Tag Archives: get out of town

Get Out Of Town!: Taco Nazo

Purveyors of the original Baja-style fish taco, Taco Nazo has grown from a humble lunch truck in 1978 to six locations throughout the Southland and immense popularity. We recently visited the Bellflower location as we were driving by on the 91 Freeway, and were in awe of the food and the service.

At first, Taco Nazo can seem overwhelming – there’s a line of people out the door, a line of cars waiting to turn into the parking lot, a line of people waiting at the Taco Nazo Express stand nearby.

taco nazo

A Taco Nazo feast: (back row from left to right) Mixed ceviche of octopus, shrimp, fish and imitation crab topped with half a sliced avocado and served with crispy tostadas and potato and bean tacos topped with crema, cabbage and pico de gallo, along with two Baja-style fried fish tacos topped with crema, cabbage and pico de gallo (front row.) Photo By Lisa Paredes

But in reality, there’s a huge dining room to accommodate all the diners, the line to order moves fast, the food comes out fast and there’s a parking attendant helping people enter, park and exit the lot. Everything flows smoothly and people are friendly and chill.

A Taco Nazo greeter will answer any questions about the menu that diners have and assist in ordering if needed. First-time visitors are welcomed with a free fish taco.

Waiting in line for a few minutes is good, because their menu has a lot of offerings from tacos, burritos, quesadillas, bowls and tortas (sandwiches) to ceviche, Mexican-style seafood cocktails, and usual sides of rice, beans, chips, salsa, guacamole, crema (Mexican style sour cream) and chile gueritos (grilled yellow peppers.)

Taco Nazo feast of mixed ceviche, potato tacos, fish tacos and ice cold Pacifico beer. Missing from the photo are carne asada, al pastor and fried shrimp tacos. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The restaurant offers six different kinds of tacos – pescado (fish), camarón (shrimp), carne asada (grilled marinated steak), pollo (chicken), al pastor (grilled marinated pork), papa ó frijol (potato and bean). The potato and bean tacos are made with the perfect amount of requeson, a fresh cheese similar to ricotta.

While Taco Nazo’s specialty is Ensenada-style seafood, their carne asada is also top-notch – tender and flavorful. We’ve had better al pastor at other places but it still was tasty and very good.

The fish and shrimp tacos are battered and fried, served on two small corn tortillas and topped with cabbage, tomato, onion, cilantro and crema. They are absolute perfection in a bite.

The potato taco is fried and served piping hot and topped with crema, cabbage and a pico de gallo (cilantro, onion and tomato.) It’s an eye-opening dish for those who haven’t yet tried the gloriousness that is the Taco Nazo potato taco.

The Taco Nazo fish taco: fried, battered tender white fish topped with cabbage, crema and pico de gallo, served with a squeeze of lime and a grilled chile guerito. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The mixed ceviche – we ordered a medium – stacked layers of pulpo (octopus), pescado (fish), jaiva (imitation crab) and camarón (shrimp) topped with half a sliced avocado and served with crispy tostadas. It was out-of-this-world delicious and extremely fresh.

Taco Nazo’s homemade salsas carried a nice kick and good flavor. Plates are served with a grilled chile guerito, which are easy to eat but leave a lingering slow burn that can build, so be mindful of the amount and frequency with which those are consumed.

Some locations but not all serve ice-cold beer and micheladas. All locations offer Mexican drinks, sodas and agua frescas, along with free water.

We enjoyed the fast, friendly service and clean bathrooms. There’s a lot of people working there so tables are cleaned promptly. Even though there are a lot of people eating in the restaurant, it’s easy to find a table as the place is run like clock-work and turnover is quick. For those truly in a rush, try the express stand nearby, which also has plenty of seats.

Taco Nazo’s six locations in Bellflower, La Puente, El Monte, La Habra, Walnut and Azusa are easily recognized by their bright blue and orange signs. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Lunch or dinner at Taco Nazo is a perfect way to Get Out Of Town. The food is absolutely worth the drive to any of the six locations – Bellflower, La Puente (the original restaurant), El Monte, La Habra, Walnut and Azusa – from Burbank.

Check the restaurant website for locations and hours, but they are typically open from 9 or 10:00 a.m. until 9 or 10:00 p.m. daily.

We were so focused on ordering Taco Nazo ceviche and tacos, next time we’ll have to try out the cocktails, burritos and tortas.

Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll open a seventh Taco Nazo in Burbank. But until then, we have to Get Out Of Town for our Taco Nazo fix.

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

Get Out Of Town!: Vasquez Rocks

Located off the 14 Freeway, northeast of Santa Clarita, Vasquez Rocks has been a popular backdrop for many film and television shows since the 1930s, including Star Trek, Bonanza, Blazing Saddles, Outer Limits, Dante’s Peak, A-Team and many, many more.

The iconic rock formations were created by rapid erosion and uplift activity along the San Andreas Fault millions of years ago. They continue to be a popular destination for tourists and hikers, including those traversing the Pacific Crest Trail which runs adjacent to the rocks.

The backdrop for many popular films and television shows, Vasquez Rocks is also popular with visitors on a daily basis. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The Vasquez Rocks Natural Area and Nature Center, located at 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Road in Agua Dulce, is about 45 minutes drive from Santa Clarita. Without traffic, the drive takes about one hour and twenty minutes from Burbank.

The Nature Center has restrooms, water and staffers on hand with maps and information, along with educational displays on the history and geography of the area. The Shoshone and Tataviam indigenous peoples lived at the site. Petroglyphs dating from their time are still visible on some of the rocks in the area.

According to their website, the park is open from sunrise to sunset and the Nature Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. between September 16 and March 9 and until 7:00 p.m. May 1 to September 15.

Parking is available at the Nature Center. People may also drive right up to the rocks and park next to them. Often visitors enjoy climbing on the rocks. Lots of easy, flat hikes through the scrub desert surrounding the rocks are possible.

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

There is no shade and no drinking water available except inside the Nature Center during business hours. Temperatures can get very hot throughout most of the year, so sunscreen and water are essential.

Whether you want to reminisce about Captain Kirk’s battle with the Gorn in the “Arena” or just enjoy some cool looking rocks and desert environment, Vasquez Rocks are definitely a fun and scenic way to Get Out of Town!

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Get Out Of Town!: L.A. Zoo Lights

With the holiday season in full swing, the annual L.A. Zoo Lights attraction is a popular evening activity. Once the zoo closes its doors at 5:00 p.m. and darkness falls, the lights come on and people start lining up for the 6:00 p.m. entry to the L.A. Zoo Lights event.

Although most animals are not on display, the animal-themed attraction makes use of much of the L.A. Zoo’s paved paths with festive lights, music and treats. Live reindeer in Reindeer Village and the animals in the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates and Reptiles) are on view.

L.A. Zoo Lights

Photo By Lisa Paredes

Santa is on hand for photos on certain nights, along with live music. The refurbished carousel is a popular draw and the miles and miles of lights and multiple 3D projections make for a colorful evening.

Lines can be long to enter the event, snaking through the L.A. Zoo parking lot. The usual wait to enter is approximately 45 minutes. Judging from the many families and couples in attendance, it’s a fun family outing or date night activity.

L.A. Zoo Lights

Photo By Lisa Paredes

The zoo is also planning a special New Year’s Eve celebration including a dinner buffet, desserts, a cash bar, DJ dance party and a broadcast of the Times Square ball drop. Tickets are $69 for adults and $45 for children. The event runs from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. More information is available on the L.A. Zoo Lights website.

L.A. Zoo Lights runs through January 7, and is closed December 24 and 25. Tickets for the regular L.A. Zoo Lights evening event start at $10 per person (age 2 and over) for zoo members. General admission ranges from $11.95 to $19.95 depending on age and the night attending.

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

Get Out Of Town!: Follow Your Heart

Since the 1970’s, pioneers of California health food and Vegenaise, the owners of Follow Your Heart market and restaurant, have served vegetarian and vegan food from their San Fernando Valley location in Canoga Park.

When one is looking for a healthy and hearty breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner in Canoga Park, Follow Your Heart rates as one of the top options in town. There is no meat to be found on the menu, and the dishes prove meat is not necessary for a filling and tasty meal.

Tofu Rancheros at Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park are delicious and healthy.(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

We get out to Canoga Park every now and then, and Follow Your Heart, with its colorful market, cozy restaurant and patio and very friendly staff, always rates a visit.

Recently, we enjoyed some Tofu Rancheros ($11.50) – organic corn tortillas covered with tofu sauteed with diced tomatoes and herbs are topped with jack and cheddar cheese and served with black beans, organic Spanish rice, a to-die-for guacamole and sour cream.

The tofu was excellent and we did not miss the eggs usually found in huevos rancheros. Vegan options are available, too.

Follow Your Heart’s The Deli Plate brings out the best in bagels, cream cheese and alfalfa sprouts. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The other big plate we dug into – the Deli Plate – included a toasted bagel with cream cheese (vegan cream cheese is available), sliced tomato, fresh alfalfa sprouts, lettuce and red onion. I added half a sliced avocado, to bring the plate’s total price to $8.50.

Both plates were hefty and very filling. Perhaps we should have ordered a half plate of the Tofu Rancheros for $7.75. Food came out from the kitchen quickly and service was attentive and knowledgeable.

Follow Your Heart’s The Deli Plate shows alfalfa sprouts how to have a little fun at breakfast. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Bathrooms were clean and accessible. The market at Follow Your Heart includes a wide selection of health food staples, in addition to books and jewelry, incense, clothing and more. Check out the gallery of photos of Follow Your Heart’s history lining the walls and the yoga/mindfulness class schedule.

More information on Follow Your Heart and their menu can be found on their website. Brunch can get a little busy, but usually the wait is not too long on the weekends. Friendly, natural and focused on healthy foods, Follow Your Heart is quintessential California.

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

Get Out Of Town!: Perch

Wow. Simply, wow. For a true Get Out of Town experience, just miles from Burbank, check out Perch, the popular and trendy rooftop restaurant and bar in Downtown Los Angeles.

The sunny, French bistro-styled restaurant is filled with comfortable chairs and tables at which to lounge through an excellently prepared meal or a drink. One floor up, the crowded rooftop bar is quite the scene for daytime drinks and nighttime views.

Perch combines an easy elegance with a strict attention to service, for a unique experience with spectacular views. Reservations are often booked up more than a week in advance for popular times, so unless you’re okay to wait, planning ahead is the way to go.

Scallops with fresh pea salad at Perch. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Valet parking for $10 is available on Hill Street. From there, ride a rickety elevator straight out of the Tower of Terror to the 13th floor. To reach the restaurant, cross the hall and ride up to the 15th floor. Those aiming for the apex of the joint, keep going until floor 16.

Perch’s menu is a treat – gorgeous cocktails and a strong offering of beer and wine are complemented by a well-thought out menu of appetizers, salads, small plates and main entrees. The dessert menu is short and sweet.

On a recent visit we went straight for the entrees: Pan Roasted Salmon, Scallops, Steak Frites and Gnocchi with a side of Brussels sprouts.

The amazing Perch gnocchi with squash blossoms.(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The salmon was buttery and melted on the tongue,the best salmon I’ve tasted in recent memory. Accompanied by artichoke heart chips, eggplant puree and roasted vegetables, the dish was a symphony of tastes.

Steak Frites at Perch. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The scallops, tender and seared perfectly, were accompanied by an out-of-this-world fresh pea salad and sunchoke-parsnip puree.

The Brussels sprouts were also excellent. Roasted and tossed with bacon and shaved parmesan, then tossed with a sherry vinaigrette, the Brussels sprouts put most other restaurants’ attempts at the dish to shame.

The steak frites, served medium, was bite after incredible bite of properly prepared flat iron steak accompanied by truffled cheese fries in a bordelaise sauce.

And the exquisite gnocchi – airy little balls of potato pasta drenched in an herby creamy sauce and topped with squash flowers – another burst of well-matched flavors in every taste.

Our excursion to Perch was a fantastic experience, one we will continue to repeat. It’s a busy place, popular with a lot of 20-somethings and trendy dressers, but it’s also a wonderful place for an incredible meal, a relaxing drink and a spectacular view.

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

Get Out Of Town!: Santa Ynez Wine Country

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

Autumn is a lovely time of year to visit Santa Ynez Wine Country. Harvest weekend in October is always a big draw, but the peaceful country vibe and relaxed pace of life in the region, northeast of Santa Barbara, is a welcome respite from city life any time of year.

Los Olivos and Solvang are about two and one-half hours drive from Burbank. Nestled in the Santa Ynez mountains, the towns are good jumping-off points for a country ramble. We usually stay overnight and get a good night’s sleep so we don’t have to drive home after a long day of wine and food.

Carhartt Tasting Room, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez Valley. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Carhartt Tasting Room, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez Valley. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Wineries and tasting rooms are typically open 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Driving from one area of the Valley to another takes quite a bit of time; we have found it easier to visit one area of Santa Ynez Wine Country at a time.

We often like to stop at the Calabasas Cantina for breakfast on the way up to Santa Ynez. When we forego the heavy breakfast, we start the day with a lunch at the spectacular Los Olivos Cafe. There are several new restaurants in Los Olivos and throughout the Valley, like Red Barn, Santa Ynez Kitchen and Petros to try.

Little Gem Salad, Los Olivos Cafe. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Little Gem Salad, Los Olivos Cafe. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

After wandering about the rustic town of Los Olivos, looking at jewelry and art made by local artisans, we visit a tasting room or two. Our favorite is Carhartt’s little shack on Grand Avenue, but there are many from which to choose.

Children are not allowed in tasting rooms and must stay outside. Some with patios are able to welcome the under-21 set. Stolpman’s little red barn with a shady patio in Los Olivos is a comfortable option for those with kids.

Plenty of maps to the wineries and tasting rooms in the area are available online and throughout Santa Ynez Wine Country.

Foley tasting room, Santa Ynez Valley. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Foley tasting room, Santa Ynez Valley. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

One thing we’ve learned over nearly two decades of trips to the area – wines change in quality and drinkability from year to year. One year, a favorite winery will pour amazing flights for tastings. The next, we wonder why we liked that same spot so much. However, many times the wines made for wine club members far outstrip the wines available at tastings – depending on the vintner, of course.

Recurring favorites from year to year include: Foley, Lincourt, Foxen, Babcock, Melville, Carhartt and Alma Rosa. Some wineries such as Foxen and Dierberg Starlane have upped their tastings to $20 each, while most are pouring 6 tastes for $12 or $15.

For those aiming to try 10 wines for $10, there’s always Blackjack, just outside of Los Olivos. Made popular in the movie Sideways, of which there continue to be numerous references throughout the area, Blackjack has some great specials on cases.

Foley vineyards. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Foley vineyards. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

We loved Lincourt and Foley’s whites and reds – both tasting rooms in the Valley were pouring excellent varieties, backed up by knowledgeable servers. Very drinkable, very complex, the Foley and Lincourt wines were the hit of the trip.

Babcock’s eclectic, expansive tasting barn provides a fun way to while away an afternoon. Pool table, lounging chairs, gift items to browse, a solid collection of vinyl to put on the turntable and excellent, complex flights combine for a fantastic experience.

Melville’s rich and personable wines underscore the winery’s long and respected history in the area. Foxen’s Shack at 7200 Foxen Canyon Road currently serves a very fun chocolate and wine pairing course through the end of the year.

Melville Winery, Santa Ynez. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Melville Winery, Santa Ynez. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Whether you decide you love the taste enough to buy a bottle or six, the prime attraction of Santa Ynez Wine Country is the leisurely pace, the natural environment and delicious food available.

We also stopped for steaks at The Hitching Post II this trip. The restaurant embraces an old school approach to food, from the artichoke appetizer to top-notch steaks to rich desserts. Reservations are a must on busy weekends.

Another highlight: Danish pancakes and eggy french toast at Paula’s Pancake House in Solvang. No reservations and the wait can be up to an hour on a weekend, but it is definitely worth the wait.

Babcock Winery's lounge area. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Babcock Winery’s lounge area. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

There’s a lot of hotels and luxury resorts to stay in throughout the Valley – something for every budget and wish. Solvang boasts the highest concentration of hotels and restaurants in the area, and is a good base of operations, if you will.

We always like the Hotel Corque for cleanliness, comfort, style and central location, along with the more economical Hadsten House.

After all that wine and rustic food in the Santa Ynez Valley, we often stop for a palate cleanser in Santa Barbara on the way back to Burbank. Sometimes it’s tacos at La Super-Rica, but usually it’s Brophy Bros. seafood at the Santa Barbara harbor.

Seafood pasta, Brophy Bros. Santa Barbara. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Seafood pasta, Brophy Bros. Santa Barbara. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The best clam chowder on the west coast, fresh fish and seafood and excellent service make this casual seafood joint a popular spot any time of day, night, season or year. After re-fueling with some good grub, the drive back to Burbank takes just about two hours.

For those needing a break from the din and clang of city life, the Santa Ynez Valley is a perfect way to Get Out of Town!

Get Out Of Town!: LA Phil Nimbus

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

Since opening in October, the LA Phil Nimbus art and music installation at the Walt Disney Concert Hall has added a dimension of visual, musical and environmental esthetic to the cavernous space of escalators and stairs between the parking garage and the Hall.

Walt Disney Concert Hall always provides so much for the community musically, as home to the world class Los Angeles Philharmonic and as a venue with excellent programming.

Nimbus really stirs the senses with subtle chimes, faraway thunder and computer generated music. The clouds change color, glow and pulse, throughout the day.

Commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Nimbus integrates visual and musical art. LA Phil Nimbus (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Nimbus integrates visual and musical art.(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Punctuated with compositions performed by some of the LA Phil’s stellar musicians, including Martin Chalifour (violin), Robert DeMaine (cello), Marion Arthur Kuszyk (oboe), Boris Allakhverdyan (clarinet), Andrew Bain (horn) and Thomas Hooten (trumpet), Nimbus lends a sense of drama to an otherwise dull space.

While you’re downtown checking out the LA Phil Nimbus, you may wish to hang around for one of the Walt Disney Concert Hall’s concerts or programs. Currently, a series of classic films including On The Waterfront and Casablanca are screening with music performed by a live orchestra.

LA Phil Nimbus (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The Green Umbrella new music series, Casual Fridays series and a performance of the ballet The Nutcracker Suite are all highlights on the upcoming schedule. Of course, there are the regular Thursday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon classical music concerts featuring the LA Phil and conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

The upcoming Walt Disney Concert Hall schedule can be found here.

Additionally, the Hall gift shop stocks all kinds of eclectic, fun or stylish music-related gifts for the music lovers in your life.

Parking can be found under the Hall. For those Metro minded, a red line stop is one block away.

The LA Phil Nimbus will be on display, with occasional special live interactions and events, though 2019. Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, 90012.

Nimbus art and music installation at Walt Disney Concert Hall. LA Phil Nimbus (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Nimbus art and music installation at Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Get Out Of Town!: Burke Williams And Sweetgreen

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

Just over the hill in Hollywood, a soothing day spa experience awaits at Burke Williams Hollywood. After massaging and soaking and steaming all the stress away, pick up a healthy salad from the amazing Sweetgreen, located just down the street.

While Burbank has some lovely day spa options, there’s nothing quite like the Burke Williams experience with hot steam and cold mist rooms, sauna and warm jacuzzi for melting away the stress of city life.

Photo By Lisa Paredes

Photo By Lisa Paredes

Burke Williams Hollywood, located in a large building on La Brea Avenue, just south of Santa Monica Boulevard, boasts gorgeous and spacious interiors. Nail care, custom scent mixing and Style Blow Dry Bar services are all available, in addition to the standard range of facials, waxing, massages and chiropractic treatments.

Service is attentive and professional and the facility is very clean. No cell phones are allowed, lending to the peaceful atmosphere. Plentiful free parking is available on site.

Our favorite aspect of Burke Williams is the multiple wet and dry, warm and cool, rooms. Relax in the warm bubbles of the gigantic jacuzzi pool and heat up in the hot dry heat of the sauna. Cool down for a few minutes in the cool mist room. Breathe deeply in the hot steam room and open those pores and lungs.

Fresh local ingredients fill this salad from Sweetgreen Nolita. (Photo By Lisa)Paredes

Fresh local ingredients fill this salad from Sweetgreen Nolita. (Photo By Lisa)Paredes

Massages and other body treatments are a specialty of the day spa, and the entire experience is calmly directed and performed for ultimate relaxation.

After all that body and mind cleansing, we felt compelled to feed our bodies with healthy food, so we headed over to Sweetgreen, located near Sunset and Gower.

We first discovered Sweetgreen on a trip to New York City and loved the Nolita spot. The popular chain now has an outpost in Hollywood and is super popular. There always seems to be a line, but it moves fast.

Chicken & Brussels salad from Sweetgreen Hollywood is filled with delicious veggies and a tantalizing dressing. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Chicken & Brussels salad from Sweetgreen Hollywood is filled with delicious veggies and a tantalizing dressing. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Ordering a to go bowl with the Sweetgreen app is easy and convenient. Choose a salad or bowl from the menu, indicate your pickup time and pay via the app. Pop in to the restaurant and pick up your to go order on the metal table near the cash register.

There’s plenty of space to sit down and grab a bite by yourself or with friends, including a fun structure of stair steps along one wall.

We enjoyed the Chicken and Brussels salad this visit. The menu changes by the season and includes locally sourced meat, vegetarian and vegan options, all with calorie counts posted.

Creative dressings add to the flavor of the fresh veggies and meats, without adding a ton of calories. Don’t forget to order your complimentary slice of homemade bread with your salad!

Eating healthy can be convenient and taste great. Maybe we’ll get a Sweetgreen in Burbank soon and we won’t have to Get Out Of Town! to pick one up!

Photo By Lisa Paredes

Photo By Lisa Paredes

Get Out Of Town!: Mid-City Adventure At LACMA And Korean BBQ

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) offers a lot of options for your visual arts and music fix. With programs like “Free After 3,” free jazz, Latin and classical concerts for the public and the NextGen program, there are many ways to keep a visit low-cost.

Add in a side trip for some excellent Korean BBQ in nearby Koreatown and your Get Out Of Town! adventure in Mid-City goes up a notch.

LACMA Rain Room. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

LACMA Rain Room. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The Rain Room at LACMA is a paid, ticketed esxperience, but well worth the $10-15 fee. This way, smaller, timed-entry groups have access to the room for 15 minutes, making the experience more enjoyable and less crowded.

Some basic tips for a more satisfying and less-wet experience: wear light colors and walk really, really slowly through the rainfall.

The sensors cannot distinguish black clothes from the dark floor and will not stop the water flow.

Slow motion allows time for the area you are in to register with the sensors, to shut off the rain.

The LACMA Rain Room is an amazing and immersive (literally) experience.

LACMA’s NextGen program, which provides free general museum access to children 17 and under, also allows free entry to an accompanying adult. The museum offers senior, student and KCRW member discounts, along with free access for EBT card holders and members of the military. On weekdays, the “Free After 3” program grants free admission to all.

In addition to an excellent permanent collection spanning much of human history, LACMA also offers a series of top-notch special exhibitions, some free with general admission and others require an additional entry fee.

Street parking may be available but is often hard to find. Parking in the LACMA lots costs $14. General adult admission to the museum is $15.

 (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The museum’s free concerts are a huge draw. During the summer, Jazz at LACMA on Fridays and Latin Sounds on Saturdays bring a multitude of Angelenos with camp chairs and picnic baskets to the museum plaza grounds. Seating directly in front of the featured band is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sundays Live, the museum’s chamber music series, runs year-round in the Leo S. Bing Theater and features the best of national, international, local and emerging classical musicians.

After immersing oneself in all that art, music and culture, one can get pretty hungry. Nearby Koreatown offers excellent Korean BBQ, with a lot of busy restaurants. Since our favorite, Woo Lae Oak, left its Western Avenue location years ago and ultimately closed the La Cienaga spot recently, we needed a new Korean BBQ joint.

One of the top-reviewed Korean restaurants in town, Kang Ho Dong Baekjong, did not let us down. On a crowded Friday night, we were able to get a table inside in less than 30 minutes. Excellent, attentive service helped us navigate this vibrant and noisy restaurant.

Kang Ho Dong Baekjong offers only beef and pork to grill, along with the requisite accompanying dishes such as green salad, seaweed and bean sprout salad, bean stew, fried kimchi, kimchi prepared three different ways, sweet potato and daikon. Roasted pepper, onion, corn and egg are cooked next to the grill top.

Brisket at Kang Ho Dong Baekjong. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Brisket at Kang Ho Dong Baekjong. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Refreshing, cold barley tea, which tastes like water, washes everything down. Soju and Korean beers are also available.

We ordered the large beef combo platter, of brisket, short rib and prime rib – it was a little too much food for four, although we were very hungry. The beef was excellent quality and was cooked by our servers, something we’re not used to at a Korean BBQ restaurant.

Servers refilled the sides and tea when asked and generally made sure our table was having a good time.

Short rib at Kang Ho Dong Baekjong.  (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Short rib at Kang Ho Dong Baekjong. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Seats on the quieter patio provide an alternative to the loud music and slightly smoky interior, but we much preferred the party-like energy of the room, especially on a Friday night.

Kang Ho Dong Baekjong is not all-you-can-eat, thus the quality of meat is better than an AYCE place. Everyone working at the restaurant was super friendly and answered questions, so there’s no reason to be intimidated if you don’t speak Korean.

In the future, we would probably order meat a la carte, because there was a lot of brisket. The restaurant also offers cold and hot noodles and soups. The bean soup that came with the BBQ combo was also delicious.

 (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Parking for the restaurant enters off Alexandria Avenue from Sixth Street, to a valet stand in the back. Street parking is very challenging in the area.

About a 20-30 minute drive from Burbank, both LACMA and the Koreatown area provide a fun alternative for an afternoon or evening out, close to home.

Get Out Of Town!: The Broad

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

Since opening in September 2015, The Broad has had a steady stream of visitors explore its excellent collection of contemporary art. Any day of the week, the standby line stretches down Second Street with an average wait of 45 – 90 minutes. Free advance tickets are usually completely reserved within minutes of becoming available.

Boasting iconic works from contemporary art stars including Ed Ruschka, Robert Rasuchenberg, Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons, the regular collection draws a range of reactions from visitors and makes The Broad a great Get Out of Town! adventure any day of the year.

Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog (Blue)." (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Dog (Blue).” (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

A rotating schedule of special exhibitions and installations, including Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life which runs through October 2 and Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room which runs through the fall of 2016, result in an exciting experience.

Open, airy and filled with natural light, The Broad may be popular but the timed ticket approach works well to prevent overcrowding inside. Free reserved tickets for the following month are available at noon on the first day of every month by logging on to The Broad’s website.

"Under The Table" by Robert Therrien. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

“Under The Table” by Robert Therrien. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Those interested in viewing the Infinity Mirrored Room are advised to arrive as early as possible, as timed tickets – also free – are required to enter the installation. One person at a time is allowed to enter the room, for about 45 seconds.

Thus, tickets for the room are usually booked up by early afternoon. Timed tickets are available from a kiosk in the center of the first floor, just after visitors enter The Broad’s main doors.

Jeff Koons' "Tulips." (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Jeff Koons’ “Tulips.” (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Parking is available underneath the museum for a minimum $12 to a maximum of $22. Several cafes and restaurants are located near The Broad, including our favorite, Otium Restaurant.

Tickets for the current Cindy Sherman exhibit are $12 and available in advance on The Broad website.

The Broad is located at 221 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days, The Broad is open Tuesday and Wednesday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.