Like it? Louie it!

We’re slightly obsessed with Yasmin Sewell.  She is always killing it.  In this shot she looks particularly breezy and effortless.  The bright orange is so bold, but is grounded by the navy and red and the end result is fresh and clean.  We’ll take a cue from Yasmin’s menswear inspired styling and pair this Louie with a classic peacoat and brogues.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch tangerine red navy

Louie Loves LA: The Springs

 

You guys, The Springs.  In the middle of the Arts District, this place is a magical oasis of healthy things.  We’ll start with the restaurant which is totally raw and vegan which honestly is never really a selling point for us, but everything here is seriously delicious.  The lunch menu is mostly salads (which we appreciate because we’re not fully on board for the raw + vegan thing) and they are all huge and packed with yumminess.  Their version of a Ceasar is bananas good – it perfectly captures the salty, creamy, tanginess of the classic but with added goodness from seaweed, pumpkin seeds, capers and avocado.  YUM.  All of these salads reappear at dinner with the added options of pho, green curry and a mushroom pot pie among other.  There’s a full juice bar with some creative additions to the standard line up – we like the Campfire which is a very Bloody Mary-esque spicy tomato celery mix – and a menu of almond milks too.  The Café au Lait with coldbrew, maple syrup, cinnamon, cardamom and pink salt is perfect.  Tons of smoothies too plus ice cream and sorbet.  While you’re here you can also do a little yoga, get a massage, and pick up some natural beauty products.  All of these things in one very lovely perfectly styled spot.  The cleaned up warehouse vibe is perfect  – concrete floors and bright furniture make everything feel fresh and inviting which is just right for all of the available activities happening inside.

The Springs
608 Mateo St
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Click for restaurant menus, juice menus, spa services, and yoga classes.

 

 

Louie Loves: Vans SK8-HI

We spent most of our youth in Vans.  Because we’ve always been into tomboy style, and because we always had crushes on the skater boys in middle school.  This is just what happens when you grow up in California right?  We’ll always have a pair or two in our closet and the current fave is definitely the classic SK8-HI.  Recently they’ve been upgraded with some very sophisticated materials and colorways that are perfect for fall.  J.Crew and Madwell have gotten in on the action and are offering up an amazing suede version in olive, navy and burgundy shades.  J.Crew is calling the burgundy ‘winetasting’ so you know it is for grownups. Vans has them in a rad mustard yellow color too if you want something a little more bold.  Madewell also has an exclusive gray wool version that is fantastic.  Of course you can never go wrong with the classic canvas though.  We’ll always love the classic blue + navy +white version and the white on white is a serious summer option.  For men they come in a fleece lined black leather that is definitely our idea of a snow boot – we’re convinced these must come in women’s sizes somewhere.  We’re also seriously eyeing the ‘varsity’ white leather back zip version.  KILLER.  No matter which you choose the SK8-HI always has that laid-back, cool kid quality perfect for that whole I didn’t try too hard look…

Shop the SK8-HI at Vans, Madewell, J.Crew.

Like it? Louie it!

How cute are these two?  We love this shot so much.  They’re BOTH rocking burgundy and both rocking clutches.  It’s perfect.  We especially love the offbeat pairing of pink and orange with the burgundy suit.  The head to toe look may not be for everyone, but in Louie form it’s a super fun take on fall’s essential shade.  It will pair perfectly with all your navy and camel basics.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch burgundy orange bright pink

Louie Loves LA: Cofax

 

Oh how we love a well-styled coffee shop.  And Cofax is definitely that.  It’s adorable.  They were probably angling for sleek and manly, seeing as how it’s named after Sandy and has sketches of Dodgers on the wall but still – adorable.  It is super clean and fresh with royal (aka Dodger) blue and white tiles a concrete floor and blonde wood counter.  All coffee shop staples to be sure, but the blue and white scheme gives it some personality.  As does their custom blue and white La Marzocco espresso machine.  They brew Stumptown Coffee, make breakfast burritos and have Donut Snob donuts.  All three of those things make us really happy and when combined, in this very pleasing space, they make Cofax easy to love.  Everyone here is always extremely friendly too – perhaps they are just over caffeinated but it’s refreshing nonetheless.  Strangely our favorite things about this place may be that the lattes are always the perfect temperature.  Hot to be sure but not so hot that you have to wait five minutes to drink them.  Also of note, they have their own cold brew on tap (awesome) in addition to Stumptown’s take away bottles.  You can get a Flat White here too.

Cofax
440 N. Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Click here for the menu.

Louie Loves:  Essie Macks

As we’ve mentioned, our pick for a year round true red is Essie’s Really Red.  But of course sometimes we want to mix it up a bit and come fall we go straight for Essie’s Macks.  Macks is a perfect dark red shade that Essie calls a ‘deep ruby red.’   It does have a nice radiant jewel tone quality to it.  This is key because while it is dark enough for fall it’s not so dark that it moves from pretty to vampy.  We also have to point out that while it does look a tiny bit brown in the bottle, there is no trace of it once it is in manicure form.  Obviously go for two coats – duh to make sure there’s no transparency involved.  Macks also maintains a nice shine for a full week but is completely free of shimmer.  A win in our book.  We’ve started rotating this into our manicure line up already (even though its still 80s degrees and we can’t wear sweaters yet) and it will stick around for a while.  It looks just right for all those quintessential fall activities – apple picking, football viewing, pumpkin carving.  We say it can carry you through to Valentine’s Day.

Click here to shop.

Like it? Louie it!

Very into this slightly offbeat color pairing.  The red and yellow combo is unexpected and the gray balances out the contrast and tones everything down nicely.  Gives a cool girl spin to the sunny yellow shade.  We’d pair the matching Louie with a crisp black and white look.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch lemon yellow red light gray

Louie Loves LA: Beverly Hills Juice

 

There is a juice place about every 10 feet in LA now, but this place has been around since 1975 so you know almost forever.  It’s tiny and charming and covered in gleaming white tiles that reinforce the clean, fresh nature of everything that is happening inside.  Everything is raw and organic.  Of course.  And the ingredients are all locally sourced whenever possible.  There are tons of juices mixed up in various appetizing ways.  The menu is broken down into vegetable, fruit, coconut and ginger to help you navigate.  Combos like Apple Cinnamon and Berry Coconut highlight Beverly Hills Juice’s desire to make these things actually taste good, and not just make you feel like you are being healthy.  So yes, tons of really delicious juices, BUT what you really want is a Banana Manna Shake.  Their own banana ‘ice cream’ base blended up with the juice of your choice.  Yessssss.  It’s a delicious milkshake tasting treat made of only good for you fruits, vegetables and nuts – joy!  You can pick either banana + almond, sunflower  or cacao for the base and they blend it up with whatever juice you want.  The staff is always happy to make recommendations based on your taste, mood, or current state, ie hungover.  We’ve never been disappointed.

Beverly Hills Juice
8382 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Heath Ceramics

Heath Ceramics is one of those stores where every time we visit it makes us want to throw out everything currently in our kitchen and start over.  Neat rows do that to us.  Especially neat rows of gorgeous plates sorted by color.  Everything Heath has that perfect timeless feel.  Their plates would slip easily into any modern home but also look like maybe your grandparents had them.  We love it.  And of course Heath has mastered that casual elegance that is oh so California.  Heath goods seem made for impromptu backyard dinners and lazy Sundays.  Right now we’re obsessed with the Rim Line of dinnerware.  The white shade gives a just right mix of neutrals that is equally good in a gleaming white kitchen or a rustic wood-filled cabin.  The little stacking mug is just the cutest.  We love the simple Duralex tumblers too – for everything – water, wine, margaritas, iced lattes.  Plus, Heath always partners with the best people – see last week’s ode to Garza Marfa and the copper salt and pepper shakers from Ladies & Gentlemen Studio for further evidence.  Along with all of these wonderful things to fill up your house, Health also makes stunning tiles for you to use when building (or upgrading) your house.  Like everything else, they are simple but beautiful.  We are in love with the Dwell line of tiles.

Click here to browse all the goodness on their website.

Like it? Louie it!

This is the exact outfit we would like to be wearing today.  As always, it is an extremely hot September in LA.  It is always a bit tricky to dress for this weather because it seems a little weird to be wearing your beachy best in late September, even when its 90 degrees.  The darker fall shades make this light breezy look perfect for the transition, and the red shoes keep it from looking too dark serious.  The matching Louie is much the same – perfect all year round.

Click here to shop.  .

essex la custom leather clutch navy red fuchsia

 

 

Louie Loves LA: Boulange All Day

Ok, ok so if you have ever been to San Francisco, you have likely been to a La Boulange café.  Likely after the friend you were visiting billed it as their super charming neighborhood spot.  They weren’t lying, La Boulange is super charming, they just forgot to add that it is everyone’s charming neighborhood spot because there are like 15 locations in San Francisco.  Last year, everyone’s favorite local spot was bought by Starbuck’s so it is not surprise they are now expanding beyond the Bay Area, starting with LA.  Our version of La Boulange is a bit sleeker than it’s NorCal counterparts.  Officially called Boulange All Day, it’s open later – until 10pm.  It also has a bar and cocktails, and an expanded menu of burgers (and milkshakes – yay).  All of your SF faves are on the menu too – the house made granola with Greek yogurt and fruit – the best!, the tuna melt, the kale and smoked trout salads.  So you know, we’re more than happy to welcome La Boulange to LA.  The space on La Brea is bright and sunny, with lots of wood, tile floors and fancy lights.  We find location very convenient, and we don’t doubt there will be more popping up all over in the near future.

Boulange All Day
359 S. La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Garza Marfa

We’ve been obsessed with Garza Marfa since we spotted their leather cot in a New York Times profile of artist Doug Aitken’s home in Venice, CA.  A simple metal base with tan leather stretched across the top and piled high with a stack of equally gorgeous pillows, the cot was simple and beautiful and looked like it must have come from some far flung flea market.  We were thrilled to learn we were wrong.  It wasn’t a vintage gem, it was new and available for purchase from a lovely little studio in Marfa, TX.  A quick browse of Garza’s site and we knew we were in trouble.  We wanted everything.  All of the furniture- handmade – combines study but light metal bases (powdered coat in the color of your choice) with leather and wood tops.  The look is minimal in the best way possible and we love the sleek shapes paired with the natural woods and leathers.  All of the pieces look like they will last a lifetime, but they will also age beautifully, taking on more character as you use them.  What could be better?  Today there are dining chairs, stools, loungers, coffee tables, and our beloved cot to choose from along with our beloved leather cot.  If you want to see the good in person swing by Heath Ceramics in SF or LA, Steven Alan in NY or Totokaelo in Seattle.  Or grab a drink on the roof of the Ace Hotel in downtown LA where you can sip a cocktail while you enjoy the comfort of Garza’s seating.

Check out the Garza Marfa site here.

Like it? Louie it!

We don’t do too many monochrome Louies but we love this blue look too much not to copy it.  It’s the perfect mix of blue shades – each one a tiny bit off from the rest. Our Louie’s blues are much the same – not quite a match – which is just right in our book.  We’re also kicking ourselves that we never picked up those gingham Miu Miu slingbacks.  Still want them!  We’ll pair this Louie with navy and soft grays this fall – our favorite skinny denim and a cozy sweater perhaps.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch royal lagoon french blue

 

Louie Loves LA: KazuNori

So you know how much we (and everyone else in LA) love Sugarfish, and if you’ve been there you know how glorious the Blue Crab handroll that caps of your Trust Me is so of course we were super pumped to learn that the Sugarfish team had opened up a little spot downtown devoted entirely to their magic handrolls.  Rejoice!  And we have to say KazuNori was even better than we expected.  It’s a small, neat, minimal space downtown, made up mostly of a large square bar.  You choose from a set menu of either three, four or five handrolls – a mix of blue crab, scallop, toro, yellowtail, lobster and salmon.  Just like at Sugarfish, each one is wrapped in crisp nori and filled with that delicious warm rice and perfectly seasoned sauces.  Your first one will appear seconds after you order with the others following one at a time, just after you finish up the one ahead.  Its insanely quick and you could be in an out in 15 minutes if you wanted.  Definitely a plus at lunch time.  If you want to round out your meal a bit, you can add on extra handrolls ala carte or some sashimi.  While it’s all very efficient, they don’t mind if you want to pace yourself and stretch it out a bit.  A to-go menu of cut rolls is also available, all packed up in cute little boxes.  They are open until 11 during the week and midnight on the weekend making it a great spot for a quick snack pre or post any evening downtown adventure too.

KazuNori
421 S. Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves:  Rails

 

You guys, Rails is the best.  We’re always a fan of brands that make a signature item in many different versions and Rails definitely wins the plaid game.  So many amazingly soft shirts to choose from.  They really are crazy soft and comfortable.  Our favorite style is the one pocket ‘Hunter’ which comes in 20 plus plaids.  Hooray!  Its sooo tempting to buy like ten at once and really the only that stops us is that we don’t want to become that girl who is always wearing plaid.  But we are sure that over time we will accumulate at least ten because we wear the ones we have constantly and eventually new patterns will have to be brought into the mix.  In addition to the magical softness, the fit is pretty darn perfect too.  It’s just a little bit slouchy.  Enough to give it a relaxed look while still being quite flattering and far from sloppy.  The Britt style is next on our list because what’s more LA than a short sleeve flannel?   Rails perfectly captures laid back LA style and their shirts are perfect for your laziest days.  They can be fancied up a bit too though – with a pencil skirt and pumps for the office or with a little mini and killer sandals for a night out.  We like them tied up with cutoff for the beach too.  So you see you need at least one.  Probably five.  They also have some amazing leather shorts…  Get involved.

Click here to browse their site.  Also on Shopbop, Singer22, and Revolve.

Like it? Louie it!

Such a good shot from The Locals.  This is the perfect way to dress up a chambray shirt and its inspiring us to pair the matching Louie with a chambray shirt as well. With white jeans and nude sandals  for a casual look or with a leather mini and heels for dinner on the town.  Also a great bright pop to add to jeans and an army jacket in the colder months.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch red lagoon highlighter

Louie Loves LA:  Free Range

Fried chicken sandwiches people.  In the form of our new favorite food truck/the only food truck we really feel the need to visit.   Free Range whips up perfect little fried chicken sandwiches and other super tasty breakfast, lunch and brunchy treats for when you want a bit of indulgence, or maybe a hangover cure.  In the morning the crispy chicken comes coated with a honey Sriracha glaze, on a biscuit, with fluffly scrambled eggs.  So yes, it’s amazing.  There’s also avocado toast, and a neat little chicken sausage muffins that’s are the best ever version of your McDonald’s favorite and a classic bacon egg and cheese.  Come lunch time, the fried chicken moves over to a bun and is topped with coleslaw and chilies.   There are salads too plus a club sandwich made with chicken salad and a new grilled chicken sandwich.  And always crispy potatoes for side snacking.  They update the menu with little tweaks all the time so you might also get a grilled cheese or kimchi pancakes when you stop by.   These days they spend weekday mornings in front of the Coffee Commissary on Fairfax then move to Sunset location in Hollywood for lunch.  On the weekends you can find them at the Melrose Place farmer’s market and downtown at Stumptown Coffee.  Oh and they cater too – who doesn’t want a fried chicken birthday party?

Free Range
Morning – 801 N. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Afternoon – 6087 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Sundays – 8432 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, CA 90069
and 806 S. Sante Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Follow them on Insta for location and menu updates.

Louie Loves:  Peach Galettes

 

One more recipe!  We can’t resist.  Summer is ending but peaches are still everywhere and there is no better way to use them up than with one of these super easy desserts.  We’d never made one before and went in search of a simple sounding recipe and found this perfect on eon Wit & Delight.  In late August you need to spend as much time as possible soaking up the last rays of summer sunshine which means we only want to make things that require minimal kitchen time.  This is just the ticket!  But it still looks super impressive in a casual, rustic way so your guests will think you spent all day preparing for them instead of lounging by the pool.  You could make this with any fruit really.  It would be great with berries, apples, or even tomatoes.  The dough for this one comes together in a few minutes and only has to chill for an hour.  Once you’ve rolled it out, you pop it back in the fridge for 20 minutes which is just enough time to cut up your fruit.  The recipe includes a helpful link to a video demonstrating a special technique for the dough called frisage.  This sounds French and fancy but is in fact super easy and leads to a soft crust for your galette that doesn’t get soggy on the bottom.  Perfect.  We addes more cinnamon because we love it and did our sprinkling of the crust with a ginger infused sugar.  Otherwise we followed along as directed.  (We forgot to take pics both times we made this last week – oops! so these are from Wit & Delight too – so pretty!)

Original on Wit & Delight here.

Ingredients:
crust 
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tsp salt
10 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
3-6 tbsp ice water

filling 
3 large peaches (about 18 ounces),  pitted and sliced into 1/2-inch thick wedges
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
2-4 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling

What to do:
crust
Process the flours, salt, and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs, and the butter is the size of small peas. Add the water through the feed tube 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough holds together when pinched (about 10 pulses).

to fraisage the dough
(also, a You Tube video here) Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gather into a rectangular shaped pile. Use the heel of your hand to smear the dough against the work surface. Continue to smear until all the dough has been worked. Gather into a pile again, and repeat. Flatten dough into a 6-inch disk (or divide into two equal pieces if making smaller galettes), wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for about an hour.

Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle (or 2 smaller circles, about 8-inches wide each) on a  piece of parchment paper, and refrigerate  for 20 minutes. Adjust your oven rack to the middle position and heat to 375.

fruit filling 
Toss the peaches with the cinnamon and salt. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired sweetness is reached (I used 2 tablespoons). Mound the fruit in the center of your rolled dough, leaving a 2-inch border (or 1-inch border for smaller galettes). Fold the outermost dough over the fruit, pleating it as you go (about every 2-3 inches). Brush the dough with water and sprinkle with an additional 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake until tart is deep golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 1 hour (less for smaller galettes – about 40-45 minutes). Rotate baking sheet halfway through baking.

Cool the tart on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then use the parchment to transfer tart to a wire rack. Cool about 25 minutes. Serve plain, or with ice cream.

Like it? Louie it!

So obviously we want this jacket.  A mint green leather jacket!  And this skirt, which looks insanely fun to wear.  Luckily its quite easy to whip up a matching Louie for this look which is maybe, almost just as fun.  Definitely equally fresh and bright.  Right now, with a few days left of summer, we’ll pair it with all white.  In the fall it will be so good with lots of navy.

Click here to shop.   to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch mint coal french blue

Louie Loves LA: The Daily Dose Café

 

Well this is pretty much just the cutest place ever.  Tucked away down what is certainly the Arts District only truly charming alley, this place is a semi-hidden oasis.  We’d passed by many times before we ever stopped in.  The name sounds more like a 90s coffee shop with nightly spoken word performances than the euro feeling café it is, serving up beautiful, organic breakfast and insane sandwiches all day long.  Seriously though, the little alleyway with picnic tables and patio lights is adorable and the food in incredible.  For breakfast you can go with fruit or granola, a sandwich filled with magically fluffy scrambled eggs, or any number of other egg options, all served with a little green salad and a nice chunk of toasted baguette.  We cannot possible chose a favorite sandwich from the lunch menu.  They are all pilled high, but with great care mind you, and each with a little extra kick.  Their house pickles and ‘sauce vert’ perk up many of the offerings.  They sneak lemon on to the mortadella sandwich.  There’s ancho chili jam on the turkey.  It all works.  They make perfect coffee drinks too.  It’s a lovely quite place to get some work done, and you’ll find many people doing just that.  And/or whispering in accented English and looking like they just left a photo shoot at the Acne store.

The Daily Dose Café
1820 Industrial Street
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Crab Sandwiches

One of our most favorite summer lunches these crab sandwiches which are of course best when made with the freshest crab possible.  Preferably from crab that came from a body of water that you are currently seated next to.  Bonus points for catching your own crab.  This generally means you have to pick your own crab meat, unless your local fish market is willing to do this for you.  They usually will, for a price.  Whatever you do don’t buy pre-packaged crabmeat.  It will smell and taste extremely fishy which is never good.  So with your extra-fresh crab you don’t need much else to make a killer sandwich.  We base our crab salad mix off of “Lunch” in the Hamptons Lobster Roll recipe.  We’ve never actually visited but we’ve trusted their simple recipe for years with both lobster and crab.  All you need is a little mayo, celery, salt & pepper.  You can sprinkle in a little Old Bay if you want.  We like these sandwiches best on very lightly toasted bread.  We start by spreading a thin layer of avocado on one slice.  Salt (or Lemon Pepper, if you’re hip to the joy of Lemon Pepper) this then top with the crab salad, thinly sliced tomatoes and a bit of arugula or lettuce.  Perfection.  See below for the crab salad instructions.

For 4 sandwiches you’ll need:
About 2 cups crab meat – from 1 or 2 crabs depending on size and your picking diligence
¼ to ½ cups mayonnaise (We prefer Best Foods.)
½ cup chopped celery (1 or 2 ribs)
Salt & pepper

Avocado
Tomatoes
Arugula
Your favorite bread

Finely chop the celery and place into a colander lined with a paper towel in the fridge for an hour or two.  This lets the water drain out of the celery so it doesn’t water down your crab.  This step may seem silly, but it works.

Mix the crab, mayo, celery, salt & pepper in a bowl.  Assemble your sandwiches as described above and enjoy!  Recommended accompaniments – potato chips and a cold beer.

Like it? Louie It!

We will forever be into Peter Pilotto and his prints.  He never fails to bring it with the colors and his Target collection was no exception.  We love the simple styling of this look from blogger Bisous, Mack.  Bisous, Mack.  We’d pair the matching Louie with this exact look because MORE PRINTS are always a good idea.  But really since our ‘springbreak’ leather is black and white, it’s an easy one to mix in with other prints. We also love it with soft, sweet florals.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch springbreak lagoon highlighter

Louie Loves LA: Zinc Café

Thre Arts District is sort of killing it right now.  Much like other spots in the ‘hood, Zinc Café is huge and wonderfully pretty.  Right across the street from Blue Bottle (formerly Handsome Coffee – tear), Zinc is a great edition to the neighborhood.  It’s open from 7am to 12:30 everyday so can stop in any time for a treat.  In the morning they have all kinds of eggs, pastries, bagels and homemade granola (which you can also pick up a big bag to bring home).  The lunch/dinner menu is killer with something for everyone.  Pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and a rotating selection of deli stuff to choose from with some larger entrées mixed in.  It’s pretty much all vegetarian too – including the “Reubenesque” which is made with sliced golden beets instead of the corned beef.  It’s amazing and we have a hard time not ordering it every trip.  You can add fries, greens or soup to any sandwich for just $2.  We’d actually come just for the side of greens which maybe the best side salad in LA.  It comes with Kalamata olives, feta, croutons, pine nuts and a garlicky vinaigrette – yum!  There’s a bar room in the back and they make some pretty tasty cocktails.  The patio is so charming with olive trees and a bubbling fountain, we can think of nowhere better for a dinner with friends on a hot summer night.  There’s a little shop area too with random home good – candles, pretty bowls and glasses.  Clearly we will be here often.

Zinc Café
580 Mateo Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Roses

We’re deep into Gone With The Wind right now, for the first time somehow.  It’s amazing and we don’t want it to end.  All of the Southern hardship and family drama has us thinking of another one of our favorite summer reads – Roses (previously included in our summer reading recs).  Set in Texas spanning three generations and one hundred years, it’s giant and once you dive in you’ll be lost for days.  As with many of these epic tales, years of tragedy and secrets seem to stem from one moment of stubbornness, which makes the story equally frustrating and enthralling.  We watch young Mary Toliver grow up to take over her family’s plantation in a very Scarlett-esque manner.  There’s cotton and lumber and loveless marriages.  All the makings of a Southern classic.!  The story follows Mary’s life and her dealings with the town’s other ruling family, the son of which Mary of course loves but can never be with.  Because that is how it works.  Obviously.  We’d say this is a Kindle read for sure, not just because it weighs a ton, but mostly because the cover which is covered with Roses petals it too embarrassing to be seen with in public.  The author came out with a prequel to the Roses story earlier this year called Somerset.  We learn how all the key families ended up in Texas.  It’s next on our list.

Get it here.

Like it? Louie It!

Ohhhhh we love this look!  If you’re going to rock silver pants, why not pair them with a neon sweater right?  We love that she’s rocking a huge clutch too of course – our kind of girl.  This is one of our favorite combos for our mirrored silver leather.  It’s fun and playful and great for day or night.  Right now we’d pair it with a crisp white dress and sneakers.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch silver coal  highlighter

Louie Loves LA:  Max & Moritz

Max & Moritz is where you furnish your dream house.  Not because everything is super fancy, but because everything in this little shop is an extra pretty version of an everyday item.  We love the idea of a house full of all these simple beautiful things.  There’s so much to love here it’s hard to know where to start.  Maybe with a setting of porcelain nesting bowls.  Or a Farmhouse Pottery pitcher?  A RIESS enamel tart pan?  Maybe with the best looking dustpan you’ll ever see.  There’s jewelry too, and lots of beautifully packaged grooming products.  And fancy ofice supplies – including our fave pens and pencils from Delfonics and Kaweco and cool Italian paper clips.  Yes, Italian paper clips, which like everything else in this place you didn’t know you need until you saw them in their charming green box.  There are a few vintage furniture pieces scattered around the store – big farmhouse style work tables and German school house chairs.  We’ll take all of it.  Obviously this is a great place to shop for gifts, and its likely that the entirety of our holiday shopping will be done right here in one swift trip.  If we invite you over, feel free to stop and pick up a Fort Standard trivet on your way.  Still top on our wish list.

Max & Moritz
7209 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046

Click here to browse their site.

Louie Loves:  Peach Tomato and Mozzarella Crostini

Another recipe this week.  These little bites are the perfect end of summer treat and we can resist posting this while all the ingredients are at their most delicious.  Head to the farmers market and get ready to whip these up.  An old favorite from Joy the Baker, this is more of a set of instructions that a recipe because it’s all assembly and no cooking.  Another reason its perfect for a hot night.  These stacks are a perfect hors d’oeuvre or even a nice summer lunch.  They look impressive but require no kitchen talent and very little time so they are great for an impromptu cocktail party or potluck barbeque.  August, when both peaches and tomatoes are everywhere, super sweet and at their prettiest is definitely the best time to make these.  With some good bread, mozzarella and a sprinkle of fresh basil, you’re all set.  We sometimes use our favorite homemade bread, for this but any good French baguette will do.  Use the best balsamic you have for the drizzle.  A liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper at the end is key too.   (Check the original Joy the Baker post here.)

Here’s what you need:
French baguette
Olive oil
Peaches
Tomatoes
Basil
Mozzarella
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Here’s what to do:
Slice up the baguette, drizzle with a little olive oil and toast – on a cookie sheet in the oven or a grill if you got one warmed up.  Thinly slice the peaches, tomatoes and mozzarella.  Assemble your stacks – top the toasted baguette slices with a slice of peach, mozzarella, tomato, and a second peach.  Cut the basil in to thin ribbons and scatter these over the top.  Sprinkle generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Drizzle with balsamic.  Eat up!

Like it? Louie It!

If it weren’t for the huge coat, we’d be copying this whole look right now.  While it’s still hot, we’ll whip up the matching Louie.  We love how this combo of girly colors somehow looks a bit cool and tough here  We think it’s the perfectly faded jeans, so we’ll be pairing this one with ripped denim and a plain white tee.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch jacaranda purple hot pink french blue

Louie Loves LA: Paninoteca

More sandwiches!  But not just any sandwiches, sandwiches dreamed up by the Scarpetta chef and served out of their kitchen.  That description alone should sell you.  The menu is small with just six sandwich offerings plus some salads and sides.  There’s a classic Italian hero of course – this one has some smashed hot peppers smeared on to the bun with the mayo – A winning addition.  There’s also pastrami, roast beef (our favorite), chicken parm, grilled eggplant and porchetta which comes with a fried egg on top.  They are all carefully assembled and served on rolls with the perfect softness to crunch ratio, so while they are definitely large, they aren’t too messy.  They come with a little bag of their house-made potato chips which are sprinkled with fresh herbs and are possibly some of the best chips we’ve ever had.  We’re hoping we can convince them to sell them to us in giant bags so we can serve them at cocktail parties.  You’ll be full from your sandwich +chips but you should definitely pick up some chocolate cookies too.  So buttery and delicious.  You can wash it all down with one of their fresh juices.  We like the pineapple and basil.  The Scarpetta kitchen opens on to the lovely Montage courtyard park scenario so you can enjoy your tasty lunch in the sunshine.

Paninoteca
225 N Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves:  Pimento Cheese

We must admit, very sadly, that pimento cheese is a relatively new addition to our lives.  We’d had it of course, but it doesn’t appear too often on California menus so we had sort of forgotten about it until The Hart and The Hunter started serving it up with their perfect biscuits.  While it was tempting to just pop in there on a weekly basis for the biscuits and pimento, we thought we should learn to whip our own version too.  We found the perfect recipe over on Milk & Mode.  It is heavenly.  And so so easy.  And we promise you will be the hit of whatever party you bring this too.  So with at least a full month of barbecues ahead, this is the time to try it out.  It’s Southern of course so it involves mayonnaise and very few other ingredients.  The key is to grate the cheddar as thin a possible so it all blends together nicely.  DO NOT buy pre-shredded cheese for this.  Or, never buy pre-shredded cheese, but especially not for this.  We recommend a good sharp cheddar, and use an orange one for the authentic old school color.  We like Tillamock extra sharp.  We promise this stuff is so good you’ll want to just stand over the bowl and eat it off a spoon.  If there are other people around, we like it best spread on slices of a nice crusty baguette.  So so good.

Pimento Cheese

Ingredients:
8oz sharp cheddar cheese finely grated
4oz jar pimentos, chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup cream cheese (take it out of the fridge before hand to left it soften up)
Pinch of cayenne
Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

Put the Cheddar, pimentos, mayonnaise, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and cayenne into a medium bowl and mix thoroughly with a spoon until it is well blended and the Cheddar becomes creamy. Refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 

 

Like it? Louie it!

This old J.Crew shot is such summer perfection.  Points for the preppy combo of yellow and navy, with a bonus for the pop or orange with the sunnies and the lipstick (which we assume is our beloved Poppy King) for a little twist on the classic.  We’d honor J.Crew’s penchant for slightly off monochromatic looks by pairing this Louie with a little yellow dress.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom  leather clutch lemon orange navy

Louie Loves LA: Fifty Seven

 

We were super excited to try Fifty Seven and it totally exceeded all of our expectations – hooray!  To start, it’s beautiful.  In the old Heinz 57 building, it has a slightly industrial feel, but with a gleaming copper bar, soft lighting and an endless amount of wishbone chairs, it is also elegant.  On to the menu, which was almost too good.  Of course there is a ‘to share’ section because these days ordering your own meal would be rude.  But here, because everything on the menu was so beautifully tempting, we were happy this would mean we would get to try a few more things.  We were still crushed we couldn’t order more than we did.  Next time we visit it will be with a large group for sure.  The combination of ingredients in many items sounds a bit off, but once you try the dishes you realize, its you who has been silly for never having though to pair these things.  Strawberries and romanesco,  New York steak with grapes and ginger, cured beef with trout roe and thai basil.  Trust us, they all work.  We had the cotton cake for dessert, which was a neat little cube of pure white.  Like someone had gently condensed the lightest cheesecake cloud into an easily edible form.  Lovely.  The cocktail menu was equally surprising and inventive.  Highly recommend the Peaches & Smoke and the Celery & Silk.  Making this place even more perfect, there is a bar in the basement with live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  If you have dinner, your cover is waved.  A perfectly modern take on dinner and a show.   Oh and the chef will be changing every few months – all the more reason for repeat visits.

Fifty Seven
712 South Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Sonya Dakar at Home Facial

We love Sonya Dakar and all that she can do for your face.  When we need a quick at home refresh, this three product mini facial does the trick.  It takes about half an hour and will leave your skin smooth and glowy and with the appearance of being pore free.  It’s great before a big event or night out, but maybe even better as a recovery from too much sun, not enough sleep or just a brief period of skin care laziness.  The first product you’ll need is Sonya Dakar’s Flash Facial.  This stuff is magic.  It’s a one minute exfoliator that gently removes whatever unwanted grossness is on your face with a combination of lactic acid, moisturizers and anti-oxidants.  Spread on a thin layer and after its dry, rub off in gently in circles – you can use a wet washcloth.  Even with just this step you’ll notice your face already looks 10x better.  Next, another smoothing peel – the Nano Peel.  This one has a combination of lactic and wheat acids along with apple stem cells to leave skin looking smoother and brighter.  Just smooth on a think layer and let it for about ten minutes before washing off with a washcloth.  Finally, the NutraSphere Nano Mask which is super moisturizing which is good for the glow and firmness.  Just smooth on a layer and then rinse after 15-20 mins.  All done!  Follow up with whatever moisturizer you usually use and a serum type product if you have one and get ready to receive compliments.  This stuff isn’t cheap but you don’t use much each time so they should last you awhile.

Click here to shop: Flash Facial, Nano Peel, NutraSphere Nano Mask.

Like it? Louie it!

Um, yes.  Yes, yes yes.  We want to be this girl.  We love this look so much.  We want this skirt, and this sweatshirty top, and her perfect pink lipstick, and her hair.  Definitely the hair.  Of course what first drew us in was the bold color pairing so we’re whipping up a Louie to match ASAP.  Current dream outfit pairing for said Louie – white jeans, bright fuchsia silk top, silver sandals (specifically these).

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch navy mango

Louie Loves LA: Scoops

Our love for ice cream has been well documented and asking us to chose our favorite ice cream spot would be like asking us to chose our favorite episode of Beverly Hills 90210 – impossible.  But, at the moment, we can say that we are more than obsessed with Scoops.  And with National Ice Cream Month drawing to a close, it seems appropriate to feature another LA sweet treat fave.  Scoops is sort of in a non neighborhood but on a cute little block next to LA City College so there is usually a mix of students, families willing to venture off Larchmont and Koreatown hipsters.  The one thing these people have in common is really good taste in dessert items.  The flavors here cannot be beat.  There are some crazy ones, but its mostly basic sounding things that they have made better than you ever imagined.  There are always a few dairy free options too – good to note for any milk adverse friends.  We love: pretzel, cinnamon coffee, mascarpone Oreo, almond chocolate, strawberry basil… there are too many.  They switch them up all the time so it is best to stop in frequently.   You wouldn’t want to miss a flavor would you?  Bonus – you can add your own sprinkles and nuts to your scoop free of charge.

Scoops
712 N. Heliotrope Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90029

On the west side
3400 Overland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Louie Loves: Ayr

What’s is better than a perfect pair of jeans?  Not much.  So: Ayr.  We had seen these jeans online and they looked good, great even, but we were a little hesitant to pull the trigger having never tried them on or seen them in person.  Luckily, the ladies of Ayr brought their fab goods to LA recently to facilitate the trying on we needed.  We were instantly sold.  The denim is super soft and has just the right amount of stretch.  Enough to tighten things up but not so much that they look painted on.  While we deliberated over wash choice we watched many other ladies model the denim and were very pleasantly surprised to find that they seemed to look good on everyone.  For real.  All shapes and sizes.  And certainly all heights.  The inseam options are 28, 30 and 32 and at 5’8” the 32 hits us just below the ankle making them wearable with both flats and heels.  Our shorter friends were thrilled to find jeans they wouldn’t have to hem.  We selected the classic dark ‘Jac’s Jean’ wash because that is what our denim wardrobe was missing most but we’ll be ordering up new washes in a matter of days.  Perhaps starting with the bright white which was also shockingly flattering on all.  This perfections extends to the other women’s pieces too.  We’re in love with the ‘Always Top’ and the ‘Stamp Dress.’  The cutoffs look pretty awesome also.  Decisions, decisions!  Almost all these summery pieces are on sale so now is the time to shop friends!

Head to Ayr.com to browse and buy with $20 off your first order.  Woohoo!

Like it? Louie it!

This shot is summer in the city perfection.  And a great reminder that sometimes a bold pairing is just the ticket.  A blue + orange combo always demands attention. As seen here, its best to keep the look streamlined so it doesn’t appear haphazard. We’ll be pairing the matching Louie with bright pink and graphic black and white looks for maximum impact.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch royal orange mango

 

Louie Loves LA: Superba Snack Bar

We always find ourselves posting more west side spots in the summer months and today we’re adding Superba to the list.  Right on the strip of Rose Ave faves, Superba’s perfect patio gives it an advantage on warm summer nights.  People watching is half the fun of a Venice dinner, and the street side patio gives you a prime view.  They have super cute blankets at the ready so you can settle in with our fear of chilly evening fog ruining your dinner.  The food of course is top notch too.  The homemade pastas are a must.  Everyone’s favorite is the smoked bucatini carbonara and you should definitely partake.  Topped with a perfectly poached egg, it’s just the right amount of indulgence.  We also love the fried chicken, the BLT toast and the burrata.  Everything has a little twist.  Parmesan finishes the fried chicken, the burrata comes with pickled watermelon and candied black olives, and the toast is spread the most delicious tomato marmalade.  Yum, yum, yum.  For dessert, they have s’mores that come in little jars.  Naturally they are both stupidly cute and totally delicious.  Get them.  There’s a crazy good brunch menu too so you can stop in before or after you beach session.

Superba Snack Bar
533 Rose Ave
Venice, CA 90291

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves:  The Pink Tequila

THE holiday weekend is coming up.  We hope you are celebrating all week with a line up of barbeques and beach parties.  And so we bring you our favorite party ready, boozy, fruity summer drink – The Pink Tequila.  We believe that once upon a time this recipe came from Refinery 29.  It has disappeared from the internet in its original form, but luckily we’ve made it so many times, we have it memorized.  This will require you to blend lots of watermelon which sounds annoying, but really only takes a minute and we promised you and your guests will be quite pleased with the end result – an insanely refreshing tequila laced beverage.  It’s pretty too.  And yes, we call it pink, but you could definitely claim it as red for your 4th soiree and cut up some little watermelon stars to float around in it to make it seem appropriately festive for America’s birthday.  The recipe below makes a big pitcher but it can be easily doubled or tripled to fill a punch bowl depending on how many thirsty friends you have.

The Pink Tequila

6 cups watermelon
1 pint strawberries
6 limes juiced
1 tablespoon agave nectar (We never think it needs this)
8 to 10oz tequila (or however much you want, start here)

*As we’ve mentioned before, Espolón Blanco is our pick.

In a blender combine the watermelon, strawberries, and juice from the limes.  Add agave if you think it needs a little more sweetness.  Pour into a pitcher with ice and stir in the tequila.  That’s it.  Throw a slice of watermelon and a lime on the glass for fanciness.

Like it? Louie it!

Um, yes please.  How lovely is this shot?  We would like to be doing exactly this right now.  Cool woven beach chair and perfect flowy coverup included.  Happily we are headed to the beach for the 4th so we’re are hoping we can come very close to this scene.  Where ever you are celebrating, this Louie is the perfect patriotic pop to make your look feel festive.  We love it all summer long paired with clean black and white looks.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch red lagoon navy - 4th of July

Louie Loves LA:  G&B Coffee

G&B’s counter at Grand Central Market (Yes, another place at Grand Central Market we are obsessed with – Go there!) is all sleek and minimal and looks like it would lead to an experience straight out of Coffee Snobs.  Luckily it is quite the opposite.  To start unlike many fancy shops, G&B doesn’t roast their own beans, instead they are constantly sampling new varieties from roasters all over the world.  This means you also get to try new coffees all the time, and they do all the work for you so you get all the best coffees with out having to do any boring research.  They do take their coffee seriously and take their time crafting your drink, but they don’t look revolted if you ask for sugar.  We very much appreciate this.  Instead of saying iced lattes are for idiots, they crafted their own with house made almond macadamia milk.  The New York Times just called it the best iced latte in America.  The best part is that they shake it up like a cocktail so everything is perfectly blended and its extra cold.  YES.  Regular coffee is served in super cute ceramic cups that we seriously want to steal.  Also on the menu a shake that involves espresso shots blended with McConnell’s Sweet Cream ice cream.  We’ve only had this once because a massive midday milkshake is sort of a special occasion beverage, but it is our dream come true and extra magical on a hot downtown afternoon.

G&B Coffee @ Grand Central Market
342 S. Hill Street #C19
Los Angeles, CA 90013

*Also check out their sister shop on Larchmont – Go Get Em Tiger.

Louie Loves: Chet Faker

 

This is our favorite album of the summer.  It’s not club anthem summer jams, or late night dance party summer jams, but it is definitely lazy day by the pool, late night chats, it is too hot to move kind of summer jams.  If you are not familiar, Chet Faker (actual real life name Nick Murphy) is Australian and bearded and you probably first heard about him when he covered No Diggity a few years back.  This was obviously amazing.  Built On Glass is his first full-length album and it does not disappoint.  His sound is part R&B slow jam, part sad scratchy soul, and part electro synthy something.  We’ll take it.  It hard to pick a favorite, and this is definitely a start to finish sort of album, but if we had to give you a palace to star we ‘d say Talk Is Cheap and 1998.  There’s a rad KCRW session which you can listen to here.

Chet Faker on Spotify and iTunes and Amazon.

Like it? Louie it!

We’re so happy to have our mint leather back in the rotation.  It always looks so fresh.  Even in this look which is a bit on the wintery side.  The colors are perfect for hot summer days though.  We’ll take a cue from this look and pair this Louie with our darkest denim, topping it off with a crisp white shirt for a pulled together summer option.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch mint lagoon mango

Louie Loves LA:  Oscar’s Cerveteca

Oscar’s is our go to for a quick catch up dinner on the west side, and it is even better in the summer months.  Because, well, tacos.  And beer.  You usually have to wait a minute before you get a table but we never mind the extra time to gossip, an ice-cold Bohemia helps too.  Grab a seat outside for serious conversations, or inside at the long marble bar for people watching.  Start with the Chicano Cheese Pots because every meal should start with warm melted cheese and chips right?  Right.  For dinner we love the peel and eat shrimp (quite messy though even if you have them peel them for you) or the salmon tacos.  All the tacos are tasty but salmon tacos aren’t on many menus so we always take advantage – Oscar’s come with a crisp cabbage slaw and green salsa.  Yum.  The enchiladas aren’t bad either, and while the menu obviously leans toward Mexican they have burgers too and many big salads – part of what makes this place such a crowd pleasing option.  They’re open for lunch too and have brunch on the weekends including chilaquiles – an all time fave of ours and a serious breakfast sandwich.  Day or night, Oscar’s is a great casual neighborhood spot.  Even if it is not in your neighborhood.

Oscar’s Cerveteca
523 Rose Ave
Venice, CA 90291

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Obvious Child

This movie is charming and adorable in ways that a story about a girl having an abortion after drunkenly hooking up with a stranger probably shouldn’t be.  Jenny Slate is delightful and we want her to be in 1000 more things.   And Jake Lacy could not possibly be more likeable as Max.  It is hilarious from start to finish.   As in basically all romantic comedies, you have to buy into Slate’s character Donna as a loveable disaster.  But unlike in the standard rom com fare, she’s not a sassy high-powered lawyer who just can’t seem to nail down a man.  Donna is really sort of tragic.  She’s just been dumped and the sad used bookstore she works at is closing so she is soon to be unemployed.  But’s she still cute and her stand up is really funny and though she wears some questionable sweaters, you just really want everything to work out for her.  This hopefulness is what makes it like all the romantic comedies you love (or love to hate), but this is a very modern take.  While we hope no one is thinking they may fall in love with the escort they hired to pretend to be their boyfriend at a wedding, it seems reasonable to hope that the thing we may have messed up before it even really started, might work out after all.  Right?

(If nothing else, you’ll remember that the Paul Simon song is rad.)

Here’s the trailer:

Like it? Louie it!

Have we mentioned that this black and white leather is called ‘Spring Break?’ Obviously that just makes us love it even more.  We love the pairing of easy washed chambray with the bold print here.  We’ll carry the matching Louie with lightwash jeans and a fresh white tee for a casual summery take on the combo.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch spring break lagoon french blue

Louie Loves LA: The World of Vintage T-Shirts

People love to hate this place, but those people are dumb.  It’s an oasis filled with wonderful vintage tees, all neatly hung up and arranged by size for easy browsing. People who say ‘you could get these at your local Goodwill’ have clearly not been to their local Goodwill in the recent past.  No doubt your local Goodwill has already been ransacked because vintage tees are now a serious business.  The racks there likely hold only thick, stiff XXL Oracle shirts dumped after a corporate event.  Even if you devote serious time to browsing, you won’t come up with much.  The folks here have already done the sifting for you so you are left with a nice selection of tees.  There is enough to comb though to still make it feel like a hunt but it is not overwhelming.  And the racks aren’t over packed so it’s easy to quickly flip through everything in your carefully sorted size section.  Prices are generally in the $15 to $40 range which really doesn’t seem that bad to us.  And it is still much better than buying a fake vintage one across the street at Urban Outfitters right?  They have occasional sales and will usually give you a discount if you seem to be wavering.  We usually just go for the thinnest ones we can find in a color we like.  The staff knows exactly what they have in stock and where everything is if you are looking for something specific.  There is a special section for sports tees so you can scout out your team easily.  And a premium section with sought after classics including killer band tees and forever cool brands like Coke.  These ones do get a little pricey but a perfect 80s Ocean Pacific muscle tee maybe worth it…

The World of Vintage Tee Shirts
7701 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Summer Wedding Style – Black Tie Wedding

We love a black tie wedding because we’re always looking for a reason to buy a killer dress.  A simple silhouette in a bold color makes a strong statement.  Keep the rest of the look clean with just one major accessory, and stick to sleek and basic black for the rest to keep the focus on the dress.

Click to shop: Louie // Dress // Heels // Necklace // Polish

essex la summer wedding style black tie wedding

 

 

 

Summer Wedding Style – Warehouse Wedding

One of your friend’s will definitely get married in a warehouse in some sketchy part of town.  And it will be awesome.  And you will wonder why you don’t get married in a random dirty industrial space.  This is the perfect occasion to go a little edgy and bust out a jumpsuit.  Keep it chic with a structured fit and some fun but fancy accessories.

Click here to shop:  Louie // Jumpsuit // Bracelet // Heels // Polish

essex la summer wedding style - warehouse wedding

Summer Wedding Style – Country Club Wedding

We sort of view country club weddings a theme party.  They are the perfect excuse to break out your preppy best.  To avoid looking like the mother of the bride keep things modern with a dress that shows a little skin.  Pearl earrings are of course the ultimate accessory, go for a fresh updated version of the classic.

Click to shop: Louie // dress // heels // earrings // polish

essex la summer wedding style - country club wedding

 

Summer Wedding Style – Wine Country Wedding

Wine country weddings usually have a sophisticated but rustic vibe.  You want to look sharp but with all that nature around you don’t want your outfit to look too contrived.  The soft shape of this punchy coral dress keeps thing looking relaxed and is the perfect canvas for some killer accessories.

Click to shop:  Louie // Necklace // Dress // Heels // Polish

essex la summer wedding style wine country

Summer Wedding Style – City Wedding

A city wedding is always fun, especially when its happening in your own city and is just an Uber ride away.  It’s always good to choose an extra special dress so you don’t feel like you’re headed out for just another night on the town.  Sleek accessories are the way to go to keep the whole look polished.

Click to shop:  Louie // Dress // Heels // Earrings // Polish

Essex LA Summer Wedding Style - City Wedding

Summer Wedding Style

It’s summer.  It’s the weekend.  You are probably going to a wedding.  It’s probably the first of six you’ll be attending in the next eight weeks.  We’re here to help – style wise – with our picks for all your summer wedding locations.  Head to toe looks, paired with the perfect Louie of course.  First up, the beach wedding.

The trouble with a beach wedding is that you need to look appropriately breeze and laidback without looking like you just threw on your pool cover up and wandered over.  The pastel pink and black combo here is absolutely perfect with our Jacaranda purple Louie.  Hopefully your look will end up matching the sunset hues.

Click to shop:  Louie // Earrings // Dress // Sandals // Polish

essex la summer wedding style - beach wedding

Louie Loves: Mouth

It’s very possible that all future gifts we give will come from Mouth.  We hope you are hungry.  This site is so great.  Full of tasty treats from small batch independent food makers, cleverly packaged into perfect gift sets and monthly subscriptions Mouth has an endless amount of snacks we want to give and receive.  Chocolate, cheese, cookies, pickles, beef jerky.  Whatever your snacking vice, Mouth has an amazing collection of cool and generally beautifully packaged options for your enjoyment.  They just upped their game with a new wine + spirits section too, making this an even better option to thank all those friends who host you for summer weekends.  Monthly subscription options (which you can do for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months) include pickles (yay!), chocolate, cookies (at least 30 cookies a month – one for every day), jerky, coffee, and a curated cocktail hour set.  The gift sets are all so smart.  Our fave picks for the recent grad include the Grilled Cheese please with comes with cheese (obvs) and selected condiments to ensure its amazing – bacon jam, picked onions etc and the Road Trip kit with a mix of travel ready, mess free goodies.   For Father’s Day the Grill Scout has all the essentials for a fancied up barbeque – coffee rubs, chimichurri, and bacons infused mayonnaise among other others.  Of course you can buy one off items too.  There’s almost too many tempting things.  It’s really difficult to decide.   Peanut butter and jelly tasting?  Yes, please!  Luckily the site is pretty too so browsing is quite fun.  We love that you can also shop by region too.  Perfect if you want to send a taste of home to some one far away.

Browse the site here.

The Summer Set

Have you checked out our new summer colors yet?  New limited editions too!

Essex LA Summer Colors - The summer set

Like it? Louie it!

Oh how we love this look.  We really wish we had a reason to buy a shiny metallic suit.  Don’t you?  With the worn in Stars Wars tee, it’s just perfect.  While we wait to stumble upon the perfect silver suit so we can recreate this ensemble, we’ll be toting the matching Louie everywhere.  Silver goes with everything – duh – and the bright blue zipper keeps it looking extra fresh and summery.  Also tops with white jeans.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch silver lagoon french blue

Louie Loves LA: Zinque

We don’t make it to the Abbott Kinney Zinque that often so when we heard one was coming to our side of town we were only mildly excited – until we saw some photos of the gorgeous indoor/outdoor space, then we couldn’t wait for the opening.  This place is so lovely.  We’d like to copy pretty much everything for our backyard oasis.  Until that happens, we’ll continue to come here at all hours of the day.  They open at 6:30 so you can stop in for a croissant or mini egg white frittata and coffee.  At lunch there are salads, sandwiches, and open-faced tartines (our favorite).  In the evening this is the perfect spot for a glass of wine and some snacks.  The menu is much the same for dinner with flatbreads added a tasty bites like pan con tomate and French country pate added to the mix.  They serve La Colombe coffee, Mariage Frères tea and Poilane bread straight from Paris so you know you are in good hands.  It really doesn’t matter when you come, you won’t want to leave.  The breezy patio is perfect day or night with a cozy fireplace, charming furniture and jasmine vines snaking up the wall.  They seem to be honoring their Euro vibe as they don’t mind if you linger for an hour or two, very helpful if you want to get some work done or just catch up with friends with out the pressure of a host looming over you.

Zinque
8684 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(And in Venice.)

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Memorial Day Playlist

Memorial Day weekend always deserves a playlist.  We usually make a giant one pre-weekend and add to it all summer.  This year’s features new stuff from the likes of Little Dragon, Chromeo, Mr. Little Jeans, Dan Croll, St. Vincent, Twin Shadow, and Sylvan Esso.  Also mixed in – large amounts of HAIM, Disclosure, CHVRCHES, and AlunaGeorge.  Not over any of those.  As always there are all time favorites from Sam Cooke, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie.  And a Little 2 Pac.  We’re in LA after all.  It’s 10+ hours so it should get you through a good chunk of your barbequing, lounging, beaching – whatever you have planned for the weekend. Check it out on Spotify and lets us know what we’re missing.   What’s your all time favorite summer jam?  What’s going to be this year’s song of the summer?  So far Chromeo’s ‘Jealous’ has our vote.

On Spotify right here.

Like it? Louie it!

We’re so into this photo.  We want to be wearing this brightly colored ensemble on some sort of lovely European vacation right now.  And we definitely want those shoes.  The purple and rich yellow shades compliment each other so well.  The resulting Louie is summer perfection.  Pair with a barely there black silk tank, white jeans and a healthy vacation glow.

Click here to shop.

louieit108

Louie Loves LA: Wexler’s Deli

We’ve become big fans of Grand Central Market so we were anxiously awaiting this new arrival.  We just checked it out and holy amazing!  This place is delicious!  Seriously, we are going to be here all the time.  Wexler’s serves classic Jewish deli fare, but everything is made from scratch.  They smoke their meat and fish everyday and make their own pickles (obvs).  Nothing is sliced until you order it and everything is perfection.  We haven’t been by for breakfast yet but like everything else, the bagels are made fresh daily and you can watch the boys behind the counter carefully spreading your cream cheese and strategically placing each piece of lox before it comes your way.  It’s pretty charming really.  Chef Micah is there smiling and chatting in between orders and everyone seems to be having a great time.  You can tell he has always wanted to do this and that he knows he’s doing it really well.  So far our lunch fave is the Macarthur Park – pastrami, coleslaw, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on rye.  The proportions are just right and it is not so huge that it falls apart.  Along with pastrami and corned beef standards they have egg salad and tuna options that we can’t wait to try out.  And there are black & white cookies of course.  The place looks pretty cool too.  Very clean in the middle of the market with white subway tiles, black stools and a butcher block counter.

Wexler’s Deli
317 S Broadway #5
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Click here for the menu.

Louie Loves: Rules of Civility

This book was on our top ten summer reading favorites, but it deserves it own Louie Loves.  Rules of Civility came out in 2011, but we still talk to friends who haven’t read it.  When they reveal this we just stare at them blankly until they say “… so I’ll just put that on my Kindle right now.”  This book is magical and we want to re-read it every summer.  It’s New York in 1938.  There’s jazz and martinis, new friends, chance encounters, parties, and an accident.  It’s glamorous and sad and so well written you’ll be turning down corners so you can reference later.  Everyone we know that has read this book absolutely loved it.  We’d say it is suitable for gents too.  Maybe not their normal genre, but if you are on vacation with your dude and he’s left with nothing to read after finishing up Flash Boys, pass this along.  Of course, Rules of Civility is going to be a movie and playing casting director for this one is impossible to resist.  Though by the time the movie comes out, our picks will probably be too old to play bright young thing Katie, Eve and Tinker.  If our rambling praise hasn’t sold you, just look at the cover.  How could you not want to read this book?!  Also – we stumbled on a ‘Rules of Civility’ drink recipe, included above, because this book will definitely make you want a proper cocktail.

Get it here.

Like it? Louie It!

Hooray!  Our summer colors are up!  And what better shot to use for our first summer Louie It?  This combo (backstage at Michel Kors) is so cool and breezy we’ve almost forgotten that it’s 100 degrees outside today.  We want to pack up this Louie right now, throw on an all white look and head out for an icy tequila drink.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch lemon emerald french blue

 

Louie Loves LA: LA Brea Bakery

If you are like us, you most frequent interaction with La Brea Bakery is a pre-packaged turkey and avocado sandwich from the hut in the Virgin America terminal at LAX.  And this is tragic really, because this dilutes the magic of the real café on La Brea.  Especially since the La Brea space (which moved just down the block in January) is all new and super pretty and celebrating it’s 25th anniversary.  The space is light and bright and filled with marble, brick and other good things.   We like to sit at the long bar so we can watch what is coming in an out of the wood-burning oven.  This lovely atmosphere, along with a crowd-pleasing menu makes this the perfect lunch spot.  You can get everything from a grilled cheese or a burger to roasted beet and baby kale salads to wood fired pizzas, to a perfectly cooked piece of salmon.  (The breakfast isn’t bad either.)  While everything is pretty tasty we usually tend to opt for something lighter so we can hit up the pastry counter afterwards.  Usually for one of the perfect brownies.  If you are too full you should at least grab some muffins or scones for the morning (or some bread obvs).  You won’t be disappointed.  Anyway, there is clearly a reason this place is still around 25 years later.  They know what’s up.

La Brea Bakery Café
468 S. La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Gywneth Paltrow’s Minced Chicken Lettuce Cups

Even if you hate GP, you cannot deny that she, with the help of her chef friends, she has come up with some seriously tasty recipes.  Out latest obsession is the minced chicken lettuce wraps from the It’s All Good book.  Gwyneth says she has modeled these after Mr. Chow’s which are in fact delicious, but of course, every Chinese take out place has these right?  So you know what the end goal is here.  We really cannot get over how good these are.   We’d been lazy about trying the recipes from It’s All Good because half of them seemed to require the purchase of some silly ingredient, found at Whole Foods for $20+ (xanthan gum will never be on our shopping list).  But after our BFF assured us that the book was full of delicious things, we tried out what she proclaimed to her be fave dish.  Oh my god.  Seriously we kept tasting these and thinking did we really make these?  They are amazing!  We went to cooking school and are often quite pleased with ourselves so this is saying a lot.  We’d say the secrets to the magical chicken mixture are the large amounts of ginger and the small chopping of everything.  Don’t be lazy.  Chop up everything as small as you can so it mixes up nicely.  The green onions, cilantro and sriracha add the perfect fresh kick.  They are just as good, if not better leftover the next day.

Mr. Chow-Style Minced Chicken with Lettuce Leaves (AKA Lettuce Wraps)
Neutral Oil (canola, grapeseed, or safflower)
1 lb. ground chicken
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 yellow onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tbsp ginger, finely minced
2 small carrots, finely diced
1/2 cup lotus root (optional, I didn’t include)
1 recipe Lee’s Hoisin Sauce (recipe to follow)
1 head bibb lettuce or iceberg (Romaine works too)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Cilantro, minced

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken along with a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Cook stirring occasionally to break up the chicken. Cook until the liquid has released and then evaporated, about 10-15 minutes.

In another pan, heat some oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook and stir until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and lotus root along with pinch of salt, and cook until the carrot softens, about 10 minutes. Combine with the chicken. Add 1/2 cup Lee’s Hoisin and 1/2 cup water. Stir and cook for 1-2 more minutes.  Place spoonfuls in lettuce wraps. Thin remaining Lee’s Hoisin sauce with water and drizzle over the wraps. Top with cilantro and scallions and sriracha if you like.

Lee’s Hoisin sauce
(Don’t tell Gywneth, but I used store bought.  Organic though, I promise.)
1 tbsp neutral oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 cup red miso paste
1/2 cup good quality maple syrup
2 tbsp brown rice vinegar

Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and five-spice powder and cook for about 30 seconds. Whisk in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly for 3-4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Let cool before using. Keeps in refrigerator for several days.

 

Like it? Louie it!

We love this shot (and old one from Jak & Jil).  And since sneakers are all the rage these days this shot reminds us that sometimes the boys get it right – emphasize the sportiness of the look by mixing in bright shades.  The matching Louie is so good.  The navy + french blue pairing is one of our faves.  This will be perfect with jeans and easy summer basics.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch navy orange french blue

Louie Loves LA: Cafe Gratitude

Alright.  It took us awhile to come around to calling ourselves ‘fans’ of Café Gratitude.  We’ve always liked it but we had to make several visits before we could hear the question of the day with out rolling our eyes.  The secret is to embrace is nonsense and proudly order your food as they like you to, by declaring “I am dazzling, I am fortified,” or whatever.  Because the thing is, whether or not you are really feeling grateful that day, the food is really pretty damn tasty.  Everything is filled with fresh vegetables, hearty grains and super healthy extras.  It seems impossible to order something that is not good for you.  It’s the perfect place to go when you are too lazy to cook but still want something you can feel good about.  We often go for the Fortified which is just a big bowl of veggies and quinoa topped with one of their magic sauces – the hemp seed pesto is our fave.  We also love the Humble and the Pure salad.  And the veggie burger is top notch.  Our most favorite thing on the menu is the Cool ‘smoothie’ which is in fact a mint chip milkshake.  It’s made with cashew ice cream and has Vitamineral Green in it.  If you are not familiar Vitamineral Green is a scary looking superfood powder that supermodels are known to favor.  So it’s a milkshake for supermodels, or the supermodel of milkshakes.  Either way, we’re in.  It’s so good and we have no problem saying we’re cool.  We do that all the time.

Café Gratitude

Larchmont
639 N. Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Venice
512 Rose Ave
Venice, CA 90291

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Beer Margaritas

Or Beergaritas if you are the type who likes to combine words to make not very clever names.  Cinco de Mayo is coming up and these modified margaritas are the perfect beverages to whip up on Monday and all summer long.  Margaritas are probably our most favorite drink ever.  We make them all the time for parties and sometimes squeeze hundreds of limes for fresh juice, infuse tequila with habaneros for a special kick etc. But sometimes we just want something super quick and refreshing.  And who doesn’t love a 3-ingredient recipe that requires absolutely no preparation.   You really just need a pitcher or bowl, large vessel of any kind and maybe a spoon to stir.  This also makes these a great thing to mix up weekend trips when you have rented a house and upon arrival find that the kitchen is stocked with just one dull knife.  No problem, you can still make these.  To fancy them up a bit just garnish with some lime slices and salt the rim.  They really don’t need much more than that.  Be sure to use a nice light refreshing beer.  And by that I mean a cheap one that comes in a can.  The colder the better of course.  Tecate is perfect.  Corona, Sol – whatever.  They also work well with PBR.  So here is the super complicated ‘recipe.’  This makes a pitcher.  Just multiply everything for a huge punch bowl full if you have a crowd.

Ingredients:
1 can frozen limeade
tequila
beer

Instructions:
Empty limeade into pitcher.
Fill empty limeade can with tequila, pour into pitcher.
Pour three beers into pitcher.
Stir.  Add ice.  Enjoy.

If we had our choice we’d use ice-cold Tecate, Minute Maid Frozen Limeade and Espolón Blanco tequila.

Like it? Louie it!

We love this look from The Classy Cubicle.  Seriously, who thought a brown corduroy skirt could look this good?  We like that her take on chocolate brown, when paired with pink and a pop of turquoise looks classic rather than just preppy.  The tortoise shell sunnies are the perfect finishing touch.  We want to pair this Louie with a summery floral dress and strappy tan sandals.  Garden party perfect.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch chocolate brown hot pink french blue

Louie Loves LA: Malibu Yogurt & Ice Cream

It feels like summer in LA this week and we are really excited because this will give us a chance to sneak in a trip to Malibu Yogurt & Ice Cream.  This place is the best.  It is hard to explain why as it is just like any frozen yogurt place you would have gone to as a child during the first heyday of fro-yo.  But now, it feels like a novelty to order at a counter and be handed a pre-appointed size of your chilly treat.  They do also have really really good flavors.  And we have to point out are geniuses at pairing the swirl flavors.  Banana Cream Pie and Malibu Chocolate – yes please!  Oreo and mint?  Of course!  They have delicious versions of all the classic ice cream flavors too.  It’s always packed and filled with families and kids running everywhere.  You can enjoy your yogurt outside while you try to spot Pamela Anderson or some other famous local resident buying something embarrassing at the CVS next door.

Malibu Yogurt and Ice Cream
23755 Malibu Road
Malibu, CA 90265

Click here for this week’s flavors.

Louie Loves: Veep

So we’ve recently become obsessed with Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  Or rather, we’ve decided we really really want to be friends with her.  She is just so so funny.  We’ve always loved Elaine, but Selina Myer is maybe Julia’s best role yet.  The rest of the Veep’s cast is equally stellar.  It a round up of low-key comedy all stars (Tony Hale, Matt Walsh, Reid Scott), and of course Anna Chlumsky who everyone will always love form My Girl.  Every character is painfully hilarious.  Nothing goes right for the VP and her band of very dedicated idiots.  Every screw up gives Selina a chance to fire off a round of vicious insults.  Julia’s delivery of these tirades is what makes Veep one of the best shows on TV.  Very important to point out – no interest in politics is necessary to enjoy this show.  In fact it is probably the opposite.  If you have always dreamed of making a difference through public office you’ll probably find this portrayal of DC’s inner workings as a daily disaster upsetting and offensive.  But probably still really funny.  Season three has just started and Selina is gearing up to announce her candidacy for President in the next election.  The campaign trail should give her plenty of opportunities to interact with real Americans, who she seems to hate almost as much as her staff members.

Catch up on seasons 1 & 2 with iTunes, Netflix, HBOGO and see the current season Sundays on HBO.

Like it? Louie it!

Who’s ready for a vacation?  This look (Kate Spade from a few years back) has us dreaming of a stroll through Amalfi.  Gelato, rosé, maybe a scooter ride – we’re packing our bags.  The punchy color combo is perfect for any vacation.  We’ll be tucking this one into our suitcase to pair with cropped skinny jeans, tan sandals and a crisp white shirt.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch red periwinkle black

Louie Loves LA: Guisado’s

Any establishment that has a designated person responsible for making tortillas all day WINS in our book.  While in line at Guisados you can watch this process happening as your dream of the perfect tacos that await you inside.  It doesn’t matter if you aren’t hungry when you arrive, by the time you place your order you will be starving because everything smells so delicious.  Everything is stewed and simmered and we are pretty sure we could never guess the ingredients.  If you never been before, we highly recommend the taco sampler which lets you try 6 of their 14 taco offerings.  In mini size, these little tacos are about 3 perfect bites each.  If you go this route they give you the first 6 on the menu, but you can sub in others if something else has caught your eye.  It’s really very difficult to pick a favorite but if pressed we’d go with the Mole Poblano and the Cochinita Pibil.  There’s a nice little patio out back for you to enjoy your tacos and of course you’ll need a drink to wash everything down.  They have horchata, aqua frescas and our favorite the Armando Palmero which mixes their fresh lemon limeade with hibiscus iced tea.  It’s delicious.  They’re opening up a downtown location soon which will have booze and be open late.

Guisados
1261 W. Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

(Also in Boyle Heights)

Click here for the menu.

Louie Loves: Dave’s Killer Bread

This is a weird little obsession we’ve developed but we discovered Dave’s Killer Bread about a year ago and now we can’t eat anything else.  It is definitely the best bread you can buy in a grocery store.  No question.  There are tons of varieties, but they are all organic and covered in nuts and seeds and other good things and they look more like you picked them up at your local farmer’s market than on the shelves of Safeway.  But that is the genius part.  There is no reason delicious, wholesome bread can’t be a scalable product right?  Dave also used to be a pretty bad guy apparently (though not actually a killer), but reformed himself post prison and he now hires lots of other ex cons so you can feel good about the fact that your are keeping would be drug dealers off the streets, keeping them busy carefully rolling your tasty bread in a combination of 21 different grains and seeds.  Yum!  All this talk of seeds is probably making this bread sound like it tastes like bird food, but it is in fact really really delicious.  Our favorites – the 21 Grain, Good Seed and Powerseed are all are rich and hearty but with a nice fluffy texture.  They smells amazing when toasted and make a perfect base for any sandwich your heart desires.  We love the 21 grain topped with avocado and a little lemon pepper and the Powerseed with almond butter and sliced strawberries.  It’s sold all over the West Coast or you can order online.

Click here to learn about the breads and here to find a store.

Like it? Louie it!

We’re giving our graybreak leather a rest for the summer months but it is one of our all time favorites so we wanted to send it off with one last Louie It.  We love these accordion pleats and this Louie would be the perfect way to edge up this super pretty look.  When not attending gown worthy events, will pair this Louie with white jeans a a tee for a spin on the black and white trend.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch graybreak coal black

Louie Loves LA: Bestia

For some reason LA doesn’t seem to have too many truly impossible to get into restaurants, ones where you are thrilled to book a 10:30pm reservation a month out.  Bestia however has held this distinction from day one and is still going strong over a year later.  We just recently went for the first time, but are already making repeats visits.  We’re hooked.  As with any place that is ‘all the rage’ people love to come up with reasons to hate it.  We are not these kind of people so we were instant fans.  There’s a lot to like at Bestia.  The location on the outskirts of the Arts District is a bit sketchy after dark but that makes it feel like a bit of an adventure.  The inside has a bit of an industrial feel and is of course, always packed.  Start at the bar.  The drinks here are awesome.  They make a mean martini and were able to sway us from our preferred dirty over to a classic with a twist in just one drink.  We sampled some sort of grapefruit drink on our last trip that was perhaps the most refreshing cocktail we’ve ever tasted.  As for the food, we’ve yet to try a dish we didn’t like.  The menu is big so we recommend sharing so you can taste a little of everything.  Our favorites include – the chicken liver toast, the grilled octopus and calamari salad, pretty much all of the pastas, and the pork chop – oh my god, the pork chop.  It’s huge and delicious and comes on top of the creamiest polenta with an amazing nectarine situation on top.  Get the pork chop.  Overall the place is busy and loud in a good way and the service is good not but not too forced.  Everyone just seems to be having a good time.

Bestia
2121 7th Place
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Le Pain Quotidien Hot Cross Buns

We grew up going to Catholic School so we’ve long been fans of these Lenten treats.  We’re not sure of the exact history, but the cross on top is supposed to, you know, symbolize the cross.  The buns cooked up by our hometown bakery – The Pink Pastry – we’re perfectly light and fluffy and covered with a sticky sweet glaze.  We loved them.  But sadly, this magical bakery closed and all other versions fell short of our childhood original.  To be fair, Hot Cross Buns shouldn’t really taste good.  They are usually a fairly plain roll studded with candied fruit and topped off with a very minimal amount of sweet frosting.  We were thrilled when we saw them at Le Pain Quotidien – maker of all things delicious, including chocolate chip cookies the size of your face – these just had to be good.  And they are!  A grown up version of the faves from our youth, these ones swap the grossly bright bits of candied fruit for a mix of raisins, sultanas and black currants.  They have a hint of spice and are perfectly sized to be paired with a latte of cup of tea in the morning.

Click here to find a LPQ near you.

Like it? Louie it!

How cute are these fashiony pink friends?  We love their casually complimentary outfits.  And we love the pink and black combo, especially with a mix of pinks.  It makes the pairing a little less stark.  With just a pop of pink, the resulting Louie is a perfect basic with a little kick.  We’d pair this with a pale pink sweater just like on the left here.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch black hot pink bright pink street style fashion week

Louie Loves LA: Trails Café

With LA’s lovely spring weather we’ve been in the mood for some new hikes, and we keep finding ourselves in the Griffith Park area.  We’re always convinced we are going to get lost in Griffith Park but we’ve been braving it so we have an excuse for regular visits to Trails Café.  This place is the cutest and always has us wondering what exactly you need to do to be allowed to open up a restaurant in Griffith Park.  Restaurant may be rounding up a bit.  Trails Café is more of a snack shack, but instead of the standard packaged fare they are selling insanely delicious organic treats – pies, quiches, scones and a few perfect sandwiches.  Including the much-loved Avocado Sandwich which is so simple but everything in it is JUST RIGHT so we don’t even attempt to recreate it at home.  There’s also a Grilled Cheese and a Peanut Butter and Jelly made with homemade jam and a special nut butter blend.  The pies are pretty incredible too.  This is why you should hike first, so the pie seems justified.  (They always have a vegan option too.)  They brew Stumptown Coffee and the cold brew is the best around.  It pairs quite well with a Coconut Cardamom Flaxseed Scone as a pre or post hike energy boost.  There are always lots of kids, lots of aging hippie types, and lots of people looking ill equipped for any physical activity in tight jeans and Toms.  It’s great.

Trails Café
2333 Fern Dell Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90068

Louie Loves: Which Troop Beverly Hills Character Are You?

Most Buzzfeed quizzes are only appropriate for when you have reached a total boredom low point.  This one however is of the utmost importance, because of course, Troop Beverly Hills is one of the greatest films ever made.  And as this cinematic gem is celebrating its 25th anniversary right now and you probably have some Thin Mints in your house, there is no better time to evaluate your Wilderness Girl skills.  We are seriously more excited about this than the annual jamboree.  We got Lilly because of our minimal but chic style and our outstanding ability to keep secrets.  Torture us if you want but we’ll never talk.  Actually we’re pretty sure we got Lilly because we chose “I hate dancing.” over The Freddy.

Take the quiz right here.  And obvs lets us know who you get.   We’re friends with a lot of Chicas.

Just in case you don’t have the movie ready to watch at all times – pick up the DVD or buy it on iTunes.

And because we love you, it’s Cookie Time:

Like it? Louie it!

We spotted this pic in a round up of London fashion week street style and we just love how the mix of purple shades gives this otherwise all black look a fresh spring-y feel.  We’ll pair the matching Louie with all black for the same effect.  Right now with skinny jeans, a leather jacket and heels and on vacation with a little slip dress and metallic sandals.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch purplebreak periwinkle black

Louie Loves LA: Summerland

We love the farmers market, but sometimes we are busy (or lazy) so we also love having someone else select all the freshest, in season, organic, local produce and deliver it to our door, in a nice little box, with a card detailing where every item came from.  This is why we love Summerland.  They do just that plus they have a website full of recipes if you aren’t sure what magic to make with your box of goodness and a marketplace of more local treats you can add to your delivery.  Basically they run your errands for you so you get the best of LA with out having to get off the couch.  For your box you can choose all fruit, all veggies or a 75 veg/25 fruits mix with two size options for all of these.  Each week they post the make of up each box on their site.  You can choose your delivery day and make special requests – if there is one ingredient you just really really hate, you can ask them to leave it out.  Before you check out, be sure to look over the market to round out your delivery.  There is so much good stuff here – free range eggs, sourdough from Bread Lounge, coffee from Stumptown, jams from Sqirl and juices from Pressed.  Hooray!  They also have a few specially crafted boxes – one for juicing, one for soup and one for brunch full of all the essentials for a perfectly delicious lazy weekend.

Head to their site to order a box and learn more about how they work.

Louie It x 100

We just realized this week was our 100th Louie It which is pretty fun.  To celebrate this momentous occasion, we’ve put all 100 together right here for your visual pleasure.  Bookmark this and consult when you can’t decide what Louie to whip up next or if you just need some outfit inspiration.  We’r pretty sure there are no repeats.  If you spot one, feel free to call us out.

Like It Louie It - Essex LA custom leather clutch
Like It Louie It - Essex LA custom leather clutch
Like It Louie It - Essex LA custom leather clutch
Like It Louie It - Essex LA custom leather clutch

Louie Loves: Loeffler Randall Sandals

 

Spring is officially here and we very much hope you’ve got a vacation on the horizon.  If not, it is never too early to start planning the summer wardrobe.  Item number one on our warm weather closet refresh is always a new pair of sandals, and these days it is always a pair of Loeffler Randall sandals.  They’ve proven to be insanely comfortable pair after pair and now we can’t imagine looking anywhere else.  The secret to this wonderful all day comfort is the super thin rubber sole.  You cannot even see it really but it makes them much more suitable for all day wear – particularly key if you are sightseeing and not just lounging poolside somewhere.  They have a few signature styles they bring back every year in fresh color ways and are always mixing in new shapes.  The Sarie Strappy sandal is a perfect casual option for pairing with shorts at the beach but definitely a step up from your flip flops.  We’re eyeing the mirrored silver right now.  The Skye Gladiator is our favorite city sandal.  We have the leopard and wear them constantly but the black and white lizard is even more nighttime appropriate.  This year we’re tempted by the super sleek Winona Slide – a sophisticated version of sporty in an amazing mint shade, the Sawyer D’Orsay – we love the black and white and the raffia with the mini little pom poms, and the Starla for pairing with breezy dresses on hot summer nights – the nude + gold combo is perfect.  So you see, we want them all.

Browse all the styles here.

Like it? Louie it!

Spring is (almost) here!  But we know its still quite chilly in much of the country, so we’re using this gorgeous coat as our inspiration today.  The mix of rich burgundy and bright red is a perfect mix when you are antsy for warmer weather but still need to cover up.  We always love a classic trench for spring and for this Louie we’d keep the whole look classic with our favorite jeans, a white tee and some pointy pumps.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch burgundy red navy

Louie Loves LA: The Wallace

Ok. so this is another very new one for us, but also one we know will be back to very soon.  If for no other reason than it is in Culver City and not cheesy.  We by no means live on the east side of LA, but we have lots of friends in Santa Monica and Venice who act like traveling past La Cienega requires a passport.  So when looking to meet up we often find ourselves suggesting Culver City, and then we remember we only like very few places in Culver City.  Enter The Wallace.  With a menu full of delicious small plates and a killer cocktail list this place is perfect for dates, dinners, drinks for groups of any size.  The menu starts with a list of ‘jarred’ items that come with grilled bread.  Things like chicken liver mouse, braised white beans and bacon marmalade.  Yes please!  The rest of the menu is divided up into vegetables, sea and land.  You can really order as much or as little as you want.  Standouts include the cauliflower (we generally hate cauliflower but we were hogging the plate), shishito peppers, little gem lettuces and the fried chicken.  Get the fried chicken.  The desserts are pretty tasty too.  We’d recommend the ice cream + sorbets.  They pair each one with a little cookie treat.  Really quite cute.  The whole space is rather nice too.  Cement floors, long wood tables and a gallery wall.  Its stylish but not to contrived.  Bonus – they didn’t rush us out even when we were the only people left and half the staff was sipping beers at the bar.

The Wallace
3833 Main Street
Culver City, CA 90232

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Kérastase Masquintense

As we’ve already noted 2014 is the year of good hair.  We’ve got a fancy new blow dryer (Step 1) and we are totally ready to look fabulous all the time.  So what’s Step 2 in our crusade for beautiful shiny hair?  Kérastase’s Masquintense.  We’ve always used a super moisturizing conditioner and left it on for a few minutes so we thought there was no need to purchase an official ‘mask.’  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  We were gifted this Kérastase magic for Christmas (see, even family members were concerned about the sad state of our hair) and we are now completely on board.  Just leave it on in the shower for a few minutes – five to ten – once or twice a week and we promise you will notice a difference.  You can read some vague science-y claims about what the magic ingredients are doing on their site.  Our hair is shiny and glossy.  Our frizzy broken ends are smoothed and everything just looks a bit more polished, even when we let our hair dry naturally.  So basically this mask delivers on everything you could want for your hair.  It’s pricy, but you use just a little bit each time so it should last you for a couple months.  Kérastase makes two versions – one for thick and one for fine hair so you can add moisture and shine with out worry about weighing down your hair no matter what your natural texture.  Bonus – pick up this nifty brush to comb through your wet locks while you are conditioning and detangle.

Get it here.

Like it? Louie it!

The arrival of Daylight Saving Time always gives us a bit of spring fever and with perfect weather in LA this week we are totally ready to break out the bright colors.  We love how sharp the bold colors look in this shot.  The touch of yellow is just enough.  Right now we’d pair the matching Louie with our favorite little black dress and black sandals with a substantial heel.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch royal red mango

Louie Loves LA: Gracias Madre

Alright so we have only been here once, and this is not only a vegan restaurant but a vegan Mexican restaurant which seems just WRONG.  But we are already sure we will be back here on a regular basis.  To start the space is beautiful.  We want to move in.  From the diagonal wood floor to the black and white tiled bar and striped cushions – it is all so good.  It is very spacious to with a large but cozy outdoor patio making up half of the seating.  Don’t worry they have stacks of super cute Mexican blankets at the ready if you get chilly.  Even the menus are cute.  As for the food, we promise you wont miss the meat or cheese.  All of the dishes deliver on the essential Mexican flavors and there are no creepy faux meats.  After making Love and Lemons version of cashew crema (try this enchilada recipe if you want to whip up your own vegan Mexican goodness at home) we are totally on board with this vegan cheese alternative and at Gracias Madre they even have a nacho cheese version.  This is a miracle.  We secretly love the bright orange cheese sauce distributed at baseball games and amusement parks and since that can probably not officially be called cheese either – why not go with the vegan kind?  We are going to request that they start selling pints of this to go.  Tacos, tamales, sopes, flautas – they’ve got everything here filled with fresh veggies and topped delicious salsas.  Of course no Mexican meal is complete with out a margarita.  Luckily tequila is vegan.  Their classic version is delicious and not too sweet (and you can order it with a spicy kick) but there are some crazy town ingredients being thrown around here too – beet juice, cilantro syrup, lavender bitters, grapefruit infused agave – that we cannot wait to try.  SO even if you insist that proper tacos must be filled with carnitas,  you can swing through for drinks.   The sunny patio is just begging for happy hour.

Gracias Madre
8905 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Nutella Brownies

We’ve never been big Nutella people, but we will now be stocking it at all times because we want to be able to whip up these delicious brownies whenever we want.  They require only three ingredients and take and grand total of fifteen minutes to make – start to finish.  We were a little wary at first.  These sounded a bit too easy and a bit too reminiscent of the foul “Diet Coke Brownies” that 25-year-old girls make (don’t make those, ever).  Happily, we were wrong and these are delicious.  We spotted this recipe on A Cup of Jo where they are called four ingredient Nutella Fudge Nut Brownies.  The fourth ingredient  – being nuts of any kind – is clearly optional so all you need besides Nutella is one cup of flour and two eggs.  You should have these things, if not you can probably get them from somewhere in walking distance, or even ask a neighbor if you have neighbors that you speak to.  All you do is mix all these things together and throw them in the oven for 10 mins.  Because there are only three ingredients the texture is not quite as fudgy as regular brownies, but the taste is perfect and baking them in muffin cups is genius because it leaves each individual brownie with crisp edges and a gooey center.  Win!  If you have nuts, we definitely recommend using them because they make these look a little fancier – we used roasted almonds.  Recipe below.  Original recipe say to whisk everything but we would recommend just quickly whisking the eggs and then using a wooden spoon to do the rest of the mixing.  The batter is too thick for whisking and it gets stuck.

Three (or Four) Ingredient Nutella Brownies

1 cup Nutella
1 cup flour
2 eggs
(¼ cups chopped nuts)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

Whisk eggs, add Nutella and stir together with a wooden spoon.  Add in flour and stir until combined.  Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Bake 8-12 mins until the tops have just set.  A toothpick in the edge should come out clean, but in the middle it should still be wet and fudgy.  Let cool 5 mins in tin and then remove to cool completely.

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Naturally we want everything from the Dries Van Noten show.  Such good colors.  The punchy graphic floral prints don’t hurt either.  And of course we love that the looks come with a 3D version of the print pinned right on them too.  What fun!  The matching Louie brightens up navy but still looks refined.  We want to pair it with a classic white shirt and relaxed khaki pants.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch navy orange mango

Louie Loves LA: Nate n’ Al’s

You know we love a classic and it doesn’t get much more classic Beverly Hills than Nate n’ Al’s.  It’s been around since 1945.  You can tell this because the majority of the patrons are well into their retirement years.  The younger patrons almost always grew up going there with their grandparents.  All of this customer loyalty is a sure sign they are doing something right.  The waitresses are generally as old as the gray-haired patrons and call everyone honey and sweetheart.  It’s fantastic.  The menu is huge and full of classics that you can order anyway you want.  Hotdogs even get their own section – hooray!  (And they are served in pairs.  Legit.)  If you are feeling a bit lost, start with the sandwiches.  You will notice that pretty much every table will have at least one massive sandwich on it.  Piled so high they are almost impossible to eat, and served with a little cup of coleslaw or potato salad – this is lunch as it should be.  We like the salads too as they are always perfectly chopped and dressed, and also huge.  You should probably start with a cup of their perfect no nonsense Matzo Ball soup to round out the experience.  Of course you can get breakfast all day here – another feature we always love in a restaurant.  Nate n’ Al’s bonus features: #1 – they give you a plate of pickles the moment you sit down.  Pickles for everyone!  #2 – you can finish your meal with a black and white cookie to go.  The perfect little treat.

Nate n’ Al’s
414 N. Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Click here to scroll through the massive menu.

Louie Loves: Everyday Green Smoothie

We’ve always made the simplest smoothies possible – frozen berries, whey protein, milk/almond milk.  Zero prep, instant satisfaction and a perfect post workout breakfast.  Plus, we enjoy eating vegetables and we do so on a very regular basis so we never felt the need to drink them as well.  But these days green juices and smoothies are inescapable so we thought we might as well try an at home version.  We were looking for something with a nice blend of green things and fruit, something easy to whip up in less than 5 minutes and of course something that really, truly tasted good.  Obvs a smoothie shouldn’t really require a ‘recipe’ but we wanted some proportions to work with.  We started with this recipe and made a few slight modifications.  IT’S SO GOOD.  We’ve become addicted.  The original recipe claims to serve one but you end up with an almost full Vitamix, which is a ton so you’ll definitely have enough to share (or save for a mid morning snack).  We subbed fresh mango for the berries (this keeps the smoothie a nice fresh green color, frozen will work too) and added some whey protein because you know, pilates is tough.

Original recipe found on thegreenforks.com.

Here’s how we do it:
¾ cup water
½ cup chopped cucumber (a 2-3 inch piece)
1 cup peeled and chopped mango (half a mango)
½ – 1 frozen banana (cut into pieces before you freeze it)
1 apple chopped
2 big handfuls spinach (at least 2 tightly packed cups if you want to measure)
a little ice (½ to ¾ cups), if you use frozen fruit you can skip the ice
1 scoop whey protein

Blend everything together until it is nice and smooth.

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Doesn’t this room look so cozy?  (Spotted on Domaine of course, our fave site.)  The dark paneled walls could be a bit daunting but with the indigo rug and pops of bright orange everything looks rich without looking too serious.  The flashes of bright in the pillow, side tables and art add the perfect punch.  The resulting Louie strikes a similar balance.  We’d love to pair this one with a tailored camel coat over jeans and a t-shirt for a slightly dressed up weekend look.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch chocolate orange navy

Louie Loves LA: Nickey Kehoe

We want everything in this shop.  Really everything.  We’d like to move right in.  Nickey Kehoe has a perfect mix of vintage furniture and carefully crafted home goods.  The current set up in the front is our dream living room.  The store is not huge but it takes us awhile to browse here because this is the sort of place where we feel we must touch every item as though making contact with all these beautiful things will make our own home more stylish.  It’s doesn’t work, but its fun.  Mid-century lounge chairs, Alvar Aalto stools, Moroccan poufs – they have everything you want to put in your house right now.  The shelves are stocked with elevated essentials that will instantly upgrade your place.  Its hard to pick favorites put we’re really into the linen kitchen towels, walnut cutting boards, pewter candlesticks, adorable heart print pillows, and paper taxidermy.  There are even stylish playing cards and they carry our beloved Caran d’Ache pens too.  But really the first item we want to buy is the super stylish broom.  With a light wooden handle and black bristles it’s the chicest cleaning item we’ve ever seen.  Sweeping has always seemed like a fruitless task to us, but with this in hand, we’ll be getting up early to do our chores.

Nickey Kehoe
7221 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Click here to shop online.

Louie Loves: House of Cards

If you haven’t yet devoted an entire weekend of your life to Frank Underwood, we suggest your clear your calendar.  House of Cards is just so good.  We’ve yet to meet anyone who wasn’t instantly hooked.  Kevin Spacey’s Underwood is a master manipulator, making everyone in DC do exactly what they don’t want to.  It’s amazing.  And while he is far from the good guy it is still hard not too root for him.  Spacey’s occasional asides to the camera are perfect.  It’s pretty clear he is going to get what he wants so its real just a question of how long he can keep people from finding out how he got it.  Robin Wright is equally implacable as the senator’s wife, with a pretty serious wardrobe too.  If you have little faith in politics this is just the show for you.  Of course, since all of these wavering deceitful people are not actually in charge of our country these antics are quite amusing.  So far, its all still less ridiculous than Scandal so you know, totally realistic.

Watch here.

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We have had absolutely no winter in LA this year, but seeing as how it is now almost March it seems fair to look towards spring no matter where you live.  And when we do that we imagine ourselves wearing a breezy shirt dress just like this one.  The blue at the shoulders is just fantastic.  Until we track down a perfectly color blocked dress of our own, we’ll pair this Louie with a crisp white button down, jeans and sharp flats for an equally casual yet pulled together look.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch red french blue

Louie Loves LA: The Polo Lounge

The Beverly Hills Hotel is an LA icon and we’ve been in love with it since Troop Beverly Hills selected it as their overnight campsite (Neffler, Bungalow 4).  We’ve already recounted our love for the Fountain Room, but on occasion an above ground lunch is in order and on a warm sunny afternoon, the Polo Lounge is magic.  The number one rule of the Polo Lounge is that you can only come during the day and you must always sit outside.  Because it is lovely, and because it is easier to people watch behind sunglasses.  Even if you think you are too cool to care about celebrity sightings, you should take a quick glance around because you might see George Clooney, or T.I., or George Clooney high fiving T.I.  Or just some well dressed old dudes drinking martinis at 11 am.  The food, while stupidly expensive, in delicious.  We recommend the tortilla soup, the McCarthy salad (you’ll see at least one of these on every table), and the burger.  The West Hollywood salad is pretty delicious too as is the steak tartare – its presented perfectly and feels so fancy.  And we always order desert here because desert at lunch seems perfectly indulgent and when you just had a $33 salad, there is no reason not to follow it up with a piece of cake.  We sometimes ask them to bring up a piece of key lime pie from the Fountain Room and of course the waiter just nods ‘of course’ because the real joy of the Beverly Hills Hotel is that they will bring you absolutely anything you ask for and they make all requests seem perfectly reasonable.

The Polo Lounge
9641 Sunset Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Rag & Bone Newbury Bootie

This is the bootie people.  If you own one pair of boots, booties, closed toe shoes – this should be it.  We resisted buying these for years.  We were certain we could find a pair of black booties that were different and thus better then the ones everyone else had.  We even tried all the other Rag & Bone booties.  But then we realized that everyone has these ones for a reason.  They are perfect.  Let’s start with the heel.  The thick three inch wooden heel is the key to making these all purpose shoes.  They are substantial enough for jeans, in fact they are perfect with jeans.  But of course the real beauty of the Newbury booties is that they are also fantastic with dresses.  Sleek and simple and free of extraneous straps and buckles they are just tough enough to tone down fancy dresses, with out making you look like a rebellious teen.  Our favorite part of these may be that the zipper is on the back.  A very nice touch and we are pretty sure this makes them easier to get on and off in some strange way.  Also the insole is just plain leather but it feels just a tiny bit padded which means these are super comfortable to wear all day.  We promise.  They come in tons of colors now so while we very strongly recommend the black leather to kick things off the navy suede and gray canvas are strong contenders.

Browse the options here.

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We really love this one.  This is the most perfect Valentine’s outfit ever.  We’ll be copying this look come Friday, and in fact maybe all spring in varying colors.  The combo of easy t-shirt + flirty skirt + sexy sandals is spot on.  Cute and sexy but it still looks casual and day time appropriate.  The little cuff on the tee is a just right detail.  Of course for Friday the subtle pink and red color mix is key so will be sporting this Louie with our own tee, skirt and sandals look.  (Because it is going to be 80 in LA on Friday this is also weather appropriate.  You’ll have to modify for snow and bookmark this for the return of warm temps.)

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch - valentine's day style

Louie Loves LA: Jones

We can’t believe we haven’t written about Jones yet.  It’s the perfect neighborhood restaurant. For one, there are always people there but you can always get a table with in twenty minutes.  It has a proper bar that is also generally well populated and that serves up great cocktails so if you do have to wait a few minutes its really more of a treat than a hardship.  The lighting is dim which you know we always enjoy and which works equally well for dates and lazy Sunday dinners.  This in combination with old school red checkered table cloths and deep booths make it a rather cozy spot.  The menu is full of crowd pleasing Italian favorites but nothing is too heavy.  They bring you delicious warm, pizza crust like bread to start and it is difficult not to request multiple baskets.  The salads are perfect if you want a light dinner before a night out.  We like the Jones Chopped and the Roast Chicken (which also involves fried goat chees, bacon and avocado).   When we need something a little more comforting we go for the spaghetti and meatballs.  There are also simple entrees like New York steak and grilled salmon.  There is really something for everyone/your every mood here.  And with their serious cocktail menu, we love Jones for a pre night out dinner with friends.

Jones
7205 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: McConnell’s Ice Cream

Yes, we are writing about ice cream again (See also: here, here, here and here).  This is getting a bit embarrassing, but by now you should view really us an authority on the subject.  Naturally, whenever we see a new brand pop up at our local grocery store, we have to try it.  So we picked up a pint of McConnell’s Dutchman’s Chocolate and it took all of our strength not to eat the entire thing in one sitting.  Is this the best chocolate ice cream ever?  Yes, it probably is.  We were so hooked on the chocolate it took us a while to move on to other flavors, but then one day the store was out of chocolate so we went for the Churros Con Leche.  We were actually buying two pints because we were bringing one to a friend and we ran into someone in the checkout line and had to swear we hadn’t just been dumped.  But back to the churros.  Why has it taken so long for someone to put churros in ice cream?  Cinnamon laced creamy goodness.  This stuff is unbelievable.  So once we realized that the people who decided to put churros in ice cream must be straight up geniuses who could do no wrong, we started trying out all the flavors.  We’ve yet to find a bad one.  Double Peanut Butter Chocolate anyone?  We’re also always suckers for peppermint ice cream and theirs is perfectly minty with no gross sugary after taste.  McConnell’s has been made in Santa Barbara since 1949 and we’ll definitely be stopping by a shop on our next drive north.  If you don’t see it at your local store, you can order online.  In fact they have a delicious looking Valentine’s Day pack that would make a lovely gift – for us obviously.

Browse flavors and shop here.

 

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Sometimes winter dressing calls for no nonsense basics.  Since we live in always sunny Los Angeles, we panic when going anywhere under 65 degrees and end up with a suitcase full of boring black.  The look Danielle Bernstein is sporting here has us thinking we may not be on the wrong track, we just need  really great coat to brighten things up.  The all black exterior of this Louie makes it easy to mix in with with any winter look (with out distracting from that new coat) and the inside will remind you that brighter days will come again.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch black lagoon blue

Louie Loves LA: Lost & Found

Oh how we love this store.  It’s multiple little stores actually.  They are slowly taking over a block on Yucca and the set up just makes shopping even more fun.  Divided into men’s, women’s, kids, home, gallery and gifts.  Each little store front is curated to help expedite your shopping.  We basically do all of our holiday shopping in the home and gift sections and then find about 20 things we want for ourselves.  The kid’s section is so so fun too.   Lots of beautiful wooden toys and books plus fun little extras that are just as much of a treat for adults (like our fave robot).  In the home and gift sections you’ll find a perfect selection of all the hip and handmade goods you see all over Pinterest.  Current standouts include Fort Standard’s marble trivets and stylish bottle openers, Coral & Tusk’s tea towels and pillows (you already know we’re obsessed with this stuff) and the most beautiful sets of nesting bowls made from olive wood.  They have good coffee table books too which are always good to have around in case of a gifting emergency.  If you are shopping for your own home, check out the very French looking grain sack pillows, Missoni throws, and beach chairs that look straight out of To Catch A Thief.  The staff is very helpful and chatty and they do some killer gift-wrapping – really just making everything easy for you.  Be sure and check out the gallery too – there are some really charming little oil paintings of east coast beach scenes.

Lost and Found
6320 Yucca Street
Los Angeles, CA 90028

The website doesn’t have everything on it, but you can get an idea of what is in store here.

Louie Loves: Harry Josh Pro Tools 2000 Pro Dryer

We’ve decided 2014 is going to be the year of good hair.  Luckily Santa helped us out and delivered the Harry Josh Pro Tools dryer.  We’ve really never been so excited.  Because it comes with a very high price tag – the Harry Josh dryer is one of those things that had us simultaneously thinking ‘How could this possibly be that much better than a normal blow dryer?’ and “This is clearly the answer to all of our hair problems.”  Guess what kids?  It’s the later.  Seriously.  There are a few key features to point out but we are going to chalk the real genius of this dryer up to magic.  We cannot explain the science behind it; our hair just looks better.  Strangers commented on how beautiful and shiny our hair was (something we can guarantee never happened before) and friends asked if we had just had it done.  We were sold after one use.   Amazing results aside, lets review the user experience.  First, it is a lovely minty green shade and quite compact (though not lightweight).  It has a super long 9’ cord which is very helpful if like us you like to wander out of the bathroom to see what’s happening on TV mid drying session.  Maybe most importantly it is very powerful and claims to dry hair 60% faster.  We truly have no idea how they test these things, but we do think it took our drying time down a few minutes – win!  It is apparently also very efficient and reduces energy use by 70%.  You have two heat level and two power level options AND the option to turn the ionic function on or off.  If you are going for sleek hair, you want to use it of course but if you want added volume or texture you’ll want to switch it off – very nice to have the option.   The cold shot button is actually cold too – definitely a plus.  We want to hug Harry Josh and write him 1,000 thank you notes for creating this.

Get it here.

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Such good colors happening here.  We love this mix, and we’ve been lusting after this sweater since we first saw this shot.  A little navy is just the thing to temper the bold purple and orange.  The end result is both fun and sophisticated.  We want to pair this Louie with a slim sweater and a crazy print pencil skirt.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch purplebreak orange navy

Louie Loves LA: Tom Bergin’s

Despite our Irish heritage we are generally not fans of Irish Pubs.  Except Tom Bergin’s.  We have always loved Tom Bergin’s.  This may be due in small part to the fact that on our very first visit here Luke Perry was having dinner at the bar, but something has kept us coming back even with no further 90210 cast sightings.  As you know, we like old places, especially in LA where bars have an exceptionally short life expectancy, and Tom Bergin’s is a true classic.  There was a lot of closing and reopening going on last year, but Bergin’s is back again and we hope this time its for good.  With a slightly refreshed dinner menu, some fancied up cocktail options, and all of the original charm, we have high hopes.  Half the draw of this place is the mix of characters.  There are the borderline drunk gray-haired men who will happily tell you just how long they’ve been coming here, hipsters trying to impress their dates with something authentic, and neighborhood locals who don’t have anywhere else to walk to.  No matter who you end up sitting next to, you’ll probably find yourself chatting away in a few minutes.  Bergin’s is always welcoming.  It has a perfect cozy feel making it a great choice for lazy winter nights (whether or not its actually cold outside).  Needless to say, the current incarnation still has plenty of beers on tap and enough whiskey to drown any sorrows.  We’re oh so happy it’s back!

Tom Bergin’s
840 S. Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Click here for a full history lesson.

Louie Loves: Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug

Sometimes it’s the little things.  Like having your beverage stay at the optimal temperature all day long.  We really did not realize how happy this would make us until we were given the Zojirushi insulated mug.  Our parents got these in a gift bag at some party and would not stop talking about how amazing they were.  We politely nodded, wondering how they had never heard of insulated cups before.  But then we got one for Christmas – of course – and now we’re equally obsessed.  It really does keep things amazingly hot or cold for hours.  Since it has been 80 degrees this month in LA, we’ve been testing out the cold feature on a regular basis.  We can attest that even with no ice, if you put in mildly cold water, and then leave this mug in your car in the sun for several hours, your car will be unbearably hot, but the water will be the exact same cool temp.  Hooray!  Of course it works just as well for hot beverages.  We love our homemade lattes in the morning and are never pleased when were too rushed to enjoy them, but now we can take them with us!  So many problems the Zojirushi solves!  It’s also key, that this mug is super sleek – not like the giant branded versions offered at chain coffee shops.  The matte surface stays clean and smudge free.  It comes apart for easy cleaning and has a wide mouth so you can add ice cubes (and so you can see that it is really clean inside).  It’s slim enough to fit in any cup holder, and only 9 inches tall but somehow holds 16oz.  Finally it has a double lock feature, so you can throw in in a bag and not worry about it leaking all over.  Just get one.

Amazon has them of course – right here, we recommend black.

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We love this combo of classic red and blue with burgundy.  It feels fresh and wintery with out being drab.  This also may be because we’ve been wearing a red and blue plaid shirt from J.Crew nearly everyday this month and carrying our burgundy Louie nearly everyday this month.  Maybe.  We also like this messy hair.  Anyway, we love the resulting Louie and can’t wait to pair with a classic navy coat the next time we go somewhere even a little bit cold.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch burgundy lagoon red

Louie Loves LA: Pizzeria Mozza

Thought it seems like Mozza has been around for ver, its such an institution at this point, we very much remember it opening and instantly becoming the talk of LA.  They would only take reservations a month in advance so it was always a race to call each day.  And even when you were sure you had to be the first person to call, they would tell you they could take you at 5pm or 10:30.  While the initial fever has died down, the pizza is still pretty damn delicious.  Like with all pizza, you have to buy into the crust.  At Mozza, it’s flat in the middle, with big puffy edges filled with air bubbles and browned to a crisp.  We love it.  Some argue it doesn’t allow enough space for the toppings but we’ve really never felt this was much of a problem.  (Pro tip – if you feel you are left with too much crust, ask for a side of tomato sauce for dipping.)  They take they toppings rather seriously here too – with lots of house cured meats and cheeses in the offering.  We love the mushrooms we love the classic Prosciutto, rucola and mozzarella, we love the salami, we love the goat cheese with leeks and bacon.  They’re all good.  Get a bunch to share so you can sample as many as possible.  And of course add a salad for a little something fresh.  The classic Tricolore is perfect.  There are other tasty snacks too – roasted vegetables, and delicious bruschetta that would make a fantastic meal on their own.  We like to sit at the little pizza bar so we can watch the action, but of course they ALSO DELIVER.   Mozza 2 Go being one of the best things to happen to LA in the past decade, without question.   Who doesn’t want meatballs delivered to their door?  And you should definitely get the meatballs.

Pizzeria Mozza
641 N. Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Click here for menus and here to Mozza 2 Go.

Louie Loves: Jenni Kayne D’Orsay Flats

As evidenced by our Instagram feed, we’re been wearing these constantly.  And clearly we are not the only ones.  People are obsessed with these shoes, and with good reason.   They are a perfect modern everyday flat.  It really feels like Jenni Kayne created a new style with these.  They are ageless, timeless, and super versatile.  We’ve always wanted an equally easy alternative to ballet slippers, and these are definitely it.  Sometimes the ballet flat is just a little too sweet.  The clean lines and pointier toe on these give them a sharper look that edges up casual looks and works well with clean office basics.  The cut is quite flattering so they look great with skirts and dresses.  Our favorite pairing though, is with skinny ankle length pants – so fresh.  We started with the caramel color which is a great year round choice, but of course are already hoping to add to our collection.  Next on the list, a black style – eyeing the new perforated leather and the patent leather + snake (currently on sale).  We’re not going to lie, these take some breaking in to soften them up, but after a few wears, they’ll be come your everyday faves.

Choose from the over 50 color options here.

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We thought we’d just continue on with the rooms we want to live in and pink tables we wish we had in our house trend we kicked off in the last Louie It.  How good is this room?  Bright pink and rich yellow seem like the perfect compliment to serious gray.  It works just as well in a Louie – playful without being too flashy.

Click here to buy.

Essex LA custom leather clutch - graybreak mango bright pink

Louie Loves LA: The Original Pantry

The Original Pantry is the type of place that we would love even if we had a terrible meal there just because it has been around since 1924 and is open 24 hours.  Some people may not value these traits as much as we do, but please it’s been open for eight decades, how could it be bad?  It’s never closed in all those 80+ years.  The doors don’t have locks.  We recommend sitting at the counter so you can watch the guys working the giant flat top grill.  The efficiency is amazing.  We have truly never been served faster at a sit down restaurant.  We’ve only had breakfast here but if you are in the mood for pork chops the size of your head, it seems like the Pantry would be a good place to go.  The non breakfast items all come with a giant pile of cole slaw and thick slices of their sourdough bread which are amazing, especially when they toast them up on the grill.  The magical breakfast side is the potatoes, which are carefully tended to until the outer layer is perfectly browned and crispy.  Perfection.  The portions are huge and we usually eat an embarrassing amount.  Needless to say they refill your coffee every 10 seconds.  It’s all wonderful.  Cash only of course.

The Original Pantry
877 South Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: A Perfect Hot Toddy

 

An essential cold weather drink, a Hot Toddy is required for official holiday activities in our minds – tree trimming, present wrapping, sledding, awaiting Santa’s arrival, or just unwinding after a long day of shopping.  It’s also our preferred drink for healing winter colds.  The lemon helps soothe a sore throat and the booze hopefully nudges you towards sleep.  And because we have no problem ignoring science, we like to pretend that drinking these on any chilly night is actually a preventive measure, warding off all illnesses.   Below is my grandmother’s recipe – she was not a fan of precise measurements.  If you are feeling fancy you could sub honey for the sugar or grate in a little ginger – both good for the throat.  Using fresh lemon juice is always best of course.  For the booze element, this is traditionally made with White Christmas in our family which is a mix of rum and brandy and is apparently a SanFransico/Northern California thing – who knew?  It comes in a very festive bottle (we prefer the older label) and not shockingly is pretty cheap (you can order it online here).   If you can’t find White Christmas, or for some reason don’t want to try it, go with bourbon, Irish whiskey or scotch.

Grandma’s Hot Toddy Recipe

Mix in your favorite mug:
-       about 1 inch lemon juice
-       a little sugar
-       a ‘good shot’ of liquor
-       fill mug with hot water, stir
-       relax and enjoy

Like it? Louie it!

So while we wish this room was in our home, this photo is slightly upsetting.  Isn’t that the West Elm Parsons Desk?  In PINK?  When did this happen?  We have it in a dark red that we love but PINK?  The vibrant pink shade is of course even better next to the blue wall.  The touch of red adds a bit of sophistication.  The resulting Louie is a good year round option.  Right now we’ll pair it with our fave black jeans, cute sneaks and a big sweater for a sporty winter look.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch royal hot pink red

Louie Loves LA: Sticky Rice

Downtown’s Grand Central Market has slowly been getting fancied up over the past year – with many new opening still to come.  Sticky Rice was one of the first additions of this new wave, opening last spring.  We just discovered it recently but we’re hooked.  They serve up Thai street food and there are just a few dishes on the menu with daily specials rotating through.  On our first visit, everyone seated at the little counter was eating the Hainan chicken so we followed suit.  Confession – we have no idea what Hainan chicken is so we don’t know what may be different about this Thai version but we do know it is delicious.  At Sticky Rice it comes with a perfect dome of garlic rice, a little bowl of broth, cucumber slices and a fermented soy bean sauce.  It’s all so good.  The curries – beef panang and green vegetable are both amazing.  With those, your neat mound of rice is coconut and it is magic – so fluffy.  Warm and satisfying, these curries are perfect for a chilly day or anytime you want a delicious comforting meal.  We haven’t ventured out to the specials yet but we plan to try them all.  Starting with the Thai sausage, which we’ve heard, cannot be missed.  YUM.  (Note – GCM market closes at 6 so plan to come for lunch. Sticky Rice is open from 11-6).

Sticky Rice
317 South Broadway
#C 4-5
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Click here for more info.

Louie Loves: Williams-Sonoma Croissants

Seriously people, warm buttery, fresh croissants – in your own home!  It’s magic.  These really are the best ever.  They come frozen, and before you get all up in arms about how a frozen croissant couldn’t possibly be good, please note that they are frozen unbaked.  This means you are baking these little pillows of joy in your own oven, so there is really no way they could be fresher.  All you have to do it set them out the night before.  In the morning they will be puffy and ready for the oven.  Brush on a quick egg wash (not actually essential if you find yourself with no eggs but it gives them an extra flakey exterior and a better golden color), pop them in the oven and voilà – croissant perfection!  If they weren’t magically delicious, we would still make them just to make our house smell amazing.  They come in a pack of 15 (or 24 minis, but don’t kid yourself, you want the full size).  It’s key to note that you don’t have to make them all at once.  Just take out the ones you need and keep the rest in the freezer for future wonderful mornings.  They come in chocolate and almond varieties, which of course are also fabulous.  But we prefer the original so we can top them with our favorite jams.  These are great if you have a house full of guests and they make a great gift for the people who have hosted you on such weekends.

Here’s a video of the charming French chef chatting about the making of your new best friends:

Get them right here.
*If you want them for Christmas order by Dec 20th.

Give Santa A Heads Up

Essex LA Christmas Orders

*Gift cards, of course, can be ordered any time.

Happy gifting!

Like it? Louie it!

Oh hello.  How insane is this skirt?  We want it, we need it.  Until then, we’ll settle for this Louie which is equally good.  Such a great color mix for any season.  Right now we’d pair this with our favorite jeans and more navy – a peacoat or cozy cashmere sweater.

Click here to buy.

essex la custom leather clutch - navy periwinkle mango

Louie Loves LA: Handsome Coffee

 

We are very often in downtown LA and very often in need on caffeine so we were thrilled when Handsome Coffee opened up on Mateo.  In fact we swerved dramatically when we first saw it, parked haphazardly and ran inside.  Once inside we found this behavior to be totally justified.  It’s all sleek concrete and wood with a gleaming white tile bar.  The surrounding area in these parts is not always so sparkling so this fresh space was immediately a welcome addition.  And then there’s the coffee.  The menu is simple – espresso, espresso with milk, coffee and cold brew.   They’ll put any of them over ice for you.  And that’s it.  We appreciate the simplicity.  The founders really know their coffee – one is a World Barista Champion – so no nonsense is required to dress it up.  Everyone who works here is very nice and will happily advise what varieties you might like to try at home.  We like the Dapper Espresso for our morning lattes.  The packaging is great which makes it a great gift for any coffee snob friends.  We recommend the Comfort and Adventure set to start.

*AND if you swing by around lunch time, you can get tacos too.

Handsome Coffee Roasters
582 Mateo Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Click here to order some beans.

Louie Loves A Sale

Happy Thanksgiving!  Now it’s time to shop. 

Get 25% off all weekend with code THANKS13.
Code is valid starting midnight tonight through midnight on Monday (Dec 2).

Thanksgiving sale 2013 - code Thanks13

 

 
*Applies to gift cards too – stock up for Christmas now!  (Just enter your own email as the recipient and distribute them as needed.  Email us with any questions.)

This where we hang out.

Louie Loves LA - mapped

We mapped our Louie Loves LA board and this is what it looks like.  The Pinterest maps need a bit of polishing, but we do like this visual version of our favorite local spots.  And it makes a very handy city guide for any upcoming visits. (Or to pass along to visiting guests.)   Easy to browse, click and explore.  Let us know what you think we’re missing.

Follow Louie Loves LA and all our other boards right here.

Thanksgiving Tunes

We make a giant 8+ hour playlist every year for Thanksgiving.  This is necessary because if left to their own devices, my parents will play James Taylor on repeat for days.  New James Taylor.  They think he is a new artist who they discovered five years ago which is maddening on so many levels.  To avoid this painful situation, we prepare a mix of classics, which in our family means Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Phil Collins, Sam Cooke and Elvis, with whatever new stuff we’ve been listening too over the past year.  Right now that means HAIM, CHVRCHES, Boy, Disclosure, the new Cut Copy and other current hits without overly offensive lyrics.  There is a little something for everyone and the mix of familiar and new is perfect background music for cooking, lounging, roadtripping or whatever your holidays have in store.

On Spotify - Thanksgiving 2013

Louie Loves: A Perfect Old Fashioned

Old Fashioneds or Back in Fashions as our brother calls them, are the quintessential winter cocktail.  We have an annual pre-Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving/Fake Thanksgiving here in LA every year and we always start the night off with a round of Old Fashioneds.  Since we’ll be whipping these up tonight, we thought we’d share our favorite recipe.  Made with bourbon, the Old Fashioned is instantly warming and has just the right amount of garnish to look festive with out looking silly.  Seriously, they just look like they should be sipped in front of a roaring fire, somewhere cozy with good friends.  And if you make these for new friends, they are likely to become good friends.  An Old Fashioned looks impressive but is really quite simple and everyone should know how to make one.  We like this recipe with simple syrup because it makes it easy to make large quantities at once.  You can even make up a pitcher ahead of time.   When making simple syrup for Old Fashioneds we like to add a little orange zest for extra flavor.  See below for instructions and our preferred brands.  Cheers!

A Perfect Old Fashioned

3oz Bourbon or Rye
1oz Simple Syrup
2-5 dashes of Angostura bitters
Orange slices for garnish
Cherries for garnish

Muddle orange and cherry (this means mash up with a wooden spoon) in the bottom of the glass.  Fill glass with ice.  Add bourbon, bitters and simple syrup and stir.

We recommend:

The booze – Bulleit and Maker’s Mark are perfect standard bourbons for this.  My grandmother’s favorite was Old Crow.  (We call these Old Olds when made with Old Crow.)  If you want to go with a rye or are feeling fancy, we like Mitcher’s – bonus, the bottle looks Christmasy and festive.

The simple syrup – You can buy simple syrup (Stirrings makes a good one) but it is stupidly easy to make.  Combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and cool completely.  You can make this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge.   As noted we like to add orange zest for Old Fashions.

The bitters – You can pick up Angostura Bitters at your liquor store or Bev Mo.  You’ll recognize it by the label that is too big for the bottle.  This is not something you can skip, but as you use just a few drops, a bottle will last forever.

The cherries – Any Maraschino cherry will work but we like the Luxardo brand. They have a rich, less jarring red color and the packaging is adorable.   Tillen Farms is another natural brand that doesn’t contain red dye.

 

Like it? Louie It!

We were first drawn to this photo because we really want a pair of mirrored shades for winter and these ones are so good.  We love the sporty meets classic look this guy has going with the bright shades and chocolate brown jacket.  (We also love that he’s carrying a man clutch.)  In Louie form the bright blue zipper is a perfect accent on our rich brown leather.  We’ll follow this guys lead and pair it a classic navy blazer thrown over a gray sweatshirt.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: The Tasting Kitchen

Tasting Kitchen is a Venice gem and perhaps our favorite restaurant in that whole city, but for some tragic reason we hadn’t been in months.  After a recent visit remedied this, our love has been renewed and we’ve vowed to visit on a regular basis.  The gnocco fritto alone is reason enough to set up a weekly reservation.  You should order these immediately when you sit down.  Little pillows of fried dough, these things are magic.  They are warm and dusted with sea salt.  Tear them open and fill up the pocket with paper thin slices of salami and prosciutto and a scoop of fresh buratta.  Heaven.  While it is tempting to order several rounds of these and call it dinner, we recommend ordering an assortment of dishes from all areas of the menu to share for the table.  Your server will direct you to the proper amount of food.  You really can’t go wrong with large plates like salt roasted branzino and hanger steak with bone marrow toast – yum!  BUT do not skip the pasta.  It’s all made in house and even the simplest sounding varieties will have you cleaning the plate.  We’re pretty sure we didn’t leave one speck of food on our plates the entire meal.  Another standout aspect of Tasting Kitchen is the cocktails – first they have them which is a rarity on Abbot Kinney and second they are dangerously good.  Current favorite is the Road Runner with mezcal lime and fennel.  The menus get switched up every few weeks – all the more reason to come back again and again.  See you there.

The Tasting Kitchen
1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Pumpkin Mushroom Soup

Everyone seemed to love the Brussels Sprouts recipe we shared last Thanksgiving, so we thought we would reveal another fave this year – Pumpkin Mushroom Soup.  We are not those people that become obsessed with pumpkin in October and look for it in all forms of food and drink.  In fact, other than this soup, we only like pumpkin in pie form.  The key being that it is not too sweet, or not sweet at all really.  It also so easy to make that we wonder why we don’t make it year round.  It will also make your kitchen smell amazing.  This recipe, I believe came from a cooking class my parents took in the early 70s – stick with the classics – so it does not exist in internet form anywhere but we’ve copied it below for you here.  It says to serve it in a hollowed out pumpkin which of course seems so 70s, and which of course we have never done.  (If you want to do this, there are surely 1000 photos of hollowed out pumpkins filled with various foods on Pinterest right now.  Reference those.)  We serve this as a small first course right when we sit down, before the hit the buffet.  I think we usually do 4x the recipe below for around 20 people so it would likely serve 4-6 as is.  Enjoy! 

Pumpkin Mushroom Soup

2oz butter
1 onion, sliced
¾ cup green onions, sliced
½ pound mushrooms, sliced
1 16oz can pumpkin puree
4 cups chicken stock
bay leaf
salt and pepper
nutmeg
spring of parsley
½ teaspoon sugar
2 cups half and half
parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Saute the onions and green onions in butter until limp and then add the sliced mushrooms.  Cook for 5 minutes and then add the pumpkin puree, stock and seasonings.  Simmer for about 15 minutes, then remove the bay leaf and sprig of parsley.  Stir in half and half and simmer for a further 10 minutes or so.  Adjust the seasonings to your taste.   Garnish with chopped parsley.

Essex for Winnifred Beach

We whipped up an exclusive limited edition version of our Isa Beach Tote for our friends at Winnifred Beach.  The boys at Winnifred make what they call sport-utility bathrobes and what the New York Times calls “A comfortable postshower coverup that also functions as a rugged trench that you won’t get arrested for wearing on the street.”  So yah, they’ve made it (sort of) socially acceptable to walk around in a robe all day.  We’re not sure if this makes them adventurous free spirits or just lazy, but either way, the robes are really nice.  For their tote we sourced vintage rip-stop nylon in a camo print to compliment their robe’s olive shade.  It’s lightweight and folds up to nothing but is super durable.  Win, win, win.  Head over to the Winnifred Beach site to get yours and consider the robe as a gift for all the stylish loungers in your life.

Like it? Louie it!

A red turtleneck paired with a red coat sounds like it would be seriously wrong, but in this shot, it looks insanely awesome.  We really hope she’s carry a bright red bag to complete the look.  And soooo of course, the all red Louie is essential for creating your own head to toe red look.  We may start with just jeans, red sweater (obvs Equipment cashmere), all red Louie – you know, ease in.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: The Troubadour

We’ve mentioned a few other of our preferred show going spots in LA, but the Troubadour really may be our favorite.  It was one of the first places we saw a show in LA and we vividly remember walking in and immediately thinking ‘this is the best place ever.’  Actually we remember thinking “Are we at The Bait Shop? meaning the fictional venue on The OC, that was always sold out but never too crowded and where you could easily get a drink.  And that is still how we would describe it.  Even when you are as far away from the stage as you can possibly be, it is about the equivalent of being 10 rows back at any other show.  And this is with no elbowing and drink spilling and general annoying concert struggles – hooray!  We love that there are three separate bar areas too.  This is perfect for when you arrive a few minutes ahead of the band you are actually there to see.  You can have a drink upstairs or in the front and still hear the music with out feeling bad because you are chattering away why the die hard fans sway and nod with delight.  A win for everyone.  Of course, they have a great line up of bands too.  Over the years we’ve seen so many great shows there – Cold War Kids maybe 5 times, Hot Chip back in the day.  Some shows sell out super quickly so be sure and sign up for their newsletter to stay on top of it.

The Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Check out the calendar here.

Louie Loves: Coral & Tusk

It is difficult for us to write about Coral & Tusk because we find it hard to describe their products with out just saying that everything is SO DAMN CUTE over and over.  Because it is.  All of it.  Just wait.  Designed and made in Brooklyn by a husband and wife team – already to cute? – Coral & Tusk’s products feature the most charming designs we’ve ever seen.  They make pillows, napkins, coasters, framed artwork, stationary and adorable little dolls all adorned with insanely cute animals scenes and arrows, feathers and teepees.  When we say insanely cute animal scenes we mean things like a raccoon riding a buffalo, foxes blowing party horns, owls wearing headdresses.  The holiday set includes a badger bearing mistletoe.  We just can’t.  It’s all to good.  There’s also an alphabet of animals – on the F, the fox is falconing.  PLEASE.  The stationary is either laser cut or embroidered  aka fancy and will instantly impress.  Some of the pillows have little pockets that contain tiny little animals, and of course there is a special tooth fairy pillow.  So with gifting season on the horizon, Coral & Tusk should become your go to.  If you are friends with someone who does not find this stuff amazing, they do not deserve gifts (they deserve a swift kick to the head).

Browse all the amazing things right here.

Like it? Louie it!

We want everything in this photo – we want a neon bike, we want a glossy black entry way, we certainly want bright pink carpet.  And we want the matching Louie just as much.  It will be our casual weekend go to – perfect with black jeans and the army jacket we wear all winter.  A little hint of neon is so good with army green.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Little Dom’s

Sometimes we feel like we end up at Little Dom’s every time we go to Los Feliz.  Luckily there is nothing wrong with this at all.  Open for breakfast lunch and dinner, seven days a week – with a take out deli next door – there is always a reason to stop in for a snack.  The menu has the Italian classics we love at Dominick’s, with a few sandwiches thrown in (and a delicious burger) to mix things up.  And they do their version of Dominick’s Sunday Night supper on Mondays with the same $3 beers and $15 bottles of wine which is never a bad way to start the week.  For dinner we like the spaghetti and meatballs (duh), the whitefish piccatta and the hanger steak with  arugula and Parmesan.  At lunch we go for the Sicilian tuna melt, the aforementioned burger and of course you can never go wrong with a pizza.  We’re also suckers for the Italian Wedding Soup.  Breakfast may be our favorite meal here – the wood oven roasted eggs usually win, with the breakfast pizza as a close second.  It should be pretty easy to convince your group to order some of the grilled bread with homemade jam Nutella for the table, and of course you should do this.  Always like the idea of a breakfast appetizer.

Little Dom’s
2128 Hillhurt Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: The Manolo Blahnik Tayler Pump

We know, we know, we’re recommending something other that the beloved BB pump, BUT trust us on this one, the d’orsay Tayler style is just as versatile and just a little bit sexier.  They also seem a little fancier and thus better for pairing with skirts and dresses for nighttime events.  You can really wear these things anywhere – they look very office appropriate because you know pointy = serious, but the d’orsay cut keeps them from looking to clunky with or dated with cocktail dresses.  Of course, we also love them with jeans as they make anything you are wearing instantly look smart and sophisticated.  They also may be the ultimate shoe to pair with boyfriend jeans, particularly if you are afraid of looking frumpy in boyfriend jeans.  The suede styles are our favorite because the rich texture gives them year round wearability and because they come in some awesome bright shades.  We have the royal blue suede which we picked up a Jeffrey’s (the best) and cant seem to find online anywhere at the moment.  The patent leather may be our next move.  Of note – we like the 105mm heel which is just over four inches and as noted on pretty much every site that sells these, you should go up a size.  Happy shopping.

Good suede options here.  And patent here.

Like it? Louie it!

So we don’t think we’ve ever seen Hilary Rhoda looking bad, but we particularly like this clean bold look.  So simple, but it definitely makes an impact.  Our Purplebreak Louie makes it easy to incorporate some vivid color into your fall/winter wardrobe.  It goes so well with all the neutrals – black, navy, gray – you’ll find yourself using it all the time (we do).

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Mishe Mokwa Hike

Fall is really the best time for hiking in LA, because sometimes in the summer its just too hot – terrible, terrible problem to have.  By ‘fall’ we of course mean the 80 degree temps forecasted for this weekend.  But, you know, it’s a cool 80 – PERFECT.  Naturally you should be outdoors enjoying this glorious weather, and what better place to do it than Malibu.  The Mishe Mokwa hike is quite a trek – a trek to even get to the start of the hike – but it is worth it we promise.  Your journey to the trail starts with a long cruise up PCH, followed by a series of twists and turns up Yerba Buena Road.  Once you park, you have about 6 to 7 miles ahead of you – a mix of gradual up hill with a few steep spots thrown in and an easy downhill for the end of the loop.  Needless to say, you should wear sunscreen (you never really know what the weather is going to be like up there), bring a large water bottle, and have your your camera handy so you can snap scenic pics above the clouds with the Pacific gleaming in the background.  The directions are easy – north on PCH, right at Yerba Buena Road (right at Neptune’s Net – where you should obviously go after for beers and large amount of delicious seafood), wind up the hill until you pass Circle X Ranch and you’ll see a parking lot.

More details here.

Louie Loves: Halftime Chili

We found this recipe years ago when we wanted a super easy chili to whip up on a chilly (ha) Sunday evening.  We wanted one that started with ground beef because we are not from Texas and at the time really were not in the mood to chop up a giant chunk of meat.  We saw this recipe on Epicurious and were instantly sold.  Mostly because it is called Halftime Chili and was from a 1996 Bon Appetit.  After some quick chopping of onions and garlic, you basically just dump ingredients into the pot.  So so easy, and yet so so tasty.  We’ve made this so many times since the initial trial we tweaked and added to the recipe a bit over the years.  For one, we usually make it with ground turkey now for a slightly lighter take that is still full of flavor.  See below for the full recipe and our additions.  We highly suggest you whip us this equally easy and delicious cheddar jalapeño cornbread to go with it. 

Haltime Chili Original Recipe

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
8 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 pounds ground chuck
5 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1 14 1/2-ounce can low-salt chicken broth
1 12-ounce bottle beer 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 15- to 16-ounce can prepared chili beans

Our additions:
Swap ground turkey for the ground chuck and add
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cayenne
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 15 oz can black beans
diced jalapeno and chili peppers

Obviously you need to have all your favorite toppings on hand as well – chopped red or green onions, cheddar cheese, sour cream, avocado etc.

Instructions: Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add chuck and sauté until brown, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano and thyme. Stir 2 minutes. Mix in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, beer and tomato paste. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Mix in beans. Simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Refrigerate until cold, then cover. Rewarm over low heat before serving.

New Colors For The Dutch!

You know we love our Dutch Tote.  We use it constantly and continue to be amazed by both how much it holds and how comfortable the straps are even when we can barely lift the bag.   We thought it was about time to introduce some new colors and for this round we wanted to keep it super sleek and versatile so it would really be an everyday + everywhere bag.  Now in black, burgundy and true blue, the Dutch has never looked sharper.  Check out the new options below and click here to shop.

Like it? Louie It!

We’ve recently come across tons of pics that feature a combo of burgundy and bright blue.  A pairing we might not have thought of but suddenly we love it.  This shot was our fave, and not just because we want that plaid shirt.  The mix of two super bright colors totally transforms the dark shade, but the look is still fall appropriate. Can you tell that we just want to be this girl?

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Larchmont Village Wine & Cheese

Sandwiches, oh such sandwiches.  As the name suggests, this place is a) located on Larchmont Blvd and b) sells wine and cheese.  What the name does not instantly reveal is the magical little sandwich factory that is lies within.  There are seven options.  That’s it.  You don’t need any more.  They all come on fresh baked bread that they make every morning – Italian ciabatta and French baguette.  This is key of course.  As is the drizzle of olive oil and balsamic that completes every sandwich.  We think this is really the secret.  Other magic touches include the black olive tapenade that tops the black forest ham and vegetarian options, and the sundried tomato spread that comes on the salami and turkey.  A little cup of olives and cornichons accompanies each sandwich and there is a great selection of fancy sodas and chips to round out your meal.  And of course if you want to continue this gourmet experience at home, you can take a baguette, some delicious cheese, and other fancy treats home with you.  And some wine, don’t forget the wine.  The staff is always helpful even if your preferences don’t go beyond “something red and cheap.”

Larchmont Village Wine & Cheese
223 N. Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Click here for the menu.

Louie Loves: Salt & Straw

Ice cream is right up there with sandwiches and tacos on the list of things we want to eat everyday (and things we take very seriously).  See here, here and here for evidence of our love.  So clearly we would not use this space discuss an ice cream that we didn’t find truly magical and Portland’s Salt & Staw undoubtedly deserves the spotlight.  This stuff is just so damn good.  Their signature flavors are all insanely delicious, each with a little twist to set it apart from the standards.  See the inclusion of bourbon in their Sumptown coffee flavor – genius!   This is also a prime example of their commitment to utilizing Portland’s amazing local, artisanal food gems.  The chocolate is made with Woodblock Chocolate and sprinkled with Jacobsen sea salt harvested on the Oregon coast.  Starting to sound like an episode of Portlandia?  Don’t worry, once you taste it you’ll concede that all this attention to detail is about craftsmanship and not pretension.  The seasonal flavors are always worth testing out  – we’re dying to try the Cheddar Apple Pie and Spiced Cider Sorbet!  They do some collaborations with local chefs that yield even crazier flavors like Kaffir and Lemongrass ice cream with fish sauce caramel.  Lucky for everyone not making frequent visits to Portland – they ship!  Ice cream for everyone!  And in the best news ever, if you live in LA, you can now get a cone or pick up a pint at Joan’s on Third.  Our go-to combo?  One scoop Stumptown Coffee, one scoop Cinnamon Snickerdoodle. 

Check out all the flavors here.

Like it? Louie it!

We are so excited our navy is back!  It’s especially good in our new Louie+ size and we’ve been dying to try out some new combinations.  This mix of classic and bright is just what we have been looking for.  It’s bold but not overbearing.  We’ll be pairing this one with more navy.  It will be perfect with a sleek navy pencil skirt like the one here or a dark pair of high waisted jeans and a knotted chambray shirt.

Click here to buy.

 

Louie Loves LA: Tacos El Gavilan

You didn’t think we’d covered all of our favorite tacos spots yet did you?  We’ve only just begun!  Today we’re revealing one of our downtown faves.  Tacos El Gavilan may look a bit sketchy, but the friendly logo of a sombrero wearing chicken gleefully enjoying a taco should assure you that you’re safe eating here.  With five locations and three trucks, Tacos El Gavilan has established a mini empire (since its 1992 founding) in South East LA’s not so desirable neighborhoods.  We’re all for a local success story.  And we’re never disappointed.  They are an oasis on days when we are running a million errands all over downtown.  Gavilan offers no nonsense tacos, topped simply with onions and cilantro.  We appreciate this basic approach, especially since Gavilan’s homemade salsas are amazing – you don’t need anything else for a delicious taco.  They have quesadillas, burritos, sopes and muiltas (basically a mini quesadilla) too.  And they’ve recently added fresh guacamole to the mix – indisputably a serious upgrade.  You can also ask for large cups of their salsa to go which we do any time we’re making tacos at home as it instantly improves whatever you may be whipping up.  They are super spicy though so be sure and warn friends in advance.  Sidenote – Gavilan is also quite active on Instagram – posting awesome things like this.

Tacos El Gavilan
1900 S. Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90011

Also in Bell, Downey, and Huntington Park.

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Bardessono

Bardessono is everything we want in a hotel – fancy but welcoming, sleek but cozy, lovely all year round, and located in what is perhaps the best small town in America.  This small town is Yountville, CA which cannot be much larger than one square mile and is filled with nothing but insanely delicious restaurants and wine.  So it’s heaven.  And when you visiting such a lovely destination, you want your accommodations to equally dreamy.  Bardessono is all suites and the rooms are huge and they all come with fireplaces and patios.  As we said, its sleek, but with neutral colors and natural materials, nothing feels too minimal.  The hotel grounds are just as pleasant with little paths, cool fountains and trees filled with twinkly lights.  It’s like a really, really nice backyard – including a rooftop pool with stunning views – the best place for a lazy afternoon reading, or for a post wine tasting nap.  We’ve never had dinner at the restaurant (because French Laundry, Bouchon, Redd, Bottega and many more are all just steps away) but breakfast and lunch are delicious, the bar makes some mean cocktails and there are complimentary coffee and tasty little pastries in the morning.  They have an on-site garden where they grow produce so you know it’s very local and very fresh.  And have we mentioned that everyone is just so nice?  AND it’s LEED Platinum certified so you are really doing a good deed by staying here.  At least that’s our view.  Basically we want to move in.

Drool over their website and book a trip here.

Like it? Louie it!

Julia Sarr-Jamois is always sporting enviable looks, and always with a fun sporty vibe we seriously which we could copy.  It this case we’ll copy the color combo which is just right for fall.  The super bright orange and pop of blue are perfect compliments to a base of neutral gray.  We’d pair this one with more gray, like the cozy sweater Julia has on right here.

Click here to buy.

The Louie+ Has Arrived.

Guess what kids?  Our Louie now comes in a larger size.  12″ x 9″ to be precise. There’s now plenty of room for things like iPads, Kindles, sunglasses, umbrellas, notebooks.  Maybe even an actual book, one made of paper.  Amazing!  We have to admit, the extra room is pretty nice.  Of course, you still get to custom design this Louie+ with all the same leather, lining and zipper options.  Our limited edition camo print is now available in Louie+ size as well.

Head to the site to design your Louie+

 

Louie Loves LA:  Wurstküche

So… who doesn’t love sausages?  Maybe it’s our German roots.  Or perhaps our time in Prague where there is someone selling sausage every ten feet.  Either way, we’re pretty happy Wurstküche came to LA, so we can celebrate Eastern Europe’s love for sausage right here in LA.  Joy!  But of course, they don’t just have old school euro style stuff; they have very California-ish things like turkey sausage with sundried tomatoes and mozzarella (some vegetarian options too) and weird things like rattlesnake and crocodile sausages (perfect for your annoying friend who always insists on ordering the ‘crazy’ item and then refuses to admit its not delicious).  They are all good, and you get to top them with onions, peppers, sauerkraut and a whole array of mustards.  And then there are the fries for which you also get to select from 10 dipping sauces.  As haters of ketchup and lovers of all other condiments, we love this.  Naturally you wash all of this down with an icy cold beer.  There are endless options here too and they are all very fancy and German and Belgian, but we don’t fancy fancy beer so we usually opt for a $3 PBR.  Cheap dates.

Wurstküche
800 E 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

And

625 Lincoln Blvd
Venice, CA 90291

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: This Is Where I Leave You

This Is Where I Leave You is not a new book.  It came out in 2009, but we are still so obsessed with it we want to slap friends who haven’t read it yet.  And with a movie version in the works we can only encourage everyone to read it as soon as possible so you can smugly ask “oh you didn’t read the book?” when the movie hits theaters.  The following description will not sound funny, but trust us, this book is hilarious.  When we meet our narrator Judd, his father has just died and his wife is having an affair with his boss.  Not awesome.  Judd is forced to sit shiva with his family – his father’s dying wish.  The fam hasn’t all been in the same place in years and naturally things get pretty crazy (and seriously funny) in a matter of hours.  There are old lovers, new romances and lots of poorly kept secrets.  If you bring this book on a plane be prepared to both laugh like a crazy person and cry in public.  This is also pretty much the only book to movie situation we’ve been truly excited about because the cast is amazing.  Jane Fonda is the mom.  You shouldn’t need more.

Get it right here.

Louie Loves LA: Night + Market

Sometimes we just need something spicy.  When this mood strikes us we head right to NIGHT + MARKET.  Specializing in Northern Thai dishes and Thai street food, there are definitely some fiery options on the menu.  We love pretty much everything about this place.  It’s technically in another restaurant which would be sort of funny, but it is in another Thai restaurant which makes it hilarious.  When you walk in you can head to the left for marginal Thai food, or to the right for the super delicious things Chef Kris whips up.  The décor aids in making you feel like you are on an adventure.   Random posters with various dated pop culture references (the Michael Jordan ‘Wings’ poster that everyone’s brother had in middle school is our favorite) definitely make you feel like you are in a foreign country.  Since we don’t know much about the authentic offerings we usually just pick (and mispronounce) a few things from each section and then ask for our server’s approval.  Be sure to check out the specials for extra fabulous options.  Our top picks include the crispy rice salad (so spicy, so good), the drunken noodles with short ribs, the beef garpow and any/all of the larb options.  Of course you should have some rice on hand to mellow the heat and a couple of giant Chang beers to wash everything down with.  The restaurant’s motto translates to ‘food to facilitate drinking’ which seems like a grand idea to us.

NIGHT + MARKET
9043 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: The Kooples

You guys, our favorite French store is coming to LA!  We cruised down Robertson the other day and nearly swerved into oncoming traffic we were so excited to see a giant Kooples logo with ‘coming soon’ under it.  Here’s what’s amazing about The Kooples – They make the clothes you want to be wearing everyday.  Or more specifically, they make the clothes you want to be wearing everyday if you want to dress like a cool French girl – and you should.  If Emanuelle Alt is your style icon, you should be doing daily drive bys of the Robertson location until it opens.  The Kooples has everything you need to look effortlessly chic – skinny pants, sharp blazers, soft tees.  And as you can tell by their ad campaigns which all feature painfully cool real life couples – they have men’s clothes too.  We’re slightly sad to have one less excuse to go to Paris, and slightly concerned that our fuzzy vacation math means the prices our actually much higher than our lazy rounding down Euro conversions, but we are still THRILLED that we will soon be able to outfit ourselves in perfect basics from head to toe in one easy stop. 

Check out the website to browse the goodies.

Like it? Louie it!

We’re always talking about how much we love mixing prints, but we are seriously into this matching print situation going on here (spotted in Daily Candy’s NYFW street style round up).  Very bold.  And the color combo easily transitions the bright royal blue shade into fall.  The navy zipper makes this Louie super versatile – a great everyday option for fall.

Click here to buy.

 

Louie Loves LA: Escuela Taqueria

Once again MORE TACOS.  And even more importantly more tacos in the neighborhood.  Hooray!  We’ve been fans of Escuela since they first opened.  And we’ll start with what you should start with – the chips, salsa and guacamole.  This maybe our favorite chips and guac in town (and we’re slightly famous for our own homemade guacamole so this is a big statement).  Along with being delicious – salty chips, cream guacamole etc – the portion size is also an appropriate (and by that we mean LARGE) size.  On to the tacos – there are some seriously good options here and we love that the variety is not your standard taco shop list.  There are four different pork options, plus some fancy seafood choices including lobster and branzino.  There’s also chicken, carne asada and the beloved ground beef and pickle which has become and LA staple.  The little gem salad and fruit with lime and chili are both perfect accompaniments if you want to add a little something to freshen things up.  They don’t serve beer or wine but you can bring own and they will serve it to you in pretty glasses without judging your selection of cheap, mismatched cans.  Overall a great quick bite and an ideal option before or after a movie or shopping at the Grove (if you brave the Grove).

Escuela Taqueria
7615 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Alexis Bittar

We’ve decided we should start referring to our favorite stores as though they are service providers, crafting things especially for us – just to sound fancy.  Starting with ‘our jeweler’ Alexis Bittar.  Dear Alexis, is of course not hand making us custom goods, but sometimes it feels like he is because we love everything he makes so much.   From the simplest earrings to the most elaborate necklaces, each Alexis Bittar piece has a unique twist – an unexpected shape or combination of materials that makes it feel truly special.  And jewelry should always feel special right?  Alexis Bittar is really our go to for both everyday pieces – like this perfect pendant to crazy statement items like these amazing earrings.  But it is maybe the in between that makes us love Alexis so much.  There are so many items, that are insanely cool but easy enough to wear on a regular basis like this gold and lucite necklace.  Alexis Bittar is one of our favorite places for gifts too.  The jewelry here feels contemporary but ageless (as all good jewelry should be) so you can find something for both your girlfriend and your grandmother.  The necklaces pretty much all have different length options, which is quite helpful as well – just adding to the versatility.  We should point out that the people in the stores are always sooo nice as well – genuinely excited to help you select the perfect piece.

Check out the website or pop into a store.

Like it? Louie it!

So Smeg fridges are pretty much the cutest things ever yes?  So glad you agree.  The mint green version is almost too cute.  Almost.  These fridges usually appear in very quaint looking, faux old timey kitchens, so we love that room here is so clean and modern looking.  We’ll take a cue from the neutral surroundings and pair this bright girly Louie with soft neutrals.  Picturing light gray jeans and cozy gray sweater.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Santa Monica Seafood

Proximity to Santa Monica Seafood is basically the only reason we ever wish we lived on the west side.  We’re certain that if we lived down the street we would pick up delicious fresh fish here every night and whip up fancy healthy meals at home.  But really, we probably would, because this place has every kind of seafood you may be inclined to prepare and it is all super fresh.  They are also wholesalers and distribute to some of LA’s best restaurants so you know there is high turnover – meaning that one sad lobster hasn’t been sitting there all week.  And speaking of lobster, this is pretty much the only place to get lobster meat out of the shell.  We make a mean lobster roll but we are also happy to have someone else do all the hard work for us.  We also love their shrimp cocktail for parties – zero work and always a crowd pleaser.  They have a little market section of basic groceries you may need to round out your meal – fresh bread, lettuce, lemons etc – and tons of fancy marinades and sauces so you can grab everything you need for dinner in one stop.   Along with all the delicious treats you can take home, Santa Monica Seafood also has a little café and oyster bar so you can stop your classics – calm chowder, calamari, cioppino, salmon burgers, crab cakes and of course lobster rolls.

Santa Monica Seafood
1000 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Domaine Home

As you maybe able to gather from the current state of our Pinterest boards, we’re about to embark on a pretty serious home renovation situation.   Naturally we love nothing more than browsing design blogs for hours on end, but it can be overwhelming at times, and you know we have real work to do too.  This is why we love Domaine so much.  They kindly comb through all your favorite design mags and sites and edit out just the best home tours.  Add in their own celeb profiles, styling tips, and product recommendations and you have the perfect daily dose of design.  We love that they break down the features into ‘the real deal’ and ‘shop the look’ so you can track down the exact items featured or pick up something similar that’s readily available and easy to order.  We also may like them because we feel like they are validating our design decisions – see ‘Why It Works: Open Kitchen Shelving’ for example – we are totally doing this.   Needless to say, you should follow them on Pinterest too where all these beautiful pics are neatly categorized.

Check it out right here.

Like it? Louie it!

Ok, so we are willing to admit that fall will eventually come, and that it may have in fact, already arrived in some parts of the country.  Our concession to the oncoming season?  An Old Fashioned.  The perfect cocktail for the first chilly night.  This Louie, in classic fall shades, perfectly echoes the cozy feeling of a night in by a toasty fire.   It will be so good with a navy peacoat too.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bars

So we just recently went to this place for the first time and are now seriously upset that we have stupidly spent so many years in LA without enjoying Mateo’s deliciousness.  This place is so damn good.  It’s technically in Culver City, and isn’t really out of the way, but it is in the corner of a sort of sketchy strip mall next to a laundry mat so you do have to actively decide to go there.  Which after one visit, we guarantee you will be doing often.  You can tell just by looking at the fluffy mounds of ice cream in the case that whatever you get is going to be delicious and the flavor choices here are amazing.  They have mamey! – a super delicious Central American fruit.  We had mamey ice cream at a street market in Mexico City five years ago and have been on a (previously unsuccessful) mission to find it in LA ever since.  It tastes maybe a little bit like a combination of apricot and watermelon and you must try it.  Our other recommendation is the coffee and chocolate.  We are definitely coffee ice cream connoisseurs and this might have just moved to the top of our list.  It is more coffee than chocolate (a good thing), but with a sweet richness that elevates it.  Also offered – walnut, burnt milk, and yellow cherry plus more classic flavors like strawberry, caramel and cookies and cream.  They have tons of fruity popsicles too, in even more flavors.  We are now praying this hot weather continues so we can justify multiple repeat visits in the coming weeks. 

Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bars
4929 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230

Louie Loves: Cold Brew

We are endless thirsty, and as with most thirsty folks, we generally prefer cold beverages.  Not just cold, but icy cold if possible.  Thus, while on a year round basis we very much enjoy a hot latte in the morning while checking our emails and snacking on avocado toast, in the summer months (or right now when it is 90 in LA) we need something cooler.  Enter cold brew.  We’re pretty sure most coffee snobs drink cold brew for taste reasons – its less acidic and so it’s a bit sweeter and because of the brewing time, much stronger.  Luckily we like both the taste and the cool temp.  A few years ago a friend passed along their preferred cold brew method and we haven’t strayed since.  It’s beyond easy and always comes out perfectly.  See below for the simple steps.  When you brew is ready, mix with a bit of water – we usually do about 2/3 coffee to 1/3 water and then add milk and sugar accordingly.  If you are a black coffee person, you will definitely need the water.  We normally add milk and sugar so sometimes we skip the water for an extra strong morning treat.  This is absolutely our favorite thing after a morning run on a hot day. 

To make your cold brew:

You will need
1 – 1 to 1.5 cups ground coffee.  We have a Breville grinder and set it to as course as possible.  You can also ask your coffee shop to do this for you if you do not have a grinder.  We’re currently using Handsome Coffee’s Dapper roast.
2 – Water
3 – A big French Press.  We use Bodum’s 8 cup ‘Brazil’ model which is $25.  (If you do not have a French press, you can do this in a jar.   You’ll just have to strain it thoroughly.)

What to do
1 – Dump your course grounds into the bottom of the French press.
2 – Fill French press with water.
3 – Let sit in fridge overnight.
4 – In the morning, plunge French press.  If desired, strain coffee through a fine sieve to get out any remaining bits.  *Our Bodum has multiple filters so we don’t really need to do this.
5 – Pour your self some cold brew, mix with a bit of water, add milk and sugar to your heart’s content and get ready to be super caffeinated.

Your delicious cold brew will keep for a week in the fridge.

Like it? Louie it!

It’s so hot in LA right now we cannot even think about fall clothes.  In fact, we can’t really think very far beyond a bathing suit so we’re using this very bright, very tiny mini dress as our inspiration this week.  We realize these sunny days will come to an end eventually and when they do this Louie will be just the thing to brighten our favorite wintery looks.

Click here to buy.

 

Louie Loves LA: Ink.Sack

You know we take our sandwiches very seriously here at Essex so when a fancy chef opens up a sandwich shop we are both excited and skeptical.  Because of course the best sandwiches are usually not fancy.  No tricks are necessary to make a delicious sandwich.  Luckily at Ink.Sack there are no crazy new ideas, just careful attention to detail.  The resulting sandwiches are delicious.  They are also all perfectly sized.  And pretty cheap.  If you are starving, it would not be unreasonable to order two.  But on a regular basis one sandwich plus a Mexican chocolate chip cookie (so good) should leave you totally satisfied, but not grossly full.  The fried chicken, spicy tuna and banh mi are our most frequent orders but we’ve really never been disappointed here so just order according to whim and trust that you’ll be pleased.  Your selection will be neatly wrapped in paper and presented to you in a lunch bag with your name on it.  So charming.  It’s now open everyday from 11 to 8 so you can swing by for lunch or dinner. 

Ink. Sack
8360 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: The Mauna Kea

Naturally as summer starts to wind down we find ourselves already planning fall getaways to warm beachy places.  (Warm beachy places other than LA that is.)  The Mauna Kea is always top on this list.  We visited last year over Thanksgiving and it was a perfect week of sunny 80 degree weather.  This is key as the Mauna Kea beach is universally recognized as the best beach on the big island.  It’s a perfect crescent of white sand and gentle waves and it is magical.  We pretty much camped out there all day, until it was time for a sunset cocktail.  THE sunset (or all day if you prefer) cocktail of choice at the Mauna Kea is The Fredrico.  That’s all we’ll tell you for now, just order it.   The rooms were all redone just a few years ago so everything is clean and modern with very spacious bathrooms.  Despite the updates, the Mauna Kea maintains all of its old school vintage Hawaiian charm and this is really why we love it.  We always feel like we might run into Gidget here.  Everyone in the family decided they would be perfectly content never leaving the property.  Always a good sign.

Book your room here.

 

Like it? Louie it!

So to start we really want this skirt.  (And in fact it is on sale right here.)  But of course we are also big fans of this color combo (via Atlantic-Pacific).  It just feels fresh and bright. Summer is far from over here in LA so we’ll be paring this with easy basics  - cut offs and racerback tanks – for weeks to come.  Come fall it will perk up our classic trench.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves: Hennessey + Ingalls

Hennessey + Ingalls is one of those stores where we could easily spend a) an entire week hanging out and b) thousands of dollars. If like you enjoy pretty things you will like this place. It is a trove of beautiful design books. Art, architecture, fashion, interiors – any subject that lends itself to envy inducing glossy photos will be covered. Of course this makes Hennessey + Ingalls a fabulous place to buy gifts for pretty much everyone, though we usually find ourselves adopting a one for you one for me policy when shopping here because really there is always something that is just too tempting to resist. Everyone needs coffee table books, even if they don’t realize it. We firmly believe that a row of books, whether neatly lined up on a mantle or haphazardly piled in a corner, can add as much to a room as a new chair or rug. They have great very stylish kids books too – because all children should learn their ABCs as illustrated by someone famous and important right? plus cookbooks, and tons of great little notebooks. There are locations in Hollywood and Santa Monica. The Santa Monica store is bigger but it can be a bit overwhelming so we like the cozy Hollywood store, which is also very conveniently located next to Umami Burger.

Hennessey + Ingalls
Space 15 Twenty
1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

+

214 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Louie Loves: Aritzia

Fresh off a lovely Canadian vacation we thought we take a minute to praise one of our favorite Canadian stores – Aritzia.  They are happily spreading all over the US – New York, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and more.  We’re sure one is going to appear at The Grove any day now.  We hope so, because Artizia is serious one stop shopping.  They have everything from work separates to workout wear and it’s all cute, easy and reasonably priced (not cheap, but reasonable).   They sell their own exclusive brands of modern basics – blazers, army jackets, silk tanks, perfect daytime dresses – mixed in with denim from J Brand, Rag & Bone, Citizens of Humanity and Current/Elloitt plus sunnies from Cutler and Gross and Mackage leather jackets.  So yes, your entire wardrobe – done.  Their selection of soft, worn in feeling tees and tanks is seriously the BEST.  From slub baseball cuts perfect for weekend lounging to racerbacks that are very reminiscent of our beloved Alexander Wangs but one-third the price, they really have all your essentials covered.  You can shop online until they arrive in your city, but definitely stop into a store if you can.  The SoHo store is beautiful and since the entire staff seems to be fresh from Canada, everyone who helps you is SO NICE. 

Browse/shop online or find a store.

Like it? Louie it!

This look is definitely not for colorblocking novices, but we love the bold combination of shades and the modern edge a dash of red brings to mint.  Sharp geometric prints – maybe in the form of tailored cropped pants or sleek shift dress – would pair nicely with this very current color mix and make for a great fall cocktail party look.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Petty Cash

MORE TACOS.  Needless to say, we can never have enough tacos.  On our list of reasons everyone should live in LA, tacos would likely come in at number two after sunshine.  So naturally when a new taco serving venue opens up in the neighborhood, we go immediately.  Petty Cash did not disappoint.  First, the space is lovely – big, open, lively and colorful – it feels neighborhood-y but is still a bit of a scene.  They don’t take reservations, we as we have mentioned before we sort of love, especially here as it just means sipping on a margarita while you wait (usually just a few minutes).  Once you sit chips and salsa will appear.  Order up guacamole or the pig ear nachos – so good – if you need something more substantial to snack on.  Or go straight to the tacos.  Of course you should sample everything on your first visits, but the grilled octopus and el pastor are definitely our favorites.  The margaritas are great of course and while the beer list is a little fancy for our taste – we stick with Tecate – it is a welcome addition to a Mexican menu.    You can order for pick up too – lovely.

Petty Cash Taqueria
7360 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Peanut butter and bananas just belong together right?  Yes.  So while our mother’s banana bread will always remain the best ever in our minds, we couldn’t help but try out this delicious recipe from the Skinny Chef.  Yes – the skinny chef, which means it is also vaguely healthy.  No really.  Instead of large amounts of butter, this  version has peanut butter (duh), egg whites and Greek yogurt.  It’s made with whole wheat flour too (you can easily substitute regular flour, just cook it for 15 minutes or so longer).  All of these things combine perfectly for a moist, fluffy, delicious bread that is a perfect snack anytime of day.  We highly recommend pairing it with a latte for a quick breakfast.  The protein + carb combo makes it a great pre or post workout too.  We usually slice off a piece or two while it is still warm form the oven.  Of course it keeps nicely for a few days but we can’t imagine it lasting that long.  It takes just a few minutes to throw together and we usually have all of the ingredients on hand – both signs of an all star recipe in our minds.  Enjoy!

Full recipe here and below.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana
  • 1/3 cup non-fat yogurt
  • 1 2/3 cup “white” whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven 350° F. Grease and flour a 1-pound loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, beat sugar and peanut butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs on slow speed until blended then add bananas and yogurt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients until just combined then pour into loaf pan. Bake 55 to 60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf.

 

Like it? Louie it!

Every sensible young lady wants to be Emmanuelle Alt right?  We certainly do.  And since she is the queen of mixing neutrals, we’d thought she be the perfect inspiration for a wear with anything Chocolate Louie.  Seriously, take a cue from Ms. Alt and rock this one with every shade of beige, brown, navy, gray, black and white you can find.  Right now we’d actually like to pair it with a girly floral dress and nude sandals, come fall we’ll try it will the exact skinny jeans + slouchy tee + blazer combo seen here.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Pilates Platinum

Saying we love Pilates Platinum is probably an overstatement.  Or more accurately a total lie.  Because really we hate it.  It is torture.  It is evil.  And yet we go a few times a week.  Because while we are sweating with in the first 10 seconds of class and almost just as immediately in pain, 55 minutes later we leave feeling stronger, more toned, perhaps taller?  Just better.  The variety of moves is amazing to.  We don’t think we’ve ever done the same series of exercises more then once.   This means that even if you go religiously every other day or something crazy (really do not even try to go two days in a row, day two will be useless) it will still take quite some time before you leave with out feeling like you’ve discovered and toned some previously unknown muscle.  This is really why we love Pilates Platinum, because when it comes to working out, we don’t want to have to think too much, and here you know you taken care of your entire body in one efficient class.  There are four studios – Brentwood, Venice, Santa Monica and Hollywood – and classes all day from 6am to 7:30pm.   Celine is our favorite instructor – join us on Thursdays at 7am?

Click here for more info and all the locations.

Louie Loves: Poppin

Our love of school and office supplies is well documented – we’ve already praised our favorite pens, pencils, notebooks, and calendars.  Back to school ad campaigns make us extremely jealous of children and we get very upset that we don’t have a reason to justify a Staples shopping spree.  We like supplies, we like organization, and (obviously) we like color choices.  So Poppin is 100% our dream come true.  If you share any of our affection for neatly arranged desk items and color-coded storage, we apologize that you are about to spend hundreds of dollars upgrading everything that is currently on your desk.   Don’t worry, all these new colorful supplies will clearly make you more efficient.  It is totally worth it.  Poppin makes every possible desk accessory and each one comes in a rainbow of color options.  The choices are slightly panic inducing, but only because everything is so lovely.  Start with the desk sets to get the basics and then move on to notebooks and pens to round out the part of your desk that is in public view.  You’ll of course need the bright white hanging files, and perhaps a new file cabinet to store them in and at least a dozen of the soft cover folios.  Seriously, these things make us wish we had a job interview.  You can also shop by color which is quite handy and a good way to see the range of products all in one place.  We want our entire office to look like Poppin’s pretty website.  Really, we want our entire lives to look like Poppin’s pretty website.

Click here to shop.

Like it? Louie it!

Pretty sure we declared monochromatic looks were going to be ‘our thing’ for summer a few months back.  Besides, head-to-toe black, we’ve only tried it out a few times but this look is re-inspiring us.  So much orange.  But the pops of blue balance everything out so nicely – love that her shades are blue too.  Soooo of course we’ll be rounding up our fave orange items to pair with this Louie.  Orange is the new black after all.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Goldie’s

You know we are fans of Eveleigh so when we heard the team was opening up another spot in the neighborhood we were calling up for a reservation week one.  The Goldie’s space is on the small side and a little sleeker than Eveleigh but with the same relaxed, perfectly styled vibe.  Pretty much half the restaurant is outside (and framed by a giant wall of plants) which feels just right on warm summer nights – hopefully they have a heating set up planned for when the temp drops (gasp) below 70.  The tables are super close together, but this is LA and eavesdropping on your neighbors’ dinner conversation is half the fun.  If you are five or more, you’ll probably get the big round table in the corner, which we love.  Remind your friends to be punctual because they don’t like to seat you until everyone has arrived.  The bar area is small so we usually find ourselves awkwardly hovering over a first date while the bartender carefully crafts our fancy cocktail and we field texts from everyone claiming to be ‘on the way!’  The cocktails are delicious though so we don’t really mind too much.  The ingredient list is sort of hilarious as it includes phrases like ‘red beet basil shrub’ but we have never been disappointed.  Our faves are the Summer n’ Smoke and the Redwood.  The dinner menu is made of small plates, that are in fact pretty small, so if you are four or more, we’d recommend ordering up two of any favorites so no one is slighted.  The grilled cucumbers are a must – seriously who knew?  We also love the leeks, the burrata, and the kale salad.  Continuing down the menu we rotate through different combinations of the mussels, squid, pork collar and hanger steak depending on the groups mood.  The desserts are a little weak, meaning nothing seems indulgent enough BUT they do have an Eveleigh style chocolate chip cookie and mint ice cream sandwich on the menu that is obviously delicious.   They’re open for a brunch on the weekends, and with a small breakfast menu on weekdays.

Goldie’s
8422 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Orange Is The New Black

Everyone loves a women’s prison right?   No, probably no one does, but in Orange is the New Black we’re more than happy to spend time getting to know the inmates.    The show starts with the lovely young, white, preppy Piper heading into lock up to serve 15 months for casually transporting some drug money ten years prior when her lesbian lover convinced her to help out with her smuggling operation.  Piper is now engaged (to a man), living in Brooklyn and starting an artisanal soap company with her best friend (They’re going to be in Barneys) so she doesn’t fit in too well with the her Department of Corrections roommates.  As Piper learns the ropes, we learn about her fellow inmates with a glimpse into each person’s backstory.  It’s all pretty fascinating and sad and hilarious all at once.  And it’s based on a memoir so you know some of the crazy stories are at least half true.  We think the real reason we couldn’t stop watching this (we’ve already finished the whole season of course) is because we just kept wondering what we would do if we some how ended up in prison, besides of course, reading the full memoir for further insights.

Watch Season 1 here.

Like it? Louie it!

It’s been so hot these days, we want to copy all the breezy summer looks we see, and the Thakoon dress Eva Mendes is sporting here is no exception.  The bright blue and yellow color combination looks fun and light but still sophisticated.  The resulting Louie will brighten up any warm weather look.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Terroni

Terroni has been a long time fave and we sometimes forget just how lovely it is to have a easy, delicious Italian spot nearby, but with a brand new location just opened downtown, we thought it was time to share our love for the original.  With a menu filled with an overwhelming amount of pizza and pasta options it is always a tough decision.  We usually start with some lighter snacks and try to convince everyone to share so we don’t feel to guilty about frequenting this place.  The tuna carpaccio and grilled calamari are definitely frequent orders.  We try not to play favorites so we can get a full sampling of the menu so we usually let someone else choose a pizza or two.  As for the pastas the tagliatelle with Bolognese is heavenly on a chilly night.  That one we refuse to share.  In the summer months we like the simple but delicious spaghetti with fresh tomato and basil.  Terroni doesn’t take reservations we which actually like because we never mind enjoying a drink at the pretty marble bar while we wait.  We covet the massive chandelier that hangs overhead – gorgeous.  Lately we’ve been hitting up Terroni for a lazy weekend lunch.  It’s never too crowded so you can linger with a bottle of rosé while you gossip.  The new location on Spring looks beautiful – can’t wait to check it out!

Terroni
7605 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

And
802 S. Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians is everything a summer beach read should be – it’s indulgent, it’s gossipy, it’s about rich people, it involves a wedding, and it has an embarrassing gold glittery cover.  PERFECT.   The story starts with Nick, the golden boy scion of Singapore’s most aristocratic family bringing his girlfriend home for his best friend’s wedding.  She of course has no idea that she’ll be wandering into this world that is not just private jets and couture clothes, but much more impressively ladies maids gifted from foreign royalty and palatial estates that some how do not appear on Google Earth.  You immediately want to punch young Nick in the face for preparing poor Rachel not at all for this, but she is also so slow to pick up on the fact that she should perhaps now upgrade the Zara dress she brought along to wear for the big day that it is hard to feel sorry for her.  The descriptions of the houses, the clothes, and maybe most importantly the food are just so good.  The author grew up in Singapore and while he clearly cannot be directly involved in this scene or he would never have written this book right?  The outrageous details give the sense that many of these stories are based in truth and did not require too much embellishment.  And make you realize that you would never encounter the real life versions of these characters in your daily life.  Ever.  The ending is a little iffy, but by that time, you just don’t want it to end.  I’m booking a trip to Singapore.  Who’s coming with me?

Click here to buy.

Like it? Louie it!

We love the cool edge this mint and pink combo gets with the addition of a touch of black.  The whole thing takes on a sort of 50s poodle skirt, sock hop vibe and we love it.  We’d pair this one with and all black and white outfit for an extra crisp (and rather tan enhancing) summer look.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Potato Chips Deli

Or more accurately the new and improved Potato Chips.  We’ve always been fans of Potato Chips’ simple, no nonsense menu, but we just couldn’t get behind the bread at Potato Chips’ previous incarnation and of course the bread is rather important to a sandwich.  Luckily with their move around the corner, the bread was upgraded and is now AMAZING.  It’s soft on the inside and lightly crispy on the outside – the dream sandwich bread, it doesn’t collapse or get soggy and it isn’t too tough to easily get through in one bite.  With this as the new foundation for their classic offerings, Potato Chips has been reinvented in our eyes.   The décor is casual and with tile floors, white walls and nautical paintings, makes us feel a bit like we are on vacation.  We’ll take it.  Enjoy your tasty lunch with a cold brew coffee, fresh lemonade or Mexican coke and, of course, some chips (and make a chocolate chip cookie for dessert).  There are only seven items on the menu but seriously who gets sick of a perfect sandwich?  The basic turkey may actually be our favorite.  An herb aioli and hint of balsamic make it stand out.  The roast beef is a close runner up with arugula and horseradish mayo but really you can’t go wrong.  Lunch date anyone?

Potato Chips
308 N. Stanley Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Click here for the menu.

Louie Loves: Superga

So obviously Superga has been around for quite some time now, and we’ve had a few pairs over the years but with a recent purchase, we’ve become true fans.  They really are the perfect around town sneaker.  We would never disparage the American greats – Converse, Vans etc – but there is something a bit chicer about the classic Superga, something that makes pairing them with dresses seem more natural and less of a look how laid back I am in my sneakers statement.  The all rubber sole makes them super comfortable so they are great for summer sightseeing adventures and long days running errands.  One of our favorite details – which we’ve been pointing out to anyone who will listen like total crazy people – is that the darker colored styles (black, navy, pine green) have an ivory sole rather than the bright white.  This small change ups the sophistication factor and keeps them from looking too juvenile.  Because Superga is now run by Steve Madden in the US, it’s easy to buy the whole range online, and there’s a cute little store in Soho.  If ordering online, be sure to go one size up for a proper fit.

Click here to shop online.

Like it? Louie it!

We like the easy pairing of black and brown in this shot, injected with a shot of bold red.  A perfect way to spice up a mix of neutrals.  The matching chocolate Louie is easy to pair with just about anything but right now we like it along side white and gold to add a little richness to your summer staples.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Connie and Ted’s

We’re suckers for fresh seafood and while we’re generally partial to all things Pacific, were certainly not going to turn down a lobster roll so naturally we were thrilled to hear that Connie and Ted’s was opening up in our neighborhood, and in walking distance no less.  Taking over the territory of the ancient Silver Spoon Diner on Santa Monica Blvd, Connie and Ted’s is all brand new and under the care of Michael Cimarusti who you should know from Providence, his fancier seafood spot and one of our long time LA favorites.  Connie and Ted’s is named after Cimarusti’s grandparents (check them out here) and nod to tradition is evident in the menu which is full of seafood classics all prepared, simply, perfectly, and just the way you would expect them to taste at a beach side stand on a hot summer day.  Heaven.  Naturally the lobster rolls are delicious and we appreciate the choice to have it hot with drawn butter or cold with mayo.  There is a huge raw bar which is where we recommend sitting if possible so you can marvel at the total ease with which these dudes shuck oysters.  So far, everything we’ve had here has been excellent and as the summer continues we’ll be working our way through the other fish shack inspired sandwiches – fried oysters, battered cod etc and chowder offerings – New England, Manhattan, Rhode Island.  There’s always a daily catch too – prepared however you would like it.  The cocktails are appropriately refreshing, particularly the bright pink Sailor’s Delight which was an instant favorite.  We’d recommended finishing off your meal with the Blondie sundae, we’re sure you deserve it.

Connie and Ted’s
8171 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046

Click here for menus.

 

Isa Beach Style: The Hamptons

Wrapping up our Isa Beach Style series in The Hamptons.  Go for classic American looks that are a little bit preppy and a little bit fancy.  Whether you are hitting the beach or lounging poolside behind a manicured hedge, you never know what party invites will present themselves.  Be ready.  Our red Isa Beach tote fits in perfectly with this beach chic vibe.   Today is the last day to enter our Isa giveaway – enter now!

Suit: Michael Kors Collection.
Sandals: K. Jacques.
Shades: Warby Parker.
Cover Up: Soft Joie.
Reading Material: The Interestings.

Louie Loves: The Bachelor Farmer

Occasionally we like to dedicate our Louie Loves to a favorite place in a far off city, and today we’ve chosen The Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis.  Fresh off our first visit to Minneapolis, we’re still smitten with this place and cannot wait to return (which happily we will be doing in September).  The menu claims to honor Minnesota’s Nordic heritage.  Of course we only have the vaguest idea of what that means, but we do know that everything we had was delicious and very clean and fresh.  The menu changes regularly but whatever tasty dish you choose we’d recommend getting some of the toasts to share.  No matter what the star of the show – house-cured ham, duck liver pâté, smoked salmon – all of the condiments are perfectly selected to ensure whatever little bite you construct for yourself will be just delicious.  The atmosphere is lovely as well.  The space has a cozy and casual feel – original brick walls, distressed wood floors – but you’ll notice the attention to detail everywhere – like the notes that wallpaper the hallway to the bathroom.  Somehow though, nothing feels too contrived, just well thought out.  We LOVE the blue and white gingham awnings out front – so charming.  The same goes for Marvel Bar downstairs where you should definitely stop in for a very lovingly crafted pre or post dinner cocktail (and admire the mismatched tile floor).  The Bachelor Farmer boys have a beautiful boutique in the building too – filled with lots of things you want and nothing you need – our favorite kind of shop.  Get to dinner before 8 to browse the goods.

The Bachelor Farmer
50 North 2nd Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55401

Click here for menus.

Isa Beach Style: Malibu

Whether you are into surfing or just checking out surfers, you have to look the part in Malibu.  You never know where the day will take you so you want to be sure your can go from the water to beach party to house party with minimal effort.  When in doubt go with bright colors and lots of prints.  Our multicolored Isa Beach Tote will blend in perfectly.  Enter to win you own right here – http://a.pgtb.me/qghxb6

Suit: SKYE & staghorn.
Sandals: Joie.
Shades: Oakley.
Cover Up: Mara Hoffman.
Reading Material: Reconstructing Amelia.

Isa Beach Style: Las Vegas

For those of you who prefer waiters to waves, nothing beats Las Vegas for a summer escape.  The main concerns when planning your look are making sure your suit isn’t the same color as the cabana girls and that your cover up is chic to hit the tables on your way back to your room.  Even poolside style is over the top in Vegas, but in neutral white and gray, our Charcoal Isa Tote will compliment, not compete with even your most glam ensemble.  Enter here to win your own Isa Beach Tote!

Suit: Vix.
Sandals: Diane von Furstenberg.
Shades: Gucci.
Cover Up: Rachel Pally.
Reading Material: Crazy Rich Asians.

Like it? Louie it!

We are in full summer mode right now and this photo was just too good.  A bright sunny colored surfboard and a vintage VW bus?  All that is missing is Gidget.  We’ll be whipping us this summery Tangerine Louie so we can enjoy this little moment of summer perfection for months to come.

Click here to buy.

 

Louie Loves LA: Neptune’s Net

So we admit we just went to Neptune’s Net for the first time this past weekend.  But it was really one of those magical times when you finally visit somewhere you always wanted to go and it is exactly what you imagined.  So we think it deserves a Louie Loves.  Very very far up PCH (it’s about 40 minutes from Santa Monica), Neptune’s Net attracts all types, as all beach side spots should.  It is also, like all g0od beach side spots, basically a shack.  Upon arrival, you’ll first notice the 100s of motorcycles line up outside and the crews of bikers admiring each other’s rides.  Inside, you’ll find a mix of said bikers, surfers, families, and tourists chatting away at picnic tables.  Neptune’s Net specializes in seafood – duh – and you can either head to the grill side for fried delights (we went with the fish and chips – perfect) plus fish and shrimp tacos and burgers.  The seafood side has fresh oysters and steamed versions of everything that is fried on the other side – all served with corn on the cob and chunks of sourdough bread.  Yum.  Everything was delicious and their tartar sauce – essential for dipping – is excellent.  You pick up drinks before you order inside and they have a crazy selection of beers with everything from Mickey’s 40s to microbrews and a few pretty nice wines too.   It is really just a lovely day to spend a lazy summer afternoon with a lovely view and highly entertaining people watching.

Neptune’s Net
42505 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265

Click here for menus.

Isa Beach Style: Venice Beach

There is so much going on in Venice – surfers, skaters, hipsters, hippies – that pretty much anything goes, but the key is to make sure your beach ensemble transitions seamlessly from sand to street just in case you don’t have time to stop at home before your res at Gjelina.  Our black Isa makes the transition to Abbot Kinney perfectly.  Head to our Facebook page to win your own Isa – were giving away 5!

Suit: Clover Canyon.
Sandals: Alexander Wang.
Shades: Super.
Cover Up: Mikoh.
Reading Material: Maya’s Notebook.

Isa Beach Style: Sea Island

We’ve put together some handy beach style guides to help you decide which Isa Beach Tote is right for you.   We are starting things off in Sea Island, Georgia with our blue and white Isa Beach Tote.   The classic, crisp print is perfect for this Southern spot’s polished, preppy vibe.  Stayed tuned all week for more summer style inspiration and don’t forget to enter our Beach Tote Giveway for a chance to win your own Isa! 

Suit: J.Crew.
Sandals: Splendid.
Shades: Stella McCartney.
Cover Up: Lilly Pulitzer.
Reading Material: The Engagements.

Louie Loves: Love & Lemons

We cook a fair amount, we even went to culinary school, so naturally we spend far too much time browsing food blogs and pinning recipes we will never actually make.  BUT the one blog that we currently find ourselves going back to over and over, and actually making the recipes from is Love & Lemons.  This is probably mostly due to the fact that all of the photos are just so so pretty.  Blogger Jeanine is a graphic designer so that may be why everything looks so good.  It helps that Jeanine and her husband have a gorgeous sunny kitchen in their Austin home, filled with clean white and marble too (check out some pics here).  Of course, it is not all about the styling though – this food is GOOD.  And it is mostly on the fresh and healthy side.  Very veggie centric, there are tons of gluten free and vegan options and a handy recipe index that lets you search by season, meal, special diet and ingredients.  We have found this extremely helpful when hosting dinner parties, as it seems everyone we know has recently decided to become gluten free.   All of the veggie dishes make great sides as well, for when you have more carnivorous friends over.  Again, we stress that all of this bright, fresh, beautifully photographed food is also delicious.  For an easy recipe to start with, try the Kale Walnut Pesto which can be thrown on top of pasta, grilled veggies, or mixed into eggs.  We just made the Peanut Soba Noodles with Edamame and Kale and had to restrain ourselves from eating the entire ‘serves 4’ recipe in one sitting.   We’ll definitely be whipping Jeanine’s latest post – Mexican Street Corn Salad –this weekend.  Seriously, how amazing does that sound? 

 

Click here to check out Love & Lemons.

Like it? Louie it!

Oh hey.  We love the casual boldness of this shot from Vogue China.  This makes us want to pair our Royal Louie with the brightest things we own.  This royal + orange + bright pink combo would also be nice with a crisp all white look this summer.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: M Café

There is really nothing more LA than casually describing your favorite lunch spot as ‘contemporary macrobiotic’ and if someone actually said those words to us, they would receive a Liz Lemon style over the top eye roll… right before we stepped up to the counter to order our absolutely delicious meal.  To be honest, we don’t really understand the goals of a macrobiotic diet means but it means there is no dairy, eggs, refined sugars, red meat or poultry.  We admit this sounds rather limiting but once you see the giant plates of delectable food being served up at M Café, you will be fine with these limitations.  Note that fish is included on the macrobiotic plan, and the tuna burger is one of our favorite items on the menu – topped with avocado and pickled red onions, it fresh and satisfying and won’t leave you feeling like you need to take a nap before going back to work.  This is really the draw of M Café for us.  Everything here is tasty and filling but feels clean and never too indulgent.  The Big Macro is also one of the best veggie burgers in town, and we love the Madras Tempeh Wrap and the M Café Chopped Salad.  There is always a huge selection of deli style salad too.  The Kale with Spicy Peanut Dressing being our go to.  We would eat pretty much anything with peanut sauce on it, and when it is dressing a fresh kale salad we don’t even feel bad about it.  The Sesame Soba Noodles are up there too.  We usually wash everything down with their minty, iced green tea – so refreshing!

M Café Beverly Hills
9433 Brighton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

And on Melrose
7110 Melrose Ave
Hollywood, CA 90046

Click here for menus.

Oh hello.

New leathers have arrived!  We’re pretty into all of them.  We have some new zippers and linings too.  All set for summer.  Start designing!  

Like it? Louie it!

We are in full summer mode, so basically we would like to be lounging by this beautiful pool today and everyday.  The cool colors seem to match our new mint leather and French blue zipper perfectly, so we’ll be whipping up this Louie immediately to cheer us up on those days when a dip in the pool isn’t an option.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Sweet Rose Creamery

So we know that we recently claimed the chocolate chip cookie as our favorite dessert, but really it is in a dead tie with ice cream.  We could eat ice cream everyday, which is why we are happy we do not live close to Sweet Rose Creamery.  This adorable ice cream shop from the folks at Huckleberry has been serving up cool refreshing treats in the Brentwood County Mart for three years now.  It’s very cute and charming and the ice cream is all really really delicious.  The flavors change monthly and always take advantage whatever fresh produce is in season – head over right now for Candied Cherry Ice Cream and Plum Sorbet – YUM.  Of course they have a Salted Caramel, a delicious rich Chocolate, and a perfect Old Fashioned Vanilla, but our favorite is Fresh Mint with Homemade Chocolate Chips.  It is so minty and fresh we really do not know how they do it, but it is magically refreshing on a hot day.  They have all the classic ice cream based treats – shakes, floats, bon bons, ice cream sandwiches – and cakes for a crowd.  Obviously we like the Fresh Mint and Chocolate Cake.

Sweet Rose Creamery
225 26th Street, #51
Santa Monica, CA 90402

Click here for current flavors.

Louie Loves: The Killing

Really cannot describe how excited we are for the return of The Killing on Sunday.  We realize many people abandoned this show when it took two full seasons to solve the first case but they have remedied that problem in season three with a brand new case that will be all wrapped up by the end of the season – answers – hooray!  This also means that you do not have to have previously watched to jump right in with the 2-hour premiere on Sunday.  Set in perpetually gray Seattle – do not think we saw a single ray of sunshine in seasons one and two – the show has always been super creepy, but season three seems even darker and more terrifying, and free of confusing side plots involving local politics – hooray again.   Instead of just one missing young girl, this time there is a serial-killer like number of bodies, all killed in the same disturbing manner, and of course the deaths seemed tied to detective Linden’s previous case.  Enter Peter Sarsgaard as an immediately frightening death row inmate who a few years back murdered his wife in just the same way.   There is also Sargaard’s young son who has been drawing the same picture over and over for years, lots of young street kids pretending to be tough, and a pastor who is trying to help them.  Creepiness all around.  But perhaps the best part of season three is that Holder finally got a hair cut and a properly fitting suit so he no longer looks like a delinquent himself – pretty sure Joel Kinnaman demanded this upgrade. 

You can watch the full premiere episode online here.   

Summer has arrived. And so has the Isa Tote.

Meet The Isa.  Our new cotton tote.  It’s perfect for the beach, the pool, a picnic – all your summer fun needs.  We know will have an Isa on our arm all summer, the only question is which color?

Get yours here.

 

Like it? Louie it!

This hat has been seen around the Essex offices a lot recently and we love it.  We love that the bold accents freshen up the black to keep things looking crisp and summery.  The color combination is almost tropical but the black keeps things sophisticated and versatile.  The matching Louie is a perfect match for little dresses on hot summer nights.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Mandrake

For some reason warm temperatures and the arrival of summer always make us want to revisit this place.  Located on the still grim looking strip of La Cienega between Venice and Washington, Mandrake is right in the middle of Culver City’s galleries.  Of course this makes it a perfect place to enjoy a cocktail after an evening of art browsing in the neighborhood.  Generally the people watching is even more interesting than the art, so naturally you need a place to discuss the cast of characters (and/or become friends with them) after all that culture.  Mandrake makes surprisingly well-crafted drinks for a place that is so low key.  The Greyhounds are perfect – somehow the sprig of fresh rosemary really elevates things.  We also love the tomato water martini, (and have tried very unsuccessfully to recreate it) which is like an extremely clean, light version of a Bloody Mary.  It is delicious.  The crowd is always a mixed bag at Mandrake, and it is always a lot of fun.  Make your way through the crowded front room and you are likely to find a dance party and an awesome DJ.  If you are not ready to show off your moves, continue on back to the lovely patio for a more relaxed setting for your cocktail sipping. 

Mandrake
2692 S. La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Click here for hours, DJs, and drinks.

Louie Loves: Summer Jams

We’re staying in town this Memorial Day weekend and while the forecast isn’t too amazing we are still super pumped to attend bbqs, play at the beach and generally lounge for a few days.  We’ve whipped up an early summer playlist to soundtrack all of the vacation-like merriment we have planned and we are sharing it with you – hooray!  It’s over 8 hours and is mostly new-ish stuff with some classics – ie most of the Pet Sounds album and some old school MJ and James Brown – mixed in so it should take care of whatever plane flights, car rides and pool parties are in your near future.  Enjoy.  We’ll probably add to this all summer so subscribe/follow or whatever it is called on Spoitfy if you want updates. 

Click here to listen. 

Like it? Louie It!

We love to see people pairing bold colors with such aplomb.  This girl is killing it, but we can’t lie, we might be a bit hesitant to rock this mix of bright red, golden yellow and rich green in full outfit mode.  Luckily, we can whip up a Louie with the same combo for a mini test run.  Very fresh and summer-ready, we want to pair this one with faded denim and a white tee.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: El Carmen

So really we love anywhere that serves tacos and tequila but there are a few key things that give El Carmen and edge.  It is fairly small, and very dark.  Two things we very much enjoy.  The menu basically has one page of food and 8 pages of tequila.   All of the tables are along one wall and very close together.  This is sometimes annoying, but mostly entertaining as people seem to love El Carmen as a date spot so you can usually listen in on awkward get to know you conversations and watch people nervously get way too drunk for a first date.  The menu, while small, is well edited.  They have the classics you’re looking for and they wont disappoint.   Naturally we usually go with some combination of carnitas and fish tacos.  We’ve probably eaten an entire basket of chips while sipping our margaritas so a taco or two is usually all we need.  The classic margarita is great here – very fresh and not too sweet.  We also love the spicy version, which is muddled with jalapeños for a nice kick.  El Carmen is quick and easy but the atmosphere is always lively and they don’t mind if you decide to linger over another round.  This place will be making its way back into our summer rotation.  See you there soon.

El Carmen
8138 W. Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048

They sort of have a website.

Louie Loves: A Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Definitely our favorite dessert, we never turn down a chocolate chip cookie.  The Internet has decided that May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day so we celebrated by baking up a batch at home with our go to recipe from Real Simple (recipe here and below).  This recipe is easy as all chocolate chip cookies should be and involves no silly, infuriating steps like refrigerating the dough for 24 hours.  The cookies come out perfectly every time.  We make them bite sized so we usually end up with about 80 little cookies.  They make a delicious afternoon treat and are always a crowd-pleasing dessert.  Of course we have some non-home made favorites as well.  The best soft and gooey option in LA is definitely Bottega Louie’s.  They may be our favorite cookies ever.  And they come in a package of two so you can share, save one for later or decide that two cookies are obviously meant to be one serving and polish them both off.  Our favorite thin an crispy option in LA comes from Le Pan Quotidien and is the approximately the size of your head.  On the store bought front we like Tate’s (available at Bristol Farms – they also make a gluten free version) and Isabella’s (at Whole Foods).   If you missed the big day last week, we recommend a belated celebration with any of the above options. 

Real Simple’s Irresistible Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla for 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the baking soda. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop the dough into tablespoon-size mounds and place on the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned at the edges, 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

 

Like it? Louie it!

We want this giant necklace, like right now.  We spotted it on Moda Opernadi and were instantly in love with this EK Thongrasert stunner.  We want to wear it with a striped tee and distressed jeans.  But what really struck us was the colors.  We love the rich mix of greens and blues – a combo that will instantly elevate even the most casual outfit.  The resulting Louie will do the same for your relaxed summer looks.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Food+Lab

Food Lab has made a recent and quite strong return to our neighborhood lunch rotation, so much so that they know our name and our coffee order.  This should probably embarrass us, but we’re fine with it.  Everything is just so yummy.  By now you know how much we love a good sandwich (see here and here) and at Food Lab there are almost too many delicious options to choose from.  Favorites include the Chicken Gouda, the Curried Chicken Salad, and the Roasted Veggie.  The Chicken Wiernerschnitzel is pretty amazing too.   And that is just a small sampling of the 20+ offerings, vegan items included.  Their ciabatta bread makes any sandwich into a neat, perfectly sized package.  The salads are quite tasty too – the Nicoise and the Roasted Veggies with French Goat Cheese being our go-tos.  There is always a selection of fresh healthy side salads too so we’re never tempted to grab a bag of chips.  Though we are always tempted, and always give in to the mini financiers – a favorite French treat of ours – seriously, try them.  Luckily they give you one of the bite-sized joys when you get a coffee so this occasionally dissuades us from taking a whole bag home with us.  They have breakfast too and once again, the whole menu is awesome.  The West Hollywood location’s back patio is a lovely place to spend a lazy Sunday morning.  Stop in soon, we’ll probably be there.

Click here for menus.

Food+Lab
7253 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046

And in Silverlake:
3206 West Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Louie Loves: Vampire Weekend

So Vampire Weekend is sort of one of those bands that we want to hate just a little because they always seem a bit smug and quite proud of their own cleverness.   But we actually don’t hate them at all because each new album is always just so good.  We’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of their third effort – Modern Vampires of the City – for weeks now.  We’ve decided Vampire Weekend should only be allowed to release albums in May because they repeatedly deliver the kind of sunny, summery tunes that make us want to have a pool party.  But there is always another layer – you know, random cultural references, mentions of death – with Vampire Weekend to keep your attention.  This is the type of record that reminds us that a really really good pop album is magic.  Modern Vampires of the City is a perfect summer soundtrack, and one that we know will still want to listen to five years from now.  It is too early to pick a favorite track but not too early to say this may become our favorite Vampire Weekend album yet.  HOORAY.

Here’s an actual (and equally glowing) review from Stereogum.

Streaming now on iTunes and out May 14th.

Like it? Louie it!

So we basically want to use one of Elisa Nalin’s always fabulous, always bright, always unexpected outfits for every single Louie It, and we try hard to resist but this time we couldn’t help it.  We love that this look is almost monochromatic but there is still so much going on.  We make mastering the mix of blues easy with our bluebreak leather.  Add a mango zipper and you’ve got a go to clutch for summer nights.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: The Piñata District

Soooo if you were to casually mention to someone that you were heading to the piñata district they may be a bit confused, because truth be told we christened this lovely block of Olympic Boulevard ourselves.  But the name is totally catching on…  We realize we really should have mentioned this gem pre Cinco de Mayo but we find a reason to swing through when prepping for almost any party, and piñatas are appropriate year round aren’t they?   We first discovered the piñata district when shopping for a birthday party a few years ago.  We wanted a real piñata, not one with SpongeBob on it.  We knew we had to be able to get this in LA, after some internet research ended up just west of Central Ave on Olympic in a wonderland of giant piñatas, Mexican spices, candy and toys.  It was glorious.  They have every type of piñata in every size – we went home with an extremely large donkey – and everything you could possibly want to put in it.  Lots of Mexican treats that are hard to find elsewhere as well as giant bags of your American favorites, plus oodles of fun toys.  The mini parachute men were a huge hit at our birthday.   You can also pick up little ceramic dishes and helpful tools like a lime juicer (essential for fresh margaritas).  The piñata district is also our source for little red and white-checkered paper trays, which are cute alternative to paper plates at casual parties.    Naturally, it’s just so festive in the piñata district.  All the time.   Swing through before your next event.

Click here for map + directions.

Louie Loves: Neuarmy

Neuarmy is our newest mini obsession.  We first became aware of this rad company when we saw their amazing ‘Hustle’ t-shirt.  Sadly, but not surprisingly it was sold out.  Not surprisingly because a) it’s awesome and b) it was made in a limited run of 25.  Neuarmy individually typesets each shirt and everything is done by hand.  Before we could even contact them to find out if there was any hope of the Hustle tee returning, we got sucked into browsing the super cool prints and linocuts.  We think the ‘Like a Champ’ print would make a fitting congratulations gift for pretty much any achievement and we like the ‘Crew Only’ linocut for a gentle way of saying keep out.  All so good.  We were almost crushed to hear that the Hustle tee was gone forever but our spirits were instantly lifted when we heard there was a ‘Victory’ tee in the works.  EVEN BETTER.  We casually stalked the website and made sure to snatch up a Victory tee on day one.   A perfectly soft gray tee, we love knowing it is one of a kind ( #08 ) and we never want to take it off.  We’re also crazy about all of Neurarmy’s packaging.  Everything is so clean and simple.  We’re definitely framing the little gold linocut that came with our shirt.  Victory is ours!  Thank you Neuarmy.

Check out the site here.

Like it? Louie it!

How awesome is this look from J.Crew spring lookbook?  We like the pairing of dark and light, fancy and casual, sophisticated and fun.  We just like this.  The matching Louie is equally pleasing and a very user friendly, handheld way to try out this bold combination.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Cecconi’s

Cecconi’s is another warm weather fave here at Essex and with temperature’s rising we are sure we will be visiting frequently.  You see when summer hits LA, some days are just too gloriously sunny to spend in the full sun.  Cecconi’s has a light airy feel that lets you take advantage of nice days with out ending up with unfortunate tan lines form your afternoon cocktail session.  The marble bar is gorgeous and the perfect place for an early evening glass of rosé.  The after work (though most of these people don’t look like they do any work) cocktail scene is highly entertaining.  We also love Cecconi’s for breakfast.  The bright marble filled space is such an elegant way to start the day.   We love the baked eggs and no one will bat an eye if you decide to opt for a weekday Bloody Mary.  Dinner isn’t bad either of course.  Our favorites are the grilled octopus and the branzino from the wood oven.  The forecast is showing 90s degree temps later this week so you might just find us camped out here.

Cecconi’s
8764 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Click here for menus.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

We’ve got something for every Mom. AND a 15% off all orders now through Mother’s Day (May 12th) to help you properly spoil them. Enter THANKSMOM at checkout.

1 – The New Mom.  Lucky to make it out of the house, she’s probably most frequently in leggings and her favorite cardigan.  Our bluebreak Louie will brighten up even the most disheveled outfit and is easy to spot in the diaper bag.

2 – The Trendy Mom.  She’s always sporting the latest styles.  Camo print is probably already on her spring shopping list.

3 – The Active Mom.  Usually seen in fancy work out gear, our Dutch tote has plenty of room for her yoga mat and spin shoes.

4 – The Classic Mom.  A fan of striped shirts and simple silhouettes, our bold red Louie will compliment her timeless style.

5 – The Sophisticated Mom.  Always looking elegant, she’ll appreciate our pebble navy leather and the chic combination of navy and black.

6 – The Mom Who Always Knows Best.  This is every Mom right?  Let her design her own bag to ensure success.

Louie Loves: Phosphorescent

We’ve had Muchacho on repeat for a solid month now.  We can’t get enough of Matthew Houck’s shaky Southern voice.  We’ve been fans for a few years now but each album gets better and better.  This one is beautiful and heartbreaking with out being sad.  ‘Song For Zula‘ is the type of track that gets played on a loop in our car for days, until we decided our passengers are getting creeped out.  If this song is written about a real person and she didn’t go running back to him when she heard this, she has no heart.  We also love ‘Ride On/ Right On’, the albums peppiest track which seems appropriate for cruising in a convertible and also assures us that Houck is probably going to be ok.  ‘Muchacho’s Tune’ is another favorite, but really we’ve just been playing the album straight through and enjoying it all.  We’ve seen Phosphorescent at The Troubadour twice now – perfect venue for this – and Houck and his band are fantastic live so be sure and catch them on stage if you can.

Check out Phosphorescent on iTunes and Spotify,

Blend In

So pumped about our newest limited edition Louie.  We are long time camo fans and the print is everywhere right now.  Our little Louie lets you try out the trend with out looking like you are reporting for duty.  Available now – Get it here.

 

Like it? Louie it!

The cool tones of this room are so soothing.  It looks both wintery and summery – equally lovely for a nap on a rainy afternoon or a glass of crisp white wine after dinner on a lazy summer night.  The matching Louie has the same clean, cool feel.  With the warmer months on the horizon we want to pair it with white dresses and tropical prints.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Duke’s

It only takes one gloriously sunny weekend to remind us how much we love Duke’s.  There is definitely nothing cool about Duke’s.  It’s a chain.  It’s wonderfully cheesy and we will never tire of it.  The crowd is a hilarious mix of families, surfers, bikers, and couples on super awkward looking Millionaire Matchmaker style dates where the girl is way over dressed.    We love this aspect of Duke’s.  We usually roll in post Paseo Miramar hike in dusty workout gear and no one seems to mind.   Sit outside (duh) to enjoy the sun and the view – waves crashing, paddle boarders paddling, dolphins frolicking.  Because of the aforementioned totally cheesiness, Duke’s is just the place to order up a ridiculous fruity drink.  And you must get the nachos, which are the best nachos ever and like your fruity drink, embarrassingly large.  The fish tacos are also quite tasty – to be honest the tacos and nachos are pretty much all we ever order.  We’ve just never felt the need to stay from the classics.  There are specials everyday  – $3 tacos on Tuesdays, $5 Mai Tais on Fridays – so it works for a warm summer weeknight too.

Duke’s
21150 PCH
Malibu, CA 90265

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: A Perfect Dirty Martini

We remember our very first dirty martini.  This momentous occasion occurred in the Library Bar of the Hudson Hotel in New York.  We had always really liked olives.  And vodka.  But somehow had never tried a dirty martini, or a martini at all, until convinced by a friend (who may have tried to claim they made her less hungover…  than what we are not sure).  It was cold, and crisp, and fancy and we loved it.  We embraced our new cocktail but quickly learned (after spending a summer in SF, spilling them all over Blondies) that martinis are best consumed in civilized situations where you can set the glass down and aren’t liked to be jostled by people flooding the dance floor when Journey comes on.  After a few years of sipping these delightful bevs in restaurants and hotels we thought it was time we learned to make one ourselves.  You know, in case of an emergency or something.  We consulted with our brother, who is an excellent bartender and martini fan (he drinks ‘real’ aka gin martinis) for the proper proportions, and have been happily shaking these up ever since.  See below for our recommended recipe and helpful tools.   Enjoy!

A Perfect Dirty Martini
3 oz vodka
½ oz (1 tablespoon) vermouth
½ – 1 oz olive juice
Olives for garnish

Measure the vodka, vermouth and olive juice into a shaker.  Shake vigorously until you convinced it is super cold.  Strain into martini glass and garnish with olives.

The equipment:

1 – Double-walled Boston Cocktail Shaker.  This kind of shaker makes it easy to measure your ingredients directly into the shaker and it looks very professional.

2 – Jigger Measuring Beaker.  For accurate measuring.  And it looks quite cute on the bar.

3 – Stainless-steel cocktail picks.  Each martini should get at least two olives.

4 – Martini Olives.  These ones are the perfect size.

5 – Grey Goose.  Our preferred vodka for martinis.

6 – Martini & Rossi Extra Dry Vermouth.  We like this one because the bottle is pretty.

 

Like it? Louie it!

Alright so we sort of love everything about this photo.   Starting with the fact that she is super casually rocking her bra top around town.  Apparently this is how they do it in Australia.  We also love the mix of bright bright red with deep purple – a great way to keep summer colors (and minimal clothing) looking sophisticated.  And finally we love the pairing or a bright red clutch with a bright red skirt.  Somehow it looks super modern.  We have this exact Louie in our closet and now we’ll be pairing it with our favorite little red dress.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Lemonade

We love that Lemonade has become a mini chain as it is nice to know you can get a quick semi healthy lunch wherever your LA errands take you.  Along with multiple well placed locations (around 11 now), Lemonade menu allows you to tailor your meal to whatever style and size your specific level of hungriness demands – from small snack to giant meal and from broccoli and kale to truffle mac ‘n cheese.  And chocolate chip cookies, they have great chocolate chip cookies.  The set up is cafeteria style and while we are generally not fans of meals on trays, the food is certainly 10 steps above any actual cafeteria and we appreciate the versatility of the choose your own adventure set up.  There are fancy salads, sandwiches, and soups plus more substantial proteins including a rotating selection of braised dishes and pot roasts perfect for that rare chilly day or whenever you need a comforting dinner.  The selections change seasonally and there are always some specials but favorites include the watermelon radish and ahi salad, the couscous with wild mushrooms, the shaved Brussels sprouts and the buttermilk chicken.  Naturally they have homemade lemonade as well, in lots of fruity and refreshing flavors – we like the blueberry mint and the blood orange.  Perhaps the BEST part of Lemonade’s ever expanding empire is the new(ish) location at LAX.   It is the perfect place for a pre-flight meal or to pick up an on board snack.  And certainly reason enough to fly Delta.

Click for locations and menus. 

Louie Loves: The Dutch Goose

We thought we should give a little background on the namesake of our new Dutch Tote.  It has nothing to do with the Netherlands, but rather is named after our favorite place in our Northern California hometown of Menlo Park – The Dutch Goose.  We should clarify that no one calls the restaurant ‘The Dutch’, it is ‘The Goose’ – always, but The Goose Tote didn’t really have the right ring to it.  This place has been around forever.  Or since the 60s and that is pretty old in California.  Old enough for our parents to go there on their very first date.  The Goose is a classic neighborhood beer + burgers spot, with peanut shells littering the floor and the names of regulars carved into tables.  It has been fancied up in recent years, meaning the cash register works properly and they have shiny new TV everywhere.  They also serve real cocktails now too.  Personally I could do with out all of these improvements but casual local atmosphere persists and the food is still delicious.   The menu has also expanded but we stick with the classics – cheeseburgers, the turkey sandwich, maybe a grilled cheese and of course the deviled eggs.  You must get the deviled eggs (just the right amount of spice) and we’d recommend a nice cold pitcher of Coors Light to wash it all down with.

Click here to check out the menu.

Like it? Louie it!

We love this photo (via Who What Wear) and think we should scout some fancy printed walls in our neighborhood to prance around in from of right away!  This girl outfit looks so great against the graphic wall.  It’s clean and bright but still maintains a bit of an edge.  Similarly we love our yellowbreak leather brightened up with a highlighter zipper – an unexpectedly great combo.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: Mr. Chow

We hadn’t been to Mr. Chow in years but after a recent visit, we were reminded how much we love this place.  The second you walk in the door you are greeted by enthusiastic hellos as though you are a regular and everyone on the staff is just thrilled to see you.  We love the narrow black and white space – clean and timeless.  We’d be really happy if all waiters in LA had to endure a training period here.  The service is attentive, but they don’t bother you, everything just seems to happen.  And of course the food is delicious.  We usually convince the table to do the fixe menu so we can sample as many things as possible.  It seems like so much food but they expertly portion everything so there is rarely more than a few bites left.  So difficult to pick favorites but we’d say the green prawns, Mr. Chow noodles and lettuce cups are all musts.  And probably the duck and drunken fish…  We really never had anything bad here.  We love the dishes too – little silver trays and bowls in all sizes and shapes that have likely been in use since the day the restaurant open and Cy Twombly plates.  Perfect.  We prefer Mr. chow for a leisurely lunch but if you invited us for dinner we wouldn’t turn you down. 

Mr. Chow
344 N. Camden Drive
Beverly Hill, CA 90210

Click here for details.

The Dutch Tote has arrived!


Can you believe we finally have a new product?  We know it has been a long time coming, but we do think the Dutch Tote is pretty perfect.  Made of soft lambskin, it is quite roomy but folds flat, making it perfect for travel.  The silver and gold are oh so versatile and add just the right amount of fanciness to your everyday errands.

Get all the details in the Essex shop.

Louie Loves: West Elm Market

Are you aware of this new West Elm Market business? Because we want pretty much everything. In fact we want to have a giant garage sale, empty our house and then fill it up with exclusively Market goods. They really do have everything you would need to make every room in your house charming and stylish – including your supply closet. They even have cute brooms and dusters, and of course all natural cleaning products to use them with. Standouts from the kitchen section include Brooklyn Copper’s beautiful sauté pan and Schmidt Brothers wood handled knife sets. And the Smeg appliances. Italians seriously know how to make kitchens look pretty and it is impossible not to imagine how insanely cute your house would be with a mint green fridge. We also like the sleek Krups appliances – we are sure we’d be making fresh juice every morning if we had the citrus press, sure. There’s food too. And gardening tools, including the seeds needed to plant said garden. They’ve really got it all taken care of and its so well curated. Those of you that think you are too cool to like things that West Elm tells you are cool will be missing out. We’ve definitely never been this excited about a garden hose.

Check it all out here.

Like it? Louie it!

So really when is Taylor Tomasi-Hill not killing it?  Never.  This is look is spot on for spring and this color combo makes for a perfect spring Louie.   Our favorite part of this is the red pumps and we’ll be busting out our pair immediately.  This Louie will pair nicely with sleek basics but it is always fun to throw the purplebreak in with other prints too.  Start it off simply by pairing it with a classic striped tee.

Click here to buy.     

Louie Loves LA: Big Daddy’s Antiques

There are some furniture stores where you browse and then decide ‘I want that lamp’ and then there are others where you decide you should return home and immediately rearrange everything in you house, because you’ve clearly been doing it all wrong.   Big Daddy’s falls into the latter category.   Housed in a massive warehouse in Culver City (it used to be in the middle of no where down town so be thankful for the move), this place is has everything from tiny alarm clocks to massive forty foot marque signs with styles ranging from French county to modern industrial.  In general the scale of things here is pretty large – not so apartment friendly – but they have great seating and lighting options that would work anywhere.  They also custom make pieces with salvaged parts – the dining tables are standouts.  We’re thinking we might need something tall with a copper top to act as a bar.  It is just so fun to wander around here.  The styling is as inspiring as the merchandise and you can easily spend and hour browsing with out realizing it.  The staff is very friendly, offering water and tape measures and helpful relaying the origins of your favorite pieces.   They have a selection of things on their website, but you really must pay them an in person visit to understand the genius of this place.

Big Daddy’s Antiques
3334 La Cienega Place
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Click here for hours and directions.

Louie Loves: The 29 Palms Inn

It took at least five years of LA residency before we finally made it to Joshua Tree.  Luckily our very first trip there included a stay at The 29 Palms Inn and we’ve been making regular visits ever since.  A collection of little cabins and adobe bungalows (from the 30s), this place is a lovely little desert community.  We’ve only stayed here for a night at a time but it is always such a treat.  The cabins are far from fancy but they are all unique and cozy and the perfect place to relax with a bottle of wine after a day exploring the park.  Some have kitchens and fireplaces and can fit a group.  There’s a lake, a pool, and a very friendly staff – it’s all very charming.  The Inn is just a few minutes from the park so its really the ideal to place if you are into hiking and you know, natural beauty or whatever, but not so into camping.  Be sure to eat at the restaurant, and not just because it is pretty much the only place to eat nearby.  It is (sort of shockingly) delicious.  Their homemade bread it worth a trip on its own.  We routinely eat multiple baskets before our dinner has arrived.  There’s also live music every night, which is pretty impressive and usually very entertaining.   There’s free breakfast everyday, where you can go through some more of that delicious bread and other treats and get some coffee to fuel up before a hike.  We might just have to book another trip right now.

Click here to check out their website.

 

Like it? Louie it!

Where is spring?  Even in LA its cloudy with rain forecast for the weekend – Outrageous!  This transitional weather has made it clear that we need a bright coat. While this girl does seem a little miffed by the rain, she certainly looks cute.  We love the bold red and blue against basic black.  The matching Louie is fun but not too crazy so you can still pair it with a bright coat or heels.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: The Pikey

We sort of wanted to hate The Pikey when it first opened because it replaced the glorious Coaches & Horses where we spent many hours and very few dollars drinking PBR tall boys over the years.  With out giving away enough information to assist would be stalkers, we live really close to The Pikey so it didn’t take long for us to dry those Coach & Horses tears when we realized that whatever was going to replace our local fave would probably also serve cold adult beverages, and maybe even food.  Of course The Pikey does this and more.  It accepts credit cards, has functioning bathroom and plays music that does not come from a jukebox manned at all times by metal fans – all upgrades from C & H.  It helps that the drinks and food are delicious too.  Our original go to cocktail was the Sloane Ranger which was a ridiculously fruity champagne drink garnished with a strawberry.  Embarrassing, but we lived on Sloane Street for a summer in London so it felt right.  They’ve taken it off the menu so we’re guessing we were the only ones feeling this sense of loyalty.  Not to worry, we now opt for tequila + grapefruit + other delicious things in The Dandy.   Of note – they also have a ‘Divine Brown’ on the menu, which is both hilarious and delicious – Dr. Pepper, whiskey and lime.  As for the food, the menu is full of British things and everything is pretty tasty.  We like the fish and chips – the homemade tartar sauce is perfect, and the tagliatelle with duck ragu.  The main room looks like a very cleaned up version of Coach & Horses.  The dining room is brighter, the back room is louder but the whole place is nice and cozy.  And still a perfect local. 

The Pikey
7617 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Barefoot Contessa’s Smoked Salmon Dip

As with all people who enjoy cooking or eating, throwing or attending parties, we love Ina Garten.  We know we aren’t the only ones who imagine casually becoming friends with her, weekending at her house in the Hamptons where we wake up to the smell of fresh baked muffins.  So many of our stand by recipes come from her books but the one we find ourselves making the most often is definitely the smoked salmon dip.  It is such a crowd pleaser and so so easy, plus it tastes even better if you make it ahead of time so you can whip it up the morning of or night before your party.  Even people who think they don’t like salmon like this.  There is no overwhelming fish flavor and a bit of horseradish adds a subtle kick.  We’d recommend doubling the recipe for a crowd because it also makes a delicious breakfast the next day spread on a piece of toast.  We hate dill so we sub in chives, but clearly that is a personal preference and otherwise the recipe is perfect.  We like ours on the original Raincoast Crisps, but it is also tasty on cucumber rounds if you have gluten free guests.

Recipe below and here.

Smoked Salmon Spread (Makes 1 ½ pints)

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, drained
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound (4 ounces) smoked salmon, minced (Ina prefers Norwegian if you can find it.)

Cream the cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt, and pepper, and mix. Add the smoked salmon and mix well. Chill and serve with crudités or crackers.

Like it? Louie it!

We love the bold but easy style of fellow Angeleno Liz of Late Afternoon.  This blue and yellow look is a perfect example and a fitting bright and sunny combo for the first day of spring.  This Louie would pair nicely with a clean black and white look.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: The Flower Market

Visiting the Flower Market is one of our favorite morning activities.  It’s so cool and fresh inside and everything is pretty and smells amazing.  And most importantly all of these beautiful flowers are so wonderfully cheap compared to anything they would cost in even a not nice grocery store.  We usually stare at the prices in disbelief and have to confirm out loud, “So these two dozen roses cost $5?  For all of them?  This whole bucket?” as though we can’t read.  It is just so nice to be able to purchase such mass quantities of such pretty things.  We are definitely not experts in flower arranging but when you have so many options its much easier to put together something professional looking.  Because we are wimps, we usually stick to one color at a time and pile as much as we can into simple glass jars but we’ve vowed to step it up.  It best to go as early as possible – its open until 2pm on Fridays and Saturdays, people start packing up around noon.  You’ll need $1 or $2 for admission and it is easiest to pay with cash though most vendors accept credit cards.  Bring a tote bag or something to carry out all your blooming purchases if you’re planning a major trip.   And wear a sweatshirt.

The Los Angeles Flower Market
766 Wall Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Click here for daily hours.

Louie Loves:  Farmstead

Since we’re chilling in wine country this weekend we thought we’d devote this week’s Louie Loves to one of our most visited spots in the area, the lovely Farmstead restaurant in St. Helena.  We insist on eating at Farmstead at least once during every trip to the Napa area.  We love the food, we love the service, we love the atmosphere.  This is the kind of place that no matter where you are from you find yourself asking ‘why don’t we have something like this in our town?’  The menu is made up fresh American dishes many of which we’ve become mildly obsessed with and embarrassingly request immediately upon sitting down while our cute young waiter is trying to take our drink orders – just to make sure they don’t run out.  The smoked ribs (our brother shamelessly eats the entire order himself) and the garlic chili crab both fall into this category.  We also love the kale salad – a hint of spice and Parmesan crisps make this the best kale salad ever.  The perfectly crisped skin on the brick cooked chicken always has us wishing we could recreate the dish ourselves.  If you are sensible, you will start your meal with an order of mini ham and pepper jelly sandwiches for the table.  But the one item you can absolutely not leave this place with out trying is the Scharffen Berger chocolate pie.  This is our favorite dessert in all the world.  The crust is a crumbly graham cracker type that is some how infused with rich toffee flavor.  The light fluffy chocolate filling has a hint of cinnamon and is topped with a pillow of hand whipped cream.  It’s perfect.  And there is no better place to consume it then in the friendly, inviting Farmstead space.  There’s a fireplace outside if you have time for a pre or post dinner drink and a weekly farmers market.  It’s all just ridiculously charming.  They make great margaritas too.

Click here for menus and reservations.

Like it? Louie it!

So clearly we just want this giant pink fluffy thing because lets be serious it looks totally amazing (photo via WWD).  But we also like the pairing of the playful pink with the classic navy and red.  A very nice way to spice up the traditional shades.  The matching Louie is a perfect all seasons pick.

Click here to buy.

Louie Loves LA: SugarFish

 

This place is bomb.  That’s pretty much all there is too it.  The fish is amazing.  The rice is somehow the best ever.  Everything is season perfectly.  And we love love love the Trust Me menu.  Not only because it eliminates all decision making options for the evening but because we are often very selfish when it comes to sushi and hate when everyone wants to share but we have (of course) ordered the best items and they get eaten right away and you are left with someone’s spicy shrimp tempura roll.  Gross.  With the Trust Me menu, everyone gets their own perfectly proportioned delicious meal of sushi and hand rolls and completely free of bright orange spicy mayonnaise sauce.  Joy!  The Trust Me light is acceptable at lunch time but otherwise you’ll just be disappointed.  You can order a la carte and in theory there is nothing wrong with this because of course all the ingredients are still delicious, but it really seems like a mistake unless you are one of those people who only eats tuna or something.   They don’t take reservations, which many find annoying but we actually like, because then there is never a reason not to go to SugarFish – meaning no “they can’t take us until 9.”  So you just go and chat and sip a Sapporo while you wait for your table and your wonderful meal. 

Locations in Brentwood, Downtown, Marina de Rey, Santa Monica, and Studio City

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Louie Loves: The Following

We watch a lot of bad TV.  Not the Real Housewives kind, but the CW kind, which is perhaps worse.  Given this, we classify anything that does not revolve around the love lives of teens as high brow.  We can’t really say The Following is intellectual but it definitely for adults.  In fact we wouldn’t recommend watching it if you have children in the house because it is generally terrifying.  We had put on Troop Beverly Hills after watching the first two episodes to distract ourselves from the fact that there was certainly someone hiding in our closet waiting to kill us.  The show centers on a serial killer and the cult of copycat followers he’s developed while in prison.  Kevin Bacon plays the FBI agent who caught him and is now struggling to make sense of his network of very devoted followers.  So yes – serial killers, cults, attractive but mentally unstable young people – all of the very scariest things.  There is also a sure to be scarred for life young child and lots of Edgar Allen Poe references.  The first season isn’t even half over and it is already BANANAS.  With rain and snow happening all over the country at the moment, it’s a perfect weekend to settle in on the couch and play catch up.  Lock your doors. 

Get involved – Fox, Hulu, iTunes.

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We are big Matthew Williamson fans here at Essex and we have had this look from the spring 13 runway bookmarked for months now.  Pink and blue can be tough combo to pull off but we love this crisp look.  The mix of blue shades keeps it from looking too little kid.  Our bluebreak leather transitions the color scheme into the palm of your hand just perfectly.

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Louie Loves LA: Chateau Marmont

Obviously.  We maintain that people who say they don’t like Chateau are lying and haven’t been there.  It is impossible not to love this place.  It’s a magical oasis.  One made up of sun filled patios, hushed conversations, and the best people watching in all of LA.  We like to stop in for impromptu weekday lunches.  Just make sure you don’t have anywhere to be because this is really the best place to waste an afternoon.  We love to bring visiting friends here because you can spend a leisurely afternoon catching up with out fear that the staff will try to rush you out.  Of course, that may be because the staff never seems to be in a hurry in general, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t charming, just sometimes operating on a slight delay.  Trust us, you won’t mind when they bring you another glass of perfectly chilled rosé (and a giant serving of french fries).  Of course you can stop by Chateau for anything really – a sunny breakfast outside, cozy cocktails in the living room – it is lovely all day everyday.  Since we live in the neighborhood we don’t often get the chance to stay here but the rooms are sort of hilarious.  They feel a bit like a friend’s random Hollywood apartment, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing – they have kitchens, fireplaces, balconies, and if you get a bungalow your own little yard – all things that make us want to move right in.

Chateau Marmont
8221 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046

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Louie Loves: Jeni’s Ice Cream

We first discovered Jeni’s when a very fabulous friend of ours sent us a box of their ice cream sandwiches for our birthday. A normal response would have been to serve them to a group after a birthday dinner perhaps. Instead, we hid them and ate them all ourselves. After our first delicious bite, this seemed like the only responsible thing to do. Some of them are made with macaroons by the way – genius. Clearly we were hooked. It quickly became our go to thank you gift for friends and hosts. We’ve only heard rave reviews and we’ve received many thank yous for our thank you, which is always a good sign. The flavors are so delicious. Even the classics have a little twist that puts them over the edge. It is pretty impossible to pick a favorite and we still haven’t sampled them all but the spicy chocolate Queen City Cayenne is near the top, as are the Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk and the Black Coffee. We’re dying to try the Hot Toddy sorbet. Note the ingredients: Cayenne pepper, ginger, Maker’s Mark bourbon, honey, orange and lemon juices – Yes please! It is tempting to just keep listing flavors here because they all sound so insanely delicious but you should really just go to the website. Luckily our local grocery store (aka Bristol Farms) has started stocking Jeni’s so we’ll be working our way through all the flavors very soon. Most likely with alarming speed.

Click here to check out Jeni’s website.

 

 

 

 

 

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We are already planning our outfit for Thursdays 78 degree temps, but we do realize it is still winter in most of the country.  We we spotted this look from the lovely Rachel of Pink Peonies we loved the combination of wintery basics and super bright neon.  Our graybreak + highlighter Louie will add a tiny hint of spring to your layers and coats now and toughen up pretty florals come spring.

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Louie Loves LA: Primo Passo Coffee

Pretty much all of our Westside days involve a stop at Primo Passo.  We might even stop in here when not in need of caffeine just because we like the clean white space so much.   The shop is so bright and lovely.  And organized.  We love neat rows in any setting, but when paired with our morning coffee, they definitely inspire efficiency.  Happily, the coffee is a perfect as the surroundings.  They make our dream coffee beverage and call it the Positano which reminds us of our junior year spring break on the Amalfi coast – oh the memories.  The Positano consists of espresso, milk, sugar and ice – shaken.  It has the perfect amount of sweetness and it is always refreshing to have a proper iced coffee drink rather than something that comes topped witch whipped cream and chocolate swirls (though you can get one of those right across the street).   All of the standard drinks – from lattes to pour overs – are made with equal care.  But perhaps Primo Passo’s best feature, is that while it if full of coffee fanciness, it is totally free of coffee snobbery.  You can put sugar in your espresso with out any one scoffing and still get a truly good cup of coffee.  Hooray!

Primo Passo Coffee
702 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403

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Louie Loves: Madewell Denim

So there are many brands of jeans that we like, but after doing a quick count we’ve found we currently own at least 11 pairs of Madewell jeans, which is a pretty clear sign that they are a favorite.  We’ve been endorsing Madewell jeans since the first store open in Century City years ago.  Back then we were rocking the Rail Straight style.  These days we’ve moved on to the skinny varieties – all of them – the classic Skinny Skinny, plus the Ankle and High Riser versions.  Seriously who doesn’t want their jeans to say Skinny Skinny on them?  There are so many good washes – the whole light to dark range with various levels of distressing (all of which looks surprisingly natural) plus classic black and white, a whole range of bright colors and these days some crazy patterns.  Each wash has a slightly different amount of stretch and weight to the denim so we do recommend trying them on in a store to get a perfect fit, though there is free shipping and free returns for all online denim purchases if a store is not an option.  We like that with each wash, comes a slightly different fit.  For example, while both the Bluemoon wash and the Black Frost wash share the same 98% cotton, 2% spandex mix, they have a very different feel on. The Bluemoon is super stretchy making them infinitely comfortable and perfect for travel.  The black frost has a lot more structure so it sort of sucks you in if you buy them tight (which we recommend).  They’ll slowly stretch out after a few wears,  while the Bluemoon styles snap back to a snugger fit in between wears.  These details aside, we love the little tweaks given to each style – the ankle pairs have double stitching on the outside of the leg and such – it shows they’ve really taken the time to develop each cut.  And of course, Madewell jeans are sort of a bargain.  Around $115 on a regular basis, there are constant sales that bring them down to the $69 range and we’ve even snatched up a few pairs for $30.  That is pretty hard to beat.  Clearly we are happy to discuss the minutia of Madewell denim in further detail at anytime. 

Check out all the current styles here. 

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Very into this fresh combo from the lovely Hanneli.  The bold yellow shade is the perfect way to lighten up the sometimes somber burgundy.  Hanneli was sporting this look to usher in fall, but we think it works just as well to transition those dark burgundy pieces into spring.  The matching Louie is bold but still super wearable.

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Louie Loves LA: Du Vin Wines