Archive for the 'Online Resources' Category

Thanksgiving 2012

November 15, 2012

Don’t let the deadlines, headlines or stress mess with your gratitude. We all have a lot to be thankful for. Here’s some Thanksgiving recipes and treats to inspire you! Please feel free to repost and share…just let me know what time dinner is served and I’ll be there!

Try a New Orleans Thanksgiving. Last year Chef Guy DuPlantier III of Crazy Creole made ours magical with an All-American Creole Thanksgiving meal – gumbo, jambalaya, bread pudding, ettouffe. Ain’t nothing but goodness!


Thinking about your Thanksgiving meal? Let the L.A. Food Bloggers group help you! We have tons of great ideas and recipes!


Bitten Word offers that it’s time to start planning your menu in earnest.


@Disneyland dining just got easier with added options

April 19, 2012

The Disney Blog ( ) which offers daily insights and current information on Disney park developments included the following announcement recently by Manager Erin Glover ( Please also see past ThreePointSpark blog entry on Disney Dining for list of participating venues at Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney:

Dining at Club 33 available only through Club members' reservation

As you may know, Disneyland Resort guests may book dining reservations through the Disney Dine Line (714-781-DINE) but, beginning today, we’re offering a new way to request a dining reservation at the resort.

Here’s how it works:

  • Guests may now email their dining reservation requests to
  • Requests will be reviewed the same day, when received during the hours of 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., 7 days a week
  • Requests received after hours will be reviewed the next day
  • Guests may request Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Studio Disney 365 reservations through this email address as well
  • Email requests should include the following information:
    • Name of the restaurant or experience you’d like to book
    • Requested reservation date and meal period (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
    • Total number of guests in your party
    • Your name and phone number
  • Remember: Your request is not confirmed until you’ve received a confirmation number

For a list of Disneyland Resort restaurants that accept reservations, click here.

We know that Disneyland Resort guests are very excited about the upcoming opening of Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure park on June 15. Dining reservations are not available at this time, but keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and @Disneyland on Twitter for updates on when the booking window for this brand-new restaurant will open.

@bittenword @WholeFoods @DreamDinners @bostonmarket Holiday Meal Options with Less Stress (pt.1)

November 10, 2011

Hungry for options this year for holiday meals? The holidays can typically be a time where the focus is on feasting and family, with a tendency to overindulge and/or stress out (at least in my family of origin). It is an American holiday after all, and we do not take overindulging or stress lightly.

With a non-traditional family, recreating the Norman Rockwell traditional holiday meal just might not happen. What are my options for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Instead of dreading the obligation to prepare a whole turkey and groaning sideboard of assorted dishes, there are many options that allow you to enjoy a holiday meal and be realistic. There are budget-friendly solutions for all tastes. Not pizza delivery or heading for Disneyland, but meals that feature the North American fall season harvest offerings that can be realized without overindulging or stressing out. It is a time of thanks, and gratitude for a new wave of enlightened food choices is high on my list.

Grocers/Markets for Meal Planning

Whole Foods Market has expanded its marketing from healthy food choices to healthier food planning. On the website guides and tips await you. Recipes are also there along with links for entertaining. Share your story online by posting a photo to their webpage. Consider gifting healthier food; is it too obvious to suggest buying gift cards these holidays considering the source?

Check out the blog with helpful ideas, recipes, and social media links, although it doesn’t appear to be interactive with consumer feedback. Like other supermarket chains, Whole Foods most likely offers a boxed holiday meal ready to cook/reheat and serve. These can be very convenient, less expensive but do require a bit of attention to make the flavors more satisfying (think herbs, spices).

Online Resources

If shopping and cooking does not give you cause for trepidation these holidays, start online and explore some great online resources. You can maximize satisfaction by preparing several well-chosen complimentary dishes instead of the carbo-overload menu you might remember from grandma’s house of your childhood. oh my!

The promise of a 60-minute Thanksgiving that would “satisfy my inner grandmother” really piqued my interest:

Yes, Plymouth, Massachusetts has a website with social media links. If you are on the East Coast, the food festival looks very promising on November 19!

Celebrate without meat and savour the flavor of vegetarian options:

The Bitten Word – Resolving to Put Our Food Magazines to Use. Their (Zach and Clay) annual posts on Thanksgiving are an annual tradition and have a devoted fan base.

Catering Services

Banish the thought of an unwieldy wedding reception with waitstaff serving individual tables, catering is available on a far more manageable size to bring home and serve. offers holiday meals a la carte. “Life Just Got Easier” according to where you indulge in “garanimal” meals, packaging up ingredients within a pre-set recipe to make your meal. (One friend swears by this system!). These are fresh, time saving options and offer a dine-in option that is higher-end.

Food Retail (do not make me say restaurant) has an excellent website with mouthwatering descriptions of hams, turkey, beef, ribs, side dishes and desserts, store locations, recipes, as well as social media links and coupons. Emarketing opt-in can have some cost-savings benefits when you are sent coupons to use for your purchase. One of my print vendors used to give Honeybaked gift cards each year as a thank you for orders. boasts of “good tasting food you can feel good about.” Look for food section, store locations, and a link to order holiday meals.

I look forward to exploring some of the restaurant special holiday menus in my next blog article. Bon Appetit!

@DisneyMemories Mary Blair, Modern Art Meets Animation

October 26, 2011

Some text below from Disney Gallery exhibit (open for a limited time only) at Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A.

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One of the most impressive talents to emerge from the Walt Disney Studios in the mid 20th century, Mary Blair (1911-1978) was both fearless and untraditional when it came to styling and concept art. Her modern art which infused whimsy into Disney feature animation has been appearing everywhere recently in the form of tributes and celebration for her 100th birthday: a recent Google Doodle, a Walt Disney Family Museum exhibit, a Marc Davis series event at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a lovely Disneyland galley exhibit.

In 1940 Mary Robinson Blair joined the Walt Disney Studios as a concept artist. She had studied at Chouinard Art Institute of Los Angeles where she studied with renowned artists and met her future husband, artist Lee Blair. In 1941 she was part of the group of Disney artists who joined Walt Disney to visit nations in Latin America for a series of films with South American themes.

Noted author and historian J.B. Kaufman chronicles this unique period of Disney history in his excellent, South of the Border With Disney: Walt Disney and the Good Neighbor Program, 1941-1948 (2009). This evening (October 25, 2011), Kaufman was a featured speaker at the Walt Disney Family Museum @WDFMuseum in San Francisco as part of the South of the Border weekend. Kaufman is as gracious and affable a person as he is a brilliant writer and I’m sorry to have missed this California appearance.

Impressed by her brilliant colors and stunning abstract imagery, Walt Disney asked Blair to serve as Art Supervisor on Saludos Amigos (1943). This film helped usher in a new era in Disney color and visual styling, paving the way for Blair’s later contributions to such classics as Song of the South, Cinderella (1950), Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Peter Pan (1953).

One of Walt’s favorite artists, she made “modern art” not only accessible but appealing. Her emotional content, abstract styles and deceptively simple compositions are elevated to new levels through the single most magical ingredient – the colors of Mary Blair.

In the 1950s, Mary Blair left the Walt Disney Studios and began a freelance career, creating illustrations for children’s books, print advertising and television commercials. A call from Walt Disney in 1963 brought her back to Disney, this time to work with Imagineers on the creation of a new attraction called “it’s a small world.”

A pinnacle in Blair’s career, this one attraction brought together a lifetime of her art: brilliant color styling, ingenious child-like designs, surrealistic and abstract images and a bold graphic approach, all infused with vibrant joy and optimism.

She then applied her unique style to Disneyland projects, including the themed murals for the New Tomorrowland of 1967. Blair later conceived and designed the enormous murals for Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Florida, murals that continue to delight and amaze guests today.

Mary Blair was named a Disney Legend in 1991.


@GrubStreetLA Ruth Reichl and LA Chefs at Mozza Celebrating Gilt Taste

September 26, 2011

Grub Street News:

Ruth Reichl Holds Court at Mozza

[September 23, 2011] Last night Ray Romano supped in Mozza’s dining room with three other gents. Yeah, kinda cool. But back in the private dining room, the people we look up to as mega-stars held court. Sitting alongside Nancy Silverton, Ruth Reichl hoisted a glass to the room to celebrate Gilt Taste. Recalling a decade when L.A. was the most vital city for chefs and restaurants (as well as an ensuing nadir), Reichl thanked present mega-talents and table-mates like Joachim Splichal, Russ Parsons, Ludo Lefebvre, Jonathan Gold, Michael Cimarusti, Merrill Shindler, the Hatfield clan, David Myers, Evan Kleiman, Mary Sue Milliken, and Jon Shook for again bringing L.A. to an acme of culinary magnificence. Basically, if Mozza had gone down in an earthquake last night, there’d be one helluva void to fill in the local food world today.

By: Hadley Tomicki

Gilt Taste is an online market giving you direct access to artisan products and ingredients, many of which have only been available to professional chefs until now.


Where are Art Center Design Alumni enjoying a bite when they dine out?

September 20, 2011

Where are Art Center Design Alumni enjoying a bite when they dine out?

I opened up a question in the LinkedIn Group for Art Center Design Alumni and I am looking forward to trying (or revisiting) all the suggested restaurants. The list does reflect a bias for the Pasadena and Southern California area but for hungry creative artists taking a break from the campus on the hill – that’s all good! And no, Jill Guerrero, you did not get carried away!

“My wife and I just had the Holy Aioli burgers from the Dog Haus on Hill in Pasadena. Pretty killer. Juicy and flavorful.”

Dog Haus
104 N Hill Ave., Pasadena CA 91006
626 577 4287

“We used to go to the Bucket in Eagle Rock just for the floor show…the owner was the original “Soup Nazi”!…lot’s of insults and f bombs…good burgers were just a bonus!”

The Bucket
4541 Eagle Rock Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041
(323) 257-5654

“Though it’s had different owners over the years, this pint-sized eatery has tended to Angelenos burger cravings since 1935. In all that time, the restaurant’s decor–consisting of little more than beer-promotion banners–hasn’t changed much. Happily for patrons, neither has its menu: The focus is strictly on sloppy sandwiches and on-tap beer. A house specialty, the Cardiac Burger, is two patties with lettuce, tomato, pickles, grilled onions, mushrooms, bacon, ham, cheese and mayo; it’s impossible to eat it without making a mess.”

“Forage in Silverlake – locally grown menu items and an interesting story.”

3823 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 663-6885

“Gerlach’s Grill in Pasadena on Glenarm and Fairoaks. If you didn’t find this place while at Art Center you missed out. Outstanding local champs of seafood and mediterranean delights. They’ve yet to fail me or the pocket book; portions generous enough for two to share one plate.”

Gerlach’s Grill
1075 S Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 799-7575

“Barbrix on Hyperion, in Silverlake, Don Goodman is the Chef, great Mediterranean tapas, great wine selection. The best place I know in the area.”

Barbrix * non-text websites are deadly for SEO…

“Happy Trails, Pasadena on Fair Oaks they close weekdays at 2pm”

Happy Trails
207 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105-2005
(626) 796-9526

“Portos, Zankou Chicken and Shamshiri are 3 of my favorite places to eat in LA!”

Portos Bakery & Café

315 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale, CA‎ – (818) 956-5996‎
3614 West Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, CA‎ – (818) 846-9100‎
8233 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA 90241 – (562) 862-8888

Zankou Chicken
  *Social Media tab in their site navigation!
1296 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106


(310) 474-1410
1712 Westwood Blvd., Westwood, CA 90024

“I used to go to Green Street East in Pasadena…”

Green Street Restaurant
146 Shoppers Ln., Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 577-7170

“Café Verde on Green Street, hopefully it’s still there!”

Café Verde
961 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91106

“Bashan in Montrose. WOW. (go on Wed night – free corkage)”

Bashan Restaurant
3459 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale, CA 91208

“king taco.”

Founded in 1974, King Taco began its operation from a converted ice cream truck. The Mexican fast food favorite has since expanded to 20 popular locations throughout Los Angeles County. We service a wide variety of authentic Mexican foods, King Taco has been recognized by prominent food critics and has also placed within the top 100 of Hispanic Business Magazine’s “Top 500 Hispanic Businesses.”

King Taco

20 locations (
45 N. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, CA 91103

“Yuca’s in Los Feliz and one in Hollywood. Small taco stand- that won a Peter Beard culinary award.”

2056 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 662-1214

“Burgers Continental on S. Lake. Still there….still great burgers!”
Greek, Mediterranean, Armenian, pizzas, salads, sandwiches, chops, seafood, AND burgers

Burger Continental

535 South Lake Ave Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 792-6634

“Dish in La Canada/Flintridge. Great breakfasts and comfort food.”

Dish is a new kind of restaurant that offers the quality and creativity of higher priced restaurants, with the value and comfort of a neighborhood coffee shop. We focus on classic American food…the kind of recipes you might find in an old Sunset magazine or your grandmother’s cookbooks.


734 Foothill Boulevard, La Canada, CA 91011
(818) 790-5355

“94th Aero Squadron on Raymer St. in Van Nuys. Incredible buffet on Sundays. Great for lunch or dinner. Wonderful atmosphere. It backs up to the runway of the VNAirport so you can watch (but not hear) the planes coming and going. There’s a 1940’s “Bombed Out Room” and an old army ambulance, along with 4 fireplaces. Good food, full bar, events, atmosphere.”

94th Aero Squadron

16320 Raymer St., Van Nuys, CA 91406

“Sushi Gen downtown”

Sushi-Gen Restaurant
422 E 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 617-0552

“Great little place in Los Feliz peviously known as Papa’s Place now has a world class chef and a new name, ” Community”.”

“soon to be called” Community or The EU Consortium

2044 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027
323 350 0953

Many thanks to all who added their tips, to which I’ll add mine:

Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘N Waffles
830 North Lake Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91104-4560
(626) 791-4890

Order off the menu when you ask for the “Stella C Special” – 1 chicken breast with a waffle. Delight! I love the savory taste of warm collards greens as their edges touch the maple syrup pooling at the side of my waffle – heavenly!

Pie ‘N Burger

913 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106

So many more…let me know what restaurant websites or brands you have designed – I’ll include it on the blog!

Little Flower Candy Co Cafe – Eagle Rock
Cafe Verde – Pasadena
Novel Cafe – Pasadena
Smitty’s – Pasadena
Jasmine Cafe – San Marino
Central Park Cafe – Pasadena
Wisteria – Sierra Madre
Mary’s Market – Sierra Madre
Love Birds – Pasadena , Alhambra
Los Tacos – San Gabriel
Tender Greens- Culver City
Creme de La Crepe- Redondo Beach Village
Stacked – Torrance (Del Amo Mall)
Cafe Brazil – Venice Beach and Culver City Locations
La Creperie – Long Beach
Father’s Office – Culver City
El Tepeyac – East LA
Tacos El Gordo – Chula Vista, San Diego
Kumas – Chicago, Il
Il Toscano, Torrance
Scotty’s, Hermosa Beach
Pinches Tacos, Culver City
Cru restaurant in Silverlake
Street on La Brea
Vermont in Los Feliz Village
Savoy Kitchen on Valley in Alhambra

“Good luck in finding those unknown gems. I didn’t have time to find the gems working 20 hours a day so I could graduate from the best design school in the world. “

And to Michael Allen, we raise a glass and wish him chill. Life is good!

Food from the Farms, not the Picket Line

September 17, 2011

Eating healthy food, staying on budget, and supporting the community are not mutually exclusive actions. Slow Food USA is evangelizing their $5 Challenge event nation-wide, set to take place today. With the battle-cry of “slow food shouldn’t have to cost more than fast food” slow foodists are gathering to share meals, exchange ideas and prove that healthy does not mean budget-busting.

At this time, coincidentally, our community is on the brink of yet another possible supermarket union strike in Southern California. When we at home do patronize mainstream supermarkets, we are mindful about buying organic wherever we can and checking out with a cashier. The self-check “convenience” puts people out of jobs and reduces the unions’ leverage for member benefits and fair wages. But as slow food supporters, we are watching as the corporate food industry is on the fast track to another strike.

According to Reuters: “Southern California unions and supermarket operators will negotiate through the weekend in a last-ditch bid to end an escalating Southern California supermarket labor dispute that could usher in the region’s first grocery strike since 2003.”

Remembering all too well the strike of 2003, I sigh thinking about how Trader Joe’s stores were descended upon by new patrons – yes, inconsiderate shoppers who happily snacked on samples and tossed their napkins on the floor, lazy supermarket regulars who abandoned shopping carts in the center of disabled parking spaces. It was a nightmare! I prayed that supermarket strikes in future would not hold hardworking supermarket workers in limbo, nor turn the rude and oblivious mainstream shopper into Trader Joe’s traffic alerts!

So why not eat from the farm, not the factory? Farmers’ Markets are an excellent and lower cost alternative. And there are good online resources! The Local Harvest website includes a robust search feature and detailed listings. In the South Bay, for produce, I can avoid future strike picket lines and the invasion of Trader Joe’s if I instead paronize local farmers’ markets:

Torrance Certified Farmers’ Market   (Torrance, CA)

The City of Torrance operates two Certified Farmers’ Market per week. Tuesday and Saturday from 8 a.m to 1 p.m at Charles H. Wilson Park. The market consists of farmers from all over the state of California. You also have the opportunity to sit and have a bite to eat or a good cup of coffee. There are several specialty items for your shopping convenience. The Tuesday market has been open since 1985 and Saturday opened in 1992.

Mar Vista Farmers Market   (Mar Vista/ Los Angeles, CA)

Mar Vista Farmers Market features direct marketed, organic fruits and vegetables, prepared foods and community outreach programs. You will find organic citrus, apples, heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, corn, Asian veggies, and sprouts, goat cheese, flowers, baby vegetables, plants, freshly baked bread and much more. Join us for brunch with a wonderful selection of crepes, tamales, omelettes, fresh squeezed orange juice, roasted corn, barbeque, hummus and a selection of raw food.

Carson Certified Farmers’ Market   (Carson, CA)

We have wonderful fresh fish, fresh fruits and vegetables along with cooked food, bakery, gourmet foods and handmade crafts. We enjoy a musician every week and are open rain or shine year round! A raffle takes place every week at 12pm where you can win some of the delicious products from the vendors.

Manhattan Beach Certified Farmers Market   (Manhattan Beach, CA)

With a view of the ocean, this quaint neighborhood farmers market offers a wide variety of fresh seasonal and organically-grown fruits, vegetables and flowers, ranging from cherimoyas and seasonal stone fruits, to heirloom tomatoes, honey, specialty herbs, berries and more. The market also features fresh fish, bakery items, hummus, fresh pastas and more.

Hawthorne Del Aire Farmers Market   (Hawthorne , CA)

(b)The Hawthorne Del Aire Farmers Market (/b)is a home spun outdoor market with 25 to 30 Farmers & food vendors. Farmers specializing in Asian Crops to Organic, Eggs & Chicken come from Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Maria, Inland Empire, San Diego, Orange County & even in our own back yard of Los Angeles County.

El Segundo Certified Farmers’ Market   (El Segundo, CA)

Our Farmers’ Market is open year round, rain or shine, on Thursdays from 3 – 7 pm, on the 400 block of Main Street. We have farmers, food vendors and a few crafters. Every week we have free balloons for the children and a free raffle at 6 pm.

Many savvy chefs use the local farmers’ markets to inspire and shape the menus in their restaurants.  Josiah Citrin of Melisse is one. This L.A. native and accomplished restaurateur frequents the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, cruising for produce, between sips of coffee in the morning. According to the restaurant’s website: “Citrin looks forward to the next step in his business: developing a Mélisse cookbook and bringing his refined skills and artistry to a broader international dining audience.  “In Pursuit of Excellence” will be published in autumn 2011.”

@diningwithdogs Dog-Friendly Dining Options

September 13, 2011

Walking down the street in Los Angeles (yes, it happens here, too), it is not uncommon to see outdoor dining patio-style in front of restaurants. A well-heeled dog, with leash tied to the perimeter by its owner, reminds you to tell a friend of yours who has a dog. That person should try this restaurant sometime – after all, this restaurant is “dog-friendly” and gets it.

Dining with Dogs has launched an online dining resource for dog owners, the inspiration of a true dog lover, Liz. Word of mouth marketing gets a boost from this streamlined site. With content highlighting dog-friendly restaurants throughout Southern California, New York City, Chicago, Arizona, and Florida – some major foodie metropolitan spots – is poised to take off into more robust dog loving resources. The pairing of dogs and restaurants requires mobility, so follow the site on Twitter, on Facebook.

Hungry for a chance to show off your four-legged friend? The site features a dog of the day page where fans can submit a photo of their favorite pooch. A search feature and a Good Eating section offer greater versatility. Congrats to Liz on a great site!

Three simple rules for good eating @eatingrules

September 1, 2011


The Eating Rules

Enjoy this blog which opens with a warm welcome from its author:

“My name is Andrew Wilder, and I think Eating Rules! I write about three of them, and everything in between. Sure, health and nutrition information is complicated — but eating delicious, healthful food doesn’t have to be.”

Health and nutrition information is complicated.  Eating healthfully doesn’t have to be.”

“Nutrition is a quickly evolving field, and new studies are coming out all the time.  If you’re not an expert, or aren’t inherently fascinated by the topic, it can get a bit overwhelming.”

“Where do you start?  How do you eat better?  How do you know that the choices you’re making are actually good for you?”

“We need to boil it down to the essentials.  What’s the really important stuff?”

  1. When you eat grains, eat only 100% whole grains.
  2. Don’t eat high fructose corn syrup.
  3. Don’t eat hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or anything that’s been deep-fried.

Here you can find advice, observations, and cautions. There is a helpful illustration of how to read a nutrition facts panel. Think about it – the nutritional facts panel is one of the most beautiful pieces of design – it offers a clear hierarchy, easy legibility, useful information, a layout that is concise, easy to reproduce, and is adopted universally by food manufacturers. Any food product you encounter on the shelves, you look for the fat breakdown or the sodium or calories before cost per ounce. You do. I’ve seen you. I do it, too. When the recognizable panel is absent, nutrition information presented in a random series of letters and numbers without the predictable formula, and there is a doubt cast upon the product. I put it back and look for the panel which reassures me. Life made better by design!

Edward Tufte taught me about the eloquence of information design. Check him out.

Look for Menu Mondays articles on according to Andrew “Menu Mondays are my recommendations for the most healthful options at chain restaurants. Although it may be tough to find “perfect” options when eating out, it’s important to choose “better” whenever possible, and I hope these guides will help make that easier for you.”

Kudos to Andrew!

Mashable: 13 Best Practices for Restaurants on Facebook Thanx @drelly

August 30, 2011

Author: Lauren Drell is the Assistant Editor of Supported Content for Mashable, where she coordinates, writes and edits supported feature content, in addition to helping the multimedia team. Lauren joined Mashable in February 2011 and is based in New York.