Wood Spoon is a Brazilian restaurant located in the Fashion District of downtown Los Angeles, California. The Wood Spoon is the best place to enjoy authentic Brazilian food from the Minas Gerais region with inspirational African, European and Indian influence in a comfortable homey atmosphere.

Chicken pot pie and Sangria are the best in town hands down!

I decided to go for dinner after spending the day downtown. The restaurant is always packed when I pass by, so I highly recommend making reservations for brunch, lunch or dinner. I made sure to arrive as soon as the doors open for dinner to secure a table.
The moment I open the door heavenly smells of food with perfectly blended seasoning arouses my nose from the kitchen.  My taste buds were eager to taste the aroma circulating throughout the restaurant.

Natalia Pereira is the owner and head chef of Wood Spoon. Natalia is down to earth with a genuine personality. She works the room by making time to greet every person inside the restaurant.

Each table is set with freshly cut flowers as a centerpiece inside a glass vase, to complement the linen napkins and tea light for an elegant dining experience.

Pictures frames with dancers on the wall is reminiscent of Natalia’s father who was a dancer in Brazil.

It’s enjoyable to the mind and body to taste the labor of love in a meal.

Yuca fries are delicious!

Creamy rice pudding with cinnamon was amazing!

Chocolate truffles was the perfect desert to seal the meal.

Everything was outstanding at the Wood Spoon from the food to customer service!



Wurstküche Restaurant  is the place to go for exotic sausage. Wurstküche Restaurant has two locations to choose from Venice, California and Los Angeles, California in the Arts District. The restaurant is considered as one of the hippest restaurants in Los Angeles since opening in 2008. The initial plan was to open a bar until the City of Los Angeles strong-armed business partners Tyler Wilson and Joseph Pitruzelli to open a restaurant with a German beer hall.  In 2011, the second location was opened in Venice.

We walk inside an open triangle industrial space with a cashier and food preparers behind the counter and gourmet sausage display case with labels describing sausage flavors; Austin Blues, Bockwurst, Bratwurst, Chicken Apple & Spices (x2), Duck & Bacon with Jalapeno Peppers, Filipino Maharlika, Hot Italian, Klelbasa, Lamb w/Mediterranean Spices (x2), Louisiana Hot Link, Mango Jalapeno, Pheasant with Herbs de Provence, Rattlesnake & Rabbit with Jalapeno Peppers, Roasted Red Pepper, Sun Dried Tomato & Mozzarella, Vegetarian Mexican Chipotle, Vegetarian Smoked Apple Sage and Veggiewurst. Alligator sausage was taken off the menu because the restaurant could not consistently provide a quality product for customers.

We place our orders to taste the top-selling buttery and mildly spicy Rattlesnake & Rabbit sausage.

We are given numbers to place on the table for the waiter/waitress to deliver the food we ordered to our table and instructed to walk to the back of the building, which turns out to be a large industrial room with tables, bench seats, chairs and barstools to accommodate an occupancy of 202.

We sit down to enjoy our drinks as we wait for our food to arrive.

On the table there are five (5) mustard flavors; American, Brown, Dijon, Mustard, Whole Grain and ketchup.

Eating utensils, courtesy water, glasses and napkins are available for guests inside the dining area.

I order the Vegetarian Smoked Apple Sage sausage, Belgian Fries with Chipotle Aioli dipping sauce and Ginger Beer.

Prepare to pay for parking in the Arts District, stand in a long line once inside the restaurant and enjoy exotic meat sausage or vegetarian sausage in a clean and spacious atmosphere.


Kalinka Russian Cuisine in Glendale, California is an awesome place to enjoy a delicious Russian meal in a clean environment with outstanding customer service. We decided to sample and share the majority of items on the menu…

I’ve been craving Russian tea ever since I left the Baranof Castle State Historic Site also referred to as Castle Hill in Sitka, Alaska. Between 1804 – 1867 Russians occupied this site. In 1867, on top of Castle Hill, Alaska was officially transferred from Russia to the United States for $7.2 million.

I settled for homemade Kompot a traditional fruit drink instead of the Russian tea I’ve been craving…the Kompot was served hot and it had a delightful sweet taste.

Bread was served with an assorted spread platter to include eggplant spread, adjika and cheese spread…

Shuba or Herring Salad includes finely chopped pickled herring, layers of veggies, sweet onion, mayonnaise…

Olivie Salad includes potatoes, carrot, eggs, green peas…

Kalinka’s Kharcho Soup is lamb base, rice, veggies and greens…
Borscht Soup beef base, beets, cabbage, carrots…

Vareniki with potatoes or cottage cheese or cherries. Ours was served with potatotes…

Salmon Steak





Martini preferences become an interesting conversation with mature adults drinking the classy drink shaken or stirred, wet, dry or very dry to the choice of Gin or Vodka.

The traditional Martini is made with Gin and dry Vermouth.

Gin has a very strong distinctive taste and Vodka is tasteless although both are made from a variety of grains, wheat, barley and sometimes potatoes.

In the game of life, traditions and rules were made to be broken for the evolution of a great Martini.

In 1953, James Bond introduced the Vesper aka the Vodka Martini in Ian Fleming’s novel Casino Royale “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet (a wine similar to vermouth). Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.”

It doesn’t matter to me if the Martini is made with Gin or Vodka, shaken or stirred…I just want the Bartender to mix it right and serve it cold in a chilled Martini glass.

The list below includes my top 3 favorite Martini spots to enjoy with my loved ones and the rest are presented in no particular order.

1. Martini Bar in Las Vegas Nevada makes the best Martini’s in a vibrant atmosphere and they are not stingy with the olives!

2. Smoke House Restaurant in Burbank, California with the Best Cheese Bread in the World!

3. The Musso & Frank Grill in Hollywood, California is a great place to enjoy a Coffee Martini for Breakfast with coffee bean smiley faces and Martini’s for Lunch and Dinner with loved ones.

4. The Chapel At the Abbey in West Hollywood, California makes a great Martini to enjoy with breakfast for dinner at night after taking care of business during the day!

5. Barton G in Los Angeles, California creates animation Martini’s with vodka popsicle infused with liquid nitrogen providing an illusion of smoke!

6. Gallery Bar and Cognac Room inside the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California provides a classy atmosphere to enjoy a Martini…

7. Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar in Santa Clarita, California allow adults to enjoy a Martini in a pet friendly environment outdoors. I was inside enjoying my Martini with loved ones since I did not have my Rottweiler with me…

8. Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que in Santa Clarita, California has a full bar inside to enjoy a Martini away from the dining room area…

130th Annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade

130th Annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade was a great way to start off the 2019 New Year with my loved ones.

In 1890, the private Valley Hunt Club started the Tournament of Roses Parade to promote the Mediterranean of the west with the abundance of fresh flowers during the sunny winter months.

The Valley Hunt Club invited their friends from the East Coast to the West Coast to play several outdoor games such as tug of war, watch ostriches, camels and elephants races and chariot horse racing with carriages decorated with flowers.

In 1895, the Tournament of Roses Association was formed because the event became too large for the Valley Hunt Club to handle.

People from around the world attend the Tournament of Roses Parade for a total of approximately one million, including us!

We agree to meet at 8:00am so we can ride together in one vehicle to the parade.

As we walk along the parade route before the parade starts we notice hundreds of people that camped out overnight in the cold streets with blankets and fire pits to get the best view of the parade route.

We graciously accepted bench tickets with seat numbers and a parking pass from loved ones vacationing in Hawaii. 

Tickets for the Tournament of Roses Parade go on sale on February 1st for the following year. Tickets usually start at $40.00 to about $85.00 for approximately 70, 000 elevated grandstand seats.

We notice a Liquor Mart conveniently across the street from our bench seats packed with people ordering hot cups of coffee for $2.00 to stay warm under clear blue skies and sunshine in the low 40 degrees.

We finally make it to our seats after obtaining drinks and snacks from the Liquor Mart to watch the parade.

Souvenir seat cushions are sold for $15.00…

Souvenir program is sold for $10.00…

Pasadena police officers open the parade with Tournament of Roses and United States of America flags blowing in the wind on their motorcycles.

Chaka Khan was the Grand Marshal…


Kool & the Gang performed live on the Stella Rosa Wines “Taste the Magic” float…

I highly recommend attending the Tournament of Roses Parade at least once to bring in the New Year because it’s a totally different experience watching in person than on television.

The 24 Hour Fitness float reminded me it’s time to start going to the gym…lol




Morocco is a country in North West Africa so it was nice to enjoy a delicious 6 course dinner with my loved ones locally at Babouch Moroccan Restaurant in San Pedro, California.

We were the first to arrive at the restaurant for our 5:00pm dinner reservation allowing us time to relax, walk around, listen to the music playing softly in the background and admire the different dining rooms inside the restaurant.

Large round tables are surrounded by bench seats with pillows and foot stools to sit for dining.

Chandelier lights sparkling throughout the restaurant hanging from a variety of fabrics draping the ceiling.

Babouch’s signature cocktails Sahara Sangria (Moroccan Red Wine, Brandy, Juice Combination, Orange Slices), Moroccan Mo-Tea-To (White & Dark Rum, Fresh Lime Juice, Mint Leaves, Moroccan Tea, Simple Syrup) and Desert Orchid (RumChata, Peach Vodka, White Grape Juice, Edible Flower) makes for the perfect toast!

The Desert Orchid was so good we had to make another toast!

Warm water was poured on our hands by the waitress from a hand washing basin before serving our meal.

Appetizers were Moroccan Meatballs (Ground Sirloin and Pork Marinated with Herbs and Spices) and Hummus served with Fresh Bread and Cucumber Slices…

Bread served inside a colorful Berber Moroccan woven basket was warm and soft…

Trio of Moroccan Salads…

Bastilla with meat or vegetables…I chose vegetables…

Moroccan Lentil Soup is sipped from a small bowl…

Entrée selections were Beef Tri Tip Kabobs on Skewers, Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Moroccan Olives and I chose the Vegetarian plate with Eggplant fried with  Garlic and Cilantro, Lentil Beans on a bed of Couscous, Couscous with Vegetables, Caramelized Onions and Raisins…

Belly dancing was the entertainment during dinner…

Rose water was poured into the cups of our hands after dinner…smell so good!

Moroccan Hot Mint Tea taste sweet…


Chabakia-Honey Pastry was very sticky…

Awesome place to have dinner with family and large group of friends with live entertainment in a beautiful atmosphere at a reasonable price.




From the outside looking in, it is hard to believe Gentle Monster in Los Angeles, California is a place that sale luxury eyewear.

Gentle Monster was founded in Seoul, South Korea in 2011 and it is expanding globally with flagship stores in some of the hottest locations around the globe Los Angeles, New York, London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and more to come due to the swift trending of the brand.

The theme of the art on display inside Gentle Monster represent Harvest season. I felt like I was walking through an art gallery.

Scarecrows on a mother of pearl greet visitors at the entrance…

Metallic rods symbolizing grain stalks…

Handwoven rugs by Misu A Barbe the knit maker

Kinetic installation by artist Jung Uk Yang

Millennial branding seeds were planted by Gentle Monster to produce a successful harvest of online purchases from around the world.

Gentle Monster creates Instagrammable moments by encouraging visitors and potential customers to try on fashionable frames and take pictures to share on social media.

Sometimes all you need is a new pair of eyewear, to plant positive seeds and to harvest a crop of vision for the future.


38th Annual Black Doll Show: Double Dutch – A Celebration of Black Girlhood

It was truly a pleasure to visit a Black Doll Show to recognize the uniqueness of Black Girls and the nuances of Black Girlhood at the William Grant Still Arts Center in Los Angeles, California.

In the 1940s, husband and wife psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark conducted a doll test due to social stigmas showing black children preferred white dolls over black dolls.

The black doll test results conducted by Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clarks was used as evidence in civil rights lawsuits.

In 1964, Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark were expert witnesses in the Brown vs. Board of Education and several other cases to desegregate school in the United States of America.

In 1980, Cecil Fergerson, Artist/Curator started the Black Doll show to change the negative self-image by bringing together artist from around the country to produce handmade black dolls with a variety of themes over the years to educate for example From the Cotton Fields to the New Millennium (2004), The Politics of Imagery (2011) and The War Against HIV/AIDS – Women of the African Diaspora In the Trenches (2015).

In 2006, a 17-year-old filmmaker Kiri Davis conducted the same black doll test Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark did in the 1940s and the results were unfortunately the same.

We were proud to see a Black Doll on display by our loved one Doll Artist Sharon Pittman, a retired high school art teacher and current university instructor. Sharon is also a member of the selective Los Angeles Art Association. She was born and raised in San Francisco and completed her undergraduate degree at California College of the Arts in Oakland. Sharon holds a PhD in Cultural/Museum Studies from Claremont Graduate University.

Additional handmade Black Dolls and quilts by other artists…

The handmade Black Dolls in the exhibit also touched on sensitive issues such as the hypersexualization of black girls.

Black Dolls reading a book about Assata Shakur…

Black Dolls representing the Black Lives Matter movement…

Video of a variety of Black Dolls on display…

The exhibit brought back childhood memories of me playing double dutch with my friends. Since the Black Dolls were busy playing double dutch, I took the opportunity to play hopscotch until it was my turn to jump in between the ropes.


ANGELS FLIGHT IS THE WORLD’S SHORTEST RAILWAY located in Los Angeles, California in the historic Bunker Hill neighborhood.

Bunker Hill was once a wealthy neighborhood with Queen Anne mansions lived in by doctors, lawyers and bankers and elegant hotels for visiting guests.

It was once difficult for individuals to access Bunker Hill due to a steep incline.

Colonel, Lawyer and Engineer James Ward Eddy came up with an idea approved by the City Council to build a funicular railway to provide easy and reliable transportation. Colonel Eddy completed the project in 5 months.

1901 – the original Angels Flight was located a half block north from the Grand Central Market location next to the Third Street tunnel to connect Bunker Hill residents living in Queen Anne mansions at the top of the hill to local businesses at the bottom. White was the original color of the Angels Flight cars. They were named Sinai and Olivet. The cost was 1 cent for 1 ride or 3 rides for 5 cents from Hill Street to Olive Street  or vice versa from 6:00am to 12:20pm.

1914 – Angel Flights fare was increased from 1 cent to 5 cents.

1920 – Bunker Hill started to decline because elite residents started moving west and the mansions and hotels became boarding eye sores in the community.

1959 – the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency adopted a redevelopment for Bunker Hill.

1968 – the former Bunker Hill neighborhood was completely leveled.

May 18, 1969 at 10:30pm – Angels Flight made its last trip before the City of Los Angeles dismantled the Angels Flight cars and placed them in storage to redevelop the Bunker Hill neighborhood.

1996 – Angels Flight reopened at its current location across the street from the Grand Central Market.

February 1, 2001 – Angels Flight closed after the death of a passenger and seven injuries due to a derailment

March 15, 2010 – Angels Flight reopened for a short period.

September 5, 2013 – Angels Flight closed due to another derailment.

2016 – Angels Flight makes a cameo appearance in the Oscar nominated film La La Land before opening to the public thanks to a 30 year contract between the Angels Flight Development Company and the City of Los Angeles.

August 31, 2017 – Angels Flight reopens to the public. Today, the Angels Flight cars are orange and black instead of white with the same names Sinai and Olivet.

The cost $1.00 to ride one way unless you have a valid Metro Tap Card the ride is 50 cents to ride from Hill Street to California Plaza and vice versa from 6:45am to 10:00pm.

If you start at the bottom, you will pay at the ticket booth located at the top to exit at California Plaza. If you start at the top, you will pay before riding to the bottom to exit at Hill Street.

You enter Angels Flight on a first come, first serve basis by standing in line.

You walk up the stairs in the middle of the wooden car to find a place to sit in 1 of the 16 seats.

There is no standing allowed inside the car nor outside at the back of the car.

There are usually people standing respectfully in line waiting to ride Angels Flight at the bottom and top. We decided to take a round trip ride to avoid the tourist lines.

It is worth noting dogs are not allowed on Angels Flight.

The ride on Angels Flight was surprisingly smooth and the view from the top was breathtaking.  It’s also the perfect place to take a selfie.

There is a water fountain with a plaque to commemorate fifty years of service by the railway dedicated to Colonel by the Native Daughters of the Golden West at the top near the ticket booth and it reads “Built in 1901 by Colonel J.W. Eddy, Lawyer, Engineer and Friend of President Lincoln, Angel Flight is said to be the world’s shortest incorporated railway.  The counterbalanced cars, controlled by cables, travel a 33 percent grade for 315 feet. It is estimated that Angels Flight has carried more passengers per mile than any other railway in the world. Over a hundred million in its first fifty years. This incline railway is a public utility operating under a franchise granted by the City of Los Angles.”

The memories of Bunker Hill Avenue and neighborhood continues to live on through history thanks to Angels Flight Railway.

Unicorn Bagel in Southern California

The Rainbow Bagel started in Brooklyn, New York at the Bagel Store in 2015.

Of course, California had to bring some colorful bagels to the West Coast thanks to Bagels & Brew.

Bagels & Brew introduced the Unicorn Bagel to Southern California to add some fun food colors to eat from the menu.  

As I stand in line browsing the many options to choose from off the menu, I decide to keep it simple…I order a Holly Jolly Bagel with plain crème cheese. Holly Jolly Bagels are hand rolled and fresh baked every Thursday and Sunday in December and Christmas Eve.

I’m given a number to place on the table for my Holly Jolly Bagel to be delivered to the table. Only food is delivered to the table not drinks, go figure.

Bagel & Brew has a large dining room and outdoor patio. We decide to sit outside on the patio.

Each patio table has an owl decoy to keep birds from eating food off the table.

The Holly Jolly Bagel not only looks beautiful, it feels fresh and taste just like a regular plain bagel.