In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'd like to thank Los Angeles for the following...
1) Morning Becomes Eclectic for making me less suicidal in the morning
3) Free Movie Screenings
4) Hundreds of cheap sunglasses at Venice Beach
5) The Moth story slams
6) The junk food platter at SimonLA
7) For bringing us Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
9) The restoration of Old Town Pasadena
10) The Grilled Cheese Truck
It was a wonderful evening. Elegant decor, important cause, sumptuous food and an open bar never hurts. We walked away with a little crush on Max Azria's wife Luba. She was a less-severe version of Angelina Jolie. She had her full lips, but with softer features; blonde hair, golden tan and was the definition of elegance. She spoke to us about coming to America from the Ukraine, and how in the Soviet nations, one had to dance or perform in the Olympics to get a Visa out of the country. She talked about her fall into fashion and how her husband Max was the inspiration for her work. After all, she is no trophy wife, though Lord knows she has the credentials. She met Max while working for him, and now helps run the company. Married for 20 years and with children, they are the real deal.
As we sipped Veev Acai Spirit cocktails, we mingled and passed around business cards with the dexterity of Vegas card dealers. Everyone looked fabulous; mini-dresses with metallic paint splashes, a vintage-inspired bateau-necked dress in winter white and splashy handbags the size of Texas.
How come no one ever told me about Pretty Lights? And just how long has this been going on, people? They were at Coachella and everything.
I caught them at the West Beach Festival in Santa Barbara, and I was floored. As of now, you can dowload up to 64 FREE SONGS on their official website. What are you waiting for?
Grub. Such a coarse word for the foodie paradise I am about to describe. Tucked away in a studio neighborhood, Grub doesn't need a big sign or heavy foot traffic to get bodies in the door. Quality comfort food and a serene setting pulls in devotees from all over the city. From importing blue cheese from Wisconsin to finding the thickest, crispiest bacon and putting it in practically everything, we love their food and it loves us back.
Their famous Hershey Bar sandwiches with bacon, a recipe from manager Melissa Fosse Dunne's (below) own mother, was just the beginning...
Breakfast sandwich with French toast croissant bread and maple syrup...
And of course, the famous Hershey Bar & bacon sandwich!
For those in the prime of their youth traipsing around Los Angeles playing the field, I know how you feel. Darting in and out of Social and Dolce, you're still wrinkle-free and trendy on the outside, but harbor a dark secret. A fear is buried deep within you, nudging you with a question.
And the question is this: This is fun and all, but they aren't all like this, are they?
For the guys you ditched early due to signs of sociopathic behavior or monologues breaking down the virtues of different energy bars, remember to be nice when exiting. Because life in the fast lane almost ensures that your treasured belongings will be scattered across town. For example:
~ You left your Happiness DVD at a studio exec's house while trying to impress him with your art-house knowledge.
~ You left your magic La Perla push-up at Xavier's place, because you found out he got chin implants and scurried out too so fast.
~ Your sequined dress came without pockets, so he held onto your broken necklace that night at The Magic Castle.
...the possibilities are endless. Remember to end it amicably, keep track of where you left what at Return My Pants and know that to get it back you'll have to at least pay for one cocktail. Or if he's particularly scary, coffee.
Then came the Grilled Cheese Truck which is known to have Twitter stalkers all over Los Angeles and lines around the block. This month, waiters at the OK! Magazine party were passing around mini grilled cheese sandwiches on silver platters.
But now, people are going beyond just grilled cheese. They are offering the whole package. Grub in Hollywood is known for making comfort food chic, and they came up with the After School Special; a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. Their buttery sandwich and all-natural soup laced with tarragon made me feel all cuddly.
So far, my very favorite grilled cheese with tomato soup combo (and there are plenty of places to choose from now) is at The Bowery on Sunset in Hollywood. While known for their craft beers and burgers, their crisp and gooey grilled cheese sandwich is pure comfort. And their tomato soup is creamy like a bisque, topped with a piece of toasted baguette smothered in herbed goat cheese. It's enough to make me wish it were raining in our city of eternal sunshine.
The "gala" itself was boring and felt like a fundraiser. Call me a snob, but one doesn't call it a gala with paper plates and cheap Smart and Final desserts cut into 2-inch servings....at a cost. It was filled with hipsters trying to out-weird one another via hair and clothing, and a band that played...well, it wasn't music.
We escaped and wandered around darkened service hallways and opened doors into forbidden and forgotten ballrooms. The beauty of the place was intoxicating, and we had a blast exploring....until chased down and escorted out by security.
Enjoy the photos!