Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Where to Drink: Celebrity Sips @ Millions of Milkshakes


Her face lit up and her eyes feverishly glittered as she firmly declared: "I want a Kim Kardashian." I stared at her for a few seconds, struggling to figure out exactly what she meant. Was she talking about a new perfume? A new dress? The socialite herself?

I finally figured out that my friend was referring to a milkshake. Now, thanks to Millions of Milkshakes, our favorite celebrities can be conveniently cherished, sipped and savored in the form of a tasty treat, at our disposal, seven days a week.

The concept is quite simple: roll out the red carpet, invite a star to come invent a milkshake, and then open doors for the general public to schmooze and rub elbows with the celebrity host. When I went to Niecy Nash’s milkshake naming event last week, I was shocked at how much of a VIP party it was. Top 40 hits blared throughout the brightly lit space, cameramen incessantly chased after up-and-coming stars and most customers looked like they were dressed for the ‘club rather than an ice cream shop, decked in Louboutins, mini-dresses and suede leather boots. For an instant, I forgot where I was, and almost walked out without what I had came for: a milkshake.

So if you’re itching for something sweet and also want to meet your favorite entertainer, head down to Millions of Milkshakes to be thoroughly amused and utterly satisfied. Check out which star will make an appearance next by following Millions of Milkshakes on Twitter: MILKSHAKES247.


Pictured below: At her event, Niecy Nash named two shakes. I tried the “Niecy Nash’s Juicy Bits” – a colorful blend of graham crackers, strawberries, Cap’n Crunch, vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.


Pictured below: From Ciara to Ron Artest, La Toya Jackson and Vivica A. Fox, the list of celebrity shakes is endless. Acknowledge your own celebrity by creating your very own delicious drink.

Pictured below: You can't beat Millions of Milkshakes' energetic, vibrant ambiance!
CONTACT INFO:
Millions of Milkshakes
8910 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
310.652.1118

Friday, March 26, 2010

Miss Wilson's Words of Wisdom

My dear friend Jamina has a serious sweet tooth. So she recently asked me...


"Where can I get some really good dessert in LA?"



Well Jamina, Westide Tavern has one of the best desserts in the city – its infamous sticky toffee cake. Loaded with caramel and topped with a dollop of heavenly mascarpone cream, this warm, delicious cake is like biting into bits of fluffy brown paradise. Each bite will send chills down your spine, and may cause you to unconsciously slip out a few “MMMMMs” here and there (This has happened to me multiple times). While it’s certainly big enough to share with two or three people, you just might find yourself wanting to order a sticky toffee cake for yourself, and also one for the road.

CONTACT INFO:
Westside Tavern
10850 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064-2132

(310) 470-1539

www.westsidetavernla.com

Have a question on Where To Go? Email me! Wheretoguide@gmail.com

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Where to be Merry: The 25th Annual Los Angeles Marathon



I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking the same thing: who in their right mind would ever run 26.2 miles? In fact, who would ever willingly run 26.2 miles? Unless there’s a gun pointed to my head, no thank you, I’m not doing it. But, that’s not to say that I don’t support the annual Los Angeles Marathon. In fact, I highly recommend getting involved with the various activities associated with this energetic event, which happens to be one of this city’s most popular, most publicized, well-known affairs.


The route begins at the Dodger Stadium, where runners and spectators alike can wander through an expansive marathon fair. Load up on free samples, enter contests to win prizes like free trips to Napa Valley and get bargains on sport-related merchandise, ranging from running shoes to I-Pod holders and energy drinks. And even though you won’t be running, the excitement of the race will be contagious. You’ll feel the rush of adrenaline pulsate through your body, especially when the final countdown to the start of the marathon commences. Everyone eagerly awaits for the first runners to pounce forward and jet off.

All throughout the city you can snag a seat to cheer on runners and walkers, but the best spot is at the finish line by the Santa Monica Pier. It’s going to be a suspenseful moment to wait and see who crosses the finish line first, as whomever wins will break the “Battle of the Sexes” tie for the most marathon wins. Each gender has both won three marathons so far. Of course, I’m rooting for the ladies. Just like at Dodger Stadium, much merriment and carousing will take place. There will be a big beach party and many nearby restaurants are offering special Sunday promotions to celebrate the day.

So with my cute little sarong, Daiquiri in hand and congratulatory cheers ever so ready, I’ll be at the beach, mixing and mingling with the gorgeous marathon runners after the race.

Pictured Below: Earlier this morning, I ran the 1st Annual Los Angeles Marathon 5K at the Dodger Stadium, and if that’s anything of an indicator of what tomorrow will be like, then Sunday will be a riot.

Pictured Below: The route stretches from the Dodger Stadium to the sunny Santa Monica beach, giving runners and spectators panoramic views of some of Los Angeles’ most landmarks, including Rodeo Drive, Grauman’s Chinese Theater and Century City.

Pictured Below: There’s so much more to a marathon than a mere 26 miles: it’s also the time to score on free giveaways, live music, fun contests, tasty food and other sport related activities.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Where to Eat: Sushi @ Kabuki

It was the $9 Chicken Teriyaki lunch combo that first got me hooked. Soup, salad, rice, shrimp and vegetable tempura and an entrée…all for under ten bucks?! That meal could easily feed a family of four, let alone a tiny little lady like myself. I felt guilty even ordering it, as the combo’s many plates mercilessly forced my friend’s lone sushi roll to the far end of the table.

Recession or no recession, there’s nothing like the feeling of getting your “bang for your buck,” and that’s precisely how I feel when I dine at Kabuki. Specialty rolls average around $8 and most entrees are under $15. Quality isn’t sacrificed in the name of lower prices, as what I’ve eaten has still been intricate, inventive and downright delicious. In fact, one of my favorite sushi rolls is housed here – the lotus on fire roll, a fiery blend of spicy tuna, lotus root and jalapeno slices, balanced delicately on a California roll.

So when I heard about the Must Try menu launched last month, I hastily grabbed my roommate and we booked it to the nearest Kabuki restaurant. We found eight new dishes to try and four classic beverages to sip. We ordered and waited. Our eyes widened as the Lasagna Roll, oozing with rich cheeses covering a traditional California roll, came to our table. Our mouths dropped as the Baja roll was placed in front of us. It was quite a lot to take in – salsa, spicy crab roll and spicy mayo – but it was good. Between sips of plum champagne, sake sangria and Apple saketinis, we sampled the Must Try menu well into the night, and at the end, were pleasantly pleased!

Top three choices off the Must Try menu: Lasagna Roll, Poké Tuna and the Baja Roll (pictured from front to back).



Drinks are reasonably priced, and compliment sushi rolls well. The Kabuki Signature Sake Sangria is refreshing.



Kabuki’s ambiance is invitingly casual and works for all occasions. I have gone here on dates, with family, with groups of friends and on work lunch breaks.


While my favorite Kabuki restaurants
are in Hollywood, Howard Hughes Center and Burbank,
find your favorite one at:
www.kabukirestaurants.com

Monday, March 8, 2010

Where To Be Merry: Live Music @ Dakota Lounge (CLOSED)

UPDATE: Dakota Lounge Has Closed. 

Once upon a time, there was a soulfully seductive place named Temple Bar, where all of the great singing legends would perform. And then its doors closed. When this happened, the gut-wrenching grief I felt was comparable to how I felt when Destiny’s Child broke up; it was as if my heart had been ripped out of my body - broken, battered and smashed.

So when a new Dakota Live Music Lounge emerged from the former Temple Bar site, I was initially skeptical. Undeniably, it had some pretty big shoes to fill and many questions muddled my mind: Could it be as down-to-earth as its predecessor? Would it attract not only well-known recording artists but emerging talent from the local L.A. circuit too? Could the drinks be as strong – and dare I say stronger – than the drinks before?

After visiting Dakota once again over the weekend for a special Haiti Relief benefit presented by m.a.m.a. earth and The Q Side, I can confidently answer all of the previous questions with a big YES. Dakota turns out to be an amazing venue, filled with good vibes, great music and deceptively strong Mai Tais. What I enjoyed the most was the lack of pretentiousness. It was like being at a friend’s house party, as so many people were easy-going, laid-back and chill enough to strike up meaningful conversations. Celebs like Res, Mateo, El Debarge and Bruno Mars nonchalantly intermingled with the crowd before and after giving powerful performances on stage. It was an intimate night for a very worthy cause.

I highly recommend Dakota Lounge if you like live music, strong drinks, dancing and not dealing with door drama or pretentious airs. Check out its calendar to find out which performers are up next. See you there!

The melodic Mateo (below) sang several heartwarming songs. His mixtape and his live EP, Get to Know Me, were recently released.

video


El Debarge (below) is BACK! And he certainly still has the power to hypnotize. Chills went up and down my spine as he sang the Debarge hit singles "All this Love" and "I Like It" that evening.

video


CONTACT INFO:
Dakota Lounge

1026 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA
90404 310.393.8200
www.dakotalounge.com

And Where do You "Where To"?: Mateo



After Mateo's mesmerizing performance at Dakota Lounge last weekend,
I had to ask him:

Where do you "Where To"?

“I really, really love hanging out at Citizen Smith – that’s my joint right there,” Mateo said. “It's mad chill - I really like the spot. And you know what, some place that’s really low key – there’s not a lot of b.s. at the door – is Bar Lubitsch. It’s on Santa Monica, in my neighborhood. I go and hang out there all the time.”

I couldn't agree more. Citizen Smith is one of my all-time favorite Hollywood lounges. The best Lemon Drops in the city. (Mateo is pictured with my good, dear friend Vallery).



Citizen Smith
1600 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 461-5001

http://www.citizensmithhollywood.com/

Bar Lubitsch

7702 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 654-1234


Monday, March 1, 2010

Where to Drink: Smoothies @ Simply Wholesome

Simply put, I go to Simply Wholesome for the smoothies.

I don't go for the Jamaican patties. Or for the vegetarian burgers. Or even for the adjacent health store teeming with wondrous products to keep my mind, body and spirit healthy and fit. While the selection of Caribbean cuisine and affordable health products is quite impressive, I honestly stop by this lively cafe for its smoothies.

Affectionately known as Thirst Quenchers, these smoothies are like little pieces of heaven poured into a big, frothy cup. They're bursting with sweet fruits, exotic juices, delectable ice creams and sherbets, and a modest scoop of protein powder. Unlike so many other places whose bland, watered-down smoothies have been murdered by too much ice, Simply Wholesome keeps the ice levels to a minimal and the vibrant flavors maxed out. The result? A refreshing beverage that puts all other smoothies to shame.

Whenever it's a warm weekend afternoon with clear skies and a faint ocean breeze, an instinctual yearning awakens within me. It's a yearning that means it's time to head on over to Simply Wholesome. I'll order my favorite - Kwesi's Special - and grab a seat on the outdoor patio to watch the traffic ease down Slauson Ave., as the faint sound of reggae languidly drifts in and out of the cafe. It's the perfect way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Try it!

Pictured Below: The Simply Heaven Thirst Quencher. I also recommend the Peach Pazazz, the Apple Strawberry Slush & the Berry Surprise.


TIP: When ordering a smoothie, opt for the Large, not the Small size. It's the best deal, as for only $1 more, you get almost twice the amount of drink.


The outdoor patio: A peaceful retreat, and the perfect place to enjoy a Thirst Quencher!


CONTACT INFO:
Simply Wholesome
4508 W. Slauson Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90043
(323) 294-2144