But in this reality show, Monica brings happiness and relief to those who need closure and greetings to love ones when they never had the chance.

Think of Monica bringing a second chance to say "good-bye" so both the living and the deal can have closure, and have questions answered to move on.

"Monica the Medium" is a balance between deep and serious to hilarious social awkwardness, trying to navigate as an average girl looking for love and enjoying life then all of a sudden, dead people pop up.

At the questions and answers session, Monica is learning to set guide rules for spirits, let her sleep because using her as a medium is exhausting, and telling them to line up and wait their turn.

"Monica the Medium" is a real life Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Food Trends Forecasting at Lucky Rice LA 2015 Edition.

By Laura Medina

 The District by Hannah An's Mac n' Cheese Butter Ramen Noodles.

Being situated, obviously, on the Pacific Ocean, California and Los Angeles are gateways to Asia whereas New York is the modern world's cross roads, well one of them any way.

So, they're rivals in one-upping each other in who has the best and who has the most cutting-edge Asian cuisine, particularly in the United States.

Let's face it, it's Los Angeles' non-traditional bounded, genre-busting attitude that created unique Asian cuisine that set trends and new standards.  Hello?  Asian-Fusion anyone?

Lucky Rice, the traveling Asian food festival, collects and showcases the best Asian restaurants, bistros, and chefs under one roof.

The Los Angeles edition debuts the freshest food trends that will set new standards, especially in fusion comfort food, mac n' cheese ramen noodles anyone?

The stand-out hit that has hungry party-goers grabbing cup after cup was the butter noodle by The District by Hannah An.  It's the newest fusion of American comfort food meets Asian comfort food, a secret recipe that turn ramen noodles into bread crumb-encrusted ramen noodle sauteed in gooey mac n' cheese.  This scribe doesn't have a clue in how she does it.  The flavor ingredients may sound simple: crunchy bread crumbs dusted on top of gooey cheese coating ramen noodles.  But, this scribe guess the cooking technique is difficult.  Let it to the pros.  This is the new comfort food that has you craving at midnight.

 Katsuya' s Truffle & Chive Chawanmushi aka Truffle & Chive Coddled Egg Yolks.

From the new comfort food basic to the new fancy fusion.

If this scribe is still left figuring out how to knock-off The District's mac n' cheese ramen noodles, then this scribe has completely given up on how to coddle egg yolks in their own shells with truffle.

This was the other hit that might hit upscale Asian restaurants, Katsuya's Truffle & Chive Chawanmushi aka Truffle & Chive Coddled Egg Yolks drenched in truffle oil.

People were slurping those suckers up.  This scribe snuck some home then turn them into luxurious and easy scrambled eggs for breakfast the next day.  Again, another potential Asian-Fusion classic.

Open Blue's Cobia Crudo resting on Fried Chicken Skin.

Another food trend that is holding strong enough to morph is Open Blue's Cobia Crudo topping Fried Chicken Skin.

One reason people are now chowing down on the Asian bandwagon is it's low-calorie, protein-rich seafood dishes and taking the most common of ingredients than making them deliciously great...frugal at first but really smart in the end.

Open Blue continues that tradition and trend with it's low-calorie, fresh, and raw Cobia Crudo resting on an humble cracker of fried chicken skin, the new pork rind.

The Hart & The Hunter, the down-home Southern restaurant in West Hollywood's Fairfax District was the first one to take the lowly chicken skin then fry it into a appetizer cracker which follows at...

Open Blue using it as a bed for raw and fresh, meaty fish, such as cobia crudo.

As long as you keep it fresh, this is one heck of an easy appetizer.  Once you master frying the chicken skin into a puffy, crunchy rind, it's easy from there.
Of course, people got thirsty chowing down on all these delicious meals.

Lucky Rice's faithful sponsor, Bombay Sapphire Gin upped the ante by having a full-fledged Tonic and Bitters Bar.  What are tonics?  What are bitters?  These are what sodas used to be,  oils flavored by herbs and spices dropped into glasses of sparkling water, the tonics, to cure what ails you.  That was the originally purpose of sodas, medicinal drinks to soothe your tummy and fever, before they were devalued into junk food drinks.

Well, Bombay Sapphire Gin's Tonic Bar brought back artisanal sodas/cocktails for adults, individually handcrafted to a parched yet gratefully hungry horde.

Being the key sponsor, Bombay Sapphire Gin still has signature drinks for Lucky Rice 2015...

 Gin & Tonic Reimagined
1 ½ oz Bombay Sapphire East Gin
3 oz Fevertree tonic
Lime wedge OR different garnish (lemongrass, juniper, coriander, cassia bark, etc)
Method: Press lemongrass stem and lime wedge into base of glass. Fill with ice and build.
Glass: Old fashioned
Garnish: Lime wedge, lemongrass stem

 Feeling Sheep(ish)
2 oz. Chamomile-infused Bombay Sapphire East Gin
3/4 oz. Ginger syrup
1/4 oz. Simple syrup
3/4 oz. Fresh lemon
2 oz. Soda water
2 droppers Bittercube Bolivar Bitters
Garnish: Two lemon peels inserted into the glass
Served in a Collins
Created by Bacardi Mixologist, Nick Kosevich

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Madonna Sets the Bar for Rock Fashion.

By Laura Medina

There is a reason why this scribe is such a music fan because rockers and musicians start fashion trends and set styles and form style tribes.

Alright, this scribe is an Eighties Kid, entering the formative years during MTV, where style mattered as much as substance.  This is where Madonna came in.

At the beginning, she had to do what she had to; and she made use of what she had.  In other words, she was resourceful with dancer sweats in New York all-black, accessorize with dirt cheap rubber bangles that any thirteen years-old can afford.

Madonna knew and knows this.  Pretty soon, designers know the power and the influence of rockers when it comes to fashion.

If you can see Madonna on her up-coming tour, it's a great value.  It's a dance/rock concert meets runway show.  Plus, the wardrobe has to work while she moves, importance for wearability. 

 Who are the fashion designers that Madonna will wear on her Rebel Heart World Tour:  Alessandro Michele for Gucci, Alexander Wang, Fausto Puglisi, Jeremy Scott for Moschino, Nicolas Jebran, Miu Miu, Prada and Swarovski. Costume designer Arianne Phillips will be overseeing the wardrobe for the Rebel Heart Tour and will also contribute designs, marking her sixth tour with Madonna. 
The Rebel Heart Tour will kick off on September 9th in Montreal, Quebec at Bell Centre and visit cities throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Since the tour was announced this past spring, due to overwhelming demand, multiple shows have been added in cities across the world including: Montreal, New York City, Toronto, Miami, Koln, Turin, Barcelona, Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne, Manila and more. Diplo will open the Rebel Heart Tour in Montreal on September 9th and 10th, and Amy Schumer will open the two dates at New  York's Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. A full list of  tour dates for the Rebel Heart World Tour can be found below.

Sept. 9 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
Sept. 10 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
Sept. 12  Washington, DC Verizon Center
Sept. 16 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
Sept. 17 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
Sept. 19 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center
Sept. 21 Quebec City, QC Centre Vidéotron
Sept. 24 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
Sept. 26 Boston, MA TD Garden
Sept. 28 Chicago, IL United Center
Oct. 1 Detroit, MI Joe Louis Arena
Oct. 3 Atlantic City, NJ Boardwalk Hall
Oct. 5 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Oct. 6 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Oct. 8 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
Oct. 11 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
Oct. 12 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
Oct. 14 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
Oct. 17  Portland, OR Moda Center
Oct. 19  San Jose, CA SAP Center at San Jose
Oct. 22  Glendale, AZ Gila River Arena
Oct. 24  Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
Oct. 27  Los Angeles, CA Forum
Oct. 29  San Diego, CA Valley View Casino Center

Pandora's Summer Crush "Crush" the End of Summer with Jason Derulo & Steve Akoi.

By Laura Medina

Pandora's Summer Crush Festival is for those who never made it to Coachella or can't afford Coachella or used up all their money for Coachella; and Summer Crush was their last chance to celebrate Summer.

Think of Pandora's Summer Crush as the other end of the bookend of Summer music festivals with Coachella as the opposite bookend, igniting the season during Easter/Spring.

Actually, it was safer and cleaner last year's Made In America.  

It was cleaner since L.A. Live hosted the festival.  Corporate sponsorship by Dell, Amazon, L'Oreal; and Chevron setting water pump stations and handing out free water bottles made everything easier under the broiling heat wave.

Speaking of heat wave, the crowd was peaceful because of the heat.  It was very polite of the sponsors to set up picnic benches, lounge beanie bags, sun umbrellas, and water stations under a big tent to prevent heat strokes.  Due to the oppressive heat wave, the crowd was manageable.  A much-needed relief to the organizers and the security.

Since DJ Steve Akoi was the headliner, most just napped during the sweltering afternoon.

Yes, they saved the best for last.

In fact, Jason Derulo was second to last.  He opened for Steve Akoi.  He came on stage at 7:30pm, late enough for sunset and for the temperature to cool down enough to get the crowd hopping, much less move.

People saved up their energy, obviously, for "cake face" DJ Steve Akoi, the man of the hour.  As the cheerleader of Electronic Dance Music, Steve finally got the crowd jumping and hopping and raving.  Yes, raves still do exist but they're called "EDM" now.  The same music that older generations get pumped to at the gym or whatever is their favorite work-out place.

Since the majority of concert-goers are Gen-Y, it's normal and okay with them when Steve threw mounds and mounds of cake into the audience, into their faces, and on top of their heads.

If you're lucky enough to get invited to Pandora's Summer Crush, go.  Sure, for Gen-Xers, the musical acts may skew young but the festival will open your ears to new talents rising up on the horizon.  For Gen-Y, they can catch their favorite acts for free, making it easier on their college wallets.

Thank You Pandora, for closing out Summer.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer Serums, the light-weight choice to lotions, creams, and oils.

By Laura Medina


Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Moisturizing Gel

Having spent the whole spring in the hot but fun desert of Palm Springs then suffering from sunburns covering food and booze festivals and outdoor music festivals, this scribe needs skin relief, now, that doesn't clog already-pugged pores and sweaty dermis.

Derma-E can at the rescue.

Replenish essential moisture with this lightweight, oil-free hydrator. Ideal for oily or blemish-prone skin, this fast-absorbing water-based gel leaves skin feeling soft, smooth and supple, never heavy or sticky. Vitamin A at a potency of 10,000 I.U. per 100 grams encourages surface cell turnover to revealing younger, fresher looking skin. Antioxidant Vitamin E fights free radical damage to keep skin looking healthy.

Their Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Moisturizing Gel is great for soothing burnt skin, from head to toe in a hefty but very generous eight ounce bottle.  What's more important, the Vitamin A gel soaks right in while healing the face with good ole Vitamin A.  What a relief.  At $14.95 for a eight ounce bottle, this is a good value for the entire Summer, from head to toe.  Great for face, neck, and chest which shows suffers from sun damage and shows aging the most.

Evenly Radiant® Brightening Serum

People suffer from wrinkles under the sun.  Others can play "connect the dots" on their faces due to age and sun spots.

Evenly Radiant® Brightening Serum softens and fades away those pesky age/sun spots over time, give or take a month, with Madonna Lily Plant Stem Cells, Bearberry, Niacinamide, Licorice, Green Tea and C-Ester plus illuminating Alpha-Arbutin to help fight discoloration for more evenly toned, luminous skin. Ideal for skin showing signs of uneven pigmentation, discoloration, sun damage, freckles, age spots and dark spots.

These effective serum and gel are so light-weight and refreshing, that they can be added to boost existing skin-soothing and skin-healing hybrid gel-creams, such as Neutrogena Hydro-Boost line, "Summer Skin Soothers that Soak Right In.", to further added beneficial antioxidants and vitamins to just plain skin soothers.

Unlike home remedies of plain yogurt and plain aloe vera gel, these serums aren't weak and they don't spoil.  You can store them in the bathroom or on the vanity table...out in direct sunlight.