Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries and daisy pineapples in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
The chefs at Los Cinco Puntos strive to correct the Americanized image of ground-beef tacos by marinating, braising, and frying a trove of traditional Mexican meats. Sizzling carne asada, spiced carnitas, and lengua, just to name a few, play starring roles in the eatery's authentic menu and get executive-producer credits for each movie made about the restaurant's quesadillas. Chefs roll these meaty specialties into burritos, layer them atop fluffy buns for their special tortas, or twist them in fried tortillas for perfectly crispy flautas. They also create tamales by the dozen, filling the husk-wrapped treats with a similar array of succulent meats.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Nothing proves this adage quite like Mel?s Fish Shack. Because, while it fries and grills more than a dozen types of seafood, what Mel?s represents to its community is more than just a popular takeout spot?it symbolizes a lifelong legacy. Mel Powell founded Mel?s Fish Shack in 1982 on a whim. But within five years, it became wildly popular, known as the place where Miles Davis, The Jackson family, and Stevie Wonder went to chow down on Louisiana-style fried fish. Mel gave his food an unforgettable taste by crusting fresh red snapper, jumbo shrimp, and catfish in a special seasoning and cornmeal mix that he blended himself.
Today, his daughter Georgette Powell runs the business. She had been working with her father since she was nine, starting as his secretary for an ornamental-ironworking business where she learned the importance of integrity, discipline, and a strong work ethic. Even so, she never imagined she'd take over the family business, until one day, just a year from graduating college, she realized that helping her father was the right thing to do. Today, she serves both new customers and the same regulars her father did nearly 33 years ago, frying up their favorite orders with her own personal touch. The eatery is also conveniently located right off the Metro Expo Line, luring Natural History Museum visitors just a few stops away.
To bolster the selection of such soul-food classics as crispy catfish filets, oysters, and hush puppies, Georgette has expanded the menu to include healthy options of grilled-salmon salad in a ginger vinaigrette dressing and fish wraps with dill sauce. According to a recent article on the website of the county supervisor, she also hopes to eventually expand Mel?s to other locations and build up her newfound ?healthy soul food niche? through a community culinary school, driving Mel?s legacy beyond the historic fish shack.
It can be hard to fathom just how large and sophisticated Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has become since it started distributing meals to hungry families in 1973. The statistics are so large—670 partner agencies, a pair of facilities totaling 183,000 square feet, 32,000 volunteers each year, 1 billion pounds of food distributed since its inception—that inefficiency would seem a natural result. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. A full 97% of all cash and in-kind revenue goes straight to fulfilling the Food Bank’s mission of putting an end to hunger in Los Angeles County.
It’s those kinds of numbers that are necessary to combat a problem so widespread and complex. Not only does the Food Bank's team of full-timers and volunteers ensure their partner pantries, schools, and shelters receive enough food to feed one million people per year, they also work to educate children and adults about the importance of healthy eating. To that end, the organization sees that fruits and vegetables constitute 20% of the food it distributes.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand to projects big and small at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
By combining CrossFit workouts and self-defense programs under the same roof, A4 Fitness hopes to provide a broad range of opportunities for clients seeking to bolster their overall wellbeing or master a new set of skills. Each CrossFit session combines elements of weight lifting, gymnastics, and high-intensity interval training. The ever-changing nature of the workouts challenges attendees to push their limits and improve their endurance, strength, and balance over time. Martial arts lessons, meanwhile, draw from an eclectic array of styles; visitors can learn to perform the knee and elbow strikes of muay thai, the nimble footwork of traditional boxing, or the practical self-defense techniques of anything from jiu jitsu to tae kwon do.
Above all else, the gym's staff members emphasize safety. To that end, they keep class sizes small—roughly one instructor for every six students—which ensures that they can continually monitor everyone's technique while providing corrections, suggestions, and celebratory bear hugs when needed.
For anyone living in the epicenter of Hollywood, in one of the many apartments just behind bustling, tourist-heavy Hollywood Boulevard, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is an absolute necessity. The quick-service pre-packaged grocer sits tucked inside a busy shopping center just west of the famed Mann’s Chinese Theater. Locals can take a bit of respite inside while they shop for daily staples and individually-wrapped premade meals, though the small aisles do fill up quickly. Of course, there’s also the usual cadre of costumed characters stopping in for a quick lunch before heading back out to busk on the sidewalks, plus a steady flow of tourists heralded in by the promise of market-priced drinks and quick snacks. A small outdoor courtyard is perfect for a quick sit, and if you drove, expect subterranean parking that requires validation. One thing you won’t find here are tellers; Fresh & Easy is self-checkout only.