This weekend it’s all about the big game. While the Philadelphia Eagles go up against the New England Patriots, thousands of Angelenos will be digging into 50-cent wings, bottomless beers and $2 shots. So where will you be? Check out our top picks on where to watch, eat, drink and play on Super Bowl Sunday.
DTLA’s Brack Shop Tavern will open its doors at 1 p.m. and offer 50 cent wings and $15 pitchers (60oz) of Budweiser and Goose Island IPA. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. and deals will last until the end of the game.
Baldoria located in Little Tokyo will be showing the game and offering happy hour throughout the entire game. Happy hour includes $8 pizzas and 20% off all beer, liquor, and wine. $2 shots will also be offered during every touchdown.
Mohawk Bend located in the heart of Echo Park, will host a Vegan Tailgate Party from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. with special game day offerings like the ‘Vegan Tailgate Platter’ from 2 p.m. until halftime, featuring vegan versions of sausage, pulled pork sliders, beef jerky and fried chicken paired with Anchor Lager for $23. In addition, Bowl of Wings will start at 3 p.m. serving real chicken wings with three different sauce choices for $12.
Ayara Lūk will host their popular Game Day Viewing party that will have football fanatics stuffed with bottomless Singha beer and AYCE Thai eats like Pad Thai, Chicken Satay and Spicy Tahi “Lobstah Roll.” There will be a 100 inch screen playing the game and tickets cost $60 in advance, $75 at the door and kids under 5 are free.
Chicas Tacos will team up with Boomtown Brewery in DTLA for a Big Game Fiesta from noon to 10 p.m. Guests can purchase eats by Chef Eduardo Ruiz while they watch the game on two 16-foot projection screen at Boomtown Brewery who will serve cool brews and wines all day.
Laurel Tavern in Hermosa Beach will play the Super Bowl on an extra-large projector and offer food and drink specials like $20 Corona buckets, $4 draft lager, $1 Smoked Louisiana Wings, and 2 for $4 sliders.
Recently re-opened Brennan’s in Marina Del Rey will host a Super Bowl House Party with food specials like Buffalo cauliflower $9, Buffalo Chicken pizza $15, Vegan Chili fries $9, Soft Pretzel with Beer Cheese $6 and $5 canned beer all day.
The Standing Room is hosting a Football Tailgate Party with a $45 all-you-can-drink and $6 off-menu food specials. The AYCE drink deal includes domestic, draft, wells, and house red or white wine. Food specials include Chicken Wings (Korean or Hot), Pork Rib Wings with Knob Creek BBQ Sauce, and Chili Cheese Hot Dogs, all of which are not on their daily menu. The deal starts at 1 p.m. and ends when the game is done.
Article courtesy of We Like LA.
Stocks having record January – Stocks rallied to new highs again this week, as a number of companies reported higher than expected earnings. As well as posting solid fourth quarter earnings, they provided optimistic guidance regarding their outlook for 2018. Companies included the tax savings under the recently passed tax reform, a stronger domestic and world economy, and increased consumer spending as factors for their higher outlooks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 26,616.71, up from last week’s close of 26.071.72. It’s up 7.7% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,872.77, up from 2,810.30 last week. It is up 7.5% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed at 7,507.77, up from 7,336.38 last week. It is up 8.7% year-to-date.
Treasury Bond Yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.66%, up just slightly from 2.64% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.91%, unchanged from 2.91% last week. We watch bond rates because mortgage rates follow bond rates.
Mortgage rates higher this week – Although inflation has remained tame, rates have risen in recent weeks. Fixed rates follow corresponding bonds. For example, the 30-year fixed follows 30-year bond yields. Usually, long term bonds follow inflation, but bonds also attract investors looking for lower risk. With stocks soaring, many investors have moved money from low risk, low return bonds to stocks. Lower demand for bonds have driven yields up. If stocks begin to drop and inflation remains tame, I’d expect rates to settle in a little lower. Rates are still near historic lows. The January 25, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.15%, up from last week’s 4.04%. The 15-year fixed was 3.62%, up from 3.49% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.52%, up from 3.46% last week.
2017 Gross Domestic Product – The Commerce Department reported it’s first estimate of the nation’s fourth quarter GDP growth at 2.6%. Experts had forcasted growth at 3%, so this initial estimate was disappointing. The initial estimate is often revised. For the year, the nation’s $17 trillion economy recovered from a slow start in the first quarter where GDP growth was just 1.4%, it grew to 3.1% in the second quarter, 3.2% in the third quarter, and ended the year at 2.6% in an initial estimate. Those quarterly rates are annualized, so if the initial estimate is not revised much the growth rate would be about 2.6% for the entire year.
Consumer spending higher in fourth quarter – Consumer spending, which is the biggest contributor to the economy, grew at a 3.8% pace, its fastest pace in more than a year. Growth was partly driven by the strongest holiday shopping season in several years, according to data from Mastercard SpendingPulse. Business spending on large equipment also added to growth.
California existing home sales and prices increase in 2017 – The California Association of Realtors reported that existing single-family home sales totaled 423,760 in 2017, up 1.4% from 2016 when 417,720 closed escrows were reported. The median price paid for a home in California was $549,560, up 7.6% for 2017. Housing inventory, which had been at historically low levels, dropped even further. The unsold inventory index revealed that there was just a 2.5-month supply of homes in the market in December, the lowest monthly reading in 13 years. The number of homes for sale in 2017 was 12% below that of 2016. Los Angeles County saw a higher increase in prices than the state as a whole due to tighter inventory levels. The median price in Los Angeles County increased 10.6% in 2017, while the number of sales dropped 7.3%.
U.S. existing home sales highest in 11 years – The National Association of Realtors reported that the number of existing homes sold in 2017 increased 1.1% from 2016 to the highest level in 11 years. The median price was $246,800, a 5.8% increase from last December. Total housing inventory was 11.4% lower in December, compared to December 2016. There was a 3.2-month supply in December, down from a 3.6-month supply last December. It marked the lowest inventory level since NAR began tracking monthly inventory supply. Existing home sales include all sales of residential homes, condominiums, town-homes and co-ops reported to member associations throughout the country.
2017 new home sales highest in 10 years – The Commerce Department reported that although the number of new homes sold in the U.S. dropped in December, new home sales increased 8.3% in 2017. The number of new homes sold hit a 10-year high in 2017.
A total lunar eclipse will occur on January 31, 2018 and this blood moon will be a supermoon and fully visible in Los Angeles.
So where would one go in L.A. to find an ideal view of such an event? Griffith Park, of course. Specifically, the Griffith Observatory, which will host a free public viewing in the wee hours of the morning from 3:45 to 7:00 a.m (weather permitting!). Observatory employees and local volunteers will staff telescopes and binoculars to help visitors enjoy superior viewing of the moon during eclipse time. According to timeanddate.com, the maximum eclipse will occur at approximately 5:29 a.m.
The Observatory grounds and its parking lot will open at 3:45 a.m., as will the cart for The Café at the End of the Universe. The Observatory building will be closed during the viewing.
Moderate-to-large crowds are expected, and as always at the Observatory in recent years, parking will be limited. If you aim to attend be prepared for road congestion and long uphill walks to the Observatory. Lawn furniture will not be allowed, but you’re welcome to bring a blanket, which you may need with overnight lows expected in the high 40’s or low 50’s. If rain is forecast for the eclipse as of Tuesday, January 30, at 3:00 p.m., the Observatory will cancel the event. Be sure to check out the Griffith Observatory website for possible notice of cancelation before attending.
Keep in mind if skies are clear the eclipse should be visible to the naked eye throughout SoCal. It’s safe to view a lunar eclipse without eye protection, and a telescope is not necessary. This particular blood moon will be the only lunar eclipse visible in L.A. until 2019.
Article courtesy of We Like LA.
Stocks end week again at record highs – Stock markets closed at record highs again this week, as more companies released the amount of tax savings under the new tax code. Apple announced that the reduction from 35% to 21% will save them over $45 billion in 2018. Last week, Wells Fargo announced that their savings would be $3.35 billion. Earnings for the fourth quarter of 2017 will begin to be released next week. GE, unlike other Dow Jones stocks, dropped 14% this week. It’s down 48% in a year, while the Dow is up 31% over the same period. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 26,071.72, up from last week’s close of 25,804.19. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,810.30, up from 2,786.24 last week. The NASDAQ closed at 7,336.38, up from 7,261.06 last week.
Treasury Bond Yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 2.64%, up from 2.55% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.91%, up from 2.85% last week. We watch bond rates because mortgage rates follow bond rates. Because bonds rose again this week we expect mortgage rates to be slightly higher next week.
Mortgage rates higher this week – The January 18, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.04%, up from last week’s 3.99%. The 15-year fixed was 3.49%, up from 3.44% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.46%, unchanged from 3.46% last week.
California ends 2017 with the unemployment rate at a record low – The California Employment Development Department reported that the unemployment rate in California dropped to 4.3% in December. That marks the lowest unemployment rate since the current system of counting the rate began in 1976. California employers’ added 52,700 non-farm jobs in December, bringing the number of jobs added in 2017 to 342,500. In December, 2016 California’s unemployment rate was 5.2%. California has now added 2,793,800 since the expansion began in 2010, when the state’s unemployment rate peaked at 12.4%.
December housing sales figures will be out next week. They will be included in next week’s report. A 2017 year-end report will go out as soon as we have those final housing sales and price figures.
Los Angeles provides no limit of things to do, some awesome and some not so awesome.
Since time is precious in this fast paced city we curate a list of things to do in Los Angeles for every weekend that’ll help you decide how you want to spend your limited supply of attention (not to mention dollars!).
This weekend in L.A. (January 19-21) includes a Bowie vs. Prince Mashup Night, Peanuts Gang Art Exhibition, Winter Star Party, Women’s March L.A., Winter Snow Fest, Record Fair at Smorgasburg LA and MUCH more.
Friday January 19th, 20181. Bootie LA returns to the Echoplex this Friday evening for a special Bowie vs. Prince Mashup Night.
2. ‘The Garden’ is a new series by the LA Phil offering complimentary pre-concert drinks and views of the DTLA Skyline followed by masterful performances. Taking place on select Fridays starting January 5 through June 1. Check for discount tickets before making your purchase to the actual concert. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
3. dineL.A. the city’s restaurant week (January 12-26) kicks of this Friday with another round of exclusive lunch and dinner menus (and deals!) at a laundry list of the city’s finest eateries. Want to know where to eat among the huge list of choices? Start here, with our picks for 20 can’t-miss menus.
4. Forest Lawn Museum’s latest exhibition Pigskin Peanuts is an homage to the late great Charles M. Schulz. Featuring 50 Sunday and daily football-themed comic strips and other Peanuts related objects, the family friendley exhibit will be on display from January 18 through March 15, 2018. Admission to the museum and parking is always free. FREE
5. Take an afternoon yoga class in beautiful Grand Park. The 45 minute workout is complimentary to the public every Wednesday and Friday. After yoga, checkout the many food trucks lining the park and grab lunch al fresco style.
6. Redondo Beach Restaurant Week is back from January 12 to 26. Dozen of eateries from the beach city’s growing food scene will be participating by offering either specially priced prix-fixe lunches and/or dinners, or other Restaurant Week-only special offers
7. The Groundlings: The Completely Different Late Show is a hilarious improv show by the cast of the Groundlings’ Main Company. Audience shout suggestions throughout the night for improvisational scenes performed by some of the best in the business. It’s also a testing ground for brand new material for the Groundlings’ main show. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
8. Greenbar Distillery will host their popular cocktail class this Friday. The theme is “Fresh Produce,” guests will get to experiment with seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs along with a variety of Greenbar organic liquors. Must be a member to sign up for classes, membership is free.
9. Get an inside look at the world of professional street skateboarding as Sociologist Gregory Snyder presents his new book Skateboarding LA at The Last Bookstore. FREE
10. Free admission at: Long Beach Museum of Art
Saturday January 20th, 201811. In this political climate, speaking up and avoiding complacency is more important than ever. Stand up and let your voice be heard during the Women’s March Los Angeles 2018 taking place in Pershing Square. The 2017 march attracted a phenomenal crowd, estimated at 750,000, uniting women, men, and people of all races and backgrounds. FREE
12. The National Park Service will host Mysteries of the Night Sky a Winter Star Party at Paramount Ranch. Guests will have a chance to see star clusters, nebulae and more through high-powered telescopes with astronomers and childern can become an official Night Sky Junior Ranger. FREE
13. Gateway to the Moon 3.0 is a new immersive installation from artist Gazoo opening at de Plume gallery in East Hollywood this Saturday. The large-scale installation, is designed to transport visitors into a 360° retro-future dimension created from tape, lighting, and sound. FREE
14. Enjoy a snow day in Diamond Bar at the annual Winter Snow Fest. Over 100 tons of snow will provide hours of sledding on four hills and other wintery fun.
15. Iron Triangle turns two this Saturday with an epic BBQ Showdown where you decide the winner. $20 gets you a three item plate from competitors Moo’s Craft Barbecue and Peaches’ Smokehouse & Southern Kitchen, feast and then vote for your favorite. The BBQ starts at 1 p.m. and concludes at 6 p.m. or until the food runs out. Iron Triangle will also have new beers on tap including Sluice Gate IPA, Blasting Cap Vienna Lager, Stock and Trade: English Pub Ale on Nitro and Barrel Aged Jawbone Stout.
16. There’s an extra cute and powerful art show titled I Am Extraordinary curated by Bored Inc.happening at Leanna Lin’s Wonderland in Eagle Rock. The group show will feature 28 female artists and a portion of the sales will be donated to Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and She Should Run. FREE
17. ‘Mike Kelley: Kandors 1999 – 2011,’ will close this weekend at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles. To celebrate, the gallery will host free musical performances inspired by Kelly from anti-rock noise bands Extended Organ, Lonely Street, and telecaves. FREE
18. The 4th Annual SoCal Retro Gaming Expo happening January 20-21 in City of Industry is an all-ages event featuring retro games, toys, merchandise, and much more.
19. The International Printing Museum presents Benjamin Franklin’s Electric Birthday Celebration a day of honoring the life of one of the famous creator and thinker in history.
20. Dance The Odyssey Theatre is a month-long celebration of the art form. This weekend the theatre will present Micaela Taylor + The TL Collective in “Rosewood.”
Sunday January 21st, 201821. The 3rd Annual Playa Provisions Snow Day is family friendley fun for kids and adults. There will be sledding and other wintery activities going on while the Playa Provisions team grill up hamburgers and hot dogs all afternoon. As for dessert folks can gather around the fire pits to create their very own s’mores.
22. 826LA will present Pigs Will Fly!, a kids art project workshop, at The Hammer Museum. Kiddos will have a chance to illustrate and journal the adventures of pigs and piglets and their attempts to fly. Recommended for children ages 8 through 14 but all kids are welcomed if accompanied by an adult. FREE
23. Massive foodie market Smorgasburg LA in Downtown Los Angeles is open every Sunday and brings a massive roster of indie food pop ups, merchandise vendors and more at ROW DTLA. This weekend Beat Swap Meet and Smorgasburg LA will host Record Fair, a new monthly event taking place every third Sunday.
24. Head to Angel City Brewery for Go Fact Yourself a live podcast taping featuring comedians, actors and musicians answering questions on topics they claim to be experts in while the real experts on hand weight in and give us all the real facts. FREE
25. Take in a few laughs at the end of the weekend at Cool Beans Comedy at the Ice House in Pasadena. FREE
26. Friendship Buddies is a weekly stand-up comedy show at the Verdugo Bar in Glassell Park. Come hangout in the back patio, enjoy a cocktail, and LOL to outstanding stand-up comedians in Los Angeles. FREE
27. Free admission at: Craft and Folk Art Museum (pay what you can) and Museum of Latin American Art
Schedule provided by We Like LA.
Stocks continued to rally this week – On Friday, The Dow gained 228 points after Wells Fargo announced that the new tax law would result in a $3.35 billion tax reduction. As companies estimate the tax savings, investors are seeing the magnitude in which profits will increase due to a reduction from 35% to 21% in corporate tax income, easing regulation, and other incentives. Oil prices also rose to the highest level in two years, which helped energy stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 25,804.19, up from last week’s close of 25,295.87. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,786.24, up from 2,743.15 last week. The NASDAQ closed at 7,261.06, up from 7,136.56 last week.
Treasury Bond Yields – It was a wild week for treasuries. On Wednesday, a Chinese banking official made a comment that they were going to cut back on buying U.S. debt and rates rose. Later that afternoon, an unofficial source said that the bankers comments were not the policy of the central bank. By Friday, a Chinese official made an official statement that The Chinese Central bank was not going to cut back on U.S. debt and bonds settled, but ended the week higher than the previous week. The 10-year treasury bond closed the week at 2.55%, up from 2.47% last week. The 30-year treasury yield ended the week at 2.85%, up from 2.81% last week. We watch bond rates because mortgage rates follow bond rates. We expect mortgage rates to be slightly higher next week.
Mortgage Rates – The January 11, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.99%, about the same as last week’s 3.95%. The 15-year fixed was 3.44%, up from 3.38% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.46%, also almost unchanged from 3.45% last week.
Stricter rent control bill defeated – A bill in the California Assembly, that would have eliminated restrictions on local cities, was defeated this week. Real estate groups were against the bill that would have eliminated the current California law, which limits how restrictive rent control ordinances could be. They argued that landlords would not be encouraged to keep apartment buildings, many have been torn down and converted to condominiums, if this bill passed. They also argued that there will be less incentive to build rental housing, which already has a shortage.
Los Angeles provides no limit of things to do, some awesome and some not so awesome.
Since time is precious in this fast paced city, here is a list of things to do in Los Angeles for every weekend that’ll help you decide how you want to spend your limited supply of attention (not to mention dollars!).
This weekend in L.A. (January 12-14) includes the 2018 start to dineL.A., Anime Impulse, the LA Art Show, Fiesta Perpetua at Echo Park Lake, free vinyl record days, the Hello Kitty Food Truck, and MUCH more.
Friday January 12th, 20181. dineL.A. the city’s restaurant week (January 12-26) kicks of this Friday with another round of exclusive lunch and dinner menus (and deals!) at a laundry list of the city’s finest eateries. Want to know where to eat among the huge list of choices? Start here, with our picks for 20 can’t-miss menus.
2. The LA Art Show continues at the Los Angeles Convention Center January 10 – 14 for the West Coast’s most comprehensive art experience of the year. Check for discount tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
3. Lula Washington Dance Theatre celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at The Wallis with three different programs of dance over the holiday weekend (January 11 – January 13.)
4. Greenbar Distillery will open up their facility for a tour of their organic distillery. The tour is one hour long and guests will have a chance to learn about the process of spirit making and taste some of the Greenbar portfolio.
5. Tijuana is a multimedia solo show straddling the line between fiction and reality which stars Gabino Rodríguez. Playing at the Skirball Cultural Center on January 11-12. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
6. Redondo Beach Restaurant Week is back from January 12 to 26. Dozen of eateries from the beach city’s growing food scene will be participating by offering either specially priced prix-fixe lunches and/or dinners, or other Restaurant Week-only special offers.
7. 7th Annual Pasadena Cheeseburger Week returns with over 40 restaurants and bars offering special cheeseburger items from January 7-12.
8. Enjoy a double feature and see Willem Dafoe in person at The Egyptian Theatre. The Florida Projectand one of his most memorable performances Shadow of The Vampire. A discussion will be held between films with Willem Dafoe.
9. Check out the brand new Batman ’66 retrospective at the Hollywood Museum. Highlights include original costumes and props from the 60’s T.V. Show, plus four distinct exhibit sections to check out: Wayne Manor, The Batcave, Gallery of Guest Super Villains, and The Collectibles of Batman ‘66. The retrospective continues through March 17.
10. Take an afternoon yoga class in beautiful Grand Park. The 45 minute workout is complimentary to the public every Wednesday and Friday. After yoga, checkout the many food trucks lining the park and grab lunch al fresco style.
11. The Groundlings: The Completely Different Late Show is a hilarious improv show by the cast of the Groundlings’ Main Company. Audience shout suggestions throughout the night for improvisational scenes performed by some of the best in the business. It’s also a testing ground for brand new material for the Groundlings’ main show. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
Saturday January 13th, 201812. Head to Echo Park Lake for Fiesta Perpetua! Acclaimed experimental Mexican vocalist Carmina Escobar will lead a 40-member Oaxacan youth brass band in a performance on floating rafts and at spots surrounding the picturesque lake. FREE
13. The Burger & Beerfest comes to Santa Anita Park this Saturday with mouth-watering gourmet burgers from some of the best burger joints in Southern California, accompanied by frosty brews. Check for discount tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)
14. A fun, creative show for kids, Story Pirates Live Radio Show returns to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills this Saturday.
15. L.A.’s only live animated comedy show Picture This! is back with another free show at The Virgil. This time they’ll also showcase live animated improv for the first time. FREE
16. The Hello Kitty Cafe will pop-up in Culver City this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with super adorable treats for kids and adults.
17. Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a service and community event at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. In honor of the beloved civil rights figure, Baldwin Hills will host a day of giving back with a variety of free services for individuals and families. FREE
18. Fusing the world of anime and video games, Anime Impulse happening January 13-14 will feature celebrity appearances, esports, artist alleys, Kawaii fashion, and cosplay, all at the Fairplex in Pomona.
19. Boomtown Brewery is throwing a release party for their specialty canned beer Double IPA called Ignorant this Saturday. International graffiti and tattoo artist Fuzi, whose mural adorns the wall of the brewery will be on hand doing flash tattoos for $100. There will also be a DJ spinning tunes and food by CA Burger Shop. Admission to the party is free.
20. The 37th Annual Asian American Expo will takeover the Fairplex in Pomona from January 13-14 with vendors, performances, food and much more.
21. Looking for a little free comedy this weekend in NELA? The Frogtown Show is a free monthly comedy show that takes place at Spoke Bicycle Cafe along the L.A. River. Light bites, wine and beer specials will be available for the evening. FREE
22. This weekend The Record Parlor is hosting free vinyl days on both Saturday and Sunday. Spend $20 and you get to take home 100 records for free. Bringing your own box or bag is recommended!
Sunday January 14th, 201823. Enjoy unlimited tastings of specialty and limited-edition beers during DTLA Breweries United Fest ’18. Taking place at Triangle Lot the brew-centric event proceeds will go directly to non-profit Keep A Breast.
24. The Wallis in Beverly Hills will host “Dance Sundays” with famed actress/dancer/choreographer Debbie Allen. Suitable for the whole family, each month will feature a special dance theme, this month it’s Flamenco. FREE
25. The annual Happy Birthday Marion! event returns to celebrate the popular silent-era film actress with a fabulous vintage style party at the Annenberg Community Beach House. FREE
26. Friendship Buddies is a weekly stand-up comedy show at the Verdugo Bar in Glassell Park. Come hangout in the back patio, enjoy a cocktail, and LOL to outstanding stand-up comedians in Los Angeles. FREE
27. Free admission at: Museum of Latin American Art, USC Pacific Asian Museum (11 am. to 5 p.m.) and Craft and Folk Art Museum (pay what you can).
Schedule provided by We Like LA.
Employers add 148,000 new jobs in December – The Department of Labor Statistics reported that 148,000 new jobs were added in December. That fell short of the 190,000 that economists expected. The unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, a 17-year low. With such low unemployment, investors were not at all concerned with fewer jobs added than expected, as so many jobs have been added over the past 5 years. Average hourly wages grew a modest 2.5% year-over-year in December, which was the same as in November. Although not the wage gains expected in an economy with such a low unemployment rate, 2.5% is higher than we have seen for several years. This was seen as a bright spot in the jobs report.
Stocks begin 2018 higher as rally continues – Stock markets all climbed again to record highs with the Dow breaking 25,000 for the first time and then rising almost another 300 points. The Dow rose 577 points this week, a 2% increase. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 25,295.87, up from last week’s close of 24,719.22. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,743.15, up from 2,673.51 last week. The NASDAQ closed at 7,136.56, up from 6,903.39 last week.
Treasury Bond Yields – The 10-year Treasury bond closed the week at 2.47%, up from 2.40% last week. The 30-year treasury yield ended the week at 2.81%, up from 2.74% last week. We watch bond rates because mortgage rates follow bond rates. We expect mortgage rates to be slightly higher next week.
Mortgage Rates – The January 4, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.95%, about the same as last week’s 3.99%. The 15-year fixed was 3.38%, down from 3.44% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.45%, also almost unchanged from 3.47% last week.
Not only are there great classic spots all over the Valley, but the past few years have brought a food renaissance to the SFV, which is why Thrillist has updated their list of the best restaurants on Ventura. Of course, there are also great cuts deeper north, but the Boulevard’s where much of the action happens, and is also way easier for any friends coming from over the hill to get to.
BLACK MARKET LIQUOR BAR
Strong cocktails and killer brunch from a Top Chef alum
The just-off-Cahuenga section of Ventura is one of LA’s trendiest gastropub havens, but one of the first to set up shop on the block was Black Market, which combines the efforts of Top Chef alum Antonia Lofaso with lauded barmen Pablo Moix and Steve Livigni. It’s jam-packed on weekend nights, thanks to the tremendously tasty drinks (the spicy/grapefruity Chilero is a favorite) and some of the city’s best wings, as well as an egg-laden brunch.
BLUE DOG BEER TAVERN
Divey spot with pub fare and 60+ taps
Not only does this (yes, again) gastropub have one of the best burgers in town that you’ve never heard of, but it’s also got an insane beer list, and is walking distance from the Galleria, where you’ll smirk at the people waiting in line at The Cheesecake Factory… right before you stumble up to the ArcLight.
Late-night Valley institution with terrific margaritas
Is this the best Mexican food you’ll ever eat? No, it is not. Still, it’s been a Valley classic for over 50 years, due in one part to amazing margaritas, and in another part to incredible chips-and-guac, and, in yet another part, to that old-school charm-y Mexican restaurant decor that falls flat when anyone tries to modernize it. And the oven-style burritos — wet with sauce and covered with drippy cheese — are pretty excellent too, all told.
Classic, family-style Chinese food
If you’ve got friends who grew up in the Valley, it’s likely that their taste for Chinese food started at this mid-Boulevard staple. But it’s not just nostalgia that keeps the lights on here: Bamboo’s a Zagat-rated favorite, with reliably delicious takes on classic dishes like well-salted wonton soup and sizzling hot beef & scallops.
Reliable reincarnation of a sushi classic
The transformation from Sushi Nozawa to Sugarfish — the most consistent chain of any kind we’ve ever eaten at, with some of the best sub-$50 sushi you’ll find anywhere — has not gone unnoticed. Sugarfish is great, and unequivocally so.
Middle Eastern spot with excellent kebabs
Sure, it’s as far west as you’re likely to go, but it’s worth heading under the 405 for this Persian treasure. In addition to melt-in-your-mouth skewers of beef and chicken, you’ll also want to try the rice boiled with sour cherries and chicken, and the juicy, thick savory stews of veal and eggplant. As an added bonus, there’s plentiful, under-the-405, shopping cart parking nearby!
Barebones space with barbecue and a massive beer selection
This long-standing BBQ spot is a classic for a whole host of reasons. It serves up tender, drool-inducing ribs, features a wide-ranging and ever-changing craft beer list (42 taps long), offers a half-priced wine special every Tuesday and Wednesday, and has a daily happy hour. Oh, and the Kobe beef & chili-filled donuts here are life-affirmingly good.
IROHA SUSHI OF TOKYO
Longtime sushi spot serving both trendy & traditional takes
OK, props to one more sushi joint: this unassuming, tucked-away spot serves not only hearty helpings of salmon nigiri and crazy-good uni, but also has the best blackened cod on the Boulevard. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see a man throw a 13-foot python at you while you eat your dinner.
Bistro emphasizing farm-fresh ingredients
This New American spot got a rave review from Jonathan Gold and has become one of the surest bets for great food in the Valley. The dinner menu’s got tempura cauliflower and a patty melt that’s become a local favorite, and chef/owner Ted Hopson’s also got a poached-egg-topped grain bowl and a hot chicken sandwich for brunch on the weekends.
Romantic spot for a sit-down dinner
This longstanding nice-dinner favorite has an indoor/outdoor vibe, and a pedigreed chef who’s now doing a three-course tasting menu as well as a la carte options like an osso buco and lamb-rib duo. Try to get a seat outside by the fireplace: this is the rare Valley restaurant that feels romantic without being hokey, and the patio vibe goes a long way in establishing that atmosphere.
Counter service standby for lunch or dinner
There is tons of great Middle Eastern food in the Valley, but for the East Valley, Joe’s reigns supreme: their falafel is a lunchtime staple, thanks to a perfectly crisp exterior and a chickpea mixture that’s surprisingly spiced (is that… cinnamon I’m tasting??). Their bowl specials are also exceedingly affordable and always delicious.
THE FRANKLAND LEE EMPIRE
Acclaimed restaurant group by a husband/wife duo
Vaunted Scratch|Bar chef Phillip Frankland Lee and his pastry chef wife Margarita have single-handedly (or is that double-handedly? How does that work?) changed the dining scene in the West Valley with a quartet of restaurants, all located in the Woodley Plaza center. There’s the gastropub-y Woodley Proper, the seafood-centric Frankland’s Crab & Co, Sushi|Bar (which trounces the Valley’s raw-fish mainstays), and of course the flagship Scratch|Bar, all of which have become destination restaurants in a part of LA that had never really been on the culinary map before.
LA landmark serving traditional Cuban dishes
This LA Cuban mini-chain is responsible for one of the city’s most iconic dishes (garlic chicken, yes please), but is also great for sandwiches, casual/inexpensive group dinners, and other events that don’t involve making out afterwards. Plus, you can tell your over-the-hill-friends that you ate at a bona fide LA institution, and then argue over why the hell they don’t believe you when you say the Valley’s every bit as good as the city is.
THE LOCAL PEASANT
WOODLAND HILLS & SHERMAN OAKS
Well-made comfort food in a pub-style atmosphere
Gastropubs started trending in the East Valley nearly a decade ago, and the trend’s welcome crawl westward is exemplified by The Local Peasant’s two locations on Ventura — one in Sherman Oaks, and one all the way west in Woodland Hills. Does that mean Woodland Hills is the next Studio City? Maybe, but until we know for sure, order some chocolate chunk bread pudding and make yourself comfortable.
HUMMUS BAR & GRILL
Addictive Middle Eastern fare inside a shopping center
Worthy of a Tarzana trip all by itself, the bubbly, doughy flatbread at this Middle Eastern mainstay has the perfect consistency to sop up any of the 12+ all-you-can-eat “salads” served with every dish, which include multiple deconstructions of eggplant, a chopped liver pate, and a slew of spiced vegetables. Here’s your go-to move: order one of the skewer dishes for every two or three people at your table, and then go HAM on the salads — and the bread. Oh, and also order the hummus (duh).
Article courtesy of Thrillist.