Category Archives: Los Angeles

Inner Thoughts of a Freelancer

For the past 10 years I’ve been working the agency life. I spent the first 5 years in LA working for entertainment and retail clients before I moved down to Orange County and got involved in the world of powersports. I was an interactive agency girl through and through…until January of this year when I realised its time for a change. I went online and found a list of the best jobs which I could perform as a freelancer which is when I read and realised my passion for marketing. As of February I’ve been officially working for myself and diving headfirst into the world of freelance marketing. So consider this post my inner thoughts of a freelancer.

inner thoughts of a freelancerI should preface that I’ve only really been doing the freelance marketing thing for about 3 months now, so I still have a TON to learn, but I definitely feel like I’m starting to get my footing a bit.

So what do I do? I’m a freelance marketer and social media specialist. I work with clients to help them with their marketing needs and that ranges from brand strategy to content development and executing marketing tactics. And while this is probably one of the most challenging things I’ve done ever, it’s also one of the most rewarding. Here are a few thoughts:

  • The hustle is real: When I worked at an agency I already had my clients and didn’t need to go find them. This go around, I’ve had to hustle my booty off. This includes lots of emails, research, social networking, calls, etc. Lucky for me I grew up with a dad who was in sales so I already knew a bit about the art of the hustle before I even got started. But boy is it real, and yes, you are always hustling.
  • No two days are the same: Some days I work solely from home, some days I’m in meetings, and some days I’m at a coffee shop up the street. As someone who used to thrive on a strict routine, this has definitely been a big change, but I just find myself rolling with it.
  • I need human interaction: As much as I love and am grateful to be able to work from home, I realized I do need human interaction as well. I went from an environment full of people to one with just me and my cat. I found by simply changing my environment or being around people (ie: coffee shop) is a great way to keep the creative juices flowing.
  • I’m constantly learning new things: This new career path has me learning new things all the time. The newest apps, best ways to gain a social following, what email subject lines are most impactful, etc. It’s challenging and exciting all at once.

Those are just a few of my thoughts in this wild new world of freelancing. Taking the leap from a steady paycheck and leaving an awesome company to do my own thing was hard to do, but I know ultimately it was the best choice for me.

inner thoughts of a freelancerI’m also thinking of starting a freelancer series on the blog so if you have any questions/thoughts/comments please share! Is anyone else out there part of the big crazy world of freelancing?

Commissary at the Line Hotel

When I lived in LA, I never took enough advantage of all the wonderful food options that the city has to offer.  And now that I live in Orange County, I find myself lusting after many of these places that would be deemed a foodie paradise, one of these being Commissary at the Line Hotel.

commissary green houseI’ve been a big fan of Roy Choi since he first had the Kogi truck, and after reading Lynn and Emily’s reviews, I knew I had to check out Commissary at the Line Hotel myself.  The Englishman and I made our way up to LA to join one of our favorite couples who are always down to go on a foodie adventure.

The Line Hotel is located in the heart of Koreatown and Commissary is located on the second floor.  The inside of the restaurant looks like a giant greenhouse, but we ended up sitting outside on the terrace for dinner.  Upon being seated, I was quite amused at the mismatched silverware.

commissary at the line hotel silverwareWe were presented with our “menu,” which from reading prior reviews I knew was just a card with different pictures of proteins and vegetables on it.  I should also mention that I did tell the waiter beforehand that I had some food allergies and he was quite helpful in steering me in the right direction.

commissary at the line hotel menu

Commissary also has an eclectic drink menu, but since I was the driver for the evening I kept it simple and stuck to a glass of wine.

commissary at the line hotel wineThe table decided to order a bunch of dishes and share them family style, which was perfect. Our first dish was poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce.  And it was fabulous.

commissary at the line hotel eggsI had been craving grilled cheese ever since the movie Chef, and after hearing Commissary had the grilled cheese from the movie, we knew we had to order it.  We actually ordered two to make sure everyone could indulge in cheesy goodness.

commissary at the line hotel grilled cheeseThis wasn’t a fancy grilled cheese by any means, but it took me straight back to childhood. American cheese on buttered bread and grilled to perfection.  Loved the pickle on the side as well.

No grilled cheese is complete without a side order of fries so we got those as well.  They were seasoned perfectly with just a little salt and pepper.

commissary at the line hotel friesOther items that we ordered but I didn’t photograph included the roasted carrots (order these if you ever go), fresh tomatoes and roasted sea bass.

Of course no meal is complete without dessert so we decided to go for the lemon curd with rhubarb and the stone fruit with what I think was flavored crushed ice (not too sure since it was a surprise!)

commissary at the line hotel rhubarbBoth desserts were fabulous but I loved the lemon curd with rhubarb.  You don’t see rhubarb often in restaurants so it was a treat to be able to order that.  The menu changes pretty frequently at Commissary since they stay in season, but if you ever see a rhubarb dessert on the menu order it.

I really enjoyed my experience at Commissary at the Line Hotel.  It was refreshing to just point at images and then have dishes be brought out.  I’d like to return to try brunch too!

Happy Vegan/Gluten-Free Thanksgiving from The Spot Gourmet

Thanksgiving is next week (!!) which means its time for good food and celebrating with your family and friends.  Traditionally turkey is a star component of a Thanksgiving meal, but if you are looking to have a very vegan Thanksgiving or even a gluten-free one, The Spot Gourmet has all you LA-area residents covered.

The Spot Gourmet is a catering company that is offering delicious gluten-free and vegan menus for Thanksgiving this year.

For a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving, enjoy a mixed green salad with pomegranates, pecans, cranberries and goat cheese along with some delicious maple glazed turkey and cranberry chutney.  Of course, no meal is complete without some side dishes and this meal comes with delicious mashed yams made with bourbon, brown sugar and butter, a wild rice salad and a kohlrabi, beet and carrot slaw.  Last but not least, a flourless chocolate cake for dessert, all for $195 (serves 8-10).

If you are looking for a Vegan Thanksgiving, the vegan meal deal comes with cherry tomatoes and hearts of palm, the same mixed green salad as the gluten-free menu (minus the goat cheese), a delightful butternut squash, mushroom and spinach lasagna, roasted brussels sprouts with a pomegranate glaze, and a holiday wild rice salad, all for $168 (serves 8-10).

If you don’t want to order a full gluten-free or vegan feast, you can order select a la carte items off Spot Gourmet’s traditional Thanksgiving menu that can be made vegan or gluten-free upon request.

Get your Thanksgiving orders in by Monday, 11/19 by calling The Spot Gourmet at (818) 861- 7335 or email: info@thespotgourmet.com.

Happy Eating!

An Ode to Mid-Wilshire Dining in LA

I may be an O.C. girl, but I called LA my home for 8 years when I went there for college and then lived/worked there in the few years that followed.

While I have a love/hate relationship with LA at times, some of my fondest memories are from that city as well – from late night eats and drinks with friends, to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, and weekend brunches.  Before I moved to Orange County last year, I spent 2.5 years living in the Mid-Wilshire area of LA and was a hop, skip, and a jump from LACMA and the La Brea Tar Pits.

Living next to LACMA was great, but what I really miss about Mid-Wilshire is the delicious food.  The area is just crawling with good restaurants (and they seem to keep adding more!) and I had many a good meal during my 2.5 year stint in the area.

So if you ever happen to fancy yourself in this area of Los Angeles, here’s a guide to some of the best that Mid-Wilshire has to offer.

Best Breakfast/Brunch:  Cafe Verona on La Brea

Cafe Verona is literally located behind a Pep Boys auto parts store on La Brea, but don’t let that fool you.  The cafe has a delightful garden patio that is perfect for weekend brunching.  The cafe is known for their delicious frittatas, french toast, and freshly pressed paninis.  Cafe Verona is only open for breakfast, brunch, and lunch and closes at 5pm everyday.

Honorable Mention:  Toast on 3rd Street

Another delicious option but always a massive crowd.  Plan ahead and get there early.

Best Lunch:  Joan’s on Third on 3rd Street

Joan’s on Third is a food mecca – half the restaurant is a gourmet market/bakery and the other half has prepared salads, sandwiches, and other dishes that are made fresh to order.  The place is always bustling and their food is GOOD.  I still dream of their delicious grilled vegetable and goat cheese sandwich.  And don’t forget to get a cupcake.  A vanilla cupcake to be exact.  It’s life changing.

Honorable Mention: The Izaka-ya by Katsu-ya on 3rd

Yummy, yummy sushi.  Get the spicy tuna on crispy rice.  This is a good celeb spotting spot as well.

Best Casual Dinner:  Little Next Door on 3rd

If you are looking for a casual dinner with a friend or a place to take family – Little Next Door is your spot.  It’s a cute French cafe where most of the waiters are actually french.  I almost always get the French Onion Soup when I dine there, although the Butternut Squash is quite amazing as well.  For a more upscale French dining experience, head next door to The Little Door.

Honorable Mention: The Original Farmer’s Market at 3rd and Fairfax

The Original Farmer’s Market has a wide array of dining options – Brazilian, French, American, Japanese, you name it, they have it.  It’s a great place to take a lot of people who have very different food tastes.

Best Date Spot: Pizzeria Mozza on Highland

The food gods must have been looking down on me because Pizzeria Mozza just opened in Newport Beach, which means I get to enjoy their squash blossoms without having to make the hour drive to LA.  Mario Batalli and Nancy Silverton brought Pizzeria Mozza to life so you know it must be good.  And it is.  Try the Goat Cheese, Leek, and Bacon pizza.

Honorable Mention:  Luna Park on La Brea.

I mean, at what other restaurant can you share Goat Cheese fondue and homemade smores with your significant other?  Didn’t think so.

Best Drinks:  El Carmen on 3rd.

I love, love, love El Carmen.  The inside of the bar has pictures of famous luchadores, and the ceiling has bamboo shaped fans.  El Carmen is best known for their blood orange margarita, but their strawberry margarita is also a favorite.

Honorable Mention: Lola’s on Fairfax.

Lola’s is technically slipping into West Hollywood territory, but their martinis are so good that they deserve a mention.  Lola’s has a great happy hour as well.

Best Bakery:  Susina on Beverly

My love affair with Susina began towards the end of my time in LA, but I’m glad I discovered them when I did.  They have delicious pastries, custom made cakes, and a wide variety of coffee and teas.  Plus the decor is oh so cute!

Honorable Mention:  Doughboys on 3rd (where else?)

Doughboys doesn’t have the name Doughboys for nothing.  And their Red Velvet cake is famous.  And quite tasty.

Red Velvet Cake get in mah Belly

These are just a few of my favorite LA eats – so next time you are in the Mid-Wilshire area, check them out and let me know what you think!

Where’s your favorite place in LA to get some good eats?