Archive for July, 2014

28
Jul
14

Raven on White Cadillac (updated!)

Just got home from LA last night. Jessica and I had one hell of a time! Even though Conan was cancelled, we still managed to fit in everything we wanted to do, and then some! First stop was In-N-Out.

 

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Afterwards, we stopped by the Waesche House in Burbank to drop off our bags and eat. Then we took a short drive over to Conan Studios, only to find out that todays taping was cancelled. Boo! Thanks for the notification! We later found out that they taped two shows the day before :(. Not to worry though, Kayla, on Pregnancy Leave, was happy to drive us over to Eagle Rock Brewery for a little Happy Hour/Conan Consolidation. Great beers and a dynamite Double IPA. The space was small, much like Strange here in Denver. Jessica had the Manifesto Wit. As the sun was beating down on us, it was time to meet Ben for dinner. We met up at Two Guys From Italy. It was delicious! Cousin Sandra made it over to the restaurant too. Ben wanted to take us out for ice cream afterwards so we all headed to some hipster town and showed up for last call. Ice cream shops and FroYo spots are super trendy in LA. So naturally, they were all out of ice cream when we arrived. Luckily, I don’t care about ice cream so I wasn’t too disappointed. We called it a night.

Friday was awesome! Jessica and I borrowed the Prius and headed to Golden Road for lunch. Let me tangent here for a moment: LA is fucking huge! If you don’t have Google Maps on your phone, you are seriously fucked. Even the LA veterans we were staying with relied heavily on their Google Maps GPS functions to get around town. Thanks to my Android, we navigated the city on our own no problem. Golden Road was delicious. Their pub was large with plenty of patio seating, great, but small list of beers, and our server was a Colorado native so we got along just fine. Point The Way IPA and Wolf Among Weeds IPA were pretty darn tasty. Our server recommended a place called Tony’s Darts Away back in Burbank. He said it was the best place to get local beers and meet cool, non-douchy people. He was right. Tony’s was a hip place. Our server complimented Jessica’s nails and claimed “…to be a rocker” for some reason. Another tangent: LA loves big, bad IPA’s. Most places we went had a beer menu, and an IPA menu. Tony’s was no different. We headed back to the Waesche House to cool off and wait for Ben to get off work.

We met Ben in Hollywood for happy hour at some oyster bar. No one was digging it except him. I tried my first oyster in the half shell ever and I thought it sucked. Way too salty! We then decided that our party would rather have burgers for dinner so headed around the corner to Stout. Ben was very frustrated that the restaurant only had one stout beer available. Agreed, but he didn’t have to make a big deal about it. Cousin Sandra showed up and we all had a few laughs before we parted ways for the night. Ben and pregnant Kayla had to head home while Jessica, Sandra and I headed back to Sandra’s apartment for a little pre-party before seeing White Fence at The Echo that night. I have to go to work now but I’ll write up part two of our LA excursion tomorrow!

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We drove back to Sandra’s place in Echo Park so she could change and we could burn some rope. Her roommate’s dog was awesome, Lola. We were able to walk down to The Echo from Sandra’s place. There are two venues in the same building, The Echo and The Echoplex. We arrived at The Echo and saw a line outside. I asked the guy at the end of the line if he was waiting to get in. “They’re only letting people in from this line when others leave, dude. Shit’s like sold out.” I told him we were on will call and he said the will call line was at Echoplex around the corner. Well, the venue is on the end of the block, built onto a bridge, so to get “around the corner” means walking two blocks away to some stairs, down, then back two blocks to the other entrance. Lame. We get to the other entrance and see another line. I again, ask a guy if he’s there for will call. “No bro. You can’t get tickets for this online. You must be lost.” We finally find some sort of employee and get everything straightened out. We were right the first time, that guy was probably just being an asshole. We found a shortcut back upstairs, got back in line and finally made it inside the correct Echo.

We got some drinks, caught the last song of the opening act, and waited for White Fence to start. Jessica pointed to some surfy guy setting up mics and asked if that was Ty Segall. I said, “no, that’s not him, too skinny…. that’s him!” right as Ty walked by us. Ty was backing up White Fence on guitar and they soon blew the doors off the place.

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After the show, Sandra called up an Uber to take us home. Thanks, Sandra!

Sandra arrived at the Waesche House in Burbank bright and early to take us to the beach. We were meeting Jessica’s sister and family in San Clemente. With Google Maps firing on all cylinders, we headed south. Traffic was especially shitty because of Comic-Con in San Diego, but we made it to San Clemente eventually. We played in the water for a bit, had lunch, walked the pier, and back into the water. Jessica lost her sunglasses to a giant wave. Our original plan was to take the train back to San Bernardino with the sister, but, the train was overbooked and Sandra was nice enough to stick around as a back up ride home for us. As the Waesche sister family boarded the train, we grabbed one more quick cocktail then headed back to LA.

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We stopped in Los Feliz for some Italian at a place called Palermo.  We were serenaded by a man with an accordion. It was a very cool joint. They had bottles of “Marilyn Merlot” all over the place. Nice pun. Back to the Waesche House in Burbank after a very long day.

Sunday arrived and we were to meet the sister and family in Claremont for brunch, since we couldn’t make it back with them the night before. We hopped in the Prius and headed east. Brunch was at a little bare bones vintage spot called Union on Yale. I was disappointed by the small brunch portions. I ordered a sausage and cheddar omelette that coulda fit in the palm of my hand for $13! But it did come with a generous portion of salad!? Everyone’s dish was puny, but with a huge portion of salad!? After brunch, we did a little shopping in the neighborhood. I bought a new pair of sneakers for 20 bucks and Jessica got a new pair of sunglasses.

We said our goodbyes to Jessica’s sister and family, then headed back into LA, but not before stopping at Pacific Plate Brewery in Monrovia. Our local pourer at Chain Reaction recommended this place last week so we thought we’s check it out. Pacific Plate is run by three hispanic guys who despise “cervesa” but love craft beer. A total hole in the wall in a little industrial strip, much like Wit’s End here in Denver. We ordered a flight and took a seat in the tasting room, right next to the grain mill and a stack of empty kegs. They had a Ginger Saison that was fucking incredible! Also worth mentioning was the Horchata Stout and the Cupa de Oro (Cup of Gold), a Belgian Golden. After a round of 60’s Trivial Pursuit, we realized we had a plane to catch so we headed back to Burbank to gather up our stuff, then off to LAX.

Despite missing out on Conan, our trip was a total success! There was rarely a dull moment. Jessica’s brother, Ben, pregnant wife Kayla, cousin Sandra, and the Waesches were great hosts who all bent over backwards for us. Thank you! Like I said before, LA is a huge city. It has options everywhere which can be a bit overwhelming. You NEED a car to survive in that city. I noticed three types of vehicles out there: hybrids, junky little economical cars, and $80,000 BMWs. Nobody drives big trucks or SUVs. Yesterday, my coworker asked if I’d ever live out there. I considered it for about half a second. I really like LA, I like the weather, I like the hustle and bustle, the architecture, even the sidewalks are pretty. I think its nostalgia form my younger days visiting my friend Lane in Fullerton every summer. The smells, the trees, the hills in the distance. Every schoolyard we drove by reminded me of the old Girl/Chocolate videos, every perfect set of stairs or bump in the sidewalk brought back memories of skating the streets and schoolyards of California in my teens. But would I ever live there? No. Denver has everything I need. You always think of LA or New York City setting the trends but after this weekend, I feel like Denver has got some pretty sweet stuff going on and LA is trying desperately to catch up.

 

 

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