Most recent episodes

October 7, 2008

Palm Desert’s Golf Cart Parade and Keedy’s Fountain and Grill

Filed under: On the Road — StyleGuide @ 7:31 pm

Float in Golf Cart Parade     Keedy's Fountain and Grill

A great way to appreciate the golden years if you aren’t already there is wiling away a late October weekend in Palm Desert.

The temperature languors in the 90s, the vibe is easy and slow, and the golf carts ditch the green and head down El Paseo in the Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade.  

It seems half the town pimps out their rides with all manner of decor, a Rose Parade with pint-sized floats.  The elements combine for a strange alchemy of small-town gathering and golf carts freshly victimized by hard-core glue gun-wielding crafters after a half-price sale at Michael’s. 

That’s how the elderly roll in Palm Desert.

This year the parade falls on October 26, so there’s time to book a room (maybe something old school like The Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs).   Fuel up before the parade with breakfast at a place Gramps would love — and probably even visited as a teen — Keedy’s Fountain and Grill in Palm Desert.  A time capsule of a diner, nothing much has changed since 1957 — and the place is the stronger for it.  Join the clientele of all ages (including regulars who have logged decades of daily meals at the original yellow Formica counter) for a malt in a frosty silver cup and a $5 “Keedy’s Fix” burger.

What better way to indulge the senior citizen who lives inside of you, longing to complain about joint pain and aspiring for a 6 p.m. bedtime ? 

Related Links  |  more desert fun

Palm Springs Follies

Buddy Greco’s Dinner Club

July 23, 2008

La Jolla Weekend: Jose’s Court Room and Roppongi

Filed under: On the Road — StyleGuide @ 7:52 pm

Jose’s

We hopped the train to San Diego to visit Jennifer, a StylishGuide inspiration and dear friend gifted with the ability to conjure up luxe bargains.  As tour guide, she lived up to her reputation, turning a “diamonds and denim” town like La Jolla into a destination for the cheap and chic. 

Ever the thoughtful host, she drove us straight from the San Diego train station to afternoon margaritas.  Jose’s Court Room on Prospect is an unrepentant dive bar, though one with multi-million dollar wide open ocean views from the bar stools.   A pitcher of frosty margaritas was followed by chips, salsa and creamy guacamole, plus Jose’s tacos (a deal at $3-4 each), and combos for a few bucks more (try the fish taco).

At 4 p.m., she led us a few blocks away to Roppongi.  This is an upscale place, with a fire pit on the patio and a dark, moody interior.  The trick is to hit happy hour — 4 – 6 p.m. seven days a week – when they take half off sushi rolls and Asian tapas, like tender and flavorful scallops on potato pancakes.  Even at half price, this isn’t bargain basement sushi (but let’s be honest — who in the world wants bargain basement sushi?).  Nevertheless, it is a stylish destination for an early dinner at a decent price.

For our “get out of town and drink ‘em down” La Jolla vacation, Jennifer delivered.

Related links  |  eating well closer to home

Asian food:  Empress Pavilion for dim sum

Mexican food:  El Cholo for margaritas and tamales

May 26, 2008

Donut Man and Donut Hole — Los Angeles Road-Trip with Stuart Paap

Filed under: Eastside,Eat,Expert Opinions,On the Road,San Gabriel Valley — StyleGuide @ 9:54 am

Expert Opinions are tips from L.A.’s ultimate insiders. Today’s contributor is Stuart Paap, who teamed up with StylishGuide for a doughnut-crammed road-trip documentary (or is it, “doughcumentary”?):

Stuart Paap is a comedian in Los Angeles who hosts a live interactive comedy talk show every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. at TheStream.TV! He also loves his dogs, likes his cats and tolerates his neighbors.

Related links | more deep fried delights:

Six great L.A. doughnut shops

Stuart Paap on StylishGuide.com

February 14, 2008

Buddy Greco’s Dinner Club, Cathedral City, Ca

Filed under: On the Road — StyleGuide @ 8:34 pm

There are good things about not coming of age in the 1960s.  As a woman, I don’t have to wear a girdle.  I don’t get to choose any career I want, as long as it is secretary, nurse, teacher or flight attendant. 

However, sometimes I feel I missed out on three-martini lunches, a diet focused on steak, potatoes, cream and Jell-O in a pre-cholesterol-level-awareness heaven, and the chance to see greats like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin perform live in tiny clubs. 

On that last count, though, I may have found a sliver of space to recapture the past.  Buddy Greco, world-renown singer and pianist, opened an intimate, contemporary nightclub in Cathedral City, outside of Palm Springs.

Besides performing with Dean-O and Ol’ Blue Eyes themselves, Mr. Greco has had special appearances with Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Sammy Davis Jr. and Bob Hope.  With his wife, singer Lezlie Anders, he now shares songs in the Sinatra vein from a grand piano on a small stage in a tiny club (every seat is probably no more than 30 feet from the stage).

If you ever want the Goodfellas experience of a living legend crooning pop standards in a venue only slightly larger than your living room, this show may represent your last, best chance.

At $45 per person, plus a $30-40 dinner entree (or $60 per person plus cocktails that run about $12 each), the show is a vacation investment. 

Nevertheless, I found it a small price to pay for a glimpse into the very best of 1960s nightlife — the three-martini meal without the girdle.

Price: $$$$

When:  In season

Where:  98805 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Cathedral City, Ca 92234

Call:  760.883.5812

http://www.buddygrecos.com/

Pack in the fun on your next get-away — learn about another great Palm Springs show here.

February 12, 2008

Riverside Rendezvous – Breakfast at Art’s Bar and Grill

Filed under: On the Road — StyleGuide @ 8:14 pm

Art’s Bar and Grill in Riverside, California

Some people spend romantic weekends in Paris pied-a-terres.  Others squirrel up in palm-fringed Santa Barbara resorts, or drink in the sun a deux in Mid-Century Modern Palm Springs hideaways. 

We spent our anniversary in Riverside.

I won’t go on about the extenuating circumstances that brought us to that point.  Suffice it to say we made the best of it, and ended up having an amazing time.

Turns out Riverside really is for lovers. 

First we took a room at the Mission Inn (saving $40 booking through hotels.com).  Occupying an entire square block in downtown Riverside, it is a meticulously maintained, eclectically designed, ironically constructed and completely bustling Spanish hacienda — a lovely place to wile away a weekend. 

For breakfast, we asked the concierge to recommend a local greasy spoon.  This very young woman, who threw out words like “awesome” and “dude” when she spoke on the phone, did not inspire faith.

Nevertheless, she knew what she was doing.  She pointed us to a moody dive bar three blocks away, which at 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning was filled with daiquiri-drinking women and beer-swilling older gentleman, alongside a couple of families with small children. 

We started with Bloody Marys, wonderfully boozy little things that went down like water on a hot summer day, garnished with a dill pickled green bean (which I started craving even as I was eating it, and have not stopped craving since).  From the full menu we chose Art’s Breakfast: two eggs, toast and potatoes (or biscuits and creamy gravy), and a choice of meat.  We picked a butter-tender filet tenderloin steak and some of the best meaty, smoky bacon I’d ever had. 

The price for this glorious repast?  A mere $8.25. 

As we sank into our 1950′s style breakfast, we were reminded of an important lesson:  When life hands you Riverside, make it to Art’s Bar and Grill.

Price:  $$

Where:  3357 University Avenue, Riverside, Ca 92501 (at the 91 and University)

Call:  951.683.9520

December 21, 2007

Palm Springs Follies

Filed under: On the Road — StyleGuide @ 12:31 pm

I’m taking a little break for the holidays.  I’ll re-post some of my earlier entries up until I get back to the regular schedule in 2008!

Palm Springs Follies

For a near-by get-away that feels more like a trip through a time warp, there’s no place like Palm Springs.  And come fall, once both the temperature gauge and the snowbirds descend, one of the greatest shows of all time lights up the night.

They come in wheelchairs and retirement home buses, an audience “with an average age of dead” packing into a gargantuan theater for a sold-out show with music from the 20s, 30s, and 40s — featuring performers from the 20s, 30s and 40s.

It is the inimitable Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, a Vegas-style revue with a cast ranging in age from 59 to 84 years old.

Some may balk at seeing the elderly in little more than skimpy bathing suits and strategically placed feathers.  But the artistry, dedication and endurance of these performers will win you over.

Tickets are a little pricey, but sometimes I like to splurge a little on vacation in the interest of expanding my mind.  And in this case, mission accomplished. 

Price: $$$$ ($50 and up)

Where:  128 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California

Call: 760-327-0225

www.psfollies.com 

Have the Follies blown your mind?  Tell us about it.

October 9, 2007

Santa Barbara Bargains: Motel 6 #1 and La Super-Rica Taqueria

Filed under: On the Road — StyleGuide @ 6:26 am

Motel 6 Santa Barbara - Beach

Santa Barbara is one of those L.A. getaways where you could easily drop an entire month’s rent in a weekend.  Here are a few of my tricks to getting to the beaches on a budget:

1.  Motel 6, Number 1 is a no-frills, bare-bones motel that has garnered near-mythical status, even across the globe — my Danish friends insisted we book there when they came to visit.  The appeal of this particular Motel 6 is location (a quick two blocks to the beach), and price (cheap, cheap, cheap).  Otherwise, don’t expect much beyond a small, clean room and a mini outdoor pool.  Now’s the best time to make your summer weekend reservations, so keep these tips in mind: 1. Ask for an ocean view, but be aware there’s no guarantee, and 2. Take advantage of the fact that there’s no “minimum two-night stay” on weekends (near-standard practice among Santa Barbara accommodations).

2.  Eat at La Super-Rica Taqueria.  It isn’t much to look at, just a dumpy little stand housing the kitchen next to a postage stamp-sized concrete pad crammed with plastic patio furniture and covered with a battered awning.  Its claim to fame is a shout-out from Julia Child, and we had our own (D-list) celebrity sighting while waiting in the hour-long line.  Nevertheless, the tacos — consisting of inventive fillings on thick corn tortillas — are cheap, and the diverse crowd — consisting of rough-looking neighborhood teens and mature, tanned, well-dressed, Lexus SUV-driving locals — is interesting and friendly.

With the beach in your motel’s backyard, and a sack of tacos from La Super-Rica, you can finally appreciate Santa Barbara’s best without worrying about your credit card limits. 

August 13, 2007

Palm Springs Follies

Filed under: On the Road — StyleGuide @ 6:25 pm

Palm Springs Follies

For a near-by get-away that feels more like a trip through a time warp, there’s no place like Palm Springs.  And come fall, once both the temperature gauge and the snowbirds descend, one of the greatest shows of all time lights up the night.

They come in wheelchairs and retirement home buses, an audience “with an average age of dead” packing into a gargantuan theater for a sold-out show with music from the 20s, 30s, and 40s — featuring performers from the 20s, 30s and 40s.

It is the inimitable Fabulous Palm Springs Follies, a Vegas-style revue with a cast ranging in age from 59 to 84 years old.

Some may balk at seeing the elderly in little more than skimpy bathing suits and strategically placed feathers.  But the artistry, dedication and endurance of these performers will win you over.

Tickets are a little pricey, but sometimes I like to splurge a little on vacation in the interest of expanding my mind.  And in this case, mission accomplished. 

Price: $$$$ ($50 and up)

Where:  128 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, California

Call: 760-327-0225

www.psfollies.com 

Have the Follies blown your mind?  Tell us about it.