Fresh food in your ‘hood. (organic)

People seem to think because we live in downtown Los Angeles we have little to no access to fresh foods and produce. Which, I think is silly. Sure we have no Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Co-Op, Sprouts, Erewhon or even VP Discount Health and Food Mart (though I must say, I trek it here every now and then for amazing deals, they truely are discounted from their competitors), but we have MANY farmers markets that offer an amazing spread of fresh produce and meats. And to top it off, we have organic markets located in the heart of our community. Two Bits, Om Nom Organics, The Artisan and soon to be Urban Radish opening in a couple of months. Plus, Ralph’s actually offers a huge variety of organic produce and pre-packaged foods.

Two Bits Market located on 5th street (the nickel) is small, but offers fresh local organic foods, produce and organic packaged foods as well as organic coffee, cheeses, and made to order sandwiches. I am always finding my way to Two Bits for more avocados and day old bread for half the price. It’s a bargain!

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Two Bits Market~ Fresh. Local. Organic. on 5th between Broadway and Spring.

Om Nom Organics is a convenient mini market that offers all organic pre-packaged foods that are free of pesticides and toxins. Think mini Whole Foods. Everything for every meal. From pancake mix to pasta and sauces. They have a large assortment of organic teas, toddler goodies and needs, household cleaning products and needs, and even carry Babycakes! In addition to the market they have fresh foods to go! Conveniently located under the Eastern Columbia Building on 8th Street. Plus, they deliver! what? yes, they deliver in DTLA, so really there is no excuse for not eating healthy. click here for the menu.

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Om Nom Organics on 8th near Broadway.

The Artisan House located on Main Street and 6th is another mini market that offers only in-season local organic produce. As well as a variety of organic pre-packaged foods and local cheeses and meats. In addition, they house a mini liquor store of beer, wine and liquors. Plus, it’s attached to their restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. Perfection! I say.

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Artisan House on Main and 5th.

Urban Radish is coming soon. Follow their story on facebook here. But with 8,200 sq.ft. of space, this is fantastic news. Said to be slated to open May 29th. Fingers crossed! This is going to be a great addition to the organic local fresh food movement.

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Designs of Urban Radish on Mateo

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Urban Radish on Mateo.

Ralph’s located on 9th between Flower and Hope Street is the largest of markets in the area. I am happy to say they offer a huge variety of organic fresh local produce as well as organic prepackaged foods. So if you find yourself in this gigantic market fear not, they have organic foods, too.

Grand Central Market located on Broadway has fresh local produce as well, though I am not sure about organic. I ask and ask, and every time I go I get a different answer. Oh well, at least it’s local right? Though it is heading into a revival with many retailers selling organic and free range foods like Sticky Rice.

Then we have our Farmer’s Markets!!!!!!

Monday~ Visit the mini markets 😉

Tuesday~ Grand Park 10am-2pm.

Wednesday~ Pershing Square 11:30am-2pm (my personal favorite).

Thursday~ Fig at 7th  9am- 3pm (Above Target) & City Hall 10am-2pm (on 1st and Spring St.).

Friday~ Bank of America Plaza 11:30am- 3pm

Saturday~ trek up to Echo Park‘s Farmer’s Market 3pm-7pm.

Sunday~ Historic Core on 5th street between Spring and Broadway. This is another treasure of farmer’s markets. 9am-1pm.

Sans automobile in Los Angeles?

I recently sold my car… I know, I know… having a car in Los Angeles is really a must, but I have sold my car non the less in hopes that public transportation will deliver me to my destinations. I will lower my carbon footprint and demand more out of mass transit. Win win right?! So far, I have been pleasantly surprised as to what is available to people sans automobile.

Take for example yesterday, my boyfriend and I took a trip up to Griffith Park Observatory on Mt. Hollywood. We walked a few blocks to the underground Metro at Pershing Square, hopped on the RED LINE for $1.50 each, took it to the Vermont/Sunset stop, caught DASH’s weekend only Griffith Observatory Shuttle for .50 cents per person. The shuttle drops you off directly in front of the Observatory, how convenient! From there, we “hiked” (walked along) the Mt. Hollywood Hiking Trail to the tip top to view all of Los Angeles. The trail head is found just at the entrance of the parking lot. At the top you will see everything from the famous Hollywood sign, to downtown, Burbank and beyond. It was so gorgeous out even the butterflies were dancing in the breeze. Many people were out from all over! Some jogging, families brought their lunch to picnic,and some people rode on horseback to the top! The trail is moderately easy as far as hiking goes, but it’s a great outdoor walk if you feel like escaping the city for a day. It’s not far from downtown either, it probably took about 35 min from my house to the Observatory.

View from atop the Griffith Observatory overlooking the grounds, Mt Hollywood and the Hollywood sign.

View from atop the Griffith Observatory overlooking the grounds, Mt Hollywood and the Hollywood sign.

Inside the Dome of Griffith Observatory houses the Zeiss 12 inch refracting telescope.

Inside the Dome of Griffith Observatory houses the Zeiss 12 inch refracting telescope.

 

Recap… Metro RED line + DASH + Hike = perfect car free outing in LA!

.. and it was only $4 RT! what?! Plus, when we got up the mountain to the observatory I noticed many cars were idling waiting for a parking spot for 10+ minutes. So even if we had driven up there, it would have been a nightmare finding a parking spot. In addition, the DASH makes a few stops on it’s soute to and from the Observatory. So if you wanted to, you could stop over to see the latest art at La Luz de Jesus,  grab brunch from Figaro’s, lunch at Alcove and dinner after your “hike” at Home. It just seems so much easier to use public transportion then stress about parking and waisting gas looking for said parking spot. Besides traffic these days is an adventure unto its own. I for one am happy to toss out my car and use my legs to get around.

Hollywood sign in the distance.

Hollywood sign in the distance.

 

A view of the snow capped mountains way off in the distance.

A view of the snow capped mountains way off in the distance.

A view of downtown Los Angeles.

A view of downtown Los Angeles.

 

for more on LA Metro click here

for more on DASH click here

 

Weekend Wonderland

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? A few great places to start would be the LA Art Book Fair at the The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. 36499_385407698219233_966874203_nHundreds of art books on display from oldies to goodies, prints to catalogs. A delight for your artistic side. Take a friend and wander the isles of art literature from all over the world. Pick up pretty prints for your sweetie or rocking awesome zines, Valentines day is on it’s way. They even have a few book signings, so check their schedule to not miss out.

 
 
 
 
Hours and Location:
The LA ART BOOK FAIR is free and open to the public.
Saturday, February 2, 11 am–6 pm
Sunday, February 3, 12 pm–6 pm
 
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA152 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-6222
moca.org
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday night at Space 727 Art will be all over the walls in the newest group exhibition  entitled LINES featuring artists, Matt Maust, Cody Comrie, and Harley Cortez. From floor to ceiling drawings, paintings and prints are on view for the art (and music *hint hint*)LINES lover in you. These are very talented men showing off their creative side off stage. I wouldn’t miss it if I were you. It’s only up for a week, so join the reception Saturday night February 2nd from 6:30-9:30pm. Space 727 Spring Street, DTLA.

And if that’s not enough…

PicnicGo for a walk in the city. Go for a long walk up to Vista Hermosa park. It might be a bit of a distance, but it proves to be such a gem. With views only wishes are made of. It’s 10 and half acres of walking trails, streams, kids playground, and hidden away picnic areas. Gorgeous meadows and the perfect city bench overlooking a vast meadow and the best view of DTLA! Scope out the perfect spot for your Valentines Day picnic. Romance is not lost in LA, certainly not DTLA. This park is really a treat. So much thought and heart went into creating such a beautiful retreat.

Vista Hermosa ParkBench
100 N Toluca St
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
 
 
 

Did you say 50¢ ?

Living in downtown is great because you can more or less get anywhere within DTLA on foot or by bike. However, if you are in need of a ride take the DASHDASH sign

I normally can walk most everywhere within downtown. I live in the historic core which is in the middle of things, so walking around is easy peasy. For days where I am exhausted, it’s raining or way too damn hot DASH is the way to go.

Like say for instance… you want to head up to Chinatown and eat dim sum. Take bus/route B that circles the financial district (which is more or less on Grand Ave at 6th Street), it heads up Grand Ave to Alemeda St where you can get your picture taken with the Tijuana donkey on Olvera St, timeless! Then it zig zags through the eastern part of Chinatown near the Gold line station, Chinese Cultural Center and adjacent to the Los Angeles Historic State Park. A huge park located on Alemeda St. and my favorite, Nick’s! Bring your frisbee or go for a run, then back again to the Financial district. Easy!

Now let us say that you aren’t the best walker. The D bus/route is the best! It runs almost the entire “downtown”. DASH D is my friend when I just can’t walk anymore. It starts at Union Station (This train station hasn’t changed its interior since the 40’s!) and meanders through to City Hall where the new Grand Park is located. Definitely check it out! Then south on Spring St through the historic core past South Park close to LA Live and the Staples Center to Figueroa Street near Mount Saint Mary’s college and the expo line (USC route).

DASH D

Ok, now you know a few routes to get you by, but there are more! Routes A, B, D, E & F. Most routes run from 6- 6:30am or 7pm every 6-10 minutes Monday through Friday. Weekend E and F routes are slightly altered. E runs every 6 minutes from 6:30am-5pm on Saturday. However, on Sunday it runs every 15 minutes from 10am-5pm. Route F runs every 20 minutes both Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm.

And did I mention it’s only 50¢? Yeah, that is a deal! With comfy seats and A/C, too. Be sure to pick up a brochure when you get on the bus to ensure you have the map and route schedules. It’s very helpful until you learn the routes by memory which I still haven’t, sigh. Of course, you can also be eco-friendly and just look it up via the world wide web. GTS, yo! And, please have exact change the bus driver isn’t your banker.

You can check out their schedules and maps more closely by visiting~  http://www.ladottransit.com/dash/

It’s contest time (contest ends today 4pm!)…

LA ART SHOW 2013

Win a FREE ticket (valid for one person) to tonight’s opening premier party (8-11pm) for the LA ART SHOW 2013. This Friend level ticket is valued at $125. Included with this VIP ticket you will receive the show’s catalog (valued at $20), Fine food, wine, and full bar at the premier party, opportunity to view (and purchase) art before the general public as well as unlimited admission to the LA Art Show throughout the show’s run. As well as unlimited access to the City National Bank VIP Lounge.

Here’s how you enter:

Share ANY of my stories on your Facebook or Twitter account. Tag @DTLAliving (so I know you posted). This ensures your name to be entered in the drawing. At 4pm (today) I will announce the winner on my Facebook and twitter pages.

Have you already “liked” my page on Facebook and followed me on twitter? If not, here is your chance for fun reads and a great prize. Also, you can follow my blog at www.DTLAliving.com to stay in the loop.

The WINNER can pick up their ticket at Space 727 Spring street DTLA 90014 between the hours of 4-7pm.

The LA ART SHOW 2013 is modeled after an art museum experience where collectors may view diverse genres of art under one roof, the LA Art Show features four distinct sections: The Modern & Contemporary Section, The Historic  & Traditional Contemporary Section, the Vintage Poster Section, and the Los Angeles IFPDA Fine Print Fair Section. The Show also features a special exhibition, China: FUSION, a 3,600 sq ft space highlighting contemporary Asian art from mainland China.

tn-1

Where to go:

LA convention Center/ South Hall

201 South Figueroa Street

Los Angeles, CA. 90015

Nick’s Cafe. What a treat for the best American diner food in downtown Los Angeles. Now completely packed on the weekends. Get there before 10 am or you will end up waiting a while to sit and hoping that the people eating at the counter scarf their food faster then John Belushi in Animal House.

You can probably find me almost every weekend, either Saturday or Sunday eating breakfast at Nick’s Cafe. A small traditional American diner that is nothing short of delicious. Known for their meats, every truck driver from the last 30 years has probably eaten at Nick’s as well as the “pioneers” of DTLA. Those few that have lived here 10+ years.

I was introduced to its glory a year ago and know that every time I go I will be happy with my free coffee & breakfast. (Free coffee on weekends) The list for eggs benedict is about 6-8 choices long with a special benedict seasonally! Order them early enough in the morning since they only make enough hollandaise sauce for the day and when they run out, that’s it! You are SOL. Another must have is their biscuits, OMG they are heavenly. Big and fluffy with their homemade tomato jam… Seriously, I think I just go to eat the biscuits, ha ha. They are too good for words. Though they are heavy so run or walk afterwards or consider yourself sitting like a couch potato the rest of the day.

Now, my personal favorite is to sit inside around their U-shaped counter. It seems more dinerish. However, if you feel the need to sit outside they have that option, too. Though, I think out there you are kind of on your own since all the action is going on inside. And please don’t be a brat and think that just because the atmosphere is low-key that you can bring your kids and make a mess. Be considerate! I have seen it happen way too much and it’s just disgraceful! (not talking to you responsible parents)

Best of the best!

best peeps

Nick’s Cafe
1300 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 222-1450
http://www.nickscafela.com/

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