Photo Credit: Soif Wine Bar

Sweet Treats in Santa Cruz

While Santa Cruz is quite a health-conscious community, the city has their fair share of tempting sweet treats. From ice cream and cookies to crepes and even chocolate-covered bacon, the options are plentiful for when that sweet tooth strikes. Tickle your taste buds with our picks for top sweet treats and desserts in Santa Cruz.
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Photo Credit: Kalamazoo Gourmet

Shrimp and Strawberry Gazpacho Recipe

The heat of late-summer calls for fresh, light and chilled dishes to cool us down. On its own, gazpacho is a classic and refreshing summer dish that uses everything that’s in season, including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and even strawberries for a surprisingly bright, sweet note. When paired with grilled shrimp, gazpacho is transformed into a satisfying and hearty dish that can be served as either an appetizer at a barbecue or as a fulfilling dinner al fresco.

Shrimp is a versatile and delicious protein that’s a well-loved staple of summer cooking. It can be skewered, slathered in butter and tossed on the grill for a perfect accompaniment to a simple salad or pasta. It can also be boiled with seasonings and enjoyed on its own. Or, as a popular starter to many parties, it can be displayed with a bowl of cocktail sauce for dunking.

This Summer Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp recipe is an elevated version of shrimp cocktail. While they may look similar, the flavor of gazpacho and grilled shrimp together is a more modern, artisanal iteration. What makes shrimp cocktail such a hit at parties, especially in the summer, is that shrimp and tomatoes are not only a natural pair, but the chilled ingredients make for some refreshing and delicious bites.

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How to Find a Table at LA’s Most Exclusive Restaurants

As the adage goes, we always want what we can’t have. That “something” is often finding a table at LA’s most exclusive restaurants. Some are members-only clandestine retreats for the rich and famous while others require a bit of chutzpah and finagling to gain entry.

Because half the fun is in the chase and the game, here are our some tips for getting into LA’s most desired, yet most elusive, dining destinations.

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Arctic Surfing, Norway © Chris Burkard

Things to do in September in Santa Cruz

Among the innumerable things to do in Santa Cruz in September are dozens of cultural, food and nature festivals, plays and concerts. As summer winds to an end, it’s prime time to head outdoors to soak up those last days of sunshine. If you’re looking for events and activities in Santa Cruz in September, our favorites below will be sure to heat up your social calendar.

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LA’s Top Restaurants for Celebrity Sightings

Celebrities are as much a part of Los Angeles as four-day cleanses, palm trees and bizarre street performers. To city-dwellers, it’s commonplace to see Zac Efron on a Runyon Canyon hike or Cameron Diaz grabbing her morning java, but celebrity sightings are on the to-do list of every visitor.  For those who want a glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous, the following LA restaurants are celebrity hot spots—just don’t disturb them during their dinner. (Last Updated May 26, 2015)

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Photo taken by Christina Kharbertyan

Grand Central Market Dining Destinations

Authentic Mexican taquerias and craft cuisine stalls coexist in downtown LA’s Grand Central Market, giving visitors the opportunity to try dishes from a variety of cultures. The market’s reinvention began in 2011 with the opening of Eggslut. Since then, LA’s top culinary talent have been setting up shop in GCM’s historic Homer Laughlin Building, including Valerie’s Confections and Wexler’s Deli. Even with the new developments, the long-time classics like Las Morelianas are still incredibly popular.

The bustling atmosphere, narrow walkways and overall chaos fill some with a sense of adventure and others with a sense of being lost. To make navigation easier, we’ve gathered the must-visit stalls and their best dishes.

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LA, Her Way: Katie Maloney of Bravo’s ‘Vanderpump Rules’

Katie-Maloney-Bravo-Vanderpump-RulesThe classic Hollywood dream of becoming an actress brought Katie Maloney from Utah to LA more than eight years ago. What made her stay was West Hollywood’s SUR restaurant, where her job as a waitress earned her a role on Bravo’s hit reality show “Vanderpump Rules.”

On Monday evenings, America watches the waitresses, bartenders and owner Lisa Vanderpump as they navigate through the drama and chaos involved in working at one of LA’s hippest restaurants and bars. Maloney is a recurring cast member whose life and relationships we follow. When she’s not waitressing at SUR, she runs a fashion and beauty blog at PuckerandPout.com.

Following a scandalous episode of “Vanderpump Rules,” we caught up with Maloney to chat about life on reality TV, her favorite clothing stores and her love of LA’s music scene.

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