On The Thirty - sherman oaks
To sum up everything I learned about On The Thirty in a long run-on sentence: Kaley Cuoco (aka Penny from The Big Bang Theory) is extremely nice and never stops smiling, random blonde girls order Filet Mignon while their extremely skinny male "date" sips water and finally the signs that direct you to the restroom are extremely inappropriate. So naturally, I love this place. I will now explain my reasons more in depth.
On The Thirty is a very low key, yet classy spot for wine and beer lovers. It's got a warm, cozy, intimate feel to it which I love. They are known for their 30 Californian boutique wines you can order by the glass, and their 30 California craft beers. Oh, and apparently they have amazing pizza, but I have not yet had the chance to try it, but I'm gonna go ahead and assume if it's like everything else there, then it probably is nothing short of amazing.
The only thing I was not a huge fan of, is that the night my friend and I went, it seemed like everyone in there was a damn couple. There were some groups of friends, but everyone was all coupley. And yes, I know that sounds like a personal problem, and you're right. It is. But we went on a Friday night around Christmas time so we were a little sensitive, ok? It was crowded, but not like annoyingly crowded. There were no seats at the bar so my friend and I walked around and spotted one open table in the entire place that was meant for just 2 people so we jumped on it or we'd be standing all night. The tables are very close together and there was a group of friends at the table next to us no more than 3 feet away. I started to sit down and a very pretty, friendly blonde girl moved her jacket out of the way so I could sit down, I looked up to thank her for kindly moving it without me asking and to my surprise it was none other than Kaley Cuoco. You probably know her as Penny on a little, not very popular TV show called "The Big Bang Theory". She said hi, smiled and continued talking with her friends. I was going to ask her if my friend and I could take a picture with her, but I pussyed out. Well not so much pussyed out, but I just get awkward with those kind of things, and I really feel bad bothering someone like her who is out having fun with her friends and everyone else in the restaurant was leaving her alone, so I wanted to too. Even though she totally would have said yes, cuz she's the sweetest person ever. Our waitress (who was amazingly sweet, by the way) confirmed that and said "Kaley comes in here all the time and she is the sweetest, most down to earth person ever. We get a lot of celebrities who come in here and are not friendly, but Kayley is not like that. She's so normal and friendly. She's great." [Note to self: Next time you run into Kaley Cuoco, don't bitch out. Say hi. Sincerely, Yourself.]
Another great thing about On The Thirty is their employees. We got the sweetest girl as our server. My friend mentioned how everyone in the bar seemed to be a couple and how much it sucked that we were alone, and our waitress said "Oh tell me about it! Los Angeles is the worst place for dating. I kind of gave up and just got a dog." "Me too!" my friend and I yelled simultaneously. Then the 3 of us whipped our cell phones and all shared pictures of our dogs. I love that. It's like the best date ever. No awkward silence, weird conversations, none of that. Just 3 girls hanging out and bonding over their dogs. Not a bad night. Their wine is amazing as well. I'm not a huge fan of red wine, because well, I just don't like it. It tastes like sand in my opinion. Dry and scratchy and I don't like the taste of sand. But my friend got a glass of red wine and it was so good! Smooth and almost sweet, but not too sweet. It made me less judgmental of red wine. Their prices are pretty standard for what it is: $9 for a glass of wine, $14 for a mixed drink. You pay for the experience. We also experienced a weird 3 way date. On the other side of us were 2 bleach blonde girls eating Filet Mignon and across them was a short, tiny, mousy looking guy wearing an extremely tight white sweater (tighter than both the blonde girls shirts I might add) sipping on water and only water. It was weird. My friend said "I think these girls are trying to get into porn so they're hanging out with this guy who has to be some kind of porn producer." I gotta say, after witnessing it, I think she was right. It was weird, but those who know me, know I thoroughly enjoy that kind of thing. It's free entertainment!
Finally, my favorite thing about this place is the signs that direct you to the bathroom. It's a huge, bright neon light that simply says "Head This Way." Seeing as I think like a guy half the time (as does my friend) found this sign to be very humorous. I mean I'd go back just for that sign.
casa vega - Sherman Oaks
Casa Vega is a very in place right now. Jennifer Aniston, Steven Tyler, John Mayer, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Al Pacino have all been seen dining here. Everything about Casa Vega is authentic, from the building, to the interior to the food. It's a family owned and operated restaurant and they use family recipes that have been passed down for generations. The food is a little expensive, but it's very good and they do have a happy hour. I'd recommend the enchiladas (which can feed at least 2 people). The lighting is very dim in the restaurant, so if you're not fan of dark rooms, Casa Vega will probably annoy you. But it's all part of the experience and theme.
C & o trattoria - Venice beach
3 little words: Unlimited garlic rolls. The best things in the entire world. It's dangerous actually. The garlic rolls are the reason people go to C&O. They have a cute little patio outside if you want to, or you can sit inside. Every hour the waiters will stop and sing a song in Italian, which is kinda fun. They pass out a sheet with the lyrics on it so you can sing along. It's a great place, with great food and a great atmosphere. It's also just a seconds from the beach which isn't the worst thing in the world. I love C&O Trattoria because it has my two favorite things in one: unlimited garlic rolls and the freaks at Venice Beach. It brings me so much joy my heart could burst right out of my chest just thinking about it.
bob's big boy - Burbank
Bob's Big Boy is a must in Burbank. It's another famous restaurant and it's been around forever. It's an All American restaurant that specializes in.....dun dun dun, hamburgers. I was sold the second I saw the chubby statue kid holding a hamburger in his overalls. That's how I knew I was gonna like this place. Everything at Bob's is great, the burgers, salads, waffles, milkshakes, fries. Whatever you order you won't be disappointed. It's got a fun classic 1950s vibe going on inside the restaurant as well as outside. There is a classic car show every Friday from 5pm-10pm.
Tip: They put the sugar and salt right next to each other. Which is rather confusing, especially if you miss visual details like I do. I once accidentally poured sugar all over my french fries. It wasn't great.
villa sombrero - highland park
4 Words: Fish Bowl Sized Margaritas. For realz. The Margaritas at Villa Sombrero are insanely large and have also earned the reputation for "The best margaritas in LA." I went to Villa Sombrero for the first time with a few friends after church on a lovely Sunday afternoon. We decided it would be best to discuss what we had learned at church over chips and salsa and good ol' margaritas. That's right, Christians know how to have fun too. I had heard tales of these magical margaritas and decided it was time to see if it could really live up to all the hype. It did. I chose to get a frozen strawberry margarita and it did not disappoint. In fact, it was so good I had to have another one. I'd like to recommend you pace yourself with the fish sized margaritas, or you may or may not end up sitting on your friends' couch for the next six hours waiting for the tequila to wear off....or so I've heard.
Villa Sombrero is a great, classic Mexican restaurant. It's got that authentic feel to it, not just another restaurant chain. They do have some weird paintings on the wall, but who am I to judge? The staff is super friendly, attentive, and make you feel welcomed, which is a nice change. It's an all around good place and time.
du par's - studio city
Du Pars is one of the few sit down restaurants open 24 hours a day. This is great news when you decide you would like donuts, or french fries or pie at 2:30 am. I say that from experience, for it is not uncommon to find me there in the middle of the night. Anytime you are talking to someone and Du Pars is somehow brought up in the conversation, they response will always be the same: "Du Pars!!! That is the spot man!" Seriously. Every time. People are very passionate about Du Pars. Be on alert for creepy old men who may follow you and your friends into the restaurant and invite himself to sit down at your table. This happened to me and a group of my friends once. I was not pleased to say the least. Old homeboy would not leave our table and everyone else was to scared and uncomfortable to speak up. So I did it. I yelled at him for about 3 minutes straight until he finally accepted the fact that he was a creepy old man and nobody wanted him there. I also told him his behavior was unacceptable and he should be ashamed of himself for forcing himself upon a group of girls. I hope he learned his lesson. But I guarantee if we ever meet again, he won't be making conversation with me. That's right. Mama didn't raise no fool!"
Fact: They also filmed a scene from Boogie Nights at the Du Par's in Studio City. Ironically, this is the same location responsible for my run-in with the creepy old street lurker man.
paradise cove beach cafe - malibu
Paradise Cove Beach Cafe is exactly how it sounds. Paradise on a beach in Malibu. This place is great. They have chairs and tables outside where you can order and eat, as well as inside the cafe. You can also rent your own private cabana for the entire day right on the beach. I have yet to experience the cabana as I am poor, but I've seen it and it looks awesome. I say to myself "Someday Colleen. Someday." You can order tacos, soups and chowders, ribs, sandwiches, salads and calamari. They have wide selection on their breakfast menu: cinnamon french toast, carrot cake waffle, apple pie pancakes and macadamia coconut pancakes, are just the beginning. They have a great drink menu too and they will persuade you to start your morning with a Malibu (tequila) Sunrise. I personally am not a fan of drinking tequila in the morning. I've never woken up and thought "I could really go for a shot of tequila right now." But I am not one to judge, so I say go for it. But don't come crying to me when you've passed out and woken up to find yourself buried alive in the sand by a gang of 10 year olds armed with their shovels and pails. I will have no sympathy for you.
cafe bizou - sherman oaks
Cafe Bizou is a really, really great place. First of all, it's set up to look like you're dining in a friends house. It has a little bar area, and then the dining area, which is basically a dining room, much like one you'd have in your own home. Of course not my home, as my home is literally one giant room. But that's neither here nor there. It's got that intimate, homey feeling. It is on the small side, but the whole ambiance is quite and intimate and people are generally pretty respectful of that. The menu is very broad and they have everything from chicken, salmon, pork, ribs, lamb, halibut, veal, escargot, lobster, salad, soup, pasta and more. Their House Martinis are really good as well. I'm normally not a huge fan of Martinis, but figured I'd give it a shot one night. I got the Chocolate Martini, which only makes sense seeing as I have dreams about swimming in a heart shaped bathtub full of chocolate. It was killer...and by killer I mean not only delicious, but strong. The perfect combination. All their drinks are strong and moderately priced, another perfect combo. Overall, this place is perfect. I love Cafe Bizou. It's another great date place. If only I could get someone to ask me out. Sigh, girl problems.
delancey pizzeria & bar - hollywood
Delancey is the cutest pizzeria I've ever been to. Even the building is adorable. It looks like it was taken right out of a movie. They have great pizza. I'd suggest the Astor (mozzarella and basil). But they also have soups, calamari, bruschetta, salads, chicken, and pasta. They have a full bar with over 20 beers on tap. It's a small place, but it has a great atmosphere. It's not just a pizza restaurant. Half the customers go there just to grab a drink and hang out. It's a casual, fun, laid back place to get some great pizza and any drink you desire.
mel's drive in - hollywood
I love Mel's for many reasons. But I really love Mel's because it's open 24 hours a day and having no self control, I find comfort in knowing I can eat at any hour of the day or night and I don't have to go to Denny's. And for that, I am forever grateful. I of course am all about the Homemade Chocolate Fudge Cake. But this isn't surprising. They're Pumpkin Pie is also really good. It reminds me of the Pumpkin Pie my grandma makes, and she makes pies like no one else.
tender greens - Santa Monica
Tender Greens is like a fancy salad bar. They have every salad you could imagine. It's a little pricy for what it is, but it's not any different than going to a restaurant and ordering a salad. They serve mostly salads, but do have a selection of grilled sandwiches, and soups. They have a daily special, which varies by location. If you're looking for a cute place where you can get a fresh, great tasting salad, and quickly, then Tender Greens is the place for you.
Fun Fact: I once saw a Backstreet Boy at Tender Greens in Santa Monica. The 12 year old girl inside of me was so happy. But I held it together. It took everything in me not to walk past him and yell "Backstreet's back, alright!" I fought that urge. But it wasn't easy. That's how I knew I was growing up.
Stout burger - hollywood
If you are in need of a great, classic hamburger (and don't want In-N-Out) then look no further. Stout Burger is a great restaurant that specializes in hamburgers (hence the name) and have something for everyone: beef, chicken and veggie burgers, and even gluten-free beer. The menu is a little limited, because it's mostly burgers, but they do have really good onion rings. The Hollywood location is really cool because the whole restaurant is basically outside. It's kind of hard to explain. There's a roof over the top and a front door, but there's no walls on the side. So it's like you're inside and outside simultaneously. Mind blown. You'll have to check it out for yourself, because I'm clearly not explaining it right. Bonus: Stout Burger is right next door to Frog Frozen Yogurt so after you've finished stuffing your face, you can take 5 steps to the left and stuff your face some more in frozen yogurt. At least that's what I do....and I'm proud of it.
toast - los angeles
Toast is a cute bakery cafe on the very popular West 3rd street in LA. The building itself is really cute. They have a great outdoor patio section, that holds a lot of people, which is really nice. A lot of places have small patios and the wait is an hour long to get a tiny table outside. But not Toast! The food is also great as well.
They have a great breakfast menu (served all day) as well as lunch and dinner selections. I am a fan of their wraps, specifically the Caesar Wrap and Turkey Avocado Wrap. They also have a great drink selection with tea, coffee, smoothies, non-dairy slushy's for starters. The bakery inside is like a sweet candy wonderland. They have cupcakes, pies, bread pudding, cakes, cookies, Tiramisu, bars, plus so much more! So make sure to leave room for their splendid bakery items!
Fun Fact: Toast has been seen on many TV shows such as "Entourage", "The Hills", "Rachel Zoe", and in the movie "No Strings Attached". It's also safe to say that almost every celbrity has been seen at Toast. It's almost impossible to go there and not see someone "famous".
bossa nova - Hollywood
Bossa Nova is a cool Brazilian cuisine restaurant. They've got a pretty large menu with tons of variety: beef, pork, chicken, turkey, seafood, vegetarian, salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta and much more. The food is really good and it has a great atmosphere. It's a great place for a date. It's not crazy big and loud, but not super small and intimate, which takes a lot of pressure off if you're like me and freak out on dates, mostly first dates, because I'm just that cool. I'm pretty sure I ordered chicken and it came with rice and french fries, which is kind of an odd pairing in my opinion, but I got french fries and sadly, that's all I really care about.
el coyote - los angeles
El Coyoto is a Mexican restaurant that is often used for location shots in movies and television. It's got a great atmosphere. From outside, it doesn't look all that interesting, but inside is another story. It's lit up with all kinds of lights and has festive wall hangings and the servers all wear authentic Mexican outfits. The food is good, the atmosphere and service is good and it's an all around fun time, especially if you're a fan of Mexican food. The only thing I'm not a fan of is this: They will ask you if you'd like chips and guacamole while you wait for your food, but then will charge you $5 for the guacamole, which you won't know about (because they don't tell you) until you get your bill. It's not the fact that they charged us $5, it's the fact that they didn't tell us. They made it sound like it was free (like most places give you chips and salsa for free while you wait) and didn't tell us there was a charge. We had to figure it out on our own.
patys - toluca lake
Patys is a famous All American restaurant located in the heart of Toluca Lake. On any given day you can see celebrities at Patys. Some of their regular clients include: Shia Lebouf, Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Zac Efron, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Jonas Brothers and Hilary Duff to name a few. There food is great and they literally have anything and everything you could want. You can create your own burger, choose from over 25 different sandwiches and can order from their amazing breakfast menu all day long! The other thing that I think is cool is what their "Fitness Menu" which consists of low fat, healthy meals, for people who are trying to eat healthier. I for one know how hard it is to go out to eat and try and order healthy...it's almost impossible! But you want to go out with friends or family and have a good time, so then you're conflicted. I've been there, hell I'm there every time I go out to eat. But it's so nice knowing I don't have to worry about it when I go to Patys as they have an entire delicious healthy menu to choose from. And their walls are filled with autographed posters and memorabilia from pretty much every celebrity that's ever dined there. It's a pretty cool bonus!
poquito mas - burbank
Poquito Mas is a cute little Mexican restaurant in Burbank. It's nice because it's quick. It's kinda like an upscale Baja Fresh. You walk up order and then they call you when your food is ready. It's great because sometimes you're really in the mood for Mexican food, but don't want to go and sit down at a restaurant because it can be time consuming. You can dine in or take your food to go. They have great tacooooos! Bonus: One of their most loyal customers happens to be Mr. Conan O'Brien.
twain's - Studio city
Twain's (or as my friends and I like to call it "Two Twains!" It was a long night, we had been listening to 2 Chainz, we thought it was hilarious.) is an American restaurant open 24 hours on Ventura Blvd in Studio City. Breakfast is served 24 hours, which is always a big plus. Parking is easy as there is a nice, convenient lot right out front (another plus.) The prices as Twain's are great: pancakes and french toast are both under $7. Almost everything n the menu is under $10. There's a few $12 items and the most expensive thing on the menu is the New York Steak and Shrimp for $16.95.
If I'm being honest, there's nothing about Twain's that is insanely original or something that really stands out and differentiates itself. But it is a great little diner, with a friendly staff, great prices and great food. The french toast and waffles are awesome! I did however see one of the comedians from Chelsea Lately at Twain's at 2 o'clock in the morning. He will go unnamed as he is ironically my least favorite Chelsea Lately roundtable comedian, because I find him incredibly annoying and unoriginal. I have also seen 3 other Chelsea Lately comedians roaming about studio city and the valley so that was pretty cool. Chelsea, as you may know, is my homegirl and I'm a huge fan of her and her show, so it's always cool to see someone from your favorite show....even if they are annoying.
There's no dress code, obviously as it's a regular diner, but one lady did not get the memo. She had a shaved head and was dressed dressed (bald) head to toe in leopard print. This includes her leopard print long sleeve silk shirt, leopard print extremely tight pants, and her Louis Vitton leopard scarf and handbag. As you can imagine, that's a great, solid look for anybody.
alcove bakery & cafe - los feliz
Alcove Cafe is every fat ass's dream come true. I only say that as I can be a fat ass from time to time and it's my dream come true. No judgement. Just the truth. They have a bakery that is to die for. I tend to forget that there is an actual restaurant attached to the bakery, because I have a one track mind: cake.
The bakery and desserts at Alcove are out of this world. The first time I went there I ordered the Peanut Butter Shag Cake, Red Velvet Cake and Oreo Layer Cake and ate the shit out of it. All 3 of them. I have no shame. They have a great breakfast, lunch and dinner menu as well, but I really don't care about that. I'm all about the cake.
The cafe itself is so cute. The outside looks like a little house you'd see in a fairytale book. It's so cozy and quaint. The inside feels like you're just hanging out at your friends house. There are cool, antique-like posters hanging all over the walls. Even the chairs have character. Each chair is different and when you sit down at a table, it literally look and feels like you're sitting down to eat in your living room. Well, not my living room, because I live in a box and don't have one. But you get my point.
swingers - Los Angeles
To be honest the first time I heard about Swingers I was a little taken aback by the name. Of course my mind was thinking of the Urban Dictionary definition of swingers. I have since been able to move past the name and now I love Swingers. It's a great all American restaurant, with great food, and low prices. You can't beat that. Their cupcakes are unbelievably good and I could haul ass on 6 in one sitting and still be ok with it. They even have vegan cupcakes and dinner options, because being a vegan is all the rage in LA. You can dine at either of their two locations in Los Angeles and Santa Monica. I've been to both and they're both great.
Fun Fact: If you've ever seen the movie "Knocked Up" with Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen, then you may have noticed Swingers. They filmed some scenes at the Santa Monica location, which is pretty cool. Katherine Heigl is muh homegirl.
grecos new york pizzeria - Hollywood
Stuffing my fat ass face with pizza. Just your typical Thursday night.
I stumbled upon Grecos one very long, epic night with my friends. We had just got done hanging out at The Room, it was 2 a.m. and naturally, we were starving. If you know me at all, you know I have a sick, unhealthy obsession with pizza. Grecos is located on Hollywood Blvd, conveniently 344 feet away from The Room, which is quite nice for someone like myself who cannot walk in high heels. It didn't take much convincing to get my friends in on the Grecos pizza trip and we were on our way. First of all, not only is their pizza extremely affordable, it's giant. As you can see in the photograph, one slice is almost the size of my forearm, which is quite long. And it's $4 a slice. I don't know where else you can go and get pizza for $4 a slice. Hell, I don't know where you can get anything for $4 in the greater Los Angeles area. I personally am about quality over quantity and/or price. I'm not telling you to go to Grecos simply because it's cheap. It's actually really, really good pizza. I would know, as I've pretty much encountered every pizza place in the state of California. And the employees at Grecos are super awesome. Even at the wee hours of the night (they are open 'till 4 a.m.) they are friendly and happy to see you. They joke around with you to ensure you're having a great experience. I gotta say, that's pretty damn impressive, considering the fact that at least half (if not more) of their clientele is wasted. I don't know about you, but I have very little tolerance dealing with shit faced people, even if my job depends on it. I just can't do it. It takes a special kind of person to remain professional and friendly when dealing with a bunch of hammered assholes, so I commend the Grecos staff. Well done. Gold star. It's just an awesome place, with quick service and great pizza. And it sure beats the hell out of raiding a 7-11 at 3 a.m., which let's face it, we've all done.
original tommy's - Hollywood
Tommy's is another one of those lovely, but few, places that are open 24 hours. They have locations all over Los Angeles which is very convenient. They are known for their Chilli Cheese Fries, which are uh-may-zing. Their whole concept is to have a an affordable place to eat for people of all ages. There menu is simple and limited, but still great. They have hamburgers, hot dogs, tamales, breakfast burritos, french fries, chilli cheese fries and milkshakes. You can pretty much get chilli on anything you want. You can even order it to go in an 8 oz, 12 oz, or 32 oz cup if that's your thing. Take it from me, the chilli cheese fries won't let you down.
juicy burger - hollywood
Juicy Burger is an arch nemesis of mine. They are open until 3am every night, or should I say morning. It's a blessing and a curse. I for one like Juicy Burger and go there often, but my loyalty lies to In-N-Out. I am a California girl, born and raised, and nothing will ever compare to my beloved In-N-Out Burger. Juicy Burger does have great french fries. If you haven't noticed I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with french fries, you probably aren't the sharpest tool in the shed. The have a few different sizes of fries. The first time I went there was just with one other friend and we didn't know what to expect. When they asked me what size fries I wanted I told them large, as there was two of us and I like the largest amount of fries I can get my fat ass hands on. When they called our number I was expecting a large sized french fries, but to my surprise I received a trough of french fries. It was the greatest moment of my life. So if you're not a fat ass like me and can't eat an entire trough of fries in one sitting, then I suggest you don't get the large. You can create your own burger and get whatever you'd like on it and they have pretty good milkshakes too. But their fries are my favorite and you can choose 3 (out of the 8) premium sauces they offer for your fries. Their prices are great and it really hits the spot when everything else is closed and you want a hamburger in the middle of the night. And let's face it, we've all been there.