Selected by Julia Naman, Currents Editor
12909 Foothill Blvd., Sylmar, CA 91342
866.993.7227 | https://thebasementla.com/
By far, my most interesting Wednesday night was spent was locked in a room with 45 minutes to escape and a 14 percent chance of survival. The Basement, an escape room in LA, is a great way to learn about how you and your friends perform in high-stress situations. The room is locked from the outside, but there are a series of clues that can only be solved through teamwork, composure and divine providence. Three different rooms are available: The Study (puzzle-oriented), The Boiler Room (about the size of an elevator), and The Basement (the horror edition that is not for the faint of heart). My group chose the latter, meaning if we did not crack the code, a flesh-eating serial killer would release poisonous gas into our “Poltergeist”-themed torture chamber. I’m happy to report that we beat the odds with 1:52 to spare.
Selected by Kristin Vartin, Currents Writer
31 Washington Blvd., Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
310.823.9491 | cotrattoria.com
This place has some serious “Lady and the Tramp” vibes. The exposed ceiling and the walls that look like the sides of charming Italian houses transport you to the middle of a romantic Roman holiday — not to mention that the garlic rolls are to die for. They are brought to your table fresh out of the oven and keep on coming. The rolls are not the only warmth received at the C&O Trattoria; the waiters are extremely friendly, and you’ll feel right at home when they bring over music sheets for the entire restaurant to sing “That’s Amore.” All you need to do is order some meatballs with your significant other or friends, and you can call it “Bella Notte.”
Rachal Marquez, Currents Assistant
3614 West Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505
818.846.9100 | portosbakery.com
I have had great Puerto Rican food in New York City and killer Cuban food in Key West, Florida, but until very recently hadn’t been able to find quality Caribbean food in California outside my grandmother’s house. However, everything changed when a friend took me to Porto’s Cuban Bakery & Cafe in Burbank (yes, we went all the way to Burbank for one restaurant).
In business since 1960, the place is usually packed, but the line moves quickly. Use that time in line to peruse the menu and the cases of pastries and savory bites. The prices are good and the food is very filling, plus the small portions of many items make it a great way to try new foods. Recommended dishes: guava and cheese strudel, tostones combo, chorizo pie, and potato balls.
By Your Side
Selected by Paola Ramos, Currents Assistant
12613 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066
310.391.0400 | byyoursidedancestudio.com
Tango is an Argentinian dance associated with trust, romance and passion. It is a style of dance that has evolved to be practiced in many different areas of the world. While Pepperdine students in Buenos Aires have the opportunity to take tango lessons, one does not need to be in South America. I took a couple of close friends to a class at By Your Side dance studio located in West Culver City, and we had a great time trying to master the basic eight-count of the tango. The instructor was welcoming and encouraging, and the other students also helped us get the basics down more quickly. For anyone looking for something fun and unique to do on a Saturday afternoon, this is a great option. The best part is that the first class is free, so it is a perfect activity for college students on a budget.
Tempest Freerunning Academy
Selected by Kelly Mull, Currents Assistant Editor
19821 Nordhoff Place #115, Chatsworth, CA 91311
818.717.0525 | tempestacademy.com
The Tempest Freerunning Academy is a destination for all activities involving running and jumping. They are, according to their website, California’s first and only training facility “solely dedicated to the growth and spread of freerunning and parkour.”
The facility is designed to meet the needs of runners at all skills levels, be it beginning runners or the parkour proficient. As such, the gym has a variety of structures and equipment in order to build parkour skills ranging from trampolines, foam pits to climbable buildings and a warped wall.
Tempest offers several class options for all ages and skill levels. The classes are divided into several ascending levels, which require passing skill check points (denoted with colored arm bands) in order for a would-be runner to gain specific skills over time. There are also open gym times at Tempest for both adults and children to use the entire facility and private sessions available for the determined gym-goer. For students looking to skip the treadmill, Tempest Freerunning Academy can be a day out with friends or a regular gym destination.
Paddle Tennis at the Venice Beach Boardwalk
Selected by Zach Le, Currents Photo Editor
1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA
While the Venice Beach Boardwalk offers a multitude of options for how to spend one’s time and money, there is one option that should not be ignored: paddle tennis. This is a game played with the same rules as tennis, but requires significantly less skill and athletic ability to successfully play. Just to the left (when facing the ocean) of Muscle Beach, the paddle tennis courts are hard to miss. On any given day, as long as the sun is shining and the sky is blue, you can count on locals of the Venice community to be enjoying some quality time out on the courts.
Selected by Jenna Aguilar, Currents Assistant Photo Editor
1799 Baker St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
One of the most low-key gems of Los Angeles is so low-key it doesn’t actually exist — full time that is. The Viaduct is a pop-up concert venue that takes place under the Buena Vista bridge in downtown LA. Run by The California State Parks Department, the industrial rail yard is serving an alternate purpose during renovations as an interesting new backdrop for live music, movie screenings and other events. Kensington Presents, a donation-based community for a monthly music and dinner series, has hosted several artists at the pop-up, including Fantastic Negrito. The draw is to connect members of the community in a homey, intimate setting. Now listeners can enjoy the culture of good company at an indiscreet place on the edge of Chinatown, with the Gold Line roaring by overhead.
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