Hilton Santa Monica Hotels & Suites has reopened after a multimillion dollar two-year renovation and is partnering with underground music pop up Sofar Sounds, for a summer music series that kicks off on Friday, May 20. The coastal property in the heart of downtown Santa Monica has 286 guest rooms, 211 of them suites, as well as  Monica’s, a new restaurant that offers dishes like a vegan squash and mushroom entrée, and braised short ribs with butternut squash puree sourced from the nearby farmers market. Pair a pomegranate salad with arugula and roasted squash with a  gut-happy JuneShine hard kombucha before moving to the outdoor lounge for a Sofar Sounds concert.

Ritual, the health-meets-technology company with an emphasis on traceability and sustainability in its nutritional supplements, is opening its flagship retail store on Abbot Kinney in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 10. The store, designed by the firm Mythology, which has brought the Warby Parker, Away, and Allbirds stores to the famed Venice strip, is divided into spaces to create a sense of discovery. There are storytelling and educational nooks, as well as a wall devoted to technology, a wall about Ritual’s mission and how habits become rituals, a wall on traceability, and a zen garden in the back. For the first eight weeks, the brand will be hosting a speaker series on parenthood that covers everything from registry must–haves, feeding tips, sleep training, and how to maintain your identity. 

Othership x ALTA: A Journey through Inner Space” is a meditation experience that takes place on Wednesday, May 11 at 7 p.m., in DTLA’s Green Street Building. The event is free and will take participants on a transformational journey through inner space, through intention setting, vocal toning, eight rounds of transformational breathwork, somatic release, aromatherapy and other modalities. Samples of Mojo

Microdose functional mushroom gummies will be provided during the session, as well as terpene-infused, zero-proof cocktails by Gusto Green. Tickets are available to reserve a spot here; participants should bring their own mat and wear comfortable clothing. 

Sofar Sounds

Courtesy A-Sha Noodles

The City of Los Angeles Department of Aging has partnered with Everytable, the local mission-driven food company, to organize the delivery of fresh, nutritious food to Los Angeles residents 60 years of age and older. Collectively, the effort aims to serve up to 12,000 seniors with ready-to-eat meals. The Department of Aging tapped Everytable, a reliable partner that distributed over one million meals to seniors in partnership with the City of Los Angeles earlier in the pandemic, to fuel this latest effort. All seniors 60 years and older residing in the City of Los Angeles are eligible and can sign-up by calling the hotline at 213-202-5669 or by emailing Participating seniors will receive up to 14 meals a week, delivered directly to their homes by Everytable. Meals can be expected to begin arriving in one to two weeks from the time of registration. The program will continue through June.

Celebrity weed-enthusiast Cheech Marin has teamed up with award-winning Chef Zach Neil, to deliver Muncheechos in LA, a nationwide, virtual brand catering to stoners, out of ghost kitchens. Muncheechos is the first brand to specifically offer “stoner food,” with delivery until 3 a.m. The menu reads like a stoner’s dream, complete with  ‘Dope Dumplings’ (chicken and scallion-stuffed fried dumplings), ‘Muncheechos Munchachos’ (BBQ chicken mac and cheese nachos) and ‘The Hybrid’ (a salty and sweet grilled cheese with gouda, brie, cheddar, gruyere, sliced apple and a salted caramel drizzle). They also will offer CBD-infused edibles and a selection of vegan options.

In partnership with the Mayor of LA’s AAPI LA  initiative to help amplify and address the challenge and needs of AAPI communities, the A-Sha Noodle Bar food truck from A-Sha Noodles – the LA-based, AAPI-owned noodle brand known for its patented 100-year-old legacy noodle recipe from  Taiwan –  will be popping up across town in May.   In celebration of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders month, A-Sha Noodles will offer its signature air-dried noodles (simply made with wheat, salt and water, and a unique 18-hour air-drying technique) alongside exclusive collaborations with brands like Hello Kitty & Friends and David Chang’s Momofuku. This May, the roving A-Sha Noodle Bar joins events all over LA that are bringing the community together through food, art, music and more:

May 7: 1st Valley Asian Cultural Festival

  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., PDT at Pierce College Woodland Hills Rocky Young Park
  • Valley Asian Cultural Festival celebrates the vast diversity from the Asian cultures that enhances the San Fernando Valley and the City of Los Angeles, and highlights the cultures of prominent countries in Asia through expression in music, fine arts, language, foods and more. 

May 22: Smorgasburg LA

  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Row DTLA
  • At Smorgasburg, the food truck will be debuting the exclusive Flying Noodle Bowl, where air-dried noodles will be suspended in mid-air (see below, photo on the far right).

And if you need to cool down after getting a little baked, Fat Sal’s Deli and Sandwich Shop is offering a new Caramel Apple Pie Fat Shake at the Hollywood and Encino locations, for a limited time, and via DoorDash through the end of June. The decadent shake is made with vanilla ice cream, a whole slice of apple pie, caramel, pie crust and cinnamon.

Food scientist Brad Kent’s Bagel + Slice officially opens its doors to the public in Highland Park on Thursday, May 12.

What’s Popping Up is a weekly column in the L.A. Weekly that explores all that’s new in food and drink.

Sofar Sounds

Caramel Apple Pie Fat Shake (Courtesy Fat Sal’s)




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