I woke up from a morning of face stuck-to-the-pillow exhaustion and opened one eye to wink at my phone, to see who was texting me. Of course, it was a welcomed text from my good friend Joanna, telling me, “It’s a beautiful day. What are we going to do?” I decided quickly that it was time to take a little adventure to the Westside and see what kind of fun we could have in the beautiful reminiscence of the California summer sunshine.
We made our way through Laurel Canyon and decided on the El Capitan Theater to see “Beauty and the Beast” in 3-D as our main adventure, but we’d also have several other ones along the way. We took a quick walk to Boho, which is a gastro pub located in an outdoor mall on Hollywood and Highland. I would say the atmosphere is very Jumanji study meets lounge; definitely interesting and eclectic. The bar is set up nicely and they have a number of beers on tap and other sections of cocktails and wine. We opted to have a quick afternoon cocktail—at ten bucks a piece we limited ourselves to one. I ordered the Apple St. Germine and Joanna ordered the Fizzy Pink. We ended up swapping drinks because the fizzy pink was too tart for Joanna’s liking, but that was fine by me because the elderflower in the St. Germine was a bit sweet for my taste buds.
We decided that we’d go buy our tickets for the show and then head over for a cheap happy hour at Hooters . Classy I know, we ordered greasy bar food, like loaded tater tots and boneless chicken wings, to go with our drinks. We chatted, watched a bit of football and then made our way over to the movie. I’m a Disney fiend; to say the least. I love everything associated with old-school Disney movies. The singing and animation just remind me of a carefree time in my life that I always wish to go back to. Having my little niece is great, because now I get to share all my Disney love with her as well. The movie was great, but the theater itself was even better; it was so much fun to see the curtains drawn up with all the lights and huge stage.
We made our way back to the valley and as we were passing Sherman Oaks, I drove by The Local Peasant, which I mention I had wanted to go to, and Joanna said, “Well, we’re here. Why don’t we go?” So I turned around and we found a good parking space and stopped in for a drink. The Local Peasant has the staple old-school cocktails, some modern reinvented ones, a large selection of beer on tap, and wine in the bottle, as well as on tap for their house selections. The atmosphere is dark for the most part, as with most of these types of pubs. One side of the restaurant is lined with mirrors and white tiles reflecting the diminishing sunshine from a late evening sunset, there are communal tables as you walk in, a growing trend in the restaurants these days. The Local Peasant has no significant signage except for plain letters on the front door. The bar is large and positioned at the back of the restaurant, seating about 15-20 guests. Joanna had the Cellopeno, which is a mixture of spicy green jalapenos, Ventura County limoncello, vodka, lemon and rosemary. This small cocktail packed a punch of spicy sweetness with a sort of burning warmth as it was sipped. I ordered the Fox Barrel Pear Cider, which was light and refreshing. The clientele is older, but still interesting; a mix of people just getting off of work and having a beer on a Monday night. Our service was wonderful and I look forward to going back for dinner or a cheese plate another night.
After our cocktail we made our way over to Reseda to Pho 999, this Vietnamese restaurant is humble and family style. The restaurant was still pretty busy for a Monday night at 9 p.m. I ordered Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong, which is a cold noodle dish with fresh vegetables and barbecue pork and eggrolls. It’s a delicious option if you don’t want hot soup that day; otherwise, pho is always an excellent choice. The addition of fish sauce makes the whole bowl delightful and refreshing. Joanna ordered a kind of Vietnamese very small grain rice that had barbecue beef on it, a mixture of Vietnamese pressed meat and vegetables and a type of tripe that’s a very strange texture, yet still delicious. The whole plate was so different and interesting. It was a great meal to share and a wonderfully full day of food and drink adventures.
I’d have to say the best day I had in Seattle was the last full day I was there. An honest save the best for last type feeling occurred to me and I was able to get in an amazing amount of fun. My morning started off with breakfast at Toulouse Petit this lovely eatery is located in Queen Anne, its décor is chic and welcoming. The food is fantastic and southern inspired, I love breakfast when I’m in the mood for it and here I was very happy with the outcome of my meal. I ordered Fried Oyster and Bacon Eggs Benedict. The absolute luxury of this dish was something to recoil at because it was such an early hour but seeing this item on the menu was too tempting to pass up the offer. I had chosen correctly and was happily on my way through three quarters of the platter before second guessing its lavish appeal on my taste buds. The influence of the south was present on my plate, thick cut crispy bacon, perfectly fried corn meal battered oysters flowing with runny egg yolk and Creole hollandaise sauce over a lightly toasted muffin take the cup on one of the best breakfast plates I’ve had in a very long time. Breakfast Happy Hour is an affordable and awesome way to start the day.
After breakfast I took the bus down to the city and took a stroll over to the market and looked into some shops. Later on I made my way back to my hotel and decided to stop at the Experience Music Project I absolutely loved this place, it’s a combination of music and science fiction. They have amazing exhibits on Nirvana, so many guitars, Jimi Hendrix, and also they had a really amazing exhibit on Avatar which is one of my favorite movies. I could have spent an eternity in there looking at all the music pieces and reading about guitars as well as playing in the sound labs. It was really one of my favorite museums I’ve been to.
After that I met up with a new friend I made at Ashley and Bryan’s wedding Lia. We had drinks and happy hour at Toulouse Petit because she said it was one of the best happy hours in town which I’d have to say was correct. We had a plethora of different dishes ranging from amazing mouth watering modern southern flavor to the classic down home fried bar grub. We chatted and made it through the menu, I love meeting new people who love food.
Fried Okra with Remoulade
Wild Mushroom and garlic bruschetta with arugula
Ahi Tuna Tartar with Quail egg and horseradish cream
Golden Beet Salad with haricot vert, blue cheese, kalamata olives, citrus vinaigrette and candied walnuts
Katie Mae pearl vodka, st germain, grapefruit juice, prosecco
After some awesome conversation and lots of good eats, Lia offered to take me the other side of Lake Union to Gas Works Park which had an amazing view of Seattle from across the lake. Before getting to the park we stopped at an awesome Pie Shop in Fremont called Pie. They specialize in all things pie, sweet and savory. I ordered a Raspberry Peach Pie and Lia got Banana Cream we sat in the sunshine and ate pie by the lake, which was delicious light flaky and wonderful. It was such a beautiful afternoon. After that Lia let me off at my hotel. I hope one day we’ll see each other again soon.
After I got situated I decided to take a walk on the waterfront and watch the sun set over the sound. I walked by the water front and along Olympic Sculpture Park. I sat alongside the sculptures and watched the sun fade into the distance, taking note of the beautiful Washington sunset. Something I knew I wouldn’t see again for at least a little while.
Sometimes I think to myself I’m so terrible with keeping up with content but there’s so much to write about when it comes to food, life, and fun. And every day I’m so fortunate to be able to share the things I love and eat with you all. I hope that this is something I can continue to do forever.
Now for some Food and drink adventures with Stephanie, you can view her lovely entries about our outings at her blog the-loudmouth.com.
Over the last couple of months we’ve been hitting the town aka San Fernando Valley and other outer lying cities around us in search of fun, food, and just a great time. We always have amazing conversation and candid acts of photography. I’m so glad to have this beautiful lady in my life. Here’s a recap of fun in the SFV.
A couple months ago we headed out to Boneyard Bistro . I loved the beer selection here and the fact that we could choose to have flights of beer and try different things. We also made it in for happy hour and had a couple of appetizers.
We’ve found ourselves at the Blue Dog Tavern which is a local Sherman oaks gastro pub having burgers and sandwiches with local beer and sunshine on the patio. Eating at this little place is a brilliant way to spend a summer California afternoon, the food is good but the beer is even better. I had an Ahi tuna burger with coleslaw.
Stephanie and I love local eateries so we just recently went to Sweet Butter Café . This adorable little corner of Sherman Oaks has a really lovely country style feel to it. It is set up in the style of a café where you order inside and you get a little card that has a name of a fruit on it and that’s how they know to bring out the food. Sweet Butter is known for its breakfast and lunch style offerings. We came right in between the two and decided to have
The Yoga Housemade Ranch Gordo White Bean Spread , Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Dressed Arugula on Toasted Rustic Millstone w/Arugula Salad with avocado
Mixed Greens with Fuji Apples, Laura Chenel Chèvre, Dried Cranberries & Sweet Butter’s Candied Pecans with vinaigrette
The food was good. I loved the use of white beans because I use them so much, they are a delicious under rated food. People really do need to eat more beans and legumes. The food is a bit pricy for what it is but normal for Ventura Blvd. It’s an adorable place but I wouldn’t brave it on a Saturday or Sunday when it’s always crowded and crazy. If you’re looking for a chic weekday breakfast or lunch go to Sweet Butter.
We always play in the Sherman oaks Galleria, if I do say so myself, this place has an awesome happy hour selection to choose from. We frequent The Cheesecake Factory for 5 dollar long island ice teas and cheesecake, we seat ourselves with Cadillac margaritas for 5 dollars at El Torito Grill which has happy hour from 2-8 every day and some tasty flour tortillas and salsa for snacking, and we enjoy happy hour dumplings at P.F. Changs with 4 dollar draft beers and cheap specialty cocktails. This is a great cheap place to have a quick drink with a girlfriend then walk around urban home pondering of your dream furnishings.
Aside from food you can find us having fun at the beautiful Japanese Gardens, walking Ventura Boulevard, snagging something sweet, taking photos in shops and on escalators or looking over the city tops into the beautiful LA night, we’re just out having a good time.
Gastro Pubs, A Café, and Happy Hour all make for amazing adventures. I hope you take your city by storm and have wonderful afternoons/ evenings of food and fun.
Just to clarify we didn’t do this all in one day, it’s over the course of a couple months. But I do like to eat/ drink a lot so don’t put it past me.