Over the weekend Steph and I ventured southwards to the humble burg of Los Angeles. There were many adventures to be had. For example, driving on Friday night with only three hours sleep to my credit. I had to take a breather and let Steph drive at one point. These are the tiny little competitions I have with myself. I was clearly outmatched by the sleep monkey on my back. However, I did get to have a delicious run in with a Sonic drive-in in Gilroy. That made the 152 east quite delightful. After a brief respite I was able to tackle the Grapevine. I got us into Hollywood at about 3 am. My dreams of a late night Ruben at Canters Deli had long since faded. We stayed at the Beverly Laurel Motel in Hollywood by the way, and it was a fine place to lay my weary head. They even had thin, flat pillows just the way I like. Also to like about this place was the fact that Swingers Diner was attached to it. Swingers is open until 4 am. This is one of the major things I admire about L.A., restaurants stay open all fucking night long. I think that is what Lionel Ritchie was singing about "all night long!" I should mention one other thing about this place. It had the most gigantic, gargantuan shower I have ever seen in an establishment that bears the name "motel." You simply do not expect to see a two person shower with a bench for $160 a night.
On Saturday we were scheduled to meet up with our friend Manda and her sister Didi at Disneyland. These two crazy fools were coming up from San Diego to meet us and they informed us that they were leaving at 6 am. OMG WTF!!!! They are clearly insane if they thought we were going to stir so close to dawn. Suffice it to say Steph and I leaned on the snooze button heavily that morning. We breakfasted around noon at Milk, a very kitschy Hollywood eatery. and with a good headwind and only light-heavy trafic on the 5 we made it to Disneyland at about 2 pm. That shit is open til midnight so I felt no sense of dismay at arriving so late although it did seem odd to me that the Disneyland workers that had arrived when Manda and Didi did were just about ready to clock out by the time Steph and I arrived. It was all good in the end though as those two ladies are champs and we ended up staying until about 11. Upon getting back to H-Wood, I insisted that we have a night cap (I can be insistent when I want to). We ended up going to a bar Steph mentioned called the Velvet Margarita because they serve drinks in a Pineapple. We made it about 10 minutes before last call and enjoyed some fine beverages. I decided that last call in L.A. is in name only and not so much a practice since I noticed peeps coming after 2 and still being served. One thing about the Hollywood scene is that the one upmanship is fierce especially for the ladies. It's amazing how they vie for different ways to apply an 1/8 of a yard of fabric. This actually spurred a serious topic of discussion as we were leaving the bar. Is this merely a matter of "if you've got it, flaunt it" or are these ladies sadly objectifying themselves to curry favor with menfolk? As it turns out we didn't really arrive at a conclusion Peeps just want to have some fun in the short span that is alloted to them. Next I dragged our sorry asses to Canters. Now, we'd been eating corn dogs and churros all day at the Magic Kingdom and we probably could have stood to miss a meal, but I said fuck it, we're here and Canter's is open. So it was off to Rueben land for us. Manda had been awake damn near 24 hours by this point, and again she was a champ. Although ordering a bagel with a tomato was a pretty weak thing to do.
Sunday. It involved some girly Melrose shop hopping. Steph so rarely shops offline so it really causes me no dread in times like these when she wants to peep her head into some boutiques. And peep she did. We then proceeded to take a little drive around Beverly Hills and on up into the Hollywood hills, At 8 pm we had a dinner reservation set up by a couple of Stephs super kawaii gal pals at Gyu Kaku. By the time 6 pm rolled around it was time I took us on another of my wild adventures. This time we were headed over to Thai Town to investigate the soup noodles at Ord Noodle house as recommended by "The Noodle Whore" (a foodie blogger I follow). Let me just say that this place was awesome, and I'll be doing up the review over at spiceodyssey.org so I won't bother with the details in this post. What I will bother to note is that Gyu-Kaku was a great deal of delicious. This place is what I would normally consider to be a "within the first 3-5 dates" place. I say this because it's kitschy, A Japanese DIY BBQ place gives a new couple just enough silly, yet memorable moments to get through any awkward bouts of silence. Also, it's very dark inside which gives it the air of a smokey jazz club and that makes a dude look artsy to a girl and girls like this. The restaurant would also have you believe it is a bit of a fancy place which allows a dude to show a girl his khaki side, plus if a girl wears a dress that means he gets to see her bare ankles which during the smokey jazz club era was considered to be a bit racy. The reasons I would not recommend this place for a first date or even the second is mainly because it's not super cheap and that means a dude is throwing around some serious cash early on which is just not a smart thing to do when he has no idea of where this relationship is even going. Also, this makes you look arrogant to a lady. "Oh, yes I have $72.50 plus tip to speand on dinner," Do you see how cocky that sounds? It's almost like he's trying too hard and not being himself. That $72.50 plus tip also puts undue pressure on the ladyfolk because then they feel a bit concerned that the dude will now be expecting a bit of a return on his investment. Also, the worst part about a restaurant that allows you to cook your own meat is that you leave the restaurant smelling exactly like the food that smelled so good only an hour before, but somehow once you get in the car you start to realize that you smell like one of those public barbeques they have in the park and worse yet is that your date does too. This is not as sexy as it sounds, rather it's just that I have overly romanticized the subject. Also she will very likely blame you for making her pretty dress smell like a medium rare porterhouse. That of course means nobody is getting any after this date is over. Thus I say save this for dates 3-5 because those dates are already operating from a more secure toehold as that is practically for all intents and purposes a relationship. Anyway as I said before we met up with Stephs gal pals and their dudes and just so you know we are all way beyond 5 dates with our significant others so we are all presumably very comfortable being a bit stinky around one another. Why that very same night Steph offered up her hair to me and asked "Do I need to wash this? Does it smell like meat?" She would have never asked me that on our first date. The girls had just been to meet Betsy Johnson earlier and they were wearing some pretty fancy Betsy party dresses. I couldn't imagine they would want those to smell like BBQ. Fortunately this place had such a great ventilation system that virtually no smoke escaped the grill and no her hair was not meat-tastic that night. We rounded out the night at Milk (again, and again the following morning) for some milkshakes and red velvet cupcakes. I love Milk!
Monday saw us taking a trip to Little Tokyo and then off to meet Stephs friend and her B/F for a late Ladies who lunch, lunch in Beverly Hills. I was scared about this as it sometimes means jaw dropping price points, but it was very reasonable and all enjoyed themselves. We also headed over to Little Osaka in West LA to visit some shops. By the time we were finished it was basically time to head home, but since it was about 5 pm I had no desire to sit in rush hour traffic. So I drove us over to the Santa Monica pier for some impromptu shenanigans. We took our shoes off and walked on the beach, took some jumping pics, ate junk food and rode the roller coaster. It was a great way to beat rush hour. Our trip home was uneventful and quick.
I'm jumbling all the photos below without captions or rhyme or reason or even basic editing. Raw photos in yo face suckas!