Westchester/Playa Hometown News August 2022

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C O M M U N I T Y,

playa del rey



p l a y a v i s t a • m a r i n a d e l re y


August 2022



Our 2022 “Best Of” honoree collage features some of the community’s favorite businesses, organizations, and events.


SOLD: $5,750,000 | 5 BEDS | 6 BATHS | 5,452 SQFT


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

This Month Brings You

help you prom help you prom nization or even nization or even A look inside your HTN

Schools as Parks Program Adds Green Space Second Annual Westchester Team Challenge 11th Annual Best Of List! DRALL Wins Section 4 Championship In Pictures: 22nd Annual Fourth of July Parade

04 06 07 50 54


Jeff Blair, Contributing Writer Consuelo Israelson, Contributing Writer Fay Craton, Contributing Writer Sheri Weitz, Contributing Writer Courtenay Edelhart, Contributing Writer

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, including The Book Jewel, Westchester YMCA, Playa Pharmacy, Loyola Village Library, Playa Vista Library, Ralphs Sepulveda and Cantalini’s Salerno Beach.

o t e m o h e b o t d u o r p e r ’ e W . . . s r e n n i w ” f o t s e B “ e s e th

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 • Instagram: instagram.com/thehometownnews The deadline for submissions is the 22nd of each month.

act us for rates and act us for rates and hesterhometo Front page photos (clockwise from top right): Best Private School, Visitation; Favorite Burger, The Manchester; Editor’s Pick for Favorite Public Art; Favorite Estate Planning Attorney, Bahar Geslin; Favorite Community Event, Elks Lodge Car Show & Chili Cook-Off; Best Shopping/Entertainment Center, Runway Playa Vista. Runway Playa Vista photo by Venice Paparazzi, courtesy Runway Playa Vista. Art and event photo by the Hometown News. All other photos by Zsuzsi Steiner for the Hometown News.

LAX Coastal Chamber Westchester Farmers’ Market Drollinger Properties Westchester Veterinary Center Peter Kohly Truxton’s American Bistro The Coffee Company Ayara Thai Cuisine Cafe Solar Westchester Bakery Kanpai

El Tarasco Melody Bar & Grill LaRocco’s Pizzeria Covered by More Westchester Pharmacy SoCal Sports & Fitness Trader Joe’s Westchester Edgar Saenz The Book Jewel Westside Pacific Villages The Ramen Joint


us on Faceboo to-date with news and us on Faceboo Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

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Photo by Julie Arutunian

Park-goers pose for a group photo at Open Magnet Charter School’s recently opened park. Andy Sywak (back row left) led the efforts to petition LAUSD to pilot the program.

Schools as Parks program adds much-needed green space and play area to Westchester By Courtenay Edelhart It’s a Saturday, and dozens of children are laughing and running all over the colorful playground equipment at Open Magnet Charter School in Westchester’s Osage neighborhood. Katelyn Kimoto, 4, is among them, zipping gleefully down a slide. This is the little girl’s weekly routine now. She’s only missed one Saturday since the schoolyard opened to the public on July 7 as part of a Schools as Parks pilot program to allow recreational use outside school hours. “It’s been great,” said Katelyn’s mother, Jia Kimoto, who lives nearby. “We can walk over. She’s making friends. It’s better than just being cooped up in the house, and we’ve met neighbors we never would have had the chance to get to know otherwise.” Through a partnership between the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, or LANLT, the roughly one-acre recreational area of the campus is open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays through October 22. Visitors can use the playground, basketball courts, picnic tables and other facilities by entering from Osage Avenue between W. 78th and W. 77th Streets. The district prohibits dogs, skateboards and scooters on its property. Initial funding is from a $10,000 donation from Councilmember Mike Bonin, a $5,000 donation from the Drollinger Family Charitable Trust, and $5,000 from the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa, or Page 4 • August 2022

Kids enjoy a game of four square on the playground at the recently opened community park.

NCWP, an advisory group to the Los Angeles City Council made up of community members. The money is being used to pay for LANLT administrative costs, liability insurance, janitorial services and the salaries of two LAUSD staffers. It was a condition of the school district that at least two employees be present during weekend recreation hours. Backers of the pilot project are in talks with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to take over ongoing funding if all goes well and the program continues beyond October. Andy Sywak, who serves on the NCWP Government Affairs Committee and has two children enrolled at Open Magnet, spearheaded the push to open up the campus when classes are not in session. Sywak said he loves his neighborhood, but was struck by the lack of parks in the area when he

moved there in 2011. “It was the first time in my whole life I hadn’t lived within walking distance from a park,” he said. “Then I became aware that there were other places that allow people to play on their schoolyard playgrounds when school is closed, so one easy solution was to make that happen here.” Mayor Eric Garcetti has encouraged making open green space available in park-deficient neighborhoods. In April 2018, the city partnered with LAUSD to launch the Community School Parks program at four school sites across the city. Plans call for adding five middle schools by the end of the 2022-23 school year and possibly phasing in other campuses later. “I’m thrilled that Open will be opening its gates to provide a new community park on the weekends,” said LAUSD Board Vice President Nick Melvoin. “I’m a major proponent

of green space, outdoor learning and opportunities for school-community partnerships, and I’d like to see more of our campuses open beyond school hours for community use.” Melvoin added that he’s grateful to the Open Magnet community and NCWP for their collaboration on the initiative and hopes it can be a successful model for others. About half of Los Angeles County residents cannot walk to a park from their homes, and in low-income communities that number rises to about 70 percent, said LANLT Executive Director Tori Kjer. “In communities like Westchester, there just aren’t enough parks, and we really see schools as an opportunity to have open and accessible play spaces for neighbors,” she said. “This was initiated by the community, and people are really excited about it.” But for schools to do double duty as parks, they need to be “softer, cooler spaces,” according to the Trust for Public Land. As part of its Community Schoolyards initiative, the trust has removed asphalt from nearly 300 schools across the country in favor of trees, plants and gardens. Dubbed “28x28,” the initiative has a goal of greening 28 LAUSD sites by 2028. The effort continues even as the city and state plead for water conservation amid an ongoing drought. Not having green campuses can be a health issue because the heat island effects of playing on asphalt in high temperatures can be dangerous to students, Kjer said, not to mention the mental health benefits of having more serene surroundings. (continued on page 44)

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

Spotlight on Playa Vista


Joliet is the vibe that Playa Vista never knew it needed! The all day cafe concept is perfect for the Playa Vista lifestyle, where they offer an elevated experience for any hour of the day. Stop by in the morning hours for your gourmet coffee and pastries, or at lunch for can’t miss deli sandwiches, and in the evenings for a full dinner menu and perfectly crafted cocktails. Located in Free Market at Runway Playa Vista, Joliet is its own vibe with an outdoor seating experience by their custom trailor, interior bar or the “speakeasy” located in the back of the restaurant. Stop by this summer and see why Joliet is a spot that has quickly become a favorite local hangout.

6030 Seabluff #112 Offered $2,300,000 3 Bed | 3 Bath | 2,005 SF

Kris Zacuto kris.zacuto@compass.com kriszacuto.com DRE 01972897

Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License Number 01991628. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage are approximate.

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

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Photos by Elyse Frelinger

2nd Annual

The weather was hot and the cheers were loud at the Second Annual Westchester Team Challenge (WTC) at LMU’s Drollinger Field on Saturday, August 6. Seven teams made up of local service organizations, neighbors, businesses and friends battled it out during the morning of friendly competition to see who’d take home bragging rights and the top spots in bocce ball, corn hole, hold the rope, the three-legged race and the football toss. “Over 70 competitors cooperated in an animated half day of fun and games,” said co-organizer Amy Frelinger. “With energetic competition and brimming team enthusiasm, we could feel the community spirit we are fortunate to share here in Westchester. All in all, it was a joy-filled and moving day!” Frelinger and fellow longtime Westchester resident, Grant Francis, founded the event in 2019 as a way to promote physical activity and encourage supporting local causes. Proceeds from the event, which this year raised $3,000, will go toward the Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association (WSIA). The nonprofit is responsible for the beautification improvements along Sepulveda and Manchester, including replacing broken sidewalks, which once plagued the street, landscaping, planting trees and trash pick-up. WSIA is currently in the midst of a relaunch, complete with a new website and an Adopt-A-Tree fundraising campaign to provide ongoing maintenance to the area and realize the organization’s vision for a walkable, green downtown Westchester. Stay tuned for more details! Save the date for the Third Annual WTC on August 5, 2023 and visit westchestercateamchallenge.com.

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


Dear Readers, We love our community and enjoy celebrating its people, places and events each month in the pages of the Westchester/Playa HomeTown News! Our Best Of Readers’ Poll is our super-sized way to highlight all the best things about living and working in Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and Marina del Rey. With so many excellent restaurants, businesses and organizations in the area, we love giving you—our readers—an annual opportunity to vote for your favorites. You are the real experts, and you’ve been helping us honor these outstanding individuals year after year! Thank you for being a part of recognizing those who make our community a special place to live, work and visit.


community thrive. A special thank you to all our local businesses that make it a priority to give back to their community! The results of our 2022 Best Of Readers’ Poll are located on the following pages. These pages highlight those businesses that go the extra mile for their customers, clients and friends, inspiring the type of loyalty that gets our readers voting every year to make sure their favorites make our list. Each category contains a “Best Of” honoree and 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 top picks on this list, please remember to vote next year!

Voting took place for our 11th Annual Best Of Poll on May 26 through July 11 and readers voted via a link from SurveyMonkey. Voting was limited to one vote per IP address.

We hope you’ll consider patronizing our Best Of honorees. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find some new favorites! Make sure to tell them the HomeTown News sent you!

The HomeTown News loves supporting our small businesses and shopping local. When we support our local businesses, they are able to support our neighborhood by sponsoring local sports teams, donating to school fundraisers, providing jobs and helping our

Lastly, as a small local business ourselves, our publication would not be possible without the support of our readers, all the Best Of voters, our advertisers and this community. We are grateful for every single one of you! -The Westchester/Playa HomeTown News



FREE WEEK OF CLASSES Bring your kiddo or come workout solo. We welcome moms in every stage of fitness & motherhood.

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

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

The Westside’s Favorite Real Estate Team Honored toto bebe voted Honoredand andgrateful grateful voted a Estate Team on on a Favorite FavoriteReal Real Estate Team the Angeles. the Westside WestsideofofLos Los Angeles. Thanks and fans! Thanksto toour ourclients clients and fans!

Your trusted Realtor for 17+ years. years. today at at 310.951.0416. 310.951.0416. Call Amy today

Amy Nelson Frelinger Realtor® | |DRE# Realtor® DRE#01484711 01484711

M 310.951.0416 amy.frelinger@elliman.com


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

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The Stephanie Younger Group (SYG) takes the top spot in our real estate categories this year! Every review of the team–on Zillow, Google and Facebook–gives SYG a five-star rating for their amazing service, making the home buying/selling experience seamless and for going above and beyond for their clients looking to purchase their dream homes. Learn more about the team by stopping by one of their numerous neighborhood open houses or chat with them at the Westchester Arts & Music Block Party, while they host the beer and wine garden to raise money for the Westchester YMCA’s teen mental health programs.


Favorites: Suarez Team

6259 W. 87th St., Westchester 424.750.9991 or thebookjewel.com When it’s time to shop, are readers are heading to The Book Jewel! Since opening in 2020, this independent bookstore in the Westchester Triangle has been a reader favorite for all book-buying and gift needs. Their friendly staff is always ready to make recommendations and invite you to an upcoming author reading, book signing or special event. Visit their website for a full list of happenings and to view their upcoming book club selections. You can also sign up for their e-newsletter to stay in the know about all things The Book Jewel, and make sure to say “hi” to shop mascot, Paiges the cat, the next time you visit!

323 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.745.1600 or playavistaliving.com

The Book Jewel

Favorites: Flowers by Felicia

200 Culver Blvd. #A, Playa del Rey 310.305.1200 or flowersbyfeliciapdr.com

Lily Love Boutique

8125 B W. Manchester Ave. Playa del Rey 323.373.5490 or lilyloveboutique.com

BEST REAL ESTATE TEAM Stephanie Younger Group | Compass

7296 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.499.2020 or stephanieyounger.com The Stephanie Younger Group takes our #1 spot again this year! Led by Stephanie Younger, the team includes more than 20 agents ready to help you find your perfect home or list your current property. Check out their website for all their Westchester/Playa listings, and follow them on social media for great real estate content and community spotlights.

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quality oversight, anyone can achieve their financial goals. For financial news, investing questions and interviews with everyday women about their experiences with money, check out her podcast, “Money Talks,” which is available on Spotify.

12130 Millennium Dr., Playa Vista 310.862.1761 or thesuarezteam.com

Team Tami (tied)

Favorites: Sharon Cooper, Edward Jones

Amy Nelson Frelinger Team, Douglas Elliman (tied)

4551 Glencoe Avenue, Suite 240

3701 Highland Ave. #200, Manhattan Beach 310.951.0416 or amyfrelinger.com


Marina del Rey 310.301.2183 or edwardjones.com

Richard Moon & Associates

5777 W. Century Blvd. #1580, Westchester 310.484.0800 or rmacpas.com

Flowers by Felicia

200 Culver Blvd. #A, Playa del Rey 310.305.1200 or flowersbyfeliciapdr.com Flowers by Felicia has been flourishing on Culver Blvd., and they recently celebrated their two-year anniversary at that location. Stop into the friendly shop next time you’re looking for a unique gift, plant or a beautiful arrangement created by owner, Felicia St. Denis.


12775 W. Millennium Dr., Playa Vista 310.862.9461 or runwayplayavista.com

Runway tops our list for the second time this year! Already a hub and hangout for Playa Vista residents thanks to its central location, and its great selection of shops and eateries, the center is now a destination for people across the city. Visit Runway on Thursday, August 25 for their second annual Taste of Runway! During the event, attendees will have the chance to stroll through the town center while munching on small bites from restaurants like Sol Cocina, Hopdoddy, Joliet Cafe, Neighbors and more! Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at runwayplayavista.com.

Favorites: The Point El Segundo

850 S. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo 310.414.5280 or thepointsb.com

Waterside Marina del Rey

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

Favorites: Playa del Rey Florist

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

LA International Florist

8635 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.641.1003 or lainternationalfloristonline.com


Wendy Wan Turk, Gerber Kawasaki 2716 Ocean Park Blvd #2020, Santa Monica 310.441.9393 or GerberKawasaki.com Wendy Wan Turk takes the top spot for the third year in a row on our Best Of list! As an Investment Advisor Representative with Gerber Kawasaki, a leading wealth and investment management firm, her emphasis is on providing financial solutions. She believes that with a good plan, persistence, and high-

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

Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner

BUSINESS categories

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

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Westside Income Tax

12043 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City 213.290.4829 or westsideincometax.com

Vergari & Napolitano

5777 W. Century Blvd. Ste.1580, Westchester 310.410.4014 or laxlawyers.com Vergari & Napolitano take the top spot in our poll this year! Focusing on family issues and estate planning, this Westchester firm led by Cozette Vergari and Kimberly Napolitano strives to build long-term relationships with its clients, while being committed to providing professional services with integrity.


Stephanie Younger Group|Compass 7296 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.499.2020 or stephanieyounger.com Real estate, like life, is all about getting the details right! At the Stephanie Younger Group, their attention to detail and passion for helping people find their dream homes have them topping our list year after year. The HTN is not the only list that SYG has topped; in 2020, the Wall Street Journal and Real Trends named the group a Top Ten Team in California and #32 in the nation for large team sales volume. Check out their Instagram @stephanieyoungergroup to view their current listings and start planning your next move!

Favorites: Ramey Law

200 Culver Blvd. #208, Playa del Rey 310.773.5509 or rameylawpc.com

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


Favorites: Palm Realty Boutique

CrossCountry Mortgage, Marina del Rey

4640 Admiralty Way, Suite #500, MdR 310.344.3252 or ccm.com/dean-wong Looking to buy a home or refinance your mortgage? RPM Mortgage is now CrossCountry Mortgage, but with the same great team led by branch manager Dean Wong. He has been helping his clients successfully navigate the mortgage process since 2002. Building a reputation on experience, knowledge and integrity has earned this business a top spot again on this year’s list.

Favorites: Betty Betts Escrow

8641 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.670.2398 or bettybettsescrow.com

Wells Fargo Mortgage wellsfargo.com/mortgage

323 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.545.2490 or palmrealtyboutique.com

REMAX Westchester

7131 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.802.6000 or eplahomes.com

Not only is Runway Playa Vista a great place to shop, it’s also a great location for events! Runway is #1 with our readers for the second year in a row, and if you haven’t had a chance to visit and check out places like Free Market or the Bull & Butterfly, make sure to visit this month for their second annual Taste of Runway! Sign up for their e-newsletter to learn about all their special events, pop-up markets and art installations.


organization, Sarlo Income Tax is dedicated to providing clients with professional, personalized services and guidance. The firm has been in business since 1953 and is recognized for the third year in a row.

1842 Washington Way, Venice 310.823.6363 or sarlo.com Whether you’re filing your personal taxes or taxes for your business, corporation or

Favorites: ProTax Service

322 Culver Blvd. #5, Playa del Rey 310.869.0038 or protaxservice.com

BEST AUTO SHOP B&J Service Center

6551 80th St., Westchester 310.670.4272 or bandjservice.mechanicnet.com B&J Service Center is a full service auto repair and maintenance shop conveniently located next to little Vons. They pride themselves on making their customers feel welcome and happy with their experience.

Favorites: Gary’s Pit Stop

8131 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.338.7260

Loyola Marina Auto Care

8314 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 424.227.5551 or loyolamarinaautocare.com

Thank you for again voting us Best Home Improvement/ Remodel Company of


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Photo by Venice Paparazzi and courtesy Runway



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

Thank you to our clients and friends for voting for us! Trusting us with your real estate needs is truly the greatest compliment we can receive.

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

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BEST LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER Zsuzsi Steiner Photography

714.856.5737 or zsuzsiphotography.com Is it time to update your family photos? Westchester’s Zsuzsi Steiner has photographed more than 1,000 local families and always is ready to make the process fun and memorable. For the last few years, she has also been the official Fourth of July Parade photographer! View her photos from this year’s event on page 54 and 55 of the HTN.

Favorites: Lily Chan Photography lilychanphotography.com

Action Creative Group

310.853.3305 or actioncreativegroup.com

BEST ESTATE PLANNING PRACTICE Law offices of Christopher Blatter

6080 Center Dr. 6th Floor, Westchester 424.832.1141 or blatterlaw.com Christopher Blatter tops our list for the fourth time this year, thanks to his work in helping people plan for the future, while protecting their assets. His office prides itself in flexible meeting options, direct access and a quick turnaround time. They also offer flat rates and flexible payment options. While no one likes to plan for the unthinkable, making sure your family and loved ones are financially protected

is more important than ever.

Favorites: Bahar Geslin, Geslin Law 310.994.3188 or geslinlaw.com

Law Offices of Edgar Saenz

8921 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #101, Westchester 310.417.9900 or edgarsaenz.com

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT Stephanie Younger, Stephanie Younger Group

7296 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.499.2020 or stephanieyounger.com Top real estate agent Stephanie Younger has strong ties to the community as an LMU graduate and 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, colleagues and community members.

Favorites: Jane St. John, REMAX

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

Robin Zacha, Zacha Homes

6605 W 80th St., Los Angeles 310.215.1981or Zachahomes.com

Local photographer, Zsuzsi Steiner, is ready to capture all your memorable moments! She excels in creating a unique, personal experience to make sure her clients receive high-quality pictures that they can print and keep forever. While she loves photographing families and knows all the best spots in town for photos, she is also a pro at covering events like the Fourth of July Parade, Teacher Eddy Awards and the Del Rey American Little League’s championship games.





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B L AT T E R L AW.C O M 424.832.1141

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

#1 HomeTown News Best of Reader’s Poll Best Real Estate Team Best Real Estate Company Best Real Estate Agent-Stephanie Younger Favorite Community Partner | Top 3

Thank you, HomeTown News readers for your ongoing support! STEPHANIE YOUNGER 310.499.2020 hello@stephanieyounger.com stephanieyounger.com DRE 01365696 Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License Number 01991628. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate.

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

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8405 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.641.8990 or kateleung.net With an office located across from Bristol Farms on Lincoln, Kate Leung takes our top spot for the third year in a row! Whether you’re looking for auto, home, property, business or life insurance, she can help provide a quote and make sure you’re prepared for the “what if.” She believes in putting customers first, which is how she has built longlasting relationships and trust with her clients.

Favorites: Peter Kohly

6320 Howard B. Drollinger Way #202, Westchester 310.641.3430 or agents.farmers.com

Tatiana Ruiz More, Covered with More 8705 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.450.8833 or coveredwithmore.com

BEST VETERINARY CENTER Westchester Veterinary Center

8911 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.645.4444 or westchestervet.com At Westchester Veterinary Center and Cat Clinic, they’re dedicated to providing high quality medical care for your four-legged family members, while providing outstanding service, education and support to their clients. Led by Dr. Andrew Krieger, the team at Westchester Veterinary offers same day appointments and are accepting new patients!


alison@alisonwhitehomes.com or alisonwhitehomes.com Alison White’s passion for design and the motivation to create some of Westchester’s most beautiful one-of-a-kind homes has not only made her a much sought-after name for those looking to buy their Westchester dream locale, but also has her topping our list again this year! She is now working with select clients on major construction projects. Alison is also the admin behind the “Westchester Renovations Group” where she shares her expertise with community members.

Leigh Construction 310.528.7403


323.240.0399 or jonathanspainting.com Ready to make some home improvements and starting with a fresh coat of paint? Get a quote for our second time Best Painting Company honoree Jonathan’s Painting, Specializing in professional, affordable residential jobs, the family-owned business is ready to give your home a new look!

Favorites: Greg Oakland Painting

310.641.1515 or gregoaklandpainting.com

Zuno Painting

310.505.2167 or zunopainting.com

Favorites: Marina Veterinary Center 8421 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.642.8080 or marinavet.com

VCA Marina Bay Cities Animal Hospital

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





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Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm 9100 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Ste. 210, Los Angeles, CA 90045 310.645.5151 | info@laxcoastal.com | laxcoastal.com Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

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

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BEST HOTEL/INN Inn at Playa del Rey

435 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.574.1920 or innatplayadelrey.com When you’re planning your next staycation or have friends and family visiting, book a room at our readers’ top pick for Best Hotel/Inn, the Inn at Playa del Rey! Located on Culver Blvd., the cozy and coastal hotel right on the Ballona Wetlands is renowned for its customer service, relaxing environment and cookies with checkin! For the last five years, the inn has been awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence and was voted “One of the Ten Best Urban Inns” by Forbes.com.

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


8929 Sepulveda Blvd. Ste 130, Westchester 310.417.8048 or drollingerproperties.com Drollinger Properties is synonymous with property management in Westchester and earns our readers’ votes year after year. Some of the area’s most popular businesses–including In-NOut and Ralphs–are tenants, and they’re always looking for small businesses ready to call the area home. This month, Drollinger Properties will welcome new plant-based restaurant, Hart House to Westchester! The eatery is scheduled to open August 25 at the former site of Boston Market. Drollinger Properties has a history that goes back more than 70 years in Westchester, and is currently led by Karen Dial. Through the Drollinger Charitable Foundation, she and her family support nearly every community event and major nonprofit from the Fourth of July Parade and WAM to the Westchester Family YMCA and AMCS.

Favorites: Matilla Property

> edwardjones.com | Member SIPC

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

All the usual reasons to BESTinvest PLACE TO with ADOPT A PET Edward Annenberg PetSpace Jones. Plus one. CCR Properties

8717 Delgany Ave. #106, Playa del Rey, 310.641.3383 or ccrprop.com

12005 Bluff Creek Dr., Playa Vista 424.384.1801 or annenbergpetspace.org Playa Vista’s Annenberg PetSpace is top dog in this category for a second year in a row. If Now you’re looking to addinvestors a four-leggedin friend to your family, visit their website and then head to their Westcester have one Playa Vista center to view all the adoptables! This more reason to “DOGust, feel the month, the organization celebrates universal birthday for shelter dogs” with a special confident about their event on August 20, and everyone is invited! financial future. Contact Bring your pup to this SoCal-themed birthday bash complete with fun activities, photo ops and Financial Advisor Sharon games.

Cooper and experience

Favorites:how Edward Jones makes Lovejoy Foundation

sense investing. 121 W. Hillcrest Blvd.,of Inglewood 310.641.1537 or lovejoyfoundation.org Forte Animal Rescue

310.362.0321 or farescue.org

Check out additional Best Of Honorees including: Best Pet Services, Best Dry Cleaners, Best Plumber, Best Orthodontist Office, and more at thehtn.com!

All the usual Thank you for Sharon E Cooper, CFP®, ChFC® reasonsFinancial to voting me a Advisor invest with Financial 4551 GlencoeFavorite Avenue Suite 240 Edward Jones Advisor! Marina Del Rey, CA 90292-6385 Plus one. 310-301-2183

Contact Financial Advisor Sharon Cooper and experience how Edward MKT-1943E-A © 2022 EDWARD D. JONES & CO., L.P. ALL RIGHTS Jones makes senseRESERVED. of investing.

Sharon E Cooper, CFP®, ChFC® Financial Advisor 4551 Glencoe Avenue Suite 240 Marina Del Rey, CA 90292-6385 310-301-2183

MKT-1943E-A © 2022 Edward D. Jones & CO., L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Family. Friends. Community. Kate Leung Ins Agcy Inc Kate Leung, Agent 310-641-8990 Insurance Lic#: 0E86530 8405 Lincoln Blvd Westchester, CA 90045 Hablamos Español 1801073

Page 18 • August 2022

We’re all in this together. State Farm® has a long tradition of being there. That’s one reason why I’m proud to support all our local communities! Thank you for selecting our team as Best Of. Here to help life go right.®

State Farm, Bloomington, IL

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




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Super professional and dedicated to getting the best prices.

Made us feel like family.

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Professional and very genuine people.

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

August 2022 • Page 19

Loyola Marymount University gratefully thanks Hometown News readers for once again voting us… Best College/University Best Community Partner We appreciate the love! Next LMU Neighborhood Advisory Committee Meeting

Aug. 31 | 6:30 p.m. Register for the meeting and view the agenda at: https://community.lmu.edu/NACmeeting If you do not have access to a computer or Zoom, you can call into the meeting at 669.900.6833. Meeting ID: 827 7656 0984.

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

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Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News UCLA_HomeTown News Print Ad- AUG-10x14-FINAL.indd 1

August 2022 • Page 21 2022-07-27 9:12 AM





At The Manchester, it’s easy to eat, drink and stay awhile! Since opening in 2019, The Manchester has built a reputation as a cool neighborhood hangout with thoughtfully curated food and drinks served in an intimate setting. Using local and fresh ingredients, menu standouts include our reader-voted favorite the Manchester Burger and Fries, the sautéed barramundi and the behemoth 24 oz. Delmonico steak. You can’t go wrong with any of their signature cocktails, but we’re partial to the Re-Animator served in a fish-shaped glass!

BEST PIZZA The Good Pizza

8115 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.827.0500 or thegoodpizza.com The Good Pizza keeps its #1 spot this year thanks to serving up great pizza, pasta and salads. Order one of their giant pies to go or enjoy your meal and a glass of wine on their outdoor patio on Manchester Ave. For a fun night out with friends and family, stop by on Fridays or Saturdays from 6 to 9 p.m. for live music. The pizzeria’s recent remodel has made its indoor space bright and inviting, and owner Nando de Stefano has even added a small market where you can pick up the ingredients to whip up your own perfect Italian meal.

Favorites: LaRocco’s Pizzeria

8806 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.642.0029 or laroccospizzeria.com

Tower Pizza

8351 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.410.0986 or towerpizza.com

Page 22 • August 2022



4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com Overlooking the beautiful Marina, Tony P’s is the place to be when the weather is warm and the sun is shining! Whether you’re on the bottom level or top deck of their patio, every seat in the house has a clear view of the water. Order up Tony P’s Special Salad, the signature “no bones” or go with the fish and chips, and enjoy your meal with a Mai Tai in hand while dreaming of cruising off into the sunset on a sail boat!

7241 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.910.0895 or cincola.com Invite your friends and stop in at Cinco on Mondays through Saturdays from 3 to 7 p.m. for our reader-voted “best” happy hour in town! Pick your favorite combo of street tacos for $6, enjoy a burrito with your beer for $7 and share an order of queso fundido with all your buddies while you peruse the drink menu. Signature cocktails are $10, and we recommend the Paloma or the Blue Jay Way with vodka, lavender and lime.

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

Favorites: Playa Provisions

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

Warehouse Restaurant

4499 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.5451 or mdrwarehouse.com


Favorites: Melody Bar & Grill

BEST BREAKFAST The Coffee Company

8751 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.645.7315 or thecoffeecompanyla.com There’s always good food and great company at this beloved Westchester eatery that has been serving the community since 1978. The restaurant is only open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., so expect a line out the door no matter when you visit. You’ll be missing out if you don’t order one of their popular breakfast items like a giant omelette served with hot buttermilk biscuits or a light and crispy Belgium waffle, but the restaurant has plenty of yummy lunch items as well!

Favorites: Cafe Solar

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

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

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

4375 Glencoe Ave., Marina del Rey 310.823.2283 or jnicholskitchen.com

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

J. Nichols

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

Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner

FOOD & DRINK categories

Thank you for voting us one of your favorites!

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

August 2022• Page 23

the macho wet burrito and the red chicken enchiladas. The restaurant is also generous when it comes to donating food to support local causes like the YMCA and hosting fundraisers for schools and neighborhood charities.

Rainbow Acres

Favorites: El Tarasco Westchester

13208 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles 310.306.8330 or rainbowacresca.com Rainbow Acres has been serving customers and the community with healthy options since 1981! With more than 1,300 reviews on Google and Yelp averaging a 4.5-plus rating, it’s no surprise this local favorite tops our list for the ninth year in a row. We love their selection of Rainbow Acres-brand snacks, including their trail mixes and spirulina popcorn, and we recommend checking out their deli area for a wonderful assortment of salads, desserts and togo items! Before you checkout, don’t forget to order a refreshing drink from the juice bar like the Strawberry Banana Dream or the Coconut Cooler.

8620 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.338.0399

Señor G’s

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


8736 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.0533 or kanpai-sushi.net Our reader-voted top sushi spot has two locations in Westchester–one on Sepulveda and one on Lincoln–so you know this eatery is a community favorite! With a menu that combines traditional Japanese cuisine with a California flair expect a menu full of sushi rolls, sashimi and more than 40 different kinds of sake. Head there at noon for lunch specials or if you’re looking for a late night meal, the restaurant is open past midnight.

Favorites: Trader Joe’s Westchester

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

Whole Foods Playa Vista

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


Favorites: Irori Japanese Restaurant

The Ramen Joint

6220 W. 87th Street, Westchester 424.227.9328 or ramenjointlax.com When you want Ramen, this Westchester hot spot will not leave you disappointed! The ever-popular Ramen Joint, tops our list for Best Lunch Spot this year thanks to their hearty and delicious bowls that patrons can customize with items like pork rinds, a soft-boiled egg, brown butter corn and kimchi. Whether you’re a local or catching a plane at LAX, this is a can’t-miss dining option in Westchester!

4371 Glencoe Ave., Marina del Rey 310.822.3700 or irorisushi.com


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


Favorites: Ayara Thai Cuisine

Truxton’s American Bistro

6245 W. 87th Street, Westchester 310.410.8848 or ayarathaicuisine.com

Hank’s Pizza

442 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 424.228.5251 or hankspizzaofla.com


Cantalini’s Salerno Beach

193 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.821.0018 or salernobeach.com Cantalini’s Salerno Beach takes our 2022 top spot for Best Italian Food for the second year in a row! The restaurant has been a Playa del Rey landmark for more than 50 years, and since 2000 has been owned by executive chef Lisa Schwab. Her family hails from the Abruzzi region in Italy, and she’s been using the recipes handed down from her family for generations to create her award-winning menu. Plan your next visit to enjoy their homemade pasta and happy hour offerings all summer long, Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Favorites: Alejo’s

bound to make new acquaintances. Make sure to come hungry, because for a bar, the Melody excels in their menu options, which range from sliders, tacos, salads, burgers, wraps and more. For a hometown favorite, try the Elvis wings available in 10 different styles and sauces. Give the “Amazing Blazin” sauce a try if you’re looking for something ultra spicy.

Favorites: Mo’s Place

203 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.822.6422 or mosplacepdr.com

The Shack

185 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.823.6222 or shackpdr.com


3016 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.301.7278 or candorestaurants.com

200 Culver Blvd. #C, Playa del Rey 310.574.2739 or tannerscoffeepdr.wixsite. com/tannerscoffeepdr Mornings are a little easier when you have a neighborhood coffee shop like Tanner’s. Whether you’re heading to the beach, meeting up with friends for a latte with soy milk or looking for a caffeine buzz and a place to get some writing done, the friendly staff will serve up your favorite drinks so you can face the day.


9132 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1994 or melodylax.com If you haven’t been to the Melody lately, make sure to pay them a visit! Their updated outdoor seating area is cozy and inviting, creating a little oasis for food and drinks off Sepulveda Blvd. Bring a friend or show up solo, because with their Cheers-style vibe, you’ll probably run into someone you know! And if you don’t, you’re

Page 24 • August 2022

Tanner’s Coffee

Favorites: Cafe Boheme

8428 Pershing Dr., Playa del Rey 310.439.2242 or cafebohemepdr.com

Cafe Solar

BEST RESTAURANT Playa Provisions

119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.683.5019 or playaprovisions.com Have you been to Playa Provisions yet? Since opening in 2014, this unique 4-1 concept that includes Dockside, King Beach Cafe, Small Batch and Grain, has delighted our readers due to their fresh, seasonal offerings and breezy coastal vibe. The eatery has a great outdoor area, making it the perfect spot to meet up with friends for coffee or the best Bloody Mary in town.

Favorites: Tony P’s Dockside Grill

8343 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.6677 or alejosrestaurant.com

C&O Cucina

Photos courtesy the Melody and Cafe Boheme


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

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

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com


7101 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.670.8226 or bennystacos.com The owner behind Benny’s Tacos spent years perfecting his recipes to create the best burritos, tacos and rotisserie chicken in town. His work has paid off, and everything we’ve tried at this popular eatery–that’s down the street from LMU– has been delicious! Some of our favorites include the Southwestern salad,

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbisto.com Looking for someone to cater your next event? Let Truxton’s American Bistro take over the cooking duties for your next holiday, dinner party or lunch meeting. Check out their website to view their offerings and have the fun task of choosing between items like firecracker chicken tenders, 11-spiced brisket, mom’s meatloaf or the spicy roasted red pepper penne. You can also reserve a burger or taco bar, complete with vegan options.

Favorites: Benny’s Tacos

7101 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.670.8226 or bennystacos.com

Cantalini’s Salerno Beach

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


6216 W. 87th St. Westchester 310.215.9606 or westchesterbakery.com Westchester Bakery has been serving the Westchester/Playa community since 1985. This family-owned bakery specializes in custom-made cakes and yummy desserts, including our favorites: the Florentine cookie and fresh fruit tarts. Check them out on social media to view some of their fantastic cake designs that range from cute and whimsical to sophisticated and hyper-realistic.

Favorites: KC’s Crepes Cafe

8320 Lincoln Blvd. #101B, Westchester 310.348.9697 or kcscrepescafe.com

Ginger’s Divine Ice Creams

12550 W. Washington Blvd., Del Rey 310.437.0246 or gingersicecreams.com

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

Thank you for 42 years of community support and voting us #1 Juice Bar & Natural Food Store on the Westside for the last 9 years! Family owned and operated since 1980.

13208 W. Washington Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90066 | (310) 306-8330 | rainbowacresca.com Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

August 2022 • Page 25

Favorites: Bacari PDR


6805 S. Vista Del Mar Ln., Playa del Rey 213.340.8196 or bacaripdr.com

7241 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.910.0895 or cincola.com Taking our Best Bar honor this year is Westchester’s Cinco! With a menu that shows an appreciation for agave spirits, standouts include the Paloma, the Tequila Gimlet, and of course, the margarita ordered spicy! Pair your drinks with their Oaxacan-influenced Mexican food like the tlayuda and the memelas. If you can, save room for the mouthwatering homemade caramel flan!

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com


4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com When you stop in to Marina del Rey’s Tony P’s you’re treated like family, so it’s no surprise our readers put this popular eatery as their top pick when it comes to dining with the whole fam! The menu is large with something for everyone, including meat-free options, fresh seafood, salads and more.

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


6245 W. 87th Street, Westchester 310.410.8848 or ayarathaicuisine.com Ayara Thai is not only one of our reader-voted best restaurants in the community, but it’s one of the best restaurants in L.A. thanks to the dedication, innovation and creativity of the Asapahu family and the Ayara team. In addition to their full menu of traditional Thai food favorites like pad thai, tom yum, papaya salad, curries and pad see ew, the restaurant regularly hosts special pop-ups in their outdoor space. Recent highlights include a pizza collab with Wormhole Pizza featuring Thai shaved ice; Moo Krata nights where you grill your own meal tableside, and the sold-out Thai Thursdays. This month, the restaurant will celebrate its 18th anniversary with special events on August 25 and 26, and later this year a facelift for the restaurant is planned. Follow them on Instagram @ayarathai to stay in the loop about new food offerings, events and what’s next for this special Westchester eatery.

Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner


Favorites: Paco’s Tacos Cantina Favorites: Natalee Thai

Favorites: J. Nichols

Thai Talay

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

4375 Glencoe Ave., Marina del Rey 310.823.2283 or jnicholskitchen.com

10101 Venice Blvd., L.A. 310.202.7003 or nataleethai.com


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

8411 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.3055 or thethaitalay.com

BEST AMERICAN RESTAURANT Truxton’s American Bistro

6212 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.645.8692 or pacosmexicanrestaurant.com

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbisto.com Truxton’s American Bistro has been a longtime Westchester favorite and part of the community for 16 years. If you’re ordering for pick up, or dining in at one of the restaurant’s booths with your family, make sure to ask for the specials and add an order of monkey bread to share!

Paco’s Tacos

BEST BRUNCH Playa Provisions

119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.683.5019 or playaprovisions.com Our readers love the offerings at PdR’s Playa Provisions when it’s time for brunch! Head to their patio with your besties on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to enjoy the ocean breeze and menu items like the shellfish tower, skillet baked eggs and the Cajun shrimp and Dungeness crab benedict. If you’re craving something sweet, we recommend the cinnamon bun with maple candied bacon or the skillet peaches and cream croissant French toast!

6212 Manchester Blvd., Westchester 310.645.8692 or pacoscantina.com Paco’s Taco’s is a neighborhood institution and a reader favorite when it comes to Mexican food. You can’t go wrong ordering up one of their giant burritos, combination plates or a refreshing margarita to complete your meal.

Favorites: Hacienda Del Rey

8347 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.8588

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



Daily Happy Hour 3 - 6 pm Weekend Brunch 9am - 1pm Weekday Lunch Specials 11am - 3 pm

6245 West 87th Street Westchester, CA 90045 (310) 410-8848 ayarathai.com

Stay connected with us @ayarathai!

Page 26 • August 2022

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

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

Photo courtesy Ayara Thai



4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com Our readers are noticing the great customer service at Tony P’s and ranking the Marina restaurant and bar at the top of our list for 2022. If you’re a regular, you know that owner Tony Palermo makes the rounds to give his guests a warm welcome and check to make sure they’re enjoying their meal. The staff is attentive, polite and friendly while taking your order, refilling your beer or packing up your order to-go.

Caffe Pinguini

6935 Pacific Ave., Playa del Rey 310.306.0117 or caffepinguini.com If you’re looking for a romantic night out, make reservations at Playa del Rey’s Caffe Pinguini for a memorable evening. As one Yelp review states, “This charming little gem hidden away at the end of Culver Blvd. takes me back to the cafes in beautiful Rome and other Italian locales!” Start your meal with prosciutto e melone before choosing between the risotto, homemade pasta or mouth-watering entrees. End the night with one of their delicious desserts to-go and a walk on the beach, just steps away.

Favorites: Hacienda Del Rey

8347 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.8588 or haciendarestaurants.com

Favorites: Playa Provisions

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

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

Ruth’s Chris Steak House MDR


13455 Maxella Ave. #230, Marina del Rey 310.821.4593 or ruthschris.com

The Shack

185 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.823.6222 or shackpdr.com This Playa del Rey hotspot has been a community favorite since 1972 and a place you’ll almost always run into old friends. Billing itself as a “vintage beach OG dive bar” means that the drinks are good, and when it’s time for a snack, The Shack’s menu won’t disappoint! Order up our readers’ #1 best burger pick, the famous Shack Burger topped with a Louisiana sausage link, and get ready for the good times to roll while you wait for karaoke to start.


6224 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 424.227.6486 or cahuengagroup.com Next time you’re looking for a spot for a casual bite to eat, check out Cafe Solar. The bright and airy cafe with a coffee bar, and case full of picture-perfect pastries, has a yummy menu full of breakfast and lunch favorites from cinnamon French toast to the classic burger and fries.

Favorites: The Manchester

8522 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 424.541.7097 or themanchester.la

Favorites: Benny’s Tacos

Truxton’s American Bistro

7101 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.670.8226 or bennystacos.com

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

The Shack

185 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.823.6222 or shackpdr.com

Trust the Crust Join us for Live Music every weekend 6-9 PM 310.827.0500 | thegoodpizza.com Visit us at 8115 W. Manchester Ave. in Playa del Rey or order delivery! Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

August 2022 • Page 27




Loyola Marymount recently welcomed the community back to its campus, just in time to enjoy the university’s summer events. The newly unveiled Drollinger Family Stage in Lawton Plaza made the perfect backdrop for the free Shakespeare on the Bluff performances of “Julius Caesar” and “The Tempest,” as well as family-friendly movie nights. When it comes to partnering with the community, LMU steps up to support events like the AMCS Spring Gala, the Rock Roll & Run for Education, The Fourth of July Parade and the Westchester Arts & Music Block Party.

BEST COMMUNITY BEST NONPROFIT Airport Marina Counseling Service CLUB Westchester Rotary Club

rotary-westchester.com The Westchester Rotary Club makes its way back to our top spot in the Best Community Club category for 2022! The club is made up of engaged and passionate individuals who are always looking to give back to the Westchester/Playa community. The club has served the community for more than 70 years, and since being founded in 1950, it has made a positive impact on virtually every community organization and event. From working with the YMCA and AMCS to fund mental health initiatives, sponsoring community events and “making over” the Westchester Townhouse, the Senior Center and the Emerson Avenue Community Garden, to recently donating $45,000 to make needed upgrades at Nielsen Park for youth athletes, the Westchester Rotary Club is spreading “do-goodery” wherever they go! Save the date for September 2 for the unveiling of the upgrades at the field, and join them in service to Westchester!

7891 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1410 or airportmarina.org AMCS is doing important work to support the community’s mental health needs, which has earned them our readers’ pick for Best Nonprofit again this year. Providing services on a sliding scale, AMCS serves hundreds of individuals, families, and couples weekly. Visit their website to learn more about their efforts and their group therapy schedule, which includes process groups for men and women, emerging adults and the LGBTQIA+ community.

Favorites: Friends of Ballona Wetlands ballonafriends.org

Grass Roots Neighbors

424.2O9.2777 or grassrootsneighbors.org

Favorites: Westchester Elks Lodge

8025 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.821.3005 or elks.org

Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club playavenice.org

Page 28 • August 2022

The Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary is always looking to make a difference in the community! Join them this month on August 27 at Westchester’s Fire Station #5 for their annual Pancake Breakfast benefiting the station! Bring the whole family for an $8 breakfast (kids under 2 eat free) and then chat with firefighters and take a tour, while kids can enjoy a bounce house and balloon animals.

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

Photo courtesy LMU

COMMUNITY categories

is proud to be your favorite private school!

St. Anastasia Catholic School 8631 Stanmoor Drive Los Angeles, CA 90045 school.st.anastasia.org

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

August 2022 • Page 29

Serving students with special needs 3-22 years We offer Designated • Speech & Language Instructional Services Therapy (DIS) which includes: • Physical Therapy • Occupational Therapy • Counseling

Page 30 • August 2022

• Individualized Programs • Case management • Art Programs, Field Trips & Special Events

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

for voting us Best Community Club and our Annual Book Sale a Favorite Nonprofit/Charity Event!!


We recently donated $45,000 to make improvements at Nielsen Field! Join us for a community celebration on September 2 as we unveil the upgrades.


Makeover Project | Book Sale | Scholarships | WAM | Nielsen Refresh Project | Supporting YMCA Programs...and so much more!

We are committed to serving the community and providing professional services with integrity Cozette Vergari, Esq.

Kimberly Napolitano, Esq.

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

Wills - Trusts - Probate

August 2022 • Page 31

BEST COMMUNITY PARTNER Loyola Marymount University

1 LMU Drive, Westchester 310.338.2759 or community.lmu.edu Loyola Marymount University tops our list this year for Best Community Partner because of their support of numerous community events and initiatives. After being a closed campus due to COVID protocols, the university recently reopened to the public and was the location for the AMCS Spring Gala and the Westchester Team Challenge. From hosting free events to LMU students contributing hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours every year to local nonprofits, having a university in Westchester’s backyard is a major resource, although sometimes there can also be challenges. The community is invited to quarterly LMU Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) meetings to discuss programs at LMU and any issues between the university and neighbors. The next meeting is scheduled for August 31 at 6:30 p.m. and is held virtually. Register at community.lmu.edu/masterplan/nac/meeting.

Favorites: Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation

8929 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #130, Westchester drollingerproperties.com

Stephanie Younger Group

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

BEST COMMUNITY EVENT Fourth of July Parade

laxcoastal.com The Fourth of July Parade is unbeatable when it comes to our readers’ selection for the Best Community Event! The parade is our favorite day in Westchester, and there’s no event that brings so many neighbors, organizations, families and businesses together to celebrate. Organizers are already brainstorming about next year’s festivities, and are encouraging community groups to plan early to start making great floats! Check out our parade recap on page 54 and visit our website to view this year’s parade video to relive the event’s most memorable moments!

Favorites: Westchester Elks Lodge Car Show & Chili Cook-Off Facebook.com/westchester.elks

Westchester Arts & Music Block Party wamblockparty.org


424.2O9.2777 or grassrootsneighbors.org For the last two-plus years, Grass Roots Neighbors has built a dedicated team of local

Mark your calendars for September 24! You’re invited to the Westchester Arts & Music Block Party (WAM) featuring live music, food trucks, community booths, entertainment, crafting and art vendors! The event will take place from noon to 7 p.m. on Emerson Avenue between 80th Street and 80th Place. This year’s music lineup includes the Wayback

Daddies, Sanford Street, Omar Torrez, Alpine Camp, Pom Pom and Rose’s Pawn Shop. Plan your day so you can spend the early afternoon enjoying all the family activities before heading into the 21-and-over beer and wine garden hosted by the Stephanie Younger Group. When it’s time to eat, visit the food truck area to purchase grub from Cousin’s

Maine Lobster, Wise BBQ, the Tropic Truck and more. This year’s major sponsors are The Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation, Stephanie Younger Group | Compass, Westchester Rotary Club, Decron Properties, Gerber Kawasaki and Loyola Marymount University. Get the full scoop at wamblockparty.org.

volunteers ready to help feed those in need. In their headquarters on Culver Blvd. in Playa del Rey, volunteers meet weekly to pack and deliver bags of food to distribute to the families they serve. Inspiring their neighbors to get involved, you’ll often see people stopping by with freshly baked bread and sweets or dropping off extra items they picked up at the grocery store.

Favorites: Sunday Westchester Farmers’ Market


Favorites: Friends of Ballona Wetlands ballonafriends.org

Westside Pacific Village

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


Playa Vista Farmers’ Market

12775 W. Millennium Drive farmermark.com/playavista Get your Saturday shopping done at Playa Vista Farmers’ Market. Located in the Runway Shopping Center, the market features dozens of vendors selling organic produce, artisanal items, fresh-baked bread, pastries, flowers and more. Visit their website to sign up for their monthly newsletter for seasonal recipes, to learn about new vendors and special events.

6200 block W. 87th St., Westchester westchesterfarmersmkt.com

Mar Vista Farmers’ Market

3826 Grand View Blvd., Mar Vista marvistafarmersmarket.org

BEST CHARITY/ NONPROFIT EVENT Westchester Arts & Music Block Party wamblockparty.com Are you heading to the Westchester Arts & Music Block Party next month? Save the date for this year’s pick for Best Charity/Nonprofit event! For 2022, WAM is switching things up and proceeds will benefit the Westchester Family YMCA’s teen mental health initiatives. Organizers are finalizing the details for the September 24 festivities, so if you’re interested in sponsoring WAM or having a vendor booth to sell your arts and crafts, reach out to volunteers at wamblockparty@gmail.com.

Favorites: Westchester Rotary Annual Book Sale rotary-westchester.com

Westchester Family YMCA

8015 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.4316 or ymcala.org/westchester If you’re not a member of the Westchester Family YMCA, or at least keeping this organization on your radar for the work they do in the community, you are missing out! Our readers have voted the Y this year’s Best Membership Organization because of the plethora of programs available for members beyond just gym equipment! Members make friends that last a lifetime through the Y Guides, volunteering, camping trips and more. Follow the Y on social media to learn about their upcoming events and programs!

Favorites: LAX Coastal Chamber

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

Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club (tied) playavenice.org

Westchester Mental Health Guild (tied) westchestermhg.org

Holiday Lights Tour westchestermhg.org

check out our top picks for favorite public art We love this mural dedicated to writer and poet Maya Angelou that was unveiled early last year in the Westchester Triangle. The mural took three days to complete by Westchester artist David Russell, who is responsible for some of our other favorite public art around town, including the now iconic “Welcome to Westchester” mural on the Drollinger Properties Building.

Page 32 • August 2022

We couldn’t agree with the sentiments of this piece more: Oh thank heaven for Westchester! This 100-foot mural popped up late last year at 7-Eleven Westchester, located on Sepulveda Blvd. at Lincoln. The colorful artwork features a giant parrot and hummingbird with the shout-out to the neighborhood, which is also a nod to one of the convenience store’s memorable slogans. The painting was created by local artist Ernest Doty who is known for his bold style featuring birds.

“Into the Blue” was completed in spring on the newly constructed LAX Police facility located on the northeast corner of Westchester Parkway and Loyola Blvd. The mural is an impressive 105-feet wide by 10-feet high and was created by Los Angeles artist Francisco Letelier in collaboration with Marybeth Fama. The artwork features a variety of colorful scenes that highlight the rich history of the area. Here, the El Segundo Blue Butterfly figures prominently.

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

See for yourself on Wednesdays at 7:15 AM @ Whiskey Reds! Meetings on the patio overlooking the Marina | 13813 Fiji Way, MdR PLAYAVENICE.ORG | (310) 963-9494 | JOE CHEHADE, PRESIDENT

Thank you to our sponsors: Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel, Rainbow Acres Natural Foods & LAWA

Thanks, Westchester/Playa. I love being here to help in a community where people are making a difference every day. Thank you for all you do.

Action Sports Photos 310-853-3305 @actioncreativegroup

Tatiana Ruiz More, Agent 8705 Truxton Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90045 310-450-8833 tatiana@coveredwithmore.com State Farm, Bloomington, IL


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

August 2022 • Page 33




Go bulldogs! Since 2010, Visitation Catholic School has been led by Principal Christopher Watson, who has overseen the implementation of a lot of great successes at the school, including the building of a new playground, upgrades to the campus and beautification work. The sense of community that families, students, staff and parishioners have built is palpable, and they invite the neighborhood to check out their programs and visit the campus at one of their upcoming events. On September 9, Visitation will host their second Concert in the Park(ing Lot) featuring live music, food and fun.

BEST PRIVATE K-8 SCHOOL Visitation Catholic School

8740 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.645.6620 or visitationschool.org Visitation Catholic School takes the #1 spot in this category for the first time this year. As principal Christopher Watson shared, “Our teachers, students and parents are what make us unique and allow us to come together in community and share our lives.” Take a virtual tour of the school on the Visitation website or save the date for their biannual carnival with games, rides and fair food on October 21-23 to see the campus–and the community they’ve built–in person!

Favorites: Goethe Charter School

12500 Braddock Dr., Los Angeles 310.306.3484 or goethecharterschool.org

Open Magnet Charter

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

Favorites: Children of Our Savior Preschool

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

Westchester Lutheran Preschool

7831 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.5422 or wlcs.org



Favorites: St. Anastasia Catholic School

7831 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.5422 or wlcs.org Last year, Westchester Lutheran relaunched its Early Learning Center and renovated its classrooms and play yards. The ELC is now welcoming children ages six weeks to five years and is under the leadership of Director Shirley Becker.

Westside Neighborhood School

Favorites: Carousel School

ayso.bluesombrero.com/region7 AYSO Region 7 keeps its Best Of title this year! The league and its volunteers recently led a successful Refresh Nielsen campaign, which will fund updating the soccer fields for players to enjoy for years to come! The fall season starts September 2 and opening games for the U5 to U14 divisions start September 10.

8631 Stanmoor Dr., Westchester 310.645.8816 or school.st-anastasia.org 5401 Beethoven Street, Los Angeles 310.574.8650 or wns-la.org


6550 80th St., Westchester 310.642.9474 or wishcharter.org WISH Charter School is a favorite with Westchester/Playa families and ranks at the top of our readers’ picks for Best Charter School! WISH Charter now spans K-12 grade, and the school continues to “thrive due to the incredible support of the Westchester community, strong family partnerships, and a commitment to high-quality meaningful and engaging public education for all students by its amazing team of educators!” Admission to the school is through a lottery process, so visit their website to learn more and for important dates, including tours.

Page 34 • August 2022

Westchester Lutheran

Favorites: Del Rey American Little League

7899 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.645.9222 or carouselschool.com


Covenant Preschool

Westchester Little League

6323 W. 80th St., Westchester 310.670.5758 or covla.org



BEST PRESCHOOL Covenant Preschool

AYSO Region 7

Kentwood Elementary School

6323 W. 80th St., Westchester 310.670.5758 or covla.org Since 1963, Covenant Presbyterian has been serving the Westchester community with its popular preschool program. The faith-based preschool has a curriculum that emphasizes kindness, sharing and generosity, while offering a variety of activities focusing on the whole child. Its positive and nurturing environment make it a top pick for local families when it comes to preschool.

8401 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.670.8977 or kentwoodedfund.org Kentwood Elementary School tops our list for the first time this year! The school, located in the heart of Westchester, has been recognized as a distinguished school and is known for its dedicated parent community and passionate teachers and staff led by principal Helen von Schreiber.

Favorites: Cowan Ave. Elementary School

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


7400 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.743.6990 or wishcharter.org WISH Academy High School takes our Best High School honor this year! With projectbased learning, hands-on activities, and programs that are reflective of the everchanging world, the school challenges students to succeed as 21st-century graduates.

Favorites: Venice High School

13000 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles 310.577.4200 or venicehs.org

Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets 7400 W Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.338.2400 or westchesterhs-lausd-ca. schoolloop.com


8015 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.4316 or ymcala.org/westchester From swimming lessons to basketball and ballet to martial arts, the Westchester YMCA has tons of programming and enrichment opportunities for kids of all ages all year round!

Favorites: Artistico Dance School

8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #105, Westchester 310.641.2575 or artisticodance.com

Musical Beginnings

6607 W. 80th St., Westchester 310.641.8518 or musicalbeginnings.org

7615 Cowan Ave., Westchester 310.645.1973 or cowantigers.org

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

Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner

SCHOOL & FAMILY categories


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

August 2022 • Page 35

Photo by Marianne Pellin Photography


Presbyterian Church




1030 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica 310.394.3701 or stmonicachs.org St. Monica High School tops our list for the second time this year. In addition to its rigorous curriculum, the school is known for its innovative athletic programs and robust creative visual and performing arts offerings. Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, St. Monica High School will merge with St. Monica Catholic Elementary School and will be known as Saint Monica Preparatory. The relaunched school will serve students TK-12.

1 LMU Drive, Westchester 310.338.2700 or lmu.edu We didn’t realize how much we loved stepping onto this Westchester campus until it was closed to the public for more than two years! LMU holds a special place in the heart for many in the community who either attended the university, work there or enjoy visiting the campus. The university is top-rated across the country, not only for their academics, but also for their beautiful campus with wonderful views. The school also has one of the best college radio stations in the country. Tune into KXLU at 88.9 or online at kxlu.com. Follow LMU at facebook.com/lmula to stay up-to-date with news and events.

St. Monica High School

Favorites: Loyola High School

1901 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles 213.381.5121 or loyolahs.edu

St. Bernard High School

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

Loyola Marymount University

Favorites: UCLA ucla.edu




6323 W. 80th St., Westchester 310-670-5758 covla.org | office@covpreschool.org Facility number- #191600175




• Tuition Free, Public School • Tuition Free,Non-Profit Non-Profit Public School • TK/K 8 Multi-Language Program • TK/K - 8- Multi-Language Program • InternationalBaccalaureate Baccalaureate World SchoolSchool • International World • SocialEmotional Emotional Learning • Social Learning • CulturallyDiverse Diverse Student BodyBody • Culturally Student • Inquiry Based Instruction • Inquiry Based Instruction

JOIN FOR A A SCHOOL TOUR, JOIN USUSFOR SCHOOL TOUR, EVERYTHURSDAY THURSDAY ATAT 9AM! EVERY 9AM! Please signup up on website. Please sign onour our website.

GoetheCharterSchool.org GoetheCharterSchool.org (310) 306-3484 306-3484 (310) Page 36 • August 2022

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

WISH continues to thrive due to the incredible support of the Westchester community, strong family partnerships, and a commitment to high-quality meaningful and engaging public education for all students by our amazing team of educators! be valued and understood be held to high expectations experience exciting & engaging curriculum receive a chromebook have the opportunity to join a sports team participate in exceptional art, music, technology & PE instructional experiences have high quality SEL, STEM, & GATE instruction receive hands-on project based learning benefit from university & business partnerships take rigorous High School pathway courses in Engineering, BioMedical Science, Social Justice & Performing Arts




Join the Visitation family and give your child the gift of academic excellence in a supportive community! Schedule a tour today! JK - 8th Grade www.visitationschool.org | 8740 Emerson Avenue, Westchester | 310.645.6620

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

August 2022 • Page 37





As owner of Westchester Pharmacy, a business her family has owned since 1984, Erin Cueto is proud to serve the people of Westchester/Playa and provide the best service and care to her patients. During the pandemic, she worked tirelessly to keep people informed, be a resource for PPE and support her community with vaccine clinics and by volunteering with community groups like the Westchester Rotary Club.

BEST PHARMACY Westchester Pharmacy

8930 Sepulveda Blvd. #103, Westchester 310.670.3463 or westchesterpharmacy.com Westchester Pharmacy tops our list for the first time this year! Family-owned and independent, the pharmacy prides itself in personalized friendly service and in-depth consultations. They also offer free neighborhood delivery and make transferring prescriptions easy. In addition to prescription medication, the pharmacy also provides vaccines, women’s health services and a wide-variety of over-thecounter products.


Favorites: Chloe Training

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica

310.418.0145 or chloestraining.com

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 281-bed, fullservice 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: Marina del Rey Pharmacy

Favorites: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Playa Pharmacy

Providence St. John’s Health Center

4558 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.5311 or marinadelreypharmacy.com 8131 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.823.4500 or playapharmacy.com


8511 Pershing Dr., Playa del Rey 310.577.6401 or delreyoptometry.com When it’s time for an annual eye exam or you need to update your contact lens prescription, our readers are heading to Del Rey Optometry. The Playa del Rey office is led by Dr. Pennino and her team who provide exceptional care for all your eye-related care! If you need a new pair of frames, the office also has a great selection of stylish eyeware.

Favorites: Look Optometry

451 Manhattan Beach Blvd., MB 310.796.5665 or lookmb.com

Westchester Eye Care Center

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

Page 38 • August 2022

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

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


FIT4MOM Westside westside.fit4mom.com


12555 Jefferson Blvd. Ste. 302, Playa Vista 424.443.5600 or providence.org Dr. Danelle Fisher is a pediatrician and local mom who provides thoughtful attention to all the families she sees and supports her community through health education. She has hosted chats for moms to ask questions on the “Parenting Sisterhood” Facebook page, and has been the speaker at the NCWP’s Community Service Meeting.

Favorites: Dr. Jonathan Velasquez

8410 Pershing Dr., Playa del Rey 310.822.2011 or delreydental.com


6101 W. Centinela Ave. #375, Culver City 310.929.7200 or siliconbeach.dental

BEST URGENT CARE Cedars-Sinai Urgent Care Playa Vista

12746 W. Jefferson Blvd., Playa Vista 424.315.2220 or cedars-sinai.edu/About-Us/ Playa-Vista.aspx Cedars-Sinai Playa Vista Urgent Care has been voted number one by our readers for the second time this year. Offering expert care without an appointment, they are open extended hours, seven-days a week and can provide both adult and pediatric urgent care.

6020 S. Seabluff Dr. #1, Playa Vista 310.862.0400 or exerurgentcare.com

Favorites: Exer Urgent Care Playa Vista

6222 W. Manchester Ave. #A, Westchester 310.670.1840 or manchester-medical.com

UCLA Playa Marina Urgent Care

Dr. Paymon Banafshe

8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #111, Westchester 310.497.0863 or socalsport.com The team at SoCal Sport and Fitness have found the perfect combination of encouraging and pushing their clients to reach their fitness goals and potential. Rob Savory, Carisa Skretch and Jeff Blair customize each workout to fit any fitness level, and they are happy to provide adjustments, coaching and feedback as people work on their rows, push ups and squats. While fitness and lifestyle changes are the goal, the team makes sure that everyone is having fun too, and they have built a dedicated following with themed workout days, planking contests and running groups.

Favorites: Del Rey Dental

6020 S. Seabluff Dr. #1, Playa Vista 310.862.0400 or exerurgentcare.com

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


Westchester Pediatric Dentistry

8540 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #710, Westchester 310.216.5754 or smilewestchester.com This Westchester office provides expert child-centered dental care for young teeth. Dr. Christie Burnett and Dr. Deepa Sreenivasan strive to make dental care a pleasant and fun experience, helping kids build healthy dental habits that will hopefully last a lifetime.

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

Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner

HEALTH & WELLNESS categories

Thank you for the support.

UCLA Health ranked #1 in Hometown News, Best of 2022–UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center UCLA Health Marina del Rey Immediate Care ranked a top 3 favorite for 2022. Scan, call 323-487-0161 or visit uclahealth.org/marinadelrey to book an appointment or learn more

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

August 2022 • Page 39

Photo by Venice Paparazzi, Venicepaparazzi.com



7891 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1410 or airportmarina.org Taking care of your mental health has never been more important, and with the stresses of the pandemic and everyday life, organizations like AMCS are ready to help. AMCS offers a variety of individual and group therapy options on a sliding scale. The clinic, located on La Tijera, recently began offering sessions back in person, but also has virtual options.

westside.fit4mom.com Owned by Westchester’s Kellie Fell, FIT4MOM is helping fellow moms at all stages of motherhood enjoy fitness and wellness with classes like Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre, Body Boost and more. Classes are held outdoors in Playa Vista, and while you’re working out, you’re sure to meet new friends looking to start or continue their fitness journey. Visit their website to view a list of workouts, and they offer the first class free!

Airport Marina Counseling Service

Favorites: Didi Hirsh Sepulveda

4760 S. Sepulveda Blvd.,Culver City 310.390.6612 or didihirsch.org

Life Adjustment Team

4551 Glencoe Ave., Marina del Rey 310.572.7000 or lifeadjustmentteam.com

Page 40 • August 2022

We are proud to be part of the community, and we

FIT4MOM Westside

look forward to serving you for many more years!

Favorites: Marina Martial Arts

13203 Washington Blvd., Westchester 310.821.6768 or marinamartialarts.net

The Studio (MDR)

12775 W. Millennium, Suite 150, Playa Vista 310.593.4323 or thestudiomdr.com

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



Join us in welcoming our new Executive Director, Marcia Salvary! SAVE THE DATE FOR OUR SEPTEMBER FALL PREVENTION WORKSHOPS

Voted Westchester’s Best Non-Profit Organization, Again!

CHANGE YOUR LIFE TODAY! At first, the idea of participating in group therapy might seem intimidating. Who wants to share their story with strangers? But group therapy, in which two therapists lead a small group of people, can be very beneficial. In fact, participants are often surprised by how rewarding their experience can be. Sharing can be healing, and AMCS is here to help. To join us for one of these educational therapy groups, please call 310.670.1410

MEN’S SUPPORT GROUP Wednesdays | 6:30 - 8pm | Mark at ext. 246 & Daniel at ext. 137 via Zoom • $15/session

WOMEN’S PROCESS GROUP Wednesdays | 5:30 - 7pm | Morgan at ext. 179 via Zoom • $15/session

EMERGING ADULTS: NAVIGATING YOUR 20s Thursdays | 5:00 - 6:30pm | Mark at ext. 246 & Hannah at ext. 136 via Zoom • $15/session


7891 La Tijera Boulevard in Westchester

(310) 670-1410 • www.AMCShelps.com Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

August 2022 • Page 41

Random Notes/Opinion


As we age, muscle loss is not always inevitable By Jeff Blair

due to the various chemicals released by exercise. Removing or lessening physical activity can have predictable Opinion: It is amazing to watch the negative emotional outcomes. amount of physical energy young After age 30, we lose between three children expend routinely. Just watch a child walk anywhere. You’ll probably to eight percent of our muscle per decade. This loss contributes to joint see some jumping, some sprinting pain that might begin during the 30s. and maybe even some dancing. Since Eventually, this loss may lead to falls children are making these movements and even disability later in life in some on a consistent basis, their muscles respond by staying relatively strong. In cases. Muscle loss also has implications for weight management. A steady loss the mid-teens, many kids slow down. of muscle slowly lowers the metabolism Their lifestyle often shifts from highly and this can make it difficult to fight active to more sedentary. Kids start to spend more time in front of computers weight gain. Hundreds of studies and thousands and the demands of school usually of examples prove dramatic muscle loss increase. after 30 is not inevitable. Contrary to In our 20s, physical activity levels usually lower dramatically. People often popular belief, people can gain strength and muscle throughout their lifetimes. enter the workforce full-time. That dramatic lifestyle transition creates The human body responds to strength burdens on time and energy. In some training mostly the same way at age 60 as it does at age 30. Even frail, elderly cases, people start families in their 20s and this can pose another exercise people can increase muscle mass. One famous study put bedridden people obstacle. Unwanted weight gain may pose another physical activity challenge over 90 years old on a strength training program. Some of those patients were as the 20s are the decade when people able to get out of bed for the first time gain the most weight over a lifetime. in years after strength training. Some Some might even experience negative emotional states during this decade due were even able to leave their assisted care facility. to a drop in physical activity, among In addition to the obvious physical other reasons. Consistent physical benefits of such a transformation, activity is a proven mood enhancer

can you imagine the psychological benefits? With aging, many people feel a loss of control over their health. Strength training can be a great strategy to retain a measure of control. Strength training can increase selfconfidence, motivation and provide other emotional benefits, according to studies. Many people believe it takes many months or even years to notice a positive difference from strength training. In my 20 years as a personal trainer, I have seen people experience a real difference within a couple of weeks and almost everyone feels better within a month. Some feel better after a single session. Some report almost immediate increases in energy. I always love to hear a client say how much better they feel and how quickly they feel it after beginning a strength program. The term “muscle mass” might evoke images of massive bodybuilders flexing massive muscles. In the real world, muscle mass probably looks much more like what you see in a distance runner. Few people will build massive muscles from strength training, but most everyone can build enough to power the body through the normal physical demands of living. Rather than accept the muscle loss

process as inevitable, I encourage you to consider that it is not. Just a couple of hours of full body strength training per week can increase strength and muscle. Retaining strength and muscle means more energy, more ability to do enjoyable things and a higher quality of life. Who wouldn’t want that? Starting can be a challenge. Managing a work schedule, dealing with childcare issues and coordinating with a significant other takes effort. Some beginners are concerned about being embarrassed or even about getting injured before they begin. These are all understandable concerns. Finding a way to overcome those challenges is an achievement and should be celebrated. If you are able to do so, you can enjoy the payoffs of increased strength, greater energy and a higher quality of life. Jeff Blair (MS, CSCS) is a certified personal trainer and founder of the SoCalSport and Fitness Personal Training Studio located in Westchester. SoCalSport Personal Training is celebrating 10 years at its current location this month. Thanks to all who have supported the studio! *Before you start any fitness routine, please consult your doctor.


PET CO N T E ST ! Email us your adorable pet photos through September 7 for a chance to be featured in our October issue. There will also be some fun prizes for pets! Visit thehtn.com for details. Page 42 • August 2022

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

Taking care of your physical and mental well-being By Fay Craton Opinion: Recently I saw a cartoon of a person crawling through a desert. Judging from the person’s appearance, they had been struggling without food or water through hills of arid sand for some time. As is common in cartoons, in the middle of the desert there was a sign giving directions with arrows. One arrow pointed toward water, while another arrow pointed toward the internet. The struggling person chose the internet instead of life-sustaining water. While the internet is very important in today’s world, it’s far too easy to get caught up in the “busy-ness” of the web and neglect your own physical and mental health, as well as the significant people in your life. Have you found yourself on the internet instead of addressing a need in your self-care? Do you find yourself doing other busy work instead of doing nurturing activities? Many people avoid doing what they need to do and some of the reasons may include: • Having unclear or conflicting goals. • Believing the internet or other busy work has a higher priority than their own needs. • Believing that taking care of yourself and your loved ones is not as important as a work or community goal. • Taking care of yourself is not comfortable because of physical, mental or emotional pain. • Feeling burned out, numb, tired and no longer able to prioritize your needs. • Having addictions to certain behaviors. • Being bullied to do extra work or extended family care. • Having ongoing stressors that keep you in a continuous state of change and uncertainty. Do any of the above reasons resonate with you? In the cartoon I watched, I imagined the person as having a high demanding job and being fearful that if they do not get a project completed on time they will be reprimanded. Many people neglect their own care when jobs are demanding. Why is it important to place a high priority on the well-being of yourself and your loved ones? Because your physical, mental and emotional life depends on it! When you ignore participating in nurturing activities, your stress level steadily increases. For decades we have heard about the mind-body connection, but what does it really mean? When you are stressed, you are much more vulnerable to

health challenges. Here are some of the challenges you can experience as a direct result of stress: reproductive system problems, depression, insomnia, weakened immune system, increased risk of infections, increased high blood sugar, digestive system problems, tense muscles leading to headaches and backaches, premature aging and cognitive decline, high blood pressure and foggy thinking. Added to this list of physical ailments are challenges to relationships and the ability to hold a job as a direct result of the physical ailments. As you can see, the risks of ignoring self-care are high. When I go back to the list of why people avoid doing what they need to do in order to take care of themselves, I notice it could be easy to become entrenched in the value of the reason. This means some of the reasons could be very difficult to change. Even though the change could be difficult, the effort to find new ways of doing things is worth the possibility of decreasing some very serious current or future health challenges. Do you think the effort could be worthwhile? Healthy change usually takes time. It begins with clearly having a goal. Next comes an “aha” moment of how something needs to shift to achieve the goal. I found having a support system in place to help with the goal definition, understanding what needs to shift and the multitude of small steps toward making the change is crucial. All of us, metaphorically, have points in time when it may feel as if we are struggling alone through an arid desert. Can you imagine how helpful it would have been for the cartoon person to have had a friend say, “Go for the water, the internet can be addressed later!” It is very hard to make significant changes without social connection as part of the process. Support systems could include a group of friends, a healthy family system, a peer-run group or a professional therapist. My wish is for you to choose life-sustaining water over the internet. I encourage you to place you and your family’s well-being as a high priority. You are worth the required effort, time and money to be healthy. Fay Craton, M.A. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (mfc40011), which is the psychology license specializing in relationships (with ourselves or with others) and she has an office in Westchester. If you have any questions, please contact Fay at (310) 645-6762.

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

Promotion Details


Offering 20% Off All Full Sessions Booked During the Months Of August & September Maternity / Newborn / Family / Events Book Your Session Today!

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THANK YOU to our advertisers and

community partners for supporting this publication! Robin Zacha, Zacha Homes Drollinger Properties Stephanie Younger Group | Compass Jane St. John | RE/MAX Neighborhood Council Westchester/Playa Loyola Marymount University Westchester Lutheran School Westchester Town Center BID Airport Marina Counseling Service St. Anastasia School Visitation School Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos, LLP Amy Nelson Frelinger Douglas Elliman Properties Westside Pacific Villages SoCalSport & Fitness Kris Zacuto | Compass Los Angeles World Airports Robert Milligan

Tatiana Ruiz More Covered by More UCLA Health Westchester Rotary Club Westchester Family YMCA The Book Jewel The Suarez Team Decron Properties

August 2022 • Page 43

Add some scrumptious summer super foods to the menu By Sheri Weitz, RDN, CDCES Contributing Columnist Opinion: The sun is shining, the days are longer, and warmer nights are perfect for walks on the beach. While school will start up again soon, it’s still summer! You may be focused on last-minute vacations and enjoying days at the beach, but let’s not forget that scrumptious super foods shine bright during this season. Summer super foods are nutrientdense, bursting with flavor and best eaten when they’re in season! Eating foods in season, which grow close to home, are better for your health and the environment. Fruits and vegetables picked and consumed at peak ripeness contain higher amounts of vitamins and minerals, according to Rutgers University. Plus, buying fruits and veggies in season also means they are more delicious! Produce grown during this time helps reduce greenhouse emissions because summer produce doesn’t require artificial heating or lighting. According to USDA research, growing foods out of season can affect crop production and increase the need for pesticides. And eating local produce– during any season–decreases transportation emissions. Area farmers’ markets are a great source of organic seasonal produce and feature fruits and vegetables grown in SoCal. Every week, we have the Westchester Farmers’ Market open Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Playa Vista holds its market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stop by to fill your basket with yummy, healthy foods, while supporting your local farmers. Some of my favorite super foods you’ll find at the markets right now include: • Artichokes. Artichokes are rich in

A plethora of super foods are displayed at the Sunday Westchester Farmers’ Market.

vitamins and minerals including fiber, Vitamin C, magnesium, folate. They also have potassium, which can help decrease the risk of hypertension. • Beets. Beets add a beautiful reddish-purple color to your plate due to their high betalain content. Betalains are powerful antioxidants and may reduce inflammation, protecting us from cancer, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. Try roasting beets with a pinch of salt and pepper and finish off with extra virgin olive oil for a colorful side dish. • Bell peppers. Peppers are high in antioxidants and many studies show they can help prevent cancer. Different colored bell peppers have unique properties, so a colorful plate–red, orange, yellow, green– offers benefits for both your body and your eyes. They are also high in fiber and Vitamin C. Along with a side of hummus, you can enjoy sliced peppers for a simple easy snack, or

chop and add them to your favorite salad. • Blueberries. One-half cup of blueberries contain 25 percent of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C and 3g of dietary fiber. Blueberries also contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant that gives them their beautiful color. Add blueberries to cereal, oatmeal, or your favorite smoothie. They are also lower in sugar than other fruits, as are all berries. • Fava Beans. Fava beans are a great source of plant-based protein and healthy linoleic and oleic fatty acids. They also are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index, making them a great addition to help lower cholesterol and prevent blood sugar spikes. • Strawberries. These bright red berries are higher in Vitamin C than oranges (per the USDA) and contain phytochemicals and polyphenols that may help decrease free radicals in the body. Enjoy in a fruit salad, add to

Weitz is a Westchester dietitian, who also enjoys being a fitness instructor.

yogurt or, for an antioxidant-packed treat, dip in dark chocolate! If you stock up on too many summer super foods and aren’t sure what to do with them, you can always freeze them. Frozen fruits will go perfectly in your next smoothies, but be sure to include protein and veggies if you have diabetes. Aim for more berries than other fruits in your drink since they’re lower in sugar. Frozen veggies, like leftover peppers, can be used to make fajitas and more. Discover more super foods as you peruse the aisles of the farmers’ market, and don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy the live music and community for a fun and healthy outing with friends and family. Sheri Weitz, RDN, CDE is a Registered Dietitian and functional nutritionist with a private practice in Westchester. This article was cowritten by Kelsie Kropp, nutrition intern for Move to Wellness.

It’s time to...

Schools as Parks program (continued) (continued from page 4) “Just because there’s a drought doesn’t mean we should be cutting back on greenery,” Kjer said. “We just need to be strategic about it.” That means landscaping with native trees and plants that don’t require much water, capturing rainfall that currently runs down storm drains into the ocean and being smart about where the limited water supply is used, she said. “We’re watering a lot of locations Page 44 • August 2022

that people can’t use, like medians,” Kjer said. “Do we really need trees on medians?” LANLT is one of the organizations in the Living Schoolyards Coalition, which also includes the Trust for Public Land, Tree People, Occidental College, Northeast Trees and others. Francesca de la Rosa is the manager of the group’s Los Angeles Green Schoolyards campaign. The city is way behind on this issue, she said, noting that New York City

has been opening school playgrounds to the public for about 30 years. What Los Angeles needs is a “comprehensive, scaled up greening program” to add shade and outdoor learning spaces on campuses that experience extreme heat for most of the school year, and to make sure families in neighborhoods without parks have access to those “greened and transformed campuses,” de la Rosa said. “There is a school in every

neighborhood. Almost 150,000 Angelenos would have greater access to open space that they currently do not have,” she said. Sywak would like to see more schools transformed into part-time parks, too. “It took a long time to get ours going,” he said. “It was really clawing my way in the forest. But now there’s a roadmap. We have a model in place, and this needs to happen all over Los Angeles.”

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




5:12 PM


WESTCHESTER ARTS & MUSIC BLOCK PARTY September 24, 2022, 12pm–7pm Emerson Ave. at W. 80th St. ACTIVITIES FOR ALL AGES! MUSIC Wayback Daddies (Classic Rock), Marsh Davis & the Honey (Indie), Sanford Street (Funk Jam), Omar Torrez (Flamenco Rock), Alpine Camp (Americana), Pom Poms (Alt. Rock), Rose’s Pawn Shop (Americana)

DANCE Artistico School of Dance & The Lariats




Fine Art, Ceramics, Jewelry, Textiles, Wearables

Featuring Firestone Walker, Upshift Brewing and Sweetzer Cellars

2022 proceeds will support the Westchester Family YMCA Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

wamblockparty.org August 2022 • Page 45

TheHTN.com Photo by Julie Arutunian

Business & Nonprofit News

Farewell to The Gillis. Hundreds of people traveled from local Westchester/Playa streets, across the U.S. and even Europe to attend the 50th and final Gillis Beach Volleyball Tournament to give the event a proper send off. The vibe during the July 23-24 weekend was celebratory, albeit bittersweet, as the crowds cheered on seasoned beach volleyball vets returning to The Gillis to play one last time. Families and friends also showed their support for a new crop of players who are carrying on the torch for local beach volleyball. Pictured: Event organizers, Dave and Steve Cressman, get the crowd going with applause during one of the event’s famous group skits.

Guild hosts fundraising events to support mental health. The Westchester Mental Health Guild is hosting two events this month to support Airport Marina Counseling Service (AMCS). If you love plants, sign up for a demonstration by Guild board member Robin Adams to learn about unusual ways to plant succulents. Two workshops will be held on Saturday, August 13, and admission includes potting soil and succulents, as well as refreshments. Tickets for the workshop at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. are $35 and can be purchased at wmhgsucculents.eventbrite.com. The workshop will be held at an outdoor location in Inglewood. Space is limited. If you’re a foodie, join the Guild at a wine-pairing dinner at Playa del Rey’s Cantalini’s on Tuesday, August 23 at 6 p.m. Six wines from French winery Gerard Bertrand will be paired with five Italian courses. The cost for the dinner is an all-inclusive $125. The menu for the evening includes lobster tortellini, short rib ravioli and a chocolate creme brulee. For the full menu and wine pairings, visit westchestermhg.org. Seating is limited and RSVPs must be made on their website before August 18. For the third year in a row, the Westchester Mental Health Guild will be holding its Holiday Lights Page 46 • August 2022

More than 100 community members participated in National Night Out on August 1 at Playa Vista’s Concert Park. The annual event is a way for local police departments to interact with the public, for neighbors to meet each other and to enhance community relationships. The event featured booths hosted by organizations like the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa, giveaways, food catered by Cantalini’s Salerno Beach, a raffle and more. Pictured: LAPD Pacific Division officers pose on stage during the event.

held at Playa Vista’s CenterPointe Club on September 10 and will feature a cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner and an awards ceremony honoring Catherine Tyrrell, Dawn Suskin and Google. Raffles for a wine basket and gift card round out the festivities. For more info, visit ballonafriends.org/ moonlight22. Community members are also invited to a wine and paint event hosted by the nonprofit at Playa Vista’s Ballona Discovery Park on Thursday, August 18 from 4:45 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 and guests will have the opportunity to create an artistic masterpiece with the theme “Bumblebee Buzz.” Learn more and RSVP at ballonafriends.org.

Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary hosts drive for mobility devices. Join the Playa Venice Rotary Club in collecting canes, crutches and as part of the fundraiser. Tour in lieu of the Holiday Home other mobility devices during the To learn more or receive Tour. The home tour was always the month of August. The items that are sponsorship information, please Guild’s largest fundraiser of the year, collected will be sent to nonprofit with the proceeds supporting various email info@westchestermhg.org. Crutches4Africa and distributed to AMCS initiatives. people in need. Ballona Wetlands readies to Volunteers are encouraging Donations can be delivered to host Moonlight on the Marsh. community members to sign up to Playa Pharmacy, located at 8131 W. Moonlight on the Marsh is back participate in the contest, which Manchester Ave. in Playa del Rey. in person this year to raise money features local homes creatively For more info, please email Playa for education, restoration and decorated with lights, inflatables and Venice Sunrise Rotary President Joe programming dedicated to the holiday decor. A map to view the Chehade at joe@playapharmacy.com. Ballona Wetlands. The event will be homes is then available for purchase (continued on next page) Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Photo by Julie Arutunian Karen Dial introduces Congresswoman Karen Bass at an event at The Book Jewel in Westchester Triangle.


The Emerson Avenue Community Garden held its Fifth Annual Tomato Tasting on Saturday, August 6. Attendees had the chance to try more than a dozen varieties of tomatoes grown in the garden, including True Black Brandywine and Green Zebra before ranking them in categories like prettiest, ugliest, “wish I’d grown” and best color. Pictured: A volunteer shares some tomato slices with a visitor to the garden.

All of the photos received will be uploaded to Facebook.com/thehtn to create the ultimate gallery of Westchester/Playa pets. Viewers will be able to give all their favorite dogs, cats, guinea pigs and more a thumbs up, and the pets with the most votes will take home our 2022 top title! Visit our website at thehtn.com for more details. Have info to share about your business or nonprofit? We want to hear from you! Email us at westchesterhometown@yahoo.com for a chance to be featured.

From new cutting-edge restaurants to hubs of political and community activity, so much is happening in Westchester. And you can be a part of it!

National Night Out

Call us today to find out what spaces are available and learn how you can locate your business in the middle of it all!

Westchester Team Challenge





310.417.8048 310.417.8048 www.drollingerproperties.com www.drollingerproperties.com







8929 S. Sepulveda Sepulveda Boulevard, Boulevard,#130 #130 Westchester, 90045 Westchester, CA CA 90045

w w w. D ro l l i n g e r P ro p e r t i e s. c o m

Photo by Neil O’Loughlin

(continued from previous page) Send in your photos for our Third Annual Pet Photo Contest. Do you have the cutest critter in the community? It’s time for our Third Annual Photo Contest focusing on local pets! Show off your photo skills and capture a picture of your pet doing what it does best: being adorable, funny or lounging around! Submit your original high-resolution photos to us by September 7 for a chance to be featured in our October edition and win some prizes for your pets.

Karen Dial and comedian Kevin Hart check out the progress of Hart House restaurant on Sepulveda Boulevard.

We asked Westchester resident, chef and Hapa Meals’ owner, Michael Kitano, to share one of his favorite summer dessert recipes with us, and he did not disappoint with his take on a traditional Peach Cobbler. As a brand ambassador for Char-Griller and an expert on BBQ, of course the dessert can be grilled to smoky perfection! No stranger to #1 recipes, Kitano recently won first place at the L.A. County Fair for his Korean BBQ sauce, and is working on opening his own restaurant. Check out his catering and pop-up menu at hapameals.com and make sure to visit his booth at the upcoming Westchester Elks Lodge Chili Cook-off on September 10.

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

Ingredients: • 1 stick butter • 1 cup all purpose flour • 1 1/2 cup white sugar • 1 tbs. baking powder • 1 cup milk • 1-2 cans sliced peaches in syrup (drained and save juices for other creations) • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg • pinch of salt Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 350. 2. Drain peaches and dice. If you want, you can add some whole slices. 3. Combine 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl. 4. Add milk and stir until the dry ingredients are well incorporated. 5. Melt butter in cast iron skillet (preferably 12 inch).

6. Combine remaining 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and peaches into skillet and heat until sugar melts and everything is well incorporated. 7. Pour flour mixture evenly on top, do not stir. 8. Place skillet into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until crust is a golden brown. Note: You can also smoke the cobbler using applewood or peachwood. For smoking the cobbler, you’ll need 45 minutes via offset smoking or heating. To cook this way, keep your coals on one side of the grill with smoking wood and the cobbler on the opposite side of the coals; not directly on top.

August 2022 • Page 47

Traveling back in time to 1950s Westchester/Playa

By Cozette Vergari

All aboard! For those returning to our “looking back in time” column, we are once again jumping on board our time-travel machine. We continue our adventures into the past, and, as a reminder, we board each time from today’s Westchester/Playa geographic footprint. Though standing still, our time machine has magically taken us from 65,000 BCE forward. Our last adventure took us through the 1940s, where we witnessed women pole-vaulting into what had been a predominately male workforce due to the impact of WWII. We saw a huge explosion in the development of housing, primarily within the Westchester community to support those working in the massive local arena of defense and aerospace industries. We also witnessed the first commercial buildings constructed along Sepulveda Boulevard to provide these same families with necessities, as well as the construction of three movie theaters, which brought entertainment to those supporting the war effort. Our time-travel machine is now propelling us forward into the 1950s, where we are witnessing another explosion. Where there are families, there are kids, and they are everywhere! These are the kids later to be known as the baby boomers. And what did these boomers need? Schools! By now, we see the Westchester/ Playa community has become identified and broken into several neighborhoods, with five new public elementary schools being built or already completed to accommodate these students. At the eastern edge of town is Osage Elementary, then moving westwardly across La Tijera toward Sepulveda, we see the newly constructed Westport Heights Elementary. Crossing west over Sepulveda, we pass by two elementary

Page 48 • August 2022

A view of the Westchester Triangle circa 1950s. Notice the large building on the corner, Karl’s Toy Store, which is now The Book Jewel.

schools running along the Emerson Avenue corridor, Kentwood Elementary and Cowan Avenue Elementary. Then, traveling further west, there’s the completed Loyola Village Elementary. Visitation Catholic School has opened in 1947. We see Westchester Lutheran School open in 1950, followed by St. Jerome’s School in 1952 and St. Anastasia Catholic School in 1953. To accommodate the older students wishing to attend public school, we witness the newly opened campus of what is now Wright STEAM Magnet. The day is split between the high school students in 10th through 12th grade attending classes in the morning hours, followed by the 7th through 9th graders taking their classes in the afternoon. The high school students are attending what is called “Westchester High School,” while the 7th through 9th graders are attending “Westchester Junior High School.” We learn from our time travel machine that prior to this campus opening, high school students in the area wishing to attend public school went to Dorsey High School. Aviation continues to be a major driver in the Westchester/Playa

community. The Los Angeles Municipal Airport has just become rechristened Los Angeles International Airport, and we are witnessing plans for a major expansion to the west. Expansion of the commercial properties in the Westchester area is also happening. We see the development of what today is known as the Triangle, which is now recognized by the City of Los Angeles as a historic commercial district. As we look down from the bluffs of Westchester and Playa del Rey, over and beyond the growth and development of the Howard Hughes holdings and airfield just below, we see the beginnings of the development of Marina del Rey. We also see that pioneer Ella Drollinger has successfully built and leased her commercial buildings to three tenants: Thrifty Drug Store, department store Quigley’s and grocery store Jim Dandy. The buildings start at the southeast corner of the intersection of Sepulveda and La Tijera Boulevards, now Citibank, and move directly south through what was Bed Bath & Beyond. Fast forward to today, a seasonal Spirit

Halloween Store has popped up in this space for shoppers to pick out their costumes. It is truly exciting to see the quickly expanding development and collaboration in the growth throughout the Westchester/Playa footprint during the 1950s. Stayed tuned for next month’s travels through the 1960s! Due to the many positive responses to our articles on the history of the giant holiday candles, the historical society will be taking reservations for Candle Making Workshops happening the month of October. If you are interested in making your own red or blue giant holiday candle to display in your front yard, please contact us at info.wphistorical@gmail.com. This month also marks the oneyear anniversary of the grand opening of the Discovery Center. I wish to acknowledge and thank the Westchester/Playa Historical Society board members and donors who have made this first year possible. We are so thankful to our donors and have acknowledged each of them on our website. Please visit wphistoricalsociety. org/support. The Westchester/Playa Historical Society Discovery Center is located in the Westchester Triangle at 6207 W. 87th St. and is open to the public on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The center has reopened for the summer and its current exhibit is “MAPS: Telling the story of a city, a community and its people.” Cozette is an attorney and lifelong resident of Westchester. She is the President of the Westchester/Playa Historical Society. Together with a group of dedicated volunteers, the organization is working on creating new programming and events to celebrate the history of the area and engage the community in preserving it for future generations.

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

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By Vickie Farmer Congratulations to the Del Rey American Little League (DRALL) 12U team for finishing second in the SoCal State Tournament and making it further than any DRALL team in the league’s 68 years! It was a season for the record books for the DRALL All-Stars who first competed in the District 37 All-Stars’ tournament and ended with a clean-sweep winning district titles in all divisions (10U, 11U and 12U). DRALL’s 12U team had an impressive opening game, scoring 10 runs in the first inning, including six home runs by Robbie H., Mason K., Julian K. Smith, Enzo R. and Aiden W. DRALL continued to overpower the competition, outscoring their opponents 52-4 during the tournament to take the district title. Next up for DRALL came sectionals where the 10U and 11U teams fell to the competition and were eliminated. DRALL’s 12U team continued with their impressive performance, outscoring opponents 21-2, including two wins over Torrance Little League (who represented the West region in the 2021 Little League World Series). In sectionals, the 12U team was led by home runs by Elliot R. (2), Smith Page 50 • August 2022

C., Jayden B. and Robbie H., and with remarkable pitching from Enzo R., Will N. and Julian K., DRALL came out on top of the Section 4 tournament defeating Torrance Little League 3-2 to clinch their first Sectional Title since 1980! DRALL then made the trek to Eastvale, California to challenge the SoCal State Championship. In their first match-up, DRALL defeated Escondido Little League with a score of 7-6. Next, DRALL matched up with Huntington Valley, winning in three innings (18-3) with a walkoff grand-slam from Aiden W., and inspiring pitching from Will N. who struck out five batters in three innings. DRALL faced the host team, Eastvale next, winning 1-0 in extra innings. Taking on Glendora next, where the winner would have a bid to the championship game, DRALL fell 2-5, sending them to the loser’s bracket for the first time. DRALL faced Sweetwater in the win-or-go-home game. Jayden B. led the way with four RBIs on two home runs, and Julian K.’s impressive five innings on the mound lifted the team to a 4-3 win, and sent DRALL to the two-game championship finale. Keeping the momentum going, DRALL was due to face Glendora for

2022 Section 4 Champions!

a second time. Going into the top of the 6th inning, DRALL was down 1-3, when Davis A. led off the top of the 6th for DRALL with a single to center, kicking off a massive five-score rally, including a two RBI single from Elliot R. to lift DRALL 5-3. Glendora scored one run in the bottom of the 6th, but was held off by Mason K. as he struck out three batters in the final two innings. DRALL’s 6-4 win would send the two teams to the “if-necessary” game the next day. DRALL came into the championship game on August 1 with the momentum of their win, but having to play four days in a row proved a challenge and they eventually fell to Glendora 2-10, ending DRALL’s road to Williamsport. DRALL sends a big thank you to the All-Stars coaches for their leadership and support of the team: Manager Chris Walter and Assistant Coaches David Kenny, Joe Chargin and Jason Rodriquez. Next up for DRALL is “Fall Ball” beginning the first week of October (signups will be coming soon). For more information, please check out DRALL.org. Thank you to all DRALL supporters, fans and sponsors for making this possible for our players!

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

Photos by Zsuzsi Steiner

Del Rey Little League

Perfect Private Alfresco Dining

8515 Falmouth #218, Playa del Rey ~ $665,000

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Contemporary Coastal Cottage

7421 Earldom Avenue, Playa del Rey List Price: $1,789,000/ SOLD in Multiple Offers: $1,850,000

Inviting curb appeal welcomes you to this charming Contemporary Coastal Cottage on the Hill in Playa del Rey! Bright natural light from skylights and ample windows brightens the open living room and dining room areas with vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, fireplace, pass-through bar to kitchen….and French doors that open to east-facing balcony and expansive views. Two hallway bedrooms share a smartly renovated bathroom, and laundry area. Comfortable main suite has a lovely spa-like bathroom with great closets, and opens out to lush, private rear patio and yard. Great BBQ area, a hammock in the tree, and grassy play area - doesn’t get much better than this! You’re just three blocks to the bike path and the beach, and minutes to cozy, local restaurants and businesses, and convenient to freeways, airport, shopping, and the technology hub at Playa Vista. In the last 5-7 years, the following renovations were completed: Forced air heat and AC: Copper plumbing and Sewer line, Roof, All doors/balcony railings, Tankless water heater; New dishwasher, refrigerator and washer/dryer; And a Security system! Enjoy all that Playa del Rey has to offer in this special 1675 sq ft beach home!




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Lic# 00998927 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

August 2022 • Page 51


Happy Summer y'all! From our farmers' market family to yours thank you so much for sharing your Sundays with us, with each season we continue to grow (swing by new vendors and farmers - including a flower grower and a bee keeper!) Save the date (Aug 21!) Join us for 6th Anniversary Celebration, follow us on social media for updates!


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

NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL OF WESTCHESTER / PLAYA Working together to improve our communities!

“If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.” CWP~ Plato

OPICA Offers Free Program for Caregivers Are you responsible for the care of a loved one? OPICA, which provides support for adults with memory loss and their families, is offering a program that will help you acquire the tools you need to care for yourself.

NCWP Joins 2022 National Night Out Representatives from the Neighborhood Council of Westchester / Playa recently participated in the 2022 National Night Out at Playa Vista. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.

National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances. NCWP board members had a great time meeting the men and women tasked with law enforcement in our neighborhood!

You will learn techniques to: • Reduce personal stress; • Communicate your needs effectively; • Manage emotions when coping with difficult situations. This FREE program consists of class on SIX consecutive Wednesdays August 24, 2022 through September 28, 2022 Location: Virtual on Zoom Time: 10am – 11:30am Pacific Time Instructors: Carol Hahn, MSN, RN and Tara Guden, LCSW This program is offered free of charge, made possible by the generous support of OPICA donors. You may like to purchase the companion book for $30. For more information and/or to register for this program please contact Carol Hahn at CarolHahnRN@gmail. com or (310) 612-9064.

There are great things happening at the Westchester Senior Center. To find out more about all the Senior Center does, please visit the NCWP website or follow this link to download the Center’s latest newsletter: https://ncwpdr.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/SUMMER-2022-NEWSLETTER-canva.pdf

Next Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa Monthly Board Meeting:

6:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 6, 2022 via Zoom

www.ncwpdr.org • 213.473.7023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

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The Fourth of July Parade would not be possible without the support of so many people in the community! It all starts with the LAX Coastal Chamber, which has put on the parade since the beginning, rallying a group of dedicated community members to plan and organize all the details. Then there’s the nearly 100 people who volunteer the day of the event, dozens of sponsors, 50 entries and thousands of attendees who cheer on the participants as they make their way down Loyola Boulevard! The parade, which celebrated its Page 54 • August 2022

22nd year last month, with the theme “Yours for a Better Community: Celebrating the Best of America,” was originally spearheaded by longtime Westchester resident and Historical Society President, Mary Lou Crockett, as a way to celebrate the millennium. Needing a community partner to bring this idea to life, she reached out to the LAX Coastal Chamber who jumped on board to help. Then chamber board president Gwen Vuchsas worked with the inaugural committee to recruit participants, volunteers and sponsors. And that

first year in 2000, the chamber wasn’t sure anyone would show up! Luckily they did, and today the parade is a neighborhood tradition that the community looks forward to every July. Congratulations to this year’s float winners: WISH Charter, Best Overall; St. Anastasia School, Spirit of the Parade; Emerson Ave. Community Garden, Chair’s Choice and Otis College, Honorary Mayor’s Choice. Thank you to major event sponsors: Jane St. John/REMAX Estate Properties, Decron Properties, Zacha

Homes, the Stephanie Younger Group, Drollinger Properties, Rotary Club of Westchester, Cedars-Sinai, Otis College of Art & Design, the Hometown News and Sunset Studios. For information about getting involved in next year’s event as a participant, volunteer or sponsor, please email info@laxcoastal.com. Visit our website at thehtn.com or scan the QR code to view our parade recap video and get a link to view all of this year’s parade photos!

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

Photos by Zsuzsi Steiner

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

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