MLK Day weekend was a busy one for me this year as I played tour guide to a new audience.
One of my college friends came to visit me from DC, and we ate (a separate post to come), drank and explored our way through the city. I took him on much the same route as I did my mom– The Getty, Rodeo Drive, Greystone, Santa Monica, Malibu– but with a new audience, comes different tastes.
The first big difference was that Alex wanted to explore the night life scene and I was more than happy to explore this myself. On Friday night we went out in West Hollywood. We experienced a myriad of interesting scenes as we made our way down the strip of themed gay bars, and we had a great time. We are both big fans of Bravo, so what we were most excited about was visiting Lisa Vanderpump’s bars– Pump and Sur (she has a third restaurant in Beverly Hills that we did a walk by of).
Sur is the bar that is featured on Vanderpump Rules. We were vastly underwhelmed by it. It’s quite a small space– one rectangular room with a few small tables with tiny chairs. I liked the vibe– the blue and purple lighting, the white marble bar top– but the execution was disappointing especially in comparison to Pump.
Pump was like a magical fairy land. First off, it was an actual restaurant with a square bar area in the back of it, and upon entry I was greeted with the delicious scent of seafood dishes. The cocktails were pricy at $15 a piece (at Sur I got a glass of Veuve champagne [praise be] for $11) but delicious– I got a champange cocktail with sangria and my fave, St. Germain (an elderflower liqour). it was also pink which was fun.
My friend and I loved the atmosphere– it was classy and majestic with firefly lights encased in glass hanging from trees, heat lamps that made the space feel cozy, and a collection of chandeliers over the bar. It felt much more Lisa than the sleek and cold Sur.
In another deviation from my Mom’s itinerary, I took Alex, my roommate and her boyfriend on the Hollywood sign hike, with a pitstop at the Griffith Observatory (because we all want to embrace all that is La La Land). After taking in the stellar views and soaking in the sun at the very crowded observatory, we headed to the trail.
Apparently no one believed me when I said the hike was intense… since I tend to over exaggerate, and I’m not an experienced hiker. So everyone struggled unexpectedly (though I felt much better the second time around), but they enjoyed every second of it.
Not only did we have an exceptionally fine day (it had been raining here non-stop) with clear, mostly un-hazy views, we also saw some great dogs! Including a Spuds (an English Bullterrier, the bread of my much beloved family dog) and my first opportunity to pet a Frenchie! (which is the breed I desperately hope to own one day)
After a relaxing Sunday hanging by the Santa Monica and Malibu beaches, we tackled LACMA and The Last Bookstore.
It was my first time at LACMA as well, and it was pretty awesome though a bit overwhelming. There were huge crowds because Target sponsors certain federal holidays so that people can enter the museum for free. (Thanks, Target!) The collection was very impressive– from contemporary modern art to Southeast Asian artifacts and even a painting from my boy, Degas mixed in with the Picassos.
It was an exhausting adventure of a five days, and a ton of fun. I have a feeling more of my friends will start to visit me, because let’s be real, I live in a dream environment, and I love exploring it.
To hear about our weekend food adventures,