Hundreds of community and business leaders partied on Sept. 29 inside future office space overlooking Runway at Playa Vista to celebrate publication of The Argonaut’s annual Best of the Westside issue.
Party guests sampled an array signature dishes from Runway restaurants Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Lyfe Kitchen, Sol Cocina, Urban Plates and Whole Foods, washing them down with local craft beer from Santa Monica Brew Works.
A quartet from the Venice Symphony Orchestra lent the evening an upbeat soundtrack on the spacious outdoor patio overlooking Playa Vista’s retail and entertainment centerpiece. Inside, guests interacted with local writer Erika Lane Enggren as she created customized poems for them on a manual typewriter, and artist Mitchelito Orquiola live-painted a canvas while taking inspiration from the crowd.
Best of the Westside celebrates winners of the annual readers’ poll conducted by The Argonaut newsweekly, a sister publication of Playa Vista Direct that’s been covering news, culture and entertainment on the Westside for 45 years.
The contest honored winners from Santa Monica to El Segundo in the fields of dining, entertainment, health, beauty, shopping, services and recreation.
Playa Vista winners included Playa Vista Medical Center, Hollyway Cleaners, YogaWorks and Playa Vista Dental Center.
Shira Lazar, creator of the video blog “What’s Trending” and a regular at YouTube Space L.A. in the Hercules Campus, graced one of three Best of the Westside covers this year. The other two featured actor/director Tim Robbins, in honor of his nonprofit work with The Actors’ Gang in Culver City, and Best Tacos winner Tito’s Tacos.
Find out more about Best of the Westside and this year’s winners at argonautnews.com.
— Joe Piasecki
1. Peter Flores, Yanez Avana, Roxana Elias, Nando De Stefano and Sylvie De Stefano of Best Pizza winner The Good Pizza
2. “Art Ninja” Mitchelito Orquiola live-paints a canvas inspired by the evening’s guests
3. LAPD Pacific Division leader Capt. Nicole Alberca and past Venice Chamber of Commerce President Carl Lambert with Don and Linda Novack of Hal’s Bar & Grill—coming soon to Runway at Playa Vista
4. Sol Cocina offered treats both savory and sweet
5. Hopdoddy Burger Bar brought sliders for everybody
6. Urban Plates hit the spot with house-made mac and cheese
1. Venice Symphony Orchestra players hit a high note
2. Best Real Estate Agent Stephanie Younger (second from left) celebrates with team members Nikki Baldwin, Renee Marinkovich, Sara Morgan and Stephanie Singletary
3. Actor Andrew Keegan, cofounder of Full Circle Venice, gets a personalized poem from Erika Lane Enggren
4. Goethe International Charter School Principal Rick Barclay and Executive Director Gwenis Laura celebrate their Best Elementary or Middle School win
5. Hornblower Cruises and Events’ Mia Falkenstein joins Café del Rey General Manager Brian Cousins and Executive Chef David Vilchez in celebrating the restaurant’s wins