The Break: Mics Off! The Final Episode of 2012!

Listen in as KC and the family have an unedited, unfiltered conversation for your listening pleasure! Since we are keeping it raw, this is a Members’ Only podcast so enjoy. This one goes out to all the LA Babies!

Stay tuned for 2013 where we will be bringing you SO MUCH MORE! Thank you for your continued support!

LA EVENTS: Labor Day Weekend

LA Babies, if you aren’t heading out of town there are a myriad of events taking place in our city this weekend, and these are just a few that caught our eye. Grab your family, good friends, or your snuggle buddy and hit the streets to check these out!

The Black Music & Art Festival

We dedicated and entire post to this three-day event in Rancho Park. Check it out. 

LA County Fair

The 2012 Annual County Fair is back for it’s 90th year and opens its gates, starting Friday, August 31st. Prices and hours of operation vary by day. There are various attractions, including a traveling circus, a farm, and a concert series that includes Chaka Khan, George Benson, Babyface, Boyz II Men and Earth, Wind, and Fire.

The Taste

For all the foodies, the Los Angeles Times presents The Taste, a five-event experience spanning over the three-day weekend, showcasing some of LA’s best culinary delights. Daytime and evening events hosted by special guest celebrity chefs are $65 each, although the price will rise to $75 on September 1st.

Jim Kelly

This is only for the grown and sexy. BI buddy Garth Trinidad and Mateo Senolia are back with one of our favorite body rock events known as Jim Kelly this Sunday, September 2nd at The Virgil in Hollywood. What we love most about this event (aside from Garth on the ones and twos) is that no top 40 music is played – only the best in house, NYC garage, funk, disco, hip-hop and world music will be played. With no school on Monday, the BI crew will be shutting this event down.

FYF Festival

In Downtown Los Angeles in the L.A. State Historic Park, the FYF Festival – a combination of music and comedy acts, will take place September 1st and 2nd of this weekend. Some of the acts scheduled to appear are Beirut, Aesop Rock, James Black, and BI fav DaM-FunK! This events runs from 12 noon – midnight and weekend passes will cost you $89.

Enjoy the last bit of summer sunshine this weekend! See you on the streets of LA!

LA EVENTS: The 5th Annual Taste of Soul

The 5th annual Taste of Soul, L.A.’s Soul Food & Music Festival, is presented by the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper and Mothers in Action, in conjunction with Radio Free 102.3 KJLH and the 94.7 The Wave, and will take place Saturday, October 16 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Each year, the one-day urban festival features the best in soul food cuisine and live entertainment. Billed as Los Angeles’ largest street festival, the Taste of Soul Festival takes place outside on Crenshaw Boulevard between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Rodeo Boulevard and plays host to over 100,000 attendees from all over Southern California.

Los Angeles Sentinel President and Executive Editor Danny Bakewell Jr. calls the alliance with Radio Free 102.3 KJLH and 94.7 The Wave, “a special media partnership that allows for the many at ‘Taste of Soul’ to be the beneficiaries of a remarkable day that will leave a lasting impression for friends and families for years to come.”

The Taste of Soul Festival started as the brainchild of Los Angeles Sentinel executive publisher Danny Bakewell, Sr. who wanted to bring the Black community together for a day of fun-filled entertainment.

After collaborating with Radio One founder Cathy Hughes, L.A. City Councilmen Bernard Parks and Herb Wesson and Councilwoman Jan Perry, Bakewell’s vision was realized in October 2006, as an estimated 35,000 people came out to historic Crenshaw Blvd. in one of the largest gatherings in the city’s history.

The following year, that number grew to 75,000 and with close to 160 vendors, it became an even greater success that attracted people all over Southern California and it was established as one of the city’s most anticipated events.

2008 saw the third year of the Taste Soul Festival and attracted a record 100,000 attendees and in 2009, that number grew even larger!

Why Sky’s Tacos Is The Smartest Food Truck In The City

This summer the city of Los Angeles has seen a plethora of events geared toward the new food truck frenzy. From food fests to outdoor cinema and music events, the people in the food truck industry are making money hand over fist, and giving local, non-mobile food businesses a run for their money. But certain areas of the city have seen no love from the food truck craze; their streets remain devoid of the colorful trucks offering up a variety of delectables to choose from. These same areas, like Leimert Park, have a scant selection of food offerings to begin with and a variety of options would be a welcome change to the locals in the area.

Enter in Sky’s Gourmet Tacos. Sky’s, a staple in the Picfair Village area of Los Angeles, has been located at the corner of Pico and Hauser Boulevards for the last 18 years, and hit the streets in June with their first mobile truck. And though you will find Sky’s on Museum Row amid dozens of other trucks at lunch, they have a monopoly on the Crenshaw District weeknights, setting up on the corner of Crenshaw and Coliseum from 4 – 8 pm. No other trucks, no other competition, and plenty of customers. So many customers, in fact, that they rarely make that 8pm deadline.

Now, I don’t know anybody that doesn’t love food, me included. But why run across town chasing different trucks when there is one right here in my own neighborhood? It seems that many of the food truck owners simply follow where other trucks go in hopes of making a name for themselves and haven’t considered the economic power this area has. The Crenshaw District is centrally located with easy access to Leimert Park, View Park, Windsor Hills, and Ladera Heights. These neighborhoods are filled with hard-working (and many affluent), hungry people with limited food options, especially when it comes to take-out. Thank goodness Sky’s is enough of a visionary to think outside the box, and bring a bit of diversity to our neighborhood.

Sky’s, (which happens to be a black-owned and operated business – but when it comes to good food, who cares?), offers up their regular menu and their gourmet tacos, that come in chicken, turkey, steak (filet mignon even), shrimp and lobster varieties, will have you coming back for more. They offer a smaller version than what the restaurant offers on the truck for a mere $2, but if you have a large appetite, ask for the regular size for an extra buck.

Support Sky’s as they are supporting us: they are on the corner of Crenshaw Blvd. and Coliseum St., Monday – Friday from 4 – 8 pm. This upcoming Friday, August 13th, they will not be there due to a private event. Oh yeah – book them for your next party as well. Thanks Sky’s!

I Don’t Do Ribs! (Seafood Grillin’)

Tired of the same old bbq ribs, hotlinks, and potato salad? Well then switch it up!

Grilled Swordfish Steaks

1/2 cup soy sauce – the sweet kind works well also
1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 Tbsp tomato sauce
1 large garlic clove smashed
juice from one fresh small lemon
salt and pepper as desired
2-4 small to medium swordfish or tuna steaks

Combine marinade and place in Ziploc plastic bag. Add fish, seal and
refrigerate minimum 2hours to overnight, occasionally turning bag to distribute marinade. Drain marinade and grill fish on a rack, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side over hot coals or med high flames (center will be a little pink ) or as desired. Overcooking causes a dry fish.

Grilled Spicy Ahi Tuna Steaks

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2 tablespoons Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tuna steaks
1 lemon, cut in wedges

In a bowl, combine oil, garlic, teriyaki sauce, mustard, lemon juice and pepper. Shake or whisk to blend well. Rinse tuna steaks under cold running water and pat dry. Place the tuna in a shallow bowl; cover with marinade, cover the bowl, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Cook the tuna steaks on the grill for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until tuna is opaque(should be firm with pink in the middle). If you prefer steaks to be more rare, grilling time should be 2 1/2 minutes on each side Serve with lemon wedges.


Scallop & Shrimp Kabobs

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup extra vigin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¾ pound sea scallops

¾ uncooked large shrimp in shells

8 medium whole fresh mushrooms, (about 6 ounces)

8 cherry tomatoes

1 medium zucchini, (about 1 inch in diameter), cut into 1-inch slices

10 inch Skewers – metal or wooden(soak wooden skewers for at least 15mins so they don’t burn on the grill)

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Mix lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Cut scallops in half if too large(over an inch in diameter. Thread (onto skewers) scallops, shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini alternately on each of four 10-inch skewers. Brush with lemon juice mixture. Grill uncovered 4 inches from medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, brushing frequently with lemon juice mixture and turning once, until scallops are white and shrimp are pink and firm.

Serve with a fresh Mango salsa

Enjoy your 4th!

-Chef CEO

Balsamic Blackberry Chicken

1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 boneless/skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp. fresh thyme chopped
1/4 cup onion, diced
1.5 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. seedless blackberry preserves
salt and pepper

Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot.  On the side, sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, and thyme. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook through, about 5 minutes per side or until done. Remove from the skillet and keep warm.

Add the onions to the pan and saute until translucent. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and blackberry preserves. Stir continuously until the preserves melt. Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve.

Serve with a tossed green salad and brown rice.


-Chef CEO

Curry Chicken Pot Pies

For the culinary enthusiasts out there, here’s a recipe created by a Black man (yes, brothers can get down in the kitchen too) and my mouth is already watering at the ingredient list. Try pairing this dish with a salad and white wine for a quick midweek meal.

3 to 4 chicken pieces(preferably breast or thighs, boneless/skinless) cut into chunks
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. curry
½ tbsp thyme
1/2 tsp. powdered allspice
1 lemon
3 cloves garlic
3 stalks scallions (green onions)
1 med. onion, diced sm.
1/2 red pepper
2 red potatoes diced into 1/2″ pieces
1 1/2 cups of frozen mixed veggies (peas, carrots, & corn) thawed
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
1 tbsp. soy sauce, (optional)
1 tube/can Pillsbury pastry puffs OR buttermilk biscuits
Ramekin bowls

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Wash chicken off with water and lemon and marinate with dry ingredients
Let it sit for about a hour(in the fridge). Place evoo in frying pan on high. Place the chicken, onions and garlic, and lightly brown, on med heat, for 20 minutes. Add veggies, potatoes, and a cup of water to mix and pour over chicken. Simmer on low for 1 hour. Taste it while it’s cooking and add more curry, salt, or pepper if you feel it needs more kick! Add a tbsp or so of flour to get it good and thick. Set aside to cool. Prepare the ramekin bowls by spraying them with cooking spray. Pour chicken mix into each bowl. Take the pastry puffs or biscuits and roll them out, but not too flat, just enough to cover the ramekin and overlap around the sides. Rub a little oil or cooking spray over the top. Place them on a sheet pan to keep from dripping on the inside of your stove and bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Cover them with aluminum foil if they begin to brown too quickly.
Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool before devouring them. Enjoy!

-Chef CEO

Hidden Treasure In The Hood: Toffee Sensations

Los Angeles has some of the best food spots owned and operated by Black restaurateurs in the nation, and I was lucky enough to discover a new one. Toffee Sensations, located at the corner of Manchester Blvd. and Dalton Avenue, this small, green, hole-in-the-wall serves up mouth-watering dishes that will have you coming back for more. Although toffee candy and desserts are their specialty, Toffee Sensations’ menu boasts delicious sandwiches and wraps, salads, pasta, and hands-down one of the best turkey burgers I’ve ever had. However, you  would be remiss to gloss over their desserts. The Toffee Pecan Cookies are addicting, but their greatest claim to fame is the Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes! Need I say more?

From preparation to presentation, Toffee Sensations hits all senses with their palate-pleasing dishes. They are also available to cater your next event.

*Tip: Order the turkey burger, Toffee Sensations style, and have a mouth orgasm. Also, they usually have sample-sized cupcakes available for just $1!

Toffee Sensations

1530 W Manchester Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90047

(323) 971-1727

Open Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 – 2:30 (brunch/lunch only)

open Saturdays from 11:30 – 5pm

Attention All Costco Shoppers: Support Black Business!

In an effort to let the Black dollar circulate, I try to keep an eye out for new Black businesses and products that hit the market. My aunt introduced me to a product called GumboBrick that has signed a Costco vendor contract, and is the brainchild of Carole Foster, a Black woman from Compton, CA.

The Gumbo Brick product is a pre-made roux for gumbo lovers that speeds up the preparation of gumbo. According to the site, it is called a brick because, “the roux is the foundation for great gumbo”. Each 16-ounce Brick is $11.59, makes eight servings and will be available at the Costco in Hawthorne on Friday, June 11th – Sunday, June 13th. Check the website for more details and support this business! Y’all know you love some gumbo….