Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summer Day in LA

A few times a year I drive into LA to get my haircut. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I found a great place to get my hair done and Jeff enjoys the free time in LA. On this particular trip our neighbors joined us for the day in LA.

Bethany and I headed to Muse Atelier to see Nikki. While the webpage makes the place look a bit uppity – it’s actually a very relaxing and cool place. They have a patio outside where you can wait with a glass of wine or lemonade until your stylist is ready. The atmosphere is great and the prices aren’t bad for an LA Salon. Between my cut, color & style and Bethany going from long hair to a cute bob we spent most of the afternoon hanging out with the gang at Muse Atelier.

Meanwhile the boys headed off to the Griffith Observatory. The Observatory is a must visit in LA. The park is always crowded with families milling about but still nice to walk around. The museum also has lots to offer. Our favorite is the solar telescope. On any given weekend you’re bound to new find exhibits set out on the front lawn. We have never been to the planetarium show, but it always seems to be popular and is on our list for a future visit.

After an afternoon at the observatory for the boys and a day at the salon for the girls we met back up for an evening in LA. We had plans to go to dinner at Umami Burger after reading an article about it in Travel & Leisure and hearing from some LA Locals that the #1 combo is the way to go. My hairstylist, however, recommended a place just around the corner called Stout (1544 N. Cahuenga Blvd (at Selma) Hollywood, CA.) After checking them both out, and since Nikki has never steered us wrong, we decided to try the burgers at Stout. While the Six Weeker 9 (with Camembert, fig chutney, mild jack, arugula, caramelized onions and smoked Gouda) came highly recommended we all chose separate burgers and split an order of the seasoned fries and sweet potato fries. The boys ordered from the beef menu with one ordering the hometown favorite, the Stout Burger (with blue cheese, emi gruyere, rosemary bacon, caramelized onion & horseradish cream), and the other ordering the Shu Burger (with pepper jack, light bell spread & grilled avocado chipotle sauce.) Bethany ordered the IOS 3am Chicken Burger (with tzatiziki, greek fries, eggplant spread & feta cheese) and I, of course, ordered a veggie burger called the Bollywood (with chutney mayonnaise, sharp cheddar, arugula, roasted tomato & avocado.) Our experience at Stout proved that every once and a while you just need a $10 burger.

With a bit of extra time on our hands we headed over to Frosted Cupcakery (1200 N. Highland Ave.) I would highly recommend the Ice Cream Cupcakes – they fill jumbo cupcakes with ice cream, making them perfect to split (from $4.95). As a note, by 6pm on a weekend they are basically out of cupcakes - come early if you want a specific flavor.

Finally, we snuck in a little visit to the LeBrea Tar Pits before heading to the Hollywood Bowl. The Tar Pits are fascinating. In the middle of this big city are these tar pits that have been there for millions of years. As long as the pits have been there things have been walking into them. The museum has a display of all the stuff they have pulled out of the pits - but the really cool part is looking into the fishbowl window to see the archeologists at work as they pull more artifacts out of the pits. Despite the smell, the LeBrea Tar Pits is worth a visit.

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