How to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in LA – Part 2!

Anyone else out there have a whole other stomach just for dessert? Here’s a continuation of my list of great places to satisfy any craving in any Los Angeles Neighborhood!   Diddy Riese – Westwood (diddyriese.com) Just a quick walk from UCLA’s campus, this store has a line out the door at all times of the day. But don’t get discouraged! The line moves fast and at these prices, it’s always worth the wait. They’re best known for their ice cream sandwiches – a generous scoop of Dreyer’s ice cream squished between two freshly baked cookies of your choice. With over 10 flavors of ice cream and 10 types of cookie, there’s an almost endless number of combinations you can create, but my favorite sandwich is sugar cinnamon & white chocolate macadamia cookies with cookies & cream ice cream.   Sprinkles – Beverly Hills (sprinkles.com) Sprinkles is original cupcake store that started the cupcake trend in Los Angeles. Best known for their red velvet cupcake, all their cupcakes and fluffy, delcious, and heaped with yummy frosting. They’ve gotten so popular, they opened the very unique cupcake ATM, located just outside their store, and an ice cream shop next door! If it’s your first time here, the Red Velvet is a must try, but if you’re feeling adventurous, their Pumpkin cupcake is the best I’ve ever tried.   Bottega Louie – Downtown LA (bottegalouie.com) Bottega Louie is a wonderful Italian inspired restaurant, with a French inspired bakery. I’m going to veer off course for a moment and talk about their really amazing brunch: I took my friend here for her birthday and the food was spectacular. You really can’t go wrong with their Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict and fluffy, sweet Beignets and fresh jam. Now back to the sweets: The whole front area … Read more

Get to know one of our Adult School teachers – Kristal Bivona!

  “My name is Kristal Bivona and I’m a native Angelino. I’ve wanted to teach English ever since I was in high school. Right after graduating from San Diego State University, I enrolled in a TEFL course and soon after began teaching English in San Diego. In 2008 I was fortunate to receive a scholarship that sent me to Argentina to teach at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, where I instructed advanced English and literature courses to English majors. After that, I moved to Rio de Janeiro, where I primarily taught business English in companies. Graduate school beckoned me back to the U.S. and last year I finished a graduate degree in Comparative Literature. I guess you could say I’m torn between teaching language and teaching literature. Luckily, at EC I get to do both. My favorite days are Fridays when we do our reading circle. My other favorite teaching areas are pronunciation and writing.”

How to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in LA

  Los Angeles provides a vibrant and diverse array of dining choices, and desserts are no exception. No matter which neighborhood you live in, you’re sure to find a few sweet shops for a little post-meal indulgence. I love making mini-adventures out of finding new dessert places, because no matter how long the journey, I always find a happy little reward at the end!  These are just a few of my favorite places in the Los Angeles area, and a couple suggestions on what to get!   Vanilla Bake Shop – Santa Monica (vanillabakeshop.com) A quick walk down the block from EC Los Angeles, this store is a life-saver when I’m craving a small treat to get me through the day. Their mini-cupcakes are moist, delicious, and super cute! Each day, they put out different flavors, so there is a huge selection to choose from. My personal favorites: Red Velvet, Banana Chocolate Chip, and Spicy Carrot.   Blockheads Shavery – West LA (blockheadsla.com) A delicious alternative to ice cream or frozen yogurt, Blockheads Shavery serves a blend between shaved ice and ice cream, which they call Snow Cream. Snow cream is fluffier than any other kind of ice cream you’ve ever tried – definitely worth trying at least once. This dessert is distinctly Asian, which can be seen by the choice of toppings and snow cream flavors. Toppings ranging from fresh fruit like strawberries and mango, to rice cake and red bean. My favorite flavors of snow are black sesame and green tea, but strawberry also has a delicate, subtle flavor that is nice when I don’t want something too sweet.   Syrup Desserts – Downtown LA Every dessert and coffee I’ve had from this store in Downtown LA has been really yummy – from their sundaes to their crepes – … Read more

Happy Fourth of July!

Yesterday,  we celebrated the birthday of the United States with cake, festive decorations and a very interesting hat. Have a wonderful and safe holiday, everyone!

EC Juniors Staff Feature: Robia Lee, Resident Advisor Extraordinaire!

Hi!My name is Robia and I am currently a 3rd year student at UCLA. I am an Economics major and a Comparative Literature minor, with hopes of attending law school some time in the future. Right now, I am currently employed for EC English as a Junior Program Resident Advisor and am having a great time! What made me want to apply for the job was the prospect of meeting students from all over the world and being able to welcome them to the vibrant and sunny city of Los Angeles. In the past few days, I have already gotten to know students from just about all over the world – including Italy, Taiwan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. It has been a really rewarding experience spending the day with them and making sure that they are comfortable and having a good time. Although I have only been on the job for a couple of days, I have been talking to tons of different students and learning about them and their home country. It’s almost like a fun and mini history lesson! I’m also having a blast giving tours, answering questions and eating meals with them. But I would have to say that my favorite part of the day is at the very end, when I get to ask students about their activities. It gives me a great feeling to be able to hear them talk about their busy day and their many exciting adventures in and around LA.

ECLA Welcomes Lena Nikitina to Our Team!

We’d like to introduce our new Volunteer Office Assistant – Lena Nikitina! Find out more about her below: “Life is full of experiences and possibilities. One of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had is being a language school student. I came to America in 2010, seeking happiness and adventures. Language school gave me more than I’ve ever expected: friends, tolerance, knowledge, goals, and hope. Even though my planned duration of study was only one month, the nice, friendly atmosphere surrounding the Language School made me completely change my mind. I extended my study for 4 more months in order to stay longer. While I was there, I was completely determined about my future: I decided to graduate from the University and build my life here, in America. The Language school made me think about who I am, and what I want. Furthermore, being a part of the Language school community has changed my personality as well. I have become more open-minded, determined, and hard-working. Being at a language school improved my English to the point of proficiency, which was enough to be admitted to Santa Monica College, where I am currently studying and dedicating most of my time. Being at a language school made me thirsty for knowledge: I always wanted to learn something new. Now, I am here again, but in a somewhat new environment and role at EC Los Angeles. I’m no longer a student, but now a mentor of student. I don’t know if it was luck or destiny that brought me here to help students make their life at ECLA better, but I am committed to encouraging them to study and follow their dreams.”