Nov 09

FOOD AND DINING: The Redwood Room at the Clift Hotel

Wonder how they get the top shelf alcohol?

Wonder how they get the top shelf alcohol?

If you’re ever in downtown San Francisco and looking for a 50′s ultra-lux chic bar that throws eco-friendly out the window, you should definitely check out the Redwood Room at the Clift Hotel (495 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.  415-929-2372.)

Originally built in 1934, this historic room underwent a massive $50 million restoration from the folks at the Morgan Hotel Group and Philippe Starck.  Once you walk in, the incredibly high ceilings and dark wood take you back to an era of old-school glamour and style.  It has so much glitz I felt like I should have been smoking a cigar, wearing a double breasted suit and been accompanied by an up and coming movie starlet (actually, that was the guy next to me).

Big enough to fit a redwood inside.

Big enough to fit a redwood inside.

Here’s a breakdown of The Redwood Room:

  • The service - Impeccable. 
  • The food - Fantastic; the menu is basically the same food served at Asia de Cuba next door. 
  • The crowd -  Definitely people you want wouldn’t mind being around.
  • The art – Don’t trip when the digital art starts to move.
  • The prices - You should probably be ready to spend about $100 to $150 per person.

A little piece of advice: make a reservation or arrive early.  We got there around 5 pm (before the happy hour crowd) and found ourselves at an amazing table at the back of the Redwood Room. 

By the time we finished eating our tuna pica and crispy calamari salad, we were in the middle of one of the best places to be in dowtown San Francisco.

For more information you can check out The Redwood Room’s main website here.

Oct 09

FOOD: Baby Blue’s Barbeque

Baby Blues!!!  You're my BOY Blue!

You're my BOY Blue!

A few of us had a conversation last month about the perfect men’s restaurant.  It would be something like this:

  • Food: Barbeque ribs, chicken and beef
  • Entertainment: MMA with the ring in the middle of the restaurant
  • Waitresses: Ultra hot ladies that are fun and friendly
  • Parking lot: Full of exotics and classic cars

Aside from the MMA part, Baby Blue’s Barbeque in Los Angeles fits the bill quite nicely.  They have fantastic barbeque based off cuisines from different parts of the country, beautiful servers and every once in a while they have some pretty nice cars parked outside.

I know it’s good because my friends from St. Louis say the barbeque is good – and they are barbeque snobs.

The next time you are in the West Los Angeles or West Hollywood area, make sure to check them out.  I would personally recommend the Texas Beef Rib with corn on the cob, mac and cheese and okra as sides.

For more information about the restaurant and directions, check them out online:

Oh and did I mention their waitresses were smoking hot?  Trust me, you will be in food coma heaven when you’re done.  Just don’t expect to get any play with all that barbeque sauce on your clothes.

Aug 09

FOOD AND DINING: Asia de Cuba Los Angeles

There are certain places you should enjoy when you’re visiting a city (or living in it) and Asia de Cuba is one of them. I’ll admit it- I’m a little biased because I spent nearly two years wandering the halls of the Mondrian, but even after being able to recite the menu in my sleep I consistently go back for more. Isn’t that the trait of a great restaurant?

Mmmm.. Tunapica. My own personal kryptonite.

Mmmm.. Tunapica. My own personal kryptonite.

But if you go here with a myopic focus on the food you’re going to miss a whole experience. I’m not implying that the food isn’t excellent-it is- but it’s not designed to be enjoyed in a vacuum. You are supposed to kick back, enjoy a mojito, snack on the shared plates with your dining companions and exchange some friendly banter with your server while the sun sets over L.A. Get it?

The outside tables are even better.

Oh, wait, did I forget to mention the view?

There are a lot of people who go here to be seen, but as a former employee I’ll give you an inside track on something that is even more enjoyable than rubbing shoulders with the Hollywood crowd- getting there early. If you make it there by five you’ll find that there is a different rhythm that doesn’t exist after the sun has retreated. It’s… calm. No hustle and bustle, no plates and glasses clinking, no constant murmur of conversations happening next to you. You’d swear that someone was going to bust out a yoga mat any second.

There is also another advantage to the early dinner- the Skybar doorman doesn’t get there until 8pm. Finish up dinner (it takes about two hours) and wander on over just before the big rush hits the restaurant. Waiting in line is so passé.

Inside skybar at night

Inside skybar at night

Solid Menu Recommendations:

Calamari Salad


Short Ribs

Lobster Mash (mash potatoes and lobster.. who knew?)

Do you need a better reason to take off early on Friday?

Do you need a better reason to take off early on Friday?