Support Female & Black Owned Businesses!

SUPPORT FEMALE & BLACK OWNED BUSINESSES

Most of us know that black people have been fighting oppression for hundreds of years. But recently the #BLACKLIVESMATTER hashtag began to trend more frequently than it’s initial inception seven years ago. Besides emailing all of the local legislators and donating to numerous go fund me’s, you can also support Black businesses in effort to show your support for the movement. I’ve compiled a list of a few Female & Black owned businesses below, check them out and give them some love!

1. BLACK PIN MAKER LEAGUE | IG: @blackpinmakerleague – This IG page features black and brown companies that create patches and pins. This is a great way to add a little flair to a denim jacket or a cute backpack!

2. DIME NAILS LA | IG: @dimenails_la – This luxury nail salon is loved by many in LA! Located in the trendy and deeply cultured area of Fairfax, their unique designs are truly a standout in the booming nail industry. I’m hoping to get in there soon and get these tortoise shell nails done, such a cool look!

3. SATYA + SAGE | IG: @satyasage – We’re spending a lot of time inside these days, what better way to bring in the good vibes than with these products from Satya + Sage?! Everything is handmade and eco-friendly, take some time to “slow down + create your sacred space” as their page says.

4. VANILLA BLACK COFFEE | @vanillablackla – “Once you go black, you’ll never go back” is the catchy pun printed on all of their coffee cups. Coincidentally, this is something I say on my hinge profile as well. All jokes aside, if you need your daily caffeine fix, Vanilla Black Coffee in Echo Park is the spot! This quaint coffee shop is the perfect place to go if you want to start your day off right.

5. A A K S | IG: @a.a.k.s – I personally like to be able to standout in a crowd of people (pre-covid of course), and these colorful bags are the perfect way to do so! Each bag is hand-crafted in Ghana and available for purchase online with shipping available around the world.

6. POPPY + ROSE | IG: @poppyandrosela – Just looking at these photos made my mouth water. I miss brunch SO much, sigh. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day because of all the different options, luckily Poppy + Rose didn’t miss a single one! I can’t wait to make this my go-to Sunday brunch spot with the girls.

7. LAND OF GOLD | IG: @thelandofgold – Dainty jewelry, is the best type of jewelry. Especially when it’s layered! Land of Gold by Havilah is the perfect mixture of earthly and etherial. Plus, gold jewelry with ALL shades of brown skin looks bomb AF!

Check back in the next few weeks, I will be posting more black owned businesses. Until then… happy shopping!

Beetle House LA

BEETLE HOUSE LA

We are in month four of quarantine, and one of the things I miss most is going out for drinks with friends. As of yesterday, California’s bars and restaurants have shut down again. I recently moved from the desolate lands of Calabasas to lively, yet humble, Studio City and was excited to try all of the nearby restaurants and bars — until COVID-19 came along.

One of the places I was most looking forward to visiting is Beetle House LA! Beetle House is a Tim Burton themed restaurant with locations in both NYC and LA. If that wasn’t enough to convince you to go, it is both Black AND Female owned!

One of my favorite movies of all time is Beetlejuice, so I was already excited just after hearing the name. I was even more thrilled when I saw that everything on the menu is within the theme as well! For instance, you can start off with some Frankenfries as your appetizer. Then for your entree you can choose from several options such as the Big Fish, Sweeney Beef, or Edward Burgerhands. Wash that all down with The Beetle’s Juice or The Big Fish Bowl (for 2!), and if you still have room for dessert, order the Chocolate River Cake. Their NYC menu reads that all of their produce is “sourced locally from 100 percent innocent humans captured wild on the streets of NYC.” All jokes aside – all of their meats are chemical free, and they have vegan and vegetarian options as well!

Even if you aren’t a big Tim Burton fan like myself, this is a fun and exciting place to go, especially in these heavy times. I’m hoping the lockdown ends soon so I can finally visit Beetle House LA. If you happen to be in the New York area once the quarantine lifts, check out Beetle House NYC! Until then, stay safe, wash your hands, and wear a mask!

Nobu Malibu!

On May 17th, 2001 my little brother and best buddy was born. According to my math that was 18 years ago! Time sure does fly, whew. So to celebrate this, we went to his favorite restaurant Nobu, located right over the PCH in Malibu. 

I unfortunately did not see Miley Cyrus here seeing as this is one of her frequent go-to’s, but fortunately I did have a ton of delicious food. On their website it says they are “among the most Instagrammed places in the world”, this is probably due to the amazing patio view. 

We had so much food that I can barely remember what I ate, but my two favorite dishes were the steak and the tempura lobster. A friend of mine told me that they saw Adam Sandler order Sloppy Joes off of the secret menu, I’m curious to know what other interesting dishes are included on there!

In my opinion, ordering a couple of things off of the menu is the best way to dine at Nobu. That way you will be able to decipher what you do and don’t like by trying everything! 

 I would definitely describe Nobu as a “chill” restaurant. The ambiance both inside and outside of the restaurant is very calming. If you are looking to relax by the beach and eat delicious food, Nobu is the place to go!

Mama’s Shelter!

I recently visited Mama’s Shelter right in Los Angeles for the first time. At my office we have a monthly BGM, Black Girl Magic, lunch to celebrate all the wonderful things us highly melanin-ated sisters are up to!

The weather was acting up, so we didn’t get to sit on the rooftop that I have heard so much about. Regardless, the restaurant was still gorgeous on the inside.

As we were waiting to be seated, we were introduced to the hostess Veda. She was so warm and welcoming! It was the perfect way to start off our BGM lunch.

We all ordered our food and it did not disappoint! We all shared a few orders of “Bougie Fries” which are Waffle fries sprinkled with Truffle oil, Furikake, and Parmesan.  As my main dish I ordered the avocado toast and added an egg on top… it was scrumptious!

The atmosphere was very relaxed and all of the waitresses were extremely kind. You can also book a room and stay at Mama’s Shelter.

Mama’s shelter is a very laid back and tasty restaurant, I hope when I return I am able to eat up on the roof top!

CATCH LA!

This weekend I visited your favorite celebrity’s hot spot, Catch! If you simply google “Celebrities at Catch LA” pages and pages of results will come up. That being said, I of course had to see what it was all about!

When you walk in there is an awesome mural of some of the most famous and influential celebrities of all time. You check in at the front and they direct you toward the elevator up to the restaurant! My favorite part (and a lot of others based on all of the “photoshoots”) was the walkway decorated with all sorts of greenery and flowers.

We had a reservation for 8:45 pm, so it was pretty poppin’ at that time. Also it was Cinco De Mayo (which I hadn’t realized) so plenty of people were having fun and ordering drinks.

Our food was amazing! The style of the restaurant is that everything is made to share, so we ordered the California Roll, Truffle Sashimi, Lobster Mac & Cheese, Crispy Shrimp, and King Crab Tempura.

After finally making my way to Catch and eating that amazing food, I see what the hype is all about! If you’re ever in West Hollywood and want to spot some celebs, make a reservation at Catch!

Healthy Alternatives: Lentil Pasta!

I’m a New York girl at heart so I looove me some pasta… well all carbs, but especially pasta! I can eat pasta everyday and any way, but unfortunately that won’t keep my waistline slim for too long. Luckily there are options out there that taste delicious and are also healthy!

While there are so many different kinds of alternatives to pasta out there, my favorite is Lentil Pasta. In my opinion this tastes most like pasta, whereas some others may still contain a strong flavor from their initial ingredients. For example Spaghetti squash or “Zoodles” (aka Zucchini noodles). Don’t get me wrong they both taste great, however they still taste like vegetables and might have you still craving the intoxicating taste of pasta.

There are plenty of different brands of Lentil pasta that you can find at the store such as POW, but my favorite is TOLERANT. Their Lentil Pasta is included in their “Simply Legumes” products and only contains one ingredient… Lentils! All of their products are sourced from Canada or Turkey and are made in an 100% allergen free facility. This is great for someone like me with plenty of allergies.

Aside from just being healthier based on the fact it is made from pure “Legumes”, there is also more protein found Lentil Pasta.  In a 3oz plate of Lentil pasta, there are about 22 grams of protein as opposed to a 3oz plate of White Pasta, there are only about 3.5 grams. So if you are following a specific diet, good news, Lentil pasta also is Gluten Free and Keto friendly!

If you’re tired of eating salads and missing Pasta in your life, give Red Lentil Pasta a try!

Barton G!

It’s ladies night… and the feelings right… so we’re going to Barton G!

When I was younger I went to Barton G in Miami, but when I say younger I was about eight years old. Hence, I do not remember much! But what I do remember, was that there was excitement and cheers throughout the restaurant all night. Luckily so many years later the stars have aligned for there to be a Los Angeles Location near me. So we gave it a try!

Barton G is famous for their wonderfully over the top and “punny” dishes. Often a hot-spot to go to celebrate birthdays or just to have a fun night out with your girls! These extravagant dishes are just bound to put you in a good mood or even make you chuckle a little bit. Not only is the plating amazing, but the taste of the food is even better! 

So obviously, I’m quite a bit older than eight years old… so now I can drink! I ordered the Buddhalicious and my mom ordered the Stairway to Heaven. They were so delicious that they snuck right up on us. 

For our appetizer we ordered the Laughing Bird Popcorn Shrimp. Of course the shrimp were to die for, but even the popcorn was absolutely delicious. Before then I had never even thought of putting Old Bay on my popcorn, now, that will be the only thing I put on my popcorn. 

For Dinner, I decided to get something small. So I ordered the Filet Mignon. A few minutes later here comes my waiter with an ironically large fork for a very small piece of steak! I loved it! 

Most people that come to Barton G come for Marie Antoinette’s head (not literally, a huge cotton candy structure of her head), but we opted to get the Carnival Fun Cakes. They should rename this one to Stairway to Heaven because that first bite of funnel cake took me straight to heaven. They were so good that we couldn’t stop eating them!

I am so glad that this location opened in Los Angeles in 2014, but if you’re ever in Miami or Chicago there are locations there too! If you’re looking for good food and a fun place to go, I highly suggest making a reservation at Barton G.

Grand Central Market!

This weekend I made my way to Downtown Los Angeles to eat at the Grand Central Market! We went on a Saturday so things were hustling and bustling. It actually reminded me of being back in NYC!

I initially wanted to eat something at the very popular Eggslut, but we got there too late and it was closed. *cries* I found a cute little place called Kismet Falafel, it was so yummy! There were sooo many options that it was overwhelming, but now I know I’ll have to go back a few more times to try it all out.

After walking around a little more I kept smelling this deliciously sweet smell, we soon saw that they were making fresh waffle cones and giving away samples, lucky day!

I was in the mood for something a little fruity so I bought a smoothie from Press Brothers, and it hit the spot! It was made out of fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

Next time I am in DTLA I will plan on going to the Grand Central Market a little earlier and maybe even checking out one of the many museums in the area!

Creamistry!

It’s the weekend so you know that that means… treat yo’ self! Because of the holiday, I got out of work early on Friday, so I treated myself to some Ice Cream from Creamistry!

Now Creamistry is not just your ordinary ice cream shop. The ice cream is “made to order”, meaning you are able to pick the base, flavor, and toppings you want for your ice cream. There are over 60 options to chose from, so once you decide on what you want they make your ice cream right there in front of you! They fuse the ingredients together using liquid nitrogen which is pretty interesting, but it’s better than eating processed ice cream that has been on the shelves for months!

My personal favorite thing about Creamistry is that they have options for people who can’t have dairy! For years I had been trying to find a non-dairy ice cream that actually tasted like ice cream without all the weird ingredients, and I finally did! My favorite thing to order at Creamistry the coconut base with oreos and a waffle cone.

There are plenty of locations popping up around Los Angeles, so if you spot a Creamistry in your area pop in and give it a try!

Beauty & Essex – Los Angeles

I had the pleasure of having dinner at Beauty & Essex with my baby brother this weekend, and it was life changing. The occasion? Life! 

Last time I visited my hometown of New York, a friend took me to Beauty & Essex and we had so much fun. So naturally I had to give the LA location a try. 

When we pulled up to the address there was a sign that said “Please enter through the lobby”, which seems sketchy when you first read it. But then once we got to said alley it was pretty cool! 

The entrance of the restaurant is an actual working pawn shop! There are a ton of cool items for sale, such as signed guitars and lavish jewelry. But one of my favorite items is the Biggie Smalls money clip! 

Because we were celebrating life, we ordered just about everything off of the menu. Everything tasted so good we just couldn’t stop (meanwhile my bank account said: “Girl what you doin’?!”). 

Though the menu is pricey, it’s certainly worth it! Every single item we ate was phenomenal. We ordered the avocado toast and yellow tail sashimi to start. Then we ordered the BBQ fries, Banh Mi slider, Tuna Poke Wonton Tacos, and the Classic Thick Cut Filet. 

Now I’m not usually a dessert person, but I went ahead and shared the “Les, NYC Doughnuts” and boooooy were they absolute heaven. I was full from all of the food and still powered through those doughnuts!

Another aspect that made our dinner great was our overall experience! The service was great and the ambiance was lively, yet still very “chill”. If you are looking for a fun place to go to for your upcoming special occasion I highly suggest booking a table at Beauty & Essex!