Louie Loves LA: Block Party

Spring is on the horizon, which means someday very soon when the weather is perfect some friend will text on a Friday afternoon saying ‘Happy hour?!?! Let’s go somewhere outside!” And you say “Yessssssss!” and then you’ll both spending 20 minutes racking your brains for somewhere lovely to sit outside and sip tasty bevs. You’ll come up with nothing and then say “this is LA! WHY are there not more places to sit outside with tasty bevs!!!!” Enter Block Party. This spot in Highland Park is insanely cute (aka highly Instgrammable) and very ready for you to come chill for hours in the sunshine – or in the shade of one of their snazzy umbrellas. They have lots and lots of fancy beer which is normally not our jam but the bartenders are very nice non judgmental beer nerds so if you say something like “I don’t like nice beer” and they will kindly point you towards a very light refreshing Mexican style lager in a cool looking can. Win! They have rotating fancy and local beers on tap plus multiple fridges full of cool kid cans and bottles. BUT you also want a Michelada because duh but also because at Block Party they come with an adorable mini popsicle on top for dipping! So cute! So refreshing! They have some snowcone like drinks for those extra hot days too. You’ll need one to cool you down after an extra competitive shuffle board game on the back patio. If you are really wiped out, grab some pretzels to refuel. They come a cheese sauce dipping situation. Uh huh. Many days they have food truck out front for more serious snacking needs. They open at five during the week (with happy hour until seven) and at noon on Saturday and Sunday sooo yah get ready to camp out here.

Block Party
5052 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Louie Loves: Imogene + Willie

We’ve been obsessed with Imogene + Willie for a while now. From afar that is. The jeans always looked super cool but denim must be seen in person. We finally got the chance to visit the Nashville store recently and immediately wanted five pairs of jeans and ten t-shirts. And also everything in the store – it is packed with cool vintage finds. We managed to walk out with just one perfect pair and a cool vintage patch. Seriously though it took us a few minutes to get to the jeans because we were busy fondling the extra soft shirts. Perfectly worn in like that one t-shirt you still have from high school, or the one you wisely stole from your Dad years ago, but in very cute, easy cuts. When we were ready for denim we said we were looking for something dark with a medium rise. We only had to try on one pair. When does that happen??? The staff picked out just what we were looking for, in the correct size no less and we now wear our Josettes almost daily. They waist is just high enough to be super flattering and the ankle is slim but not super skinny – also extra flattering and good with all shoe types. What we really love about them is the denim – thick and dark with just a hint of stretch. They will break in nice and slow and only get better with age, but the stretch makes them instantly wearable. Of course there are many other styles and washes but this seemed like a great first pair. Lucky for us (and all West Coasters), Imogene + Willie just moved their headquarters to LA and the Arts District office includes a retail store. Hooray! We’ve already been. Of course. And picked up our fave Josette cut in stone white, which is not surprisingly a spot on slightly creamy shade that looks fresh but not too preppy. The men’s stuff is even better if that is possible. So your new fave jeans, amazing tees – basically your new everyday wardrobe. Done.

Check out their website right here.

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Oh hey Solange.  Don’t mind us, we’ll just be over here stealing your look.  But for real, this color-blocked goodness is so perfect as spring approaches and we’ll be recreating this vibe (in reverse) asap perhaps with this dress, this coat, and these perfect matchy matchy pumps.

Click here to shop.

Louie Loves LA: Consort Design

We moved a couple months ago and it was really difficult not to just run into Consort and yell “We’ll take it all!.” They have everything you need to make your house instantly cool. Let’s start with the small things (also all A+ hostess gifts). They’ve got the Lux/Eros lips vases, marble trivets from Fort Standard, gold rimmed pitchers from Canvas Home, awesome bowls and vases from Matthew Ward and the insanely awesome ceramic deviled eggs by Katie Kimmel that we are obsessed with. Huge mud cloth pillows too. What? You didn’t know you needed ceramic deviled eggs. Well you do. Next up – art of course. You can pick up original pieces from people like Nicole Cohen and Matthew Maust and the most beautiful surfboards from Wax Surf Co. There’s furniture obvs. Lots of which they design and make themselves, which is a huge plus since then you are not likely to see it everywhere else. Fave pieces are the Luna side table, the Freddie nightstands and this giant round steel framed mirror. They have some awesome vintage finds too – safari chairs, burled wood tables, midcentury lamps. We picked up a giant vintage French mirror. They have a great selection of coffee table books too – excellent for last minute gifting. The lovely shop is on Melrose and right across from Ammo to Go if all that shopping makes you hungry.

Consort Design
6918 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Louie Loves: Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox Hydra-Gel Eye Patches

You know we don’t do too many beauty related raves and reviews here but these things are killer. To start – here are the things they target: puffiness, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles. Uh, yes help with all of those please.  Now.  They are instantly cooling so they feel like they are working right away. Let’s not under estimate the importance of this. Because this mini fifteen-minute spa break should feel relaxing shouldn’t it? The gel aspect is essential. Not only do they feel amazing, but they actually stick on your face with out sliding around. This is key if you are looking to multi task. You can put them on while you are brushing your teeth, blow-drying your hair, what ever other morning or night time things you do. They even stay on in the shower, which is a small miracle. They seem to contain ALL of the ingredients ever mentioned as being helpful for the eye area. Number one being cucumber of course – both detoxifying and hydrating. There’s also aloe and chamomile to soothe and soften, and hyaluronic acid and collagen to plump plus arnica and caffeine to get rid of dark circles. Hooray! What more could you ask for. They also smell amazing and are expertly packaged for easy removal. Wonderful.

Get them in two days from Amazon or pick them up at Sephora.

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Borrowing from the gents on this one because these dudes are killing it.  Demonstrating the power of an all black look and a pop of color all at once, we’re super into this vibe.  The French Blue zipper is the perfect sly bit of bright on our black leather.  We’ll pair this one with a similar black + one look – sleek black denim, perfect black pumps, a graphic tee, and a leather jacket with moto details.

Click here to shop.

Louie Loves LA: Ammo To Go

If you live anywhere near Melrose or Highland or La Brea or happen to ever pass by Melrose or Highland or La Brea you need to go o Ammo To Go. It’s open all day for breakfast, lunch, snacks and coffee and Monday through Friday you can grab a dinner to bring home until 7pm. So yah, any time you are driving by, stop in because breakfast includes one of the best fried egg sandwiches around, avocado toast that comes sprinkled with crispy bacon and sunflower seeds and a breakfast bowl with brown rice, chicken sausage and tons of veggies. If you are there after 11, get the Little Gem salad. It is heaven. Fennel, radish, avocado, chives and a magical green goddess dressing that makes this relatively simple salad one of our favorites in all of LA. Our lunchtime obsession is the grilled cheese. It involves kale, which means you can pretend it is healthy. There’s also a bomb veggie sandwich made extra delicious with tons of feta cheese, and a perfect BLT (that little gem lettuce at work again). There’s a steak sandwich too and one with short ribs. Burgers too. And more dinner like things – meatloaf, hanger steak, perfect cooked salmon – all perfect for nights when you’re just too lazy to cook. Seriously if we could have our whole life catered by Ammo we would. There are deli salads everyday too. Even the little extras – you know like whole wheat chocolate chip cookies and homemade potato chips are super addictive. Alright cool so we’re headed there right now.

Ammo To Go
6909 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Click here for the menu.

Louie Loves: Hugo Guinness

We’ve been obsessed with Hugo Guinness’s prints for years. All it took was one visit to the John Derian store and we were hooked. He specializes in lino cut prints which are basically woodcuts but with linoleum. They sorta look like they were done with a very large very cool rubber stamp – obviously a very technical description…. He has done illustrations for The New Yorker and Vogue and worked with Wes Anderson on several movies – they wrote grand Budapest Hotel together – so yah, he’s cool. He’s also worked with Coach and J.Crew. The prints are mostly of everyday objects, words or phrases. A comb, a safety pin, a typewriter – maybe a bulldog puppy, or a knight. Instantly all of these simple things become special. And there is definitely something for everyone. They are mostly black and white with red making an occasional appearance which also means they look good pretty much any where – whether your home is ultra modern or filled with wallpaper and antiques. The prints come in three sizes, which makes them easy to fit in to any gallery wall visions you may have. The smaller ones fit nicely on a bookshelf. Our only problem is deciding which one we want next and how many is too many to own. Luckily the prints are almost even more fun to gift so we’ll just starting giving them out if we run out of room.

Shop for them at John Derian.

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Um, hello Marge Simpson.  AND a pleated silver skirt.  Yes please!  This outfit is so fun and fresh, its has us dying for spring.  We like the high/low vibe and the mix of colors.  It also has us dying for spring.  In the meantime, we’ll pair the matching Louie with a bright coat, cozy sweater dress, and tasseled white sneaks for a playful but winter ready look.

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essex la custom leather clutch metallic silver street style

Louie Loves LA: Jon and Vinny’s

This is definitely the place to come when you want to eat as many carbs as possible. Especially if you want those carbs to be proceeded by one of our favorite salads in LA and followed by a real mean cup of soft serve. Jon and Vinny’s is lovely. While the wall of booths limits the seating a bit, the blonde wood filled space always feels inviting. It’s open all day everyday and is one of our fave breakfast spots too. Because pizza is even better for breakfast – obvs. They also make a lovely avocado toast, and A+ fried egg sandwich, supper fluffy pancakes and an egg topped polenta that is magic. But back to dinner. At dinner there are meatballs – you must get the meatballs. And also all of the pizzas and pastas. Our fave pizza is the White Lightening which is topped with mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, onion, oregano and pickled jalapeño. Runners up – the LA Woman and Ham & Yeezy. For the pasta we usually go with the carbonara or the fusilli which comes in an extra rich pink vodka sauce that sorta seems like it should be on the kids menu but is also just bomb. This is all after you order the Little Gem salad – there are breadcrumbs and chilies and you must get it. When you think you are too full and can’t possibly eat anything else, get some soft serve and cookies to share and congratulate yourself for ordering such a perfect meal. They do take out too and have a wine shop in the back so you can recreate this magic at home anytime.

Jon and Vinny’s
412 N. Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Louie Loves: Have’a Chips

These are the best corn chips ever. Ever. They are not traditional corn chips in that they don’t seem to have anything to do with a tortilla and claim no connection to Mexico. Also they involve soy sauce. This is clearly the secret as the other ingredients are corn, soy bean oil, and ‘a dash of lime.’ Soy sauce is salty and delicious and once you taste these you’ll realize the question is not ‘why is there soy sauce on these corn chips?’ but ‘why isn’t there soy sauce on all corn chips?’ Seriously, they are perfect. So crispy, with little air pockets that keep them extra light. They are thin, but not so thin they cannot support a substantial scoop of dip. A bag of Have’a Chips and a of bowl of fresh salsa is pretty much heaven. But they are versatile enough to pair with any dip like snacking treat – hummus, beans, queso, pimento cheese perhaps? Go nuts. But you do not NEED a dip. Have’a Chips are truly the only corn chips that are tasty enough to eat on their own. We asked for a case for Christmas. Best gift we’ve ever received. They are currently being hoarded in a cupboard, out of sight of guests that might think our stock pile means they could take a bag home with them.

Order up a case for yourself here.

Or you can find them at most Southern California grocery stores.   Bristol Farms always has them.

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Gray is always a good choice when you are looking to tone down an overly girly pink shade.  With an oversize sweater, it’s even more relaxed.  Going for the same combo of feminine and cool, we’d pair this Louie with with worn in jeans, a cozy sweater, and a leather jacket.

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Essex LA custom leather clutch gray snake hot pink black

Louie Loves LA: Crawford’s

There is no actual sign that says Crawford’s here but when you see the words “ice cold beer” and fried chicken” painted on the front of the building you’ll know you’ve come to the right place. This place is just great. Because – Beer! And chicken!   And the fried chicken is seriously delicious. You can choose regular or hot for your chicken and pick from three classic sides – cole slaw baked beans, potato salad. We like spicy everything but we actually go for the regular chicken here because the seasoning is so perfect and with the hot you just taste hot. That’s just us though.   Give them both a try for sure. Hot or not, you’ll need a cold beverage to wash everything down with and Crawford’s has endless satisfying options. We of course go for the $3 ice-cold Budweiser draft served in an extra frosty mug aka heaven. They have cans of all the classic dive bar appropriate faves – Hamm’s, Olympia, Pabst etc and lots of many fancier options and drafts from local breweries. It used to be a dive bar and it still very much looks the part, but with a deer head on the wall and a canoe hanging from the ceiling it feels like somewhere you stumble into on your way home from a camping trip. Hang around for a few beers, play some pool or some old school arcade games, make new friends.

2616 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, 90057

Click here for menus.

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Leave it to Solange to pair cheetah with the brightest brights and look insanely cool while doing it.  We’re all for this bold combo, especially with summer on the horizon.  We’d pair this one with ripped white jeans, a simple white tank and some killer nude sandals.  Very Miami no?

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essex la custom leather clutch cheetah bright pink highlighter

Louie Loves: B.S. Taqueria

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

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

Click here for menus.

Louie Loves: Love & Lemons Pistachio Goji Berry Granola

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

Here’s what you’ll need:

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

Here’s what to do:

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

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

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

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