9 Months of Mocktails

As I reminisce on my pregnancy days- now 4 weeks gone-while I balance a keyboard on my newborn son, I must pay tribute to the beverage that made all social situations tolerable for those many months, The Mocktail! Here’s a look at the LA hotspots where the often $9 price tag is worth it, if only to feel like an adult again for a few minutes.

November: Fishing with Dynamite 

The Virgin Mary became my favorite go-to mocktail, because unfortunately there is no mock version of a dirty martini to date. So if you’re in the mood for something savory then this is the next best thing! Fishing with Dynamite in Manhattan Beach does it just right finding the perfect balance between tomato juice and the accouterments!

Virgin Mary

December: Acabar 

My first flaming mocktail and at a spot so trendy I could have sworn there was liquor in my drink. Sadly Acabar in West Hollywood has shuttered it’s doors, but you can still taste cocktails by mixologist Julian Cox at Petty Cash or Barrel & Ashes.

 

January: Scarpetta

Keep your eyes on the right side of the photo :), somehow a scotch got in the way. Hats off to Scarpetta for a very delicious version of their Ferrari, usually made with Don Julio silver, cointreau, blood orange juice & jalapeño. This version has just as much tang as the original, just a little less vroom.

Mocktail: Scarpetta

February: IdleHour 

North Hollywood’s bootlegger bar version of a Margarita. Here the teeny prohibition style cups are most appreciated when you aren’t paying the full cocktail price-tag, which generally would set you back $12-14 dollars.

Mocktail: Idlehour North Hollywood

March: Ray’s & Stark Bar

Summer’s Comin’ Smash and by far one of my favorite mocktails because of the care that went into the preparation. Featuring muddled blackberries, housemade pineapple syrup, and a dash of pecan bitters to substitute for the rum.

Summer's Comin' Smash

April: Fig & Olive

Fig & Olive is home to an actual mocktail MENU, unfortunately they do not offer the libations at the Melrose Place location :(. Not to be deterred, I took a slightly altered version of the Jardin de Fraises mocktail made with Kefir Clover, muddled fresh strawberries, and fig clover honey.

Mocktail: Fig & Olive

May: CraftSteak Las Vegas

The cocktail shaker for this Passionfruit Mocktail was truly the highlight of the evening of me. I requested a sugar rimmed glass as well for even more smoke and mirrors. Although you won’t find CraftSteak in Los Angeles, you can check out Tom Colicchio’s Craft in Century City for the same attention to detail.

Mocktail: Craft Steak Las Vegas

June: Little Next Door

Although they are not home to an actual cocktail menu, the fine staff at Little Next Door did the next to impossible and created a Champagne Mocktail for this momma-to-be using lychee syrup and sparkling soda.

Mocktail at Little Next Door

July: Pump

Lisa Vanderpump’s sexy West Hollywood hot spot is the last place you want to see a pregnant lady waiting to pop–and their mocktails reflect this sentiment. Their mock version of the Pump-Tini was most likely nothing more than cranberry juice while the original features Vodka, Pavan Liquor, grapefruit juice, lime, and muddled raspberries. Although I was grateful for the fancy glass and the sugar rim, the $7 price tag during happy hour is perhaps what sent me into an early labor…

Mocktail Pump-Tini

 

This Weekend! Go on a Road Trip without leaving the Parking Lot

Thrillist’s 1st Annual Culinary Road Trip kicks off tonight at 6 PM at Siren Orange Studios giving foodies the chance to hit 6 cities and 9 restaurants without ever exiting the building.

Rest Stop Snacks_Photo Credit Kat Goduco

Unlike a traditional food fest, this one has guests use a road map to lay out their dining destinations and punch a tollbooth card at each stop (so no going back for seconds :) Those looking for a memento can snap a shot at each stop using the Honda photo-booth with rotating location backdrop.

Honda's Photobooth Shots_Photo Credit Kat Goduco

Here are a few spots that are worth pulling over for.

  • Chicago for Gino’s East Spinach Margherita with spinach, cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and basil.

Gino's East Spinach Margherita_Photo Credit Girl's Who Eat

  • New England for Luke’s Lobster serving their Maine Lobster Roll in a split-top New England style bun with mayonnaise, butter, lemon and secret seasoning.

Luke's Lobster Lobster Roll_Photo Credit Kat Goduco

  • Portland for Lardo’s Sandwiches serving up their Griddled Mortadella Sandwich with thinly sliced mortadella, provolone, Mama Lil’s peppers and mustard aioli.

Lardo's Sandwiches_Photo Credit Kat Goduco

  • DC for Georgetown Cupcake and their uber rich Red Velvet, Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter Fudge, Lava Fudge, Cookies & Creme, Vanilla Birthday and PB Banana Fudge flavors.

Georgetown Cupcake_2_Photo Credit Kat Goduco

Tickets are still available but don’t wait, or you’ll be hitch-hiking!

Hand of hiker man

 

 

Freebies you donut want to miss

Friday June 5th is National Donut Day, and this might be one of the best national food holidays on record due to the enormous amount of freebies available! Plus it was actually created to honor a good cause–women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I.

Here are some spots you can hit up before the office and make yourself as happy as this guy:

homer-simpson-donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts in Santa Monica

Score yourself a free donut with the purchase of a beverage, but hey who can’t go for a coolatta at the start of summer.

Dunkin' Donuts

Krispy Kreme Donuts

Not to be outdone by Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme is offering a free donut without a required beverage purchase.

Krispy-Kreme-Four-Original-Glazed-Doughnuts

Kettle Glazed Donuts

Although not official, Kettle Glazed Donuts in Hollywood is throwing around the idea of giving away a free donut. My advice is to try your luck and if you aren’t successful then throw down $3.75 for one of of their croissant style donuts, something you won’t find at Krispy K. or Dunkin’ D.

Croissant Style Donut

Donut Snob

Being considered a snob comes at a price, and in this case it’s a price tag. Although Donut Snob will not be giving away any freebies, they will be celebrating all week with mini donuts–made small to accommodate the large demand.

Donut Snob Mini Donuts

Fōnuts

Yes even the faux are getting in the spirit. This Friday you can enjoy your steamed, baked, vegan, or gluten free for practically free at $2 off the regular price.

fonut

Randy’s Donuts

If you find yourself around LAX then head over to this Los Angeles landmark for free donut holes all day! And since Randy’s never closes you could score yourself one at both the start and finish of it.

Randy's Donuts

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Pick your Picnic

Summer is just around the corner which means it’s time to ditch the silver for plastic and enjoy your haute cuisine basket style while at your favorite concert venue.

Here are a few places where it’s just a trendy to eat out of a box!

Patina at the Hollywood Bowl

This year marks Patina’s 16th season collaborating with the bowl and brings with it new menu items from restaurants Café Gratitude and Gracias Madre. Prices range from $69.00-88.00 for a basket for two, but each one has about 4 types of dishes inside. Highlights from The Dandelion ($69) include the honey stung golden fried chicken entree with warm glazed cinnamon rolls. The Sunset ($88) serves a roasted hanger steak with summer vegetables and horseradish cream, and finishes with flourless dark chocolate cake, local raspberries, and chocolate sauce.

Honey Fried Chicken

Marston’s Restaurant

Perfect for the Pasadena Pops Marston’s has a special menu dedicated to just picnic baskets, or for a $3.95 surcharge you can have anything on the regular menu as well. They all come with a beverage, utensils, and dessert and best of all nothing is over $30 dollars. Keep it light with their Vegetarian Picnic Dinner ($23.00) which includes an orzo salad made with kalamata olives, basil, sun-dried tomato and spinach, grilled eggplant, heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with a pesto vinaigrette, plus fresh berries and a rustic roll.

Vegetarian Picnic

Ray’s & Stark Bar

Every Friday through the end of the summer Ray’s will be offering three course dinners to go as well as picnic baskets to be enjoyed during the Friday night Jazz concerts on the lawn. Prices range from $40-$100 dollars but considering that the concerts are free, this is really one of the best dinner and a show deals around.  The Duke ($40) is all-inclusive of disposable plates, napkins, plastic-wear, bread, and butter while The Louis ($100) is a deluxe luxury basket offering a bottle of wine, real china, a fold-out table, a picnic blanket, and cloth napkins presented in a wicker basket. One more added perk, it’s a dog friendly venue!

Foodlab

Brownie points for affordability, Foodlab in West Hollywood specializes in clean organic eats, and the philosophy extends to the packaging of the Picnic Box.  Each $20 box includes your choice of over 20 sandwiches, a vegan salad, a daily side salad of your choice, a cookie by Deluscious Cookies, a bottle of water, a stick of gum and ecofriendly picnicware.With a meal this biodegradable you might find yourself asking…did I eat anything at all?

Picnic Box

Say Cheese Silver Lake

Perfect for a night under the stars at the Griffith Observatory, Say Cheese Silver Lake offers a great made to order picnic basket menu of salads, sandwiches, meats, breads, and of course cheeses. Featured wines and champagnes are available in convenient split sizes. Prices range from $3.25-$10.99 but a word to the frugal, an actual picnic basket will set you back $11.99.

Selection of Cheese from Say Cheese in Silver Lake

 

 

 

 

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A site about eating, drinking, and experiencing Los Angeles while still affording to live here

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