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.