Browsing Tag



The Most High Quality Food Court Options You Can Find at Malls in L.A.

April 8, 2021

Ok, we know what you’re thinking: How chic can mall food courts really be? We’re here to tell you that shopping destinations all over LA have stepped up their game in considerable ways—so much so that it propelled us to compile this list of the best food court options in LA malls.

Usually, a trip to the food court means your sole options are McDonald’s, Panda Express and, if you’re lucky, Sbarro. But in 2021, refined eateries provide unexpectedly upscale alternatives that are both fresh and yummy. And with COVID-19 restrictions lifting, you’re absolutely lying if you tell us you’re not craving a trip to the mall.

Keep reading for our list of the best food court options in LA malls!

Big Fish Little Fish (Westfield Century City, Century City)

Westfield Century City (aka The Century City Mall) is a treasure trove of fine dining options. After all, the shopping destination is the nicest mall in LA. But we’ll save our ode to the hotspot for another day. With that, one of their finest fast-casual establishments is the incredible poke joint, Big Fish Little Fish. Their ingredients and toppings are truly the freshest and most unique, with a plethora of options to boot! From lotus root chips and Hot Cheeto flakes, to bamboo rice, macadamia nuts, sauces and fish galore, prepare to get served.

Bibigo Kitchen (Westfield Century City, Century City)

This Korean-inspired kitchen hits high on our list of musts, thanks to its variety in dishes and flavor. Where else can you get both small plates and chef-driven specialty items at a stop in the mall? Whether you’re in the mood for beef bulgogi or tofu ramen, this should be your first Century City stop as soon as you set foot inside.

Pitchoun Bakery & Café (Beverly Center, West Hollywood Border)

From fresh bread and pastries to healthy salads, sandwiches and soups, this French bakery is a major first-rate food court option at the Beverly Center. Everything is made daily from scratch with organic and local ingredients, two things that are a must for an elegant but affordable mall eatery.

The Melt (FIGat7TH, DTLA)

Sorry guys, if you’re vegan, lactose intolerant or on a dairy-free diet, welp — keep scrolling! But if you love cheese, then like the name of the eatery suggests, you’ve come to the right place. It’s hard not to get distracted as we breeze through the indulgent menu, chockfull of mac ‘n’ cheese variants, dripping hot sandwiches you only see in your dreams and sigh so much more. You’ll probably need to book a SoulCycle bike afterward, a few blocks down on Olive St., but a stop at this San Francisco-famous hotspot is absolutely worth it!

Bazille at Nordstrom (Various Malls All Over LA)

While not officially a food court destination, it’s a mall mainstay nevertheless. One of our writers is a South Bay native, who basically spent her upbringing at Bazille in the Del Amo Fashion Center. Located inside Nordstrom, this casual yet sophisticated joint is the place to go for deliciously upscale cuisine that won’t break the bank. It also doesn’t hurt that it has a complete bar to go with it either💁🏽.

Beleaf Café (Westfield Topanga, Canoga Park)

If you’re vegan, Beleaf Café is the perfect spot. There are truly no better words to describe it than delicious and nutritious. Located inside the Westfield Topanga mall (and possibly still Westfield Century City), this spot has tacos, burgers and nachos that are so healthy, they won’t even count towards a cheat day. In addition to their plant-based entrees, they also carry veggie parfait snack cups! Sounds questionable, but believe us when we say it’s a game-changer in the munchies department.

Coffee Commissary (Beverly Center, West Hollywood Border)

Although this option is more coffee-focused, it still makes our list for its unbelievable breakfast options. Their Texas Tacos, smoked salmon toast and brisket burrito are every breakfast lover’s ultimate dream. Their silky yet bold gourmet coffee also happens to be the perfect complement to these mouth-watering bites.

If you’re a sucker for a classic mall experience, you’ll want to know about THIS drive-through attraction that took place in Westfield Century City’s parking structure.


Our 5 Favorite BIPOC-Owned L.A. Restaurants to Support Through Black History Month and Beyond

February 18, 2021

It’s Black History Month—and based on where we live, it’s important to acknowledge the people, places and things that have made a cultural imprint among the City of Angels’ BIPOC community. A great place to start? The best BIPOC-owned restaurants in LA.

Los Angeles is rich with culture in the kitchen. From vegan and vegetarian options, to worldwide cuisine, this melting pot has something for everyone. Whether it’s plant-based, too-good-to-be-true bowls and wood-fire pizzas, to slow-cooked barbecue and Insta-worthy gumbo, there are plenty of mouthwatering bites around L.A. to choose from. Therefore, highlighting the influence the Black community has made on the city’s culinary landscape in an absolute must.

(via Georgia’s Restaurant)

The very first BIPOC-owned restaurant that we truly connected with is Georgia’s! The flavors and texture the restaurant uses in its dishes are simply otherworldly. Whether you’re doing the cooking at home, using the best products on the market (like THIS wet batter created by Chef Jay) or dining out, this city has plenty to offer.

Don’t take our word for it—check out this insane spreadsheet, inspired by food journalist Kat Hong, which lists more than 100 African-American food businesses across the city!

But to help you narrow it down, keep reading for our personal list of the five best BIPOC-owned restaurants in LA to support through Black History Month and beyond.

1. Bludso’s BBQ

A list of the best BIPOC-owned restaurants in LA wouldn’t be complete without this mention. The BBQ joint is well-known, and for good reason: It’s solid! Be sure to place an order ahead as there’s always a wait and items do sell out. Here you can get pulled pork, dry-rubbed chicken, or crave-worthy handmade sausage links. Of course, staples including the brisket are worth a stop at this establishment alone, and it just so happens to be an unspoken favorite. You’ll also want to be sure not to skimp on the desserts! The Peach Cobbler is mind-blowing. It even gives Patti LaBelle’s pies a run for their money. If cooking at home is your jam, you can even order a frozen rack of ribs or frozen Texas hot links, vacuum-sealed to grill at home.

609 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

2. Meals by Genet

Not every restaurant has the pleasure of making it onto the late Jonathan Gold’s List of 101 Best Restaurants. This establishment makes the cut on his prestige list and many others, including the Michelin Guide’s California Family Meal. This fine dining destination merges many flavors to the fore-front at once. From a slow-cooked chicken dish (that takes three days to make) to its renowned vegan-friendly sides and the most perfect flatbreads, this restaurant boasts a strong variety in addition to a general appeasing of the palette. Currently they’re only open from Thurs. – Sun., so get your fix while you can.

1053 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

3. Undergrind Café

Located in a relaxed neighborhood, Undregrind Café is not your average coffee shop. The menu spans from unique lattes and pressed juices to impressive breakfast items which are infused with Cajun flavors. The Bayou Burrito for example is composed of scrambled eggs, shrimp, Cajun sausage, red and green roasted peppers, white onion, hash browns and cheddar cheese. Whatever you order, be sure to try out the sweet cream pancakes!

2713 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

4. Dulan’s on Crenshaw

Dulan’s is a second-generation soul restaurant that’s been serving the community for nearly 50 years! One of their mottos is “Serving you, as you support us.” The menu is chock-full of true Southern gems such as smothered chicken, fried chicken and collard greens which are the backbone of this beloved soul food establishment. This is also one of the few places that does oxtails right! Whatever you order on the menu, know that it’ll be of highest quality. Order online from this local favorite and be sure to save room for the sugar-dusted peach cobbler. 

4859 Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90043

5. Louisiana Charlie’s

This hidden gem in Long Beach serves some of the best Cajun foods you’ll find on the West Coast. The explorative menu thrives off Louisiana staples, including alligator, jambalaya, crawfish étouffée and gumbo. Meanwhile, they don’t ignore Southern classics including tri-tip and mesquite BBQ slowly smoked to perfection. With a prime waterfront location, you’ll feel like you’re right back in the New Orleans bayou!

429 Shoreline Village Dr. Ste H. Long Beach, CA 90802

Looking for even more ways to support the BIPOC community in L.A.? Click HERE!

Food Featured

I Tried Rare Japanese Tsukemen at Brand New Chinatown Eatery Okiboru

September 16, 2018

Last month, I got myself into a very messy situation—at the dinner table that is.

Not that this should come as a surprise, seeing as I’m not always the daintiest diner, but this meal was me at my sloppiest (and for good reason). I was invited to be one of the first to check out Chinatown’s latest addition Okiboru, a casual eatery that serves up famed Japanese Tsukemen, a ramen-like noodle dish that’s a true rarity in Los Angeles.

I honestly had no idea what to expect, with the exception of a carb-heavy meal. I’ve never been big on ordering ramen, though I do love a good Japanese meal.

The difference between traditional ramen and Tsukemen is the latter is a “dipping ramen,” one that’s noodles (served cold and thicker) are accompanied by varying hot broths. My friend and I were served the chicken-pork broth and the vegan broth made from puréed grilled mushrooms and other vegetables. While both items packed plenty of flavor, we were both especially taken by the vegan option. We were shocked when Chef Hyun “Sean” Park told us there was no cream or flour in the concoction, as it definitely had that taste and consistency. It’s apparently made up of just the pureed veggies. No way!

Additional ingredients used in the dish are typically served atop or on the side within the dish of noodles. Toppings at Okiboru range from chashu pork ribs—which brine for a day before getting braised for four hours and are then grilled—to a simple soft-boiled egg with house-pickled radish.

The noodles were very slippery, and getting them on the serving spoon, dipping them into the broth and then making them into our mouths was no seamless process. We definitely went through at least 10 napkins each, and I joked to my friend that thank goodness we’re so comfortable around each other and not like on a date or something, because all my table manners went out the door. But hey, I think that’s part of the fun, and I think experienced ramen diners are aware it comes with the territory (it was just a little new to me). All of that said, we both licked our shared bowls clean and left extremely full.

While I was a little bummed that the spot doesn’t serve any alcohol—a refreshing beer or bottle of sake would have been icing on the cake to this delicious meal—they did offer a wide variety of specialty sodas, something I don’t see elsewhere often.

An additional added bonus? Okiboru is the first ramen shop in the U.S. to use handmade noodles for the dish. To get a behind-the-scenes peek of the noodle-making process, check out my Instagram video below!


635 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, Ca 90012
(213) 988-7212


6 Favorite Finds at the 2016 Echo Park Craft Fair

December 15, 2016

Nothing says holiday gifts quite like ones from the heart, and the Echo Park Craft Fair was chock-full of soul.

The annual event, founded by artists Rachel Craven and Beatrice Valenzuela, attracted not only a slew of celebs (Sia, Brandon Boyd, Kesha, Devendra Banhart and Marisa Tomei, to name a few) but some of the biggest and brightest in the handmade creation space.

Skyelyfe made its way to Mack Sennett Studios over the weekend, where we checked out and sampled a slew of jewelry, home goods, clothing and whole foods.


While there were so many eye-catching items, we went ahead and picked our six faves. See below and head over next year to swoop up (or sell) some goods of your own!

1. Fav Food Find

Sure, I eat chicken and occasionally red meat, but I am also a huge fan of vegan foods—namely, cashew cheese. This ridiculously delicious “cheese” loaf (pictured) was paired with spices from Tournefortia for quite the concoction.


2. Fav Drink Find

Let’s be honest. You had me at one word: avocado. Yep, that Cali staple was a main ingredient in one of Todo Verde‘s delicious Guacamaya smoothies, which also included cucumber, orange, chia and maple syrup. If that scrumptious little combo didn’t tickle your fancy, you were also able choose from a Lavanda beverage (Asian pear, lavender, chia and maple syrup), among other options.


3. Fav Office Find

These bad boys really put the “weight” in “paperweight.” I mean, no joke, I do think I got a workout from lifting each of these nifty little items. That aside, these are pretty darn cool-looking crafts!


4. Fav Mind Find

As you may know, I am a huge proponent of healing stones and spiritual energy. So, when I came across renown crystal healer Azalea Lee‘s Place 8 Healing booth, I absolutely had to stop. Not only did this stand have a stone for everyone (even a full-sized glass penis—if that’s what you were looking for), but Lee offered a free crystal reading to guests on the fly, which was done to inspire which stone would work best for them at the moment.


5. Fav Room Find

Creating catchy room decor is as simple as taking a rock, some bright paints and colorful pens, and doodling some words of encouragement. Voila! As demonstrated below, you have some some pretty empowering table adornment with the snap of a finger.


6. Fav Beauty Find

There was noone more excited about National Lipstick Day in July than I, so you can probably guess that I was pretty stoked to catch Kosas‘ lipstick booth. I opted for the plum color in the very middle and left with a smile!


Photo Credits: Jackie Gonzalez


PHOTOS: Top 6 Things You Missed If You Didn’t Attend KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas

December 14, 2016

It’s still technically fall, but it felt every bit winter over the weekend at KROQ‘s annual Almost Acoustic Christmas.

The two-day event brought out newer artists The Head and the Heart, Bishop Briggs, X Ambassadors and Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, along with classic acts Weezer, Green Day, Blink 182 and Jimmy Eat World, among many others (M83, Kings of Leon, BastillePhantogram).

In case you weren’t at The Forum in Inglewood to experience the high-energy event yourself, skyelyfe was on hand to take you behind the scenes—from the concert seats to the food-filled VIP area packed with musicians.

Below are six fun things you missed out on if you didn’t attend!


1. A Legitimate Winter Wonderland

Going back to what I said above, the event epitomized wintertime, decked from head-to-toe in festive lights, Christmas trees, cotton ball-designed “snow” and plenty of holiday season photo opps. The only thing missing was rain, but the chilly weather outside plenty sufficed!


2. The Ultimate Ice Cream and Dessert Station

If you were lucky enough to make it down to the VIP Forum Club lounge, you were treated to an endless array of toppings to perfectly suit one of three flavors (strawberry, vanilla and chocolate) of ice cream. In case this still didn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, there were also two cakes fully decked out in KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas logo. And if sweets were totally not your thing altogether, a few steps away was an area devoted to breakfast foods (scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, ok, you get the idea…).



3. Speciality Vodka Cocktails

A specialty version of a Moscow Mule was just one of three different cocktails whipped up all throughout the venue with the event’s official vodka sponsor, Reyka.

4. Up Close and Personal Moments With Show Performers

The Forum Club lounge also hosted the event’s performers after taking the main stage. VIP guests were treated to intimate photo opps and brief conversation before the bands respectively grabbed a mic and headphones for a post-performance radio interview.



5. An Insane Visual Performance by Weezer

From dripping ice cream cones, to a wild ride through all of Los Angeles, Weezer gave the crowd quite the eye-full throughout their entire six or seven-song set.


6. Some Very Young Crowd Participation with Green Day

Green Day proved age ain’t nothing but a number. The band brought some very young fans on stage at various points in their headlining performance. One girl knew the lyrics better than perhaps Billie Joe Armstrong, himself (no, not really, but she was damn with it!) and another started from being super shy to suddenly crowdsurfing, per Armstrong’s advisory. I’m not even a GD fan, but I was definitely taken by the energy of the overall performance.


Until next year….!

Food Angelenos Featured

PHOTOS: The Abbey Just Upgraded Its Food & Drink Menu in a Major Way – and Skyelyfe Tried All the New Items First!

January 28, 2016

The_Abbey_Hot_Mule_SkyelyfeThe Abbey Food & Bar
has never had a problem drawing a crowd, but their upgraded gourmet food and drink menu is sure to make the iconic West Hollywood hotspot a go-to for more than just its incredibly strong cocktails and half-naked go-go dancers.

In celebration of its upcoming 25th anniversary in May, the venue has enlisted the help of mixologist Armando Conway (Pour Vous, La Descarga, Harvard and Stone, Hakkasan) to create a selection of new sips that feature fresh herbs and house-made juices and syrups, while Chef Andrew Smith has kept busy in the kitchen with new shared plates and comfort food.

I got a firsthand taste of the latest additions last week with a delicious eight-course food and drink pairing, presented by famed owner David Cooley. My mouth is watering just thinking about the turkey meatloaf, warm quinoa salad and crab cakes, in particular. And even in wintertime, the cocktails were so light and fresh, I felt like I was lounging on an island during summer vacation. I could definitely go for one of their spicy Mules right now (ok, maybe in a few hours).

The Abbey, a two-time winner of Logo/MTV’s Best Gay Bar in the World award, doesn’t just serve up dinner. Daily lunch and weekend brunch are also big hits among consumers!






Food Angelenos

PHOTOS: Tabanero and Fireball Host Hottest (Really!) Party in Hollywood!

January 27, 2016

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

It was National Hot Sauce Day, and not a taste bud was left untouched among the guests at Tabanero and Fireball‘s spicy Hollywood soirée at Le Jardin to honor the occasion!

Fire dancers twirled their flamed hoops, guests took Fireball shots out of ice sculptures in between noshing on some of the hottest peppers and sauces in existence (you had to sign a waiver to try them – that’s how spicy they were!), and Burger Lounge served up their finest jalapeño-accompanied beef bites.

Following the bash, VIP guests walked out with the ultimate gift bag full of Tabanero sauces, Fireball shots and glasses, Poke Bar and Burger Lounge gift cards and flaming popcorn and chocolate bars.

There will be no lack of spice in my 2016 – that’s for sure!

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Photo Credit: Amanda C. Edwards

Lifestyle Music

Lauren ‘Fit DJ’ Pappas Is Helping Skyelyfe Readers Avoid the Crash & Burn of January Health Habits!

January 6, 2016

You may have read last week’s post that focused on treating your body right all throughout 2016. Well, this week, skyelyfe has brought on a professional to provide additional pointers to keep your health game strong all year long – not just through January!

 Lauren “Fit DJ” Pappas – an  NPC Bikini champ, who runs her own YouTube fitness channel Pimpin’ Iron, and has deejayed for Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Kardashians and the We Are Fitness health convention, among others – has come on board to help readers incorporate smart eating and working out into their everyday lives.

 And because she is not only a fitness pro, but also a DJ, it only makes sense that she provided a playlist of songs (scroll to the very bottom) that get her ready to hit the pavement, stairs or wherever her environment of choice is when she wants to break a sweat!

Lauren_FitDJ_skyelyfe_2Here are Pappas’ top three tips to getting you back into shape after the holidays – and staying that way!:

1. Have a Plan! Make a schedule for your workout days. Weather your goal is to workout every day or every other day, figure out what time you’ll be working out and the duration, ahead of time. Organization is very important to help you successfully meet your goals. And can even write what your workout will be (ie. Wednesday- 30 minutes of HIIT cardio/biceps & triceps for 30 minutes). That way you’ll make room in your daily routine for your workouts. Make fitness part of your lifestyle rather then a seasonal thing or an occasional thing.

2. Write out your healthy meal options or your specific diet plan & make sure it’s visible somewhere in your kitchen. Even better, designate one day out of the week to prep your meals ahead of time. Watch your portions by measuring out your food on a food scale or a measuring cup (ie. meat & rice you cooked, oats you measure dry), and put each meal in individual containers. That way you won’t be tempted to eat something that’s not on your plan. And you can easily grab a meal if you’re on the go. If you don’t feel like cooking, there are many healthy food prep companies that deliver all over the country.

3. Get fit with a friend. Break up the monotony of your workouts and grab a buddy. Working out with a friend will help you stay motivated and keep you on track. I love taking group fitness classes with my friends, going for hikes, running at the beach or even snowboarding. It also pushes you try new things. You can support and encourage each other.


Beauty Food

These Three Ideas Are Sure to Keep You Healthy and Fit from 2016’s Start to Finish!

December 30, 2015

Fit young woman fighting off fast food

Photo courtesy:

So much for prioritizing fitting into that skintight sexy number when the ball drops!

I’ve never met anybody who started a diet in December. In fact, most people I know excuse every bite and morsel during the holiday season with an “I’ll start up again in the new year.” We tear through cupcakes, multi-course dinners and booze-filled parties while we offer apologies under our breath and promise that come January 1st, everything will change.

Once the new year arrives, life happens and it becomes hard to keep up with our health resolutions. We’ve all seen the mad rush at the gym the first weeks in January only to witness numbers dwindle and only the regulars up on the machines come February. Luckily, new brands and services popped up in 2015 that can help us continue with our goals well into 2016.

Below, skyelyfe put together a list of ideas and programs that will make sticking to your goal easier than having that second (or third, or fourth…) glass of champagne this New Year’s eve.

Subscribe to a Food Delivery Service (Yes, you can find ones that don’t break the bank!) – Not all food delivery services are made the same. Most of them are also a bit out of budget after holiday season splurges settle in. A great alternative is a service that will deliver ingredients for you take make your own healthy meals. These remove the cost of food preparation and some offer values similar to what you would spend should you buy the groceries yourself. One of the originals, Blue Apron clocks in at only 500-700 calories per meal. Breakfast and lunch are easier to keep light (ideas include nonfat Greek yogurt and nuts for breakfast, salad with protein for lunch) when you are in a hurry. Services that provide you with premium, seasonal ingredients and calorie counts take the guess work (and not to mention temptation) out of dinnertime.

Should one of your goals be to consume more organic, non-GMO meals or to start a paleo or vegetarian diet in 2016, Sun Basket will be your ally. Most clock in under 700 calories, but be cognizant of the recipes (and reduce portion size) for those that go a bit over.

Sun Basket's Coconut Braised Pacific Cod

Sun Basket’s Coconut Braised Pacific Cod

Blue Apron's Boxed Deliver

Blue Apron’s Boxed Delivery

Don’t Let Hunger Strike! – One of the easiest ways to fall off your diet wagon is failing to prepare. Life gets busy and it’s easy to find ourselves skipping a meal in order to finish a presentation or squeeze in a couple more emails at work. Keep healthy snacks near you, in your desk drawer, purse or gym bag. This way you are less likely to bite into the first chocolate bar that makes eye contact with you at the office vending machine. Sakara Life is a new company based in New York that sells everything from watermelon jerky to probiotic chocolate. One of their best options is their Empower Bar Collection. For $29, you receive convenient, nutrient-dense, whole-food nourishment with a side of holistic healing. The “flavors” include clarity, manifestation and beauty.

Sakara Life's Manifestation Bar

Sakara Life’s Manifestation Bar

Start a Workout Club – We’ve all heard about the fatty version of this – a dinner or wine club. The concept is the same, but instead of somebody hosting dinner at their home or inviting everybody over for a great bottle of red each week, you explore new workouts in your area and invite your “club” to partake. Similar to the more common clubs, you are held accountable for providing an activity for the group on your set date. You can try that new aerial yoga class you were too embarrassed to sign up for alone, make accommodations for the group at a gym or prepare hiking routes, cycle paths, etc… for everyone.  This will help keep workouts fun and fresh well into the new year. It will also guarantee that you continue seeing your friends once the mad rush back to real life starts after the holidays.

Workout Club Activities

Workout Club Activities


Beauty Angelenos

Mane Addicts & Rapunzel of Sweden Celebrate Hair Collaboration with Lavish Luncheon at SLS Beverly Hills

October 23, 2015

Rapunzel_of_Sweden_full_display_skyelyfeWine, gourmet bites and hair convo with the experts – talk about my kind of afternoon!

Reps from Rapunzel of Sweden hair extensions and Mane Addicts industry hair site were on hand Wednesday at Tres by Jose Andres at SLS Beverly Hills, to discuss their hair extension holder collaboration.

Hairstylists and media filled the room while having one-on-one discussions about how to perfectly style extensions and place them into hair with an all-natural look.

Rapunzel_of_sweden_mane_addicts_skyelyfeRapunzel of Sweden, a leading extension provider in Europe, is being newly introduced to the states. The brand, which creates hair in pretty much every color you can think of, is geared toward women in their twenties, and the locks are made to fasten in easily. The brand also produces wigs, hair care products and styling tools.

I walked out with my very own full-length clip-in extension piece. I need to play around with it and perhaps get it trimmed before going public, but I am excited for the added depth I know it will bring to my hair! And for those on-the-go experiences, I also received an extension holder, which will carry a brush, curling iron, etc…, and it comes with a hanger to make the curling process easier. And to top off the ultimate girlie gift bag? Fake eyelashes, of course!

It’s safe to say I’m ready to go glam for my next big night on the town!


Skyelyfe Is One Year Old! Thanks to Everyone Who Has Been Supportive Along the Way!

September 24, 2015

skyelyfe_logo_facebookMy, how time flies!

Even though so much has happened in the last 365 days, it really does seem like just yesterday that I was sitting on my couch (this was before I put together a crafty little work desk), and sending out emails to let people know that after 3.5 months of WordPress-coding/template agony,finally launched my music/lifestyle blog skyelyfe.

And now as I celebrate being one full year in existence, there is so much more I want to do in this next phase. I want people to guest report and I want to post personal essays by guest writers (should you have any submissions or ideas, please send to I want to start doing events for the site. I have so many ideas regularly flooding my mind.

But at the one-year mark, I am grateful that I’ve had 162 posts-worth of material I’ve been able to share on my own platform. Whether it was attending tastings, going to events and concerts, trying new fitness trends, interviewing some incredibly successful musicians (RAC, Cazzette, RAS, Cedric Gervais, O-Town, SomeKindaWonderful‘s Jordy Towers, DWNTWN‘s Jamie Leffler, Hayley Kiyoko and Noelle Bean – to name a few), creating playlists, or simply just writing about things and people I love, I’ve had the chance to share new information solely from my perspective and freely write about whatever I want.

I can’t be more grateful to all the publicists, friends, musicians, etc… for supporting what I’m doing from day one. Thank you for giving me content opportunities, reading the site and following skyelyfe on social media (friendly reminder: FB:, Twitter: @DahviShira, IG: @skyelyfeLA).

Here’s to another successful 365+ days!


Music Food

Life Is Beautiful Festival: All the Behind-the-Scenes Secrets, from Co-Owner Ryan Doherty

September 22, 2015

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

With fall underway, most of the year’s biggest music festivals are a thing of the past.

But Life Is Beautiful gives people a chance at one final big festival hurrah until 2016 Coachella.

Taking place this weekend in Downtown Las Vegas, the music and arts festival features huge talent, including Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Brandon Flowers, Snoop Dogg, Duran Duran, Kygo – and a slew of my favorites (Porter Robinson, Death Cab for Cutie, Madeon, Future IslandsGlass Animals, Peking Duk, Audien and What So Not).

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

Skyelyfe sat down at Soho House in West Hollywood with the festival’s co-owner, WENDOH Media‘s Ryan Doherty. Doherty discussed the headliner selection process, the things that set this festival greatly apart from the others and some of the year-long challenges that were faced in pulling this incredible experience together. 

Read on to learn six behind-the-scenes things to know about Life Is Beautiful festival:

1. The Setup Is Wild

“At a music festival, you’re usually in a venue. In this case, the entire downtown is turned into a venue,” Doherty said. “We fence off 17 blocks, we have stages and parking lots in the middle of the streets. There are casinos, bars, restaurants that become parts of the venue. It has this ever-evolving footprint that changes every year.”

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

2. Here’s How the Headliners Came to Be

“We had a lot of artists we went after for headliners,” Doherty said. “The festival scene has gotten so broad now. There’s a festival every weekend, and we’re all fighting over the same talent. We got lucky. We did end up getting who we wanted. Stevie Wonder was a big get for us. He’s not going to be playing for a [much longer] time. You never know when he’s going to hang it up, so for us to get him for a festival is a good get. We had hoped to get Imagine Dragons because we don’t have a local sports team. We have very few hometown heroes. So, the Killers and Imagine Dragons are like our two hometown heroes. and Kendrick, we kind of bet on that horse, so we got him a long time ago and hoped he would catch on fire. And so far, it’s paid off. He’s turned in some great festival performances already this year. His music is smart and conscious. One of the goals was to make the lineup diverse, and I think that was accomplished.” 

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

3. The Challenges of Putting Together L.I.B Differ from Other Festivals

“There are a million moving parts to a music festival,” Doherty explained. “There are tons of speed bumps, but no obstacles. It just takes a long time to get things done. Most of you go to a music festival and you have to deal with the personalities of rockstars. We have to deal with the personalities of chefs and rockstars. We have an entire speaker series, so we have all these speakers. It’s a lot of stars who have all different personalities and are all coming in from different places from all over the world. Just booking their travel is a full-time job.”

4. Just Dealing with Venue Matters Alone Took a Whole Year

“We have to shut down city blocks, rearrange traffic,” Doherty said. “When you have a venue you can walk into, like a Coachella, where it’s a big field, it’s a lot easier. We have residents that we move to hotels for a weekend, we have perimeter fences that we have to put up around 17 blocks. People are surprised it takes a whole year to put this together, but it’s 100,000 people across four pillars. We have the speaker series, we have the culinary program, then we have the musicians and then we have art.”

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

Photo credit: Life Is Beautiful

5. The Festival’s Learning Project Is Something That Doesn’t Exist Elsewhere

“It’s essentially built around the platform of small, 200-300-person theater-style engagements going on during the festival,” Doherty explained. “It’s short-form content. These are 20-minute sessions. The idea of it is so that if you’re in groups, you can divide off and two of you can catch a session while the others catch a music set and then you can meet up and get some food together. The learning project is really meant to inspire everyone. You’re not getting that at any other music festival – whether it’s an inspirational culinary experience or little pop-up demonstrations.”

6. Despite Its Las Vegas Location, L.I.B. Doesn’t Typically Bring Out the Party Animals

“It’s really not that kind of festival,” Doherty said. “It’s not that crazy type of environment.”

Beauty Food Angelenos

Naked Princess Boutique Hosts Abs + Apps, the Ultimate Fitness Cocktail Party

August 13, 2015

absandapps_entrance_skyelyfeTalk about a workout event done right!

Naked Princess lingerie and beauty boutique in West Hollywood was the home on Tuesday to Abs + Apps, a celebration to launch fitness and nutrition blogger Whitney English‘s To Live & Diet in L.A. iPhone app.

absandapps_group_skyelyfeLet me preface by saying any invite that starts off by asking me my size and activewear outfit preference, courtesy of Fabletics, clearly has the event going in the right direction before it even begins.

The actual event itself started out with an incredible 45-minute workout with energetic beauty Kodi Kitchen of Best U Studio, who guided us through a U Barre routine (see photos) with an intimate group of 25 ladies in a private, tucked-away room in the boutique. After, Whitney served up some of her favorite (and healthiest) homemade small bites and decadent chocolate desserts (see recipes here and here). Topped off with Health-Ade Kombucha pomegranate sangria made with One Hope Wine, my taste buds were beyond satisfied!Absandapps_dahvi_skyelyfe

And icing on the cake [pun intended]? Each guest walked out with a gift bag full of goodies, including the boutique’s signature scent candle Midnight Bloom, which has quickly taken control of my apartment’s aroma.

Congratulations, Whitney!



Beauty Food Angelenos

Tone It Up!’s Karena and Katrina Host Day of Glutes & Glam in Malibu!

August 4, 2015

Photo credit: Dan Steinberg

Photo credit: Dan Steinberg

Not a body was left without feeling soreness recently at Malibu‘s Kia Beach House, where the gorgeous Tone It Up! founders Katrina Hodgson and Karena Dawn of former Bravo show Toned Up took over for the day, giving about 40 ladies one heck of a workout on the sand.

Overlooking the ocean and beautiful homes in our view definitely softened the blow of the intense approximate 30-minute routine.

Photo credit: Dan Steinberg

Photo credit: Dan Steinberg


Photo credit: Dan Steinberg

Luckily, post-sweat session, we were able to decompress with massages, manis and braids by Priv on-the-go beauty, the most delicious smoothies and wraps by Chef Alex Williams (I couldn’t keep my hands off the chicken avocado bites) – and even a gifting by JustFab, where I scored a pair of adorable beige booties and these fun neon shorts! Guests also left with gift bags full of Priv gift cards, Joico hair products and Murad cleansing wipes.

And of course, my lavish layout day was not complete without a little bit of red sangria! Cheers to fun Friday memories!

Food Angelenos

Top Food & Spirits Vendors Visit Sony Pictures Studios with Rocco DiSpirito for a Good Cause!

July 29, 2015

CalSpirit30_steak_skyelyfeEven the rain couldn’t keep the droves of foodies and celebrity chefs from making their way to Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City recently for a tasteful – and tasty – evening that benefitted the American Cancer Society.

The outdoor California Spirit 30 gala, hosted by famed chef Rocco DiSpirito, went for a whopping $350 a ticket, and featured decadent bites and delicious sips from a slew of popular L.A. vendors, including chi SPACCA, Art of Tea, Bouchon, Tavern, Knuckle + Claw, Lemonade, Impulsion Trade wine, and renown mixologist Julian Cox, who created specialty cocktails.CalSpirit30_Rocco_DiSpirito_skyelyfe

I had a major food field day, even noshing on Redbird‘s grilled pork chop with apricot mostardo & hazelnuts. Pork Chop isn’t normally my number one pick, but this was delicious, and I figured given where I was, if I was going to go for something outside of the box (for me), this would be the time and place to do it.

Although there were a wide range of wine and spirits served, if it were up to Cox on just a normal day, his motto is the lighter, the better.

CalSpirit30_donuts_skyelyfe“I think most of the light spirits are a really, really safe bet,” Cox told reporters. “Vodka, gin, rum, and tequila mixed with a neutral mixer is the healthiest and the lightest. I know that’s not very interesting but that’s probably the healthiest. But in that spirit, if you add something like fresh herbs or peppers, either spicy or not spicy peppers, or even like cucumbers, something like that, that’s really nice and light keep it really fresh. Also there are great sweeteners out there like Stevia and agave nectar that are really low on the bicimix index, natural and healthy.”CalSpirit30_Liqueur_skyelyfe



3 Cocktails (and Accompanying Bites) You Must Try in L.A. This Summer

July 22, 2015

I usually stray from specialty cocktails and opt for wine or vodka-soda because of the headache-causing overload of syrup and sugar in many drinks. But, at three incredible L.A. restaurants, I recently had the pleasure of trying several different beverages that were refreshing and flavorful, without weighing me down.

After much thought, here are the three cocktails (paired with equally delicious bites) that I insist you must try this summer:

TheSpringsCocktail1. The Strawberry Sake-Tini at The Springs in downtown L.A. is one of the most refreshing beverages I have had in a while. Made from natural ingredients, this sake cocktail tastes everything like the most delicious vodka-based libation. If you recall, I first tried the wellness oasis’ sake cocktails back in April – and with the change of season, they are still nailing their concoctions.  The vegan restaurant just launched its new summer menu, courtesy of Executive Chef Michael Falso. And my beverage of choice went delightfully alongside the samosas, which tasted straight out of my favorite Indian restaurant, sans the grease and heavy taste. Other highlights from the summer menu include, squash blossoms, “cheese” plate and beet tartare.


The Springs

608 Mateo St.

Los Angeles, CA 90021


DistrictCocktail2. The Hot Asian at The District by Hannah An has the perfect kick of spice and dash of sweetness without being overbearing on either end. This satisfying sip is made from lemongrass-infused Loft and Bear vodka, organic Vietnamese chili agave and fresh squeezed lime juice, garnished with lime zest and Vietnamese chili. I enjoyed my beverage with a chicken satay starter (the accompanying peanut sauce is out of this world!), a side of flavorful Chinese broccoli and a main course of District Wok Lobster. The upscale Vietnamese eatery serves portions that are every bit as filling as they are delicious!

The District by Hannah An

8722 W. 3rd St.

Los Angeles, CA 90048


Esterel_Cocktail_Skyelyfe3. The Myrtille Smash at Sofitel Los Angeles hotel’s Esterel is my favorite beverage to sip on outside in the beautiful garden terrace of the newly renovated restaurant. Made with Bulleit Rye whiskey, blueberry jam, lemon, simple syrup and black walnut bitters, this unique concoction by mixologist Ferrari Watts pairs wonderfully with the menu’s highly touted zucchini beignets, grass-fed ribeye with summer vegetable succotash and Anson Mills grits.

Esterel at Sofitel L.A.

8555 Beverly Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90048


Music Food

Mean Girls Is Coming to West Hollywood!

June 26, 2015

MeanGirlsIf you’ve had the pleasure of seeing one of your beloved cult classics as part of an outdoor movie screening series, then you know how much fun it is to laugh under the stars to your favorite lines with hundreds of other filmgoers.

Well in case you haven’t already experienced Street Food Cinema, July 25th’s Mean Girls showing at Poinsettia Park should get you into the whole experience. An added bonus? A little birdie tells me a certain someone from the cast will be making a surprise appearance!

Each Saturday from now through Halloween, some of the most universally memorable movies (ie. Cruel IntentionsHeathersClueless, Sixteen CandlesHocus PocusFast Times at Ridgemont High, etc…) will be showing at open-air locations all over the city. From Westchester Park in Playa Vista, to Exposition Park in DTLA, each screening in the series also incorporates a musical act and a slew of food trucks (Cousin’s Maine Lobster, Frach’s Fried Ice Cream, Street Kitchen LA., Joe’s Pizza and The Grilled Cheese Truck – just to name a few!).

Food Featured

Chopped Judge Chris Santos Just Joined Chef’d Delivery Service – and I Cooked Up One of His Decadent Dishes!

June 25, 2015

ChrisSantosChefdYou may recall that mouthwatering turkey concoction I posted about in February. Well, that decadent burger was courtesy of a Chris Santos recipe, and I have once again put my skills to the test, thanks to the Chopped judge, who also owns Manhattan’s Beauty & Essex.

Santos recently teamed up with Chef’d home delivery service to give his fans the opportunity to make some of his signature dishes on their own. For under $40, you now have the option to create his Ancho Caramel Glazed Pork Tenderloin, BBQ Sushi Tuna Satays, Pan-Roasted Hanger Steak or Wasabi Pea-Crusted Salmon – which is what I opted for!

Each order comes with very precise instructions and every single ingredient you need to feed two people. The salmon I made was delicious! It came with most incredible wasabi pesto recipe. It took about two hours, but the wait was worth it. I got to treat my dad to a home-cooked meal for Father’s Day!

But regardless of the occasion, I highly recommend teaming up with a friend, roommate or significant other and using Chef’d as a tool to have some kitchen fun! There are a slew of other renowned cooking stars also featured on the site, including Food Network’s Rahm FamaTop Chef‘s Fabio Viviani, healthy living expert Keri Glassman and the bloggers from Spoon Fork Bacon.


Beauty Food Angelenos

San Francisco-Based BloomThat Blossomed in L.A. with Flower-Filled Mimosa Brunch at Goldie’s

June 23, 2015

bloomthat-goldies-skyelyfe“Blooms, brunch + besties” was the tagline for BloomThat‘s event at Goldie’s in L.A. last week, and it was the ultimate feminine affair.

I brought my good friend Natalie along with me, and we were greeted with mini mimosas topped with varying edible flowers. After we grabbed our beverages, we made our way to the food table, where we piled mini french toast triangles, kale salad and avocado toast bites onto our plates, before sitting down at our flower-filled table. Following our meal, we were able to create our very own personalized bouquets, with options ranging from basil and mint, to roses, sunflowers, lilacs, you name it!

bloomthat-mimosas-skyelyfeThe objective of the brunch was to spread the word to Angelenos about the San Francisco-based flower delivery service. BloomThat’s online operation offers day-of delivery with a plethora of colorful options right here in Southern California.

When we departed the adorable dining experience, we not only walked away with our self-made bouquets, but we were also gifted an additional bouquet of beautiful yellow flowers, a perfect summer centerpiece to brighten up my living room!





Beauty Food

20th Century Art Inspires Menu at Sofitel’s Riviera 31 Lounge Thru End of Month

June 23, 2015

Riviera31-skyelyfe-2There’s about a week left to get a taste of Riviera 31‘s Revealed, Collection D’Art menu at the Sofitel Los Angeles hotel – a three-part dining experience inspired by 20th Century art.

The limited time opportunity kicked off in the middle of April with Cubism, followed by Surrealism, which ended earlier this month. Fauvism is the final of the three art movements explored, and its menu, created by Executive Chef Victor Boroda, is available through June 30. Bruschetta, tuna carpaccio and a unique spring garden salad are included courses, and they are paired with a rum and fresh raspberry cocktail named after the famous Dutch painter Kees von Dongen.

Riviera31-skyelyfe-1I was fortunate enough to reward my taste buds with nibbles from Surrealism, so I cannot wait to sink my teeth into this last option.

The menu coincides with an actual exhibit taking place in the hotel’s restaurant, bar and lobby – curated by Olivier Widmaier Picasso, Pablo Picasso‘s grandson – demonstrating the work of famous painters whose intimacy and daily life are, indeed, revealed.

Riviera 31

8555 Beverly Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90048

(310) 278-5444

Beauty Food

Dirty Secrets Will Fly at Hollywood’s New Confession Lounge

June 4, 2015

Confession_skyelyfe_3I try to keep my Hollywood ventures to a minimum, but I must say, after attending the soft opening of the city’s new lounge Confession, I will most likely be heading that direction more frequently.

The multitiered space, designed to resemble an illuminated cathedral, is owned by prominent L.A. promoter Robert Kennedy (Greystone Manor, AV and 1Oak LA), along with Sunset Entertainment Group‘s Chris Breed and Alan Hajjar (White Lotus, Green Door, the Sunset Room).Confession_skyelyfe_2

Boasting delectable cocktails (with equally adorable names – hi, Frolic and Ginny!), a full meal menu (which includes everything from truffle mac-n-cheese, to bacon-wrapped shrimp served over spaghetti) – and even an actual confession booth, the spot is expected to bring Hollywood some class, with a lot of sass.

Confession_skyelyfe_1The venue just opened its doors to the (privileged) public on June 5th, and I was there to help celebrate. I look forward to making more confess-worthy memories at this sexy hotspot.


1666 McCadden Pl.

Hollywood, CA 90028



Food Lovers! Here’s a Taste of What You Can Start Seeing at L.A.’s Annenberg Space for Photography!

June 4, 2015

Beginning on Saturday until July 12, your taste buds are in for a (virtual) treat!


Yesterday, I got a first look at the Annenberg Space for Photography‘s three-part Emerging Experience series, which kicks off with taste.


As part of taste – which is followed by sound (July 13 – Aug. 16) and then style (Aug. 17 – Sept. 20) – guests can view videos by artists Meagan Cignoli and Wahyu Ichwandardi (also known as Pinot), who have hugely dedicated followings based on their clever six-second Vine streams. There are also food photos galore (some of which you are previewing in this post) that continuously pop onto the screen.


Guests also have the option of taking a gravity-defying photo, thanks to Skylight Studios’ off-kilter set that creates an optical illusion. You can view mine here!


And an added bonus? The list of taste-centric events going on all through the exhibit’s showing, to coincide with the theme. From pop-up dinners to mixology labs, you’ll definitely want to keep your eyes peeled on the space’s event calendar!

Bon appétit!

Annenberg Space for Photography Skylight Studios

10050 Constellation Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90067

(213) 403-3000

Wed-Sun 11am-6pm

Closed Mon. and Tues.