What's great in wine, beer, fine dining,
places to stay, & places to visit
in California State

Wednesday, 03 May 2017 11:16

Margaritas WeHo Style

TASTE News Service, May 3, 2017 - Margaritas became America's most popular drink in the 1970s, kicking Wall Street martinis to the curb, and we never looked back.

Monday, 21 September 2015 13:55

LA Chef, Santa Barbara Fishermen Join Forces

Chef Mike Cimarusti with fish PicmonkeyChef Cimarusti and piscine friendTASTE News Service, September 21, 2015 – Chef Michael Cimarusti has announced an innovative fish-sourcing project for his Los Angeles restaurant, Providence. Working with 16 commercial fishermen from Santa Barbara organized by Captain Brett Wilson, the pilot program is establishing the first-ever Restaurant Supported Fishery (RSF) in the state of California.

Through the Dock to Dish program, participating restaurants receive a weekly delivery of freshly caught seafood, based on the species available to local, small-scale fishermen. The concept is reimagining the seafood marketplace throughout multiple domestic seaports and making wild, traceable and local fish readily accessible to chefs. The pioneering initiative is part of a larger national food movement designed to reconnect chefs and restaurants directly with their local fisheries, and was modeled after the increasingly popular land-based Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) concept.

With Cimarusti at the helm, Providence will be the first West Coast restaurant participant of Dock to Dish. As a tireless champion for sustainable seafood for over a decade, the Michelin-starred chef is excited to lend his support to the California launch of the new pilot program. At Providence, which celebrated its landmark 10th anniversary earlier this year, he refuses to serve endangered species such as Bluefin tuna, and constantly updates his menus according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 12:12

Universal Studios Hollywood Celebrates 50 Years

Universal Studios Hollywood 50th anniversary logo Picmonkeyh

TASTE News Service February 17, 2015 – The spotlight shines on Universal Studios Hollywood as it celebrates a milestone 50th anniversary with the much-anticipated opening of the “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” thrill ride, “Springfield,” an-all new immersive experience surrounding “The Simpsons Ride,” and a “Nighttime Studio Tour” as part of the theme park’s pioneering epic transformation.

This undertaking—the most ambitious in the theme park’s storied 50-year history—will radically alter and reimagine its familiar footprint as it sets its sights on the next 50 years.

From its humble beginnings five decades ago, Universal Studios Hollywood has emerged as a progressive and exciting theme park, while remaining true to its roots of immersing guests in the world of movie-making magic.

Since its inception, Universal Studios has lifted the veil on Hollywood’s most illustrious industry, placing guests at the heart of favorite movies and television shows. It continues by working in collaboration with some of the most influential filmmakers in the business—Steven Spielberg, Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Peter Jackson, Michael Bay and Chris Meledandri—to create intriguing rides and attractions. 

“For 50 years, Universal Studios Hollywood has given guests unprecedented access to the world’s most alluring business by inviting them to peek behind the velvet curtain and become part of the exciting movie-making process,” said Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood. “We are reimagining over 75 percent of our destination as we build upon our incredible success and expand our vision for the future, and we look forward to entertaining and inspiring guests for generations to come with what will ultimately be an entirely new theme park experience.”

Offered in multiple languages, including Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish and English and led by expert guides, the Studio Tour remains a hallmark Universal Studios Hollywood attraction bringing millions of guests through an authentic movie and television studio and into its elusive world motivated by three compelling words:  lights, camera, action.

Editor’s note: Much more about the studio tour and new attractions for 2015 can be found at Universal Studios Hollywood. If you’re planning a trip to Hollywood, first check out the Los Angeles County section of Taste California Travel’s Resource Directory. There you will find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as links to Southern California wineries and craft beer purveyors.

Monday, 08 September 2014 12:31

A Coastal Option to the Bustle of LA

Santa Monica Pier PicmonkeySanta Monica Pier offers many activities

TASTE News Service September 8, 2014 - Santa Monica is a charming seaside town with aspects of the culture, events and urban amenities of a metropolis. The blend of natural beauty with quality hotels, restaurants and shopping options creates an attractive seaside destination. National Geographic ranked Santa Monica as one of the “Top Ten Beach Cities in the World” – putting it in a class with Barcelona, Sydney and Rio de Janerio.

Perched on the Pacific Ocean at the crossroads of Pacific Coast Highway and California Interstate Highway 10, this city of 94,000 is bordered by the smaller seaside communities of Malibu and Venice. Santa Monica is just eight miles from Los Angeles International Airport and 13 miles from Union Station, the Los Angeles Amtrak terminal.

Broad, glistening beaches stretch for 26 miles along the scenic Santa Monica Bay, with 3.5 of those miles falling within city boundaries. Primary beaches include Santa Monica State Beach and Will Rogers State Beach, both of which are popular for swimming, surfing, running and beach volleyball.


Santa Monica is home to some of the most unique, celebrated hotels in Southern California. Thirty-six properties, ranging from high-style boutique hideaways to oceanfront resorts, provide more than 3,500 hotel rooms. Many of the hotels offer ocean views and are within walking distance from the beaches, pier, shopping, as well as dining and leisure activities.

DiningLa Vecchia Cucina PicmonkeyLa Vecchia Cucina is a fixture on Main

Santa Monica emerged as an international culinary destination in the 1980s and has remained in the top echelon of American dining thanks to its many celebrity chefs and the new generation of culinary innovators who continue to invigorate the city's dining scene. In the vanguard of the local foods movement long before it became mainstream, Santa Monica embraces use of sustainable, organic ingredients.


A collection of global retail brands, haute boutiques and unique local offerings has turned the beachside city into an internationally celebrated shopping destination. From Downtown's Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place, to upscale boutiques along the celebrity-filled Montana Avenue and the eclectic retail mix on Main Street, a day of shopping in Santa Monica immerses the visitor in the diverse character of the city.

Among the Area's Attractions

Santa Monica Pier: This Southern California icon was built in 1909 and is one of Santa Monica's most well-known landmarks. It is home to an amusement park and the Santa Monica Aquarium, in addition to dining options that range from gourmet fare to cotton candy and ice cream cones.

Pacific Park: Pacific Park is located on the Pier with rides and attractions such as the five-story West Coaster roller coaster, the nine-story Pacific Plunge tower ride, and the nine-story Pacific Wheel, the only over-water ferris wheel in California.

Pacific Wheel: Pacific Park's 13-story Pacific Wheel is the world's first and only solar-powered ferris wheel. The ferris wheel's 160,000 energy efficient LED lights create an 85-foot high computer generated light show for nighttime beach-goers to enjoy. It also provides riders with spectacular views of the Santa Monica coastline and is a central focal point on the Santa Monica Pier.

Third Street Promenade: The sprawling Third Street Promenade is the hub of Downtown Santa Monica. This pedestrian-only, open-air shopping destination is only two blocks from the city's popular beaches and is noted for its weekly farmers' market, terrific shopping, street performers, ample dining options, and of course, people watching.

Farmers' Markets: Santa Monica offers four weekly farmers' markets where the city's residents and chefs pick up the country's freshest produce, flowers, meats, cheeses, nuts, fish, and more. Travel + Leisure even named Santa Monica's Downtown Farmers' Market as the top farmers' market in the United States!

Tongva Park: A brand-new, seven-acre park in the heart of Santa Monica. Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the team behind New York's celebrated High Line, Tongva Park was inspired by the Southern California arroyo landscape of washes and ravines that once defined the site. The urban landscape features an abundant and ambitious plant scheme, contemplative walking paths, soothing water elements, and two viewing platforms offering majestic views of the Pacific Ocean.

South Bay Bicycle Trail: At 22 miles long, the South Bay Bicycle Trail is the world's longest oceanfront bike path. It begins at Will Rogers State Beach, the northernmost point of Santa Monica, then scenically winds its way past Santa Monica State Beach, the famous Santa Monica Pier, through the Venice Boardwalk and past the Venice Pier, all the way through Hermosa and Redondo Beaches to end at Torrance County Beach.

Santa Monica Place: Santa Monica Place reopened in 2010 after an extensive remodel as a three-story, entirely outdoor shopping complex, located just two blocks from the beach and steps away from the famous Third Street Promenade. Anchored by Bloomingdales and Nordstrom, Santa Monica Place also features a wide range of luxury and specialty shops such as Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Michael Kors, and Emporio Armani. A third floor rooftop deck features gorgeous ocean views and an entire floor of dining, including 'The Market”, where diners will find artisanal cheese, wines, chocolates, olive oils, fresh produce and flowers, and more.


MalibuAVAmap Picmonkey

TASTE News Service, July 18, 2014 — Elliott Dolin, proprietor of Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards, joins 51 other Malibu-based wine grape growers who today become classified as part of the official Malibu Coast American Viticultural Area (AVA). In 2011 Dolin helped initiate the AVA application, a three-year process that concluded this week.

"This is a historic day because the formation of the Malibu Coast AVA finally allows wines from Malibu to identify a 'sense of place' on their labels," says Dolin. "Malibu is world-famous, yet very few people are aware of our wine grape growing history which dates back two centuries. While people sunbathe on the beaches, up here in the hills, our vines have been catching some rays of their own."

Through the AVA application process, a comprehensive study of the region was completed and submitted to the TTB for approval. The region is approximately 46 miles long and 8 miles wide, comprised mainly of the Santa Monica Mountains with 198 acres of vines in production. Elevations range from sea level to 3,111-feet atop Sandstone Peak. The coastal, Mediterranean climate heavily influences the region, offering a large diurnal shift from day to night, with warm dry summers and cool, moist winters. The National Agricultural Statistics Service's "California Grape Acreage Report Crop 2012" documented the most widely planted varietals in Los Angeles County as Cabernet Sauvignon (54 acres), Syrah (15 acres), Merlot (13 acres), and Chardonnay (six acres). The Malibu Coast AVA is also home to two previously established appellations, Saddle-Rock Malibu and Malibu-Newton Canyon.

The Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards parcel is located near the western boundary in the hills above the Pacific Coast Highway. The area is relatively cooler in climate compared to the rest of the AVA, and ideal for growing Chardonnay. Proprietor Elliott Dolin and his family planted the site in 2006. Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards currently produces one Malibu wine, an estate Chardonnay. Later this year, Dolin will welcome the addition of a Malibu proprietary red blend. More information on the wines can be found at www.dolinestate.com.

Black Soldier CAAM Museum PicmonkeyCaliforna African American Museum

LOS ANGELES, CA February 18, 2014 - Los Angeles, home to one of the largest populations of Black Americans, is celebrating the city's ethnic diversity with the launch of a three-day, self-guided African American Heritage Tour, presented by the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Board (LA Tourism). From well-known African American cultural finds like the California African American Museum (CAAM) and Leimert Park Village, to hidden historical treasures like Biddy Mason Park and the Battleship IOWA, this comprehensive guide highlights Black Angeleno's pivotal impact on the fabric of LA.

The rich and varied tour begins in South LA and Downtown Los Angeles, then covers LA's Beach communities and Westside. The entire tour can be viewed at: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/blog/discover-african-american-culture-los-angeles


Tomorrows Aeronautical Museum PicmonkeyAviation fans at Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum

Tour highlights are as follows:

Day One - Begin at Watts Coffee House, a community hub born from the ashes of the Watts riots of 1965; see the world-famous Watts Towers; take in the murals sculptures and photography at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) headquarters; pay tribute to the first 100 years of service by LA's African American firefighters at the African American Firefighter Museum (AAFM); explore the racial diversity of modern flight at Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum; check out the latest March on Washington exhibit at CAAM; enjoy the immersive GRAMMY Museum; learn about the remarkable life of former slave Bridget Mason at Biddy Mason Park; and unwind at Harold & Belle's, which has been serving the distinctive flavors and Southern hospitality of New Orleans since 1969.

Day Two - Visit the observation deck at the Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), designed by famed Black architect Paul R. Williams; tour the Battleship Iowa, where African American Navymen served for decades; shop for a one-of-a-kind LA souvenirs at Crafted, housed in a former World War II-era warehouse; explore works of art representing the Afro-Caribbean & South American diaspora at Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA); and dine on fresh seafood at Ports O' Call Village.leimert-plaza-leimert-park PicmonkeyFountain at Leimert Park

Day Three - Visit Leimert Park, the neighborhood popularly known as the "Black Greenwich Village"; read up on Black history or catch a notable author at Eso Won Books; find free, unique art at the Museum of African American Art (MAAA); check out the Shaping Power: Luba Masterworks from the Royal Museum of Central Africa, on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); stop by the Petersen Automotive Museum to view more than 150 rare and classic cars; visit the Fowler Museum, home of the Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora; soak up the sun at Santa Monica Beach; and savor mouthwatering bites from Chef Govind Armstrong's Post & Beam.

Editor's note: Thinking about visiting Los Angeles? A good resource is www.discoverlosangeles.com. You should also visit Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. There you will find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as links to Southern California wineries and craft beer specialists.

By Sheryll Alexander

Brian-Malarkey PicmonkeyCelebrity Chef Brian MalarkeyMondrian’s long-running Asia de Cuba food and beverage offerings are no more as celebrity chef Brian Malarkey of BRAVO’s Top Chef and ABC’s The Taste has brought his acclaimed Herringbone restaurant to this landmark Sunset Strip hotel in West Hollywood. Herringbone (part of James Brennan’s Enlightened Hospitality Group) showcases what it calls “ocean-to-table global cuisine.”

WeHo’s award-winning designer Thomas Schoos is behind Herringbone’s new look. Guests can expect organic glam throughout the hotel’s famed indoor-outdoor space. Some of the rather eclectic designs include a long bar made from upside down lobster traps, chandeliers made from ostrich bones and a dining table crafted from a gold-dipped acacia tree root as well as California casual sectional sofas and firepits for relaxing and enjoying the view.


Q & A with Chef Brian Malarkey

Why did you choose Mondrian for your next Herringbone incarnation?"Mondrian Los Angeles is an iconic hotel on the amazing Sunset Strip. As a young chef working at Citrus in LA, I used to drive down Sunset Strip in awe of the rich history of WeHo and it has always been a dream of mine to have a restaurant here."

What do you love about West Hollywood as a food, drink and hospitality destination?"I think Los Angeles has an incredible restaurant and chef scene. The overall food culture is so impressive and I’m really excited to be a part of it."

Why is your food based on seafood? What is it about les fruits de la mer that entices you so?"Herringbone is about the “herring” and the “bone.” We really showcase surf and turf dishes; everything from a clam and bone marrow flat bread to smoked salmon tartare. I grew up on the Oregon coast and have always loved the ocean. It’s wild, free and fresh."

What will you offer at your WeHo location that’s different from your other restaurants?"We will be offering more menu items because the kitchen is so large. You’ll see a lot of adventurous and over-the-top surf and turf dishes that we’ve been wanting to try from rabbit and goat to sea urchin and abalone. We’re going to have fun, but also maintain some of the basics like lamb and lobster."

Can you give us some insights into Herringbone’s renovations and decor?"We’ll be taking some elements from Herringbone La Jolla but incorporating several new design details that are a reflection of the hotel itself."

What makes Herringbone the perfect match for Mondrian?"Herringbone’s overall concept is similar to that of Mondrian Los Angeles. It’s somewhat sophisticated and refined, but very fun. The music is great and the vibe is incredible. Herringbone really fits into Mondrian Los Angeles because we’re both all about providing the best possible experience for our guests."

Have you found any WeHo hot spots yet?"Currently, a few of my favorite spots in WeHo are Laurel Hardware and Eveleigh."

Enlightened Hospitality Group manages and operates some of the nation’s top restaurants including Herringbone (La Jolla), Searsucker (San Diego, Austin, Del Mar, Scottsdale) and Gabardine (Point Loma), as well as Stingaree, which is the largest and most exclusive nightlife destination in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.

Editor's Note: Readers will find links to the website of Herringbone, as well as to the sites of hundreds of other Dining and Lodging options in the Los Angeles area in Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. In our Directory there's also a new guide to “beer-centric” establishments throughout the state.

Monday, 25 November 2013 13:04

West Hollywood Named Most Walkable City

W Hollywood Rainbow Crosswalk Picmonkey

West Hollywood November 25, 2013 - Walk Score, a private company whose mission is to promote walkable neighborhoods, has announced that it has once again ranked West Hollywood the most walkable city in the state of California. The walkability ranking rates any address based on its proximity to nearby amenities, such as grocery stores, restaurants, schools, parks and public transit. With a score of 89, West Hollywood’s walkability is ranked higher than San Francisco (with a score of 84), Los Angeles (64) and San Diego (49)

“With its central location and compact size, West Hollywood is the ideal destination for visitors who want to experience the greater Los Angeles area without a car,” said Brad Burlingame, President & CEO of Visit West Hollywood. “West Hollywood visitors appreciate the safe atmosphere, pedestrian-friendly streetscaping and close proximity of our world-class hotels to dining, shopping and entertainment.”

West Hollywood’s Best Walking Districts

At just 1.9 square miles in size, West Hollywood is one of the most densely populated cities in California, an urban village where people frequently utilize the most efficient transportation mode possible – their feet. To help visitors hit their stride, Visit West Hollywood has compiled a series of curated and themed “Walkable WeHo” walking tours on its blog, as well as a thorough guide to a car-free West Hollywood and Los Angeles experience.

Some of West Hollywood’s most popular walking districts include The Sunset Strip, a 1.6-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard that is home to many of the city’s premier hotels, shopping and restaurants, as well as legendary music and nightlife venues.

Just a few blocks to the south, Santa Monica Boulevard – part of the historic Route 66 – is home to Southern California’s most vibrant LGBT district, with dozens of gay-friendly restaurants, stores, bars and clubs.

Another pedestrian-friendly destination in West Hollywood is the West Hollywood Design District, consisting of Melrose Ave., Robertson Blvd. and Beverly Blvd. The district, which surrounds the landmark Pacific Design Center, is home to nearly 300 interior design showrooms, fashion retailers, restaurants and art galleries. In 2013, the district launched a streetscaping program that will further enhance the pedestrian experience.

(Information for the above article supplied to TASTE News Service by Travmedia sources.)

Editor's note: If you're planning on visiting West Hollywood, you can find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options in the Los Angeles County section of Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. Also in the Directory are links to the sites of Southern California wineries and craft beer pubs. 

Monday, 14 October 2013 11:13

Ghost Hunting in West Hollywood

By: Tracy Pattin

Sinatra in 47 PicmonkeySinatra appeared at the Players Club in the '40s

From the glamorous film stars and infamous mobsters of the 1920s, 30s and 40s, to the flamboyant rock stars of the 60s and 70s, West Hollywood is known for its fascinating cast of characters over the decades. They dined, drank, romanced and lived here. Many are gone now, but are their spirits still hanging around? Strolling and partying the night away? According to some…oh yeah.

Here are some great spots to see, hear or feel a spirit or two around town:

1. The Den - 8226 Sunset Blvd.

The bartenders and bar backs insist The Den is haunted. One bar back recently recounted a few spooky incidents–“It’s a little scary late at night after the place is closed and no one is here. I went downstairs to the walk-in refrigerator. I opened the door, put a few things away and shut it. When I started to walk upstairs, suddenly the door opened and shut again all by itself. And these are heavy doors. Another time I heard someone tapping on the stored beer kegs. But no one was there. We think it’s the spirit of a young girl. The creepiest thing is the tiny window downstairs covered in newspaper. That’s where the girl’s spirit has been seen.” So, if you stop by The Den, you might get a good ghost story or two to go with your cocktail.

2. Pink Taco - 8225 Sunset Blvd.

“It’s all about the ghosts on the third floor,”a member of the wait staff says. “Especially the women’s bathroom and the hallway leading up to it.” One of the wait staff took me up to the third floor on an impromptu ghost tour recently. When we walked down the cavernous hall, goose-bumps slowly crept up my arm as we got closer to the infamous spooky bathroom. The building was built in 1940 as Players Club , where stars and mobsters partied the night away. Howard Hughes rented out the entire third floor when he came to dine. Frank Sinatra was rumored to play a set then sneak away through the secret tunnel for a tryst at Chateau Marmont, and then rush back to play his second set. Mickey Cohen and his band of bad boys did some drinking here too (who knows what else they did). No wonder the place is haunted.

3. The Comedy Store - 8433 Sunset Blvd.Lana Turner still PicmonkeyLana Turner

This has been one of the most popular venues on The Strip from the moment it opened as Ciro’s nightclub in 1940. Today, it’s a famous comedy club. But in the wee hours of the morning, it turns back into Ciro’s with ghosts and spirits wanting to party like it was 1940 all over again. There are reports from the employees of piano playing in the Belly Room with no one at the ivories. Wait staff have gone in to set up the room, leave and come back to find candles blown out, and the room reset. Chairs have slid across the main stage. Even a man in a bomber jacket appeared in the daytime in front of one of the comedian/security guards, then vanished right in front of him. Perhaps glamorous film stars like Humphrey Bogart, Lana Turner or Cary Grant are still hanging around. Or maybe a long gone mobster like Mikey Cohen still thinks he rules The Sunset Strip.

4. Book Soup - 8818 W Sunset Blvd.

You’re bound to catch a few ghostly vibes in this historic book store. After all, their next door neighbor (where the newsstand is today) used to house the dead–It was the O’Donnell Mortuary (1920s-1950s). If that isn’t spooky enough stroll past the newsstand, down the “slim magical passageway” to the English cottage and Mystery Pier Books (310.657.5557. 8826 Sunset Blvd)–where all books are first editions dating back centuries. I’ll bet Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Agatha Christie and other famous novelists are hanging around flipping through the pages of their masterpieces.

5.The Rainbow Bar & Grill - 9015 Sunset Blvd.

Originally it was The Mermaid Club (built in the late 1920′s) then became The Villa Nova in 1933. “Old Hollywood” stars drank, dined and even danced here. No wonder the place is haunted. Rachel, a Rainbow employee, took me on a mini ghost tour recently. She took me upstairs into the attic-like bar where all the ghost action is. She described how she organizes her cash register before her shift, comes back a few minutes later and it’s completely reorganized (no one else was around). As she was grabbing a glass to tell me about another ghostly maneuver, suddenly the glass flew out of her hand and broke on the floor. “See? This is what I mean. The glasses get whipped around and shattered all the time up here.” Then she pointed to yet another spooky attic area. “Look over there. That used to be known as “Vampire Lair. It’s supposedly haunted too.”

After you’ve had your fill of The Sunset Strip haunts, take a little stroll down the hill to Santa Monica Boulevard and the famed Barney’s Beanery for a little more West Hollywood Ghost Hunting:

6. Barney’s Beanery - 8447 Santa Monica Blvd.

The Doors at Barneys Beanery PicmonkeyThe Doors at Barney's Beanery barLots of paranormal activity has been reported in this very old establishment (built in 1927).The cook swears that a keg moved on its own in the walk-in refrigerator. That same cook supposedly freaked out about the constant ghostly visits and transferred to another location. Then, one of the wait staff felt as if someone was tugging on her skirt while she was in the same walk-in refrigerator.

A skeptical restaurant manager saw an apparition more than 20 times floating across the hallway in front of his upstairs office. What sold him on all this ghost stuff was the fact that the motion detectors were never triggered. The staff has also reported seeing a shadowy figure outside the office bathroom. So who could be lurking around? Maybe Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison are having a little fun at their old haunt. Janis was known to have had drinks there the night before her death.

Editor's note: This article was provided to TASTE News Service via Travmedia.com. For more information about West Hollywood try www.visitwesthollywood.com. If you do plan on going, check out the Los Angeles County section of Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. In it you will find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as links to sites of Craft Beer specialists in the area and Southern California Wineries.

West Hollywood Pick Up Line photo Picmonkey

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – September 7, 2013 – The City of West Hollywood has launched “The Pickup Line,” a trolley service that offers free and fun transportation to WeHo's legendary nightlife and dining hotspots, while enabling visitors to enjoy a green and car-free Los Angeles experience. The weekend nighttime trolley runs along Santa Monica Boulevard on Friday and Saturday nights from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. The Pickup debuted on August 16, and has attracted more than 1,400 riders per weekend.

“The Pickup is our newest effort to make West Hollywood even more walkable,” said West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land. “One of my favorite things about this city is that you can walk to so many places, and this will help you go even further. Now, you can party like a VIP – get picked up and dropped off right in front of your favorite destinations along Santa Monica Boulevard.”

“The official launch of the Pick-Up brings an entirely new level of fun and convenience to the WeHo party scene,” said West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore John D’Amico. “It's free, it's convenient, it's about fun and it’s about time. Use the Pick-Up every Friday and Saturday night,” continued Mayor Pro Tempore D’Amico.

The PickUp Line is a four-mile long loop with stops every two to three blocks, offering passengers a lift every 15 minutes. The goal of The PickUp is to provide an alternative to the automobile and bring an energetic and playful transit option to one of West Hollywood’s busiest nighttime districts.The PickUp aims to steer riders to popular local venues with its flirtatious take on public transit. The soundtrack onboard The PickUp will be a mash-up of the prolific beats of Derek Monterio, one of West Hollywood’s talented DJs.

Riders of The PickUp will enjoy perks that will make the switch from car to trolley well worth it. VIP entry to The Abbey means no waiting in line to get into the world’s most notorious gay bar; plus two-for-one Abbey breakfasts before noon. Micky’s, is offering no cover and priority admission. Hugo’s has one free appetizer with entrée for PickUp patrons. Riders getting off at Fubar get one $1 drink and a stop at Here Lounge gets PickUp riders half off their first drink. New perks will be added throughout the pilot program.

Editor's note: Information for this article supplied to TASTE News Service from Travmedia sources.

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