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This story first appeared in the July 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Take in a movie under the stars
Get in touch with the outdoors at a summer movie screening around town. EAT SEE HEAR’s (eatseehear.com, tickets from $10) screenings are dog-friendly, host a slew of food trucks and boast the largest outdoor screen (52 feet wide) on the West Coast. It pops up Saturday nights at locations including Santa Monica High School (Super Troopers on July 26) and Brentwood’s Paul Revere Middle School (Sixteen Candles on Aug. 9). … In a downtown parking lot, catch Saturday night screenings of cult faves including Wayne’s World (Aug. 16) at the ELECTRIC DUSK DRIVE-IN (1000 San Julian Street, electricduskdrivein.com, tickets from $9). … Don’t miss free SUNDAY MOVIE NIGHTS ON CANON in Beverly Hills, where the likes of I Wanna Hold Your Hand (July 27) show on a large inflatable screen in the Beverly Canon Gardens (241 N. Canon Drive, beverlyhills.org). … A few blocks away at MR. C BEVERLY HILLS hotel (1224 Beverwil Drive), movie buffs can lounge on first-come, first-serve daybeds while watching such films as The Great Gatsby (July 15) and The Graduate (Aug. 26), every other Tuesday.
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Eat alfresco on an urban beach
At West Hollywood’s new BEACH NATION (8289 Santa Monica Blvd.), guests can kick back in Adirondack chairs dotted around the outdoor sand pit while noshing on sandwiches made with fresh bread from Rockenwagner Bakery. … Other additions heating up the outdoor-table scene include West Hollywood’s new LE ZINQUE cafe and wine bar (8684 Melrose Ave.), a satellite of Venice’s original, offering an intimate courtyard that encourages patrons to sip coffee by day and wines at night. … Also in West Hollywood, acclaimed South Beach restaurant BARTON G (861 N. La Cienega Blvd.), from event designer Barton G. Weiss, has made its L.A. debut with an outdoor patio for enjoying its whimsical fare (lobster pop-tarts, anyone?). … Enjoy a gourmet panini at PANINOTECA (225 N. Canon Drive), Scarpetta’s new made-to-order sandwich bar in the adjacent courtyard garden. Items include a chicken parmigiano sandwich and juices such as pineapple with basil. Staff from the nearby WME offices placed an order for 60 people within days of its opening.
Pick up summer’s most stylish accessories
West Hollywood’s Melrose Place has added more cool cred with a handful of new stores. At ELODIE K. (8428 Melrose Place), the jewel-box-size boutique from Parisian designer Elodie Khayat (niece of BCBG founder Max Azria), beachgoers can snag lace crochet cover-ups and floaty caftans ($590 to $790) from St. Barths-based Lolita Jaca. … A stone’s throw away at Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen‘s THE ROW (8440 Melrose Place), pick up a pair of the brand’s paparazzi-deflecting oversized Jackie O. sunglasses ($450). … Men in the market for short-sleeve cotton poplin shirts ($190) and seersucker swim shorts ($265) head to French brand A.P.C.’s new L.A. location (8420 Melrose Place). … At Cassandra Grey‘s well-edited beauty boutique VIOLET GREY (8452 Melrose Place), stock up on sunscreen essentials from Soleil Toujours and La Prairie.
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Stop in for zen
For a calm break in the day, drop in on a guided meditation session at UNPLUG MEDITATION’s two-month-old Brentwood studio (12401 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 101, unplugmeditation.com), founded by Suze Yalof Schwarz, a former Glamour editor and stylist-turned-spiritual entrepreneur. Fans including Miles Teller and Laurie David swear by the 30-minute and 45-minute sessions (from $20) held throughout the day that focus on how to de-stress, recharge and focus on awareness and gratitude. Says David: “It’s an inconvenient truth that many of us in Los Angeles have to leave our hectic homes for a chance at a peaceful meditation. Unplug is a safe haven for the harried yet mindful.”
Throw a unique Fourth of July bash
In his new book, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking (Atria Books, $25.81), Ben Ford — chef of Culver City’s Ford’s Filling Station (9531 Culver Blvd.) and son of Harrison Ford — provides his tips for the ultimate at-home holiday feast:
? 1. SKIP THE BBQ “Opt for a wood fire instead,” says Ford. “It adds an authentic quality that can’t be reproduced. A good example of this is paella. Originally a dish cooked over live fire, it’s now, for the most part, cooked on a propane burner. Take it back to its roots and see what the fuss is about.”
? 2. BRING SOME GAME TO YOUR GAME “Forgo chicken in favor of birds like quail and squab, which do really well on the grill. Buffalo, bison and elk are all great alternatives to the traditional beef burger.”
? 3. DO A CLAMBAKE IN AN OAK BARREL “You might have already done one in a kettle grill, but why not step it up? The flavor that the wood barrel produces takes things to the next level.”
— OR Make grilling simpler
Since 2011, LINDY & GRUNDY (801 N. Fairfax Ave.) has established itself as a go-to butcher for pasture-raised and organic meats. This summer, the female-owned shop is making at-home barbecuing easier with the launch of its Summer Grill packages, which includes the Sausage Fest, a combo of fresh sausages, patties and brioche buns ($45, must be preordered).
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Change Up the Wine List
Known as The Rev in industry wine circles, Mark Beaven, CEO of entertainment management company Advanced Alternative Media (Dr. Luke, Paul Oakenfold), shares his summer wine picks:
? 1. KRUG MV GRANDE CUVEE (Wally’s Wine, $150) “The classic champagne blends 10 or more vintages from as many as 120 plots to bring it year-to-year classic character and uniquely exotic richness.”
? 2. RUINART ROSé (Wally’s Wine, $88) “Rosé champagne is simply its own wonderful thing. Fruity and subtle, embodying black cherry, currant and poached pear, concluding in a slightly spicy note. Perfect for a day at the beach or pool.”
? 3. 2011 DOMAINE ROULOT BOURGOGNE BLANC (thewineclub.com, $45) “A great introduction to the wines of a master. Roulot’s wines express purity, detail, strong minerality and a long, seductive finish.”
? 4. 1991 LOPEZ DE HEREDIA VINA TONDONIA BLANCO GRAN RESERVA RIOJA (K&L Wine Merchants, $90) “A hedonistic summer gem, this light-gold exotic white is from one of the classic rioja makers from sunny Spain.”
? 5. 2011 CHATEAU D’YQUEM “Y” (“YGREC”) BORDEAUX BLANC (aabalat.com, preorder for $197) “The quintessential dry white wine made by perhaps the most renowned maker of dessert wines. Y, however, is a sensual blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon, resulting in an outrageous wine with a crisp slathering on your palate of dried pineapple, honey, grapefruit and white flowers.”
Try new brews
According to cicerone (aka beer sommelier) Ryan Sweeney — co-owner of West Hollywood’s SURLY GOAT (7929 Santa Monica Blvd.) and Glassell Park’s VERDUGO BAR (3408 Verdugo Road) — beer lovers should look out for these thirst-quenching SoCal brews. “The hottest thing in beers is session IPAs,” explains Sweeney, who favors the recently released Grommet from Port Brewing outside San Diego. “They are low alcohol, under 5 percent, but they have the hop of an IPA.” His spots also are pouring Pasadena-based Craftsman’s Longest Day of Summer — a crisp craft lager that’s “a little more hopped up.” He also recommends Sierra Nevada/Firestone Walker Torpedo Pils from Chico-based Sierra Nevada Brewing Company — a “limited craft pilsner made with New Zealand hops that give it fruitier notes than a traditional pils” — and Saison Pamplemousse (inset), L.A.-based Golden Road Brewing’s collaboration with Whole Foods, a grapefruit-infused brew in a can. “It’s really light and refreshing.”
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Rock Out in Palm Springs
Skip the predictable Vegas scene in favor of easier-to-reach Palm Springs — home to the new HACIENDA CANTINA & BEACH CLUB (1555 S. Palm Canyon Drive). A daytime party venue, Mexican restaurant and nightclub in one, this upscale desert spot hosts live music curated by Coachella promoter Goldenvoice. Summer performances include Toro Y Moi, Le Youth and Claude Vonstrocke. Entry fee varies; cabanas start at $550.
Scoop up a treat
Move over, Sweet Rose Creamery. Starting in July, ice cream connoisseurs have a true original to look forward to with the arrival of Santa Barbara’s beloved, family-owned McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, founded in 1949. Starting in July, head to downtown L.A.’s GRAND CENTRAL MARKET (317 S. Broadway) to scoop up the 18 signature flavors like Black Coffee Chip — from all-organic ingredients — alongside special offerings.
Change up the Picnic Basket
It’s fried chicken as never before, thanks to downtown’s new CHOCOCHICKEN restaurant (403 W. 12th Street), the latest reveal from Umami Burger founder Adam Fleischman. The spot turns out organic Jidori chickens fried in an addictive secret batter featuring a blend of spices and a subtle chocolate note. “Usually fried chicken is dry, and Choco’s is unbelievably moist,” says Paranormal Activity series writer/director Chris Landon, a ChocoChicken fan. “The biscuit is the best I’ve ever had. I wish I could fill a swimming pool with them and dive in and eat until I die.”
Flip for Jackie Collins’ beach reads
With 29 best-sellers, Jackie Collins has sold more than half a million copies of her books, including her new novel, Confessions of a Wild Child. “A beach read needs to be fast and furious, and funny,” says Collins, whose next book, Santangelos, hits shelves in summer 2015. In the meantime, Collins shares her five top summer reads as she jets off to The Ocean Club in the Bahamas.
? 1. DIARY OF A MAD DIVA by Joan Rivers, out July 1 (Berkley Hardcover, $19.94) “This book should be a laugh a minute, and quite outrageous!”
? 2. LOVE LIFE by Rob Lowe (Simon & Schuster, $20.34) “Who doesn’t want to know what goes on between the sheets?”
? 3. MR. MERCEDES: A NOVEL by Stephen King (Scribner, $18.71) “He’s an author who always takes the reader on an exciting trip.”
? 4. SUMMER HOUSE WITH SWIMMING POOL by Herman Koch (Hogarth, $14.40) “It’s got great reviews. I can’t wait to read it.”
? 5. SUSPICION by Joseph Finder (Dutton Adult, $17.77) “Joseph is an amazing writer, and this is a riveting thriller.”
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Get bikini ready
Shelve the juicer and grab THE BIKINI CLEANSE, a seven-day weight loss program ($189, bikinicleanse.com). Its developer is Nicole Pollard, the L.A.-based founder of personal concierge and styling service LalaLuxe, who spent three years creating it with a nutrition lab that has 18 years of experience in the vitamin manufacturing industry. “Like many of my clients, I have struggled with feeling chubby and wanting to shed excess weight before a big event,” explains Pollard. The result combines vitamin-packed meal-replacement smoothies, twice-daily snacks, cleansing herbal tea and a “passport” of affirmations and workout suggestions.
Dance up a sweat
Ditch the boot camp routine and join the ranks of Naomi Watts, Emmy Rossum and Anne Hathaway — all devotees of the Body by Simone (BBS) workout. Developed by former Broadway dancer Simone De La Rue, it’s earned fans with its cardio and dance moves that develop a toned dancer’s physique — all while working up a sweat to a high-energy playlist. The method has been a hit in New York since the opening of the first BBS studio in 2011. It’s now arrived on the West Coast in West Hollywood (8623-8625 Santa Monica Blvd.). Single classes start at $28.
Practice yoga with a view
Take your mountain pose to new heights atop a hotel’s private helipad. At the newly renovated LOEWS HOLLYWOOD HOTEL (1755 N. Highland Ave.), fitness fanatics can practice their downward dog while soaking up sweeping 360-degree views, 20 stories up. The women-only Serene Sunset Rooftop Yoga Series classes, developed with Exhale Spa, take place the last Sunday of every month through the summer. “Elevating your yoga practice on a rooftop offers a different visual perspective, which creates a unique challenge for your balance,” says instructor Cristi Christensen. A similar series is taking flight on the 17th-floor rooftop of the INTERCONTINENTAL LOS ANGELES CENTURY CITY (2151 Avenue of the Stars) every Tuesday evening.
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