This year, I moved back home - away from the freezing cold winters of Michigan and into the comforts of home cooked meals and family outings in Southern California. I received my Carpool Lane Sticker for my Hybrid Car a few months ago and have been able to bypass bumper to bumper traffic on the 110. I started this blog in June to document my LA finds and remember good times with good people. And I got reconnected with the love of my life.
I remember being smitten with him the moment we met. We were in the 10th grade. When email was just something of the future and writing letters was still a cool thing to do, we became pen pals. He was a guy from the surburbs out on the East Side and I was a city girl from the West Side of LA. Distance was hard for teenagers who didn't drive. And at the time, it wasn't meant to be. Not then.My online journal of finding the Best of LA reminds me of all these good things in my life. Good eats, good people, and so many good memories. And I'm looking forward to what the New Year will bring.
Fast forward over 10 years. With mutual friends, we got reconnected online through instant messages and emails while I was in Michigan. It only took 11 years for us to finally go on our first date. And I'm so glad that we did.
As my girlfriend MM often used to say, "Let's do a Best of LA tonight. I've got a great Best of LA for you!" This journey has definitely been a collective and collaborative effort, and I'm so thankful for my friends. This past week, I caught up with a new but seemingly old friend for a green and happy Happy Hour. Siel (aka Green LA Girl) introduced me to the Starbucks Challenge as well as the great Happy Hour find at Nic's Restaurant & Martini Lounge.
I didn't want to freak my friend out by snapping random photos of our drinks and $5 happy hour specials so I opted to take a couple camera pics while I waited for her to arrive. Here's one by the front door of an oversized martini glass filled with decorative winter white lights.
We met up at 6ish and I was surprised to find that it was hopping for an early Wednesday night. There was a loud and crowded holiday party that filled the trendy red themed bar and happy hour area, but lucky for us - we were seated in the modern white booth in their dining area by the very friendly hostess and wait staff. We glanced over the menus and placed our orders. She got the night's special, a French Martini. And I got the interesting and deliciously tempting Pomegranating Martini made with Rain Vodka, pomegrante juice, pineapple juice, and a splash of fresh sweet & sour. Three little plump blueberries graced the martini glass bottom. I passed them up the first time around, and was happy that I tried them on the second try.
One of the great things about Nic's Happy Hour is that all cocktail menu items are five dollars a piece! Siel went vegetarian with the grilled fresh shucked clam pizza and the tequila cured salmon with escabeche. I opted for the grilled jumbo shrimp cocktail and the hoisin marinated skirt steak with wasabi demi. We cleaned our plates well and truly enjoyed the good eats. The shrimp cocktail WAS JUMBO and deliciously tender while the Asian influenced meat was moist and sweet with a hint of teriyaki. What could have easily been $41 worth of food, we got for 20. Not a bad deal for a trendy Beverly Hills hot spot for young professionals! With great company and conversation about being green, being passionate and being creative, it's easy to find what's best in LA... the people, the food, the opportunities.
Nic's Restaurant & Martini Lounge
Street: 453 N Canon Street in Beverly Hills
Happy Hours: M-F, 5-7pm
Valet parking or structure parking for $2
[pictures taken from Citysearch and LA Splendora]