TRAVEL MOMENT: Above the Clouds

es·cape | iˈskāp | verb | To break free from confinement or control; succeed in eluding something unpleasant or undesirable.

The grey world grows exponentially smaller. Enveloped in an opaque blanket shielding all that is familiar, here, in this moment, with no distractions, no landmarks, no context, and only streaks of blurry white guiding the way, do I find complete isolation. Finally, a chance to escape into the thoughts that have long lingered unattended. Those of fear, questioning, angst, frustration. Minutes seem like hours, sitting in this discomfort. Then suddenly, we are released from our snowy-white cage into skies so clear, and a sun so radiant, it’s hard to believe the past 3 months have been lived in a kingdom of rainy gloom. Here, no longer a citizen of land, but a stranger to the skies, do I find freedom. Released from plaguing thoughts, nagging schedules, and unrealized expectations. It is in this space, I re-write my story.

FIELD TRIP: Chinatown

es·cape | iˈskāp | verb | The act of displacing oneself from one's natural habitat into an unknown locale, to observe and partake in the region’s culture, traditions, methods, and ways of life.

It is not hard to succumb to curiosity. Closed doors, tall fences, and foreboding signs are more often invitations to lean in or peak over rather than provision of guard against outsiders. There is something in the human spirit that compels one to observe that which is unknown. It’s the device that drives us to book extortionate flights, stay in less-than-appealing accommodations, and eat creatures we otherwise might not. Curiosity broadens our world view, cultivates sympathies, and prompts togetherness between us and our foreign neighbors. Fortunately, in Los Angeles, one doesn’t have to travel very far to escape into scenes vastly different from our own.

CASE STUDY: Palihotel

es·cape | iˈskāp | noun | A place, typically foreign to a daily environ, providing respite or rejuvenation from routine activity; a retreat for creative inspiration (esp. in regard to development of screenplays or short stories).
The human body operates according to rhythms of rest. From the daily lunch hour to the nightly sleep cycle; from weekend relaxation to the two-week holiday. Our living machines necessitate extended moments isolated from daily activity to allow the soul to rest, the body to rejuvenate, and the mind to channel inspiration and unleash limitless imagination.

NARRATIVE: A Laurel Canyon Escape

es·cape | iˈskāp | noun | A form of temporary distraction from reality.

There are certain days that require a bit more unwinding than others. For such occasions, neither strong drink nor episodic binges will suffice to escape lingering thoughts on the day’s activities. Rather, these days are, despite impacted traffic and eclipsing daylight, best remedied by a long, solitary drive. A practice that creates space for the mind to process hard conversations and, in the end, is rewarded by a beauty only nature can procure.

This month, Tinsel explores various notions surrounding the word escape. Through the lens of a micro-culture in East Los Angeles, a soothing drive through an infamous canyon, and a moment high above the clouds, Tinsel examines how, where, and why we escape, and how the practice transforms in small, unexpected ways. These stories, to follow.

24 HOURS: Miami

Bright colors. Native tongues. Immense humidity beckoning a moistened brow. The sensuous scent of illicit cigars draws a wanderer through hordes of label-clad goddesses. In the street, cool refreshments barely distinguishable from their original forms, call out to heat-parched palates.  In the distance, brass instruments awaken moving bodies; they hail a sunset so radiant, new words must be invented to match its likeliness. A light breeze. The ocean is near. Cooling sands embrace unfurled toes. Dusk has come, but in this town, the day has just begun. This is Miami.


Mosey is social community providing a platform for users to curate perfect days throughout cities around the world. Tinsel + Tin sat down with founders Eric Persha and Audrey Ma over a cup of coffee to discuss their 'perfect days', as well as future plans for space and undersea travel.

TRAVEL MOMENT: Riding Bikes at Night through Delhi

Jake Viramontez is a filmmaker and explorer who forages the earth, collecting and chronicling the stories of the most inspired people and places. On a recent journey to Delhi, the filmmaker rode his bike through the city's lurid and grisly streets, uncertain of what ills lay cloaked by evening's roguish grey. The only certainty, was his own transformation. Read his story below.


Photo essay by Will Liu. Words by Janet Liu, Jeff Asher, and Dawn Asher.

On a cool Los Angeles morning, four friends packed a car and headed north along the coast to embark on an 11-day journey that would turn their budding friendships into life-long camaraderie. The foursome explored cold and sandy beaches from California to Washington, making temporary, yet comfortable, domiciles of the goods packaged in their vehicle. They traveled at a leisurely pace, never hesitating to stop and skip rocks in rivers and lakes. They sat around campfires, erected on beaches where shore met forest, and rewound the events of the day—telling stories and laughing together. I asked each person for advice on devising the perfect camping trip.

DATE NIGHT: Culver City

Begin the evening with a short walk up the crumbling steps of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. The stairway yields a pleasant walk through abundant wildflowers and a fantastic view of sunset at its peak. As the golden hour approaches, walk hand-in-hand around the visitor center, admiring the piece of architecture that seems to grow straight out of the ground.

Having worked up an appetite, head to Aframe, an impeccable dinner option. The kitchen, housed in a converted a-frame building, serves up Korean-inspired American fare. Dishes of note include the Furikake kettle corn, the cracklin’ beer can chicken, and the double cheeseburger. Snag a seat on the patio to enjoy dinner under the (fabled) stars sharing as many dishes as possible.

Top the night off with drinks at Blind Barber. Head straight through the salon, past patrons receiving haircuts, through the back door to be transported to a dark den harkening back a time of prohibition.

Take the full Culver City tour at

LONG LUNCH: Sopressata at Black Hogg

Sopressata is the lesser-known other half of Silver Lake’s lauded (albeit schizophrenic) restaurant, Black Hogg. During the day, the sultry restaurant morphs into a casual deli, proffering classic sandwiches like turkey and avocado, olive oil tuna, and Italian meats. While the components are familiar, each sandwich is constructed of the highest quality ingredients, making Sopressata’s offerings surprising and hard to beat. Recommended is the Italian meats sandwich, labeled #88 on the menu. On the way out, grab a chocolate chip cookie from the jar on the counter, which conceals peanut butter cups and Captain Crunch for a welcome little surprise. If you can’t get enough, just wait until the sun goes down for Sopressata’s seductive other half to come out with an entirely different menu of her own.


Sultry winter months traditionally conjure moments huddled by rain-glazed windows, frosty fingertips wrapped around a warm demitasse, and rosied cheeks burrowed into bulky knitted scarves. But as I endure the temperate winter of Southern California, I find my mind wandering back to moments of summer, which was spent in a small Alaskan coastal town that more so resembled a traditional image of winter. With no agenda and not much in the way of entertainment, mornings were spent indoors attempting to abide the early day’s chill, writing by the light from a nearby window while eagles’ cries came from outside. Afternoons were spent on walks through unrelenting mists, which sequestered the tops of colossal evergreens and eclipsed the peaks of the surrounding mountains. In the evenings I listened to the musical stylings of young adult campers amongst two hundred or so other bodies congregated in a nearby auditorium. As my summer and winter seasons traded places, I thought I’d share some images from my mid-year’s excursion. Do enjoy.

PERFECT LONG LUNCH: Burgers at the Oinkster + a Hike

Eagle Rock is a small community in Northeast Los Angeles often overlooked. However, it is not without charm. With the au courant Silver Lake and Los Feliz to the southwest and Pasadena to the east, Eagle Rock embodies the characteristics of its neighboring communities creating an amalgam of creative flare and trendy suburban life.


Perfect Sunday in Venice from Mosey on Vimeo.

Mosey is an online library of custom curated experiences crafted by its users. I found Mosey just after its launch earlier this year and have used the interface as a resource for each of the Tinsel+Tin guides. I've since partnered with (and befriended!) the folks over at Mosey (create an account at Mosey and you'll automatically 'follow' Tinsel+Tin) and am proud to show off their first commercial, based off the Venice Beach guide and mosey I crafted several months ago. Enjoy the short narrative, and may it inspire a serendipitous jaunt through the character-filled neighborhood.

Here is Mosey's 'perfect Sunday' in Venice Beach:

1. Start your day by grabbing a "flat white" from Deus Ex Machina
2. Take a scenic stroll on the Venice Canals, one of LA's best hidden gems
3. Chow down and enjoy bottomless drinks during brunch at Sunny Spot
4. Find carefully curated goods, both new and old, at General Store
5. Head next door to Tradesmen and have an inspiring shopping experience for men of all trades
6. Watch LAs finest as they skate and roll at Venice Skate Park
7. Finally, head to shore at Venice Beach and watch the sunset with your toes in the sand

Take the full Venice Beach tour on


(Photo essay by Sarah Shreves)

As a California native, I have an inherent adoration for the state's many personas. I love the Northern coasts where cold, dark cliffs remain dampened by the shore's lingering mist. I love the arid deserts bespeckled with Joshua trees, guarded by unending horizons and a sky that fades from pink, to orange, to electric blue at day's end. I love walking through the Sierras, whose feet I grew up near. If I close my eyes, I can feel the crunch of decomposing granite beneath my feet and smell honey-like scents of oak trees mingling with pungent evergreens. Recently, a few dear friends retreated to Yosemite's forest to nurture their relationships in the park's secluded and entrancing environment. I asked them to regale me with the details of their weekend. I hope you too enjoy Heidi Burkey's narrative of her party's weekend away.

PERFECT OUTING: Downtown Arts District

Winding down after a day at work can be challenging, especially at the beginning of the work week. Instead of heading directly home to undone dishes and an empty fridge, grab a roommate, co-worker, friend or loved one and head to Downtown's Arts District to enjoy its simple pleasures.

Start at Pizzanista, an old saloon converted into a tiny pizza salon with lots of charm and attitude. Refuel enjoying a cold bottle of beer alongside a slice of pie, a favorite in the city. Then head east over 6th Street to enjoy the sunset over Downtown from the viaduct. The structure was built in 1932 and boasts elements of Art Deco worth admiration. Continue over the bridge until you hit Mission St, and follow it until you approach Ooga Booga at 356 Mission, a gallery space hosting events pertaining to fashion, book launches, and live performance. Get lost in the myriad of tomes related or stay for one of the many events.

Take the full Arts District tour on

PERFECT DATE: A+D Museum + Milk Jar Cookies

As two creative professionals working from home, my husband and I must continually remember to spend time together rather than just be together. So on a recent cool(ish) Los Angeles afternoon, we stepped away from our computers to go adventure together. We love exploring because it pulls us out of binding daily routines, creating moments to be surprised by the unseen things around us. Discovering forms a space to process lingering thoughts. It energizes, inspires and, when done with someone you care about, is intimate and life-giving as new moments are shared together.

PERFECT DATE: Cortez + Vista Hermosa

There are certain moments in life that simply must be shared. Taking a perfect bight. Witnessing an embarrassing moment (your own or another's). Or learning of life-changing news. Finding Vista Hermosa Park is one of those moments. Happening upon the sequestered and verdant park one evening, I was greeted by downtown's gallant structures being illuminated by dusk’s custom coloring. Valiant rays painted buildings with rods of fire engine red, topaz, electric orange and purple. I was, at once, engulfed by the skyline but still far enough away to behold its breadth. The view was intoxicating, and I found myself searching for someone to share it with. So the next evening I brought my husband back. The next week, we brought a couple friend back. The next month we hosted my birthday picnic there, and the next month, I brought a group of my closest friends to partake in a meal together. But make the view yours by bringing a special someone to share an intimate and unforgettable moment.

For the perfect date pack a picnic, stopping first at the Echo Park market, Cookbook, for some wine and other provisions. Otherwise, follow up a sunset viewing in the park with an intimate dinner at Cortez, Cookbook's sister restaurant featuring Middle Eastern inspired fare in a minimal, yet thoughtful, atmosphere.

PERFECT DAY OFF: Venice Beach Bike Ride + An Ode to Summer's End // Venice Beach

For me, the ultimate expression of childhood freedom was going for a bike ride. On seemingly endless summer days, my bike offered a way for me to escape from home. I’d point my ride in any direction and just go.

As an ode to the end of summer and a way to beat the heat, I asked my friends Janet and Sarah to join me for a bike ride through Venice Beach. We started our adventure on the boardwalk and rode north, underneath the Santa Monica pier where flecks of sunlight danced through the cracks above onto our skin. We rode through the canals, pointing out our favorite homes and imagined what it would be like to live in one. When it was time for lunch, we headed to Abbot Kinney and grabbed lunch to-go at GTA, and enjoyed a beet and dill salad, roasted cauliflower and chickpeas, and a roasted vegetable sandwich under the shade of palms near the skate park. Years later, with a set of wheels and a spirit of adventure, you can still get lost in the company of good food, good conversation and a good, old-fashioned bike ride.

Read more of the story on the Good Taste & Gatherings blog, to which I regularly contribute, and take the full Venice tour on

PERFECT NIGHT OUT: 800 Degrees + Hammer Museum // Westwood

Upon returning home from a trip, catching-up with friends is essential. When my friend Dawn returned from a stint in London and Paris, I asked her out to dinner and a movie to hear all about her adventures. In keeping with our commitment to eat all of Los Angeles’ most touted pizzas, we chose 800 Degrees in Westwood as our place of meeting, and followed that with a jaunt to the Hammer Museum. At 800 Degrees, we enjoyed a Margherita pizza and custom-created another pie. Whatever you order, be sure to get bacon marmalade (!!!) on it. Afterward, walk across the street to the Hammer to enjoy a cappuccino in the courtyard and take-in some art or a free screening (note: Thursdays are free admission for all visitors). That night, we enjoyed a screening of Coast Modern, which combined my love of Mid-century architecture with Dawn’s love of film.

So grab a friend and head to the Westside for an enjoyable and wallet-friendly night.

PERFECT LONG LUNCH: La Otra Escuela Taqueria + LAMOTH // Mid-City

If you have time for a long lunch, grab a friend and head to Mid-city, a special node in Los Angeles where the city’s many personalities collide. It is the center for commerce (The Grove, 3rd Street, Melrose), art (LACMA, A+D) and is the through-way from west to east, bridging Beverly Hills to Koreatown.

It’s no wonder amidst the hubub its many gems stand hiding in plain sight, like the winsome Escuela Taqueria: La Otra adjacent to the Grove. Pop in for a quick lunch of crunchy tacos and a side of freshly fried tortilla chips. Fresh guac and salsa come served in little jars.

Then head directly south to Pan Pacific Park, where you’ll find a building that seems to grow out of the ground. This is LAMOTH. Stop in (free admission) to listen to some profound stories described by holocaust survivors. If that’s too intense for a friendly lunch date, just pop into the building to admire the architecture, sculpted by Belzberg Architects. More images here.

Take the rest of the Mid-city tour at

PERFECT BRUNCH: Sqirl Cafe // Silver Lake

Perhaps the charm of Sqirl Cafe lies in the fact it’s located in Virgil Village.


For the minority of you who don’t know where Virgil Village is, it’s an arm of Silver Lake extending southward along Virgil Avenue, just below Sunset Boulevard, lined by nondescript buildings. And unless you got lost trying to find the 101, there is absolutely no reason you would be there. And that’s just it. Unremarkable mom and pop salons and furniture stores flank god-knows-what stained sidewalks, adding to Sqirl’s charm and reminding the cafe itself is a high-class m&p operation, in the very best sense. Consequently, it’s become a darling of the Eastside.

The space, conceived by the creative firm Freelandbuck, is kept simple, and enhanced by free-standing chairs and custom wood cubes along the sidewalk to be continuously re-organized according to party size. Standing-room-only counters are mounted on the facade, encouraging casual conversations over coffee. Food comes oiut on mismatched plates, and is enjoyed with the silverware you grew up with, cultivating a culture that is casual and welcoming.

As for the food, preserves make their most flavorful contribution to the brown rice bowl B2 (all items are marked by a letter, followed by a number) which features, of course, brown rice and is supplemented by seasonal pesto, preserved meyer lemon, lacto-fermented hot sauce, thinly sliced radishes, dill flowers, sharp crunchy feta, and topped with a poached egg. The flavors, are entrancing. Another great dish is the cocotte. Because let’s face it, don’t we all just want to dip a toasted baguette of the highest quality into a tiny cast-iron skillet and sop up its contents?

All the brioche options are wonderful and come slathered with sqirl’s seasonal jams, nut butters and savory items. But let me clarify, when I say brioche, I actually mean a wonderfully airy token of heaven that is shrouded by a thin layer of toasted crispness that God himself must have touched before it left the ovens of Proof Bakery.

After brunch, head a few blocks north of Sqirl and turn east on Santa Monica Boulevard. On the south side of the street, you’ll find the boutique Painted Bird and a few other adjacent hidden gems that lie in the shadow of Sunset Junciton. Otherwise, take a short stroll southward on Virgil Avenue until you hit Camino Nuevo High School, a sprightly looking charter school designed by Daly Genik.