Louie Loves: B.S. Taqueria

Never enough tacos. Never enough tequila. This has been our go to pre-Staples center spot for months now. (Though we Just learned they have an outpost IN Staples Center now!) It’s quick and delicious and they have what we think is the best happy hour downtown. Lets start with the starters because you really must get the bean dip, which is worlds better than it sounds. There are also the Duritos which are little seasoned puffy, crunchy, crispy chip things – highly addictive. There are regular chips and salsa too – delivered to your table in a charming little brown bag. Plus chicken chicharrones. The tacos are all pretty tops – our faves are the carnitas, clams + lardo , and mushroom but the shrimp also a frequent order. The chicken is the least exciting, but a very safe option for the unadventurous. Strangely we also LOVE the green salad here. It’s the perfect side for the tacos – very simple, crisp and fresh. The carne asada and chile verde are quite good if you want to venture into the main territory. You can get them with tortillas to make your tacos or keep it carb free. Also love the veggie options – beet tortas and cauliflower al pastor. A little lighter but still flavorful and rich. Ok so on to the drinks. At happy hour you an pick from a list of A+ options for only $6 or go for a $4 shot or $2 Tecate. $2! Our fave from the happy hour menu is definitely the Pablo B. Paloma. Even if you’re paying full price, the drinks are definitely worth it. Try the Gordo Cup with cucumber and mezcal. Also big fans of the B.S. Handshake – their take on a Michelada – and the street cocktail where you can choose your booze and soda combo. Sold yet? See you there.

B.S. Taqueria
514 W. 7th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Love & Lemons Pistachio Goji Berry Granola

Making granola is one of those things that sounds nice like a nice, charming domestic hipster sort of thing to do but then you think, oh wait I could just buy it. This version from Love & Lemons however, takes only 15 minutes and doesn’t require you to turn on the oven, so it may even be quicker than going to the store. Plus it is full of delicious superfood type things – goji berries, pistachios, coconut flakes – yum! And no hidden bad for you stuff – it is vegan and gluten free and there is just a bit of cocnut oil to make things extra rich and toasty and some maple syrup to sweeten things up. It is addictively delicious and also super pretty. Because it is so easy and also Christmas-y colors, this was a favorite holiday gift of ours. But of course, it is a treat year round and perfect thing to show up with if you’re being hosted for a weekend away. Because it’s vegan and gluten free pretty much everyone can eat it and your hosts can put it out with some fruit and yogurt for an easy breakfast or just keep it all for themselves. Either way, you’ll be a hero.   We usually make two batches at once – in separate pans unless you have a giant one.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
⅓ cup pistachios, chopped
¼ cup coconut flakes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
⅓ cup goji berries

Here’s what to do:

1 – Heat a large skillet over low heat. Ad the oats and let them toast for a minute or two. Add the coconut oil and salt and stir to mix everything together. Let toast for another 5-7 minutes.

2 – Add the syrup, one tablespoon at a time, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn.

3 – Add the pistachios, coconut and cinnamon and let toast another 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

4 – Remove from pan and stir in the goji berries. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Louie Loves LA: Burgerlords

Because sometimes you just need a burger. And sometimes maybe you need that burger to be vegan. Burgerlords has got you covered either way. They make what we would call an In-N-Out style burger, served simply with lettuce, tomato, onion, and Thousand Island dressing on a soft fluffy bun.   It’s pretty perfect. The vegan option is one of the best meat free burgers we’ve ever had, complete with a nice, melty slice of vegan American ‘cheese.’ A cheeseburger is $5.50 and fries are just $2 which also sort of makes this a steal. The fries are awesome – crispy on the outside, soft in the middle and just salty enough. The window is in the middle of Chinatown’s Central Plaza so you can enjoy your burger at a picnic table in the sunshine while you people watch. The whole set up is very clean and simple. Everything is just done right. Your meal comes in a little paper box with the cutest little toothpick flag proudly topping your burger. They have Mexican Cokes and Topo Chico waters to wash everything down. It is open until 9 during the week and 10 on the weekends so it’s a great place for a quick bite before a game, show or other such fun downtown.

943 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Click here for the menu.

Louie Loves LA: Ramen Hood

LA is full of vegan places these days but Ramen Hood is the only one serving up warm, comforting bowls of noodle-filled goodness every day. Seriously if you brought a meat-loving friend to this place and didn’t mention it was vegan, they would never know. They even have eggs, which are truly baffling – they look and feel just like a regular egg. Really! We have absolutely no clue what they are made of, but it’s pretty cool. The rest of your bowl is made up of a deep, rich broth (apparently having something to do with sunflower seeds) and piled high with veggies – mushrooms, bean sprouts, scallions – and topped with nori strips and chili treads. It’s delicious. You can add on more of any of those things or make it spicier. There are some sides too – a fresh cucumber salad, pickles plus bahn mi poutine and tofu al pastor. Because why not? Nice to have some indulgent feeling vegan options around for those days when you think you should be healthy but really aren’t in the mood.

Ramen Hood
317 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Click here for info.

Louie Loves: Grandma Josie’s Molasses Cookies

These may be the only cookies that could compete with a classic chocolate chip. So so good. Soft on the inside but with a nice crust, they taste rich and comforting. We remember making this recipe when we were little and they always seemed like a very grownup cookie to us and they still seems a bit sophisticated. They only take around 20 minutes to make and they are oh so delicious. A perfect not too sweet treat – pair them with an afternoon latte or cup of tea. These have always seemed festive and Christmas-y, so with the holidays approaching, there is no better time to make them. They also make a great gift for neighbors, friends, teachers etc. They are so easy to make and only go in the oven for ten minutes so you can churn out a ton all at once and it still won’t take you all day. You basically just dump everything into the bowl of a your mixer and you are good to go. Rolling them into smooth little balls and coating them with sugar adds a bit of extra time but they will come out uniform and look very professional. Plus it’s a great job for any little ones who want to help out in the kitchen.  Enjoy!

Grandma Josie’s Molasses Cookies

You’ll need:

¾ cup shortening or oil (we used canola oil)
1 cup white sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves (or nutmeg)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine oil, sugar, molasses and egg and beat well. Add all the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Roll dough into small balls and roll in sugar to coat on all sides. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Louie Loves LA: BCN

SANDWICHES.  Spanish sandwiches.  Pressed on neat rectangles of white bread and thin Euro baguettes. The bread is crispy, the cheese is melted and the whole thing comes wrapped up in brown paper like the lovely little gift it is. This place is basically our dream and opened up in the neighborhood so naturally we go embarrassingly often. First the Bikinis – these come on pressed on white bread cut into perfect triangles. The bikini is thin and easy to eat with all the components evenly distributed. Our fave is the Serrano ham which comes with manchego cheese, the thinnest slices of portobellos and truffle aioli. Heaven. The smoked trout is also tops with a kick form piquillos and picked fennel. The bocatas come on baguettes also pressed and crisp and melty. Our fave is the tuna melt with extra sharp cheddar, shaved fennel and caper aioli. Yes please! The braised short rib is pretty insane too. And then there is the artichoke with olive tapenade and basil. There are a flew flatbreads and salads too which are surely delicious, but we’d recommend starting with a sandwich for sure. Everything comes with fresh green salad on the side, or the daily gazpacho. But you hopefully have room for some patatas bravas on the side because – yum. The space is super cute, everyone is very friendly and its nice and quick. An absolutely perfect lunch.

8719 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Nike Roshe One

For awhile we didn’t get these shoes. People said they were so comfortable but aren’t all sneakers comfortable? And we had some trouble with the sole at first. So thick and white. Why? But eventually after a few trips that involved us running the entire length of JFK airport in ankle boots, everyday sneakers seemed like a pretty good idea and we would never/could never bring ourselves to wear our actual running shoes with jeans. Just no. (Even though they are also Nikes and not hideous.) So we caved and picked up a pair of Roshes and instantly realized that everyon else was right and we had been idiots. They are in fact INSANELY comfortable. That thick white sole is a like a bouncy pillow. They weigh nothing. And the inside sole has little ridges on it that are somehow like some mini foot massage. This is probably not intentional, but we love it. So the lesson here kids, is of course, that you need Roshes too. And now they come in 100s of color combos and of course you can design them yourself with Nike iD (love us some customization). They have a FlyKnit version now and an amazing fleece line made of fluffy sweatshirt material. Pretty much the only thing that could make these even more enjoyable to wear. Hooray! And now you can change the sole color too – tons of options and you can even make it color blocked or marbled. Go bold, go all black, keep it clean with just a bright swoosh – the options are endless. We want ten more pairs.

The Nike Roshe One – shop here for women, men, girls, boys.

Like it? Louie it!

We love this dressed up take on plaid.  And every dressed up take on plaid really.  And the flannel shirt + pencil skirt combo is definitely our favorite version. This look is made even more wonderful with the classic red, blue and tan shades.  Love.  We’ll copy this formula and pair the matching Louie with some equally classic plaid, a sleek leather skirt and some velvet slippers for a fall look that works for pretty much any occasion.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch tan red navy

Louie Loves LA: The Now

The Now just opened last week and we already know we’ll be spending serious amounts of time there. This place is the massage spot we have always dreamed of. It’s insanely cute and cozy AND reasonably priced. Yes please! The treatments are $35 for 30 minutes or $60 for 60 minutes. Not bad at all. And the experience is ten times that of similarly priced places that usually feel either a little gross or too sterile. The Now on the other hand is beautiful. All white with calf hair rugs and fluffy sheepskin everywhere. They have a few different services to choose from. The Now is a classic full body massage. This is what we tried and it was absolutely perfect. You are not in a private room, but in your own little walled off area, with a heated massage bed, Moroccan rugs and gentle wave sounds. It’s heavenly. Other options – The Healer which is more of an energy situation, The Stretch – good for sore muscles and flexibility, The Travel – to balance and reset, plus The Upper – head focused, and The Roots – for feet and legs. You can choose an aromatherapy oil to add on or an eye mask – perfection. Plus they are open until 10pm everyday making it easy to squeeze in some workday relaxation.   Cannot wait to go back!

The Now
7611 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Click here to check out the services.

Louie Loves: Mexican Train

We’ve done some nerdy Louie Loves before but telling you about our favorite domino game may take the cake. But with the holidays on the horizon you’ll likely be spending large amounts of time with relatives you only see once a year. This game is perfect for killing time and really works for people of all ages. Pretty sure the box says age six and up.   That said, some of our relatives view this as a game of intense strategy and skill (at least when they are winning). In reality it is probably 95% luck and 5% strategy. Or maybe that last 5% is just paying attention. Either way it doesn’t require so much focus that you can’t chat and enjoy some drinks and snacks while you play. But when you win, you feel entitled to a bit of bragging. You can play with any set of double twelve dominoes but we highly recommend purchasing an official Mexican Train game because then the dominoes will be color-coded. This means they are pretty but more importantly you don’t even have to count! Woohoo. Just match the colors. The game works with just two players or up to eight. Another bonus, each round goes pretty quickly and you can play as many as you want so opening it up doesn’t mean a serious time commitment. New players can join in any time. The only thing that would really prohibit children from playing is how much your family tends to swear when playing only mildly competitive games. It’s really fun and highly addictive. Also good for weekends with friends and naturally a perfect gift to bring with you on such trips. You’ll be a hero.  And yah, no idea why it is called Mexican Train.

Buy our preferred full size version here. And travel set here.

Louie Loves LA: Wanderlust Hollywood

Alright so Wanderlust has amazing yoga and mediation and the space is beautiful and they have memberships. Or so we have been told. We just go for the food. It is all really pretty though, we an attest to that. And it was opened by the people who run those Wanderlust festival things so they definitely know their yoga. But back to the food, they are open all day serving breakfast, lunch and snacks, plus pastries and smoothies. You can pick up juices too. Everything is organic and vegetarian options are everywhere but so are eggs and cheese and you can add salmon, chicken or steak to anything. It is refreshing to health conscious fare that caters to meat eaters too. At breakfast we like the savory take on oatmeal with mushrooms, Parmesan and a fried egg and the avocado toast. Generally we find order avocado toast at restaurants semi absurd but this version is tops – complete with soft-boiled egg and radishes. They also have premade overnight oat type things which are just the right amount of sweet and perfect if you are on the go. We’ve become addicted to the mango smoothie. With turmeric, keifer, flax, ginger and coconut milk it filled with good for you things and so so delicious. Later in the day we go for the black rice bowl or the kale Caesar with salmon. They also have Tom’s coffee and bone broth from Bel Campo. Everything just seems very fresh. Which is maybe because they also have a garden in back growing herbs and kale and such for your dish. Sooooo even if like us, you do not participate in yoga or meditation of any kind, Wanderlust is still for you! Check it out.

Wanderlust Hollywood
1357 N. Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: The Quoddy Ringboot

Allow us to introduce you to the best slippers ever made. They are made in Maine. And made to order just for you. Quoddy makes lot of shoes. Mostly manly boots and other outdoorsy items – they come from Maine after all. The boots are amazing and would be a fabulous gift for the gent in your life, the topsiders too. For the ladies, they offer a slightly smaller range or styles, and the clear winner here is the ring boot. It’s called a boot and totally acceptable to wear outside, BUT you can/should/obviously will get it lined with the fluffiest sheepskin ever which means this ‘boot’ is really the best pair of slippers you will ever own. And you will own them for years. They last forever, and Quoddy will loving resole or repair them for you should anything go wrong. Very nice people up there in Maine. When we purchased our cozy pair, there weren’t many options – you could choose lined or unlined and maybe pick the sole material. Now there are SO MANY CHOICES. You can customize your whole boot! Soooooo made in the USA, customizable, and made to order? Hmmmm yes, definitely ideas we support here at Essex. As we said, the sheepskin lining is really not an option; you must get it. But as far as the other things are concerned – there are now twenty-one different leathers to choose from for the upper, and three sole varieties. You also select the colors for the sole, thread, and hardware. So fun! And the lining now comes in black too. We seriously might have to design another pair – maybe all black – even though ours are perfectly worn in and in great shape. So what you should do immediately is design your dream pair and then very unsubtly hint to everyone around you that you need these for the holidays. Because you do. We pretty much never take them off when we are at home. And actually we even travel with them. Chilly feet can really ruin a vacation right?

*If you want yours to look like ours go with – Whiskey leather, dark crepe sole, natural thread, antique brass hardware, white sheepskin lining.

Click here to customize.