Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

HappyMemorialDay

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everybody! Are you out traveling, or staying in and bbq’ing it-up this weekend? My good friend is getting married in 3 weeks, so we treated her to a Los Angeles staycation bachelorette weekend. It all began at Glen Ivy, the Disneyland of Spas!

SpaDay1 (Me and the future-bride, Brenda)

Given that it is a holiday weekend, we arrived at 10am and the admission cost was $65. I’m not one to do any spa treatments… I don’t even get my nails painted (Im a DIY-er, you know), but this $65 fee is worth it. This place has thought of everything. It’s a great women’s retreat full of amenities, natural pools, floating pools, pool aerobics, jacuzzis, steam rooms, saunas etc. And for those with more money to spend, they offer massages and other spa packages at an additional price. This was a great bachelorette party activity, and even a great girl’s weekend getaway. At an hour outside of LA, you feel removed from the city and yet it’s easy to get to.

AceHotel (The view from the Ace Hotel rooftop at night)

We drove back to LA from Glen Ivy and ended up at our home for the night, the new Ace Hotel. I’ll admit, this new hotel was hipster heaven but they are still figuring out the logistics of running a hotel. Our room was supposed to be ready at 3pm, and when we arrived at 5pm it still wasn’t ready. With no real lobby to wait in, we went to their rooftop bar with all our luggage where there was also very little room to wait. We were also dressed for a spa and not for a rooftop bar which left me feeling a little embarrassed and out of place. After an hour of waiting our loft room was ready.

They did give us a complementary bottle of wine for our hassle, but I’ll admit the room had a not great smell to it. Alas, we didn’t let that get in the way of our spa-zen spirit. We got ready (rushed, as we had dinner reservations to make). We booked a 4 person room (and paid for 4), which had 1 bed and a couch that opens out into a big bed, and they assured us this was a 4 person room. But getting them to come assemble that couch-bed took multiple attempts, and when they did provide sheets, they just left them sitting there on the couch. Really? You can’t assemble the couch-bed that you’re insisting is meant for guests to sleep on? Ace Hotel fail. I don’t mean to complain, but this was not a cheap room considering the amount of issues that came up.

At this time more LA friends joined us in the room as we got ready. Since it’s a stay-cation it was great that friends could come and go for different events/meals throughout the weekend. Once ready, we walked down to the Wooden Spoon for dinner where we met up with even more friends of the bride-to-be. We had a delicious meal with yummy sangria and complementary rose champagne. Considering it’s a small place, they were great to host all  8 of us in the party, as some other local restaurants panicked at the idea of 8 guests. I highly recommend this spot for dinner if you’re downtown (I had the shrimp balls and beets salad).

FriendsAtAceHotel (Eva, Me, Grace, Tamar)

From there we walked back to the Ace Hotel to hit-up their rooftop bar now that we were properly dressed for the occasion. Of course we had to rock the bachelorette party-crown attire. So much fun.

Bar107 (Dancing at Bar 107, view of the ceiling in the dancing room)

We decided that dancing was in order, as the bride-to-be loves to dance. We walked from the hotel over to Bar 107 where lots of dancing commenced. Lots and lots of dancing.  Around 1:30a we were pooped and Uber‘ed back to the Ace. Slumber party fun began and then was followed by crashing.

TheMorningAfter

The morning after: a hearty meal at Nickel Diner (an LA institution). What a fun half of Memorial Day weekend, to spend it with good friends relaxing at the spa, eating great meals and then dancing the night away. Now what to do for the second half of this long weekend? I’m sure I’ll come up with something 😉

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Do This Today: Dog Day After Work (free comedy!)

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Dog Day After Work is back with a FREE comedy show tonight at the Virgil (the same apothecary themed bar that’s been hosting Hot Tub). Check it out tonight! The guests are Alice Wetterlund, Joe Dosch, Ron Babcock, Cameron Esposito, Drennon Davis, and Chris Fairbanks. Did I mention it’s free and at an awesome bar? Go! 

Event: Dog Day After Work (event info)
Location: The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles CA
Time: 8:00p
Cost: FREE!

Weekend Guide October 28 + 29

Once again, it’s fail-city over here. The weekend guide is by far the most time consuming to work on, and often I dont find out about the best events until the day of, so I can’t write them in advance. With my now crazy work schedule, it’s just going to have to be what it is. Apologies, as you are first in my heart. Let’s start on Saturday:

Tonight I’ve got 3 (although there certainly are 100’s more) Halloween events to check out. Chinatown is having a Zombie Art Walk from 6-10pm. One Eyed Gypsy is having a costume party. And the Hollywood Forever cemetery is hosting a Dia De Los Muertos celebration. It’ll be legit.

If youre not in the spirit and sick of halloween stuff, head over to UCB for the Who Charted (podcast) live taping of their 100th episode with special guests Paul F. Tompkins, Steve Agee, and Jason Woliner. It says tickets are sold out, but UCB is great about letting people in off their waiting list, so come down before the show and get your name on the list!

If you’re into animation, check out The Platform International Animation Festival at Redcat. Or why not see Bad Apples at the Atwater Village Theater? Or hop on the orange line and head to Pierce College where they are having a Halloween Harvest Festival?

Bar Hopping in Hollywood

I must preface this post by saying that while I have lived in LA for 2.5 years, I have never really experienced Hollywood on a Saturday night. I come to Hollywood every day for work, I have gone out at 8pm on a Friday night for drinks after work, and even went to one Saturday night birthday at a bar, but I never truly experienced what Hollywood on a Saturday night is really about. There were tour busses in front of restaurants/ night clubs. The smell of daddy issues was thick in the air, as girls in headband-sized dresses and GaGa-heels waited on street corners. It was definitely a new experience for me, and as a blog keeper I must share it with you.

We started by finding street parking, which was not easy at 11p on a Saturday. We ended up parking along Carlos Ave between Bronson and Gower. I recommend this area if you carpooled and don’t want to pay for a lot. It’s a little bit of a walk to get to the heart of Hollywood and it’s not the safest to walk alone.

We began our night at the Frolic Room (which is in my L.A. Bizarro book). The bouncer knew some patrons by sight, so I’m guessing this dive bar is the type that locals frequent. The crowd had a few rough characters and the rest were your classic 20-something year old hipsters and “normies” (aka normal average people).

From this picture it’s hard to tell but the place was packed. It also had surprisingly clean bathrooms for a dive bar. I should mention that this bar hopping event happened because my good friend Karen is leaving LA. She has a few weeks left and put together an itinerary of things she needs to do in LA before she leaves. Youll learn more about this events since I signed up for several and will be blogging about them. This night crossed off “bar hop in Hollywood” from her list. Can I just say that making a city bucket list shouldn’t just be reserved for people moving out of town. I wish my friends all made lists like Karen’s because then we would all constantly doing fun things. Preaching over, but seriously, make a bucket list and invite me along.

After leaving the Frolic Room. On to the next!

After leaving the Frolic Room we continued on our journey but the places we passed were so packed, that finding a bar to accommodate our group of 6 was tricky. Once we ended up in front of the packed Piano Bar, we backtracked to Stout which we could tell wasn’t packed. We got a booth perfect for 5 (we lost one). I had the Mint Chocolate Bootleggers stout.

My sister and I split their amazing bread pudding. I’m not a bread pudding person, it’s just not for me. This bread pudding was unreal. It had chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. It was still warm from being freshly made for us and had a scoop of vanilla ice cream on it. It was perfect for 2 people and even had some to share with the group. Once this finished out our night around 2p, we headed back to our cars as the clubs were letting out. So many stupid people on the streets.

I’m so glad I participated in Saturdays festivities and I got to experience a side of LA I hadn’t before. Now I can also cross that off my city-bucket list.

Monday Funday

What did you end up doing this weekend? Leave a comment if you did something we should all know about… especially if it was a fun reoccurring event.

Last week was so crazy (adjusting back to the work schedule and all) so I allowed myself Friday night to vegg-out, watch some TV and hit the hay. It was fantastic and we all deserve a night like that.

On Saturday I got a text from the lovely Amber that she was available for a nighttime excursion so we decided to attend the grand opening event at Sunset Beer Company. They had a food truck out front and a wall of fridges filled with cold beer you can get to-go or purchase and enjoy on one of their couches. Amber is a beer expert, so she gave me the rundown of what I should get. They had a DJ spinning tunes from 8-9p and then a live band started up around 9-10p. The entire place consists of 2 rooms, one for buying beer to-go and the other with a small bar and lounge style seating. The event had a great turn out. Did you go? What did you think? They seemed unprepared for the number of attendees. There was one place to purchase beer, which meant long lines and once you purchased the beer you had to get in another line to get them to open the bottle and get you a glass (quite a process). But once you maneuvered the lines there was a fair amount of room to snag a spot to watch the band. It was a very fun free (except for the cost of the beer) event. Overall, I really enjoyed myself and recommend checking this place out.

From there we crossed the street to check out the opening of Villainy General Store, a cute little shop along Sunset. They had good prices on hipstery gifts ranging from artwork and ponchos to old school candy cigarettes and soaps. The highlight for me were the break-up greeting cards (example: “God wants me to see other people. Correction: God wants me to stop seeing you”). They also had a nice food spread to celebrate the opening. At this point it was just after 10pm and we decided to walk up Sunset to Tony’s Darts Away sister restaurant: Mohawk Bend.

A visit to Mohawk Bend is a long time in the works for me. I love Tony’s Darts Away, so when I heard they were opening a sister restaurant in Echo Park I was dying to check it out. Unfortunately, every time I was scheduled to go something would always come up.

Thankfully, the stars aligned on Saturday night and Amber and I had a great visit. We got there pretty late in the night which meant the 20 minute wait we were told to expect was more like a 5 minute wait (just enough time to grab a Coffee Citizen beer by Cismontane). Just like Tony’s, their beer list was about 3 pages long. Once seated we wrestled with what to order (as all of it sounded fantastic). We decided on the Bittersweet Symphony pizza (radicchio, sweet peppers, and smoked mozzarella) to share (perfect for 2) with a side of rosemary seasoned fries. The food bill came out to under $20. Great food, great beer, great prices. I can promise you Amber and I will be back.

Other deals in the area to be aware of: Barragan’s offers Wednesday night margaritta deals. Get there early and snag a spot on their rooftop patio. After that head to Gold Room next door for their cheap shots and free tacos. If you’re in the mood to dance, Short Stop has a dance floor without the creepiness that comes with a nightclub and they are located a little east along Sunset. Across from Short Stop on the inside corner of the strip mall is Sunset Beer Company, which as I learned this weekend, is a great place to get unique bottled beer for a good price. From there head back west on Sunset for about 5/10 minutes and hit Mohawk Bend on the north side of the street for a great meal. I don’t recommend all of these places in one night, but plan your night around hitting a few of these spots and you won’t be disappointed.

Weekend Guide Oct. 14+15+16

So it’s already that day of the week, FRIDAY! Do you have any fun weekend plans? Tell me what you’re up to. Let the world know about the fun things your up to, because they will want to join and make it awesomer (that’s a word, right?).

Next weekend I’ll be in Milwaukee, blogging to you from a wedding with dear friends that I’ve actually never met in person. It’s wild how in the digital age, good friends never even have to meet face to face. That awesome story will unfold in 7 days, count’em. This weekend will involve some shopping to prep for it (invest wisely, because company stocks will rise based on everything I still need to buy).

FRIDAY: Let’s start with plans for tonight. Are you free? UCB is hosting A Dead Author Reading where Paul F Thompkins (or PFT as comedy nerds know him) will play H.G.Wells. Tickets are $5 and it goes to support 826LA (a charity that helps children with reading and writing). Brian Stack, who writes for Conan, will also be there. It’s at 6:30p tonight, so get tickets now!

Also, tonight at the Largo Jeff Garlin will be leading a conversation with Judd Apatow to discuss his new book. Tickets to that are $30, and that also starts at 6:30p tonight. PFT also has a show here on Saturday night. Check out Largo’s schedule for cool upcoming shows.

SATURDAY: I haven’t been alerted to any special events this Saturday night (crazy, right?) but there are plenty of on going events that are worth checking out. For example, Oktoberfest is happening in the Southland. There are many going on, but the one I hear the most good things about is Oktoberfest at Alpine Village. Tickets are $10, and as there are only 8 more days left, I suggest you get there now. If I remember correctly bring cash and tickets, anything to avoid the monster line that could form. Bring a group of friends an have an awesome night.

As Halloween is rapidly approaching, you should check out some of the haunting events around LA to get you in the spirit. Universal Studios has discounted tickets to their Fright Nights. Old Town Haunt is a haunted house in Pasadena which will cost you $15, 7p-12am. The Haunted Hayride is happening right now in Griffith Park in the Old Zoo, but will set you back $25 a head (but I hear great things). Or what about the Queen Mary, which is supposed to be haunted on a normal day, but extra haunted around Halloween. Tickets are $20 and it also runs 7pm-12a.

SUNDAY: The Nerdist Panel’s are back. Check out Meltdown comics on Sunday at 5pm for a discussion with many television writers and how they got where they are. Tickets are $15 and you can get them here.

If writing and comedy aren’t your thing, the owners of my favorite bar Tony’s Dart Away (see my post about them HERE) are opening a brewery called Golden Rod Brewery in the valley. Tickets to the grand opening are $20 + $3 service fee and you can get them HERE. That will make for a glorious Sunday afternoon.