STOP 1: Barnsdall Park
1 hour before sunset
Before setting out carefully pack a trav-L-bar with a bottle or two of Armenian wine which can easily be pulled off the shelf at Jon’s Market a few blocks away. Supply yourself with a good size blanket and a few adventurous friends arriving at the grassy knoll atop the park an hour before the sunset. As the sun dwindles to nothing enjoy the view before the parks young parents pack up their kids and the dog owners disappear down the long staircase marking the time for you to go meet George.
HOW TO DATE IT RIGHT
You can drive to the top of the hill and park very close to the picnic area. This way you do not need to schlep everything up the stairs.
Wine technically is not allowed to be drunk here, but everyone is doing it, so just keep an eye out for a guard. He may ask you to pour out your glass.
The Frank Lloyd Wright building a top the hill is the Hollyhock House but called California Romanza by Frank himself. Completed in 1921 it was a beyond modern Babylonian style house fashioned after the family’s favorite flower.
STOP 2: The Middle East Club
Less than two blocks west towards Thai Town lies a fluorescent lit, unassuming tea and hookah lounge simply named: The Middle East Club. The man inside with the beaming smile and well manicured mustache is the owner George. The flavor list is extensive but double apple is the club favorite. As the chill of the Los Angeles night sets in enjoy your hot Lebanese rose water and lemon tea along with the crackling hookah beside the sidewalk. When the embers die you'll be ready for the Thai party that lays ahead.
HOW TO DATE IT RIGHT
This spot can be very intimidating to walk up to. There is not a sign or welcome mat. Pop your head in and ask for George, he will check you out then be super excited for you to join on the sidewalk.
Talking with some of the other guys apparently this place has coals that are unlike any other place in LA. This is why many people come here to smoke hookah. I guess its all about eh coals?
STOP 3: The Bamboo House - CLOSED PERMANENTLY, please go to Carousel Restaurant
Continue your journey back towards Barnsdall Park stopping short at the one and only Bamboo House. To your left upon entering you may be surprised to see an aging Thai couple dressed in quirky cowboy outfits singing their hearts out. The menu is a good balance of pricing and options, the curries hit the spot and the drinks are inexpensive. The Thai ballads can get a bit exhausting so you’ll be a hero when you break out your go to song, or anything by N*Sync.
Alternative: Keep the Middle Eastern vibes and get Mezzas from Carousel Restaurant a few blocks West. If it’s good enough for the Kardashians it’s good enough for you.