24 Hours: Ojai

Just a 90-minute drive up The 101, through boundless fields of golden grass and past swaths of unending, midnight-colored ocean, is the small, yet sprightly, town of Ojai. Flanked by coastal mountain ranges, this little enclave somehow feels like summer year-round. Rent a bike and cruise through town, devour fresh local produce, take a drive into coastal territory, dive into a swimming hole, and admire the pink sunset from a mountaintop. This short road trip north is just enough barrier to diminish thoughts toward city-life and foster reconnection with those you love most.

Below is our guide to a the perfect day in Ojai, California.

CASE STUDY : Olive & June

Photos by Blythe Hill

Long hours and rigorous weeks demand moments of rest and repose - a glass of wine at day's end, a secluded weekend accompanied by a myriad of periodicals and DVD's, even staring extra-long into the bottom of a coffee mug during a mid-day break are all ways the body instinctively enacts the tranquility it craves to keep going.

For those needing a bit of resuscitation, Olive & June provides a pleasantly appointed salon, curated with elements evocative of Mid-Century Modern design. In fact, the joy of this Beverly Hills establishment is that it doesn't feel like a salon at all. Requisite sterile equipment and electronic massage chairs are staved-off by peachy-pink leather, mini Bertoia side chairs, cleanly wooden details, and ample light infusing the space. Closing one's eyes during the indispensable foot bath will leave just the slightest hint of being at a Palm Springs escape. It's the perfect spot for grabbing a friend and hitting the chairs for some much-needed podiatric upkeep. And if work ever gets too crazy, perhaps no one will notice your absence for an hour or two. Or three.

CASE STUDY: Farmshop

Farmshop tenders a setting to craft your own experience, based on every type of morning routine. For the person on-the-go, a counter stocked with an array of croissants, tarts, and morning bars provides a perfect pit stop. Order a coffee and pastries, and bring along on a hike in nearby Will Rogers State Park, or sit and enjoy the outdoors at a polo match at park’s prominent field. For those who desire a more tactile experience in a casual setting, we suggest selecting a few items from the meticulously-curated pantry. Artisan confections, crusty breads, eggs, charcuterie, cheeses, and tea are available to bring home for preparation in one’s own sun-drenched kitchen. For an unhurried and restful morning, cull a few friends and dine-in around one of the communal tables, and enjoy a morning meal of french toast, buttermilk biscuits & gravy, and a vegetable frittata. Make sure adult beverages are in ample circulation, comical stories are in exchange, and consider it a perfect morning.

CASE STUDY: Laurel Hardware

Our culture takes great delight in the unconventional. Fried pickles served in a shoebox, a rock concert in an old cathedral, food service from a truck. Perhaps it’s our veneration of the human being’s ability to push the potential of an object, space, or tradition beyond our expectations. We savor creativity, reward it even. Such is the case with Laurel Hardware, an eatery along West Hollywood’s prominent Santa Monica Boulevard. Transformed from an actual hardware store in 2012, the restaurant retained its storefront and signage and re-appointed its interior to accommodate an array of dining spaces and seating options. In fact, the façade ramains so true to its original spirit, it’s easy to drive past when in search of an early morning dining facility, but makes entrance into the elegant and moody establishment a delightful surprise. Choose a seat in the foremost part of the house, near open windows along the sidewalk, to enjoy an occasional breeze and the vignettes of street life. Or, opt for a table in the exterior courtyard below the speckled shade of olive trees. Either way, enjoy a Bloody Mary, which comes adorned with the better part of the produce section, along with the fried chicken and biscuits. The latter is everything to be desired in a carbohydrate - slightly crispy, yet airy and buttery. While scarfing it down, take a moment to notice the discreet homages to the structure’s past life - the mismatched seating reminiscent of a carpenter’s workshop, large basin porcelain sinks for the bathroom’s users, and still life artwork done by local artisans that reflect hardware store details. Finish your cocktail, then appreciate the spirit of human creativity, which procures wondrous commodities for both palate and place.


Sqirl is a bustling little café where, on any given weekend morning, you’ll find patrons spilling into the sidewalk lined-up for the café’s fare. They’re clued-in on the fact that everything about this eatery is a surprise, from its seemingly arbitrary location in Virgil Village, a tucked-away community south of Silver Lake, to its nontraditional morning provisions. Having evolved from roots as an artisinal jam purveyor, Sqirl offers elegant rice dishes for the morning bunch that come topped with sorrel pesto, preserved meyer lemon, lacto fermented hot sauce, feta, and a poached egg. Of course, Sqirl also offers its seasonal jams, which come swathed atop planks of Proof Bakery’s light and crunchy brioche toast and are accompanied by a housemade nut butter or ricotta, to your liking. Dishes come out on mismatched china, reminiscent of grandmother’s cupboard, adding an element of home to the ever-evolving dining room outfitted with contemporary fixtures. Top your meal off with a 1 & 1 (a shot of espresso served alongside a macchiato), then take a post-breakfast stroll down Virgil Avenue, picking up a bouquet of flowers from nearby floral market, and consider it a good day.

CASE STUDY: Go Get 'Em Tiger

Situated along Larchmont Village's main avenue is Go Get 'Em Tiger, a distinctive new offering among a community catering to ladies who lunch. The recent brick-and-mortar outpost of G&B Coffee, who supply Sqirl Café's brewed beverages and fortify crowds with an outpost at Grand Central Market, provides an appealing culture where orders are placed standing around a bar - opposed to the cattle haul of a line and register - giving each individual a claim to space to slowly sip a hot beverage while reading a column or two of the paper before heading off toward daily duties. The context offers a lively opportunity to summon conversation with staff members or neighboring patron.

Should something more substantial than a beverage be required, GGET's kitchen offers dining options more ample than the familiar appearance of pastries behind a glass case. A personal favorite is the avocado on toast, whose brioche substrate is delightfully fluffy and crunchy at the same time, and the ever-rotating options of feshly baked goods served up in the same Corningware in which grandmother dished out apple cobbler.

The coffeehouse has created an environment that is faster than a sit down restaurant, but slows down the pace of a typical morning coffee routine, generating small moments for recognizing the simple pleasures in life.

In celebration of Tinsel + Tin's one year anniversary (and the ensuing excitement for new collaborations, fresh ideas, and maturation) this month on the journal we're showcasing the meal that embodies fresh starts, renewed energy, and newness ... breakfast. We've chosen four significant eateries across the city that not only deliver delicious morning provisions, but also cultivate environments and experiences that are distinctive and inimitable. Follow along, and enjoy an americano or glass of bubbly as you greet the start of each new day.

24 HOURS: Oakland

Oakland. The city across the bay cloaked by unrelenting mist - the sea’s attempt to secrete its decrepit buildings, rascally fans, and nominal offerings. Yet, the forlorn environ provides a perfect contrast to crumbling walls that have been white-washed, floors that have been swept, and empty spaces that have been given new life in the care of creatives. In recent years, these craftsmen have turned the over-looked into the beautiful, the tattered into the fortified, and sought out potential in a sea of roughage. This is Oakland’s story. A series of diamonds shining brightly amongst grim surroundings. Yet the relationship is symbiotic, where old and new ameliorate the other rather than the latter replacing the former. Such co-existence is rare, making Oakland a truly unexpected experience that is sure to grow more exciting in the years to come.

Pack a weekend bag, set the radio dial, and sit tight for a road trip north and a weekend full of the unexpected.


For an upcoming trip to Los Angeles, Project Bly asked Tinsel + Tin to craft a personalized guide to Los Feliz to use during time-off while shooting a lookbook. Knowing Bly’s attention to craft, adventure, and storytelling, Tinsel + Tin chose a few places that would best showcase the neighborhood’s offbeat, yet modish charm. The following is the guide for the perfect day in Los Feliz. Use only in the company of dear friends, on a warm, chipper spring day.


Travel photos courtesy of Shantanu Starick. Lookbook photos by Jessica Comingore, styling by Caitlin Flemming.

Project Bly is a marketplace dedicated to marrying travel with design and storytelling. Collections of tendered goods are depicted through colorful tales and imagery on the site, and reflect the company's belief that an object, when skillfully crafted, can convey stories and ideas much bigger than themselves. Each artifact is carefully sourced from expert craftsmen, encountered during numerous excursions around the world. Tinsel + Tin talked with founder, Rena Thiagarajan, about how Project Bly began, inquired about a few memorable moments from her expeditions, and discovered a few things Bly followers have to look forward to in the future. Read the conversation, below.

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 tinselandtin.com

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 tinselandtin.com


(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 tinselandtin.com.

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 tinselandtin.com.

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 tinselandtin.com