Saturday, June 29

EDC Las Vegas: what to expect!

It has taken me a full week to digest EDC Las Vegas... And I'm still not fully sure that I've made sense of the whirlwind adventure.

Here's a few of my lessons learned. Ill post more soon, but I feel compelled to share the best.. And craziest.. weekend of my life with you.

1. The festival starts at 6pm. And goes until 6am. I know. Ludicrous. This is something you should seriously mull over. I didn't find out until I was driving up to
Vegas. Panic ensues.

2. Talking about driving. Don't. Buy a flight a few months ahead of time. Or better yet flirt your way into a private jet.

3. I know. You waited too long and all the flights are foolishly expensive. You now have two options. You can drive on thurs or sat am. We left sat at 6am. You cannot leave la at any time on Friday and think you'll get there in any less than 6 hours.

4. Getting from your hotel to the festival and back home again sucks ...if you're not fabulous. We ranked semi fabulous so we got to take the complimentary artist bus instead of the 80 Dollar wait for 4 hours peasant bus. The only real way to get there is via helicopter though. And anyone whose anyone is traveling via heli. Word is they have a little sponsored bar at the launch pad. Talk about luxury.

5. A regular wristband gets you into the festival where you can walk to all 6 stages, watch all the parades, go on the rides, eat, drink, and rage your face off with the happiest people on earth (yes more so than kids at Disney). The VIP brings you to a separate elevated area at the back of main stage. There is a full service sit down restaurant and bar here. The artist, Guest wristbands or a marquee wristband admits you to marquees bottle service area and backstage of the other stages. And the coveted guest of Pasquale or Jason Strauss wrist band gets you to an even more exclusive bottle service area.

6. Dress appropriately. It's hot and dusty and you're going to be dancing for 12 hours. Heels probably aren't your best bet. Closed toe sneaks, neon and crop tops is perfect. Tu tus and furry boots with pasties isn't quite me... But be my guest if this is what you're after. You'll fit right in with the ravers pushing towards the stage.

7. This is a drug culture. Watch your drink and don't be pressured into take Molly or ecstasy or whatever else everyone is consuming if you don't want to. Believe me, the show is mind altering enough without the enhancement of drugs.

Embrace this experience. We're living history in the way our parents did at Woodstock. This is the modern hippie festival where everyone has the free love mantra. The stages, lights, headliners and production is out of this world, over the top, amazing. Your senses will be shocked; you'll be dazzled and wowed beyond your wildest fantasies. If you're lucky enough to get one of the passes to the bottle service tables... Well enjoy that too but don't be afraid to walk around and experience the festival for all that it is. You'll feel exhausted and lifeless after three long days, but honestly it is
worth it. I promise.

Peace. Love. Unity. 🌻





Friday, June 28

the Summer of Hashtags!

Tis the summer of #HASHTAGS and all things trending!  As July fast approaches and summer swings into full effect I wanted to take a few moments to summarize what is HOT and SIZZLING this summer in Los Angeles!

For fashion, we're going to see a lot of floral prints, denim accents, knuckle rings, and crop tops.  Maxi dresses are still here for another season, but fedoras have just about made their way out.  For bathing suits, I'm still digging a high waisted bottom, but my own wardrobe is full of cheekys!

Summer nightlife in LA tends to migrate from the dark hollywood clubs to more airy places.  You can find me posted up at Larchmont Bungalow in Santa Moinca, Aventine in Hollywood, Nineteen12 at the Beverly Hills Hotel or the good ol' Abbey in West Hollywood.

However, it's the summer days that I most look forward to. I adore the rooftop pools of the SLS Hotel, Roosevelt and the London, a brunch at Geoffreys or Gladstones in Malibu, or some day drinking at The Parlour on Melrose. If you're feeling really adventurous, get your name on the list for XVI at Colony for a Sunday day rave that will leave you with more than a case of the Mondays.

The majority of my July and August will be spent at these fine establishments sipping down sangrias and mojitos in a crop top and high waisted cut off shorts.  Despite that the weather is fabulous year-long, summer gives us an excuse to embrace the sun and celebrate lazy long days with the rest of the country.  So log off of instagram, let down your hair and meet me for a fruity cocktail and good company! #HappySummer!


Wednesday, June 26

A restaurant Review: Duplex

Atmosphere is perfect.  The porch overlooking third street is romantic with rustic wooden benches and marble top tables.  

The inside is a bit more trendy and posh, while the upstairs level feels more sophisticated and classy. To hold a high power business meeting you can't beat the bar upstairs, to grab drinks with friends the downstairs bar is great, and for a romantic date night chose the outdoor patio or a back corner of the downstairs dining area. 

They have an expansive wine menu and drink list.  The food menu is comprised of a bunch of small sharing plates and some main entrees.  

We opted for a handful of appetizers.  The food wasn't necessarily spectacular, but it was enjoyable and worth trying for a second time. 

Menu stand outs:
Crab cakes - mostly crab with little to no filler, just the way my waistline likes it! 
Beets
truffle fries
caramelized brussel sprouts

Everything else we sampled was tasty aside from the tuna tar tar which lacked flavor and substance. 


www.duplexonthird.com 





Blogger Life. 2 years in.



My blog went from getting a few dozen hits a day (probably mostly by accident) to averaging 1500/day.  Which, to me, is no small feat.  I've poured my heart and soul into some of these posts... revealing secrets and fears, elaborating my faults and shortcomings.  And sure, the majority of my posts are snarky and rude.. poking fun at this or that.  But it's all in good nature.  Anyone who knows me, knows I'm the furthest from malicious; my blog simply provides me with a venue to stretch out my comedic wit.  I sincerely apologize if I have ever offended anyone with my posts, please know that it was never my intention.

The blog was born on a downtrodden day shortly after I had grudgingly moved back to Boston.  I felt stuck and depressed... like I had been condemned to a life I didn't chose.  Dramatic as it seems, writing out my feelings and publishing them for anyone in the world to see felt comforting.  Like maybe someone somewhere will stumble upon my measly blog and feel something.  Maybe they'll even be able to rescue me from myself, or at least point me in a new, refreshing direction.

With time the blog developed, as did I.   I opened myself to try cooking, baking, gardening, cycling, and a whole bunch of other things I had always placed on the back burner.  I studied fashion more closely, took detailed notes while traveling, narrowed down my bucket list, and made a mental promise to live fully in the moment so I could recount and reflect upon it later.  The blog changed me.  It helped me find my voice and admit that I want so desperately to be an actress. Something I hadn't even said aloud to my dearest friends.  As the positive feedback and followers grew, my confidence grew and now my goals to finish a book and pilot feel attainable.


  Someone once asked me why I write and I responded that it helps me make sense of life and reminds me to stay focused on my goals.  He responded, cute cookie cutter response.. but I think you're like me.  I think you write for an audience.

And in a lot of ways, he's right.  If I wanted to simply make sense of my life or recount my travels I'd keep it in a diary under my bed.  What I crave is fame and praise.  I want to be a renowned travel writer, fashion blogger, foodie, satiric storyteller..  whatever it is.. I want to be well read.

So, right around my blogs 2nd birthday, I'd like to thank you.  For reading.

besos y amor,

Chels

Saturday, June 15

Jogging through Beverly Hills

I decided to lace up the ol running sneaks and hit the pavement surrounding the gorgeous BH home I've been staying at.

Up Beverly Drive and towards Laurel Canyon I went, and since I was jogging at such an exaggeratedly slow pace.. I had plenty of time to really take in my surroundings.  And this is what I saw.


1.  There are no white people living in the Beverly Hills Mansions!!

2.  Okay, I'm sure there are.  But I didn't see a single home owner, or home occupant.  What I did see was 8-10 mexican workers per house.

3. The less visible your house is from the street, the cooler you are.

4. No mailbox is too big.  In fact, lets just put a dog house out front and write mail on it.

5. Which brings me back to number 1. They need mailboxes this large because they're never home!!  These 10 million dollar homes go UNUSED. Probably because the owner has a few other million dollar homes in even better locations!  I know.  un. fair.  I couldn't even afford to rent out their oversized mailbox, let alone imagine having multiple estates.

6. The richest people in Beverly Hills are Persian Jews.  Next tier, all other Jews.  And last tier, Christian women who married Jews then divorced them.

7. Since we can't see how opulent the best houses are from the street view ....the worth of your house is determined by: how nice the Mexican work cars are, how fortifying your gate appears, and the number of exotic plants that can only grow naturally in plush rain forests you have out front.

8. Why have one porsche, when you can have five!  Really though, I think there's an induction into the neighborhood where you have to agree to own at least one classic car valued at 100,000+, one Rolls Royce, one Porsche, one Range Rover (for your 16 year old little girl, duh), and one convertible of your choosing. Bugattis don't even get you bonus points amongst this company.



You know you're BH royalty when... 

1. your family owns a sports club, but you've never been -- you have an exact replica in your home.

2. you've lost your family cat before in your house -- and never found it.

3. You can't remember your address, because, well, you have too many homes to think of.

4. Plus why would you need to remember it.. you have a driver.

5. Your parents gave out ipads at your bar (or bat) mitzvah

6. The only place you go to in the flats is Urth Caffe and shopping on the right side of Melrose. And you spend 3-4 hours there each day.  This is your job.

7.  You have 6 small dogs.  They all have costumes.

8. You'd miss your friends funeral before you cancelled your hair appt.  Hello, he flies from Paris just for the appointment.

9. Youre sure your house has a laundry room, but there's never been any reason for you to stumble upon it.

10. You started treating premature wrinkles at 17.


Monday, June 10

Buccatini Matriciana: At Madeo or Homemade


BUCCATINI MATRICIANA tops my favorites list for Italian delicacies.  And in my personal opinion, there are only two people that have perfected this scrumptious dish. 
1. The head chef at Madeo
2. My boyfriend Matt Breliant 

For dining out, MADEO in West Hollywood is absolute perfection.  You can never go wrong with their pastas, carpaccios, fresh dover sole.. but if you're looking for a melt in your mouth pasta that will send your taste buds into elation - then you are going to have to go off-menu. Just ask for the Buccatini Matriciana and make sure you do that cute shake of your hand with your fingers pierced together and they are sure to take care of you.  (sidenote: A great menu choice is the salmon and bowtie pasta in vodka cream sauce).



If you're looking to wow guests who aren't vegan, gluten free, or counting carbs (so if you're looking to entertain a dinner party NOT in Los Angeles), this is the ultimate crowd pleaser. 


WHAT YOU'LL NEED
1.  Bucatini - a thicker spaghetti perfect for a flavorful thick sauce. Find them at high end supermarkets or specialty shops. Just a box will do.

2. Pomi tomato sauce (or any tomato paste, but I like one with some added sugar)

3. Red cooking wine

4. Heavy Cream

5. chopped and cooked Pancetta (can sub prosciutto, but pancetta gives the pasta a nice bacon flavor & crunch)

6. Olive Oil

7. Onions

9. Garlic Cloves

10. Fresh Herbs (I like oregano and parsley, but really whatever you have)

11. Pecorino 

12. Parmesan 

Optional add ins:  Mushrooms, chopped red peppers, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salsa, brown sugar


DIRECTIONS: 

1. If the pancetta is uncooked, grill in skillet with olive oil, chopped garlic, and one chopped onion until meat is cooked and onions are browned 

2. In a separate pot over medium heat a carton of the tomato paste, half cup of cream, splash of red wine (up to 1/4 cup), 1/4 cup pecorino, 1/4 cup parmesan, herbs, 1/4 cup olive oil

3. Slowly stir in the cooked pancetta and onions 

4. In a separate pot cook pasta until firm (a tad more firm then you normally like it, as it will continue to cook in the sauce)

5. Drain water from pasta and pour half of the sauce mixture into pasta pot. Stir well.

6. Serve a generous portion of pasta on a plate and top with a spoonful of both cheeses (mixed).  Put the rest of the cheese on the table for guests to help themselves to more.  

7. Great Sides:  Last time we made this dish we served it with fresh baked baguettes, a fresh lemon and herb dressing salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and avocados over spring greens and corn on the cob. For appetizers: a truffle dip with crackers and mozzarella, tomato and prosciutto.  Dessert was bright macaroons and fresh fruit! 






BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!

This pasta is AMAZING the next day.  My favorite is to pan fry left overs in a skillet and serve with the extra sauce you saved from the night before. 

In my perfect world I would crack two fried eggs over this pasta and serve with french bread for a delightful breakfast feast.
The Next Day - Frying pan delight! 

Tuesday, June 4

Unique First Date Ideas in Los Angeles

It's Spring, and thus love (or rather lust) is in the air!  For any hopeless sap who fails time and again with first date nights, you're in luck for stumbling across my blog.  You won't be torturing your hopeful date at Supperclub or Rock n Reilys this spring.  Nor will you be stuck droning on and on about your botched childhood over a drawn out dinner.

Not with these entertaining & action packed date night picks. If you fail to secure a second date after wooing and dazzling at any of my date night choices... maybe you should scroll back a few posts to 'dating tips in LA'




For the big drinker: The Vodka Box at Nics Martini Lounge. You get to put on fur jackets and hats and take shot after shot of vodka in a freezer.  Talk about an ice breaker. har har.

For the artist: Paint Lab: Wine and paintbrushes? And a keepsake to take home?  swoon.

For the joker: Laugh Factory. Save the improv shows for the 4th or 5th date and take her somewhere guaranteed to have at least one headliner who can crack a smile.

For the animal lover: Horseback riding at Griffith Park. Guided stress free horseride up to the Hollywood sign.

For the cooker: Gyu kaku. Grill your own meats, fish, veggies and smores!

For the experience dazzler: David Dinkin's Evening of Enchantment.  Because lets face it, Magic Castle is impossible to get into. Wine, apps and magic will keep conversation and giggles going.

 For the foodie dazzler:  The Bazaar.  This meal will cost you, but the presentation and atmosphere is worth it.

For the romantic: Movie in the Cemetery.  Cheap and adorable. Plus it offers a venue where you can initiate convo, or you can just relax and enjoy the movie.

For the adventurer: Ifly at Universal Studios. It's skydiving.  For normal people who don't want to jump out of a perfectly good working plane.






Sunday, June 2

Best Rooftop Pools in Los Angeles



Ah, summertime in LA is finally here.  Time to agonize over which bathing suit makes my love handles less prominent, sip down frozen beverage after frozen beverage and post filtered pictures that make me look tanner.

Los Angeles is great in the summertime.  You're a quick ride to the beach, but for the lazy and more sceney bunch of us, we're an even quicker ride to a fabulous rooftop pool party.  Tis the season of cookouts, mansion pools and swanky hotel parties overrun by hollywood's socialite packrats.

Here's my top favorite pool parties in Los Angeles, and why.

1. Roosevelt. Yes, it tends to attract a little trashier crowd these days, but the charms there nonetheless.  This iconic hotel boasts a perfect pool and fabulous libations.

2. SLS hotel. Dog friendly.  Actually iguana friendly too, I saw someone bring their lizard last time I visited.  Great views, great company, great drinks.

3. The London. I have yet to grace the London pool, but I've heard nothing but fabulous things.

4. The Thompson. For a more sophisticated crowd who doesn't want to lay out and relax to the sounds of house music this is your spot.

5. Mondrian Pool. Can't beat the atmosphere.  I adore this pool and the people who chose to lay by it and sip their perfect bloody marys.

6. The W Hollywood. A bit more touristy and a smidge more 'edgy' than Roosevelt, to put it nicely.  But great spot regardless.

7. Mr Cs. Recently renovated, they have a Sunday day party, supposedly with brunch.  No views, not a lot of room, but perfect for d list young celeb watching.  

Visit any of these pools on a Saturday or Sunday and you'll most likely have to name drop or buy a table to get in.  Another viable option is to snag a room key card.  

Dress code.  This isn't your backyard shindig.  Get out your heels, throw on some makeup, put on your designer watch and suck in.  This is a full judgement arena where everyone is under each other's scrutinization. 

Los Angeles Hiking: The Santa Anita Canyon Loop (Arcadia)

What a perfect hiking spot!

The drive to Arcadia took an hour and change but the last leg up the winding mountaintop was absolutely breathtaking. The rolling hills and deep ravines reminded me of a forested Grand Canyon.


PARKING.
There is absolutely no adequate parking. Ever. But drive to the convenience store and purchase your 5 dollar parking pass then pray for someone to leave. Worst comes to worst begin driving back down and park along the winding road. Don't be overwhelmed by the number of parked cars, the trail is wide enough to accommodate all of these hikers!


THE TRAIL.
The trail begins on pavement for nearly the first mile.  You will see a marker to go right towards a dirt path.  Don't be tricked, keep on the pavement towards 'Sturtevant Falls'. This is the 50 foot waterfall you came to see - and the hike will only rack you up 3 miles and change, but there are plenty of add on trails that can bring you closer to a 10 mile hike. The trail will switch off pavement after the initial descent and you'll follow the streaming river to the beautiful waterfall and pool.

The trek down is fairly easy, but don't forget you have to come back up at some point.  The add on hikes can be much more steep if you need the extra challenge.  While there are plenty of additional trails located near the waterfall, a nice option is to hike back up the paved trail and decide at the top if you would like to add on the dirt path I mentioned earlier.  This trail will bring you down to a small pool perfect for taking a dip or enjoying a picnic and adds on another 2 miles.

DOG FRIENDLY.  They should be on the leash, but I left the Golden off-leash and no one seemed to mind (aside from when he shook himself dry next to a picnic-ing family)

CAMPING.  There are cabins doting the trail, which can be rented out for camping.  Seems a little to Blair Witch Project for me, but might be nice for a big group to rent a few adjacent campsites.


Truffle Hunting


On my relentless quest for truffle satisfaction in Los Angeles I have had the pleasure of enjoying quite an eclectic array of truffled dishes.  Here's my short list of favorites thus far. 

PACE: four cheese truffle pizza. swoon.  Only a special so call ahead!

KOI: Salmon carpaccio with black truffles and citrus glaze.

BOUCHON: Truffle popcorn (happy hour special)

UMAMI: Truffle Burger.

BEVERLY HILLS CHEESE STORE:  Truffle infused cheese. literally heaven. 

BLT: Truffle Fries

MAESTROS: Truffle and Crab Gnocchi 

And I'm still on the search for the best truffle mac n cheese.  

Bouchon Review

French fare in the perfect location?  Before I could even drool over the macaroons on display, I knew Bouchon had my heart. 

The location is unsurpassed.  Overlooking a beautiful shared courtyard with the Montage hotel, the day seems to lazily drift by as you enjoy one of their signature cocktails, or better a happy hour priced beer or glass of wine. 

Don't go without getting the truffled popcorn and the pate, but you can't go wrong with their generous raw bar platters, croque madams and steak frites. 

Round out the meal with a salted caramel macaroon and you've just had yourself quite the satisfying and relaxing meal. 

www.bouchonbistro.com

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