All the Sunglasses You Need for Coachella

We’ve already covered the clothes, bags, and shoes you’ll need to enjoy the desert escapades that Coachella has to offer. Up next? Sunglasses. They’re essential in the desert sun for a few reasons:

1) Protection from the sun
2) Protection from the eyes of security
3) Disguising any lack of sleep
4) Disguising any other… altered states
5) Because they look great

Our favorites range from desert sunset reflecting beauties, to brights, to the glitter filled, to the odd pair that may or may not trip out some of your friends (what is that tiny leopard doing on your face, anyway?) Check ’em out above, then click the links below to shop.

Top row from left: Fendi two tone sunglasses; Markus Lupfer glittered acetate sunglasses; The Row Plas sunglasses; Second row from left: Cutler and Gross metal frame sunglasses; Victoria Beckham aviators; Barton Perreira sunglasses; Third row from left: Illesteva sunglasses; Miu Miu glitter acetate sunglasses; Dita Liberty sunglasses; Fourth row from left: Le Specs acetate sunglasses; Anna-Karin Karlsson cat eye sunglasses; Finlay sunglasses + clip on; Bottom row from left: Ray Ban mirrored sunglasses; Stella McCartney sunglasses; Dior reflected sunglasses

Coachella Shopping: Festival Wardrobe Preparedness 101

If you’re heading to Coachella this weekend, chances are your current activities include intensive wardrobe preparedness practices. Good news: We’ve rounded up the best festival shopping for you. With temperatures in the desert hitting the high 80s, (and an unforgiving sun blaring down just as intensely as music from the speakers) you’re going to want your whole body to breathe. Enter comfortable, effortlessly chic sandals, airy camis and tanks, shorts you can sit in, and the hands-free bags you need to carry all the essentials, from your favorite designers like Alexander Wang, Stella McCartney, Frame Denim, and more.

Happy shopping, Coachella-goers. Don’t forget the SPF and sunnies.

Above, clockwise from top left: Etro silk crepe camisole; The Row fringed Hunting bag; Etoile Isabel Marant mini dress; T by Alexander Wang silk-twill camisole; Alexander Wang backpack; Michael Michael Kors macrame tank; MSGM floral-applique shorts; Rag & Bone cotton and leather sandals; Stella McCartney denim shoulder bag; NewbarK belt bag; R13 layered distressed denim shorts; Proenza Schouler slingback espadrilles; Pierre Hardy tasseled suede sandals; Antik Batik beaded shoulder bag; Maslin & Co espadrille slides; Frame Denim distressed shorts 

Kick & Play: Casual Sneakers For The Daily Grind

Sometimes, to get noticed, it only takes a little detail. And contrary to the last few articles, you can also do it without a whole lot of color. Leather is always good, and in this week’s feature, we show two brands not typically known for footwear, but put something fresh into your regular sneaker rotation.

First things first: Volcom – a brand known to be successful in skate, snow, surf, and active lifestyles for the past 22 years – is introducing a full footwear collection this summer. The line will feature high and low-top sneakers as well as boots for both men and women. The full line can be viewed here, but let’s take a look at one of their best pairs.

THE KICKS:

The Buzzard by Volcom

The Buzzard is a playful high-top sneaker with a unique leather-patterned design. The outer shell of the shoe is wrapped in perforated black leather. Similar to the look and feel of Volcom’s apparel, you can see designs of subtle, intentional asymmetry. The Buzzard, along with the entire Volcom line, might be great for your jeans, but these shoes will look great on those summer shorts and rolled-up chinos.

Unlike many other skate brands that release shoes, Volcom also made sure comfort was an important part of each shoe design. The Buzzard will also be constructed with the brand’s Recliner Comfort Foam technology. Volcom’s foam is super soft and makes for a good ride when you’re out all day.

Noteworthy mention: The Buzzard will also be released in a navy leather with a beautiful red sock liner trim.

Volcom Buzzard ($80) and the entire collection will be available July 1st online and at most Volcom retailers.

The Leu by Hotel 1171

The Leu by Hotel 1171

Finding a low-cut, round-toed shoe has come to be quite difficult these days. Most brands have become so enamored with wingtips that a plain round-toe is slowly become a rarity. And when there is one, it’s infinitely more formal than you want it to be.

The Leu by Hotel 1171 just might be that pair. The casual shoe is constructed with aged brown leather and a suede trim. What would almost always end up being a pair of brown shoes for your suit and tie goes casual as the designers at the brand wend with a lightweight rubber sole, making them nearly perfect for jeans and khakis on a daily basis. You can throw them on with the laces loose to go with your camo pants or go dapper with fitted, cuffed denim.

Available at the online Hotel 1171 store, $130.

THE PLAY:

The Chocolate Room, New York, NY
It’s all in the name. Pastry chefs here build killer desserts from scratch and often recommend the perfect drinks to go with your chocolate and baked goods, or their specialty chocolate bars. With the word chocolate infectiously littered throughout The Chocolate Room menu, the go-to here actually hides the chocolate. The Black Bottom Butterscotch is a layer of bittersweet chocolate topped with creamy, succulent butterscotch custard. Oh, and whipped cream. It’s just the right thing to do.

Bottega Louie, Los Angeles, CA.
Yes, their flatbread pizza is fantastic. And like many others who are jumping in on the green trend, Bottega Louie has always done Brussels sprouts, asparagus, artichokes, and kale in delicious fashion. But there’s only one reason we even need to discuss the vaulted ceiling, minimal in design restaurant in downtown LA – the macarons. Arguably one of the best places in Los Angeles, city-goers come for food and dessert or just a pit stop for their pastries only. It’s a win-win here, but something to make any visit here memorable is the earl grey macaron. Buy two to share, four for yourself.

Kara’s Cupcakes, San Francisco, CA.
Cupcakes are personal. No, seriously. Don’t ever ask anybody to share one. It requires making a mess and is just downright rude. Get your own. And if you do, come to Kara’s Cupcakes and indulge. Whether you’re particular about gluten or not, she has you covered. Peanut butter milk chocolate ganache and java are incredible, while the gluten-free chocolate coconut seems like a lie. Lots of flavors to choose from here, but just stop asking to share. It’s not right. The flavor and experience of a cupcake only comes by eating it in its entirety.

Walk fresh. Eat right. Be well.

AS

Contact the author of this post at aamir17@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Kisses Unveil ‘The Hardest Part’

The album art for L.A. duo Kisses’ sophomore album, the apparently autobiographical Kids in LA, is a bit like Bret Easton Ellis filtered through a Wes Anderson lens. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first single, “The Hardest Part,” is a song that would be on the soundtrack of the twee version of American Psycho. Perish the thought.

The full-length won’t arrive till May, despite being inspired by “the starkness of  wintertime in Southern California,” as evidenced in this album teaser, which reveals a slyer, more atmospheric side of their music—at least in comparison to the usual no-nonsense dance pop. Could ’80s nostalgia be overtaking ’90s love once more? Quick, someone write a highly ignorable 3,000-word essay on that.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

California TV Host Huell Howser Calls It Quits

Supernaturally affable human being and multi-decade veteran TV host Huell Howser will no longer make new episodes of California’s Gold for the public airwaves, The Los Angeles Times reported this morning, unable to confirm whether the 67-year-old is seriously ill. Either way, local broadcasting has lost a big dose of folksy charm.

Howser is best known for his easily imitated Tennessee accent and a tendency to be quickly amazed—or distracted. At least one YouTube clip claims to show him aiding an illegal border crossing in San Diego with his signature low-tech interview; at other times, environmental factors (say, a whole lot of insects) send his show on awesome tangents.

Exploring his adoptive state of California by filming strange but just-down-the-road attractions, neighborhoods and, above all, other ordinary people, Howser has left a bright mark on the entire region that won’t soon fade. Presumably, he will now spend more time in his desert volcano lair. No, really.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

L.A. Porn Stars Must Now Use Condoms

Surprise! Amid all the election returns, you may have missed this stunning result: Los Angeles just made condoms mandatory for the city’s (unfathomably large) adult film industry. Onward, you safe-sexing stallions; no longer will viewers be forced to imagine the transmission of STDs in every scene of explicit penetration. That’s if anyone is still watching.

Local porn stars had protested Measure B, intended to prevent the spread of HIV, by saying their own rigorous tests and screening were enough, and that condoms would ruin their product, resulting in a huge financial loss for the city. Voters, however, were unconvinced:

Nearly 56 percent of LA County voters voted in favor of Measure B, which requires all porn actors to wear a condom and producers to get a permit to shoot raunchy scenes, according to the LA County Registrar’s Office.

The permit fee would pay for inspectors to randomly check porn shoots to ensure all the actors are using protection while working.

I think America just invented a new saddest job: porn set condom-checker. Pretty soon we’re going to need a movie about that guy. Let’s shoot for a regular ‘R’ rating, though—getting that raunch permit is a pain in the ass. 

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Drinking in L.A.: How to Do It Well in 24 Hours

Ever since I heard the Bran Van 3000 song “Drinking in L.A.,” I have maintained a sort of obsession with the idea of sipping gin and juice in City of Angles. Naturally, once I visited Los Angeles I had to tipple and found a range of places to do it in the 24 hours I was there.

The first bar was right next to our hotel on Sunset Boulevard and had a baseball theme. Called the Short Stop, this quaint dive bar could easily have been in Williamsburg. The main difference: space. They had a huge, empty dance floor, full bar, a dark, tiny room that appeared to be the make-out spot, and a back room with a pool table and Photobooth machine. A perfect way to start the adventure.

The next day, my first adult beverage was a glass of California chardonnay at The Getty Center. Normally a drink at a museum wouldn’t be something to write about, but sipping the cool white wine under Richard Meier’s magnificent structure and taking in the sprawling city below, well, it’s highly recommend. Plus, it’s one of the best views in the whole city.

After the museum, we headed to Fairfax Village and downed a couple beers at Rosewood Tavern while waiting for our table at Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook’s Animal across the street. The dark bar serves plenty of craft beer and scotch, plus a fine selection of steaks. Once at dinner, Animal provided a lovely wine selection that paired lovingly with the meat-centric (duh) dishes.

Now, the real drinking in L.A. happened at Cana Rum Bar downtown. When I walked into the smuggler’s den nestled in a carport, I knew it was something special. Here, Allan Katz is making an array of innovative rum-base drinks from their list of over 140 bottles. Since we were not only drinking in L.A. but also driving, I couldn’t try them all, but I did enjoy the simple coconut and rum drink, which came in a young coconut, and the Pleasure and Pain that also had mezcal in the mix.

Finally, our drink tour ended the next day at Baco Mercat with their fun and creative drinking vinegars. Some say L.A. isn’t a drinking town, but I have to disagree. You just have to know where to go, and how to do it right. 

Eleven Excuses to Celebrate at Terranea Resort

There are some key moments in life when you feel inspired to do something really great; like when you graduate college, take that first 8am sip of an iced coffee, or get a really uplifting quote on the inside of your Dove chocolate wrapper. For me, a moment came just last week, when I was observing a wedding and a 50th birthday party, all from a patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a pool, a spa, a set of mountains, and a sunset. The location: Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, just 40 minutes south of Los Angeles. And when you’re at a sprawling oceanfront resort surrounded by celebrations, you just feel inspired to make your own.

At Terranea, celebrations are everywhere, and every cranny of the seven dining spots, three pools, 225 fire pits, and 582 rooms (starting at $425/night) is abuzz with a "life-is-good" hominess that makes you not want to leave. Which is why many of the guests—mostly unassuming millionaires—don’t, and decide to buy one of the jacuzzi-and-fireplace-stocked casitas or villas for sale on the property. Beyond the scenery and accommodations is a menu list of adventures known as "Pointe Discovery" activities, where guests can hitch a ride on a horse, explore sea life in the tidal pools, meet some falcons, hike, kayak, and more.

Need an excuse to visit Terranea? Maybe a tailored itinerary, too? Try one of these, and begin The Terranea Experience.

You’re Days Away From Getting Married: Your single days are numbered, so grab your girlfriends, and share one of the 1,100-square-foot Spa Club Bungalows right by the ocean. Included in that $1,215 ticket are free meals at the Spa Café, free use of the spa pool and amenities, 10 percent off spa/salon services, and 10 percent off cabana rentals. You’ll also get a personal concierge, so you can start getting used to bossing someone around all the time.

You Can’t Remember When You Last Vacationed: Leave work behind and live it up in one of Terranea’s oceanside 900-square-foot suites with a private patio, living room, and stone master bathroom. If you can make it out of your suite, head over to Nelson’s; a stone and wood-beam sports bar restaurant that sits right by the ocean – for a beer, shrimp taco, and an outdoor table by the sunset, all while getting reacquainted with your social life. 

Winter Isn’t Fun Anymore: With its three heated pools (family, adult, and spa), hot tubs, saunas, and fire pits, you can catch a lot of warmth at Terranea, no matter the weather. Then, when you’re complaining about how hot summer is, you’ll be glad the ocean and cold plunge pool at the spa is nearby.

Your First Weekend Without The Kids: Just take any room that’s available and get out ASAP for heaven’s sake. Have a couple of beers and a sunset dinner at Nelson’s, race each other in kayaks, swim in the adults-only pool, dress up for some seafood at Mar’sel, and end each night with s’mores by a fire pit.

Wait, You Had To Bring The Kids: Go for Pointe Discovery’s horseback riding adventure at Wagon Wheel Ranch and get a view of all of LA—from Malibu to Long Beach—right on your thoroughbred. Refuel at the kid-safe, all-day dining spot Catalina Kitchen, just steps from the family pool. Then, drop them off at The Tidal Pool Kids Club for a day and evening of nonstop themed activities and projects, while you get multiple reflexology and shiatsu massages.

You’re Bored of Malibu: Whether you’re sick of living or vacationing there, sometimes it’s just really nice to get out of LA and go somewhere not too far away that still feels uncharted. Recapture the charm with a guestroom that overlooks the ocean, and begin your day at the quaint and warm café Sea Beans—where a cappuccino keeps you buzzed for hours, and a lemon blueberry scone is the size of a pizza slice—but better.

You Just Wanna See Some Ocean, Dammit: Okay, this is really easy. Reserve any of the oceanside or oceanview rooms, and eat at Mar’sel and Nelson’s for every meal. Sit by the spa pool facing the water, and in the afternoon, book a tidal pooling Pointe Discovery trek with Sean, where you’ll discuss Taoism and Hawaii, in the midst of jumping into the cove and sticking your fingers in Hoover-sucking sea anemone.

You’re Going to Propose: If she won’t say yes here, then you’re out of luck. Make it special with a couples’ Signature Treatment Suite at the spa, and an oceanside king room, a platter of fresh oysters from Catalina Kitchen’s Friday night seafood buffet, and rose petals, and sprawl on the bed in just a robe and… KIDDING, JUST KIDDING. But really though, that’s a very good deal.

You’re On a Seafood Binge: When you’re surrounded by ocean on three sides, you can’t go wrong with ordering seafood, which is why every dining spot at Terranea offers some edible form of sea creature. To make the most of it, arrive on Friday and head to Catalina Kitchen’s weekly seafood buffet. Then make your way to the spa on Saturday, and pick up a lunchbox full of coriander-crusted tuna rolls and Thai-style shrimp salad. For dinner, check out Terranea’s fine-dining spot Mar’sel for their wild Alaskan halibut, or the crispy walnut shrimp at Asian fusion spot Bashi. Then wake up on Sunday for Catalina Kitchen’s buffet seafood-filled brunch. Vacationing is fun!

You’re Having a Quarter-Life Crisis: Give yourself some time to think and overanalyze the meaning of your life with Pointe Discovery’s painting by the sea and a hike to the Point Vicente Lighthouse. Who cares how long the trek is? It’s not the destination, but the journey that counts. HAHA.

You’re Sick of Everyone: Four words—falconry and horseback riding. Just stick with the animals.

Terranea Resort

From East to West, Baco Mercat is Worth the Trek

In last month’s issue of Bon Appetit, they touted L.A.’s Baco Mercat as number nine of the top 10 new restaurants in America. So, when I was in Downtown L.A. last Thursday, I had to see if the hype was true. Let’s just say aside from my long anticipated dinner at Animal, it was the best meal I had in all of California.

First, the space. One nice thing about any place that’s not New York City is the size, and while Baco Mercat could have easily fit into Brooklyn’s homey, non-fine dining vibe, it proved unique for L.A. The approach chef and owner Josef Centeno took to opening up the joint tipped the hat to the whole do-it-yourself movement that has surrounded the current Brooklyn dining scene. Here, Centeno converted an office building into his restaurant, designed the space, and did his own restoration work to the furniture. With 20-foot-tall windows and amber wood paneling, the room is comfortable and rustic, but also refined enough to make a date night feel elegant or a business lunch just fancy enough.

Where the décor won us over, the Spanish and Mediterranean inspired menu triumphed. The pork and beef carnitas on their original baco sandwich melted in my mouth, and the soft, pita-like bread (but oh so much better) had the perfect chew. The whole thing was slathered in a slightly spicy salbitxada, a Spanish sauce made of chilies, garlic, tomatoes, and almonds. We were equally impressed by the buttermilk-fried jidori chicken livers, which came with sweet grapes to help cut the richness of the offal. When the pale tomato and cheese coca, or crispy flatbread, came out, it looked cheap and boring, but looks aren’t everything. Instead of having a dull taste, smoked jalapeño gave the dish a nice bite that sang harmoniously with the confit tomato sauce. Another winner we found took the form of their cold salad, which wasn’t a salad at all. Instead, it was a hearty pile of chilled, house-made noodle chock full of beef and pork chunks, a spicy sauce, mint, and crowned with a fried egg.

We also tried Baco Mercat’s vinegar based sweet and sour sodas and were pleasingly in love with the bright blood orange version. If there had been more time, I would gladly have sampled the black mint or cara cara drink options, too. As it was, that was our last stop in L.A. and the final meal we had before the airport. Luckily for us, we packed the cold salad to go for an extra special nibble on the plane back. But, if we hadn’t been leaving, Baco Mercat is a place where I could have eaten every meal; hence, the glossy food magazine is right, they are completely worthy of all accolades.