Italian Taste and Hospitality in West Hollywood

Every family has a story and this is the story of the Dialog cafe family.

Once upon a time, there was a charming coffee shop located in West Hollywood’s famous Sunset Strip. People would mostly recognize this spot by its attention grabbing architecture and their ‘Infinity frameless windows’. After I learned about this building I realized it was designed by Rudolph Schindler who has a number of fascinating architectural works such as the ‘Kings Road House’ (aka. Schindler House), It is not a coincidence that the Dialog coffee is just blinking at you in the corner.

However the real reason why this coffee shop is twinkling is the family who is running the Dialog coffee shop since 2006. This Italian family shows very generous hospitality that makes you feel like it’s your own family’s or close friend’s business. I actually had chance to meet with the family and had a short conversation which gave me that warm fuzzy family feeling right away. I realized I appreciated it even more since, especially in West Hollywood, with the mixture of nationalities and personalities people often tend to forget about their roots.

In addition to great service and historical location, the coffee is unforgettably delicious. Their coffee is privately roasted fair trade varying from Ethiopian to Brazilian blends. They offer traditional coffees, espresso bar as well as their specialty flavors. For your mid-meal cravings, you can also find delicious and fresh pastries showcased by the espresso bar. This place can also be the perfect location for you to work with free wifi & multiple outlets, to hangout with your friends or just simply to get your daily dose of caffeine.

As far as the online rumors, celebrities sometimes stop by there too. For example, Harry Styles was spotted there last year around these times.

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Where

West Hollywood, Sunset Strip

8766 Holloway Dr, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Parking

Street and metered parking

If you haven’t seen your family for a long time, or if you are from a different country like me and missed that friendly feeling stop by Dialog Cafe and satisfy your taste with a delicious coffee!

Dialog Cafe

Here’s Everything About LA Beer Fest

It’s that time of the year!

LA Beer Fest is going to take place in Downtown this weekend on Saturday. If you haven’t been before, it’s your chance to discover this fun filled event with your friends and experience it for your first time this year!

For the last 5 years, LA Beer Fest has been introducing a number of domestic and international drafts on tap to LA locals. This year LA Beer Fest is going to take place for the 8th time with over 200 different beers for your tastebuds! It is most likely that you will not be able to try all these different beers but after a couple of different ones you will start to feel the real party!

There are two sessions which are between noon and 3pm or 5pm and 8pm. Since they strictly don’t refund or exchange the tickets make sure you plan with your friends ahead and buy the same session together. Buy your tickets online and just enjoy the fun!

General admission is $48 which includes beer tasting. Recently, this year, they also added Connoisseur tickets which you can buy for $86. These tickets include private bathrooms, event t-shirts and some exclusive beer tastings. It’s a great fun with friends anyway, so I would recommend just going with general admission tickets. There are also number of great food trucks right by the entrance and two different music bands for each session.

Last year they had a Photo Booth-which is my favorite-for you to take funny pictures when you are drunk and remember how much you had fun at the fest later. Also, get ready to wait in huge lines or play smart and start from the opposite or end of the tasting line.

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Where

La Center Studios (450 South Bixel Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017)

When

Saturday, April 9, 2016 with 2 sessions (noon-3pm or 5pm-8pm)

Pricing

General Admission $48

Connaisseur Tickets $86

What to wear

Make sure you wear comfortable shoes since you will be standing for a long time. It may also rain and this event is rain or shine.

How to get there

If you are planning on drinking, I would recommend taking the train. You can also try Uber/Lyft. Even though parking is free because of the crowd and it is really tough.

If you like beer and you are a person who would enjoy a huge party with drunk people, you have to try LA Beer Fest this year!

Buy Tickets

LA Beer Fest 5

NO NEED TO GO TO CHICAGO FOR PIZZA ANYMORE!

Want to feel at Chicago without even going there?

First, remember you can find almost all the stores from ‘The Magnificent Mile’ in LA and second you can get the same food too. Also you get the special privilege of eating authentic deep dish pizza in a GREAT place.

Although many of us haven’t been to Chicago -for example me-it is possible to eat great Chicago style deep dish pizza in Mid-city! Everybody knows that LA is not famous for pizza, as opposed to New York being the Mecca of Pizza. However, recently there are a number of up and coming pizza spots which are competitively good! This legendary Hollywood Pies pizza is one of the rare Chicago style Deep dish pizzas in LA.

*Deep dish pizza is famous with its high edged pie-like crust so that it is stuffed with large amounts of cheese and usually topped with juicy tomato sauce.

Famous with Chicago style deep dish pizza, Hollywood Pies has been around for almost 6 years now. However they were operating in different locations and their business models were different in each spot. Recently they reopened at Mid-city offering take-out and dine in services. All their fans were really happy after their closure in Downtown, including me. This location is pretty small and simple with 10 tables in total. If it’s your first time, try my personal favorite the ‘Hollywood Pie’. It is stuffed with ricotta cheese and topped with house made Italian meatballs with a rich & juicy tomato sauce. It has very thick and crispy crust which feels like a biscuit in your mouth- and I think Chicagoans would give their thumbs up and approval!-but my favorite part is the juicy tomatoes on top of the pie.

With Hollywood Pies, you don’t have to worry about not being able to go to Chicago and trying their Deep Dish Pizza. It is also very centrally located in LA. They are open Thursday through Sunday if you want to try it on a tired night after work or on a party night with friends! Just remember to order in advanced as these deep dish pizza’s tend to take 30-40 minutes prep time.

Read more Hollywood PiesdfgkjkdssdIMG_5146IMG_5177sdgjfdigjfdg

 

Can’t Wait For The Summer!

Even though-with the rainy weather surrounding Los Angeles-it doesn’t look like summer is around the corner, it is always pleasurable to explore new beaches on the ‘West Coast’. Many Californians are already familiar with the fight between property owners by the beach and the public use of beaches. Since, the legal rights of Californians are being revealing recently, many LA natives have already started to discover ‘private’ coves. Particularly Malibu has been the biggest discussion since it hosts famous and rich people mostly and it contributes to 30% of the Los Angeles beaches. So recently, I made my way to Malibu as well and found my secret ‘private’ spot. It looked like it is a well discovered stretch of beach by many Malibu residents only.

Since I discovered there is no ‘all-private’ beaches in LA, I have been driving around Malibu and actually ended up finding the public access for Broad beach. It is located right after ‘Point Dume’ and right before ‘El Matador’ beach. Its entrance is a little hidden in compare to the other beach entrances right by the PCH. The entrance is on the private street, after a turn from the lights (Starbucks on the right side of PCH). Drive a bit on the street and you will see the gated entrance stating public beach access. The entrance leads to a long and amazing Malibu cove covered with million dollar homes. Even though some homeowners were annoying and not happy with the public’s existence there, it was still an enjoyable day at Malibu!

It is very important that all Californians are aware of their rights about this issue and they can enjoy all beaches without any disturbance. For that matter Jenny Price, an environmental writer, created an app called ‘Our Malibu Beaches‘ that you can access through app store and find out where are the public accesses on the map. Currently as far as state standards, there must be at least five access points for every mile. Even though this rule is not followed well, through this application and map you can easily find out where the secret hidden access points are and enjoy YOUR local beaches!

Can’t wait for the summer! I hope everyone gets to discover this amazing Broad beach and another special beach for themselves this summer!IMG_4102IMG_4103IMG_4105IMG_4111

A HIDDEN HIKE IN CALABASAS!

They usually say cloudy weather is perfect for watching movies and eating popcorn. However, as the weekend comes closer, Los Angeles is a city which usually gets motivated by rainy days. I think hiking is another excellent choice for cloudy days as opposed to melting under the sun in hot days. I will share my latest discovery for the ones who like to spend their weekends outdoors. Even though I do not love hiking, I want to take you on a little adventure in Calabasas since it was really pretty on a partially cloudy day, when I first discovered this place.

It is located on top of the hills shortly after the Woodland Hills area-which is also referred to as ‘Hidden Hills’-  , located on the right side of the 101 freeway going northbound. I recognized a little roadway which reminded me of the path where the Prince’s take with their horses in the fairy tales. It looks like a mystical Disney cartoon movie location. It is really easy to recognize the hiking trail from the freeway with it’s charming view. Later, I figured it is also called ‘Modelo Trail Nag Loop’. However I still suggest that you should exit the freeway as soon as you recognize the amazing trail on the hills.

The hiking trail is pretty easy and not very long-3.9 miles/6.3 km-. Even for a person like me who doesn’t like hiking, it was pretty entertaining with interesting nature, huge trees and little pumpkins laid out in the nature. I guess that’s where the name ‘Calabasas’ comes from too.  According to one legend, in 1824 a rancher passing by the area with a wagon-load of pumpkins, spills the pumpkins on the road. The next spring locals recognize hundreds of pumpkins along side the road (“City History”). Then they named the area ‘Las Calabasas’ which means pumpkin in Spanish. Just like in the story, there are little pumpkins laid along the little trail.

The trail is pretty clean and not crowded at all!  You should only watch out for mountain bikers with high speed going down the hill.

As a result, this hiking is one of my favorite spots to be in rainy or cloudy days. Since the weekend looks like it’s going to be one of those cold ones, you should check out the hiking spot and get some fresh air out from the city pollution.

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New Bee ‘Maia’

Katana, Night+Market or Boa Steakhouse are already milestones on the Sunset strip. Especially in busy days sometimes it might be really hard to make reservations. As the weekend comes closer, I would like to add another glamorous choice for ‘WeHo’ lovers. The new, trendy, hot-spot at the Sunset strip is ‘Maia’!

Even though Maia is pretty new to the LA entertainment scene, it became a hot-spot really quick due to its nice and mingly patio. The crowd consists of LA hipsters and entertainment lovers just like most of the other restaurant/bars on the Sunset strip. It is most likely that you might run into your ex, close friend or coworker.

The main reason why I like Maia is the atmosphere and the crowd rather than the food and drinks. They serve fusion foods which include lobster quesadilla, Alaskan Halibut ceviche, albacore sashimi and even poke bites. They also have delicious and unique cocktails which are infused with jalapeños, Mezcal and high quality Reposado tequila. My favorite is the ‘pink Cadillac’dfghddfgnIMG_7483 which has vodka, lychee, dragon fruit, guava and green tea. Sounds interesting right? It has a very interesting taste also! Most people also like the “Mai Angeles” which has Anejo and avocados.

In addition to the drinks, to me, the U shaped bar and the little patio is more enjoyable than the drinks. Anyone who likes to hang out at bars and meet new people, get your favorite drink and have a little conversation with your friend, will surely LOVE the bar at the Maia.

In other words, if you are someone who likes to enjoy West Hollywood restaurant/bars on the weekends (including Thursdays too nowadays), if you are one of the entertainers in the LA scene and if you like cocktails more than foods, you should definitely stop by Maia while its still a trendy hot-spot.

Zagat Rated

Contact Maia