Rosenthal Estate Winery

Do you like wine tasting? A few friends and I made the drive up the PCH into Malibu to visit Rosenthal Estate Winery where we had a fabulous Saturday.

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The weather was fantistic and this gem of a tasting spot is located right off the PCH (not up in the winding hills like the other wineries) which means it’s got ocean views.

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The tasting room has some indoor seating, but it’s best to pack a picnic and layout in the back of the property.

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While we were there, a group setup an engagement party in the back with flowers, homemade signs… the works! It’s looked like a pinterest board!

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There’s the ocean, just yonder. The heat lamps outdoors makes it so you can hang out on the patio long into the night (although they close at 8pm). We started our day with the $12 wine taster (which included 4 wines) and then purchased bottles to share among our group.

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Be sure to bring plenty of snacks and boardgames!

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Oh, and they have goofy surfboards you can pose with. Here is me and my friend Grace being silly.

Add this to your Los Angeles to-do list. In fact, stop at Trader Joes (load up on snacks), hit the beach and then around 3pm mosey on over to the Rosenthal Estate Winery. Doesn’t that sound like a fabulous Saturday?

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The Golden Road Brewing Pub Grand Opening

If you read my blog, you know I practically live at Tony’s Darts Away, love Mohawk Bend and have been eagerly awaiting Golden Road Brewing. Basically anything Tony Yanow has a hand in, I enjoy. Sunday, January 15th, was the Golden Road Brewing Pub Grand Opening and I wouldn’t miss it!

Making your way down San Fernando in Glendale, you can’t miss their primary-colored facilities just across the railroad tracks.

The opening was from 11a-11p and I showed up around 1pm and ended up staying until 4p. The weather was cloudy, but didn’t keep people from enjoying the patio. The last time I was here (which I wrote about HERE) was for their brewery opening, where I spent most of my time in a different building and only got a peak at what their pub would become. It’s hard to believe that was only 3 months ago!

I started off with their Rye on the Palate, which had notes of coffee (which I love). It was delicious. I followed it up with the Schwartz Stout which I also enjoyed. I was there with great company: Amber, Adam and Adams cousin Michael.

They had a wide selection of tee shirts, and promo items as well as books on craft brews. My favorite item is the tote with pockets for two Golden Road growlers (the middle bag in the photo).

The bartenders were very nice and the wait staff was active about collecting glasses and cleaning the tables. During the 3 hours I was there, there was a steady flow of people coming and going and we thankfully got a table for the full three hours. We were having so much fun that the hours flew by and we didn’t even do one of the many tours they offered. Occasionally a train would go by and everyone would cheer and drink! Now that’s a drinking game I like.

The crowd was a mix of hipsters, curly mustaches, older couples, groups of people in jerseys (they had football on their 3 tvs) and even families (earlier in the day). We ordered some of their fritters and I especially loved the mushroom risotto parmesan fritters (so tasty!).

We took advantage of their special “$10 for a burger and a can” deal. I ordered the vegan burger (of course) which was loaded with peppers and quite scrumptious as well as the Golden Road Hef, all for $10! I look forward to coming back and ordering off their main menu as well as tasting more of their brews. The only thing that could make this place any better would be board games. I could easily see myself meeting friends at one of their long tables on a Friday night, trying some new brews while playing some Apples 2 Apples and eating risotto fritters. Ahhhh, Heaven.

Lola’s and Taix

Last night I hit up two fun, very different venues: Lola’s and Taix.

Lola’s in West Hollywood

Lola's and Catie's Hello Kitty cupcakes.

Yesterday was my roommate’s birthday and she loves Lola’s martinis, so she hosted a little get-together at Lola’s bar. They don’t let you reserve tables unless you’re ordering food (and this was more of a stop-by-for-a-drink event) so when the gathering ballooned to maybe 20 people it got a little tricky, but we made it work. Lola’s calls itself the “home of the apple martini” and has an extensive martini list. I indulged in the the “Red Caramel Apple Martini” and it did not disappoint. It did set me back $13 (not including tax and tip) so these drinks aren’t cheap, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. The drink was large with such a unique flavor. It smelled like an apple so I was expecting something tart but the caramel flavor really evened it out making for a very smooth drink. I also enjoyed the apple slice garnish. This place is a great “girl’s night out” bar and a fun excuse to put on a cute dress, hop into some uncomfortable shoes and debate which friend is the “Samantha” or the “Carrie”.

Taix in Echo Park

After Lola’s I switched gears from snooty WeHo to hipster Echo Park to meet up with my good friend Amber at the French Restaurant/Lounge Taix. She suggested we see the band May Stands Still which was giving a free show in the Taix Lounge (Lounge 321) that night from 10:30-11:30p. We got there around 9:30p to chat and enjoy a beer before the show. They didn’t have a large beer selection but I thought I would try the only beer on the list I’ve never heard of before: The Taix Pale Ale. Im embarrassed to say, I have no clue how to pronounce the name of this French restaurant and when ordering this beer I had to refer to it at the “titular drink”. We ordered a small cup of sweet potato fries (perfect for 2 people) and they were so delicious we didn’t need ketchup or the curry/mustardy dip they came with.

As it approached 10:30 and the room was still fairly empty, May Stands Still started their set. They were delightful. Amber and I both really enjoyed them. The lead singer, Emily Herndon, has such a lovely melodic voice that deserves a way better description than I could ever give. They have an indie acustic sound with only 2 guatarists and a back-up vocalist that dables in many instruments (including violin). It was hard to believe all that music was coming out of only a three-person band. Check them out HERE and listen to their tunes HERE. They were so nice that they gave Amber and I each a free copy of their EP, Matter of Time. I signed up for their mailing list, so I’ll keep you posted on shows to come and I highly recommend seeing them around town.

Boneyard Bistro: Stout Night

Stout Night

As Beer Week continues, I found myself at Boneyard Bistro on Tuesday night for their Stout Night. As a stout fan, I couldn’t pass it up. As a human being, I was exhausted. But sleeping is for the dead, and Im thankful I joined Amber for a lovely beer tasting at Sherman Oak’s Boneyard Bistro. I tried the Nectar Ales Black Xantus and the Bear Republic Old Baba Yaga which were 4oz for $4. It was a great way to try new brews without going overboard in price or quantity. The Zantus was amazing and so full of chocolate and cherry flavor that I had to take my time drinking it. The Yaga was very strong and had a coconut flavor, this too was a sipper for me. Did you go? What did you get? Is there one on the list I should try?

The past 2 weeks have been fabulous, trying new beers and exploring new bars with good prices. The final event will be happening this Sunday at Union Station (take the metro!) and tickets are $45. That’s a bit costly for me, but beer lovers won’t want to miss the over 70 local breweries that will be serving up at the event.

Although beer week is coming to an end, that doesn’t mean awesome beer events have to stop. Hopefully you tried some new brews and have some new favorite bars. If you’re still jonesing for a cool beer event, you don’t need to wait long. On Saturday October 29th Drink and Hunt LA is hosting a boozy Halloween scavenger hunt. Check out the link and get your $25 tickets through Thrillist for a deal.

Taken from Thrillist’s website

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.