From 18 studios scattered around Los Angeles, Lori Moran Music Studios’ armada of instructors offers all-ages voice, piano, guitar, violin, and composition classes. With teachers who have worked on films such as Dreamgirls and Dance Flick, world-touring operatic productions, and Grammy-nominated choral CDs, the school can cater to virtually every musical taste—from classical to jazz to pop. Students choose the emphasis of their lessons, whether they want to work on their public performance skills, write their own songs, sight-read scores, or simply be able to play musical chairs during a power outage. Many will also get the chance to show off in recitals, concerts, and showcases.
Stinging nettle, lambsquarters, and mugwort: as ubiquitous weeds around the LA area, it’s a rare sight to see them celebrated as elements of gourmet cuisine. But the duo behind Transitional Gastronomy, Pascal Baudar and Mia Wasilevich, are changing that with their inventive approach to foraged food. Baudar combines his background in French and Belgian country cuisine with more than a decade of experience teaching survivalist classes and studying wild food in Southern California. On the other hand, Wasilevich’s own diverse heritage informs her more modern approach to the culinary arts, which incorporates molecular gastronomy as well as more traditional methods. Each dish they create depends on whatever seasonal botany they come across, in addition to careful research on how each ingredient was used through history.
The pair has been celebrated in local and national media for their educational excursions and culinary innovation, from mentions in Time and the Los Angeles Times to features on NBC and ABC. Their experiments have yielded dishes as diverse as lambsquarters bisque and mousse to flatbreads topped with acorn, nettle pesto, and homemade preserved lemons. Transitional Gastronomy’s team shares their passions through small-group foraging hikes and cooking classes, which also include Baudar’s expertise in Old World styles of preservation and fermentation. Elderberry wine and mugwort beer make frequent appearances at each workshop, proving that you can even celebrate happy hour if you were stranded in the forest or on a spaceship that harvests elderberries and mugwort.
Lauded by Pasadena Weekly for having the best fitness program in 2011, Stadium Fitness earns its praise with a full schedule of energetic workouts held inside the hallowed walls of Rose Bowl Stadium. Recently featured in LA Yoga magazine, yoga classes also stay on the small side, helping instructors tailor workouts to individual goals and pay more attention to each student's inner growth. During each one-hour session, coed groups of all skill levels shed calories as a knowledgeable, certified fitness coach encourages quadriceps to put forth their best effort. Workouts are customized to each attendee's abilities—whether they want to jog up stadium stairs, sprint full-speed across the field's sun-splashed grass, or develop innovative cheerleading routines on the sidelines. Inside, a 5,000-square-foot locker room volunteers its spacious layout, allowing groups to participate in a variety of circuit-training routines or read plaques engraved with quotes from legendary tackling dummies.
The Ice House Comedy Club hosts professional laugh makers in a casual, intimate setting. Dozens of famous funny people have cultivated chuckles on the club's stage—including David Letterman, George Carlin, and Ellen DeGeneres—throughout its half-century history. Upcoming entertainers include voice actor Scott Henry, television veteran Ralph Harris, and Mind of Mencia star Brad Williams. The small, personal atmosphere allows all viewers to be within seven rows of giggle gatherers, although Ice House recommends arriving 45 minutes early to prevent the first-come, first-served seats from developing abandonment issues. Although not included in this Groupon, Ice House also boasts a menu loaded with creative drinks, tasty snacks, and funnybone-repair kits.
French-born writer and school director Caroline fills teaching positions at La Petite Ecole Française with only native French speakers. That way, students will be guided through grammar, vocabulary, and conversational styles as they're currently used in Francophone countries, rather than relying on the potentially outdated info available from textbooks or someone who's just watched Children of Paradise several times. A wide range of programs helps bilingual students stay in touch with their French side and introduces adult learners to solid fundamentals. Special events deepen cultural awareness with movie screenings and art-exhibit visits.