Boulevard Magazine Issue B209 Early Summer 2014

Compiled by the Boulevard Staff /In Alphabetical order

Rather than specializing in one single style of pizza, the great city of Los Angeles is a melting pot of all the amazing styles and varieties of pizza you can imagine. Let Boulevard guide you toward some of our favorite spots! 

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Our favorite pizzerias include a savory mix of old-world tradition and new-world innovation. When Gennaro Lombardi opened America’s first pizzeria in New York in 1905, he surely did not know he had not only introduced his Neapolitan specialty to locals, but created a staple of the American diet that thrives over a century later. Every major city in America claims to make the best pizza, and while we at Boulevard love a good debate, we were too busy discovering them all to get buried in details.

 

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Whether you take your favorites light or hearty, fancy or casual, or with a side of meatballs, our favorite Italian eateries have something that will satisfy your appetite.

 

There’s one very good reason why we dedicate a big section once a year to the many expressions of Italian cuisine—nobody tires of it.

 

On many levels, Italian food is so very American. With restaurants running the gamut from breezy lunch cafes to old school “East Coast Italian” spots, to chic fine dining, it is the most democratic of cuisines. If you’re dining out with a group of people with different dietary needs and flavor preferences, chances are an Italian restaurant will trump other choices because there will inevitably be something for everybody on the menu. Furthermore, in Los Angeles, when the weather can change almost on a daily basis in the back half of the year, that’s a good thing!

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Even as you survive the warmest days of the year in Southern California, you know you’re looking forward to it - that phone-book sized issue of Vogue, Elle or Harper’s Bazaar featuring endless helpings of substantial, cool-weather “layered” fashion that allows you to warm up, look hot and feel good all at once. Our favorite local dining-out spots take that very same approach to cool-weather comfort food, from hearty pastas, to earthy fall vegetables, to steak, salmon and other proteins that will warm us up from the inside out. Check out our first helpings of fulfilling, fashionable comfort foods to look forward to when the mercury does eventually dip.

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As an agent of flavor, garlic has to be one of the most notorious cooking ingredients out there. Used tactfully, it can give a dish that special kick it needs to make it a memorable success. Used without the utmost reverence and care, it can overpower the entire experience, leave eyes tearing, and cause a mad dash to the water pitcher. Truly, garlic is one of those proverbial “make it” or “break it” ingredients.

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Here in LA, we L O V E our pets. You and I would do anything to make them safe, healthy and happy. You’ve seen the bumper stickers: “Who rescued who?” “Bark less, wag more”. “Sleeps with dogs”. Perhaps you even have one yourself. If so, read on…

Toluca Lake’s a la Mutt has been the place where “People rock and pets rule” for going on seven years. At a la mutt the groomers rock too. They will give your dog a stress free bath and blow dry. If your best friend’s face has a lot of fluff, a Blueberry Facial is the solution. Plus, Fido will smell great for days! Owner Laurie is serious about promoting regular grooming, as it can prevent skin and paw disorders – and painful, matted coats. Cats also get a soothing oatmeal bath and gentle blow dry. Laurie carries top tier pet food, including Weruva, Fromm, Tiki Cat and Honest Kitchen. She has awesome pet beds and accessories that will have your pet looking like a rock star. On the second Friday of every month, there’s an affordable vaccination clinic and non-anesthesia teeth cleaning in the store. Customers have requested cat boarding and owner Laurie has obliged. At press time, the cattery will be here this fall!

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Accessorizing can make the difference.

 

As the door closes on yet another summer, the memory of leisurely vacation time, extended daylight hours, or just relaxing days in the sun slowly begins to fade. The autumn breeze is a welcome relief from the lingering summer heat, and the promise of the upcoming holiday season gives us a new reason to smile.

 

While you may have postponed decorating or DIY projects, preparing your home to look fabulous for entertaining is easier than you realize.  Think colorful accessories and contrasting textures, or the addition of fresh and fashionable window treatments to name a few.

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Versatile pieces can help you make a seamless – and fashionable- transition to the cooler months to come.

Here in Los Angeles, we have a bit of a wardrobe dilemma right now. Department stores are now stocked with coats, sweaters, boots, and all the warm colors that conjure images of a crackling fire and crisp, dew-filled mornings. However, leave the air-conditioned bliss of the mall and you are greeted with late summer heat and no indication of a cooling trend in sight.

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Now that summer is winding down, autumn leads us right into – the holidays! Now is not the time to slack off your fitness and beauty routines. You want to look your finest for the upcoming holiday soirees you’re sure to be invited to – or maybe you’re hosting one yourself.

There are many solid and effective spinning studios intent on getting you on track to your fitness goals. However, Lotus Kitty Yoga & Power Cycling in Studio City is geared towards steering its clients in an exciting direction when heading towards total wellness. The instructors take their students for an exhilarating “Power Cycling” ride on top-of-the-line spinning bikes designed for optimal endurance training and weight loss. Many of the classes, however, balance this with a yoga session or sculpt session, which adds extra fitness benefits for mind, body and soul. Factor in a cool playlist and a friendly, welcoming attitude from the staff and what you get is the perfect hybrid of adrenaline and incentive to stay in shape through the fall. This fierce and fun workout is the brainchild of Vanessa Giorgio, a veteran indoor cycling instructor since 1998. Vanessa earned her yoga teaching certification in 2002, in order to take fitness beyond the physical with routines that incorporate mind and soul, as well as body.

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Whether he appears as a Greek god, dragon slayer or Dracula, Luke Evans is a versatile actor with many layers to discover.

"Sometimes the world doesn't need another hero," intones the narrator in the trailer for Dracula Untold, in theaters on October 17. "Sometimes it needs a monster." Since that monster being referred to playing Dracula in the “origin story” action-adventure movie is 35-year-old strapping Welsh actor Luke Evans, we say, "More monsters, please."

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The affable actor plays a questionable character who may have killed his wife in David Fincher's latest movie.

All-American-looking Ben Affleck is often cast as a hero, but he'll take a darker turn in David Fincher's Gone Girl, which opens everywhere on October 3. The mystery thriller - based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the screenplay - is about a man played by Affleck named Nick Dunne, who may or may not have killed his wife. The official synopsis reads: "On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (the beautiful Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and increasing media frenzy, Nick's portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?" If you've read the book and think you already know the answer, keep in mind that Flynn has stated that the movie will deviate from the novel and the story is structured differently. In other words, go see Fincher work his magic with a camera and watch Affleck relish a chance to play against type.

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You are cordially invited to eat, drink and play at The One Up, the “gastrolounge arcade” poised to take LA by storm on September 19 when it opens in Sherman Oaks next door to Antonio’s Pizzeria.

Owner Murphy Michaels has completely transformed the former barn-like space, saying, “I wanted to be different.” He’s succeeded, and then some. There are three lounge areas designed for singles to mix and mingle while sipping on a craft cocktail, a glass of wine, or something from the selection of bottled beers or 8 beers on tap - which they can order from the impressive 30 foot long bar.

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When you first enter Colombo’s Italian Steakhouse, you notice the music filling the air: A classic, catchy jazzy beat with a playful piano that doesn’t skimp on the stand-up bass. It sets the mood for a faithful and classically themed Italian dining space with dimly lit tables and the humming of energetic regular customers.

It then hits you…. It’s a live band producing those jazz tunes, and not the product of a sound system tucked away in the rafters. And it’s not a special occasion. At Colombo’s, this is how they deliver their soundtrack, every single night.

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The color, flavor, culture and even music of Spain’s Andalusia region come alive at Montrose’s Casa Córdoba.

 

Even with souvenir shops, boutiques and the occasional contemporary coffee bar or frozen yogurt spot, the soul of the old towns and cities dotting Andalusia - a swath of land covering southwestern Spain – remain rooted in generations of tradition. Jerez, Seville, Córdoba, Grenada and other cities in the region are defined by a vibrant melding of Middle Eastern luxury and medieval European simplicity.

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A Caioti Pizza Café pizza takes about 20 minutes to create. However, the legend behind this Studio City icon goes back more than a quarter century and still burns bright.

 

On a beautiful late summer evening along Tujunga Boulevard, our meal at Caioti Pizza Café starts with garlic knots and salads...but not your ordinary salads. Caioti Pizza Café is the home of the “THE Salad©”, made famous 25 years ago at its former Laurel Canyon location. It’s become a legendary rite of passage for expectant or overdue moms bursting to go into labor. It’s a flavorful mix of romaine, watercress, walnuts, gorgonzola and special balsamic dressing.

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Just like your own mom and pop, this pizzeria is always there when you need it, everywhere you want it, and always ready with hot, satisfying meals made with the best stuff they have in their pantry.

While the expression “Go big...or go home” is now a widely used catchphrase, brothers Aro and Allen Agakhanyan have been living it for nearly 25 years. In 1991, the precocious teenagers (then aged 17 and 14) took over a struggling conventional Burbank pizzeria. Eventually, they transformed it into the powerhouse known as Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria, starting with one inspired idea - thinking outside the 16-inch pizza box. In 1996, their big game changer was to create the 28 inch “Big Mama” pizza.

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Blu Jam Café opens its doors where Calabasas meets Woodland Hills this October and brings its all-American breakfasts, lunches and hip vibe to the West Valley.

Nestled between Calabasas and Woodland Hills, Blu Jam Café’s newest location (set to open in October)is sure to bring a bit of Hollywood to the West Valley, along with some of the best breakfast dishes in town. The new sibling features an outdoor garden patio. Plans are in the works to expand into catering and open up the new location for after-hours events, starting at 6:00pm.

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Whether it’s your corporate Holiday event or your annual New Year’s Day open house, Kringle Displays  makes it an occasion to remember every time.

He was born the day after Christmas, and New Jersey native Chris Fernicola loves holidays so much his name might as well be Kris Kringle. “My mother, aunt and grandmother were always decorating for the holidays, so I’ve always had a major interest in having that festive stuff up.”

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The Sliding Door Company opens a stunning new showroom in Pasadena, featuring more room to show off their customizable closet and room-expanding solutions. Opening soon!

The old adage goes that when a door closes, a window opens. This is certainly the case for The Sliding Door Company, the innovative Chatsworth-based home improvement enterprise that transforms closets, home storage and entryways into fashionable solutions to improve a home’s functionality and value. Although some customers may have been sad about the doors closing at their successful Studio City location, this was done to make way for a spacious new Pasadena showroom set to open in late September (at press time).

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Gracing the cover of this issue of Boulevard Magazine is the riveting and pleasantly twisted art of Shannon Knox, an East Coast creative powerhouse whose flair for finding beauty through the slightly demented struck our eye, and it became abundantly clear to us that she was the perfect cover artist for our spooky fall issue.

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From the farm, to their kitchens, to your best friend’s bowl, Just Food For Dogs is committed to dishing up the best for your best friend. Now in Sherman Oaks.

“There’s no other company that makes food for dogs the way we do.” That’s a bold statement, but Shawn Buckley, founder of Just Food For Dogs, has put his time, money and passion into making “The world’s first dog kitchen” a wonderful reality.

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by Kathy Theodore

When the seasons change, there’s an energy shift that gets us out and about to check out what’s happening in the world around us. Boulevard is channeling that energy into a plethora of must see fall events and attractions, as well as calling our attention to some of the city’s unique enterprises offering services we didn’t even know we needed. Read on…

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Note: The opinions expressed herein are those of the various contributing writers, advertisers and artists
and do not necessarily express the opinions of the Boulevard staff or ownership.
All advertiser discounts and specials are subject to cancellation withou
t notice.

 

 

 

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