Signature service: Hot Dog Catering
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2?4 hours
Pro Tip: Please be sure to make reservations at least one week in advance.
Featured in Bloomberg Businessweek and frequented by celebrity parents from Gwen Stefani to Halle Berry, Giggles N' Hugs caters to kids' boundless energy with a spacious play area alongside a restaurant that fuels little bellies with healthful fare. On the colorful play space's pirate ship, mini swashbucklers can climb rope ladders to the deck, ascend the crow's nest, or swoop down the slide to sword-fight with imaginary narwhals. Elsewhere, a lavender castle protects princesses from the wall mural's cartoon dragons, as rocking horses and a jungle gym distract the kingdom's squires. All the while, friendly staffers, certified in CPR and first aid, supervise and play with children, ensuring their safety and full engagement. The play center also sates hungry tummies of all ages with a catering menu, brimming with fresh fare and rich cupcakes. Party hosts and their guests can tuck forks into salads featuring everything from beets to barbecue chicken, or snag sandwiches and wraps such as the Asian-inspired citrus tuna wrap cradled in whole-wheat lavash. Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes fulfill everyone's sweet cravings, salvaging the party when the magician accidentally saws the cake in half.
When the Markowitz family took control of Factor's Famous Deli in 1969, the eatery had already been thriving for more than two decades. Today, the second generation of Markowitzes still owns and operates the restaurant at its original location on Pico Boulevard. They man a deli counter where patrons can grab freshly roasted meats by the pound or carat. The menu is enormous, filled with breakfast wraps, omelets, paninis, meat loaf, and short ribs that customers can enjoy along with a booth's warm embrace and the approving gaze of sports and entertainment memorabilia. Three private dining rooms—including a sundrenched back room, a vine-lined garden patio, and a wine room ringed with exposed brick—set the stage for food-focused get-togethers with friends and family.
The Markowitz clan also caters events, delivering deli and fish platters to your home or underground party bunker, and welcoming guests to The Mark for Events. This stylish space, which glows a soft pink when low light flickers across its white walls, tables, and chairs, is managed by one of the Markowitz daughters.
Scratch DJ Academy founders Rob Principe and the late Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC opened the academy in 2001 to lower the barrier of entry for learning its eponymous art form. Today, its talented faculty know that juggling beats can be harder than juggling irritated porcupines, and their skill at teaching the complex art has drawn media attention from the likes of The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The academy’s instructors include Grandwizard Theodore, who began DJing at 13, and Rob Swift, who claims a resumé with a performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and a collaboration with Herbie Hancock. Scratch offers a slew of courses and educational tours that cover topics ranging from the basics of music production to advanced digital DJing. It reaches more than 100,000 students each year and has taught future DJs from all 50 states and 35 different countries.
Photographers Nati and Eddie want clients to feel as comfortable as possible, so instead of hunting for an old warehouse, the ladies put their studio in a Spanish-style duplex. They named it The Little Room Studio—a place that feels more like a friend's place than a commercial photography space.
Despite its modest size, it packs plenty of gear to reveal subjects at their most photogenic, from colored backdrops to gel lighting to mirrors that reaffirm subjects are indeed the fairest of them all. This equipment transforms the space for each boudoir, pinup, and fashion shoot, allowing Nati and Eddie to stage all kinds of shots, from playful to edgy.
The photographers extend their expertise in composition to graphic design, developing materials such as business logos, postcards, and business cards. They also pair with a team of sound engineers, who offer audio services in an adjacent recording studio.
The hardest workers at Bagel Broker aren't allowed a lunch break or time to sleep—they bake bagels continuously throughout the day. However, because they're ovens, they aren't aware of their own work ethic. They produce 18 varieties of bagels, from plain to pumpernickel to the popular cheese onion, whose doughy rings satisfy even "New York transplants," according to Epicurious. Guests can decorate their bagels with whipped cream cheese and several types of spreads, or opt for heartier sandwich options, such as breakfast combinations of eggs and meat or slices of nova lox. The Tarnol family—owners of the shop since its 1987 inception—steers clear of added fats, preservatives, and oils when creating the signature food. The shop also compiles catering platters for group functions such as corporate complaining parties.