Los Angeles’ Silly Little Secrets.

Here we see one of Los Angeles’ many “mini cities” that, when clustered together, make up one big city. Not sure who the urban planner was for LA, but its weird to me how everything is so spread out. 

In pre-celebration of the birth of MSM, Saturday night was filled with joy and magic that unveiled all sorts of secrets that Downtown LA has to offer. It began with an adventure to Takami Sushi and Robata, a sky-top sushi bar with soaring views of LA, followed by a secret tour of a mysterious spherical penthouse, ending with a dance at the brilliant best kept secret in the city.

Takami Sushi and Robata: TADA!


Nope. This is not Japan! Its Los Angeles! Grabbed this striking photograph from google images. The view from the top makes the experience at Takami Sushi all that much better. Gorgeous. Almost fantastical/SciFi, right? Straight out of Lucy

One thing I adore about MSM is that he knows I have food allergies and other eating restrictions, so he always thoughtfully sends me a link to menus days before we visit an establishment, giving me ample time to a. figure out what I want and b. speak up if there’s nothing I can eat. When I first saw the menu for Takami, my eye went straight to the glorious title The Endless Summer (my favorite season!). I couldn’t wait to try this refreshing sounding concoction of vodka, watermelon, mint, and a spritz of ginger ale. Once on the premise, I immediately ordered a Cucumber Gimlet. After all, isn’t it a woman’s prerogative to change her mind? Crisp and not overwhelmingly sweet or acidic, the gimlet was delicious. MSM ended up with The Endless Summer, which was exactly as it sounded, yummy. I highly recommend either.

Takami Robata  is actually three restaurants that share a dining area. This being said, there’s no way to plan the arrival of courses since the food is plated as the different kitchens prepare them, and there is no communication between kitchens. Sharing each course is the best plan of attack. Neither of us had been here before so the menu was our oyster, so to speak.

We decided to start with the shishito peppers (I LOVE THESE) and buttered scallops served on the half shell. You really can’t go wrong with shishito peppers.  I have never not liked these at any restaurant. I assume they must be difficult to mess up. The scallops…..OMG…..like butter! They actually tasted like buttered popcorn. A hint of sweetness balanced perfectly with salt and cooked to a precise texture, not too soft, not rubbery.

Enough with the chicken already! Lately I’ve been slighly obsessed with Scallops. They are packed with an abundance of lean protein and can be cooked in so many exciting new ways. At Takami they are grilled with butter and served on the half shell. Beautiful and Yum!

Next we shared the Angus filet, zucchini, and asparagus Robatas (basically kabobs). All of these were amazing. Just the right amount of spice. Nothing over-whelming. The veggies were juicy and had the correct amount of crunch. The meat….Voila! MMMMM.

At this point I was actually close to full but we continued with the Lemon Albacore Roll and a Spyder Roll. I was a little underwhelmed by the spyder roll  because I had to remove the mayo inflicted crab meat. What a travesty. The Lemon Albacore was FANTASTIC. We also had a plate of ahi sashimi with jalepenos that I almost didn’t want to review because no one does this like Nobu so its not really fair to judge. I will say I recommend avoiding this sashimi dish because the literal CHUNKS of tuna were SO BIG it seemed to be prepared for a giant!


lemon albacore
The Lemon Albacore Roll was divine. The lemon with zest attached was a brilliant way to enhance the flavors in this delicious roll. 

The staff of the restaurant was interesting. Our actual waitress, perhaps new, didn’t seem too versed in the menu and when I told her I had a soy allergy she said “remind me as you continue to order”. Really? Then she brought the peppers to the table with soy all over them. hahaha. Luckily my allergy isn’t anaphylactic. There was another person there whom I’m not sure was a waiter or a host or what but he was fun, funny, and fantastic. Not to mention he sported the most amazing mustachio I have ever seen. We enjoyed his banter. The ambiance is very “club” like with a touch of fancy (the out door tables especially ring “high end” to me ) yet almost like a “fancy in the airport” vibe. I loved observing the other patrons at their tables. Such a great mix of people in Down Town LA, as opposed to the homogeny so often seen in Santa Monica. There were fat women and skinny women and extremely effeminate men and macho women and macho men, and HUGE men and tiny men and all types of outfits….you get the gyst. It was great and kind of felt like we were in another country or at least a different state, making Takami a nice little escape.  The view from the rooftop of this trio of conjoined bars is nothing short of spectacular.

Breaking mid dinner we walked along the patio seating and looked out over LA. Our curiosity was sparked regarding one very high round penthouse in the near distance. No one at the restaurant seemed to know what this was so MSM took it upon himself to find out.

The Sheraton VIP Lounge: A view from the top.

I’m not sure why, but in the right hotel lobby, I feel like a Queen or Princess. I was surprisingly impressed with the lavishly decorated interior at the Sheraton Downtown LA. 

MSM used his vampire ways to convince the doorman at The Sheraton DTLA to not only explain the secret behind  the round building perched atop the hotel, but to also give us a private tour! Sadly the story gets less interesting from here….its a VIP lounge for Sheraton card holders,  similar to an admiral’s lounge at the airport. Half the “lounge” is an eating area where breakfast and dinners are served. The other half is a gym. A very nice gym. Though it was sort of “whatever” up there, it was another incredible view of our glorious LA.

Sheraton Lounge VIP
The hotels of DTLA seem to have really stepped up to the plate, taking their part in the city’s attempts at renovation and re-gentrification.

Cana Rum Bar: The perfect hideaway for a dark and stormy salsa dance 😉

The actual Cana lounge is hidden in an alleyway, but visitors can’t miss it! 


The next and final step of our adventure is, in my opinion, seriously one of the best kept secrets in LA. At first approach this bar feels like one would need a secret password to cross the velvet rope. In some respects you do, as this speak-easy type bar is a members only club. Don’t roll your eyes though, because the low 25$ membership price-point (that allows you two guests with each visit) is SO WORTH IT! Live bands or DJs every night, this is a dance club heaven but with a Cubana lounge vibe. There’s a cigar room out back with open beams. Literally, open beams- no glass. Sticking with the theme of the night, I just loved the variety of guests enjoying the ambience. The music was fun for dancing, the decor reminiscent of a Caribbean pirate ship, and the drink menu is vast and full of both unique fun rum concoctions and traditional pirate faire. I can’t recommend this place enough. If your itching for a little bit of Havana in your life, this rum bar is the spot to go.


A little bit of Cuba on my mind….and  perched on this bar tender’s head!

What the heck to wear while adventuring in DTLA on a fair weather night:

SO….as per usual MSM insisted I not wear my heels. At some point I’m just going to have to suck it up and wear them so he can see that I do not, in fact, complain of pain while meandering somewhat aimlessly in heels on date night. Believe it or not, I DO own some comfortable stilettos that are both sexy and functional. However, this  particular Sat was especially a celebration for him, so I decided to wear flat boots which ended up being a great idea. I was just the right amount of warm and definitely comfortable.  Also I loved the Mod look of my ensamble.


To be honest, I don’t think my bag is a great pair with this dress. The textures aren’t working together well for me. I need to ask Danielle what she would have suggested. I think she’s been pushing me more to try and make my own arrangements. I am getting better, but this one seems off….Dress: Alice and Olivia Bag: YSL Jacket: Vince Boots: Stewart Weitzman 
I was ultimately grateful for not wearing high heels! I feel like these Stewart Weitzman boots worked well. They kept me warm, I still felt sexy, AND I was able to walk for miles!

Down Town Los Angeles has really been growing in a good direction. So may exciting new galleries, shops, and eateries popping up left and right. My favorite is the little alcoves where amour can hide to sneak in some secret kisses ;). Très Parisienne not to mention perfect for the upcoming Valentines Day weekend. Or for any other weekend a couple may want to venture out. Je viens de l’adore quand LA aime l’amour. I adore when LA loves love!

Happy Valentine’s Day ya’ll! I know its hokey and contrived, but instead of spitting at it, why not embrace the craziness by reveling in the idea of loving life!




It doesn’t always have to be the LBD

What would it be like if the world of going out wasn't so black and white? Photo from www.vintageallies.com
What would it be like if the world of going out wasn’t so black and white?  Photo from Vintage Allies website.

Lets close our eyes for a moment and think; how many times have we gone to a party and everyone is wearing black? Don’t get me wrong. I love black. Black is the best! Its flattering at the least and slenderizing at the most. It goes with everything. It serves as a magnificent canvas to a brightly colored statement piece. The list goes on and on. But honestly, I tire sometimes of seeing a room filled with only black outfits. In offense, this past Saturday night I decidedly slipped into an eye catching LCD: Little Coral Dress.

In hope of channeling a bit of Audrey, I chose to pair my LCD with a thicker heeled pearl embellished pump.  I was worried the thin heel of my SW Nudists, Danielle’s recommended pairing, would have aerated the lawn! (see below- they do look nice together).
I do love the SW Nudists with the LCD as well! Just better on hard surfaces :)
These nudists go with everything but its important, when picking a shoe,  to think of what you’ll be standing on all night.  Photo: Aaron Rzepka

One of my closest and dearest friends is very involved with Baby Buggy, Jessica Seinfeld’s non- profit organization dedicated to providing low income families with life essentials; equipment, products, clothing, and services for infants and children up to age 14.  Saturday night was their 4th Annual Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament.

This gorgeous house designed by architect Carina Birn-Willner held the Baby Buggy 4th Annual Poker Tournament.
This gorgeous house designed by architect Carina Birn-Willner was the backdrop to the Baby Buggy 4th Annual Poker Tournament.

The event was held at a ridiculously elaborate, albeit beautiful, private estate in Beverly Hills. A FULL sized basketball court was hidden beneath the temporarily laid lawn where the party was centered. Apparently this happens in Los Angeles! Four restaurants set up food stations with samples of their finest selections. The selections were well chosen; tacos, pad thai, pizza, and dessert. I like that the food was down to earth, a nice complementary contrast to the environment. I believe the wine, specialty drinks, and food were also donated.


Here my bestie is explaining the rules of the game.
Learning the rules of the game from my bestie while wearing my LCD.

Prior to last Saturday I had never played poker. Nor had I ever worn a non-LBD to a party (I’m not counting any 7th grade bar/bat mitzvah attendances). It was a night of firsts, and full of merriment. The other party goers were all refreshingly gregarious and easy to talk with (mostly donned in black). This includes James Van Der Beek, who I mistook for someone I went to high school with.

Me: “I think I went to high school with that guy. Jean MaRiche” (named changed for story)

MSM: (*matter of fact)  “Babe, that’s James Van Der Beek.”

Ha! Too funny.

At the end of the evening the grilled cheese truck showed up! It was a wonderful night full of fun surprises.

I WANT YOU to wear an LCD. Dress: Red Valentino Shoes: Chanel Bag: Celine Jacket: Vince.

Click here if you are interested in reading more about or donating to Baby Buggy.




Azzedine Alaia: Lets make a statement!

When I received this letter I thought
When I received this letter I thought “this ought to be interesting”. Love Alaia!

 Azzedine Alaia – one of my favorite statement designers:

Lets face it, I’m a sucker for all things French, and their fashion is not exempt.  I adore how they have so gracefully mastered the art of marrying simplicity and quiet elegance. Never over dressed, but never underdressed either, French women just know how to put things together.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 3.22.34 PM

When Danielle introduced me to my first Alaia, my reaction was “seriously? that much for a pair of shoes?” BUT….I now know better.

“Oh no, you don’t understand, this is an Alaia”. “an a whata?” “An Alaia. Its like a totally important designer!” From Clueless- one of the best movies ever!!

Azzedine Alaia was Tunisian-born, but his brand is Parisian. He started as an assistant dress maker and went on to become one of the most iconic and important designers of the 20th (and now 21st century). Whether a shoe, a handbag, or a garment- his pieces are always classy. They can make an ordinary outfit go from basic to zing just by showing up. Yes, the price is high- but the quality, fit, and longevity are there. A pair of Alaia shoes, for example, will wear like-new for many seasons (and they are surprisingly comfortable!).  His handbags are always ageless and classy. Alaia pieces are sexy without being ostentatious. Don’t get me wrong, I love my YSL dress clutch, despite the the huge Y S L blatantly showing in front. But the Alaia? Its this gorgeous piece of art without saying “Hi, I’m a designer bag and I cost a fortune.” Its classic. Its elegant. Its demure. Its mysterious. LOVE!!!

Alaia heels can dress up a casual outfit just the right amount to make it pop. They are well made and comfortable too!
Alaia sandals can dress up a casual outfit just enough to make it pop. They are well made and comfortable too!
Aren't these Alaia clutches gorgeous? For purchasing info please contact @styledbydanielleklein on Instagram.
Aren’t these Alaia clutches gorgeous? For purchasing info please contact @styledbydanielleklein on Instagram.

Statement Pieces 101:

Just recently I learned there are three categories of clothing that are essential in making a complete wardrobe (I used to only own #3 and always had nothing to wear- which makes total sense to me now):

#1 Basics: tees, tanks, layering pieces

#2 Staples: jeans, blazers/jackets/cardigans

#3 Statement pieces– varies on individual choice. The piece thats thrown in the mix to make outfits pop and, well, make a statement. The “art” pieces of your wardrobe. I love my Alaia shoes as statement pieces.

When to start adding a statement piece:

Like in any sport or art, its imperative to learn the fundamentals before one can have fun. Once you master putting together a basic outfit (I’m still working on this), you can start throwing statement pieces into the mix. Have fun with it and chose what you want.  I think the point of the statement piece is to express who you are OR who you want to be at the time/that particular day.

Disclaimer– be careful- statement pieces can be the most fun and act as an expression of who you are or who you feel like being that particular day, but a wardrobe consisting solely and entirely of statement pieces will result in mayhem.  #learnedfromexperience. (*embarrassing blush)

Outfitting the statement piece:

I need to confirm with Danielle, but it seems some people choose to wear a lot of statement pieces at once (google Iris Apfel “more is more”), and other’s prefer a single piece at a time (ex. Jackie O). The other day MSM saw this woman at the gym carrying a 2k+ Louis Vuitton bag in which laid all her stinky used gym clothes. Seems extravagant to me. But a big point of fashion is to each his own, right? Its ok to make your own rules. These are just guidelines.

Looking rock and roll chic for the Opus Orange concert in my Alaia booties.
Looking rock and roll chic for the Opus Orange concert in my Alaia booties.


Spend on a statement piece? Its all relative and up to you!

Its not really about the money. Statement pieces can come in all shapes and sizes. In order to prevent buying something cheaply made and over priced, though (and those pieces are definitely out there!), its wise to learn how to distinguish good craftsmanship and quality fabrics.  For now, I’m protected by Danielle. But its smart to learn this on our own too.

A statement tank. I love anything French. Styled by Danielle Klein.

Weekend Outfit: Tank: Wildfox  Jeans: Current Elliot  Handbag: Givency   Jacket:Vince   Sunnies: Celine   Lipstick: Armani

Au Revoir mon petit chou, bonne fin de semaine!




The Red O Santa Monica Vs The Red O Hollywood


My last blog was a lot of food talk. And on that note…… last Tuesday a group of us went out to celebrate my friend’s birthday at the new location of Red O in Santa Monica. I’ve eaten at the one in Hollywood on Melrose (its fabulous) so was excited to try out the its new sister in SaMo. Lets compare…..

What to wear:

Ok so for this SaMo location I was totally over dressed. The location in Hollywood is sexy, dark, boudoir-y meets Casablanca. Cocktail attire is a bit much but could pass if you want to be one of those “I always over-dress” people. The SaMo location, however, is totally chill. Not sexy at all. Much more casually elegant. Business casual would have been great.

I wore my clover canyon pencil skirt with a black tank, thin leather jacket and black strappy heels. It would have been much more appropriate if I had dressed like my friends in jeans and a nice top.

I was definitely overdressed. Jeans and a tank would have been better.

What to order:

The wine is AMAZING at both locations. I had a fantastic Malbec. And the serving sizes are generous. The price wasn’t too high either. The cocktails looked pretty at the SaMo location but I was sticking with wine. The cocktails at the Hollywood/Melrose location were fantastic- and generous like the wine was here.

Appetizers at both locations are out of this world. Honestly, in my opinion, stick to the appetizers and your going to love both places. The guac is fantastic as are both salsas. The chips are thin and crispy, perfectly salted and not too greasy. At the Hollywood location I adored the mushroom tacos. At SaMo we all loved the Ahi taquitos.

Main course. I have to sadly say I was a little underwhelmed with my main course at the Red O in SaMo. In their defense I DID change the plate with substitutions. I ordered the scallops, but instead of pasta I had them put them on a bed of their asparagus. The asparagus was good, but nothing to write home about. Same with the scallops. They were sweet and the texture was perfect but the flavor was a bit bland. The lamb and the lobster enchiladas looked amazing and my friends seemed happy with them. The beans and rice- fantastic. The dinners I have had at the Melrose location were all fantastic. So maybe the trick here is to not substitute and when you eat here figure its a “Titanic day”.


Dessert. Churros y Chocolate. Um. YUM. Ok so you can’t really beat the ones at Disneyland – so I thought. These looked ridiculous on the plate but they were FANTASTIC. The churros themselves were decent. Not too greasy and the cinnamon sugar was perfectly balanced. They came with a Kahlua and a spicy chocolate dipping sauce.  Not gonna lie- I do feel the churro was just a vehicle for the chocolate and Kahlua.  I was tempted to pick up a spoon and just eat the sauces by themselves. Hee hee. And maybe I did 😉  I haven’t had dessert at the Red O on Melrose, but my guess is its spectacular.


As I said, the Melrose location feels like a vacation to Morocco or just somewhere that’s NOT LA. Its a little Oasis of foreign in a huge sea of Los Angeles, a  nice little escape. The lighting is moody. Big plants and planters all around. Nicely dressed people. It feels very sexy. Areas are compartmentalized at this location, which adds to the mystery vibe of the place and also helps contain the volume of talking to a decent level. No issues hearing the people with whom you are eating.

The SaMo location is very relaxed. The layout is nice and cozy. Theres a huge window in the front, displaying a fantastic view of Palisades Park and the Ocean. The seats are very comfortable. The booth seats are adorned with lush pillows that are very cozy. Its fairly loud at the SaMo location- which means you have to sit closer to your date. This is great if you really like who your with. Otherwise, learn sign language before you come here.

The interior of Red O SaMo is casual and relaxed.
The interior of Red O SaMo is casual and relaxed.

Overall I like the ambiance and main courses better at the Red O in Hollywood/Melrose. But if you live close to SaMo, the Red O Santa Monica  is a casual, fun spot with  yummy drinks, appetizers and dessert, and a great view of the ocean.

Bon Appétit!