Tour of Manhattan Beach at night
July 31, 2008
By Joy A. Kennelly
Sometimes you just want to let off steam and not stress over everything that's on your plate. Last night was my night to do that. I called my friend Lauren who'd just returned from Florence, Italy to join me in Manhattan Beach for an unofficial "Girl's Night Out."
She was game so we chose Upper Manhattan to start our "pub crawl". (I use that term loosely because it's so not us and because those who think I have a drinking problem will really think so when they read how many places we visited in one night. Just joking around people. Totally joking. If anything it was a "looky loo" kind of evening if that.)
The entertainment for the night was this guy playing a guitar, drum, harmonica and probably some other instrument I don't remember. He was actually quite good, but I'm not into 70's folk music so...
The place is really stunning and my "Hermosa" drink was tasty. Not so sure UM deserves so much hype though when looking around at the crowd it drew around 9pm on a Wednesday. A bunch of older (60's) arrived as we were leaving and it was predominately groups of women hanging out - not my idea of fun. I like testosterone.
We did meet some nice guys who graciously agreed to take pix just for kicks - turns out these twins are some of the multiple owners. Very clever decor and very soothing environment. Will need to go back and visit on a weekend night to see the difference. And maybe even try the menu. Just wasn't hungry.
Pancho's Restaurant across the street was packed with 20 somethings while this place tilted older which was nice. Bumped into my buddy Tony from Spa Riviera who was enjoying himself by himself.
I really must buy more flat shoes, but I keep thinking my back is going to be better faster than it's been healing which really is frustrating sometimes. Damn car accident. I really needed to go out last night.
Anyway, we then decided to go visit a couple other places since the night was young and headed out the door towards 12 and Highland since I'd been hearing about it from so many people.
However, Lauren needed a snack first. I introduced her to my favorite divey Mexican place called El Tarasco on Rosecrans right above Highland- where it's always crowded with a mish mosh of people and the food is amazingly good AND cheap.
Just the way you like authentic Mexican food. I love too that it's actually run by Mexicans because they're the real deal cooks. None of this white bread fake Mexican food other places might serve - this is authentic, roadside, divey Mexican food to die for. Oh, and if you have a sticker, bring it. They'll put it up for you.
Lauren loves it. I bet Mikey would too.
We met Mike who was down visiting from Canada. He said this is the first place he comes whenever he flies in. I asked him if he'd care to join us in my hometown tour of Manhattan Beach and of course he said sure.
We then drove down to Manhattan Beach proper where we parked in the empty city hall parking lot and walked over to 12 and Highland. Walking in, the throbbing base and dance music playing loudly was rather a turn-off, but again, another beautiful venue.
This place had a small gathering of what looked like locals gathered around the bar enjoying the loud vibe. Not our scene since we were interested in actually carrying on a conversation rather than dancing, so after briefly looking around we left and walked over to Shade Hotel.
By this time we needed to use the facilities and we were a little punchy so here's the tour of Shade Hotel's ladies room for all you guys out there who ever wondered. Notice how nice Lauren's big ring is? She's very proud of that ring and her manicure too.
See Lauren - gotta get all the details in. People like details! LOL She kept teasing me all night about what I write in my blog, but what can I say? You keep reading so I keep writing!
Notice the beautiful sink and powerfully suctioning hand dryer. We won't tell you what one gentleman told us about his thoughts for what else it could be used for because we're ladies.
We liked this place, but not enough to stay. It was definitely the most crowded of the places we'd visited up till then though and I'm sure a lot of fun. Again, just interested in actually chatting rather than competing with loud music. Plus, felt a little too cougarish for the environment. Leans young.
Then I lead the way down Manhattan Beach Blvd. and over to Mucho's since I'd been there before for dinner and wanted to see what their nightlife was like on a Wednesday. It was quiet, maybe about 15 people, and the music was great. By this time we were all ready to have another drink and stop walking.
I bumped into Jayana, an acquaintance I'd made a few months back who used to be on the Age of Love Show as one of the 40 year olds, which was nice. She's super friendly and very personable waitress there. Better hurry if you want to meet her though because she's splitting the South Bay for Simi Valley soon.
If only we were into tequila we would have had numerous choices, but we weren't and the other drink selections weren't as large. However, that doesn't matter to me because I'm not a big drinker anyway. Just sharing for those of you who are. LOL
It's very stylish, sexy, and sultry with mood lighting, ample couch like seating and comfortable booths. We enjoyed kicking back and getting to know Mike a little better. Lauren kept eying the bartender, who kept looking right back. She is quite striking you have to admit. How often do you see a brunette in CA any more right?
I like going out with her because we're such opposites in appearance, but have a lot in common because she's a publicist too. Good friend too. Check out her site here. We always discuss business and what's going on which is fun. Sometimes you just need to share with someone who gets it.
This picture was totally taken as a joke for the person who thinks I have a drinking problem. Next picture explains whose drink it really was. Mike is very nice and gave me some good ideas for wine tasting parties I'm planning for The Shore. He's a wine afficianado of sorts.
Drives exotic cars too. Can you spell Maserati? Not that I'm into that or anything, but gotta appreciate a guy who has nice wheels.
Isn't this a pretty bar? All amber and everything. I think this must be a trend because a lot of new places in Manhattan Beach have it. They probably all used the same contractor as The Shore did seeing as they had this style first.
So this concludes our tour of Manhattan Beach's newest and finest places to go out. I hope you've enjoyed this tour and come back when I take Lauren and Mike on a tour of Hermosa Beach's finest and newest places next.