5th Annual – Real to Reel – Portrayals and Perceptions of LGBTQ’s in Hollywood – June 8, 2018 – Hollywood Museum, Hollywood, CA.

Exhibition Opens With VIP Reception at The Hollywood Museum
with a Special Presentation to The Future of Hollywood Award presented to Actress Stephanie Beatriz and the Legacy Award to Actress Julie Newmar.

This event was wonderful; they pulled out all of the stops, including serving a caviar extravaganza and lovely buffet. They did some great acknowledgements and awards; fun was truly had by all. The LGBTQ community showed up and their many supporters.

President/Founder of The Hollywood Museum, Donelle Dadigan, along with Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and Christopher Street West, will proudly kick off an annual exhibit that shines the spotlight on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ) community in television and film through the decades. This year’s event will also feature a special recognition for The Future of Hollywood Award presented to actress Stephanie Beatriz and the Legacy Award to TONY Award winning actress, Julie Newmar.

The Hollywood Museum’s REAL to REEL: Portrayals and Perceptions of LGBTQs in Hollywood exhibition opens to the public on Friday, June 8th, to coincide with the annual Christopher Street West Pride activities.

Background and Information:
Spanning 100 years, the 2018 exhibit is a salute to the LGBTQ community’s contributions to the entertainment industry. Now, in its fifth successful year, the REAL to REEL: Portrayals and Perceptions of LGBTQ in Hollywood exhibit, is offered in partnership with Los Angeles City Council member Mitch O’Farrell (CD-13) and LA Pride, as an educational, entertaining and informative retrospective of LGBTQ images in film, TV, new digital platforms featuring costumes, props, photos, and iconic imagery all telling the story of the milestones and influence that LGBTQ characters and plot lines have had in Hollywood from early stereotypes in silent films to modern-day representations. Additionally, REAL to REEL celebrates LGBTQ Icons by paying homage to those individuals who support the LGBTQ community. Founder and President of The Hollywood Museum, Donelle Dadigan, explains “The museum welcomes the opportunity to create and showcase this important exhibition, sharing with the public the artistic expression and extraordinary significance of the LGBTQ culture and its effect and impact on the world through the medium of entertainment.”

The Hollywood Museum’s presentation places the exhibit in the historical context of Hollywood, which is home to a large LGBTQ entertainment industry population. The exhibit revisits monumental LGBTQ moments in history with Rev. Troy Perry, including the Black Cat riots (1967), and the infamous sign that once hung at the entrance of West Hollywood’s Barney’s Beanery. Exhibit highlights include costumes from Transparent, How to Get Away with Murder, Brokeback Mountain, Superstore, The Walking Dead, Empire, Trans America, Sordid Lives, Cruising, Orange is the New Black, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ray Donovan, Mad Men, Arrested Development, Cabaret, K-11, After Forever, Orphan Black, Roseanne, Will & Grace, To Wong Fu Julie Newmar, etc. Additional exhibit items include famous costumes from Hollywood’s leading designers; Mr. Blackwell, Bob Mackie, Ret Turner, Nolan Miller, Zac Posen, Rudolf Nureyev and Edith Head to Project Runway with Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum, as well as Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, Tyler Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots, Scandal, Two in a Half Men, True Blood, The Good Wife, much more. This year’s exhibit also includes, LGBTQ Icons including Judy Garland, Betty Davis, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Cher, Rock Hudson, Liza Minnelli, James Dean, Bette Midler, Ramon Navarro, Rudolf Valentino, Charles Laughton, Sam Harris, Bruce Vilanch, Sherman Hemsley, Geri Jewell, Jerry Herman, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner and many more.

The Hollywood Museum gratefully acknowledges the following ABC, Amazon Studios, BBC America, CBS, Discovery Life, Focus Features HBO, Logo, NBC, Netflix, OWN, Showtime, TLC and 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, as well as organizations serving the LGBTQ community including ONE Archives, Christopher Street West, The Glaad Awards, amfAR and more.

About The Hollywood Museum:
The museum houses more than 10,000 Authentic Show Business Treasures spotlighting more than 100 years of Hollywood history – from the Silents to Talkies, to Hollywood’s Golden Era, Film Noir, Television and its Pioneer Years, through the rebellious 60s, special effects 70s, evolving 80s, involved 90s, technological 2000s, and beyond to current day heartthrobs! The Hollywood Museum’s exhibits showcase the best in film, network and cable television, and new digital platforms featuring iconic and fan favorites! Named one of the top tourist attractions by LA Weekly, voted one of the Top 10 Museums in LA by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, and annually receives the Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor. Located in the heart of Hollywood, at the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave – The Hollywood Museum in the historic Max Factor Building is the Official Museum of Hollywood and offers visitors the most extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia in the world featuring the glamour of Hollywood legends and stars – past, present and in the making. See one-of-a-kind costumes, props, photographs, scripts, stars’ car collections, personal artifacts, posters, and memorabilia from favorite stars, films and TV shows. The Hollywood Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.

The Hollywood Museum – in the Historic Max Factor Building
1660 N. Highland Ave (at Hollywood Blvd)
Hollywood, California 90028
(323) 464-7776
FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/TheHollywoodMuseum
TWITTER: @HollywoodMuseum
INSTAGRAM: @HollywoodMuseum
http://thehollywoodmuseum.com/

* Note some content was taken off of press release and website

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Rich Little Book Signing – Friday June 1, 2018 – Hollywood Museum, Hollywood, CA.

All I can say is back in the day Rich Little to me was the god of impressionists, appearing many times on Johnny Carson he represented to me what real artistry is all about.

We got to see him and hear him do some of his famous impressions, Dean Martin, Johnny Carson, George Burns among others.

There were so many glamorous celebrities coming in to support Rich Little and the Hollywood Museum. When I am there I feel like I have come home, I always feel welcomed. Thanks to B. Harlan Boll, and Roger and Lynn Neal.

It was a fun memorable evening with help from lots of celebrities: Paul Sorvino, Ruta Lee to name a few. Bringing back all of my memories how television played such a big part in my childhood and beyond. Rich Little was a big part of all of that; I always enjoyed his brilliant impressions of some amazingly talented actors, and comedians.

The Hollywood Museum,
in the Historic Max Factor Building
1660 N. Highland Ave (at Hollywood Blvd)
Hollywood, California 90028
(323) 464-7776
http://thehollywoodmuseum.com/

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The Color Purple – May 29, 2018 – The Pantages – Hollywood, CA.

For me always a heartfelt story, one of redemption and revenge, but with a great lesson. It always makes me cry like a baby, I am just filled with emotions and joy all at the same time.

I had a client a while back La Toya London from American Idol fame and she was in the touring company, she played Nettie. A few years back I went to see her on closing night in Chicago and had the honor of going to the cast party and met all the amazing cast at that time, I was truly smitten. The only real thing between then and now is the set. The installed 3 very high wooden flats that housed many chairs that were hung by hooks. The cast only used these different wooden chars to depict all of the sets of the show. Obviously it took some imagination, and if you never saw the show before you would not have known the difference, for me it was a very ingenious way to pull off this outstanding show.

About the show:
The Cast:
Adam – Darnell Abraham, Guard – Amar Atkins, Bobby/Buster – Kyle E. Baird, Church Lady, Angela Birchett, Nettie – N’ Jameh Camara, Sofia – Carrie Compere, Harpo – J. DAUGHTRY, Squeak – Erica Durham, Mister – Gavin Gregory, Celie – Adrianna Hicks, Church Lady – Bianca Horn, Grady – Mekhai Lee, Olivia – Gabrielle Reid, Preacher/Ol’ Mister – C.E. Smith, Shug Avery – Carla R. Stewart, Pa – J.D. Webbster, Church Lady – Brit West.

Orchestra Conductor / Keys 1: Darryl Archibald Associate Conductor / Keys 2: Wayne Green Guitar (Electric, Acoustic, Dobro, Harmonica, 12 String): Michael Karcher Bass (Electric, Acoustic): Chris Thigpen Drums: Trevor Holder Keyboard Programming: Randy Cohen Music Coordinator: Talitha Fehr Local Orchestra Alto Sax/Clarinet/Flute/Alto Flute: Frank Fontaine Bari Sax/Clarinet/Bass Clarinet/Tenor Sax: Richard Mitchell Trumpet/Flugelhorn: Aaron Smith Keyboard Sub: William Malpede Orchestra Contractor: Eric Heinly

Brenda Russell – Composer/Lyricist, Allee Willis – Composer/Lyricist, Stephen Bray – Composer/Lyricist, John Doyle – Direction/Set Design/Musical Staging, Ann Hould-Ward – Costume Designer, Jane Cox – Lighting Designer, Charles G. La Pointe – Wig and Hair Design, Catherine Jays – Music Supervisor, Darryl Archibald – Music Director Conductor, Telsey + Company – Casting, Richard A. Leigh – Stage Manager.

The Musical Numbers:
Act One:
“Huckleberry Pie” – Celie and Nettie “Mysterious Ways”, The Company -“Somebody Gonna Love You” – Celie, “Our Prayer” – Nettie, Celie and Mister, “Big Dog” – Mister and Men, “Hell No!” – Sofia and Women, “Brown Betty” – Harpo, Squeak and Men, “Shug Avery Comin’ to Town” – Mister, Celie and Company, “Too Beautiful for Words” – Shug, “Push da Button” – Shug and Company, “Uh Oh!” – The Company, “What About Love?” – Celie and Shug.
Act Two:
“African Homeland” – Nettie, Celie and Company, “The Color Purple” – Shug,
“Celie’s Curse” – Mister, “Miss Celie’s Pants” – Celie and Women, “Any Little Thing” – Harpo and Sofia, “I’m Here” – Celie, “The Color Purple” (Reprise) – Celie and Company.

The beauty of the Art Deco glory of The Pantages Theater enhances everything about this show; it remains that most glamour’s backdrop of a venue ever.

It is a more simpler version of the film, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover, but it still follows the same story, a story that resonates in today’s world, not missing a beat, you will be entertained and enlightened, after all it did win The Best Musical Revival Tony in 2016.

The Color Purple runs from May 29 – June 17 2018
The Pantages Theater
6233 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 468-1770
https://www.hollywoodpantages.com/events/detail/thecolorpurple

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Bar 20 – Dinner – May 29, 2018 – Sunset Strip, Los Angeles, CA.

This bar is very hipster, the décor, the people; everything about it brings you back to why The Sunset Strip is so iconic.

It has all been recently revamped and they did a fantastic job, the accents are all red and black, very sleek and stylish. The perfect place for happy hour, a date, or a late night drink. Sip the nectar of the rock Gods in a guitar-inspired cocktail lounge on the Sunset Strip. Fuel up for the demands of the LA nightlife with an exclusive Bar Menu featuring all of what you need and none of what you don’t. Bar 20 also has a brand new breakfast menu! Dine in style without leaving The Grafton on Sunset. Their newly renovated hotel offers on-site access to Bar 20 for drinks and dining.

Here’s What I tried:

Chicken Strips, with ranch dressing, nice crisp flavor with massive crunch, a nice starter.

Lobster Mac’n Cheese, with cheesy béchamel, rosemary breadcrumbs. You get a bit of cheesy goodness with every bite and there is a lot of lobster, it is a delicious dish.

Grafton Chopped Salad, blue cheese, dry cranberries, bacon, chopped egg, grilled chicken, walnuts and tarragon vinaigrette. I loved this salad, and the shrimp are huge and very flavorful.

1/2 Pound Sunset Burger, with signature beef blend, cheddar, apple wood bacon, shredded lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, pickle, 1000 island dressing. This is a huge burger, the combination of ingredients with blow your hair back, just fantastic.

They have a happy hour from 4:20-7:20 with half off prices and bar bites, Monday through Friday.

A great way to enjoy the hotel and have a big convenient dining experience.

Bar 20
The Grafton Hotel
8462 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
graftononsunset.com
(323) 491-9006
https://www.bar20onsunset.com/

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Staycation – May 29, 2018, The Grafton Hotel – Sunset Strip – Los Angeles, CA.

In the hottest part of The Sunset Strip in West Hollywood lies an oasis of splendor and relaxation, a real premiere boutique retreat. The Grafton offers a luxurious stay with urban sophistication, without all of the bells and whistles of new hotels in the area. With its 90’s throw back theme, The Grafton is not trying to be the new kid on the block; simply put, the location is well worth the price of one’s stay. You can walk across the street to see some of the best comedy in town, or go down to the fashionable Sunset Plaza with all of its great restaurants and elegant shopping. Guests of The Grafton also enjoy close proximity to some of the Sunset Strip’s most famous hot spots including the Viper Room, Whiskey A Go-Go, and the Rainbow Bar & Grill. You can hop in an Uber and be anywhere in Los Angeles in a half hour. Also, the hotel has a built in hipster bar, Bar 20, which I will cover in my next review.

Their rooms all have a rock and roll theme to make the guests feel as if they are the stars of a rock show: the wall paper depicts a rowdy audience giving an ovation to the guest, who is spotlighted by the color and lights of the room. There are a total of 108 rooms and suites. The subtlety of this makes you feel like you are in a world of music history and debacle that could only happen on the Sunset Strip.

The pool area is the star for me, with great views of the city, I just loved swimming there. It boasts to be the largest saltwater pool on the Sunset Strip. My room was located a few feet away from the pool and even though Los Angeles was in May gray, and it was overcast, I persevered and swam in the cold foggy day. At night there are strung lights that set a very festive tone. There is an also gym that is basic but will do the trick.

If you are interested in a comfortable, state of the art property that’s not too pricey or extravagant, then The Grafton is the place for you. Seeing that I am not a millennial, I was content with the charm of the bungalow style of hotel, even though there were no bungalows. The awnings and the fabric used around the property reminds me of the Beverly Hills Hotel, but instead of a green and pink color palate, The Grafton use a striped black and camel for awnings and curtains. Did I mention that they are totally pet friendly, so take your furry friends with you.

I enjoyed my stay especially because as the crow flies I live 2 minutes away – got to love West Hollywood.

The Grafton Hotel
8462 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
graftononsunset.com
(323) 654-4600

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Re-Visit – Dinner – May 25, 2018 – True Food Kitchen – Santa Monica, CA.

My first visit was a year ago and I loved every bite. The difference with this visit though, was the other menu items I tried, and how the customers have changed. It appeared like all walks of life have discovered the delicious health conscious choices of True Food Kitchen. A good thing, that has gotten even better, and many locals have realized these innovative ways to make new choices for an improved life.

The ingredients and sustainability factor is what True Food Kitchen is all about. True Food Kitchen, is a health-driven, seasonal restaurant merging nutrient-rich ingredients with a flavor-forward menu that rotates regularly to let guests experience great-tasting ingredients at the peak of their freshness. Their open kitchen brings guests closer to True Kitchen’s culinary craft while showcasing that there’s nothing secret about the way they prepare their dishes.

Their scratch bar is brimming with a selection of wine, local beers and seasonal cocktails made
using fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices paired with organic spirits.

Here is what I Tried:

Cocktails:

Basil Cucumber Collins, lemon-infused vodka, cucumber, and basil. A soothing, rich and a truly great cocktail.

Thai Grapefruit Martini, organic vodka, grapefruit, ad Thai basil. You don’t even taste the grapefruit, it is just wonderful.

Lemongrass Margarita, añejo tequila, mango, lime, and lemongrass. Silky smooth, just a seamless drink.

Vegetables:

Spring Asparagus Toast, vegan, roasted cipollini onion, green garbanzo, tahini, mint, and hemp seed. The perfect beginning to a wonderful experience.

Starters:

Daily Market Soup, Tortilla Soup. This soup had a bit of a kick, but was a nice rendition of this popular starter.

Wild Caught Albacore Tataki, gluten free, with avocado, jalapeño, toasted sesame, and yuzu ponzu. Just spectacular, so fresh and flawless, one of my favorites of the evening!

Edamame Dumplings, vegetarian, with dashi, white truffle oil, and Asian herbs. Light and fluffy, with amazing truffle oil flavors, another great way to start your experience.

Herb Hummus, vegetarian, with Greek salad, feta and grilled pita bread. Just the best hummus on the planet and the added Greek salad, wow.

Salads:

Seasonal Ingredient Salad: with gluten free, with watercress, grilled broccolini, asparagus, green garbanzo, goat cheese, raisin, sprouted almond, turmeric chia vinaigrette, and shrimp. This salad is a wonderful healthy way to get your veggies and protein all in the same dish.

Sandwiches:

Mediterranean Chicken Pita with grilled flatbread, romaine, arugula, grape, house pickle, red onion, feta, harissa tahini. This is just the ideal lunch item, the chicken is cooked to perfection, loved it!

Grass-Fed Burger with umami, mushroom, caramelized onion, arugula, Parmesan, mayonnaise, and flax seed bun. I have had many burgers, but there is something so special about this one, all of the ingredients and the way they blend together, you just have to try it to believe it.

Bowls:

Cashew Pad Thai, with gluten free kombu, rice noodle, zucchini, mushroom, eggplant, gai lan, bean sprout, Thai basil, tamarind, with shrimp. It’s just like you would order at a Thai restaurant, but the vegetables are more pronounced and you can just tell that it is healthier.

Teriyaki Quinoa, vegan, with broccoli, heirloom carrot, bok choy, mushroom, brown rice, avocado, toasted sesame, with chicken. The quinoa has a nice pop feel in your mouth, and the flavors are astounding.

Pizza:

Grilled Artichoke & Pesto, vegan, with artichoke, spinach, summer squash, black walnut pesto, lemon, Aleppo chili, and vegan almond ricotta. This pizza is so much fun and creative, no big red sauce, but a full dressed pizza with all of the bells and whistles.

Entrees:

Spaghetti Squash Casserole, vegan and gluten free, with organic DiNapoli tomato, caramelized onion, zucchini, and fresh mozzarella. If you love pasta or a pasta casserole then this if the dish for you, healthy, light, so delicious.

Special:

Responsible Sourced Fish Feature, Skin on sea bass, truly lovely and again very healthy.

Desserts:

Flourless Chocolate Cake, caramel vanilla ice cream, and cocoa nib. This is a very delicate cake that you would never know doesn’t contain flour; I highly suggest you try this one.

Chia Seed Pudding banana, toasted coconut, a lighter dessert, for those of you that prefer puddings or custards.

Wine:

Sauvignon Blanc, Habit Happy Canyon, Santa Barbara, CA. I would do this wine with the lovely Pad Thai with shrimp; it had enough fruit forward goodness to be a great pairing.

Chardonnay, Imagery, Sonoma County, CA. This wine was so terrific with the sea bass, smooth but not too overwhelming, a nice combination.

Red Blend, Skyfall, Columbia Valley, WA. I know this may sound weird but I loved this wine with the chocolate flourless cake, instead of coffee of a dessert wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Long Meadow Ranch Farmstead, Napa Valley, CA. Hands down got to try this wine with the delightful burger.

They take great pride in a menu that caters to nearly every food preference with a variety of gluten-free, naturally organic, vegetarian and vegan offerings.

Their commitment to quality and creativity ensures a menu that encourages exploration all throughout the year. Every meal at True Food Kitchen is an opportunity to further your journey toward healthy living.

What True Food Kitchen really does is make healthy food the new normal; it is delicious and nutritious, so given the opportunity to change ones eating habits, True Food Kitchen makes it super easy.

True Food Kitchen
(310) 593-8300
395 Santa Monica Pl, Ste 172,
Santa Monica, CA 90401
truefoodkitchen.com
* Note some content was taken off of their website.

 

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LA Times Food Bowl – A Tutta Pizza – Sunday May 13, 2018 – Lunch – Hollywood Palladium – Hollywood, CA.

In December, the art of pizza making – specifically Neapolitan pizza – made international headlines when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized the Art of Neapolitan Pizzaiolo as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity with inscription 12.com 11.b.17 No. 00722. To celebrate this recognition, LA, Grow!, an annual community event that focuses on healthy eating and urban agriculture, and Los Angeles Times Food Bowl brought pizza makers from all over the world to the Hollywood Palladium for Pizza Fest: A Tutta Pizza! “Pizza, full steam ahead!”

This event showcased over 20 food vendors, pizzerias, restaurants, and pizza trucks, alongside photo booths and sponsorship booths in the venue’s parking lot, lobby, and ballroom. Trying all of these delectable pizza slices you kind of forget that there is any other kind of food; pizza truly ruled the day! During the course of the day, there was cooking workshops, cooking demos, panel discussions, and a DJ spinning music. As well as Many special guests also made appearances, including top pizza chefs Enzo Coccia, Nancy Silverton, Tony Gemignani, Zach Pollack, Daniele Uditi as well as L.A. Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, L.A. Times Deputy Food Editor Jenn Harris, and producer and host Phil Rosenthal (Somebody Feed Phil, Netflix).

The Authentic Italian Table Series cooking workshops are curated by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West. The Authentic Italian Table highlights the art of Neapolitan pizza-making, as well as the values of the Italian food culture. As part of the greater Extraordinary Italian Taste campaign – a promotional and educational project conceived by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, in collaboration with Assocamerestero – this event puts the spotlight on “the queen of the Italian table!”

A Tutta Pizza
Hollywood Palladium
6215 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

* Note some content was taken off of their website.

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May 11, 2018 – Harlowe Bar – Dinner – West Hollywood, CA.

I had my Birthday party here back in January and they really did a great job. When manager Billy Bob said he wanted me to come in for a proper tasting I jumped at the opportunity.

Friday night in any city is usually happening, this Friday night was an old friend of mine’s happy hour birthday celebration there at Harlowe Bar, so that added to the fun vibe. Through another friend I met Lynn Powers and her daughter Blaze. Blaze has a band and is a great performer. She also has been the bar manager at Harlowe Bar for the last 2 years. She set me up with my cocktails which added to my overall experience and knowing a friendly face working at the bar added to my overall experience. So all in all it was like I was a regular at Harlowe Bar, at least for 1 night.

At Harlowe Bar, the cocktails and décor illuminate the elegance and decadence of the Golden Age of Hollywood, with a playful list of classic and original cocktails, fountain and bottled drinks, homemade libations, and more. The menu is rounded out by a selection of old-meets-new dishes, which elegantly compliments Harlowe’s tastefully ambitious design.

Here’s What I Tried:

Cocktails:

Sidewinder – El Silencio Mezcal, black tea, mango, lemon, orange, honey, fire water, and chile. This is a spicy blend of citrus and fruit; just a delicious cocktail.

Miss Cross – Kettle One Vodka, dimmi, strawberry, rose water, lemon, orange bitters, and bubbly. Right up my alley with the Kettle One vodka, I would order this next time.

Art & Zen – Suntory Toki Japanese whiskey, Gifford peche, green tea, lychee, yuzu, lemon, tonic, with grapefruit oils. Not quite for me but if you are a whisky drinker then this is the cocktail for you.

Idle, Wild – Aviation gin, Braulio Amara, mint, ginger, lime, Belgian beer, and Angostura. I really like the combination of all of these ingredients, even though I don’t drink Gin very often.

Wine:

Conundrum White Wine, a creamy wine that paired great with the mussels.

Intrinsic Red 2016, a nice full bodied wine that was a good addition to the burger.

Appetizers:

Moules Meuniere – Pei mussels, Italian sausage, romas, and white wine. Lots and lots of garlic but a super choice for an appetizer.

Summer Squash – Summer squash, balsamic gastrique, with burrata. This is served with grilled bread and was just brought to me; it is a very healthy option.

Baked Meatballs – Beef & pork blend, marinara, burrata, and spinach. These are huge meatballs with a great marinara.

Breads & Greens:

Onion Jartine Flatbread – Sweet onions, Gruyere, Gorgonzola, and pancetta. Nice sweet onions make for one amazing flat bread.

Grilled Romaine – Myer Vin, feta, with toasted chickpeas. A very creative salad that was equally delicious.

Plates:

Harlowe Burger – White cheddar, arugula, caramelized onion, white mushroom, garlic aioli, with crispy fries. This was my favorite thing of the evening. The meat is juicy and the onions and cheese are truly spectacular.

Sweets:

Choco Chip à la Mode, the cookie is served hot in a mini iron skillet, the ice cream melts right on top, and a nice way to end a glorious evening.

Chef Garcia Jacento does a great job in the kitchen and manager Lance Stacy, manager who came from the bay, are working for Alice Waters and Tom Keller, Spectrum Food Group, Prego, and Ciao restaurants. He made me feel right at home.

The interior is Hollywood Glam but we are talking about a time that no longer exists, so it’s nice to be feel nostalgic and be brought back to the golden age. The bar is the centerpiece and all of the socializing takes place there. Then, you’ve got small banquets that fill up the space. Old time bar stools, vintage light fixtures and photos make for a flash back to the past. There are not many bars in Los Angeles that take this kind of design approach. But all in all it makes you feel great about going back in time.

Harlowe is a fun social hang, offering good food and lively drinks. The scene is super hipster, but there are no snobby airs here, the staff tries to make you feel at home and they do a great job. On the weekend they have a DJ with a long line outside to get in; it’s really a huge deal on any given weekend night.

So get your party on and try Harlowe Bar with your friends, family and loved ones!

Harlowe Bar
(323) 876-5839
7321 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
harlowebar.com

 

 

 

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Re-Visit May 10, 2018 – Wood & Vine, Hollywood, CA.

This is one of my favorite restaurants in all of Los Angeles and Hollywood. My first tasting was a dinner in 2014, then followed by a brunch in 2014 as well. In 2016 I did a re-visit and another one now in 2018. The big difference between the last one and this one is the chefs. In 2016, chef Kyle Schutte was at the helm but now in 2018, Chef Jennifer O’Neil has put a brand new spin on all of this goodness. I can’t say enough about this recent tasting.

The back patio is very industrial, but intimate. It had a lot of young spirited people, some having birthdays, some for a night out on the town, coming from seeing the show at The Pantages; all with the same thing in mind, having a fun classy slice of life in Hollywood. There is nice instrumental jazz as a cool backdrop and they have movies every night in the outside patio on the wall and of course, all housed in the historic Taft building. I worked on the 11th floor for 8 years, so I know all of the stories and history (need to write a book to be able to tell my readers all about that). But the vibe of the Taft building is old Hollywood at its core.

Here’s What I Tried:

Cocktails:

Accomplice – New Amsterdam Vodka, strawberry, lemon, and champagne. Bubbly and effervescent; a great quenching cocktail.

Magnolia – Cucumber-infused vodka, muddled cucumber, lime, ginger, and honey ginger syrup. This is a very user-friendly drink with a nice combination of ingredients that work great together.

My Other Lover – Mezcal, lime, simple syrup, peach bitters, sage, and blueberries. If you’re a margarita aficionado then this is the cocktail for you. Bar Manager / Mixologist, Tom Carney made all of our drinks and he is just amazing!

To Start:

Roasted Beet Salad, arugula, house apple cider vinaigrette, herb goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and beet puree. A true art piece and I am not the biggest beet fan, but the dressing did a balancing act; not too much vinegar, instead a nice sweet type of nectar.

Popping Shrimp, golden brown house seasoned and breaded shrimp with tartar sauce. These amazing darlings just made my evening complete.

Scallop Fresa, strawberry salsa, balsamic reduction, and greens. A great combination; who would think to put strawberries with scallops, but it worked.

18 oz. Rib eye, sautéed spinach, shiitake mushrooms. The meat was cooked rare and just melted in my mouth; the mushrooms were a welcomed addition as well.

Pan Crusted Salmon, crispy skin on salmon, roasted tomato sauce, peas, crispy prosciutto, and crisp roasted tomatoes. This is probably the best salmon ever; the crust alone will make you come back for more.

Pork Back Ribs, miso carrot puree, radish, butternut squash, sweet Asian BBQ sauce, with greens. These ribs just fell off the bone and the sauce was equally brilliant.

And Then…

Brussels Sprouts, chili paste, brown sugar, and lime juice. A bit spicy for my taste but a spice lover will surely enjoy them.

Roasted Asparagus & Tomatoes, roasted asparagus, cherry tomatoes, house vinaigrette, and feta cheese. I adored the way these were cooked and the melding of flavors really worked for me.

Lobster Mac, trio cheese sauce, pine nuts, and crispy prosciutto. This is not your typical mac n’ cheese, they use a more liquid cheese that goes great with the lobster and it has nice light fusilli pasta.

Something Sweet:

Relax Time, dulce de leche and chocolate lavender infused cookie bar. This dessert was incredible with nice chocolate nuances and the lavender really is the showstopper.

Butterscotch, house butterscotch, maple ice cream, and sweet thyme crumble. All I can say about this is interesting and if you’re a butterscotch lover, then this is the dessert for you.

Nutella Bombshell, chocolate cake, Nutella whipped mousse, with fresh berries. Another piece of art, so gorgeous you will have reservations about eating it, but hey, live a little!

Wine:

Chardonnay, La Follette, ‘13 Sonoma. This is a creamy rich Chardonnay with lots of buttery goodness. It was a sure fire hit with the scallops.

Malbec, Writer’s Block, ‘14 Red Hills. A super jammy wine that paired perfectly with the salmon.

Syrah, Levo, Into the Static, ’14, Santa Barbara. I loved this wine with the Rib Eye; it just enhanced the richness of the meat.

Cabernet, Obsidian Ridge, ’15, Napa. Another great pairing with the Rib Eye.

I really do feel like family here. Manager Wally Moran is just so fun and welcoming, I really adore him. All of their staff was helpful as well as not so bad on the eyes!!!

Staying right around the corner at Villa Delle Stelle, this is the perfect place to come for a delicious dining experience! Make this part of your Hollywood excursion and you will become a regular like me.

Wood and Vine
6280 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Hollywood
(323) 334-3360
www.woodandvine.com

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Hotel Stay – Hollywood Staycation – May 10 & May 11, 2018 – Villa Delle Stelle, Hollywood, CA.

A small sophisticated hotel on Harold Way around the corner from The Pantages, The W Hotel, and The Metro Rail line is a hidden jewel in Hollywood. You feel like a queen or a princess staying at Villa Delle Stelle, it really is the best find for lodging in the greater Los Angeles area.

Every suite has the comforts of home with the luxury of Hollywood. You will feel what it’s like to live like a star from the privacy of their full apartment suites just steps away from the glamour and excitement of Hollywood. Each suite features different distinctive styles; from clean, contemporary lines, to opulent antiques and silks. You would never know that Villa Delle Stelle is a hotel, because they have very discrete signage for their guest’s privacy.

Villa Delle Stelle recaptures the glamour of the silver screen and allows guests to feel what it is like to “live and be treated like stars” from the foothills of the famous Hollywood sign. Co-owned by actors and entrepreneurs Susan Foster and Brogan Lane, each of the five suites are specially designed with a Hollywood legend in mind. Former wife of the late Dudley Moore and celebrity designer, Ms. Lane bought the hotel in 2004 and renovated the neighborhood treasure originally built in 1924 to accommodate silent film stars including Buster Keaton for Columbia Studios (now Gower Studios). Together Ms. Foster and Ms. Lane offer guests everything they would want from their star watching Hollywood experience.

It really is a premium location where guests can sip their morning coffee under the gaze of the famous Hollywood sign and feel the small neighborhood charm while having the freedom to walk to all the restaurants, shops, studios, and attractions that our world renowned city has to offer. All of Los Angeles picturesque beaches, downtown, and mountains are a short drive or ride on the LA Metro subway line.

You can choose from one of their five unique suites located in vintage bungalows, casitas, and the main villa. Whatever your reason is for visiting Southern California, Villa Delle Stelle can arrange for the perfect stay, may it be one day or one year.

Recommendations and reservations for restaurants and nightclubs, spa reservations, and obtaining hard to get tickets to sold-out shows are just some of the benefits provided by Villa Delle Stelle’s celebrity services. Below are some of the services they provide: Dry Cleaning & Laundry Service, Maid Service, Business Services – Fax, internet and postal services, Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, Hair Dresser, Limousine Service, Ticket Reservations, and Grocery Shopping.

Their staff was so accommodating, Caroline, Tom & Natalie, all had big smiles and could give you tips on anything in Hollywood, they all made my stay truly memorable.

The décor is really magnificent; each room had its own charm with very well appointed design. The name of the room that I was staying in was “The English”, making me feel like I was in the English countryside. Dudley Moore inspired this charming one bedroom English suite. Located in the main villa, Dudley Moore’s original “disklavier” piano, dining table, antique carved wood bed, and memorabilia from his childhood, this suite offers true celebrity living. The warm colored walls and rich English detail create an immediate feeling of comfort and coziness. The English suite sleeps 1- 2, is a first floor suite with private entrances, 1 Bedroom/1 Bathroom (with tub and shower), Queen bed in the Master Bedroom, Full Kitchen and Dining Room, Seating area in Living room, Sofa, Flat screen TV in Living room & bedroom, Wi-Fi & Cable, 1 parking space, and 897 Square Feet. If you’re a cook and want to have a family dinner or a dinner party this suite has a dining room table that seats 8, and the kitchen has an old fashioned stove and range top, everything you would need to prepare a delicious meal. I only made breakfast, but that was a very welcoming luxury, with a darling built in breakfast nook. Not many hotels give you that option, so I loved it!

Villa Delle Stelle Suites, Bungalows and Guest Houses are an elegant way to spend your Los Angeles vacation. Whether you’re in Los Angeles on a holiday, visiting family, or working, this luxurious Hotel offers much more than any of the local hotels in the area, a true home away from home. You will feel safe and comforted, being able to fully rest after a long day in my glorious home town-Los Angeles.

Villa Delle Stelle
6087 Harold Way
Hollywood, California 90028
323-876-8100
VillaDelleStelle@gmail.com

http://www.villadellestelle.com/

* Note some content was taken off of their website.

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