Brunch in LA - WKNDR

Written by Jessica Klausing

  Photo credit by Wendy D.

 Photo credit by Wendy D.

WKNDR (an abbreviation of the word, 'Weekender') is Los Feliz's newest brunch spot. The cafe is a tiny hole in the wall on North Vermont Avenue, smack dab in between the vintage Los Feliz movie theater and Skylight Books.

How tiny is this place? We highly recommend going solo or as a couple. A party of three or more will have a difficult time finding seating here. The inside dons a few barstools and tables, while the outside has slightly more tables and chairs. 

The founder, Joshua Pourgol, happens to be the man behind Tacos Tu Madre, just a few blocks away from WKNDR. Pourgol and his team may not serve breakfast burritos at WKNDR, but they do focus mostly on vegan, glutton free pastries, healthy breakfast alternatives, and a delightful assortment of milk teas and coffee.

 Japanese Air Pancakes photo by Jessica Klausing

Japanese Air Pancakes photo by Jessica Klausing

Food - Japanese Air Pancakes

Cost - $12

The Japanese Air Pancakes are WKNDR's signature dish. The cafe serves up three thick pancakes adorned with strawberries, raspberries, dragon fruit, coconut shavings, and pistachios. You're given a small cup of real maple syrup to pour onto the pancakes. 

I found the pancakes to be a bit too crunchy and grainy for me. I think cornmeal may have been used as an ingredient. I don't have anything against cornmeal, but I generally prefer my pancakes to be light and fluffy. However, the fruit composite and syrup complimented the pancakes well. It was not too overly sweet. 

 Honey Lavender Latte photo by Jessica Klausing

Honey Lavender Latte photo by Jessica Klausing

Drink - Honey Lavender Latte

Cost - $6

The drink menu has many wild assortments of milk teas, tonics, and coffees (Salty Oreo Milk Tea, anyone?). The Matcha Rose Latte and the Honey Lavender Latte are the most popular choices. I found the Honey Lavender to be comfort in a cup. The latte was served at a divine temperature with the lavender blend brewed to perfection. It has a gentle floral flair without tasting like bath soap (a common disappointment with many floral teas and coffees).

Final thoughts - I found the atmosphere to be quite relaxing. The streets nearby do not get a lot of traffic so it's a nice little outdoor area to sit and chat with a friend. The service was quick and friendly. No complaints there. I will definitely return for the drinks not so much for the food. The food is a bit overpriced for a lackluster taste.

Ratings  - 3 out of 5 stars.

Recommended Listening - "Banana Pancakes" - Jack Johnson.

Yes, I'm fully aware that banana pancakes are not served at this location. :( The song itself is a laid back tune that would make a great addition to any brunch playlist.

National Wine Day 2018

Written by Jessica Klausing

 Photo by Jessica Klausing

Photo by Jessica Klausing

Happy National Wine Day!

I picked up a bottle of the Red Decadence Chocolate Wine just for the holiday. The thought of chocolate flavored alcohol never really appealed to me. This wine, in particular, had very high ratings so I decided to give it a try. It turned out to be my new favorite dessert wine.

The Red Decadence Chocolate Wine swirls the flavors of black cherry, blueberry, and plum into the dark chocolate. The wine boasts a rich chocolate and cherry aroma that is sure to lift any chocolate lovers spirits! The beauty of this wine is that the combination of red cabernet and chocolate is not too overly sweet. The dry red blend balances out the sweetness perfectly. It's a soft dessert wine with a smooth finish. 

Red Decadence Chocolate Wine

Listening Pleasure - I put on Jordan Reyne's The Annihilation Sequence while sipping a glass of my wine. Her music is a steampunk evolution into a much darker folk genre. Reyne exhibits a sexy and menacing vocal dexterity that's brilliantly layered over with industrial loops. It's not all a pleasant mechanical soundscape though. Reyne proves there is more that meets the eye or ear, rather. Listeners are pulled into a dystopia ruled by paranoia and a sense of hopelessness.

Drink Of The Day: "Wretched Blue Milk" @ Scum and Villainy Cantina

Written by Jessica Klausing

 Wretched Blue Milk photo by Jessica Klausing

Wretched Blue Milk photo by Jessica Klausing

Type: Star Wars inspired cocktail

Cost: $9

Ingredients: Rum, Coco Lopez, Blue Curaco, and Pineapple Juice.

Fellow Star Wars nerds! Warp speed over to Hollywood’s Scum and Villainy Cantina for Sci-Fi themed drinks and fun galore. The Scum and Villainy Cantina is modeled after the infamous Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.

The “Wretched Blue Milk” or Bantha Milk is a Star Wars staple. We first meet our hero, Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, enjoy a glass of blue milk with his aunt and uncle on Tatooine. The Blue Milk has since made recent appearances in Star Wars Rebels and Rogue One.

The drink itself tastes exactly like a Pina colada. The rum overpowers the senses with a hint of coconut. It’s the perfect tropical drink to beat the heat after a long day.

Recommended Listening: "Binary Sunset" (Star Wars: A New Hope OST) - John Williams

Stormtrooper masks and neon colored chemistry flasks furnish the bar’s geeky apparel. The décor is cool but it’s the sense of community the people have created here that makes it truly special. Keep an eye out for some awesome costumes! Cosplay is encouraged but not required. Whether you’re a part of the Rebel Alliance or drawn more towards the Dark Side there’s a specialized drink just for you! 

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Drink Of The Day: "Get Out" @ Ever Bar

Written by Jessica Klausing

 Get out cocktail drink photo by Jessica Klausing

Get out cocktail drink photo by Jessica Klausing

Type: 2018 Oscars inspired cocktail

Cost: $15

Ingredients: Capurro Moscatel Pisco, Appleton Estate Rum, Velvet Falmum, Lemongrass, Heavy Cream, Egg White, Soda Water. Served with a bowl of Froot Loops.

For a limited time - Ever Bar is serving up 2018 Oscars movie inspired drinks. Whether you wash down a bathtub of vodka for “Shape of Water,” toast “The Post” with a coaster of The Washington Post or give a shout out to “Get Out” with a drink and Froot Loops, fun will be had with friends at this delightful bar.

“Get Out” is a frothy lemon refresher. Chase it down with a handful of Foot Loops and the taste resembles a much less sour version of Starbuck’s Unicorn Frappucino. “Get Out” is a satirical horror film about an African American man’s infamous weekend with his white girlfriend and her family. Let’s sit back and raise a glass to Jordan Peele’s Original Screenplay winner of 2018!

Recommended Listening - "Sikiliza Kwa Wahenga" - Michael Abels

According to an interview with POPSUGAR, Jordan Peele says that the song is "Swahili, actually. I was into this idea of distinctly black voices and black musical references, so it's got some African influences, and some bluesy things going on, but in a scary way, which you never really hear. African-American music tends to have, at the very least, a glimmer of hope to it — sometimes full-fledged hope. I wanted Michael Abels, who did the score, to create something that felt like it lived in this absence of hope but still had [black roots]." 

Nestled inside The Kimpton Everly Hotel is Hollywood’s newest contemporary bar. Don’t be fooled by the Hollywood hipster décor! Ever Bar boasts a cozy, laidback living room vibe with ample personal space. The eclectic cocktail menu features a playful spin on the classics such as “Bone, Thighs, and Harmony” Millionaire and “Bananas in Pajamas” Scorpion.

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Drink Of The Day: "Come On You Wanna Lei Me" @ Harvard and Stone

Written by Jessica Klausing

Featured on Jeenalavie.com

 "Come On You Wanna Lei Me" tiki drink photo by Jessica Klausing.

"Come On You Wanna Lei Me" tiki drink photo by Jessica Klausing.

Type: Tiki cocktail

Cost: $14

Ingredients: Tapatio 110 Tequila, Aperol, Strawberry Coconut Milk, Rosewater, Coconut Lacroix, Pink Peppercorn.

The “C’mon You Wanna Lei Me” is a smooth and sweet coconut concoction. The peppercorn adds a slight spicy kick to the tequila in the cocktail. It’s a refreshing tropical drink best paired with a day at the beach or pool.

Recommend Listening:  The Beach Boys - "Beaches In Mind."

Harvard and Stone is a steampunk inspired bar in the Thai Town district of Hollywood. The bar hosts live music, DJs, and burlesque shows. Seasonal drinks and occasionally food are served randomly on the back patio. The cocktail menu changes constantly. The current tiki themed menu offers refreshing fruity blends that’ll put you in a summertime mood!

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