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The best to do, eat, see, shop in LA

September 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Eye on L.A. teamed up with Los Angeles Magazine for their annual "Best of Los Angeles" issue, and Eye on L.A. host Tina Malave traversed the city to check out what made these picks the very best things to do, eat, see and shop.

At Fire Groove in Hollywood, you can learn the ancient and underground art of fire dancing. People from all walks of life start the Fire Groove classes feeling perhaps a little shy, or a little introverted, but by the time they're ready to light up in their sixth class, they feel completely empowered. The courses teach you how to safely interact with various tools such as fire fans, staffs, hula hoops and poi, and they even teach fire eating. Students with a real knack for fire dancing may even join the Fire Groove professional performance troupe. Eye on L.A. warns all viewers not to attempt any acts with fire without the assistance of a fire safety professional and a fire permit.

Tina felt like a superhero after taking in an archery lesson at the Pasadena Roving Archers archery club in Pasadena's Lower Arroyo Seco Park, which has been in existence since 1935. The booming sport attracts all ages and walks of life, and the best part is it won't break your wallet. Every Saturday morning, the Pasadena Roving Archers offer first time lessons for free. After your first one, lessons are only $5 each. But get there early, it's first come, first served and it fills up fast.

At The Drybar, they don't cut. They don't color. They just do blowouts - and for only $35, wash included! Choose from their menu of blow dry styles including a Manhattan, Cosmopolitan, Mai Tai or Straight Up, then sit back and relax with a mimosa and a chick flick while you get your hair done. With locations all over Southern California, you're going to love this affordable luxury. [Watch video]

Eye on L.A. visited Baco Mercat restaurant, where they're pioneering a new cocktail trend hitting the L.A. scene, the Shrub Cocktail. Chef Josef Centeno shows us how he makes their house favorite, the Inca Punch, a sweet and sour cocktail made with fruit, sugar, vinegar and a Peruvian Pisco spirit.

The funky flavors at Scoops make the East Hollywood shop one of L.A.'s favorites for ice cream. Every day, there's a whole new batch of flavors like Coconut-Wasabi, Maple Bacon and Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar are served up to folks looking for something more exciting than chocolate or vanilla.

Eye on L.A. went on a little taste test to see if Los Angeles Magazine's picks for the best treats were as good as they claim. The verdict? Delish!

Swingin' Door Texas BBQ in North Hollywood specializes in "burnt ends," chunks of flavorful meat cut from the point half of a smoked brisket. Known as nuggets of BBQ gold, these trimmings are finger-lickin' good!

A salty treat with a nice cold beer is always a great combination! The handmade soft pretzels at Tom Bergin's Irish tavern in Los Angeles are chewy, but not the bad kind of chewy - a delicious kind of chewy. Made to pretzel-perfection, these treats are worth tasting.

Bea's Bakery in Tarzana has created black and white tasty giant cookies that look and taste more like mini cakes. If Tarzana is too far for you, head to Art's Deli in Studio City for a taste of these sweet black and white treats. [Watch video]

For car lovers, it's no secret that Sunday afternoons at Elysian Park's Avenue of the Palms is the place to go to check out classic lowrider cars. Hang out and admire these true works of art.

There's no question that L.A. has some amazing vistas, but we discovered some of the most beautiful views paddling down the L.A. River. The Los Angeles Conservation Corps' Paddle the L.A. River program took Tina on a kayak trip down a 1.5-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley within the Sepulveda Basin. With a special permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the program will allow 2,000 people per season to experience first-hand the ecosystem that exists in the river. However, kayak rides for the 2012 season are sold out. Contact the Los Angeles Conservation Corps to get on the waitlist, or show up at launch time in case someone is a no-show.

Some of the best sights and sounds in L.A. are part of an emerging music scene that'll have you hootin' and hollerin.' Tina visited The Grand Ole Echo in Echo Park where Sundays are all about Americana, country music, folk and a little bit of Rock and Roll. Shows are family friendly and free. They run every Sunday from April through September, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Eye on L.A. visited the Furtographs Photo Studio, where they can make your loveable pooch look like a supermodel. Photo sessions start at $275.

Spice Station in Silver Lake features more than 200 common and hard to find spices. Their most popular are the flavored sugars and salts, including the rare and very hot Ghost Pepper Salt. Spice station is also known for its spice blends, which often combines 15 to 25 different spices. Tina's favorite find was the Irfa Biber, a raisony scented and flavored spice that is a delicious addition to brownies or mix with oil and drizzle on butternut squash. [Watch video]

It's estimated that 85 percent of women are wearing the wrong sized bra. Since 1975, the Wizard of Bras in Monrovia has made it their mission to change that. They have a bra selection that ranges from AA-N cups and three generations of professional bra fitters on hand to help every woman find the most comfortable and attractive bras possible. They also have an interactive website that helps teach women how to properly find the correct fit.

Finding a great pair of jeans is also a tough job, and when you find the perfect pair, you never want to give them up! The Denim Repair Shop at Schaeffer's Garment Hotel in West Hollywood are experts at denim fixes and alterations, and they also make their own denim. So the next time you find a hole wearing through your favorite blues, no need to toss 'em! Just give em a facelift!

Don't call The Way We Wore a thrift shop. This incredible vintage shop is a virtual treasure chest of fashion finds dating back to the turn of the century. The downstairs area features incredible dresses, clothing and accessories from the 1900s through the 1980s. But upstairs is where it gets even more special, with museum quality designer couture and the best collection of 1920s and 1930s dresses in the world, including stunning, hand-beaded, French flapper dresses that Tina is still dreaming about! [Watch video]

Eye On L.A. deal: Fire Groove is offering Eye on L.A. viewers a fiery hot deal! Only $36 for three beginner fire dance classes (60 percent off). Choose from beginner poi, staff or hoop classes. Classes must be used at the beginning of a six-week session and must be used in succession. A student must go through an entire six-week session in order to "light up" with fire. May not be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount. May only purchase one coupon per person and one as a gift. Must be 18 years or older or have parents' permission. Coupon expires in six months. To view class schedules, visit www.firegroove.com or call (800) 755-6423 to RSVP and mention the Eye on L.A. "EYEdeal."

See the complete list of all of the places featured on this week's episode.

[Original air date: July 28, 2012]

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