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In and Around Los Angeles Blog & What's New?

May 01, 2012

Ramen Nippon

Great ramen is a testy subject. Aficionados will bash any place that isn't exactly like the ramen they grew up with. We didn't grow up in Japan but we think we can judge a tasty, traditional ramen pretty well and the spicy miso ramen at Ramen Nippon is quite spectacular!

best ramen noodles

This little place in Reseda in the San Fernando Valley is worth a try if you like rich, savory ramen. Like many smaller Los Angeles restaurants, this place is cash only so hit the ATM first!

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Jan 13, 2012

Lifecrowd.com - Our Newest Site Sponsor!

Hello All!

We are very excited to introduce you to our newest In-and-Around-Los-Angeles.com site sponsor, Lifecrowd!

Lifecrowd is an online destination connecting those eager to discover, share and participate in fun activities and meet new people. Lifecrowd enables users to pursue and experience new interests, as well as meet new people, by making the quest a simple process. The site shows people fun activities to try in LA such as banzai tree trimming, card counting, sushi rolling, moonlight kayaking and wine & cheese pairing.

If you are looking to explore LA and life in general, we encourage you to check out one of their events. Signup now and a get $10 credit to apply towards any activity you book!

Go check out Lifecrowd.com today! Cheers!

Dec 20, 2011

Red Lion Tavern in Silver Lake

Transport yourself to a dark German beer hall or lounge out in the beer garden, this funky and cool little place in Silver Lake is a fun night out both for the great German beers and the grubby German food.

red lion tavern

Extra cool because there are 3 or 4 distinct dining/drinking "environments" within this one bar, each time you come back you can have a different experience!

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Aug 02, 2011

Kidspace Children's Museum

OK, so this children's museum isn't a "museum" per se. It doesn't have works of art or other collectibles. I suppose a better description of the Kidspace Children's Museum would be a science museum or "exploratorium" but its more than either of these.

kidspace childrens museum kidspace childrens museum

Whatever you want to call it, Kidspace is a great place for kids to explore, learn and play. It is in beautiful Pasadena, in the same park area as the Rose Bowl. If you are a Los Angeles family, it is worth a trip out there to explore!

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Jun 18, 2011

Seahorses at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Our good friends at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and Heal the Bay have recently opened a new exhibit that we thought you'd all be interested in, especially those with kids (or just a love of science and nature and learning new stuff!). The Pacific seahorse exhibit is the first of its kind at the aquarium and features the Pacific seahorse, Hippocampus ingens to us geeky types (by the way, there is a part of the brain called the hippocampus, named for its resemblance to the seahorse… I told you we are geeky!). Growing up to 12" in length, they are one of the world's largest seahorses and happens to be the only one found along our coast!

Photo below by Tara Crow...


For all you philanthropists and nature lovers out there, the Pacific seahorses at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium are up for their "aquadoption" where you can help support the care of these unique animals in the exhibit. For the rest of June there is a special deal on "aquadopting" a seahorse, which will increase in July. If you want more information about sponsoring a seahorse, check out the Aquadoption Program and help today. Check out the seahorses and many other exhibits and animals at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium during public hours, Tuesday through Friday from 2:00 to 6:00 pm and weekends from 12:30 to 6:00 pm.

Have fun!

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May 03, 2011

Topanga Canyon Neighborhood

We've already told you about the natural beauty of the Topanga State Park. But what about the Topanga community and neighborhood?

topanga california topanga california

Topanga is like a slice of the 60's in Los Angeles. Surrounded by natural beauty, this quirky, crunchy community is interesting and fun. There is something magical about this place that we can't quite put our finger on. If you hate "tree-huggin' hippies" then this place might not be your cup of tea. But if you appreciate a more natural and quiet way of life, you might feel right at home.

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May 03, 2011

Los Feliz & Silver Lake Los Angeles Neighborhoods

We just added Los Feliz & Silver Lake to our Los Angeles Neighborhoods section.

silver lake los angeles silver lake los angeles

These funky little villages within LA have a lot to offer. With a lot of unique character and personality they have a great blend of young hip fun and artsy/snooty/bohemian intellectualism. Whether you are looking for good food, great gelato, a cool bookstore or a quirky coffee shop to hang out in, you'll find it here.

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Apr 27, 2011

Moon Bounce Rentals in Los Angeles

We get a lot of emails asking about bounce house rentals. You know, those bounce houses that you see in peoples' front yards for kids birthday parties? Whether you call them a moon bounce, a party jumper or whatever, they are serious fun! I know most of us parents didn't grow up with these, they are a relatively new invention, but if you haven't tried one you should, they are even fun as an adult. You won't be able to keep the smile off your face. And your kids will love them even more. These inflatable bouncers can literally make your kids birthday party, or any other occasion for that matter.

Well we came across a great party rental company that supplies these fun bounce houses called i Moon Bounce Rentals. They have a big selection of party jumpers rentals of different sizes and styles, from castles to Disney characters. Some even have water slides built in!

The moon bouncers are less expensive than you might think and they come and set it up and break it down quickly and quietly. Also, you may have heard that some of these party jumpers have lead in them. Yuck! Well, no fear, all of i Moon Bounce Rentals' bounce houses are lead free and they are cleaned after each use.

So if you are planning a kids party be sure to check them out. They service the Los Angeles area.

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Feb 21, 2011

Legoland California

Legoland is an amusement park centered around the popular building toys of the same name. And like the toy, this kid-focused park is quite interactive and entertaining.

legoland legoland

Yes, there are rides, but there are also dozens of displays and play spaces that allow kids to get in on the action and explore. Rather than just standing around in lines all day, your young ones can run around and play. We think this an excellent alternative amusement park, particularly for any Los Angeles family with young kids.

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Feb 21, 2011

The Baker Bakery & Cafe

We happened upon this place by accident. A small family run business in a strip mall in Woodland Hills, this is a real bakery, making their own fresh bread and pastries daily.

the baker

But what we really love the Baker for is their yummy breakfasts, especially their spicy signature dish, Shakshouka! Classy breakfast food that is definitely worth a stop if you are in the west Valley.

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Feb 20, 2011

The Best Sushi in Los Angeles

OK, LA is near the ocean and it is a big, metropolitan city, so you'd expect it to have a lot of good sushi restaurants, right?

best sushi in los angeles

We'll you'd be right, there is a ton of great Japanese cuisine in the LA area and some of our favorite Los Angeles restaurants are sushi spots. We can't taste them all, but here are some of our favorites; and trust me, we love sushi!

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Dec 28, 2010

Los Angeles Nurseries

We are plant people and so we like to frequent nurseries, whether to plan our next seasons veggie garden or just decorate our house.

los angeles nurseries los angeles nurseries

There are nurseries and then there are "nurseries". Here are a few we've found to be helpful and knowledgeable while having an interesting selection of great specimens to choose from.

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Dec 28, 2010

Malibu Creek State Park

We just discovered Malibu Creek State Park in the beautiful Malibu hills, inland from the famous beach community of the same name.

malibu creek state park malibu creek state park

Most people know Malibu for its private beaches and expensive estates, but there is so much more to enjoy. Miles of hiking trails and nature to explore. The visitor center along the trail is particularly cool, especially if you have kids.

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Dec 20, 2010

Saddle Peak Lodge

Once a remote hunting lodge in the 1800's, Saddle Peak Lodge is a gourmet restaurant that is definitely a great stop for those looking to get out of the city and into a beautiful, rustic setting.

saddle peak lodgesaddle peak lodge

The specialty of the house is exotic game meats but there is something for everyone. The decor is fun and beautiful, the food great and the service even better.

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Oct 14, 2010

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium Halloween Fishy Fest!

The folks over at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium are having a special event to celebrate Halloween and Dia de los Muertos. On Oct 23rd and 24th they are having a special Fishy Fest with family-friendly presentations, crafts and lots of learning opportunities. The flier with general info is below, but note the following: On both days there will be a glow in the dark bioluminescence presentation at 2:00 p.m. and dont miss the Invasion of the Body Snatchers at 4:00 p.m., a fascinating session on the amazing abilities of marine parasites. And there is much more!

Children under 13 are admitted free with an adult; for all others there is a suggested donation of $5 or $3 minimum admission fee. For groups of 10 or more, the fee is $2 per person. Call or visit their website for more info!

Have fun!

santa monica pier aquarium

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Aug 19, 2010

McCabe's Guitar Shop

McCabe's guitar shop in Santa Monica is a local institution that is much more than just a guitar shop. They specialize in acoustic, stringed instruments and you'll find all kinds of stuff you've never heard of before, dulcimers, baritone ukeleles, dulcimers and more. Whether you are a musician and need supplies or a repair or just a Los Angeles family and want to check out all the cool stuff, its a fun stop.


Also, McCabe's hosts great small, intimate music performances by unbelievably good artists of all types.

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Aug 19, 2010

Los Angeles Trees

In the mood for some gratuitous nature and beauty? So are we. We aren't botanists, we can't tell you the scientific names of all the trees in Los Angeles. But we can still appreciate them.

los angeles treeslos angeles trees

This page is simply to show trees and nature in LA, to quell all the naysayers that think LA is just a metropolitan concrete jungle. Hurray for trees!

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Aug 19, 2010

Third Street Promenade

The 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica is a pedestrian-only strip of 3rd Street which is chock full of shops, restaurants and movie theaters, kinda like an outdoor mall. However, it can be more fun than all that.

third street promenadethird street promenade

The street performers can vary from average to downright fantastic. The crowds can get crazy on the weekends but it is a fun area to hang out and people watch and it is only minutes from other great Los Angeles family friendly attractions like the Santa Monica Pier.

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Jul 29, 2010

Share Your LA!

We love Los Angeles and we're sure some of you do too!

We decided to give you all a chance to share your LA with us and our visitors! We want to know what you love about LA. What are your favorite restaurants, places, beaches, neighborhoods, hotels, etc? Or just share a memory about LA, a defining moment in your love affair with our city.

You can upload your story and pictures too and they will be featured on our site! So get started and share your story with us!

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Jul 29, 2010

Los Angeles Hiking Trails

Los Angeles and its evirons are chock-full of hiking trails, the problem can be finding them. We haven't found any one good source online that lists them all.

los angeles hiking trailslos angeles hiking trails

There are too many to list here, but we will try to list some of our favorite areas which are rich in hiking trails in the LA area. Some are no more than a little trail head and others are large parks with hundreds of miles of trails.

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Jul 28, 2010

Griffith Park

Right in the middle of the city, Griffith Park is much more than just a great place to hike and picnic. It has great views of the city and has tons of other things to do for the whole family, including the LA Zoo, a carousel, pony rides and miniature trains, a train museum, the Greek Theater and lots more!

griffith parkgriffith park los angeles

Griffith Park is over 4000 acres to explore, about 5 times bigger than Central Park in New York! if you don't want to travel too far outside the city and want to fulfill your craving for nature and fun, this is the place for you!

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Jul 23, 2010

We Saw an Octopus!

Yes, its true. We saw an actual octopus. No, not at the Long Beach Aquarium!

leo carrillo

We saw this real, live, baby octopus in its natural habitat... walking down the street on Melrose. Just kidding. This little beauty was at Leo Carrillo state beach, our favorite beach in the whole wide world. OK, well maybe Cassis in France competes. We had SO much fun today. Saw tons of crabs, a sea hare and even saw two hermit crabs swap into new shells right in front of us! What did you do today?

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Jul 23, 2010

Hiking in Los Angeles

We are in the process of building a new section on hiking parks and trails in Los Angeles at Hiking Parks in LA! LA does have hundreds of acres of nature chock-full of hiking trails of all kinds. The problem is, it can sometimes be hard to hear about them.

parks in los angeles topanga state park

In this new section we are going to start adding info about various areas that are great for hiking in and around Los Angeles. To start off, we have one of our favorites already posted... the Topanga State Park is a huge area of amazing natural beauty. Fortunately for all of us, it is accessible to the public and has hundreds of miles of beautiful hiking trails. More parks and hiking info will be on the way shortly!

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Jul 22, 2010

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

If you don't feel like making the trek out to the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific but want to explore a little ocean life, check out the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium!

santa monica pier aquarium santa monica pier aquarium

This practically hidden little aquarium facility is inexpensive and fun for the kids to explore (and touch!) some sea creatures. They are open for parties and groups too and have some interesting educational programs.

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Jul 08, 2010

Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane is the unofficial name of a small neighborhood in Woodland Hills that goes all out each winter, trying to out-do each other with winter and Christmas decorations.

candy cane lane candy cane lane

Grab a cup of hot cocoa and your mittens and pile into the car to cruise the block, enjoying the magic of the season. Your kids will love it!

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Jul 08, 2010

Santa Monica Seafood

Santa Monica Seafood is or favorite market for fresh seafood in the LA area. It is where we hit when we get our, very frequent, craving for Moules et Frites.

santa monica seafood santa monica seafood

There is a great selection of fresh seafood and the new location has a great oyster bar and cafe.

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Jul 08, 2010

Allied Model Trains

Allied Model Trains is practically an LA institution. Existing here since the 40's (although not in the current location) this is your one stop shopping location for model trains.

allied model trains allied model trains

With everything you could possibly want for model train building and collecting, this place is just fun to look around with the kids. Don't miss the big display next door in the Samy's Camera!

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Jul 06, 2010

Brandywine Restaurant in Woodland Hills

Brandywine Restaurant is a quaint and romantic little (and we mean little) restaurant that is practically hidden away in Woodland Hills. The food is great, classic French. You'll be charmed by the couple that owns this place, he is the Maitre d' and server and she is the chef.

brandywine restaurant

Definitely a great place to go for your next date or romantic night out!

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Jul 06, 2010

Oak Glen California Apple Orchards

We've been going to this beautiful community of apple orchards for years. Tucked away in the San Bernardino Mountains northeast of LA, Oak Glen CA makes a great day trip for the whole family.

oak glen california oak glen california

Games, tours, rides, petting zoos, fruit picking, food, cider and of course tons of apples, this place is a ball and a good way to enjoy the natural beauty of the areas around LA as well as the fun community that has grown up here.

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Jul 05, 2010

Culver City Park (Veterans Memorial Park)

This little neighborhood park in Culver City is not the most unique park in LA but its pretty and fun. While it has all the usual stuff (baseball diamond, tennis courts, picnic benches), it stands out for having some nice open grassy spaces and a nice new kids area with soft foam flooring.

culver city park

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Jun 02, 2010

Taqueria El Tapatio Best Mexican Food in Woodland Hills

A new favorite of ours over the last year for best local Mexican food! We are loving Taqueria El Tapatio #1 in Woodland Hills!

woodland hills el tapatio woodland hills best mexican food

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Disclaimer: The reviews of places and things on this website are only our personal experience. We are in no way associated with any of the places we review and therefore will not be held responsible for experiences that differ from ours. Visit them at your own risk. If you have an experience that is different from ours and/or don't agree with our views, we apologize. I guess the world, even Los Angeles, is full of differing tastes and views, who knew?
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