Category Archives: HABITUAL Obsessions

Obsessions: The Pines, Brooklyn

Posted by The E on August 1, 2013

The Village Voice might put it best when they call Gowanus restaurant The Pines “a destination for food nerds.” With an eclectic menu of New American cooking that changes daily, chef Angelo Romano (of Roberta’s fame) dreams up different brunch, dinner, and drinks on the regular. The offerings change daily, but if our recent meal—from a killer brioche served with mind-blowingly light foie gras to octopus with sour cherries—is any indication, you can’t really go wrong. Drinks too, like one with tequila, sea buckthorn (a tart, nutritious berry), and ginger, delight the palate with inspired combinations and obscure ingredients.

But the best part of The Pines might be the backyard, home to a recently opened outdoor kitchen. Only open Thursday through Sunday, its own original menu includes grilled clams and a half lobster with their creamy lardo and a heavenly vanilla butter. Combing a wildly creative approach to cuisine with the only-in-Brooklyn vibe of laid-back al fresco dining, the restaurant is the latest signal that Gowanus is on the rise. Make a perfect date night of it by getting dinner after the sunset Mr. Sunday dance parties to see for yourself.

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Obsessions: Naturewell, LA

Posted by The E on July 24, 2013

Known for bringing the best of what nature has to offer, Naturewell promises only top-notch organic products using the most quality ingredients available. The “wellness bar” emphasizes the health benefits of gorging on organic raw foods and how consuming them helps prevent sickness to build a happier, healthier you.

While that stance might invite debate as the juice craze rages on, we can’t argue with a delicious, sugar-free treat to help fuel shopping in the heart of Silverlake Junction. Like many other fans, we suggest the Coconut Kale Smoothie, made from coconut milk and flesh, kale, bananas, and agave. For spice-lovers, the Cardamom Smoothie makes a refreshing choice with its blend of almonds and cardamom seeds. Also try the Face Melter, consisting of fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, and oil from oregano served in a shot glass—a healthful way to wake-up your whole system.

In addition to smoothies, Naturewell has a selection of bulk and prepared raw foods, making it a one-stop shop for both those looking to seriously detox or if you just need a quick dose of health.

Image via Glori of Food

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Obsessions: A.B. Biagi, NYC

Posted by The E on July 18, 2013

Walking into A.B. Biagi is like you never left your mother’s kitchen—that is, if your mother’s Italian and you grew up in Brazil. Owner Antonio Barros Biagi, raised in the Brazilian countryside by Italian immigrants, uses his aunt Giuliana’s recipe to bring creamy, but light gelato, to downtown Manhattan. The answer to sweltering NYC summers, this twist on the original comes from an adaptation featuring fruits and naturally lower-fat milk to withstand the heat of Brazil.

New York by way of Brazil through and through, Biagi takes pride in using farm fresh milk from upstate New York and organic sugar from Brazil, expertly combining ingredients with skills picked up from training in France and Italy with top gelatieri. The international influence shows up in the range of gelato flavors, from traditional chocolate, vanilla, and Bronte pistachio to more adventurous choices, such as goat cheese with orange or biscotti and port wine.

At the Nolita shop you can see the gelato spun before customers’ eyes in a traditional vertical freezer, the Cavttabriga EFFE, the first of its kind in New York. Housed in a welcoming environment in multiple shades of yellow and white, meant to replicate Biagi’s life in São Paolo, A.B. Biagi is a must-visit place for delicious frozen confections or simply to grab a cup of the finest Brazilian coffee.

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Obsession: Maysville, NYC

Posted by The E on June 10, 2013

Hopefully our friends will forgive us for our past mistake of referring them to the “New American” food at Maysville. It’s not that the phrase doesn’t capture the Flatiron, NYC restaurant’s interpretations of classics like pulled pork or a salad of winter veggies with peanut brittle and goat cheese. It’s more specifically that the eatery takes its name from the Kentucky port town that birthed bourbon, placing its reinvented traditions squarely in the camp of the neo-Southern movements lately sweeping food scenes from coast to coast.

But, this isn’t simply the “New South” either. In contrast to the type of faithfully executed down-home classics seen at the neighboring Hill Country (with Yankee prices) or Williamsburg’s Commodore, Maysville brings an unmistakably fresh twist to their menus. Standout dishes like roasted oysters, memorably and fragrantly served atop a bed of hay, evokes the kind of modern coziness also reflected in clean, spare interiors accented warmly with wood.

Service too manages to balance hospitality with enough space to enjoy the food and company, making Maysville a go-to for all sorts occasions from business lunches to birthday dinners and weekend brunches.

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Obsession: DIY Painted Boots

Posted by The E on May 6, 2013

DIY boots

We all have those pair of leather beat-up comfy boots that we cannot dare to throw out. Even though we know cracking is inevitable, we finally found a way to extend their lifespan by revamping them with acrylic pastels giving them an impressionist style!  Instead of giving your old boots to the dumpster, Refinery29’s Chloe Daley, gives us an alternative by walking us through an easy do-it-yourself tutorial.  Originally inspired by Anthropologie’s Galaxy Inlay Booties, Chloe recreates these “Peter Pan meets Monet” booties by using plain black ones and injecting them with a boost of creativity giving her a new fashion statement to rock!

If you are ready to take on this challenge just follow the easy steps below:


leather boots, alcohol, tarp, assorted acrylic paints, primer, sealer, brushes, sponge, and container for water.


  1. Rub boots with alcohol to make sure there is no sealing already on the leather.
  2. Mix paint primer with water using equal proportions and paint on leather.  Applying this primer will help the boots absorb the paint. Apply primer about 2 more times and flex leather while doing so (that way you don’t get any cracks).
  3. Create a white base by painting on white acrylic paint onto the boots and let them dry.  Apply about 2-3 coats.
  4. Paint boots with an emerald green color (use whatever color you want) and let dry for about an hour.
  5. Take sponge and dab rose metallic and yellow accents on boots and overlay with green afterwards.  It is completely up to you what color you want to add accents with.
  6. Use a sealer spray to coat boots.

So what are you waiting for ?! Click here to see full video.

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Obsession: Eatalian Café

Posted by The E on May 1, 2013


Hidden among warehouses, Gardena-based restaurant, Eatalian Café, can be found bustling throughout the day with pizza and gelato lovers. Eatalian Café prides itself on not only making the most fresh and delicious foods you have ever tasted but for having great performance – and we’ll be the first to say they live up to this!

Ran by Atonio Pellini and his family, Eatalian Café, uses nothing but the freshest ingredients available making sure all its pastas, dough, sauces, gelato, bread and pastries all freshly made every morning! Our mouths are watering just thinking about tasting the freshly baked Tortelli di Zucca (fresh squash ravioli)!

Eatalian also makes sure that all of its foods are filled with passion, memory, tradition and love.   The best part about this place is that it is 100 % authentic since the owners of the restaurant are from Ventoso, Italy (a village of about 800) and grew up cooking their own recipes using the freshest ingredients – they are naturals!

You must go and try one of their thirty famously delicious thin pizzas!


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Obsession: By Terry

Posted by The E on April 11, 2013

By Terry

Terry de Gunzburg started as a Studio Makeup Artist out of luck for Vogue because no one else was available for a photo session. After her first shoot, she kept on focusing on the essentials and became trusted by some of the biggest fashion photographers. Eventually, Terry later went on to becom Yves Saint Laurent’s International Makeup Designer, and in 2000, she went on to create her own makeup brand, “By Terry”. Focusing on the creative concept, we love that Terry approaches her beauty expertise like a Fashion House products their ready-to-wear- line. She comes up with creative strategies and sets her standards of perfection like Haute Couture and then sends them to a cutting edge laboratory which produces cutting edge formulas based on the purest pigments. One of our favorite products is her intensive multi-active moisturizer. Our skin feels and looks amazing when we use it! Here’s also a great video to hear more about Terry’s creative concept.

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Obsession: Vagabond Grillyard

Posted by The E on April 9, 2013

Bacon Bleu Burger

We became immediately obsessed when we tried Vagabond Grillyard for the first time. Gourmet burgers have definitely been trending in the Los Angeles area, but Vagabond Grillyard is simply unique. They founders themselves are literally vagabonds: no restaurant, no food truck, no reservations — just themselves, the griddle and some amazing burgers that come off the griddle. You’ll find Vagabond all over the Eastside of Los Angeles, currently they have “residencies” at Famous Bar, Eagle Rock Brewery and Verdugo Bar.  The meat is cooked just right, the brioche bun is fluffy and the aioli and onions add amazing flavor. If you are ever over on the Eastside, go join the vagabonds (Westsiders, we promise it’s worth the trek).

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Obsession: Em & Sprout

Posted by The E on March 21, 2013

Em & Sprout

If you’re “feline” a little cat-ty, Em & Sprout has just what you need to get your animal fashion fix. If cats on your feet isn’t what you’re looking for, designer Lindsay does it all from sloths to pandas, and even ghosts. Inspired by her two cats Em & Sprout, this Southern California based designer focuses her craft on screen printing and working with felt, to create one of a kind pieces you won’t find anywhere else.

All of Lindsay’s creations feature her own designs, all handcrafted to perfection. The screen printing seen on her tote bags, t-shirts and other items, are all done as a team effort between her and her husband. Her shoes are store bought, but all embellished with appliques she designs and handcrafts herself.

You can find all of Lindsay’s products at her Etsy Shop, and If you’re feeling a little creative, check out Lindsay’s tutorials on her blog. You can even enter one of her giveaways and get some animal swag, or get the inside scoop on her up and coming products.

Em & Sprout2

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Obsession: The Color Run

Posted by The E on March 11, 2013

Color Run

Forget about hitting the gym for that much wanted summer body because exercising just got a whole lot more exciting with The Color Run. Otherwise known as the Happiest 5k on the Planet, this national paint race encourages participants to get healthy, be happy, and give back to the community. While running side by side with thousands of people, participants are doused with colors each step of the way. Luckily, the fun doesn’t stop there. Once the finish line is crossed, there is a post-run “Color Festival” where the memory-making continues. Each run collects donations that is given to a local charity in each city visited.  There are only two rules for those of you considering taking part in this spectacular event: begin the day wearing white and finish the day in color. What are you waiting for?


Color Run from LIFEinaVAN on Vimeo.

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