4 Unique Hot Spots in DTLA | Music + Entertainment + Food & Drinks

Los Angeles has an endless abundance of ‘weird’, and I welcome the weirdness!  I like to think of it as being more quirky or unique.  It’s what makes living in LA fun and exciting. 🙂   –  So bring on the weird!

I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite downtown Los Angeles night time hot spots.  Each venue bringing it’s own unique eclectic touch to the table.  What makes them worth visiting is the combination of music, entertainment, food, drinks, and an overall awesome vibe.

Now, here is a disclaimer.  I’m using the term “entertainment” loosely, because for two of the four locations the entertainment is activity based – meaning, you entertain yourself.  So unless you are anti-having fun, this should not be a problem.  😜 

If you are looking for good date night spots or fun places to take out of town guests or just hang out with your friends, then this list is definitely for you.


4 Unique Hot Spots in DTLA


 # 1 – The Edison

108 W 2nd St #101, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Edison

Vibe: Sultry, sexy, 1920’s – I just drank a bottle of absinthe and am hallucinating about fairies type of vibe.

The Edison is every bit true to it’s 1920’s era.  The location was originally used as a power plant for the city in the early 1900’s.  Today, you can see the remnants of the history of the building as the the lounge integrated most of the historical artifacts of the power plant into it’s design.  The high ceilings coupled with the art nouveau and industrial gothic design make for a truly unique and sexy venue.  Transcending down the huge staircase you become immersed in the experience with the live jazz music, DJs, and burlesque dancers completing it all – oh, and let’s not forget the fairies selling absinthe.  You will think you stepped right into Baz Luhrmann‘s depiction of the Moulin Rouge.

This location is very popular on the weekdays with the after work business suits and ties type of crowd and even more of a hot spot on the weekends.  This is a great place to take out of town guests or business associates.  It’s an especially good location if you want to impress a date.  Sexy booths are hidden throughout the venue and advanced table reservations are accepted.  However, they do not offer a full service kitchen, only serving snacks and flat breads.  This is why I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this place to celebrate a special occasion.  It’s more of a, “let’s start the night out and to set the mood and see where things go,” type of place.

What you need to know:  The Edison is only open Wednesday – Saturday.  The location is hidden down an alley, but you’ll notice where to enter by the discreet doormen hanging out front.  There is a $10 cover charge on the weekends and a minimum food/beverage order is required for table reservations after 7pm.  Dress code is enforced with collared shirts and dress shoes required for men.  Check out more information on their website, www.edisondowntown.com.


#2 – Mrs. Fish

448 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Mrs. Fish

Vibe: Edgy, glamorous, eclectic – If the show Empire married an aquarium, this would be their baby.

Mrs. Fish needs to be experienced in order to be understood.  Located in the basement of the same building that houses Perch, a long staircase leads you down to the surprises that await underneath.  The setting has a an intimate yet casual feel with a two story open air concept and tables and lounge areas located throughout.  The location houses a large suspended illuminated aquarium full of sea life which you just can’t take your eyes off.  The second story wrap-around balcony allows for great people watching and views of the entertainment.  Live music takes place in the center of the building, with low couches directly in front and high table tops against the wall and bar, allowing for great views throughout.

The food and drinks are phenomenal and the plates are served tapas style, which makes it ideal for sharing.  The music selection varies by night, from jazz to dance rock, but each time I’ve been, I’ve had no complaints.  This in an ideal date place or just chill out and meet people type of venue.  It’s somewhere you can share an intimate setting, people watch, and listen to music.

What you need to know:  Mrs. Fish is only open Wednesday – Saturday, with happy hour offered Wednesday – Friday from 5pm to 7pm.  Mrs. Fish does not maintain a dress code, but the setting calls for dressing up a bit.  For more information, check out their website, www.mrsfish.com.


#3 – SPiN at the Standard

550 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, 90071

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Vibe: Casual chic – It’s an adult version of 90’s cosmic bowling except for ping pong, with drinks, music, and alot of balls.

Glow in the dark ping pong?? Yes, please!  Talk about a unique experience.  SPiN refers to itself as a ping pong social club.  It is a place where you can chill out, have a drink, listen to some good music, and play some good old fashioned ping pong.  The location is more or less a medium sized space, with ping pong tables wrapped around a small lounge area which sits next to a bar.  SPiN, hosts a variety of daily events ranging from weekly tournaments to comedy nights and happy hours.  My favorite times have been with their summer glow in the dark events.  While glow in the dark ping pong takes place most nights, the special themed events encourage sporting your most awesome neon outfits, which people happily oblige.

Personally, I suck at ping pong, but I love going for the entertainment factor.  It’s great for small to large groups and fun date night place.  They offer both food and drinks, so you can munch off their big bites menu while waiting for your turn.

What you need to know:  SPiN is located on the second floor of the Standard Hotel and becomes a 21+ venue after 7pm.  The have VERY seasonal days and hours of operation.  Check their schedule before planning a trip.  For more information, visit their website, www.wearespin.com.


#4 – Arts District Brewing Company

828 Traction Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90013

Arts District Brewery

Vibe: Chill warehouse style brewery – If Dave and Buster’s and Yard House had a hipster baby, this would be it.

Arts District Brewing Company is a fairly new addition to the DTLA Art’s District.  The venue is really cool with a chill vibe.  They offer a great selection of beers, games, food, and, most importantly, tons of seating/table space!  Tucked away in a corner of the brewery is Fritzi, which sells the food for the venue.  The main bar area sits right in the center of the space, showcasing their in-house brewery barrels.  The bar offers a great selection of beers along with full service cocktails.  The venue itself is a huge warehouse with indoor and outdoor seating.  They play music, which adds to the awesome vibe, but still allows for conversation.  Skee ball, darts, ping pong, foosball, and cornhole games are available to be played throughout.

This is a great place to meet with friends to unwind at the end of the day.  This is also a perfect option if you are meeting up with someone for a first date.  You can start with drinks, and if things go well, throw in some burgers and foosball, and there you go… awesome first date!

What you need to know:  The Arts District Brewing Company is open 7 days a week starting at 4pm on weekdays and 12pm Sat/Sun.  I did see some families there when I visited, but it seems to turn into a more hipster crowd after 9pm.  There are no waiters.  You grab your drinks at the bar and food at Fritzi’s.  For more information, visit their website, www.artsdistrictbrewing.com.


If you enjoyed reading this post, make sure to check out my previous post, 4 Weird and/or Unique Things to See in DTLA! Comment below on any places you recommend.  Thanks for reading.

XOXO

Exploring Springfield (The Simpsons) | Universal Studios Orlando, Florida

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to explore Springfield (you know, the hometown of the Simpsons)?  While the exact location of the city is still questionable, you can find a replica located at Universal Studios in Orlando.  Having grown up on the show, I got a real kick exploring the Simpsons themed area at the park.  While I was disappointed I didn’t run into Bart or Lisa, Moe’s completely made up for it. All of the details are down to the “T”.  Walking into the bar, the resident drunk, Barney is there to greet you.  You can take a seat at the bar and order a flaming Moe.  If you’re hungry, just around the corner you can pick up a Krusty Burger or chicken from Cletus’s Chicken Shack. Just make sure not to cause too much trouble or you might find yourself detained by Officer Wiggums who is hanging just outside.

Here is a peek of the little tour that I did.  Hope you enjoy. 😊

XOXO

Patara Elephant Farm, Elephant owner for a day: Chiang Mai, Thailand

If anyone had ever told me that one day I would go to Thailand and adopt an elephant, I would tell them that they were crazy.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would do something so crazy, so adventurous, so out of character. But, here I am, writing about my experience as an elephant owner for a day at Patara Farm, an elephant farm located in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.

Knowing that we wanted to see elephants on our trip, we performed extensive research and spoke with friends that had traveled to Thailand before to get their opinion.  It was very important for us to go through a reputable company as there can be some controversy with elephant riding as not all companies treat their animals well.  After much careful research, we decided on Patara Farm, an elephant farm that offers guests an immersion experience of adopting an elephant for a day.  When I say immersion I mean that you literally go through step by step every detail each elephants trainer goes through for the day.  You feed, learn how to check the elephant’s health, and even bathe the elephant as part of your day.

Baby elephant

“you are trained to approach your elephant correctly, know the elephant’s temperament, feed and check its health, learn about and take care of your own elephant, bathe and brush it in the river, learn how to ride on its neck, and communicate THROUGH DIFFERENT spoken commands.” – Patara Farm

Let me tell you, we pretty much paid to do labor for the day, but it was worth the experience!  Initially, meeting the elephants is a little overwhelming.  You are basically entering their space not the other way around.  They go about their business eating, pooping, and hanging out with each other. When they see you, the babies are the ones that are more curious, the adults aren’t bothered.  Unless you are holding sugar cane!  Then you are everyone’s center of attention.

After going through the training program and getting acquainted with your elephant, at Patara Farm, you ride the elephants bare-back, meaning no seats.  The best way I can describe this experience is incredible.  Being with the elephant all day you bond and get to know each other.  Then when the elephant allows you to ride them, it’s a very beautiful experience.  The elephant is never forced to give you a ride nor are you forced to ride them.  You are taught from the very beginning how to understand your elephants temperament.  So when I say that my elephant allowed me to ride him, I felt like he accepted me. Now, maybe at this point I’m starting to sound like a hippie, but I do believe that elephants are very intelligent creatures and like any animal they can form a bond or connection with you.

“The program is specialized and meaningful activity to create trust and relationship between you and your elephant.” – Patara Farm

Overall, I am very grateful to have been able to take part in this experience and highly recommend putting this on your bucket list.  If you have any questions or want to know more about the experience, please feel free to ask.  For more information on Patara Farm, check out their website or reviews on TripAdvisor.  ❤️  Hope you enjoyed!

The Last Bookstore: Books, Art, and Records in Downtown LA

Here’s a peek inside The Last Bookstore.  The store is various levels with rooms within rooms and things to see around every corner. If you try to go visit, be aware that certain rooms and stores close before the rest of the bookstore. I missed the chance to explore a couple of rooms because of this. But other than that, I was able to peek around the majority of the place. The Last Bookstore looks like something that should belong on the set of a Harry Potter movie. When I saw the wall of photos I was almost expecting the faces to start following me across the room. It’s a truly unique place and a really fun find.

“The Last Bookstore is California’s largest used and new book and record store. Currently in our third incarnation, we began in 2005 in a downtown Los Angeles loft.” – Last Bookstore

Check out my previous post for the address! 😉

5 Unique Travel Finds in NYC

As much as I love doing the classic cheesy touristy stuff when traveling (i.e. Big Red Bus tours), I usually try to find unique things to do that are more off the beaten path.  I don’t know why, but researching and finding unique activities makes me feel like I gain better experiences and end up with more exciting stories.  Or at least I’d like to think that I do!  🙂

Here is a list of some unique finds in New York that you might want to check out.  Let me know if you end up with any crazy stories!

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Large Margarita Pizza

Lombardi’s Pizza

32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Their claim to fame is being America’s FIRST pizzeria.  I don’t know about you, but the historical value alone is reason enough to check them out.  So when I decided to stop and eat here, it was a great surprise that not only is this a historic location, but the pizza is very good as well!

FYI, this place is cash only.  If you decide to go in and dine, I’d recommend going with a large pizza.  It’s only around $3 more than the regular size and it visually looks almost twice the size (great for photo-ops). Besides, who doesn’t love leftovers??

The High Line

Street level access on W 34th st (between 11th and 12th ave) midtown west

The High Line is a historic elevated freight rail turned public park.  Walking this trail offers a unique birds eye view and immerses you into the city as the trail runs through the center of blocks in between buildings. There are various art installations, wall murals, and look-out points along the way, so you don’t forget your camera!  The trail runs from West 34th Street in Midtown to Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District, between 10th and 12th Avenues.

Famous apartments

Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment – 64 Perry St, New york, NY 10014

friends Apartment building – 90 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

Both apartment buildings are conveniently located within walking distance of one another in the Greenwich Village.  It’s fun to go hunt for these buildings during the day since there are many little shops and restaurants to see in the area.  Carrie’s apartment in the show is located on the third floor of the building.  Visitors are able to take photos outside of the property but, since it is a private residence, the stairs are chained off.  The Friend’s apartment building is located on the corner of Bedford and Grove St.  This is the building where Monica and Joey’s apartments are located.  Unfortunately, Central Perk does not exist, but there is a cute little restaurant located in its place.

Cake Decorating Classes at Carlo’s Bake Shop

631 Grove Street, Jersey City, NJ 07030

I stumbled upon this class though Groupon and I’m so glad I did because it was one of the best experiences I had on my trip.  The class focused on the basics of working with fondant.  It was fun, simple, and not at all overwhelming.  Before the class you get to take a mini-tour of the warehouse and at the end you get to take home your apron and cake.  I flew home the next day and was able to take the cake with me as a carry-on item.  Classes are held at various locations throughout New Jersey, with the Lakawana location being closest to Manhattan.

Fishs Eddy

889 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

If you are looking for fun kitschy souvenirs, I’d recommended checking out Fishs Eddy, an Americana themed kitchenware and gift store.  You may be wondering why you would purchase kitchenware as a souvenir (which is the same thing I asked myself when my friend dragged me in there), BUT you’d be surprised with the unique New York/Brooklyn themed finds that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.  The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum gift shop actually carries Fishs Eddy items, so just cut the middle man and go directly to the store.  I purchased the cutest miniature Statue of Liberty (about 2 inches tall) and my friend fell in love with a Ruth Ginsburg mug.  Other fun items for sale include New York/Brooklyn themed tote bags, dish towels, trays, shot glasses, coasters, etc.  Go in and have a look.  It’s at least a cute location to window shop.