Chang Beer’s Chang Sensory Trails Brings Thai Food, Music and Art Experience to Los Angeles

CSTLA18_3421.jpg
CSTLA18_3369.jpg
Credit: Matt Beard Photography

Credit: Matt Beard Photography

By Lainney Dizon

My favorite things include passionate people and delicious food. On Saturday, June 16 I had the opportunity to experience both at Chang Beer’s Chang Sensory Trails, an immersive all-day experience celebrating Thai food culture in Los Angeles. The festival featured the best of Thai dishes and served as an experiential embodiment of the Thai philosophy of Lamiat. Lamiat is the centuries-old philosophy of paying close attention to details and looking behind the ordinary to achieve perfection. They followed the theme nicely, with everything from the flavors to the best of Thai food in LA to the ambience and decor, it was truly a sensory experience of Thailand brought to life. We had the opportunity to dine at the Chef’s table, and experience the Chang Sensory Trails brought to life. 

Curated by the esteemed Chef Bao Bao of Baoburg in Brooklyn, New York the dishes highlighted the simple yet flavorful mix of Thai ingredients. We were definitely in for a special treat considering Chef Bao Bao was recognized as one of the “Most Badass Female Chefs in New York.” The emcee of the afternoon featured Chef Louis Tikaram, Chang Beer’s Chef ambassador and also the executive chef of one of LA’s finest dining spots, E.P. & L.P.  

Photo by  Chang Beer USA

Things kicked of nautical with the first dish: Hoi Naang Rom Sod: raw oyster, sea urchin and salmon roe topped with cilantro, garlic lime dressing and sweet chili paste. Basically, one of the best oysters I've experienced, with a nice spicy kick to it as well! 

Photo by  Lainney Dizon

Photo by Lainney Dizon

The next dish was Mieng Pla Dook Fuu: crispy catfish with spicy green mango salad and toasted cashew nuts. Chef Louis explained the fusion of the flavors as being a signature of Thai food, “Thai food is all about balancing flavors: you can experience sweet and savory all in one bite. That’s what this dish is. You can eat it like a taco.” It was as amazing as it sounds, and it was the first time I experienced a tropical Thai taco!

Mieng Pla Dook Fuu : crispy catfish with spicy green mango salad and toasted cashew nuts. It's a tropical Thai taco! Photo by  Lainney Dizon

Mieng Pla Dook Fuu: crispy catfish with spicy green mango salad and toasted cashew nuts. It's a tropical Thai taco!
Photo by Lainney Dizon

To top off the meal, we had Khanom Sai Sai for dessert: steamed un-chan sticky rice flour with salted caramel coconut filling. A special thank you to Chef Lou and Chef Bao Bao for sharing an amazing culinary experience and Chang Beer USA for a wonderful event, I truly felt like I was experiencing the best of Thailand! Check out the rest of the fun with the photos below:

CSTLA18_0393.jpg
CSTLA18_3950.jpg
Credit: Matt Beard Photography

Credit: Matt Beard Photography

Event Recap: Bodega Bites with Chef Aaron Sanchez

Bodega Bites kicked off Tuesday night at Tortilla Republic in West Hollywood, where a mix of media, influencers and Chef Aaron Sanchez fans mingled over tacos and tequila, in celebration of Taco Tuesday of course.  Guests enjoyed specialty taco recipes from both Chef Aaron Sanchez and the local mercado being spotlighted, Vallarta Supermarkets, as well as an array of Tequila CAZADORES cocktails, including the always-favorite Mexican Chardonnay (quite plainly… tequila blanco in a wine glass). 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.13.51 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.12.48 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.16.21 PM.png

As a special treat on their way out, guests were invited to ‘shop’ the mini bodega created by Tequila CAZADORES that was filled with authentic Mexican grocery items from Arandas, Mexico, where the brand was born.  For those who missed out on the happy hour, the Tequila CAZADORES grill bikes hit the town to hand out free Chef Aaron Sanchez tacos to people leaving the bars late night.

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.15.42 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.16.08 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 5.15.03 PM.png

#LunchWithLainney: Waverly Coleman of United We Function

#LunchWithLainney is a weekly series inspired by Keith Ferrazzi's Never Eat Alone, This series will highlight upcoming brands and entrepreneurs in Los Angeles, while featuring the best restaurants and happy hours Los Angeles has to offer. #LunchWithLainney was created to inspire Los Angeles creatives to connect and learn with one another more often while experiencing the best that the L.A. food scene can offer. 

Name: Waverly Coleman
Hustle: Founder of United We Function
Website:  UnitedWeFunction.com  
Follow: @waverlymcoleman, @uwfunction 

I first met Waverly through working with Cornerstone Agency/The FADER in marketing campaigns and events. She's passionate about her work and you can tell. As the founder of United We Function, an LA-based event planning and production company, Waverly's worked with brands and artists ranging from Puma, Microsoft, The Weeknd and more. Additionally, Function also acts as a platform for female professionals from an array of career fields to connect. Through #UnitedWeSweat and #UnitedWeBrunch, Waverly's events aim to unify and empower women through good workouts and a good meal (with a side of bottomless mimosas). I caught up with Waverly at one of her favorite spots, Sushi Stop to talk about creating work you love, the best business lesson she's learned and more:

Tell us about your hustle. 

I hustle event decor items around the city for clients. Currently between LA and NYC, I plan events and weddings.

What inspired you to create United We Function? 

My first year working with Fader/Cornerstone Promotions (May 2012) I was tasked with handing out promo material for The Weeknd's Trilogy album. I was excited about the project because I love me some Abel but not so excited out doing hand to hand stuff outside concert venues, music stores, colleges etc. I knew there had to be a better way to get unfamiliar folks excited about the project. 

My best friend and I put our heads together and collaborated with two other people on an event. What was the event? It was a simple listening party and we used all the promo material from the label as decor. The bestie located this amazing 3 story loft downtown to go with the theme-the first floor was covered in balloons (House of Balloons..still his best work!). Fader gifted us with a ton of Bushmills and we just sent out invites to everyone. The DJ played the album and the label loved it. Party goers loved us AND we got photos of folks holding the promo stuff to show the label. With over 250 people in attendance, it was quite the successful event. 

A few months later I was invited to work the popular Fader Fort and promoted to Varsity rep, and that's when I knew I needed to live and breathe events. Events never feel like "work". 

What's your biggest lesson in having your own business? 

Stop talking about your ideas, just execute. 

What's your favorite spot in LA that's underrated? 

I love Sushi Stop on Sawtelle. Their blue crab hand roll is to die for, and their sake prices are A-OK with me. I also spend a lot of time at Barnes & Noble; I love astrology and decor. 

Thanks Waverly for a great lunch! Be sure to follow her on Instagram at @WaverlyMColeman and stay tuned for her upcoming events by subscribing to United We Function's newsletter here

Know a Los Angeles-based business or entrepreneur we should interview? Comment below with your recommendation! 

#LunchWithLainney: Audrey Bellis of Worthy Women, LLC

#LunchWithLainney is a weekly series inspired by Keith Ferrazzi's Never Eat Alone, This series will highlight upcoming brands and entrepreneurs in Los Angeles, while featuring the best restaurants and happy hours Los Angeles has to offer. #LunchWithLainney was created to inspire Los Angeles creatives to connect and learn with one another more often while experiencing the best that the L.A. food scene can offer. 

Name: Andrey Bellis
Hustle: Founder of Worthy Women, LLC and Brown Girls Rising podcast 
Website: audreybellis.com 
Follow: @audreybellis, @worthywomenllc

Courtesy of Worthy Women, Audrey Bellis shot by Marlena McClain Photography.

Courtesy of Worthy Women, Audrey Bellis shot by Marlena McClain Photography.

I first came across Audrey Bellis through her event series "Worthy Women" when researching upcoming conferences in Los Angeles. When I followed her on social media I was hooked with her hip-hop captions and authenticity. As the founder of Worthy Women, Audrey hosts free monthly event series as a safe space for tech and creative entrepreneurial women to learn best practices needed for success. Worthy Women is dedicated to creating a safe space and supportive community of amazing women who dare to play by their own rules, forge their own path, and live their true self worth.

Additionally, Audrey partnered with Nylon Espanol in Brown Girls Rise, a podcast dedicated sharing the stories of women you wish the mainstream media was reporting on. These women of color are driving activism, and change for their both their hyper local communities and our world at large. I caught up with Audrey at Grand Central LA's Horse Thief BBQ to talk about building a business you believe in, what it means to be a "brown girl rising" and more:

Tell us about your hustle. What inspired you to create Worthy Women and Brown Girls Rising? 

Brown Girls Rising is a podcast project under WorthyWomen. It was born on Christmakkuh. I come from an interfaith family and this past year, both Hannukah + Christmas overlapped on the same day. To celebrate, I was making my famous jalapeño latkes (it's like a potato pancake or hashbrown) and Too $hort's "Gettin' It' came on my playlist. There is a line in the song that goes: " 'cause I'm one in a million, black men rising, try to keep me down but I always surprise 'em..." and I thought to myself... "I'm a brown girl rising.". So the name came from there but I hadn't decided what I was going to do with it until a later meeting when I was sitting with NYLON Español Editor In Chief, Marty Preciado expressing my frustration about not seeing enough stories about women in the media that looked like me. I felt that there was a ton of content around the Lena Dunham/GIRLS circle of feminism and lots around #BlackGirlMagic, but what about everyone in between. My southeast asian girls, Latinas, Afro-Latinas, Indian etc... and she agreed to be our media partner if we launched a podcast. The rest as they say is history.

WorthyWomen was born from an entirely different story. Almost a year and a half ago, I was looking to create more programming for female founders/entrepreneurs and it took off with a viral following. Today Worthy Women is a women's empowerment brand specializing in diveresity & inclusion as well as multi cultural leadership training for enterprise brands. We also have a "free to the public" conference series currently on a National Tour. Our audience is 70% + self identified as Women Of Color. I'm also committed to free public programming. I believe that women face enough barriers to success and I don't want to be yet another. Access to peer mentorship + community should not be things that are hidden behind a paywall.

What's your biggest lesson in having your own business?

Biggest lesson I've learned is knowing when to trust your gut and that is ALWAYS. If something feels funny or doesn't quite feel right, it's because it usually isn't.

How do you constantly evolve your business? When do you know it's time to take it to the next level? 

It's about gradual growth. What took me from A to B, won't necessarily take me to B and C, and that's okay. I'm at a point where I want to hire experienced people, not friends. When you're growing you need to understand that every level reach requires a different you. 

What did you order at Horse Thief BBQ? 

Breakfast brisket tacos, my all time fav!

What hip-hop lyric describes you? 

Definitely going to be from my favorite 90's hip hop song: No Diggity and it's..."by no means average, she's on when she's got to have it." 

Thanks Audrey for a great lunch! Be sure to follow her on Instagram at @AudreyBellis and stay tuned for her upcoming conference by subscribing to Worthy Women's Event Calendar

Know a Los Angeles-based business or entrepreneur we should interview? Comment below with your recommendation! 

#LunchWithLainney: Andrea Aguilar, Founder of Très Stacks at Sweet Chick

#LunchWithLainney is a weekly series inspired by Keith Ferrazzi's Never Eat Alone, This series will highlight upcoming brands and entrepreneurs in Los Angeles, while featuring the best restaurants and happy hours Los Angeles has to offer. #LunchWithLainney was created to inspire Los Angeles creatives to connect and learn with one other more often while experiencing the best that the L.A. food scene can offer. 

Name: Andrea Aguilar
Hustle: Founder of Très Stacks
Websitetresstacks.com
Follow: @andrea3stacks, @tresstacksbrand

Our first interview features Andrea Aguilar of Très Stacks, a hip-hop clothing brand dedicating to embodying the culture. What better way to celebrate an upcoming hip-hop brand than to dine at Nas's recently opened restaurant Sweet Chick on Fairfax Ave? Read more to learn about Andrea's creative hustle, her most important lesson as a budding entrepreneur and the best dishes to try at Sweet Chick: 

What's your hustle? 

I'm a team of one. I handle all of the shirt designs in Photoshop, ship merch, coordinate photoshoots, book models with the help of my sister and contact vendors as needed. I have been blessed with opportunities to do pop-up shops at Stones Throw Superfest, Delicious Vinyl and Laced.  I run all of Très Stacks' social media accounts, update the site and am constantly networking. I also set up shop monthly at the best early 2000s Hip Hop party in LA, The Drop, thanks to you. I have SO much fun every time!

What inspired you to create Très Stacks?

I'm a huge fan of Hip-Hop and used to buy a lot of artist merch on eBay, but they didn't always have what I was looking for. I like clean, minimalist shirts, and some designs were way too overdone for my taste or weren't referencing the artist's work I particularly wanted, so I decided to create pieces I wish existed.

IMG_0108.JPG

What's your biggest lesson in having your own business?

Rely on yourself. When I first began Très Stacks, friends reached out to help, but didn't come through or meet deadlines, and it got frustrating. I just kept it moving and stuck to the original script of planning and executing everything on my own. 

What's your favorite spot in LA that's underrated?

My cousin put me on to Guisados tacos last year, and they are so fire and inexpensive. Chichen Itza in this random plaza by USC also has great Mexican food.

What did you order at Sweet Chick?

The fried chicken biscuits, and they were pretty legit.

What's your favorite Nas lyric?

"Much success to ya even if you wish me the opposite" from "Nas Is Like." It's actually in my IG bio. That line has always resonated with me because I really do wish people the best in their endeavors whether they show support or not.  We all deserve to shine, and there's enough success to go around for everybody. 

Check out Tres Stacks merch at TresStacks.com and stay tuned for the next pop-up coming to The Drop Party May 20th at Grand Star Jazz Club.