Wednesday, December 7, 2016

SM Observer Article: 'Tis the Season for Non-Stop Shopping! Holiday Gift Guide for World Domination

Happy Holidays ES-ers!!!  Our Editor in Chief, Kat Thomas recently wrote an article for the Santa Monica Observer entitled 'Tis the Season for Non-Stop Shopping!  Holiday Gift Guide for World Domination!

Check it our below!

'Tis the Season for Non-Stop Shopping! Holiday Gift Guide for World Domination

Love it or hate it the Holidays are here!

It's time to lighten your wallets as you spread Christmas cheer!

Here are some of the Observer's favorites for under the tree!

They're the perfect gifts for those deserving of smiles, magic, and jubilee!

For the Santa Monica Yogi: Yohola Cork Yoga Mat
Once you go cork you never deal with torque! (On the yoga mat that is!) Yohola are the originators of the cork yoga mat, which increases grip the more you sweat (unlike your typical PVC mats)! So say goodbye to slipping and sliding all over the Vinyasa floor!

The result of cork based yoga is a more confident practice every time you step onto the mat! Plus Yohola's yoga mats are eco-friendly as they contains no PVCs, harmful chemicals, and all of their mats are 100% recyclable. As an added bonus to you (and your family) Yohola's states its cork surface is "anti-microbial, naturally killing bacteria, mold, and bad smells."

Our favorite is the brand's Native Cork Yoga Mat, lightweight and comfortable, this mat is great for the yogi-on-the-go. The Native's innovative, durable design features a thick layer of cork backed by a non-toxic, Green Label compliant foam. The cork is sourced from sustainable farms in Portugal and is hand-crafted responsibly in the USA. The Native Cork Yoga Mat is $119 and can be found at

For The Millennial Mover and Shaker: Scentbird Subscription
Millennials LOVE subscription box services! Enter Scentbird a simple and fun way to try new fragrances every month! Born out of frustration with the "perfume graveyard" (expensive bottles of designer fragrances collecting dust on your dresser or cabinet) Scentbird was created for the pickiest girl (or boy), allowing you the chance to "date" luxury fragrances before "marrying" them. With Scentbird, you get access to a 30-day supply of over 450 top designer fragrances delivered right to your door for just $14.95/month!

It's a super simple! Pick your scent from their collection of 450+ designer and niche fragrances. Get a generous supply of fragrance (0.27oz/ 8ml) in a travel-friendly spray. Every month, their birdies will deliver your fragrance right to your door.

Scentbird offers gift boxes that include 3 perfume fragrances and a one month subscription to Scentbird free! Our favorite was Miss Pretty, designed for the gal whose motto is, "Excuse me while I politely take over the world." Perfumes include: Lalique's L'Amour, Salvatore Ferragamo's Emozione, and NEST Fragrances' Midnight Fleur. The Miss Pretty set is the perfect complement to the grace and style you put forth! The 3 piece set is $59.95 and can be found at

For the Kitchen Cook Who Hates Doing Dishes: T-Fal Performapro Cookware
We LOVE to cook but cleanup is always the pits! Enter T-Fal's Techno Release technology, a textured interior that creates soft contact zones for easier food release and clean up. We've been using their frypan for the last month for everything from frying to searing to browning, and our cleanup has never been easier!

Performapro Cookware is induction compatible providing even heat distribution and is oven safe up to 500 degrees. Riveted stainless steel handles wrapped in silicone provide a more comfortable secure grip. Made of premium stainless steel, the fry pan is dishwasher safe. The 14 piece cookware set for $99.99 and can be found on

For the Budget Urban Country Girl: BootRoxx Boot Covers
Country girls love their cowboy boots, but not the $600 price tag each time they buy a new pair. Enter BootRoxx. BootRoxx boot covers have the ability to transform your favorite cowboy boots into a lively, sexy new pair. It's as simple as 1-2-3. 1. Get your favorite (or not so favorite) boots. 2. Slip on a pair of BootRoxx. 3. You're ready to go!

For the Kitchen Cook Who Hates Doing Dishes: T-Fal Performapro Cookware
There's a wide variety of choices to jazz up your boots from fringe, to veils for brides and bridesmaids, to rhinestones, rhinestones, and more rhinestones. The Observer's favorite Bootroxx pair is their Sugar Skull boot covers featuring a white rhinestone skull that has red rose flowers for eyes and is decorated with hearts, flowers, with green and pewter winding vines. Placed on smooth black fabric these boot covers have the ability to transform a plain pair of cowboy boots into something perfect to ring in the New Year with that charming cowboy by your side. The Sugar Skull set runs $49.99 and can be found on

For the American Girl (or Guy): I'd Rather Go Commando T-Shirts
Pinups on Tour is committed to providing low or no-cost entertainment for Veterans as part of their Morale Boosting Mission. In addition, proceeds from their shows go to support their work entertaining our nation's veterans inside and outside our nation's VA Hospitals. Along with their shows, Pin-Ups on Tour has a fantastic line of merchandise, so be a little cheeky and show your support with their "I'd Rather Go Commando" t-shirts. Available in Lieutenant Green for the men's sizes and Gunmetal Gray for the ladies. Proudly made in the United States. Pin-Ups on Tour t-shirts are $22 and can be found at

To read the full article check out: 

Friday, December 2, 2016

SM Observer Article: Beachy Casualness: Escaping the Holidays with Hotel MdR

Our Editor in Chief, Kat Thomas recently wrote an article for the Santa Monica Observer on escaping the Holidays at the Hotel MdR in Marina del Rey!  Check it our below!

Beachy Casualness: Escaping the Holidays with Hotel MdR

By Kat Thomas

It's that time of year! For better or worse, the tidal wave known as the Holidays has crashed onto our shores. But for those looking to escape from the Ho Ho Ho hubbub perhaps a night of beachy casualness at the Hotel MdR is exactly what the Christmas elves ordered.

Equal parts style, comfort, convenience and service, Hotel MdR has set a new standard for Marina del Rey hotels. Peppered with constantly looping surf movies and doggie bowls for men's best friend in the expansive slider filled lobby this DoubleTree by Hilton in Marian de Rey screams beachy contemporary.

The Hotel MdR has 283 newly updated guest rooms and suites worth of relaxation waiting for its Xmas getaway guests featuring brand new plush beds and lighting. The rooms push forward the agenda of casual sophistication with modern amenities like free Wi-Fi, a coffeemaker with Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® brand coffee and tea (and real cream), and a mini-fridge.

The only agenda at Hotel MdR is unwinding. The bed is curated with a Plush Sweet Dreams® mattress by DoubleTree beds and features five jumbo hypo-allergenic pillows. Each room is equipped with a sleek and stylish bathroom, where everywhere you look are smooth flat surfaces. For those looking to exodus with a bubble bath there's a curved shower rod, a hair dryer, and a granite vanity.
Hotel MdR is the perfect gift of fun in a casual setting for anyone wanting to experience the Beach atmosphere without the craziness of Venice or Santa Monica. Hotel MdR is within walking distance of Fisherman's Village, a five minute Uber ride to Venice Beach, and strategically positioned by Loyola Marymount University.

The Hotel MdR is also pet friendly with rooms conveniently located on the first floor, making walks and potty breaks a breeze for man's best friends. Canine comforts include: a welcome treat provided at check-in and a head scratch and paw shake from the general manager.

To read the full article check out: 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

SM Observer Article: Crumbs and Whiskers Cat Café Opens in Los Angeles!

Our Editor in Chief, Kat Thomas recently wrote an article on Los Angeles' first cat cafe Crumbs and Whiskers!  Check it our below!

Crumbs and Whiskers Cat Café Opens in Los Angeles!: Time Spent With Cats is Never Wasted

Crumbs & Whiskers drastically improves the lives of shelter cats by placing them in an environment where they have space to run around, people to interact with, and places to hide all day instead of having to live inside cages. 

"Time spent with cats is never wasted."--Sigmund Freud

A massive line of humans stand in front of a storefront on Melrose Blvd gawking and smiling like they do at the Christmas displays in the film "Miracle on 34th," but instead of a magical man in a red suit on other side the other side houses 20 magical creatures of the four legged furry kind: CATS!!!
LA's first cat café has come to town in the form of the second location of the DC based Crumbs and Whiskers. But this isn't BYOC (Bring Your Own Cat) because Crumbs and Whiskers has got your covered on the (adoptable) cat part, trust me!

A cat café is a theme café whose main attraction is cats that can be watched and played with. Usually patrons pay a catmosphere cover fee, generally hourly, and thus cat cafes can be seen as a form of supervised indoor pet rental.

Crumbs and Whiskers houses 20 cats in house ranging in age from 4 months to 13 years. Human guests are limited to 15 people so the four legged friends don't get stressed. This leads to time at Crumbs and Whiskers being constantly sold out (on the weekend I attended they were booked solid).
The world's first cat cafe, 'Cat Flower Garden' opened its doors in Taipei, Taiwan in 1998. The Taiwanese cat café eventually became a tourist destination, attracting tourists from Japan as well as all over the glove. These Japanese tourists then took the concept back to their home nation where the concept blossomed. The first Japanese cat café was named 'Neko no Jikan' (literally Cats Time) opened in Osaka in 2004. Due to the Japan's land size and population, many residents live in small apartments or condominiums which do not allow pets, making a cat café a very popular destination for young workers looking for the companionship and comfort offered.

Crumbs and Whiskers "Founding Mom," Kancha, is a woman who was inspired by a cat cafe in Thailand. While traveling in a city called Chiang Mai, Kanchan stumbled upon a cat cafe. After she came back home, she couldn't stop thinking about how it could be used as a force for good for shelter cats. And the rest is history with the company opening its Los Angeles location two months ago!.

To read the full article check out: 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

LA's Foodie Burger Institution: Umami Burger

We’re very embarrassed to admit that a few weeks ago Edible Skinny finally made it to the LA burger institution Umami Burger for the first time ever… 
Yes, I get it, Umami Burger (named after the fifth savory taste bud taste, the rainbow that includes the other four tastes) has a cult following among food lovers and burger devotees around the world; we mean GQ Magazine named it “Burger of the Year.”  And yeah, we always meant to get around to trying it, yet we never seemed to find the right moment to make it work…
But the perfect storm of the lovely Christy Fair’s birthday day and Guillermo Del Toro’s At Home with Monsters exhibit at LACMA inspired the need for monster burgers.  

And so we wandered into the Umami Burger’s Grove location, an indoor-outdoor space that is sunny reprieve from the autumnal shopping hustle (but not before we photographed Miss Fair behind the wood cutout of a harvest scarecrow).

We started our adventure with the ever popular Caramelized Brussel Sprouts made of bacon lardons (aka huge ass cuts of bacon, as Miss Fair noted "I just had the thickest piece of bacon of my life"), glazed carrots, roasted garlic and shallots, truffle glaze.  It was massive amounts of bacon, green crispy to the teeth, and the right amount of truffles to make my dinner guest grin from ear to ear.  Not to mention this being paired with Japanese style wings with a Soy Glaze and Shichimi Pepper Mix.  And we hadn’t even gotten to the burger yet!

Now as many of you know I am a Veg so I judge many burger joints (and steak restaurants) by their French Fry offerings.  And I have to say I was not disappointed by Umami Burger!!!  Their Truffle Fries were an embrace of Thin Cut Fries, House Truffle Cheese, and Topped with Chives for that perfect creamy tangy one-two punch. Yummm (with three Ms as Kelly GraceThomas says).   The other Veg based dish I partook of while there was their Butter Corn topped with Parmesan, Master Sauce, Soy, and Lime.  Another knockout for the plant based participant.   

And then it was onto the burger for Miss Fair, because if there’s one thing Umami Burger is known for is its burger… ;-)  

The Umami Burger gives its namesake adoration that Tinkerbell would appreciate!  All of their beef burgers are made using house-ground premium steak perfectly infused with Umami’s unique blend of enhancing sauces and seasonings.  Each location of Umami Burger has an exclusive burger as well!  At the Grove this burger is the Kinoko Burger composed of Portobello Mushroom Buns, Grilled Chicken Breast, Basil Pesto, Parmesan, Arugula, Cherry Tomato Confit, Goat Cheese, and Balsamic Glaze.  It was Mediterranean fabulousness in burger form according the delightful Miss Fair.
So after year’s delay, Edible Skinny is an Umami Burger virgin no more.  We’ve now rocked the burger, bun, and fry LA style: casually chic, farm to table ready, and absolutely awesome! 

Here’s to life being delicious and finding the right moment to make GQ’s Burger of the Year work! ;-)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Lobster Ramen + Everything Under $15 = K Ramen Is Our New Favorite LA Ramen Joint

Holy Noodles Batman!

A couple of weeks ago Edible Skinny was shopping at the Americana in Glendale and while there we got our Ramen on at Katsuya’s noodle joint K Ramen.

K Ramen has a speakeasy feel entrance (follow the black winding staircase to the second floor) up to a glorious patio overlooking the Americana fountain.  The space used to be a private event space but is now a hipster-y, more budget-y friendly version of the first floor which houses SBE’s ever popular sushi joint Katsuya. 

K Ramen is inspired by three of the culinary scene’s most lusted after dishes: ramen, burgers, and poke.  Crave-worthy dishes skillfully-executed and complimented with an extensive selection of Japanese brews.  The restaurant is bare-bones modernity at its finest.  Paper napkins, menus on temp. paper pamphlets, and nothing on the menu is over $15.  Sweet!!! 
We forgo-ed the Poki for a small bite plate of Fried Calamari with Wasabi Cocktail Sauce and Tater Tots with Duck Fat Drizzle.  This is the thicker choice cut of the squid (no tentacles here) battered to perfect. 

And then it was on to what K Ramen is known for (wait for it, wait for it…): Ramen!!!  My guest (since I’m the Veg girl) dined on the restaurant’s signature dish of Lobster Ramen.    The most popular item at K Ramen, it’s composed of Myojo thin noodles in a broth of 15-hour chicken stock, lobster butter, fish stock with a kimchi base.  The bright red broth is topped with a perfectly cooked marinated soft-boiled egg, golden chives, and green onion and has a slightly spicy aftertaste.  At $15 it’s the priciest item on their budget-friendly menu.

And then onto a massive burger!  (of which there’s only one option!): ½ pound of beef with Chef’s special Spicy Creamy Sauce, caramelized onion, heirloom tomato, & American cheese on a local artisan bun (my guest added avocado to increase a bit more to the perfect flavor profile).  The Behemoth is served with your choice of fries or tots (we went fries all the way in this bitter battle!).

And for sweet treats K Ramen offers Coolhaus ice cream by the pint.

Poke.  Ramen.  Burgers.  Coolhaus.  $15 or less. 

‘Nuff said, see you at the Americana!