The 7 Best Margaritas In SoCal

You'll want to try these updated warm-weather favorites

Mmmm, the sweet-sour-salty refreshment of a margarita. Not only are local chefs and bartenders mixing up the classic with fresh add-ins like cucumber, pomegranate and jalapeño, they’re swapping tequila for mezcal and even vodka. Intrigued? Here are seven of the most enticing creations that we’ve discovered.

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Living on the Wedge

Dinner-party dilemma: You offered to bring the cheese plate to your pal’s house. But you’re running late--and you can’t stomach the snobs at the store around the corner.

Enter Wheel House, a new Culver City cheese shop that’s brimming with over a hundred international and local cheeses and more. A staffer there explained that a great cheese plate has variety, but that doesn’t mean sharp and mild cheddar. Choosing selections from the milk of different animals is this place’s no-fail strategy.

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Dough Nutty

Our favorite doughnuts in L.A.

We never need a special occasion to eat a doughnut. And luckily, L.A. has about a billion ways to find doughy, sugary, indulgent bliss. Here, our favorite fried rings in town, in no particular order.

Red Velvet at SK's Donuts ($1)
Looks like a dark red Froot Loop, tastes like Depression-era cake. It lingers in your mouth after you've left the strip mall where you found it--in a good way.

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Chai Town

Coffee meets tea in a new beverage craze

Traditionally, there were coffee people and tea people. Now there’s a new crossover caffeine craze: the dirty chai latte, an espresso-and-chai-tea fusion that tastes like a coffee milkshake. The flavor is indeed memorable, with spicy undercurrents of cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper sweetening up the espresso. The caffeine high, meanwhile, is subtle; for something stronger, you’ll want to order it doppio.

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Rub-A-Grub

California Rancher celebrates barbecue

Local barbecue season lasts long past Labor Day, and we’re planning to serve a local specialty at our next cookout: authentic Santa Maria–style barbecue, by which we mean juicy tri-tip seasoned with black pepper, salt and garlic, then cooked over a red-oak fire and served with spicy pinquito beans.

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Teacake Bake Shop

The cake pop is the new cupcake. The cake/lollipop hybrid has taken over sweet shops and coffee shops nationwide (visit a Starbucks and you’ll see). Now, Gilt City members have the opportunity to create these special confections in the sweet-smelling confines of Teacake Bake Shop’s kitchen. At the intimate baking class, the Teacake bakers will supply you with the ingredients to make cake pops in two of their best-selling flavors: classic chocolate and pink velvet, with coating options including white or chocolate. 

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8 Awesome Spots for Oysters in Los Angeles

Oysters are an acquired taste, but once you acquire it, the benefits are endless. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, they are a natural protein. They also contain selenium, which combats premature aging, heart disease and arthritis. And that rumor that they’re an aphrodisiac…well we're not sure about that one, but we do know that they're always a perfect starter to any date. Here are eight very different oyster spots for LA sea foodies. Over ice, on the half, grilled, Rockefeller, shuck-your-own - the world is your oyster.

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Westside Wine Bar Guide: 8 Vino-Centric Spots

The Westside boasts a smattering of different wine bars, both neighborhood spots and swanky scenes. If learning about the wine you’re drinking appeals to you, then choose-your-own wine adventure among these wine purveyors that all deliver different experiences. Check out our slideshow of Westside wine bars below. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

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Must-Try Spring Dishes From 10 LA Hot Spots

Chefs dream all winter about spring produce: crisp fava beans, giant artichokes, stacks of asparagus, versatile squash blossoms and precious heirloom tomatoes. When LA's countless farmer's markets are supplying the best of California, the results are some of the most creative and delicious plates you'll see all year. Here are some of the freshest dishes from 10 LA hot spots' new spring menus. Did we miss your favorite new spring dish? Let us know in the comments.

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