A favourite summer activity among Angelenos are the outdoor concerts held at the Hollywood Bowl. World travellers who find themselves in Los Angeles should definitely make an effort to attend a concert there as this is one of the few venues that allows outside food and drinks! Huzzah!
During my visit home, as luck would have it, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was playing at the Bowl with musical accompaniment by the L.A. Philharmonic, who performed the ENTIRE score from the film while it played. So the magical music that played during the movie was actually coming from a live orchestra. I loved it!
It was a packed night so the body heat made it a bit warm on an already hot day so be sure to pack some cold drinks if you’re there on a summer night. Next time I think I might treat myself to a boxed seat closer to the stage. Check out the Hollywood Bowl’s calendar of events here. Upcoming concerts include Mama Mia and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Time to rock out with your blasters out at this Star Wars pop-up bar, located just across the street from Beetle House on Hollywood Boulevard in L.A. While Beetle House played mod and emo music to complement the goth vibes, Scum & Villainy Cantina is full of jukebox jives and, yes, they played the infamous Mos Eisley cantina song.
Reservations are required where you present your ticket at the entrance. You can purchase a $50 ticket which includes two drink tokens and Star Wars swag (a pint glass and patch), or a $25 ticket which includes only the swag. T-shirts are also sold for an additional $15.
I had a great time and you really do feel transported to a cantina on Tatooine. There are small bites and drinks, but I’m a little disappointed that there were only three signature cocktails. I’m actually totally bummed at the lack of creativity that I decided to come up with an imaginary list of my own that should be used:
Rogue Jyn Fizz
Darth & Stormy
Sith on the Beach
But alas, I only had three cocktails to choose from. I opted for the Wretched Blue Milk which was a tropical rum-based drink and quite delicious. I spotted an older Han and Leia lounging at a booth (super cute!), and the ladies restrooms had graffiti like “It’s a Trap”, “Han Shot First”, and the symbol of the Rebel Alliance.
So if you’re a Star Wars fan and happen to be in Los Angeles, make a reservation and visit the Cantina! Cosplay is encouraged, of course!
The gothic and eccentric world of Tim Burton comes to life through food and drinks at Beetle House L.A., a pop-up located in Hollywood. Beetle House comes to L.A. after the highly successful NYC location where it was born in June 2016.
While the L.A. pop-up is full of artwork and characters inspired by Tim Burton conceptions and films, Beetle House creator, Zach Neil wanted to create a home for the “freaks, weirdos and grown up goth kids of the city.” The Beetle House slogan, in fact, is “It’s Halloween all year long.”
That is indeed the vibe you get once you’re inside the bar. Artwork covers the walls, Tim Burton characters walk around for pictures, and carnival-like performers make their way around the bar. I saw a woman hammer a nail into her nose. Whhhhaaaa?!?!
The entrance to the restaurant is the open-mouthed sandworm from Beetlejuice. Totally cool! While I didn’t get to eat there, I did sample the drink menu. Expensive (obviously because it’s L.A.) but delicious. No reservations are required for the bar, but if you wanted to eat at the restaurant, reservations well in advance are a must. Having said that, if you are early enough, it doesn’t hurt to try asking the hostess if there’s any availability as last-minute cancellations occur. The menu itself is prix fixe with three different levels to choose from so be prepared to drop some cash for a full meal.
It had a fun vibe especially if you are into Tim Burton movies. The music is also strategically chosen. There was music from The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Cure, and even the tequila song à la Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. So if you happen to be walking among the stars on Hollywood Boulevard, it’s definitely worth a visit.
“The idea was simple, create a space where people who love Halloween, horror films, Gothic, dark and moody music can gather for a meal and drinks. Sports bars are great if you are into sports, but what about the rest of us? Imagine a place with the same enthusiasm as a big time sports bar but instead everyone is celebrating, films, music and art. That is the type of place I want to create.” – Zach Neil
The ice cream taco is not a new fad or concept. Case? Choco Tacos from the Klondike company. I’m unsure of the availability of choco tacos elsewhere in the world, but they’re pretty common in every ice cream truck in Southern California, as well as in major grocery stores.
Another growing fad is rolled ice cream, which I believe is a Thai invention. What is new, however, is the combination of two delicious inventions to create ice cream tacos on crack, a process that Sweet Cup in Garden Grove, California has perfected.
Initially part of “Taco Tuesday” marketing, Sweet Cup only dished out rolled ice cream tacos on Tuesday, but due to high demand and lines going out the small shop, Sweet Cup has now decided to serve these sweet tacos everyday! A victory for us all!
There are 11 signature rolled ice cream taco creations ranging from Rainbow Road (fruity pebble ice cream with cotton candy whipped cream), to Vietnamese Coffee (coffee ice cream with sea salt cream) and S’mores Galore. It was so difficult to choose. Be prepared to wait, as there are only four “cold plates” in which staff can only make one order at a time.
I ordered for myself and of course, I had to buy some for my niece (3 years) and nephew (6 years). My three orders were the Honey Avocado, Strawberry Shortcake, and Cookies & Cream.
I had to wait about 30 minutes but it was well worth it. I predict that more and more ice cream shops will do the same as Sweet Cup, which will really help with the crowds seeking ice cream tacos on hot summer days. Yum!
I just returned to Brighton from a whirlwind visit home in Southern California. While I barely survived the summer heat, I made time to explore new places (yes even in my own home), which included a first-time trip to The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. It was a perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon.
Located in San Marino, a tiny suburb south of Pasadena, The Huntington displays diverse gardens with a wide range of international and domestic flora.
A friend and myself walked through desert gardens, greenhouses, a Japanese garden, Chinese garden and a rose garden — all the while melting in 90℉/32℃ heat. I was dripping with sweat but it was lovely to see koi ponds, sit beneath trees for a quick shady respite from the sun, and smell the sweet scent of roses.
Through the gardens there are also cafes and restaurants, and the elegant Rose Garden Tea Room, where reservations are recommended.