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

Medieval Times-Buena Park

Medieval Times-Buena Park

What: Medieval Times

Where: Buena Park

For: All Ages

We took Emma to Medieval Times to show her about the knights and take her back in time.  The entire experience lasted about two hours, and it was very interesting.  Emma loved the food and show, and a plus was that our knight won the tournament!

Pre-Show

Prior to the show, the guests are checked in and walk to a host stand where they are assigned a color of knight to root for and given a colored crown corresponding to the color of knight they are given.  There is a photo opportunity with a ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ before patrons walk into the castle.  The 11th Century European Style Castle has many things to do before the show.  There is a full bar available for adults.  A shop for souvenirs lines the wall.  All of the horses that are used in the show are in stables with glass windows, so guests can see them being groomed and fed prior to the main event.

There is a Hall of Arms where guests can admire elaborate Mediavel decorations.  This is also where the ‘Museum of Torture’ sits where replicas of old torture devices are on display.  Many weapons are on display from the Armory (some are for sale!).  Patrons can also buy replica smaller-scale weapons to take home.

The Show

The show starts out with an introduction of the knights and cheering sections.  There is a storyline where knights have to win various games in order to win the heart of the ‘Queen’.  The games were fun to watch, and the knights were given flowers by the Queen after each game.  In turn, the knights gave the flowers to girls in their corresponding cheering section.  Emma had a flower thrown to her and it made her night even more special.

The games included jousting which was probably the highlight of the show.  The knights get onto their horses and run at each other on different sides of a divider with long wooden spears that fly apart when they run into each other.  This was when the crowd was the loudest, cheering on their knight.  Fighting with weaponry is another highlight.  Knights utilize swords, shields, an alabarda (cross between a battle axe and a spear), mase, armor and lances to fight each other.

A royal falconer also comes out and lets his falcon fly around the heads of the crowd.  It’s so interesting to see how close the birds get to the patrons without straying from its goal of flying back to its handler.  A beautiful display of horsemanship is also a part of the show.  The horses are well trained and beautifully groomed.  One horse walked on its hind legs, and Emma couldn’t believe her eyes that the horse was walking like a person.  The ‘King’ also read out special occasions that patrons were celebrating to the crowd during dinner.

The Food

The food is served almost immediately.  A variety of soft drinks are offered for guests.  There is also a full bar available for adults.   Keep in mind that there are NO utensils offered for guests.  The appetizer is tomato bisque soup served in a cup with a handle with garlic bread on the side.  Diner is half of a roasted chicken with sweet buttered corn and herb roasted potatoes.  There is so much food that servers were walking around offering take-home bags.  We were so full at the end of the meal.  Dessert was pound cake and tasted amazing.  Coffee followed dessert.  There are no kids meals offered, but there are vegetarian meals available.

The Crowd

There are five Medieval Times castles around the United States.  The crowd consisted mostly of families and people celebrating special occasions.  There were also some schools there.  Ages ranged from infant to the elderly.

Cost

Adults cost $61.95 and kids (ages 12 and under) cost $36.95.  If guests sign up online, they are able to see seasonal deals as they come around.  When we went, I used a deal that allowed me to go for free on my birthday.  Groupon and Living Social often have deals so that guests don’t have to pay full price for tickets.  There is also a discount if you purchase tickets online.  Drinks were about $15 each (it’s cheaper if you buy it when you sit down for dinner rather than pre-show).  We bought Emma a little light-up flower that was $7.

Medieval Times Information

7662 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620

(888) 935-6878

medievaltimes.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to the Medieval Times, 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

Candytopia (Seasonal)-Santa Monica

Candytopia-Santa Monica

What: Candytopia (Seasonal)

Where: Santa Monica

For: All Ages

Yesterday, Ethan and I took the kids to Candytopia, the seasonal candy museum in Santa Monica Place.  The kids felt like they were in Willy Wonka’s factory.  After a quick introduction, guests are led into a large room where they are explained the rules.  You can look and touch, just don’t eat the candy!  The kids had the time of their lives.

 

Attractions

Without giving away the specifics of the rooms (just see the pictures!), all rooms included a themed combination of animals, artwork and sculptures made out of candy.

A huge plus was that every room had free candy!  We thought that the kids would get hyped up on sugar, but there was so much to do that they only ate two pieces of candy the entire time.

Unanimously, our favorite place was the marshmallow pool.  There are small marshmallow-like foam pieces that the kids are allowed to toss around and swim in.   Marshmallows also fall out of a large bucket-device down onto the kids.  They were so happy after their visit to Candytopia that they couldn’t stop talking about it the entire day.

For the parents and bloggers alike, the Instagram-worthy photo opportunities are worth the price alone.  I took so many pictures and boomerang photos (@la-staycation) for memories.  If you enter your e-mail address before you go into Candytopia then you can get aerial pictures e-mailed to you after your visit.

The staff had so much energy and was helpful in throwing confetti and setting up the aerial photos.  I left with a purse full of candy.  The kids asked if we could come back every day.  Make sure to check the website for dates of operation in your city.

The Crowd

The crowd is mostly young children with their families (and bloggers looking for some photos).  There was never a dull moment for any of us.

Although it was crowded in the beginning, since you can take your time through the museum, we hung back to spend as much time as possible in each room.  One thing to keep in mind for the smaller guests is that there are no restrooms available inside Candytopia.

Cost

Adult admission is $30 per person with kids ages 4-12 costing $23.  Ages 1-3 are free.  All tickets must be purchased online in advanced and scanned from a printed document or from a mobile device.

Candytopia Information

395 Broadway Space 142, Santa Monica, CA 90401

(888) 718-4253

candytopia.com

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

Irvine Park Railroad-Orange

Irvine Park Railroad-Orange

What: Irvine Park Railroad

Celebrating Father’s Day at Irvine Regional Park.

Where: Orange

For: All Ages

Rides and Attractions

The train ride is a family favorite, with patrons able to take a 1/3 scale train around the Irvine Regional Park.  The conductor gives a tour of all the attractions.  The ride takes about 20 minutes to make a full rotation.

Irvine Park Railroad offers bike rentals that can be enjoyed by one person or an entire group.  Since the park is so big, families can explore using a regular bicycle, a tandem bike or a quad bike.  Training wheels are also available for kids that are learning how to ride and double surreys allow up to six adults and two small children.  Helmets are provided with every rental for no additional cost.  Keep in mind that availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.

There is a large lake in the middle of the park that offers paddle boat rentals that can be enjoyed by two or three riders.  Children under the age of 13 are require to wear a life jacket.  There is also a height requirement that can be viewed on the website.

The Orange County Zoo allows patrons to visit animals native to California in their natural habitat.  All animals are domesticated and are rescues that cannot be returned to the wild.  There is a petting zoo where the children can feed and brush goats and pigs.  Various times during the year the zoo will put on family-friendly events.  Crafts and shows are available seasonally.

The park offers pony rides for kids and horse rentals for trail riding.  Horseshoe and volleyball set rentals are available for outdoor group and family fun.  There are also hiking trails that range from one to four miles long.

Party and moon bounce rentals along with party sites are available for rent on a first-come first-served basis.  I would suggest to make reservations four months in advance.  There are two snack bars in the park with food such as hot dogs, chips and ice cream.

The Crowd

There are always a ton of families and groups in the park.  We like to go for the themed events.  For Halloween they offer mazes, face painting, a pumpkin patch, etc.  We recently celebrated a Star Wars themed Father’s Day at the OC Zoo.

Cost

Train rides are $5 per person (children 12 months and younger are free).  Bike rental prices are based on the type of bike rented and time it is rented for.  Please check online for the hours of operation.  Pony rides are $5 each rider.  Moon bounce and party venue rental pricing can be viewed on the website.

Irvine Park Railroad Information

1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869

(714) 997-3968

irvineparkrailroad.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Irvine Park Railroad, 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

Zoomars-San Juan Capistrano

Zoomars-San Juan Capistrano

What: Zoomars

Me holding a guinea pig.

Where: San Juan Capistrano

For: All Ages (Mostly Younger Children)

When we visit my parents, we like to take the kids to visit Zoomars Petting Zoo.  They can play with animals, run around on the jungle gym and ride a train.  Zoomars offers a Christmas Tree lot in December and a Halloween Carnival in October.  There are other events throughout the year listed on their Facebook Page.

Skylar grooming a goat.

The Animals

Zoomars has ponies, llamas, pigs, goats, sheep, chicken, alpacas, emus, cows, rabbits and guinea pigs.  All the animals are friendly, and you can use the salad baskets to feed each one.  The kids love feeding the guinea pigs in Guinea Pig Gulley.  This is a fenced-off area where the kids can walk into and pick up guinea pigs to play with and feed.  There are about 50 guinea pigs in the area, and each one has a name.  The kids love to pick up and pet each one.  It leads to hours of fun and entertainment.

Skylar holding a guinea pig.

The children are able to go into the goat and sheep pen where they can pick up brushes to groom the animals.  They enjoyed feeding the bigger animals such as the cow and the emu.  Every animal was very nice, and we were pleased with how domesticated they all were.  There is a hand-washing station for patrons to use after petting the animals.

Feeding the Llama.

The Attractions

The mini train is a kid favorite.  Tickets are available at the front desk, and the train goes around for a good amount of time.  Children can mine for ‘gold’ at Miner’s Gulch.  Skylar loved mining and came home with a little bag of fool’s gold and gemstones.

Mining for ‘gold’.

Horse and pony rides allow the kids to feel like actual cowboys/girls.  The animals are hand-led down a trail by experienced handlers.  A wooden playground gets the kids’ energy out.  It’s equipt with activities, swings and a slide on wooden mulch (you will get dusty!).  The corn pit is much like a sand pit.  It’s good for the kids because they don’t leave with sand in their shoes and clothes.  There are toys in the pit for toddler play.

Skylar in the playground.

The Crowd

Zoomars are geared towards younger kids.  Preschoolers would get the most of the Zoomars experience.  I’ve been taking Skylar here since she was a baby.  There are always things to do and a birthday party or two going on at the covered picnic table area.

Skylar and I in the corn pit.

Cost

Zoomars is open from 9:00am-5:00pm, weather permitting (please check the Zoomars Facebook Page for updates about hours of operation.  Adult admission is $12 with children admission $10 each.   Infants 12 months and under are free, and there are discounts for seniors and members of the military.  Groupons are available periodically for a good price.  Pony rides (ages 1-10) are $6 for 1 lap and $10 for 2 laps.  Train rides (ages 1-10) are $3 each, and salad baskets for feeding the animals are $5.  Gemstone and Fossil bags range from $8 to $10.  Zoomars takes cash, Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

Spending Halloween making crafts at Zoomars.

Zoomars Information

31791 Los Rios Street, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

(949) 831-6550

zoomars.com

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

 

Pretend City-Irvine

Pretend City-Irvine

What: Pretend City

Where: Irvine

For: Kids

If you’ve ever wanted to go to a Costco-warehouse sized mini-city for your kids, make sure to stop at Pretend City in Irvine.   It not only offers an air-conditioned play place for kids ages infant to 10, but it allows for parents to relax in an area without having to worry about if their children will run off.

The City

A variety of exhibits change offer a ton of play activities for the kids.  Seventeen exhibits are offered year-round.  There is an amphitheater where the kids can act as a DJ or dress up in costume and dance on the stage.  An art studio allows for craft making.  The bank teaches kids about tellers and how to make deposits.  The beach contains water play and sand toys.  The construction area allows children to build with various materials.  The café gives kids the opportunity to play chef.  The emergency services area gives children police and fire truck vehicles to drive along with hats and gear so they feel like real police officers/fire fighters.  The farm helps them ‘grow’ fruits and vegetables.  The gas station allows them to fill up their foot-powered cars while they’re on the go.  The marina offers water play and raincoats for curious kiddos.  There is a dentist and doctors office for kids to get their check-ups.  A house lets them play inside a child-sized home after visiting the Trader Joe’s.

Trader Joe’s

They can go to the post office to get their ‘mail’.  There is a library with books where parents can read stories to the little ones.  A real café with vending machines filled with food include tables for parents and kids to take a rest and snack.  For the toddlers, the orange plaza is offered as a safe place for them to crawl around and play with soft toys.  Please check the website for hours of operation.

City Center

The Imagination Playground is filled with building blocks where children can build as high as they want.  The blocks are soft, so it doesn’t matter if they topple over.  It allows for kids to utilize their critical thinking skills and encourages sharing and collaborating among children.

Skylar playing in the foot-powered car at the emergency services area.

The Crowd

There are a ton of families that come to Pretend City, especially on weekends and holidays.  Keep this in mind when traveling to the venue.  Although there is a free parking lot around and behind the building, Pretend City tends to get very busy during peak hours (around lunch time) that could cause you to have to find street parking.

Sushi restaurant

Cost

General admission for children over 12 months and adults is $12.50 each.  There are military and family discounts available ($9.50 each) with infants and members gaining free access.  After 4:00pm, general admission prices are half off.  We literally spent an entire 10 hour day here (with a stamp you can have in-and-out privileges).  This is definitely worth the price.  There is even a mini-mall store where you can take a piece of Pretend City home with you.  And for the adults, it’s right next to the Irvine Spectrum if you want to head over for lunch or dinner after your day of fun.

Skylar as the DJ in the Amphitheater.

Pretend City Information

29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618

(949) 428-3900

pretendcity.org

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

Porto’s Bakery & Cafe-Multiple Locations

Porto’s Bakery & Café-Various Locations

What: Porto’s Bakery & Café

Where: Multiple Locations

For: All Ages

Porto’s is my all-time favorite bakery to get some tasty food and desserts from.  There are locations in Downey, Glendale, Buena Park, Burbank and West Covina. Not only is the food mouthwateringly good, but the prices are very affordable…which is good for my wallet but not for my daily calorie intake.  I have been to three different Porto’s, and each one has been better than the last.  I don’t think that I’ve ever walked out with less than two boxes full of goodies.

Bakery

I mostly come to Porto’s for their baked goods. I can literally eat five cheese rolls in one sitting if I didn’t have any self-control.  They have every type of dessert you can think of from cupcakes, cookies and brownies to puff pastries, strudels and croissants.  Porto’s is known for their potato balls, which come in a variety of flavors.  Different kinds of sweets, savory baked goods and breads greet you when you walk through the doors. The bakery section is wall-to-wall and is always crowded with people trying to get the fresh goods.

The Café

You can go to Porto’s to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner (why not make it all three?!).  Savory sandwiches, hot soups and salads are available for patrons.  There are even plated steak entrees on the menu.  You can sit down and enjoy your meal or order for carry out.  Porto’s offers many different types of coffees and teas…if I wasn’t so loyal to Starbucks, I’d say that they have some pretty stiff competition.  If you don’t need caffeine in your day, a variety of fresh fruit smoothies topped with whipped cream are offered.

The Cakes

If you think you’ve been to a bakery with a ton of cakes, think again.  Porto’s has the most cakes that I’ve ever seen.  Patrons can order them for a special occasion in advance or walk into the restaurant to pick up pre-made cakes.  My personal favorite are all the types of cheesecakes that they have.  The kids like the cupcakes (although they only lick off the frosting).

Emma and Sky licking the frosting off the cupcakes.

The Crowd

Every time I’ve gone into any Porto’s, the parking lot has been a mess.  By mess I mean that I feel like I might get in a fist fight in the parking lot because there are never any available spaces.  The line is also very long (sometimes out the door), which they try to mitigate by using a guest number system.  After you order at the bakery counter there is an assigned worker that packages up your food and then calls your name to the register to pay.  If you plan on coming to Porto’s, make sure that you factor in the time it takes to park and stand in line.

Cost

As I said before, Porto’s is very affordable.  I often leave with two boxes filled with sweets for less than $35 out the door.  Prices can be seen on their website.  Make sure to also check their website for seasonal items that change often.

Porto’s Bakery & Café Information

portosbakery.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Porto’s Bakery & 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

Museum of Ice Cream-DTLA (Seasonal)

Museum of Ice Cream-DTLA (Seasonal)

What: Museum of Ice Cream

Where: DTLA

For: All Ages

Ethan and I went to this Instagram-worthy museum last year.  It’s a pop-up museum that makes its way around New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Last year, they extended their dates into Los Angeles so that more guests can come enjoy the experience.  I had to jump on the website the minute ticket sales were opened to the public, and even then there was limited space available.  Next time it’s in LA, I highly suggest that families check it out for the pure joy of unlimited ice cream themed rooms.

Sprinkle Pool

Getting In

The Museum of Ice Cream is by reservation only.  This means that if you walk up, you’ll unfortunately be turned away.  In Los Angeles, there was a waiting area next to the (bright pink!) Museum.  The waiting area contained benches and ice-cream themed yard games.  There was also Top 40 music playing.  It felt as if we were at a yard party.  When your reservation time comes up, there is a tour guide that leads you to the front of the museum to give you the rules about the museum and lets guests in groups of about 20.

The Museum

Without giving too much away about the museum, let’s just say it’s a photographer’s dream. Bright colors line the themed walls that have different types of ice cream.  Every room had attendants that gave out different flavors of ice cream (and candy!).

My favorite was the sprinkle pool!  Although the sprinkles were made out of plastic, it was so fun to jump into the pool.  Fair warning: we were finding sprinkles over a week after we visited the Museum of Ice Cream.  Although we went the first time as a couple, I am definitely taking the kids with us next time the Museum is in Los Angeles.

The Crowd

Surprisingly, everyone that came here dressed up.  I can only guess that it’s for the Instagram photos.  The girls looked like they came from an Instagram Model convention.  The kids were the cutest to watch.  They were overwhelmed with the amount of ice cream they were given (can anyone say sugar high?!) and ice-cream themed rooms that they walked through.

Cost

I didn’t look for any coupons for the Museum of Ice Cream because I knew how quickly it sold out.  We weren’t able to get in during the original dates, so I set a timer on my phone to buy tickets as soon as they went on sale.  Tickets for two people were $62.50.  Although it’s a little on the pricey side, I think the experience was worth it.  At the end of the museum there is a little gift shop.  Also, private tastings are available for a much higher fee.

Museum of Ice Cream Information

hello@museumoficecream.com

museumoficecream.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to the Museum of Ice Cream, 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

Glow Zone-Huntington Beach

Glow Zone-Huntington Beach

What: Glow Zone

Where: Huntington Beach

For: All Ages

We took the kids to Glow Zone two months ago with my brother and his girlfriend.  Although it is intended for children, all four adults had a great time playing with the attractions during the duration of our stay.

Emma and Skylar Playing Bazooka Ball

The Attractions

Glow Zone is completely lit by black-light and contains a lot of neon structures.  There is a soft city jungle gym area for the younger kids in the back (kids 7 and younger), although quite a few older kids were running around which made us keep a close eye on the girls.  Bumper cars, a laser maze, and bazooka ball (think paintball a paintball course with soft balls) were offered to both the kids and adults.  Bazooka ball was my favorite, since we ran around with guns on teams and the little ones wore paintball masks and learned how to gather ammo and shoot pretty quickly.

Two Ninja Courses are provided and separated into younger and older kid groups.  These courses were pretty fun and reminded us of a kid-version of American Ninja Warrior.  The laser maze was a blast as well, although it was not a maze.  It made us feel like we were in one of the Mission Impossible movies since we had to contort ourselves to get under/over the lasers to accomplish certain tasks.

A bowling alley is on the far left side of the venue opposite of the jungle gym.  Although we bought two 2-hour passes, all of the bowling lanes were occupied (we wouldn’t have been able to play within the time constraints anyway).  A glowing mini-golf course is also offered for children and adults.  Our kids were too young to concentrate on the entire course, so we decided this activity was a pass.  Although arcade games were offered, we opted out of these attractions.

There is a Rec Room on the side that’s attached to the Glow Zone.  It turns into a bar at night and can sometimes be converted into a comedy club, music room or karaoke room for private parties.  There were a few birthday parties going on in the private rooms, and we saw kids shooting each other with soft balls in one.  The other rooms had kids playing Just Dance and another contained a Fortnite competition.

The Crowd

This place is crawling with kids from the ages of 2 to 13.  When you walk in it smells of feet and sweat, which makes for a hot and humid atmosphere.  Despite the smell and having to discipline a few of the older kids that pushed past our girls, the kids had such an amazing time that they passed out immediately in the car on the ride home.

Cost

Groupons are available on week days, which is probably your best bet since it’s less crowded.  The attendant at the front had a hard time of explaining the pricing, and the pricing on the board is confusingly worded.  We spent $35 each ($70 total) for two hours of unlimited activities for the kids (2 hour Max Pass).  The arcade games are a separate price, but there was so much to do that we couldn’t have gotten to the arcade area even if we wanted to.  You can get two hours of games and attractions for $45 per person.  There is also a full bar available to help the parents get through their time in the venue with varying costs depending on what you order.  Game cards have an activation fee of $1 per card.

Glow Zone Information

7227 Edinger Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

(714) 316-0775

hb.glowzone.us

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