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Old 16 Jan 24, 12:32 PM  
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Travelling From Coast To Coast August 2023: Day 7 - Melrose Trading Post, Griffith Park & Pasadena

Day 7: Sunday 13th August 2023

This morning we had a bit of a lie in and didn’t get up until 6.30 am. I think we were pretty exhausted after the previous evening’s accommodation debacle, and luckily this morning we didn’t have to leave until 8.30. Seren was complaining that she’d had a really bad night’s sleep but she couldn’t pinpoint the problem. She actually had the same issue all four nights we were here which was really odd as she’s usually able to sleep anywhere and has always been a really sleepy person and a heavy sleeper. Bizarre. I don’t know if the problem was she found the pillows or mattress uncomfortable or if it was just…bad vibes. As much as she liked this hotel, she was really happy when we moved on so she could get a good night’s sleep.

I think we may have bought some cereal and almond milk at Vons the previous afternoon as there’s no way the girls would have gone until mid morning without eating which was when we next ate. I have a vague recollection of buying cereal in LA and the girls and Mat having some in the suite this morning.

As planned we set off at 8.30 am. The friendly hotel staff greeted us as we walked through the lobby, and one of the valet guys brought our car out of the parking garage. Waiting for the car:

Of course, on top of the extortionate $65 per night valet fee, we then had to tip every time we got the car out again. Flip’s sake.

This morning we were heading to the second of this weekend’s flea markets. It wasn’t far away and it took about 10 or 15 minutes for us to drive there. Melrose Trading Post takes place at Fairfax High in the Fairfax district which confusingly also seems to be called Beverly-Fairfax. According to my photos, Apple refers to it as the Melrose district. Anyway, it’s the bit of the city bordered by Hollywood, West Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire and Hancock Park. Melrose Avenue runs through the middle of it and is known for shopping. Certainly this far east, it’s a bit more edgy than the high end stores on Melrose in West Hollywood.

We were about 15 minutes early for the flea. We needed gas and handily, there was a gas station across the street so we took the opportunity to fill up while we waited.

We then drove over to the valet parking entrance for the flea which was on one of the side streets off Melrose, but the attendant told us they didn’t start admitting cars until 9 am when the flea opened.

There was some available street parking on Melrose in front of the school so we hovered there until 9 am when we drove back round and dropped off the car. Valet parking is free but I think it fills up by the middle of the day which was one of the reasons we had decided to arrive at opening.

Across the street:

Whereas Los Feliz Flea the day before had been free to enter, there’s a $6 admission charge for over 12s at Melrose Trading Post. The funds raised support students at the school via Greenway Arts Alliance, a local non-profit organisation. You can pay on the gate or buy online in advance, which is what I had done to make life easier.

You can tell by their faces that the girls were well and truly fed up of posing for photos by this point in the trip which was unfortunate this early in the day:

The ATM here was just by the entrance gates so the girls took out some money so they were ready to spend. We then showed our tickets on my phone and walked into the grounds. First stop for Mat and Seren was of course the restroom, and because it was already getting hot, I hosed the girls down with spray sunscreen while they told me they didn’t need it and frantically tried to run away and start shopping.

Melrose Trading Post is bigger than Los Feliz Flea and doesn’t have the same cosy feel. It is, however, one of the most well-known flea markets in Los Angeles and they even have a celebrity hall of fame on their website. Celebrities who’ve been spotted shopping at Melrose Trading Post include Lana Del Rey, Willow and Jaden Smith, Jennifer Garner, Chris O’Dowd, SZA, Paris Hilton, Joe Jonas, Usher, Shawn Mendes, Kendall Jenner, Taylor Swift (like 10 years ago) and Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck (only last year.) Unfortunately we didn’t see any celebrities during our visit.

So the girls went off to shop and we went off to find a) coffee and b) a place to sit down. I mentioned in yesterday’s report that both yesterday and today’s flea markets were a kill-two-birds-with-one-stone situation, in that the girls got to shop while I got to check out a special (for me) location. Yesterday it was the playing field from the end of Grease and today’s was even more of a big deal to me. As anyone who’s read my reports or follows me on Instagram knows, my biggest obsession is my favourite band, Red Hot Chili Peppers. They’ve been my favourite band for 32 years, I’ve seen them in concert 13 times in four countries, have three RHCP tattoos…blah blah blah. I had a handful of Chili Peppers’ sights in the holiday plans (they’re an LA band for anyone who doesn’t know) and so far we’d visited original guitarist Hillel Slovak’s grave and the RHCP star on the Walk of Fame. For a very long time, I’d been aware of the fact that Anthony Kiedis, Flea, Hillel and original drummer Jack Irons all went to Fairfax High School and that’s where they met. I never thought I’d get the chance to visit as generally you can’t just walk onto the grounds of a high school. Then I saw Melrose Trading Post somewhere online and realised where it was held. So as we made our way through the grounds, I was excitedly taking it all in and taking lots of photos.

Dropping this one of Anthony and Flea in here too. Sorry, not sorry:

Melrose Trading Post is large enough that it has an online map and colour-coded sections. We were heading for the food court section by the food trucks as that’s where the seating area is. We had plans to sit and relax as per yesterday while the girls shopped (plus I needed to message AirBnb about our issue the previous day.) There’s an outdoor stage called Greenway Amphitheater Stage right by the seating area and food trucks and during the event they have live music on the stage. When we got over there, the stage was set up but the music doesn’t start until later in the morning and even by the time we left, the live music was only just beginning. We really were early birds.

So we walked into the courtyard and saw the stage and I got very excited.

There are a few photos of Slash who also went to school here playing guitar on this stage when he was 17 years old. Here’s one of the photos:

Slash was a couple of years behind Anthony, Flea, Hillel and Jack in school as he’s a few years younger but I’m sure I read somewhere that my boys also performed on this stage while they were at school here. I was taking photos and then I just got very overwhelmed and burst into tears. It really hit me that this band who have been a huge part of my life since I was 13 was formed here and if the four of them hadn’t attended school here together, they never would have existed as a band. I was proper sobbing uncontrollably and couldn’t stop. We walked over to the coffee kiosk which was close to the stage and I was pretty embarrassed that I couldn’t stop crying but Mat took over and sorted the coffees while I tried to compose myself.

We had our usual (black Americano for me and double espresso for Mat) and the very friendly people at the kiosk tried to sell us some of the baked goods they had but as they didn’t have anything vegan we unfortunately couldn’t partake. We knew Freya would be all over it when the girls came back though.

I messaged AirBnB and we relaxed for a bit. We were a bit hungry so Mat went round to the food trucks to see if they had anything vegan. This is where the food trucks were located but I didn’t manage to take any photos of the actual food trucks:

He came back with avocado toasts for each of us. They were fine for being the only available vegan option from a food truck.

The girls popped back and said they weren’t finding as much stuff to buy here as the previous day’s flea so they didn’t expect to be that much longer. Half an hour later they were all done. Seren had bought a couple of tops including a Cars children’s t-shirt, a skirt, and a little art print. She had also had a chat with another customer at one of the stands who was an American man who had spent time living in the UK. They had a chat about the British weather (obviously.) Freya had bought a Nike sweatshirt and the book of Carrie by Stephen King. They were both peckish so went off to the food trucks. Freya got a cinnamon roll from the aforementioned coffee truck and Seren got a smoothie.

Both girls absolutely loved their snacks. Just after 11 am we were all done so headed out.

I had something on my list that was a couple of blocks up from Fairfax High School so we didn’t go back to collect the car just yet. Instead we turned right onto Melrose…

…and walked to the corner with N Stanley where the recently created Spotify Taylor Swift My Top 5 Eras mural was located so we could take a few photos.

The girls had photos taken with their favourite eras.

I don’t like having my photo taken so didn’t get involved but if I had, I would have been standing in front of Fearless and Speak Now (with Red also in shot) as those are absolutely my favourite Taylor Swift albums.

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Old 16 Jan 24, 12:35 PM  
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We passed this um...interesting t-shirt shop on the way back to the car:

Back at the valet parking, we had to wait a couple of minutes for one of the guys to bring the car back around for us to head out. It didn’t take long despite there being a few other people waiting. From Fairfax High we drove to The Grove parking lot which took about 15 minutes. The parking lot was pretty busy with it being a Sunday lunchtime. We had to park on one of the higher floors which was absolutely fine with me because views.

We weren’t at The Grove to be at The Grove because we aren’t shoppers but we had to walk through there to get where we needed to be. We all needed to restroom so ended up going on a bit of a wild goose chase around the place before finding a staff member to ask where the restrooms were, It turned out they were back at the ground floor of the parking lot. The restrooms were nice though, as was The Grove in general. As I said, we’re not shoppers but if we were I would definitely say it would be a nice place for a mooch. It reminded me a bit of Bicester Village with it being upscale and outdoors but nicer.

We popped our lunch destination into google maps, strolled back through The Grove and as we stepped out onto Fairfax we came across Netflix Bites which is apparently a Netflix restaurant. Having just gone onto their google reviews page I’m still none the wiser but it doesn’t appear to have very good reviews. We walked up Fairfax..

…and then onto Beverly Boulevard until we got to the corner of Laurel Avenue which is where our lunch destination was located.

I was excited about visiting Swingers Diner because it is right up our alley both design and food-wise. I love a good retro diner, especially one that’s a bit edgy with very cool staff like at Swingers. It took just under 15 minutes to walk there and I remember it was hot as we walked. We went in and it was pretty busy. For some reason I had expected it to be quiet but it was Sunday brunch time so my bad. The sign inside told customers to seat themselves but as we stepped in a staff member came over and took us to a booth at the back which we were grateful for as I think it was the only table for four left available at the time.

Swingers is one of two restaurants in LA, the other being Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank, at which during the writers’ strike that was taking place at the time, Drew Carey was picking up the tabs of anyone with a WGA members’ card. So that’s likely another reason it was busy. Swingers has long been a hangout for industry people and apparently Carey’s tab at Swingers was running at more than $10,000 per week during the strike. Swingers has been a thing in this location for nearly 30 years. It closed down in the pandemic because pandemic but the general manager, a lady called Stephanie, raised enough funds (including from celebrity customers apparently) to restart Swingers with her as the owner.

Swingers is open from 8 am until 3 am every day and while they have a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, they give you all three and you can basically order from any of them at any time. Seren chose the Veggie Joe (house made veggie chilli, soyrizo and vegan cheese on a toasted vegan brioche bun) with sweet potato fries, Freya just wanted some fries which was surprising as she’ll usually snap up an egg or two when they’re on offer, Mat got a couple of sides; the sauteed tofu and some brown rice as he wasn’t very hungry, and I of course chose the vegan nachos. To drink I got a mango mimosa, Seren had apple juice, Freya had Diet Coke and Mat got a double espresso. I may have had a second mango mimosa as our food was a little slow arriving so there was time for a second.

This photo explains why I prefer to take all the food photography rather than pass the phone around the table which is what everyone else prefers:

We absolutely loved Swingers and would definitely recommend it. The food was really good and our meal wasn’t as expensive as some of the other locations we went to. I ate a lot of vegan nachos while in LA and this dish was definitely one of the better ones. Our server was friendly enough and I would say that their extremely cool staff strike the right balance between friendly and assertive that you’d likely need working at a late night diner in Hollywood. We saw them kind of hurry a group of teenagers to settle up and leave as they were lingering over their drinks a little too long and there were customers waiting for tables. But it was done in a friendly and professional but no nonsense way.

Failed on getting a decent photo of the entrance and sign:

We left at 1 pm so we’d been at Swingers just under an hour. We were hustling this afternoon as we needed to get to Griffith Park for an activity before it closed at 3 pm.

We walked back to the car and when we got to The Grove, the girls wanted to pop into Brandy Melville quickly. While we were on a time schedule, we were doing okay and it’s not often we get to visit a Brandy Melville as we generally don’t frequent the parts of London where they have stores. What was quite amusing was that there were about half a dozen men standing around outside the door (separately) who were clearly waiting for their loved ones to shop inside. Mat decided to join them.

I told the girls they needed to be quick and we all had a look around. Freya picked out a pair of hoop earrings and went to pay for them and Seren decided she wanted one of their backpacks as her new school bag to go into year 13 with but we agreed she’d be better off financially and logistically to order it online from the UK store when we got home. I only buy hoodies from Brandy Melville so I wasn't in the market to purchase one in 90 plus degree heat in August and with luggage restrictions.

When we got back to the parking garage, we all quickly restroomed because as previously mentioned, the restrooms here are nice. Also we knew it was a sensible idea as we were going to be in Griffith Park for the next few hours. According to my photos, it took us about 50 minutes to drive from The Grove to the part of Griffith Park we needed to be in. Either we stopped briefly on the way which I don’t remember doing and doubt we did, or the park was busy with it being a Sunday afternoon meaning the traffic was bad. Google maps gives the driving time as between 20 and 55 minutes so I’m going to assume we were just unlucky with the traffic.

We found the correct parking area for LA Live Steamers. There are two miniature railway situations in Griffith Park, the other one is called Griffith Park Train Rides and is a cute little steam train type thing, whereas the Live Steamers model train is like a ride-on bench that you straddle. I’d seen it on an Adam The Woo video and it looked a little bit wild so I thought it would be fun and the others agreed when I showed them the video. It only runs from 11 am until 3 pm on Sundays only so I had to do some planning gymnastics to slot it into our day today, with it being the only Sunday it would work for us.

We headed over to the kiosk to purchase tickets and it was about 2.25 pm so we hadn’t done too badly. I had seen on the website that the suggested donation for the ride was $4 per person. We either paid $4 or $5 each and also grabbed a bottle or two of cold water as it was $1 and we were thirsty. There was a little line and we had to wait for about the third train to be able to load.

When we loaded onto the train, one of the members of LA Live Steamers gave us a quick safety talk and he was super enthusiastic and also quite funny. He rode at the back of the train with a driver at the front. The ride around the park was awesome; it goes quite fast and we all loved it. Unfortunately a couple of idiots weren’t following the ‘remain seated and keep your children safe etc’ instructions we’d been given so the safety talk guy had to alert the driver to stop the train once or twice during our ride which was annoying.

We were off the train by 2.55 pm and had to wait a minute for Seren to use the restroom before we could move on.

Speaking of Seren, she had been a bit grumpy today as per other days that involved a) walking and b) things she wasn’t massively excited about. When we’d parked up at the LA Live Steamers car park, her stroppiness was at its peak. But the train ride definitely put her in a much better mood. Honestly, for $20 for all of us I can’t recommend LA Live Steamers enough and all of us agreed it was one of our Los Angeles highlights. It’s a brilliant and pretty unique activity and just good wholesome fun.

Also worth noting is that Walt Disney’s railroad barn is located here at LA Live Steamers. He was a member of the organisation and they moved his barn from his house in the hills to here. It’s open to visitors on the third Sunday of every month between 11 am and 3 pm which unfortunately for us meant it would be opening the following Sunday and not today. In the event the barn didn’t open the following Sunday because of Hurricane Hilary but we’ll get to that eventful day in due course.

From where we were, we moved the car to one of the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round car parks which was about an eight minute drive. As I’m sure most Disney fans know, this carousel is where Walt Disney first dreamt up Disneyland. We could see the merry-go-round from the car and could see that it was closed and all shut up. Randomly there was a large group of people all dressed up as if for a special event like a wedding hovering on the steps down to the carousel. I had thought that the merry-go-round had reopened at weekends after the pandemic but it was most definitely not open today. Having just done some research, apparently it did reopen briefly at weekends in 2021 but now has some major mechanical issues which mean it’s no longer operational.

A few decades ago, the merry-go-round was owned by a guy called Warren Deasy. He hired a young Peruvian immigrant named Julio Gosdinski who was in high school to work at the attraction. Over time Warren came to think of Julio as the son he never had. Julio had a real love of the merry-go-round and continued to work there after he left school. He studied its mechanisms and devoted himself to its maintenance. When Deasy died in 2011, he left half of the merry-go-round to Gosdinksi and half to his ex-wife. Julio continued to operate the merry-go-round until it was shuttered during the pandemic. He unfortunately died unexpectedly without a will in 2020 and there is currently a probate issue regarding ownership of the merry-go-round. The co-owner, Deasy’s ex-wife, opened the carousel at weekends after restrictions eased in 2021 but it currently has major issues with the mechanism and is non-operational. Everything is up in the air because of its mechanical problems and the probate issue moving very slowly through the courts which is of course a real shame.

We took a couple of photos at the (very much closed) Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round and then popped our next destination into google maps which was the abandoned zoo. Google maps said it would be a nine minute walk but it took nearly 20 minutes. I thought maybe google maps thought we were driving rather than walking but I’ve just popped it in again and it definitely says nine minutes to walk. The app did seem to be having a bit of a meltdown with not being able to work out exactly where we were which was likely a lack of signal issue. I think we ended up going the long way rather than the route google maps wanted us to take.

Anyway, as we started on the walk we saw there were lots of groups out enjoying the park; having picnics and playing ball games etc which was lovely. One of the first groups we passed however had a fire going for barbecuing. There were lots of signs in Griffith Park at the time prohibiting fires and barbecues because of the dry conditions. We saw a few of them each time we came to Griffith Park so there was no way these people weren’t aware they were doing something they shouldn’t be. How irresponsible and selfish to think their barbecue is more important than preventing a massive fire in a state that has a history of being susceptible to the problem of out of control wildfires. They were actually set up quite close to the road and I was really hoping a security or police patrol would rock up and fine them.

On the other side of the road from the selfish grillers was a drum circle with about 20 people of all walks of life, young and old, just jamming together which was amazing.

Eventually we could see the abandoned zoo up ahead. There are, I think, three (or maybe four) of these large animal areas with picnic tables. In the first one, a guy had set up a microphone and amp and was playing songs on an acoustic guitar. There was a crowd of about 30 people watching and I’m guessing it was an organised thing because of him having an audience. It looked like this might be a regular thing although it’s probably not allowed. But someone playing music and bringing people together is a good thing in my book and is of course less harmful to the park than someone potentially (accidentally) setting fire to it. To be honest, we could smell the gig pretty much as soon as we could hear it as it was, shall we say, most definitely 420 friendly.

One of these enclosures, I think the one the guy was playing in, was used in the bear scene in Anchorman. We explored the others.

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Old 16 Jan 24, 12:36 PM  
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At the back, in the enclosed part, there are steps up and it’s all a bit spooky. I’ve seen youtube videos in which gates and chains have been open back there so people have gone up the steps but they weren’t accessible today or I’m pretty sure Mat would have been up there.

We carried on up to the other enclosures, some of which did have open doors so Mat and Freya went inside.

The zoo closed in 1966 and moved locations to another part of Griffith Park. The small cages were apparently pretty standard in zoos at the time but were seen as inadequate, ugly, poorly designed and not well-maintained by the time the zoo moved to its new location. We really enjoyed looking around the abandoned enclosures. In fact, on the walk to the zoo, Seren had been very much not loving life and moaning about the heat (it was low to mid 30s I believe) and the walk, in true Seren fashion. But in the end, she really enjoyed looking around and it was actually Freya and I that were done first as Mat and Seren did their usual having to read every detailed sign. I had originally planned for us to hike the ‘zoo loop’ which was about an hour but I knew that wasn’t going to go down well in this heat and also time was ticking and we had other things to do before our dinner reservation.

We walked back to the car taking the shorter route (thanks google maps) and then set off to our next destination which was Pasadena.

First up on the Pasadena list, I wanted to drive over the Colorado Street Bridge which is a La La Land destination and a huge beautiful bridge. From Griffith Park, Google Maps took us onto the 5 which was pretty quiet and we were on the bridge within about 20 minutes. In La La Land, Mia and Sebastian walk over the bridge at sunset during the summer montage and it looks gorgeous. There is a pedestrian path along the bridge but for the movie, production added lantern style lamp posts along the bridge so it’s not quite as spectacular in everyday life. Plus, since the movie was shot, the City of Pasadena has added 10 ft fencing along the bridge because of the high number of people that would tragically jump from there. We had decided to just drive across it rather than walk and then go and take photos from the park underneath.

We drove over the bridge…

On the way to the little park, we went through a residential estate and the houses were so cute. We were all picking out the ones we would choose to live in. It was really quiet and green and…yes please. We parked up in the little park area and it was hot and Seren was moaning. There were restrooms which of course the half of the family that need to restroom every five minutes used, and once again Freya got dragged along with Seren for moral support while I waited by the car. I took some photos and replied to AirBnb who were very much peeing me off by this point. It was about 4.30 pm and since my first message at about 9 am, I think I’d had to reply to them four times. Every time they came back to me, it was a different person asking me the same questions I’d already answered. Exactly how I wanted to spend my vacation.

Anyway, we took some photos of the beautiful Colorado Street Bridge….

…and then drove up to the Rose Bowl to take a photo from outside.

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Old 16 Jan 24, 12:38 PM  
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We then drove about eight minutes to Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena for our next stop. I had added a parking lot to the planning so we could dump the car and have a walk around, but in the event we found street parking just on the corner of our destination, which was the Rialto Theater. The Rialto closed down in 2010 and is currently being used as the home for a church, but it has been featured in some iconic movies and tv shows. It was on the list for us first of all for being a La La Land destination. It’s the theatre Mia and Sebastian go to to watch Rebel Without A Cause. Freya was much more excited about the fact that the exterior and lobby were used in Scream 2 as the movie theatre where Jada Pinkett Smith gets stabbed. The interior was also used in the Thriller music video (the Michael Jackson eating popcorn meme). And in Modern Family, it was the closed down theatre Phil Dunphy took his children to that he had helped build.

After taking a few photos we split up. Seren was craving an iced vanilla latte from Starbucks and handily, there was a Buckaroos just up the road. I had told Freya there was a Blaze pizza here in South Pasadena and she was very much in the market for that. So Mat and Freya headed in one direction to Blaze and Seren and I went the other way to Starbucks.

It was a very nice Starbucks, if a little too keen on air conditioning, but eight minutes after our last photo at the Rialto, it was mission accomplished. Having this in her hand obviously produced the biggest smile of the day.

We headed back along Fair Oaks Avenue past the Rialto..

…and went into Blaze where Freya was tucking into her pizza. They had been very generous with the toppings (mushroom and pineapple), particularly the pineapple.

Once she’d eaten as much as she wanted, we took the leftovers back to the car and set off for our last destination of the day.

We were moving north to Old Pasadena which took about seven minutes. Like South Pasadena, Old Pasadena is also lovely.

I had popped a parking garage into Google maps and when we got there, we found there were about four parking garages all pretty much next to each other. We ended up in a different one from the one I had planned, which we didn’t think was an issue. It wasn’t really, except that basically the restaurant we were visiting for dinner offered validated parking at the other three and we had to pay full price for our parking and didn’t find this out until we settled our check. Typical.

Our dinner booking was at Sage Plant Based Bistro which is in the One Colorado Courtyard. The courtyard is really cute.

I had booked our table for 7 pm but it was just after 5.30 pm when we arrived as we were doing really well for time. Being early was no problem.

We were taken through to a booth. The bar area was pretty but the rest of the restaurant was nothing special which was a bit disappointing in comparison especially since it was located in such a beautiful courtyard. I ordered the margarita flight. Look how pretty.

I don’t know how anyone else drinks flights but I tend to rotate sips of each one rather than drink them one at a time. I have no idea what the flavours were at this point and failed to make a note of it. They weren’t listed on the menu as I guess the flavours vary but I do remember her saying one of them was rosemary (I guess the one with rosemary in) and one of the others was a citrus one if I remember rightly. They were all ok but didn’t seem very strong.

Everything here is vegan although I believe they do use or at least used to use honey in some dishes. Seren ordered a cheese pizza and asked if they could add onions and pineapple which they were fine with. Mat got the Eggplant Arabiatta. I chose the Jackfruit ‘Crab’ Cakes and Freya and I were going to share some Hand Cut Garlic Fries.

Seren and Mat both enjoyed their meals. My crab cakes were not very good. They were bland and didn’t taste very healthy or high quality. But the biggest issue was that I ordered them from the ‘shareables’ section of the menu and they were $18.50 but they were very much an appetiser portion. Look at the size of the crab cakes compared to the lemon wedge.

And that is my major complaint about this restaurant; it is way too expensive. The garlic fries were $11.50. And yes, it was a plate rather than a little bowl like you might get in the UK when ordering a side of fries. But they weren’t even great and we didn’t finish them between the four of us, not because there were too many but because we didn’t want to eat them as they weren’t tasty enough. It’s pretty unheard of in our house for fries to go to waste as we are all fry monsters.

Pretty much all of the entree dishes on the menu were around $20.50. Yes, food price inflation / California pricing / vegan food is expensive and they buy from local farms and support regenerative agriculture. But the quality is really not there to be charging these prices. The food was bland, salty and felt like freezer / microwave quality to me. We had paid $23 - $28 for each of our entrees at Nic’s on Beverly the previous day but that hadn’t ‘felt’ expensive because of how tasty and high quality the food was. Reviews for Sage are a mixed bag; there are definitely people who feel the same way as me but others rave about it.

I think Seren would definitely like to go back as she really enjoyed her pizza. I am interested in trying something a bit more ‘fresh’ like a salad or a bowl or a burrito to judge the quality of the ingredients a bit more and see if those are better value. But I think if we did go back and even a salad didn’t seem worth the money, it would definitely be a ‘fool me twice’ situation. We paid $115.78 plus tip for two entrees, plus what equates to an appetiser and a side, a margarita flight and a couple of soft drinks. And if I haven’t made the point enough by this point, it wasn’t good value for money. Sage ended up being only one of two restaurants we went to in LA that I came out of saying ‘never again’ but here we are a few months later and I’m already thinking about going there again and trying something different, or trying their Echo Park location (again with ordering something fresh). So we’ll see if they get a second chance.

We also had the irritating restaurant situation where you’re ready to go and getting the bill is a huge challenge so that was fun. But eventually we were all paid up and heading back to the car.

We drove back to West Hollywood, dropped the car out front with the valet and headed upstairs to the room. I’m surprised we didn’t do anything this evening like head out for a walk or go to the hotel bar or at least get drinks from the bar and bring them up to the room. But I think we were all pretty worn out and decided to just relax in the room. I’m going to assume Freya had some more of her Blaze pizza and Mat and I had drinks since we’d bought gin and wine the previous evening. I have a vague recollection of the girls putting on the TV and watching a good few episodes of Friends before crashing. I’m pretty sure my plan was to catch up on instagram posts and maybe make some notes but I’m also pretty sure that didn’t happen as I was knackered and ended up falling asleep early .

Edited at 03:46 PM.
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Old 23 Jan 24, 05:16 PM  
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Another great day Michelle! How fabulous that you were standing in the actual location of where your favourite band met, like you say, if they had gone to different schools then none of us would know who RHCP were!
I hope you got your Airbnb issue sorted, what a palaver and not what you wanted to be doing on holiday!
The train ride you went on sounds great fun and something I'd love to do one day. In fact you have made me want to visit LA repeatedly as there is so much more to the city than the usual tourist sites (once I have ticked off all the other destinations that BA fly to though)
All my previous reports can be found HERE

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