Alyssa Morin

Del Amo Fashion Center: Best Major Shopping Center

Del Amo Fashion Center:  Best Major Shopping Center

Before the Mall of America was built in the midwest, Del Amo Fashion Center, at 2.6 million square feet, was the biggest shopping center in the U.S. It boasts over 200 stores, a glut of restaurants and cafes and the 18-screen AMC movie theater. It’s also made its way onto the silver screen: The Del […]

 Alyssa Morin

Scooter’s Jungle: Best Kids Birthday Party

Scooter’s Jungle: Best Kids Birthday Party

For four years Scooter’s Jungle has taken home first place for best kid’s party location because of their friendly-friendly environment. They offer “worry-free” parties and special events featuring inflatable jumpers and the tallest and longest indoor inflatable slide in the area. They also offer pizza and other treats. Not only are their play areas the […]

 Alyssa Morin

23rd Street Jewelers: Best Jewelry Store

23rd Street Jewelers: Best Jewelry Store

In 1981, sisters Diane Allen and Mary Kelley combined their talents to open 23rd Street Jewelers in Santa Monica. Allen, artistically inclined from a young age, designed souvenirs for Elvis Presley’s estate, while Kelley, who attended the Gemological Institute of America, worked for businesses importing and brokering diamonds and colored gemstones, traveling to trade shows […]

 Alyssa Morin

Growing Wild: Best Flower Shop

Growing Wild: Best Flower Shop

Manhattan Beach native twin sisters Lee Hoven Bakos and Lisa Hoven Gallien always dreamed of running their own business. Growing up, their parents instilled in them a love of gardening and the two worked at a local flower shop as Mira Costa High School seniors, then as business majors at Pepperdine University. In 1991, their […]

 Alyssa Morin

Trader Joe’s: Best Grocery Store

With more than five locations in the South Bay, it’s hard to drive anywhere without finding a Trader Joe’s close to your home. Trader Joe’s began as a small chain in the 1950s, under the name Pronto Markets. Today, the Trader Joe’s has evolved into a foodie’s playground with kind, helpful employees in Hawaiian t-shirts, […]

 Alyssa Morin

Gumtree: Best Gift Shop

Gumtree: Best Gift Shop

This darling shop, inside a 1911 craftsman bungalow with an adjoining café, invites visitors to stroll the wooden floors and admire an eclectic style that is chic yet laid back, with jewelry, scarves and accessories from designers such as Chan Luu, Catherine Weitzman, Wendy Mink and Dogeared. Cozy sections include a “living room” with an […]

 Alyssa Morin

Stars Antique Market: Best Antiques and Collectibles

Stars Antique Market: Best Antiques and Collectibles

Stars Antique Market’s cramped, but homey corridors makes you feel like you’re rummaging through your great aunt’s attic or basement, or maybe making a guest appearance on an episode of TLC’s “American Pickers.” The antique haven houses over 65 eccentric antique dealers, with enormous selections of fine vintage jewelry, timeless furniture pieces, and funky trinkets. […]

 Alyssa Morin

Ocean Bar: Best Dance Club

Ocean Bar: Best Dance Club

Most dance clubs can get a bit claustrophobic. Alcohol, smoky air and hot bodies can be a bit much. Luckily Ocean Bar is an open-air club where you can shake your thing with an ocean breeze on your face. If you’re feeling especially swanky, go for bottle service and grab a seat near the fire […]

 Alyssa Morin

Mangiamo’s: Best Martini

Mangiamo’s: Best Martini

Mangiamo’s martini list is nearly as long as its food menu

 Alyssa Morin

Ortega 120: Best Margarita

Ortega 120: Best Margarita

Ortega 120’s Day of the Dead decorations and old school movies projected onto the wall make for a fun daytime or evening atmosphere. Their $5 happy hour margarita is a surprisingly large size and their $2 tacos are perfect for an afternoon treat.

 Alyssa Morin

Baja Sharkeez: Best Happy Hour

Baja Sharkeez: Best Happy Hour

Baja Sharkeez’s Mexican fare has no business being as good as it is for bar food at a popular party spot, yet it never disappoints.

 Alyssa Morin

Palmilla Cocina y Tequila: Best Cocktails

Palmilla Cocina y Tequila: Best Cocktails

Lest you think that Palmilla is only a place for tequila, take a gander at their extensive cocktail list.

 Alyssa Morin

Simon at Oki Doki Sushi: Best Sushi Chef

Simon at Oki Doki Sushi: Best Sushi Chef

Simon has been behind the sushi bar at Oki Doki for 10 years. The location is unassuming – it’s in a strip mall on PCH – but the sushi is top rate, and chefs like Simon make the dining experience a pleasure. His knife skills are impressive and he’ll make you laugh while you watch […]

 Alyssa Morin

GROWING TOGETHER – The Kellogg family garden business turns 90

GROWING TOGETHER – The Kellogg family garden business turns 90

This year, the Palos Verdes based Kellogg Garden Products company, a family-run fertilizer producer, turns 90 years old. And while the company is steeped in a rich history, it was also a trendsetter. “We were organic so much before it was cool–since 1925,” said Kathy Johnson, 51, director of sustainability for Kellogg and granddaughter of […]

 Alyssa Morin

Stop Hermosa Beach Oil activist George Schmeltzer says, “Don’t believe the oil hype”

Stop Hermosa Beach Oil activist George Schmeltzer says, “Don’t believe the oil hype”

“It’s a dangerous business and has potentially awful environmental impacts,” says George Schmelzer of E & B’s oil drilling proposal. “I think people understand that. But I don’t think they understand the risks on the financial side.”

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