La Descarga-Los Angeles

La Descarga-Los Angeles

What: La Descarga

Where: Los Angeles

For: Ages 21+

La Descarga is an exclusive speakeasy in Los Angeles.  Ethan took me here last month, and I’ve heard so many great things about the club that I was super excited to go and check it out.  The club itself exceeded expectations, and it renewed my love for hidden bars and speakeasies in Los Angeles.

Getting In

Guests need reservations to enter the club, and they can be made either on the website or by calling directly.  I suggest that you call at least a week prior to ensure that the club is not at capacity.  There is a small neon sign advertising the lounge.  The entry door sits behind a taco stand and has a single security guard checking for ID and reservations.  After your reservation is confirmed, patrons are led up a stairway to a hostess.  She sits at a simple desk and will welcome you to the lounge.

After your welcome, the hostess opens a closet on the side of the room and pushes aside the coats and dresses on hangars.  This reveals a red velvet curtain.  When the curtain is pushed aside, it leads into the top part of the lounge.  A short hallway and staircase leads guests to the main floor of the bar.  The entire presentation of the entry into La Descarga was exciting and like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

The Club

The main bar has reserved seating areas and standing room only.  They are known for their specialty cocktails.  There is a smoking room in the back that has a bar that serves standard cocktails.  Bar seating in the back room is on a first-come first-served basis.  Tables are by reservation only, but guests can sit at the table until the party that reserved comes to claim them.  Cigars and cigarettes are allowed in the room since there is ventilation to the outdoors via the roof.

The shows are scheduled hourly and last about fifteen minutes.  When we were there, there was a burlesque show and live band.  The saxophone player came down the steps and played in the crowd, which was unique.  He also coordinated the show with the dancer.  This was one of the best burlesque shows that I’ve seen at a speakeasy.  We ended up spending about 3.5 hours here, and we could’ve spent the entire night here if we didn’t get hungry and decide to leave!  If you have a bigger party, I strongly suggest that you call as early as possible to reserve a table and ensure your party can stay together in the main bar area.

The Crowd

La Descarga is an upscale club with a dress code.  The entire dress code can be viewed online, and security reserves the right to turn guests away at the door if they do not comply with the rules.  Men wore jackets, and all women were in cocktail dresses and heels.  Around showtime, the main floor became shoulder-to-shoulder crowded.  I suggest that you make your way to the main room at least twenty minutes to half-an-hour in advance of showtimes to ensure you have standing room to enjoy the show.

Cost

We ended up spending about $15 per drink, which seemed very reasonable for Los Angeles.  I tried two different specialty cocktails, and both of them tasted amazing.

La Descarga Information

1159 North Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90029

(323) 466-1324

ladescargala.com

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Tony’s on the Pier-South Bay

Tony’s on the Pier-South Bay

What: Tony’s on the Pier

Where: Redondo Beach

For: All Ages/Ages 21+ at Night

Tony’s on the Pier (aka ‘Old Tony’s’) is a restaurant and bar that allows guests to have an amazing seafood meal while sitting on the Pacific Ocean.  I’ve been here a few times, once for the afterparty of a good friends’ wedding and once for a night out in Redondo Beach with Ethan.

The Restaurant

The restaurant is situated on the pier and has large glass windows overlooking the ocean.  It was especially nice that the décor of the restaurant was completely ocean themed.  There were lobster traps, fishing nets and various sea creatures lining the walls.  Tony’s is open for lunch and dinner, and menus are on the website.  We had a pre-fixed course with soup and entrees.  The chowder was amazing, and the clams were perfect.  I really enjoyed the way Tony’s cooked and seasoned their seafood.  It wasn’t too heavy so that we felt extremely full when I was finished, but it left us completely satisfied.

Top O’ Tony’s

If you walk up the stairs from the restaurant, there is a rooftop bar with live entertainment.  The rooftop offers a full bar and a small amount of seating for guests.  The bartenders were very kind and personable.  There was trail mix on each table for patrons to enjoy while sipping their cocktails.  The view of the Redondo Beach Harbor is best from the rooftop. Happy hour is offered during select dates and times (please check the website for specifics).  The live entertainment has always been a great addition to the bar.  Although the area is small, it felt very intimate with the musicians singing and playing their instruments close by.

The Crowd

The restaurant is open for all ages, with the rooftop bar reserved for ages 21 and over.  The crowd is quieter at Tony’s, with most guests coming to enjoy the live music and ambiance of the restaurant.  Parking for the restaurant is in a prepaid parking structure east of the pier.  Keep in mind that if you decide to take an Uber or Lyft to the Redondo Beach Pier, cell service becomes extremely spotty (no matter which network), so you’ll have a difficult time getting out.

Cost

Lunch costs about $20 per person, excluding drinks.  Dinner will run about $30 per person, again excluding drinks.  At the top bar, cocktails are about $12 each.  Since Tony’s is one of the few restaurants that overlooks the ocean, the price is definitely paid along with the location and quality of the food makes the restaurant and bar worth the price.

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Tony’s on the Pier Information

210 Fisherman’s Wharf, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

(310) 374-1442

oldtonys.com

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The Lighthouse Cafe-South Bay

The Lighthouse Cafe-South Bay

What: The Lighthouse Cafe

LLL d 13 _2644.NEF

Where: South Bay

For: Ages 21+

The Lighthouse Café is Ethan and my go-to place if we want to eat and enjoy a live band.  Another plus is that it was one of the sets for the movie La La Land.  The vibe is always vibrant when you walk into the café.  The security, hostesses and servers are personable and nice.  It’s a great place to go when you want to have a casual night in the South Bay.

The Restaurant

The restaurant is open until 1:00am every night of the week, which makes this bar the place to go if you want a late-night meal.  The café is open for special events as well (please check the website).  Unfortunately, the aesthetics of the food that comes out is definitely lacking and makes the trays look very sad.  That being said, the food is actually pretty good, and it’s a great environment to eat some American food in.

La La Land

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone filmed many scenes over four days at The Lighthouse Café.   If you go outside, you can witness an iconic scene with the two characters standing next to each other in front of a neon sign advertising the Café.  I loved that the movie included jazz and the special lighthouse stained glass in the background.  An interesting thing is that the Lighthouse still has one of the clocks from the movie in the restaurant that (apparently) the director has been trying to get back. Another interesting tidbit is that the Hermosa Beach chamber teamed up with Hollywood two years ago to transform the Hermosa Beach Pier into a La La Land-themed pier.  They played jazz music and allowed guests to take Instagram-worty pictures on the pier.

The Bar

The Lighthouse Café is the best place to go if you’re interested in listening to Jazz in Hermosa Beach. Security checks ID after 9:30pm and gives you a stamp for in-and-out privileges.  There is sometimes a cover charge of $5 to $10 per guest depending on which live band is playing that night.  There is a small dance floor in the middle of the tables.  Tables and booths for dining line the outside area of the bar and there are many spaces to sit at the bar tables if you’re interested in getting up close and personal with the bartenders.

The Crowd

The age range for the guests varies.  Many times, groups meet here to celebrate birthdays.  A great thing is that the bands generally come into the crowd during breaks and dance with the patrons.

Cost

The Lighthouse Café is very affordable.  Drinks range from $6-$15 each.  Happy hour is available daily (please check the website for more information).  Dinner rang in at about $12 to $16 per plate, which is a steal in Hermosa Beach.  We will continually come back to The Lighthouse Café for dinner, drinks and dancing.

The Lighthouse Cafe Information

30 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

(310) 376-9833

thelighthousecafe.net

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Melisse-Santa Monica

Melisse-Santa Monica

What: Melisse

Where: Santa Monica

For: Ages 18+

For my birthday, Ethan surprised me by taking me to my first Michelin Starred Restaurant (two Michelin Stars).  Melisse is a French restaurant with a preset menu crafted by Chef Josiah Citrin.  Although it’s very expensive, it made for a night to remember.

The Restaurant

With Melisse situated in Santa Monica, parking is hard to come by.  I suggest you take an Uber or Lyft to the restaurant.  I did see a valet service parking patrons’ cars in the back of the restaurant.  When you walk in, you’re immediately treated like a VIP.  The tables have white tablecloths and there is a setting with many utensils (I wasn’t sure which fork to use first).  The restaurant exudes a chic ambiance of the French theme.  Ornate décor and chandeliers with soft lighting sets the mood for your dining experience.  The servers introduce themselves and every dish that you will be having that night.  You must make reservations online or by calling the restaurant.  I suggest making reservations as soon as possible, minimally three weeks in advance.

There are options of a four-course, seven-course and ten-course menu at Melisse.  If you opt for the ten-course menu, expect to spend at least two hours in the restaurant.  We had the seven-course menu and were in the restaurant for an hour and a half.  The menus are constantly rearranged and updated, so be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date dining options.

The Food

Although the serving size seems small, the dishes at Melisse really fill you up.  My favorite dish was the caviar egg that came out on an intricate platter.  My other favorite was the pasta with truffles (the truffles are a significant amount more cost-wise).  There were some plates that I generally would not order or try, but I ate everything that was put in front of me.  I felt like each part of the meal was better than the last.  I couldn’t even finish the dessert that was brought out.  This is definitely a restaurant to go to for the complete fine-dining experience.

The Crowd

Everyone was dressed to the nines here.  Men came in suits with ties and jackets.  I wore my Christian Louboutin heels and cocktail dress.  The age range is 18+ because of the atmosphere.  The servers were very knowledgeable about every dish and wine pairing.  They even bagged up our desserts to take home.  Since we went for my birthday, they brought out a special dessert dish and tied our menu up in a sweet reminder of our date.

Cost

Since Melisse is a fine-dining restaurant, you should expect to spend a pretty penny.  Each of us had the pre-fixed menu and two drinks (four total) with a receipt upwards of $600.  I did order truffles (extra $50) on one of my dishes that pushed the bill up (although it was so worth it).  I do know that the yearly DineLA menu includes Melisse for $99 per person (varies yearly).

Melisse Information

1104 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

(310)395-0881

melisse.com

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Skyloft-Laguna Beach

Skyloft-Laguna Beach

What: Skyloft

Where: Laguna Beach

For: All Ages/21+ at Night

I’ve been going to Skyloft since I turned 21 (I grew up in Orange County).  The most recent time we stopped by was for my 10-year high school reunion in May of this year. It is not only a great American restaurant with rooftop seating, but it turns into a club at night with live bands, a dance floor and huge main bar.

The Restaurant

Skyloft is on the second floor of a building in Laguna Beach.  It includes the entire second floor of the building and the rooftop deck.  Half of the second floor is dedicated to restaurant seating.  Patrons can walk upstairs to the roof for outdoor restaurant seating that has heaters at night when it gets cooler by the beach.  Guests can go to Skyloft for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Happy Hour.  A kids’ menu is offered for the littlest diners.  Food is an eclectic mix of American food, and menus can be acceded on Skyloft’s website.

The Main Bar

The Main Bar is on the main level and has 12 TVs throughout the room.  Décor is modern and clean, and the bar is three hundred-sixty degrees accessible.  Barstools surround the bar with cocktail tables and small lounge areas lining the walls.  A large selection of craft beers on tap along with a full bar are offered.

Nightlife

A security guard starts checking identification at the entrance of the restaurant starting at 9:00pm.  In the room attached to the main bar on the main level is a stage area.  Every Tuesday night there is a comedy night.  Cocktail tables for standing room along with sit down seating are around the stage and dance floor area.  Small booths for parties are on two sides of the walls. Live music is offered on the main floor six nights per week.  The dance area gets busy later in the night on Fridays and Saturdays.  The upstairs outdoor area is open during the night, and guests can go up to get some fresh air before resuming dancing the night away.

The Crowd

The crowd is more dressed up in true Laguna Beach Style.  A mix of younger and older patrons come to Skyloft, and Skyloft shuttles give free transportation to guests within a 3-mile radius of the restaurant.  Beach attire is not allowed.

Cost

Lunch and dinner costs approximately $20 to $25 per person (excluding drinks).  Lunch combos are offered at specific times (please check the website).  Happy Hour is 3:00pm until close on Monday and 3:00pm to 6:00pm from Tuesday through Friday.  Late Night Happy Hour is offered Sunday through Wednesday from 10:00pm until close.  Tuesday Comedy Night Tickets are $20 for VIP seated tickets and $10 for standing room tickets.  Drinks cost $12 to $15 per drink depending on what is ordered.

Skyloft Information

422 S Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 2651

(949) 715-1550

skyloftoc.com

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Terranea-Rancho Palos Verdes

Terranea-Rancho Palos Verdes

What: Terranea

Where: Rancho Palos Verdes

For: All Ages

I’ve been to the luxury resort Terranea in Palos Verdes twice so far.  The great thing is that it’s only a 20-minute drive from our home in Torrance.  Once, Ethan sent me for a spa day where I spent my time at one of the outdoor pools overlooking the ocean and an hour with a masseuse in an oceanfront room.  The other time, we went for a round of golf on the 9-hold par three then ate at Nelson’s restaurant at the resort and walked around the tide pools.

The Hotel

Terranea is located on a peninsula and surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean.  If you come on a clear day, you can see Catalina Island on the horizon.   Every time I’ve been here, there have been lavish weddings with gorgeous themes (one even had a baby African Elephant!).  This is truly paradise in our backyard.  For rooms, reservations are around $360 a night depending on what time of year you book (reservations can go up to $600 per night).  We never stayed here because of the price, but the other offerings of the resort will keep us coming back.  The rooms offered include guestrooms, suites, bungalows (only for ages 18+), casitas and villas.  Many guests come here to spend their honeymoon.  Check in is at 11:00am with check out at 4:00pm.

The Spa

There is a spa in the middle of the hotel.  A large pool overlooks the crashing waves of the ocean.  The spa is the epitome of luxury.  Patrons can utilize fluffy robes and slippers and drink fruit-infused water while they await their spa treatment.  My massage was amazing and made me feel like a noodle when I was finished.  If you book a spa treatment, you are able to utilize all the amenities the hotel has to offer for that day.

The Golf Course

Ethan and I used a Groupon ($59) for both of us to play on the Par-3 Nine-Hole course that Terranea offers.  When you walk up, caddies take your information and give you a cart for your bag with their five-star treatment.  We didn’t rent a golf cart which ended up being fine since there was such a short distance to walk on the course.  Everyone was very friendly, and we will definitely be coming back for another round.  Every hole on the course has amazing views of the ocean and city below (good for Instagram pictures!).

Dining

Dining areas include Mar’sel, Catalina Kitchen, Nelson’s, Lobby Bar & Lounge, Bashi, the Spa Café, Sea Beans and Cielo Point.  At the spa, I ate at the Lobby Bar & Lounge.  Live music is offered Thursday-Saturday starting at 7:00pm.  Ethan and I ate at Nelsons following golf, and there is an indoor and outdoor area that has a picnic-bench set up and firepits at night.  We sat at the picnic-like benches in the outdoor area and ate American food (burgers) that were pretty good but not something to write home about.  The ocean front views are what makes the location worth the price.

The Tide Pools

There are trails that lead from the resort down to the ocean and tide pools.  We walked for about an hour out and around the peninsula where we were able to see a variety of small ocean life and take some pictures.  With the amazing Southern-California weather, it allowed us to really enjoy our time exploring the area.  Please keep in mind the tides, since if you go during high tide you might get stranded on one of the cliffs.

The Crowd             

Everyone that came here was dressed up in classy beach attire.  As I said before, there were many lavish and extravagant weddings taking place.  You truly feel as if you’re stepping into a beachfront paradise with people waiting on you at every corner.  The lavish décor of the hotel makes everything feel more glamorous.

Cost

Along with the varying prices for rooms, there is a $35.00 resort fee per room per night.  Deposits for the casitas and villas are 50% of the total room cost plus tax due at booking.  Valet parking is offered at $38.00 per night, with non-resort guest parking coming in at $20 for weekends and $10 for weekdays.  Additional adults per room are charged $50 per night.  I spent $14 per drink at the Lobby Bar & Lounge.  We spent $60 total for food and drinks at Nelson’s.

Terranea Information

100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90075

(866) 802-8000

terranea.com

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Tapas Flavors of Spain-Mission Viejo

Tapas Flavors of Spain-Mission Viejo

What: Tapas Flavors of Spain

Where: Mission Viejo

For: All Ages/21+ after 9:00pm

Last weekend, Ethan and I went with my parents to Tapas Flavors of Spain to celebrate their 32 year wedding anniversary.  Located in Kaleidoscope off of the 5 freeway, I was very excited to come here since I’ve grown up in the area my entire life.  Kaleidoscope has always been a quiet mall with a small amount of traffic, so the fact that there was a club that opened on the main floor made our visit very interesting.  Please remember that Ethan and I also went to a similar Spanish flamenco show in Long Beach called Sevilla…and I strongly believe that Tapas was a better value with the show and food.  Club wise, however, I would lean toward Sevilla.

My dad dancing with one of the flamenco dancers on stage.

The Restaurant

The restaurant is Spanish themed and includes tables around a dance floor.  A full service bar is on the left side of the restaurant, and the dance floor includes a raised stage where we watched the flamenco dancers and band.  We ordered four appetizers and two entrees, which filled up four people.  The restaurant accommodates around 300 people, and all of the tables were completely occupied when we came at 7:45pm for our reservation on a Saturday night.  Reservations can be made on Yelp or the restaurant website, and you will receive text messages notifications on your phone reminding you of your reservation a couple days prior. We ordered all dishes tapas style (compare to family-style where each guest eats a little bit of every dish) from the restaurant, and we were not disappointed in our food or service.   All of the food is authentic Spanish cuisine, and it definitely tasted better than the comparable Sevilla that we visited in Long Beach.  Happy Hour is also offered on the bar and patio at specific dates and times (refer to the website).

The Show

Tapas Flavors of Spain used to be located in Newport Beach and has recently (as of January 2018) relocated to Mission Viejo.  The show started promptly at 8:00pm and went until 9:00pm with no intermission.  The band and dancers really felt like they transported you to Spain.  Their talent was undeniable.  At the end of the show, one of the female dancers invited my dad on stage.  This was quite the pleasant surprise, and our entire party enjoyed the audience participation.  The dancers even changed their clothes after the show and danced with the patrons on the floor when the DJ was brought up, which made the experience feel very intimate.

The Club

The club started after the flamenco show ended at 9:00pm.  At this time there is also security at the door checking identification and requiring a cover charge.  If you want to leave and re-enter, make sure that you get a stamp on your wrist.  There is an outdoor patio area for smokers.  There is also a small taco window on the patio where you can order chicken tacos and top them with a variety of foods.  We ordered 4 chicken tacos and paid $7 before loading them up with toppings.  It was a great way to fix our hunger pangs later in the night, and we ate our tacos while watching people dance inside the club.  The club consisted of a DJ spinning Latin and top 40 music.  It wasn’t as crowded as we anticipated on a Saturday night, and we thought that the club was only filled a quarter to capacity.  Make sure to check the website to see any special events or DJs.  The club is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00pm to 1:30am.

The Crowd

The crowd varied in age.  Ethan, my parents and I all felt like we were blending in, as there was a distinct mix of people attending.  Some families attended dinner and the flamenco show before leaving when the club opened.  Multiple birthdays were being celebrated.  When the club started, the younger group cleared out leaving room for the adults.  My parents danced the night away on the dance floor and went home exhausted but happy.

Cost

Please refer to my post on Sevilla in Long Beach, where it cost $200 for two people to enjoy dinner and a show.  Tapas Flavors of Spain only cost $94 (excluding alcohol) for four people, which included dinner, a show and entry into the club.   This was the best value for our money spent, and we all left very happy with our experience at Tapas Flavors of Spain.

My dad still happily dancing on stage.

Tapas Flavors of Spain Information

27741 Crown Valley Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92691

(949) 367-0373

tapasflavorsofspain.net

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Tapas Flavors of Spain, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing admin@la-staycation.com

 

 

 

 

 

The Comedy & Magic Club-Hermosa Beach

The Comedy & Magic Club-Hermosa Beach

What: The Comedy & Magic Club

Where: Hermosa Beach

For: Ages 18+

Ethan and I have been to the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach on numerous occasions.  At the Club, you can watch comedy headliners performing famous stand up, or you can watch a variety of comedians some and perform 10-minute sets each.  We have rarely seen a magician on stage.

The Club

To enter the club, we always buy tickets online.  There is a calendar where you can see which comedian or magician is performing.  There is also a will-call window where you can buy tickets if there is availability that night.  A security guard checks your reservation and identification at the door.  The club is open Tuesdays through Sundays (check the calendar for special events and show times).  All seats are on a first come, first served basis.  Sometimes we have been able to get great seats in the front of the stage.  Other times we have to share a table with another couple or party.  There are booths in the back for larger groups.  Limited rooftop parking is available, and with the plethora of restrictions on street signs I recommend that patrons take an Uber or Lyft over.  Keep in mind that the club is very dark, so make sure to look where you’re stepping and going.  The table seating on the floor can get packed, which makes it difficult to get up and walk around once you’re seated.

The Food

There is a two item per person minimum in the club.  The two items can be a combination of things (i.e. two drinks, a drink and dessert, two entrees, etc.).  The applewood smoked mac and cheese and hot spinach & artichoke dip are our favorites.  If you order one of these entrees to share, it can feed two people.  Servers come around before the show and during the show.  The check is brought out about 10 minutes prior to the end of the show.  Drinks, Appetizers, Salads, Pastas, Entrees and Desserts are all offered to guests.

The Performers

As the venue states, a variety of comedians and magicians come to this club to perform.  Jay Leno comes almost every Sunday (you can tell by the different classic car that parks in the front of the club on Sunday afternoons.  Ethan and I generally come on the weekend for the 10-comedian show.  Some of the comedians are hit and miss depending on the type of comedy.  Make sure to check the show schedule online to see who will be performing.  Every time we have gone to the Comedy & Magic Club, we have left satisfied with the show.

Posters of Famous Comedians Line the Walls.

The Crowd

The dress code is casual, although beach attire is not allowed.  A strict age limit of 18 and above is enforced, with security at the door checking IDs.  The crowd has always been a great audience for the performer(s).  There’s always one or two hecklers that the comedians have to overcome.  Most people are dressed very casually, as it is just a block away from Hermosa Beach.

Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Cost

Salads run from $16.00 to $19.00,  Entrees range from $19.00 to $30.00, Pastas are from $14.00 to $19.00, with Desserts ranging from $5.50 to $9.50.  Appetizers are $13.50 to $16.00 and   Drinks are $10.50 to $12.00.  The cost for entry into the club ranges from $10 per person to $20 per person depending on the show for the night.  Famous headliners can drive the cost of admission up.

Jerry Seinfield’s Puffy  Shirt

The Comedy & Magic Club Information

1018 Hermosa Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

(310) 372-1193

comedyandmagicclub.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to The Comedy & Magic Club, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing admin@la-staycation.com

 

 

 

 

The Shade Hotel-Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

Shade Hotel-Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

What: Shade Hotel

Skydeck

Where: Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

For: Ages 21+

Ethan and I came to the Shade Hotel twice, once for New Years and once for Valentine’s Day.  Both times we had a wonderful time and there were many things to do and see.  Unfortunately, we didn’t ever stay at the hotel, but we are planning on doing this for an upcoming staycation.  For New Years, they transformed all of the public spaces into a ‘Moulin Rouge’ theme with poker tables and an outdoor cigar lounge.

Ethan and Me at The Shade Hotel for New Years 2017.

The Hotel

The Hotel is very modern and upscale.  Each time we came here we dressed up very formally and didn’t feel out of place at all.  The hotel itself is only a few blocks from the bustling downtown Manhattan Beach nightlife and main street.  Valet parking is offered at the entrance. There is a rooftop Skydeck with bar and relaxation pool offered to guests.  With the location only 5 miles from LAX, this would be a perfect space for tourists to come and enjoy one of the nicest cities in the South Bay.

Zinc and Skydeck

During the summer there are pool parties on the Skydeck with a $20 cover per person.  The parties include hand-crafted cocktails on the rooftop, and bottle service is optional.   At night, the staff turns on the firepits at the Skydeck, and cocktails are served for guests to sip while lounging on the beautifully decorated deck.  Happy hours during the week are also offered, with drinks ranging from $4 to $8 each.  A DJ is hired on Friday and Saturday nights in the downstairs Zinc Lounge.

There is a main restaurant called Zinc that covers the Terrace and Lounge and offers small plates.  At the Lounge, I had appetizers on a Saturday night and sipped martinis at the bar while watching sports on one of the many TVs.  Cocktail tables and lounge chairs are in the Terrace and Lounge for guests as well.  A small dance floor sits in front of the DJ table.

The Crowd

Many parties seemed to be celebrating birthdays or special occasions.  As I said before, this is a place that you dress to the nines to experience.  The DJ’s music is a mix of Hip Hop, Top 40 and House.

Cost

The New Years party cost $100 per person and included appetizers, a champagne toast, gambling, tokens, etc.  I spent $15 on a small plate of food while sitting at the bar in the Lounge.  If you don’t go for Happy Hour, expect to spend $15 for one cocktail.

Shade Hotel Information

1221 N. Valley Drive, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 546-4995

mb.shadehotel.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to the Shade Hotel, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing admin@la-staycation.com

 

 

The Strand House/Strand Bar-Manhattan Beach

The Strand House/Strand Bar-Manhattan Beach

What: The Strand House/Strand Bar

Where: South Bay

For: All Ages/21+ At Night

The Strand House and Strand Bar is the place that Ethan and I like to go to under certain circumstances (a) if there is a birthday/anniversary/special occasion, (b) if we’re trying to impress someone from out of town and (c) if we feel like going to a place that’s upscale and close to the beach.  Keep in mind that each time we come here we expect to spend upwards of $150 for the two of us throughout the night.

The Strand House Restaurant

The Strand House

To enter the restaurant, you check in with a hostess on the first floor where you’re also greeted with floor-to ceiling wine bottles leading you up a staircase into The Strand House. Brunch, lunch, dinner and desserts are served in the restaurant.  I’ve come for lunch and dinner.  For lunch I took a client who wanted to eat on the beach, and we ended up spending about $35 per person (excluding drinks).  He ordered the tacos which were laughably small (think two-bite lunch tacos) that left him feeling hungry.  We actually stopped for fast food on the way back to the office.  For dinner, you can expect to spend $35 to $60 per person (excluding drinks).  We sometimes order the pizza (thin crust and made with fresh ingredients) along with some appetizers to share.  Entrees range from $28 to $95 depending on what you order.

Restaurant Bar

There are indoor and outdoor seating areas at The Strand House.  I only sit outdoors when there isn’t too much wind chill.  Indoor seating offers you a 180 degree view of the Pacific Ocean.  There is also a full bar with bar stools upstairs if you want to just catch a drink and watch the sunset.

Dining Table Set Up

Strand Bar

Cocktails and bottle service are offered on the first floor of the Strand House (called the Strand Bar).  There is a main bar in the center of the venue that gets very busy later on into the night.

Main Bar

A small dance floor is at the opposite end of the entrance.  No drinks are allowed on the dance floor (we were reprimanded for this on numerous occasions).  A DJ booth sits in the corner of the dance floor.  The music is hit and miss here.  Sometimes we go in on a great night when they’re playing a mix of hip hop, top 40 and house music.  Other times we feel like we’re in a wedding reception or at a family reunion (oh well, to each their own).  We usually will end our night here after hitting a few bars on Manhattan Beach’s main street.

The Crowd

At 10:00pm there is security placed at the door to card guests and ensure they are 21+.  Depending on the event and time that you go, there could be a cover charge.  Re-entry is allowed provided that you have a stamp on your wrist or colored wristband (alternates).  There is more of an older crowd here, so this is definitely a place where you can avoid the college students (see: Cost).

Entrance to both The Strand House and Strand Bar

Cost

Lunch runs about $30 per person (excluding drinks) with dinner hitting anywhere between $35 to $60 per person (excluding drinks).  The cover charge has ranged from $10 to $20 depending on the event.  Cocktails are almost all $15 each.  Bottle Service costs from $350 to $800.  I don’t think we have left The Strand House spending any less than $150 on a good night.  Sometimes we can spend upwards of $200 on a special occasion.  If you’re looking for a place to impress visitors that is overpriced and by the beach, this is the place to go.

Strand Bar

The Strand House/Strand Bar Information

117 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 545-7470

thestrandhousemb.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to The Strand House/Strand Bar, please comment on this post!  Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing admin@la-staycation.com