Restaurant Review

scum and villainy cantina

The Scum and Villainy Cantina

Several months ago, an event popped up in my Facebook feed, advertising a Star Wars themed pop up bar in Hollywood called the Scum and Villainy Cantina. I immediately went online and bought tickets and then promptly forgot about it until a few weeks ago when reservations for the bar opened up. Matt and I decided to go to SVC during his spring break, so we chose a Wednesday evening at 6:00. Each ticket came with two drink tokens, a souvenir glass and a souvenir coin, along with access to the bar for two hours (which was plenty of time).

We arrived to the “secret” (not so much anymore) location about a half an hour before our reservation, and found a parking spot on Cahuenga immediately. If you have ever tried to park in Hollywood, you know how next to impossible that is. We were the second group in line, so we could have gotten there later and been fine, but I always prefer to be early. About fifteen minutes before our entrance time, we were checked in and given our two drink tokens. We were let into the bar right at 6:00.

scum and villainy cantina

Inside was dark and foggy (and terrible for taking pictures). There wasn’t a ton of decoration, per se, it was really more like we had actually walked into a bar in space. The music was eclectic and nerdy–I mean, they played the Flash Gordon theme song by Queen so I had no complaints about that. In general, I thought they captured the atmosphere of a space cantina pretty well. We grabbed two seats at the bar and cashed in our first tokens. Tokens were only good for specialty cocktails or ¬†beer, but they did also have a full bar. First I tried the Big Bang. All of the cocktails came with a glowstick in them.

With my second token I tried the Dark Side of the Moon. Both of the cocktails were fine. Neither was so amazing that I would order them again, but they were both tasty and seemed to have a decent amount of alcohol.

scum and villainy cantina

The best part about being at SVC was the people watching. A lot of people (most, really) came in costume and everyone was willing to pose for pictures, which was fun for us since we didn’t dress up. We saw some really cool outfits.

scum and villainy cantina

Matt totally photo bombed my Stormtrooper selfie.

scum and villainy cantina

About a half an hour before our time was over, the big guy came out. It was fun to see the Stormtroopers (who were guests at the bar) immediately flock to his side and flank him as he walked around the bar.

scum and villainy cantina

Matt and I had a really fun time hanging out at the Scum and Villainy Cantina. We didn’t try any of the food since it all seemed pretty generic (we hit up In N Out on the way home, which is really the only way to do it), but we enjoyed the drinks. The prices for the other drinks at the bar seemed pretty on par with most of Hollywood, and while tickets for the bar were a little steep (I think we paid $50 per ticket), I found the whole experience to be worth what we paid.

As far as I know, there are no more reservations available for SVC, but they do have some walk up spots available. I would check their website and/or social media channels for the latest updates on accommodating walk ups. If you are a Star Wars fan in the So Cal area, I would 100% recommend checking out the experience. It was definitely a fun and nerdtastic experience!

Thank you for sharing!Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
Downtown Disney: Earl of Sandwich

Restaurant Review: Earl of Sandwich

In my opinion, Earl of Sandwich is one of the better additions to Downtown Disney to come along in a while. Earl of Sandwich (obviously) serves sandwiches, but also has a good selection of salads, pizza, and fresh and healthy items like fruit cups. They also have some delicious not so healthy items like cupcakes and beer. What I love about Earl of Sandwich is that in addition to being tasty, it is fast and convenient. We have eaten here several times after picking up race packets, and it seemed like the perfect place to eat after a long afternoon swim at the Disneyland Hotel.




On our most recent trip, I ordered the caprese sandwich, which comes with spinach, tomato, mozzarella, and a balsamic vinaigrette. This is one of my favorite caprese sandwiches out there, I think because the vinaigrette is lighter than the pesto that comes on most caprese options.

Matt ordered the Hawaiian BBQ sandwich, which comes with chicken, ham, pineapple, Swiss cheese, and BBQ sauce. I hadn’t tried this one before so I of course made him give me a bite and it was really good. I will definitely be ordering this one in the future.

We ordered the kids’ turkey and cheese for Squirt, and he actually ate the whole thing (thank you swimming!). We also got some fresh fruit and two beers (for Matt and me, obvs). While the meal was on the higher end of what we would normally spend on a quick service meal, it was still cheaper than a meal in the park and definitely just as tasty (if not even tastier). If you are looking for a quick and yummy place to grab a sandwich or salad in Downtown Disney, Earl of Sandwich is definitely a good place to check out. Considering that most of the restaurants in Downtown Disney are full service, Earl of Sandwich is a great option for something a little more casual.

What’s your favorite place to grab a quick bite at Disneyland?

Thank you for sharing!Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
character breakfast

Character Breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen

A couple of weeks ago, our little fam took a short trip down to Disneyland to hang out with Matt’s cousin and her son, who were visiting from Alabama. Given their location, it was the son’s first trip to Disneyland and they did the whole shebang–Disneyland Hotel, multiple days in the parks, everything you should do if you are visiting from out of state. One of the things included in their vacation package was the character breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen. Since we had never done one before (at least not together) Matt and I decided to splurge and give it a go. I (naively, stupidly) thought that since Squirt and I spend so much time in the parks, he would be totally cool with all the characters. Yeah, not so much. He was not a fan, and spent the majority of the character breakfast curled in Matt’s lap (which made it difficult for Matt to take full advantage of the overpriced breakfast buffet). It will be a couple of years before we give the character breakfast another shot (the four year old loved it!) but here are some of the highlights, nonetheless.




Our reservation was for 7:00 am (probably part of the issue for Squirt since he is a super special unicorn toddler and sleeps till 9 or 9:30 every day). I hate waking up early, but this was a really good time to go for the character breakfast because it wasn’t super crowded. The characters spent a lot of time at our table since it was pretty empty, so if you want some good interactions, get there early. Before we were seated, we got to pose for a picture with Pluto (Goofy was stationed in this spot for most of the rest of the morning).

After posing with Pluto and Chip, Squirt was pretty done with the whole character deal so we didn’t get a whole lot of family photos after that.

I managed to grab a selfie with Minnie, who loved my ears. She was the cutest in her little chef/baker outfit.

Then it was time for breakfast! Goofy’s Kitchen is a buffet, and they had all the breakfast foods you could want: eggs, bacon, pancakes, French toast, fruit, and of course, the Mickey waffle. Because Squirt was so clingy during breakfast, Matt and I didn’t get to sample as much as we would have liked (definitely don’t think we got our $45 worth of food, but whatevs…I did shove some bananas and cookies in the diaper bag on the way out). But the Mickey waffles were delicious, as always.

When our waitress asked if we were celebrating any birthdays, I don’t think she was prepared for us to say we all were, but it was true! Both the little dudes had birthdays in June and the adults all in July, so they were kind enough to bring us five Goofy birthday cupcakes. Sadly, we left most of our cupcakes on the table since it was a little early for cupcakes (especially after a breakfast consisting mainly of waffles).

While we did see quite a bit of Minnie, Chip and Dale, and Pluto, we only really saw Goofy as he was on his way in and out of the kitchen. The characters did do a cute little dance, but it was in the main room, and we weren’t seated there so it was hard to see. All I managed to get of Goofy was this blurry shot as he was passing by our seats.

So obviously the character breakfast didn’t go quite as planned for us, but I did learn some tips for next time. We went with the Goofy’s Kitchen option because it was included in our family’s package, but I think the Plaza Inn and the character breakfast at Paradise Pier (from what I have seen online) have a few more characters. We didn’t get to see Mickey at all, which was kind of a bummer. One thing I really liked about the character breakfast was the fact that the characters were really good about staying away from Squirt once it was clear he was not into it. They still interacted with our little cousin (the four year old), but made sure they weren’t getting in Squirt’s face in the meantime. I’m sure they deal with scared kids on a regular basis and they clearly know how to handle them.

If you are considering a character breakfast, I would make sure your kids are at the right age, I think four or older works best. Early mornings work great for lots of face to face interaction, but really take some time to look at the characters who tend to come to each place and pick the ones you want to see.

Have you done a Disneyland character breakfast before? What was your experience like?

Thank you for sharing!Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
downtown la

Restaurant Review: Poppy and Rose

A couple of months ago I coordinated a wedding at one of my favorite venues, Smog Shoppe. One of the things I love about Smog Shoppe is that they let you bring in any caterer you want to work with, which means every time I work there, I get to try something new. At this past wedding, a local food truck, Peaches, catered and the food was so freakin delicious I could hardly stand it. The catering manager let me know that they also have a storefront downtown near the flower market and that I should check it out if I were ever in the area. Well, I happened to recently be in the area, and decided to swing by and see it for myself. Poppy and Rose is literally right next door to the flower market, which makes it convenient if you are already shopping for flowers, but a pain in the ass if you are not (parking in the area sucks…shocker). But I have to say, I want Matt to try their pulled pork so badly that we will probably make a special trip there one day just for that. It’s that good.

In addition to serving ridiculously good food, Poppy and Rose is also adorable. I mean, how can you not love the striped awning?¬†Poppy and Rose is known for their pulled pork and their fried chicken (the wedding served both sandwiches; I had the chicken at the wedding and it was bomb). Since I had already tasted the fried chicken, I ordered the grilled cheese. It was yummy, but I wish I would have gotten the fried chicken sandwich instead since that is not something I’m going to order anywhere else (and I’m twelve so I eat grilled cheese all the time).

My friend Lisa opted for breakfast and got the ground beef patty with eggs and brick hash (the potato kind, not the marijuana kind). All of their breakfast items looked really yummy so my next trip might be a morning one.

My friend Kristen was the smartest of us all and got the pulled pork breakfast. She was nice enough to let us all sample the pork and it was amazeballs. Seriously, it like melted in my mouth. Matt loves pulled pork, so he is definitely going to have to come to Poppy and Rose to try some of this magic.

We all really enjoyed our meals at Poppy and Rose, and I was totally digging the vibe and ambiance. Farm fresh and rustic chic, with a bit of hipster edge thrown in for good measure.

Here’s a quick look at the Poppy and Rose menu…

If you are ever in the downtown area and are looking for a delicious bite to eat, I would totally check out Poppy and Rose! So cute inside and out, plus amazing food options. I’m basically going to be making excuses to go down to the flower market, just so I can eat here!

Thank you for sharing!Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
the fifth oc

Take a Look at The Fifth Rooftop Bar and Lounge in Anaheim

On Wednesday night, I was invited to attend the grand opening press event for the newest in Anaheim entertainment, the Fifth Rooftop Bar and Lounge, which is atop the Grand Legacy Hotel (where Matt and I will be staying next month for my birthday trip to Disneyland). The Fifth is the only rooftop bar in Anaheim, which is crazy because it is definitely an awesome place to have a rooftop bar, as you have amazing views of the Disney parks. That is the main selling point of the Fifth, the incredible views, but they also have some tasty beverages and small bites.

Here is their menu of specialty cocktails…

the fifth oc

…and their champagne cocktails. Any bar that has a separate menu for champagne cocktails is okay by me!

the fifth oc

My Disney bestie Brianna accompanied me to the event and she sampled the That Old Rye. I am not a whisky/bourbon girl so it didn’t sound appealing to me, but Brianna liked it (though apparently it was a little sweet for her liking). I had the Champina, which tasted like a pina coloda with champagne in it. And yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. The only problem is I could have easily had ten of them before realizing I was all of the sudden drunk. I didn’t actually do that…this time.

the fifth oc

While we enjoyed our cocktails, we took in the amazing view of both Disneyland and California Adventure. There is a glass wall up around the edge of the bar so the views are pretty unobstructed.

the fifth oc

the fifth oc

The Fifth also offers some small bites to snack on. We tried the tater tots, and they were pretty yummy.

the fifth oc

The main event of the evening was the Disneyland Forever fireworks viewing. The Fifth has an amazing view of the show. Honestly, I don’t even think you get a view like this if you are at one of the hotels on Disney property.

the fifth oc

the fifth oc

The only downside to watching the fireworks from the bar is that you don’t get the music (though they did have a DJ playing it at the event, I’m not sure if that is a nightly occurrence). But you get to enjoy a cocktail while you watch, so that definitely makes up for the lack of music (in my mind).

In general, I was very impressed with the ambiance of the bar, and the cocktails and food that we tried. The main downside for me was that there were quite a few kids in the lounge area. I understand the clientele for a hotel in the Disneyland area is going to be families, but for me, if I am going to be hanging out at a place that brands itself as a bar, I’m expecting to be able to enjoy some adult conversation. The Fifth has some large lawn type games set up, which would totally be fun to play as an adult with friends, but with kids around, they were the ones playing them, and rather loudly. The service was also a little bit on the slow side, though I think that is to be expected at any new bar or restaurant. Everyone on staff was very friendly and helpful when you were talking to them and ordering.

Since we already have plans to stay at the Grand Legacy in July, we will definitely be making a trip up to the Fifth again. I’m hoping they will have tightened up on service at that point, but really we will be going there for the drinks and the fireworks. At this time, it looks as if the Fifth is only going to be open to hotel guests staying at the Grand Legacy, though that could definitely change as the bar becomes more popular. I will be sure to include my thoughts on my second trip to the bar in July!

Thank you for sharing!Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
wine festival

2016 Food and Wine Festival at California Adventure

At the beginning of April, Disney resurrected the Food and Wine Festival at California Adventure. The last time they held the festival was five or six years ago, and I honestly didn’t even know about it. Since I wasn’t super into food or wine at that time (and there was no Instagram), I probably didn’t even realize it was happening. But as soon as I heard about this year’s festival, I was all about it. Yummy food, wine tasting, and Disney? Hells to the yes. So I signed up for a beverage seminar, grabbed my DBFF (Disney Best Friend Forever) and headed down to California Adventure.

disney food and wine




(more…)

Thank you for sharing!Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Restaurant Review: Napa Rose

If you are at all hungry, you might want to avoid this post. Instead of doing Christmas presents for each other, the hubs and I decided to put present money into a really awesome date night out. After checking out the plethora of fancy restaurants in LA, I stumbled upon the duh choice: Napa Rose. It’s delicious, it’s Disney, and it’s on my 30 by 40 list. Bingo! I made our reservation toward the end of December and the first available date that worked with our crazy schedules happened to be Valentine’s Day weekend. We’re not big on V-Day, but it worked out to be a nice weekend to go. So we sent Squirt off to Grandma’s and headed down to the OC. We got there a little early, but the hostess informed us we could go get a cocktail on the patio. I had never noticed the patio before, even though you can see it from California Adventure. It has a fire pit and quite a few seats and there is a server stationed out there. Apparently it is open seating so you can go enjoy a drink there even if you aren’t eating in the restaurant. We will definitely be hitting up the patio in the future, especially during the summer.

Anyway, we were shown to our table pretty quickly and our waitress came over and explained the concept of the menu, which changes on a regular basis depending on seasonal offerings. We were pretty entranced by the menu as everything sounded delicious.

IMG_1708

The hubs finally decided on the filet, which he was kind enough to give me a bite of. It practically melted in my mouth…

IMG_1709

I went with the pork, for two reasons: one, I like pork. And two, it came with a bacon tater tot. We joked that the next time we were going to have a date night we were going to order a dozen tots and a bottle of wine. And if they would let me, I totally would.

IMG_1710

We also shared a side of the truffle mac n cheese, for obvious reasons. It was as delicious as you would expect.

IMG_1711

The one thing I wasn’t 150% impressed with was the dessert menu. I was in for the splurge so I was hoping for something really decadent and everything was pretty light. We ordered this apple pecan goodness and it was tasty, but not the best dessert I’ve ever had. I prefer chocolate. Always.
IMG_1713

Everything at Napa Rose is pretty flawless, from the service and the drinks, to the amazing food. We are clearly not going to be eating there on a regular basis given the hefty price tag, but it was a pretty awesome choice for a special date night out. I would highly, highly recommend eating there at least once if you can. It is worth the splurge!

Thank you for sharing!Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn