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A Foodie’s Tour of Hollywood

Hollywood continues its transformation into a foodie heaven. With more than $4.8 billion in investment announced since 2000, more retail, commercial, residential and hospitality projects have brought lots of new life – and new flavors – into Hollywood!

To spread awareness of some of the newer eateries in the district, we worked with our PR team at Haines & Co. to invite a group of freelance journalists and food bloggers to experience a walking tour featuring six locations.

First up, we visited the newly opened Demitasse Roastery and Kitchen (1542 N. Cahuenga Blvd.). While many were familiar with Demitasse and their home-brewed coffee, they were delighted to discover the full food menu available at this location. Since Demitasse is big on seasonal ingredients, the group was first treated to beverages including a Strawberry Ginger Latte, the boozy Strawberry Fresa, and a delicious Strawberry Gazpacho which included jamon serrano, quail eggs and croutons. A medley plate including Crudo, Hangar Steak and Vegetarian Lumpia was served to provide a better idea of the menu offerings.

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Sampling the goods at Demitasse Roastery & Kitchen, counterclockwise from top left: Strawberry Fresa; Vegetarian Lumpia; Hangar Steak; Crudo. (Photo by Devin Strecker)

The next stop on the tour, Mama Shelter (6500 Selma Ave.), gave the group a bird’s eye view of Hollywood. From the rooftop restaurant and bar, the writers were treated to a selection of Mama’s craft cocktails. Staff reminded the group that while many people have raved about Mama’s food and drinks, it is also a hotel featuring over 70 guest rooms and suites.

"The cocktails were strong and had great flavor. The seating looked like it was plucked straight out of a Pinterest page," Kristie Hang, writer, said. (Photo by Kristie Hang)

“The cocktails were strong and had great flavor. The seating looked like it was plucked straight out of a Pinterest page,” Kristie Hang, writer, said. (Photo by Kristie Hang)

From there, the group stopped by the brand new Cre8 Crepes (6654 Hollywood Blvd.), where everyone received their own custom-made crepe. The crepes are designed to be hand-held so they can be eaten while on the move! Fresh ingredients and quality toppings combine for a memorable indulgence.

At Cre8 Crepes, they will make you your own custom crepe, perfect for eating on-the-go! (Photo by Devin Strecker)

At Cre8 Crepes, they will make you your own custom crepe, perfect for eating on-the-go! (Photo by Devin Strecker)

Two newcomers to the Hollywood & Highland complex (6801 Hollywood Blvd.) were visited next, both on the third floor dining deck overlooking Hollywood Boulevard. Jinya Ramen Express is “where the relationship between broth and noodles is serious but delicious business.” Here, you can create your own ramen bowl with handmade noodles and a wide array of authentic toppings. “I was most impressed, however with the perfectly cooked ramen egg!” Kristi Hang, one of the food writers on the tour, said. “It’s really hard to get a soft boiled marinated egg just right.”

Ramen your way at Jinya Ramen Express at Hollywood & Highland. (Photo by Kristie Hang)

Ramen your way at Jinya Ramen Express at Hollywood & Highland. (Photo by Kristie Hang)

Next door, PokiNometry specializes in Poki bowls, a dish originating in Hawaii. At PokiNometry, you can customize your bowl with eight types of fish including different types of tuna, salmon, shrimp, octopus, and more. Over fifteen toppings are available to get just the flavor you’re craving!

Customize your poki bowl at Pokinometry, on the dining deck at Hollywood & Highland. (Photo by Devin Strecker)

Customize your poki bowl at Pokinometry, on the dining deck at Hollywood & Highland. (Photo by Devin Strecker)

The last stop on the tour was east coast transplant Sushi of Gari (6201 Hollywood Blvd.), now open at Eastown. The high-end restaurant was founded by Chef Masatoshi “Gari” Sugio in New York City. One of the writers on our tour, Chef Jay Terauchi, had previously experienced Sushi of Gari in New York and was glad to have a closer location. “Gari san takes pride in creating original sauces and topping to enhance the individual fish served to his customers,” Terauchi, said. “But, it doesn’t overpower the flavor of the fish.”

A trio of sashimi from Sushi of Gari. (Photo by Devin Strecker)


Devin Strecker serves as Director of Communications and Social Media for the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance.  He previously spent eight years working for the nearby Hollywood Media District BID.  He graduated from Fort Hays State University, near his hometown of Paradise, Kansas, with a degree in information networking and telecommunications.  He is a musician with his own band, Devin Tait and the Traitors.

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June 17, 2016

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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.

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

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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.
www.paleyhollywood.com


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

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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

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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
www.iloveprimo.com


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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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)

Demitasse
1542 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
www.cafedemitasse.com


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

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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

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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

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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

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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 www.hollywoodsafesidewalks.com.

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 www.theycountwillyou.org.

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@hollywoodbid.org.


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 www.onlyinhollywood.org.

 

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December 22, 2015