Dec 22, 2010

Smells like Roses: TCU invades Los Angeles

TCU's Rose Bowl uniforms from Nike

Come December 30th, plenty of people from Horned Frog Country will be invading good ol' SoCal.  While TCU has plenty of events planned, take some time to enjoy some of these attractions in you're around for a few days:

  • Universal Studios Grinchmas  Christmas may be over, but all the Whos in Whoville are spreading the holiday cheer over in Univeral City.  Take the Universal backlot tour and see all of the sets from your favorite movies, including (you guessed it) How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Drybar Los Angeles  I rave about this all the time and I can't wait to get my hair done for the party at the W on the 30th!  Drybar is a salon that only does blowouts -- they wash and blow dry your hair to perfection -- for only $35!  You can't beat that, especially here in LA.  They have four different locations, no matter where you stay, and is the perfect pick-me-up before a NYE celebration!  Be sure to book online now to get in
  • Runyon Canyon or Beachwood  Just because you're traveling doesn't mean you have to slack on that fitness of yours!  Runyon and Beachwood are both great exercise, and they're FREE!  Runyon is off of La Brea and Hollywood and Beachwood takes you around the infamous Hollywood sign
  • The Grove  Our version of outdoor shopping, The Grove has a very romantic feel to it.  Cute bistros, great stores, a movie theater and a watershow at the fountains!  Stroll along after dinner or before a movie to the tunes of Frank Sinatra and Etta James.  Stores include Nordstrom, Zara, Forever 21, The Apple Store, Anthropologie, Nike, The American Girl Store, William Sonoma and more, with restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory.

When it's time to nom, here are my recommendations:
  • Joans on 3rd  Delicious sandwiches and salads for all!  A staple for any LA business :)
  • Real Food Daily   If you're the adventurous type (or vegan), hit up RFD.  I highly recommend their kale, brown rice and grilled tofu with peanut sauce 
  • Toast  A great brunch spot, be sure to get here early to avoid long waiting times 
  • Griddle Cafe  The best pancakes you will EVER EAT.  Long lines as well.  Try the Red Velvet panCAKES
  • Ketchup  If you're looking for that trendy LA place to eat, Ketchup is always fun.  You'll go blind after your meal (the lighting is all red), but they have amazing food and to-die-for sweet potatoe fries!  As seen on The Girls Next Door
  • Rainbow Bar and Grill  Love this place, mostly because it reminds me of good Texan cooking.  A historical landmark on the Sunset Strip, enjoy the mozzarella bites with your meal while watching the big screen.  Who knows, you may sit next to Axl Rose (I did)
    Barney's Beanery
  • Capitol City or Barney's Beanery  Capitol City is the where the official TCU watch party is going down if you can't make it to the game.  I'm positive we rented the whole thing out, but I figure it might as well be because when we played Utah the entire front portion of the establishment was all Horned Frogs.  It's a really cool sports bar that reminds me a lot of Dallas.  Barney's (in my opinion) is even BETTER because I haven't seen a place with so many TVs.  It's young and rowdy, just how I like it.  And their burgers are to-die
  • Gyu-Kaku
  • Gyu-Kaku  I am OBSESSED with this place.  It's right next to the SLS hotel on La Cienega.  It's this adorable little japanese restaurant.  Perfect for dinner, you cook your own meat on the grill!  Make sure you cook it well ;)  It's relatively cheap and is a fun experience for everyone
  • Sushi Roku  You can go to places like Katsuya and Geisha House and get decent service and pay three prices, but Sushi Roku is where it's at.  A West Hollywood favorite started by the owners of BOA steakhouse, the chefs all greet women by clapping or giving cat calls (would be obnoxious except they're all so adorable)!  It's upscale, but not crazy expensive either.  A great family restaurant of place to unwind with your friends
  • Red-O Mexican Cuisine  This is the gourmet version of Mexican food and it's awesome!  It features a fantastic Tequila bar.  Ask for the Scorpion Margarita. Mmmm!

Clubs and Bars
I'm sure plenty of you want to go out while you're in town.  Be forewarned, drinks are hard to get and expensive; guys, you'll definitely pay a cover, and tables are few and far between (if you can afford it).  Yet these are some of my favorite haunts around town.
  • Teddy's  On Hollywood Boulevard at the Roosevelt, Teddy's is probably my favorite club.  They always have a fantastic DJ, and the door seems to be pretty strict so it's never overcrowded.  You can dance and order a drink without a problem, and it seems like there is always a celebrity guest DJ in the house
  • Las Palmas  I hate that I'm even saying this but this is a sterotypical LA club, but I always have a blast at Las Palmas.  This is the place you read about DJ Pauly D and Lindsay Lohan (pre-rehab) heading to.  It opened on Cinco de Mayo this year, which is fitting considering it's a Mexican restaurant during the day.  It's on Las Palmas (who would have thought?) and Hollywood
  • Roger Room  It's small.  Real small.  But if you're into celebrity sightings, someone is always here.  Last time I saw Jason Segal and John Mayer
    Hemingway's Lounge
  • Hemingway's Lounge  Think The Library in downtown Fort Worth on steriods.  Books galore; a really shabby-chic type of joint with a smoking patio and lush reading chairs for comfort
  • La Descarga  A cuban club with delicious mojitos, a cigar lounge, a live band and some burlesque entertainment.  Coolest part?  You walk through a closet to get into the club! 

Everyone's been asking me about New Years.  Honestly, good luck!  I'd recommend finding a house party or an event in your hotel, because hailing a cab will be equivalent to finding the Bermuda Triangle.  I've heard of some parties, but pricewise they're equivalent to buying a Rose Bowl ticket.  A TCU-themed option is Frogbash at the Hard Rock Cafe at Citywalk, and of course there are a ton of clubs promoting parties, but beware of open bars -- they will definitely go over capacity (which means overcrowding and limited drinks).  If you can find something in Pasadena, even better!  Heck, you might spend your NYE on the curb because Pasadena allows occupants to start gathering and reserving space for the Rose Parade starting at 12 noon on the 31st!  Bring a poncho in that case because it's supposed to storm :) 

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