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on this past labor day weekend, alicia and i met up with mariel to have a hot night out in los angeles.

Cha Cha Lounge
2375 glendale blvd. Los Angeles, CA

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 the theme at the cha cha lounge is eclectic at best. a lifesize cut out of willie nelson tips his hat approvingly when you first walk in. walls are covered in murals of partying luchadores and the ceiling is adorned with hanging sombreros; it’s as if every night is the dia de los muertos. the whole bar is lit with red lights and random disco balls to give a casual, moody ambiance.

there are a couple things that distinguishes the cha cha lounge from other bars. the first of them would be the foosball tables. a recent best-of issue of the los angeles magazine listed the lounge as “best foosball.” suprisingly though, the foosball tables weren’t as central as one would expect. but should the moment demand some intense foosing, the option is available.

a second distinct feature is the random vending machine in the bar. the items inside the machine include unusual items like t-shirts, stickers, tampons, japanese chocolate snacks, and YO! MTV RAPS cards. we found a pack of the last item on an abondonned table; the deck included authentic 90s trading cards of chuck d, daddy-o, l.l. cool j, and even fab five freddy.

and finally, the cha cha lounge has a photo booth. the photo booth is perfect to remember your night by, spontaneous and nostalgic. we took two sets of pictures at the booth and they turned out to be great souvenirs.

one thing the lounge lacked was proper air conditioning, but i guess this can’t be helped on a 106 degree evening. all in all, the cha cha lounge is a fun place that’s a bit different in the usual l.a. scene. walking away with YO! MTV RAP cards and photo booth pictures will surely make the evening great.

Kings Road Cafe
8361 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

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after watching “american psycho” on tv and eating late night mr. pizza, we went to breakfast at the kings road cafe on the corner of beverly and kings. we decided to sit in doors because we couldn’t hang with the heat. while we were waiting, alicia noticed famke jannsen having breakfast with some guy. i also noticed common leave the cafe and enter his range rover on the opposite side of the street. and finally, we saw jane lynch saying bye to friends. what are the odds. the food was pretty good.

judd apatow’s Superbad opened this past weekend and it seems like the film is well on its way to becoming a popular and critical success. this success is great because not only will apatow’s midas streak continue (and hopefully garner interest in his other amazing works like Freaks and Geeks or Undeclared), but also many will get to witness the great michael “mikey” cera in all his glory. and since the masses will surely demand all things cera, now seems like a great time to re-recommend Clark and Michael. with the equally charming clark duke (who also had a lovely cameo in Superbad and can be seeing holding it up on Greek), these short 10 minute webisodes are nuggets of comedy gold. the two play frankenstein versions of their real selves, trying to pitch a show that the duo wrote.

since i can’t really do justice to the show by describing it, i’ll mention some of the places the duo have wined and dined at instead (what?). and i personally find this to be of great interest because 1)i love to eat, and 2)i’ve actually been to the joints on occasion. you know, it’s like i’m part of the gang, but not.

Canter’s Deli
419 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA

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” Canter’s Delicatessen has been a Los Angeles landmark since 1931. Complete breakfast, lunch, dinner menu available 24 hours. Fresh baked goods available from our bakery. Full bar and Cocktail Lounge.” the menu is sprawling. i can count on not being able to decide what to eat every time because there are just so many things to choose from. the lounge connected to the deli frequently hosts live music. canter’s is definitely a favorite place to be; many memorable post-bar hopping dining experiences to recall fondly.

The Dime
442 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA

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one of my friends had a birthday outing at the dime, partly because it was walking distance from her apartment meaning that we would be able to drink and walk back without a cab. it turns out, the dime is one happening place. i remember they had a great DJ who played some grooving tracks. it’s half dive bar, half hipster hang out (i guess). it’s nice to go to a place with non-hassle no cover access. just a sea of young people, elbowing their way for a couple drinks.

finally, go watch the show. they are just a couple of sweet guys that know what they’re doing. and Superbad.

Nova Express Cafe
426 N. Fairfax Ave.

the Nova Express Cafe is a cosmic pizza joint located on Fairfax right across from Canter’s Deli. a loving embodiment of the science fiction genre, the nova express is a late night pizza joint that caters to late-night party goers and kitsch geeks alike. it is as close as one can get to Mos Eisley Cantina. there are tons of action figures of all interests displayed in cases around the cafe (the case i sat at featured many DC superheroes) and has black lights that make the neon greens and purples stand out in an otherwise dimly lit space.

admittedly, i was a few shots over sobriety, so i could not point out all of the cool memorabilia, but i did notice (and how does one not?) a giant lovecraftian monster (cthulhu?) displayed in the far corner. apparently, it’s main purpose is to act as a mascot suit. the service was great, even as we almost overstayed their business hours. the green star pizza is a delicious pesto pizza that i strongly recommend. definitely check it out if you are in the area; the ambiance alone will be worth your visit.

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