Monday, February 05, 2007

LA Cultural Week/end: Classical Music, 80's Clubbing, Mash-ups, and Late-Night Dining

I had a jam-packed week and weekend of evening events - from eclectic music events to a variety of late night dining to Hollywood clubbing options - it's been quite the whirlwind. It reminds me why I love living in - and experiencing - LA. There always something to do. Viper Room
Hello Stranger or Vagenius
Tuesday: At the Viper Room in Hollywood, I went out with my friends Matt, Elaine, and Frank to see one of my favorite bands play - Hello Stranger (formerly Vagenius). Frank managed to snag us a pair of drumsticks for souvenirs! Prior to the show, we ate at the Red Rock Bar & Eatery and after the show we went shopping randomly at a shop near the Viper Room.

Walt Disney Concert HallThursday: My friend Bill invited me to join him and our friends Jay, Nick, and Kevin for dinner and a LA Phil event in downtown. We had a delicious meal at the Taipan restaurant in the Wells Fargo Tower. After dinner we headed off to nearby Walt Disney Concert Hall with a classical concert by the LA Philharmonic featuring Sir Neville Marriner conducting Mozart & Mendelssohn and violin soloist Martin Chalifour.

Friday: I had fun with 80's clubbing in Hollywood at the Ruby Clockwork Orange(which hostsCanter's Clockwork Orange on Friday nights among other great clubbing events!) with friends Jay, Jon, Jessie, Diana, and Jen. We mostly stayed in the main room of the Ruby which played 80's pop/rock, but we did spend time in its two other rooms: one which hosted hip-hop/trance/modern pop and the other which held some indie rock. The night out was followed by late night dining at one of my favorite 24-hour eateries in LA: Canter's on Fairfax.

Saturday: The day was spent at the Westminster Dog Park in Venice with Jay and his pet pug Ezri. The monthly pug meet-up Beverly Centerwas occuring on that day and we spent a couple of hours watching pugs of all shapes, ages, and sizes run around the small dog area. To our amusement, Ezri even found herself a boyfriend named Monty. We followed the dog park adventure in Venice with roaming around the Beverly Center (having lunch at CPK, shopping at H&M).

Later in the evening, Matt and Elaine invited me to a mash-up club called Bootie LA at the Echo night club every 1st Saturday of the month. I had never been to a mash up club before and I had a fabulous time listening to all the great mash-up mixes. My favorite mash-up (which I did get to hear) is Jay-Z's 99 problems vs. Nena's 99 Red Balloons. For those going "what's a mash up?" Here's the Bootie LA definition in brief: Also known as "bastard pop," a bootleg is a song that's "mashed-up." Usually, this means the vocal track of one song is mixed over the instrumentation of another.

After dancing at Bootie LA, we went to the 4100 Bar in the Silver Lake area, which is a lounge and bar with a great ambiance, long couch cushions, and an Asian-influenced interior design. We followed 4100 Bar with some late night eating at nearby Brite Spot Diner which features late-night eating in a cozy, casual diner style restaurant.

Sunday: After such a whirlwind few days, Sunday was thankfully a little bit quiet, but still filled with LA culture and outings. On Sunday morning I attended services at the historic First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. The church is home to the the world's largest church pipe organ and is the oldest Protestant church of continuous operation in the city of Los Angeles. Founded in 1867, the current gothic cathedral on 6th/Commonwealth was built in 1932 and modeled after the great cathedrals of Europe.

The evening was spent with dinner at Mel's Drive-in West Hollywood with Nick, Sarah, and Bill. I love the Mel's Drive-in diners (there's also a Mel's Drive-in Hollywood near Highland) for its classic diner feel and food.

Perhaps, needless to say, I close this entry with: whew!

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator

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