Travel, Art, Coffee & Delectable Provisions.
And the adventure continues.
For this weekends adventure, we decided to take a trip to downtown Los Angeles (DTLA). I used to try and avoid this area at all costs after nearly two decades of having to commute to this part of Southern California; BUT finding out that one of the best Artisan coffee houses has now opened up several locations in my area we decided to risk adding insult to injury and head into the city.
For those of you reading this and are familiar with the Southern California traffic know that driving into Los Angeles (even on the weekends) can be the proverbial dice roll. It’s either going to be a smooth 45 minutes, or up to (no joke) three hours of mind numbing bumper to bumper traffic. Luckily there is a little hidden gem to mitigate all of those potential issues.
The only bad side is that if your 6'3" like me it may get a little cramped, especially how late you book your tickets. (Almost as bad as Southwest, but not quite).
I discovered the second level (a first for me) and I was one of the few travelers. (Being able to exit first wasn’t that much of an importance to me.) I was a happy camper now. Just sit back relax and wait for arrival.
After about a little over an hour we arrived in the heart of Los Angeles. Greeted by nostalgic architecture reminiscent of the 1940's and the L.A. of old, it was time to start the adventure.
Through the power of the inter-web (and a step by step yet loosely arranged itinerary), it was time for the first stop.
After reading this review in thrillist. I was more than ready.
Open since 1908, Philippe the Original is an iconic deli in LA that claims to have invented the French dip sandwich. That said, it’s not your typical sandwich shop where you wait for your ticket number to be called. Here’s how things go down at Philippe’s: if you’re getting a sandwich, get in the specified line and watch as one of the “Carvers” works his magic, then order any sides (like a bowl of chili). If you decide post-French dip bliss that you want a slice of cheesecake, line up at the non-sandwich counter instead.
Walking in I was reminded of a authentic NYC deli or very similar to the family owned deli style restaurant I worked at during my adolescent high school years. The atmosphere was friendly and the community style picnic tables were a nice touch.
They offer a variety of different style “dip” sandwiches as well as homemade salads and even boast .45¢ coffee and .70¢ iced tea. We decided to try a little bit of each so we went with the ham, turkey and beef and naturally (being addicted as well as a snob when it comes to iced tea) I chose that option.
Overall, I give this spot ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️’s. A true hidden gem. They also sell breakfast and apparently have an epic brunch menu. They even sell common libations for those of you looking to loosen up. I think the thing that tipped the scale for me was this:
When is the last time you seen a pay phone , none the less a legit phone booth?
You win Philippe’s. 👍🏻
More info at the link below:
Home of the French Dipped Sandwich Philippe's "French Dipped Sandwich" is the specialty of the house and consists of…www.philippes.com
For those not familiar with the DTLA art scene, imagine an eclectic outdoor smorgasbord full of Industrail looking lofts and condos littered with stencil art, tasteful wall murals, French Bulldogs, coffee houses, vegan food, and a political cornucopia of different views. I wasn’t there to debate who voted left or right, I was on a mission to visit one spot and one spot only, but we will get to that later.
I was amazed by this one. I had to sit and stare at it for a bit. (Artist Unknown)
This photo is funny for many ways. I was laughing for 3 blocks once I connected the dots. I will just leave it at that. #winning.
For those of you who know me, be it for 30 years or 30 days know that I soak up coffee like a sponge. Around four years ago or so I was making several trips a month up to Seattle and one day on a layover in SFO I noticed this new buzz around this logo that was simply a blue bottle. I stared at it for a bit thinking it must be some new type of niche alcohol they are trying to push at the swanky yet crowded airport bar I was sitting at while waiting to catch my Alaskan airlines flight to SEATAC. So, being the curious cancerian <sp> that I am I pulled out my iPad and Googled “blue bottle”. After about twenty minutes I figured it out. It was coffee! And after some more internet digging, I learned it was invested in by google and some of my internet cohorts. It was like all the stars had aligned. Tech and coffee? Pinch me now!! Unfortunately it was only available in SF, so I sucked down as much as I could and then walked down the jetway to board my flight.
Fast forward four years later I find out they open up several Southern California locations and you bet your mothers vintage pearls I was going to get there! It was officially on the bucket list, right up there with Stone Henge. (Yeah I know, I’m the most basic yet complex person on the planet).
I recommend the “Cascara Fizz” and the “New Orleans”. They were made with razors edge accuracy and by far, above the standards of common large chain coffee houses. I didn’t have a chance to try any of the food items offered but I’m sure I will be back soon.
The also offer “pour over” coffee classes and brewing tours. (Yeah, you guessed it. I will be doing that next time). #themoreyouknow 🌟
Here is a little bit more about Blue Bottle if you are interested. I recommend it !! Starbucks who ?!!?
We're a specialty coffee roaster with cafes in LA, SF, NYC, and Japan. Come browse our coffee, brewers, accessories,…bluebottlecoffee.com
After being perfectly caffeinated we hopped in a Über (with the most ummm.. “thuggish-ruggish” Über driver ever, see my IG story here). And stopped in for a lunch at Clifton’s Republic. This place was off the charts. First of all, the building has to be over 100 years old. Obviously remodeled, walking in we were greeted by a very personable hostess, a stuffed bobcat, and black lights (WTF?!) This place was awesome. It has multiple floors to dine on and the third floor boasts a lounge at night as well as a rooftop lounge, not to count the giant tree that grows from the bottom floor all the way up four stories to the roof. It was like “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” and “The Edison” had a illegitimate love child.
Outside The Clifton.
Not to selfie, but I was amazed at the 1920's solid copper industrial piping in the restroom (which is in the basement) that is still operable.
The coolest tree I have ever met.
Chicken pot pie served in a mason jar. This was my choice. (Thank you baby Jesus for my 12 year old metabolism).
A really awesome disco buffalo.
I recommend; before you die, that you either take your family here in the day time or your significant other in the evening or both. I highly recommend the latter. You can check out all the juicy details of there establishment below.
Eighty years after Clifford Clinton revolutionized dining with the mythical Clifton's Brookdale, Clifton's is once again…www.cliftonsla.com
Pershing Square, The Diamond District & Olivera Street. (Or as I still remiss on calling it: Aloe Vera Street).
The day was coming to an end and it getting closer to the time to head back to the terminal; so we decided to make a visit to the Diamond District, Pershing Square and Olivera Street, It had been a while since either of us visited. I was too busy people watching but we did snap a few photos.
Someone was playing paparazzi, and was successful.
It’s was tons of fun walking around and adding clever little eating establishments and hole in the wall night life spots to visit next time to enjoy and network with others from the tech scene. I think I geo-tagged at least 20 new locations we will have to check out. It’s always nice to visit with like minded people.
The sun was almost ready to set, and me being stubborn didn’t take the advice laid at my feet and decided to leave my hoodie at home. So off to the subway we went to head back to the terminal.
Super cool slow motion video I snapped btw.
I hope all you guys enjoyed this weekends re-cap and once again thank you for all the emails of suggestions of new content, new locations and gorgeous over all ideas. (Trust me..me being me I have put them all in a spreadsheet).
We are still working on the dedicated site and we will probably be live in about 60–90 days. We have a lot of UI/UX to do, but we are very excited of the future collaborations with YouTube Content Creators, Bloggers (Tech, Travel, Buisness & Lifestyle) that have already reached out (Thanks to Davey). This is a great space to be a part of and I am proud to be a part of it. Consider this just a story board for now, and we have no direction where we are taking this, perhaps in all 360°. (Now that sounds exciting and I just gave myself goosebumps). For now though we will just file it under the “pet project” folder. After all, it’s not time to quit our day jobs quite yet. 😉😘
If you’re feeling swell and you would like a “all you can eat” version of my content. Below are all my socials.
Once again, take care of one another and be well.
Being cool has nothing to do with age; it has to do with how solid of a person you really are. — Gary Vaynerchuck