Friday, October 25, 2013

Where to Eat + Be Merry: The "Get Your Phil: Dinner & Concert" Package @ LA Phil and Participating Restaurants

The Eats + The Merriment: A multi-course, prix fixe dinner designed exclusively for LA Phil patrons and a ticket to an LA Phil concert

The Location: Downtown

The Vibes:
Upscale, mature, intimate, refined, musical, educational

Good for:
A relaxing, intimate dinner with good food and an inside glimpse into the LA Phil

When-to-Go: Friday Oct. 18, Friday Oct. 25, Friday Nov. 8 and Saturday Nov. 30

With-Whom-to-Go: Great for dates, couples, pairs of friends

The $ Factor: $$$; Dinner is $32 per person (tax and tip included) and LA Phil tickets range from $67-$75; the package must be bought through the LA Phil website

The 4-1-1: The prix fixe menu varies at each participating restaurant, and includes two, three or four courses, and sometimes desserts, tea and/or coffee. Alcoholic beverages are additional.

Last Friday, I was invited to the inaugural “Get Your Phil: Dinner & Concert” series,
held at a #WilsonsGuide favorite, CHAYA Downtown.

The LA Phil has launched the four-night series, which takes places on select nights of LA Phil performances, from 5 until 7:30pm at participating restaurants, and then at 8pm for the show at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It’s indeed a very intimate night of dinner and classical music!

The way it works is that you start out at the restaurant, with the option to get happy hour-priced drinks. Around 5:30pm, all guests are led to a reserved dining area for a prix fixe dinner menu and a presentation from a member of the LA Phil. The entire dining experience ends just in time so that you can make the 8pm LA Phil performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

One of the best aspects of this series was the ease and intimacy of it all. Although CHAYA was pretty packed as usual, the setting for LA Phil diners was very mellow and calm. It wasn't too crowded or noisy. It’s nice to roll up to one of LA’s top restaurants for a fantastic, leisurely dinner, and then get a glimpse into what it’s like being in one of the leading orchestras of the world. And, since it was a small group, David Allen Moore, the LA Phil bass section’s 4th chair and guest speaker last Friday, was able to elaborated extensively on the music we were going to hear that night. He also gladly took questions from the audience (shout out to David for answering my question about his rehearsal regimen!).

The “Get Your Phil: Dinner & Concert” series is only happening for three more nights in October and November, including tonight. CHAYA Downtown was the first restaurant where it took place, but other participating restaurants include Leka, Border Grill and Blue Cow Kitchen & Bar, all located in the downtown area. I haven’t been to Blue Cow, but I’ve been to Leka and Border Grill, and have nothing but great things to say about both. Their prix fixe menus can be found online, on the LA Phil website.

So the next time you’re planning to see the philharmonic and are in the mood to grab dinner at one of downtown’s top-notch restaurants, I highly recommend taking advantage of this “Get Your Phil: Dinner & Concert” package before it’s too late.

See you at a dinner and performance soon!

For more information:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

And Where Do You “Where To?”: FREE Giveaway/Contest Winner

Over the weekend, I announced another giveaway for a FREE Oktoberfest Package for Two to the Oktoberfest celebration held at the Fairplex in Pomona this upcoming weekend. One lucky winner will receive all of the following, a $60–$80 value:

- Two Oktoberfest admission passes, valid any day from Thursday, Oct. 24 to Sunday Oct. 27
- Two 16 oz. beer coupons
- Two meal passes and one Oktoberfest hat

Entering the contest was easy; you just had to answer:

In the spirit of Halloween, what will your costume be?

Winner was selected randomly, and it is:

"@WilsonsGuide Halloween costume. "Sheets and Pillows". Also a good way to have people lay with you. Two people go as pillows, you, a sheet."

Hmmm...interesting costume. I'll have to see a picture of that...

Thanks to everyone who participated; I hope that each and every person has a fun—and save—Halloween. Look out for another giveaway/contest soon!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Giveaway #10: Oktoberfest Event Package for Two

Once again, I’m giving away a FREE Oktoberfest Package for Two
for the Oktoberfest celebration currently going on at the Fairplex in Pomona!

Upgraded from last year’s giveaway, one lucky winner will receive all of the following, a $60–$80 value:

- Two Oktoberfest admission passes, valid any day from Thursday, Oct. 24 to Sunday Oct. 27
- Two 16 oz. beer coupons
- Two meal passes 
- An Oktoberfest hat

Entering the contest is easy! Simply answer the following question:

In the spirit of Halloween, what will your costume be?

All answers can be left in the comment box below, emailed to or tweeted to @WilsonsGuide on Twitter.

Contest goes until Wednesday, Oct. 23, 11:59pm PDT. One lucky winner will be randomly selected and announced on the #WilsonsGuide blog on Thursday morning, Oct. 24.

Since this contest only runs for three whole days, what are you waiting for?? Hurry and enter! Can’t wait to hear your costumes, because I need some ideas!

A very big THANKS to the Fairplex at Pomona for providing the giveaway package!


· This giveaway/contest/drawing/competition is free and open to anyone over 21 years of age.

· Please note: all entries received may be potentially retweeted and/or posted on at a later date. If an entry is posted and/or retweeted, only the entrant’s first name or Twitter username will be posted in conjunction with the entry.

· Once selected, winner will be given specific instructions on how s/he will receive the free package.

· By accepting the Oktoberfest giveaway package, winner releases the Fairplex in Pomona, Wilson’s “Where To” Guide and Miss Wilson and all of their respective officers, agents and employees from any responsibility or liability in connection with the awarded prize. Winner also agrees to release the Fairplex in Pomona, Wilson’s “Where To” Guide and Miss Wilson of any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind resulting from acceptance, use, misuse, possession, or loss of the package.

· By entering this giveaway, entrants accept and agree to these rules.

*Photo courtesy of the Fairplex in Pomona 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Where To Be Merry: FREE Admission to Museums @ “LA Museum Season”

The Merriment: Book 2+ nights at a participating hotel through and receive a voucher for two FREE adult admissions and/or discounts to 30 participating museums

The Location: All throughout the Los Angeles area

The Vibes: Very diverse; there are museums on a variety of topics, from specific ethnic groups to science, nature and even automobiles. They address social and environmental issues of the past, present and future. They are housed in massive, modern buildings to quaint houses and even outdoors. Varying art periods and styles, and interests and subject matters.

Good for: Getting to know L.A.’s cultural side

When-to-Go: Monday, Oct. 7 – Sunday, Nov. 17

With-Whom-to-Go: Good for two adult admissions

The $ Factor: A $500 value, complimentary when booking 2+ nights at a participating hotel

The 4-1-1: The arts pass not only offers free museum admission; it also offers 10% - 50% discounts and complimentary gifts at select museums

Last autumn, I wrote about the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board’s inaugural “Museum LA” program, which offered two free adult admissions at 30 participating museums when booking 2+ nights at a hotel through the LA Tourism website.

I’m beyond delighted to announce that it’s happening again.

There are a few slight updates from last year. The six-week program now sports a new name—“LA Museum Season”—and two new partners—Metro and Amtrak—are onboard. But the gist remains the same: get FREE access to some of the most prominent and popular museums in Los Angeles.

A highlight for the 2013 season is that three iconic art institutions are celebrating anniversaries this year, and to commemorate the occasion, are implementing new exhibitions, permanent and temporary alike.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in South Los Angeles is celebrating its 100th anniversary with its largest exhibit yet: the 14,000-sq.-ft. Becoming Los Angeles exhibit that explores L.A.’s history, from its early days under Spanish rule, through World Wars and up until present day.

 It’s the 25th anniversary of The Autry National Center in Griffith Park (pictured to the right), so it's celebrating with the addition of three new permanent exhibits: Art of the West, Four Centuries of Pueblo Pottery and Western Frontiers. They all pay homage to the inventions, art, people and landscapes that hail from the West.

And finally, one of my absolute favorites, The Getty Center, is marking its 15th anniversary perched atop the hills of Brentwood. Three new exhibitions will be launched for the remainder of the year, focusing on photography, GrecoRoman mythology influences in Western culture, and the correlation between sea travel and cultural exchanges.

Other interesting facts to note: Two museums that participated last year aren’t participating this year (LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes and El Pueblo Firehouse Museum), but four new museums have been added: Art Muse Los Angeles, Battleship USS Iowa, the Chinese American Museum and the Norton Simon Museum of Art.

Here is a complete list of participating museums:

* Denotes that they provide various discounts instead of complimentary museum admission. 

So if you, or friends, family members, colleagues, etc. are in the need to book a three-day hotel stay in LA anytime from now until mid-November, make sure they do it through the LA Tourism website so that they can take advantage of visiting the city’s most attractive cultural and art institutions, and to celebrate some of their anniversaries, too.

See you at a participating museum soon!

For more information:
**Photo credit: LA Tourism for the first, second, fourth and sixth photos 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Where To Drink: Handcrafted Cocktails and Table Cocktail Service @ Warwick

The Drinks: Handcrafted cocktails and tableside cocktail service

The Location: Hollywood

The Vibes: Upscale, intimate, cozy, trendy

Good for: When you want top notch cocktails in a classy lounge setting

With-Whom-To-Go: Ideal for small and large groups

When-to-Go: Wednesdays through Saturdays, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

The $ Factor: $$; Handcrafted cocktails are $17; tableside cocktail service starts at $300

The 4-1-1: Opens for the first time on Saturday, October 5, 2013

I’ll Be Back…: For the Kaffir Melon Cooler, made with gin, kaffir lime, and watermelon, pomegranate and lime juices

Earlier this week, I was invited to a private preview of Warwick, the newest lounge on Sunset Blvd., in the heart of Hollywood.

With great interest, I entered a nondescript, grey building lit by a few overhead lights and marked by a massive door. Outside revealed nothing of what was beyond, which is an enticingly sexy interior that feels like “old boys’ club” meets upscale, urban loft.

And it’s all so breathtaking.

Vintage meticulously blends with modern. You see it in the paintings by Renoir, Picasso and Rembrandt—right alongside the enlarged black-and-white photos of nude models. You feel it in the comfortably worn oversized leather couches you sink into, and their adjacent sleek black tables. You sense it underneath the faint glow of soft lighting and ceiling-to-floor walls of exposed bricks…in the toasty fireplaces, and the floors made from reclaimed wood from Frank Sinatra’s home.

Warwick pours out the same amount of sophistication and class that it did in its d├ęcor as it does into its biggest selling point: its cocktail program. Instead of the typical, standard bottle service options of alcohol and a few uninterestingly bland mixers, Warwick pays homage to the handcrafted cocktail phenomenon that’s swept over L.A. these past few years through its tableside cocktail service. Move over vodka and cranberry; make room for Manhattans, mojitos and margaritas—and even Moscow Mules and Blackberry Bucks—which can be delivered to your table all night long.

Now if you really just want your drinks straight up, no frills involved, Warwick can do that as well. There’s the option to order bottles and mixers, but don’t expect just any kind of mixers. The focus is on fresh, premium ingredients, so think freshly squeezed pineapple and orange juices, bottled Mexican Cokes and ginger ale, and seasonal items from Farmer’s markets.

And the best part is, if you don’t finish your bottle for the night, they will save it for your next visit.

There are also several bars to grab handcrafted cocktails at, on
the first and second floors. Of course, I tried many, many cocktails throughout the night, including the Peach Cobbler (pictured to the right), the Coco Pina Fresca and the Kaffir Melon Cooler. I fell in love with Kaffir Melon Cooler, an exciting fusion of sweet and salty.

Now, you may be thinking what I was originally thinking; all this sounds great and amazing, but how hard is it going to be to get in this place???

Fantastic question.

Fortunately as a few of my contacts explained to me, the goal is to make all guests feel as though they’re VIPs (yeah!). So if you make reservations, you should definitely be good to get in; and if you don’t have reservations, you should still be able to easily get in, so long as the lounge hasn’t reached capacity.

Already, there’s been quite a few private events, but Warwick is still young and brand new. It’ll be interesting to see how it grows and matures within the upcoming weeks and months, and years.

So for now, the next time you’re in the mood to sip premium, high quality beverages while you’re hitting up the nightlife scene, I highly recommend Warwick. Get your drink and party on.

See you there soon!

Second photo from top - photo credit: Alen Lin