We spent this past weekend in LA, without the Madame (thanks to the modern day grandma and pop-pop), for a weekend of December shopping. "Shopping" is really an excuse to get away from home, stay at a nice hotel, and remember what it was like traveling without a small child. LA definitely doesn't give you that traditional "Christmas" feeling, but with temperatures in the high 70s I wasn't complaining. I'm too tired to think of anything clever to write about this morning, so here's my quick recap:
- Hotel. We stayed at The Standard in Hollywood, which we had stayed at back in 1999 soon after it opened, but this time it was kind of a disappointment. The location is great and the lounge is a fun place to hang out, but the services were definitely sub-par. There were small things like no shampoo in the room, but the big thing was the building itself. The floorboards in the room above ours were in serious disrepair, and the creaking from the people leaving Sunday morning in the room above us was so loud it was impossible to stay asleep. The price for the location is still great, but I definitely wouldn't recommend it.
- Shopping. When I go to LA I like to shop in places I can't find here in Vegas, so we spent most of our time checking out places on Melrose. I finally got to check out a Fatboy bean bag chair at Fitzsu, and I got some great vintage kids stuff at Jet Rag (which I'll probably blog about later). The best store we went to was Not Neutral to check out some kids furniture. The worst was (unfortunately) Grommetville, who had a sales girl who was the opposite of helpful, and kind of made us wish we hadn't trekked all the way out to Silverlake.
- Food. I have two restaurant recommendations for you. The first is the Gardens of Taxco, an authentic "Mexico City style" (as they say) restaurant, which apparently means no menus and and endless stream of food that you didn't really order. And they have the best mole sauce I've ever tried.
The other is Yamashiro, an Japanese palace built in the Hollywood hills in 1914 with amazing views and great food. Apparently it used to be known for great views and average food, but they've got a new chef now who is (in my opinion) doing his job right. It was a unique, only-in-LA kind of experience, and the perfect cap to a great weekend.