Grilled Cheese and L.A. Hipsters


Location: 3337 West Sunset Boulevard, Silver Lake

The one part of town that I can’t say I spend much time in is with my east side L.A. hipsters (shout out to my friends in Silver Lake and Loz Feliz!). Admittedly, if I’m writing a blog about life in L.A., they should get more of a representation, especially since this side of town is really on the up-and-up and driving a lot of the trends. Luckily, my boyfriend heard through the grapevine about Heywood: A Grilled Cheese Shoppe and we happily crossed through Hollywood-land into Silver Lake territory. What better reason to leave our neck of the woods than to sit outside on a sunny afternoon and indulge in the comfort of a good grilled cheese sandwich? I couldn’t think of one. And the following snapshot of my meal confirmed I made the right decision:

(Feel free to click the picture to see the awesomeness up close and personal). 🙂


{Caprese:  mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, roma tomatoes and a light walnut pesto spread on sourdough bread. Hello! Yummy!}

1-Blog Pics

What Pinkberry did for frozen yogurt, Umami did for burgers, and Sprinkles did for cupcakes, Heywood is doing for the universally loved grilled cheese sandwich. You can custom make your own cheesy number or order from the fixed menu. Since grilled cheese and tomato soup are like peanut better and jelly (well – close enough), I thought the spiced tomato soup dipper (delish!) and the spring mix salad rounded out the components for an amazing meal. I have nothing but great things to say about this place (other than the water is clearly not filtered, so prepare for that awesome tap water taste – yuck!).



Finally, good news for my wheat intolerant and vegan friends, Heywood thought of you too with gluten free bread and vegan cheese and butter options. Even better news for late night partiers, those leaving that poetry reading with nowhere to go, the girl who didn’t want to eat on her first date in front of the man of her dreams, or those who just need some comfort food, Heywood is open until 3am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I’ll see you there!



AXE Restaurant


Location: 1009 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice

Abbot Kinney is one of my favorite boulevards in all of Los Angeles. A short strip of quaint clothing shops, home decor boutiques, stationary stores, restaurants, bars, and cafes; fused together by a much more laid back L.A. vibe – thanks to the pacific ocean just 1 mile away.


Near the tail end of the boulevard, I recently spent a Sunday afternoon with 9 of my friends to celebrate a birthday at AXE (pronounced “ă • shay” I later learned). The menu is all about clean eating; using fresh, local, organic ingredients. The dining space promotes simplicity with a salute to earthiness. I have to give it to them when it comes to their intention with the design of the space and thoughtfulness in developing the menu, read more here.

For brunch, I went with the 9 grain pancake and a side of the crispy potatoes. One of the girls brought a bottle of champagne to share with the table to toast. Talk about Sunday Funday! I can’t think of anything more awesome than champagne and pancakes on a Sunday afternoon.


{Hello champagne.}


{9 grain pancake.}


{Crispy potatoes.}

Pros: Great atmosphere, awesome location, organic food, surprisingly not too pricey.

Cons: Took forever to seat our group despite our reservation (after waiting 30 minutes I went in and complained – lo and behold our table was ready); I was happy with my dish but the food wasn’t anything super special; service was slow, and the wait staff was pretty nonchalant and unwelcoming, with no sense of urgency at all, it took forever to get our food.

Overall: I enjoyed (as always) adding a new “been there, done that” to my LA restaurant list, but due to the vibe from the wait staff and food that was just okay it’s not someplace that I feel the need to ever return to. Especially, when my favorite place, Jin Patisserie, is a 5 minute walk down the boulevard. AXE really needs to work on service and their unwelcoming attitude. Oh, and I can’t believe a place like this would give a table of 9 a hand-written bill that was hard to read. I’m all for being more earthy, but get a machine to tally receipts. It’s 2012!

How I Custom Designed My Own Pizza

Location: 12103 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City

So I know that turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce are all that’s on the brain this week, but I just had to share the great news with you! I cannot at all take the credit for this awesome find, my boyfriend told me about it, but the moment we stepped inside I knew pizza would never be the same. It was described to me as the “Chipotle for pizza!”

Pizza Rev sits not too far from the corner of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. Its motto: craft your own pizza. My motto: I’ll take everything on mine!

{Making the dough.}

{Over 30 toppings to choose from.}

Interestingly, the decor reminds me a lot of Chipotle, down to the buffet style ordering set-up as you move along in line to build your own pizza, starting with their homemade dough. Next, choose your cheese, choose your sauce, and then choose your toppings. The thrilling thing about this place is that for $7.95 you can put ANYTHING you want on your personal sized pie. The sky’s the limit. Naturally, I went overboard as one does with a buffet of toppings to choose from.

{Building mine!}

For our gluten-free friends, Pizza Rev has you covered. While a small $2.00 increase comes with ordering their wheat free crust, unlimited toppings more than make up for it. If you’re too tired to create your own (and who in the world would these people be?) you can also order from their “Our Way” menu and stick with the basics.

{In the oven.}

A short wait while your custom designed pizza cooks in their open deck oven and you’re out the door. I crafted a regular dough pizza with olive oil, mozzarella, feta cheese, ricotta, all beef pepperoni, ham, spinach, tomato, mushroom, pineapple, and black olives! Told you, I went overboard, but O.M.G. was it delish!!

{My finished custom designed pizza :)}

Highlights: Mid-October

Half-way through October. Someone seems to be hitting the time accelerate button yet again. It’s been a bit stressful this week, but here are some highlights that managed to brighten it:

{The appreciation of a good solid meal. Much pleasure came from some penne pasta with mushrooms lightly sprinkled with parmesan cheese; and the simplicity of steamed broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower on the side.}

{The Halloween project is underway, Midnight by Dean Koontz is in hand.}

{Not to brag, but I have been having the best hair week EVER! There’s nothing you can’t handle when your tresses are acting right. I don’t typically use hairspray, but because of the humidity in the air and some major frizzing, I’ve been looking for a solution. Enter L’Oréal Elnett StrongHold Hairspray (unscented). Worth every dime.}

{A very thoughtful surprise from my boyfriend. This beautiful orchid.}

Highlights: October Beginnings

The first week of October was kind to me – particularly in the simplicity of gratitude for:

{Subtle signs that while Fall is fashionably late, it’s coming. Hints of the leaves turning was an unexpected sight to finally see.}

{Perhaps my post yesterday is working! I wore my camel colored boots this week and didn’t sweat to death. I decided to start with my lighter boots and work my way to darker ones as the season slowly changes. Though this picture is making me wonder if it’s time for a new pair? These are looking pretty worn vintage. Might have to make a visit to Cathy Jean soon.}

{Pomegranate and Pear Salad + a Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing = To. Die. For.

Ingredients: Romaine Lettuce, saladini, frisee, cranberries, croutons, blue cheese, pears, and pomegranate seeds.}

{The clouds were being rather creative a few days ago. Turns out it was a little sky writing in the L.A. skyline.}

Looking forward to spending some time at the beach this weekend to enjoy a final hurrah before the heat wave officially says goodbye. Have a great weekend!

Deep Fried Everything: The LA County Fair

Location: 1101 West McKinley Avenue, Pomona

A great way to appreciate the last few weeks as the summer season winds down (at least according to the calendar, but not the weather gods and/or global warming) is a day among animals, carnival rides, shopping booths, cotton candy, BBQ pits, and deep fried everything. This past Saturday, we made our way out to the Pomona Fairplex and braved 93 degrees of sunshine to enjoy the LA County Fair.

{Thanks to Groupon we got a buy one, get one free deal. FYI – tickets are $17 each. Not sure why they said $5.95.}

Since I knew that we were going out to dinner later that night, I did my best to indulge lightly. A few spoonfuls of my boyfriend’s vanilla bean ice cream, a sip of his lemonade, followed by the heart attack waiting to happen from the best chili cheese fries ever! In retrospect, I wish I had at least tried the deep fried Oreos, but felt that I did well under the given circumstances.

{The fist station I saw when I entered the grounds.}

Luckily, before all the eating began (though not much later) we started the day with a trip through the farm to meet and greet the animals. What a sight to see a pig feeding their young! Who knew they just climbed and fought all over each other, looking for the prized milk source, and go to town as poor mom just lay there? So anxious were those little guys!

{Animals, animals, animals.}

From there, the day became a special mixture of walking around the grounds, people watching, trying to decide what to eat because the options were endless, looking for shade when we needed a break, walking through special exhibitions; and browsing around the shopping buildings filled with booths from hundreds of vendors, ranging from the cheapest looking of jewelry to purchasing a new hot tub. (Apparently, people actually go the fair to remodel their homes?)

{Food, food, food.}

{Rides, rides, rides.}

5 hours later, I was LA County Fair’d out (in a good way)! As the day went on, it got more crowded and warmer; and while I loved being there, I wanted nothing more than a chair, a solid healthy meal, consistent air-conditioning, and a shower!

We finished the night at Osteria Coppola a small Italian restaurant in Sherman Oaks, and was I ever excited to see their insalata mista (aka salad) and a fresh-baked chicken lasagna sitting in front of me. It was the first time I had a vegetable all day. It was the perfect way to top-off a perfect LA day!

{Insalata Mista.}

{Chicken Lasagna.}

Breakfast in Bed

What makes me feel like I’ve finally arrived into adulthood? It’s not the college degree that I’ll be paying for until I die. It’s not even the fact that I get up every morning, get dressed (in something fabulous!) and drive to work. It’s those times when you realize you can do those odd-ball things you like to do simply because you want to and you can. You don’t have to run it by anyone, ask your mom, or justify yourself. The situation is completely within your power. In essence, it’s the liberation from that power.

Recently, I was home one afternoon craving breakfast and some R&R after having spent the morning running errands around town in 100 degree weather. I sat, looked at the clock, thought about making something more appropriately lunch-like, and thought to myself, “why not?”

I promptly got up and made myself some bacon, eggs and french toast. Okay, I just reheated the french toast you buy from the frozen section at Trader Joe’s (these are delish by the way and it does still count as cooking!). I poured myself a glass of orange juice, pulled out my breakfast tray and set it up in bed. I turned on a DVD and for the next two full hours played the adult card, savoring every minute of it. It was a small pleasure but the older I get, the more I really appreciate these moments. Since everyday cannot be about big events and large-scale happenings, it’s these moments that add up to bring more smiles, happiness, and glitter to my life.