image Dining

Step Into a Time Warp at Paley

Paley, the breathtaking new restaurant in the bustling Columbia Square, is now open and is the first West Coast opening from the Plan Do See restaurant group. The interior stylings are quintessential Midcentury Modern, with blue, orange and gold hues accented by oak wood throughout. There’s an elegance to dining here, with rounded edges, brown leather booths and close-knit, vertical lines being a hallmark.

Named after the legendary CBS CEO William Paley and his wife Babe, the space is an ode to Hollywood’s early radio roots inside the historic 1930s building, which actually used to house the TV and radio station. Chef Greg Bernhardt incorporates all the multicultural influences of Los Angeles while still maintaining a cohesiveness across his menu.

Now open for brunch, lunch and dinner, Paley is a great restaurant for any time of day – imparting a lot of natural sunlight during the day, and an opulent atmosphere at night. The beautiful bar in the front is definitely worth a pre-meal cocktail – or two – as it’s a masterpiece in itself. Of course, the dining area is just as gorgeous if you’d rather get right down to it.

You’ll probably want to start off with a selection of crudo from their raw bar, whether it be scallops, hamachi, or albacore, as they’re always topped off with the right amount of citrus and interesting sprouts. Pastas are made in-house, perfect for a flavor-filled and tender second course.

Raw bar crudo from Paley Hollywood. (photo by Esther Tseng)

Raw bar crudo from Paley Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

You’ll also find delicious, wood-roasted selections with smokey notes in a few of the dishes, reminiscent of the appetizing scent you smelled when you first walked in the door. And while the culinary influences are global, the ingredients are locally sourced, ensuring that each dish is not only beautiful, but fresh and delicious. Paley’s menu is well-curated, with just the right variety of proteins on offer while still being manageable.

A trio of dishes from Paley Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

A trio of dishes from Paley Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

While there are a few solid cocktails available, Paley has an extensive wine list with a decent number of wines available by the glass – something you’ll want to take advantage of as far as pairing with your food. The service is always on point, as well, with a team effort ensuring that all your needs are taken care of in a prompt fashion.

Also, don’t forget dessert – order the Popcorn Ice Cream and Green Tea Calamansi Vacherin. The former will bring you straight to your favorite movie theatre – but with mind-blowing refreshments, and the latter is like a cross-textural, citrus punch in the mouth you never knew you craved.


Popcorn Ice Cream at Paley Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)


Green Tea Calamansi Vacherin at Paley Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

In all, Paley is beautifully delicious all-around but also inventive with all the global influences it ushers in. A meal here is almost like stepping into a time warp but while enjoying the best of today’s exciting food. You’ll want to make your reservation pronto.

Paley Hollywood
6115 Sunset Blvd.

Esther Tseng is a freelance food and drink writer. She has contributed to Eater, Thrillist, LA Tourism, Visit West Hollywood, Serious Drinks, and more. She practices Pilates, spins and snowboards to counter all the calories she consumes and loves to travel, whether for work or leisure.

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June 10, 2016

image Dining

800 Degrees Pizza Open on Vine Street

Via Eater LA, comes word that Hollywood’s newest pizza place, 800 Degrees, is about to open after a two-year wait:

“The quick service choose your own pizza adventure spot has expanded all across Los Angeles and even internationally, but so far has been unable to put the finishing touches on their proposed Hollywood space along Vine. That all changes next week.

“Signage first went up last September, with an ABC license posted on site dating back to February 2014. The team took their time with this outlet in part because they knew the volume that it’s likely to do, and wanted to make it as alluringly beautiful as their stunning (and equally trafficked) Pasadena location, adding marble touches, finished woods, and lots of their signature white subway tile.

“The Sunset and Vine space reaches some 3,000 square feet in total, separated across two floors (the upstairs is a separate bar and private event space, apparently) and a sidewalk patio. Once up and running the plan is to serve daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., which is a godsend for clubbers in the area needing a post-bar bite. 800 Degrees Hollywood opens Monday, April 11.”
Great news!
(Photo via Facebook)

800 Degrees Pizza (Photo via Facebook)

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April 7, 2016

image Dining

Take a Break at Caffe Primo

There’s a new spot in the corridor outside Arclight Cinemas and it’s pretty much everything you could ever ask for. That’s because while most items are light fare, the overall menu at Caffe Primo is huge, spanning all hours and moods of the day.

Caffe Primo is now open at the Arclight Center. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Caffe Primo is now open at the Arclight Center. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Caffe Primo brews espresso and pour-overs with Counter Culture Coffee, which is based in North Carolina and sources their bread from Röckenwagner, based here in Los Angeles. The inner space is beautifully lit with natural light filtering through top-to-bottom windows into a space with clean, modern lines, understated color ways and white, ceramic tile.

Choose from a slew of breakfast selections with organic eggs and French crepes, whether sweet or savory. Lunch goes on and on, even into dinner time, with a wide variety of wraps, Paninis, brown rice bowls, salads, pastas, and other house specialties as well as a soup of the day. And with nothing on the menu over $14, eating and drinking here is a bargain.

The extensive menu at Caffe Primo. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

The extensive menu at Caffe Primo. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

And about the drinking: The great thing is they have a beer and wine license, so while they don’t have a ton of selection of either, there’s enough to keep one properly satisfied. You can get a glass or a bottle, but it’s their daily happy hour between 3 – 7 p.m. that’s the steal. Beer and wine is $4 per glass, with a handful of sharable plates such as hummus, tuna tartar, Ceviche and Bruschetta ranging from $5-7.

Latte lovers will enjoy Caffe Primo’s selection, and juices are fresh pressed each and every morning to be bottled in and consumed from a mason jar. There is also a variety of a dozen healthy and delicious smoothies made to order. So whether you’re feeling like a little pick-me-up with a shot of espresso, a little milk and sweetness in your coffee with a Caramel Latte, or a health boost with a juice or smoothie, Caffe Primo’s got your drink of choice.

Cold pressed juice is served in mason jars at Caffe Primo. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Cold pressed juice is served in mason jars at Caffe Primo. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Whether you’re pre-gaming for a movie at The Arclight, taking a break from browsing Amoeba, or simply in the neighborhood, Caffe Primo is a great place to refuel to your heart’s desire at a great price point in a pleasant space.

Caffe Primo
6374 Sunset Blvd

Esther Tseng is a freelance food and drink writer. She has contributed to Eater, Thrillist, LA Tourism, Visit West Hollywood, Serious Drinks, and more. She practices Pilates, spins and snowboards to counter all the calories she consumes and loves to travel, whether for work or leisure.

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April 6, 2016

image Entertainment

What’s Happening in Hollywood Tonight?

Your guide to what’s happening in Hollywood on March 24, 2016!

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March 24, 2016

image Dining

Demitasse Now Roasting on Cahuenga

Hollywood residents, rejoice! The brand new location of Demitasse – its fourth – is now live and boasts one of the neighborhood’s most beautiful and bustling patios on Cahuenga, a part of Space 15 Twenty. The indoor space is also inspired, thanks to clean lines, understated color motifs and plenty of natural sunlight shining through its glass walls. It’s also big enough to house the coffee shop’s very own roaster.

Demitasse is now open at Space 15 Twenty in Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Demitasse is now open at Space 15 Twenty in Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Owner Bobby Roshan has had an eye on the space since 2 years ago, and has roasted coffee beans for Amoeba, down the street, for almost a year. He’s excited to make Demitasse a true community space and has already developed relationships with the farmers at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, neighboring businesses and their owners, and is open to the idea of hosting pop-ups with artisans.

Already, the space has been popular amongst locals. Roshan describes the neighborhood as dynamic, with Hollywood creatives, techies and fans of the local food scene bringing a new kind of energy to the area, of which he’s excited to be a part. He also met his girlfriend on Cahuenga many years ago, so there’s definitely something sentimental about the street.


Demitasse features exposed brick walls and a relaxed, minimalist décor. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Demitasse’s coffee is top-notch, and each location has its own selection of drinks and food. At this location, you’ll find your coffee drinks brewed to order, including espresso, macchiato and cappuccino. They’ve also got other interesting drinks with coffee and without, such as the delicious Blood Orange Nutmeg Latte, an Iced Minty Cubano, and a Lavender Liquid Hot chocolate. A variety of teas, hot and iced, white, black, green, and herbal also are up to snuff.

Creekstone Farms Brisket sandwich at Demitasse. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Creekstone Farms Brisket sandwich at Demitasse. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Food offerings are mostly geared towards breakfast and lunch, and are delicious and made with utmost care. Sweet Potato Pancakes, a Breakfast Sandwich with fried duck egg and Mortadella, and a Creekstone Farms Brisket sandwich are all great. They’ve also got Grilled Cheese, an Eggplant Torta, and more for vegetarians.

With its beautiful patio, long benches and indoor seating space, it’s easy to lounge the day away – or complete some work your laptop (yes, they have WiFi too). Demitasse’s veritable coffee, breakfast and lunch menus make this spot one of the newest and hottest daytime hangs on Cahuenga.


Demitasse features a full line of breakfast and lunch foods, as well as an assortment of coffee and non-coffee drinks. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

1542 N. Cahuenga Blvd.

Esther Tseng is a freelance food and drink writer. She has contributed to Eater, Thrillist, LA Tourism, Visit West Hollywood, Serious Drinks, and more. She practices Pilates, spins and snowboards to counter all the calories she consumes and loves to travel, whether for work or leisure.

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March 15, 2016

image Community

New HPOA Home Featured in Park LaBrea News / Beverly Press

Following our official Open House here at our new home, 6562 Hollywood Boulevard, we have now been featured in the Park LaBrea News / Beverly Press. The publication takes a look at our move to “Mid-BID” and the goals we hope to accomplish by being here.

HPOA Executive Director Kerry Morrison told the paper that by moving to a converted street-level office, it symbolically shows we believe in the area so much that we are willing to work and invest in a quality business operation here.

As mentioned in the article, the new space includes a conference room big enough to accommodate about 30 people, and a space dedicated to potential investors, as well as enough room for five staff members and occasionally interns.

Click here to read the entire article.

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March 9, 2016

image Events

SOUNDSCAPE: Celebrating the Sunset & Vine District’s New Public Art Program

Local up-and-coming bands are being featured in new utility box art in the area along Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street. The art initiative will launch with a free concert and art show at Amoeba Music, 6400 Sunset Boulevard, on Wednesday, March 9. The original paintings, created by local artist Paige Emery, will be exhibited from 10:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.  The free concert will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will feature two of the bands that were painted, Winter and Drinking Flowers.

Initially aimed to transform common utility boxes into visually attractive displays of art, the project has evolved into a greater symbol of neighborhood identity and community representation.

The Sunset & Vine District, in partnership with the Do Art Foundation, selected Emery through an extensive application process. Emery was chosen based on her ability to capture the neighborhood’s unique creative spirit and authentic vibe.

The project culminated in 10 original public artworks that will be on display on utility boxes for a year. Bands Night Beats, Fever the Ghost, FEELS, Drinking Flowers, Cosmonauts, Winter, Triptides, The Molochs, HOTT MT and Froth are featured in the art.

The Central Hollywood Coalition, the non-profit board that manages the Sunset & Vine Business Improvement District, funds streetscape beautification, street cleaning services, security program and homeless outreach in the area.


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March 2, 2016

image Community

LA Marathon, Academy Awards to close Hollywood Boulevard in February

The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon has been scheduled for Valentine’s Day – February 14 – this year. The marathon, which usually takes place in March, has been moved up to coincide with U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon, which will be taking place on Saturday, February 13. The Olympic Team Trials will be broadcast live nationally for the first time ever on NBC. The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon will run through Hollywood, heading west on Hollywood Boulevard, then south on Orange Drive, and finally, west on Sunset Boulevard. These streets, and many adjacent streets, will be closed from approximately 4:00 a.m. until noon.

Click here for all street and sidewalk closures associated with the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon

At the same time, the set up for the 88th Annual Academy Awards will begin on February 14 with curb lane and sidewalk closures on Hollywood Blvd. in the area between Highland Ave. and Orange Dr. A week later, on February 21, Hollywood Blvd. will fully close until Tuesday, March 1. Additional streets and sections of streets will close as the date of the event, February 28, draws nearer. MTA buses will be rerouted, and the Hollywood & Highland Station will be bypassed the day of the event.

Click here to download all the street and sidewalk closures associated with the 88th Annual Academy Awards

All street and sidewalk closures in Hollywood are posted in advance here on our Navigate Hollywood Street Closures page. There, you may also sign up to receive text and/or e-mail notifications in advance of any street closures.

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January 19, 2016

image Community

Los Angeles Homeless Situation High on City and County Radar

The evidence that there are more people experiencing homelessness in the city and county of Los Angeles is underscored by data and visual observation.  This region is impacted by a multitude of factors which have contributed to the unprecedented action taken by the Los Angeles City Council in September to call for the declaration of a “state of emergency” and the dedication of $100M to address the problem.  This acknowledgement helped to make sense of the rise in calls to BID Patrol for assistance from property and business owners.  The BID security officers have done what they can to respond to the concerns expressed by the stakeholders, but there are limits to what the BID can do.

In January, both the city and the county are expected to announce the results of several months of strategic planning around this issue.  There has been good cooperation between the city and the county, which is has been encouraging.  Both short and long-term strategies are anticipated.  Further, the city just allocated $12M toward rapid-rehousing assistance (which helps to prevent homelessness) and emergency shelter beds in anticipation of El Nino.  The County is working on  allocating $100M in the 2015/16 year budget to support strategies to be announced next month.

Meanwhile, closer to home, local organizations who are working to assist and house those individuals who are willing to come in off the street can use support from the business community.  Many of these organizations are listed at

Finally, traditionally, the LA region has conducted a point-in-time homeless count, but this year, the federal government is requiring an annual count.  Therefore, individuals who are interested in volunteering for this year’s count, scheduled for Thursday January 28, 2015, are encouraged to register at

Approximately 150 volunteers will be needed to count the 30+ census tracts that comprise Hollywood.  For more information on any of these issues, please contact Kerry Morrison at

Kerry Morrison is executive director of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance.  She serves as a Mayoral appointee to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) and blogs at


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December 22, 2015

image Community

Julia Dean and LACP: Creating a Community

If you live in Los Angeles, and have any desire to be involved in photography in any way, chances are very good that you’ve heard of Julia Dean. For the past 33 years, Julia has been mentoring aspiring photographers of all skill levels through her workshops, classes and programs. She has built a very special community that calls Hollywood home at the Los Angeles Center of Photography (1515 Wilcox, just north of Sunset). I stopped by recently to visit with Julia hoping to learn more about the woman behind the business. Not only did I get to know her, but I walked out buying her scooter, signing up for 6 months of her street shooting classes and hoping she’d be my life-long friend…she is that interesting and charismatic.

Photo above: The Staff of the Los Angeles Center of Photography. From left to right: Kasia Czerski, Manager of Programs and Events; Brandon Gannon, Director of Operations and Education; and Julia Dean, Executive Director. (Photo by Jennifer Ruggiero)

Originally from Broken Bow, Nebraska, Julia received her photography degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master’s in Journalism from the University of Nebraska. When she was 23, Julia apprenticed with Berenice Abbott for a year. The famous photographer, best known for her black-and-white photography of New York City architecture and urban design of the 1930s, taught Julia a lot about photography and about teaching—something that would become a passion for Julia down the road.

For years, Julia travelled around the world doing what she called “socially concerned” photography—using her camera to shed light on social issues. As she says, “before I moved here, I was a documentary photographer and I worked for a lot of relief agencies and non-profits. I made very little money but it was very rewarding because I got to go to lots of third world countries and document the good work that was going on.” She also worked as a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, along with several other institutions across the U.S., for 16 years before moving to Los Angeles in 1994.

Living in Venice Beach, Dean began to make a name for herself by posting flyers offering her teaching services. People signed up for photography classes that she ran out of her home until it became obvious to Julia and her partner, Jay, that it was time to get a space. “I started the school January 1, 1999 so I wouldn’t forget the date. It began as The Julia Dean Photo Workshops. I couldn’t come up with a name at first until Jay said ‘you’re the only teacher so let’s call it that.’”

Julia Dean in Venice Beach. (Photo by Laurie McCormick)

Julia Dean in Venice Beach. (Photo by Laurie McCormick)

A former student gave her a small business loan to get the business going, and over time it grew in size and reputation. Julia worked 100 hours a week for many years, eventually realizing she had to bring in help. As she met people, she would ask them to come in and teach, so little by little she developed a staff. “I didn’t have a vision for what it has become,” she says, “that’s just evolved through the years.”

After 12 years on the beach in Venice, she decided she’d like to be closer to her then business partner, Baret Lepejian of A+I Labs, and moved JDPW to Seward Street in Hollywood. Then a couple of years later, she found the ideal property at 1515 Wilcox Avenue near Sunset that would allow her to expand and pursue another dream, of turning the business into a non-profit that would provide education, scholarships, grants, exhibits, public programs and events, along with focused programming for youth and low-income families.

In October 2013, Julia opened The Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) which officially obtained its 501(c)3 tax-exempt status in August, 2014. The school now offers about 100-120 classes a year. They have a wide range of programs and services for photographers, from the beginning hobbyist to the aspiring professional. Students can choose to immerse themselves in an intense one-year program of study, or pursue one of their four certificate programs at a more leisurely pace.  They can take individual classes in the basics or dig deeper, learning techniques from specialized lighting and Photoshop to boudoir photography.

The Los Angeles Center of Photography. (Photo by Marlena McClain)

The Los Angeles Center of Photography. (Photo by Marlena McClain)

There are also visits from “special guests.” “We have 12 special guests a year,” explains Julia. “We invite people at the top of their field, generally for weekend workshops. Joel Sartore was my very first special guest to come in and teach. He was in the second photography class I taught at the University of Nebraska in 1982—he was 19 years old, that’s how long I’ve known him. When I started my school, he was already working at National Geographic and well-known. It was so great to have him. And now we do these sessions once a month.”

But what interests Julia more than anything these days is designing and implementing programs for at-risk and underserved kids. As she says, “I’ve tried doing that in different ways along the way and recently came up with the idea of offering a year-long program at the Variety Boys & Girls Club. I told one of the board members and he immediately raised the money for 15 cameras. I started the program with seven kids in the class and have been with them every Wednesday for about a year. The program I designed includes a Portrait class, Street Shooting class and a Documentary class. We did all of our shooting on Cesar Chavez Avenue, the kids and I, and now we’re documenting the insides and outsides of the businesses along the street.” You can see the love she has for what she’s doing when she proudly states, “The Ron Gershman Foundation has donated money for an exhibit of their work on April 24 next year. It’s very rewarding. I really love it.”

LACP has a variety of classes designed for students in middle school and high school (ages 12-18) including summer and fall classes.

Inside the Los Angeles Center of Photography. (Photo by Marlena McClain)

Inside the Los Angeles Center of Photography. (Photo by Marlena McClain)

The Center’s new non-profit status allows them to raise the funds to run the center, and a lot more.  They are hosting a membership drive that runs until the end of 2015. They hope to sign up 300 new members by year’s end to continue the Center’s growth as a community. “I want the LACP to be more than a school,” concludes Julia. “We want to be able to offer scholarships to people who can’t afford to take a class. Or grants to photographers so they can continue their work. I want people to want to be members so they can be a part of it all.”

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LACP’s will host their Second Annual Street Shooting Exhibition from February 12 – March 11, 2016, with opening night reception scheduled for Friday, February 12, 2016. The theme is street shooting in Los Angeles and Around the World. The juror – well-renowned London street shooter Matt Stuart – will select between 40-50 images based on creativity, originality, and quality.

Los Angeles Center for Photography
1515 Wilcox Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Kim Sudhalter has worked with the Hollywood Entertainment District since its early years, helping to attract investment and revitalize the area. Originally from Europe and New York, she is an architecture and history buff who has a deep and abiding love for Hollywood and its past.

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December 22, 2015