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.
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.
Exhibitions and lifelike dioramas containing more than 150 vehicles sprawl across Petersen Automotive Museum's 300,000-square-foot confines, illustrating the impact of the automobile on American culture. On the first floor, permanent collections elucidate with detailed displays covering the role of the car in Los Angeles and motion picture, the history of alternative power, and the favorite engine sounds of each president. The Hot Wheels Hall of Fame parades more than 1,000 Hot Wheels vehicles, original models, and design sketches. Five galleries on the second floor shelter rotating exhibits, and the third floor's May Family Discovery Center introduces tykes to the fundamental functions of cars with interactive driving stations. Patrons wander among the extensive displays individually or join tours for groups, schools, car clubs, or families of parking cones.
Sweet E's Bake Shop's rotating cupcake flavors make less popular days of the week, such as Monday, a little bit better. That day, for example, satisfies sweet teeth with treats such as chocolate espresso and banana split cupcakes.
Beyond the daily-rotating cupcake flavors lies a giant selection of other sweets, many of their recipes traceable to founder Erica, or "E." Growing up in Texas, she loved baking with her mom and grandmother. Today, she draws on that family time in the kitchen while baking brownies, French macarons, and stuffed cookies. These take two separate good things?such as chocolate chip cookies and Oreos?and turn them into one combined great thing, much like a car with rockets.