Boulevard Magazine Issue B209 Early Summer 2014

Contact us: (323) 436-7546

Olivia’s latest accomplishment has her gutsy glamour girls jumping off the canvas and into one’s purse or vanity table.  

The cover image on this issue’s Boulevard may be called “Snowflake,” but artist Olivia De Berardinis and partner/husband Joel Beren point out that the vibrant colors and her ethereal expression make the cover girl the perfect depiction of an Earth mother and, therefore, a suitable subject for summer. Joel adds that “Snowflake” refers to the fact that the image Olivia and her model brought to life was truly a one-of-a-kind natural phenomenon like snowflakes themselves.

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Things are heating up on the grill at our favorite restaurants on the Boulevard and around town. Furthermore, there’s much at “steak” this spring and summer when it comes to the way your protein fix is delivered. Whether you want your favorite cut on a bun with fries or on a plate with sides, each venue has its own way of preparing the best selections of beef they can find. For those who prefer other forms of protein, there are spots with turkey and veggie patties as well as salmon steaks and other delights from the ocean.

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Play Picasso during your next visit to The Counter in Pasadena and Studio City, where your burger and shake can be your own custom creation.

Many burger restaurants claim to let you “have it your way,” but The Counter was built with that mission at its core. Their “Build Your Own Burger” menu allows customers to pick the base meat as their patty then add any topping to their burger, from traditional items like tomatoes and Tillamook cheddar cheese to specialty creations like habanero sauce and homemade chili. Other tempting toppings include soft-ripened Brie, smoked Gouda, onion confit, fried pickle chips, and grilled pineapple (but probably not all on the same burger).

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We’ve grilled some of the best steakhouses to find out what separates their cuts from the rest of the herd.

In Southern California, cookouts are not just a Memorial Day to Labor Day proposition. We love steaks all year-round, whether we cozy them up with potatoes in cooler months or spark them up with fresh greens and tomatoes in the summertime. Steak is also a lot more versatile than you might think. Depending on how it is prepared, it can be a source of lean protein when you swap the starches out for seasonal veggies, grilled or chilled. It can also be adapted for a variety of regional cooking preparations throughout the Americas. From Alberta, Canada to Argentina, beef is a source of pride that deserves care in its preparation. Whether you sauce it up, rub it down with seasoning, or add butter or blue cheese after grilling it to perfection, a steak—even served on its own—is bliss to behold.

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Los Angeles is bursting with tantalizing barbecue spots and pounds of Southern flavor.  Let’s be honest: Amazing barbecue doesn’t immediately come to mind when we think of restaurant dining in LA. In a city better known for its juice cleanses and salads made of kale and quinoa, it might be surprising to learn that LA does barbecue really well. Perhaps it’s not that surprising, considering our perpetually perfect weather (hello summer!) is ideal for outdoor cooking and our increasing population of Southern and Midwestern transplants bringing their down-home recipes to our sunny city. Take a break from the grill this season and let the experts do the cooking by eating at one of our picks for smoky, delicious barbecue in the city.

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Burgers are not just an American pastime, they are fixed in our collective consciousness. Griddled or charbroiled, thick or thin, classic or gourmet-inspired, disparities in preferences abound, and have been known to cause some serious rifts among friends, loved ones, and no doubt a breakup or two. While we certainly don’t condone a dissolution over a burger, we at Boulevard know a great burger is something to get fired up about.

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It doesn’t get any more “Los Angeles” than a juicy BBQ burger stuffed and topped with our favorite ingredients, then enjoyed al fresco with a locally-brewed craft beer.

A good hearty burger is a quintessential summer dish. It doesn’t get much better than grilling outside with an ice cold drink in hand. And while it’s as socially acceptable to fire up the grill in January as it is in June, the longer days of summer make outdoor barbecues even more enjoyable. Celebrate and indulge in LA style with our California Burger Recipe.

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Blu Jam’s West Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, and Woodland Hills patios are fired up and ready for summertime burger bliss and pure steak satisfaction.

With an epic signature Crunchy French Toast, a multitude of egg dishes, and numerous options for vegetarian and health-conscious customers, you may not think of Blu Jam Café as a go-to place for a burger or steak. On the other hand, with lines consistently forming around the locations on trendy Melrose Avenue, the Sherman Oaks stretches of Ventura Boulevard and Woodland Hills, this is clearly a restaurant that literally and figuratively has something for everybody.

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A shaded porch, an artistic and breezy atmosphere, and a menu of fresh bites and iced drinks make H Coffee House among the summer’s most relaxing hangouts.

Converted from a California Craftsman bungalow in the heart of Los Feliz, H Coffee House takes the “house” aspect of their café quite literally. The exterior, with its traditional wooden pillars, large windows, and decorative stone, is inviting, but what makes visitors stay is the cozy interior and the homemade food and drinks.

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Put your hands together for some of the best day spas and their skilled massage practitioners in our area.

Thanks to the explosion of day spas, med-spas, facialists, specialized massage businesses, and (of course) all of the multi-service salons, there are as many ways to pamper and beautify ourselves as there are people in Southern California. However, when we look at the mission statements of many spas and salons with a wellness focus, there’s something to be said for finding ways to make us feel more beautiful from deep inside. Many practitioners believe this and put those beliefs to work in their massage and body therapy techniques, focusing on how we can improve what we’ve got physically and spiritually before we consider anything else.

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Walk into Studio City’s new RUA Salon & Spa (formerly Krystal Salon) and you will be greeted by bright, natural light, and a delightfully airy space, despite the fact that it houses twenty-five hair stylists and estheticians, who are all available to make you beautiful, seven days a week.

Stylists on the main floor are busy shampooing, cutting and styling all manner of coiffures, while the upstairs area (including five spa rooms) is filled with clients enjoying such services as massage, facials, microdermabrasion, waxing, eyebrow arching, eyelash tinting and manicures. Clients are also enjoying various delights from the tea and coffee bar, including homemade treats.

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Every client is royalty at this sexy Pasadena space that is serious about hair.

How important is hair to how we feel and what we project? “Your hair is an accessory you wear 24 hours a day, seven days a week; it’s our most valuable accessory,” asserts Andrea Auman, founder and owner of Crowned Studio Salon in Pasadena. And isn’t that the truth? When we are having a bad hair day, or are unhappy with the hair we were born with, we not only feel less attractive, but that we somehow fall short of our full potential. Achieving your full hair potential is what Crowned Studio Salon is all about, and if there is anyone who knows the power of hair and what it represents, it’s Andrea. Her work and salons have appeared in numerous magazines, including Marie Claire, Allure, Elle, and Angeleno.

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Switch the “light” on with soft colors, lightweight fabrics, sparkling accessories, and heavenly textures.

Time really does fly when you’re having fun…and poof…we’re heading quickly into summer. Mother’s Day just came and went, and already there’s another series of gift-giving occasions upon us! Dads, grads, weddings, and, of course, a little reward to yourself in the spirit of shopping for your long-awaited and much-needed vacation from heavy knits and woolens. That said, honoring our friends, family, and especially wonderful dads on their special day with something memorable and unique is easier when you know where to get them. We know the best places to find just what you and the ones you love will both want and need to make hot summer looks even hotter.

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The word is out on Top Secret Haircessory in Studio City, the quickest way to thicker, fuller hair in an instant.

Does it ever seem like everyone else, especially models and celebrities, has been blessed with thick, voluminous hair? Maybe you have tried hair extensions or wigs but grew tired of the hassle. If you are ready to say “buh-bye” to bad hair days, then say hello to Top Secret Haircessory in Studio City, a fantasy come true for anyone who wants the luxurious locks of a superstar.

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Get the most out of your summer by planning a party, going out for an afternoon of live music, or shopping for home décor with our favorite stores and companies.

As summer rears its sunny head, there’s a lot you’ll want to do that doesn’t involve lounging by the pool (although no one will judge if you do that, too). Maybe you’re hosting a big barbecue in your backyard. Perhaps you’re attending a wedding or planning one of your own. There’s a good chance you’ll want to catch a musical performance. Or maybe you’re just getting out of your usual atmosphere and into a new space to energize your inspiration. No matter what you have in the works this summer, we’ve got the best businesses that can make your plans a reality.

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Longer days make it easy to get out of the house and enjoy our proverbial California gold, while your kitchen or bath get some summer style. As the kitchen becomes more and more the focal point of a home, its design and aesthetic are vital. Furniture pieces continue to be a growing and important trend, while state-of-the art touchless fixtures are quickly becoming a lifestyle necessity. Whether your preference is traditional or modern, smart splashes of color make all the difference in seeing your kitchen or bath in a whole new light. For a more subdued approach, gray-blue tinted cabinets provide a look that is current, yet charmingly rustic. To enhance neutrals or add freshness, strategically-placed textured or metallic wallpaper give monochrome kitchens a fashionable finish.

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You’ll find a world of inspiration at Westside Tile’s 9,300 square foot Canoga Park showroom or snazzy, newly opened Beverly Hills store.

Tile is a necessity for every home, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms. However, when was the last time you actually got excited about shopping for tile? Westside Tile & Stone, from its inception in 2005 forward, has endeavored to be that showroom that transforms shopping for tile into an artistic adventure. There are many fine stores that stock gorgeous tile styles rooted in tradition and history, inspired by past civilizations and landmarks. There are also stunning modern tiles that show just how far tile designers from around the world push the limits of glass, stone, ceramic and other materials.

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Ciclavia – Pasadena, presented by METRO, transforms the streets of downtown Pasadena into a safe, family-friendly, car-free space for walking, bicycling, skating, jogging, and seeing the city in a whole new way. Sunday May 31, you can traverse the historic streets of this quaint and picturesque downtown in any manner except in your car.

Enjoy a beautiful day amidst historic architecture and hundreds of shops and restaurants, without the bustle of the automobile. You can find more information at ciclavia.org.

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There’s a reason why we see the big, red “As Seen on TV” logo slapped on numerous goodies and gadgets that promise to make our lives better. There’s nothing more powerful than seeing that product demonstrated by real people in realistic settings. Now magnify that effect a thousand times, and this is the wow factor that takes place when we see a room or a house on one of our favorite television shows. These telegenic rooms do a lot more than represent current trends or a historic aesthetic becoming relevant again. They represent certain lifestyles to which we aspire.

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Summer movie season heats up with Clooney’s next big hit.

Tomorrowland isn’t the first motion picture based on a Disney theme park attraction—The Haunted Mansion, Mission to Mars, The Country Bears, the TV movie Tower of Terror, and the entire Pirates of the Caribbean franchise come to mind—but Disney’s latest potential blockbuster is the first to star George Clooney. In Tomorrowland, the Oscar-winning actor plays a jaded inventor named Frank Walker who, according to the official website, teams up with a “bright, optimistic teen (Britt Robertson)” and the two “embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory. What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.”

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Summer blockbuster enjoyment will be pushed to the max with Tom Hardy’s role in the modern-day remake of the classic action films.

There hasn't been a Mad Max film in theaters since 1985's Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, which featured the third appearance on-screen by Mel Gibson as "Mad" Max Rockatansky—a man unhinged by the murder of his wife and child while trying to survive in the postapocalyptic Australian outback. The original trilogy director, George Miller, has been trying to get a fourth film made for decades, and he finally succeeded with the long-delayed Mad Max: Fury Road set to open in theaters on May 15—30 years since the last movie—albeit without Gibson in the iconic role.

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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.
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Boulevard Magazine, 11684 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604 - 323.436.7546