Gays & Dolls: A Magical Bar/Club Crawl through WeHo

A couple of Fridays ago was the Minty’s Gays & Dolls Crawl. It was the event I was most looking forward to all of March. Josie was out of town and I was having a fantastic ceviche filled day with the girls. I bought a large ring, which I heard would help me attract a gay boyfriend. Apparently, the bigger the accessory the higher the rate of attracting the attention of a gay male. It was getting close to the time to head out for the crawl when it suddenly dawned on me: If I have a huge ring that is the attractor, then I need to have my nails in top form. I knew what I needed to do, get my nails done. Like any good gay men, I chose beauty over promptness. I was late for the crawl because my nails were drying.

The Abbey is unquestionable the most famous gay bar in Los Angeles and it was the first stop on the crawl. It takes a lot to get me nervous. No straight man, potential lover, CEO, or celebrity has made me feel as nervous as I was when I began this crawl. I think it is because I have wanted a gay boyfriend for so long. When I was a senior in high school, I began spending my weekends in the Castro and I would come home and tell my mom, “I wish I was a gay man.” My mom would nod and smile and say that she wanted the exact same thing when she was my age. She was waitressing in the city at the time and was in awe of all the beautiful, sophisticated, and worldly gay men around her. Anyway, I arrived fashionable late and the first person I saw was the Minty’s gay boyfriend, Ed, who had been calling me to check in and make sure I was on my way and parking. I grabbed a small drink at the Abbey because I knew the crawlers wanted to progress to their next stop.

After a long talk at the bar with a guy about apple martinis, the only drink he has ever ordered, I headed back to the group. The group of crawlers was smaller than most of the Minty’s crawls and I loved it. There were 3 dolls, 5 gays, and Joe and I found it to be a perfect and intimate mix of people. I drank my drink quickly and continued on.

Mother Lode was the second stop and they made enormous drinks. I requested a small one after I saw how big everyone’s glasses of mixed drinks were. However, even that small one still had a ton of whiskey. We all made jokes that involved “mothers” and “loads” but this was definitely the first time I have been in a dive gay bar. A dive gay bar is a very interesting place. The men were more rugged and there was a group of lesbians playing pool that made me a little nervous. Minty’s gbf (gay boyfriend) kept egging me on to play with them but I was scared. These women could kick my ass and not just at pool. However, it was at this stop when I really started talking to one of the gays. His name was Paul and he lived in Pasadena and he was fantastic. He was a foodie, a yelper, a guy that spent every summer in my hometown of Santa Cruz, and everything a straight girl could hope for. At one point he even said the magic words, “deep fried artichoke hearts.” How come straight men don’t know that the key to my heart is artichoke hearts?!? I was in love but I tried to not let it show. He had my eye and I was smitten. Minty’s gbf was telling everyone that it was Minty’s bday and he made me drop in comments about his boyfriend when other men were getting too close. The night had begun and it was fantastic.

Fiesta Cantina was the third place on the crawl and as soon as we arrived, I knew I was right where I wanted to be. I was walking with Ed who happens to have a beard and a table of men outside began to yell, “Hey Beard, come here and meet your destiny.” I laughed first and then melted later, why can’t straight men talk that? If they did it would just be the cheesiest worst pick-up line ever but this was actually cute, they were cute, and I was jealous. Fiesta is famous for two things: cheap 2 for 1 drinks and a rooftop that is packed with a ton of men. Minty who has an entire gay posse was the person that knew exactly what to order here and it was delicious, vanilla vodka and orange juice. I would say it was a creamsicle in your mouth but that may be too vulgar. The rooftop was claustrophobic, hot, and the fantasy of women and gay men everywhere.

After the booze and staring at all of these hot men, I was a little hot and bothered. I needed to, in the words of Lady Gaga, “Just Dance.” We all decided we were ready for the club portion of the night so we headed to the final destination.

Micky’s was the best kind of dance club. Fun tunes, men that you aren’t worried about touching you, hot bartenders, and go-go dancers that can keep you going all night. I was warned early in the night that Mintys gbf can become very straight when he got drunk. I was very fortunate. We got some dirty dancing on and from there on out I didn’t need another drink besides a Diet Coke. I was having a blast. Here is an idea of the caliber of men I was surrounded by, don’t be too jealous.

The week of the crawl had been a supa stressful week for me and this night was exactly what I needed. I have a (straight) guy in WeHo that I sometimes see and I had texted much earlier in the night and I let one of the guys leave a vulgar message on his voicemail. As soon as I got my car from the valet, he had responded to see if I was gonna come over and my response was: “I just danced with and looked at a ton of gorgeous men. I’m good. I am going to head home now.” I also had at some point in the night wrote on my FB status that I was in search of my very own gay boyfriend. By the time I awoke in the morning, I had a friend request from my Pasadena crush and he commented, “Did I at least make it to the semi-finals?” under my status. I was giddy. Minty consistently throws the most fantastic events and I am so grateful that I am her friend and get to share her gay posse with her. Also if you are impressed by the photo quality, it wasn’t the pictures I took. Thanks Joe, for being our paparazzi for the night and buying me a few drinks. Between this crawl and our Checkers dinner, I think I have some very exciting prospects in the gay boyfriend category!

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Melrose and La Brea: Intersection of Delicious Food & Drinks

Photo Credit to The Minty

Last Monday was a dinner that included some of my favorites in the LA food blogging and, more importantly, food photography worlds. The usual suspects of Minty and I were there while Josie was missing; also present was The Delicious who runs the greatest food porn site (TasteSpotting), DJJewelz, and LAEasyMeals. The plan was food at Cube and then drinks at Tar Pit. I had been to Cube only once before but I absolutely loved it. I was having a first date with a guy that suggested we do a dessert date. I was so impressed he thought of this until I realized that it said I love dessert dates on my Facebook page. The funniest thing about this night was even though it was supposed to be dessert I asked if I could order mac n’ cheese and the whole time our male waiter was flirting with my date. I was like, “Excuse me, I want to order too.” It was hilarious and I was very eager to return. On Monday, I was running late and when I arrived the group was in the back room. It was kind of romantic and Mafia-esque at the same time, great combination. I was probably a half an hour late and it was perfect in food blogging time. The first two dishes were ordered but the dishes were too busy being photographed not a bite was taken and the wine was already open and poured. I love my peeps! We had a nice cheese plate and brussel sprout salad for starters.

We then ordered some dishes for the table. We got the braised baby octopus, maple braised bacon, and I suggested the house gnocchi with english peas (this resembled matzoh balls to me). As if this wasn’t enough, we also ordered fresh maltagliati with braised oxtail ragu.

I am exhausted of uploading pictures and I am not even on to main courses. Also, I would complain about the lighting in the room but everyone else managed to take way better pictures than me. DJJewelz even has the exact same camera as me but his pics are like a bazillion times better. I had some major photography envy that night. Thankfully, I had a million of plates to ease my pain. I don’t love bacon; I do, however, like a thick pork belly and well this bacon was kind of amazing. It is a must order. For main courses, I had the pan-seared diver scallops with creamy lemon risotto and, yes, more english peas. What can I say? I love when peas pop in my mouth. This was a total Carina dish; I love when food completely matches my ideal flavor profile. The Delicious always lets other people order for her, which I love to do, but maybe we shouldn’t have gotten her the biggest dish. She got the balsamic glazed skirt steak. DJJewelz seems like he is a burger man. I have been to the Lazy Ox with him twice and both times he gets the burger. At Cube he indulged once more in the American classic dressed up with shallots, truffles, and a bun made of brioche. LAEasyMeals is a runner with a ton of health conscious recipes and she had the stuffed branzino, easily the healthiest thing on the menu. Minty is a girl after my heart and palate. I laugh because we always seem to enjoy what the other person orders. On her post she said my scallops were her second favorite dish and I may have to agree. Minty won the ordering in both of our opinions with the venison meatloaf. It was comfort food at its best.

Everything was spectacular, not a dud dish in the group. In fact, I think I am ready to declare something right now. If any of you work in music or movies then you are probably constantly asked what your favorite song or movie is. I am constantly asked what my favorite restaurant is. My favorite restaurant ever is Boiling Crab in Alhambra, followed by Church & State, and now I think Cube may be my new #3, if not #2. I really loved my meal. Plus, they always have the best tweets. After this decadent meal we strolled next door to the new lounge called Tar Pit, a place I had never been to before. I liked the retro decor and they had some tasty cocktails and small bites. I ordered the Lemon Thyme Daiquiri and later the Juniperitivo. The latter even had my enemy gin or as Delicious calls it, “The devil’s drink”, and I still drank it. We also ordered the fried oysters, as if we didn’t eat enough. Minty and I ordered dessert; I got the apple tart and she ordered the bananas fosters parfait. Once again, I liked Minty’s ordering so much that I ate 70% of her dessert. I love tarts but I don’t love crust and this tart was placed in a beautiful basket made of crust. In fact, in college my best friend, Risa, once had an epiphany when we were at a Vegas buffet. We were both eating tarts and she was only eating the crusts of hers and I was only eating the fillings. She was from Tokyo and she exclaimed, “I think this a representation of us. I only care about the outside, like if the man is beautiful. And you only care about the inside, like if he is a good writer.” Perhaps it was true. The inside of the banana parfait was deliciousness: roasted banana ice cream, rum caramel, candied pecans, and toasted marshmallows.

Forget Pinks Hot Dogs (also at the Melrose and LA Brea intersection) and head a little more south for great food and drinks. This was a fun night and I must say that I love dining with bloggers. You have to wait for everyone’s camera to flash on your food before you can bite into it and it seems perfectly normal that Delicious is running to other tables to steal candles for back-light. Yes, we also refer to one another by our Twitter names and have to wait until the group virtually “checks in” and tweets where we are before we can look at a menu. We are a group of wonderful weirdos that love to eat, drink, and be merry!

Cube
615 N La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 939-1148
www.cubemarketplace.com

The Tar Pit

609 N La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Halloween in (West) Hollywood

Indian and Rachel Ray costume on Halloween

Josie and I had a very difficult time coming up with a joint dynamic duo costume this year. Thanks to the help of the wonderful article written by our boys at Freshman in the Kitchen on culinary themed costumes we decided on Padma and Rachael Ray. Not to be a Bragging Betty but even though I was gone for the night and drove back from Anaheim, I still put my costume together. Josie, on the other hand, after a long day at work decided to still be an Indian but was going with the American variety instead of the hot super model Top Chef East Indian kind. I was all alone in my TV foodie costume, but oh well. The first party of the night was the Yelp Hipster Zombie Halloween Party at the Viper Room. In typical UG fashion we arrived seconds after the open bar closed. Oh well. One of the first people we saw was Beer the boyfriend of the lovely Dawson, who was the host of this fabulous yelp event. Beer showed us his fire crotch and it is always a pleasure to see this king and queen of Yelp. We just learned today that Dawson is no longer with Yelp. OMG! We are heartbroken. She eased us through our first Yelp event, hosted the awesome 007 party, and has been our favorite to see at all events from Milk to Chocolate to Taco Crawls. She holds a special place in the UG heart and we know that her next chapter will be just as fruitful as she will continue to wow us all with her unmatched talents.

The next portion of the night led us to a boy that I have been dating’s house. He was in the shower when we arrived but that didn’t stop us from breaking and entering. He and Josie have been referring to one another as “nemesis”. I don’t know if it was because of Josie’s peaceful costume or not but it seems as though all was clear on the reservation. Josie and I took off for the West Hollywood carnaval for a girl’s night on the town. I have learned that Josie has one hell of a gay man following as she was the hit of Santa Monica Blvd. Here she was with a girl wearing nothing more than body paint on her chest.

Indian topless halloween

IMG_3796

Jackson 5 costumes

Later in the night we had taken a picture with a Twitter costume with signs that read “Show me your Twitter” and “Stop Twittering, I’m covered in Twit”. We also saw the entire Jackson 5 family. It was one hell of a night and it felt great to be a part of something big and wonderful. The next morning I awoke starving and with a hankering for a tuna melt. I remembered hearing that Betty from Top Chef was given the honor of the best tuna sandwich at the Los Angeles Magazine Food Event. I knew that I wanted to head to Grub. There was a problem, it was daylight savings and it was only 8am. I waited for an hour and called the restaurant to make sure that I could order a tuna melt for breakfast. It was all set and we headed out for this hidden gem of  a restaurant. I  played spy and snapped a photo of someone’s bagel which was wrapped up like a beautiful present in lox wrapping paper. My date had the chorizo breakfast burrito and he stole most of my lemon and basil cocktail.

grub hollywood

lox wrapped bagels

grub burrito

grub tuna melt

Okay so what was my thought on this tuna melt? It was great but I am not sure it is the best in LA. My favorite tuna melt probably belongs to Home in Los Feliz. After I once saw a man at the table next to masturbating in between a copy of Marley & Me, I stopped going, here is my Yelp review on the incident. However, the delicious herb laced tuna is going to have me return. Grub was well-priced and I am anxious to try their mac and cheese and devour more of those yummy potato chips.