January 29 2008

Sunset Plaza: Fashionable boutiques and celebrity galore

journeyPod is your guide to luxury travel around the world. We give you VIP access to the hippest hotels, hottest nighlife and coolest restaurants.

If you are looking for the perfect girl's afternoon out in Los Angeles, journeyPod has found just the place.  A chic, little two-block strip of fashionable boutiques and outdoor cafe's nestled between Hollywood & Beverly Hills, Sunset Plaza's trendy bistros and boutiques line both sides of the adding a European flair to West Hollywood.

You might think that Sunset Plaza was a recent addition to the area, but in fact this small center was built back in the 1930's.

The little shops feature the latest and greatest styles and therefore,  attract celebs, as well as residents of the posh neighborhoods to the west. Armani A/X, H. Lorenzo, D&G, Nicole Miller and Oliver Peoples are all here.  But the journeyPod pick for best boutique in Sunset Plaza is On Sunset, co-owned by fashionista Shauna Stein and The Young and the Restless star, Lauralee Bell.

Besides the shopping, the people-watching here is the biggest attraction. There are more beautiful people (and supermodel wannabes) here than just about anywhere else in town, all part of the passing parade.

Grab your credit card -- we are going shopping!

Enjoy the fun sounds of group +nurse and their song, "Former supermodel cocktail waitress."


Super Model watching while sipping espresso

journeyPod is your guide to luxury travel around the world. We give you VIP access to the hippest hotels, hottest nighlife and coolest restaurants.

Celebrities pop up everywhere in Los Angeles. If you spend enough time here, you'll surely bump into a few of them. If you're in the city for only a short time, however, it's best to go on the offensive.

The Sunset Strip -- a 1 3/4-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard is a good place to start.  That is where you will find The Comedy Store, where Rosanne, Robin Williams, and David Letterman rose to stardom; Dan Aykroyd's ramshackle House of Blues, where the rock stars still show up for an impromptu show; Johnny Depp's Viper Room, where River Phoenix overdosed in 1993; Whisky A Go-Go, where The Doors were once a house band; and the Rainbow Bar & Grill, where Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Marley became legends.

If you like the idea of a sidewalk cafes where you can sit and sip espresso under an umbrella while you watch the Rolls Royces and supermodels cruise by, The Sunset Strip is for you!

You can choose from a number of sidewalk cafe's including journeyPod pick, Cravings. The hard work of this family-owned business has stood the test of time for two and a half decades and has remained unmoved. Pull up a chair and enjoy the good life while enjoying the fun sounds of group, Buck Brothers and their song "Girls, Skirts, Boots, Bikes."


Bin8945: Pour it on at this hip modern European bistro

journeyPod is your guide to luxury travel around the world. We give you VIP access to the hippest hotels, hottest nighlife and coolest restaurants.

As sip becomes hip, more and more wine bars are pouring onto the LA scene. This boom in intimate, dark places to sip Brunello di Montalcino and chat over Petite Syrah, is driven in particular by young people's enthusiasm for wine, and by a rise in wine popularity across all age groups because of greater availability and affordability.

Wine is undergoing a popularization in Los Angeles that's making it appeal to a wider range of ages and income levels. Wine bars are becoming a nightlife trend, following the martini and cigar-bar crazes of the last decade.

Many bars and restaurants in the area are making wine a priority.  BottleRock in Culver City is a wine bar and shop, offering many interesting, eclectic selections from around the globe.  At Lou they have a fun list that changes about every six weeks to reflect the changing seasons. The food is secondary, almost an afterthought.

The journeyPod pick for best wine bar in Los Angeles is Bin 8945. Bin8945 is so much more than a wine bar ---  it can be described as a hip, modern European bistro designed around the pairing of wine and food.  journeyPod sat down with owner, David Haskell, to discuss his new one-of-a-kind experience called Bin8945. 

Drink more wine: It's not just for special occasions; it can be a part of everyday life!  And as your sipping, enjoy the smooth sounds of My Virtual Band and their song, Red Wine.


The Fabulous and Fun WeHo Gay Scene

journeyPod is your guide to luxury travel around the world. We give you VIP access to the hippest hotels, hottest nighlife and coolest restaurants.

Santa Monica Boulevard is named in the Sheryl Crow song "All I Wanna Do" (Is have some fun!) and not surprisingly - this eclectic thoroughfare is one of LA's largest, connecting the eastside of Los Angeles with the Pacific Ocean.

This area of West Hollywood is home to City Hall and the "largest street party in the world," the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival.

Santa Monica Boulevard

is also home to the most popular gay & lesbian scene in Los Angeles, sometimes referred to as "Boys Town," with fun gay nightclubs, bookstores, and cafes all of which are bustling on any given evening. From upscale to low-key, anyone fits in when you are experiencing the WeHo gay scene. If you have ever heard the phrase, "There is not enough variety amongst West Hollywood restaurants."  I can tell you that is certainly Not true! Morton's, Il Sole, BOA, and Mel's are just some of the over 150 restaurants. West Hollywood suits everyone's palate.  The journeyPod pick for most interesting restaurant in WeHo is Eleven.If the walls of Eleven could talk, oh the stories they would surely tell!  Eleven is housed in a building that dates back to the 1920's and was once a bank and a recording studio.

Chef Vincent Manna prepared an extensive tasting for us that consisted of  a tomato creme soup with an in-season squash blossom, Maui onion rings (Which I must admit were the best onion rings I have had!), a whitecorn puree with truffles, and a unique dish of tuna sashimi with watermelon.

 journeyPod then had the opportunity to sit down with owner, Richard Grossi, and learn some interesting tidbits about this restaurant.

Get down to Eleven and grab some onion rings!  On your way, enjoy the rock sounds of Backslider and their song, Eleven East.


Fred Astaire Ginger Rogers Royale LA Museums

journeyPod is your guide to luxury travel around the world. We give you VIP access to the hippest hotels, hottest nightlife and coolest restaurants.

Come along as we explore where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers used to practice their dance moves.  The Royale has plenty of celebrity history to entertain you and great food to keep you coming back for more.

There are an amazing number of museums in the greater Los Angeles area:  Historic museums, cultural and art museums, movie and car museums, marine museums - you name it. Many of them are centrally located on Wilshire Boulevard.

There's something for everyone's taste. Make a day of it and eat dinner in one of the nearby restaurants.

La Fonda de los Camperos is a Mexican eatery open since 1969 that hosts nightly performances by the Grammy-nominated mariachi band Los Camperos. The heavily local and Latino audience whistles and hollers at the seven-piece group from plush booths on the ground floor and in the cozy balcony. But, the journeyPod pick for best restaurant around Museum Row is hidden inside the historic 1920s Wilshire Royale Hotel.  Simply called Royale, this swanky spot features a cool cocktail lounge, a black slate bar, a 35-seat circular booth, and lush patio. The dining room's soaring columns offset original white Italian marble and hand-carved French oak. Rumour have it that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers once danced in the Ballroom, which is now the restaurant's dining room.

Museums and dining await!  Sit back and enjoy the sounds of Aubergine, an electronic music trio based in Fort Worth, Texas and their song, Royale.


Sushi and Celebs To Die For


journeyPod is your guide to luxury travel around the world. 

West Hollywood’s 1.9 square miles encapsulates the best of all Los Angeles has to offer! Equidistant from both the Pacific Coast and downtown LA, West Hollywood is a visitor’s paradise. Whether your plans include a trip to Hollywood,

Rodeo Drive

or a beachside stroll, WeHo (as the locals say) is ideally situated for both exploring by car or meandering by foot all of the gems Southern California has to offer.

Why not start the day with a tasty LA Breakfast out? Options WeHo-style include local finds such as Dukes Coffee Shop, Hugo’s or Joey’s Cafe, favorite hang-outs for people in the film and music industries. Or visit the Standard Hotel’s Restaurant, with its savvy, Sunset Strip take on coffee shop fare to satisfy your appetite for trendy spots serving great food.

It wouldn’t be West Hollywood without a party! And you’ll find it on the Sunset Strip. Venues range from The Roxy, Whisky a Go-Go, Viper Room, Key Club, House of Blues and beyond. All hotels on the Sunset Strip feature a bar or cocktail lounge with trendy scenes, especially SkyBar at Mondrian, Boa at Grafton and the Lounge at the Standard.

For a great dinner, and a possible run-in with Tommy Lee or Leonardo DiCaprio, head for Blowfish Sushi To Die For.  journeyPod enjoyed an extensive tasting and got some inside scoop on this great restaurant.  Take a listen…


January 28 2008

As Good as it Gets in West Hollywood

journeyPod is your guide to luxury travel around the world.
Just a short 20 minute drive from LAX airport and another 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, West Hollywood is very accessible.  And with so many fun and crazy things to do in West Hollywood, you could spend days here! 

Shopping, dining, celeb watching….West Hollywood has it all. Did you know thatWest Hollywood is one of the top 10 most filmed sites in the world! With over 150 restaurants, 14 hotels, and unique features like the Sunset Strip and Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood shines in front of a camera.

West Hollywood’s 1.9 square miles are home to unparalleled historic venues, incredible views, and access to the most desirable locations in Los Angeles. When in West Hollywood, there are plenty of opportunities to whet your appetite.  A few journeyPod picks include: Asia de Cuba at Mondrian, Mels Drive-In, and Sushiya. But the journeyPod pick is The Palm. journeyPod had a lovely dinner with George Gilio, the General Manager of The Palm, West Hollywood, and got the inside scoop!

Enjoy the cool sounds of Caruseo and their song, "Palma Summer Nights."


Iconic Hotel on Sunset Strip

Iconic Hotel on Sunset Strip

When you think of Rock-n-roll music - The Doors, Led Zepelin, Guns-n-Roses may come to mind. One of the unique things about these bands is that they all started off in West Hollywood, playing at many clubs on Sunset Strip.  If you are visiting Los Angeles, you owe yourself a trip to this iconic street. So much history and so many stories...if only the sidewalks could talk.


Some of these "glamorous" nightclubs from the 60's,70's and 80's are still around- The Whisky, for example, is where The Doors started as a house band in the late 60's.

And speaking of stories, The Hyatt on Sunset, better known as "The Riot House" has many stories to tell. If you want to stay at one hotel with history - you gotta stay here!

The notorious hotel is currently going through a major renovation- which includes replacing the notorious balconies - that's right no more balconies for Axl Rose to BBQ from and then throw steaks at the people walking below (true story from 1986).

journeyPod had the opportunity to tour this iconic property as is - before the renovation. We were also fortunate to stay in the famed Suite 905 - also known as the "Robert Plant Suite" - one of the most photographed suites in Hollywood. Photographers are happy just to get a picture of the outside of the door. Apparently in 1975 Robert Plant was quoted saying, "I am a golden god!" from the balcony during an interview. One evening Keith Moon, drummer of the Who, climbed from his suite to serve him a cocktail.

Enjoy the appropriate sounds of Indigo Shadow and their song, "Window Riot".


Paso Robles - The New Hip Wine Country!

Centrally located between San Francisco and Los Angles along California’s central coast, Paso Robles is a four hour drive from Los Angeles. No need to drive 8 hours to Napa or Sonoma and fight the crowds of peoples...no sir!


Diverse soils combined with warm days and cool nights make Paso Robles the optimal area for producing more than 40 wine varieties from Cab Sav, Merlot, and Cab Franc to Zinfandel.

journeyPod recently experienced the perfect weekend getaway to Paso Robles... so all you jetSetters out there, take note!

Hotels to check out include: The Carlton, La Bella Sera, and Hotel Cheval. And for the restaurants get ready to feast at: Artisan, Villa Creek, Enoteca (at La Bella Sera) and Deborah's Room (at Justin Winery).

Take an educational tour at Steinbeck Vineyards and then head over to Eberle Winery to indulge in the juice...

Read more about about Paso Robles in our Luxury Lifestyle Blog!

In the meantime, sit back and relax while enjoying and the smooth sounds of Peachy Jane and their song "Water on Wine".


Los Angeles Nightlife, Attractions, Bars and Restaurants

journeyPod has teamed with InMotion Entertainment to offer great travel tips and ideas on fun things to do in top destinations around the globe. 


Los Angeles is a city of glitz, glamour, limos and lights. Follow along with us as we explore the perfect beach and hotel pool to spend the day bronzing. Favorite ones include Laguna, Venice, Zuma, Manhattan, Hermosa, Santa Monica and Matador. In case you're inquiring about those lovely swim-up bars... we highly suggest the ones located at the Standard, Beverly Hills Hotel, Mondrian, Peninsula and Chamberlain Hotel pools.

What they say is true "all the stars come out at night" - so get in your finest gear and get ready for these great nightspots! For a true culinary experience we suggest: Mr. Chows, Koi, Katana, Angelini Osteria and The Ivy. Then get ready to party at Sky Bar, The Whisky, LAX, Formosa and The Rooftop Bar at the Standard.

For a full list of our journeyPod picks visit out Los Angeles Destination Guide!

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