Sushi Taiyo, The InstaGrammys and The Dresden

Can you tell by the title that my Friday night was pretty sweet? In fact, my whole weekend was pretty amazing, but you’ll hear more about that later. Baby steps. Lets start with Friday.

I had a crazy busy day at work, as you know, but was releaved to get out of work and head just a few blocks north to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre to see their InstaGrammys show. I met my sister early to grab a bite of sushi at Sushi Taiyo, which is right next the the theater.

We ended up ordering two premium rolls and one salmon roll, which was a great amount for 2. The food was yummy and quickly prepared which meant we didn’t need to rush to eat (as we had to get in line for our UCB show by 7:30). It’s a tad pricier than our usual sushi joint (Octopus), but the food was good and it was the first time my sister has ever been. The ambiance is cool, and they have some booths that have doors that slide shut for the ultimate in private dining.

After dinner we jumped into line and got great seats at UCB for their 8pm show, the InstaGrammys. One thing about the line at UCB is that you get to see all the comedians showing up for the show, since they all enter the same door the guests do. We stood there for about 30 minutes and I saw a ton of comedians, some of which were apart of the show and others who came just to hang out with their friends. As a comedy nerd, I thoroughly enjoy people/comedian watching along the sidewalk while waiting. Derek Waters hosted the hour long event, which featured many special guests, live music, tons of funny videos, awards and even a lifetime achievement award all centered around the photo-sharing site, Instagram.

John Daly and Brett Gelman gave out the first award, to photographer Robin Van Swank (who is living my dream life by the way). She is a photographer who is in on the indie comedy scene and often does photography for all their parties, events, TV Shows, book covers, posters, cd covers, etc. Basically, if a comedian wants a photo they come to her and therefore she hangs out with some seriously funny people.

After the first award, Martin Starr and Kulap Vilaysack came out to introduce an award that would be given to an audience member. The challenge was that the audience needed to take a cell photo of the band Islands (which performed live on stage, see pic) and post it to Instagram. The person with the most “likes” after 20 minutes won the award. The comedians all came out and took pictures too.

Between all the awards were these awesome clips by “normies” (as I call them), comedians playing normal people. They were all hilarious and people talking about why they posted certain photos to Instragram. For example, “why I think the public wants to see the piece of pie I just ate.. because Im so amazing”. The whole event was mocking the narcissism of Instragram.

Natasha Leggero gave an award to Morgan Murphy (MadTV). Unfortunately my cell phone was having serious issues so I don’t have too many pictures from the night but here is the best I can offer.

Nick Thune came out and did a serious (yet hysterical) “In Memory” bit off all the Instagrammers we lost in the past year.

Chelsea Peretti gave out the Ansel Adams award (to a person who Im forgetting).

The night ended with Stephen Merchant coming out to announce the Lifetime Achievemnent Award which was given to Mike Rosenstein. For those of you who don’t know who he is, click the link on his name. He is a British comedian who collaborates with Ricky Gervais a lot and co-created the British Office, as well as starred in as the “Dwight” character as Americans would know him. He is a legend and this was my first time seeing him in person. He was a surprise guest and everyone was in awe.

After the amazing show at UCB, my sister and I headed over to The Dresden to have a farwell gathering for our friend Karen. As I’ve talked about before, she is leaving LA soon and has been completing her LA bucket list before she moves away for good. Friday was “Los Feliz bar night”. This was my first time at the Dreden and I can’t wait to go back. If I wasn’t having phone issues, I could’ve gotten some great shots, but I know Ill be back. They had an older couple playing music in the bar. We got to see the dining area as well as the bar and I was super impressed. From the outside it looks like a windowless dive bar and inside it’s super classy with a speakeasy vibe.

The bar was packed, as it was 10pm on a Friday night. I need to go back for a quiet happy hour, where I could sit on the bar side noshing on food in the round booths while listening to the musical stylings of Marty and Elayne. Since we had such a large group, we took over the front private room of the bar which worked well for us, although we missed out on the ambiance of the main bar. Either way, I had a great night and I also intend to go back to The Dresden.