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Monday, February 8, 2016

Wishing You Happiness, Prosperity, Longevity - 福禄寿

Wishing our Chinese friends - and everyone! - a Happy, Lucky New Year!

Los Angeles is celebrating the start of the Year of the Fire Monkey with the city's 117th Golden Dragon Parade and Chinese New Year Festival this coming Saturday, February 13th, in Chinatown.
The parade will kick off at 1pm on the corner of Hill and Ord Streets and even though the American-Chinese and Chinese residential areas are for the most part located in San Gabriel Valley nowadays, the Chinatown Parade and Festival still attract tens of thousands who line the parade route.

If you are in town, this colorful, public event is well worth attending!

Meanwhile: Lucky greetings from the Golden Lion and the M Girls.

Happy New Year!

Best Wishes from Janet, Ted, Kristen, Brynne, Kate, Max and Alisa

Monday, February 1, 2016

We Are Sharing Our Very Own #Hipsterfoodie List of L.A.


Lifestyle magazine GQ just named Downtown Los Angeles the "New Capital of Cool" - due to the density of great new restaurants, lounges and bars! We could have told them so! Los Angeles is The Place To Be! We love our work because we often venture out to experience new places for research - such a hard job! �� We are happy to share our list of personal favorites.

Janet Elkins:

I have to say Eatalian. It is basically the EventWorks commissary as you find us here constantly. We love everything: the flatbread pizzas, the salads, the freshly made pasta. Eatalian is the hottest culinary secret in Gardena. It is Zagat rated and the food is excellent. We have taken clients who live part time in Italy. They swore it's the most authentic and best Italian food they have found in L.A. We also heard Italians rave about the espresso. You can't leave without a treat from the homemade gelato bar!
"Move over, Mario" say enthusiasts of this "fabulous" "diamond-in-the-rough" Gardena Italian, where the "thin-crust" pizzas, "fresh pastas" and "otherworldly" gelato "transport" you to Italy at "bargain prices"; an offshoot in Culver City offers similar fare plus coffee and pastries in an equally "industrial" space.
15500 South Broadway, Gardena, California 90248
Source: Zagat

Ted Bowers:

I actually have two favorites: Animal and ink.
My teenage son Teddy is a foodie and loves to cook. He watches Top Chef plus numerous other cooking shows and attempts any and everything that inspires him. He is responsible for turning me onto these restaurants. I’d pick Animal for the best food experience in a casual atmosphere. ink. provides a ‘fine dining’ experience in a fun open kitchen environment with an innovative menu.
Offering brunch and dinner, Animal offers upscale dining for the diverse and adventurous crowd. Owners and chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo teamed up to provide the area with an innovative and creative selection of dishes to satisfy the adventurous diner. Animal's supreme and extensive menu is tailored to the upscale meat eater. Unique carnivore-centric dishes feature veal tongue, chicken livers and more to push the boundaries of the traditional palate. The brunch menu offers impressive egg dishes and delectable pastries, among other savory options.
435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

ink. is chef Michael Voltaggio’s first signature restaurant. Alluding to the idea of permanence, ink. endeavors to create an indelible impression with flavor profiles that are inspired by the myriad of cultures that make up the city of Los Angeles. Thusly, he describes the food at ink. as “modern los angeles cuisine” and aspires to create an experience that will repurpose the term “fine dining” for Angelenos.
8360 Melrose Avenue #101, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Source: opentable.com
Max Blum:
As we discussed our favorite restaurants in the office Max shouted out "Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock", Janet immediately beamed "Oh yes, that place is awesome and always packed".

Casa Bianca is a second generation Chicago-Italian family restaurant and an absolute local favorite.
  Of all the old-time neighborhood pizza parlors out there, one of them actually has to be the best. And 22 years after I first wrote about the place for The Times, I'm pretty sure that the Casa Bianca Pizza Pie — red-checked tablecloths, wedge salad and all — is still the one. The pizzas are thin-crusted and crazy-cut like the South Side Chicago bar pies on which founder Sam Martorana modeled them, paved with fried eggplant and sweetly spiced homemade sausage if you're sensible, and speckled on the bottom with enough carbony, bubbly burnt bits to make each bite slightly different from the last. This is a controversial choice among pizza freaks, but I stand by it.
1650 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock
Source: Jonathan Gold, most revered food writer in Los Angeles
Kate Brack:

I absolutely love Genghis Cohen for the awesome Chinese food and great live music. They do not use any MSG in their dishes. It's one of those long-term local favorites that has been attracting the music scene since its beginnings and it's home to many singer/songwriters who all love to play the intimate music room. Better hurry though. Ownership changed recently, and the new owners may implement changes.
A large restaurant with a full bar and live music, Genghis Cohen is a place to eat New York-style Szechwan food on white tablecloths in big, black booths. One of its best-known dishes is the thick, deep-fried New York-style egg rolls, but its large menu also includes things like sizzling rice soup, Mongolian beef and shrimp with lobster sauce. Since 1990, the cozy adjoining music room, which is decorated with red lanterns and seats 60 about people, has featured singer-songwriters.
740 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
Source: LA Weekly

Rebecca Fernandez Motus:

The Nice Guy! My husband recently spoiled me for my birthday and took me to this new celebrity hot spot in West Hollywood. It deserves the great reputation. Food and signature cocktails were excellent and the atmosphere is hard to beat. Nice Guy demands a reservation so plan ahead!
Think Rat Pack Vibes: The Nice Guy's aesthetic pays homage to a decadent era of Mafia bars and restaurants, where the owners and their friends could enjoy an evening together. Upon entry the vintage marble and brass bar greets you. Its size, scale and shape invite guests to a unique social experience, encouraging conversation and camaraderie. The booths along the exterior wall command intimacy, while the larger booths flanking the room stimulate a party atmosphere throughout the night. A small, sultry performance area has been incorporated in the classic lounge setting.

Their Best Dish is Universal: The Nice Guy is known for specialty pizzas and the famous Nice Guy burger—the menu, curated by H.wood Group's Food & Beverage Specialist Adam Koral, is a modern take on light Italian dishes. (And happily, there are choices for vegan and meat eaters). The burger has become the most popular item on the menu: Chef John-Carlos Kuramoto specially prepares a sandwich brimming with maple glazed bacon, arugula, caramelized onion and house-made American cheese.

What You Should Drink: The Chairman, which is served in a flask and named after Frank Sinatra, is made up of Gentleman Whiskey, Aperol, cacao, salted Cola reduction, and cider vinegar.

Not Just A Pretty Space: The space uses an abundance of organic materials and custom cedar wall with a ceiling design that emphasizes residential architecture. Also featured: Black American walnut flooring and custom inlaid carpets, as well as classic lighting fixtures that were hand-sourced from cities across the country to add additional warmth and comfort to the space. 401 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Phone:(310) 360-9500
Source: Nicole Adlman and Sara Kitnick, E!
Brynne Peña:

I love several Downtown restaurants but Café Gratitude tops my list. The menu consists of locally sourced, sustainably grown vegan dishes. But Gratitude takes its mission further. This is their Mission Statement:
We strive to create a menu and environment that supports health and sustainability for both our community and the planet. We practice business through a term we call “Sacred Commerce”, where we provide inspired service, honest and transparent communication, and express gratitude for the richness of our lives.
I know, many of you are now thinking: 'oh those Californians' but Chef Dreux Ellis actually spent 8 years in Italy, undertaking a traditional European apprenticeship, learning in several 5-star hotels and under two Michelin-starred chefs. That level of commitment to excellence is noticeable in the whole operation. Food and service are always outstanding and you can feel really good about being a customer.
The Arts District locale is the third for Los Angeles, with other hip Cafe Gratitude outposts in Larchmont and on Venice’s Rose Avenue.

Holding some sunny real estate at the ground floor level of the massive (and much-discussed) new One Santa Fe mixed-use community, Cafe Gratitude looks to angle in on the all-important wholesome food market that’s booming downtown. The menu is, of course, entirely plant-based and organic, with a lean towards lighter lunch fare and easygoing main dishes.

Executive chef Dreux Ellis unleashes a broad menu of dinner-specific dishes that change with the seasons, and will roll them out to the sister locations accordingly. Don’t forget about their chef-curated juice cleanse option, too.

As for the space itself, expect a clean, wood-accented room with lots of gleaming white and faux rustic touches, like painted exposed brick and brass railings. A set of corner shelves leave room for quick service to-go items, while seating inside is a mix of communal tables, a long run of two-tops and larger booths, plus wraparound seating at the bar. One Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles
Source: L.A. Eater
Kristen Rensch:

Oh where to start? We have so many great choices. I second Brynne's opinion on Café Gratitude and I highly recommend Dreux Ellis' Mexican restaurant in West Hollywood. Gracias Madre applies the same culinary philosophy to Mexican cuisine as Gratitude - and they do serve tequila! It's located on the hip, designer-centric stretch of Melrose Avenue so you are sure to also encounter a very eclectic Hollywood crowd and quite a few celebrities.  I love to sit outside whenever possible. The courtyard patio is chic and lovely with olive trees, abundant candles and stringer lights overhead. Our mission is to celebrate and serve the presence of the mother which resides above us, within our hearts, within the earth, and in all those who nurture us. We serve cuisine inspired by the kitchens of Mexico sourced from locally grown organic ingredients. Welcome to a seat at love’s table.

The idea of Gracias Madre was first conceived while visiting the families of our employees in Mexico. We wanted to do both; offer organic Mexican food to the communities we serve as well as honor the mothers who work tirelessly in the kitchens of Mexico and often live without their husbands and children while they work side by side with us in California. Inspired by some of the recipes of these families and the love of their mothers, Gracias Madre serves organic, farm fresh, locally sourced food, full of flavor and love with a menu spearheaded by Executive Chef Chandra Gilbert and agave-based cocktail program by Beverage Director Jason Eisner.
8905 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Source: OpenTable 
Christie Teller:

One of the advantages of my extensive business travels is the chance to explore the culinary scene in many cities. Los Angeles offers such a vast variety that it is always a pleasure to try new places. I love the beach and recently discovered Gjelina on Abbott Kinney Blvd in Venice. Since we are on the subject of GQ: they named it the “Coolest Block in America” in 2012. Gjelina offers a modern, light take on American cuisine. It gets credit for originating the communal, rustic, aesthetically pleasing, vegetable-heavy dining concept; a trend that has since spread globally. The wood-paneled room is cozy, the lighting warm and soothing and the food extraordinary.

It may not evoke the old, funky Venice that so many of the neighborhood’s residents loudly mourn. But if you’re a fan of the newer, shinier Venice, the one with beautiful, stylish people and upscale boutiques and food that skews more California-chic than hippie-dippy, there’s really no better place to revel than Gjelina, a perpetually packed, convivial restaurant on Abbot Kinney. The back patio is one of L.A.’s greatest places to eat, bursting with sun-dappled, ivy-walled, brick-paved charm. The huge menu, of charcuterie, creative veggie dishes, small plates and pizzas, is a fantastic example of the joys of Euro-California cookery. You can get a slow-cooked lamb neck with preserved orange, chili and mint, or a pizza with wild nettles and Fresno chiles, and wash it all down with a bottle of Cahors, or perhaps a Portuguese field blend from Douro. The waits are long and you may well be eating elbow-to-elbow with strangers at a communal table, but the payoff is still quite grand.
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
Source: Besha Rodell/ LA Weekly

Alisa Walsh:

We can't leave our readers without informing them about Bestia!
It's part of the Sprout restaurant group that comprises the most acclaimed new restaurants in Los Angeles. Bestia has made every Top Restaurant list and has received wide acclaim.
It is No 12 on Jonathan Gold's 101 Best Restaurants. You have to experience it!

Leaping flames, natural wines, a thicket of curing meats — that is Bestia. Decibel levels edge into the 90s; it is the noisiest restaurant in Los Angeles. It is also one of the most popular. Is a week from Tuesday at 5 good for you? But out of the chaos, the roar and the sea of White Negronis comes Ori Menashe's focused, masculine Italian cooking that has been so influential here in the last few years: rustic, slightly underdone pasta tossed with braised lamb and sharp goat cheese, or sea urchin and bottarga; slow-roasted lamb necks; or pizzas with fennel pollen and Menashe's version of the chile-red Calabrian sausage 'nduja. (The local 'nduja craze started here.) Also, it occasionally seems as if there are fig leaves in everything, including the ice cream. Genevieve Gergis' desserts are becoming more and more assured. Wars have been fought over lesser treasures than her butterscotch-coconut tart.
2121 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Source: Jonathan Gold - The Gold List.
We had a lot of fun discussing our favorites in the office this past week. We have a lot more recommendations up our sleeve! The fun thing about food in Los Angeles really is the range. We are such an international community that we can find any cuisine in the area. The most creative chefs combine those influences to create something totally new, innovative and surprising. And that marvel may be served from a food truck, like celebrity chef Wes Avila's Guerrilla Tacos truck, No 13 on the Gold List.

However, the best Mexican/Central American cuisine, in our modest opinion, happens right here at EventWorks when Mario from Mexico and Edwin and Wilber from Guatemala get together at the barbecue!

Wishing you a great week!


Monday, January 25, 2016

A Team Building Day Idea: Cultural Tourism in Our Neighborhood

Just before the holidays the workload eased up enough to schedule a Team Building Field Trip. We explored a world renowned work of public art, located 4 miles from our offices! We followed Culture with Cuisine. Next time you visit EventWorks we offer to take you because it turns out that Watts is hot!  

We probably pay more attention to cultural sites as we travel around the world but we have the opportunity to visit a world famous National Historic Landmark blocks away from our offices: Watts Towers. Simon Rodia's master work was the Italian immigrant's labor of love and obsession, 34 years of non-stop construction, done by hand with the help of simple tools and donated materials. Truly inspiring! The Towers have always attracted international visitors but they have recently seen a growing interest from the local art and education scene.


Carolyn Vasi, Production Manager: "Our team of artisans and design artists could really appreciate the unbelievable achievement. Thankfully our docent was very knowledgeable about the practical aspects of the construction and could answer our detailed questions."

Equally impressive is the adjacent Arts Center that featured an activist-art exhibit "50 Years - And We Still Can't Breathe" commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Watts racial unrest, uprising or riots, depending on point of view,  at the time. The center is named after Jazz Great Charles Mingus who grew up in Watts and assisted Simon Rodia with the construction.
The arts center offers art and music community programs and produces topnotch drum and jazz music festivals that we hope to attend.


We can't leave the office without looking for a #hipsterfoodie experience. Around the corner from the Watts Towers is the culinary hub of Watts' artist community, the Watts Coffee House. Soul food at its finest - we love the chicken -and-waffles and couldn't get enough of the homemade candied yams.

Just days later, Über chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson celebrated the opening of their new healthy fast food venture: LocoL Watts.  The event on Martin Luther King Holiday drew hundreds of fans as well as Hollywood celebrities Lena Dunham and Jon Favreau. Mayor Eric Garcetti came for lunch.

We'd love to take you!

Warm regards,

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Please Meet Our New Director of Business Development: Alisa Walsh

EventWorks' Team is growing!
We are pleased to introduce Alisa Walsh, our new Director of Business Development. Alisa joined our team at the beginning of this year and she is bringing a lot of energy and expertise to her new role.

Alisa Walsh
Phone: (323) 321-1793
Email: AWalsh@eventworks.com
You are cordially invited to connect with Alisa on LinkedIn

As Director of Business Development, Alisa will attend many industry functions on behalf of our company. Although new to EventWorks, she has already honed her skills. With over 10 years of experience in the events & hospitality industry, she has cultivated relationships with professionals across the globe.

With a degree in Managerial & Organizational Communication from Point Loma Nazarene University, Alisa is equally comfortable in sales and event production. Her enthusiastic personality and genuine love for people combine with her vast event planning knowledge to create a sales force to be reckoned with.

Although hailing from the Bay Area, Alisa has been a resident of Southern California since 2005.  After having spent bouts of time in Hawaii, Australia, and Costa Rica, Alisa’s passion for travel and new experiences continue to parlay into her professional life.  She is an avid sports enthusiast and loves the SoCal beach weather!

I am very happy to have her on our team and I hope you will connect with her soon.

Warm regards,


Monday, January 11, 2016

Site Visit Report Los Angeles 2016

 We ❤︎ L.A. and upon recommendation from our friends at the L.A. Visitors and Convention Bureau we visited three sites in #DTLA, formerly known as just Downtown, the area of Los Angeles that sees the most exciting developments and wonderful improvements. Here our report.

Catch it while you can: the Space Shuttle in flight mode will be closing by the end of 2016.
The California Science Center in Exposition Park is expanding. A new addition will house Endeavour, scheduled to reopen in early 2018. And at that time the Space Shuttle will be placed in launch position!

So if you are dreaming of a glamorous affair under the belly of Endeavour, book now!

What you need to know:
the museum is open to the public. Load-in and set-up have to be coordinated on a tight schedule.
However, the in-house event department has a lot of experience working with production companies like us to ensure a successful event.
Several entrances offer the opportunity to create a special VIP Arrival area and hallways and exhibit spaces can be turned into cocktail reception lounges. We love the aquarium tunnel adjacent to Endeavours current home!

L.A. is finally getting it's Top-of-the-Tallest-Building two-story, indoor/outdoor observation deck. And we were very lucky to get a preview! The new owners of the U.S. Bank Tower, at 72 stories the tallest building West of the Mississippi, are turning the top floors into an observation deck with restaurant, bars, event spaces and outdoor bars and decks! SkySpace will have its own entrance from the street to ensure a smooth and fast arrival and the new elevators move at record speed. The most exciting new space will have a soft opening in Spring of 2016, with full opening to the public expected by June 2016.
And they are taking event bookings now!
Photo: Matt Gush/Just Wenderful

We emitted a collective gasp as we came eye to eye with a helicopter in flight. It is that high! And the upcoming Wilshire Grand, even though it will have 73 stories, will still be lower due to the elevation of Bunker Hill, the location of the U.S. Bank tower. The views from SkySpace are of course incredible!
What you need to know:
Again, this will be a public attraction and OUE is still working out the event timing details. They will offer a variety of options, from booking just one side during regular hours to booking the whole 360 degree, two-story space for a completely private affair. Details to be determined.
One thing is sure: this is the space with the most spectacular view in all of L.A. and it will make an indelible impression on guests.
The downstairs lobby is also receiving a complete makeover and will feature digital art.

The historic hotel from 1923 oozes Hollywood history and offers topnotch business and event services! The Biltmore serves as a filming location almost on a weekly basis! Ben Affleck had just left when we arrived (too bad!) and if the halls and ballrooms look familiar, you probably watch "Scandal" or were a fan of "Mad Men". Carolyn Vasi, who has worked here extensively, can tell you more about the secret tunnels that connected the hotel to City Hall in the days of Prohibition so officials could make an easy getaway.
What you need to know:
The Biltmore offers historic ballrooms as well as full conference services and 683 rooms/suites to accommodate guests. Hotel guests also have access to the famous, ultra elegant, classic indoor pool.

We thank Kari Mendez, Event Sales Manager at the California Science Center Foundation, Stephanie Estes, Event Manager at OUE Skyspace Los Angeles and Poleng Hong, Director, Sports, Entertainment & Filming at Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles, for their kind hospitality!
We are looking forward for the opportunity to work with you in 2016!

We hope you are inspired by these locations. More new spaces are becoming available in Los Angeles and we will update you soon!

Thank you for reading!
warm regards,

Monday, January 4, 2016

Revving Up for 2016!

Is it just us or is it difficult to shake off the relaxation of two long holiday weekends?
We are happy to be back in the office and ready to go!

Our water cooler conversation centers on our plans and resolutions for 2016 - and if we all stick with them we will be very healthy individuals. If our hopes for the world at large become true, it will be a better world.
Now let's just hope these two aren't right:

In the meantime, I wish you all the best for a joyous New Year filled with accomplishment, contentment, adventure and good health!
 Happy 2016!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Best Wishes from Your Friends at EventWorks

Best Wishes,

Janet, Ted, Selena, Kate, Max, Dee, Brynne, Kristen, Carolyn, Elizabeth, Marcelo, Greg and Marion