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Page 2 • August 2018

BEST OF 2018

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


This Month Brings You A look inside your HTN Playa del Rey leaders look to add art to stairs 04 Ed Foundation & Kiwanis raise money for schools 04 2018 Best Of List! 05 Fourth of July parade photos 42-43

HOMETOWN STAFF/CONTRIBUTORS Stephanie Davis, Publisher, Editor Jeff Blair, Contributing Writer Fay Craton, Contributing Writer

Rebecca Hill, Secret Recipes of the Inn Kirby Israelson, Graphic Design

Advertisers’ Directory

Airport Marina Counseling 19 Amy Nelson Frelinger 07 Cantalini’s Salerno Beach 10 Del Rey Optometry 34 Drollinger Properties 32, 38, 40 Erika Puzik, Ameriprise 12 Five Minute Car Wash 41 Food Pantry, LAX 39 Inn at Playa del Rey 11 Jane St. John 15 Kentwood Elementary School 30 Kevin and Kaz 35 LAX Coastal Chamber 17 LiveYoga Wellness 32 Loyola Marymount 02, 19 Marina del Rey Hospital 44 Melody Bar & Grill 24 Neighborhood Council 37 Playa Pharmacy 34 Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary 11 Playa Vista Medical Center 33 Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd. 21

Regatta Capital Group RPM Mortgage SoCalGas SoCal Sports and Fitness St. Anastasia School St. Monica School Stephanie Younger Group Truxton’s American Bistro Vergari & Napolitano Visitation School Welsh Choir WAM Block Party Westchester Elks Lodge Westchester Family YMCA Westchester Farmers’ Market Westchester Lutheran School Westchester Town Center BID Westchester Watch Works Westside Pacific Village WISH Charter Zacha Homes

18 14 36 41 29 27 13 25 18 31 38 06 17 27 10 30 03 16 34 09 23

About The HomeTown News (HTN)

The HomeTown News is a monthly community newspaper dedicated to providing information about the people, events and happenings of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey and Playa Vista. Look for the HomeTown News the first Thursday of the month at your home or at one of our drop-off locations.

Connect with the HTN:

Mailing Address: 8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Ste. 110 #745 Westchester, CA 90045 • Email: westchesterhometown@yahoo.com • Website: thehtn.com • Facebook: facebook.com/thehtn The deadline for submissions is the 22nd of each month.

Interested in Advertising Your Business or Organization? Let us help you promote your business, organization or event to our readers! Contact us for rates and to reserve space at: westchesterhometown@yahoo.com

Like us on Facebook! Stay up-to-date with news and events by liking us at facebook.com/thehtn!

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Best Of 2018

August 2018 • Page 3


Community Spotlight: Playa del Rey leaders look to give Culver Blvd. stairs a mosaic makeover A group of Playa del Rey residents and local business leaders are hoping to add a little beauty to the community with a new public art project focusing on the “Earldom stairs.” The stairs, which provide a shortcut from Pershing Drive to the lower Playa del Rey business area, are a community hidden gem according to Playa Stairs Project committee co-chair, Matt Rheault, who is a co-owner of Culver Blvd.’s Clean Aesthetic and was recently appointed to the Playa del Rey business seat on the Westchester/Playa Neighborhood Council. He says in the last year, Playa del Rey has been through a lot, citing the controversial “road diet” that saw lanes reduced on Culver Blvd. and pitted neighbors against neighbors who were either for or against the traffic measure. Wanting to find a way to bring the community together for a common goal, the idea for a public art project was proposed by Playa del Rey resident, Naomi Hochman. While using the shortcut one day, she decided the 32 step staircase, which is located behind a pump house off of Culver Blvd., would make the perfect location for a beautification project that the whole community could hopefully support and work together to

The Playa Stairs Project committee is looking for the community’s support to help beautify the staircase that connects Pershing Drive with Culver Blvd.

accomplish. “Beautification is something that everyone can get behind,” said Hochman. “There is nothing political or controversial about making things beautiful. There is already natural beauty in Playa and more public art that has gone up in recent months,

so why not make these stairs something beautiful and notable?” Using inspiration from decorated walkways like San Francisco’s 16th Avenue Tiled Steps, the Playa Stairs Project Committee is looking to raise $25,000 for the first phase of the plan to fund installing a colorful, dynamic

mosaic on the stairs, turning them into a functioning art installation and a source of Playa del Rey pride. The goal is to also help put the close-knit beach community on the map as an art destination, bringing with it tourists and visitors who will patronize local businesses as they get their Instagramworthy snapshots. “Everyone I’ve spoke to about the stairs is super excited. It’s not an eyesore, but it’s certainly not beautified,” said Hochman. “Everyone is really energized. This could be a really cool project to bring to this really different, cool, unique community.” The group is currently accepting design proposals from mosaic tile artists. While the project is still in the early planning stages, Rheault says landscaping around the stairs and a mural on the pump station are other ideas the committee is considering proposing to the community. “It’s been a polarizing time for Playa, and we want to remind people that we are a community and we are here to help each other. There are things that can help bring us together, like showing the artistic side of Playa.” For more info on the project or to donate, visit playastairsproject.org.

Ed Foundation & Kiwanis partner to raise money for scholarships The LAX Coastal Education Foundation and the LAX Kiwanis Club have teamed up for the first time to raise money for local schools and high school scholarships. Since both nonprofits have a similar mission--to support education in the community--the idea to partner for the Kiwanis’ 27th Annual Golf Tournament was a no-brainer. “When our local Kiwanis Club approached us about working together to make this year’s golf tournament their biggest yet, we jumped on board,” said LAX Coastal Ed Foundation President Matthew Swanlund. “Being a new organization, these community collaborations are invaluable for us to succeed and support our local schools.” The foundation, which supports public, private and parochial schools in Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and Marina del Rey, was launched last fall and has already been able to provide schools with more than $140,000 in funds thanks to the inaugural Rock Roll and Run 5K for Education held in March and a partnership with SoCalGas to provide STEM grants for classrooms. The golf tournament hopes to raise more than $50,000 through sponsorships, golfers and the widely popular

“golf ball drop.” The nonprofits are currently selling $20 numbered golf balls that will be dropped from a helicopter, with the ball closest to the center target winning a cash prize. “Every donation helps,” said LAX Kiwanis golf committee member and past Kiwanis President, Jeff DeLarme. “These scholarships mean the world to local seniors who come from families with incomes that are often at or below the poverty level. These deserving students not only have excellent GPA’s, but are also active volunteers in their own communities, participating in activities such as beach clean-ups, tutoring and mentoring underclassmen. And in many cases, these students are working part time and sometimes full time while in high school to support their families.” The golf tournament will take place on Monday, August 27 at the Palos Verdes Golf Club at noon. In addition to golfing, guests will also enjoy a dinner featuring keynote speaker, Deborah Flint, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports, a raffle and a silent auction. For more info on the event or to purchase a chance at the golf ball drop, please visit laxkiwanis.org or laxcoastaledfoundation.com.

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BEST OF 2018

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


Dear Readers, The results of our 2018 Best Of Readers’ Poll are in, and we are excited to share the results with you in our August edition! This month’s paper is our favorite of the year because it is all about celebrating our awesome community. With so many excellent restaurants, businesses and organizations that help make up the Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and Marina del Rey areas, we are honored to be able to give an HTN shout out to those who are doing great things in our neighborhood. We started our Best Of List in 2012 to honor these outstanding individuals, and we are proud to say we have accomplished our goal of helping recognize those who make our community a special place to live, work and visit. Whether it’s organizing the can’t miss event of the year, making the most delicious desserts in town or being a great community partner, the following pages highlight the businesses that go the extra mile for their customers and clients, inspiring the type of loyalty that gets our readers voting every year to make sure their favorites make our list. Voting took place in two rounds, with readers nominating their favorites in each category during the first round. The top contenders then moved on to

the final round of voting, which ended on June 29. Readers could vote via a link from SurveyMonkey, and voting was limited to one vote per IP address. The HomeTown News loves supporting our small businesses and shopping local. When we support our local businesses, they are able to support our neighborhood through sponsoring local sports teams, donating to school fundraisers, providing jobs and helping our community thrive. A special thank you to all of our local businesses that make it a priority to give back to their community! As always, we are grateful to our readers, Best Of voters, our advertisers and this community for their support; our publication would not be possible without you! On the following pages, we would like to present the results of our 2018 Best Of Readers’ Poll. Listed in each category are the “Best Of” honoree and the two runner-up “Favorites.” While this poll is a fun way to celebrate the best of our community, it only represents a small portion of all the great things that make up our neighborhood. If you don’t see your favorites on this year’s list, please remember to vote next year! We hope you’ll consider visiting our Best Of List honorees and enjoy trying some new spots around town. Make sure to tell them the HTN sent you! -The Westchester/Playa HomeTown News

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Best Of 2018

August 2018 • Page 5


WESTCHESTER

ARTS & MUSIC BLOCK PARTY SEPTEMBER 15

10A-8P

on Emerson Avenue between 80th Street and 81st Place

ART /MUSIC/DANCE/FOOD/BEER & WINE GARDEN Thank you to our sponsors The Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation The Stephanie Younger Group The Fineman Suarez Team Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club The Good Pizza DeLarme Wealth Management Loyola Marymount University SoCal Gas, First Friends by the Sea Bob Waldron | Jessica Heredia Realtors, Playa Vista Orthodonics Jimmy Wright & Family, Alejo's Presto Trattoria Additional thanks to KXLU 89.9, Jacket Media, The HomeTown News, Just Kirby Design, LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce and Councilmember Mike Bonin.

Design by Bughouse.com Page 6 • August 2018

BEST OF 2018

wamblockparty.org Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

BEST OF 2018

August 2018 • Page 7


BEST CHARITY EVENT, Rock Roll & Run 5K for Education

Schools, community members and volunteers came out in force to support local education at the inaugural Rock Roll & Run 5K/1K held at Loyola Marymount University in March. Continuing the tradition

of the Race for Success, the LAX Coastal Education Foundation revamped the run in 2018, adding a rock & roll vibe with two live bands, a costume contest, confetti cannon and pancake breakfast. Even the rain

couldn’t damper the moods of the approximately 1,300 participants who ran and walked their way through LMU’s campus and helped the foundation raise more than $60,000 that went back to the 18 participating

Photo by Jorg Rose.

COMMUNITY

categories

local schools. The event will return to LMU on Saturday, March 9, 2019 so save the date! For more info on the LAX Coastal Ed Foundation and its upcoming events, please visit laxcef.org.

BEST CHARITY/ BEST MEMBERSHIP BEST NONPROFIT BEST PLACE TO NONPROFIT EVENT ORGANIZATION Airport Marina Counseling Service VOLUNTEER Rock Roll & Run 5K for Education

laxcoastaledfoundation.com Making our Best Of list for the first time this year is the inaugural Rock Roll & Run for Education. The event brought together the community to raise funds for local schools in a fun atmosphere with live music, food, an expo and a little friendly competition. The event will be back at LMU on March 9, 2019.

Favorites: Westchester Arts & Music Block Party wamblockparty.org

Westchester Rotary Book Sale

Westchester Family YMCA

8015 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.4316 or ymcala.org/westchester More than just a gym, once you join the Y you become part of a community of people that believe in healthy living and social responsibility.

Favorites: LAX Coastal Chamber

9100 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #210, Westchester 310.645.5151 or laxcoastal.com

Westchester Mental Health Guild westchestermhg.org

BEST COMMUNITY BEST COMMUNITY EVENT Fourth of July Parade CLUB rotary-westchester.com

Westchester Elks Lodge

8025 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.821.3005 or elks.org The Westchester Elks Lodge takes home this honor for the first time this year for their reputation for being a group of fun individuals who like to have a good time, while supporting worthwhile causes. This summer, join the Elks for one of their movie nights, Bingo Sundays or their signature event, the Car Show and Chili Cook-Off on September 8 to learn why they were voted best community club.

Favorites: Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club playavenice.org

Westchester Rotary Club

laxcoastal.com The LAX Coastal Chamber’s Fourth of July Parade is a yearly tradition that brings together the community to celebrate our nation’s birthday. With 50 floats, schools, sports teams, bands and marching groups, you’re sure to spot your neighbors on the parade route or sitting along Loyola Blvd. to watch the hometown event that is an important part of the fabric that makes Westchester so special. Next year, the event will celebrate its 20th anniversary, so look forward to a few surprises on parade day!

Favorites: Visitation School’s Food Truck Friday Nights 8740 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.645.6620 or visitationschool.org

Favorites: WISH Community School

6550 80th St., Westchester 310.642.9474 or wishcharter.org

Westchester Rotary Club rotary-westchester.com

BEST LIVE MUSIC EVENT Playa Vista Concerts

playavista.com/events Sunday, August 12 is your last chance to catch a summertime concert at Playa Vista’s Central Park Bandshell. Grab your chairs and picnic baskets and rock out to Fleetwood Mac vs. Heart.

Favorites: MDR Summer Concert Series

rotary-westchester.com

Westchester Arts & Music Block Party

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BEST OF 2018

wamblockparty.org

7891 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1410 or airportmarina.org For almost 60 years, Airport Marina Counseling Service (AMCS) has been dedicated to helping individuals, groups and families deal with mental health issues and the stresses of everyday life in a safe and supportive environment. With an estimated 1 in 5 Americans affected by mental health conditions, access to affordable mental health is more important than ever. Today, they serve hundreds of individuals, children, families and couples weekly, and provide their services on a sliding-scale basis. The Westchester nonprofit recently opened an LGBTQIA center, and this month, AMCS is offering initial client consultations for just $15.

beaches.lacounty.gov/concerts

Westchester Arts & Music Block Party wamblockparty.org

WISH Charter

6550 W. 80th St., Westchester 310.642.9474 or wishcharter.org WISH families love their school, which now has three campuses and spans kindergarten through twelfth grade. A group of dedicated parents, educators and community members are always working to improve and enhance WISH, earning the popular school our #1 spot for volunteering.

Favorites: Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club (tie) playasunrise.org

Westchester Rotary Club (tie) rotary-westchester.com

Westside Pacific Village

8939 Sepulveda Blvd. #326, Westchester 310.695.7030 or thewpv.org

BEST VOLUNTEER Candy Yip, Westchester Mental Health Guild

For the last 14 years, Candy Yip has volunteered her time with the Westchester Mental Health Guild, which supports AMCS, to help the organization thrive. Her volunteer work at events like the Holiday Home Tour has been invaluable to helping support and raise money for the nonprofit.

Favorites: Cyndi Hench, Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa ncwpdr.org

Raj Makwana, WISH Charter wishcharter.org

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

BEST OF 2018

August 2018 • Page 9


BEST NEIGHBORHOOD GEM

FAVORITE FARMERS’ MARKET Wednesday Westchester Farmers’ Market

“Little Vons”

The Marina Itself

6571 W. 80th St., Westchester 310.641.9423 or vons.com No other neighborhood market is talked about more fondly than “Little Vons” or “Baby Vons,” the small grocery store located at the corner of Emerson and 80th Street. Whether you’re shopping for the week or just running in to grab a few items, you’re almost guaranteed to run into your friends and neighbors.

Hop on a Hornblower Cruise, take the waterbus or head on over to Tony P’s patio to enjoy a view of the water and all of the yachts that call this area home.

Favorites: Burton Chace Park Movies & Concert Events Lots of Restaurants

Favorites: Del Rey Deli

BEST PARK

8501 Pershing Dr. Ste. 3, Playa del Rey 310.439.2256 or delreydeli.com

Playa Vista Sports Park

Soundsations

8701 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.641.8877 or soundsationsrecords.com

BEST THING THAT COULD IMPROVE THE COMMUNITY Improve Local Schools

Education is on the mind of our readers who voted that they’d like to see local schools improved. For those looking for opportunities to get involved and help make a difference in education, consider checking out groups like the LAX Coastal Education Foundation, Speak Up and the Westchester/Playa Neighborhood Council Education Committee, that are always looking for donations and volunteers to help fulfill their missions.

Favorites: More Police Presence Traffic Control/Enforcement

BEST FARMERS’ MARKET

Playa Vista Farmers’ Market

12775 W. Millennium Drive farmermark.com/playavista Visit Playa Vista on Saturdays for its robust farmers’ market, located in the Runway Shopping Center. The market’s lively atmosphere makes it a fun weekend stop for artisan food items, organic fruits and veggies, brunch items and entertainment. The market runs Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and paid parking is available in the Runway parking garage.

Favorites: Westchester Farmers’ Market (Sunday) 6200 block W. 87th St., Westchester westchesterfarmersmkt.com

Westchester Farmers’ Market (Wednesday)

7000 Manchester Blvd., Westchester westchesterfarmersmkt.com

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BEST THING ABOUT MARINA DEL REY

BEST THING ABOUT WESTCHESTER

BEST THING ABOUT PLAYA VISTA

Small Town in a Big City Feel

Everywhere we go, we hear this phrase repeated when people speak fondly of Westchester. Whether you grew up here, just moved to town or visit regularly, you know there’s something special about the community of Westchester, where neighbors work together for the greater good and events like the Fourth of July Parade bring everyone together to celebrate. While the community continues to grow and change, and traffic and development increase, we hope Westchester never loses its small-town charm.

Favorites: Families & Neighbors Fourth of July Parade laxcoastal.com

Walkability, convenience & amenities In Playa Vista, everything is just a “walk away,” whether you’re going to the park, the market, or enjoying a night out at one of the Runway Shopping Center’s restaurants.

Favorites: The Parks The Shopping and Restaurants (tied) Community Events (tied)

13196 Bluff Creek Dr., Playa Vista playavista.com Playa Vista may be the park capital of Los Angeles with 47 acres dedicated to open spaces. If you visited one a day, it would take you almost a month to visit the community’s 29 parks! While Sports Park was voted #1, we also love Bluff Creek Fields with a soccer field and tennis court; Ballona Discovery Park with its open-air cultural center; and Campus Central Park with its iconic bandshell and ponds. There’s also plenty of spots for Fido to play. Visit playavista.com/active-outdoors/parks-rec for an interactive map of the area’s parks.

Favorites: Burton Chace Park

13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey 310.305.9595

Westchester Park

7000 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.670.7473

BEST NATURE SPOT The Beach

Playa del Rey When you’re looking to connect with nature, our readers’ #1 pick is the beach at Playa del Rey.

Favorites: Ballona Wetlands The Bluffs Trails

BEST THING ABOUT PLAYA DEL REY

It’s a Small Town Beach Community Take a visit to Playa del Rey to learn why locals love its small town beach community vibe. From hanging out at the Gillis, getting a morning coffee at Tanner’s before going for a run at the beach or finishing your day with a beer and burger at The Shack, you’re sure to see your friends and neighbors doing the same.

Favorites: The Beach Uniqueness Among Beach Communities

BEST OF 2018

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

BEST OF 2018

August 2018 • Page 11


BUSINESS

categories BEST HOTEL/INN, Inn at Playa del Rey

The Inn at Playa del Rey is a special place, not only because of its great location overlooking the Ballona Wetlands and proximity to the beach,

but because of the people who work there. It’s taken our top spot in the Best Hotel/Inn category for three years running thanks to its staff that

BEST REAL ESTATE GROUP/TEAM

Feeling confident about your financial future? Let Erika Puzik help answer your questions about retirement, investing and your financial goals.

Stephanie Younger Group

7296 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.499.2020 or stephanieyounger.com The Stephanie Younger Group takes our top spot again this year for their exceptional service and expertise on all things local. Visit their website to view your dream home.

Favorites: Fineman Suarez

13274 Fiji Way #100, Marina del Rey 310.862.1761 or sellbuyla.com

Keller Williams Silicon Beach

13274 Fiji Way #100, Marina del Rey 310.305.8333 or marina.yourkwoffice.com

BEST HOTEL/INN Inn at Playa del Rey

435 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.574.1920 or innatplayadelrey.com The 22-room Inn at Playa del Rey is a community favorite when it comes to staycations and visiting family members looking for a peaceful location to call home for a few days.

Favorites: Marina del Rey Hotel

13534 Bali Way, Marina Del Rey 310.301.1000 or marinadelreyhotel.com

Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey

4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.1700 or ritzcarlton.com/Marina_del_Rey

BEST FINANCIAL ADVISOR Erika Puzik, Ameriprise

6080 Center Dr. #730, Westchester 310.933.3240 or ameripriseadvisors.com/ erika.r.puzik

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is dedicated to making guests feel at home, whether they’re enjoying a staycation or visiting the U.S.A. for the first time.

When you add in beautiful rooms, a guest happy hour and fresh baked cookies on your arrival, it’s no surprise the Inn at Playa del Rey is voted best.

Favorites: Jeff Delarme, Raymond James 2780 Skypark Dr., Torrance 424.250.1725 or raymondjames.com

Regatta Capital Group

2321 Rosecrans Ave. #2225, El Segundo 310.725.9102 or regattainvest.com

BEST PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FIRM Drollinger Properties

8929 Sepulveda Blvd., Ste 130, Westchester 310.417.8048 or drollingerproperties.com When it comes to property management, our seven-time winner, Drollinger Properties seems impossible to beat. The company, known for treating its tenants like family, owns many commercial properties in Westchester, including the Paradise Building and the Ralph’s Shopping Center. For Drollinger Properties, it’s equally important to provide excellent support to their tenants and to support their community. The Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation supports yoga in local schools, almost every large community event and is working to bring more public art to the community. In 2019, look for their new bookstore and cafe in the Westchester Triangle. We can’t wait until it opens!

Favorites: Matilla Property

225 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.306.9005 or matillagrouppropertymanagement.com

Real Estate Consultants

7151 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.641.7653 or therealestateconsultants.com

BEST OF 2018

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Best Of 2018

August 2018 • Page 13


BEST ATTORNEY/ LAW FIRM

BEST FLORIST Flowers by Felicia

Cozette Vergari, Vergari & Napolitano

5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste.1580, Westchester 310.410.4014 or laxlawyers.com Cozette Vergari takes our top spot this year for her dedication to her clients and the community that she grew up in. With her vast legal and life experiences, she is able to take a serious, yet sensitive, approach to the concerns of each of her clients.

RPM Mortgage, Marina del Rey

4640 Admiralty Way, Suite 430, Marina del Rey 310.574.7777 or rpm-mtg.com/la RPM Mortgage’s Marina del Rey Branch Manager, Dean Wong, has been helping his clients successfully finance their new homes since 2002. Building a reputation on experience, knowledge and integrity has earned this business our top spot on this year’s list.

David Voss, Voss, Silverman & Braybrooke LLP 4640 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.306.0515 or vsbllp.com

BEST FLORIST

Favorites: Chase Mortgage

Flowers by Felicia

307 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.821.0984 or playaflowers.com

Westchester Flowers

8520 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.645.6767or westchesterflowersla.com

BEST VETERINARY CENTER Marina Veterinary Center

8421 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.642.8080 or marinavet.com Dr. Rachel Jones and her team offer a wide

Page 14 • August 2018

Playa West Automotive

BEST MORTGAGE COMPANY

12777 W. Jefferson Blvd., Building D #300, LA 310.486.6958 or aestheticlegal.com

Favorites: Playa del Rey Florist

6551 80th St., Westchester 310.670.4272 or bandjservice.mechanicnet.com 8145 Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.822.9115 or playawestautomotive.com

Favorites: Matthew Swanlund, Aesthetic Legal

8428 Pershing Dr., Playa del Rey 310.305.1200 or flowersbyfeliciapdr.com When you need a beautiful arrangement to say “Thank you,” “I love you,” or even, “I’m sorry,” our readers’ #1 pick is Flowers by Felicia. For over 25 years, Felicia St. Denis and her team have been creating floral masterpieces that make everyone’s day when they’re delivered.

Favorites: B&J Service Center

chase.com/mortgage

Wells Fargo Mortgage wellsfargo.com/mortgage range of services to their four-legged patients from holistic to traditional veterinary care, with the goal of making pets happy and healthy.

Favorites: VCA Marina Animal Hospital

2506 Lincoln Blvd., Venice 310.306.8707 or vcahospitals.com/marina

Westchester Veterinary Center & Cat Clinic 8911 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.645.4444 or westchestervet.com

4640 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.306.0515 or vsbllp.com

Rachel Silverman, Voss, Silverman & Braybrooke LLP 4640 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.306.0515 or vsbllp.com

BEST AUTO SHOP

BEST FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY

Loyola Automotive

Cozette Vergari, Vergari & Napolitano 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 1580, Westchester 310.410.4014 or laxlawyers.com This law firm is committed to providing professional services with integrity, earning it the Best Of title from our readers this year.

BEST OF 2018

Favorites: David Voss, Voss, Silverman & Braybrooke LLP

8314 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.0822 or loyolaautomotive.com When your car has a problem, you want a mechanic you can trust. Whether you need an oil change, your air conditioning serviced or regularly scheduled maintenance, Loyola Automotive will help you get your car back on the road.

BEST SHOPPING CENTER The Point El Segundo

850 S Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo 310.414.5280 or thepointsb.com The Point El Segundo takes home the Best Shopping Center designation for the first time this year. With a Lululemon, Athleta, Marmi and more than a dozen eateries, this shopping and dining location is a top destination for our readers.

Favorites: Waterside Marina del Rey

4700 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 818.637.8921 or shopwaterside.com

Westfield Culver City

6000 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 310.390.5073 or westfield.com/culvercity

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Best Of 2018

August 2018 • Page 15


BEST JEWELRY/ WATCH STORE

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT Stephanie Younger

Westchester Watch Works

630 N. Sepulveda Blvd. #12B, El Segundo 310.640.1074 or westchesterwatchworks.com When you need a watch repaired, jewelry cleaned or are looking to purchase a new timepiece, make a trip to Westchester Watch Works for excellent service, expert knowledge and a great selection. For more than 28 years, this family-owned business has taken pride in their work and servicing all of the jewelry and watch needs of their community.

Stephanie Younger, Stephanie Younger Group

7296 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.499.2020 or stephanieyounger.com

Favorites: Robin Zacha, Zacha Homes 6605 W. 80th St., Westchester 310.215.1981 or zachahomes.com

Amy Nelson Frelinger, Douglas Elliman

Favorites: Marina Bay Watch Company

444 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.951.0416 or amyfrelinger.com

4027 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.574.8777or marinabaywatch.com

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT-PLAYA VISTA

Swiss Jewelers

4371 Glencoe Ave. #B3, Marina del Rey 310.822.2753 or swissjewelersusa.com

Stephanie Younger, Stephanie Younger Group

BEST VETERINARIAN Dr. Rachel Jones, Marina Veterinary Center

8421 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.642.8080 or marinavet.com Dr. Rachel Jones and staff understand that each pet is unique, and they treat every patient with care and compassion.

Favorites: Dr. Toya Jackson, Airport Cities Animal Hospital 1120 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood 310. 641.8800 or dogmd.com

Dr. Karen Shane, Shane Veterinary 4816 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.305.7297or shanevet.com

7296 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.499.2020 or stephanieyounger.com

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT Stephanie Younger, Stephanie Younger Group

7296 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.499.2020 or stephanieyounger.com A top real estate agent, Stephanie Younger has strong ties to the community as an LMU graduate and a long-time Westchester resident. Her results-driven approach, integrity and honesty have earned her top-producer status, as well as the hard-earned respect of her clients and colleagues.

Favorites: Amy Nelson Frelinger, Douglas Elliman 444 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.951.0416 or amyfrelinger.com

Jane St. John, REMAX

155 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.577.5300 or westsidebeachhomes.com

Page 16 • August 2018

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENTWESTCHESTER

BEST OF 2018

Favorites: James Suarez, Fineman Suarez 13274 Fiji Way #100, Marina del Rey 310.862.1761 or sellbuyla.com

Kris Zacuto, Hilton & Hyland 310.702.6299 or kriszacuto.com

BEST LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER Zsuzsi Steiner Photography

714.856.5737 or zsuzsiphotography.com Zsuzsi Steiner is ready to capture life’s most magical moments, whether you’re looking for family photos, event photography or portraits.

Favorites: Ballerini Cooley Studios

8242 Sunnysea Dr., Playa del Rey 310.301.1576 or ballerinicooleystudios.com

Cheryl Cantu Photography

cherylkcantu.wixsite.com/photography

BEST INSURANCE AGENT Peter Kohly

6320 Howard B. Drollinger Way #202, Westchester 310.641.3430 With over 37 years of experience, Peter Kohly can help with your insurance needs for your auto, home and more.

Favorites: Rachel Sunday

8055 W. Manchester Ave. Ste. #405, Playa del Rey 800.834.2310 or playavistains.com

Katie Leung

8405 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.641.8990

BEST HAIR SALON BEST REAL ESTATE Hair AGENT-PLAYA DEL REY Avenue 4220 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey Stephanie Younger, Stephanie Younger Group

7296 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.499.2020 or stephanieyounger.com

310.822.0700 Avenue Hair takes this year’s Best Of title for the fourth year in a row for great color, cuts and styling.

Favorites: Amy Nelson Frelinger, Douglas Elliman

Favorites: Jon Peri Salon

Jane St. John, REMAX

Uncle Aaron’s

444 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.951.0416 or amyfrelinger.com

155 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.577.5300 or westsidebeachhomes.com

13175 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey 310.821.8012 or johnperisalon.com 8355 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.410.0494 or uncleaarons.com

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Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Best Of 2018

August 2018 • Page 17


BEST CORPORATE COMMUNITY PARTNER LAX Coastal Chamber

9100 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #210, Westchester 310.645.5151 or laxcoastal.com The LAX Coastal Chamber brings home #1 in this new category this year. More than just a business organization, the chamber hosts community events like the Teacher Eddy Awards, Protectors Breakfast, School Expo and the Fourth of July Parade as part of its commitment to give back to the community that supports the organization and its members.

Favorites: Drollinger Properties

8929 Sepulveda Blvd., Ste 130, Westchester 310.417.8048 or drollingerproperties.com

Marina del Rey HospitalCedars-Sinai

4650 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.823.8911 or marinahospital.com

BEST SMALL BUSINESS COMMUNITY PARTNER

Stephanie Younger, Stephanie Younger Group

7296 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.499.2020 or stephanieyounger.com In addition to being known as a top real estate agent, Stephanie Younger is known for giving back to the community, earning her Best Small Business Community Partner in this year’s poll. Her generosity helps support numerous projects in the community from the little league, the Fourth of July Parade, WAM and more.

Favorites: Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd. 13208 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, 310.306.8330 or rainbowacresca.com

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

Page 18 • August 2018

BEST MOVIE THEATER Cinemark Playa Vista

12746 W Jefferson Blvd #3190, Playa Vista 310.862.5668 or cinemark.com This theater’s stadium seating and reserve-level luxury seats make it an easy choice for our readers’ favorite movie theater.

Favorites: AMC Marina del Rey Dine-In

13455 Maxella Ave #280, Marina del Rey 310.827.7955 or amctheatres.com

Arclight Beach Cities

831 S. Nash St., El Segundo 310.607.9630 or arclightcinemas.com

BEST CAR DEALERSHIP Marina del Rey Toyota

4636 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.821.8979 or marinadelreytoyota.com Marina del Rey Toyota works to make buying and leasing cars a breeze thanks to its customer service and its knowledgeable staff.

Favorites: CarMax LAX

8611 S. La Cienega Blvd., Inglewood 310.957.6712 or carmax.com

Lexus Santa Monica

1602 11th Street, Santa Monica 424.231.0846 or lexussantamonica.com

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT-

MARINA DEL REY

Stephanie Younger, Stephanie Younger Group

7296 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.499.2020 or stephanieyounger.com

Favorites: Jane St. John, REMAX

155 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.577.5300 or westsidebeachhomes.com

James Suarez, Fineman Suarez 13274 Fiji Way #100, Marina del Rey 310.862.1761 or sellbuyla.com

BEST OF 2018

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Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Best Of 2018

August 2018 • Page 19


BEST RESTAURANT, Truxton’s American Bistro

Celebrating its twelfth year in Westchester, Truxton’s American Bistro is a #1 dining destination for our readers. Since opening more than a decade ago, Truxton’s has become a community favorite for lunch

meetings, family dinners and weekend brunch, not to mention a gathering place where you’ll always see people you know. We personally can’t get enough of their monkey bread, veggie tacos, the Bistro Cookie for 2 or their range of

BEST RESTAURANT BEST NEW Truxton’s American Bistro RESTAURANT/ EATERY 8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com Taking back this year’s Best Restaurant spot is Westchester hot spot Truxton’s American Bistro. Stop in for great eats, a fun, casual environment and excellent service seven days a week.

Favorites: Playa Provisions

119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.683.5019 or playaprovisions.com

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

BEST AMERICAN RESTAURANT Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com Tony P’s Dockside Grill is a community favorite thanks to its picture-esque location on the Marina, its generous portion sizes and worldfamous mai tais. For dinner, we recommend starting with the spinach artichoke dip, before moving on to the Tony P’s Special Salad. Finish off the night with a little “sumthin’ sumthin’--” a petite dessert perfect for one, for a sweet ending to your evening.

Favorites: Cafe del Rey

4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.6395 or cafedelreymarina.com

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

Page 20 • August 2018

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, MDR

8601 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 424.331.9006 or theharvestbar.com When you’re looking for something quick and healthy, try vegan-friendly Best New Eatery winner, Harvest Bar Playa Vista. Located in Westchester, the shop specializes in bowls and smoothies that are topped with super foods like goji berries, cacao nibs and bee pollen.

Favorites: Aloha Poke Co.

Villa Marina Marketplace Mall, 13455 Maxella Ave. #230, Marina del Rey 310.821.4593 or ruthschris.com Ruth’s Chris Steak House Marina del Rey takes our top spot again this year with our readers for Best Steak House. A great place for a special occasion, once you enter the restaurant’s red doors, you’ll be treated to great service and an unforgettable dining experience.

Favorites: George Petrelli’s Steakhouse

5615 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 310.397.1438 or georgepetrellisteaks.com

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse

4020 Lincoln Blvd. #D, Marina del Rey 310.301.4074 or alohapokeco.com

2301 Rosecrans Ave., El Segundo 310.643.6911 or flemingssteakhouse.com

Sustainabowl

BEST JUICE BAR

8338 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester eatsustainabowl.com

Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd.

BEST BURGER The Shack

185 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.823.6222 Our readers can’t get enough of Playa del Rey’s #1 burger--the Shack Burger! Featuring a 1/4 pound patty with all the fixings and topped with a Louisiana Sausage, this burger is just what you need after a long day at the beach. If one isn’t enough, order a double, and don’t forget the fries!

Favorites: Tompkins Square

13208 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles 310.306.8330 or rainbowacresca.com When you’re in the mood for a fresh squeezed juice, Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd. has you covered with their great selection of fresh or ready-to-go cold pressed juices, shakes and smoothies. If you have time, order up a freshly made Carlos’ Flu Special with carrot, orange and ginger or the All Fruit Yoga Blend with banana, agave nectar, mango, pineapple, coconut juice and strawberries!

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

The Good Pizza

7929 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.215.1883 or thegoodpizza.com 8115 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.827.0500 or thegoodpizza.com 4222 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 424.835.4243 or thegoodpizza.com The Good Pizza remains our readers’ favorite pizza joint in 2018! Locations in Westchester, Playa del Rey and Marina del Rey serve up gourmet hand-tossed 18” pies, entrees, salads, appetizers and more. If you can’t eat a whole pizza, stop in for a tasty slice of our personal favorite, Pesto Pizza Bianca, or the Margherita.

Favorites: Beach Pizza

8601 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.827.2000 or eatbeachpizza.com

LaRocco’s Pizzeria

8806 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.642.0029 or laroccospizzeria.com

BEST BUSINESS LUNCH SPOT Truxton’s American Bistro-

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com When it’s time to take your clients to lunch, Truxton’s remains a favorite thanks to its large booths, quick service and friendly staff.

Favorites: Señor G’s Juice

Favorites: Cast & Plow at Ritz-Carlton, MDR

Whole Foods Playa Vista

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

343 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.822.7733 or senorgs.com

8522 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1212 or t2barandgrill.com

BEST OF 2018

ready with recommendations and the specials of the day. Along with great food is a great commitment to the community, and Truxton’s owners generously support local schools and nonprofits with gift cards and donations.

BEST STEAK HOUSE BEST PIZZA

Harvest Bar Playa Vista

Truxton’s American Bistro

delicious burgers, that you’ll definitely need a fork to eat! Taking home our top restaurant category this year (and a handful of other well deserved wins), Truxton’s excels in a menu that has something for everyone and a friendly staff that is

Photo courtesy Truxton’s.

FOOD & DRINK

categories

12746 W Jefferson Blvd., Playa Vista 310.862.9900 or wholefoodsmarket.com

4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.574.4333 or ritzcarlton.com 4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

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Best Of 2018

August 2018 • Page 21


BEST RESTAURANT Truxton’s American Bistro

BEST COMMUNITY PARTNER LAX COASTAL CHAMBER

FAVORITE THING ABOUT PLAYA VISTA Community Events

Photo by Angela Clouse.

FAVORITE CHARITY EVENT Westchester Rotary Book Sale

BEST COMMUNITY CLUB Westchester Elks Lodge

BEST FAMILY ATTORNEY Cozette Vergari

FAVORITE WESTCHESTER REAL ESTATE AGENT Amy Frelinger FAVORITE ? MELODY BAR & GRILL

FAVORITE COMMUNITY EVENT WAM Block Party

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD GYM Westchester Family YMCA

BEST VOLUNTEER Candy Yip, Westchester Mental Health Guild

BEST OF 2018

FAVORITE PLAYA DEL REY REAL ESTATE AGENT Jane St. John

Photo by Greg Dina-Pham.

BEST FLORIST Flowers by Felicia

FAVORITE THING ABOUT PLAYA VISTA Community Parks

Page 22 • August 2018

FAVORITE BREAKFAST Cafe Solar

FAVORITE PLACE TO VOLUNTEER Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club

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Best Of 2018

August 2018 • Page 23


BEST THAI RESTAURANT

BEST BAKERY BEST SEAFOOD Westchester Bakery Kanpai Sushi

8325 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.338.7223 or kanpai-sushi.net When you’re in the mood for excellent sushi, look no further than Kanpai. This restaurant, with two Westchester locations, excels in beautifully-plated dishes with fresh ingredients.

Ayara Thai Cuisine

6245 W. 87th Street, Westchester 310.410.8848 or ayarathaicuisine.com Ayara Thai recently reopened after being closed for renovations, and we are happy to have this neighborhood favorite back in business. Since opening in 2004, this Westchester family-run restaurant has given locals a taste of authentic Thai food, where quality is never compromised. We can’t get enough of their tofu pad thai and Thai iced tea!

Favorites: Killer Shrimp

4211 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.578.2293 or killershrimp.com

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

Favorites: Thai Dishes

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

6234 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.342.0046 or thaidishes-la.com

BEST BAKERY

Thai Talay

Westchester Bakery

8411 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.3055 or thethaitalay.com

6216 W. 87th St., Westchester 310.215.9606 or westchesterbakery.com No visit to the Westchester Triangle is complete without a quick stop into this local bakery for an eclair, brownie or mouth-watering cookies.

BEST BREAKFAST The Coffee Company

8751 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.645.7315 or thecoffeecompanyla.com There’s no better place for breakfast in Westchester than The Coffee Company, which just received a fantastic makeover. Whether you’re in the mood for a skillet, crepes, something from the griddle or a classic omelette, you won’t be disappointed with this eatery that is synonymous with breakfast with the local crowd. On the weekends, be prepared to wait for a seat, because lines out the door mean everything is delicious.

Favorites: Cafe Solar

6224 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 424.227.6486 or cahuengagroup.com/ cafe-solar

Dinah’s

6521 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.645.0456 or dinahsrestaurant.com

Page 24 • August 2018

BEST CATERER

BEST BAR

6231 W. 87th St., Westchester 310.242.2092 or oliveit.com Olive It makes catering for your next business meeting or family event easy. They’ll help you pick the perfect combo of salads, appetizers, sandwiches and entrées to wow your guests.

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com Tony P’s tavern takes home the top spot in this year’s poll. If you’re looking for variety, you’ve come to the right place, because this bar features more than 100 beers from all over the world, more than 50 wines by the glass and a rotating selection of brews for beer connoisseurs. Then there’s the menu of “foo-foo” drinks, think umbrellas and wild colors, eight huge TVs, and a full-service menu, which make the tavern a top pick when you want a drink.

Olive It

Favorites: Cantalini’s Express

11736 Washington Pl., Mar Vista 310.572.9157 or cantalinisexpress.com

The Good Pizza

7929 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.215.1883 or thegoodpizza.com 8115 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.827.0500 or thegoodpizza.com 4222 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 424.835.4243 or thegoodpizza.com

BEST OF 2018

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

Favorites: Cinco

Favorites: Angel Made Bakery

4542 Centinela Ave., Los Angeles 310.915.2078

SusieCakes Marina del Rey 4714 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.742.2253 or susiecakes.com

BEST HEALTHY DINING OPTIONS Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com Dishes like the El Paso Burger Plate and the Antioxidant Salad make sticking to a healthy diet when eating out a little bit easier.

7241 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.910.0895 or cincola.com

Favorites: Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd.

8522 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1212 or t2barandgrill.com

Urban Plates

Tompkins Square

13208 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, 310.306.8330 or rainbowacresca.com

12746 W. Jefferson Blvd. #3140, Playa Vista 424.256.7274 or urbanplates.com

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Best Of 2018

August 2018 • Page 25


Tony P’s Dockside Grill BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR BEST FROZEN Tompkins Square Bar and Grill YOGURT/ICE CREAM SHOP

BEST SANDWICH SHOP

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

8522 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1212 or t2barandgrill.com In the mood for a drink? Stop by this friendly neighborhood watering hole for a drink at the bar and stay for one of their signature burgers, while enjoying a game on the TV. Wednesday nights, stop by this Westchester locale for the team trivia nights starting at 8 p.m.

Favorites: Cinco

7241 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.910.0895 or cincola.com

Melody Bar & Grill

9132 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1994 or melodylax.com

BEST SUSHI RESTAURANT Kanpai Japanese Sushi

8736 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.0533 or kanpai-sushi.net If you’re looking for sushi, Kanpai will not disappoint with its long menu of sashimi and specialty rolls, including the LMU Roll with fresh water eel avocado, cucumber and kaiware and the Otis Roll with shrimp tempura, avocado and cucumber topped with spicy tuna.

Favorites: Sakura Japanese Restaurant 4545 S. Centinela Ave., Los Angeles 310.822.7790

Sugarfish

4722 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.306.6300 or sugarfishsushi.com

BEST DESSERTS SusieCakes Marina del Rey

4714 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.742.2253 or susiecakes.com When you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, SusieCakes is a must-visit. Stock up on their signature cupcakes (we’re partial to good old vanilla), a slice of cake or one of their cookies and make sure to share with your friends and family.

Favorites: Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

Westchester Bakery

6216 W. 87th St., Westchester 310.215.9606 or westchesterbakery.com

BEST HAPPY HOUR Cinco

7241 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.910.0895 or cincola.com Cinco has the formula down for a truly happy hour with $1 street tacos, $6 burritos, $6 drafts and $7 well drinks Monday through Saturday from 3-7 p.m.

Favorites: Melody Bar & Grill

9132 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1994 or melodylax.com

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

BEST BEER SELECTION

Yard House Marina del Rey

13455 Maxella Ave., Marina del Rey 310.822.7690 or yardhouse.com Beer aficionados can rejoice at the long drink list at Marina del Rey’s Yard House Restaurant. Whether you’re in the mood for something hoppy like the Angel City IPA or something light like the Kona Big Wave Golden, you’re sure to find a new favorite on this menu.

Favorites: Three Weavers

Yogurtland Westchester

8752 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.649.5600 or yogurt-land.com Westchester’s favorite Frozen Yogurt Shop, Yogurtland Westchester, lets you serve up your favorite combination of rotating flavors and sugary toppings perfect for a hot day or special treat.

Favorites: Menchie’s Westchester

8815 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.642.8200 or menchies.com 119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.683.5019 or playaprovisions.com

BEST DATE NIGHT RESTAURANT Caffe Pinguini

6935 Pacific Ave,, Playa del Rey 310.306.0117 or caffepinguini.com Date night coming up? Consider making reservations at this romantic Playa del Rey spot serving up authentic Italian food.

Favorites: Mendocino Farms

6805 S. Vista Del Mar Lane., Playa del Rey 310.439.2100 or bacaripdr.com

Cantalini’s Salerno Beach

193 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.821.0018 or salernobeach.com

BEST BRUNCH Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com Brunch is one of our favorite times to head to Truxton’s because of dishes like the Playa Vegetarian Omelette and the Brioche French Toast.

Favorites: Playa Provisions

BEST SERVICE

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com Truxton’s wins the top spot in the Best Casual Dining category this year for its friendly and inviting atmosphere.

Favorites: The Shack

185 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.823.6222

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com Truxton’s staff is known for their friendly and courteous service earning them the top spot this year in our Best Of.

Favorites: Paco’s Tacos

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com Tony P’s Dockside Grill is one of the Marina’s most popular restaurants known for its great atmosphere for dining, thanks to the large outdoor patio that sits on the marina.

Favorites: Playa Provisions

119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.683.5019 or playaprovisions.com

12775 Millennium Dr. #160, Playa Vista 424.289.0066 or solcocina.com

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

BEST PIZZA SLICE 7929 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.215.1883 or thegoodpizza.com 8115 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.827.0500 or thegoodpizza.com 4222 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 424.835.4243 or thegoodpizza.com When you’re craving a slice, stop in to The Good Pizza for our readers’ top pick for za.

Favorites: LaRocco’s Pizzeria

8806 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.642.0029 or laroccospizzeria.com

Melody Pizza

9146 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 424.227.7686 or melodypizzalax.com

Favorites: Hacienda Del Rey Sol Cocina

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

The Good Pizza

6212 Manchester Blvd., Westchester 310.645.8692 or pacoscantina.com Visit this family-friendly Westchester favorite for its generous combination plates, tacos, burritos and chimichangas, and don’t forget the margaritas!

8347 Lincoln Blvd.,Westchester 310.670.8588

6212 Manchester Blvd., Westchester 310.645.8692 or pacoscantina.com

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com With a menu guaranteed to satisfy everyone, Truxton’s is a top pick for taking your family out to dinner. Whether you’re in the mood for pasta, pizza, seafood, sandwiches, burgers or salads, Truxton’s is a favorite every night of the week.

Favorites: Dinah’s

6521 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.645.0456 or dinahsrestaurant.com

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

BEST RESTAURANT BEST ITALIAN ATMOSPHERE RESTAURANT Tony P’s Dockside Grill

Paco’s Tacos

Truxton’s American Bistro

8501 Pershing Dr. Ste. 3, Playa del Rey 310.439.2256 or delreydeli.com

BEST FAMILY RESTAURANT

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

Favorites: Del Rey Deli

5518 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 310.391.7654 or sorrentoitalianmarket.com

Sorrento Italian Market

13534 Bali Way, Marina del Rey 424.289.8223 or pacificahotels.com/salt

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com Drop in to Tony P’s for lunch and enjoy the restaurant’s new vegetarian lunch menu or order a classic like a “No Bones” salad or fish and chips.

Truxton’s American Bistro

Salt at Marina del Rey Hotel

119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.683.5019 or playaprovisions.com

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4724 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.822.2300 or mendocinofarms.com

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

Favorites: Bacari PDR

BEST OF 2018

8501 Pershing Dr. Ste. 3, Playa del Rey 310.439.2256 or delreydeli.com Since 2013, Del Rey Deli has been the go-toplace for locals looking for high-quality deli sandwiches. Once you order the signature Caprese or the DR Muffaletta, you just may become a regular.

BEST CASUAL DINING

Playa Provisions’ Small Batch

1031 W. Manchester Blvd., Unit A-B, Inglewood 310.400.5830 or threeweavers.la

Page 26 • August 2018

Del Rey Deli

BEST LUNCH SPOT

BEST RESTAURANT IN A HOTEL Salt at Marina del Rey Hotel

C&O Cucina

3016 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.301.7278 or candorestaurants.com Taking our top spot this year for the first time, C&O Cucina is a neighborhood favorite loved for its hearty portions of pasta and its out-ofthis-world garlic knots.

Favorites: Alejo’s

8343 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.6677 or alejosrestaurant.com

Cantalini’s Salerno Beach

193 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.821.0018 or salernobeach.com

BEST RESTAURANT CATERER Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com When you’re hosting a big event at your home or office, Truxton’s is there to help make your event a success. Their expert team will help you pick the perfect menu for any occasion.

Favorites: Cantalini’s Salerno Beach

193 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.821.0018 or salernobeach.com

The Good Pizza

7929 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.215.1883 or thegoodpizza.com 8115 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.827.0500 or thegoodpizza.com 4222 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 424.835.4243 or thegoodpizza.com

13534 Bali Way, Marina del Rey 424.289.8223 or pacificahotels.com/salt Located in the hip Marina del Rey Hotel, SALT is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With an emphasis on seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers’ markets, this seafood heavy restaurant is a popular destination for those looking for a fresh take on California cuisine.

Favorites: Beachside at Jamaica Bay Inn 14160 Palawan Way, Marina del Rey 310.439.3033 or pacificahotels.com/ jamaicabayinn/restaurant

Cast & Plow at Ritz-Carlton, MDR 4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.574.4333 or ritzcarlton.com

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


GET MORE THAN A MEMBERSHIP. EXPERIENCE THE Y. WESTCHESTER FAMILY YMCA THANKS YOU FOR VOTING US

BEST MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATION

Membership Privileges: • Free Get Started Program with a Personal Trainer • Over 100 Group Fitness Classes and Water Aerobics • Two Indoor Pools and Spa • And much more! Learn more at ymcaLA.org/wc Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Best Of 2018

August 2018 • Page 27


BEST PRIVATE SCHOOL, ST. ANASTASIA

For more than sixty years, St. Anastasia Catholic School has been helping shape young lives in the Westchester and Playa del Rey community. The school, which serves grades

transitional kindergarten through eighth grade, prides itself on a wellrounded, challenging curriculum and highly-experienced faculty and staff. The school also takes seriously its commitment to offering subjects and

programs that support the spiritual, physical and creative growth of every student, including Gateway to Art, technology, academic decathlon, a robust sports program and service opportunities.

The school will start the fall semester with new principal, Dr. Gavin Colvert, and space is available for students in the third and fifth grades.

SCHOOL

BEST PRESCHOOL

BEST SUMMER CAMP

6550 80th St., Westchester 310.642.9474 or wishcharter.org WISH Charter takes our top spot again this year for Best Charter School due to its caring community, academic excellence and small classroom sizes.

6323 W. 80th St., Westchester 310.670.5758 or covla.org Covenant Preschool is located on the campus of Covenant Presbyterian Church and since 1963 has provided high-quality half-day preschool programs.

8740 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.645.6620 or visitationschool.org Visitation Day Camps offer students a summer of great activities in a relaxed atmosphere. The camp runs June through August for JK through 8th grade students, with activities including art, computers, sports, games and field trips.

BEST PRIVATE SCHOOL BEST CHARTER

St. Anastasia School

8631 Stanmoor Dr., Westchester 310.645.8816 or school.st-anastasia.org For more than sixty years, St. Anastasia Catholic School has promoted life-long learning for its junior kindergarten through eighth grade students, earning it the top spot in this year’s poll.

Favorites: Visitation Catholic School

8740 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.645.6620 or visitationschool.org

Westchester Lutheran School (tie) 7831 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.5422 or wlcs.org

Westside Neighborhood School (tie) 5401 Beethoven St., Los Angeles 310.574.8650 or wnsk8.com

WISH Charter School

Favorites: Open Magnet Charter

Favorites: Children of Our Savior Preschool

5540 W. 77th St., Westchester 310.568.0735 or opencharter.org

6705 W. 77th St., Westchester 310.215.3166 or oursaviorwestchester.com/ preschool

Animo Westside Charter

5456 McConnell Ave., Los Angeles 323.565.3251 or ca.greendot.org/westside

BEST HIGH BEST PUBLIC SCHOOL SCHOOL WISH Charter School

6550 80th St., Westchester 310.642.9474 or wishcharter.org Led by Executive Director, Shawna Draxton, WISH’s mission is to maximize every scholar’s learning potential within an atmosphere of caring and belonging. The school, which serves students K through 12, will start holding school tours in the fall for prospective families.

Favorites: Kentwood Elementary School 8401 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.670.8977 or kentwoodes.org

Playa Vista Elementary School 13150 Bluff Creek Dr,, Playa Vista 424.228.1800 or playavistaschool.com

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WISH Academy

9100 Falmouth Ave., Playa del Rey 310.823.4651 or stbernardhs.org.

St. Monica High School

1030 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica 310.394.3701 or stmonicachs.org

BEST OF 2018

Westchester Lutheran Preschool 7831 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.5422 or wlcs.org

BEST LIBRARY

7400 W. Manchester Ave,, Westchester 310.743.6990 or wishacademyhs.org WISH Academy High School makes its first appearance on our Best Of list this year. The school, co-located on the Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets campus, is a research to practice, rigorous public school committed to inclusiveness. The school also puts an emphasis on academic, social and ethical skills.

Favorites: St. Bernard High School

Covenant Preschool

Westchester Loyola Village Library

7114 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.348.1096 or lapl.org Check out the classics and best new novels at this Westchester Park located library, and then stay for events and activities for the whole family. An all-ages knitting and crocheting club meets every Monday and the library hosts two book clubs that meet monthly.

Favorites: Playa Vista Library

6400 Playa Vista Dr., Playa Vista 310.437.6680 or lapl.org

El Segundo Library

111 W. Mariposa Ave., El Segundo 310.524.2722 or library.elsegundo.org

Photo courtesy St. A’s.

SCHOOL & FAMILY

categories

Visitation Day Camps

Favorites: Champ Camp

310.283.4509 or champcampkids.com

Westchester Lutheran

7831 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.5422 or wlcs.org

BEST UNIVERSITY/ COLLEGE Loyola Marymount University

1 LMU Drive, Westchester 310.338.2700 or lmu.edu LMU tops our list again this year, thanks to its beautiful campus, community spirit and campus events. The university holds a special place in the hearts of many Westchester and Playa del Rey residents who are either graduates or work there. This month, the school will open its Playa Vista campus, focusing on film and entertainment.

Favorites: UCLA ucla.edu

USC

usc.edu

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Best Of 2018

August 2018 • Page 29


FAVORITE NONPROFIT/CHARITY EVENT Visitation Food Truck Friday Nights

BEST CHILDCARE PROVIDER

BEST YOUTH SPORTS LEAGUE

6323 W. 80th St., Westchester 310.670.5758 or covla.org At Covenant Preschool, their mission is to provide a high quality education program where young children receive opportunities and encouragement to thrive, socially, emotionally, physically, cognitively and spiritually, as they explore and discover the world around them.

Favorites: Carousel School

ayso.bluesombrero.com/region7 AYSO has been voted Best Youth Sports League for the third year in a row. Founded in 1971, the league’s six philosophies that include everyone plays, positive coaching and good sportsmanship, have helped thousands of children have fun while learning a new sport. The league is open to boys and girls in the Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Inglewood and Ladera Heights areas.

Westchester Lutheran Preschool

Favorites: Del Rey American Little League

Covenant Preschool

8333 Airport Blvd., Westchester 310.216.6641 or carouselschool.com 7831 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.5422 or wlcs.org

AYSO Region 7

drall.org

Westchester Del Rey Little League wdrll.com

Congratulations to our 2018 Best Of and Favorite honorees!

Page 30Thank • Augustyou 2018

BESTour OF 2018 for making community a great place to live and work!

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


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Best Of 2018

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

BEST URGENT CARE BEST Playa Vista Medical Center SPECIALTY FITNESS STUDIO 6020 S. Seabluff Dr. #1, Playa Vista 310.862.0400 or pvmedcenter.com For seven years in a row, Playa Vista Medical Center has taken home our Best Urgent Care title. When you’re looking to treat an earache, get a physical, or need an X-ray, the center’s goal is to provide you with high-quality advanced urgent care.

Favorites: Cedars-Sinai Urgent Care Playa Vista

12746 W. Jefferson Blvd., Playa Vista 424.315.2220 or cedars-sinai.edu/About-Us/ Playa-Vista.aspx

UCLA Playa Marina Urgent Care

4560 Admiralty Way Ste.100, Marina del Rey 310.656.1770 or uclahealth.org

Playa Pilates

6020 Seabluff Dr. #6, Playa Vista 310.862.0499 or playapilates.com Playa Pilates is a boutique studio specializing in helping you reach your fitness goals through private instruction, semi-private lessons and group reformer classes.

categories

BEST OPTOMETRY OFFICE, DEL REY OPTOMETRY

Favorites: Archer Pilates (tie)

6504 Arizona Ave., Westchester 310.215.0300 or archerpilates.com

Crossfit Aviator (tie)

6216 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.683.4302 or crossfitaviator.com

Studio MDR

12775 W. Millennium Ste.150, Playa Vista 424.835.4210 or thestudiomdr.com

BEST OPTOMETRIST/ OPTOMETRY OFFICE BEST YOGA Del Rey Optometry STUDIO 8511 Pershing Dr., Playa del Rey 310.577.6401 or delreyoptometry.com When it comes to your eye care needs, Del Rey Optometry is committed to providing excellent and comprehensive service. Whether you need an eye exam, a new contact lenses prescription or are looking for a stylish pair of glasses, Del Rey Optometry is ready to give each patient exceptional care.

Favorites: Dr. Harold Ashcraft at Family Eyecare Center of Optometry 8735 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.670.4411 or drashcraft.com

Westchester Eye Care

8610 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #100, Westchester 310.670.1888 or westchestereyecarecenter.com

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD GYM Westchester Family YMCA

8015 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.4316 or ymcala.org/westchester The Westchester Family YMCA has been voted this year’s Best Neighborhood Gym. More than just a place to exercise, the Y believes in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Favorites: L.A. Fitness Westchester

LiveYoga Wellness

6700 W. 83rd St., Westchester 310.835.6700 or liveyogawellness.com LiveYoga Wellness has created a community of yogis of all ages and abilities who are seeking to discover their highest being and find balance, both on and off, the yoga mat. Visit their website to sign-up for classes and workshops to elevate your practice and open your mind.

Favorites: Yoga Bliss

6218 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 424.442.0647 or yogabliss-studio.com

YogaWorks Playa Vista

12746 W. Jefferson Blvd. #3120 424.228.8899 or yogaworks.com/location/ playa-vista

BEST PHARMACY Playa Pharmacy

8131 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.823.4500 or playapharmacy.com This family-run pharmacy takes our top spot in this year’s poll for their exceptional customer service and expert knowledge. More than just a place to pick up prescriptions, this Playa del Rey pharmacy offers compounding, immunizations, diabetes education and alternative medicine consultations. As an added bonus, Playa Pharmacy offers free local delivery to its customers.

8601 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.846.0070 or lafitness.com

Favorites: Marina del Rey Pharmacy

2250 Park Pl., El Segundo 310.643.6878 or bayclubs.com/southbay

Westchester Pharmacy

Bay Club

Page 32 • August 2018

4558 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.5311 8930 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #103, Westchester 310.670.3463 or westchesterpharmacy.com

BEST OF 2018

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Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Best Of 2018

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BEST PERSONAL TRAINER Chloe Back at Chloe Back Personal Training

310.418.0145 or chloestraining.com Chloe is a certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist who combines resistance, cardio and core training for her clients. Whatever your goals--weight loss, toning or staying fit––Chloe can help you succeed.

Favorites: Jeff Blair at SoCal Sports and Fitness

8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #111, Westchester 310.497.0863 or socalsport.com

Hayward Kickboxing Center 8416 Pershing Dr., Playa del Rey 310.439.1943

BEST DOCTOR/ DOCTOR OFFICE Dr. Jonathan Velasquez, Playa Vista Medical Center

6020 S. Seabluff Dr. #1, Playa Vista 310.862.0400 or pvmedcenter.com For the first time this year, Playa Vista Medical Center’s Dr. Jonathan Velasquez tops our Best Of list.

Favorites: Dr. Amy Shapiro

12555 Jefferson Blvd. Ste. 302, Playa Vista 424.443.5600

Dr. Danielle Fisher

12555 Jefferson Blvd. Ste. 302, Playa Vista 424.443.5600

BEST HOSPITAL

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica

1250 16th St., Santa Monica 424.259.6000 or uclahealth.org/santamonica UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica serves as the cornerstone of UCLA Health’s Santa Monica medical campus. The 265-bed, full-service medical center provides the complete continuum of healthcare services, from prenatal and neonatal care to geriatric medicine, in a technologically-advanced and welcoming facility.

Favorites: Cedars-Sinai

8700 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles 310.423.3277 or cedars-sinai.org/locations

Providence St. John’s Health Center

2121 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica 310.829.5511 or california.providence.org/ saint-johns

BEST NATURAL/ HEALTH FOOD STORE

Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd.

13208 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles 310.306.8330 or rainbowacresca.com Visit this locally-owned health food store for a variety of organic, vegan, healthy and all-natural products. This location also boasts a large vitamin section with a knowledgeable staff, a juice bar and deli.

Favorites: Sprouts Culver City

5660 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 310.591.1028 or sprouts.com

Trader Joe’s Westchester

8645 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.338.9238 or traderjoes.com

for voting us

Best Pharmacy We are proud to be part of your community, and we look forward to serving you for many more years.

Free Delivery | Vaccinations Compounding | Herbs & Supplements www.playapharmacy.com Page 34 • August 2018

BEST OF 2018

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Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Best Of 2018

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BEST OF 2018

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Photo by Paige O’Turner.

Secret recipes from the Inn: orange kiss me cake By Rebecca Hill

The Inn’s staff is honored that the community voted us as a winner in the Hometown News’ “Best Hotel/Inn” category. Thank you so much! When we talk about the “Best Of,” we think of all of you in our community, and we think of all of our wonderful guests! We think of the times you stayed here for a “staycation” or used the Inn as your “guest house” when friends and family came to town. We also think of our out of town guests–our sweetheart honeymoon couples, the beautiful bride who got dressed at the Inn before her big day, the laughter we hear during happy hour as guests get to know each other over wine and cheese in our living room and the executives who have inked big corporate deals over a cup of coffee in our breakfast room. We think of the mother who stayed at the Inn while helping her daughter recover from a bad motorcycle accident, and we think of the grandparents who come to town often to see their grandchildren in school plays or to celebrate holidays with them. We are fond of all of our guests, but two we see most often are Stuart Adlington and Andy Weiss. Andy is from Chicago and says, “Traveling a lot has been part of my life. Finding the Inn at Playa del Rey was finding home.” When Andy thinks of his “best of” moments in Playa del Rey he says, “I love this neighborhood because it has a

Sprinkle the cake with raisins and garnish with orange slices to complete this breakfast treat.

welcoming small town feel, and I have many precious memories of my stays at the Inn. I hold close in my heart the time I spent in Playa with my sons, AJ and Danny, and I cherish the sunsets I watched with my wife from the Inn’s back porch. I find it so peaceful to look over the Ballona Wetlands and watch the sailboats come home as the sun sets.” Stuart is originally from England, so he spent a lot of time in Playa del Rey when he’d come to L.A. on business. When Stuart thinks of “best of” moments he says, “My best memory from the Inn is the smell of freshly baked cookies, and boy are they amazing! Every time I smell fresh cookies, no matter where I am, I always think of the Inn at Playa del Rey and want to return immediately.” In terms of the neighborhood, Stuart loves Playa and finds it, “Super relaxed and chill. The town is quiet,

yet vibrant, with superb food options.” Stuart and his wife recently moved to Los Angeles, and we are happy that they are now able to do “staycations” at the Inn and that we still get to see them often! In terms of recipes, one of our absolute “best of” recipes is our Orange Kiss Me Cake! Here’s how we make it: Orange Kiss Me Cake Ingredients: • 1 orange • 1/2 cup raisins • 1/2 cup cranberries • 2 cups flour • 1 cup sugar • 1 Tsp. cinnamon • 1 Tsp. baking soda • 1 Tsp. salt • 1 cup milk • 1/2 cup butter, softened • 2 eggs Topping: • 1/3 cup orange juice

• 1/3 cup sugar • 1 Tsp. cinnamon Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. 2. Squeeze orange until you have 1/3 cup juice for topping the cake. In a food processor, grind together orange peel and pulp, raisins and cranberries; set aside. 3. In a large bowl, combine flour and remaining cake ingredients at a low speed until moistened. 4. Stir in orange, raisin and cranberry mixture. 5. Pour into prepared pan. 6. Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 7. Plate your cake 8. Drizzle 1/3 cup orange juice over warm cake. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon. Mix well. Stir in ¼ cup raisins and sprinkle over cake. Recipe adapted from Samantha’s Five Heart Home website. The Inn’s recipes have been lovingly collected over the past 20 years. Some are original recipes, others are well-known recipes that have been adapted, and some are recipes that have been handed down by our innkeeper’s mothers and grandmothers over the years. Rebecca Hill is an innkeeper at the Inn at Playa del Rey and a published writer. Her stories have appeared in Redbook magazine and in over a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies.

Is your voice being heard? The Welsh Choir of Southern California is a multiethnic choir that believes in the power of music to restore our faith in life, in ourselves, and in each other. For over a thousand years, the community tradition of singing in parts (soprano, alto, tenor, brass) has sustained, inspired, and united the people of Wales. Wales is often called the “country of song.” We are asked to sing at weddings, funerals, and other events during the year. We perform at an assisted living facility every Christmas, we do a songfest at a retirement community on St. David’s Day in March, and we occasionally do pub sings. Some years ago, we were selected to represent California at the Washington National Cathedral on California Day. We are looking for new members to join us, especially tenors. We practice in Westchester on Sunday afternoons (2-4 pm). If you think you might be interested in joining us, please contact: Gerri Pisciotta, President Grindlgret@aol.com (310) 338-9978

Page 38 • August 2018

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


Calendar Ongoing monthly events: Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club Join the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club every Wednesday morning at 7:15 a.m. for its weekly meeting. The club meets at Whiskey Red’s, located at 13813 Fiji Way in Marina del Rey. The cost of the meeting is $25, which includes breakfast. Guests are welcome and reservations are not required. For more info, visit playavenice.org.

Rotary Club of Westchester The Rotary Club of Westchester meets every Wednesday at 12 noon for lunch at the Crowne Plaza LAX Hotel, located at 5985 W. Century Blvd. in Westchester. The cost of lunch is $25 and validated self parking is free. Guests are most welcome! Reservations are not required. For more information or to reserve a seat at the luncheon, please visit rotary-westchester.com.

LAX Kiwanis Club The LAX Kiwanis Club is looking for new members. The club meets every Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel, located at 9620 Airport Blvd. in Westchester. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time. The LAX Kiwanis raise money every year for such causes as providing scholarships, holiday baskets for needy families and back-to-school shopping sprees. For more information about the club or to RSVP to attend one of their meetings, please email laxkiwanisclub@gmail.com.

August events: The Kentwood Players Present “Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?” The Kentwood Players are currently performing the comedy “Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?” through Saturday, August 18 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Set in a small Texas town, this comedy stages the reunion of a family gathered to await the imminent death of their patriarch, who has recently suffered a physically, as well as mentally, disabling stroke. They’ve wanted their father’s love, but they’ll settle for his money. It is not so much the story of the impending demise of the father or of the drafting of his will, but of a rebirth of the spirit of the family unit. The play is the winner of the LA Weekly Theater Awards for Best Production and Best Playwriting. ”Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?” is performed at the Westchester Playhouse, located at 8301 Hindry

TheHTN.com Avenue in Westchester. Tickets are $22 and can be purchased online at kentwoodplayers.org.

Beach and Marina Movie Nights Bring the whole family to Dockweiler Beach Youth Center on select Friday nights and Burton Chace Park on select Saturday nights for outdoor movies under the stars. Pack refreshments, blankets and your low-back chairs for movies starting at 8 p.m. At Dockweiler, the schedule for August is: • Friday, August 3– “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature” • Friday, August 10– “Wreck-It Ralph” • Friday, August 17– “Despicable Me” • Friday, August 24– “Up” • Friday, August 31– “Peter Rabbit” Burton Chace Park’s Saturday movie schedule is: • Saturday, August 11– “Grease” The Dockweiler Beach Youth Center is located at 12505 Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey and Burton Chace Park is located at 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey. For more info, visit beaches.lacounty. gov.

A Bugs Life Block Party The Friends of the Ballona Wetlands are hosting an insect-themed block party for kids on Friday, August 3 from 6 to 10 p.m. Visitors to Ballona Discovery Park can enjoy a bounce house, bug-themed arts & crafts and a movie at dusk. Ballona Discovery Park is located at 13110 Bluff Creek Drive in Playa Vista. For more info, visit ballonafriends. org.

Marina del Rey Summer Concert Series Burton Chace Park is home to the popular 18th Annual Marina del Rey Summer Concert Series. The lineup alternates between symphonic classics and pop concerts to create a schedule that will appeal to a variety of music lovers. Concerts start at 7 p.m. and this month’s schedule includes: • Saturday, August 4– Cat Power (indie) • Thursday, August 9– Katharine McPhee (pop) • Saturday, August 18– X (punk) • Thursday, August 23– Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” • Saturday, August 25– encore presentation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” Attendees are encouraged to bring low-back chairs or blankets for first come, first served seating. Burton Chace Park is located at 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey. For more info, visit beaches.lacounty. gov.

Silicon Beach Parents Group Fashion Show RSVP for the second annual Silicon Beach Fashion Show hosted by the Silicon Beach Parents Group and Playa Vista Community Services and presented by Kris Zacuto of Hilton & Hyland. Held at the newly-renovated Concert Park, guests will enjoy a fashion show featuring the debut of Lorna Jane’s maternity line, Fi & Me, Dot Dot Smile and more. Pre-registered guests will receive a limited edition gift bag and a raffle ticket to win items including scooters, clothing and accessories. The fashion show will take place on Saturday, August 4 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Concert Park. Concert Park is located at Concert Park Drive and Runway Road in Playa Vista. For more info and to RSVP, please visit siliconbeachparents.com.

LAX Dunes Clean-Up The Bay Foundation and The Friends of LAX Dunes are seeking volunteers for their monthly clean-up at the LAX Dunes on Saturday, August 4 from 8:45 a.m. to noon. The LAX Dunes are the largest remaining fragment of the El Segundo Dunes complex, and they provide a habitat for more than 900 species, some of which cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. Thousands of volunteers have removed acres of non-native vegetation such as ice plant and Russian thistle at this site. Visit santamonicabay.org to sign-up and for the meeting location.

Afternoon events at the Elks Lodge Join the Westchester Elks Lodge for their monthly bingo afternoon on Sunday, August 5. Doors open at noon with early bird games starting at 1:30 p.m. The cost is $5 a pack, and regular bingo begins at 2 p.m. for $25 a pack. Drinks and refreshments are available for purchase during the games. Then on Sunday, August 26 join the Elks for their free community movie

matinée day. “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” will be played at 2 p.m. Doors open at 1 p.m. with a concession stand, free popcorn, a kids corner and movie trivia. All events are held at The Elks Lodge, located at 8025 W. Manchester Ave. in Playa del Rey. Parking is free behind the lodge. Please call (310) 821-3005 for more details.

Playa Vista Movie & Concerts Head to Playa Vista to enjoy the last days of summer with a movie and concert in the park. Playa Vista’s concerts run from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and this month’s concert is: • Sunday, August 12– Fleetwood Mac vs. Heart (classic rock tribute band) at Central Park Bandshell Playa Vista Movies in the Park are shown from 8 to 10 p.m., and this month’s featured film is: • Friday, August 10– “Grease” at Concert Park Concert Park is located at Concert Park Drive and Runway Road; and the Central Park Bandshell is located at Waterfront Drive between Artisans Way and Campus Center Drive. For info on parking or using Playa Vista’s shuttle service, please visit playavista.com/events.

Food Truck Friday Night Visitation School is celebrating summer with monthly Food Truck Friday Nights and the whole neighborhood is welcome to the Westchester campus for delicious grub and family-friendly fun. The event features a variety of food trucks with food for purchase, bake sale, music, activities for the kids and a beer/wine garden for adults. The next event is scheduled for Friday, August 17 from 5 to 10 p.m. and has the theme “Thank You First Responders.” Visitation is located at 8740 Emerson Ave. in Westchester. Parking is available on the streets surrounding the school. For more info, please visit visitationschool.org.

YOU CAN HELP! FOOD PANTRY, LAX

Emergency Food Distribution to those in need. Sponsored by the Westchester Clergy Association

Open Tuesday & Friday, 10am-12pm 355 Beach St., Inglewood

Bring donations of non-perishable food to Covenant Presbyterian Chuch. Volunteers and money donations also welcomed and encouraged!

For more information, please call (310) 677-5597 Ad donated by the Covenant Presbyterian Church

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

August 2018 • Page 39


Random Notes/Opinion Approach working out with a long-term perspective TheHTN.com

By Jeff Blair

Opinion: I recently chatted with Westchester resident, Mike Patti, about making fitness work in a busy, modern schedule. I have gotten to know Mike over the past year and thought he had a great story. Mike is married and his wife, Lynne, recently gave birth to their fifth child. Mike works as a composer and has two music-related businesses. Mike has created custom music arrangements for Disney theme parks (among others), and he recently created the music for NBC’s New York City Macy’s 4th of July Celebration. Q. Mike, what was your biggest challenge prior to starting a workout program about 12 months ago? A. I have long dabbled in fitness. I have tried a number of the most popular workout DVDs and had some success with them. I feel much better able to deal with the stress of work and family commitments when I exercise consistently. My biggest problem through the years has been consistency. I tend to be either 100% committed or 0% committed with

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fitness. I can do really well for a couple of months, and then I tend to drop off completely. That has always been my biggest issue. I know working out helps me immensely, but I have a hard time keeping it going for some reason. Q. How did that challenge impact you? A. Well, when I am on a fitness program, I feel great. I manage stress much better, but again my challenge was consistency. I got tired of the inconsistency of the “all or nothing” approach. I was just looking to start something I could maintain because it helps me so much. I just had to figure out how to keep it going longer than a couple of months. Q. What changed 12+ months ago? A. I started working with you guys at your studio. There can be different ways to create consistency, I guess, but that is what worked for me. Q. What results have you seen? A. By finding that consistency, I have gotten in the best shape of my life! My strength is definitely higher than it has ever been. In the past, I tended to neglect my leg workouts a

bit, but now my legs are stronger than they have ever been. My wife has also noticed changes in my physique. I am also doing much better with the challenges of being dad to 5. Q. Have your workouts had any impact on your kids? A. Yeah, it is kind of funny. They know dad goes to the gym and so they want to know what that is all about. We usually end up doing some miniworkouts together. We do pushups, planks and some bodyweight squats. It is pretty fun! Q. I know parents are sometimes worried about losing time with kids when they workout. Do you have any thoughts about that? A. I have always felt like it was important to model a healthy lifestyle for my kids. They want to do what dad is doing so I could really see how creating a consistent workout program is impacting them in a very positive way. Plus, it makes me better able to deal with the challenges of parenting. Q. Do you have any suggestions for people who are on the fence about starting an exercise program? A. Well, there is never going to be

a perfect time when all the ducks are in a row to start. “Someday” is just an illusion. You just basically have to just start. I just decided to do it one day. The timing will never be perfect. Q. Do you have any other thoughts? A. For me, I think it was important to approach working out with a long-term perspective. I wasn’t interested in doing some workout that was going to burn me out and push me to my absolute limits in 30 days. I have done enough of that in the past. Sustainability and consistency are what work for me. I feel fitness has to be approached a little more intelligently as we get more life responsibilities. I have now been working out consistently for 13 months, and I am very happy about that. Before you start any fitness or nutrition plan, consult your doctor. Jeff Blair is a Westchester personal trainer, fitness author and has been featured in national and international fitness publications. Email him at jeff@socalsport.com with story comments and suggestions.

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


Surviving difficult life periods By Fay Craton

culty coping that you are unacceptable. You are acceptable! Everyone has times when coping skills are stretched right Opinion: Are you enjoying summer? to their limits. Take a few deep breaths July and August are the months of fun, and long exhales. While doing this, relaxation and vacation. Or are they? consider what has worked well for you There is a strong cultural belief that in the past to help you cope in a healthy summer is the time of year when we manner. You may need to make a coukick back and relax. Yet, for many people of lists. One list could be ways you ple, this is the time of year when life is especially difficult. If you are struggling have coped in the past that make your life better. This list should have behavwith the contradiction of the illusion iors which will increase your resiliency of summer relaxation versus an expeand healthy habits. Another list could rience of increased difficulty in coping be ways you have coped which have with what is happening around you, taken away from your ability to thrive. you are not alone. This list will include behaviors, which Everyday stressors of managing just create more problems, such as life do not disappear just because the misusing a substance or food. Here are weather becomes warmer and schools some considerations to include on the take a break. Job demands continue, list, which could make your life better: and perhaps can even increase, as • Take a walk. co-workers take time off and you need • Get enough sleep. to absorb more work. If you are already • Eliminate sugary foods and bevertrying to juggle too many activities and expectations placed upon you, trying to ages. • Drink lots of water. plan time away from your responsibil• Schedule calm time where you ities can be more stressful than the anmeditate, listen to calming music or say ticipation of relaxation. As the weather becomes dryer and hotter, you may feel positive affirmations. • Participate in a support group exhausted from the heat. You or your where there are positive and nurturing family or friends may even be living people. through an increased level of traumatic • Be mindful of your thoughts--elimiexperiences such as fire evacuations, nate unkind thinking and increase kind tornadoes or other life-threatening thinking. events. Frightening experiences you • Seek and pay attention to good see in media reports or that are expefacts. When you see something good, rienced by people you care about, can allow yourself to feel good. also scare you, leaving you drained and • Do something nice for someone. anxious. • Accept kindness from someone. You may feel that summer is a time • If you have a history of needing when it is harder to manage feelings, medication for a physical or mental and there is more conflict within famhealth challenge, be sure you are using ilies and community. If this is your exit consistently. perience, it is not your imagination. A • Make and implement a plan to calm University of California research analysis looked at many social studies about yourself before participating in activwhat happens during summer months. ities, which could trigger a change in They found, historically and across your mood. cultures, tempers increase and violence • Pay attention to situations that is more likely to happen during these trigger memories of something scary. months. This means there tends to be Once you identify your triggers, you more aggression when the weather is can create a plan to increase your comhot. Aggression leads to more outbursts fort when faced with a trigger in the of anger, more domestic violence and future. For example, you could discover more resentment between people with you are jumpier going to a grocery store different points of view. On a different after a televised report of violence. front, medical research is finding too Make a plan that will increase your much light exposure has an effect on sense of safety when shopping. mood swings and lots of light increases I want you to know that you can anxiety. If you have any tendency toimprove your life during difficult times ward hyperactivity, too much light can through your own thoughts and actions. increase your desire to do too much, Seek assistance if you need help making engage in risky behavior, or stay up all choices or taking positive action to night. change your life. You are worthwhile Whew… summer time can be diffiand deserve to have a life you enjoy! cult! With so much going on, are you Fay Craton, M.A. is a Licensed feeling as if there is nothing you can do Marriage and Family Therapist about your stress, jumpy anxiousness (mfc40011), which is the psychology or fatigue? There are several things you license specializing in relationships can do to make surviving difficult life (with ourselves or with others) and she periods easier. has an office in Westchester. For more First, be kind to yourself. Stop thinkinfo, visit communicationtriangle.com ing that because you are having diffior contact her at (310) 645-6762. Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

August 2018 • Page 41


Photos by Angela Clouse.

Spirit of the Parade

On Wednesday, July 4, the LAX Coastal Chamber joined the community to celebrate our nation’s birthday at the 19th Annual Fourth of July Parade. This year’s theme—Cities Across America—inspired the 50 entries to highlight different areas throughout the U.S.A. from Chicago to New Orleans to Honolulu. Las Vegas-style dancers paraded down the route, the Wright brothers of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina flew down the street, and Westchester was even presented with its first Hollywood-worthy Oscar, Page 42 • August 2018

courtesy of Westchester Lutheran’s talked about how wonderful it was to award-winning float. have so many people smiling, cheerCities weren’t the only thing recoging, standing up to clap, salute and nized at the festive event. The parade shake his hand and say ‘thank you.’ was proud to honor our nation’s vetWe both got a little emotional on the erans as this year’s Grand Marshals. bus during the parade.” Through the support of nonprofit The Parade Judging Committee also Honor Flight Southland, veterans awarded 4 outstanding entries with from World War II made their way special recognition during the event, down the parade route to the delight for excellent float design: of the crowd. 1. Best Overall: Visitation Catholic As one veteran’s daughter told the School representing New Orleans parade committee after the event, “As 2. Chairman’s Award: Westchester Lutheran Church & School I drove my dad home yesterday, he Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del

representing Los Angeles 3. Mayor’s Award: Otis College of Art and Design representing American cities that have recently experienced tragedy 4. Spirit of the Parade: WISH Charter Schools representing New York City Next year, the Fourth of July Parade will celebrate its 20th anniversary, and organizers are already hard at work making plans for the biggest and most spectacular event yet. Stay tuned at laxcoastal.com/parade. Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News


Photos by Angela Clouse.

Chairman’s Award

Best Overall

Mayor’s Award Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

August 2018 • Page 43


Page 44 • August 2018

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Westchester/Playa HomeTown News August 2018 edition  

Please enjoy the August 2018 edition of the Westchester/Playa HomeTown News.

Westchester/Playa HomeTown News August 2018 edition  

Please enjoy the August 2018 edition of the Westchester/Playa HomeTown News.

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