Sunday, May 24, 2015

Beverly Hills Adventures

This past April, I once again returned to California for a film festival. The festival was taking place in Beverly Hills. During free time, I focused on adventures in and around the area.

I was fortunate enough to stay at the Montage Hotel. The hotel was beautiful, and the service was amazing.

A complimentary champagne from the hotel

When they learned I was a finalist in the film festival, they left me a special surprise!

One of the first stops I made was the Paley Center for Media, the location for the film festival. The Paley houses a permanent collection of over 160,000 television and radio programs and advertisements. They also have theaters for screenings. 

The front of the Paley Center for Media

The lobby of the Paley Center for Media

I decided to explore some of the "hidden" spots in Beverly Hills. These are excursions/ restaurants that most tourists don't know much about.

My first stop was at 10 Pound Bar. They are an exclusive whiskey bar and have some of the rarest whiskies. 

This is one of their cocktails. So delicious!

One of their whiskies. If you look closely at the ice cube, you can see that their logo has been lasered in the ice. 

Another stop on my agenda was Edelweiss Chocolates.

Edelweiss inspired Lucille Ball's Job Switching Episode

Look at all the chocolates!

The decision was hard, but I loved the chocolates I took home with me.

Following Edelweiss, I went to Nic's. A great restaurant, it is known for its hand-crafted cocktails and the vodbox. The vodbox is a walk-in freezer where guests wear fake fur coats and sample unique and rare vodkas. Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to experience the vodbox, but I am determined to try it the next time I go to California. I did enjoy their hand-crafted cocktails. So good! 

From Russia with Love: Vodka, Fresh Strawberries, and a Champagne Float. I'm determined to figure out how to make this.

Next up on the hidden gems list was the Beverly Hills Brownie Company. Specializing only in brownies, they have just about any combination of brownie you can think of.

The store front

So many brownies!!! I couldn't get them all in the picture.

My choices: Normal, extra nuts, and smores. 

I had time to visit one more on the list, so I went to Vosges Haut-Chocolate. They have unique chocolate blends such as dark chocolate with Sri Lankan curry.

Store front of Vosges

This mushroom is made out of chocolate.

This is considered one of the customer favorites. Milk Chocolate with Hickory Smoked Bacon. Personally, I'm not a fan; but it's definitely worth a try if you like salty chocolates.

I had one free day so I rented a car to visit two excursions outside of Beverly Hills. I decided to go to the California Science Center again because they were having an exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Scrolls have great historical, religious, and linguistic significance. They include the second oldest known surviving manuscripts. Unfortunately, they don't allow pictures; but the exhibit runs through September. If you're in the area, then I would recommend seeing it. 

The second excursion was the La Brea Tar Pits. Natural tar has seeped from this area for tens of thousands of years. Many animal bones have been preserved in the tar. They are still searching the pits for more unique finds. It smells like burning asphalt, however it was fascinating to see this natural phenomenon.

These statues are located in the same park as the tar pits. 
The Tar Pits

Methane gas bubbling at the surface.

The rest of my time was spent watching the many amazing films at the festival. I always love coming back to California. There's always something new to explore!

Other Fun Foods I enjoyed:

Black Cod from Scarpetta's

The staff at Scarpetta heard I was a finalist in the film festival and gave me this delicious dessert.

Arctic Char with Zucchini and Wild Rice Griddle Cake from Chateau Marmont.

La Mervetty is a French Patisserie in Beverly Hills. Their speciality is Le Merveilleux. They are light and taste amazing!!!

~A.E. Keener

Interested in my adventures? Click on the links below to learn more:

~Paley Center for Media:

~Edelweiss Chocolates:

~Nic's Beverly Hills:

~Beverly Hills Brownie Company:

~Vosges Haut-Chocolate:

~California Science Museum Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit: