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Jef Harmatz

Jef Harmatz

Articles (9)

8 amazing things to do in Twentynine Palms

8 amazing things to do in Twentynine Palms

In case the dozens of storefront signs advertising “Marine haircuts” didn’t make it clear, Twentynine Palms is a military town. The Marine base is quite far from the highway and nearby Joshua Tree National Park, but on certain days artillery blasts reverberate out toward the civilian homes, shops and restaurants in the hub of the otherwise sleepy town. Like most settlements in the high desert, Twentynine Palms is built along Highway 62, the main thoroughfare that leads from Interstate 10 through Joshua Tree and on toward Arizona. Though linked by dusty roads to nearby cities and the national park, the more isolated Twentynine Palms feels distinct from its neighbors: Vibrating just beneath the serene city is an offbeat energy that thrives on the outskirts of civilization.

The best bagels in Los Angeles

The best bagels in Los Angeles

OK, listen: Bagels are considered the purview of the East Coast, and Angelenos supposedly have no business rolling, baking and boiling our own bagels. Happily for the residents of this great city, that assumption is dead wrong. Though not as ubiquitous as those in NYC and Philly, some of L.A.’s bagels are world-class—despite the jibber-jabber of clueless tourists and East Coast transplants. Our city’s deep-rooted Jewish community has paved the way for bagel shops to thrive here, ensuring that we all have access to these circular, yeast-risen breakfast breads, whether served plain, toasted, schmeared or as the bookends of a sandwich. From a roving food truck serving bagel sandos to a cult favorite operating out of a window in Highland Park, here are our favorite bagels in the city.

8 roadside restaurants worth stopping at along your drive into the desert

8 roadside restaurants worth stopping at along your drive into the desert

As the desert sees a surge in interest from Angelenos, the 10 and its supporting freeways are jam-packed with vacationers journeying to Palm Springs, Joshua Tree and the Coachella Valley. But whether it’s a “long-past-your-lunch-break” Friday evening drive to a vacation rental or a “hungover-but-hungry” Sunday morning return trip, the two-hour plus drive can seem like an endless loop of the same dozen chain restaurants you avoid at home. For more adventurous eaters, or those just bored of the same old drive-thru combos, these eight restaurants are a few short minutes from the highway but far off the beaten path.

The best art supply store options in L.A.

The best art supply store options in L.A.

A city’s art scene can be, in a sense, only as good as the art supply store options it has to offer. It's imperative to have accessible art stores, from the Valley to Downtown, filled with pens, paints, pencils, papers, scrapers and shapers. Los Angeles, a town founded on creative ambition as both the geographic and figurative definition of "out there," has a remarkable smattering of art stores. Even excluding national art chains, which themselves flourish, L.A.’s independent art supply stores are comprehensive, inexpensive and staffed by folks who are eager to explain the difference between a Copic and a Prismacolor. Whether you’re a seasoned expert, an art student finding their way, or a novice eager to explore and experiment, you'll find all you need in this L.A. art supply store guide—we look forward to seeing your work in L.A.'s best art galleries soon!

Where to find L.A.'s best poutine, the ultimate Canadian food

Where to find L.A.'s best poutine, the ultimate Canadian food

In Los Angeles, when we think of food from across the border, we immediately think of tacos and sopes, moles and salsa verdes. There's another border, though, and while we're much further from our Northern neighbors, the influences and tastes of Canadian expats are starting to pop up in L.A. More specifically? Canada’s most famous culinary export, poutine, is gaining ground. A kissing-cousin to the U.S.A.’s own disco fries, poutine typically consists of thick-cut french fries covered in chicken gravy and mild, squeaky white cheese curds. So where can you find the decadent dish? Check out these French restaurants, dive bars and even an Indian restaurant serving Canadian-style poutine in Los Angeles.

Where to buy zines in Los Angeles

Where to buy zines in Los Angeles

First, what is a zine? The term "zine," is a precise contraction of "magazine." Though zines have been around for centuries as a communication for the disenfranchised—see political activism in the early 20th century, sci-fi and horror fans in the '60s—the concurrence of punk rock and the rise of inexpensive photocopying technology in the late 1970s revived the medium as a way to propagate unique subcultures beneath the surface of the mainstream. And LA is full of those. Because of their low-cost and ease-to-make nature, zines have been seized upon by local artists, musicians, bookstore owners (the list goes on) as one of the purest ways to express a personal or collective aesthetic, be it through photography, poetry, drawings, comics, prose or otherwise. Though zines are more prevalent in towns where the subculture is truly suppressed, Los Angeles—a city where subculture is closer to the surface—still has a powerful zine-making scene, as evidenced by these 10 great places to purchase 'em.

Flea market options in Los Angeles

Flea market options in Los Angeles

There's nothing better than perusing wares and hunting for treasures at a classic flea market. Los Angeles, luckily, has a ton of them, offering everything from vintage clothing to record store surplus, kitschy kitchenware and custom-made furniture. There's often food, drink and music to boot—as well as a sense of community, where you can meet collectors, see and be seen, run into friends and meet new people. And though they’ve been stuck with a decidedly off-putting name, these open-air, ragtag gatherings of disparate vendors have remained some of LA’s preferred shopping experiences for decades, thriving by taking advantage of the city’s temperate climate and endless array of parking lots. Long live the flea market! Los Angeles and the surrounding area is home to ten of our favorites, listed below.

A Los Angeles beer store guide

A Los Angeles beer store guide

Whiskey and wine have traditionally been the go-to for specialized imbibing. But beer, particularly craft and foreign varieties, has made tremendous inroads throughout the last decade, and a brewing boom has elevated the once overlooked beverage. With dedicated liquor shops and wine stores providing the unusual, hard-to-find and expensive in their particular categories, it only seems natural that a new vertical of stores specializing in beer would begin to flourish. Despite our historic lack of LA breweries (until recently), Los Angeles has always been a beer city, and the beer stores here are a manifestation of our affection for all things hoppy, malty, fruity, sour, crisp and, most certainly, cold.

A comic book store guide to LA

A comic book store guide to LA

Los Angeles is a global hub of entertainment, aesthetics and popular art. Comics encompass all of these qualities, so it’s no surprise that the very best, most innovative and diversely-stocked comic book stores on the planet can be found right here in LA—sometimes hidden inside actual book stores, or even comedy clubs. Fret not, true believer—these world-class shops are inviting, accessible and staffed with some of the medium’s finest advocates. Whether you’re looking for autobiographical sagas, veiny-muscled super-heroics, reprints of century-old newspaper strips or just something fun to read at the coffee shop, there's a comic book store in LA for you.

Listings and reviews (60)

Potrero Canyon Buffet at Morongo Casino

Potrero Canyon Buffet at Morongo Casino

Visible from across the low desert, this towering casino is a beacon of excess. Its buffet, advertised extensively along the road, is also delightfully over-the-top. Themed days like “surf- and-turf,” “seafood” and “international” translate to fluctuating prices, but a high throughline of quality and variety, including poke, Cajun and fanciful deserts amidst the usual buffet favorites make for a worthwhile if belt-busting meal. The cost and time investment are higher, but it’s a great stop if you prefer fun eating over fine dining. Try the crab legs on seafood night alongside the gumbo.

Crazy Coyote Tacos

Crazy Coyote Tacos

Mere feet from the highway, this American-style Mexican roadside stand is famed for its giant tacos topped with guacamole, but the smaller ones don’t disappoint either. Homemade tortillas are thick, yellow, lightly charred and filled with all manner of saucy proteins, like braised green chile pork and deep-fried white fish covered in a dill-flavored cream. Taquitos, burritos, nachos and meat by-the-pound make for a simple takeaway, or you can dine at the outdoor patio and watch nearby cows graze. Try the giant taco with steak and ghost salsa

Gramma’s Country Kitchen

Gramma’s Country Kitchen

If you’re looking for a restaurant hearkening back to the “good old days” of road tripping, including waitresses with polite sass, walls decorated with cheerful aphorisms that veer into religious fanaticism, and so many pies, this is your spot. From biscuit-based breakfasts to steak- showcasing dinners, the extensive menu has everything in between, including omelettes, sandwiches, salads and burgers. Banana loaves, bread puddings and a multitude of fruit and custard pies are home-baked and showcased extensively throughout the retro-styled restaurant. Try the waffles with added fried chicken and a slice of pie a la mode.

Pollos Kikiryki

Pollos Kikiryki

Pollos Kikiryki serves not just the best chicken in Claremont, but among the best in Southern California. Tucked away in an easy-to-miss corner of a strip mall, there’s nothing modest about the big, glistening Peruvian style birds rotating in a rotisserie oven right behind the counter of the small restaurant. The menu features stellar renditions of other favorites from Peru, including lomo saltado (steak and fries) and ceviche—and everything’s better topped with aji verde, a spicy green sauce. Try the half chicken combo and an Inka Cola.

Masala Indo-Pak Cuisine

Masala Indo-Pak Cuisine

This dimly lit and spare little space serves flavorful and delicious Pakistani cuisine from an ever changing menu. Brass-handled bowls of stewed mutton and barbecued chicken pass through a window in the back wall, and the dishes have a depth of flavor best explored with a hot and crispy naan. Kebab sandwiches make for a quick road bite, while curries, tandoori and biryanis offer a more substantial meal. Nightly dinner specials like pulao, a special occasion rice dish, are available to more committed eaters. Try the mutton karahi with garlic naan.

George’s Market

George’s Market

Employees and customers at this deli speak German amidst shelves of herring, candy and innumerable varieties of mustard. A lengthy butcher counter features a wide selection of wursts, including their hearty “hot plate”: sausage (weisswurst, bockwurst, and others) served alongside warm sauerkraut and potato salad. Any of their cold cuts (jagdwurst, German bologna, blood and tongue loaf) can be piled high onto a sandwich, too. Eat in the adorable outdoor biergarten with a pint of whatever happens to be on tap. Try the hot plate with weisswurst followed by a whipped cream topped warm apple strudel.

The Fat Greek

The Fat Greek

While most roadside diners have a few Greek staples on their menu, Yucaipa’s the Fat Greek goes all in on Mediterranean cuisine. Unmistakable Balkan favorites such as grilled haloumi cheese and moussaka are served alongside hamburgers and pastrami, sometimes yielding inventive Greek fusion spins on SoCal classics like spicy feta-topped french fries and gyro breakfast burritos. If you dine in, their sophisticated beer list is inviting. Otherwise, the drive-through window will get you back on the road with falafel quickly. Try the dolmades and spicy Greek fries with gyro meat.

Farm’s House Restaurant

Farm’s House Restaurant

Bright red and shaped like a humongous barn, Farm’s House is hard to miss. The more run-of-the-mill interior serves delicious diner fare like omelettes, sandwiches, hamburgers and fried seafood, but look for outstanding specials: a $9.99 lunch combination includes soup and a slice of pie. The spot differentiates itself from usual roadside fare with a focus on drinks,including smoothies, tropical lemonades served in mason jars and a full bar specializing in margaritas and mojitos. Try the carne asada fries and a mojito.

Smith’s Ranch Drive-In

Smith’s Ranch Drive-In

One of the last remaining drive-in theaters in California, Smith’s Ranch’s single screen is flanked by trees for a secluded setting. Relax in your car or bring lawn chairs and a boombox for double features of first-run movies. A quaint snack shack delivers outstanding versions of movie treats like chili dogs, popcorn and even pulled pork sandwiches—all for significantly less than cineplex prices. Admission is $5 per person, and if you bring a twenty you’ll leave full, entertained and with money to spare.

Bowladium

Bowladium

This charming, inexpensive and unpretentious facility is the platonic ideal of a classic bowling alley. Wild patterns adorning the walls amplify a decor that—delightfully—seems like it hasn’t been updated much since the 1970s. Though the number of lanes leaves something to be desired, you can kill time waiting for one at the facility’s own top-notch bar, the Back Alley, which gets lively when there’s a game on television. Bowladium’s in-house taqueria, Mexican Street Tacos, serves a variety of meats, including fish and shrimp, and even hosts to a hot-salsa challenge.

Palm Kabob House

Palm Kabob House

Situated comfortably next to a Western wear outlet, Twentynine Palms’ only Mediterranean restaurant slices stellar shawarma and fries fluffy falafel balls. If you’re eating in, it’s a cozy, friendly spot with a cluttered decor perfect for a glass of wine or Turkish coffee with your fattoush salad, but it’s also a great takeaway spot if you want something other than a sandwich for your day in the park. The menu also features Mediterranean fusion burgers made from lamb or falafel.

Arch Rock

Arch Rock

One of Joshua Tree National Park’s most Instragrammable locales, Arch Rock is a geological marvel. As the name suggests, it’s an enormous naturally formed stone arch that bends upwards over the top of a big, precarious-looking boulder. Not far from the White Tank campsite, it’s a 15 minute drive into Joshua Tree National Park from the highway hub of Twentynine Palms. It’s a beginner level jaunt to the stone marvel with more than enough boulders for more experienced hikers to climb atop.

News (3)

Five ways to eat beef tongue around Los Angeles

Five ways to eat beef tongue around Los Angeles

Much of the apprehension to eating beef tongue may be related to the fact that, in its natural, uncooked state, it looks eerily similar to a human tongue—only comically outsized. But when stripped of the fibrous, taste-bud laden membrane and cut appropriately, beef tongue is meaty, lean, tender, juicy and just a little bit funky. A cow’s tongue can become one of the best things you can put into your own mouth—and to prove it, we found five different, delicious styles of beef tongue to try in Los Angeles. Hot tongue sandwich at Langer's DeliKnown primarily for their thick cut pastrami, Langer's has a hot tongue sandwich that’s just as tasty. The delicatessen’s tongue is, flavor-wise, a kissing cousin to their corned beef, but leaner and more mildly spiced. Thought it’s cut thin, the bright pink tongue stays moist between two slices of Langer’s crusted rye bread. Charred tongue at Gyuatan TsukasaThe first state-side outpost of a popular tongue-focused Japanese chain, Gyuatan Tsukasa has enough variety to win over even the most nervous eater. One of the many amazing stalls at the Mitsuwa Market food court in Costa Mesa, Gyutan Tsukasa specializes in thick cuts of tongue charred over their indoor-charcoal grill. The focused menu also dishes out spicy ground tongue over rice, soup with soft-braised tongue, and hamburgers made from a combination of tongue and chicken cartilage. Tongue tacos at King TacoA ubiquitous and delicious chain of inexpensive and authentic tavo purveyors, th

4 legendary moments on 'The Bachelor' to recreate here in Los Angeles

4 legendary moments on 'The Bachelor' to recreate here in Los Angeles

Luckily for Angelenos, the much-maligned but always exciting Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise has its home base here in L.A., or Agoura Hills, to be exact. Though the infamous mansion (known for its many rooms, extraordinary pool and always-wet driveway) is where our contestants live, argue and drink wine for the purpose of one-on-one and group dates, the show’s producers are constantly scouring the best of the city’s locations to create novel, unusual, and sometimes even romantic, dates. During more than 30 seasons, the franchises have built something of a historical travelogue of L.A. On last night's episode, bachelor Nick Viall and the girls were treated to a visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships (this doesn't bode well for you, Nick...). Below are a few more choice encounters from the entire history of The Bachelor franchise that you can easily recreate.     1. The Colorado Bridge date with Juan-Pablo In Season 18 of The Bachelor, former pro-soccer player and Venezuelan hunk Juan-Pablo Galavis took science educator Chelsie Webster on a date to Pasadena. The first stop was a sampling of Juan-Pablo’s homeland’s cuisine at Amara Chocolate & Coffee in Old Town. With bellies full of sweets, the duo then bungee jumped right off of the landmark Colorado Street Bridge. The astonishing structure, easily seen from 134 freeway, was recently restored. Though these types of jumps aren’t typically available to the public, Bachelor fans can recreate Chelsie’s hemming and hawing or

10 of 'The Bachelor' franchise's best L.A. dates

10 of 'The Bachelor' franchise's best L.A. dates

ABC's The Bachelor is back! Love it or hate it, you're sure gonna hear about it. And one of the most talked-about components of the show is the bizarre structure of the franchise’s "dates," including both one-on-one dates as well as group dates, wherein the Bachelor (or Bachelorette) takes out as many as eight suitors at once. The setup has yielded some memorable, remarkable and downright odd dates over the show’s 30 seasons. And because the first few weeks of every season shoots in Los Angeles, these crazy dates happen right here in the city. We’ve compiled a list of 10 of our favorites, worth a read whether you're a diehard fan or not (yet).    10. Though it’s always bragged about by residents that, in Los Angeles, one can visit the snow and the beach in the same day, doing so is actually quite an endeavor, and not something typically within the means of an average L.A. resident. For Bachelorette Andi Dorfman’s first one-on-one date, she took Eric Hill to build sand castles in Ventura before flying to Big Bear for drinks in a mountain lodge. Unfortunately, Eric was killed in a paragliding accident before the season aired (seriously), but he and Andi certainly seemed to have a lot of fun doing the Cali Double.     9. Bachelor Chris Soules, known affectionately by Bachelor Fandom as "Prince Farming," takes six girls to Downtown L.A. There, he asks each of them to participate in a bikini-clad tractor race through the metropolitan streets of L.A.’s financial center. The tract