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Tiz Takes LA – Follow the Locals

I woke up from my nap in my new room at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, a supposedly haunted hotel where the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable have lived right along the walk of fame and across the street from the Chinese Theater. I was rejuvenated and I wanted to see my buddy who was now living LA. I went out to JR’s place in Santa Monica planning on staying there for a little and then coming home and making it an early night. We hung out with his dogs ate some pizza, watched the Clippers blow a huge lead and listened to a torrential down pour, which was weird since they were in a monumental drought when I got there. It was great catching up and after the game it was time for me to head back to the hotel.

I returned back to The Hollywood Roosevelt and it was pretty dead, I figured I would sit down at the hotel bar, which was a dark lonely place and have a few drinks before heading back to the hotel room for a good night sleep. I sat down and ordered a bourbon neat, the bartender was pretty much the worse bartender I have ever had, she was texting and furious the whole time I was there. Overhearing other people’s conversations at the bar was making me laugh though, it reminded me of my days in Washington D.C., but instead of people saying “I am the deputy Chief of Staff to Senator…”, the conversations would go “I am a co-producer for…(unknown film or TV show).”  I had paid my tab and was about to head up when these people sitting next to me asked me if I knew were the speakeasy “No Vacancy” was located. I had no clue, but I told them I’d go with them if they wanted to try and find it. They were all for it so me and my new friends were off to find “No Vacancy.”

As the cab pulled into a dark alley and I peered over the chain link fence I could see in the distance a neon sign on an old style Victorian house, once owned by Charlie Chaplain and later used as a brothel, that flashed No Vacancy, we exited the cab and approached the classic Victorian. As we were escorted through the back entrance through a hotel like corridor we entered the 3rd door on the left,  a Madame was there to greet us on her bed just as she said please enter, her bed moved and uncovered an entrance with steps to the basement, an adventure had begun. I went down to the bar and ordered the Royal Swizzle, fittingly I mused to myself for thy Royal Tizzle. The Royal Swizzle consisted of Atlantico Reservation Rum, Orange Liqueur, lime and orgeat syrup, topped off with a garnish of mint.  After the first sip, I knew this would be all I would be drinking the rest of the night, it tasted like an orange dreamsickle, one of my favorite treats as a kid and it got you pretty lit as and adult.  After a few of these I hit up the living room/dance floor and showed Hollywood how white northeast men like to dance, I think they were impressed or confused, not exactly sure, but I enjoyed it. There are a lot of hidden gems in No Vacancy, like photo booths and an upstairs bar and a side exit that lead to an outside grill. I ordered up the No Vacancy burger which was exactly what was needed. The burger was perfectly cooked and had a great smoky-char flavor with bacon, fresh tomato, lettuce, cheese on a bun. I felt like I was at an outside bbq as I was talking to these Swedes next to me about the NHL playoffs. As closing time approached I headed back to my hotel for the night for some much needed sleep.

I awoke from my deep sleep, checked my bags at the front desk, ordered an uber pool and headed over to the Grand Central Market. Grand Central Market has a fabulous variety of food stalls and reminds me a lot of Philly’s own Reading Terminal Market, both could learn a little from each other, but they are still both top notch. First stop was the Grand Central Liqueur store  where I bought a pounder of Modelo Especial. From there I headed over to Sticky Rice. Sticky Rice is a fantastic authentic Thai style bbq street food location. I ordered the grilled pork neck which came with a green papaya salad. The green papaya salad was made fresh to order right in front of my face with a mortar & pestle, it was an awesome site to witness as she grinded away to make sure all the flavors mixed together perfectly. The Modelo and fresh spicy papaya salad complimented each other flawlessly and was the ideal way to start the morning out. But what came next was even better. The grilled pork neck had the flavor of smoked ribs with a mystifying sauce that brought salty, sour and spicy together that made you want to lick the bowl after you were finished. After I was finished an headed over to G & B coffee which is located rightat one of the major entrances of the market and allows you to relax and sip on your espresso as you people watch on the outside street. While drinking the espresso I was told I had to try the burger at Belcampo meat Company, so I walked over there ordered a beer and a burger and dug in. I must say, while the burger was tasty the dirty ketchup was a little overpowering for my liking it had a very strong clove flavoring. I was talking to the lady next to me and she mentioned to me that I had to visit The Grove so after the burger and beers I ordered up an uber pool and headed out.

The Grove is an outdoor shopping and entertainment complex, it was a beautiful day and I even had a chance to ride the trolley. It would be a great place to hang out for the day with family or friends, but I was not there for the shopping I was there for the historic farmers markets that is located inside The Grove complex. I sat down at E & B’s Beer and Wine for some drinks. I started off with a strong bow cider, as I started conversing with my fellow bar flys I realized these guys were regulars, some had only a couple teeth, some worked in The Grove and this is their lunchtime spot and some must have been sitting their since opening because they could hardly sit up straight and it was only 2 pm. The bartender was super nice and entertaining, not afraid to bust the balls of her regulars, she came over and gave us all a free glass of her red sangria to try, which by the way was delicious as well. Before I left to head to the wedding hotel I decided to grab some Brazilian meats from Pampas Grill and brought it back over to the bar. I ordered the Picanha, sirloin caps, and the sausage. The Picanha was delicious and melted in my mouth like butta, while the sausage was a little greasy for my liking and tasted more like a Bob Evans link than I expected. I finished my food and red stripe and headed out.

This spontaneous adventure was 4 Tizzle experience. No vacancy was a 4 Tizzle experience with a unique venue, awesome drinks and solid food it’s a late night location not to miss when in Hollywood. The Grand Cental Market had great diversity and food and was a 4.5 Tizzle experience while the Grove was a 3.5 Tizzle experience with some good food but was a little confusing on how to get around.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!!!!

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