Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Old Town Pasadena with a Non-fat Latte, Please.

Since I’m a Pasadenian (alongside being a diehard Los Angelena) you can frequently find me roaming the streets of Old Town located on the famous Colorado Boulevard (think Rose Parade and Rose Bowl). If you’re ever looking to spend some time in the ‘burbs, Pasadena is a great location to discover outside of Downtown.

And the city’s got it all: shopping (Tiffany’s, Urban Outfitters, Zara, and my favorite, Forever 21) for all you shopaholics, exquisite dining options (il Fornaio, Mi Piace, The Melting Pot, Sushi Roku and a zillion more! #YUM) and one of my favorite coffee spots, Intelligentsia.

Although I admit I can get a bit nerdy when it comes to schoolwork, being at home while in the process of writing an essay or studying for an exam is quite bland. I need a vibrant space with a non-fat latte to get my creative juices flowing. With this in mind, there is nothing like being in a coffee shop with an awesome atmosphere, contemporary music and scrumptious food. I know this describes about 80 percent of the coffee shops in L.A., but if you are a coffee-connoisseur like me, you should definitely stumble upon Intelligentsia. It’s got my seal of approval.

With locations all over L.A., Intelligenstia’s mission is to provide “customers, staff, and community with an unparalleled and complete coffee and tea experience in an environment steeped in understanding, knowledge, skill, service and mutual respect.” Pretty stellar description for a coffee shop – seems like they certainly mean business!

Along with their impressive selection of African and South American single origin beans and reviving espressos, Intelligentsia will leave you with a supreme experience. This company is extremely immersed in the bean production as well. A great example: Their “Extraordinary Coffee Workshop” brings together coffee growers who “have made a serious commitment to quality and create a forum where they are able to share knowledge.” Communication + coffee in the same sentence, I’m already swooning.

And the Intelligentsia in Pasadena is different than other Intelligentsia locations because of its unique cafe. Its novel addition, a “brewbar” -- an espresso machine that’s built into the bartop—is a place where delicious caffeinated-delicacies are prepared atop a counter that is over a 100 years old. Talk about being aged to serve perfection.

But what if coffee isn’t your cup of tea? Intelligentsia Pasadena can fulfill your beer and wine needs with a side of scrumptious small plates, themed dinners and charcuterie. During my visit, I enjoyed their organic granola topped with fresh berries and yogurt – a perfect dish to compliment my non-fat latte.

So, whether you a morning person looking for a place to get a head start on your day or a night prowler in search of a contemporary hang out, Intelligentsia Pasadena will cater to your lifestyle. Take your books and unwind with a delicious cup of South American coffee. Or take a date for a one-of-a-kind experience. I bet you’ll fall in madly LA-ve.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bringing Casual Back: Brandy Melville

Any native Los Angeleno would know that your fashion speaks louder than words in this city.

But, one thing I appreciate is every Los Angeleno can have a style of their own. Just like all the beautiful cultures that make up this city, the concept of fashion has created a melting pot of its own. Whether you fall under the hipster category and are a devoted "Urban Outfitter" or side with the preppies and rock your designer dreads, L.A. is definitely the city to experiment and find your fashion-calling.

With all this in mind, I stumbled across an Italian label that'll strike a chord in the hearts of all Los Angelenas (Sorry boys, this one's not for you). Brandy <3 Melville's the name and uber-cute, casual street wear is their game. Their motto, "From Italy with Love," is displayed all throughout the store and this brand surely sticks to it. Also, it's sure to satisfy a broad range of tastes because of the simplicity and utility of their clothing. Talk about getting a true bang for your buck.

Think of it this way...take chic European fashion and throw in a little bit of L.A. into the mix and VOILA, you get a super-cute, oversized Brandy <3 Melvillle tank top, off-the-shoulder tee, or loose-fitting summer dress. Sounds like these products would be right up a Los Angelena's alley, right? It's so boho meets NoHo. My recent indulgences: A striped, off-the-shoulder tee and a crochet sweater-dress that I'm uber-excited to wear. And, for all my frugalistas out there....don't fear. Brandy <3 Melville's got your wallet in mind. Expect to shell out $15-$20 for your average tank top or tee. Not to shabby for an Italian label. Plus, the quality you get for the price you pay is spectacular.

Aside from selling clothing, expect to find a great variety of jewelry to choose from. Bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings; Brandy <3 Melville's got it all. To top it all off, they also have an array of original artwork and signs with inspirational mantras to purchase. This store's your one-stop-shop to jazz up your style and your digs. Pretty hard to find in a huge city like L.A. The next time you find yourself near the Santa Monica Promenade, make sure you check this store out. It'll have all you need to embrace your outer-Los Angelena and a little more...there's no denying it!

Until next time, stay FABULOUS Los Angelenos.... XOXO

P.S. To all my O.C. readers, Fashion Island just opened a Brandy <3 Melville too!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Let the Sunshine in!

Happy New Year to my Fabulous Followers....Yes, I'm celebrating the new year on my blog since I literally have not written since last year. I know, excuses, excuses! But I'm sure we all understand that time is not our friend, especially within Los Angeles (thank you for your sympathy)....Just to get the year started, I'm going to keep this post short and sweet....

How thankful are you to be a Los Angeleno on absolutely beautiful days like this? The feeling of the sun's warm rays on your skin, the scent of blooming flowers and fruits in the air, bringing out flips flops and sunscreen -- Yes folks, summer is finally making a comeback. And, how I've missed it! To kick us off on the right foot, here's a treat to get your summer checklist going...and the coolest part, all of these fantastic destinations are L.A. based...thanks to some amazing researchers who are obsessed with summer, (500) Days of Summer, that is!

Click here for a list of all the must-see locations featured in the hit movie, (500) Days of Summer

Until next time, remember, life's a beach...especially when you're a Los Angeleno!