New Mango Six Café Offers LA Fresh Food Fanatics Fanciful Fresh Fruit Smoothies and More

Mango Six Café, the Seoul-based phenom with 130 cafes worldwide, opens its first location in the US in Los Angeles this week.  The hip chic café at 3rd and Beverly features a self-serve yogurt bar, a counter for ordering signature sandwiches and other light dishes as well as juices and smoothie and shakes blends, coffee and espresso drinks, pastry and dessert  case, and an open fridge case stocked with some of their most popular drink blends, fruit cups and other chilled delights.

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At a recent preview prior to the cafe’s grand opening, a bevy of mom bloggers gathered to try out the fare and take a peek at the environs of this new hot spot to nosh.  The chef and operators were present to express their enthusiasm about being the first Mango Six in the States and their expectations of success and expansion in Los Angeles and beyond.

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The company was attracted to the LA and the 3rd Street corridor for its fashionable, health conscious, and multi-cultural demographic.  “The location chose itself,” explained the chef.  Inside, the atmosphere is upscale casual — stylish yet exuding a warm ambiance.  Perhaps the stuffed monkey dolls and the sunglass-wearing chimp mascot adorning the signage helps to keep the attitude in check.  From décor to service, the Mango Six brand operates on a half dozen principles, contributing to its “six” namesake:

Sensual – A stylish and comfortable environment.

Slim – Natural mangoes and organic frozen yogurt, embracing a natural, healthy lifestyle.

Sweet – Mango juice, organic frozen yogurt, mango and coconut spoon juice, fruit juice with lemonade introduce a naturally sweet new world.

Sexy  – Everything is made with a healthy, organic passion.

Social – The perfect place to meet, relax and enjoy time with friends.

Style – A modern, fresh combination of nature and city life.

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As the mom bloggers at the recent opening event gathered at tables outside the café under the trellis, or sat on stools watching the sidewalk traffic outside the large windows overlooking Third Street or socialized at tables while sipping fresh fruit concoctions and decadent pastries, it seemed clear Mango Six had hit is mark with the crowd.

Listening as the chef recounted to the group the six brand principles, one of the mom bloggers stopped him mid-sentence.

“You can stop there, at ‘Sexy,’” she said.  “That’s all you have to say.  That’s us.”Image

The PickUp Rolls Out in West Hollywood

 Free Late-Night Makes Cruising Santa Monica Boulevard Flirty and Fun

West Hollywood is known as one of the most walkable cities in the US, but it is also known as one of the most unparkable, which has been a huge stumbling block for the city’s nightlife.  That is all about to change with last week’s launch of “The PickUp,” a free trolley that will run Friday and Saturday nights, from 8 pm to 3 pm.  The service will run from Robertson Boulevard to Fairfax Boulevard, picking up and dropping off party happy patrons every 15 minutes along a four-mile loop with stops every two to three blocks at the hottest venues along Santa Monica Boulevard.

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Riders can ditch their cars and hop aboard the flaming yellow PickUp trolleys, decorated with vintage comic character images and screaming suggestive sayings like, “Get on and get off,” and ride in style while grooving to a music soundtrack mixed by WeHo DJ Derek Monterio.

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PickUp riders will enjoy perks like VIP entry to The Abbey, the world’s most notorious gay bar; plus two-for-one Abbey breakfasts before noon. Other popular bars like Micky’s are jumping on the bandwagon by offering PickUp patrons no cover and priority admission. Hugo’s has one free appetizer with entrée for PickUp patrons. Riders getting off at Fubar get one $1 drink, and a stop at Here Lounge gets PickUp riders half off their first drink.

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The PickUp is a six-month pilot project unanimously approved by The City of West Hollywood’’s City Council at a cost of $71,000 allocated from the city’s general fund.  The service will cost the City $110 per operating hour. If the pilot project is successful the city will consider options for the program to return and look for opportunities to partner with the private sector for sponsorship and advertising to fund it.

“I am so grateful that staff worked overtime to make this a reality,” said West Hollywood Councilmember John Duran. “When D’Amico and I first brainstormed about this, we knew we had to create a mode of transportation that would fit into Weho’s hip urban culture. Time will tell if we are successful,” continued Councilmember Duran.

The City of West Hollywood prides itself in its passionate and creative approach to city government and has established itself as an innovative leader in municipal programs. In February of 2012 the City launched a pilot car-sharing program in partnership with ZipCar to provide West Hollywood residents, businesses and visitors with increased access to affordable, convenient transportation options that reduce congestion and emissions. In 2011 West Hollywood was named the “Most Walkable” city in California and received 89 out of 100 score for walkable amenities and even beat out San Francisco and New York City.

For information, visit www.weho.org/wehopickup . “Like” The Pickup on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/wehopickup or on Twitter @wehopickup


Hollywood on Dwellable

A Fight Movie with Heart – CHAVEZ: Cage of Glory

Martial Arts Star Hector Echavarria Brings Family Values to a Cage Fighting Film

Hector and posterI had never heard of cage fighting before I saw a sneak preview of Hector Echavarria’s new movie, CHAVEZ:  Cage of Glory, opening in theatres nationwide September 13.  I expected blood and sweat, but not the tears, mine that is.  On the outside it may be rippling with muscle, but inside, CHAVEZ is a whole lot of heart. 

Through the frighteningly realistic, gritty teeth-gnashing, hard-hitting, bare-knuckle punches and body slams against the rattling chain link enclosure, there’s a story that anyone with a family can relate to.  Echavarria, a real-life martial arts megastar in Argentina, plays Hector Chavez, a small-time cage fighter who is desperate to get the funds to pay for an operation to save his dying son.  Steven Bauer plays his brother, a priest, who stands by his brother against all odds.

Chavez gets knocked down and takes a beating, not just by his opponents but by the likes villainous gang leader, Mondo, played with evil zest by Danny Trejo, and the cut-throat promoter John Stone, portrayed by Patrick Kilpatrick.  Despite the fact that all bets are against him, Hector stays true to his conviction that perseverance and faith will win out.

“The mantra of the movie is, ‘Never give up,’” says Echavarria.  “If you always try your best, you will eventually succeed.   You find this in every great person the world has to offer.  It is okay to suffer and go through obstacles.  Eventually you will succeed.”

While not a true story, the film’s message is one Echavarria has lived.  A sickly child, his mother enrolled him in martial arts school to defend himself against bullies in the mean alleys of Corrientes, Argentina.  His prowess made him a martial arts champion, and his celebrity grew into a starring role in the ultra-popular Latin American TV series Brigada, followed by the three-film series Los Exterminators, and a multi-picture action films deal with Lionsgate.  His life exploits were developed into a children’s comic strip, along with a line of merchandise including cards, posters, clothing and action figures.  In November 2013, he will host the first-ever Hector Echavarria’s World Martial Arts Championship and Expo in Buenos Aires, drawing more than 3000 competitors from 30 countries.

With his growing stardom as an actor, director, producer and Latino brand in the US, it is easy to see why Echavarria is often called the Hispanic Tyler Perry, a comparison which Echavarria accepts humbly as “a great honor.”

“We both are promoting the best that our culture has to offer.  He never forgets who he is and where he came from.  He stays connected,” says Echavarria.

His connectedness has earned Echavarria props from his fellow actors, whom he allows to shine under his direction.

“He’s not selfish,” says CHAVEZ co-star Steven Bauer.  “He’s very respectful of other actors.  He allows an actor to get to the scene, to work it out, to get to what the scene is about.  He shows trust, and he’s also a lot of fun and always has a great sense of humor.”

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At the preview screening of CHAVEZ, a gracious Echavarria smiled and signed autographs for fans and posed for photos, always finishing each interaction with a sincere, “Thank you.”

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This pre-release press junket was just the beginning of a long schedule of appearances Echavarria will make as CHAVEZ: Cage of Glory rolls out in 70 Los Angeles area theatres and nationwide.  As the crowd lingered and interviews and press photos dragged on, Echavarria’s energy never waned.  As he was escorted into round 10 of interviews, it was clear:  this champ is just getting started.