Places
6 Best Book Clubs in Los Angeles

6 Best Book Clubs in Los Angeles

If you long to discuss books you love — in real life, outside the confines of Amazon reviews and Goodreads comments — make joining a local book club a resolution. Here are five to check out — For girls who brunch: L.A. Girly Book Club With most of the regulars in their twenties and thirties, this book club usually reads novels by female authors, ranging from the more literary to chick-lit-ish to thrillers. The L.A. chapter’s organized by Janie, who picks out a different fun bar or restaurant for each meeting. Expect a lively conversation over appies and drinks, a raffle for a copy of the following month’s book, and lots of fun post-discussion socializing. One extra fun aspect of the Girly Book Club is the followup event — a brunch, a movie screening, a cookie break — planned between the book club meetings. Often, the events tie in to the latest book. Cost: $5 a month. More: L.A. Girly Book Club: Fiction, food, and fun excursions For the cocktail aficionado: The Edison Book Club This book club offers an intimate chat about a fantastic book over specialty drinks in a speakeasy-style bar — sometimes with a chance to talk […]

Taste New York in L.A.: 5 new restaurants

Taste New York in L.A.: 5 new restaurants

I’ve declared June New York month because I’m in New York right now on my east coast book tour! I’ve been so excited about this trip that before flying out, I actually prepped by checking out New York restaurants that recently opened in Los Angeles. Apparently the west coast is the place to be if you’re a chef, because a whole bunch of new yummy spots have sprung up. Here’s how my pre-NYC tasting tour went: by chloe. 2520 Glendale Blvd., Silver Lake. I’d put by chloe on my list of places to visit in New York after reading a review in The New Yorker last month — then googled it to find out L.A. already has its own location, right next door to a 365 by Whole Foods. The review recommended veggie burgers and fries with the house made beet ketchup, but all that sounded heavy because I’m more of a salad for lunch girl. So I got the Spicy Thai Salad — which with quinoa, edamame, almonds, and a very sweet-and-sticky apricot-sriracha glazed tempeh ended up being really filling. I’m glad I asked for no wontons and peanut dressing on the side because all that with the tempeh […]

5 trendy spots for healthy meals on the go in Los Angeles

5 trendy spots for healthy meals on the go in Los Angeles

Don’t have time to nori-wrap your tempeh bulgogi or to slice-n-bake sweet potato toasts for your paleo tartine? Indulge your love of health fads and fusion food alike at these healthy to-go spots this spring. __ Kye’s. Santa Monica: 1518 Montana Ave. This sunny spot is the home of the Kyerito — which is basically a leaf or nori-wrapped breadless burrito. A special slip wrap keeps the warm stuff from touching the wrap part, so nothing gets soggy. I loved the Tempeh Bulgogi Kyerito — a Korean-fusion deal with gochujang, kimchi, tempeh, rice, plus veggies and herbs, all wrapped in romaine. Most of the ingredients are local and organic too. Kye’s also offers salads and soups — plus vaguely healthy sounding desserts like vegan black bean brownie and kabocha pie I hope to try one day — Honey Hi. Echo Park: 1620 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. If you’re headed to an event at Stories or 826 LA in Echo Park, stop in at this organic and local, no refined sugar or gluten spot for a bite to eat. I recommend the breakfast bowl, made with sweet potato hash, pastured turmeric poached egg, Niman Ranch uncured bacon, greens, avocado, herbs, […]

Pen Center USA:  Bookish cocktails and literary community

Pen Center USA: Bookish cocktails and literary community

How to enjoy your favorite book as a cocktail: Go to a PEN Center USA party at The Edison! At the Member Mixer last week, book lovers drank In Cold Blood (a black Manhattan), The Sound and the Fury (mezcal margarita), and The Age of Innocence (gin, prosecco, and elderflower) — while supporting a literary nonprofit. I actually gave my drink tickets away — Hope you enjoyed your cocktails, Laura and Julia! — and had a fun time! Here I am with Libby Flores, PEN’s director of literary programs. J Ryan Stradl (Kitchens of the Great Midwest), Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief; below), and Julia Fierro (The Gypsy Moth Summer) all gave lovely toasts to get drinkers to become members of PEN. PEN Center USA is a literary and human rights organization, committed to “cultivating and expanding a diverse and engaged literary community in the western United States.” It does everything from provide fellowships to emerging writers to give out literary awards to organize dozens of local readings to publish a literary journal. Oh, and Pen also “advocates for imprisoned, censored, and persecuted writers throughout the world.” Plus, PEN throws fun parties! Members at the mixer got to display their […]

Deus Cafe: Best coffee shop for reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Deus Cafe: Best coffee shop for reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

“We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone.” — Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values Motorcycles, matcha lattes, postmodern style, and philosophy. Combine all four by spending an afternoon at Deus Cafe with a copy of Robert M. Pirsig’s classic, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I’d read this meditative and moving book long, long ago and loved it — then picked up a new-to-me copy a few months ago at a friend’s fashion and book swap party. And when I did, I knew exactly where I’d go to read it. Deus Cafe is part of Deus Ex Machina: The Emporium of Postmodern Activities, a Venice shop best known for its custom built motorcycles. Browsers can also peruse unique surfboards, clothes, artwork, and accessories — before heading to the back. There you can hang out, caffeinate, read, and chat with friends and strangers at the cafe’s communal tables. It’s a lovely spot with both […]

The Window @A.G. Geiger: A new literary series at a Chinatown art bookstore

The Window @A.G. Geiger: A new literary series at a Chinatown art bookstore

Why host just one literary reading series when you can host two? Susan Hayden, the woman behind the Library Girl reading series in Santa Monica, has teamed up with Alexis Rhone Fancher and started a brand new series across town: The Window @A.G. Geiger. Held at A.G.Geiger Fine Art Books in Chinatown one Sunday afternoon a month, The Window has a similar format as Library Girl — a handful of readers, musical performance, wine. The first event happened in February, featuring playwright/essayist Guy Zimmerman, poets Pam Ward and Kelly Grace Thomas, and monologist Jim Turner — plus music by Susan’s son Mason Summit and Sofia Wolfson. A good crowd filled the cozy space — which is a great place to browse through pretty art books post-reading — I hope you’ll come to the next event because I’ll be one of the readers, reading from Cake Time! Titled “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” the afternoon will also feature readings from Adam Leipzig, Tina Yang, and Nathan Birnbaum plus musical guests. It all happens Sunday, April 30 at 4 pm. Admission is $10, and includes wine and other beverages. Hope to see you there! __ The Window @A.G. Geiger. A.G.Geiger Fine Art […]