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Wordless Weds: Un Cafecito Por Favorcito

8 May

It’s been a busy week. Thank God for Coffee…

Coffee Shop pic

Cool sign at Bob’s Big Boy Coffee Shop, in Downey, CA.

bustersfornaio intelligentsia LACMA Latte pain quotidien San Judast tadeo Coffee

A “Taste of México” in Los Angeles

2 Dec

You know it’s going to be a great evening when the top Mexican restaurants from Los Angeles get together under one roof for one night and bring out the best of la cocina mexicana.

And indeed it was such a night on Friday, when the second annual “A Taste of México”  event was held at the St. Vibiana venue in downtown LA, pulling all the foodies and foodie wannabes who packed the place to capacity. Add a little tequila, mezcal and a mariachi band, plus dos que tres famous celebrities, and you have yourself a fabulous party.

The line to get in was ridiculously long. It went around the block, even with the threat of rain y el “chipi-chipi”, but once inside there was food and fun to be enjoyed by all. Also worth noting, tickets were $50 dollars, so you know these people were really looking forward to the food.

Among the founders of this event are Bricia López from Guelaguetza restaurant,  who was the belle of the ball, a true hostess with the mostess, making sure everybody was well taken care of and promoting the new and amazing lines of their auténtico Mole Oaxaqueño Guelaguetza, among other delicacies and an amazing Michelada Mix. Bravo Bricia!!

We also had a chance to sample food from La Casita Mexicana, with owners Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu a todo lo que daban pero super contentos como siempre, with a great menu to share and a long line at their station; los de Frida restaurant lead by Vicente del Río tenian unos tacos deliciosos, de carnitas, de mole y de pescado en chile colorado, y ademas ceviche, so yummy; y para no olvidar el postre, there was a desert paradise in the form of mini tres leches bites, strawberry shortcake and pan dulce mexicano, cortesía de Ricardo Cervantes and the famous La Monarca Bakery. All good stuff in generous quantities. Nadie se quedó sin probar. Plus not to be outdone, brands like Goya, Tapatio, Guerrero and several cervezas made sure to sample their products.

Made me feel happy and lucky to know there are great Mexican food restaurants and good options all over LA. I’ll make it a point to support authentic Mexican food by visiting these amazing restaurants. ¡Que me esperen en la mesa!

Crowds gather to listen to the ariachi band at Taste of Mexico, held at St. Vibiana's in DTLA

Crowds gather to listen to the Mariachi band at Taste of Mexico, held at St. Vibiana’s in DTLA.

Authentic Mole Oaxaqueño from Guelaguetza restaurant. Delish!

Authentic Mole Oaxaqueño from Guelaguetza restaurant. Delish!

From Bricia Lopez' twitter feed (@bricialopez): You know it's good when La Reina del Sur herself, Kate del Castillo, stops by for a taste of Mexico.

You know it’s good food when La Reina del Sur herself, Kate del Castillo, stops by for a taste of Mexico. (Photo from @BriciaLopez on Twitter.)

Jaime Martin del Campo, from La Casita Mexicana, doing his thing. (Delicioso el pavo en achiote!)

Jaime Martin del Campo, from La Casita Mexicana, doing his thing. (Delicioso el pavo en achiote!)

The food station at La Casita...

The food station at La Casita…

Una probadita de Chilitos en Nogada.

Una probadita de Chilitos en Nogada.

Great food, great service, y de buen ambiente, el equipo de los restaurantes Frida y La Casa Azúl.

Great food, great service, y de buen ambiente, el equipo de los restaurantes Frida y La Casa Azúl.

Everybody's favorite: Tapatío was giving out mini hot sauce botellitas to take on the go.

Everybody’s favorite: Tapatío was giving out mini hot sauce botellitas to take on the go.

El Eugenio Siller se echó unos taquitos ( y nosotros un taco de ojo.)

El Eugenio Siller se echó unos taquitos ( y nosotros un taco de ojo.)

Not only does he do a Rock of Ages, now Diego Boneta is with the Mariachi band!

Not only does he do a Rock of Ages, now Diego Boneta plays with a Mariachi band!

For the sweet tooth que todos llevamos dentro, pastries and pan dulce from La Monarca Bakery.

For the sweet tooth que todos llevamos dentro, pastries and pan dulce from La Monarca Bakery.

Adios Twinkies…Bye-bye Ding Dongs. Se acabaron los Hostess.

16 Nov

Indulge me a little if you will this Friday morning. I am sad the Twinkie is going out of business.

The news and twitter-sphere is buzzing with the shutting down of the Hostess Company, the makers of all the forbidden goodies we grew up with and our invaluable lunch box trading items. “Te cambio mi Twinkie por tu Cupcake!”

When you think about it, it’s really sad news, especially because of the people losing their jobs,  18,500 thousand people. Really bad when you think about it!

But it’s not like we didn’t see this coming over the years. Entre tanto health report and the fact we all grew up and finally realized we’re not supposed to eat that delicious junky mix of sugar and fat,  pues claro que we stopped buying them and Hostess se fue bankrupt.

In the meantime, if you have a Twinkie attack: Not to fear, el New York Times publicó a few alternative recipes que pueden servir para matar el antojo, should you crave it.

Aqui les paso el link, me encantó el nombre del artículo:

It’s Not Junk If I Made It. Recreating snack cakes, cookies and chips at home. By Jennifer Steinhauer. March 6, 2012

Photo from the New York Times article: It’s Not Junk if I Made It.

Y bueno, se nos fue otra semana pues. Happy Weekend Everybody. Get ready for Thanksgiving next week!

Party @ Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

13 Sep

Renovations have been on my mind recently, so when I got the invite to go to the Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams party in South Coast Plaza, I instantly rsvp’d.

I’ve been a fan of their furniture for a while, but more importantly, after watching the feature segment recently on CBS Sunday Morning, it is remarkable to see how they run their business. They are good, honest people that have built a great American company. Plus all their furniture items and designs are so gorgeous, and with such quality, it’s hard to pick a favorite. All I know is after seeing them up close, I want it ALL!

The event took place at their “Signature Store” which is spacious and airy, and yet it felt like you were hanging out at the house of a good friend. The party had that vibe, where everybody was relaxed and making themselves comfortable as they “test-drived” all the nice muebles on display. Of course, the beautiful people from the OC came to play, so it had to be a stylish part-ay!

Take a look at the pix below and then check out their catalog at… you can also find their stores all over the place, even Mexico City (Polanco) for all my amiguitos down there.

And by the way, if you watch “The Good Wife” on CBS, keep an eye for the set decor. Some of their pieces have made their way to the law firm and a few of the characters’ homes.

Arriving at the party, design enthusiasts and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams fans.

White leather sofas as decor for a party scene.

This is what I call a great living room space. Not too big, not complicated, all bold complementing colors, and comfort above everything else.

Neutrals and a vintage inspired mirror equals elegant sophistication.

According to the designers, “A bedroom should be sensuous and stylish at all once.”

Talk about Stylish!

Getting comfortable with the scenery… hanging out with another living room meets family table.

Beautiful people and design lovers.

Chit chat at the foot of the bed.

Beautiful photography ALWAYS makes a room! Love the horse.

This is the Finley “Banquette”… o la Banquita Finley.

Intriguing dress design at the sweets table.

The sweets table.. you know me!

Loving the pewter chairs.

They also had a few other vendors on display, like this optical store with fabulous specs.

Assouline books was also in the house.

This Bulgari bracelet was spectacular.

A great mirror to bring the room together.

The London chaise in burgundy velvet adds a rich pop of color.

Art is essential to every room.

Another angle.

Now that’s a Manifesto!

Spanish Telenovelas, now refritos en Inglés!

18 Jun

Happy Monday everybody…

Reading the LA Times this morning, I found this article on the new telenovela trend catching up with our English speaking amiguitos, specifically how Nickelodeon and Televisa are currently producing a soap opera based on a mexican telenovela adapted for a gringo friendly audience.

Tonight at 9 pm Nick at Nite premieres “Hollywood Heights”…which is based on some novela mexicana that I probaby didn’t watch on Univision, but that garnered good enough ratings to justify the remake en inglés. It’s the same storylines, but with American actors, including a very lovely James Franco in a starring role. To keep it real and transition the content to English, they even brought along our very easy on the eyes and all around nice guy Carlos Ponce for an important role.

I am intrigued!

According to this article, Televisa has even set up shop in Santa Monica (Televisa USA) to keep producing these “refritos en inglés” so you know it has to be a long term commitment with the US networks.

Read the article here “Networks look to clean up with nighttime soaps” from LA Times June 18, 2012. And tonight let’s see what this “Hollywood Heights” is all about.

The cast of Hollywood Heights. Photo from

Carlos Ponce will have a role in the new English only novela, “Hollywood Heights” on Nickelodeon. Photo from

Wordless Wednesday: Need a Barber Shop in LA?

8 Feb

Oaxaca Barber Shop is located on La Cienega blvd. Cool name!

Looks like we’re getting a new stadium in LA. But where’s the NFL Team?

10 Aug

Big changes are in the air for downtown LA, as anyone driving through the 11o freeway can tell you.  Construction, road improvements, street cleanups, and new developments abound. And this week we heard the city has approved a deal to give AEG (the massive sports and entertainment company) the rights to construct a stadium right next to Staples Center.

Never mind the city of Los Angeles has yet to find a football team to bring to LA-LA-Land. The new stadium is happening! It will be called “Farmer’s Field.” And we’re already getting excited.

This news made me think of the phrase: “If you build it they will come.”

(This is actually a line from the movie Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner, although it was written “If you build it, he will come.” According to Wikipedia.)

Here is a link to the report from the LA Times with interesting data on the stadium. Apparently this is a very big boost to jobs creation and the economy in this cash strapped town of ours. Esperemos que sí!!

The stats from the LA Times are very positive. Image from, August 10, 2011.

And as for the NFL Team, somehow I don’t envision the Chargers of LA or the Oakland Raiders coming back to their original ‘hood. But that’s just me, I’m no experta.  I say we start promoting the sport with all the latinos who have yet to become fans and we give the new team a cool new name in Spanglish. “Los Fielderos” perhaps? OK, too much, but I’m just throwing it out there. Then we can all embrace the new team.

Check out the report on, it has great info.

Here's a rendering of the new downtown LA landscape. Looking good on paper! (Photo credit:

TV News: Cristina is back, now on Telemundo

18 May

So the television Upfronts are being held this week in NY and one of the hottest tickets was the Telemundo event. I heard it was sold out and at full capacity, which is not unusual since they DO throw a great party (speaking from experience) and La Reina del Sur is a bona fide hit. (So sad to see it go, but that’s another story!)

One of the surprises of the Upfront event was hearing Cristina Salaregui, ex Univision royalty and member of the old guard, got her own show on Telemundo, the archrival. (That’s the kind of celebrity swapping thing you’re used to seeing in Mexico with Televisa and TV Azteca, when Azteca had a good name to it back in the day.)

I wonder if la tocaya will keep doing more of the same or reinvent herself, and if her famous Latino celebrity friends will follow her. It remains to be seen.

In the meantime, here’s the link from the LA Times and the Upfronts. Apparently, Ms. Saralegui is not shy when speaking about her former employer.

Telemundo Lands Talk Show Host Cristina Saralegui. (Click to read post by Meg James)

From the LA Times "Showtracker" Blog. Post by Meg James 5/18/2011


10 Oct

Ayer en el Barnes and Noble practicamente me desmayo del gusto y grito de la emoción al enterarme que tenemos Scrabble en Español. Lo pusieron en la mesita del “Hispanic Heritage Month” al lado de puros libros “latino minded” y algunos en español.

Que buena onda de los HASBRO, esta gente sí sabe.

"Goce de la diversión que le brinda el juego Scrabble. Acepte el reto de aprovechar al máximo las 7 letras para una acertada combinación de juego de palabras, competencia y diversión."

De qué manera les puedo explicar que ni siquiera tuve que pensarlo dos veces para comprarlo. Y bueno, alguien se preguntará si de verdad vale la pena comprar la versión en español cuando tienes el Scrabble de toda la vida. Pero sí vale la pena y créanme de veras que cuando ví que traía la Ñ me dio mucha felicidad. Y por si fuera poco, también nos dieron la LL. ¡Ni me acordaba de la LL!! Tendré que usarla mas seguido. Lo único que no tiene son acentos, pero como todas las letras son en MAYUSCULAS pues no nos vamos a fijar mucho en eso.

QUIBO??? Tan sólo por esta letra, la letra más representativa del espaÑol, vale la pena tener este Scrabble.

Además, soy de la idea de que cualquier cosa que convenza a las compañías “americanas” de que los latinos en Estados Unidos compramos, consumimos y leemos en español es bueno. Apoyemos la causa y el consumismo pues!

Para estrenar, invité a mi Mama Lilia a jugar. A sus 91 años tiene mejor vocabulario y creatividad que yo y nos divertimos mucho. Era la primera vez que ella jugaba y ahi quedamos mas o menos iguales. Claro que tengo que tomar en cuenta su comentario de “Pues está bueno el juego pero es más bien para cuando está muy frio y no puedes salir y se te antoja un chocolatito caliente, que no?”

The “Summer of Bricia”

17 Aug

Just a quick link to a great article that came out last week in the LA Times featuring the coolest girl on the planet, Bricia Lopez and her brother Fernando. They are continuing a great family restaurant tradition with their Guelaguetza chain of restaurants, as well as new business ventures and ideas.

I usually reserve my praises for generation Y kids, but these two are something else. They’re 25 and 23 years old and they could teach us older kids a thing or two. They are a force of entrepreneurship, family values, social media connections, foodie passions… y GANAS! Congrats to them and keep it coming. Felicidades Bricia!

Click here to read the LA Times Food section.

From the LA Times article published last week, Fernando and Bricia López, continuing the tradition of La Guelaguetza restaurants. (Photo: Kirk McCoy, LA Times)

Random shot of the day.

29 Jul

Not really Spanglish but made me smile. Esto se llama explotar el recurso, amiguitos.

Only in LA! Westwood, CA to be exact.

“Latinas Doing Extraordinary Things”

13 Mar

In case you need a little inspiration to go out and follow the direction of your dreams and make them happen, here’s a wonderful video the good people at Farmer’s Insurance put together.

It was shown at an amazing event for women, the 19th Annual HOPE Conference in LA, which was held on Friday.

And by the way, March 12th has now been officially proclaimed as Latina History Day by the City of Los Angeles.

Feeling inspired!! Hay que echarle ganas amigas!

Great event organized by the HPRA

19 Jun

The Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) organized an amazing seminar today with three panels of professionals in the media, public relations and online marketing fields. Even though the event was specifically designed for PR practitioners (I am not a publicist, but do admire their work) the quality of info shared was useful to anyone who works in sales, marketing, advertising and media. It was held at the UCLA campus and had a good turnout. (Thanks to my friend Martha for inviting me!)

The first panelists included Rebecca Nieto, from NBC4LA News; Juan Carlos Gonzalez, News Director for 93.9FM; Justino Aguila, journalist/writer; and Rolando Nichols, Centronet Productions. All of them provided useful advice on how the news media organizations work, how they are changing with all the emerging technologies and how to best get their attention….hint: not just because you send out a press release or email blast means they’re going to “bite” and cover your story. It has to be relevant to the community and have a news angle, of course. By the way, they also stressed the importance of having a spokesperson in Spanish, who speaks it well and can communicate effectively, especialmente en Los Angeles.

Here is the link to the HPRA, a definite source of information and networking, if you are doing business with Hispanics, and an all around wonderful group of people.


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