Hello Kitty Grand Café – Orange County (Irvine)

Hello Kitty Café – Orange County (Irvine)

What: Hello Kitty Café

The Hello Kitty Grand Cafe in Irvine, CA

Where: Irvine

For: All Ages

The pastries

Hello Kitty Café is one of our kids’ favorite places to stop by.  Not only is it very kid-friendly, but it is a dream for anyone who loves Sanrio and Hello Kitty merchandise.  An added plus is that everything is so cute that the Café is sure to brighten up anyone’s Instagram feed!

Skylar with Hello Kitty

The Café

The Grand Café is located at the Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine, California.  It serves a very limited quantity of food and drinks, and everything is Hello Kitty themed…from cakes to cookies and donuts!  Beverages include teas, coffee and blended drinks.  Special themed merchandise is available for purchase as well.  Make sure to check out the hours online and be prepared for a decent wait if you decide to go on the weekends or during evening hours. 

The Bow Room Set Up

There is a very special and exclusive bow room that can be reserved for parties to enjoy afternoon tea or evening cocktail service (for ages 21+).  The Bow Room has a different menu selection than the rest of the café and includes fruit, sandwiches, sweets and choice of fine tea.  A credit card number is required to hold reservations, which can be made up to 60 days in advance.

The Bow Room: Afternoon Tea or Evening Cocktails

Hello Kitty Café Truck and Pop Ups– Traveling

The Hello Kitty Food Truck

The Café was so popular that there is a traveling food truck that has a schedule available online (mostly available at popular malls).  Because of the limited selection available, sometimes seasonal items can sell out.  Many times there are Facebook events that are created based on the scheduled stops that allow fans to plan what time they want to arrive.  Each time we have come to the Hello Kitty Café Truck there has been a large line, so be sure to come early!

Pastries and Drinks

Some mini-cafes and pop-ups have been created throughout Southern California, albeit for a limited time.  These smaller cafes have small seating areas and a limited selection of drinks, pastries and merchandise available for sale.

Water Bottles and Cookies

The Crowd

As mentioned before, I would advise anyone to come early and be prepared to wait in a decent sized line when experiencing the Café or Food Truck.  There are a bunch of families present along with kids who enjoy Hello Kitty.

The Cafe

Cost

The Bow room costs $55 per person for afternoon tea (2 person minimum and only even number of guests).  Make sure to remember that there is a required gratuity for parties of 6 or more patrons.  Drinks are generally around $4 with pastries costing approximately $5 and bottled water is $2.  If you want a bag, you will have to pay an additional $1.

The Drinks

Hello Kitty Café Information

860 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92626

(949) 536 – 5357

https://www.sanrio.com/pages/hellokittycafe

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Hello Kitty Café, 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

Ragin Cajun Café – South Bay (Redondo Beach)

Ragin Cajun Café – South Bay (Redondo Beach)

Ragin Cajun Cafe and Moonshine Bar

What: Ragin Cajun Café

Where: South Bay (Redondo Beach)

For: All Ages

We first went to this restaurant for Dine LA, and we not only fell in love with the food but the atmosphere is very fun and inviting as well.  Although there was another location shortly open in Hermosa Beach, the Redondo Beach location makes you feel like you’re being transported back to New Orleans for some authentic Cajun food.

Cajun Dining Options

The Restaurant

Ragin Cajun Café gives the South Bay authentic Cajun food from Lafayette Louisiana.  There is a parking lot outside for patrons with a short wait time if you don’t have a reservation.  The restaurant is decorated with a Mardi Gras theme mixed with Bourbon Street and New Orleans.  The mascot is an alligator, and it is present along the walls and in the menus.  License plates, beads and décor surround guests while they’re eating.  A kids’ menu is available for the younger patrons, and there is a mix of locally made and Louisiana craft beer selection for the adults.

Seafood Boil

At various times throughout the year, Ragin Cajun Café has seafood boils for the community to attend at a ticketed price.  Generally, the restaurant books an area at the Seaside Lagoon for these Seafood parties.  Brunch is also offered on Sunday from 11:00am to 2:00pm.  Happy hour is from Monday through Friday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm.

Dining Options

The Food

Every time I go to a Cajun restaurant, I have to try a few things including the gumbo, jambalaya and the beignets.  After trying all three, I have to say that the jambalaya is my favorite.  Although I do love a good beignet, the ones offered here were not as fluffy and soft as the ones I’m used to in New Orleans.  Ethan ordered the shrimp po’boy (a shrimp Cajun sandwich) that was spiced to perfection.  There are also a variety of hot sauces to try on each table.  So far, we have eaten at this restaurant four times, and we always love to come back when we’re in the mood for some Cajun comfort food.

Shrimp Po’Boy

The Crowd

There is a very homey feel to the restaurant, and the owner is often there greeting guests like family.  Many of the patrons are regulars and locals of the South Bay area.  The restaurant is very family-friendly.

Bloody Mary

Cost

$2 Margarita Tuesdays and Happy Hour is offered for those who want to save some money.  You can expect to spend from $20 to $30 per person when dining at Ragin Cajun Café.  I think that it’s worth every penny spent.  Drinks are also heavily poured and very tasty.

Seafood Boil

Ragin Cajun Café Information

525 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, CA 92626

(310) 540 – 7403

www.ragincajuncafe.com

Dining Options

Thanks fosr reading! If you’ve ever been to Ragin Cajun Café, 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

Pelican Hill – Newport Coast

Pelican Hill-Newport Coast

Pelican Hill

What: Pelican Hill

Where: Newport Coast

For: All Ages

My little brother used to work at Pelican Hill, and we would visit him there and lounge by the pool while eating at the pool restaurant.  It’s quite the experience, with all amenities you could ever think of.  You never even have to leave the resort!  This is definitely a luxury five-star hotel that highlights Newport at its finest.

The Rooms

The Resort

The resort sits on over 500 acres of beautiful land and boasts six restaurants, a golf course, spa and pool.  Luxury bungalows and guest rooms provide an expansive view with the extravagant feel of a five star hotel.  Camp Pelican is a kid’s day-camp provided for children ages 4-12.  Kids can partake in activities with the camp leaders while their parents enjoy the amenities of Pelican Hill.  Additional camps and excursions are provided for the older children at an extra cost.  A gift shop located inside the main building of Pelican Hill allows for patrons to pick up beach-themed clothes and trinkets from their stay.  A spa boasts over 20 treatment rooms with a diverse menu of treatments to choose from.  The 36 hole golf course is a world-class course with breathtaking views of the ocean at every hole.

Coliseum Bar and Grill

The Restaurants

The Coliseum Bar and Grill is the restaurant that my brother worked at.  All the food was not only delicious but very filling.  We always enjoyed the ability to either eat seated at the restaurant or dine at cabanas by the pool.  Andrea at Pelican Hill is a sit-down fine dining Italian restaurant located in the center of the main building.  Pelican Grill provides a dining experience that overlooks the gorgeous views of the golf course and ocean.  Vacationers can go to the Villa Clubhouse and experience Piccolo to eat small bites and appetizers to share.  The Great Room Social Lounge provides dining with drinks and music.  One of our favorite places to stop by was the Caffe and Market, which serves gelato.  We always ordered gelato and enjoyed it while taking in the breathtaking views. The golf course boasts its own Pelican Hill Golf Club Caffe for hungry golfers looking to take a break from the game.  And if you don’t want to leave your room, there’s always the diverse room service menu to take advantage of! 

Sky and I at the Pool

The Pool

The Coliseum Pool is the largest circular infinity pool in the world.  It’s surrounded by cabanas and lounge chairs, and floating lounges are provided by the resort.  A small kids pool sits on the second level, and it is secluded enough that patrons can enjoy the water without the hustle of the main Coliseum pool.  Guests can take in the beautiful ocean views and surrounding golf course from the comfort of their private cabanas.

Bird’s Eye View

The Crowd

There is a diverse crowd at Pelican Hill.  My brother used to always tell me of the famous actors, musicians and athletes that he would serve.  Although it is a family friendly resort, it still keeps the elegance of an Italian resort.  All of the workers attend to every need of the patrons, which makes anyone feel like they are on an expensive vacation.

The Grounds

Cost

Daily guest fees for golfing is $295.  Room prices range from $400 into the thousands depending on which room is chosen.  Dining ranges from $20 to $60 per person dependant on the restaurant that is chosen.  Please keep in mind that there are additional charges for Camp Pelican and Spa Treatments.

Sunset on the Course

Pelican Hill Information

22701 S Pelican Hill Rd, Newport Coast, CA 92657

(855) 315 – 8214

https://www.pelicanhill.com/

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Pelican Hill, 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

Little Damage – DTLA

Little Damage – DTLA

Ethan enjoying his ice cream

What: Little Damage

Where: Downtown LA

For: All Ages

Little Damage is a family-owned ice cream shop right in the heart of Los Angeles.  Known for it’s black ice cram and black cones, its creations are an Instagram Lover’s dream.  After following the shop for a while on social media, Ethan and I decided to try it out for ourselves and were pleasantly surprised.

Black Ice Cream with Activated Black Charcoal Cone

The Ice Cream

When we came to Little Damage, it was around Halloween, so they had ice cream options/colors/toppings that fit with the holiday.  It wasn’t very busy when we walked in around 2:00pm on a Sunday, so we were able to chat with the staff while sampling different flavors of ice cream.  What I really enjoyed about our experience was that all of the ice cream is hand-made every day with organic ingredients.  There is always a vegan option available for patrons who are dairy free.  Also, those awesome-looking black cones are made with activated charcoal and created fresh in-store. 

My Ice Cream!

Ethan and I chose two different Halloween-themed ice creams and went into the photo booth (free!) to take pictures.  We loved how our ice cream looked so much that we had to take pictures of it around the store.  The only problem that we had was that the ice cream and cones were so rich and large that we were only able to eat about half of both before we were completely full.

Flavors Vary Seasonally

The Crowd

The crowd varies in Los Angeles.  During the work week, there are more adults and during the weekend there are more families and younger adults.  The great thing was that whenever I saw someone walking around with a black ice cream cone, I knew exactly where they came from!

Beautiful Cups of Ice Cream

Cost

Each ice cream with waffle cone cost us $7, so you can expect to spend less than $10 per person when you come here.  I definitely suggest everyone check out Little Damage if they are in Downtown Los Angeles…if not for the amazing tasting ice cream than for the photo opportunities!

Ice Cream Taco

Little Damage Information

700 S Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014

(213) 628 – 3443

www.littledamage.com

Corvette Diner – Mission Bay (San Diego)

Corvette Diner-Mission Bay (San Diego)

Sky and Emma at the Entrance of Corvette Diner

What: Corvette Diner

Where: Mission Bay (San Diego)

For: All Ages

My cousin recommended that we try out Corvette Diner when we told her that we were taking the kids to San Diego for a few days.  It was a short drive from the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, and it exceeded all expectations.

Corvette Diner

The Diner

When you walk into the diner, you’re immediately transported to the 1950’s.  There is a beautiful classic corvette behind the host stand, and the wait was about 40 minutes long.  We didn’t mind the wait because there was a full-service bar that we ordered drinks from before taking the kids to the back of the restaurant to play as many games as they could before we were called to be seated.  The restaurant also boasts a DJ booth with DJ spinning tunes from the 50’s and checkerboard dance floor.  Another dessert bar is in the back of the restaurant, and patrons are allowed to sit and order floats, Sundays, etc. 

Inside the Diner

Old movies, cartoons and music videos play in black-and-white in the back dining room.  Booths and tables are in the two other rooms, and there is ample space for everything from two-somes to large parties.  There was even a balloon artist that came around to each table and made balloon sculptures for each of the kids (he worked on tips!). 

The Kids with their Balloon Butterfly Wings

The waiters and waitresses were dressed appropriate to the decade, and the waitress really had a great connection to the kids.  She not only brought everyone at the table ‘Corvette Diner’ hats, but she brought extra for their baby dolls also.  After some online research, I was able to see that there are options to book our rooms for parties and corporate events.

Sky and Emma with their Corvette Diner Hats

The Food

The food was very much American Comfort food.  Ethan and I both ordered burgers that were so large we couldn’t finish them.  The kids ordered a hot dog and macaroni and cheese, and the portions were large for them as well. 

Ice Cream Floats

When the waitress brought the kids their lemonade, she put a top on the cup and put sprinkles and a cherry on top (which blew their little minds).  The food was made well, and we left with full stomachs and the desire to come back.  The second day we were there, I ordered an Oreo shake that was to die for.

The Fun Zone

The Fun Zone

We were super surprised that there was an entire arcade in the back of the diner.  A few party rooms were available for rental and dining as well.  Party eat and play packages were offered to patrons for an affordable price.  You’re able to play using a card instead of tokens, and you need to pre-pay prior to sitting down at any games. 

Ethan and the Kids Playing Pinball

Ethan ended up purchasing the most expensive play card, and the kids not only had enough credits to play the entire night, but we came back the next day to finish playing.  There is also an area where the kids can redeem their tokens.  I would compare this to a higher-end and cleaner Chuck-E-Cheese with affordable pricing.

Shakes

The Crowd

The clientele is definitely family-centric with the theme, staff and arcade.  It is very loud and busy, although that’s what we would expect coming to this diner.  The area is also very safe and clean, and we came out earlier in the day to take the kids around and look out at the bay before finishing using our gaming credits.

Other Dining Areas

Cost

Our bill was only $50 (including tip) for dinner.  We tipped the balloon man $5, and the highest level play pass was $50.  Drinks ranged from $10-$12 with desserts costing from $6 to $10.   The experience was so good that I convinced my cousins and parents to come down the following week to experience the magic of this diner.

Corvette Diner Information

2965 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

(619) 542 – 1476

https://www.cohnrestaurants.com/corvettediner

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Corvette Diner, 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

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay – Mission Bay (San Diego)

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay – Mission Bay (San Diego)

Sky and Emma looking at the boats in the marina

What: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay

Where: Mission Bay, San Diego

For: All Ages

The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay is a staycation that we took to San Diego with the kids for a few days to end the year.  Not only did the kids have a blast going down the water slides literally a thousand times, but Ethan and I had a great time playing with them in the pool and exploring the area.

The Hotel

The Hotel

The hotel took us about two hours to get to from Torrance.  It’s at a beautiful setting and provides a full-service restaurant, three pools with three water slides, a pool restaurant and bar, a small market, areas to rent boats/kayaks/etc for the water and a fitness center.  We walked around the marina and checked everything out when we got there.   Since we went after Christmas, the lobby was decorated beautifully.  The entire hotel keeps up with a nautical theme.  Outside there are also lounge areas with fire pits that are turned on at night time.  Each morning, Ethan walked to the market and brought us coffee (they serve Starbucks…my favorite!).

Room with Two Queen Beds

The Room

The hotel rooms are large and spacious.  We chose a room with two queen beds, and it was more than enough room for the four of us.  There is a balcony attached to every room, and two outdoor chairs with a table are provided so you can drink a cup of coffee while either looking out at the marina or at the pool area.  Black out curtains allowed us to sleep in, and two bottles of water, a microwave, small fridge and coffee are all included.  There were ample toiletries (including make-up remover wipes for the ladies!) and towels to go around our group of four. 

Pool Area (Slides Not Pictured)

The Pool

The pool was where we spent most of our time.  There is a large pool in the middle of the area and a jacuzzi on the side (understand that sometimes it is filled with kids!).  A small slide with 3.5 ft deep pool was on one side of the area.  This was great for the kids since they could stand up after coming down the little slide.  Lounges surround the area, allowing for parents to keep a close eye on their children (if only all parents would actually do this!).  Two large winding slides are accessible by a few flights of steps at another pool (also 3.5 ft deep).  This slide had a lifeguard, so we felt safe letting the girls go up knowing that they wouldn’t be slid over by another older child.  We brought floaties and pool toys so we could spend the entire day outside.  The pools were even heated enough for us to go in, and we were able to enjoy a few trips down the slide as well!

Lounging at the Hotel

The Activities

Upon check in, we were given a coupon for a free hour long kayak or paddle board rental at the marina.  Although we thought that we would use this coupon, we spent so much time at the pool that we didn’t.  There are a variety of rentals available for patrons, including paddleboards, kayaks, boats and jet skis.  The prices seemed pretty reasonable as well.  The pricing for the on-site restaurant seemed a little steep, but we just door-dashed Panda Express and it saved us a lot of money.

Views of the Marina from our Hotel Room

The Crowd

Keep in mind that because of the pool slides and activities available, this is a very family-friendly place.  I read on yelp that some of the child-less travelers didn’t appreciate all the noise the kids were making, but I didn’t have a problem with it as our kids were squealing with delight almost the entire day.

View of Hotel from the Marina

Cost

The hotel cost us around $500 to stay for two nights.  I definitely thought that this price was worth it, although you can find cheaper stays when you don’t go during peak seasons.  I would also suggest to go through third party sellers to find the lowest pricing.  Valet pricing is offered at almost $40 per night, although the hotel concierge told us to park on the street (there was ample parking) to save us the dough.  Please also keep in mind that discount coupons are offered for local attractions (i.e. San Diego Zoo and Sea World).  We would definitely come back here, and Ethan and I were talking about the possibility of making this a yearly family tradition.

Sky and Emma with the Christmas Decor

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Information

1441 Quivira Road, San Diego, CA 92109

(619) 224-1234

https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/california/hyatt-regency-mission-bay-spa-and-marina/sanis

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, 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

Habana – Orange County

Habana-Orange County (Costa Mesa & Irvine)

The Bar

What: Habana

Where: Orange County (Irvine and Costa Mesa)

For: All Ages

Outdoor Seating

Habana is a Cuban restaurant in Orange County that I was introduced to by my coworkers.  I’ve been here a few times, and it not only has authentic décor but the food is amazing.  They also make pretty strong drinks!

Coconut Mojitos

The Restaurant

When you walk into the restaurant, you’re greeted with a beautiful authentic Cuban setting.  Both indoor and outdoor seating is provided for guests.  Although I’ve never been to the Irvine location, I can only imagine it’s just as beautiful as the Costa Mesa location (please note that there is no bathroom in the Costa Mesa location). 

Paella

A gorgeous bar with dim lighting creates a posh ambiance in Habana. On Friday and Saturdays in the Costa Mesa location, they have ‘Habana Nights’ where live musicians play music for patrons from 10:00pm to 2:00am.  The Irvine location entertains from Wednesday nights to Saturday nights. 

Sunday Brunch

The Food

On Sundays, Habana offers a brunch from 9:00am to 3:00pm with picks of all types of food from seafood to paella.  Mojito Mondays offer $6 mojitos all day.  Specialty cocktails are also offered.  We ordered a ton of different appetizers and entrees, each one seemingly tasting better than the rest. 

Specialty Cocktails

The food combined with the lush atmosphere of the restaurant really transports you to Cuba.  The wide variety of choices for food gives an option for everyone.  My favorite drinks were the mojitos that came out in fresh cut coconuts…which we ended up eating after our meal!

Outdoor Brunch

The Crowd

I’ve been to Habana for both lunch and dinner, and I can’t decide which time is better.  If you go to the Costa Mesa location, beware of parking…you will probably be forced to valet (which is complimentary if you show them your receipt from the restaurant).  The crowd consisted mostly of adults, assumingly because of the complexity of the dishes that required a more refined palate.

The Amazing Food of Habana

Cost

Sunday brunch is $45 per person with kids under ten years old costing $19.  Without drinks, we spent about $35 per person, with drinks costing about $10 to $13 each.

The Indoor Seating Area

Habana Information

Costa Mesa: 2930 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

(714) 556- – 0176

Irvine: 708 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92618

(949) 419 – 2500

www.restauranthabana.com

Sunday Brunch

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Habana, 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

Dahlicious Creamery – South Bay

Dahlicious Creamery-South Bay

Rolled Ice Cream (Center is Cookie Monster)

What: Dahlicious Creamery

Where: South Bay (Torrance)

For: All Ages

Rolled Ice Cream

We came across Dahlicious Creamery when we were looking for an ice cream place to take the kids.  Not only is this sweet shop adorable, but they serve up the most amazing ice cream creations that we have seen.  With new flavors coming out every season, there is always something new to taste…and to Instagram.

The Creamery

They See Me Rollin

This cute little shop in a strip mall off of PCH offers tons of options for patrons.  The girls were so excited to try the space ice cream rolls, which comes in different sizes.  The employees make the ice cream right in front of you by mixing, freezing, rolling and topping the delectable desserts. 

Ice Cream Cones

I ordered the cookie monster (which ended up turning my entire mouth blue), and Ethan ordered the banana split rolled ice cream.  Although I expected the final product to taste hard and icy, they were actually very creamy and rich.

Emma With Her Ice Cream

Other dessert options include gourmet ice cream scooped into cones and ice cream sandwiches.  Don’t be mistaken to think that these are any regular ice cream sandwiches…there are so many options for the cookie portion of the dessert from fruity pebbles to raw edible cookie dough.  On certain days of the week,  Dahlicious Creamery makes ice cream ‘tacos’ from different colors and flavors of waffle cone with ice cream in the middle.

Skylar with her Ice Cream

If you check out the Creamery’s Facebook page, you can participate in giveaways and see the new seasonal treat that the owners have created.  We can’t wait to see what they think of next so that we can pop in for a new yummy treat.

Ice Cream Taco

The Crowd

Although the location seems curious for an ice cream shop, Dahlicious Creamery is actually very popular.  The crowd consisted of adults, children and families.  Everyone was happy and anxious to watch the employees make their custom creation.  The little touches such as the tag phrase ‘They See Me Rollin’” printed on the bowls and the shop décor makes for great pictures.  Although there is a fairly small seating area, no one seemed to mind after they started eating their desserts.

Edible Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwich

Cost

Since this is a gourmet ice cream shop, you can expect to spend from $7 to $10 per person.  The price was well worth the dessert options and the ability to watch your treats made right before your eyes.

Ethan’s Banana Split Rolled Ice Cream

Dahlicious Creamery Information

4172 Pacific Coast Hwy, Ste 110, Torrance, CA 90505

(424) 383 – 1432

www.facebook.com/Dahlicious-Creamery

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Dahlicious Creamery, 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

Mel’s Drive-In-Various Locations

Mel’s Drive-In-Various Locations

What: Mel’s Drive-In

Where: Various Locations

For: All Ages

Mel’s Drive-In is a 50’s-themed diner on the Sunset Strip that we found while searching for somewhere to eat in the West Hollywood area.  Mel’s Diner was the restaurant what was featured in the film American Graffitti, and since then, the diner has expanded to include multiple locations in the Southern California area.

The Diner

When you arrive at the West Hollywood location, you pull up to park around one of the last googie buildings in Los Angeles.  This is the only location that is open 24-hours-a-day 7-days-a-week.  Mel’s is continuously shows in TV spots, commercials and movies.  The iconic drive-in, although not in use, can be seen in the parking stalls and outer set-up of the diner.

The vibe of Mel’s can be seen by the structure of the building.  Guests are greeted with a neon jukebox upon walking in.  There are souvenirs available for sale at the cashier’s.  We decided to sit at the bar of the diner.  The wait staff were all uniformed in 50’s-themed attire.  The menu was so long that we had a hard time deciding what to order, but the food came out quickly.  At each of the seating areas was a small table jukebox that allows patrons to pick which song they would like to hear in the restaurant.

The Food

The food was ended up being better than expected.  Ethan ordered a burger, and I ordered eggs benedict.  Both entrees tasted great, and we couldn’t help but order a chocolate malt at the end of our meal.  The malt came in a classic shake-glass with the left overs offered to us in a metal cup.  We inhaled everything that was put in front of us, and we left with our stomachs full.

The Crowd

The crowd at Mel’s consisted of a large mix of people.  There were a lot of guests taking pictures of the diner both inside and outside.  Keep in mind that guests can pay by walking up to the cashier after the meal.  There was also no line when we arrived, but I can imagine that the diner would be busier particularly on weekends in the evening.

Cost

Mel’s was very affordable.  For two entrees, two drinks and dessert we ended up paying $50.  The cost was definitely worth the experience of visiting this iconic Hollywood landmark.

Mel’s Drive-In Information

8585 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

(310) 854-7201

melsdrive-in.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Mel’s Drive-In, 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

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (TCL Chinese Theatre)-Hollywood

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (TCL Chinese Theatre)-Hollywood

What: Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (TCL Chinese Theatre)

Where: Hollywood

For: All Ages

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (recently renamed as TCL Chinese Theatre) is best known for being the historic Hollywood location where past and present celebrities put their hand and footprints into a square of cement in front of the venue.  The Theatre not only hosts promotional events and tapings, but it shows movies with the only Imax theater in Hollywood.

The Theatre

Garuman’s is a Los Angeles Historic Landmark located right on the corner of Hollywood and Highland.  There is an enormous seating arrangement that can seat almost one thousand guests.  There is a list of movies and showtimes on the website.  VIP Tours are also offered, and it allows patrons to learn about the history of Grauman’s from its opening in 1928.

I came to Grauman’s to watch a horror film (although I can’t remember the name of the film for the life of me).  What was very interesting was that when I walked in, I was astonished about the beautiful architecture of the theatre.  The ceiling is a piece of art in itself.  It’s ornate décor and colors makes it a statement piece that is impossible to miss.  A huge red velvet curtain covers the screen before opening dramatically for the main showing.  What was interesting to me was that since I was watching a horror film, the ceiling and walls created somewhat terrifying shadows that freaked me out during the film.

Sophia Lauren

Hand and footprints of past and present celebrities is at the entrance to Grauman’s.  Sid is the name of the former owner of the Theatre, and his name is commonly seen in the writings around the prints.   The Hollywood Walk of Fame (celebrity namesake stars lining the sidewalk) passes in front of the venue.

The Crowd

The crowd is filled mostly with tourists looking to experience Hollywood landmarks.  There are always large amounts of people outside Grauman’s looking at the celebrity hand and footprints.  I would suggest coming 15 to 20 minutes prior to movie showtime to ensure guests’ ability to find their seats and use the facilities before the start of the film.

Historic Photograph of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre 

Cost

Tickets cost $25 to $30 per guest.  Parking is in the Hollywood and Highland structure, and it is validated at the Theatre (make sure to bring your ticket with you).

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Information

6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028

(323) 461-3331

tclchinesetheatres.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, 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