All posts tagged: california

Fantastic Negrito ~ Kensington Presents at The Viaduct

In a town built on over-hyping while under-delivering, it makes sense that when you write an article declaring an event “The Best Secret Party” in all of Los Angeles, folks might assume you’re exaggerating. “Really? The best though…?” you can practically hear them thinking. Here at Sirens & Scoundrels, we’re sworn never to lie to you and to bring you only the best of the best of LA. So we were beyond stoked when, rolling twenty friends deep to the most recent live concert event at the Viaduct, Kensington opened up their can of coolest-party-ever-whoop-ass on the very grateful crowd, proving us right once again as they delivered everything promised…and more. In a far corner of Los Angeles State Historic Park’s seemingly abandoned neighborhood, large art sculptures made of reclaimed materials dot the path to a nondescript opening in an iron fence with only one glowing neon “VIADUCT” sign to light the way. It certainly feels like you’ve followed the cement-brick road to some strange urban Oz. Luckily, the gatekeepers here are friendly and let …

Eastern Sierras, CA

When we met up with Daniel Mansfield of The Adventure Project for our San Bernardino National Forest mountain hike last month, we arrived with one burning question in mind. Our common mission is to get people out and exploring all the amazingness the West has to offer. But Daniel’s mission is, more specifically, to get people out into the mountains. So the one thing we needed to know was…if he could choose just one place in all of California to take someone to experience the Best of the West, where would it be? Without missing a beat, his answer: The Eastern Sierras. We were a bit surprised by this, having never heard particularly much about them ourselves. Everyone knows and loves the Sequoias, Yosemite, Mammoth, Big Bear—all our resident beauties. But “Eastern Sierras” wasn’t readily rolling off the tongues of our hike-loving friends. We had to know: what was it about THESE mountains that made them stand out so far above the rest? There was only one way to answer that question. Road trip. Three weeks later, …

Los Angeles Outdoor Movie Guide ~ Summer 2016

Welcome to summer, LA! As the sun shines brighter, the days grow longer and our nights keep getting warmer and warmer, the city springs alive with its favorite summer pastime: outdoor movie screenings. Nothing is more LA than sitting out under our hot desert stars, picnicking on some yummy nosh over a chilled glass of your favorite sumthin sumthin with your nearest and dearest and reveling in our hometown’s crowning glory: FILM. From the Westside to the Eastside, LA has exploded with summer movie screenings recently, guaranteeing that there’s a little something for everyone on any given weekend. But with so many places to choose from now, it’s hard to keep track of what’s happening when and where. So as our little summer gift to you, may we present…your Los Angeles Outdoor Movie Guide 2016. Bookmark this page to come back to throughout the summer. We’ll keep updating it as more screenings are announced. For your convenience, we’ve noted our fave screenings of interest in bold and have left off any films that are already …

High Tea Cottage ~ Woodland Hills, CA

If you’re still trying to figure out something special to do for the ladies in your life this Mother’s Day, you’re in luck! High Tea Cottage in Woodland Hills will have her feeling like she’s stepped right into Mrs. Patmore’s Bed & Breakfast from Downton Abbey…with all the delicious treats to boot! Tucked away off Topanga Canyon just south of Ventura, you might blink and miss it if you don’t keep your eyes peeled. The tiny white building with green awning and crawling ivy houses a little treasure trove just beyond its door. The three cozy dining areas inside feel like an English Grandma’s living room, kitschy and charming in the sweetest possible way. High Tea is a long-standing English tradition based around the afternoon consumption of tea and bready treats served on fine china while engaging in the art of conversation. It’s hard not to feel fancy with a tiny porcelain teacup dangling from your fingertips. But make no mistake—men love a good high tea just as much as their female counterparts. This is …

Your Weekend Hit List ~ May 6th~8th

In LA, the first week of May also means it’s the unofficial first week of Summer. In a city that was BORN TO SUMMER!!!, we’re about to experience a total explosion of All Things Fun from now ’til September. So rev up your engines ’cause the Summer Party Train is taking off this weekend…and we’ve got your first stops right here. All aboard!! FRIDAY MAY 6th~ A holdover from the Winter Concert Season, the second-to-last First Fridays at the Natural History Museum is happening this Friday. An awesomely unique night out, this KCRW-sponsored evening includes a behind-the-scenes tour of special collections, a moderated science talk, cocktails, food trucks, dj’s and live bands set amongst towering dinosaur bones. This Friday promises an epic line-up with Escondido headlining after Paul Bergmann and Korey Dane. But the big draw is Mr. Neil Young himself hosting a listening party of his upcoming new album, EARTH: Against the backdrop of the Museum’s blossoming outdoor Nature Gardens, musician and icon Neil Young will present the first public playback of his upcoming …

Kensington Presents Fantastic Negrito ~ The Viaduct

If you’ve ever dreamt of somehow being invited to the coolest secret party in all of Los Angeles, you’re in luck! Consider this your invitation. After eight long months of waiting, we’re thrilled to share the good news that Kensington is finally returning on May 19th, bringing LA’s best secret concert series back to The Viaduct! We were fortunate enough to go to last year’s summer concert featuring The Dustbowl Revival and our minds were collectively blown. The whole experience feels like you’ve followed the White Rabbit to Party Town, sans any of the annoying things about parties or that huge not-to-be-named music festival that may have just happened in the desert (ahem!). Filled with genuine music lovers gathered together to celebrate live music, dance and just have a great time, Kensington at The Viaduct is a magical night out that just has to be experienced to be fully understood. It’s a feeling. It’s a peak music moment. And you should be there. This year, they’re presenting Fantastic Negrito, last year’s winner of the NPR Tiny Desk Concert contest, …

The Adventure Project

The forecast called for rain. Not just a chance of sprinkles here and there…full-on El Niño rain blasting with possible freezing temps and snow. After a winter of nothing but broken promises, it seemed our elusive stormy friend was finally arriving to unleash its downpour fury on Southern California. When iPhone declares 100% chance of showers every hour, you know it must be true. In LA, people cancel dinner plans just ten minutes away because they’d rather not “deal with the rain.” But now we were asking our friends to drive two hours outside the city in possible El Niño storms to meet a guy we’d never met and go to an undisclosed location to have an unknown experience—only knowing he was “taking us to the mountains.” I’m pretty sure these are all the things our parents warned us never to do. But, hey, we get to make our own rules now. And after all, we said we wanted an Adventure… We meet at a gas station at the base of the mountains on the way …

Free National Park Week!

Aside from this glorious pre-summer weather we’re being blessed with in Southern California, all you Mother Nature lovers out there have just been given another reason to strip down and do your sun-worshipping dance! It’s National Park Week—which means you can get into any National Park across the U.S. completely FREE this week! From Saturday April 16th – Sunday April 24th, all parks that normally charge will be waiving their entrance fees. Been wondering about that rare Death Valley superbloom? Go explore for yourself! Been yearning for the epic peaks of Yosemite? Get in the car and go before the summer crowds hit! Longing for the damp moss-covered forests of Muir Woods? Let your inner wood nymph go romp! Big bonus to all you kiddos trekking back from Weekend 1 or out to Weekend 2 of Coachella—you can enjoy free entry into Joshua Tree National Park while you’re out there! Take a break from soaking in the sounds to soak in some beautiful desert stillness. LIFE BONUS: the Lyrid Meteor Shower is also happening this …

Poppy Hunt ~ Lancaster, CA

Every spring in California, the magic moment happens. We’d heard the legend for years. Fields of neon orange flowers suddenly exploding into full Technicolor glory in every direction as far as the eye can see. Mountains, hills and every surface ablaze with fiery petals. Enough California poppies to make Dorothy forget about heading to Oz. We knew this generally happens in springtime, though we had never experienced it ourselves. With spotty reports from the park service, but a few promising Instagram updates from friends, we decided to set off on our very own poppy hunt to witness Mama Nature’s majestic springtime pageant. We packed a picnic and off we went…visions of poppy fields dancing in our heads. The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster was our destination, about an hour and half up off the 5 Fwy N. We threw on some good tunes, passed the wild Martian mountains of Vasquez Rocks Park and enjoyed the wind in our hair, the sun on our skin and that thrill of freedom and adventure that always comes …

Paramount Ranch ~ Agoura Hills, CA

Tired of hearing the word “Runyon” after your friends invite you on a hike? Can’t handle the crowds of actors posting vaguely inspirational (mis)quotes as an excuse to sneak in another almost-naked photo of themselves hiking the go-to trail? Well, breathe a giant sigh of relief because we’re here to tell you that you never have to step foot on that over-run Tinder trail again. Plus, it’ll be closed April through July for repairs—so what better time to expand your horizons? For genuine hiking enthusiasts, LA offers endless gorgeous trails throughout all of our many mountain ranges. If you’re looking for something truly unique, then hightail it out to Paramount Ranch. Located just off Kanan on the way to Malibu, Paramount Ranch is part of the Santa Monica Mountains and is overseen by the National Park Service. Most importantly, it’s also an Old West ghost town. Or, more specifically, an Old West Tinsel Town ghost town. Built by Paramount Studios back in the 1920’s to shoot their Western “talkies”, the Wild West facade set has …

Le Garage ~ Sausalito, CA

What’s a Siren or Scoundrel to do when they’re itching for the South of France but also need to pay the rent? Head up to Sausalito and experience the Riviera’s kissing cousin in all its dreamy aquamarine glory. If you really want to set the scene, go straight to Le Garage for a French Bistro dining experience that will leave you asking, “Cannes who?” Sitting right along the waterfront with big white sailboats and shiny yachts glittering and bobbing lazily in the afternoon sun, you can relax with a glass of French rose and dust off those phrases you haven’t used since high school: “Ah oui, Monsieur, je vais tres bien, merci beaucoup. Umm…that’s all that I remember.” Le Garage is a true fine dining experience made refreshingly accessible and delicious. The French owners wanted to bring some of their local comfort foods to the traditional bistro menu. So alongside their exquisitely executed staples like Steak Frites and Salade Nicoise, you’ll also find Country Pork Chops and Crispy Panisse—french fries made from chickpeas. The highlight …

California’s French Riviera ~ Sausalito & Marin, CA

One of the greatest joys of living in California is that you can hop in your car at a moment’s notice and create the instant epic road trip of your dreams. Snow, surf, forest, mountains, desert—whatever your heart desires, it’s right here for the taking. And if you’re like us and dream of wearing stripes while sipping rosé by the waterfront in Nice, then it’s time to head up to Northern California for a taste of the French Riviera in our own backyard! We feel the call of Northern California quite often. Big fans of a road trip, we answer that call by piling our gang into our (eco-friendly) cars and making the drive up the coast. It’s the perfect time to get in some 80’s-power-ballad sing-alongs, have some deep and meaningfuls, explore sleepy unknown towns and their many dried fruit & nut options, and of course—catch up on Serial and backlogged This American Life episodes. On our last trip up, even though we were seeing Hall & Oates play The Greek in Berkeley, we …

Sirens & Scoundrels March Field Trip ~ The Broad

Remember that thrill of getting to cut class, load up on a bus with your pals and head out for a day of adventuring—all in the name of furthering your education? Do you ever miss the joys of a good old-fashioned field trip? If so, you’re in luck! Because we’re extremely excited to announce our very first official Sirens & Scoundrels Field Trip! You’re invited to come join us on a group adventure Downtown to visit The Broad museum on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016. Tickets are totally FREE and can be reserved by emailing us at: sirensandscoundrels@gmail.com. Just let us know that you wanna join our field trip! We’ll check out some art, get in some culture and then head on over to Grand Central Market for the deliciousness of your choosing. We’d love to have you join our art gang! Come cut class with your resident Ferris Buellers—we promise you won’t regret it. After all…life moves pretty fast—if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. The Broad …

The Old Place ~ Cornell, CA

Here at Sirens & Scoundrels, we’re dedicated to bringing you only the best of the off-the-beaten path adventures that LA has to offer. We love to bring you secret hidden places that you never knew existed that are just waiting to be discovered sitting in your own back yard. Well today, you’ve hit the Motherload. Because we’re sharing our most secret, most hidden, most favorite place in all of Los Angeles. Universally, when people step foot in the Old Place, they want to know “HOW ON EARTH HAVE I NEVER KNOWN ABOUT THIS PLACE BEFORE??!” That was a lot of caps, but it’s true. But don’t beat yourself up for not knowing about it. See, that’s the thing with a secret—it’s a secret, until you get let in on it. It has to be shared. Just a little ways up Kanan in the mountains of Agoura Hills, the Old Place is an old general store and post office turned steak and clam house that’s been a staple in these parts for 46 years. Run by …

Wolf Connection ~ Acton, CA

Does the Month of Love have you feeling the call of the wild? Looking for that perfect hot date to get your blood pumping and make your temperature rise? Wanna let your inner beast out to play? Well, we’ve got just what you need to satisfy your cravings. If you’re ready to TRULY take a walk on the wild side, then grab the one you love (or the one you’d like to love) and head over to the Wolf Connection for their once-a-month Hike With the Pack. Located in Acton just 45 minutes north of LA, the Wolf Connection rescues and rehabilitates wolves and wolf dogs from across the country. The sanctuary is home to about 30 wolves, most of which are neglected and abused domestic rescues from owners who didn’t get that wolves and dogs are not the same thing. But luckily, the incredible staff here at the Wolf Connection is dedicated to making sure that their adoptees get a second chance at life, nursing them back to health and heartiness with loving care …

Museum Free-For-All: January 30th, 2016

If one of your resolutions was to get up close and personal with more art this year, congratulations! Your hour has come! This Saturday, January 30th, you and your friends can get into over 30 museums in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas totally free as part of the 11th Annual Museums Free-For-All. It’s the perfect opportunity to check out that museum you’ve always been curious about but never tried or visit an old favorite and explore their collections. General admission is free, but special exhibition tickets are not included and parking fees are still required where applicable. Here is the official list of participating museums from So Cal Museums: Annenberg Space for Photography Armory Space for Photography Autry Museum of the American West (Includes free admission to the Autry in Griffith Park & Autry’s historic Southwest Museum Mt. Washington campus) The Broad California African American Museum California Science Center (Does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions or IMAX films. Timed reservations are required for space shuttle Endeavour.) Craft & Folk Art Museum (Sun, January …

Cabin Feasting

With winter finally hitting Los Angeles, it’s time to plan your next cabin excursion with friends. We’re so lucky that in California we have a million options for local getaways where the cabin game runs strong. So if you’ve got a cool case of Cabin Fever coming on (and really, who doesn’t?), then go check out Idyllwild, Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead, Yosemite, Mammoth, the Sequoias…or all of the above! This week, we shared our recent New Year’s adventure to idyllic Idyllwild with you. One of our favorite parts was getting to stay at a beautiful snowy treehouse cabin in the woods with friends. The great thing about being tucked away in a secluded cabin somewhere for a few days is that you get full permission to rest, relax and rejuvenate. Sacred time to just unplug, hunker down and, of course…chow down. And that’s really our favorite part. Grab your gang, have everyone bring some groceries to cook up their favorite mountain meal and enjoy a weekend of culinary adventuring. On our Idyllwild trip, we hit …

Mountain Escape ~ Idyllwild, CA

After many years of patiently waiting, winter has finally decided to grace us with her presence in Southern California. The recent rainstorms have brought fresh snow throughout our local mountain ranges…just in time for everyone to go back to work. For those of you suffering from Mountain Fever and looking for a quick and easy weekend getaway, we’ve got just the thing for you. But here’s the catch: you have to promise to keep this between us, okay? Purposely kept extremely hush-hush within the mountaining crowd, Idyllwild is a quaint and charming artists’ colony located just two hours east of LA in the San Jacinto Mountains above Palm Springs. It’s such a hidden gem that we debated even writing about it. But since we are sworn to provide you with the inside scoop on all things off-the-beaten-path-awesome in California, our sense of duty won out in the end. So without further ado, may we present: Idyllwild, the place to make all your mountain dreams come true. The first thing you should know is Idyllwild is …

Winter Picnic ~ Malibu Wines

When the leaves turn colors and start falling from the trees and that winter chill finally hits the air after those hot October nights, there’s nothing better than layering up in your wooly finest and heading out for a winter picnic with friends. Our favorite spot to gather for some lazy mid-winter’s revelry is Malibu Wines. A local vineyard tucked away in the Malibu Mountains just off of Kanan, Malibu Wines offers a sprawling picnic area complete with farm tables, chairs and flaming heat lamps to cuddle up and get cozy around. Lay out a sumptuous spread, sample some house wines, take in the live music and soak in the glorious afternoon. Order a couple bottles of wine for your table or try individual “flights” from the wine tasting bar. You can pick the flight of your choice and sample wines at your own pace throughout the day. Outside alcohol is understandably not allowed in, but you are welcome to bring any non-alcoholic beverages with you. We highly recommend bringing plenty of water to make …

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Stew

This weekend I was cooking for our Women’s Meditation Retreat in Big Bear. With the beautiful blanket of white snow outside our log cabin windows, it finally felt like winter had arrived in California. In honor of the holidays coming up and the brisk air outside, I wanted to ring in the season with a hearty stew to warm the soul and belly. I experimented with making this stew vegan to accommodate the dietary restrictions of some of our attendees. With some toasted gluten-free garlic bread on the side, this veggie stew was a warm delicious hug in a bowl. This could be a perfect addition to your holiday menu as we step into the season of sharing, gathering and feasting. Makes 6 Ingredients 2 sweet potatoes 2 zucchini 4 carrots 1 butternut squash 4 stalks of celery 1 onion 1 cup de-stemmed kale 5 mushrooms 1/2 can of chickpeas 6 cloves garlic 1/4 cup chopped ginger root olive oil salt & pepper to taste avocado & cilantro to garnish Instructions Preheat oven to 425 degrees. …

Rain Room ~ LACMA

For a city in the midst of a Megadrought, there is something strangely poetic about going to a museum to visit the rain. In Rain Room, LACMA’s latest interactive environment exhibit from their Art + Technology initiative, that’s essentially what we’re doing. When Random International originated the concept in London in 2012, followed by an insanely popular run at MoMA in NYC, it’s probably not what they had in mind. But just as every great work of art changes in relationship to its environment, this is no exception. What could be just a really cool sensory experience anywhere else, within the context of Los Angeles begins to take on a larger meaning. Our first piece of advice is to go in knowing as little as possible. So honestly, you should just stop reading right now, buy yourself a ticket through this link and go. Trust us on this one… Still reading? Okay, so you like to be prepared. In that case, we’ll let you in on a few key tips for getting the most out …

Apple Picking Season ~ Oak Glen, CA

Every Fall I go apple picking. And each time I come back with my bags of apples and Mile-High Apple Pie in tow, everyone asks, “WAIT!—You can go apple picking in LA?” YES. Yes you can. Meet Oak Glen, CA. Nestled up in the mountains about an hour & a half east of Los Angeles, the folks in Oak Glen have been growing apples since 1867. If you imagine Autumn-in-Vermont Pioneer Village meets 1950’s Frozen-in-Time Americana, you’ve got Oak Glen. It’s a magic combo that makes you feel like you’ve just stepped inside a Charles Wysocki puzzle. Located a mile up the mountain, this 5-mile loop of sweet old-fashioned apple orchards actually experiences all four seasons beyond just “warm and warmer”. Official apple picking season runs September to November, when the trees explode with ripe juicy apples of every flavor and the surrounding landscape bursts into an impressive show of bright yellows, reds and oranges. The best time for apple picking is the start of the season. But if you wait until later, there is …

The Juicebox Truck

Los Angeles is the birthplace of many a global health craze—juicing being one of our latest and greatest. It seems like everybody and their great-grandmothers are on a juice cleanse these days. But in a sea of juicing choices, there are just a handful that really stand out from the crowd. Here at Sirens & Scoundrels, we’ve sampled every possible juice from Downtown to Venice, but we always come back to our first love: The Juicebox Truck. Juicebox can be found most weekends docked on Abbot Kinney, manned by its two founders—Robert Connolly & Robbie Pyle. We met them a few years ago at FYF Fest, back when it was still at Los Angeles State Historic Park. Parched from the mid-summer festival heat, their truck glimmered like a beacon of hydrating hope to these weary musical wanderers. Our Sirens each quickly downed a refreshing green Kalebox. Followed by a sweet red Beetbox. Then a cool coconut Beachbox. One immediately after the other. And just like that, we were hooked. Our bodies, hearts and souls were …