My Top 10 Places to Dine in La La Land

My Top 10 Places to Dine in La La Land

One thing this mama looks forward to is spending one night a week away from it all. What is the “all” I’m referring to? I’ll highlight a few: the million times I’m expected to stop in my tracks when the word “mom” is echoed through the house to fix a problem, the no privacy clause I unknowingly signed in the delivery room, and the mere chaos of getting to and from after school activities—times two kids). By Friday, I am B-E-A-T– physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. So, I kindly force myself to get away (in close proximity) and spend time alone with my thoughts. No tiny humans around to crank me up. Just good vibes: a chill sassy ambiance, light snacks or a heavier meal, a refreshing adult beverage, my bestie (always a special treat), a smooth tennis-like conversation (broken up with feel good laugher) that has a 99.9% focus on adult (non-parental) topics, so I can crank back down and feel balanced…like me; back whole again.    

I always keep my ears and eyes peeled for fresh new spots while I remain loyal to my day 1’s. I enjoy being a tourist in my own city and exploring uncharted territory. If you are planning a visit and would appreciate the ease of having the research done for you (or if you’re a local and would still appreciate the ease of having the research done for you), here are my go-to gems for an evening of kid-free bliss in the Los Angeles area (in no particular order).

*FYI–This post was written B.C. (before Covid19). Let this serve as a reminder and tribute to all the businesses that were/are negatively impacted along with hope for a stronger future.

1. DELILAH. An oldie but a forever goodie. A present-day supper club with vintage ’20s vibes and American entrees. No photography allowed.

7969 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90046

2. MEROIS. Wolfgang Puck’s curation of Asian + French cuisines. On a rooftop with brilliant views of Los Angeles. The menu is pricey, but this is self-care for the soul.

8430 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069

3. ACE HOTEL. Indoor restaurant + rooftop bar (my preference). Small bites. DJ spinning the god stuff on the weekends. All-day menu.

929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015

4. HARRIET’S. Panoramic sights. Chill above LA’s noise for an evening. The food is good, but the ambiance is even better.

1 Hotel West Hollywood, 88490 Sunset Boulevard

5. MAMA SHELTER. Homemade local food + live music + fun decor. Sign me up!

6500 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

6. E.P. & L.P. Another rooftop or restaurant, take your pick. Again, it’s the rooftop for me with the snack menu and cocktail by the glass or pitcher. “Where love lives.”

603 N. La Cienega Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069

7. THE BUTCHER, THE BAKER, THE CAPPUCCINO MAKER (a.k.a. BBCM). Seasonal and farm-fresh delights. European flare with a Hollywood crowd. The portions are generous and the specialty coffee beverages are memorable.

8653 West Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069

8. TOCA MADERA. A Modern Mexican menu. Beautifully designed space. Tuneful upbeat music to greet you at the door. Be sure to get dressed for the experience.

8450 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 900048

9. CECCIONI’S. Italian eats. When you are feeling fancy + free to drop those dollars. This gem is tucked away from the street and intimate for a night out with the girls or your love.

8764 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069

10. CARA HOTEL. Another seasonal, farm-to table dinning experience with a sparkling pool view, 100 year old olive trees, and California palms.

1730 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027

*POPPY & ROSE. #blackowned. Food that comforts. Wholesome, southern roots, picnic-like brunch spot. Conveniently located across the street from the Flower Mart (making this an easy two-in- one outing).

765 Wall St., Los Angeles, CA 90014

*an added bonus

Am I a Lazy Parent?

Here’s the Tea, Mamas

I recently scrolled across an article, by Brooke Hampton (a fellow mommy blogger), on the subject of being a lazy parent. Immediately, at first glance of the title, I became defensive at the idea of someone thinking I don’t already do enough for my lovable little time snatchers. This article better not even hint at the idea, or I might just lose it with my computer screen, I told self. To my surprise, everything this article touched upon left me in a 180 degree wonderment on just how lazy I could be. Unlike helicopter or lawn mower parents, “lazy” parents empower their kids to become independent doers, way before college and the real world starts knocking on the door.  How? You might want to get out a pencil and some paper for this part.  Even the notes feature on your iPhone will suffice. Personally, I still prefer the touch of paper and fancy writing tools, but I digress. Parents don’t usually think to entrust their toddlers with the dishes or their tweens with managing a household budget. So, are they expected to acquire life skills outside of the home when life has no plan to slow down and give them a one-on-one tutoring session? It’s more idealistic to prepare your children for life after childhood with you as their teacher, right? Yes, your toddler is not equipped to handle your favorite William Sonoma dishes that you found for a steal during that holiday sale…trust me, that stresses me out for the both of us. But, why not let him rinse, clean, and dry your fancy treasures with your guidance. Does it take longer? Yes. Does it feel unnecessary in the moment. Yes, again. Your 30 minute dishwashing session just became an hour-long ordeal with an added clean up of the mess your toddler is wearing. However, you are adding life treasures to his piggybank.

Still Undecided?

I get it. The more responsibility we release to our kids, may feel like we are being “lazy” parents. We get into a grind of thinking we should and must do everything.  This mindset allows us to manage our tight schedules with little room for lateness. But, don’t we want our kids to learn for themselves both inside and outside the classroom? I consider the home-front  to be the first place of development and risk taking. While my son learned to talk through our interactions at home, he also learned how to crawl/jump out of his crib. In my home I’m creating, I want my kids to have personal integrity, workplace literacy, civic awareness, and (of course) academic proficiency. Building confidence in kids is key, along with caring parents who have high expectations for their little humans to grow into good people. We all have different parenting approaches and that’s one of the beauties about having your own kids; you get to choose how much therapy they end up needing.  In a world that is constantly judging and criticizing people of all ages, any approach that empowers your kid to feel like the s***, is one worth noting. 

P.S. This is me working harder on being a lazy parent. My kids asked to ride their bikes through the neighborhood, so I followed along to observe their readiness (mine included).

#babysteps