California Here We Come (Again)

    [Image above: Banh Xeo Chay at Pho Cafe]

Tradeshows make up the bulk of our buying experience, but also we like to sprinkle in trips to Los Angeles every few months to visit the massive L.A. wholesale district and vendor showrooms.  Being sophomoric Los Angeles visitors, we already have a few favorite spots in L.A., but we are always looking for new and interesting things to do. Any suggestions, Angelenos?One of our favorite dining spots is the delicious Pho Café.  Nestled in a tiny plaza, Silver Lake, this unmarked Vietnamese restaurant is a true hidden gem. The Banh Xeo Chay (crispy mushroom and egg crepes, served with mint peanut sauce, sprouts and rice paper for wrapping) are worth a trip to L.A. for!   

After dinner we headed for drinks at the Cha Cha Lounge. This eclectic hang-out has dim red lighting, sombrero-covered ceilings, a photo booth, and some of the finest velvet paintings I have ever seen. We had heard some rumors of celebrity sightings (Ryan Gosling has DJed there before), but it was a low-key night at the Cha Cha. However, coincidently, the DJ ended up playing a track from fellow friends and Pittsburghers, The Modey Lemon.


Velvet Painting of Richard Pryor at Cha Cha Lounge 

Over all it was a successful trip. We can’t wait to go back, especially since next time we are taking a day trip to Disneyland!


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  1. Avatar
    Diana 02/10/2009 at 4:14 pm #

    Read _Counter Intelligence: Where To Eat In The Real Los Angeles_ by Jonathon Gold! Such a good read.

  2. Avatar
    Polly 02/10/2009 at 7:13 pm #

    El Cholo – delicious decadent Mexican food – 1121 S. Western Ave.
    Leaf – organic, vegan, raw – 11938 W Washington Blvd.
    Real Food Daily – organic and vegan but cooked! – 414 N. La Cienega Boulevard
    Cha Cha Cha – amazing Caribbean food and sangria! – 656 N Virgil Ave.
    The Edison – very cool swanky bar – 108 W 2nd St. (downtown)
    Skinny’s Lounge – very cool under the radar bar – 4923 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
    Smog Cutter – most horrendously wonderful dive bar with karaoke – 864 N Virgil Avenue

    I could go on and on and on and on. Seriously.

    I’d love to meet you guys for a drink next time you’re in town!

    I used to LOVE Pho Café but got sick after eating there one time so I can’t even really think about it anymore.

  3. Avatar
    Katie Z. 02/10/2009 at 9:10 pm #

    i *totally* agree with Polly on the edison and the smog cutter! if you show up at the edison on wednesdays, they have performers from the lucent dossier circus (like cirque du soleil, only i think it’s a bit grittier). it’s probably my favorite space in LA.

    also, if you’re into drunken belligerent karaoke d.j.s, the smog cutter is worth it for that.

    for vietnamese, there’s also a lovely place tucked in chinatown: cafe via, on gin ling way (which is really a pedestrian walk between hill and broadway, college is the cross street). and if you want some fantastic decor, go a few doors down to the mountain bar: they have amazing lights, and often have djs or poetry readings on the weekends.

    chill bars a little farther afield: jones (at santa monica and formosa) and the woods (on labrea north of sunset… the intersection where shia leboeuf flipped his s.u.v.)

  4. Avatar
    ann 02/12/2009 at 3:38 pm #

    The next time you visit L.A. you should definitely stop by the Alcove – which is also in Los Feliz. It has the most amazing died-and-gone-to-heaven brunch. And you guys would totally love The Edison, echoing the two comments above. It was made for ModCloth clothes!

  5. Avatar
    Sari 02/15/2009 at 1:52 pm #

    Ann- We love Alcove!

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