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On The Martini

Welcome to our little blog-within-a-blog!
We’ve been talking for awhile about the idea that more cool stuff happens in Hollywood than many people give it credit for and about how we generally enjoy ourselves when we’re out.

Sardo's
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He Said – Porn Star Karaoke

On The Martini

post-bodyshotSome weeks, PSK is full of absurd numbers of Porn Stars, singing, drinking and generally acting like fools, happy to entertain the civilians with the antics that we expect of porn stars.

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R-23/The Edison

On The Martini

R-23 is definitely a word of mouth type place—there’s pretty much no way you’d find it otherwise. This is certainly a trend in LA.

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Porn Star Karaoke

On The Martini

The lovely folks @ Sardo’s in Burbank have been holding PSK for seven years now. Every Tuesday, porn star Nikki Hunter hosts the evening’s festivities—in which porn stars from near and far (by which I mean between Universal City and Van Nuys) come to sing, drink, and give away free porn. As Dory put it when I mentioned the event to her, you can’t get that anywhere but LA.

Miss Hunter does a spectacular job hosting—managing to make anyone who ventures to the stage feel special (from shy girls to porn fanboys) and she miraculously seems to recognize EVERY porn star that walks in the door (even though the faces change every week). I have a feeling she knows ahead of time who’s coming, but I’d rather believe she has an amazing porn encyclopedia in her head.

Each week Hunter (or volunteers of her choosing) hand out free porn, often starring ladies in attendance that evening. I have a triple signed copy of Mother Load 4, that the lovely Julie Ann autographed that evening (she’s the cover girl and star).

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Wine Bistro

On The Martini

Long ago, Matt and I set out to eat at every restaurant on Ventura Blvd. between our house (technically off of Cahuenga) and Laurel Canyon Blvd. Over the past three years we’ve done a pretty good job, but we’re not done yet.  One place we recently checked off the list was the cute Wine Bistro, a nice little French restaurant that made for a yummy Friday night.

Wine Bistro is half restaurant and half wine bar. The dining area looks larger than it is, due to the mirrored walls that surround it. Matt and I sat at a little corner table. The restaurant feels simultaneously fancy and cozy–as if you were enjoying it at home. The clientele reflected this…two tables down from us sat a couple dressed extremely down (the baggiest of sweatshirts I”d ever seen at a French restaurant). But across the aisle sat a couple significantly dressed up from this (and I think on a first date). It”s always a mixed bag in LA (you can never be too casual or too dressy at pretty much any event, from Arclight screenings to dinner at The Bazaar–more on this in a future entry!).

WB offers a well sized menu, with all your favorite French offerings, as well as a prix fixe for the evening—a good deal that Matt partook in (only $25 for appetizer and entree!). I ordered yummy escargot, while Matt had ahi tuna (an interesting addition to a french menu, but it seems to be everywhere these days). We also picked out a bottle of French red (you CAN”T go French without wine), from a region Matt recently visited (M: St. Emilion).
(Mental Note: I must be better about writing down my tasting notes, because I can”t remember much about this wine for the life of me. I know I enjoyed it, but you’d be hard pressed to find a bottle of red I don’t….)

Onto the main courses—Bouillabaisse for me (in other words a stew of sorts with clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops and all other kinds of goodies, along with a very thin pasta and some veggies mixed in). I loved every bite of it. Matt had the filet mignon–which looked extremely tender to me. He”ll have to let you know the final verdict there. (M: thumbs up!)

Even though I was trés full, I can never escape ordering the crême brulée. Especially when it has a unique twist. Three miniature servings, each flavoured with a different liquor. Khalua, Baileys and Grand Marnier. Tasty and fun.

I’d love to go back soon and sit in the wine bar. Order a nice bottle, the cheese plate, and appreciate the other half of Wine Bistro. And I”ll definitely be back for dinner. If you’re looking for French but you want to skip the stuffy, this is definitely the place to be!

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The Living Room @ the W Hotel Hollywood

On The Martini

Saturday night I told Matt I wanted to make my W drinks happen. I texted Candice to let her know we’d be coming to her hood (she’s a hollywood local now) and she decided to come too. Matt and I stopped by her apartment and then began to make our way to the bar, ever so slowly. Hollywod Blvd is normally a nightmare on Saturday night, but this time it was especially awful. I noticed up ahead of us a very bright light…..heaven? aliens? Did Ben turn that damn wheel again??? Nope. Just a huge crane with lighting equipment and a ridiculously massive white reflector precariously hanging over a cop car. One of the few places in the world in which the reason for traffic is a film shoot–I can’t say I was mad.

The film shoot happened to be JUST outside the W, so we miss the valet park (supposedly $5 for the first 2.5 hours, then $3 for every hour afterward…). This actually turns out to be a good thing. We find 2 hour meter parking nearby that ends at midnight. Do the math–that’s $4 to park there the rest of the evening. Yes! Where’s this amazing parking you ask? I’ll never tell…(RIP Britney Murphy).

After parking, Matt, Candice and I make our way past the maze of lines being set up for the W’s nightclub, Drais (a non-after hours version of the Vegas one?) and step into the lobby. Uh oh.

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Tekila/Essex

On The Martini

The first winning element of Tekila: 4pm – 8pm happy hour! That’s one hour more than most and a very appreciated hour. It can be hard to get to happy hour in LA, what with traffic and most people working til 7 at least. We all ordered the $5 margaritas, after being sat on the outdoor patio. I thought the drinks could have been better, but they were only $5, so I definitely wasn’t complaining. We also all ordered dinner off the happy hour menu, another great deal. I got a carne asada quesadilla, again only $5!

While waiting for our food–Matt noticed possibly the BEST reason to come back to Tekila–a man sitting a few tables behind us, eating with a parrot. Literally. The parrot sat across from him on the table and happily pecked at tortilla chips. Only in Hollywood.

My quesadilla was fine, but a little dry. I definitely needed more guac, salsa and sour cream, but again–for the price, I’m not complaining.

Reel Inn
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Reel Inn/Topanga

On The Martini

First stop–the Reel Inn. Found excellent parking JUST outside the restaurant (this can only be because it was a weekday–they do have a small parking lot, but I’m 100% certain it’s a madhouse on weekends). The place really has an idyllic location—I’d call it a shack set between mountain and sea. Sitting on the outdoor patio, you’ve got an excellent view straight up the Santa Monica Mountains to your left , and to your right, the crest of the Pacific Ocean crashing against the shore. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Reel InnWalking into the fish shack, we looked up at the chalkboard menu. Luckily for a Reel Inn virgin like myself, I came with an experienced patron (Matt) and it was less busy than usual (or so Matt tells me), so I had time to review the “rules” of ordering—which are written on a huge red surfboard propped up near the register.