January 17, 2011

West Coast Edition

This past weekend, I flew out to Los Angeles to meet up with the BF. His company is based out there and generously hosted significant others for the weekend's celebration of this year's performance.

BF and I took the opportunity to explore; he had been out there before, but it was my first time on the ground (with the exception of an hour lay-over from Hawaii a few years back).

I got in late Friday night, but Saturday morning we got up early to try to find a fun breakfast place. The concierge recommended we google 'side walk cafe' in Venice Beach. Funny enough, that happened to be the exact name of the local. This place we PERFECT! It was sunny and 70, we were on the patio overlooking the beach front path. Below is a picture of our view:

This place had amazing food!
We started out with their Mimosa, splitting a bottle of champagne over  a mix of orange, grapefruit, and pomegranate juice. It was incredible!

I had the Georgia O'Keefe omelet, which was HUGE! It consisted of avocado, bacon, mushrooms and Jack cheese. Delicious! BF had the Fiasco omelet: mushrooms, onions, jack cheese, guacamole, and their special Spanish sauce. The overall menu looked incredible and the portions were huge at a very reasonable price.

You can check out their full menu here: www.thesidewalkcafe.com

We even got entertainment while we dined! The boardwalk at Venice beach is filled with pan-handlers and 'artists' requesting 'donations' for their works. We got to experience a guitar and piano player as we ate, which was just right for our total experience.

After breakfast, we walked a bit up and down the boardwalk, as BF was determined to see the muscles of Muscle beach (only some-what creepy ;)  xoxo). Sadly there was only one somewhat muscle-y character using the weights, and the Governator was no where in sight.

As we walked, there was plenty of beautiful art an shops along the way. The really weird part about the experience was the amount of 'medicinal' marijuana that was offered... it appears that just about anyone can prescribe the stuff in CA... neither BF nor I have ever done drugs, so it wasn't an issue, so much as weird as it was so 'out in the open'.

After our jaunt on the boardwalk, we made our way to Hollywood. We drove down Rodeo drive: BF very kindly refused to park the car anywhere near this area... I think he was afraid of the stores... like the lovely shop keepers might bight off his hand to get to his wallet or something. ANY WAY, I've now 'been there, done that'. We drove through all the beautiful neighborhoods, and made our way to the not-so-beautiful Hollywood Blvd. Talk about SKETCHY!

I insisted we park in order to view Man Grauman's Chinese Theater. I have ALWAYS wanted to place my hand near Shirley Temple and the like. I even got to fist bump John Wayne! (pictures below). I was not, however, impressed with the fact that police allow street performers to run rampant in the area. I'm sorry, but I don't care how much you feel that that is part of the 'atmosphere' and 'experience'... it's sketchy.

 We also had the fun experience of the McDonald's protesters: BF is strongly opposed to McD's, due to an incident over a year ago when the one in Lincoln Park booted his car for leaving the parking lot... Needless to say, he insisted on getting a supportive flier and taking a picture with them. By the time we returned from Grauman's, they had been dispersed, and replaced by 'friendly' McDonald's employees handing out 'organic' samples.

BF and I then  made our way up to Griffin park, the best to view the Hollywood sign from. We drove all the way to the top, near the observatory. It's pretty neat only because of how iconic the sign is, otherwise, it's just a pretty park.
We then began to make our way back to Manhattan beach (that's where we were staying). I hate to be a spoil-sport at any time, but my shoulder was doing weird cramping/pain and I was overall getting cabin fever in the car. Dan was nice enough to drop me off at the hotel to rest, and he went and got us In & Out Burger as a late lunch dinner; I guess last year, there weren't many hors d'oeuvres at the event, and we wanted to be prepared...

After a relaxing afternoon, we met up with his fellow co-workers down stairs and made our way to club. (I preface this with, I forgot my camera for the evening, so these are stock pictures from the venues' websites)
BF's company rented out the club, Eden. Apparently it's a new up-coming place (LA Times review: www.latimes.com )
It was definitely a beautiful facility. All dark woods and low lighting. The company had the entire place to themselves, complete with open bar and buffets (mashed-potato :) ) and serving staff with hors d'oeuvres. They had a DJ who was just 'alright', but it got fun later in the evening when they started launching confetti! Overall, it was a gorgeous night, but it didn't end when we shut down the club at 2am... No No No....

Instead, we made our way over to the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd, where the owners had rented out the Penthouse suite and rooftop terrace! How they managed to do this the weekend of the Golden Globes is beyond me!
Although I didn't see any celebrities, it was so nice to get away from the cold of winter, if even for a weekend. LA was definitely an experience, and I have though of a ton more things I'd like to go back and see, however I DEFINITELY wouldn't want to live in LA (the traffic was AWFUL!).

I hope all of you enjoyed your weekends and are staying warm in this next impending snow storm.


Post-Script: I meant to describe my In & Out Burger experience... I don't see what the big deal is... it's a giant Crystal's (White Castle) Slider with Italian dressing. Definitely not the best burger I've ever had, and the fries.... Five Guys is way better.... End of Story...

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