Fire + Ice – Anaheim

Fire + Ice – Anaheim

What: Fire + Ice

Where: Anaheim

For: All Ages

My family took me to Fire + Ice for my birthday three years ago, and it was a very interesting experience.  It’s right across the street from Disneyland, and it’s the perfect place to go as a group for some good food and company.  We’ll probably go again to eat after stopping in at Disneyland since they’re in such close proximity.

The Restaurant

Fire + Ice is a create-your-own-meal experience that serves Brunch, Dinner and Lunch at fixed prices.  Guests grab a bowl and fill it with their favorite ingredients before heading over to the sauce bar to add some extra flavor.  There is an assortment of toppings, sauces, spices and herbs for plates.  After patrons have mixed their perfect concoction, they bring it on over to the grill to watch the chefs cook their food.  It takes from five to ten minutes to gather your food and for the chefs to complete your plate, and you can come back as often as you want.  The chef was very personable, and it was nice to chat with him while he was preparing our meal on a huge grill in front of us.

There is both indoor and outdoor seating on the patio.  The patio includes a fire pit and live entertainment on the weekend.  Happy Hour is available all week from 3:00pm-6:00pm.  There is also a full bar available for adults.

The Food

The restaurant offers a variety of Asian, American, Latin and Italian flavors.  I made a few smaller dishes so I could try everything.  This is probably why we ended up staying in the restaurant so long (since it takes 10 minutes to make one dish).  The Asian food includes noodles, eggs, siriracha sauce, bok choy, soy and ginger (just to name a few!).  The American culinary experience includes wings, ribs and burgers.  Latin flavors give choices such as beans, rice and tacos.  The Italian experience focuses on pastas, sausage, meatballs and various herbs and spices.  Each dish that I threw together was cooked to perfection and tasted amazing.

The Crowd

The first time I came here was in the middle of the week during lunch time, so there was no wait.  The second time we attempted to come, there was a 90-minute wait.  I would suggest calling the restaurant to make a reservation or putting your information in online.  If you are able to get in, the experience lasts about an hour to 90 minutes.  Another thing to keep in mind is parking.  When we tried to get in at 5:00pm on a Saturday, we were circling the parking structure for 20 minutes trying to find a spot after finding out about the hour-and-a-half late before ultimately leaving and going somewhere else.

Cost

Brunch costs $14.99 per person for adults and $9.99 for kids ages 4-11.  Lunch costs $11.00 for adults and $7.99 for kids, with dinner coming in at $18.99 for adults and $10.99 for kids.

Fire + Ice Information

1104 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

(714) 808-9757

fire-ice.com

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Tony’s on the Pier-South Bay

Tony’s on the Pier-South Bay

What: Tony’s on the Pier

Where: Redondo Beach

For: All Ages/Ages 21+ at Night

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

The Restaurant

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

Top O’ Tony’s

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

The Crowd

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

Cost

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

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Tony’s on the Pier Information

210 Fisherman’s Wharf, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

(310) 374-1442

oldtonys.com

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The Grove/The Original Farmers Market-Los Angeles

The Grove/The Original Farmers Market-Los Angeles

What: The Grove/The Original Farmers Market

Where: Los Angeles

For: All Ages

The Grove and Farmers Market is literally somewhere you can spend all day.  Not only may you catch a celebrity sighting or two, but there are always so many things to do.  I used to take Skylar all the time when she was younger.  We loved watching movies, going into the stores and trying out the amazing food at the market.

The Grove

During the summer, they have a concert series with some pretty famous singers.  There is a nice grassy area that families can set up with a blanket and picnic while they’re watching the concert.   Every so often there is a fashion show as well (check the website for special event information). There is also a double-decker trolley that’s on a track.  It allows you to jump on and off whenever you please while it makes its way from one end of The Grove to the other.  A movie theater plays all the new releases and sits right in the center of the venue.  A dancing fountain shows at regular intervals and is beautiful to watch.  If you’re a regular visitor to The Grove, make sure to sign up for the kids club so you can be first to find out about special family-friendly events.

The grove has a variety of stores, ranging from common chains that you would find in any mall to higher end luxury boutiques.  What’s interesting about the stores is that they’re truly glamorized to reach the Hollywood crowd.  For example, the Abercrombie and Fitch is three stories high and has fit shirtless male models that welcome shoppers.  There are also a variety of sit-down restaurants around The Grove.  Although I would suggest saving money and exploring the Farmers Market, some of the restaurants have outside seating that allow guests to people watch (and, as I said…maybe have a celebrity sighting!)  One of our favorite dessert places is Sprinkles (I’ll probably post about this later).  They have the most amazing cupcakes we’ve ever had…we even grab ‘pupcakes’ for the dog when we go there.  There is always something to do at the Grove by yourself, as a couple or with the family.

The Farmer’s Market

Although not affiliated with The Grove, the Farmers Market is attached to the huge outdoor mall.  There are two separate parking lots specifically for the Farmer’s Market.  The merchants include an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants.  Seating is outside on a first-come first-served basis.  Generally if we go with a group, we make sure that we have a table to sit at first (these fill up easily) prior to getting our food.  Since there is such a large variety of food offered, many times people in our group all go to different places to eat.

At the shops, you will find a variety of odds and ends.  There is one place that more types of hot sauce than you can imagine.  Another only sells hats.  All in all, there are about 100 shops and restaurants to choose from in the Farmers Market.  Please check the website for days and hours of operation.

The Crowd

As I mentioned before, I’ve been to the Grove alone, as a couple and with my family.  Every time it has been amazing, and the crowd has been a joy to interact with.

Cost

Parking at the Grove has various options.  Self-parking is a maximum of $24 per day (make sure to get validation if you don’t want to pay so much).  Valet parking is offered, and there are specific drop-off areas for Uber and Lyft.  Please check the website for more information.  Parking at Farmers Market is $30 maximum per day for self-parking, but it offers validation as well.

The Grove/The Original Farmers Market Information

The Grove: 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036

(323) 900-8080

thegrovela.com

The Original Farmers Market: 6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

(323) 939-9211

farmersmarketla.com

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Din Tai Fung-Multiple Locations

Din Tai Fung-Multiple Locations

What: Din Tai Fung

Where: Multiple Locations

For: All Ages

Din Tai Fung is one of our favorite places to take our guests when they’re in from out of town.  Awarded a Michelin star for its Hong Kong branch, we love to come here on Sundays for an amazing meal.  We just had a restaurant open in the mall near our house, and we’ve already been there five times.

The Wait

Ethan and I have waited upwards of 90 minutes to eat at Din Tai Fung.  You can make reservations online or by calling the restaurant.  If you walk up, there is a separate line for putting your name in for a reservation and for waiting to be seated.  After you give the hostess your name and phone number, you are free to roam around the mall until you receive a text to come back.  It takes about 10-15 minutes from the time you receive a text for your reservation until the time you are seated.

While guests are waiting in the line to be seated, there is an open window that shows employees making dumplings.  It’s very interesting how quickly they are able to make little blobs of dough into beautiful dumplings. There is a full bar in the middle of the restaurant for patrons waiting to be seated.

The Restaurant

When you’re seated, the waiter/ress will ask if anyone in your party has ever been to Din Tai Fung before.  If it’s a guest’s first time, then they are taken through the menu (that’s no less than 15 pages long).  Each table is given a piece of paper and pen where they can check off what they want to eat.  Din Tai Fungis a family-style restaurant.  You’re meant to share all of the dishes with your party.  After the waiter/ress confirms your order, she takes it to the kitchen and brings it back to your table.  When a dish is ordered and brought to the table, the employees cross it off on a piece of paper at the table.

It is essential to order the dumplings.  The soup dumplings (XiaoLongBao) have a little bit of soup wrapped up with meat in the bottom of the dumpling.  The shrimp and pork wonton soup is especially tasty.  We also love to order the dumplings, spicy noodles, shao mai and fried rice.  Don’t forget the Thai Tea and Coffee!

The Crowd

There are locations in Glendale, Torrance and two in Arcadia.  There is also a location in Orange County and San Diego.  The restaurant gets very busy on the weekends.  The crowd is a mix of people, all craving dumplings.  Make sure to make a reservation if you don’t want to wait 45 to 90 minutes.

Cost

We always order about 5-7 dishes with drinks and walk away paying just less than $100 for three or four people.  For the two of us, it’s about $60…and believe me…every penny is worth it.

Din Tai Fung Information

21540 Hawthorne Blvd, Ste 519, Torrance, CA 90503

(310) 214-1175

dintaifungusa.com

Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to Din Tai Fung, 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

Goofy’s Kitchen-Anaheim

Goofy’s Kitchen-Anaheim

What: Goofy’s Kitchen

Where: Anaheim

For: All Ages

Since the girls’ birthday is one week apart, for the past two years we have been going to Goofy’s Kitchen for a buffet brunch before celebrating inside Disneyland for the day.  We not only enjoyed the family-friendly food, but the photo ops with the characters walking around every few minutes was a great addition.

The Restaurant

Guests can set reservations for Goofy’s Kitchen online (I suggest that you make reservations as soon as possible to ensure the tables don’t fill up) for breakfast and dinner.  The hostess won’t seat your party until all guests are present, which is something to keep in mind.  When you get to the front of the restaurant, they take your name and give you a photo op with Goofy in his chef’s outfit.  After seating, the waitress will bring you a printed-out photo of your group with Goofy that you can choose to buy.  There is a pass option to purchase where you can download pictures from the entire day in Disneyland and get the picture of Goofy which we decided to opt into.

Buffets are all-you-can-eat and include adult favorites (we’ve only gone for breakfast) such as a create-your-own omelet station and eggs benedict (cocktails are also provided at an additional cost).  The kids enjoyed the pizza, pancakes and bakery sweets.  There is also a huge dessert area and ice cream station.

Since we celebrated Emma and Sky’s birthday, the kids were each given a birthday button and special birthday cupcake with a candle to blow out.  The workers and characters also came around to sing ‘Happy Birthday’, which made the girls feel like VIPs.

The Characters

Every thirty minutes, the characters have a parade around the restaurant where they wave their napkins in the air.  The kids loved interacting with the characters and waving their own napkins.  Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Pluto and Chip ‘n’ Dale were the only characters that we were able to see.  The great thing is that they walk around to every table to interact with the children and pose for pictures.

The Crowd

There are a lot of families here since it’s a character restaurant affiliated with Disneyland.  Although it was kind of loud, we didn’t mind since the girls were having a great time. Because the restaurant is located inside the Disneyland Hotel, many hotel guests came here prior to hitting the pool or theme parks.  The dress code is very casual.

Cost

The breakfast buffet costs $36 per adult and $21 per child.  Although the food isn’t gourmet, you’re really paying for the novelty of the restaurant along with the character experiences.  There is an automatic gratuity added to guests’ bill.  If you have an annual pass, there is a discount on your pricing.

Goofy’s Kitchen Information

Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim, CA 92802

(714) 781-3463

disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/Disneyland-hotel/goofys-kitchen

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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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Terranea-Rancho Palos Verdes

Terranea-Rancho Palos Verdes

What: Terranea

Where: Rancho Palos Verdes

For: All Ages

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

The Hotel

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

The Spa

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

The Golf Course

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

Dining

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

The Tide Pools

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

The Crowd             

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

Cost

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

Terranea Information

100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90075

(866) 802-8000

terranea.com

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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

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Honeymee-Multiple Locations

Honeymee-Multiple Locations

What: Honeymee

Where: Multiple Locations

For: All Ages

Skylar and I recently had a girls’ day spent at the Del Amo Mall when we came across this small space called Honeymee.  There are also other Honeymee locations around the Los Angeles Area.  With quality soft-serve hard to find, we were pleasantly surprised by the taste of the ice cream and atmosphere of the café.

The café is decorated with a clean rustic look, which I absolutely loved.  Although we went during a slow time of day for Honeymee, I know that when I normally walk past the shop there are many people there (especially around breakfast and lunch time).

The Drinks

Honeymee offers both tea and coffee.  I needed some caffeine, so I ordered a Honemee Cold Brew Latte.  I’m a die-hard Starbucks fan, and I have the confidence to say that this cold brew latte was considerably better than Starbucks’.  Hibiscus Tea, Machta, Yuzu Tea, and a Regular Cold Brew are also offered.  The Honeymee Special allows you to choose any drink and add an ice cream topping.

The Desserts

The ice cream that was offered was rich and creamy (and made with all natural ingredients!).  You can spruce them up with a variety of toppings and eat from a cup or cone.  Skylar and I tried a sample of the vanilla ice cream that left her begging for more.  They also serve ice cream toped with natural honey, making a sweet and refreshing treat that gave us energy to spend the rest of the day walking around the mall.

The Babee is a choice of ice cream in a bun.  Colored waffle cones are served in red, green ad black.  Toppings include multi-grain granola, sliced almonds, crushed oreos, coconut flakes, sunflower seed honey oats, liquid honey, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and sea salt.  Varieties of honey milkshakes are also offered to patrons.

You can also add Liege Waffles to your order, with options including original, honey, cream cheese, Nutella, strawberry, blackberry, ice cream, and combination.

Cost

Ice cream ranges from $3.95 to $5.30.   The babe and colored waffle cones are an additional $0.75, with the original waffle cone costing $0.50 more.  Toppings are only $0.30 each.  Milkshakes are $4.75 to $5.25.  Tea and Coffee range from $3.95 to $5.25, with the Honeymee Special ringing in at $1.75 more than the drink price.  Leige Waffles are an additional $4.25 to $6.30 depending on the order.

The Honeymee Information

21540 Hawthorne Blvd, Space 531, Torrance, CA 90503

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