Los Angeles

11 Ways You Can Support Ukraine Right Here in Los Angeles

The city's restaurant and hospitality industries are working overtime to provide humanitarian aid to those impacted.

Tverdokhlib/Shutterstock
Tverdokhlib/Shutterstock
Tverdokhlib/Shutterstock

News about the war and invasion of Ukraine may leave most of us feeling powerless, but in reality, there are several ways one can help. The conflict has sparked an outpouring of support from the hospitality industry around the country. But here in Los Angeles and Southern California, chefs, bakers, bartenders, artists, and restaurateurs are quickly mobilizing and using food and art to benefit those impacted by this humanitarian crisis. And while nothing will ease the suffering of millions of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war-and the many more who still remain in the country-here are over a dozen ways to show solidarity with Ukraine and raise money for its people during their time of need.

Load up on pastries at a #CookForUkraine bake sale

Chinatown
Chinatown culinary shop Now Serving is hosting a massive bake sale this Saturday, March 12, from 11–2 pm (or until the goods sell out). Head to the second floor of Far East Plaza to seek out glorious unicorn or hojicha crunch cookies from Top Chef winner and Daybird owner, Mei Lin, tasty tres leches cake slices by Chainsaw, and so much more from over 30 bakers, chefs, eateries, and restaurants. All proceeds go to UNICEF UK’s appeal to support Ukrainian children and families caught up in the conflict.

Learn about a famous Ukrainian cultural trailblazer

Hollywood
On March 15 from 11 am–9 pm, Immersive Shevchenko: Soul of Ukraine will take place at the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit for one day only-with 100% of proceeds from ticket sales going directly to the Red Cross and National Bank of Ukraine Fund. The multisensory art show honors 19th-century Ukrainian artist, poet, philosopher, and national hero Taras Shevchenko, who is a symbol of Ukrainian independence and freedom. Every surface will be covered in digitized renderings of his artwork, which often expressed themes of Ukrainian oppression by the Russian government. Tickets to this limited exhibit include the Immersive Van Gogh experience, which you can view following Immersive Shevchenko.

Employees Only LA
Employees Only LA
Employees Only LA

Go bar hopping for the cause

Various locations
Contemporary Greek restaurant-slash-lounge Theia (where you’ll find fire dancers and live DJs on any given night) is known for its killer cocktails. Now the West Hollywood hotspot’s pouring shots of blue curaçao and fresh OJ and donating all proceeds to Selfreliance Foundation-a Ukrainian credit union based in Chicago, which is home to a large Ukrainian community-to assist refugees with much-needed medical and food supplies. Nearby cocktail bar Employees Only is whipping up a special Pruzhnyy, or resilience, cocktail, with Ukrainian Khortytsa vodka and mixed berries-until they run out of the vodka. All proceeds will benefit World Central Kitchen. Over in Culver City, AKASHA‘s created a specialty lemon drop called Slava Ukraini! (or “Glory to Ukraine!”) in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. The cocktails are available indefinitely, with profits also going to World Central Kitchen.

Purchase tickets to a fundraiser concert

Brentwood
On March 25, jazz pianist Konrad Paszkudzki is playing a fundraiser concert called My Ordinary Family at the Skirball Cultural Center, along with his trio and guest vocalist Samara Joy. Paszkudzki will share big band music from the 1930s and 1940s beloved by his grandfather August, who, as a young man, used American jazz as a lifeline to the outside world while living in Soviet- and later Nazi-occupied Lviv, Ukraine, during World War II. Tickets ranging from $35-$50 are available here.

Mort & Betty's
Mort & Betty’s
Mort & Betty’s

Buy hamantaschen by the dozen

Various locations
Bakers all over the world are participating in Hamantaschen for Ukraine and donating profits directly to Polish Humanitarian Action, which assists Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border. Now until March 17, stock up on these buttery triangular cookies, traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim and meant to symbolize victory over tyranny, via several Los Angeles-based outposts-like Friends & Family (where head baker Roxana Jullapat turns out treats made with rye pâte sucrée and homemade jam), Mort & Betty (where vegan cookies come in flavors like chocolate-dipped cherry amaretto and mint chocolate chip brownie), and more. For a full list of LA spots baking hamantaschen for the cause, click here.

Ms Chi Cafe
Ms Chi Cafe
Ms Chi Cafe

Order ‘gram-worthy dumplings

Culver City
Inspired by the Ukrainian dumplings called varenyky, chef Shirley Chung is offering blue-and-yellow Freedom Dumplings at her restaurant Ms Chi Cafe. Accompanied by horseradish sour cream sauce, they’re stuffed with chicken, mushrooms, dill, cabbage, and sunchokes (a nod to Ukraine’s national flower)-a perfect marriage between traditional Ukrainian flavors and the Top Chef finalist’s Chinese potsticker technique. Whether you order for dine-in, delivery, or via Goldbelly (nationwide shipping is available), 100% of sales will help orgs making an impact in Ukraine and feeding refugees in surrounding areas, like World Central Kitchen, UNICEF, and Come Back Alive.

Indulge your sweet tooth

Hollywood
Plant-based ice cream shop Dear Bella Creamery has assembled a sundae kit with 100% of profits benefiting UNICEF’s #CookForUkraine fundraiser. Available through the end of the month, the kit includes everything you need for an ice cream night in, including two pints of ice cream, two waffle cones, two cookies, and two toppings for $30. Not in the mood to scoop? Make a $1, $5, or $10 donation in store!

+84
+84
+84

Go on an eating spree in Koreatown

Koreatown
Hype-worthy Korean eatery Tokki, which serves up modern, tapas-style fare in K-Town’s Chapman Plaza, is donating 2.5% of all food and drink proceeds this month to support Ukrainian refugees affected by the war. Meanwhile, a new, lunchtime-only Vietnamese food pop-up called Eighty Pho-brought to us by the team behind buzzy Koreatown favorites like Hanchic and Kinn-is donating all proceeds from its soft opening this week to the International Rescue Committee.

Patronize a good, old-fashioned lemonade stand

Pacific Palisades
The children of renowned restaurateurs Marissa and Matt Hermer-who’ve created some of LA’s most show-stopping spots like Olivetta, Issima, and The Draycott-are selling lemonade this weekend at The Draycott. Stop by the restaurant’s front lawn on Saturday, March 12, from 11–3 pm to quench your thirst. With a starting goal of $2,000, all proceeds benefit UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to help Ukranians who’ve been displaced and forced to flee their country.

Cassia
Cassia
Cassia

Make your next dinner count

Various locations
From March 11–12, Cassia is donating 100% of sales from its Koda Farms Chickpea Curry to World Central Kitchen and their Ukrainian relief efforts. Served with house-made organic clay oven bread, the dish is the number-one best-seller at this beloved Southeast Asian spot in Santa Monica. For an experience you’ll never forget, treat yourself to a private tasting dinner by Nanoom Dining, cooked in the comfort of your own home. Every quarter, chef/owner Andy Choongman Lee gives 3% of his sales to a different charity; this round, he’s donating to UNICEF to help children in Ukraine.
 

Participate in a rally

Santa Monica
On March 12, Stand With Ukraine LA and the Ukrainian American diaspora is holding a rally, starting on Third Street Promenade at 1 pm. Check out the Facebook event page for more details.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Tiffany Tse contributes to Thrillist. See what she’s eating today at @twinksy.

Los Angeles

Marcus Scribner's Day Off in Crenshaw, LA Is a Tour of BBQ, Fried Chicken & Soul Food

The ‘Blackish' actor takes us to his favorite restaurants in his hometown of Crenshaw.

Thrillist/YouTube
Thrillist/YouTube
Thrillist/YouTube

Without tooting his own horn, Marcus Scribner likes to say that Los Angeles made him into a well-rounded human being. It’s all thanks to the city’s diverse mix of experiences, people, and culture.

“What I love most about LA is I feel like we have so many different biomes and people from different backgrounds,” the Blackish actor said in a recent interview with Thrillist. “I would just hop all around town all the time and get all those different experiences.”

Crenshaw, though, holds a special place in Scribner’s heart. It’s kind of like an oasis of peace and community for him. “It’s still a predominantly Black neighbourhood,” he explained. “Which is pretty dope to see in the centre of Los Angeles.” His dad used to say that getting into the neighbourhood feels peaceful and quiet, but as soon as you step out, it’s like, “Welcome to the jungle!”

Besides the tight-knit community, there’s another main thread in Scribner’s Crenshaw: fried chicken. While guiding us to the discovery of his neighbourhood in our series “Ride With Me,” Scribner realized that every single spot he took us to offers really good fried chicken. “It says something about me, I think,” he said. Scribner knows all the best fried chicken spots around town, and we’re definitely here for it.

The best breakfast spot in the world, Los Angeles staple chicken and waffle joints that even President Obama goes to, and delicious, Black-owned soul food restaurants are only some of the many Crenshaw gems Scribner shares with us.

Get ready to taste the best soul food LA has to offer. We’re going to Crenshaw.

Places to Eat & Drink

Jacks N Joe
Scribner doesn’t care what anyone else says, this is the best breakfast spot “on planet Earth.”

According to Scribner, their pancakes are amazing, and they come with maple butter syrup. But his favourite dish is the hash browns. “You can get the hash browns extra well done,” he suggested. “It’s over, it’s over. You’re having the best meal of your life.”

Roscoe’s House of Chicken N Waffles
President Obama stole Scribner’s special here-or at least that’s what Scribner will tell you.

“I’ve been ordering that, [and] all of a sudden they changed it to Obama Special when he popped out the cut,” Scribner said. No disrespect to Obama, but Scribner’s order has always been the Obama Special, which includes three wings with a waffle (or potato salad or fries). Scribner just adds an extra waffle to the mix, and that’s his all-time favourite order.

Phillips Barbecue
Scribner is aware he’ll get a lot of flack for saying this, but that’s okay. “Phillips Barbecue is hands down my favourite barbecue location,” he said.

“The meats are pretty good quality and the meats themselves are delicious and I love them,” he explained. “But it’s the sides and the sauce that just hit.” Their baked beans and macaroni salad are incredible, and you should put them right on your barbecue sandwich.

Just be careful: Their sauces are spicy, and the highest level is just too hot according to Scribner. His advice? Get the mixed sauce, and you’ll receive mild and hot together.

Alta Adams
This Black-owned soul food restaurant looks amazing, and it tastes even better. The setting is high-end, and their dishes are authentic soul food. They have “the best fried chicken,” according to Scribner.

“I like it because the chicken is moist, but it’s not too moist,” he explained. “This is some real chicken, which has some good moisture and the skin is perfect.” If you’re not in the mood for chicken, their oxtails are also a great choice. You shouldn’t miss out on the cornbread, either.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
This place is so good that it started in Tennessee and eventually expanded into LA.

“It’s just the bomb,” said Scribner. “The fried chicken is so good and spicy, which I love.” Their collard greens and baked beans are both must-trys as well, and Scribner would be the one to know. “I love baked beans,” he said. “I used to just eat straight up Bush’s baked beans out of the can, bruh. I’m wilding. I’m about that life.”

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Tiana Attride is a former associate editor at Thrillist. She cares a little too much about the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack.

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