Monday, April 30, 2018

The Pacific Seas

On Saturday night we decided to go on an exotic L.A. adventure. We hadn't been to the new Clifton's since it reopened in 2015. At the time, the tiki bar, Pacific Seas, was under construction. We'd seen photos and heard about the incredible interior of this hidden bar and we wanted to see it!
Enchanting Woodlands

I've been eating at Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria since I was a little girl. It was always a treat to get a little gift from Clifton's Treasure Chest and have some yummy jello. Andrew Meieran took over Clifton's in 2010. It took almost five years for the restoration. The downstairs and mezzanine dining areas look better than ever. They are a wooded paradise. 
Main Floor of Clifton's

There is a basement and two upper floors. In the old days, these were extra dining areas and storage. The Pacific Seas tiki bar opened last year as a tribute to the other branch of Clifton's that was demolished in 1960.
Upper Level Seating Area at Clifton's

It took awhile to find The Pacific Seas. You have to ask someone with a walkie-talkie where it is located. We were led to an unmarked door, upstairs. Once we reached this door near the Gothic Bar, we went in and climbed another flight of hidden stairs, very speak-easy-like. Once at the top, Polynesian Pop Paradise was revealed to us. 
The Pacific Seas Bar has a completely restored Chris Craft Motor Boat on the floor!
The Map Room at Pacific Seas
There are rescued items from many defunct tiki bars around town like Trader Vic's and Bahooka's. The walls are festooned with artifacts, photos and old magazine articles. The bamboo furniture is divine.

The Pacific Seas Bar at Clifton's DTLA

The drinks were good.  The bar wasn't too crowded yet, it was early. We did notice some tour groups just walking through the bar and then walking out. 
This wall mural was dimly lit, but looks intriguing

We ended up speaking to this darling couple celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. They were from the San Diego area, so we had quite a discussion about Tiki Oasis and the various tiki bars in their area. They wanted to hit the Tiki Ti on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park, but also wanted to eat dinner. I recommended they eat at Taix, near the Tiki Ti. They were dressed appropriately for their anniversary adventure...look how cute....
Erica from San Diego, dressed in proper Polynesian Pop attire
Time for us to go downstairs to the Cafeteria for dinner. We spent awhile perusing the Clifton's gift shop. Lots of good items!
Clifton's Giftshop

When we finally made it into the cafeteria, we noticed long lines in the hot food items area. There is a sandwich area, pizza, soup, salad, etc. The hot food that night was chicken and beef pot pies, carved turkey and roast beef. After waiting in line a bit, we found out that they were out of pot pies. Since the line was long, we decided to head over to Philippe's for a dipped beef sandwich! The food at Clifton's is just like anyplace, nothing special. The comfort food from the old Clifton's was never that fabulous, but it was inexpensive, fresh and plentiful. I miss the old cafeteria, but I'm glad that the building was preserved and restored.
While we were walking to our car, two young girls, dressed up for a Saturday night, asked me if they needed an I.D. to get into Clifton's. Hah! I told them it was a cafeteria! They might be carded at the bars upstairs, but they could go in because they serve food. OK, Andrew Meieran has achieved his goal to make Clifton's a hip destination in downtown L.A.

Philippe's never disappoints AND the parking is free!

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Darcy's Birthday Brunch

Photo by Darcy. Thanks for the Party Favors!

We were a few weeks late, but we celebrated Darcy's birthday with a lovely brunch at Maple at Descanso Gardens this past Sunday. It was hot, hot, hot, but the shade of the umbrellas saved us on the patio!
Natalie, Darcy, MaryJo
I just LOVE MaryJo's summer purse. It's crocheted circles!

Brit, Ellen

We started out with adult beverages, then ordered from the brunch menu. Everything was delicious! We refrained from ordering the fried chicken on beignets, but the fellows at the next table were scarfing it down!

After our meal, we were served a huge bowl of Fosselman's ice cream, vanilla bean, strawberry and chocolate! If you haven't tried Fosselman's, you really must make the trek out to Alhambra for a taste!
Big Scoops of Fosselman's Ice Cream

PRESENTS!  I didn't photograph everything, but Darcy was feted with many beautiful items!

Darcy's home town is Las Vegas
Kermit the Frog radiates!

It was slightly hot and sunny for a few of us
Photo by Darcy

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

L.A. Yarn Crawl - Day Two

Two days of yarn crawling was about all I could handle. I must say that I bought more on Day Two than I did on Day One!
Friday Crawlers: Dommy, Mary, Francesca, Jennifer and Ellen
We started out at Needlepoints West in Westchester. I've always like this little shop. Joanne carries high-end and more reasonably priced yarn as well as needlepoint canvas, embroidery floss and more. It's located in Westchester Village which is a cool little area and throwback to the 1960s.

Owner, Joanne with Dommy
Our next stop was The Knitting Tree in Inglewood where we met up with our fellow-crawler, Mary. The Tree had a "HollyWool" theme this year. Very clever!
Knitting Star Walk of Fame
Famous Director, Christopher B. DeMille is giving Charlie Chaplin direction!
Lenora "Louisiana" Jones
Princess Leia Anetta of Yarnlandia
I did some major wallet damage at The Knitting Tree. See yesterday's post for stash enhancement.  The Tree just happens to be next door to The Sew Together Lounge, fabric shop extraordinaire. My bestie, Natalie happened to be working on Friday. She's such a good salesperson that she persuaded me to buy this fab test pattern fabric...a possible shirt for Mr. Larry.

Natalie and Ellen at Sew Together Lounge
It was TIME FOR LUNCH! Dommy is the restaurant expert, so she directed us to Chubby Rice on El Segundo and Hawthorne in the City of Hawthorne for a most delicious and fresh Chinese lunch!

We decided to drive to our furthest yarn shop, which was Jennifer Knits South Bay in Torrance. Previously, this was Concepts in Yarn. Jennifer took over the shop and fashioned it very much like her shop in Brentwood. The Torrance store has been remodeled into a large, open space.
Jennifer Knits South Bay has tons of embroidery thread!

Our final stop was one of our favorite shops, Twist Yarns of Intrigue in Manhattan Beach. Owner, Kathy, dyes her own yarns and is really an artist! Cathy's other half just happens to be my ol' grammar school and high school friend, Steve! It's always fun seeing both of them. The shop was packed and full of yarny goodness!
Steve and Cathy at Twist
Cathy's Hand-Dyed Yarns
Exhaustion time. We headed back to Inglewood to pick up Mary's car and decided to stop for a refresher at Three Weavers Brewing, located in the same complex as The Knitting Tree and Sew Together Lounge. How convenient!
Francesca and Dommy at Three Weavers Brewing
Jennifer, Mary, Ellen
This was the perfect way to top off a successful yarn crawling day!

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Monday, April 23, 2018

L.A. Yarn Crawl Purchases

This is the official tote from 2015. I like the map, so I've added buttons from subsequent years to this bag!

I was VERY good this year. I did not go crazy and buy tons of yarn. I already have tons of yarn at home. I bought some gifts, collected yarn shop buttons for my tote bag, received some free patterns and yes, bought a little bit of yarn and some fabric!
Lots of cool, free patterns

We crawled to nine out of 26 possible shops this year. That's enough for me. I wasn't looking to break a record. My purchases consisted of:
I already owned the "Kat" yarn on the left. I purchased a skein of the solid hot pink to work with the variegated
Another Little Knittery purchase, this adorable puppy!

Yet another Little Knittery purchase. I LOVE these patches!

The Altered Stitch in Valley Village has a wide collection of hand-dyed yarns by local dyers, including Watts Up Yarn Company. I purchased one skein of this neutral colorway.
I've been purchasing more silver-toned yarn to go with my silver hair!
Cascade Pima Cotton from Needlepoints West. I bought enough for a summer top
Kathy, owner and expert dyer at Twist, offered this gorgeous colorway!
I already started this Baby Boy Afghan (Sunny Spread by Ellen Gormley) from yarn purchased at The Knitting Tree
The Knitting Tree is really my home shop, along with my other favorite The Little Knittery. Both shops offer high and low-end yarns, accessories and a warm, welcome atmosphere! The Knitting Tree has the added feature of being next door to the Sew Together Lounge fabric shop! Salesperson extraordinaire, Ms. Natalie of Hollywood, sold me this cool test pattern fabric. I know that Mr. Larry would love to have a shirt made out of this!
Test Pattern Fabric from the Sew Together Lounge

It was a wonderful yarn crawl. I had fun BOTH days. Tomorrow I will post photos of Day 2 of our crawl.

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