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dine L.A. is back on the Strip

dine L.A. is back on the Strip and we are entering the final week of this Los Angeles wide food fest featuring attractively priced prix-fixe meals from some of our favorites. Now enjoy outdoor dining with amazing views and people watching, preferably both. 

1 Kitchen by Chris Crary for a garden-to-table lunch $25 

Our choice: We’re going Sunset Strip meets Italian for lunch with a Panzanella Salad featuring Heirloom Tomatoes, Avocado, and Pickled Shallots.  Follow that with the Chicken Bolognese con Torchio Pasta, Tomato Cream and Parmesan.  And for dessert?  How about a Martini per favore. Dinner Menu Option $45

8490 Sunset Blvd (@ 1 Hotel) / 424-281-1880/ Website

Tesse for a romantic dinner to share $45

Our choice: Let’s start with the Hamachi Crudo with fennel, gooseberries and crispy wild rice and follow that with the crowd favorite –  Bucatini with Bone Marrow featuring duck prosciutto, shallots, parsley and balsamic.  Since this is a an intimate dinner a deux, might we suggest pairing with the $45 wine tasting as Tesse and Bouteille are meant to be experienced together  Book Dinner Now  

8500 Sunset Blvd / 310-360 – 3866 / Website / Interview 

The Tower Bar for the Hollywood power lunch $35 

Our choice: Classic meets California in a glamorous, Old Hollywood setting starting with Avocado Toast with lemon, sea salt and chili flakes followed by a Cobb Salad with bacon, (more) avocado, hard boiled egg, crumbled blue cheese and the option to add shrimp, steak or chicken. This must be finished with the Tower Bar famous cookie choices of chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin.  Book Lunch Now. 

8358 Sunset Blvd (@ Sunset Tower Hotel ) / 323-654-7100 / Website

Safety Precautions may include Cleaning & Sanitizing, Physical Distancing, Protective Equipment, and Screening.  For questions, please visit the restaurant website and/or call ahead.

About the Author

Maxine Tatlonghari is a native California Girl who loves the eateries, hotels, history, shopping and art in her West Hollywood hometown.  When not raising money for charitable causes, she serves on the Chamber Board and creates digital content about her current obsessions.

Your Sunset Strip Valentine’s Day Guide

“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burndown your house, you can never tell.” – Joan Crawford

Valentine’s Day. But make it legendary. Welcome to the Sunset Strip as we take a little stroll through sex, love, and rock and roll to find your ideal vibe.

Rock & Roll
The rich music history of the Strip makes it a truly unique destination overall, and check into the Sunset Marquis to experience the exclusive sanctuary of hit-makers for yourself. Don’t be surprised if you run into a legend or two on your way to the lush on-property Cavatina restaurant, who by the way, are offering their own specials. Or go all out and book a private one-bedroom villa.

California Dreaming
People all over the world covent our California lifestyle. That starts with a delicious plant powered dinner at Fresh on Sunset. Consider pairing that with an eco-chic stay at the 1 Hotel which draws inspiration from the land, sea, and abundant sunshine of Southern California.

James Bond, anyone?
Glamour UK referred to The Edition hotels as “high-octane Glamour” and in this VDay package you and your date will be whisked from your home to the hotel for a 1-night stay in the Penthouse, with an expansive wraparound terrace and panoramic views of Los Angeles. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with a bottle of Dom Perignon and a 3-course meal, prepared by Executive Chef Pedro Contreras.

Trend Setter
Old Hollywood Glam is always in style and nobody does it like Tower Bar. It is one of the chicest and most welcoming rooms in town, with a fireplace and discreet niche seating. Housed in Bugsy Siegel’s former apartment and connected to the newly expanded Terrace Bar- the experience is elegantly choreographed by Maitre D’ Gabé Doppelt. Add a stay at Sunset Tower Hotel and now we’re making memories.

Global
Start with dinner at Night + Market WeHo, where the vibe is California chill meets Bangkok frenzy fueled by natural wine, and we’re here for it. End with a stay at the Mondrian landmark destination celebrating the best of a surrealist aesthetic with some of the best poolside views in the City.

Dinner and a Movie
Enjoy a nice romantic movie from the comfort of your own car through “The Sunset Strip Presents.” Enjoy the rooftop pool with lovely cocktails or dinner before the movie. After, check in at the famed Andaz Hotel, once known as the Riot Hyatt. We won’t get into all that here, but trust us, this hotel has earned the moniker.

Oh so Luxe
Iconic glamour and stylish allure is offered at the London West Hollywood. With food and beverage credits and deep soaking tubs, this Valentine’s special lends itself to couples and solo indulgence as well. Off-property shopping should include the fine jewelry offerings at Samira 13 to really spoil your loved one, or yourself.

Thanks for stopping by. Make sure to check out all the food, shopping, and getaway specials to find the perfect way to celebrate sex, love, and rock and roll on The Strip.

1 Hotel West Hollywood
Love is in the air. Celebrate your love for that special someone, the hotel is offering an unbeatable Valentine’s weekend package. In addition to your stay, you will get a bottle of Mionetto Organic Prosecco, chocolate-covered strawberries, organic house-made sugar scrub, a signature Kindling Candle, Bamford Botanic Lip Balm, Intimacy Kit, and late checkout.
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Andaz West Hollywood
Drive to love and spend Valentine’s Day weekend on the Sunset Strip enjoying breathtaking views overlooking the hills of Hollywood and the famed Sunset Blvd. Also, enjoy a nice romantic movie from the comfort of your own car through “The Sunset Strip Presents” www.latenightdrivein.com. Enjoy our Rooftop Pool with lovely cocktails made by our mixologist at Bryant’s Rooftop Bar. Andaz West Hollywood Drive for love Package includes Complimentary Self-parking, Waived Destination Fee.
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BOA Steakhouse

Celebrating Valentine’s Day at home this year? We’ve put together a special Take Home Meal for 2 for $220. Visit the link below and make sure you preorder by 5PM on 2/13. LEARN MORE

Book Soup

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us! Wishing EVERYONE a love-filled day What’s calling to you in this lovely display by Great and Infamous bookseller, Audrey?
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CAVATINA at Sunset Marquis Resort
VALENTINE’S DAY 4-COURSE MENU
The Cavatina at Sunset Marquis celebrates Valentine’s Day weekend with a special 4 Course Menu @ $80++PP, celebrating the Californian Cuisine with an Italian twist and with a special takeaway Valentine’s Day Box for Two an optional enhancement like our signature.
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Eveleigh

Have you made your Valentine’s reservations for this weekend? We are serving our delicious regular menu and still have a few spots left. Give us a call at 424-239-1630 to check availability! LEARN MORE

Fred Segal
Welcome to Fred’s Love Lounge! Whether you’re going on a hot date or hanging around the love shack (or a little bit of both), we’ve got everything you need to satisfy your sweet tooth. Figuratively—because candy is overrated. Click the link below to shop our Valentine’s Day gift guide now to be sure you’re ready for the 14th!
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Fresh on Sunset
Valentine’s Day Menu $49/person
To order, please email nabiha@freshrestaurants.ca or call the restaurant at 310-432-5199. Orders must be placed by February 10th. Pick up will be available Saturday 2/13 and Sunday 2/14 between 4-9pm. Please schedule a pickup time when you place your order.
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KATANA

Celebrating Valentine’s Day at home this year? Bring home our special Lover’s Box for Two for $85. Visit the link below and preorder by 5PM on 2/13. LEARN MORE

The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills
Spend a romantic Valentine’s Day with us and enjoy a $170 one time F&B Credit towards Valentine’s Day dinner, upgraded accommodations, complimentary breakfast menu, and more. Each of our spacious suites offers an oversized deep soaking tub.
Stay Dates: Feb 11, 2021 – Feb 15, 2021
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Mondrian Los Angeles
Love is suite at Mondrian
Celebrate with Mumm champagne and chocolate truffles upon arrival.
2/11/21-2/14/21
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Night + Market WeHo
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and we have you covered! Pre-order now. Be sure to add this Coconut Red Velvet cake from Chef Samantha Quintero. You can choose from five selections: Option 1 – Spicy Duck Rolls, crispy rolls of roast duck, veggies, Thai chili, served with lettuce wraps and sesame hoisin or Option 2: XO Beef Broccoli, grilled ribeye steak, sliced and finished in the wok with Chinese or view more option by clicking the link below. A special selection of wines for Valentine’s Day! 2/8-2/14
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Samira 13 Jewelry
Valentine’s Day coming in early this year!
Use code HEARTS20 for 20% off your purchase
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Sunset Marquis
Let Love Rule! Three and a half acres of lush gardens and your one-bedroom suite await you this Valentine’s Day. We’ve included dinner, breakfast, and a few treats to share. Let Love Rule in 2021. Includes Deluxe One-Bedroom Villa, Dinner Credit of $150 once during stay, Daily breakfast credit of $25 per person for two (room service), Bottle of House Champagne and Chocolate-covered Strawberries amenity upon arrival. $650 plus taxes and fees per night. Available to stay from February 12-15th 2021
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The Sunset Trocadero Lounge

Join us this Sunday for Date night with your Valentine. Enjoy a free glass of red wine or a glass of champagne as we celebrate the day of Love. Call for reservations 323 -701-2062. Or book online on our website. Open from 6pm-2am daily.

Sunset Tower Hotel
Whether it’s a romantic staycation or a self-care getaway, leave it to us! Sit back, relax, and cheers a little bubbly, too. We will be offering a special weekend opening for Valentine’s Day with a prix-fix on both Saturday, the 13th and Sunday the 14th.
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West Hollywood Edition
In celebration of Valentine’s Day enjoy our limited-time-only package, Date Night. Beginning with you and your date will be taken to the hotel from your residence for a 1-night stay in our custom-furnished Penthouse, with its expansive wraparound landscaped terrace and panoramic views of Los Angeles. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with a bottle of Dom Perignon and a 3-course meal, prepared by Executive Chef Pedro Contreras. See the full package below.
LEARN MORE>

Meet the Author
Maxine Tatlonghari is a digital content creator and strategist who resides in West Hollywood. She serves as the first Vice-Chair of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and has been featured in Forbes, Visit West Hollywood, KTLA, and Huffington Post. She co-hosts the weekly We Know WeHo podcast.

Summer on Sunset heats up the Strip

The Sunset Strip has always been a carnival of sorts, attracting the loud and proud of every generation since the Swinging ’20’s. It overflows with legends, as many of the world’s biggest stars shone first along the Strip. And today, it remains the heartbeat of West Hollywood – a haven for foodies and fitness junkies, ravers and ragers, LGBTQ and creatives of all kinds. The free-flowing celebration hits a high note in the summertime, when the Strip turns up the volume on its already amped counterculture.

You’ll want to be part of this party. The entire 1.5-mile stretch of iconic hot spots is the place to be – and eat, and dance, and sing, and do whatever it is people do on inflatable pool swans – as Summer on Sunset turns into the quintessential summer bash. Here is where those California dreams of endless sunshine and celebration are everyday reality, except better, because you don’t need to be an A-lister to be on this list. Come as you are, party as you please.

Rock Out

Here, you’re the center of the spotlight, and by spotlight we mean that shining ball of fire in the sky. Spend your days poolside sipping cocktails to DJ-mixed beats and filling your Insta feed with FOMO-inducing pics. When the sun sets, grab the mic and channel you inner Jim Morrison or Janis Joplin at one of several cocktail-and-karaoke lounges on the Strip. Or, leave it to the actual rock stars playing iconic places like the Whisky a Go Go, Roxy Theatre, Viper Room and Sunset Marquis on the nightly.

Live @ Sunset Marquis Acoustic Concert Series | Long a home stage for some of the world’s top musicians and bands, the Sunset Marquis Hotel is continuing the tradition by showcasing the best upcoming acoustic acts on the scene. RSVP for one of the three dates this summer.

Blind Dragon “Sing or Die” Karaoke | Guests can imbibe in some liquid courage from a menu of exotic cocktails, then grab the mic and the songbook of more than 25,000 hits, rocking out in one of four private luxury karaoke suites.

Mondrian LA Skybar | There is no bad time to party here, with late-night DJs playing until 2 a.m. almost nightly, Friday “Just Ditch” poolside bashes beginning at 1 p.m. and Saturday Skybar Day Clubs going all summer. Guests should check the details and dress codes, as there’s truly something for everyone.

The Den on Sunset | No hump-day blues here, with “Wine Wednesdays” serving up $15 pinot grigio, cabernet or rosé, setting the perfect stage for weekly Rockstar Karaoke beginning at 10 p.m. On September 1 at 1 p.m., summer goes out with a bang at the infamous Backyard Bash, featuring Guns ‘N Roses’ Steven Adler, Hurricane, Pretty Boy Floyd, Motley Inc., Electric Hound, Angeles and Metal Knights.

Whisky a Go Go’s “Ultimate Jam Night” | Every Tuesday at 8 p.m., the stage is set for an array of musicians that will rock the house all night. There is no cover for age 21 and up, and only $10 for under 21.

Tributes to musical legends of the Strip | Some of the biggest bands to ever rock the Strip are still celebrated here, including Jim Morrison and The Doors (Peace Frog), Led Zeppelin (Zepparella) and Guns ‘N Roses.

Decades of delightful debauchery | Reliving the greatest moments, hits and artists of the ‘80’s, the Whisky a Go Go features “Fast Times” tribute shows with Rubix Kube L.A. every Monday, while The Roxy Theatre hosts a one-night “Saved by the ‘90’s” bash July 12.

Eat Your Heart Out

And since the rock-and-roll lifestyle can take a toll, we recommend you take a break for some seriously creative cuisine. You’ll find virtually every kind of menu along Sunset Boulevard, from brunch mimosa kits (yes, full kits) at Pearl’s Rooftop to Thai spice and Asian vibes at Night + Market, and comfort food into the wee hours at The Naughty Pig. Newly boasting Michelin clout in the guide’s 2019 California publication are al fresco farm-to-table Eveleigh; farmer’s market-inspired French restaurant Tesse; celebrity favorite Katana; and cozy Old Hollywood Tower Bar & Restaurant. Also on the must-try list for tastes of all kinds are Rock & Reilly’s, BOA, and ROKU.

Stay Beautifully

Whether or not your plans involve sleeping, feel free to make yourself at home in the heart of the action at one of a dozen or so hotels poised along the Strip. Some are posh and modern, some ooze Old Hollywood glam, others are stylishly quirky destinations unto themselves. Find what fancies you and make it your home base for delightful summer debauchery. Sun, swim, stay and save in the laid-back California vibes of Mondrian LA; the oh-so-dramatic good life of the 1 Hotel; the art deco flair of the Sunset Tower; and uber-chic luxury of Andaz West Hollywood. Other hotels along the Sunset Strip include the Grafton, Sunset Marquis, The London West Hollywood, and The Standard.

Consider this your invite to the best bash of your summer. And while the party has already begun, you’re only fashionably late. Come join the celebration any time through September 3.

Featured image of Dave Navarro and Courtney Love performing at the 2019 Summer On Sunset kickoff concert courtesy Vivien Killilea.

City launches pedestrian-friendly pilot program on Sunset Boulevard

The City of West Hollywood is testing out ideas on how to make the Sunset Strip a better place to walk! 

You’ll now see seats on the sidewalk under colorful light poles from east to west, a place to sit under umbrellas by Book Soup and four intersections extended with bold strokes of color to make it safer to cross the street. Bright posters on the light poles will point you where to go for food, drink, and entertainment – and tell you a bit of history of the Strip. These installations are only up for 6 months – after that we’ll see how well our experiments worked!

For more information on the Sunset Experience, please visit our website.

Take the Survey

These pop-ups create spaces to welcome pedestrians, invite walking, encourage interaction and draw attention to Sunset as an exciting place for people, not just cars. We want to hear from you during the 6 month period. Please consider filling out this short survey and let us know what you think!

History of The Sunset Strip

Since the 1920s, the portion of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood bordered on the west by Sierra Drive and Havenhurst Drive to the east, has evolved as both the true dream factory and star chamber in the complicated and tangled network of nests known as Los Angeles. Over the years, nightclubs, supper clubs and juke joints gave way over the decades to beatniks, literary expatriates and virtually every form of music from folk to rock ‘n’ roll to glam and punk.

A trip down the Strip today is far different than it was back in the 1940s, 50s or 60s. But the Strip still entices the senses; especially in the summertime. That’s always been the season when the Strip truly comes to life. There’s just something about the summer heat that brings out the true magic of the Strip; that lures the visitor to linger, savor and even get lost in the mystique and exotic history of this fabled little stretch.

Back in the 20s, it was the nightclubs and casinos that attracted the stars. Booze flowed in backrooms during prohibitions, and soon after, the 1930s and 40s gave way to a galaxy of nightclubs and restaurants including the Mocambo and the Trocadero. Gangsters and movie stars alike co-mingled with writers and artists.

By the 1960s, the rock and roll counter culture had taken root along the strip. Gone were Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe; replaced by Led Zeppelin, the Doors and Frank Zappa. And as always, it was summertime when things got most interesting.

The 1970s ushered in the glam rock movement thanks to David Bowie, the New York Dolls and others, which then gave way to hair metal in the 80s and 90s.

The Strip remains a non-stop cultural carnival, where fashion, music, food, and drink all blend together into one unforgettable and historic pop culture experience.

The Sunset Strip becomes a real shopping destination

California Cool

Molly Brown’s has been curating designer swimwear, dresses, cover-ups and other apparel for more than 30 years, earning a golden reputation for selection and service. Beach Riot, Lady Lux, Mikoh, Tigerlily and Vix are some of the offerings. Stop in, suit up and head to Zuma Beach!

Shop TAGS and explore fashion guru Jackie Rose’s line of simple, comfortable, well-made pieces that will take you everywhere you want to go. She knows how to pack, too, having spent decades globe-trotting with her husband and four children.

Being a part-time couch potato isn’t a bad thing as long as you look good while lounging. Wildfox is all about comfy with attitude. You might choose a Currently Sleeping plush robe, perhaps, or a Textrovert Johnny Ringer vintage- inspired T-shirt.

Westime describes itself as Southern California’s ultimate destination for extraordinary watches, carrying more than 50 Swiss brands.

Dozens of Designers

Fred Segal has been defining laidback LA chic for more than 50 years. His denim designs were an instant hit – selling for $19.95 when jeans were typically $3.

Today, the flagship space on Sunset is 13,000 square feet and features shops-within-a-shop, a pop up and event space, a cafe and florist. Designers range from Alexis and Amanda Bond to Tanya Taylor and Unfortunate Portrait. There’s also a beauty/fragrance area.

Head downstairs and check out KITH, which boasts a stellar selection of apparel and footwear.

Other stores with an eclectic assortment of designers are Kin and H. Lorenzo. Check out Zadig & Voltaire for French flair. At H&M, haute couture meets the mass market – making it easy to refresh your look and still keep some cash in your pocket.

Dude Central

Most of the stores we’ve mentioned sell clothes for women and men. But if you need something more guy-centric, Hugo Boss is a good bet. Or spiff up with a cut or a shave at Like A Gentleman Barbershop and stock up on Baxter of California, Byrd, Caputo’s Hair and Layrite products.

Elegant Eyewear

Stars like Brad Pitt are devotees of Oliver Peoples – a brand that loves to reinterpret Golden Age Hollywood style. So, if you’re hoping for a celeb-sighting to write home about, be sure to stop in. Hey, it worked for the characters on “Entourage.”

Or try on sleek specs from New York-based Warby Parker at the Standard Hotel. For every pair of glasses sold, a pair goes to someone in need.

The Perfect Present

Browse “books, vinyl and objet d’art,” as the store’s sign reads, at Book Soup, the longtime literary anchor of Sunset Strip.

Exxhibit at the Mondrian Hotel is decidedly not a gift store – no tacky tanks and gag gifts here. You’ll find Herschel luggage, jewelry, clothes, hats and more.

If tacky tanks and gag gifts are, in fact, your thing, we won’t judge. We’ll just tell you not to miss Aahs, jam-packed with clothes, costumes, toys, balloons, novelty items and tons of seasonal decorations.

Fancy some Vivienne Westwood? Want some Union Jack joy? The Alex Roldan Boutique at the London West Hollywood Hotel won’t let you down. Dan Deutsch sunnies and Peepers reading glasses are customer favorites along with candles, fragrance, frames, jewelry, glassware and watches. And in case you’re really unlucky with California weather: rain hats.
Keep calm and carry on

Guide to Dining on the Sunset Strip

From the 1930s, when it was a playground for restaurant-owning mobsters like Bugsy Siegel, to the 1960s counter-culture movement, from the New York Dolls and Donna Summer Disco days of the ‘70s to Rock ‘n’ Roll of the 1980s, The Sunset Strip has long been a nexus for wild parties, late nights, and great music, pushing the boundaries of both dining and entertainment in America.

Today, it’s as vibrant as ever, and it’s one of the best places to stay, drink, dine and play in all of West Hollywood. Here are some of our favorite places to grab a bite, have a drink, and maybe spot a celebrity:

Hotel Dining

Los Angeles has some of the best weather for al fresco dining. Experience haute cuisine under the stars at Boxwood Café at The London. The ambiance includes tons of greenery, as expected, but there’s also a whimsical approach to craft cocktails and inventive, New American cuisine by Executive Chef Anthony Keene. While we love the night sky and glittering buildings from the scene atop The London, the fresh juices, organic spirits, ripe salads and coastal California bounty keep us coming back to Etcho Café, at the Jeremy Hotel. It’s an ultimate when you’re after a high-end brunch scene, and we wouldn’t be the least surprised if you bumped into a celebrity or two.

Also check out the Riot House Restaurant at Andaz WeHo, the Bar 20 at Grafton, Cavatina at Sunset Marquis, the Tower Bar at Sunset Tower and the dining at Ivory on Sunset at the Mondrian.

Fine Dining

The Sunset Strip has long been a celebratory location, and if you’re looking to have a dinner for someone or something special, there are plenty of options here. BOA Steakhouse makes great use of dark leathers and industrial accents in the design, and the steaks are flown from around the globe, giving you a full menu of Wagyu, Porterhouse, Rib-eye and 40-day-aged options. Roku and Katana Robata are ideal choices if modern Japanese fusion is what you are craving. Sushi and Teppanyaki at Roku are taken to new heights for American dining, including hand-selected sakes, elegant cocktails, an impressive wine list and menu items like Matsuzaka beef and sweet, Santa Barbara spot prawns. At Katana Robata, the name of the game is Japanese comfort cuisine, in a setting that’s won ample awards for design. Get a reservation on the outdoor patio for the optimum people watching, whilst enjoying both hot and cold, gorgeous Japanese small plates.

Casual Dining

Pearl’s Rooftop has a charming, bohemian kind of feel, with ivy crawling across the beams of the covered, outdoor roof deck and small wooden tables, for intimate, low-key dinners. The Avocado Toast is a local favorite, but Lobster Dip is truly something unique––with a French Dip reimagined as a buttery, saucy seafood sandwich. Rock n’ Reilly’s is a nod to the days and times when The Sunset Strip was a place of more nefarious activity. The fictional backstory of the bar involves an Irishman with a fondness for whiskey and for poker. In reality, it’s bastion of both dark spirits and craft brews, with specialty tacos on Tuesdays, signature sliders on Wednesdays and happy hour every day of the week. If you’ve got a whole crew, then one of the best casual options on The Strip is State Social House. The lofted, beam ceilings and ample seating give it an airy vibe, even when crowded, and there’s plenty of nosh––most of it healthy. Snack on Ahi Tuna, a list of gluten free pizzas and fresh vegetable sides with inventive preparations.

Late Night Bites

There’s a throwback vibe to after-midnight dining on The Strip. Mel’s Drive-In is everything you want in a nostalgic, stick-to-your-ribs diner, from the swiveling leather stools at the counter to the super-crispy bacon and the thick, creamy, made-to-order malts. This being California, you can also get freshly squeezed juices and a bowl of fruit and yogurt too. Kitschy, crazy and a whole lot of fun, a night out at Cabo Cantina is a good way to blow off work or travel stress. It’s also super affordable. Where else can you get a platter of hot wings or a basket of tacos for under $10 and two-for-one frozen drink specials every day from 4pm to 8pm?

If you’re after a burger or a tasty dog, look no further on The Sunset Strip than Wahlburgers or Carney’s Restaurant. At Wahlburger, you’re going to need a lot of napkins when it comes to our favorite––The Triple Decker. That’s three, 3-ounce patties, lettuce, tomato and onion, with American cheese dripping through each layer and Paul’s Sauce––a house signature. Carney’s is housed in a bright-yellow, vintage railway car and the hot dogs here have been called out in multiple Best Of lists. We adore The Red Baron, with cabbage, mustard, Jack and Cheddar cheese.

VALENTINE’S DAY ON THE SUNSET STRIP

Your comprehensive guide to the hottest/most extravagant/sexiest/most romantic/naughtiest (and everything in between) day of the year…

 

Andaz – Riot House Restaurant

Enjoy ½ off all sparkling wines, a menu of fresh California cuisine and perhaps even make it a night to remember (Led Zeppelin style) in one of Andaz’s chic suites overlooking The Sunset Strip.  www.westhollywood.andaz.com

 

Hustler Hollywood

For all you last minute procrastinators (and perhaps that other word that rhymes…) out there, Hustler Hollywood will be open 24 hours from Friday, Feb. 13th through Valentine’s Night, fulfilling all your emergency sexy time needs.  www.hustlerhollywood.com

 

The London

For those seeking the ultimate in Valentine’s Day extravagance, there’s the “As Suite as it Gets” experience at The London.  Indulge in panoramic views of the city from one of the property’s palatial rooms, an hour long in-room couples massage, a hand drawn bath by a bath butler (yes, that’s a real thing), complimentary meringue kisses and rose Champagne delivered upon arrival, as well as breakfast at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant.  Details and reservations here.  www.thelondonwesthollywood.com

 

Pearl’s Liquor Bar

‘Cause they say the way to the heart is through the stomach… Feast on a special four course prix fixe menu featuring a choice of entrées ranging from vegetable tagliatelle, to filet of beef, to pan roasted sea bass, and of course can’t forget about dessert – close out the night with a triple layer cheesecake.  Call (310) 360-6800 for details and reservations.  www.pearlsliquorbar.com

 

Rock & Reilly’s Irish Pub

Celebrate the single life (or your most recent traumatic breakup) at R&R’s 3rd Annual Shred Your Ex Party.  Just as the name implies, bring a photo of your ex, insert into shredder and cheers with a complimentary congratulatory shot for finally getting some closure.  The party starts at 8 p.m.  www.rnrpub.com

 

Mondrian – Skybar

Turn your Daytime Singles into Nighttime Mingles, poolside at the ultra chic Skybar.  Featuring sounds by Yahtzel, Brooks & Millar and Sam Hiller, with Chris Clemo closing out the evening.  RSVP only.  www.skybarlosangeles.com

Plus for you real adventurous types, explore your kinkiest inner desires with the Mondrian’s 50 Shades of Sunset package.  Included with your room: Champagne, a whip, a blindfold, restraints and a guide to bondage (the safe word is “banana”).  Details and reservations here.  www.morganshotelgroup.com/mondrian-la

 

State Social House

Embracing the new social norm of tech savvy app dating, State Social House is encouraging you to “Swipe Right” by offering a complimentary bottle of Champagne to any couple meeting up for a Tinder match date.  www.statesocialhouse.com

 

The Viper Room

Relive those awkward high school years and all that great music with The Viper Room’s Sadie Hawkins Throwback, featuring the ultimate Van Halen tribute band Fan Halen.  Gals, your guy gets in for free!  Doors open at 8:30 p.m.  Tickets are $10 GA.  www.viperroom.com

 

Yellowtail

Bring a date, or check out the “new tail in town” solo, at The Strip’s most recent culinary destination, hosting an all-inclusive Omakase (chef’s selections) offering for $75.  Call (310) 360-0366 for reservations.  www.yellowtailsunset.com

 

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Brent X Mendoza

 

DAVEY HAVOK STORMS THE SUNSET STRIP WITH NEW PROJECT XTRMST

Rarely ones to indulge in much more then a measure of rest, AFI vocalist Davey Havok and concerted partner in crime, guitarist Jade Puget continue to experiment with side-projects that hearken back to the genres that have shaped and inspired them both as musicians, and influenced their lifelong ideologies.  With no exception, Havok and Puget’s new hardcore straight edge project XTRMST, finds the duo returning to their roots, assembling one of their most aggressive and visceral recordings to date.

Before debuting this new opus of angst to The Roxy Theatre masses this Thursday, hard-line frontman Davey Havok phoned in to TheSunsetStrip.com to discuss 20 plus years of straight edge, share his thoughts on this year’s Coachella lineup and weigh in on the current state (what’s left of it) of rock and roll.

 

What was the catalyst for realizing this new project XTRMST, and bringing it to fruition?

Havok: Well Jade (AFI guitarist Jade Puget) and I have been a part of the straight edge community since we were very, very young and for many years we talked about creating a straight edge band… And it’s taken us years and years before we had the time, and before it was really the right moment to do so.  And while we were working on writing the last AFI record (Burials) we began writing XTRMST material as well, because we had been talking about it again and we felt that we could do it – so we did.

 

Define “straight edge” for those who might not be familiar with the movement…

Havok: Well for a band to be a straight edge band, it first needs to be comprised entirely and exclusively of straight edge members, and secondly it then has to forward the straight edge agenda – which is a movement in self-respect and respect for others through the abstinence and opposition of, and to, recreational drug use.

 

And how would you say your own personal perspective or philosophy of “straight edge” has changed or evolved over the past 20 plus years?

Havok: As far as my philosophy goes, my beliefs, and my involvement in it, my dedication to it has really only strengthened as life has gone on.  I’m very happy that we waited this long to create this record, because I think that there is a perspective to it, with having so many years of being performers – and you know just being humans in this world – under our belts, it gives a different credence to the perspective than one that my 15 year old self may or may not have had, or my 20 year old self may or may not have had.  I think that Jade and I being adults, and still believing in what a lot of people discount as a youth movement, really changes the outlook on it…

As the world continues to fall apart and deconstruct itself and I see people compromising their lives, their bodies, their minds, and their relationships for the sake of fitting in, for the sake of brief highs, it really furthers my commitment to my beliefs.

 

Recording the XTRMST record and also AFI material simultaneously…  Was that difficult to sort of switch hats creatively and compartmentalize each project?

Havok: It wasn’t difficult in that instance because the two projects were so different that they were very definitive, and so to switch back and forth was easy because they were so distinct from each other.  Also, XTRMST was so organic and came so quickly, it was so natural – it was something we really had been building for years at least theoretically, so at the point when we decided to move forward with it, we really were creating with ease and a quickness that was unparallel to anything else Jade and I had ever created together in the past.

 

I remember you had vocal surgery a few years back… Was there any concern about the harsher, more scream-ier vocals for this project?

Havok: It has not affected me personally in any way so far… Certainly it was a concern, and it was something I was very mindful of and cautious of when I was tracking the record.  But during the tracking of the record I was able to deliver those very brutal screams with ease and without damage so far… And as I’ve been rehearsing them, I’ve experienced the same positive result, so hopefully that will continue as we begin to perform live.

 

The Coachella lineup was recently announced, and of course everyone has an opinion… What are your thoughts?                                   

Havok: [Laughter] Well I’m very excited to see Ride.  I never got to see them before so I look forward to that… I’m very happy to see Marina and the Diamonds on the bill, I don’t think I’ve ever missed her when she’s been in California.  Who else… Run the Jewels, it’s exciting to see them on the bill as well… Oh Nero is on it, that’s exciting!  I’ve never seen Nero.  Those are the highlights that spring to mind…

 

With this festival and I guess sort of music in general, it seems that rock n’ roll is becoming less and less of a dominant force and has gone back to more of a niche genre.  What are your thoughts on the current state of rock music?  Is rock dead?

Havok: Yeah, I mean I think it’s gone away quite a bit.  I think it grew back into being a subculture… You know, it’s more of a niche music style now, as opposed to what it was I guess since the 50s… but I mean there are people who still love rock n’ roll, certainly all the pop artists still use the term [laughter], they speak of “rocking.”  So there is a pop culture relevance to the essence of it.  But currently, musically speaking, I think people are less interested in it then they have been in the past…

And as far as Coachella is concerned… I mean, one of the headliners is Jack White, and in my opinion he might very well be the last rockstar.  He is so phenomenal and he truly is a rockstar, so it’s very nice to see him playing on the top of the bill, he certainly deserves it.

 

And of course you have this upcoming show here at The Roxy.  I know you guys played there with Blaqk Audio when you were doing that, I also saw an AFI showcase there a few years ago.  Tell us what keeps bringing you back…

Havok: I love The Roxy, I’ve always enjoyed playing there.  I was really excited to hear that they booked us to play with XTRMST…  It’s got a great history, it sounds great, I really like the way the stage feels, and I personally have a long of history with it.  I think the first time I played there was in ’97 – it was AFI, At the Drive-In and By the Grace of God.  It’s just a great venue.

 

Coming up the rest of the year, what’s on the agenda for 2015?

Havok: Well we have the two XTRMST shows of course, and I believe, as it stands now, that’s it for us.  We’re hoping to play in New York… We’d like to go up to New York if someone would be kind enough to bring us over, we’ll do that.  But as of now, the two shows are all we have set…

And Jade and I, we’re done writing the new Blaqk Audio record; so we should be recording [that] very soon I would hope… And I would imagine that would come out this year as well.

 

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XTRMST play The Roxy Theatre this Thursday, Jan. 29.  Doors open at 7 p.m.  The show is sold out!  www.theroxy.com  www.xtrmst.com

 

— By: Brent X Mendoza

 

 

BILLY MORRISON & THE NEWLY RENAMED ROYAL MACHINES RETURN FOR THEIR ANNUAL HOLIDAY RESIDENCY AT THE ROXY

In what’s become a highly anticipated annual December tradition, the Royal Machines (formerly Camp Freddy) are returning to The Roxy Theatre stage this Friday and Saturday for two back-to-back sold out nights.  Besides getting the chance to see this band’s already star-studded lineup – which now consists of Billy Morrison (Billy Idol, The Cult), Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction), Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction), actor/musician Donovan Leitch, Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray) and Adrian Young (No Doubt) – these yearly performances have become notorious for their surprise A-list special guests, which in the past have included unannounced “drop-ins” from notables such as Steven Tyler, Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, Courtney Love, and Lana Del Rey, amongst many others.

Before taking in this weekend’s rock n’ roll Yuletide spectacular, catch up with Royal Machines’ co-founder and man of many bands Billy Morrison, as he shares his new found love of fine art, talks Billy Idol, and reflects on seven years of Roxy holiday shows’ past.

Navarro, Gibbons, Morrison

So from Camp Freddy to now the Royal Machines… this December residency at The Roxy has been a long standing annual tradition.  Is there any one show over the years that sticks out in your mind as having been particularly special.  What are your recollections?  

Yeah so this is the first Royal Machines’ residency, following in the footsteps of the previous seven Camp Freddy residencies…  And so picking one show out is almost impossible now – there are so many moments from so many years that stand out…

Cypress Hill doing “Paradise City” and the whole place jumping in unison, that was something to see!  Getting Paul Cook, Glen Matlock, and Steve Jones on the same stage to play Sex Pistols songs was pretty fucking awesome as well!  Also, I would have to say having Mick Fleetwood and Steven Tyler onstage with us was a highlight as well.

 

What’s the most memorable Christmas gift you ever received as a child?

Great question!  I think I would have to say the Six Million Dollar Man action figure, complete with removable bionics.  That or the whole Evel Knievel thing – the bike, the figure, the mobile home.  These things stuck in my mind.  I really wanted them!

 

You recently just got off the road with Billy Idol and also co-wrote much of the new record with your pal Steve Stevens… What was that experience like finally writing and recording with those guys as a band?  Did you feel any pressure in the writing process trying to live up to past successes?

There is absolutely zero pressure writing and performing with Billy and Steve, except for the pressure I place myself under!  Those guys are the coolest, most open and willing artists.  It’s me that puts the pressure on myself.  Of course I want everything I write, every note I play on a stage to be the best, most emotive, most appropriate note possible – which is of course ridiculous!  We are all just guys making music together and sometimes I have to check myself, remind myself of that… To quote Mick and Keith, “It’s only rock n’ roll…” and then subsequently to just enjoy the process, the gig and the journey!

 

You’ve played with so many rock n’ roll giants over the course of your career.  Is there anybody that you haven’t worked with yet, that would be sort of a dream goal or collaboration for you?

Believe it or not, I have always wanted to have an original music project with Dave (Navarro).  He has a musical sensibility that is different to mine – he comes from the discordant, higher string, no power chord school of the alternative/punk/art scene.  I of course come from The Sex Pistols, AC/DC school of chunky rhythm guitar.  I’ve always thought that if the two of us could actually find the time and the headspace to write together, we would come up with something pretty cool.

I’d also love to write and record with Trent Reznor, purely because he is at the pinnacle of that genre – one of my favs.  Other than that… Maddona, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Adam Ant are all guests for the Royal Machines that would be on my wish list.

 

Speaking of special guests… What sort of surprises can we expect at these upcoming Roxy shows?  Can you give us any hints as to special guests?

Silly question!  We never talk about who’s gonna be there… Mainly because we don’t know ’till it happens!

Courtney Love, Bill Morrison

Lately you’ve been exhibiting your fine art at a number of charity events and galleries.  Is painting a more recent artistic endeavor that you’re just now exploring?  Also, you seem to be a bit partial to hand grenades as a subject matter, please explain…

Although I have been an art connoisseur and collector for quite a few years, I had never put brush to canvas (or pencil to paper) until February of this year.  I never thought I could do it… But thanks to a couple of people pushing me in that direction, I eventually painted something for a charity auction in February.  I expected a childish stick figure to come out, but instead some crazy dripping gold skull appeared in front of me, and my creative fire was burning extremely high.  From that day, I have painted most days (even on the road), amassed a decent body of work, and I held my first art show this past October.

The reaction to my pieces, and the success of the sales have made me realize that if I am honest with myself when my brush hits the canvas, it will work.  Art is art and it is primarily for me.  If it touches other people, then I have succeeded.

The hand grenade is a violent and iconic image to me, that when painted in beautiful colors, or in a soft light, or dripping and melting, seems to speak of a huge dichotomy that we live with every day in this world.  It’s a beautiful disaster. It’s destruction at its most poignant.  It’s the pastel-shaded, beautifully lit chaos in which I live.

 

Favorite holiday/Christmas movie of all time?

The Nightmare Before Christmas, because it’s Tim Burton and he is God!  And Home Alone, a true classic.  And also, does Die Hard count..?  It takes place on Christmas Eve…  And who doesn’t wanna see Bruce Willis blow shit up and win the day in triumph!

 

What’s coming up for you in the new year?

Starting New Year’s Eve I am pretty much booked solid for a year.  There will be a lot of touring in support of the new Billy Idol album.  I have movies to make.  I have TV to make.  I am planning a second art show.  And Royal Machines continue to do their thing… 2015 will be a very busy year for me, and for that I am truly grateful!

 

And finally, any New Year’s resolutions for 2015?

To continue to live my life to the fullest.  To enjoy my work, my friends, and family.  And maybe to give up smoking once and for all.

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Royal Machines play this Friday and Saturday (Dec. 19 & 20) at The Roxy Theatre.  Both shows are sold out.  www.theroxy.com

For more info on all things Billy Morrison, the Royal Machines and Billy Idol visit www.billymorrison.net  www.billymorrisonart.com  www.royalmachinesmusic.com  www.billyidol.net

 

Brent X Mendoza