Little Sister-DTLA/Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

Little Sister-DTLA/Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

What: Little Sister

Where: DTLA/Manhattan Beach/Redondo Beach

For: All Ages

One of my favorite restaurants to go for Southeast Asian cuisine (more Vietnamese centric, but still Asian-Fusion).  I had a restaurant a few blocks away from my office in DTLA, and I loved it so much that I had to take Ethan to the one in Manhattan Beach.

The Restaurant

The vibe of Little Sister is intimate and modern.  The lights are always down low, and there is a small dining area with tables and chairs.  A communal table that sits about twelve people is offered in the restaurant for guests that don’t mind sharing their seating area.  A bar area is available for guests to dine and drink on bar stools.  A full range of drinks are offered.

All of the dishes are made to be shared family-style.  There is a large amount of food that comes out on the plates, so I had to take food home almost every time.  The shaky shaky beef is a must have.  It’s perfectly cooked, has almost zero fat and the sauce is melt-in-your mouth delicious.  I personally love any type of the noodles.  You can check online for the menu that changes seasonally.

The Crowd

Little sister is a very popular restaurant, so it’s always smart to make a reservation.  The wait time can be up to an hour.  Patrons need to make sure that their entire party is present prior to being seated.  Reservations can be made online or by calling the restaurant.  Seating is very close together, so it’s harder to get around if you need to get up and go to the restroom.

Cost

The food is a little more expensive for dishes.  Expect to spend a minimum of $20-$25 per person here for lunch and $30 for dinner, not including drinks.  Keep in mind that there’s a 3% surcharge added onto the final bill.

Little Sister Information

Manhattan Beach: 1131 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 545-2096

DTLA: 523 W 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014

(213) 628-3146

Redondo Beach: 247 Avenida del Norte, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

(424) 398-0237

dinelittlesister.com

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

Kura Revolving Sushi Bar-Multiple Locations

Kura Revolving Sushi Bar-Multiple Locations

What: Kura Revolving Sushi Bar

Where: Multiple Locations

For: All Ages

Kura Revolving Sushi Bar is a novelty sushi bar that has a conveyor belt that delivers sushi directly to your table.  It’s completely automated and offers all types of foods to patrons.  Wait times can be up to 90 minutes in the South Bay Kura since it’s a fairly new restaurant.

The Restaurant

When you get into the restaurant, you have a panel next to your table that allows you to order.  The waitress only served to get us drinks and take away plates.  Various appetizers, sushi and chicken were offered on a conveyer belt that goes around the entire restaurant.  There is a small sign before each type of food so you knew what was being served on the plates.  Don’t worry if you don’t grab the plate you want when it first comes around!  There are many opportunities to grab the food.

Kura’s Ninja Cartoon that gives you a prize after consuming 15 plates.

If you don’t find something you want on the conveyor belt, you can use the order panel to choose what type of food you want.  You’ll hear a dinging sound when your food is ready, and an order belt brings your food directly to your table on a conveyor belt above the revolving sushi conveyor belt.

After you finish the food on your plate, there is a disposal slot on the side of each table that allows you to put your empty plate into.  The order panel keeps track of the number of plates you eat. Every five plates inserted, there is a small cartoon that plays a story on the order panel.  Skylar enjoyed the cartoon and kept telling us to eat more so we can win the cartoon.  Once guests eat and insert fifteen plates, you ‘win’ a prize.  The prize is in a small ball that comes out of a ‘prize shoot’ on top of the conveyor belts.  They are very cheap prizes, but Skylar thought it was amazing that she won anything at a restaurant.  When parties are finished eating, you can check out right at your table on your order panel.  The waitress brings you the check and you are on your way!  It’s one of the most fun and interesting restaurant experiences we have had.

The Food

The restaurant serves nigiri, sushi rolls (regular and baked), hand rolls, gunkan maki (sushi served in small cups), ramen and various appetizers.  There is also a variety of plates to choose from.  The sushi tasted very good and fresh.  We kept having to ask for more wasabi and ginger, but that was more of a wait staff issue than a restaurant issue.

Skylar isn’t much of a sushi eater, so we ordered ramen on the top belt for her.  Although she likes California Rolls, the ones at Kura are actual crab (she’s used to imitation crab)…meaning I ended up eating her entire roll.  I tried as much as I could, but the menu contains so many dishes that there are twelve pages to scroll through on the order panel.  We definitely need to come back to try more of the food offered.

The Crowd

There is a mobile app that allows you to check in remotely.  It will give you the wait times for either a seat at the sushi bar or a table.  Because of the novelty of the restaurant, there is usually an our long wait time.  Since you can view the place you are at in line, you can leave your house in time for them to call you.  At the door of Kura there is also an iPad that allows walk-ups to check in and view where they stand in line.  I noticed that each group that went in took about 30 to 45 minutes to finish their meal.

Cost

We ended up paying $64 for three people at Kura.  Each plate ranges from $2.50 to $2.75, and other pricing is available on the order panel.  We ordered some drinks which added another $10 to our bill.  We paid $52 when we went as a couple.

Kura Revolving Sushi Bar Information

1840 W. 182nd Street, Torrance, CA 90504

(424) 221-5731

kurausa.com

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Little Jewel of New Orleans-DTLA

Little Jewel of New Orleans-DTLA

What: Little Jewel of New Orleans

Popcorn Shrimp Po’ Boy

Where: DTLA

For: All Ages

Ethan and I first heard of Little Jewel of New Orleans after watching Buzzfeed’s Worth It!  There was an episode about trying different types of macaroni and cheese.  At Little Jewel of New Orleans, they ate the crawfish mac ‘n’ cheese and couldn’t stop raving about it.  So, naturally we had to go try for ourselves…

The Theme

The theme of the restaurant is obviously based on the food from New Orleans, Louisiana.  Little Jewel is both a Southern themed market and delicatessen.  When you walk in, you enter into a marketplace with everything you need for a Cajun-themed meal.  You order at the front counter and then round the corner to see a full deli counter with fresh food made that day.  All of the meats for the dishes are made in-house with the kitchen behind the counter.  In front of the deli counter there is ample seating for patrons with televisions around the dining area.

The Food

I ordered the crawfish mac ‘n’ cheese…and let me tell you…it really was the most amazing macaroni and cheese that I’ve ever had.  It was the right blend of spices and cheeses with a little crunch on the top.  The crawfish and andouille sausage was perfect.  I’m pretty sure that I could eat it every night.

Crawfish Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Ethan ordered a seafood combo.  Although he ended up eating a good amount of my macaroni (it was so hard for me to share!), he told me that the seafood and sauce was perfect.  He’s one of those people that likes spicy seasoning on everything, so it was the epitome of a perfect dish for him.  After dinner, he ate bread pudding, which he also loved.

The food was so amazingly good that Ethan decided he wanted to eat some for lunch so he ordered the Po’Boy sandwich.  He called me after he ate it the day after and told me that it was just as good reheated as it was fresh.  I kind of regret not getting a sandwich for me to take to work the next day.  We will definitely keep this restaurant on the list of places to go regularly.

Gumbo

The Crowd

We came to Little Jewel for dinner on a Sunday.  It wasn’t crowded at all, so there was no wait.  It took our food about 10 minutes to come out, and we inhaled everything.  The restaurant is located in China Town, which is the last place that someone would expect to encounter an authentic Cajun dining experience.

Beignets

Cost

Everything was very affordable at Little Jewel.  With three entrees and dessert, we paid less than $40.  The marketplace is reasonably priced as well.

Little Jewel of New Orleans Information

207 Ord St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 620-0461

littlejewel.la

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Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken-DTLA

Astro Doughnuts  & Fried Chicken-DTLA

What: Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Where: DTLA

For: All Ages

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken opened up by my old work place in Downtown Los Angeles a few months ago.  I went with a coworker one day for lunch and brought home some doughnuts for the family.  Although I still think that the local doughnut mom and pop shops by our house have better cake doughnuts, the novelty of the shop was fun to experience.

The Sandwiches

I ordered a spicy fried chicken sandwich with the bun as a glazed doughnut cut in half.  Although it took over 30 minutes for my sandwich to come out, it was not only good but it filled me up really quickly.  I paired it with the siracha buffalo sauce and ate it as my desk and was making yummy sounds while I consumed everything.  I even ordered tater tots on the side but was too full to eat all of them.

The Doughnuts

This place is famous for its unique take on doughnuts.  I ordered the maple bacon, pb&j, crème brulee, chocolate covered strawberry and other assorted doughnuts to bring home.  Although Ethan liked the doughnuts, he said that it wasn’t worth spending the large amount of cash that they charged me for.  The next day, the doughnuts were hard and not very good.  Despite this, the display that they had for the doughnuts was very aesthetically pleasing.  There was a wood board at the front that they put the specialty doughnuts on so that patrons could see exactly what they were ordering.

The Crowd

When we went during the work day, the crowd consisted of a lot of business men/women coming in to take out food.  I would suggest that guests call in or order online if there is a large order, as the sandwiches and doughnuts take a longer time to make.  We waited for a while since they forgot that we ordered sandwiches and we had to remind them twice.

Cost

A dozen doughnuts cost $38 here, which is very expensive for a doughnut shop.  For comparison, when we go to the place down the street and can get a dozen doughnuts for $10.  Sandwiches cost between $6 and $10, and each sandwich (that includes glazed doughnut!) can fill one person up pretty substantially.

Astro Donuts & Fried Chicken Information

516 W 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014

(213) 622-7876

astrodoughnuts.com

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The Millennium Biltmore-DTLA

The Millennium Biltmore-DTLA

What: The Millennium Biltmore

Where: Downtown Los Angeles

For: All Ages/Nightlife for Adults

The Millennium Biltmore is a historic hotel built in 1923 that is a landmark of Downtown Los Angeles and home of Hollywood glamour.  It’s located in the center of the hustle and bustle of DTLA, and Ethan and I spent our most recent staycation at this opulent hotel.

The Hotel

When you walk into the lobby of the hotel, you’re greeted with white and gold carved floor-to-wall décor.  There was a wedding going on when we were checking in, and it was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever seen.  Despite the opulence of the entryway, the elevators and hallways to the rooms were outdated.  There was also a historic spiral stairway that led all the way down from the top floor.  When we looked down from the top of the staircase it gave is vertigo.  The ice machines and vending machines alternate floor-by-floor.  It was confusing at first, but signs led us in the right direction.

The Room

The room was decorated nicely, but it was not as nice as I imagined.  There was an old window that actually opened up (only part way because of liability).  The closet was the biggest walk-in closet I’ve ever seen in a hotel room.  It could have been another room!  A safe was in the closet along with a refrigerator and television in the room.  The shower was completely separate from the bathtub and had a drip that was very loud at night.  Since our room was in the corner of the hotel, we had to swipe our key card twice through two doors to get in.  This means that if someone gets locked out, there is no way someone in the room could hear any knocking to get in.  Additionally, maid service knocked on our door at 8:45am…which was way too early for a Sunday morning after spending all of Saturday night out and when check out is at noon.  Overall, for the price, it’s definitely a hotel that I would stay at again.

The Restaurants

Smeraldi’s Restaurant is a Medditerranean/Italian restaurant under the hotel.  With glamorous décor and elegant table settings, it is also family friendly and offers family style dining (think pizza and the like).  Bugis Street Brasserie is a Singaporean restaurant that I ate at with my coworkers during lunch.  We asked the waitress to suggest a dish to order and went with her recommendations, and the food was above par.  I tried to take Ethan here one night but it was closed.  It’s definitely a restaurant that I would come back to and try other Singaporean dishes. Gallery Bar and Cognac Room were equally as opulent as the hotel.  Although we didn’t go into this area, we walked past it when we were checking in, and the décor of gold and white definitely makes the bar a classy destination.  Afternoon Tea is also offered on a reservation-only basis.

The Crowd

Everyone at the hotel was dressed up.  At check-in, I wore leggings and a tank top and felt under dressed (this could be because the wedding was going on and I was standing among guests in black-tie attire).   It’s a family-friendly hotel with family-friendly restaurants.  The only area that required guests to be 21+ was at the bar.

Cost

Valet parking is offered at the hotel for $45 each night.  If you go directly across the street to Pershing Square, it allows you to self-park overnight for $16.  The hotel required a $100 deposit for incidentals and was $145 (including taxes) for one night.  I only booked the hotel two days before our actual stay.  Water in the vending machines were $3 each.

The Millennium Biltmore Information

506 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

(213) 624-1011

millenniumhotels.com/en/los-angeles/millennium-biltmore-hotel-los-angeles

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to The Millennium Biltmore, 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

Exchange Los Angeles-DTLA

Exchange Los Angeles-DTLA

What: Exchange Los Angeles

Where: Downtown Los Angeles

For: Ages 21+

Exchange LA is one of the nightclubs that we enjoy going to with our friends in a large group.  We generally come around 11:00pm to end our night dancing to great music.  We have come here to celebrate special occasions for bottle service and to dance to world-renown DJs.

The Club

Exchange has four floors, spans over 25,000 square feet and contains six full-service bars. Patrons can pay a premium for VIP rooms with bottles and table service.  The DJ booth sits in the front of the club and coordinates with fog and confetti machines that spray into the crowd at designated times.  Valet parking is available, and numerous self-park lots surround the venue.

When we decide to pay for bottle service, it is cheaper to split it among a large group.  The good thing about bottle service on the dance floor is that you have your own designated and roped-off area to dance in.  The bad thing is that it is literally in the middle of the dance floor…meaning that drunk people on the other side of the couches usually sit on the top of the couches or occasionally try to pour themselves a drink from your table.  There is a second-floor mezzanine level that has bottle service options available, however I find it best to be a main part of the action on the dance floor.  Bars can get very busy the later it gets into the night.  Expect to wait each time you want a refill on your drink.  I’ve never been able to walk straight up and back without at least a few people waiting in front of me.

View from the Mezzanine

VIP Rooms

The Sky Loft accommodates up to 35 guests and is an exclusive and posh private space.  It offers a bird’s-eye view of the main dance floor and comes with its own wait staff for guests and is available for private rental.

Sky Loft

The Rockefeller Room accommodates up to 50 guests and can be accessed by the main dance floor.  Some private parties bring their own DJs although you can experience the music from the main dance floor just as well.

Rockefeller Room

The Gallery is on the first floor of Exchange and is generally open when the club is open.  There is a separate DJ and the space accommodates up to 250 guests.  This is the first room that you pass after you pay your cover charge to get into the club.  Each time we have been here the Gallery has been fairly crowded.

The Gallery

The Crowd

Please check Exchange’s website for a dress code, as security has historically been turned away people who don’t abide by the code away at the door.  Most guests dress up in more formal cocktail attire.  Exchange LA also hosts different events where patrons can dress in costume depending on the theme.

Ethan and Me at Exchange LA.

Cost

Valet parking is $15 per car, not including tip.  Bottle Service has cost us $600 for a night which we split among a minimum of 8 people.  Drinks span from $13 to $16 depending on what is ordered.  Each time we have come here, the cover charge has spanned from $10 to $20 per person depending on the nightly events and time that we have entered the club.

Exchange Information

618 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014

(213) 627-8070

exchangela.com

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

Mayan-DTLA

Mayan-DTLA

What: Mayan

Terrace Bar

Where: Downtown Los Angeles

For: Ages 21+

Ethan and I love going to Mayan to end our nights in Downtown Los Angeles.  After a night of cocktail sipping at different restaurants and bars, we dance the night away into the early hours of the morning at this three-story themed nightclub.

The Main Floor

When you walk into Mayan through the themed double doors, you’re greeted with a huge dance and bar area.  The Main Floor spans the length of the venue and is a few feet below the raised stage. There is a main bar that tends to get busy throughout the night, and cocktail tables line the area before a few stairs lead you to the floor.  The floor can also get crowded throughout the night.  Guests can hear all the music played from the Stage on the Main Floor.

The Main Bar

The main floor can also be viewed from a Terrace on the second floor of Mayan.  The Terrace is accessible through a double stairway on the back-left side of the club.  This is more of a viewing area that contains stage seating and a small bar at the top of the seating area.  We go to the Terrace to watch any of the live bands that come onto the stage from a bird’s eye view or to beat the crowds at the main bar (hardly anyone goes to the Terrace to buy drinks, which makes it a quick in and out when you need a refill).

The Terrace View of the Main Stage.

The Stage

On Fridays and Saturdays, The Stage is open for guests to dance on.  VIP Lounges line the sides of the stage, and a full bar to the left offers guests drinks while they dance the night away.  Periodically there are salsa or mariachi bands playing for the crowd in between sets of modern music and light shows.  It’s very entertaining to watch some of the guests dancing to the music, as it feels like we’re watching a private salsa show with professional dancers.  The stage can get hot at the end of the night from the sheer amount of people that want to dance by the DJ booth.

The Main Stage

The Mezzanine

The Mezzanine is a floor below the main stage down stairs in towards the entrance part of Mayan.  It is a long and skinny dance floor with a raised DJ booth on the right and small bar in the back corner.  It is fairly hard to get to the bar because of its small size.  Since the Mezzanine is so skinny, when we walked anywhere we ended up consistently running into people.  The music is all in Spanish and there is a packed-in club atmosphere in this area.

The Mezzanine

The Basement

The Basement is also a floor below the main stage on the opposite side of the Mezzanine.  This bar plays a mixture of Pop, Hip Hop and R&B music for guests.  A larger bar is on one wall of the Basement with a few tables opposite of the bar with bar stools for seating.  Screens play videos corresponding to the music.  The bar is very accessible, and this is the bathroom in the club that is easiest to use as it is hardly ever crowded.

The Basement

The Crowd

There is a strict dress code on Mayan’s website that guests must abide by or risk being turned away at the door.  Guests lists are available for Fridays and Saturdays with reservations made online or by phone Monday through Thursday from 10:00am to 5:00pm.  The Main Floor, Stage, Terrace and Mezzanine have guests that like to dance to a mixture of Pop, Top Hits, Latin and Salsa music.  The Basement contains patrons that like Pop, Hip Hop and R&B.

The Stage Bar

Cost

Depending on if there is an event and the time that you are going into Mayan, cover charges range from $10 to $20 per person.  There are weekend memberships available for six month spans that cost $100 for one person or $150 for two people.  If you go to Mayan a lot then it would help to cover for the $10 to $20 cover charge (depending on the event).  However, at this rate you would have to go at least four times to make up the cost of the membership.  Drinks are $12-$15 each and full bars are available.

Mayan Information

1038 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 746-4674

clubmayan.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Mayan, 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 Edison-DTLA

The Edison-DTLA

What: The Edison

The Ember Parlor

Where: Downtown Los Angeles

For: Ages 21+

This weekend, Ethan and I finished our June 2018 Staycation in Downtown Los Angeles, and The Edison was our first stop.  You enter this themed bar through an alleyway and are led down a stairway to a speakeasy in the basement of a business building filled with ornate décor, a burlesque show and silent movies playing on screens.

Antique Industrial Decor 

The Theme

The Edison is an eclectic mix of science, art and industry.  The 1920’s theme is apparent from the second you walk in.  A two-story chandelier made of naked hanging light bulbs leads you down two sets of stairs to the bottom floor of the speakeasy.  Women please note that the floor is very slippery, and I felt my heels sliding under me (it’s a wonder I didn’t fall!).  There are urban industrial machines around the restaurant.  Seating areas range from tables to lounge chairs with dim lighting.  Three movie screens line the walls of the dance floor area with silent movies playing.  A DJ booth sits to the right of the stage overlooking a dance floor for guests that stay later into the night.  Even the bathroom area has a working industrial gold sink where guests can wash their hands.  For smokers, there is an indoor smoking area on the first floor where you can bring your cocktails and smoke while sitting in a plush lounge area with shoe shine station.  Large fans pull the smoke out from the room to the outside.  The theme is very well put together, making for a great intimate setting in this hidden speakeasy.

Chest of Absinthe Shots

The Restaurant

You are able to make reservations online or by calling The Edison (information below).  Check the website for times that you can call for a reservation, as there are specific time slots that the restaurant is open to accept calls.  After 7:00pm, there is a food and beverage minimum of $25 per person on Wednesdays and Thursdays and minimum of $50 per person minimum on Fridays and Saturdays.  Please Note that if you get a drink at the bar, it can not be transferred over to your reservation or used as a contribution to your minimum.  We weren’t too pleased with finding this out since we were considering making a reservation for a table.  There is an 18% gratuity that is applied to parties with 6 or more guests.  If you do not have a reservation, there is a cover charge of $10 per person and you are only offered standing room areas.  Dining areas include The Generator Lounge (sit down area), The Music Room, The Ember Parlor, The Game Room, and The Tesla Lounge (all four are for reservation only for private parties).  The Well is a seated lounge area.

Real Generators in the Generator Lounge

Drinks are about $15 each, with specialized cocktails.  There are two bars: the Main Bar (wheelchair accessible) and the Lab Bar.  The food served is American themed, with appetizers starting at $9 and entrees going up to about $40 per person.  There are cost differences for other food offerings, and the entire menu is available on The Edison’s website.  There was a lady dressed as a fairy walking around with a cart that held a box filled with little vials of absinthe shots (not real absinthe, but she swore it was the strength of a high proof tequila).  Ethan and I decided to try it for $11.  It tasted like black liquorice and I ended up giving the small bottle to Ethan to finish since I didn’t like the aftertaste.  The bottle was so cute that I carried it around in my clutch the entire night and it’s now at our home.

Taking the Absinthe Shot

The Show

The show takes places on the stage in The Lab at 10:00pm. 11:00pm and 12:00pm.  Although shows vary  (see the events calendar on The Edison’s website), the bar is known for its burlesque performance.  We were pleased to find that we didn’t need to have a seated reservation to view the show.  We merely walked from where we were standing to the center of the dance floor to watch.  There were four girls dressed in burlesque outfits dancing to four nicely choreographed songs.  The performance was about 20 minutes, and Ethan and I agreed that it was a nice addition to the atmosphere.

Ethan Lounging in one of the Antique Chairs

The Crowd

We arrived here around 9:20pm and it was not crowded.  All of the seating areas were reserved for guests, so it was standing room only.  Although people gathered around the dance floor to watch the burlesque show on the stage, there was plenty of room for everyone.  Groups of people came together dressed in 1920’s garb, which was nice to see.  Most of the crowd was 20- and 30-year-olds.  Please check the website regarding dress code, as the door is able to turn away people who do not abide by the rules of The Edison.

The Shared Metal Sink in the Bathroom

Cost

We paid $20 for admission and $34 for two drinks plus the $11 for the “absinthe” shot.  Overall, we were happy with spending $65 out of pocket for drinks and a show in this speakeasy.  For those making reservations, you should expect to spend a minimum of $100 depending on what type of food and how many drinks you order.  This is a great place that I would love to come back to for a special occasion.

The Edison Information

108 W. 2nd Street #101, Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 613-0000

edisondowntown.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to The Edison, 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 Westin Bonaventure-DTLA

The Westin Bonaventure-DTLA

What: The Westin Bonaventure

Where: Downtown Los Angeles

For: All Ages/Nightlife for Adults

Our stay at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites was a great part of our March staycation.  It’s right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, and this swanky hotel offers everything you need for a night out without even stepping foot outside.

The Hotel

The Westin Bonaventure is a recognizable hotel directly off the freeway sporting three tall towers interconnected by bridges.  After parking in valet of this extravagant hotel, you are led down a hall with movie posters of films that were filmed in and around the hotel. The three towers of hotel rooms with corresponding colors and glass elevators.  Amenities include a fitness room, business center, pool deck, and pet friendly hotel.  There is a full-service bar in the center of the lobby along with a lobby bistro that transforms into a bar/club at night by the entrance and LA Prime Steakhouse on the 35th floor.

The Room

Rooms are beautiful, with floor to ceiling windows and great views of the cities.  We had trouble finding an ice machine because of the layout of the hotel.  Room service options are available albeit pricey.  The beds, pillows and bedding are like sleeping on a cloud. Décor is modern, and you’re provided with an in room safe and mini fridge.

The Revolving Bonavista Lounge

I was so excited to try this lounge on the 34th floor before our night out.  We had two cocktails and sat at a two-person table with floor-to-ceiling windows.  The lounge offers a small variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts.  Rotations are about five degrees per minute, with a full rotation taking a little over an hour.

The Crowd

I only saw adults the entire time we were here.  The vibe of the hotel is expensive, elegant and classy.  Patrons take care to dress up when they are at the different bars and hotels here.

Cost

This was one of the more expensive hotels we stayed at.  A one-night stay was $207 with parking at $49/night and no self-park options.  The Bonavista Lounge food options range from $16 to $25 per person, with cocktails averaging $18.  We ended up leaving the Westin Bonaventure about $300 out of pocket.

The Westin Bonaventure Information

404 S. Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

(213) 624-1000

thebonaventure.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to The Westin Bonaventure, 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

Bottega Louie-DTLA

Bottega Louie-DTLA

What: Bottega Louie

Where: Downtown Los Angeles

For: All Ages

I used to work in Downtown Los Angeles, and this was my favorite place to go to bring some beautiful looking pastries home for my family.  I used to stop in weekly to either eat lunch or grab some desserts.  Although this is a higher-end and higher-priced restaurant and patisserie, the pure aesthetic beauty of everything makes it a spot everyone should visit at least once.

The Patisserie

Bottega Louie is known for its macarons that they have in a rainbow of colors and flavors under a glass display panel for everyone walking in through the ornate glass and gold doors.  You can order the macarons individually or in sets of five, which the workers put in a beautiful gift box and tie off with ribbon.  Every time I get a box of macarons (5 for $12.50), I don’t want to open it because the packaging is so pretty.  The kids and I love the vanilla and birthday cake macarons.

On the back wall of the patisserie, there is a wall of products (candies, cookies, jams, coffee, chocolates, etc.) in gift boxes for different occasions.  They also have seasonal cakes and pastries on display.  Ethan’s favorite was the chocolate éclair ($4.50).  Pastries served range from individual servings to large cakes for parties.  You can also customize cakes for any occasion.

I was able to try a variety of pastries over the 20-odd times that I’ve been to Bottega Louie, but I haven’t really been in love with anything they offered.  The beauty of the presentation is what kept me going back, not the taste.

The Restaurant

Bottega Louie’s restaurant has different hours than its café and patisserie.  Ethan and I stopped by for brunch one time and the wait was over ninety minutes.  I usually came here for lunch with coworkers with a short wait time if we came during the earlier part of the lunch hour.  Full bar service is offered in the restaurant, which seats 255 patrons.  The black, white, and gold scheme makes the restaurant very impressive to patrons.

The Food

I’ve only ever ordered a pizza here ($25) for lunch, which was delivered to our table extremely fast.  The pizzas have very thin crusts and fresh ingredients.  One pizza and large salad ($15) can feed two people.  I usually ordered two pizzas so we had some to take home afterwards. There is a variety of wine options that range from $12 to $20 a glass.

Breakfast will average you about $20-$25 per person, and brunch is served on weekends.  Cocktails average $14 a pop.

The Crowd

You will find a ‘typical’ LA crowd here at all times.  Most people are dressed up or coming in for work breaks in business attire.  Kids love looking at the different pastries and picking out their macarons.  Because of the price point, many people spend a long time at the restaurant.

Cost

I have spent SO much money here.  I don’t think I’ve ever left paying less than $30 for some macarons and a pastry or two for the kids.  Lunch averages about $60 to $80 for two each time, and breakfast for two was $50 (not including pastries/dessert).

Bottega Louie Information

700 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017

(213) 802-1470

Bottegalouie.com

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