Louie Loves: Fort Tilden

This movie is hilarious and will make you so so happy you aren’t these girls. Unless of course you live in Brooklyn and are 25 in which case you will be like UGH this IS my life! The iTunes plot summary is “A comedy about Allie and Harper and their needlessly difficult journey to the beach.” And that’s exactly what it is.   The term ‘needlessly difficult’ is genius and certainly applies to this beach day from hell. But we can all relate as we’ve all had grand plans that didn’t work out. And sketchy upstairs neighbors, and friends in terrible bands. The day starts with Allie ditching out on her Peace Corps orientation meeting (she’s headed to Liberia) to join Harper who’s determined to meet up with the hot guy they met at last night’s party. Stolen bikes, sketchy cab drivers, watery iced coffees, and topless high schoolers thwart them at every turn. It’s all fairly infuriating and seriously funny to watch. Trailer below.  Enjoy!

On iTunes now.

Louie Loves LA: Backyard Bowls

Acai bowls are everywhere these days and rarely disappoint. Because they are sort of like ice cream and sort of healthy and you can eat them for breakfast. Win! But most of the time they are found at locations dedicated to juice so there usually just one or two options. Of course as the name suggests, Backyard Bowls is all about the bowl so you have tons of options to choose from. Eight to be precise. The menu clearly spells out the base ingredients and toppings for each which we also appreciate. Always good to know what you’re eating right? Our faves are the Island which has mango, pineapple and coconut to give it a tropical flair and the green which mixes in spinach and kale and has a little ginger for a nice kick. Their granola topping is delicious and they have a gluten free option too. The portions are satisfyingly large for sure. They have smoothies too and porridge bowls – steel cut oats, quinoa, amaranth (no clue what this is) etc which are equally tasty. If you get your bowl to stay it is served in a real bowl with a real spoon which is refreshing and the front patio is a lovely spot to enjoy your treat. They have the cutest coffee cups too and serve Four Barrel Coffee (though there is now a massive Blue Bottle next door too). The people who blend up whatever goodness you’ve ordered are behind glass with headphones on which is sort of hilarious. You can also pick up giant things of their homemade nut milk to go. Lots of good things happening here.

Backyard Bowls
8303 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Your New Favorite Salad Dressing

Nutritional yeast is certainly the grossest sounding food product ever. So much so that we refused to put it in the title of this post. But it does make for a bomb salad dressing that you’ll soon be putting on everything. We promise. We’re still unclear exactly what nutritional yeast is but it is in fact somewhat nutritious as it provides protein, iron and B vitamins. It is technically deactivated yeast which apparently means thin yellow flakes that resemble fish food. You’re totally on board now right? It also smells a bit weird. Stay with us. It’s found in many many vegan things because people claim it tastes cheesy. If you are not vegan and regularly eat cheese you will likely not agree with this claim.   But it does have a certain richness to it and that why we like it so much in this salad dressing. When added to otherwise pretty standard dressing ingredients, it adds a sort of salty sort of tangy flavor that you will quickly realize makes everything better. We love this on any salad, drizzled over grain bowls, as a dip for fresh veggies (currently loving it with snap peas), even on eggs. And as with all good salad dressing you just dump all this stuff together and blend. We looked up a bunch of recipes and after some trials this is sort of a combo of all of them.

Your New Favorite Salad Dressing

You’ll need:

½ cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/3 apple cider vinegar (any vinegar would work really)
few cloves of garlic
1 cup olive oil
¼ water (more or less depending on how thick you want it)

What to do:
Put it all in a blender and blend away.

This makes at least 2 cups which is ideal as it keeps for a week or two in the fridge and you’ll want to put it on everything.

Louie Loves LA: Yeastie Boys Bagels

We’re fan of anyone who spends their days pedaling carbs. Particularly bagels which have become quite taboo these days. Seriously, mentioned that you had a bagel for breakfast on a random Tuesday and people will look at you like you have three heads or say something like “oh you were hungover?” as though there MUST be an actual reason you were driven to such indulgence. The fine folks at Yeastie Boys don’t just make delicious bagels, they bring the bagels to you, posting up at all of LA’s best coffee spots. Joy! They have all the classic bagel varieties – sesame, poppy, everything etc – all nice and fluffy inside with a smooth shiny outside. Their smear options are a little fancied up but with all the classic flavors. There’s a small menu of their fave sandwich combos to pick from but you can mix it up however you want – thing sliced cucumber, red onion, sprouts, bacon, turkey sausage, avocado all available. The Game Over is a serious version of the bacon egg and cheese you love and you may never want to go back to the original. The Lox has all the classic bagely flavors and there’s even a vegan option that is just as bomb as all the rest. There are special everyday too including some lunchier options. These days they are in West Hollywood Tuesday and Wednesay (Alfred Coffee), on Fairfax Thursday (Pretty Pretty Collective), downtown Friday (Stumptown) and in Silverlake on Saturday and Sunday (Dinosaur/the new Alfred). Follow them on Instagram for the latest and any schedule changes. Oh and they cater too.

Yeastie Boys Bagels

Tuesday – Alfred Melrose Place
Wednesday – Alfred Melrose Place
Thursday – Pretty Pretty Collective
Friday – Stumptown Coffee
Saturday – Dinosaur Coffee
Sunday – Alfred Silverlake

Louie Loves: Alter Eco Chocolate

All chocolate is pretty good right? Sure, but Alter Eco takes it a step up. The packaging lured us in at the Whole Foods checkout line and we’ve been hooked since. All the bars start with 100% organic fair trade cacao beans so there’s that. The beans are sourced in Peru and Ecuador and then sent to Switzerland for the chocolate magic to happen. Most bars fall into the 60% to 70% cocoa range (this makes them healthy right) and are spiced up with more delicious organic ingredients. Our absolute favorite is the Quinoa which is basically a very fancy Crunch bar and a perfect combo of rich chocolate and light crispy puffs. Alter Eco sells quinoa too so it’s no surprise this is a standout.   The Mint and Almond are better versions of the standard chocolates you’ve been eating while the Brown Butter and Burnt Carmel offer super indulgent options. And just in case you need more reasons to pick up a tasty treat for yourself, Alter Eco is also a carbon neutral company and their wrappers are compostable. Delicious and socially responsible – woohoo! We usually just eat the bar as is, but of course they are great chopped up an mixed into your favorite cookies and such. Also useful for making killer s’mores. As mentioned they also sell a few varieties of quinoa and rice and truffles too! While we often keep these all for ourselves, they make a great hostess gift too. The stylish packaging means no wrapping is required. (PS they also have a little llama mascot that sometimes appears in their Instagram and is the cutest thing ever. )

Check out all the flavors here.

Like it? Louie it!

Oh so we DO need a pair of high-waisted, wide-leg, bold print pants.  Yes certainly we do.  Until we find a pair as flattering as these, we’ll just transfer the color wheel of these stylish ladies over to our Jungle Louie and go from there.  This mix is strong and bright as we can’t get enough.  We’ll pair the matching Louie with something fun and quirky like this Opening Ceremony dress and some silver sneakers.

Click here to shop.

essex la custom leather clutch junglr mango french blue

Louie Loves LA: Menotti’s Coffee Stop

If you find yourself at the beach in the morning, you should also find yourself at Menotti’s. Just steps from the boardwalk in Venice, this place is an oasis of calm and cool amid the tourists and local crazies. They serve Four Barrel coffee and the menu includes those drinks people love to order like a Flat White and a Gibraltar – we have no idea what these are exactly, but if you are into them, they have them.   They also of course make a great latte and some very tasty cold brew. Inside it is small and minimal with white tiled walls and a cheerful turquoise La Marzocco. Little wooden ledges with stools run long each wall. They have a few chairs outside with some old whiskey barrels serving as tables. There’s always some vinyl playing on a turntable behind the counter and it is in general a lovely spot to sit and hang out for a bit. There’s usually someone leisurely reading an actual book – made of paper – here because this is Venice and no one seems to have anything to do. We’re not mad.

Menotti’s Coffee Stop
56 Windward Ave
Venice, CA 90291

Click here for menu.

Louie Loves: Pre Workout Power Muffins

We’ve become totally addicted to these. We usually don’t eat anything before a run unless it’s going to be more than 10 miles. We’d usually have a piece of toast toped with peanut butter and banana – a solid option but it sometimes felt a bit heavy. Or we wouldn’t have any bread around. Or any bananas. This summer we’ve been aiming for a 10 mile run every Friday and these muffins have gotten us through every one feeling GREAT. They really are the perfect pre-workout snack. Oatmeal is a great easily digestible carb (with protein too). Chia seeds are filled with more protein, tons of antioxidants and help keep you hydrated.   Bananas have potassium to ward of cramps. Maca powder is great for endurance and stamina. Basically every ingredient will help your run. These are so easy to make – you pretty much just dump everything in the food processor – and the recipe makes at least 20 muffins. Store them in the freezer and you’ll always have a fuel filled snack to keep you going. It takes a few minutes to heat them up in the morning, but you can put them in the fridge the night before if you think of it. Otherwise we pop them in the toaster oven for a few minutes, then toast, cut in half and top with almond butter. Yum.   This recipe comes from RunOnVeg.com where the adorable Lotti has tons more tasty superfood filled vegan recipes. Be sure to check out the site for more ideas!

What you need:
2 ½ cups old fashion oats + 1 additional cup
½ cup chia seeds
¼ cup maca powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 bananas mashed up
2 cups almond milk (orange juice or coconut milk will work too)
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350

1 – combine 2 ½ cups oats, chia seeds, maca powder, baking powder and cinnamon in food processor and pulse until it resembles flour.
2 – Add banana and pulse until combined.
3 – Add almond milk and applesauce and pulse until combined.
4 – Transfer to bowl and fold in beries and the rest of the oats.
5 – Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray and scoop batter into cups.
6 – Sprinkle with more oats and bake for 35 mins.

Store in the freezer.

Louie Loves LA: The Apple Pan

Sooooooo we should first admit that we just recently went here for the first time. Which is tragic. It has been on our LA to do list since day one but we some how had never made it over. After seeing it featured on Bon Appétit’s list of old school LA spots (big fans all the other places featured) we decided it was time. We fell instantly in love. To start – we like any place that exclusively features counter seating, particularly when the counter wraps around the busy kitchen so you can both watch the action, and check out all the other diners. Perfect. This of course means, your server is never more than about 5 feet away from you so everything seems to appear magically in front of you with in seconds. The go to is a burger of course. With Tillamock cheese – a clear sign of an A+ restaurant. Your fries, because of course you ordered fries, show up in about 30 seconds. Your server will throw down a second little round paper plate and pour a healthy pile of ketchup for you to dip. Your burger will be there a minute after, in a little paper wrapper. The house special sauce seems to be a mixture of ketchup and relish and is perfectly tangy. There’s mayo spread on the bottom bun. Pro move. The best part though may be the perfect pile of extra crisp lettuce. Not a piece or two, enough to provide a serious crunch to every bite. After you take a bite or two and realize you need a napkin, your server will, out of now where place one in your hand. The second you finish up, a full handwipe will appear.   If you are not in the mood for a burger the tuna sandwich is a solid plan B. A giant scoop of classic tuna salad and the same crispy lettuce pile. Drinks are served in tiny paper cone cups which are placed little metals stands. It’s hilarious and charming. Save room for pie if you can. The banana cream is tops. And the apple is naturally pretty solid as well.   Cash only of course – ATM right across the street.

The Apple Pan
10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Click here for the menu.

Louie Loves: Cutoffs! A How To

Cutoffs are our most favorite item of clothing. As Los Angeles residents we feel it is acceptable to wear them all year round and to pretty much any occasion. The gold standard of cutoffs is of course, Levis. Preferable very old, very warn and owned by you for many years. We have a pair we made in high school and will never ever give away. They still fit and have been patched and repatched. They are very fragile and thus have become special occasion cutoffs only to be worn to the most important of beach parties. The best cutoffs are also home made. We really do not care for store bought versions, with perfectly neat fringe. So he’s how we make our own. This can be done with any jeans that fit well in the waist and are not too tight in the leg. Jeans with no stretch like the original Levis work best in our opinion. A vintage pair of jeans, already broken in, is a great place to start but a nice fresh crisp pair will also work. Here we used a brand new pair of 501s, the classic dark wash men’s version. The actual cutting off process takes less than 5 minutes and requires no special tools. Keep in mind, they don’t have to be perfect. That’s part of the charm. When you’re done, whether your jeans were old or new, wear your cutoffs as often as possible so they conform to fit you and just you and wash as little as possible.

What to do:

1 – Try on your jeans and decide on the length you want. Make a little pencil mark on both sides of one leg so you can cut straight across. To help make it even, you can make a little fold in the leg across the front so you know the marks on both side will be at the same length.

2 – Carefully fold your jeans in half, making sure the legs line up properly.

3 – Now you simply cut straight across through both legs (at the same time!) from one little pencil mark to the other. If you are unsure of your scissor skills, use a ruler to draw a line all the way across first.   And ta-dah! Cutoffs!

4 – We like to make a little slit on the outside of each leg, about an inch and a half. Just cut straight up along the outside seam.

5 – Wear daily.

Louie Loves LA: Guelaguetza

We’ve been obsessed with this place for a while now and while we certainly wouldn’t say no one knows about it, (Jonathan Gold loves it.) we are constantly outraged when we hear that people have never actually been. IT IS THE BEST. Though it is possible the reason we don’t hear anyone else talking about this place is that like us, they have no idea how to pronounce it. This is the place for Oaxacan food in LA. What’s Oaxacan food you ask? To start, mole. And that is definitely what you should get when you come here. At least the first couple of times. Our fave is the Rojo mole but the Negro is a strong contender and the Colradito is insane. The only reason not to get the Coloradito is because the pile of chips you are served immediately upon sitting down is covered with the stuff (and a sprinkle of Oaxacan cheese), so you’ll had already had a taste. The mole is served with a perfect little island of white rice swimming in a plate full of sauce. Magical. They have tasting plates for the table to share if you want to try everything in one trip. We like pretty much the first half of the appetizer section – quesiilo fundido, cactus salad, grilled chiles. Oh and there are fried quesadillas. To wash all of this goodness down, you can choose from a serious selection of mezcal drinks and margaritas. YUM. They make a mean Michelada too. Beers are also only $3.75. All the time. We’re dying to come here for breakfast. Strong feeling that their chilaquiles are life changing. There’s live music every night and it’s all very festive.   Get yourself there ASAP.

Guelaguetza
3014 Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Overnight Chia Oats

The idea of overnight oats was never very appealing to us, nor was the idea of chia seed pudding, but then we had a delicious combo of the two as one of our tasty Sakara breakfasts and much to our surprise, in combination, these things are delicious. We decided we could easily recreate this ourselves and after a little experimentation we’ve worked out a pretty solid version for what is definitely one of the easiest make ahead breakfasts around. You can put together a few of these at the beginning of the week and be set for healthy, filling breakfasts with out giving it another thought. The proportions are really the important thing here and you can adjust those to your liking too. This is just a good place to start. All you have to do is put everything in a jar overnight. Not tough! We found all we need to sweet this up is some fresh fruit but you can add in some honey, agave, dates if you like. We do love some cinnamon mixed in with the almond milk. Of course, you can top with whatever you want too – chopped nuts for a little crunch, coconut for a little sweetness, cocoa nibs, almond butter. The one thing we don’t really understand is why all the recipes say this must be made in a covered jar, but we just went with it. If nothing else, it makes your breakfast portable. Also we’ve been making this in a layered form but you could definitely mix the chia and oats together. Basic recipe below – experiment away.

For one serving:
½ cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
¾ almond milk
around ¼ cup fresh or frozen fruit

Add oats to jar, then add chia seeds, pour in almond milk and top with fruit. Seal with lid and keep in the fridge overnight. DONE!