Tender Greens

TENDER GREENS

621 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena CA91101
(626) 405-1511

Finding a casual, family-friendly restaurant that serves delicious, healthy food that doesn’t break the bank is a tall order, but Tender Greens delivers the goods. Bring the whole clan over to the Pasadena location of this popular chef-inspired health food restaurant for a tasty meal that the kids will love just as much as their parents. Let the youngsters pick their favorite colorful drink, maybe a mint lemonade or an agua fresca. They’ll have fun sipping these all-natural treats in the relaxed open dining room, and the kitchen’s “slow food cooked fast” mantra won’t keep them waiting long for the first bite. The cooks use local produce and ingredients in all their recipes, as well as line-caught tuna, cage-free chicken, and beef from cows that are hormone- and antibiotic- free. This humane farm-to-fork ethos lets moms and dads know they’re feeding the family the best they can, and it sets a good example that eating right can still be fun. After an awesome steak or some tender barbecued chicken, it’s time to give the kids what they’ve been waiting for: dessert. Tender Greens creates unique masterpieces that are perfect for rewarding good behavior. Freshly baked cupcakes, cookies, and bars will have you and your spouse laughing at the squeals of delight you’re hearing. The menu changes often, which is all the more reason to come back again and again. After your meal, keep the good times rolling by heading to the ArcLight Cinemas across the street. It makes for a fun ending to a wholesome outing.

– See more at: http://www.lovethiscity.com/us/los-angeles/family/tender-greens#sthash.U2V0UXu9.dpuf


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Photograph by george ruiz

The Pasadena Playhouse

THE PASADENA PLAYHOUSE

39 S El Molino Ave
Pasadena CA91101
(626) 792-8672

Pasadena is known for the Rose Bowl and its charming Old Town. If you’re looking for something smart and romantic, add The Pasadena Playhouse to the list, as it’s the perfect place for a drama-filled date night in Los Angeles. Start by visiting one of the new restaurants in the theater district, like Tender Greens or Urth Caffe, featuring menus filled with delicious, healthy food. Although the settings are casual, the tables are quaint and intimate. After your meal, stroll over to the theater. Give yourselves some extra time to enjoy the beautiful courtyard, thick with the romance of Old World Spain. Sophistication is sexy, so don’t be afraid to mingle with the locals as you sip coffee and nibble on treats. When you finally find your seat, hold hands as the lights come up and the talented performers bring their characters to life. The drama in this old theater is always inspired, and the diverse shows–ranging from Letters from Zora, inspired by the works of Zora Neale Hurston, to Stoneface: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton–will make you feel like you’re part of something special. You may be far from the neon lights of Broadway, but the stars on The Pasadena Playhouse stage shine just as bright. Expect an exciting night that stimulates your senses and enriches your soul. That’s a date night to remember.

– See more at: http://www.lovethiscity.com/us/los-angeles/romance/pasadena-playhouse#sthash.ztb9zEFV.dpuf


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Photograph by Canon in 2D

Beachy Cream

BEACHY CREAM

1209 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica CA90403
(310) 656-4999

There are few things kids love more than playing in the sand and eating ice cream. Reward your little sandcastle artists for their good behavior at the beach with a stop at Beachy Cream in Santa Monica, the perfect capper to any family outing. Classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate will satisfy the youngsters, while Mom and Dad delve into more adventurous choices like candied ginger or whiskey and walnuts. The best part of these frozen delights? Everything is made from 100% organic ingredients, locally sourced, with no antibiotics or hormones—meaning you’ll feel good about what your kids are devouring. Watch as your little ones’ eyes light up when they order their masterpiece, a castle of cream inside a crunchy pretzel cone. Or let them go even bigger with a sundae made with gooey hot fudge. If they’re cookie-lovers, Beachy Cream has what they justly call the “perfect ice cream sandwich,” with unique combinations like the Surfin’ Safari Chocolate Chip or the Key Lime Cowabunga. The kids will feel a thrill as big as hanging ten on a breaking wave as these cool treats melt in their mouths. When temperatures rise in LA, ice cream is the best way to stay cool, and Beachy Cream is the place to find it.

– See more at: http://www.lovethiscity.com/us/los-angeles/family/beachy-cream#sthash.ZVHsC8MZ.dpuf


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Photograph by Zechariah Judy

The Viper Room

THE VIPER ROOM

8852 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood CA90069
(310) 358-1881

If you’re a rock fan in L.A., a trip to The Viper Room on Sunset is a no-brainer, and an excellent choice for a group outing. Check the calendar and pick out a favorite local band, or roll the dice on someone entirely new. This room attracts tons of talented musicians, many fresh off the bus and ready to make their mark on the Hollywood scene. Rally the troops and march onto the Strip for a memorable night in an intimate space. Flaunt your style by dressing hip, but stay comfortable so you can groove all night long. It’s important to look good—you never know who you’re going to meet in an old haunt like this. Maybe it’s the amazing acoustics, maybe it’s the prime location, or maybe it’s the spirit of one-time owner Johnny Depp, but this joint has been packing them in ever since Tom Petty rocked opening night in 1993. Parking can be tough, so share a cab or take advantage of a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber. Show your friends what it feels like to be a VIP by planning ahead and reserving a booth in the upstairs room. Order a round and make a toast of gratitude to the rock gods. When the band kicks in, jump out of your seat and hop around the dance floor until your legs give. It’s easy to let loose with friends when you’re rockin’ with a classic.

– See more at: http://www.lovethiscity.com/us/los-angeles/friends/viper-room#sthash.aWAqSTyP.dpuf


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Photograph by Kristin_a

Crumbs Bake Shop

CRUMBS BAKE SHOP

216 N Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles CA90004
(323) 464-8400

When it’s time to reward the kids for their good behavior—or when mom and dad have a sweets craving of their own—head over to Crumbs Bake Shop in Larchmont Village for the most delicious cupcakes in town. As you enter the tidy shop, try not to press your noses against the display case all at once, as row after row of scrumptious treats beckon you to push that juice cleanse off for another day or two. The little ones will jump up and down with excitement when they see all the different flavors with funny names. There are bite-sized “tastes” kids can pop into their mouths in one clean motion and “classics” that take a couple of bites to finish, but they’re probably going to badger your for the six-ounce “signature” size. Indulge them with a few varieties and then cut them into quarters so everyone can share. For chocolate fiends, the blackout is essential: chocolate cake filled with fudge and custard and topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting. Fruit lovers will relish the blueberry swirl, with delicate vanilla cake filled with blueberry jam and caramel and topped with toasted coconut. And your young adventurer will appreciate a Girl Scout chocolate PB crème, filled and frosted with peanut butter cream cheese and topped with a chocolate drizzle. Crumbs bakes more than 50 varieties every day, with a new flavor every Monday, so check back often to see the latest. You just might find a flavor so amazing that you have to possess it in its most impressive form, the “colossal,” a 6 1/2 inch high cupcake big enough to serve eight. If the prospect of that’s not enough to get the kids to do their homework, nothing is.

– See more at: http://www.lovethiscity.com/us/los-angeles/family/crumbs-bake-shop-larchmont#sthash.112DoXIA.dpuf


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Photograph by David Goehring

Largo at the Coronet

LARGO AT THE CORONET

366 N La Cienega Blvd Los Angeles CA90048
(310) 855-0350

If you’re looking for something different to do in Los Angeles, a one-of-a-kind experience can be found nightly at Largo at the Coronet. The shows at this tiny venue are seriously stellar, making a night with friends here something special. One glance at the Largo calendar of events and you won’t know which tickets to snatch up first. Some of the most innovative comedians in the country—Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Demetri Martin—perform here regularly. You’ll feel like you’re in on a secret as you hear them try out new material before they bring it to the masses. If your crowd is into music, don’t miss Colin Hay, the former front man from Men at Work, who mines acoustic gold with his famous twelve-string guitar. The intimate space makes it feel like you’re hearing a concert in your living room. Another show not to be missed is Jon Brion, a musical genius who has scored movies like Punch Drunk Love and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. You’ll turn to your friends with a “how is he doing this?” look as Brion plays different instruments, one after the other, records them in real time, then loops it all together to create a gorgeous one-man orchestra. Be prepared to ask him to sing your favorite song. Brion takes requests from the audience, and like the magic that is synonymous with Largo, he always knows how to play each one.
– See more at love this city

Photograph by Marcel Grieder
Edited by BlackBook

Busby’s West

BUSBY’S WEST

3110 Santa Monica Blvd Santa Monica CA 90404
(310) 828-4567

This weekend, organize your crew, dress sharp, and head to Busby’s West for the quintessential sports night. The local feel of this popular sports bar makes it easy to hang with your friends while catching up over cold beer and hot food. On the latter, it’s more than just drab pub grub here. The stakes are raised with, well, steaks. The house filet mignon is one of the best in town for the price, and the baby back ribs fall right off the bone. The owners have been in the bar biz for decades, and the love of their craft comes through with every pour off the 10 taps locked and loaded with both major domestic lagers (this is a sports bar, after all) as well as smaller-batch craft brews. Naturally, there are multiple TV’s showing the big game–as well as some of the smaller games games–but if you’re not impressed by the action on the field of play, you’ll find plenty right where you’re standing. There’s definitely a scene here, so come with a mindset ready to mix it up with eager Westsiders sharing one goal—having a good time. After filling up on tasty grub and crisp brews, get ready to dance. The DJs at Busby’s always spin a mix that gets the crowd going. If you need to switch it up, hit the back rooms for games like billiards, shuffle board, or foosball. They’re all free, so you have extra coin to buy the next round for your new friends. Need some air to cool off and chat? They’ve got outdoor patios. At Busby’s, you’ve got all the makings of the perfect night.
– See more at love this city

Photograph by Helen Cook
Edited by BlackBook

True Food Kitchen

TRUE FOOD KITCHEN

395 Santa Monica Pl Santa Monica CA 90401
(310) 593-8300

It’s time to fall in love with a new restaurant. For a fun and healthy outing with friends, pencil in True Food Kitchen as the next stop on your Los Angeles food tour. Don’t keep this treasure trove of organic delights to yourself, invite all your friends to take part. Located in the Santa Monica Place Mall by the beach, this is a great spot to enjoy the afternoon ocean breeze or watch the early evening sunset. Start your meal with a lip-smacking natural soda, like, well, The Natural, a perfect blend of ginger and agave, or the Medicine Man, made with pomegranate and sea-buckthorn berries, and chock-full of powerful antioxidants to keep you moving. It doesn’t matter if your fellow foodies are vegetarians or carnivores, whole grain fiends or gluten-free sticklers, True Food has amazing dishes for everyone. You can find common ground while eating burgers—either the meaty grass-fed bison burger cooked to Umami-style perfection or the “Inside Out” quinoa burger made with hummus, tzatziki, and feta. Or go the bite-size route with sliders that get elevated with wild ahi filling. Every mouthwatering bite here will make you wonder where True Food has been all your life. When you finish with a flourless chocolate cake or the chia seed pudding with banana and coconut—both vegetarian and gluten-free—make sure to ask for extra forks. It feels good to share the love.
– See more at love this city

Photograph by Samson Loo
Edited by BlackBook

PizzaRev

PIZZAREV

175 E Palm Ave Burbank CA 91502
(818) 238-0149

Sub shops and burger joints have done it, and it was just a matter of time before pizza places caught on to the create-your-own idea. The newest—and tastiest—of these DIY spots is PizzaRev. On your next family outing, bring the clan over to Burbank for an entertaining time for the kids and an affordable meal for mom and dad. The little ones will have a blast choosing their favorite toppings, like classic pepperoni or crumbled beef meatball, feeling like famous sculptors as they create their pizza “master-piece.” With the help of a crew of expert pizza-crafters, your kids can enjoy as many choices as they want on the delicious homemade dough—the price always stays the same. The yummy custom pies need just three minutes in the super-hot PizzaRev Fire-Deck ovens, so you and your rascals will be chowing down on your creative combos in no time. If the adults have any diet restrictions, gluten-free crusts and vegan mozzarella cheese options are available. As an added bonus, the parking next door is free, so you can take as much time as you want to enjoy the day. Why not check out a flick at the ultramodern AMC movie theater next door? It makes for a fun outing for the whole family that won’t break the bank.
– See more at love this city

Photograph by jeffreyw
Edited by BlackBook