La Brea Tar Pits: A Park That’s Not the Pits!

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Don’t want to be a stick in the mud? Take a prehistoric pit stop at the La Brea Tar Pits. Discover more than meets the eye as fossils dating back 40,000 years lurk just beneath the surface of the sticky, bubbling tar in Los Angeles. Mini explorers will be fascinated by these incredible Ice Age findings and ongoing active excavations. Dare to dig a little deeper? Head on over to the must-see Page Museum. Mammoth amounts of fun are around every corner!

When to Go: Anytime!

Where: The La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum is located just off of Wilshire Blvd. and Fairfax Ave. in the Mid-Wilshire area. The park and museum share a location with its more glamorous neighbor and landmark, LACMA, found between Wilshire Blvd. and 6th St. with a parking lot off of Curson Ave. Street parking is also available on 6th St. where metered, and 2-hour parking is available.

What to Do: Take a time machine trek around the La Brea Tar Pits—one of the world’s most famed active excavation sites. As you meander down the paths, you’ll find lots of activity afoot with kids playing, people picnicking, working out and walking their dogs.

On your walk, you’ll discover a well laid out tour of the multiple tarry pits. Informational signs detailing the historical significance and findings from this prehistoric place are posted throughout. Eventually, you’ll reach the impressively large tar lake which presents a dramatic scene of a life-size Mammoth family stuck in the sticky tar. This was the unfortunate fate for many of the thirsty mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians we find fossilized here today.

Ongoing excavations can also be found along the way. One current site is called Project 23, where volunteers and paleontologists work together to excavate and clean their exciting discoveries. To get the most out of the park make sure you visit the Page Museum where you’ll see actual fossils of giant sloths, vultures, saber-tooth cats, an impressive wall of over 400 dire wolf skulls, battling animatronics and much more! You and your little ones can even test how sticky the tar really is. The museum is a great way to demonstrate the living history of this remarkable ancient area in a way that really sticks.

Where to Eat: There are lots of great options for grabbing a bite to eat. If you want cheap and easy, cross the street on Wilshire Boulevard and choose from one of the many fabulous food trucks for lunch with your bunch. The trucks change daily but you’ll be able to find something for everyone’s taste. If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, you can try one of LACMA’s cafes or restaurants. There is also a kid-friendly restaurant The Counter, which serves burgers and shakes and is located on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Curson Avenue.

How to Dress: Chances are the weather is good—it’s L.A. after all! Remember to bring sunscreen, sunglasses and comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking, playing and exploring this scenic and interactive park and its museums. There’s also a great grassy slope to roll down if you’re so inclined, so dress accordingly!

Cost: Walking around the park is free, but if you would like to get the full experience and visit the Page Museum, it’s free on the first Tues. of each month (except Jul. and Aug.).

Any other times, members and children under 3 are free; kids 3-12 it costs $5; youths 13-17 or seniors and college students with I.D. $10; and adults $13.

Hours: Open 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily

Suggestions: Don’t miss great photo opportunities throughout the park. Take a few with your kiddos amongst the giant sloths and the giant bear sculpture who is seemingly offering hugs. Bring the family out (even though it may be past their bedtime) for movies. They start at 8:30 p.m. on Sat. but make sure you check the La Brea Tar Pits website for remaining dates. A family membership to the Natural History Museum, which includes the Page Museum and William S. Hart Museum is a great deal.

5801 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles
323-934-PAGE (7243)
Online: tarpits.org

To see what Red Tricycle Editors are up to this month, follow us on Instagram!

—Jessica Jones

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100 Must-Do Things in Los Angeles with Kids

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Whether you lick your ice cream cone or go for a chomping bite, few things get those taste buds dancing and smiles on your kiddo’s face like a mouthful of cool, sweet ice cream. And since Los Angeles enjoys warm weather most of the year, you almost always have a reason to enjoy this classic treat. But L.A. scoops up more than just your typical ice cream fare. You’ll find new and exciting gourmet twists on classically homemade ice cream and don’t forget the many delicious gelaterias now sprinkled around the city. Today’s frozen delicacies far surpass the ubiquitous trek down to the local DQ or Baskin Robbins. Set your mind to cool as you’re in for a delicious brain freeze!

Gelato:

Pazzo Gelato
This Silverlake staple is amongst the best gelato in the city. They serve up their own twist on gelato by using “unexpected herbs and spices” with fresh fruit and dairy to come up with new and exciting flavors each day.  Try not to drool while you read the menu as you scan unique flavor combos like coconut with curry, banana fudge with toasted almonds and crème fraiche with strawberry champagne sauce. Don’t forget they also make seasonal sorbetto, which is a sure bet – o…  And if you’re feeling creative, try asking for a custom made flavor they say “there’s nothing they can’t create”!

3827 W Sunset Blvd
bt Hyperion & Lucile Aves
Los Angeles, Ca
323-662-1410

Scoops
This hip gelateria takes their gelato seriously and they even made it vegan thanks to owner and mastermind Tai Kim. Their crazy flavors change daily and lucky for their legions of local fans they can be found at two locations amongst other LA shops and restaurants. Flavors rotate in and out but a few make frequent appearances like their ever popular Brown Brown Bread. On other days you may find flavors like, Raspberry Tiramisu, Green Tea Ginger, Guinness Chocolate and many more. Keep in mind you may want to bring your own little scooper to try as many flavors as possible! So get the scoop on Scoops before everyone else does as they often sell out on weekends and when it’s gone, it’s gone well, at least until the next day… Closed Sundays.

2 locations:
(Flagship) Scoops at the Wilshire Center
712 N Heliotrope Dr
Los Angeles, Ca
323-906-2649

Culver City
3400 Overland Ave
Los Angeles, Ca
323-405-7055

Al Gelato
Satisfy your summer sweet tooth with this Beverly Hills neighborhood Italian gelato café. Although they do serve Italian food and other outstanding deserts here, the main draw is in its namesake – the GELATO!  Most Angelinos who swear by their gelato sing their praises for the ever-popular coffee crunch which you can have with a dollop of whipped cream.  You’ll be whipped into a frenzy while sampling their other flavors like banana chip, blackberry, lemon vanilla, chestnut, pumpkin… you get the idea! There’s so much to choose from that you’ll have no trouble ensuring everyone’s satisfied. So take a seat on the patio, relax and watch the world go by… just don’t forget to eat it before it all melts. Good news they now take credit cards.

806 S Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, Ca
310-659-8069

Bonaventura Gelato Lounge
You know this newly-opened gelateria is kid friendly when you can order gelato shaped like a caterpillar, Pinocchio, or a plate of spaghetti. Once you’ve ordered your sweet creation, grab a seat over in the super cool Kids’ Corner where toys and games will entertain the kids even after they’ve finished gobbling up their gelato. Good luck trying to get the kids to leave this spot–no doubt they’ll ask to come back again before too long.

4700-4720 Lincoln Blvd
Marina del Rey, Ca
310-822-1404

Bulgarini Gelato
Voted LA Weekly’s Best Ice Cream and Gelato in LA for 2011 and mentioned on the Food Network, this little hole in the wall would go unnoticed were it not for the incredible homemade gelato flavors that they produce. Your kids will really dig Bulgarini Gelato’s flavors like salty chocolate and olive oil. And, don’t be surprised if you happen to see one of Bulgarini Gelato’s mobile carts at the next event that you attend.

749 E Altadena Dr
Altadena, Ca
626-791-6174

Ice Cream:

Milk
For lactose lovers who are looking for a serious sundae summer treat. Milk, as the name suggests, has a lot on offer to quench your summer cone cravings. Check out their Ice Cream Parlor for every ice cream treat you can dream up. You name it, they’ve got it. Whether you fancy a delicious ice cream cup, cone, sandwich, malt, shake or cake – you will leave satisfied.  Ice cream menu overload? Start out with one of their classics, the Warm Ooey Gooey Chocolate Sundae. Don’t worry there’s plenty of sizzling summer days left to try everything on the menu. Trust me, you’ll definitely be back for more!

7290 Beverly Blvd @ N Poinsettia Pl
Los Angeles, Ca
323-939-6455

Bennet’s Ice Cream at the Farmer’s Market
Addicted to ice cream? Belly up to Bennett’s busy old-fashioned ice cream shop in the Farmers Market, next to The Grove to get your fix. Bennett’s Ice Cream is made on site so you and your kids can watch them make it right through their kitchen window. Flavors change frequently but are creatively crafted so each time you visit you’ll marvel at what they’ve come up with. Owner Scott’s cabernet sauvignon sorbet and the Choffee Choffee ice cream (Chocolate and Coffee Ice cream with Chocolate covered toffee pieces) are definitely worth the wait! Cash only.

6333 W. Third St.
Los Angeles, Ca
323-939-6786

Diddy Riese Cookies
For those who like to build their own ice cream sandwiches, Diddy Riese is the spot. These tasty treats are made to order with whatever combinations of ice cream/cookies you can imagine. And there’s nothing more satisfying than sinking you teeth into two freshly baked cookies covering a sweet scoop of delicious ice cream. The best of all? these custom creations cost less than $2 each! It’s no wonder then that the lines here are long. Be prepared to wait, but the staff usually cycles through customers rather quickly.

926 Broxton Ave
Los Angeles, Ca
310-208-0448

Sweet Rose Creamery
Sweet Rose Creamery will be sweet music to your taste buds. “Small batches… of happiness” is their tag line and that’s no lie. Try this delicious and locally inspired, homemade organic ice cream that’s made in small batches with no stabilizers for the ice cream purist in you. They’re open seven days a week so you can try flavor favorites like, Salted Caramel or this month’s Fig Jam swirl with goat cheese and toasted walnuts ice cream any day of the week!

7 Days a Week Brentwood Country Mart
225 26th Street, Suite 51
Santa Monica, Ca
310-260-CONE

Ice Cream Truck:

Cool Haus
Moo’ve over there’s a new ice cream truck in town…and it doesn’t play creepy music! Check it out by following them on twitter you can then cruise on over to the uber popular Cool Haus truck. This L.A. favorite is famed for its inventive brand of architecturally themed gourmet ice cream sandwiches. They offer up clever combinations of cookies and ice cream to make a truly decadent ice cream sandwich. Not only is their ice cream delicious, but it’s also “all natural, organic, handmade and sustainable” whenever they can swirl it.

Now here comes the fun part, choose one of their home-made ice cream flavors and then pick a cookie and voila! The ultimate ice cream sandwich is yours. Take note, deciding which ice cream tastes best with what cookie can be tough, but it’s all part of the fun and will keep you coming back for future visits. How does a balsamic fig and mascarpone ice cream sandwiched in between two ginger molasses cookies sound? Or try one of their specials, an architecturally inspired concoction, by taking ginger cookies and meyer lemon ice cream to make up their Richard “Meyer” ice cream sandwich special. Oh yeah, and did I mention even their wrappers are edible? Who knew an ice cream sandwich could taste this good and make you feel so good about ordering it. Brilliant.

Cool Haus just opened a storefront in Culver City, so now your favorites from the ice cream truck are served alongside Blue Bottle Coffee, artisan hot chocolate, floats, and of course, ice cream sandwiches.

Did we forget to mention your favorite ice cream spot? Share it with us in the comments below!

— Jessica Jones

photo credit: Ken Lund via flickr, Tamaki Sono via flickr, DeKay. via flickr, Razman Lop via flickr & Cool Haus facebook page

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Are you still trying to turn over a new leaf in the New Year? Don’t worry, there’s still time! Whether you are already a vegan, a vegetarian or would just like to eat a bit healthier, Los Angeles has dozens of delectable choices that you and your kids will absolutely love. Going to a vegan or vegetarian restaurant is also a great way to get your little restaurant goers to try new veggies and it’s also a great way to get inspired with ingenious ideas on how to prepare them in different and delicious ways.

Café Gratitude
You’ll be thanking your lucky stars when you take your kids to eat at this Larchmont Village gem. They specialize in great gourmet, organic, raw and cooked food farmed from their very own Vacaville California farm. Café Gratitude is truly a feel good family friendly place; you’ll know what we mean when you begin perusing their playfully titled menu. Try their I AM WARM hot miso soup and for breakfast your kids will love the I AM FANTASTIC banana-chia seed crepes served with fresh fruit, coconut crème and maple syrup. Venture over to the raw side and enjoy their I AM HEARTY  live pizza with pesto tapenade, cashew ricotta, basil and brazil nut parmesan or transform your fussy little ones by ordering I AM TRANSFORMED seasonal corn tacos with caramelized butternut squash, black beans, avocados and cashew nacho cheese – Yum! If you still have room left, why not wash it all down with their up-beet I AM WORTH IT kale, beet, celery, cucumber and lemon juice drink. If you weren’t a convert yet, consider yourself converted! Your kids will be filled with gratitude…literally.

Café Gratitude
639 Larchmont Boulevard
Los Angeles, Ca
323-580-6383
Online: cafegratitudela.com

Real Food Daily (RFD)
Real Food Daily may sound like a personal mantra for parents who are trying to prepare the best and healthiest food possible for their kids each day. Rest assured, RFD will do just that, but you won’t have to do the cooking this time. This organic, vegan, seasonally inspired and kid-friendly Los Angeles vegetarian staple will delight and win over even the pickiest, veggie-phobic kids around. Kiss that veggie resistance goodbye as your munchkins indulge in RFD burgers served with avocado, tempeh bacon, and melted cashew cheese, or try a TV DINNER complete with a savory tempeh vegetable loaf, mashed potatoes, golden gravy, and mixed fresh vegetables. Still can’t decide? Check out their SUPREME BURRITO, WET OR DRY with black beans, tempeh bacon and Spanish rice – basically the works! Then give yourselves a pat on the back for eating so well by sharing a CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE with raw cacao powder, berry juice and agave nectar. Be sure and visit their Santa Monica restaurant after taking the kids for a bike ride along the beach.

Online: realfood.com

RFD – Santa Monica & Bakery Cafe
514 & 516 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, Ca
310-451-7544

RFD – West Hollywood
414 North La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, Ca
310-289-9910

Native Foods Café
Your little veggie lovers will be head over heels for Native Foods Café where feel good food sets the mood. You know you’re in a family friendly restaurant when there’s a special segment on the menu that reads KIDS ARE COOL! Your cool kids will enjoy all of their favorites with a vegan revamp. They can choose from Freddie’s Mac and Cheese made with Quinoa, the “super” pasta, complete with “cow friendly” cheese sauce and broccoli trees or how about a Sloppy Sam’Wich with BBQ’d Native original seitan bits with tomato “smile” slices and edamame. Pizza fingers and vegan “chicken” nuggets are also sure to please. Before you go, don’t pass up gaining extra parental brownie points with their dairy-free, cholesterol-free and refined sugar-free desserts like their peanut butter parfait, double delight brownies and the carrot cream cheese cupcakes.

Culver City
9343 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, Ca
310-559-3601

Westwood Village
1110 1/2 Gayley Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca
310-209-1055

Online: nativefoods.com

Flore Vegan
Take a trip down the Sunset Strip just off of Sunset Boulevard in Silverlake for more organic family friendly vegan fare at Flore Vegan. Kids love choosing from their Child’s plates part of the menu for their deceivingly healthy burrito, broccoli kale burger, cashew cheese quesadilla or their tofu egg salad sandwich. They even make a drink just for kiddos called the babycino, a comforting cup of steamed frothy soy milk goodness.

3818 West Sunset Boulevard
Silverlake, Ca
323-953-0611
Online: florevegan.com

And now something for dessert…

Babycakes NYC
Babycakes is a refined sugar-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free…vegan and kosher bakery that will just about make you feel good for being just a little bit bad. If your kiddos need a little sweet treat after all of these healthy vegan restaurants let them indulge with one of their glutinous guilt-free baked goods. Goodies range from double chocolate crumb cake to red velvet cupcakes to savory biscuits and good old fashioned apple pie. Go on, you know you want to, and you should!

Hollywood / Larchmont
236 North Larchmont Boulevard
Los Angeles, Ca
323-463-2023
Online: babycakesnyc.com

— Jessica Jones

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Pondering Pan Asian food cravings? Take a trip by savoring cuisine influenced by countries like Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, and more. These exciting and exotically flavored Los Angeles favorites will undoubtedly expand your peewee’s palates and widen their culinary horizons. It’s easier than you think to introduce your kids to new and different types of foods featuring new twists on kiddy cuisine classics. You don’t want your kids to miss out on these amazing Pan Asian flavors so venture on out and start exploring together. It’s time to teach your little ones that meal time isn’t just tasty, it also takes you places!

Buddha’s Belly (pictured)
Are your little Buddha’s bellies rumbling? Fill them up at this acclaimed Pan Asian, feng shui designed foodie favorite. This kid-cessable restaurant makes families feel right at home in a casual yet, adult setting and offers a simple, delicious and affordable kids menu.  Your adventurous eaters will love their Pan Asian take on tried and true kids food staples, like their chicken udon noodle soup. Your kiddos will also love their tofu nuggets and you can’t go wrong with their chicken fried rice. You can also veer off the kiddy menu and find more delectable delights on the main menu,  try their chicken pot stickers or Peking duck confit tacos.

Take a seat on their outdoor patio or if you’re in a rush (when are you not these days) and the kids are making a fuss and grab a quick drink while you wait for takeout. Lucky for all, they now have restaurants in Santa Monica and Thousand Oaks.

West Los Angeles
7475 Beverly Boulevard,
Los Angeles, Ca.
323-931-8588

Santa Monica
205 Broadway
Santa Monica, Ca.
310-458-2500  

Thousand Oaks
446 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, Ca.
805-557-1212
Online: bbfood.com

Singapore’s Banana Leaf
This local, family run Farmer’s Market favorite serves up classic family recipes, adjacent to the ever popular shopping area The Grove. This one of a kind small stall restaurant delights eaters by making everything fresh to order and serving many of the meals on a banana leaf. So if you’re looking to find authentic Far Eastern food, this is the place. Kid tested favorites include the Roti paratha (grilled flatbread with dipping sauce) and beef or chicken satay skewers. Kids also love their fresh lime-aid drink, and for dessert try one of their fruity flavored crushed ice bowls. The Farmers Market is located at the northeast corner of 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue.

6333 West Third Street, Stall #122
Los Angeles, Ca.
323-933-4627
Online: farmersmarketla.com

Rock Sugar (Pan Asian Kitchen)
This eclectic, ornate, and lively restaurant is the perfect place to take your kiddos after shopping at the Century City Mall. Families love that many of the dishes are served family-style which can make things easier for you and your kiddy crew. Choose from dishes like their crispy samosas, chicken and beef skewers, chicken pot stickers, Vietnamese short rib sandwiches, chicken pho, stir fry and ginger fried rice. Don’t miss Rock Sugar’s onsite bakery and stock up on sweets for your sweeties. Try the warm coconut doughnuts or their signature Rock Sugar Cheesecake when available.

Insider tip: Rock sugar also offers a delivery to your car service and carry out, a huge plus for parents with their hands full. If only every restaurant offered such a sublime service!

Century City Mall (facing Santa Monica Boulevard)
10250 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, Ca.
310-552-9988
Online: rocksugarpanasiankitchen.com

— Jessica Jones

Photo credit: Buddha’s Belly website

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Are you and your kids crazy about crustaceans? Then roll on down to the Port of Los Angeles Lobster, Food and Music Festival. You and your seafood loving kiddos can check out the Maine event – loads of lobsters and much more!

This fun family weekend featuring Los Angeles’ love of lobsters has been a tradition since 1999. Not only are there luscious lobsters everywhere but you’ll also find fantastic food alternatives at the international food court. Be sure to sample several of LA’s best gourmet food trucks, including Grill ‘Em All, the winner of the Food Network’s 2010 Great Food Truck Race and desert favorite Cool Haus ice cream sandwich truck.  Enjoy many of the festival’s other features such as arts and crafts, live music, live entertainment and did we mention the pirates? Yes pirates!

So claw your way to the front of the line and get an amazing world class lobster meal for you and your family at a great price. Getting to the good stuff can get messy but your little ones will fit right in amongst all the adults wearing bibs too! (Tip: Remember to get your lobsters cracked; trust us it will make it easier for everyone!)

When to go:  Sept 16-18, 2011. Fri., 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm; Sat., 11:00 am – 11:00 pm; Sun., 11:00 am – 7:00 pm.  Sunday will most likely be the busiest day so attend on Friday or Saturday, if possible, to keep you and the kids out of the crowds.  If not, show up early on Sunday because there is no guarantee of lobster in the afternoon.

How to get there: Located at the end of 110 Harbor Freeway in San Pedro, California, at Ports O’ Call Village at the intersection of 6th Street and Harbor Drive. It’s only a 20 minute drive south of downtown Los Angeles, south on the Harbor Freeway at the Harbor Blvd. exit. From the exit proceed straight into the Cruise Ship parking lot (free parking!) where you can find a free shuttle ride to the festival grounds (there will also be signs for the parking lot). Once the lot is full, you will be directed to turn right and proceed to the overflow lot at 22nd and Miner St. The last shuttles to the parking lots leave a half hour after closing. The Red Cars sometimes run a bit later.

What to bring: The weather will be hot so bring your sunscreen! While there will be food and beverages, bring any snacks or water you may need while partaking in activities. There are ATMs and restrooms within the grounds.

How to dress: Dress for fun in the sun! Wear your shorts and tanks, but make sure to bring light layers, hats, and sunglasses to hide out from the sun if needed. A camera is a must for all those great pictures of your kids with face paint or dressing as pirates!

What to do: Entertainment galore!  The kids are sure to go crazy for the Cap’n and his pirate crew of the Red Swam on their beached ship where there will be music, dancing, tours of the ship, and even an exciting hunt for hidden treasure! Then go watch awesome street performers, dance and listen to music at the main stage, and enjoy lots of games and rides (including a remote-control car area). For a map of the festival layout, including food, bathroom, and activity locations, click here. For a schedule of the bands playing, click here.

This year’s festival will also play home to seven of the best SoCal gourmet food trucks, among them the winner of the Food Network’s 2010 “Great Food Truck Race,” Grill ‘em All Truck, which will be serving their patented heavy metal music burgers on Friday night.  Fellow Food Network competitors The Nom Nom Truck with their Vietnamese Ban Mi sandwiches and Ragin’ Cajun with their famous Bayou Cuisines will also grace the festival this weekend. Joining them with lobster rolls will be the Lobsta Truck, the Cheeseball Wagon, ribs and roasts from Barbie’s Q, and for dessert Coolhaus and their prize winning ice cream sandwiches.

If your kids can’t find something of their liking or would like a meat-free meal, there is an amazing vegetarian option. Dine at the Port O’Call Restaurant, with a 50 item salad bar, adjacent to the festival entrance and after dining swap your receipt for free admission!

Lunch spots: Dining is family style in large eating tents and at other tables around the venue. There will have over 2000 places at the tables in the site to eat.

Cost:  Kids under 12 are free! General tickets are $10, click on this link for more details and to print out a $2.00 off coupon. Entry ticket does not include a lobster meal. Cash only accepted at the box office but there are ATM machines at the entrance and inside the festival grounds. The lobster meal price is $19.00 for a 1.25 pound (average precooked weight) steamed Maine Lobster Meal with cole slaw, sweet bread roll, and real buttery topping and potatoes. To assure top quality, meals are prepared and sold by the seafood experts at San Pedro Fish Markets. You can still add an extra lobster for only $13.00.

More Info: Event Website

– Jessica Jones

Los Angeles Food: Golden State Burgers

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Looking for a quick, quality bite to eat that’s family-friendly? The Golden State, one of LA’s best burger spots, fits the bill, with a menu chock full of locally sourced California goodness.

Roll a stroller on in during off-peak hours to be guaranteed a seat in this great little eatery on Fairfax. This neighborhood gem is sandwiched in between Melrose and Beverly, across from the famous Canter’s Deli and close to CBS studios and the Grove. The street has changed vibes in recent years, now teeming with trendy skate, sneaker, and clothing shops, restaurants and thrift stores. So it’s a perfect place to eat after seeing a show at CBS or shopping on the street or at the Melrose Trading Post flea market held at nearby Fairfax High School every weekend.

Dig into such customer favorites as the Harris Ranch beef burger or Let’s Be Frank hot dogs, with toppings like caramelized onions and roasted red peppers. Vegetarian? No problem, there are plenty of options like sweet potato fries with homemade aioli, and the jalapeno cabbage slaw is a must.

Parental perks include an excellent array of local beers expertly chosen by co-owner and beer enthusiast Jason Bernstein. You’ll undoubtedly discover something new and different every time… Sour beer anyone?

Before you leave, be sure to indulge in a scoop or two… or three… of LA’s beloved Scoops gelato. Or, try one of their signature floats made with Virgil’s Root Beer on tap and Scoops’ brown bread gelato. A grown up (sans root) version is also available… show your kids that it’s fun to try new things!

The Golden State is a definite crowd pleaser. It might just be the lunch life-saver you’ve been looking for!

The Golden State,  426 North Fairfax Avenue Los Angeles, (323) 782-8331

—Jessica Jones