Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Staying Local

As mentioned in my previous post, my wife and I stayed local this last weekend. And aside from the carpet fiasco, which I have since fixed, it was pretty fun filled.

Saturday night, we had tickets to the Hollywood Bowl to see Chris Isaak... kind of a post anniversary date night for us. I had heard that Culver City had a park and ride bus that runs from the downtown area to the Bowl for $5. Considering the high gas prices and the hassle of HB parking, this seemed like a great option and we decided to try it out. From our condo to Downtown Culver City is about 5 minutes. So we arrived around 6:30pm, had time to pick up some pannini sandwiches at Ugo. Normally, I'm not a big fan of their food, but those sandwiches were delicious. I had the prosciutto pannini, and my wife had the sun dried tomato pesto pannini.

The bus left at 7PM and was a 40 minute ride, which is a little bit longer then if we would have driven, but this way I had 40 minutes to chill and relax. The show was great and after the concert we hopped back onto the Culver City bus and headed home. We arrived back just before midnight. My wife and I decided we were still not done for the night, so we walked over to a few old and new hot spots in the neighborhood.

First we checked out the tried and true Carbon. This place is a tiny no frills bar/lounge with a Hip Hop DJ. The drinks are very reasonable but its always packed, and on Saturday I was feeling extra claustrophobic. So after a beer we headed over to a new spot that just opened, Rush Street. I had seen this place boarded up for quite some time, so it was good to see it finally open. The ambiance was hip, comfortable and inviting. The lower level is a large open space restaurant/bar with really interesting Chicago inspired decor. The upper level is more of a loungey bar area with a space for dancing. The DJ on Saturday was great, he played a very diverse range of music that was fun and entertaining. Both my wife and I really loved this place and will probably be back with our friends.

Also this weekend, it was the grand opening of Culver City's Chipotle. This was another place I was anxiously awaiting. I know this place gets a bad rap for being a McDonalds concept, but hey the burritos are good and that's the bottom line. I discovered Chipotle when I lived in DC back in 2001, when I moved back to California in 2003 there were only a handful of Chipotles around. Now, they are slowly becoming a must have in every city. So on Sunday I headed to the new Culver City Chipotle, which is just 2 doors down from Rush Street. The line was huge and the service was slow. But I was entertained by little kids trying to pronounce Chipotle and the people in line, who were scheming how they were going to sneak their burritos into the movie theater next door. I tell you, its only a matter of time before the smell of carne asada replaces the aroma of buttered popcorn at my next moving outing. All and all, gone are the days of driving down to Marinda del Mar for my Chipotle addiction.

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