Westchester/Playa HomeTown News August 2021 edition

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westchester

YO U R

C O M M U N I T Y,

playa del rey

YO U R

C O M M U N I T Y

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

N E W S PA P E R

August 2021 BEST UNIVERSITY

FAVORITE NEW BUSINESS OPENING

THE BEST OF ISSUE

FAVORITE FARMERS MARKET

BEST NEW RESTAURANT

2021

FAVORITE ITALIAN FOOD

BEST HOTEL/INN

FAVORITE PLACE TO SHOP

Our 2021 “Best Of” honoree collage features some of the community’s favorite businesses, organizations and events.


6429 RIGGS PLACE | WESTCHESTER

SOLD: $5,000,000 | 5 BEDS | 5 BATHS | 6,078 SQFT

CUSTOM-BUILT MODERN KENTWOOD HOME

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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

Historical Society celebrates opening of new center 10th Annual Best Of List! Neighborhood Council Update In Pictures: 21st Annual Fourth of July Parade

04 07 52 54

HOMETOWN STAFF/CONTRIBUTORS Stephanie Davis, Publisher

Jeff Blair, Contributing Writer Fay Craton, Contributing Writer

Sheri Weitz, Contributing Writer Consuelo Israelson, 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.

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 The deadline for submissions is the 22nd of each month. Front page photos: Best New Restaurant, Best Italian Restaurant and Favorite Place to Shop photos by Neil O’Loughlin. Best University photo courtesy Loyola Marymount University. Best Hotel/Inn photo courtesy Inn at Playa del Rey. Favorite Farmers’ Market photo by Cynthia Rogers. Favorite New Business Opening photo courtesy Runway.

act us for rates and act us for rates and hesterhometo AWARDED THIS HONOR FIVE YEARS IN A ROW!

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

Kanpai El Tarasco Melody Bar & Grill LaRocco’s Pizzeria Head to Toe Salon Westchester Pharmacy Yoga Bliss SoCal Sports & Fitness Trader Joe’s Westchester Edgar Saenz The Book Jewel Westside Pacific Villages

hesterhometo Updated family photos have never been so important! Schedule your fun, open-air, safe-distanced session today!

us on Faceboo to-date with news and us on Faceboo Over 600 local families photographed!

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Historical Society board members welcome visitors to the newly opened Discovery Center. From left to right: Cozette Vergari, Art Wexler, Marcelo Cruz, David Russell and Mike Heffernan.

Historical Society welcomes community to grand opening, looks for people to share their stories By Cozette Vergari The Westchester/Playa Historical Society (WPHS) opened its Discovery Center to the community on August 1, and they’re ready to share their enthusiasm for gathering, studying and preserving the histories of Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista! Located in the Triangle, the Discovery Center will be available to visit on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the Westchester Farmers’ Market and by appointment. Beyond stopping by on Sundays, there will be other ways to enjoy the space and learn more about local history. Beginning in October, the center will launch ongoing, and rotating, exhibits highlighting major themes important to the area. Another main focus of the exhibits will be the individual pioneers who directly impacted the birth of our local neighborhoods in the early 1900s, and others who followed to protect and preserve thoughtful development. The center will also work with Westchester/Playa schools to host field trips to help enrich California mandated curriculum requiring students to study state and local history. Board members are hoping to get the community’s support to help grow the nonprofit’s collection and add to their archives. One of their ongoing projects will be meeting and interviewing longtime community members and those with historical ties to the area. The oral histories will be recorded and housed among the WPHS’ collection for people to

listen and learn from for generations to come. Being able to digitize and

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Artist Gail Grover moved to Westchester in 1944. Though her artistic start began in the field of photography, she also ventured into a variety of interests, including silver prints, gum printing and photo engraving. Eventually her work would appear in Aperture Magazine. Not long after, she was drawn to oil painting, which included some incredible folk art interpretations of the Westchester community. The Westchester/Playa Historical Society recently secured several of her pieces, which will be displayed in a future exhibit.

catalogue the historical society’s collection has been a top priority

for the board to ensure it’s not only accessible, but also protected. The collection they have amassed includes thousands of photographs painstakingly catalogued after the last few years, artwork, historical artifacts and more. While opening the Discovery Center faced many hurdles and setbacks due to the pandemic, the WPHS Board of Directors—President Cozette Vergari, Marcelo Cruz, Mike Heffernan, Art Wexler and David Russell—remained determined to volunteer their time to bring this invaluable resource to the community. Seeing the opening of the Discovery Center come to fruition as a place to share the rich history of our communities and a place for visitors to explore has been a dream come true for the team. Helping to bring their vision together, the WPHS board collaborated with Otis College of Art & Design students to create new branding for the nonprofit and the center’s interior murals. The murals are a focal point of the space and dramatically depict local history as far back as 8000 B.C., as well as key local figures. The community is invited to the Discovery Center’s grand opening on Tuesday, August 24 at 11:30 a.m. for a ribbon cutting hosted by the LAX Coastal Chamber to celebrate the new community gem. City dignitaries and community leaders will be on hand to welcome the center to Westchester. Next up for the Discovery Center will be announcing dates for the WPHS Walking and Driving Tour (continued on next page)

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


Historical Society (cont’d) which was sold out last year and had to be canceled due to the pandemic. Renting the space for special events is also on the horizon. Please visit the newly launched Westchester/Playa Historical Society website at wphistoricalsociety.org for more info and stay up-to-date. More information will also be shared in the historical society’s monthly column. If you are interested in supporting the efforts of the WPHS, please reach out at wphistorical@gmail.com. There are donor, contributor, exhibit sponsorship and volunteer opportunities available. A special thank you to those whose generosity made the center’s opening possible, including Founders Circle Members: the Westchester Rotary Foundation; Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation; the Cozette Chattin Vergari Family and Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club Foundation; Diamond Donors: The Amy Nelson Frelinger Family and Richard Moon Family; Emerald Donors: Carousel Schools (Maria Davis Executive Director); John and Gail Grover; Technologent and Cripps Crockett Realtors. Many thanks to the LAX Coastal Chamber, the HomeTown News, Drollinger Properties and Truxton Investment Company for their continuing support.

The Discovery Center is located at 6207 W. 87th St. in Westchester. Cozette is a lifelong resident of Westchester and is leading the charge to reinvigorate the Westchester/Playa Historical Society’s nonprofit status. 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.

Want to support the

Historical Society? Get involved by:

• Visiting the new center and exploring the history of the area. • Donating your Westchester/Playa historical photos, artifacts and artwork. Before you sell or toss your Westchester/Playa memorabilia, email wphistorical@gmail.com to see if it would be a good fit for the collection. • Sharing your story. If you’re a longtime Westchester/Playa resident and have a historical perspective to share, the WPHS wants to hear from you for their oral histories series!

Congratulations to our seniors as they venture off to colleges and universities across the county. Find out more about what St. Monica Catholic High School has to offer. • • • •

Return to in-person learning Explore our Mariner Ocean Research Institute (MORI) Learn about our innovative athletic programs Experience our creative visual and performing arts

Contact Roxanna Vega-Warmington Director of Admissions at 310-394-3701 x1305

1030 Lincoln Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90403 www.stmonicahs.org

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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. Voting took place for our 10th Annual Best Of Poll on May 21st through July 7 and readers voted via a link from SurveyMonkey. Voting was limited to one vote per IP address. The HomeTown News loves supporting our small businesses and shopping local. When we support our local businesses, they are able to support our neighborhood by sponsoring local sports teams, donating to school fundraisers, providing jobs and helping our 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 2021 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! 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! Lastly, as a small, local business, 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

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2020 BEST OF & FAVORITE HONOREES

THANKS FOR VOTING US A “BEST OF” BUSINESS TWO YEARS IN A ROW!

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

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2021

BEST PLACE TO SHOP

BOOK JEWEL

2021

The Book Jewel is celebrating its one year anniversary this month and has been voted “Best Place to Shop” in this first-time category! Whether you’re looking for a literary classic, the latest

New York Times’ Bestseller, poolside reading or want a recommendation, their friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Add in specialty items

like locally made candles, tea sets, gifts and more, and it’s easy to make yourself at home at what has quickly become a neighborhood favorite hangout.

Visit the thebookjewel.com to join their book club and save the date for September 4 when they celebrate their first year in business with a special poetry reading and more.

BEST REAL ESTATE TEAM

BEST FLORIST Flowers by Felicia

BEST SHOPPING CENTER

Favorites: Playa del Rey Florist

12775 W. Millennium Dr., Playa Vista 310.862.9461 or runwayplayavista.com Runway tops our list for the first time this year! Already a hub and hangout for Playa Vista residents thanks to its central location, the addition of businesses and eateries like Freemarket, The Bull & Butterfly, Cedars-Sinai medical offices and Sender One, as well as the Saturday Farmers’ Market and special events, make this a destination for all of L.A.

BEST TAX PREPARATION SERVICE Sarlo Income Tax

Stephanie Younger Group

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 22 agents ready to help you find your perfect home or list your current property in this hot sellers’ market. Check out their website for all their local listings and visit them when they host the beer & wine garden at the upcoming WAM Block Party.

Favorites: Suarez Team

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

Team Tami

7101 Playa Vista Dr., Playa Vista 310.745.1600 or playavistaliving.com

BEST PLACE TO SHOP The Book Jewel

6259 W. 87th St., Westchester 424.750.9991 or thebookjewel.com Next time you’re in the Westchester Triangle, stop by our first-time Best Of honoree, The Book Jewel! With thousands of new and used books, locally made items, T-shirts, gifts and more, it’s easy to see why this charming shop was named the Best Place to Shop for 2021!

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

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200 Culver Blvd. #A, Playa del Rey 310.305.1200 or flowersbyfeliciapdr.com Flowers by Felicia has been flourishing in their new Playa del Rey location on Culver Blvd., and they recently celebrated their one-year anniversary. Stop by when you’re looking for a unique gift, plant or a beautiful arrangement. created by owner, Felicia St. Denis. Who doesn’t love receiving flowers?

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

BEST FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Runway Playa Vista

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

Favorites: The Point El Segundo

Favorites: ProTax Service

Waterside Marina del Rey

Westside Income Tax

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

12575 Beatrice St. #C17, Los Angeles 310.869.0038 or protaxservice.com

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

12043 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City 213.290.4829 or westsideincometax.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 second 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-quality oversight, anyone can achieve his or her financial goals.

Favorites: Erika Puzik, Ameriprise Financial 6080 Center Dr. Ste. 730, Westchester 310.933.3240 or erikapuzik.com

Zachary Bainter, Gerber Kawasaki

2716 Ocean Park Blvd #2020, Santa Monica 310.441.9393 or GerberKawasaki.com

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

Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner.

BUSINESS categories


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S E A S O N S E S TAT E P L A N N I N G , A P C

Kristen Wong, J.D., M.B.A. 310.344.3015 kristen@seasonsestateplanning.com

www.seasonsestateplanning.com 4640 Admiralty Way, Suite 500, Marina del Rey, CA 90292 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

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BEST MORTGAGE COMPANY RPM Mortgage, Marina del Rey

4640 Admiralty Way, Suite 430, MdR 310.574.7777 or rpm-mtg.com/la Looking to buy a home or refinance your mortgage? RPM Mortgage’s Marina del Rey Branch Manager, Dean Wong, has been helping his clients successfully navigate the process since 2002. Building a reputation on experience, knowledge and integrity has earned this business our top spot again on this year’s list.

6080 Center Dr. 6th Floor, Westchester 424.832.1141 or blatterlaw.com Christoper Blatter tops our list for the third 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 has been on the top of many people’s mind during this difficult past year.

Favorites: Movement Mortgage

7131 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 970.708.1324 or lo.movement.com/daveramirez

Favorites: Bahar Geslin, Geslin Law

Wells Fargo Mortgage wellsfargo.com/mortgage

310.994.3188 or geslinlaw.com

BEST REAL ESTATE GROUP

Law Offices of Edgar Saenz (tied)

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

Seasons Estate Planning (tied)

Stephanie Younger Group|Compass

4640 Admiralty Way, Suite 500, Marina del Rey 310.344.3015 or seasonsestateplanning.com

BEST LAW FIRM 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 strives to build long-term relationships with its clients, while being committed to providing professional services with integrity.

Favorites: Ramey Law

5901 W. Century Blvd., #1516, Westchester 310.988.2400 or rameylawpc.com

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

Since opening late last year, Lily Love Boutique has gained a loyal following of local fashionistas looking for chic, effortless wardrobe staples. Visit the Playa del Rey shop next time you need a new outfit or

BEST CORPORATE COMMUNITY PARTNER Loyola Marymount University

1 LMU Dr., Westchester 310.338.2700 or lmu.edu Loyola Marymount University takes the #1 spot for the third year in a row in this category. Despite the university being closed to visitors, they made it a priority to still support the community through playing a pivotal role in making the Fourth of July Parade happen,

gift, and owner Sara Lashkari can help make recommendations to pull together a stylish look. Follow the shop on Instagram @lilylove.boutique to learn about in-store events and sales. supporting events like the Y’s Halloween Spooktacular and volunteering. Make sure you’re signed up for the community relations department’s newsletter to receive info on what’s new on the Bluff.

Favorites: Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital

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

LAX Coastal Chamber

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

7296 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.499.2020 or stephanieyounger.com Real estate, like life, is all about getting the details right for 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 the SYG Group recently 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: Palm Realty Boutique

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

2021

BEST ESTATE PLANNING PRACTICE FOR THE

THIRD YEAR IN A ROW! LAW OFFICE OF

C H R I S T O P H E R B L AT T E R

B L AT T E R L AW.C O M / 4 2 4 . 8 3 2 . 1 1 4 1 Page 12 • August 2021

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

Photo by Neil O’Loughlin.

BEST ESTATE PLANNING PRACTICE Law offices of Christopher Blatter


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BEST LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER Zsuzsi Steiner Photography

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: Lily Chan Photography

Stephanie Younger, Stephanie Younger Group

Favorites: Amy Nelson Frelinger Team, Douglas Elliman

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

Jane St. John, REMAX (tied)

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

Robin Zacha, Zacha Homes (tied) 6605 W 80th St., Los Angeles, 310.215.1981or Zachahomes.com

BEST NEW BUSINESS OPENING The Book Jewel

6259 W. 87th St., Westchester 424.750.9991 or thebookjewel.com After years in the making, The Book Jewel finally opened in August 2020 to much fanfare and excitement from the Westchester community ready to welcome their new neighborhood bookstore.

Favorites: Bull & Butterfly

12746 W. Jefferson Blvd, Playa Vista 213.267.2900 or bullandbutterfly.com

Freemarket Playa Vista

12751 Millennium Dr., Playa Vista freemrkt.co

Photo by Neil O’Loughlin.

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT

714.856.5737 or zsuzsiphotography.com Is it time to update your family photos? Westchester’s Zsuzsi Steiner has photographed more than 600 local families and always is ready to make the process fun and memorable. She also likes to photograph local events, and you can view her parade photographs on page 54 of the HTN.

lilychanphotography.com

Ballerini Cooley Studios

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

BEST SMALL BUSINESS/ ORGANIZATION COMMUNITY PARTNER Westchester Family YMCA

8015 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.4316 or ymcala.org/westchester The YMCA recently fully reopened its doors and is working hard to build its membership back to pre-pandemic numbers. A community hub for decades, the Westchester Family YMCA tops our list as Best Community Partner thanks in part to their dedication in being a resource during the pandemic. Follow them on Facebook to learn about their regular blood drives, weekly produce distribution events, their community food pantry and more.

Favorites: Drollinger Properties

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

Stephanie Younger Group

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

Robin Zacha loves Westchester and has served the community for more than 25 years as a top real estate agent in the area. She recently sold Westchester’s highest price home--a 6,000 square foot modern design with fabulous views–and is off to close her next big deal. Not your typical realtor, she specializes in renovating your home before you sell. With a mind on community, Robin is also big on giving back and donates to numerous schools, nonprofits and events.

PROUD MEMBER:

Thank You for Voting us One of Your Favorite Child Care Providers! Infant-ToddlersPreschool-Kindergarten

Carousel Preschool and Infant Center serves children birth through 6 years old in a nurturing, stimulating environment where the cultures and families are embraced and supported.

Non-Public Elementary & High School (NPS)

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

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

We offer Designated Instructional Services (DIS).

Adult Day Program (ADP)

Carousel is currently serving adults 18-55. Some of the program highlights are: • Opportunities to enhance and maintain levels of independence • Daily community integrated programs

Early Intervention (EI) Program

Infants and Toddlers at Risk For Development Delay 18 month - 3 years

After School Program

The After-School Program offers a balanced curriculum in which social and recreational activities are designed to promote the physical, social, emotional, and creative development of each child. The After-School Program serves children ages 5-18.

7899 La Tijera Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045 Ph. (310) 645-9222 | carouselschool.com Page 14 • August 2021

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BEST HAIR SALON Avenue Hair Company

4220 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.822.0700 Marina del Rey’s Avenue Hair is our readers’ top pick again this year when it comes time for blowouts, colors and cuts. When you need to look fabulous or just a need a trim, this salon with a 4.5 Yelp rating can make it happen.

Favorites: Head to Toe

6310 W 89th St. Ste A, Westchester 310.338.8689

Beauty Beach Lounge

12751 Millennium Dr. #125, Playa Vista 310.862.5555 or beautybeachlounge.com

BEST HOTEL/INN Inn at Playa del Rey

435 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.574.1920 or innatplayadelrey.com When you need to get away, set your sights on a staycation 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 check-in! Voted “One of the Ten Best Urban Inns” by Forbes.com, the Inn is also a favorite recommendation for visiting family and friends looking for a peaceful respite.

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/

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BEST VETERINARY CENTER VCA Marina Bay Cities Animal Hospital

2506 Lincoln Blvd., Venice 310.306.8707 or vcahospitals.com/marina The VCA Marina Bay Cities Animal Hospital takes the top spot on our list for the first time this year. Located in Venice, they help your pets live long, healthy lives. When your “furbabies” are feeling unwell or need a check up, they’ll use their experience and knowledge to make sure they receive the best in prevention and healing methods.

Favorites: Shane Veterinary Center

4816 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.305.7297 or shanevet.com

Westchester Veterinary

8911 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.645.4444 or westchestervet.com

BEST PAINTING COMPANY Jonathan’s Painting

323.240.0399 or jonathanspainting.com Do your walls need a makeover, and you’re thinking about painting? Get a quote for our first 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

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BEST AUTO SHOP Playa West Automotive

8145 Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.822.9115 or playawestautomotive.com When you’re ready to hit the road, Playa West Automotive is here to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. A ninth time Best Of honoree, the shop, led by Andy Marozik, prides itself in integrity and honesty, as well as mechanical know-how. Playa West Automotive works on all makes and models, including classic cars, that need a tune-up, oil change and more.

Favorites: B&J Service Center

6551 80th St., Westchester 310.670.4272 or bandjservice.mechanicnet.com

Loyola Marina Auto Care

8314 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 424.227.5551 or loyolamarinaautocare.com

BEST INSURANCE AGENT Kate Leung

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 second time this year! 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 long-lasting relationships and trust with her clients.

BEST PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FIRM Drollinger Properties

8929 Sepulveda Blvd. Ste 130, Westchester 310.417.8048 or drollingerproperties.com Taking home our #1 spot, Drollinger Properties is synonymous with property management in Westchester. Some of the area’s most popular businesses–including In-N-Out and Ralph’s–are tenants, and they’re always looking for new small businesses ready to call the area home. The company, with a history that goes back more than 70 years in Westchester, is led by Karen Dial who is known for her passion for her hometown and dedication to her community. Through the Drollinger Charitable Foundation, the foundation supports nearly every community event and major nonprofit from the Rock Roll & Run and WAM to the Westchester Family YMCA and AMCS.

Favorites: Matilla Property

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

CCR Properties

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

Favorites: Peter Kohly

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

Rachel Sunday

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

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

State Farm, Bloomington, IL

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

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


THANK YOU FOR VOTING FOR THE SUAREZ TEAM YEAR AFTER YEAR!

We love the support from our community and are honored to be one of your favorite real estate teams! LD

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“The Suarez Team was responsive, resourceful, reliable and relentless. They found the perfect buyer willing to pay $50k over asking without retrofits, repairs or open houses! The Suarez Team is absolutely the best!” -Zillow Review (2021)

323.443.1307 | HELLO@THESUAREZTEAM.COM WWW.THESUAREZTEAM.COM | DRE# 01433992 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

DRE# 02035381

August 2021 • Page 19


Thank you for voting EXER PLAYA VISTA

A FAVORITE URGENT 9 CARE CLINIC

and DR. JONATHAN VELASQUEZ

Playa Vista Medical Center provides the best urgent care services in Los Angeles. We proudly offer medical care se to the residents and employers of Playa Vista, Marina del Playa del Rey, Westchester, Del Rey, Venice, and Santa M So come to Playa Vista Medical Center, the clinic you kno and trust since we opened our doors in Concert Park in 20

BEST DOCTOR Exer Playa Vista provides

Playa Vista Medical Center provides the best urgent care the best urgent care services in Los Angeles. services in Los Angeles. We proudly offer medical care services Top tiercare medical professionals We proudly offer•medical services to the to theresidents residents andand employers of Playa Vista, Marina del Rey, employers of Playa Vista, Playa del Rey, Westchester, DelRey, Rey, Venice, and Santa Monica. • Concierge-style and convenient urgent Marina del Rey, Playa del Westchester, Del Rey,care ser So come to Playa Vista Medical Center,Monica. the clinic you know Venice, and Santa • Most patients are seen and and trust since we opened our doors in Concert Parktreated in 2008. within the

• Top• tier medical professionals More affordable and faster than the • Join Exer’s VirtualLINE • Top tier medical professionals • Concierge-style and convenient • No appointment necessary urgent care services • Concierge-style and convenient urgent care services • Most• Most patients are andtreated treated within an hour patients areseen seen and within the hour • More affordable and faster than the ER! • More affordable and faster than the ER! • No appointment necessary • No appointment necessary

6020 S Seabluff Dr #1, Playa Vista 310.862.0400 exerurgentcare.com/urgent-care-playa-vista Mon-Fri from 9am – 6pm & Sat-Sun from 9am – 5pm Page 20 • August 2021

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

ER!


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

August 2021 • Page 21


2021

BEST NEW RESTAURANT

BULL & BUTTERFLY

2021

Since opening in September, the buzz has not stopped about Playa Vista’s Bull & Butterfly! Their modern chic vibe, that blends cool with laid back, and their mouthwatering menu with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients, has our readers naming this hotspot Best New Restaurant on our 2021 list! Whether you’re stopping in for drinks, celebrating at dinner or catching up with friends while enjoying their skillet coffee cake at brunch, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.

BEST NEW RESTAURANT/ EATERY Bull & Butterfly

12746 W. Jefferson Blvd, Playa Vista 213.267.2900 or bullandbutterfly.com Bull and Butterfly has quickly become a must-visit restaurant in Playa Vista. If it’s your first time there, we recommend trying their amazing brunch served from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends and ordering dishes like the sticky toffee pancakes, steak and cheddar eggs, and of course, the avocado toast!

Favorites: Caravan Swim Club

8639 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.645.0400 or thehoteljune.com

Loqui

12751 Millennium Dr. Suite 5-145, Playa Vista 213.286.2682 or eatloqui.com

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BEST SUSHI RESTAURANT Kanpai Japanese Sushi

BEST COFFEE SPOT Tanner’s Coffee

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

Favorites: Sugarfish

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

Sushi Beluga

207 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 424.228.4573 or sushibeluga.com

200 Culver Blvd. #C, Playa del Rey 310.574.2739 or tannerscoffeepdr.wixsite. com/tannerscoffeepdr Start your morning off right by heading to Tanner’s Coffee in Playa del Rey. This friendly neighborhood joint will serve you up coffee, espresso, ice blended drinks, teas and more, making it the perfect spot to stop to order a drink on your way to or from a walk on the beach.

Favorites: Cafe Solar

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

The Boy & The Bear

7403 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester theboyandthebear.com

BEST NATURAL/ HEALTH FOOD STORE Rainbow Acres

13208 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles 310.306.8330 or rainbowacresca.com With more than 1,000 reviews on Google and Yelp averaging a 4.5-plus rating, it’s no surprise this local favorite tops our list for the eighth year in a row. Before you start shopping, we recommend placing an order at the juice bar and we never leave without checking out the day’s hot bar menu and vegan desserts!

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

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

Photo by Neil O’Loughlin.

FOOD & DRINK categories


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

August 2021• Page 23


Urban Plates

2746-3 W. Jefferson Blvd., Playa Vista 424.256.7274 urbanplates.com

The Good Pizza

8115 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.827.0500 or thegoodpizza.com The Good Pizza remains our readers’ favorite pizza joint in 2021! Visit their Playa del Rey location for delicious eats whether you’re in the mood for a slice, pasta or a salad. Chef Nando always tries to impress with his offering of new dishes and specials, so follow them on social media to see what’s cooking. If you’re in the mood to dine-in, every weekend the restaurant has been hosting live music on their patio.

BEST BURGER The Shack

185 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.823.6222 or shackpdr.com If you’ve ever had a burger from the Shack, then you know why this Playa del Rey spot is unbeatable when it comes to our Best Burger category! Use their takeout window to order togo or enjoy the newly created outdoor patio in their parking lot when you’re looking for a place by the beach to enjoy lunch or dinner.

Favorites: Beach Pizza

8601 Lincoln Blvd. #150, Westchester 310.827.2000 or beachpizza.godaddysites.com

Favorites: The Manchester

LaRocco’s Pizzeria

8806 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.642.0029 or laroccospizzeria.com

8522 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 424.541.7097 or themanchester.la

Truxton’s American Bistro

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

Cantalini’s Salerno Beach

193 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.821.0018 or salernobeach.com Cantalini’s Salerno Beach is our readers’ place to go when they’re craving Italian. Combine their delicious homemade dishes with warm hospitality, and you have a winning recipe any day of the year! Whether you’re dining on their newly added patio, sitting inside or ordering takeout, don’t forget to ask what the specials are or order dessert!

Favorites: Alejo’s

8343 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.6677 or alejosrestaurant.com

C&O Cucina

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

BEST PLACE FOR SWEET TREATS Westchester Bakery

6216 W. 87th St., Westchester 310.215.9606 or westchesterbakery.com Chances are you’ll have to wait in line in order to pick out your sweet treats at this cozy Triangle-located bakery. Voted Best Bakery by our readers, this shop is known for its creative custom cakes, assortment of cookies–our favorite is the Florentine–as well as pastries, cupcakes and tarts.

Favorites: Bristol Farms Westchester

BEST LUNCH SPOT BEST QUICK Tony P’s Dockside Grill SERVICE MEXICAN FOOD 4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com Its large menu with something for everyone, ample outdoor seating and its friendly atmosphere make Tony P’s Dockside Grill a great place for lunch. Whether you’re dining alone, bringing the whole family or looking for a good location for a casual business meeting, Tony P’s has you covered.

Favorites: Ayara Thai Cuisine

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

BEST SANDWICH SHOP Del Rey Deli

8501 Pershing Dr. Ste. 3, Playa del Rey 310.439.2256 or delreydeli.com This Playa del Rey favorite is ready to serve up yummy sandwiches, soups and salads. Follow them on social media to check out their specials and what’s new at this Best Of locale.

Favorites: Olive It

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

Sorrento Italian Market

Benny’s Tacos

7101 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.670.8226 or bennystacos.com When our readers are craving a burrito or a taco plate, they head to Benny’s Tacos on Manchester! Dishes likes the Avocado Supreme Burrito, Rotisserie Chicken Plates and the carne asada tacos are crowd favorites.

Favorites: El Tarasco Westchester

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

8448 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.410.0593 or bristolfarms.com

8620 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.338.0399

Señor G’s

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

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR Melody Bar & Grill

9132 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1994 or melodylax.com The Melody Bar & Grill is our 2021 Best Neighborhood Bar honoree! Their newly renovated outdoor patio is ready for visitors looking to order up a meal and enjoy refreshing cocktails while planes land at LAX. Happy Hour runs daily from 3 to 6 p.m. and their weekday lunch specials include deals like half off burgers, $3 tacos and $3 sliders!

Favorites: Cinco

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

Mo’s Place

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

BEST HEALTHY DINING OPTIONS Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd.

13208 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles 310.306.8330 or rainbowacresca.com Topping our list this year, Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd. has a ton of healthy options, thanks to its hot bar, pre-packaged fresh meals, deli, juice bar and grocery selection.

Favorites: Cafe Solar

6231 W. 87th St., Westchester 310.242.2092 or oliveit.com 5518 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 310.391.7654 or sorrentoitalianmarket.com

6224 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 424.227.6486 or cahuengagroup.com

Photos courtesy Truxton’s.

SusieCakes Marina del Rey

Photo by Neil O’Loughlin.

BEST PIZZA

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


Thank you for 41 years of community support and voting us #1 Juice Bar & Natural Food Store on the Westside for the last 8 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 2021 • Page 25


Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbisto.com Truxton’s American Bistro celebrated its 15th anniversary last month by holding a fundraiser to support a local nonprofit! The restaurant’s generosity and a menu with items like the Gilly Burger, Monkey Bread and the Kicked-up Mac & Cheese make this our readers’ top pick when it comes to Westchester restaurants.

Favorites: J. Nichols

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

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

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

BEST BRUNCH Playa Provisions

119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.683.5019 or playaprovisions.com Grab a friend and head to the patio at Playa Provision to take advantage of their delicious brunch menu that is heavy on traditional favorites with a twist like the Playa Breakfast Plate, Maple Bacon Cinnamon Roll and Biscuit & Lobster gravy.

Favorites: Coffee Company

8751 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.645.7315 or thecoffeecompanyla.com

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

BEST FAMILY RESTAURANT Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com Read to dine out with the whole family? Head to Tony P’s where there’s something on the menu for everyone and the kids’ menu has all

Page 26 • August 2021

their favorites! Even Fido is invited thanks to the restaurant’s newly launched “Yappy Hour” where well-behaved pups can join their owners on the patio.

Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner.

BEST AMERICAN RESTAURANT

Favorites: Alejo’s

8343 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.6677 or alejosrestaurant.com

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT Paco’s Tacos

6212 Manchester Blvd., Westchester 310.645.8692 or pacoscantina.com When you’re craving Mexican food, Paco’s Tacos Cantina is ready to serve up generous combination plates, tacos, burritos, chimichangas and more.

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

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

BEST RESTAURANT BEST HAPPY CATERER HOUR Cantalini’s Salerno Beach

193 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.821.0018 or salernobeach.com Cantalini’s Salerno Beach takes the number one spot this year with our readers. Ordering food for your event, meeting or large family dinner couldn’t be easier thanks to their helpful staff ready to whip up large plates of their signature pasta dishes and salads. Don’t forget an order of the garlic knots and the best cannoli in town!

Favorites: Benny’s Tacos

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

Cinco

7241 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.910.0895 or cincola.com Monday through Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m. Cinco rolls out their happy hour menu with four street tacos for $5, burritos for $6 and numerous cocktails for $10 making them our readers’ #1 pick.

Favorites: Melody Bar & Grill

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

BEST RESTAURANT Playa Provisions

119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.683.5019 or playaprovisions.com There’s no denying that Playa Provisions is one of the community’s best restaurants and a top pick for our readers. Its unique concept that brings together four different dining experiences, an excellent menu heavy on the seafood and an outdoor patio where you can enjoy the ocean breeze, make it great place to dine no matter what the occasion.

Favorites: Tony P’s Dockside Grill

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

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

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

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


BEST THAI RESTAURANT

pineapple, coconut juice and strawberries to ensure you get your daily dose of Vitamin C!

Favorites: Kreation Organic Juicery

Ayara Thai Cuisine

4716 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310. 822.1220 or kreationjuice.com

6245 W. 87th Street, Westchester 310.410.8848 or ayarathaicuisine.com Since 2004, this family-run restaurant has been serving up authentic, delicious Thai dishes from its Westchester Triangle location. Order online for easy curbside pickup, and don’t forget to throw in a Thai Iced Tea! Some of our favorite dishes include the Pad Thai, Ayara Fried Rice and the Spicy Basil. Make sure to check out Ayara’s website for specials and available cooking kits. Follow them on Instagram @ayarathai to stay in the loop about new food offerings, events and what’s next for this beloved Westchester eatery that is worth the wait!

Señor G’s Juice

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

BEST OUTDOOR DINING AREA Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com Tony P’s is known for its spacious patio overlooking the Marina, and now it has two, making it the perfect spot to sip your Mai Tai while dreaming about what you’d name your yacht.

Favorites: Natalee Thai

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

Thai Talay

8411 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.3055 or thethaitalay.com

BEST BREAKFAST The Coffee Company

8751 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.645.7315 or thecoffeecompanyla.com There’s almost always a line out the door at the Coffee Company. Whether you’re dining inside or enjoying a meal on the patio, this longtime Westchester hotspot has all the breakfast dishes you’re looking for from crispy waffles and cheesy omelettes to fluffy pancakes and skillets with Potatoes O’Brien. Save some time by joining their Yelp wait list, and if you’re a super fan, pick up some Coffee Company merch that has a retro feel.

Favorites: Cafe Solar

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

J. Nichols

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

BEST BAR Cinco

7241 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.910.0895 or cincola.com With its central locations, quality drinks and fun atmosphere, Cinco takes home our Best Bar honoree again this year.

Favorites: Melody Bar & Grill

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

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

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

BEST SERVICE Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbisto.com Restaurants and their staff have continued to pivot throughout the pandemic and have no

doubt had to deal with challenging circumstances and sometimes guests. At Truxton’s, however, the staff continues to impress with their customer service and friendliness. You can almost see the smiles!

Favorites: Cantalini’s Salerno Beach

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

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

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

BEST JUICE BAR Rainbow Acres

13208 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles 310.306.8330 or rainbowacresca.com When you’re looking for healthy snacks or fresh or ready-to-go cold-pressed juices, shakes and smoothies, our go-to spot is Rainbow Acres. Their helpful staff will quickly make you a Carlos’ Flu Special with carrot, orange and ginger or the All Fruit Yoga Blend with banana, agave nectar, mango,

Favorites: Playa Provisions

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

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

BEST CASUAL DINING Benny’s Tacos

7101 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.670.8226 or bennystacos.com When our readers want a quick bite to eat, Benny’s is a top choice thanks to their quick service, large menu and yummy dishes.

Favorites: Cafe Solar

6224 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 424.227.6486 or cahuengagroup.com

The Shack

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

THANK YOU FOR VOTING US BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR & A FAVORITE HAPPY HOUR! Daily Happy Hour 3 - 6 pm

Weekdays | 11am -12am Weekends | 9 am - 12am

Weekend Brunch 9am - 1pm Weekday Lunch Specials 11am - 3 pm Monday Half Off All Burgers 11am - 3pm Tuesday Taco Tuesday is now $3 Tacos Wednesday Happy Hour Prices Lunch 11am - 3pm Thursday Half Off Sandwiches & Wraps 11am - 3pm Friday $3 Sliders 11 am to 3 pm

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

August 2021 • Page 27


2021

Photo courtesy AYSO.

COMMUNITY categories

BEST YOUTH SPORTS LEAGUE

AYSO REGION 7 2021

AYSO Region 7 will kick off their new season on September 11! The league celebrated its 50th anniversary in June, and was voted #1 by our readers for Best Youth Sports League. Through the decades their mission has remained the same: to develop and deliver a quality youth soccer program where everyone builds positive character through participation in a fun environment. AYSO Region 7 serves the communities of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and beyond, and is open to all children who want to learn the game. Interest and enthusiasm are the only criteria for playing! Learn more at ayso7.org.

Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary

playavenice.org The Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary makes its way to the top of our Best Community Club category for 2021! The club excels when it comes to having fun and getting it done. PVSR is known for a variety of community projects and events including supporting the Fourth of July Parade, hosting the Santa Tour and throwing the pancake breakfast at Fire Station #5. They also support a variety of local and international causes from fighting human trafficking, volunteering at the Midnight Mission and building homes with Habitat for Humanity. Under the leadership of President Maria Davis, the club is back to weekly in-person meetings on the outdoor patio at Whiskey Red’s overlooking the Marina.

Favorites: Westchester Elks Lodge

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

Westchester Rotary Club rotary-westchester.com

BEST NONPROFIT

Airport Marina Counseling Service 7891 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1410 or airportmarina.org AMCS takes home our #1 honor for the Best Nonprofit this year. With an estimated 1 in 5

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Americans affected by mental health conditions, access to affordable mental health care is more important than ever. Today, AMCS serves (currently via Zoom) hundreds of individuals, children, families and couples and provides their services on a sliding-scale basis.

Photo courtesy Friends of Ballona.

BEST COMMUNITY CLUB

Favorites: Friends of Ballona Wetlands ballonafriends.org

Grass Roots Neighbors

424.2O9.2777 or grassrootsneighbors.org

BEST PLACE TO VOLUNTEER Grass Roots Neighbors

424.2O9.2777 or grassrootsneighbors.org Since last spring, Grass Roots Neighbors has built a dedicated team of local 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: Friends of Ballona Wetlands ballonafriends.org

Westside Pacific Village

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

If you enjoy the outdoors and helping beautify your community, Friends of Ballona Wetlands offers monthly volunteer opportunities for those 7 and up. Visit their website to learn about recent projects and see why more than 100,000 volunteers have donated their time since 1978!

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


Ground in our Catholic tradition, we’ve been helping shape young lives in this community for more than 60 years! Thank you to our many community supporters including: LMU Family of Schools LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce William H. Hannon Foundation Msgr. Royale Vadakin Arts & Education Foundation Onward Leaders and the Smet Foundation St. A’s Parishioners Consultative School Board PTO School Parents

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

August 2021 • Page 29


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


THANK YOU FOR VOTING US Favorite Community Club get involved at: www.rotary-westchester.com

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

August 2021 • Page 31


BEST FARMERS’ MARKET

Playa Vista Farmers’ Market

12775 W. Millennium Drive farmermark.com/playavista Playa Vista Farmers’ Market is the place to be when it comes to Saturday morning shopping. 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.

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

Mar Vista Farmers’ Market

3826 Grand View Blvd., Mar Vista marvistafarmersmarket.org

BEST COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE DURING COVID Westside Pacific Village

8939 Sepulveda Blvd. #326, Westchester 310.695.7030 or thewpv.org As soon as the pandemic hit, Westside Pacific Villages (WPV) sprung into action, mobilizing their board and volunteers to help their members. Quickly creating WPV Cares, the nonprofit led by Executive Director Carol Kitabayashi, offered its services for free to seniors in need. Volunteers connected with seniors staying safer-at-home to offer a socially distant visit, to run errands, pick up groceries, deliver medicine and more. The popular Friday weekly care packages, which featured food and treats were a huge hit with the seniors who received them, as well as the volunteers who were able to make connections by delivering them.

Favorites: Airport Marina Counseling Service 7891 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1410 or airportmarina.org

new vendor Dancing Crow Vineyard, live music and kids’ activities! Story time with The Book Jewel starts at 11:30 a.m. and the Westchester/Playa Historical Society Discovery Center will also be open to visitors. Summer crops are at their best this month, so expect to find lots of summer berries, stone fruits, watermelon and heirloom tomatoes

Favorites: Lovejoy Foundation

Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club playavenice.org

121 W. Hillcrest Blvd., Inglewood 310.641.1537 or lovejoyfoundation.org

Michelson Found Animals Adopt & Shop-Culver City 4235 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 310.933.6863 or adoptandshop.org

Grass Roots Neighbors grassrootsneighbors.org

BEST MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATION

BEST PLACE TO ADOPT A PET Annenberg PetSpace

The Westchester Farmers’ Market is celebrating its five-year anniversary of opening in the Westchester Triangle this month! Visit on Sunday, August 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and enjoy a supersized market day complete with a vintage car show, flower crown crafting courtesy of the Westchester Rotary Club, wine tasting featuring

Westchester Family YMCA

12005 Bluff Creek Dr., Playa Vista 424.384.1801 or annenbergpetspace.org Playa Vista’s Annenberg PetSpace is top dog in this new category for 2021. Life is better with a furry companion, so check out their website to view all the available animals for adoption! In honor of DOGust this month, they’re hosting a variety of programming like a watercolor painting class, an agility fun workshop and shelter dog birthday celebration on August 28.

8015 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.4316 or ymcala.org/westchester Our readers voted the YMCA the Best Membership Organization this year! More than just a gym, the Y functions as a community hub with lots of opportunities to get involved and make lasting friendships.

Favorites: LAX Coastal Chamber

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

BEST COMMUNITY EVENT Fourth of July Parade

laxcoastal.com For 10 years in a row, the Fourth of July Parade has been voted #1 by our readers for 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. This year’s event had the theme “Our National Treasures,” and although it was smaller than usual, the spirit of the community shined through. Hosted by the LAX Coastal Chamber, the parade is a neighborhood tradition that has become an important part of the fabric of Westchester.

Favorites: MdR Holiday Boat Parade mdrboatparade.org

Westchester Arts & Music Block Party

to choose from. Market-goers will also find more than 20 local food businesses showcasing their artisanal foods like freshly baked breads, honey, aged cheese, hot meals, gourmet tamales and more. The Westchester Farmers’ Market is held every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the 6200 block of W. 87th St. in Westchester.

BEST CHARITY/ NONPROFIT EVENT Westchester Arts & Music Block Party

wamblockparty.com Save the date for Saturday, September 18 for the Westchester Arts & Music Block Party (WAM)! The event is back this year after going virtual for 2020, and organizers are working on creating a memorable day that features awesome live music, vendors selling artwork, community booths, food trucks and good vibes. A portion of the money raised will go to support the Emerson Avenue Community Garden, which is currently getting a makeover thanks in part to the Westchester Rotary Club. Visit WAM’s website for all the details and a schedule of activities.

Favorites: LAX Coastal Education Foundation Rock Roll & Run 5K laxcoastaledfoundation.com

Holiday Home Tour westchestermhg.org

wamblockparty.org

3 VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES TO CHECK OUT THIS MONTH The best block party of the summer is back next month, and they’re looking for volunteers! The Westchester Arts & Music Block Party (WAM) is scheduled for Saturday, Sep. 18 and organizers are calling on the community’s help to put up lawn signs and assist in two-hour shifts on event day to help with tasks like set-up and directing vendors to their booths. Visit wamblockparty. org to learn more.

Page 32 • August 2021

Clean UP Westchester is having a big impact when it comes to beautifying neighborhood streets, and they’re inviting community members of all ages to help in their efforts. Volunteers are provided with neon t-shirts to wear to help with the camaraderie as they donate an hour of their time to help make Westchester sparkle. The next cleanup day will tackle the area around Bristol Farms on August 28. Contact organizer Grant Francis for more info at granttfrancis@gmail.com.

You can make a difference by rolling up your sleeves and volunteering at the Ballona Wetlands for a Ballona Creek Cleanup (August 14) or Friday Habitat Restoration Day (August 20) hosted by the Friends of Ballona Wetlands. You’ll be lending a helping hand, while also learning about urban ecology and taking in the beauty of this natural habitat. Registration is a must, so get all the details at ballonafriends.org.

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


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PARTNERSCHOOL SCHOOL PARTNER

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 | MARIA DAVIS, PRESIDENT Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

August 2021 • Page 33


2021

Photo by Neil O’Loughlin.

SCHOOL & FAMILY categories

BEST PRIVATE SCHOOL

ST. ANASTASIA 2021

St. Anastasia Catholic School has been voted “Best Private School” this year. Grounded in a Catholic tradition, the school has been helping shape young lives in the Westchester/Playa del Rey community for more than fifty years. Here Principal Angelica Krestin and mascot, Peppy, pose with elementary school students excited to be back on campus and ready for the new school year!

BEST HIGH SCHOOL WISH Academy

7400 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.743.6990 or wishcharter.org WISH Academy High School takes our Best High School honor during a milestone year for the school. In June, WISH Academy graduated its first 12th grade class and celebrated with an emotional ceremony on the field at St. Bernard High School. With project-based learning, hands-on activities, and programs that are reflective of the ever-changing 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

BEST PRIVATE K-8 SCHOOL St. Anastasia School

8631 Stanmoor Dr., Westchester 310.645.8816 or school.st-anastasia.org St. Anastasia School is our Best Private School honoree again this year. Known for its strong parent involvement, dedication to academics and a strong arts and sports program, the school continues to grow and thrive under the leadership of Principal Angelica Krestin.

Favorites: Visitation Catholic School

8740 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.645.6620 or visitationschool.org

Page 34 • August 2021

Westside Neighborhood School

Covenant Preschool

BEST CHARTER SCHOOL

BEST PRESCHOOL

6550 80th St., Westchester 310.642.9474 or wishcharter.org WISH Charter School is a favorite with local families and it continues to top our readers’ poll in the Best Charter School category! WISH Charter now spans K-12 grade, and last semester graduated its first high school class. Admission to the school is through a lottery process, so visit their website to learn more and for important dates, including tours.

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.

5401 Beethoven Street, Los Angeles 310.574.8650 or wns-la.org

WISH Charter School

Favorites: Goethe Charter School

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

Open Magnet Charter

Children of Our Savior Preschool

6705 W. 77th St., Westchester 310.215.3166 or oursaviorwestchester.org Topping our list for the second time this year, Children of our Savior Preschool is a popular choice when it comes to daycare. Believing in “play with purpose,” teachers plan activities that are not only fun, but also promote learning.

Favorites: Children of Our Savior Preschool

6705 W. 77th St., Westchester 310.215.3166 or oursaviorwestchester.com 7831 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.5422 or wlcs.org

BEST CHILDCARE PROVIDER

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

Covenant Preschool

Westchester Lutheran Preschool

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

Favorites: Carousel School

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

BEST PLACE FOR KIDS’ LESSONS Westchester Family YMCA

8015 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.4316 or ymcala.org/westchester With the Y recently reopened, families are taking advantage of all their activities for kids, including the popular swim lessons. While the YMCA works to revamp its program and grow its staff to pre-pandemic levels, it’s advised to sign up early for any programs of interest.

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

BEST YOUTH SPORTS LEAGUE AYSO Region 7

ayso.bluesombrero.com/region7 AYSO Region 7 is celebrating its 50th anniversary of bringing soccer to the community this year! Visit their website to get the scoop on sign-ups and their upcoming season, which starts September 11.

Favorites: Del Rey American Little League drall.org

Westchester Del Rey Little League wdrll.org

BEST DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAM Westchester Lutheran

7831 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.5422 or wlcs.org With distance learning a must for most of the last school year, Westchester Lutheran excelled when it came to teaching online. Thanks to their dedicated educators and staff, students were still able to enjoy learning via online platforms and receive art lessons, P.E. and more.

Favorites: St. Anastasia School

8631 Stanmoor Dr., Westchester 310.645.8816 or school.st-anastasia.org

WISH Charter School

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

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


We are located in the warm, welcoming neighborhood of Westchester. Our mission is to inspire, teach, and nurture well-rounded students for success. We lay the foundation for excellence early in a child’s development and build on it each year.

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

August 2021 • Page 35


Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner.

BEST PRIVATE HIGH SCHOOL St. Monica High School

1030 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica 310.394.3701 or stmonicachs.org St. Monica High School tops our list for the first 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.

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

BEST PUBLIC SCHOOL WISH Charter School

6550 80th St., Westchester 310.642.9474 or wishcharter.org The WISH community continues to thrive making it a top local school and loved by its families! Their model builds on collaborating and co-teaching, differentiated instruction, family partnerships, optimal class size and being a research to practice demonstration site.

Page 36 • August 2021

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

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

BEST UNIVERSITY/ COLLEGE Loyola Marymount University

1 LMU Drive, Westchester 310.338.2700 or lmu.edu 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, which is top-rated not only for academics, but also for its beauty. While the campus is still closed to visitors for the time being, we look forward to being able to attend events like the Rock Roll & Run in 2022 and hope conditions allow the LMU Tree Lighting in December. Follow the campus at facebook.com/ lmula to stay up-to-date with news and virtual happenings.

Favorites: UCLA ucla.edu

USC

usc.edu

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


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

August 2021 • Page 37


2021

Photo courtesy Marianne Pellin Photography.

HEALTH & WELLNESS categories

BEST PERSONAL TRAINER

FIT4MOM WESTSIDE

2021

At FIT4MOM Westside, they welcome mothers in every stage of motherhood. From prenatal to postpartum, people of all levels and fitness backgrounds can join classes like Stroller Strides and get moving! Here Best Personal Trainer honoree Kellie Fell leads a workout class for local moms with kids in tow. A perk of most of the classes is the chance to come together afterwards to socialize while the kids play. People come for the workout and stay for the community, says Fell.

BEST URGENT CARE BEST HOSPITAL 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 first 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.

Favorites: Exer Urgent Care Playa Vista

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

UCLA Playa Marina Urgent Care

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

BEST PHARMACY Playa Pharmacy

8131 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.823.4500 or playapharmacy.com When readers need prescriptions filled, immunizations or PPE, they’re heading to Manchester Blvd.’s Playa Pharmacy. The familyrun business, led by Westchester resident and Pharmacist Joe Chehade, is currently offering all three COVID vaccines, COVID rapid testing and same day delivery.

Dr. Amy Shapiro

12555 Jefferson Blvd. Ste. 302, Playa Vista 424.443.5600 or providence.org

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica

1250 16th St., Santa Monica 424.259.6000 or uclahealth.org/santamonica UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica serves as the cornerstone of UCLA Health’s Santa Monica medical campus. The 265-bed, 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: Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital

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

Providence St. John’s Health Center 2121 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica 310.829.5511 or california.providence.org/ saint-johns

BEST DOCTOR/ DOCTOR OFFICE Dr. Jonathan Velasquez, Exer Urgent Care Playa Vista

4558 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.5311 or marinadelreypharmacy.com

6020 S. Seabluff Dr. #1, Playa Vista 310.862.0400 or exerurgentcare.com For the fourth time in a row, Dr. Jonathan Velasquez tops our Best Of list. Whether visiting in person or online for a tele-health visit, the mission at the newly opened Exer Urgent Care Playa Vista is to provide its patients with the most advanced medical care.

8930 Sepulveda Blvd. #103, Westchester 310.670.3463 or westchesterpharmacy.com

Favorites: Dr. Danelle Fisher

Favorites: Marina del Rey Pharmacy Westchester Pharmacy

Page 38 • August 2021

12555 Jefferson Blvd. Ste. 302, Playa Vista 424.443.5600 or providence.org

BEST PERSONAL TRAINER FIT4MOM Westside

760.954.2490 or westside.fit4mom.com FIT4MOM Westside makes our list for the second time this year. 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.

Favorites: Chloe Training

310.418.0145 or chloestraining.com

SoCal Sports and Fitness

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

BEST DENTIST OFFICE

Favorites: Del Rey Dental

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

SiliconBeach.Dental

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

BEST OPTOMETRY OFFICE Del Rey Optometry

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

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

Look Optometry

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

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


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

August 2021 • Page 39


BEST MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

Airport Marina Counseling Service

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. Until the clinic reopens, sessions are held via Zoom.

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

BEST YOGA STUDIO LiveYoga Wellness

6700 W. 83rd St., Westchester 310.835.6700 or liveyogawellness.com LiveYoga Wellness is our Best Yoga studio for 2021! Visit their website to check out their offerings of classes and workshops to discover how yoga can help transform your mind, body and spirit.

Favorites: HŌMTOWN Yoga

5921 Center Dr., Westchester 424.331.5141 or homtownyoga.com

BEST DENTIST Dr. Kaz Tomimatsu

8930 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Ste. 211, Westchester 310.641.4074 Whether you need serious dental work or just a routine six-month cleaning, Dr. Tomimatsu can help ensure your teeth stay healthy.

Favorites: Dr. Lawrence Fung, SiliconBeach.Dental

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

Heather Winther, DDS

4640 Admiralty Way, #714, Marina del Rey 310.821.0839 or drwinther.com

BEST SPECIALTY FITNESS STUDIO The Studio (MDR)

12775 W. Millennium, Suite 150, Playa Vista 310.593.4323 or thestudiomdr.com In need of a workout? The Studio (MDR) brings intense Pilates-inspired workouts to locations in Marina del Rey, Culver City and Playa Vista. Their technique combines Pilates, cardio training and weights that work to sculpt all your muscles.

Favorites: FIT4MOM Westside

We are proud to be part of the community, and we look forward to serving you for many more years!

760.954,2490 or westside.fit4mom.com

Archer Pilates

6504 Arizona Ave., Westchester 310.215.0300 or archerpilates.com

YogaBliss Westchester

6218 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 424.442.0647

• Covid Rapid Testing - J&J, Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines • Same Day Delivery • Compounding • Herbs & Supplements

Caring & Comfortable Dentistry

Dr. Michael Parsons

- In Westchester Since 1981 -

(310) 670-0902 Welcome to our beautiful new state of the art office near LAX 8930 S. Sepulveda Blvd., #210 Los Angeles, 90045 Free Parking Page 40 • August 2021

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


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

August 2021 • Page 41


Random Notes/Opinion

TheHTN.com

Look for the positive when it comes to exercise setbacks By Jeff Blair

Opinion: This past year has been challenging for health and fitness. Gyms were closed. Parents were juggling school obligations. People were managing ways to be productive at work. Exercise options and activity decreased for many people. Food and alcohol intake often increased. Many people have gained weight. Understandably, these factors have some people feeling a little discouraged. Even people who have been committed to physical fitness are facing new challenges. On the other hand, gyms are open again. People are traveling and going out more. Life seems more normal than last year even if it is not quite normal yet. People seem to be navigating mixed emotions arising from the challenges of the past year along with the desire to get healthier. Most people I talk to feel like they want to move forward. I have been thinking about this and wondering how to communicate an encouraging, optimistic and actionable message to people. As I was thinking about all this and getting ready to write this month’s article, I saw a post in my social

media feed from my friend Mick Dimaria. Mick is a married 50-yearold dad of two kids. He works as a Creative Director at an entertainment company. Unfortunately, Mick’s post shared that he had sustained an injury during his personal workouts. As I read it, I was struck with how positive his outlook was. He acknowledged his disappointment but was clearly committed to overcoming it and even coming out better on the other side. I thought Mick’s experience might encourage people looking to get their health and fitness back on track. I reached out to him, and he shared with me. I have paraphrased Mick’s thoughts below. After a year of quarantine and home workouts, Mick ventured back to the gym to elevate his personal workout, and he feels he might have been a little too ambitious. He was doing a bench press exercise and probably ramped up the weight too quickly. After doing the exercise, he immediately felt something was wrong and went to his doctor. It turned out he sustained a torn chest muscle. It will require surgery and rehab. This one will take a while to heal. Here are Mick’s three recommendations for anyone facing a

physical or personal challenge when it comes to working out. 1. Stay positive. Although the injury was definitely a setback, I have tried to redirect my attention to positive things. As my doctor told me, I don’t have to be a couch potato. There’s almost always something you can do to stay active. I plan on doing lots of walking. I am also focused on improving my nutrition. I hope to recover and rebuild. 2. Try to focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot do. I figure that most adults who exercise are working around some physical limitation. Although I have an upper body injury, I can still ride a recumbent exercise bike and perform lower-body strength training. I plan on staying consistent with those activities. 3. Focus on all the good things in your life beyond any injury or physical condition. I have great family support and access to quality medical care. My employer has been understanding and flexible. I have good health insurance. I know not everyone has those things. I try to focus on these things rather than my current inconveniences. I see this as much as a mental challenge as a physical one. Mick’s final piece of advice for those

starting back was to “ease back into things slowly and safely. It’s OK to take your time and not rush to reach your goals. If you do have a setback, look at it as an opportunity for growth. I would echo Mick’s thoughts. We all want immediate results. It is part of human nature. As Mick noted, it is better and safer to start at a manageable level and steadily increase over time. If you are looking to start a new fitness routine, consider consulting with an exercise professional who can give you helpful instruction and design a safe exercise program appropriate for you. Setbacks happen to everyone. Most of us experienced many during this past year. Find a way to approach them in a positive way and you can overcome them as I am sure Mick will do. Jeff Blair (MS, CSCS) has been a certified personal trainer in Westchester since 2002. He started the SoCalSport and Fitness Personal Training Studio in 2011 and he has been featured in numerous fitness publications. Reach out to him at jeff@ socalsport.com for article comments or questions. *Before you start any fitness routine, please consult your doctor.

YOU CAN HELP! FOOD PANTRY, LAX

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

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

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

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

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


Shifting your experience of emotional pain By Fay Craton Opinion: The other day I had an experience which started me thinking about how emotional hurt and physical pain can be similar. I was practicing a technique suggested by a physical pain expert to manage some of my own aches. My Achilles tendon can be fine one moment, and the next moment I have severe discomfort. The method is to not fight or get aggravated about the feeling, but to instead embrace it and bring it into my body. The practice worked. The pain shifted and diminished. Of course, this method does not take the place of medical care. Thinking about emotional pain and the soreness in my ankle led me to further reflect about perceived weakness. The term Achilles tendon comes from a legendary figure in Greek mythology. According to the myth, the weakest spot on his body was his heel. We all have points of weakness where we are more vulnerable to be emotionally hurt. There are very different ways to respond when feeling hurt. It can be externalized with the power to change the experience placed in someone else’s hands. Or you can take control of your own experience by embracing it and letting it be transformed within your own being and consciousness. In thinking about your own life, do you see types of situations which are more likely to be painful? Like Achilles, your family might have armored you or you might have found ways to build protections to keep from becoming hurt. There are still times when a barbed arrow hits a sore spot though. Let’s take a look at what happens when the arrow hits home and something is said or done which makes you feel bad. When you externalize it, you make the situation about the other person. You might become righteously angry or hurt. You could add drama to it by telling everyone you know about how you have been wronged or how someone is doing something of which you disapprove. Some folks might even post on social media to let others know what the other person did and how damaged you are because of their actions or words. Before you know it, you are entrenched in arguments. The original hurt has grown. I have worked with people caught in broken relationships and friendships after damage has been done. Ultimately, healing requires taking a different path. If you place the cause for your hurt outside of yourself, the emotional pain will just keep reoccurring. The secret

is to shift your attention from the external condition to the way you hold the pain in your mind and body. In this way you begin to take the control of your pain away from someone else and claim your right to direct how you choose to experience life. This does not mean it is okay to be abused or be in either physical or emotional danger. If you are in danger, please seek assistance from the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800)799-7233 or the Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 978-3600. If you are in immediate physical danger, call 911. There are many situations that can result in emotional pain which are different from those in which you need to obtain protection. By shifting your attention fulcrum, you have new choices. You begin to reclaim yourself. You start to entertain new information. The way your brain and nervous system functions begins to change. The pain diminishes as you stop focusing on it and instead allow it to dissolve. It is a shift into a healthier and larger state of wholeness. What are some steps to begin to make this shift? • Separate your mind chatter from what is truly important to you. Explore what is most important. Are you cultivating your own ethical values? • Do you care deeply about or love others? Consider what this means to you. • Pay attention to your words: everything that pops into your head does not need to be said. Are your words keeping antagonism going? Are your words reflective of mind chatter and do they align with your values? • Develop a practice of expressing gratitude daily in your life. • Regularly take time to simply breathe and find internal calm. • If you have a spiritual practice, engage it. My wish is for you to not need Achilles’ armor to protect yourself from hurt. I wish for you to view potentially painful events with new insight. New insight can mean you can view new choices. Instead of intensifying your pain, you are able to experience it as non-existent. A lot of heartache dissolves when we view it from new perspectives. You are deserving of experiencing a lighter and less painful life. 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). She provides video-based counseling and is located 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

Pastor, Larry Becker

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE 10:00 A.M. (Indoors & Livestream)

SUNDAY, AUGUST 29TH DEDICATION & BLESSING

For our newly renovated Early Learning Center Following the Worship Service

August 2021 • Page 43


Gluten Free: Is it meant to be? By Sheri Weitz, RDN, CDE, Contributing Columnist

Opinion: Going gluten free almost 20 years ago changed my life and restored my health. I feel better now than in my 20s, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone. Numerous misconceptions surround gluten. Two decades ago, it wasn’t chic or trendy to be gluten free. Nowadays, the gluten free industry is a huge money maker, but a lot of confusion has been created along with that dough. What is gluten? Gluten is the protein component of wheat, rye, and barley. Oats are inherently gluten free, but are sometimes contaminated with gluten through contact, so it’s best to buy oats which say “gluten free” if you’re sensitive. Common dietary sources of gluten are bread, pizza, flour tortillas, crackers, and pancakes. Many products that contain wheat or gluten which we don’t think about are foods such as soy sauce, soups, gravies, imitation crab and beer. What is celiac disease? Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune condition affecting less than one percent of the population. Persons suffering with this disorder cannot even tolerate trace amounts of gluten. Some are so sensitive that just brushing against someone who has touched gluten can set off a reaction. It often leads to gastrointestinal side effects, but some

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symptoms are unrelated to the gut, such as anemia. Is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity a real disorder? When I went gluten free, my family and friends questioned me, saying it was “all in my head.” Having suffered with low back pain, swollen feet, hair loss, weakness spells during which I couldn’t lift my arms, and elevated liver enzymes, I discovered that I needed to avoid gluten. Going gluten free was life changing, as if a fog had been lifted from my brain. I was seeing the world in technicolor clarity, experiencing movies and conversations with astonishing detail. The doctor had performed an intestinal biopsy and blood test before I went gluten free, which were both negative for celiac disease. But I was so sick! Later, when I decided to get a state-of-the-art blood test for “Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity” (NCGS), it confirmed what I knew: I had numerous antibodies to wheat and gluten coursing through my blood stream. I felt so much better once I got off gluten, but having it “in writing” was so validating. Harvard University, Celiac.org and others now recognize gluten sensitivity as a medical disorder, but can’t agree on how best to test for it. In the patients for whom I’ve ordered blood tests, about 40 percent show antibodies against gluten and wheat, and only a very small percentage tested positive for celiac disease. One patient in her

20s suffered from psoriatic arthritis. She couldn’t take her immunosuppressant meds due to severe side effects, one being that she had developed swelling in her brain. She tested positive for NCGS, (but negative for celiac) and completely went off gluten, and now feels healthy. I’ll give more dramatic examples from my private practice in the next article. What are Symptoms of Celiac and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity? How do you know if you have issues with gluten? Symptoms can be anything from stomach upset to headaches, brain fog, painful joints, fatigue, numbness in the hands or feet, hair loss, hypothyroidism, psoriasis, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis and more. If you want to avoid getting a blood test, you can try and avoid gluten for six weeks to three months to see how you feel, but it’s tough to maintain the motivation to completely avoid gluten (not even one bite!) without getting tested. If you can avoid the deprivation of a gluten free lifestyle, that is the way to go. If you’re not sensitive to gluten or don’t have celiac disease, it is not necessarily healthier to go gluten free. Whole grains are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, not to mention they add so much joy to life. But for those of us who need to avoid gluten to be healthy–or just lift our arms in the air–gluten free is meant to be!

Weitz is a local dietitian and enjoys teaching Zumba at the Westchester Family YMCA and other local spots.

Join me for my next article, Part 2 of “Gluten Free… Is It Meant to Be?,” where I discuss strategies for eating in restaurants and social settings while being gluten free, show you interesting case studies and explore some of the social and emotional aspects of a gluten free lifestyle. Sheri Weitz, RDN, CDE is a Registered Dietitian with a private practice in Westchester, and she provides clinical nutrition services for Manchester Medical. Sheri also teaches Zumba classes… her “happy pill.” To find out more about her services or for a free consultation, go to MovetoWellness.net.

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


September 18, 2021 11am-9pm Emerson Avenue at W. 80th Street

Marsh Davis & The Honey (Indie Rock), The Danger Band (Blues), Jetpack (Surf), Crew12 (Gospel) A Page Unturned (Alt Rock), Sanford Street (Funk Jam), RAINNE (Pop), Nico Franc (Pop) Rose’s Pawn Shop (Americana), Omar Torrez (Flamenco Rock) Artistico School of Dance & The Lariats

Fine Art, Ceramics, Jewelry, Textiles, Wearables

featuring Firestone Walker & Sweetzer Cellars Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

August 2021 • Page 45


Business & Nonprofit News

TheHTN.com

If you’re looking for a cool summer treat, N’ice Cream Playa Vista just launched new menu items that will have you ordering two scoops! Stop by their location in the Runway Shopping Center and place an order for the Instagram-worthy ice cream tacos with all the toppings, hand-dipped ice cream with sprinkles and milkshakes with extra whipped cream and cookie dough! N’ice Cream is located at 12746 W. Jefferson Blvd. #2160 (near Whole Foods) in Playa Vista.

Flight Path Museum reopens for visitors with reservations. The Flight Path Museum LAX reopened this month and is ready for visitors. The museum, which focuses on aviation and aerospace history, has added numerous enhancements for the safety and enjoyment of guests. Their collection includes numerous vintage airline uniforms, models, photographs and even a plane. For the month of August, the museum will be open weekends from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., with additional days to be added based on demand. Tarmac access will not be offered at this time. Reservations will be required to visit. “The year-long closure has provided us with an opportunity to completely refurbish our museum with the assistance of Los Angeles World Airports and other generous supporters,” said Agnes Huff, Flight Path Museum LAX president. “Members and visitors will find a museum that is more engaging, exciting and focused on our aviation legacy and educational mission.” Over the last few months, the museum, which is located just south of LAX’s runway, has undergone upgrades that include new carpet and paint, updated signage, enhanced landscaping and the addition of new and refreshed exhibits. For those looking for volunteer opportunities, Flight Path is currently accepting applications to help staff the museum. RSVP to visit the museum at Page 46 • August 2021

at a local grocer. Only 60 tickets will be sold. A live auction for gift baskets filled with a variety of spirits, wine and related items will round out the event. The Guild is a nonprofit organization with the sole purpose of fundraising to support AMCS. During the pandemic, they’ve found new ways to raise funds, including virtual events and takeout dinners. AMCS is located at 7891 La Tijera Blvd. in Westchester and provides affordable mental health counseling to the community, while also training therapists. For more information, please visit westchestermhg.org or amcshelps.com.

Learn about aviation history and check out the cool vintage pilot and flight attendant uniforms on display at the Flight Path Museum LAX in Westchester. Volunteers are also being sought to expand the museum’s hours of operation.

flightpathlax.com/timed-visit. Community members are also encouraged to visit the website to sign up for the nonprofit’s newsletter to receive updates on a phased reopening schedule and exhibits. The Flight Path Museum LAX is located in the former Imperial Terminal at 6661 W. Imperial Highway in Westchester. Mental Health Guild hosts virtual wine tasting fundraiser The Westchester Mental Health Guild will host a virtual summer wine

tasting on Thursday, August 19 at 6:45 p.m. Certified Sommelier, Bill Priestley, will be conducting an online session comparing a California chardonnay with a French chardonnay from the Burgundy region during the tasting. Tickets for the fundraiser are $55 per couple and are available for purchase at guildsummerwine.eventbrite.com. The ticket price includes two wines and fruit and jam accompaniments to be picked up at Airport Marina Counseling Service (AMCS) before the event. There will also be suggested cheese pairings that can be picked up

Sender One readies to open in Playa Vista. You’re invited to join Sender One Playa Vista for their grand opening party on Saturday, August 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 7,000+ square foot facility is the company’s first bouldering only location and has a variety of terrains for climbers at every skill level. Bouldering is a form of climbing where no climbing gear is required. During the grand opening, guests can check out the space and take advantage of $15 day passes. Giveaways, a climbing scavenger hunt, games, prizes, food, vendors and music are also part of the day’s festivities. Sender One Playa Vista is located at 12775 W. Millennium Dr. Suite 4-140A in Playa Vista. Learn more and RSVP at senderoneclimbing.com/playavista. (continued on next page)

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


• Have lunch delivered by our onsite Café • Run down to the ATM or many local banks to do your banking • Pick up a couple of items at Ralphs/CVS • Take your pet to Westchester Veterinary

Qargo Coffee celebrated its recent opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, July 31. The community was invited to stop by the new shop for complimentary coffee, tea, pastries and prizes. Patrons also enjoyed live music from The Jazz Cartel on the outside terrace. Qargo serves coffee sourced by world-renowned producer, Lavazza and is located in Playa del Oro at 8601 Lincoln Blvd, #140 in Westchester. Visit qargocoffee.com for more info. Pictured: Members of the Qargo team, friends, LAX Coastal Chamber staff and its Honorary Mayor, Marsha Wietecha, cut the ribbon to welcome the shop to Westchester.

(continued from previous page) Westchester Team Challenge rescheduled for 2022. The Westchester Team Challenge scheduled for August 7 at LMU has been postponed until August 2022. The event, which sees local teams of 10 battle it out to see who is number one in events like the threelegged race, bocce ball and more, was canceled last year due to the pandemic. While organizers were

Service • Pick up animal necessities at Petco, vitamins at GNC, get a car wash or select from a myriad of shopping and food choices all within an easy walk

optimistic LMU’s campus would be open to visitors by August, teams will have to wait until next summer to join in the festivities. Visit westchestercateamchallenge. com to learn more. 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.

(424) 312-1513 Email: Rena@DrollingerProperties.com

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310.417.8048 www.drollingerproperties.com

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

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

Kimberly Napolitano, Esq.

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Wills - Trusts - Probate

August 2021 • Page 47


SCENE THE BEST OF PLAYA VISTA!

Our 3 Favorite Things about the PV Lifestyle

Playa Vista is an oasis on the Westside of L.A. and unique in so many ways. As a planned community with a central location, it’s close to the beach, airport and great neighboring communities. In honor of the Best Of issue, here are our top three favorite things about the Playa Vista lifestyle that make it number one on our list!

1

Playa Vista Parks

Playa Vista has some of the best parks around, but not everyone knows that it actually has 29! Some of the larger parks (think Sports Park or Campus Central Park) are well known and popular attractions for people all over the city. However, there are so many green spaces throughout the community–47 acres in fact–that no matter where your turn, there always seems to be a new one popping up. From community gardens and areas for your dog to play to courts for sports and perfect places for picnics, there’s no shortage of parks to explore the outdoors and enjoy the almost perfect year-round weather.

2

Walkability

The walkability of Playa Vista means something different to everyone. For some it means ditching the car for a walk to grab coffee, get groceries or running any number of errands around town. For others, it’s getting outdoors with the family without having a specific destination in mind... maybe it’s a quick walk to the pool, a bite to eat, or simply getting some fresh air while taking in the beauty of the area. If you’re lucky enough, it might even mean a live/work lifestyle where there is no commute! There’s no denying that Playa Vista is the epitome of the walkable lifestyle on the Westside!

3

Shopping/Dining

Playa Vista is ever evolving with the shopping and dining offerings seemingly growing by the month! Between Concert Park, Runway and The Campus, there are so many options when it comes to eating out (or getting takeout) and shopping. We like to say that Playa Vista offers a small town feel with buzzworthy attractions. As a destination on the Westside, more and more are venturing to Playa Vista for that special retail and food experience they once saved for nearby Abbot Kinney or Manhattan Beach. If you haven’t visited lately, come see why!

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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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Photos courtesy WLL.

Congratulations to this year’s Westchester Little League (WLL) championship teams: District Champions the 12U All Star team; Major Division Champions the Blue Jays; Minor Division Champions the Yankees and the AA Division Champs the Marlins!

open to boys and girls ages 5 to 15 that live or attend school in the league’s boundary, and is always looking for new players to join in on the fun. Check out westchesterll.org for details about playing in the league or signing up for available camps this summer and next season.

Despite the many challenges and obstacles brought by COVID restrictions, WLL managed to have a memorable and exciting season. In fact, they were even able to help a neighboring league when they were not able to form a team! Happy to be back on the field, the kids played their hearts out and enjoyed every second.

Pictured clockwise from top: 1. Yankees, Minor Division champions, manager Robert Plush and coach Kevin Hughes. 2. 12U All Stars, manager Karlo Palos and coaches Jim Vatcher and Barney Zepeda. 3. Marlins, AA Division champs, manager Ben Lucas and coach Gavin McNiece. 4. Blue Jays, Majors Division champions, manager Brian Davis, coach Jason Smith and assistant coach Osvaldo Nevarez. Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

WLL, which offers baseball and T-ball, is Page 50 • August 2021


Independent Wealth Management Serving Westchester since 2003

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

WESTCHESTER OFFICE 424.255.1045

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August 2021 • Page 51


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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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The LAX Coastal Fourth of July Parade may have been scaled-down for 2021, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a memorable event! After last year’s celebration was canceled due to the pandemic, parade organizers, led by the LAX Coastal Chamber, were excited to be able to hold any gathering at all. “We weren’t sure what to expect, but we were thrilled to be able to have the parade on July 4,” said Chamber President/CEO Christina Davis. “There were so many smiling faces and people who thanked us for doing the work to Page 54 • August 2021

put on the event, even though things were up in the air for much of the planning. We are lucky to be part of such a wonderful community that came together to make this happen from our sponsors, participants, volunteers, neighbors and attendees. We thank you all!” With a pared-down line up, spectators were treated to parade favorites like marching bands, a visit from the Great Pyrenees and dozens of Star Wars characters, including the Mandalorian and Chewbacca, as well as floats, community groups and

dignitaries. A Starline Sightseeing bus, with frontline healthcare workers from Cedars-Sinai, St. John’s Providence Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente served as the Grand Marshals and were cheered by the crowd as they made their way down Loyola Blvd. In addition to the parade, the organizing committee held its Second Annual Home Decorating Contest and will award the top three decorators with gift cards to local restaurants. The 2021 winners are: First Place: Caryn Virtue; Second Place: Elizabeth Kane and Third Place: Kalani Jensen.

Thank you to this year’s major sponsors: Decron Properties, the Stephanie Younger Group, Drollinger Properties, Jane St. John/REMAX Estate Properties, Cedars-Sinai, Geico Hawthorne local office, Otis College of Art & Design, Zacha Homes and Kaiser Permanente. For information about getting involved in next year’s parade as a participant, volunteer or sponsor, please visit laxcoastalonparade.com. View all the event photos at zsuzsiphotography.shootproof.com/ gallery/15474559.

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