JUNE · July June JULY 2019
A Lover LOVER
of OF Romance ROMANCE Filmmaker Tosca Musk turns up the heat with digital streaming platform Passionflix Passionﬂix
D iI r R e E c C t T
*****ECRWSSEDDM***** POSTAL Customer Postal CUSTOMER
PRSRT STD ECRWSS U.S. POSTAGE PAID Pasadena, CA Permit #422
- OUTDOOR LIVING -
ON SALE NOW BROWN JORDAN, SUMMER CLASSICS, TROPITONE, TUUCI AND MORE. S A N TA M O N I C A W W W
V I C T O R Y F U R N I T U R E
C O M
AVA I L A B L E AT VICTORY FURNITURE I 2512 SANTA MONICA BLVD. I SANTA MONICA CA I 310.264.1046 VICTORYFURNITURE.COM
JESSE WEINBERG Jesse@JesseWeinberg.com CalBRE #01435805
vivian@vivianLesny.com CalBRE #01409458
a feW of oUr reCeNt SaLeS & LIStINGS IN PLaYa VISta
proud to be platinum supporters of
playa Vista ElEmEntary school KW-SILICON BEACH BRE #02004120 AgENt dOES NOt guARANtEE tHE ACCuRACy Of tHE SquARE fOOtAgE, LOt SIzE OR OtHER INfORmAtION CONCERNINg tHE CONdItIONS OR fEAtuRES Of tHE pROpERty pROvIdEd By tHE SELLER OR OBtAINEd fROm puBLIC RECORdS OR OtHER SOuRCES. BuyER IS AdvISEd tO INdEpENdENtLy vERIfy tHE ACCuRACy Of ALL INfORmAtION tHROugH pERSONAL INSpECtION ANd WItH AppROpRIAtE pROfESSIONALS.
Vol. 4 | No. 2
6 Summertime in Playa Vista
30 Dr. Jae Pak combats hair loss with artistry
COMMUNITY 10 The center of Runway goes car-free 12 Playa Vista dads at the Farmers Market People 14 Tosca Musk’s digital streaming platform Passionflix brings the romance 20 Melissa Gerber’s startup Deux Life gives kids clothing an eco-friendly second life 24 YouTube star Lilly Singh chats ‘Late Night’
4 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
Pet Adoption 34 Calling all foodies: A cat named Cheese will melt your heart FOOD 36 ‘MasterChef’ fan-favorite Alejandra Schrader shares her recipe for the perfect summer salad 42 Comfort food and kindness await at Home State Events 52 Don’t miss Shakespeare in the Park: ‘As You Like It’ and ‘Pericles’
On the cover: Passionflix founder Tosca Musk inside 12694 Millennium Drive, a former model home currently offered at $2,750,00. (Contact Kris Zacuto of Hilton & Hyland at 310-702-6299 or firstname.lastname@example.org.) Photo by Maria Martin. Design by Michael Kraxenberger.
Silicon Beach Listings!! BRAND NEW CONSTRUCTION This beautiful and spacious Cape Cod modern farm house is over 3,400 square feet. Open ﬂoor concept embraces the Southern California indoor/outdoor lifestyle, designed for stylish entertainment in a tranquil, relaxing home. 8117 Westlawn Ave. | Los Angeles, CA 90045 4 Bedrooms | 5 Baths | 6,106 sq ft lot $2,545,000
8117 Westlawn Ave | Los Angeles, CA 90045 4 Bedrooms | 5 Baths | 3,446 sq ft | 6,106 sq ft lot $2,545,000
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! In Silicon Beach steps from the sandy beach, views from the balcony and everything you ever wanted in the Marina del Rey Peninsula. Call or text me for more information. Live the California lifestyle at the beach. 24 Lighthouse Street | Marina del Rey
LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!
Steps to the sand in Silicon Beach
Playa Vista Condo— Coming Soon! Call me for free market evaluation. Off market properties – get ﬁrst dibs.
Ed i t o r ’ s N o t e
Summertime in Playa Vista
t’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine. It’s summertime,” the Kenny Chesney song goes. To me this perfectly describes summer in Playa Vista. As spring rolls into summer, the Playa Vista community can look forward to happy beach days with smiling kids, romantic evenings under the bluffs, and some of the best rosé Whole Foods has to offer. But that’s only the beginning. Upcoming free outdoor concerts include R&B soul band Blue Breeze at Concert Park on June 23, tribute band Queen Nation playing all of Queen’s greatest hits at the Central Park Bandshell on July 21, and the Summer of Love-inspired Woodstock Tribute Band, also at the bandshell, on Aug. 11. When I spoke to Queen Nation frontman Gregory Finsley, who’s been channeling lead singer Freddie Mercury for over a decade, he told me how inspiring it is to see a whole new generation discover the music of Queen. “Our kids are delving into the old CDs,” says Finsley. “You’ll see them at the show in their Queen T-shirts, or dressed up as Freddie Mercury and having the best time of their lives. It’s really a blessing to see all the ages come together and enjoy it.” This summer will also bring Yoga for a Cause to Concert Park on Saturday mornings, plus several picnic-friendly free outdoor movie screenings: the Oscar-nominated “Green Book” at the Bandshell on June 21 , the animated superhero flick “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” in Concert Park, and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” on Aug. 2 at Concert Park. The Loyola Marymount University Theatre Arts Department is once again producing two free outdoor Shakespeare plays with student and professional actors — the romantic comedy “As You Like It” on June 30 at Concert Park, and “Pericles,” one of the Bard of Avon’s histories, on July 28 at the Bandshell. While families are out having fun, Runway is at work to replace vehicle traffic with a pedestrian promenade and hangout area that, along with some exciting new shops and restaurants, promises interesting summer strolls for years to come. I hope you enjoy this issue of Playa Vista Direct, which includes a recipe from chef Alejandra Schrader for the perfect summertime salad. Made with English peas, blood oranges, arugula and crumbled feta cheese, you’ll want to eat it all summer long. Cheers! Shanee Edwards Managing Editor · email@example.com
6 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
Managing Editor Shanee Edwards Art Director Michael Kraxenberger Contributing Writers Lara J. Altunian · Christina Campodonico Stephanie Case · Richard Foss Jessica Koslow · Brian Marks · Robyn Paris Andrew Dubbins · Andy Vasoyan Gary Walker Contributing Photographers Erica Allen · Inae Bloom Courtnay Robbins · Maria Martin · Shilah Montiel · Zsuszi Steiner Emily Hart Roth Graphic Designer Kate Doll Account Executives Renee Baldwin Kay Christy Rocki Davidson David Maury Senior Editor Joe Piasecki Associate Publisher Rebecca Bermudez Publisher David Comden
CONTACT US Editorial firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising email@example.com
5301 Beethoven St., Suite 183 Los Angeles CA 90066 Playa Vista Direct is direct-mailed every other month to homes and businesses in the 90094 area code, with additional distribution to multiple office and retail locations throughout the Playa Vista area. © Southland Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
1 PLACE 6 YEARS IN A ROW! ST
VOTED ‘BEST COSMETIC SURGEON’
BEST OF THE WESTSIDE 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 | The Argonaut
DR. GRANT STEVENS
Marina Plastic Surgery Offers World Class Plastic Surgeons, Together With Comprehensive Skin Care Specialists And Services To Bring You Beauty For Life!
VOTED ‘BEST COSMETIC SURGERY CENTER’ BEST OF THE WESTSIDE 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 | The Argonaut
FIRST PLACE 2014
MARINA PLASTIC SURGERY ASSOCIATES
Over The Past 30 Years Dr. Stevens Treated Patients From All 50 States & Over 63 Countries Throughout The World
MATT BEARD PHOTOGRAPHY
4644 Lincoln Boulevard, Suite 552 | Marina del Rey, CA 90292 | 310.827.2653 | MarinaPlasticSurgery.com
COMPLIMENTARY CONSULT IF YOU MENTION THIS AD
They matter to me. I get it. Your home and car are more than just things. They’re where you make your memories and they deserve the right protection. It’s why I’m here. LET’S TALK TODAY.
Maria Galli Ins Agency Inc Maria F Galli, Agent Insurance Lic#: 0I84098 Bus: 888-222-7120 firstname.lastname@example.org
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Fire and Casualty Company Bloomington, IL
We are Committed to Excellence & Comfort Your comfort during dental care is just as important as your results, we look forward to treating you in a secure, friendly environment.
Marina Dentistry ALL DENTAL SPECIALTIES
• Easy Payment Plans/Zero Interest • No Insurance • No Problem • All Insurance Accepted • Nitrous Oxide Available • We Accept All Other Competitors’ Coupons • Se Habla Español
COMPLETE DENTAL IMPLANT
REG. $4,500. INCLUDES ORAL SEDATION, IMPLANT ABUTMENT AND CROWN. NEW PATIENTS ONLY WITH THIS AD NOW THROUGH 81419
PORCELAIN VENEERS $ 699Each. REG 1,400 COMPLETE DENTURE PORCELAIN CROWN $ $
NEW PATIENTS ONLY WITH THIS AD EXP 81419
399 REG 999 $
PORCELAIN FUSED TO METAL NEW PATIENTS ONLY WITH THIS AD EXP 81419
799 REG 1800
NEW PATIENTS ONLY WITH THIS AD EXP 81419
MARINA DENTISTRY 4292 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey, CA 90292 (Above Starbucks)
$2,999 WITH THIS AD. NOW THROUGH 8-14-19
TEETH WHITENING SPECIAL
ONE HOUR IN-OFFICE ZOOM! WHITENING AS SEEN ON ABC’S “EXTREME MAKEOVER” INCLUDES X-RAYS & EXAM
Cannot Be Combined With Any Other Offer
X-Rays, Exams, Cleaning, Oral Cancer Screening, TMJ Evaluation, Diagnosis & Treatment Plan
NEW PATIENTS ONLY!
Periodontal Root Planning Not Included • With Coupon Only • Insurance Programs Billed At Regular Fees • Exp. 8-14-19
CONSULTATION INCLUDING FULL MOUTH X-RAYS & EXAMINATION NEW PATIENTS ONLY EXP 81419
NEW PATIENTS ONLY WITH THIS AD EXP 81419
c o mm u n i t y Photos by Zsuzsi Steiner
Runway Redesign Groundbreaking @ Runway Road A colorful, life-sized car piñata was the last “automobile” to park on the short stretch of Runway Road that runs through the heart of Runway at Playa Vista. On May 9, across from Healthy Spot, DJM Capital Partners Chief Retail Officer Stenn Parton and several associates donned hard hats for an enthusiastic bashing of the piñata as a symbolic gesture to signify the end of automobile traffic cutting through the complex. The goal is to make Runway more pedestrian-friendly, encouraging visitors to hang out and enjoy the space and new tenants to deliver new experiences for them. These include clothing brand Lolë Apparel, home décor boutique Alchemy works and the Bull & Butterfly steakhouse. A 24,000-square-foot pop-up space called Free Market will host inventive retail and restaurant pop-ups, and busy moms will be thrilled to welcome Brella, a co-working space that offers childcare — Shanee Edwards 10 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
A child hits a car piñata to celebrate the end of cars at Runway (Left to right) Thomas Rubio, Jasna Cuk and Brett Thornton of DJM Capital; Tammy Park and Tom Hurst of Invesco US; Liv Parton and dad Stenn Parton of DJM
Stenn Parker from DJM in front of a marching band
A marching band provided boisterous music for the celebration
Proud parents hold little Yonas near the arts and crafts area
Children gather candy that came out of the life-sized car piñata
YOU DON’T PAY TO LIVE IN AN AVERAGE NEIGHBORHOOD. YOU SHOULDN’T PAY FOR AN AVERAGE ADVISOR, EITHER. Trust and Estate. Retirement. College Savings. Socially Responsible Investing. Cash Management. Goals-based Investment Management. Let’s Talk.
ANDREW RAYNER, CFP® | FINANCIAL ADVISOR 310 443 0522 | email@example.com
10960 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2000, Los Angeles, CA 90024 fa.morganstanley.com/andrew.rayner | CA Insurance #0F42897 | NMLS #1498383
Certiﬁed Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certiﬁcation marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with ﬂame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certiﬁcation requirements. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC is a registered Broker/Dealer, Member SIPC, and not a bank. Where appropriate, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC has entered into arrangements with banks and other third parties to assist in offering certain banking related products and services. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its afﬁliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors or Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters.
Filmmaker and entrepreneur Tosca Musk created Passionflix, a streaming platform for lovers of romantic films
14 Playa Vista Direct | June Âˇ July 2019
Passion on Demand Tosca Musk’s digital streaming platform turns up the heat for lovers of romance Story By Shanee Edwards | Photos by Maria MArtin
osca Musk is a romantic at heart. She’s made a career of writing, directing and producing films in the romance genre, but her current infatuation is with digital entrepreneurship. Forward-thinking and tech-savvy, the longtime Playa Vista resident’s latest venture is the creation of Passionflix — a streaming platform created specifically for fans of the romance genre. Until Passionflix, she says, “There has never been a place where you could find great romance movies that you know are going to take you on an emotional roller coaster, but are also going to have a happy ending.” The “emotional rollercoaster” of romance stories, says Musk, is what allows people to laugh and cry — validating a range of powerful, real-life emotions. “We wanted to create a space where a woman can rejuvenate at the end of the day, watch a story without the fear of something evil lurking around the corner, and there’s a happy or hopeful ending. Overall it’s a really positive experience.” Similar to streaming giant Netflix, Passionflix offers both original content and popular favorites, such as “The English Patient,” “Legally Blonde” and the TV show “Roswell.” Original films and series produced by Passionflix are based on best-selling romance novels. “We work very closely with the authors to adapt the stories and bring these books to life as the fan would
Tosca Musk on the balcony of 12694 Millennium Drive, a former model home in the heart of Playa Vista; Musk says romantic movies allow people to feel a wide range of powerful emotions
want,” explains Musk. “Often times that means our movies can be longer than the average film. A novel like “Driven” became a six-part series because two hours and 40 minutes is too long for one movie.” Musk — whose famous brothers are indeed Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk and The Kitchen Restaurant Group founder and food education activist/philanthropist Kimbal Musk — recalls sitting during the premiere of “Driven” with her mother, model and dietician Maye Musk. After a particularly steamy scene, her mother turned to her wide-eyed and humorously asked “Who are you?” … to which she replied
matter-of-factly, “Well, that’s what it said in the book!” For Passionflix subscribers who might want to watch a film with mom without having the woman who raised you question your identity, the streaming service provides a “Barometer of Naughtiness” rating for each of its offerings. There are five categories: 1. “Oh So Vanilla” identifies the tamest. Think “Strictly Ballroom.” 2. “Mildly Titillating” offers just a sliver of heat. Think “Chocolat.” 3. “Passion & Romance” is a tad sexier, including films like “Anna and (Continued on page 16) Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019 15
(Continued from page 15)
the King” and Passionflix original “The Trouble with Mistletoe.” 4. “Toe-Curling Yumminess” evokes a sensual, physical response — like “An Officer and a Gentleman” and the Passionflix original “Afterburn/Aftershock.” 5. “NSFW” (Not Safe for Work) brings the passion full-speed, including “The English Patient” and the Passionflix original “Driven.” Passionflix is only a year-and-a-half in the making but already growing fast, with more original films in the works. Musk says she’s making inclusivity a priority for new content. Currently most of the characters featured in films available on the streaming service are heterosexual Caucasians, but she wants those offerings to be more representative of her audience’s diversity. “We’re relatively new, so we have not had the opportunity to do too much yet, but we want to represent every sexuality, (Continued on page 18)
Tosca Musk behind the scenes directing one of her original romantic films that include “Driven,” “Hollywood Dirt” and “Afterburn/Aftershock”
Your energy savings have reduced LA’s carbon footprint by over 400 million pounds, that’s like 40 thousand less cars on our freeways. You’re awesome! ladwp.com 16 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
CATHERINE JONAS cmc, lmft president
Geriatric Care Management & Counseling Services We specialize in: • In-Home Geriatric Assessments & Care Planning • Scheduling & Accompanying to Medical Appointments • Liasion for Busy Families or those who Live out of Town • Assisted Living & Memory Care Placement • Screen, Train, and Manage In-Home Caregivers • Caregiver/Family Counseling and Mediation
18 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
(Continued from page 16)
every age group, and every ethnicity on our platform,” she says. “We have made a concerted effort to focus on finding [ethnically diverse and LGBTQ romance novels]. I’m not saying they don’t exist — they’re just not the first ones that came to us when we reached out.” Musk’s broader content mission also involves removing cultural stigmas about female sexuality. “One of the things that really frustrates me is this double standard: If men discuss sex, suddenly they’re macho, awesome human beings; but if a woman discusses sex, she is looked down upon — she’s shamed. That’s unfair and immediately puts us in a much lesser place in society.” As she continues to grow her company, Musk loves being able to live and work in Playa Vista. “I moved into Playa Vista in 2012, when it wasn’t crazy expensive,” she says. “Everyone I know outside of Playa Vista calls it Pleasantville because everyone in Playa Vista is so pleasant, which I love.” The Passionflix app is available on IOS or Android devices and also operates on Apple TV and Roku. Musk says the service will soon become a channel on both Amazon and Comcast, and is already available on most Samsung smart TVs. A monthly subscription costs $5.99 per month.
Entrepreneur Melissa Gerber in her storage unit that contains gently used kids clothing that will get a second life
20 Playa Vista Direct | June Âˇ July 2019
Kids Fashion Gets
a Second Life
Earth-friendly startup thinks inside the box to make dressing kids more affordable and sustainable Story by Shanee Edwards | Photos by Zsuzsi Steiner
ach year Americans throw away 13 million tons of clothing, according to EPA estimates — that’s roughly 80 pounds per person ending up in a landfill. Many of us donate our used clothing to charity thrift shops like Goodwill or The Salvation Army, but only about 10% to 20% of those items find a new home. That’s why Melissa Gerber, a Playa Vista resident and entrepreneur, launched a clever new business to help children’s clothing get a second chance. While getting her MBA at Loyola Marymount University, Gerber was challenged to create a business concept that would have a positive impact on society. “I had been reselling clothing online for over 10 years, especially when I was an undergrad,” says Gerber. “I’ve always been passionate about used items and finding a home for them, whether it’s clothing or collectables.” Gerber combined her passion, experience and new business degree to repurpose high quality, gently used kids clothing as a startup called Deux Life. Here’s how it works: For $49, parents can order of box of 10 pre-owned, name-brand clothing items in their child’s size, which Gerber estimates as a $150 value. Customers can choose trendy or athletic styles, or a mix of both, for boys or girls. Shipping is free. Not only is the service eco-friendly, Deux Life gives back to kids in need by donating one box to homeless or refugee
Melissa Gerber got the idea for her startup while getting her MBA at Loyola Marymount University
children for every five boxes sold. Gerber says she was inspired by the TOMS shoes business model she studied in school, in which the company gives needy kids one pair of shoes for each pair sold. Gerber hopes to achieve the same 1:1 donation ratio in the future. “Right now I’m in my startup phase, so it’s a little bit less than what I would like to give, but as the business grows I’m excited to give back more,” says Gerber. “There’s an endless supply of kids
clothes because, unlike adults, kids have to grow out them. I hope to rehome all of it!” In the future, she hopes to add a category for baby clothes, but probably not one for grownups. “Adults aren’t on the roadmap because adults tend to want to pick out their clothes more than kids,” she explains. “They’re more concerned with (Continued on page 22) Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019 21
New customers only. Participating locations only. Some restrictions may apply. Offer expires 7/31/19.
Molly Maid of Playa Vista 310-838-3300 www.MollyMaid.com
(Continued from page 21)
style and tend to hold on to clothes a bit longer, so they’re a little bit less wasteful.” Gerber is currently shipping boxes out of her Playa Vista home and says it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. “It went from concept last fall to prototype this winter, so I’m just finishing in the business incubator program. That’s where you actually have to launch the business, so now we are available for purchase.” Recently engaged, Gerber and her fiancé joke about hoping they can still afford to live in Playa Vista when they have kids. “That’s the whole point: the family-friendliness of it. It’s become my own bubble — in fact, we only have one car because I don’t want to contribute to the rising environmental problem we’re having. Luckily, we don’t need a second car because of the convenience that the community offers.” Though it might take some time for Gerber to turn a profit, she’s optimistic her business will thrive. “I know this model will work. There is a market; we just need to educate people about it.” Visit deuxlife.co for more info. Gerber has set up the discount code PVDIRECT to give locals $10 off their first box at checkout.
find your strength. Find your True Strength through better focus and improved confidence. Our combination of martial arts, fitness and self defense will be a fun family activity all summer. Children will develop outstanding discipline and self esteem. Adult classes will get you looking and feeling great while having a blast in every workout.
Kids Classes all summer! Call Now!
Spots are filling up quickly!
• Krav Maga • Tae Kwon Do • Muay Thai
• Kids Programs 4 years & up • Fitness Kick Boxing Bootcamp • Kids Summer Camp www.MARTS arinaM artialaON rts.net VOTED BEST MARTIAL STUDIO THE WESTSIDE
MarinaMartialArts.net • 310-821-6768 • 13203 West Washington Blvd.
22 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
HAVE IT ALL UPCOMING SUMMER EVENTS SATURDAYS
Yoga for a Cause
MOVIE IN THE PARK: Green Book
CONCERT IN THE PARK: Blue Breeze
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: As You Like It
MOVIE IN THE PARK: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
You love Playa Vista living and all it offers, but you’re looking for more space, more privacy and a single-family living style. The Collection will help you fall in love with a new home and includes a hassle-free moving experience. Offering open and airy home designs with all the style you deserve, The Collection is where you want to be. Visit today to hear how the Brookfield Concierge will coordinate your entire move so you can continue to love where you live. S I N G L E- FA M I LY LUXU RY H OM E S F R OM T H E LOW $2 M I L L I O N S V I S I T T H E O PE N H O U S E S T H I S W E E K E N D | 8 0 0 .9 2 8 . 1 2 75
CONCERT IN THE PARK: Queen Nation
SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: Pericles
MOVIE IN THE PARK: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
CONCERT IN THE PARK: Woodstock Tribute Band
Plans, pricing, products, events, amenities and community/neighborhood information are subject to change. Home shown does not reflect actual homesite for sale. © 2019 Playa Vista. All rights reserved. CA DRE license #01896289.
YouTube star Lilly Singh and “Late Night” director Nisha Ganatra discuss uplifting female voices in Hollywood
Living the Dream “Late Night” director Nisha Ganatra chats with YouTube star turned real-life late night host Lilly Singh Story By Christina Campodonico | Photos courtesy of Film Independent
olden Globe-winning film and TV director Nisha Ganatra intimately knows how fickle the wheel of Hollywood fortune can be. After the success of her first feature film “Chutney Popcorn” at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2000, she thought her career would take off in many new directions, but could barely make the trek back home to her apartment upon returning from the festival. “They send this Mercedes to pick you up and drive you around and you win this award and you’re getting free drinks and all that,” recalled Ganatra of the way she was feted in Berlin, “and then you literally fly back to Brooklyn … and you’re like, ‘I can’t afford the taxi from the airport to my apartment.’” Ganatra, who directs the new film “Late Night” starring Oscar winner Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling (the mastermind of “The Mindy Project” and screenwriter/producer behind “Late Night”), shared honest tidbits like this during the Film Independent Forum, held at LMU’s Playa Vista campus on Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28. At the time, “Late Night,” which opened in Los Angeles June 7, had already gained buzz for its $13 million sale to Amazon Studios at Sundance, but Ganatra seemed even more proud of the fact that her collab with Kaling — itself an unlikely-to-get-made comedy about the mentorship between an older female late-night comic (Thompson) and a young-and-hungry diversity hire writer (Kaling)—carried a ReFrame Stamp of approval. (That means that
Ganatra gushed over Singh, telling her she was her inspiration
at least four out of eight key areas of production were helmed by femaleidentifying people.) “It really takes on the idea that who’s telling the story is as important as what stories you do,” she told YouTube star Lilly Singh, who moderated. “It does matter who’s doing your makeup, who’s recording your sound, who’s deciding where the camera goes. … All of that matters … That makes me proud of the ReFrame Stamp.” Uplifting female voices in Hollywood was a theme throughout their discussion—from the comedic and playful Singh encouraging the humble
Ganatra, who’s made a point of placing female creatives in key behind-thescenes positions since her first film, to talk about her elite and unlikely film education (studying cinema with Spike Lee at NYU; before that sneaking into film classes) to serious fan-girling between the two media-makers, both of Indian descent. “You were saying, ‘Who inspires you?’ And I didn’t want to be cheesy, but you,” Ganatra told Singh. “Oh my god, stop it,” replied Singh, who has over 14 million YouTube subscribers.
(Continued on page 26)
Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019 25
(Continued from page 25)
“Honestly, I would not wake up this early on a Saturday for anyone else,” Singh gushed at the top of the Q&A. Each trailblazers in their own right—Singh is slated to become the only female late-night host on one of the Big Four networks when she steps into Carson Daly’s slot on NBC later this year; Ganatra’s “Chutney Popcorn,” about a gay Indian-American woman, made waves in the ’90s — the two female creatives talked frankly about the pressures and obstacles of being queer women of color in a white- and maledominated industry. “If I failed at directing an episode [of TV], it was going to close the door for a lot of women behind me,” Ganatra confessed, adding later: “I look back and I’m like, ‘Was it smart to make my first indie film about an Indian-American family with a gay main character? Probably not. I probably could have had an
easier, faster road if I hadn’t done that, but I didn’t think about it. ... The whole reason I became a filmmaker was to represent people and stories that I wasn’t seeing.” Even after directing episodes of “Mr. Robot,” “Transparent” and “Girls,” and now a major motion picture, Ganatra confessed she still feels a little bit of what she describes as “Cinderella syndrome.” “I always feel like the clock is going to strike,” she said. “Every time I drive up to Universal and I give them my I.D. and they lift up the gate, I go, ‘Oh my god, they let me in!’ Like, every day. … I don’t know if anyone feels like they’re ‘in,’ finally.” But if Ganatra has one Cinderella moment, it might be from directing “Late Night.” On a tight indie budget at the time, she went to her alma mater to secure rehearsal space for two of her
movie’s biggest stars. “In the room where I took my very first class on how to make films, I come back fifteen years later with Emma Thompson and John Lithgow, having rehearsal in the same room,” she recalled. “And that was mind-blowing. “There was this moment when I realized how everything happened when it was supposed to happen,” she said later on. “I have this rare moment where I get to do the art I always dreamed of doing and that’s all you can hope for. … And for that I feel successful and so thankful.” “Late Night” screens this June at HHLA’s Cinemark 18 & XD, 6081 Center Drive, Westchester. Visit cinemark.com for showtimes and tickets.
Playa Vista is more than home to me — it’s my community . . . I look forward to meeting you and serving your legal needs.
Practice Areas Include • Litigation: Employment Law, Business Litigation, Contract Negotiations and Disputes • Estate Planning: Trusts, Wills
Rittu Kumar, Esq. Named 2019 Power Player by Angeleno Magazine
www.kumarlaw.net | 323-456-8657 | 8383 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 800, Beverly Hills, CA 90211 26 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
Fresh & Healthy Cooked Just for You!
Authentic Tacos, Burritos, Salads & Rotisserie Chicken Handmade Corn & Flour Tortillas
7101 W. Manchester Ave. | Westchester 90045 | 310.670.8226 915 Wilshire Blvd. | Santa Monica 90401 | 310.451.0200 10401 Venice Blvd. #101B | Culver City 90232 | 424.298.8327
Dine in / Take OuT Mention this ad or bring a pic on your phone. Not to be combined with any other discounts/coupons. Exp. 8/31/19.
Take a PiCTure OF THe ViP COuPOn & SHOW THe CaSHier
Let Us Do Your Next Catering
20% OFF CaTering Call Benny 818.612.3875 Not to be combined with any other discounts/coupons. Exp. 8/31/19.
O r d e r O n l i n e www.bennystacos.com
SE E MOR E AT 12694MILLE NNIU MDRIVE .COM
F I R E F LY P L JUST SOLD
SE E MOR E AT J EWE LPL AYAVISTA .COM
F I R E F LY P L $ 4 ,1 1 9,0 0 0
SE E MOR E AT J EWE LPL AYAVISTA .COM
KRIS ZACUTO 310.702.6299
KRISZACUTO.COM DRE 01972897
Â©2019 Hilton & Hyland Real Estate, Inc. Broker does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size or other information concerning the condition or features of property obtained from public records or other sources. Equal Housing Opportunity. DRE 01160681.
Dr. Jae Paul Pak invented a robot to help make hair transplants easier
H e a l th
Jae Pak is an emergency medicine physician and gifted engineer who combats hair loss with artistry Story By Brian Marks | Photos by Zsuzsi Steiner
s common as hair loss is, it can fill many men (and some women) with dread. Two-thirds of men will experience it by age 35, and about half of all women will experience hair loss during their lives. Playa Vista resident Dr. Jae Pak, 48, is a pioneer in cosmetic hair transplants. He’s responsible for designing and developing many cutting-edge techniques in hair restoration, and he also happens to be a gifted engineer, an emergency medicine physician, a pilot and, when he has time, an artist. I spoke with Dr. Pak at his office in the Sawtelle area. Can you explain the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technology that you use? Traditionally, hair transplants have been done by making an incision and taking an entire chunk of your hair out, and you would divide it up one by one under a microscope and put it back in one by one. I was hired to help [his colleague, Dr. Rassman] create a robot that could actually shoot out the hairs one by one. What are things people don’t understand about hair loss? Fifty percent of the population is losing hair, but a misconception is that it’s due to something they’re doing, or stress. But 99.9% of hair loss in men is due to genetics. It’s nothing that you did. If your father, your grandfather had
Is this something the average person can afford? It depends on what your priorities are. It can range from $3,000 to $10,000. Why is it important to you to continue working in trauma centers? I trained as an emergency medicine doctor, so it keeps my feet in both places. I see really healthy, happy, fun people here, and I see really sick and dying people in another realm. It keeps me grounded.
Dr. Pak says hair loss is determined 99.9% of the time by genetics
it, you’ll get it. Another misconception is that there’s a cure for hair loss. There’s no real cure because there’s no curing your genetic trait. Potions, hair solutions, shampoos — they don’t work! What I do is move hair from one location to another location. I’m a professional mover. Who are your patients? It ranges from royalty from Saudi Arabia and Oscar winners to everyday people: plumbers, police officers, office workers. A variety of people from all walks of life.
How do you incorporate your artistic talents with your work? I’m not saying I’m an artist. But in high school, I wanted to work for Disney as an animator. I never got to go to Pasadena Art School, but I draw and paint in my spare time. So drawing and art and painting transfer very well into the cosmetic field, where I’m drawing someone’s hairline. You want your doctor to be like an artist. What is it about Playa Vista that attracted you? It’s a cool place to live! You can’t live in a community like that elsewhere in L.A. It’s very unique, it has everything. It’s like you’re living on the East Coast in New York, with stores right next to you, and movie theaters, all in walking distance. I think everybody says that, right? I don’t drive when I’m there, I can just walk. Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019 31
ÂŠ 2019 Highland Premiere. All rights reserved. DRE License #01967160. All material presented here in is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawal without notice. If your property is currently listed with another real estate broker, this is not intended as a solicitation.Â
P e t A d o pt i o n
from Annenberg PetSpace The coolest buddies in Playa Vista are waiting for their new forever homes
Hello there, I’m Jerome. It’s my dream to find a loving family where I can feel loved. I’m a little shy, but I’m quite sweet. Come get to know me!
The Values of Dog Agility and Trick Training Practicing tricks and agility are great ways to keep your dog feeling physically and mentally healthy at any age.
Check me-owt! I’m Cheese and I want to be your best friend. I like to play, explore and I’d love to spend time with you. Think we’d be a match? Come visit me!
Hi, I’m Pecan! I love being pet and will sit on your lap while you work or watch TV. I enjoy being around most dogs too. I’m looking for someone who will invest the time, work and patience in building a bond of friendship. I may be a shy girl, but I’m sweet as pie.
These types of classes are ideal challenges to keep their brains active and their bodies moving! Additionally, having new experiences like these can help build a stronger bond between you and your dog. Wallis Annenberg PetSpace is offering a variety of new
dog training classes to make the connection you share with your dog even more rewarding. Sign up now for obedience courses, agility workshops, and trick classes! Learn more at www.petspacedogtraining.org.
To learn more about pet adoption, or to see other available pets, visit annenbergpetspace.org 34 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
CALIFORNIA LASER SPINE
BACK OR NECK PAIN? Come See how the California Laser Spine can help.
CONDITIONS WE TREAT: • Sciatica • Spinal Stenosis • Facet Disease • Bulging Disc
• Pinched Nerve • Disc Disease • Herniated Disc • Scar Tissue • Arthritis of the Spine • Foraminal Stenosis
www.californialaserspine.com • 310-305-9200
Back, Neck & Nerve
PAIN URGENT TREATMENT CARE ✓ Cost-Effective
Non-Surgical • Safe • Cost-effective • Spine Problems • Back & Neck Pain • Nerve / Muscle Injury • Migraine • Work / Sports Injuries • Personal Injury • Spine & Interventional Pain Management • Orthopedic and Sports Medicine • Foot & Ankle Podiatry
Beverly Hills Pain Institute • 310-305-9200
OPEN 7 DAYS 8AM – 10PM
Walk-ins Welcome XRAYS on Premises
Silicon Beach Medical Center STATE-OF-THE-ART MULTI-SPECIALTY COMPREHENSIVE CARE CLINIC MOST PPO INSURANCE ACCEPTED
5450 Lincoln Blvd. Playa Vista 90094 • (310) 305-9200 • SiliconBeachMedical.com Free Parking in LA Fitness Lot, Enter from Brisa; at Jefferson Blvd.
“MasterChef” fan-favorite Alejandra Schrader holding her delicious bittersweet salad that’s a perfect complement to summer barbeques
36 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
Scream Flavor, Whisper Health
Chef Alejandra Schrader wants to help omnivores eat more plant-based foods while keeping meals delicious Story by Jessica Koslow |
’m known for my big flavors!” says chef Alejandra Schrader, whose light-up-the-room smile is equally as grand. “My recipes are mouthwatering, colorful and easy to make.” These days, the Playa Vista resident is delightfully busy in the kitchen. But if you had told Schrader 10 years ago that she’d be pursuing a career as a chef, entrepreneur and activist, she wouldn’t have believed it. Fifteen years ago, Schrader was morbidly obese and already experiencing health issues in her twenties. “My struggle with weight issues has been an ongoing battle, and I’m very open about it, hoping to relate to others out there struggling as well,” says Schrader. “About a year ago I decided to shift to a plant-based pescatarian diet for the sake of my health and the environment,” she says. “What we buy and how we eat can help alleviate climate change, spur biodiversity and contribute to a better food system for all.” Schrader, who has a background as an architect and land-use planner, runs a private chef business while also being involved with policy advocacy, including public speaking engagements for the United Nations, the World Bank and Oxfam America, and field work with small farmers in economically struggling communities.
And now she’s writing a cookbook. “It’s in the works, so there are some details I cannot share,” she says. “But it is focused on the idea of a plant-centric lifestyle diet that will benefit biodiversity. It is for omnivores trying to consume more plant-based foods while not compromising on flavor. I help people not just follow a recipe but learn how to cook; there are tips and tools for everyone to feel more comfortable in the kitchen and empowered to make their own creations.” Even though becoming a chef had felt like a long shot career choice for Schrader, cooking has always been one of her many talents — one which dates back to childhood. “Cooking at home,” she says, “was part of my family’s everyday life — getting fresh produce from the market or the produce truck on my block, going to the butcher to buy our meat, sitting with my grandmother, Mamaita, sifting through beans to pick the good ones to soak overnight for the next day. I am fortunate to say that I never had canned or frozen food growing up. Our meals were humble but they were flavorful, and made with love. My mom didn’t like us having sodas or store-bought drinks, so even the juices were natural and made at home.” (Continued on page 38)
Alejandra’s Bittersweet Salad Yield: 6 servings Ingredients
• 1 cup fresh English peas (aka shelled garden peas) • ½ cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice (from 2 blood oranges) • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar • 2 tsp honey • 1 tsp Dijon mustard • 1 tbsp finely minced shallots • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil • Coarse sea salt • Freshly ground pepper • 6 oz arugula • 1 medium-sized head of radicchio, cut into half-inch strips • 1 small green endive, cut into half-inch strips • 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled • Segments from 1 blood orange (peeled, membrane removed)
Method 1. Cook fresh peas in a small pot of boiling water for two minutes. Strain and let cool briefly.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together blood orange juice, vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and minced shallots. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Once mixture has emulsified, season with salt and pepper to taste. 3. Combine arugula, radicchio, endive, and peas in a salad bowl; toss with dressing until evenly coated. Sprinkle goat cheese over salad and garnish with blood orange slices. Serve immediately. Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019 37
(Continued from page 37)
Schrader’s stars have certainly aligned to launch her chef career. She’s been featured on all major U.S. networks in English and Spanish. It all started on season two of “MasterChef ” with Gordon Ramsay, where she was a top finalist and fan-favorite. “It is one of my most memorable experiences because it provided the platform that started my new culinary career,” says Schrader. “I learned so much about cooking and also about myself — how resilient I can be, the importance of my integrity, the value of my roots, and the desire to improve myself with every given opportunity.” “Working with Gordon Ramsay was also an amazing experience,” she continues. “I called him [in Venezuelan slang] ‘the chicken of the golden eggs,’ because whatever he touches turns to gold.” Ramsay isn’t the only TV personality whom Schrader has charmed with her unfettered warmth and infectious
Alejandra Schrader adds honey to the dressing, chops radicchio and peels blood oranges at the demo kitchen at The Resort
enthusiasm. She’s been featured on CBS’ “The Talk,” “Access Hollywood Live,” “Hallmark’s Home & Family,” “Café CNN” and “Despierta America.” And every time Schrader is asked to appear, it’s another opportunity to share her newfound passion and culinary philosophy: Focus on plants! “I’m not saying we all have to become vegans,” she says. “But meat, especially red beef, is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to greenhouse
gas emissions. Focus on the new and diverse ingredients you can incorporate into your culinary palette instead of dwelling on what you’re restricting. With aromatics, spices and a little ingenuity, you can transform the bland and unappealing into flavorful, colorful meals. Small changes at home will make a big difference in your health and for Mother Earth: Buy local, get familiar (Continued on page 40)
I LIST. I STAGE. I SELL. ! n i w u o y . .. Michelle Martino • 310-880-0789 • www.marinadelreylistings.com 38 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
OPEN DAILY FOR LUNCH & DINNER • DINE IN • TAKEOUT • DELIVERY
(310) 670-6677 • 8343 Lincoln Blvd. • Westchester www.AlejosRestaurant.com
David Schrader, filmmaker and author of cult comic “Baby Badass,” with his wife chef Alejandra
F o CELEBRATING o d (Continued from page 38)
40 YEARS OF GREAT FOOD AND EVENTS
IN-OFFICE & IN-HOME DINING
FULL SERVICE EVENT PRODUCTION
w Family style meals for company and private picnics w Box lunches for festivals and concerts w Catered meals for Dads, Grads, July 4th, Labor Day w Holiday party packages at one of our venues or yours w Event venues: La Venta Inn & Verandas Beach House
26 Years of Tamales
Tamara Tapp, a native of Venice, has been the owner of her one of a kind specialty tamale shop for 26 years. The shop has received numerous 1st place awards and widespread recognition and has been called the “Baskin Robbins” of tamales by the L.A. Times and “the best tamales in the world” by Wolfgang Puck.
40 YEARS OF withGREAT seasonal FOOD produce, minimize food waste, and make meals at home that scream flavor and whisper health.” AND EVENTS For instance, when Schrader cooks at home for her family, her signature dish is “camarones salteados,” a sautéed shrimp dish she serves with saffron-infused quinoa and lime-pickled IN-OFFICE & onions. IN-HOME DINING • FULL SERVICE EVENT PRODUCTION “I’m a seafood-loving soup fan,” she says. “I enjoy making seafood stews and style fishmeals soups. Food and doesn’t for company private have picnics to w Family be fancy or complicated.” Box lunches for festivals and concerts NYFC w Considering her unexpected career path, what does w Catered meals for Dads, Grads, July 4th, Labor Day Schrader think about maybe opening a restaurant some day? NewYorkFood.com packages at one of our“Yet. venues… or yours “It’s not part ofw myHoliday wishparty list,” she answers. 310.643.6151 Event venues: La Venta Inn & Verandas Beach House w But I never say never.”
TRIVIA MONDAYS & TACO THURSDAYS SPORTS * BOARD GAMES * BILLIARDS COCKTAILS * DRAFT BEER
Her famous traditional, vegetarian, vegan, seafood and sweet tamales have been hailed — terrific, ingenious, classic, fabulous, perfection, virtuosity and best!! Along with the help of her family, Tamara has dedicated a majority of her career to maintaining and expanding on their tamale-making craft. Try our Veggie Tamales • Vegan Tamales • Sweet Tamales Seafood Tamales • Chicken/Beef/Pork Tamales & more...
www.tamarastamales.com • 310-305-7714 13352 W. Washington Blvd (Marina Plaza) LA 90066
Open Tuesday – Sunday • Dine-in • Take-out • Catering 40 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
OPEN 12 NOON - 2 AM 12740 Culver Blvd.
310.821.4000 | 90westlounge.com
Overlooking the picturesque Marina del Rey harbor, Cafe del Rey offers a truly fine-dining experience with coastal-inspired cuisine in an elegant seaside setting.
BRUNCH | LUNCH | DINNER L I V E M U S I C | D A I LY S O C I A L H O U R GROUP DINING
Monday – Thursday 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday – Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. 4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292 (310) 823-6395 | cafedelreymarina.com
Kelly Myers REALTOR® (626) 676.5778 (cell) (424) 272.6984 (direct)
Please contact me in the Coldwell Banker Playa Vista Office: 6020 Seabluff Playa Vista, CA 90094
firstname.lastname@example.org kellymyers.cbintouch.com CalRE# 01492040
Where I Live, Work & Play!
6241 Crescent Park #Unit 208, Playa Vista $1,278,000
5700 Seawalk Dr #6, Playa Vista $1,375,000
12809 N Seaglass Cir, Los Angeles Leased for $8,900
7101 Playa Vista Dr #316, Playa Vista $950,000
1321 E Grand Ave Unit #A, El Segundo $889,000
3500 W Manchester #162, Inglewood $581,000
2049 Tapscott Avenue, Berkeley $1,050,000
1669 Wellington Road, Lafayette Square $1,600,000
10245 Culver Dr, Culver City $845,000
3633 Rosewood Ave, Mar Vista $1,360,000
7310 Dunfield Ave, Westchester $1,780,000
3661 Country Club Unit D, Long Beach $469,000
4180 Wilshire #502, Hancock Park $1,020,000
7742 Redlands St #H2026, Playa Del Rey $595,000
3501 Berry Ave, Mar Vista $2,995,000
36 Foxtail Ct, Asuza $1,018,000
The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2019 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.
Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019 41
Goes West Briana Valdez recalls the comfort food from her childhood to create the best Tex-Mex restaurant around Story By Lawrence Yee Photos by Zsuzsi Steiner 42 Playa Vista Direct | June Âˇ July 2019
L ef t si d e :
Frito pie served in a bag with a margarita is one of the many comfort foods at HomeState
A b o ve L ef t:
HomeState owner Briana Valdez next to a wall of art celebrating her celebrity-inspired tacos
A b o ve R i g h t:
All tortillas are handmade at the restaurant
hen self-proclaimed “Texpat” Briana Valdez moved from her native Texas to California, she never imagined she’d open a restaurant, let alone three. “I’m a terrible cook but I love food,” the owner/chef of HomeState admits. “After moving here in 2000 right after college with a business degree, I didn’t know what to do. I found myself missing food from home and I couldn’t find it. As the years went on, it made me really homesick and frustrated. I kept waiting for somebody to make a HomeState but no one did. I decided one day that maybe I should try.” Despite having neither a culinary nor operations background, Valdez went to work for Thomas Keller for four years, learning everything she could from the famed chef/restauranteur. And while her mentor specialized in French fare, Valdez focused on the Tex-
Mex dishes she ate growing up: tacos, migas (eggs scrambled with crispy corn strips), queso, and of course, Frito pie – and HomeState was born. Described as “a Texas kitchen in Los Angeles,” Valdez just added a Westside location in addition to Hollywood and Highland Park. Back in 2014, Valdez closed down the Hollywood location for a day to do a SXSW event in Playa Vista. Once again, she saw an opportunity. “I was looking around and thought, “there’s so many people here and nothing to eat,’” Valdez recalls. “There were a couple of taco trucks. There was so much density of young people, young professionals, and I thought, ‘Where do they eat lunch? Where do they go?’ I thought HomeState should open here because it could be a really nice refuge for people to get quality food.” After scouting locations for several years, Valdez wrangled a lease on Wa-
terfront Drive in 2017. The building was a new construction – a departure from HomeState’s prior locations. “This is the nicest, shiniest HomeState we’ve ever had,” Valdez jokes. “It is much different than anything we’ve ever done in terms of building type. We’ve been in older buildings with a lot of character and old charm, the historical district. Obviously, this is a brand new.” In order to infuse the modern space with a neighborhood warmth, HomeState Playa Vista incorporates lots of wood and textures, and the restaurant’s signature blue wallpaper. It’s a departure from the tech companies that surround it – YouTube, Fullscreen, and IMAX, to name a few – but Valdez hopes HomeState will attract the young professionals and families that have flocked to Silicon Beach. (Continued on page 44) Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019 43
(Continued from page 43)
To get to know the locals, Valdez visited nearby Google and told the HomeState story via slideshow. Other community outreach efforts included meeting with local mommy groups and serving tacos on the Playa Vista bus. The Playa Vista location’s menu will be the same as the other locations. Valdez is especially proud of the flour tortillas, which are made fresh on site. “In SoCal, the corn tortilla is the most commonly seen tortilla when you’re being served tacos,” Valdez explains. “What we’ve done at HomeState is bring in the flour tortilla, something I ate growing up. My grandmother would handroll tortillas all day, every day with every meal. It’s the foundation for what we do, and we take so much pride in them. “You can get them alone, you can get them with tacos, you can dip them in queso. If people give us one chance to try them, they will be converted,” she adds.
HomeState is located in The Brickyard, next to Blue Bottle Coffee
Diners will have options for nonGMO, American-grown corn tortillas, which Valdez sources from a purveyor out of Boyle Heights daily. The HomeState menu has vegan and vegetarian options for the health-conscious Westside crowd, and substitutions/subtractions can be made upon request. There’s booze too: a beer and wine menu, but the palomas and margaritas (iced or frozen) are especially tasty.
HomeState has never done a happy hour. “We provide a beautiful $10 topshelf margarita, all day. We start serving alcohol at 8 a.m., if anyone wants it,” Valdez says with a smile. Judging by its surroundings, HomeState will have plenty of Playa patrons coming for its Tex Mex morning, noon, and night. HomeState | 12105 W Waterfront Drive, Suite B | 213-296-2383
PLAYA WEST AUTOMOTIVE Modern repair facility with latest computer diagnostic equipment • Customer oriented, expert technicians, dependable and reliable • Integrity and honesty as well as mechanical know-how • We know the issues in today's complex world of automotive repairs • Your family neighborhood auto repair shop since 1962! Owned/operated by ASE Certified Master Technician Andy Marozik • Finding a Good Mechanic is like Finding a Good Doctor! “There are no problems, only solutions” Classic car repair and restoration experts | Classic car STORAGE
ALL MAKES AND MODELS Highly trained ASE certified technicians
We can smog any vehicle including diesels: Star Certified Smog Check Center for testing and mechanical repairs
VOTED FIRST PLACE “BEST AUTO REPAIR SHOP” 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018 • SIX YEARS! Argonaut newspaper’s Best of the Westside and “Best Auto Shop” Hometown News SEVEN YEARS in a row CHECK OUT OUR FUN CAR FACTS
http://playawestautomotive.com/fun-car-facts/ CHECK OUT OUR INFORMATIVE CAR TIPS
8145 West Manchester • Playa del Rey • (310) 822-9115
www.playawestautomotive.com 44 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
THRESHOLD REAL ESTATE GROUP’S RECENT ACTIVITY
5300 Playa Vista Dr. #9 Playa Vista, 2 BR / 2.5 BA+Office $1,350,000 - JUST LISTED! CALL FOR OPEN HOUSES!
2472 Panorama Terrace Los Angeles 3 BR / 2 BA + Views $7,000/Mo - FOR LEASE!
7100 Playa Vista Dr. #419 Playa Vista 2 BR / 2 BA + Flex Room $4,600/Mo - FOR LEASE!
Westwood 1 BR / 1.5 BA + Views Call For Details! COMING THIS JUNE!
Trabuco Canyon 4 BR / 2.5 BA + Loft + Views Call For Details! COMING SOON!
1006 Harkness Lane Redondo Beach 5 BR / 4 BA + Office IN ESCROW!
Lyric at Cadence Park Irvine 3 BR / 2.5 BA + Loft & Bonus IN ESCROW!
414 N. Lucerne Blvd. Los Angeles 4 BR / 4 BA IN ESCROW!
4121 Miraleste Dr. Rancho Palos Verdes 3 BR / 3 BA $1,389,000 - SOLD!
4733 Don Pio Dr. Woodland Hills 3 BR / 2 BA $860,000 - SOLD!
848 Irolo Street #505 Los Angeles 3 BR / 2 BA $710,000 - SOLD!
164 Crossover Irvine 3 BR / 4 BA $1,330,000 - SOLD!
13045 Pacific Prom. #110 Playa Vista 1 BR / 1.5 BA $911,000 - SOLD!
7800 Airport Boulevard Los Angeles 9 BR / 6 BA / Duplex $1,850,000 - SOLD!
12920 W Runway Road #160 Playa Vista 3 BR / 2 BA $1,047,500 - SOLD!
30753 Ganado Drive Rancho Palos Verdes 4 BR / 2.5 BA $1,750,000 - SOLD!
Text THEONE to 59559 For More Info!
Barbara McNeill • Realtor • DRE# 01464458 310.908.4869 • Barbara@ThresholdREG.com • ThresholdRealEstateGroup.com Threshold Real Estate Group
The Show Must Go On Tribute band Queen Nation brings the music of Queen to a new generation
46 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
The first time Gregory Finsley witnessed celebrated rock band Queen perform was in 1977 in Ft. Worth, Texas. He was instantly hooked. A New Orleans native, Finsley spent years carefully studying Queen lead singer Freddy Mercury’s vocal style, and now performs as Mercury in the tribute band Queen Nation. See Finsley as Mercury, guitarist Mike McManus as Brian May, Parker Combs as bassist John Deacon and Peter Burke as drummer Roget Taylor during a free Queen Nation Concert on Sunday, July 21, at the Central Park Bandshell in Playa Vista. This past year has garnered the band an even bigger following, largely thanks to the 2018 film “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which brought the music of Queen to a new generation. “The music has sort of re-rooted itself. For those of us who grew up with it, we’re in our 40s and 50s, but now our kids are delving into the old CDs. You’ll see them at the show in their Queen T-shirts, or dressed up as Freddie Mercury and having the best time of their lives,” says Finsley. “It’s really a blessing to see all the ages come together and enjoy it.” After performing as Mercury for well over a decade, Finsley has learned that Queen’s music has transcended entertainment. The music of Queen has impacted fans’ lives in deep, emotional ways. Finsley says he feels a big responsibility. “Sometimes I come off stage and someone says, ‘I’m 66-years-old and that was my song back in the day,’ or ‘That was my wedding song,’ or ‘That was played at my dad’s funeral.’ People tell you all the time they cried during this song or that song — so you have to bring you’re A-game. No matter how simple or small you think the gig is, everyone needs to have their own intimate concert.” When Finsley isn’t performing with Queen Nation — or Queen for a Day, another Queen tribute band — he’s writing and recording his own original music. But lately his success as a tribute performer has made it challenging to work on his own music. “We’re averaging three to four shows per week, so it’s been hard to find down time, but it’s all working out quite well at this pace.” — Shanee Edwards Queen Nation performs from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 21, at the Central Park Bandshell in Playa Vista. The concert is free. Visit playavista.com for more information.
SKINCARE MASSAGE NAILS EYELASH EXTENSIONS
StacyKaine on Main 432 Main Street, El Segundo (310) 356-7563 www.StacyKaine.com
Playa Vista Direct | June Â· July 2019 47
Sand, Surf & Sun 9 ideas for summer fun on the water or at the beach Compiled by Meri Hilalian
Take a Boat Out on Santa Monica Bay You don’t need your own boat to get out on the water! Whether you’re looking to join a fishing charter to explore the best fishing spots or booking a luxurious yacht such as “The Duchess” to make a memorable experience, set your sights on the Pacific Ocean and enjoy the pleasure of sailing around the Santa Monica Bay. If you prefer a DIY-sail, Marina del Rey Boat Rentals offers easy-to-navigate rental boats for active sailors and beginners alike.
Marina del Rey Sportfishing, 13552 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey | (310) 822-3625 mdrsf.com | Duchess Charter Cruise, 14120 Tahiti Way, Marina del Rey | (800) 676-1470 theduchessyacht.com | Marina del Rey Boat Rentals, 13717 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey (310) 306-4444 | marinadelreyboatrentals.com
Group Skate with GRLSWIRL Grab your favorite skateboard and friends and glide through the streets of Venice with palm trees and a beautiful SoCal sunset as backdrop. GRLSWIRL hosts a twice-monthly group skate for women and girls at the Venice Skate Park, offering the perfect motivation for female skaters to board together and empower each other in a group setting. Meetups are held the first Tuesday and second-to-last Tuesday of every month during the summer. Follow @grlswirl on Instagram for updates. Venice Skate Park, 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice | grlswirl.com
Play Flag Football on the Beach Kick-start your summer fitness routine and meet other young professionals and LA locals while playing beach flag football. Held (almost) every Saturday on Santa Monica Beach, this fun group plays for charity all year round. Grab a buddy or a few friends and get active while playing — in the sun — for a good cause, and don’t forget to register online. The league starts July 20. Santa Monica Beach at the end of Ashland Ave. between Lifeguard Stations 27 and 28 | (213) 210-2512 | email@example.com; zogsports.com
48 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
Go for an Early Morning or Late Night Run Start your weekend off right with a quick run or leisurely stroll along the iconic Santa Monica Pier and beach. Race at your own pace and choose your distance (2-mile and 5-mile courses). And then, cool-off and grab your mat for a 9 a.m. group yoga class; take in the sound of waves crashing on the beach and enter a peaceful meditative state. ROGA (run + yoga) is free, just be sure to sign up! If you prefer evening runs, join the Los Angeles Midnight Runners on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Sign up before events reach capacity. ROGA, 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica | (310) 458-8900 | santamonicapier.org Midnight Runners | midnightrunners.com
Throw a Beach Bonfire Party Dockweiler State Beach has one thing no other Los Angeles-area beach can offer: bonfire pits. Load up some firewood and bring family and friends out for an afternoon in the sun followed by a cozy campfire under the stars. Pro tip: Bonfire pits cannot be reserved and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early during busy summer weekends, as there are only about 40 of them to go around. Dockweiler Beach Fire Pits, 12001 Vista del Mar, Playa del Rey (310) 305-9503 | beaches.lacounty.gov/dockweiler-beach-fire-pits
Paddleboard, Kayak or Row in the Marina Try your hand at water sports without going far. Palawan Way’s Paddle Method is an accredited stand-up paddleboarding school perfect for first-timers. You can also learn how to glide through the generally calm waters of Mother’s Beach with Admiralty Way’s Pro SUP Shop or Marina del Rey Boat Rentals. The UCLA Marina Aquatic Center (MAC) on Fiji Way also offers a host of fun recreational water sport classes.
Paddle Method | (310) 770-7291 | paddlemethod.com | Pro SUP Shop | (310) 989-4350 | prosupshop.com | Marina del Rey Boat Rentals | (310) 306-4444 | marinadelreyboatrentals.com | UCLA Marina Aquatic Center | (310) 823-0048 | recreation.ucla.edu/mac
Hike Will Rogers State Historic Park One of the more breathtaking hikes in Greater Los Angeles has to be the Inspiration Loop Trail spanning from the historic Will Rogers estate to Inspiration Point above Pacific Palisades. This dog-friendly and relatively easy 2.25-mile trail offers views of the city on one side and the Pacific on the other. A $12 parking fee supports maintenance of the park, and with the Will Rogers Polo Club adjacent to the parking lot you might be able to catch a match for free. Will Rogers State Historic Park, 1501 Will Rogers State Park Road, Pacific Palisades | (310) 203-2017 | parks.ca.gov/willrogers
(Continued on page 50) Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019 49
S a n d , S u rf & S u n
(Continued from page 49)
Learn How to Sail It’s never too late, or too early, to learn how to sail. The L.A. County Youth Sailing Camp holds sailing sessions for kids ages 11 to 17 starting in mid-June at Burton Chace Park. (But sign up soon!) The Fairwind Yacht Club, a sailing nonprofit club, offers access to many sailboats, so you can steer clear of the costs of boat ownership. Bluewater Sailing offers top-notch private lessons. And if you’re single, the Single Mariners of Marina del Rey match boat owners with would-be sailors during low-key social outings. L.A. County Youth Sailing Program | (424) 526-7888 | beaches.lacounty.gov | Fairwind Yacht Club | (866) 210-3019 | fairwind.org | Bluewater Sailing | (310) 823-5545 | bluewatersailing.com | Single Mariners | singlemariners.net
Learn How to Surf Let’s face it: everyone, Southern Californians especially, wants to live the real California Dream and learn how to surf at some point. Whether you’re new to the sport or just need to brush up on your skills, take the plunge and sign up for surf lessons. Experience the thrill of riding waves at these premier surf schools: Learn To Surf LA, Kapowui Surf Club, Aqua Surf School and Go Surf LA. Your wave is waiting. Learn To Surf LA | (310) 663-2479 | learntosurfla.com | Kapowui Surf Club, 300 Ocean Front Walk, Venice | (310) 985-4577 | kapowuisurfclub.com Aqua Surf School | (310) 902-7737 | acquasurf.com | Go Surf LA, 1 Bicknell Ave., Santa Monica | (310) 428-9870 | gosurfla.com
BEST OF THE WESTSIDE IS COMING Look For Your Ballot This Summer CALL 310.822.1629, EXT. 127 FOR MORE INFORMATION
50 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
NEW LOCATION GRAND OPENING
NEW GROWTH & HAIRCUT
WITH AVEDA HAIR COLOR
www. AZURESALON.com (310) 301-3383 | 13161 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey (next to Men’s Wearhouse)
*First time customers: Reg. $140 • Must mention offer when making appointment. Expires 5-31-19.
EVENTS Thursday, June 13
ChamberFest LAeXpo 4 to 7 p.m. @ CenterPointe Club This annual business expo features dozens of local businesses and includes tastes from many restaurants and hotels for guests to sample. 6200 Playa Vista Drive. Visit business.laxcoastal. com for details.
Friday, June 14 to Saturday, June 20
Friday, June 14 to Saturday, June 20
Silicon Beach Film Festival 10 a.m. to midnight daily @ Cinemark 18 and XD This film festival features movies and industry panels that celebrate local filmmakers, including Playa Vista’s own Kerry David whose new film “Breaking Their Silence: Women on the Frontline of the Poaching War” will be showing Sunday, June 16 at 3:45 p.m. on a big screen in HHLA’s Cinemark 18 and XD (6081 Center Dr., Westchester). For tickets to the film festival, visit siliconbeachff.com.
Saturday, June 15 Saturday, June 15
Tessellate Art Show Opening Reception 6 to 10 p.m. @ Street Art House Artist-in-Residence Darkoski transforms the gallery using murals, paintings and sculptures that use an energetic progression of intricate shapes and patterns. The Tessellate Exhibit runs Tuesdays through Sundays, June 16 to July 7. 12746 W. Jefferson Boulevard, Ste. 115 on Runway Road. Visit streetarthouse.com for more info. Free. Saturdays, June 15, 22, 29 & July 6, 13, 20, 27
Yoga for a Cause 9 to 10 a.m. @ Concert Park Saturdays, June 15, 22, 29 & July 6, 13, 20, 27 Photo courtesy of Blue Breeze Band
Recharge your body and soul with yoga in the park that also supports a worthy cause. The class is free but participants are encouraged to make a donation to the featured charity. Donations made in June will benefit HomeAid LA, a non-profit that works to help the homeless. Bring water and a yoga mat. 13020 Pacific Promenade. Visit playavista. com for details.
Dr. Shirley (Mahershala Ali), on a tour through the 1960s American South. 12405 E. Waterfront Drive. Free. Visit playavista.com. Sunday, June 23
Concert in the Park: Blue Breeze 5 to 6:30 p.m. @ Concert Park Performing hits from the ’60s and ’70s, this R&B band brings the funk and encourages people of all ages to boogie down. 13020 Pacific Promenade. Free. Visit playavista.com. Sunday, June 30
Shakespeare in the Park: “As You Like It” 7 p.m. @ Concert Park Loyola Marymount University Theatre Arts Department brings this cherished romantic comedy to life. 13020 Pacific Promenade. Free. Visit facebook.com/onbluff for updates. Friday, July 12
Movie in the Park: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (PG) 8 p.m. @ Concert Park A teenager, Miles (Shameik Moore) discovers a doorway into multiple dimensions where he finds multiple superheroes working together to stop a threat to humanity. 13020 Pacific Promenade. Free. Vista playavista.com. Sunday, July 21
Concert in the Park: Queen Nation 5 to 6:30 p.m. @ Central Park Bandshell This Queen tribute band returns to Playa Vista for an encore performance. 12405 E. Waterfront Drive. Free. Visit playavista.com. Sunday, July 28
Shakespeare in the Park: “Pericles” 7 p.m. @ Central Park Bandshell Pericles, Prince of Tyre, must survive famine and a shipwreck after fleeing for his life in the wake of solving King Antioch’s dark riddle. 12405 E. Waterfront Drive. Free. Visit facebook.com/onbluff for updates.
Friday, June 21
Movie in the Park: “Green Book” (PG-13) 8 to 10 p.m. @ Central Park Bandshell Sunday, June 23 52 Playa Vista Direct | June · July 2019
See the Oscar-winning film about an ItalianAmerican bouncer, Tony (Viggo Mortensen), who becomes the driver for an African-American pianist,
Have an event coming up in or around Playa Vista? Send details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RICKIE LEE JO LEELA JAMES
JENNY & THE
2019 MARINA DEL REY
Summer Concert Burton Chace Park • 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey
SYMPHONIC THURSDAYS | 7 PM
POP SATURDAYS | 7PM
JULY 11 • MARINA DEL REY SYMPHONY OPERA AT THE SHORE | La Bohème & the Phantom
JULY 20 • RICKIE LEE JONES Rock
JULY 25 • MARINA DEL REY SYMPHONY SIGHTS, SOUNDS & DANCE IN AMERICA Gershwin, Safan, Stravinsky, Copeland
AUGUST 3 • JON BATISTE Jazz
AUGUST 8 • KRONOS QUARTET AUGUST 22 & 24* • MARINA DEL REY SYMPHONY Cole Porter’s KISS ME, KATE *Saturday encore
AUGUST 17 • LEELA JAMES R&B AUGUST 31 • JENNY & THE MEXICATS Latin
FOR MORE INFORMATION: marinadelrey.lacounty.gov • visitmarinadelrey.com • 424.526.7900 • email@example.com
CONNECT WITH US! #ilovemdr
SELLING PLAYA VISTA As Playa Vista residents, my family and I have been living and selling the magic of Playa Vista for 10 years. Let me put our local knowledge and national reach to work for you. Let’s start the conversation.
KOFI NARTEY, MBA
Celebrity & Luxury Real Estate Specialist Playa Vista Resident
Our family recently adopted this Shiba Inu mix at Playa Vista’s Wallis Annenberg Petspace. This is an amazing place to adopt a pet. Check them out online at www.annenbergpetspace.org. By the way, his name is Scotchmellow, aka Scotch.
Not intended to solicit properties already listed for sale, nor intended to cause a breach of an existing agency relationship. E&OE.
Learn more at TheNarteyGroup.com • DRE # 01404511
APPAREL & JEWELRY DSW Shoes Men’s Wearhouse O’ My Sole Swiss Jewelers BEAUTY & HEALTH Amazing Lash Studio Azure Salon Equinox Eyes of the Marina European Wax Center Foot Massage Studio Happy Nails Salon John Peri Hair Design Nails By Olivia Phenix Salon Suites Pure Barre Supercuts ULTA
ENTERTAINMENT & ELECTRONICS SERVICES AMC Classic Marina Marketplace 6 AMC Dine-In Marina 6 T-Mobile FINANCIAL Bank of America ATM Chase Citibank Wells Fargo Bank GROCERY & DRUGS CVS Pharmacy Gelson’s Market Pavilions
INT’L NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES & BOOKS Barnes & Noble Bookstore RESTAURANTS & QUICK SERVICE FOOD Baja Fresh Mexican Grill Burger Lounge Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf DOMA Kitchen East Coast Bagel Fatburger Irori Sushi J. Nichols Restaurant Jamba Juice Le Pain Quotidien New India’s Oven Panda Express Pizzarito Ruth’s Chris Steak House Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana
Sharky’s Woodﬁred Mexican Grill Tender Greens Viktor Benés Bakery (Gelson’s Market) Yard House Yogurtland SERVICES Fulcrum Construction Hear USA Liberty Tax State Farm Insurance UPS Store US Post Office VIP Marina Cleaners SPECIALTY & GIFTS Petals ‘n’ Wax Pier 1 Imports
13450 Maxella Avenue, Marina del Rey | VillaMarinaMarketplace.com
Playa Vista Experts – helping you accomplish YOUR real estate goals with integrity and high standards • Representing savvy Playa Vista buyers, sellers, and landlords and their unique homes since 2006 • Unmatched perspective and knowledge of the Playa Vista market • Skilled negotiator and communicator who can create a competitive advantage for your objectives • Many value-add listing services such as design consultation, staging, and on-call handyman • Consistently ranked as one of top brokers in terms of sales volume in Playa Vista • Always PERSONALLY there for you Don’t work with a salesperson. Work with an economic and marketing strategist. Contact Reid for a no obligation consultation to discuss your goals.
Reid Kaplan | Playa Vista Experts RE/MAX Estate Properties Direct: (310) 883-8921 Email: Reid@PlayaVistaExperts.com Web: PlayaVistaExperts.com DRE #01711288
Check out Reid’s insightful blog on a variety of Playa Vista and real estate topics