suite sips: halloween-inspired cocktails conjured up by mixologist dan magro

For the last two years, my boyfriend has gone crazy with decorating the front yard for Halloween.  It started off innocent enough with a few tombstones, but then last year he kicked it up a notch with a fog machine, homemade coffin, treasure chest, two-story high spider web, skeletons, hanging ghosts, and a gigantic spider.  So naturally, we also threw a party to go along with the lawn decor because I mean, how could we not?

I like to make everything from scratch so I got busy Pinterest-ing decor and food ideas (you can check out my Pinterest board filled with Halloween ideas here), and then I enlisted the help of my friend and hobbyist mixologist, Dan Magro, to conjure up some signature drinks for the evening.  For those of you who don’t know Dan, he’s the author of Suck It Up: Extraordinary Cocktails for Everyday People so he kinda totally knows what he’s talking about.

I gave Dan free rein to be creative and he was mindful to incorporate our “Spiders & Skeletons” theme that had a black-and-white color palette so that the drinks matched and didn’t feel out of place.  He decided on two different cocktails (I love an over achiever) with one being tequila based and the other being vodka based.  Both were equally delicious.  And you know it’s a good cocktail and a good party when Dan and I had to do an emergency refill of the dispensers halfway through the night.

arachnophobia

Ingredients

  • 2 oz blanco tequila
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 3/4 oz agave nectar
  • Activated charcoal* (don’t worry, it has no taste or grit)
  • Spider-infused ice cubes^ (optional)

Directions
To make spider-infused ice cubes, simply freeze a washed plastic spider in a large ice cube tray like this one.

To make the cocktail, in a glass, muddle one 265mg capsule of activated charcoal, thoroughly extracted.  Combine remaining ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass.  Serve over one large spider-infused ice cube.  

bone marrow

Ingredients

  • 1 oz citrus vodka
  • 8 fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 oz ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz ginger turmeric simple syrup
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • Gummy bones or skull candies for garnish (optional)

Directions
In a glass, muddle raspberries with vodka until thoroughly extracted.  Combine with remaining ingredients (except gummy candies) in a shaker filled with ice.  Shake rigorously and strain into a martini glass, making sure to catch any raspberry seeds.  Garnish with skull or white bone gummy.  We used these cute “vampire” teeth and skull candies from Sockerbit.

Which scary good cocktail do you want to try first?  Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimers:

^ Plastic spiders are not to be consumed and can be a choking hazard if not securely frozen in large ice. Do not use small cubes as the ice melts faster and the black spider will be hard to see in the darkness of the cocktail.

* Activated charcoal can, in certain circumstances, absorb medication’s active ingredients (such as birth control) before your body gets a chance to. Consult your doctor if you are on regular medication of any kind before consuming activated charcoal.


the bachelorette-inspired boxes: introducing the final rose box

Because we’re obsessed with all the rose ceremony drama, we’re giving away FIVE Bachelorette themed gift boxes over on our Instagram page during Becca Kufrin’s Season 14.  And you’re totally gonna want to win these, trust us.

We’ll be releasing and giving away a different box each week and for the final week of The Bachelorette, this week’s box is appropriately named The Final Rose Box.  Let’s take a peek at what’s inside below.

The Final Rose Box

The final two go head-to-head to try to win Becca’s heart in the season finale that we already know ends in (SPOILER) – a proposal!  This gift box is filled with everything a newly engaged gal could need including a shirt with Becca’s famous catch phrase, “Let’s do the damn thing”, a ceramic tray handmade by female artisans in Morocco to hold all her keepsakes and engagement ring, “Mr. Incredible” leave-in conditioner by DryBar to keep that mane so silky her new fiancé can’t keep his hands from running through it, a raspberry and rose chocolate bar, “Royal Roses” gummy candies, a rosewater scented moisturizing shea butter hand soap by Formulary 55, “Sparkling Rose'” black tea with rose petals and shiny sugar crystals (fit for a queen, natch), a hydrating rose hibiscus coconut water face mist from Herbivore Botanicals, and a hand-poured soy candle scented like champagne and featuring the phrase “luckiest girl in the world” because naturally that’s what Becca is going to feel like when Garrett or Blake gets down on one knee to propose and accept her final rose.

To Enter

  1. Follow us on Instagram here and/or Facebook here
  2. Like the giveaway post
  3. Tag a friend that likes The Bachelorette or someone you’d give your final rose to

That’s it!  So easy.  Every tag is an entry so feel free to tag away.

We also curate gift boxes for any occasion like birthdays, babies, brides, bosses, besties – we do it all and would love to work with you or your company on custom gifts.  To check out more gift boxes we’ve put together, you can view images here.  We’d love to get your final rose.

Giveaway Timeline
The giveaway for this box starts on Monday, August 6th and ends on Friday, August 10th at 11:59 pm PST.  Winner will be announced on Saturday, August 11th.

Terms & Conditions

  • Each tag is one entry
  • Contest runs from 8/6-8/10
  • Winner will be chosen at random and notified via DM
  • Must be 18 or older and live within the contiguous United States
  • Gift is not permitted to be resold
  • Private accounts are not eligible to win
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram or Facebook

the bachelorette-inspired boxes: introducing the home town box

Because we’re obsessed with all the rose ceremony drama, we curated FIVE Bachelorette themed gift boxes.

We’ll be releasing a different box each week and this week’s box is appropriately named The Home Town Box.  Let’s take a peek at what’s inside below.

The Home Town Box

Ah, the coveted home town dates where the final four suitors get to whisk Becca off to meet their parents and play house for a bit.  While Becca hails from Minnesota (dontcha know), there’s always a home town full of farms, family, and fauna.  This gift box comes with “Southern Belle” volumizing mousse from DryBar, smoky BBQ sauce for those home cooked meals at home that you’ll make as a couple, a pumpkin pie scented candle that will rival the smell of mom’s homemade dessert, pink “mama and baby piglets” gummy candies, a “Happy game day, ya’ll” tank because Texans love their football, and a Mexican serape blanket handmaid by artisans in Mexico for all those tailgate, sunset, and soul searching moments.

We also curate gift boxes for any occasion like birthdays, babies, brides, bosses, besties – we do it all and would love to work with you or your company on custom gifts.  To check out more gift boxes we’ve put together, you can view images here.  We’d love to get your final rose.


the bachelorette-inspired boxes: introducing the pack your bags box

Because we’re obsessed with all the rose ceremony drama, we’re giving away FIVE Bachelorette themed gift boxes over on our Instagram page during Becca Kufrin’s Season 14.  And you’re totally gonna want to win these, trust us.

We’ll be releasing and giving away a different box each week and this week’s box is appropriately named The Pack Your Bags Box.  Let’s take a peek at what’s inside below.

The Pack Your Bags Box

Where there’s international travel, there’s bound to be some tan lines, some tattling, and some tears.  The cast usually travels later into the season to some tropical locale that makes for a nice backdrop for a break up.  This season, it’s the Bahamas! With this gift box in hand, you’ll be sippin’ pretty on the beach before you’re cast off to the next season of Bachelor in Paradise to try your luck again (oh, you were so close to the “Fantasy Suite”, bro).  Featuring Bachelorette Season 10’s Andi Dorfman‘s new book Single State of Mind, you can read this on the long flight back home after being the first one cast off after arriving to the tropics the day before (we’ll miss you, Leo), a margarita carry-on cocktail kit with everything you need to mix up a mean marg at 30,000 feet (sans alcohol, but those in flight mini bottles are so cute), a hand-poured soy candle scented like “Island Nectar” and handmade luggage tag both by The Little Market, pineapple gummy candies, a dark chocolate bar with macadamia and coconut from Compartes, and a “Mai Tai Spritzer” sea salt spray from DryBar to make sure your hair looks as bouncy and beachy as Becca’s.

To Enter

  1. Follow us on Instagram here and/or Facebook here
  2. Like the giveaway post
  3. Tag a friend that likes The Bachelorette, traveling, the tropics, or the Bahamas

That’s it!  So easy.  Every tag is an entry so feel free to tag away.  Then stay tuned for the next gift box giveaway because we’re giving away FIVE gift boxes during the show so make sure you’re following us for your chance to win.

We also curate gift boxes for any occasion like birthdays, babies, brides, bosses, besties – we do it all and would love to work with you or your company on custom gifts.  To check out more gift boxes we’ve put together, you can view images here.  We’d love to get your final rose.

Giveaway Timeline
The giveaway for this box starts on Monday, July 9th and ends on Sunday, July 15th at 11:59pm PST.  Winner will be announced on Monday, July 16th.

Terms & Conditions

  • Each tag is one entry
  • Contest runs from 7/9-7/15
  • Winner will be chosen at random and notified via DM
  • Must be 18 or older and live within the contiguous United States
  • Gift is not permitted to be resold
  • Private accounts are not eligible to win
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram or Facebook

the bachelorette-inspired boxes: introducing the villain box

Because we’re obsessed with all the rose ceremony drama, we’re giving away FIVE Bachelorette themed gift boxes over on our Instagram page during Becca Kufrin’s Season 14.  And you’re totally gonna want to win these, trust us.

We’ll be releasing and giving away a different box each week and this week’s box is appropriately named The Villain Box.  Let’s take a peek at what’s inside below.

The Villain Box

Every season there’s a memorable villain.  From cold cut connoisseur, Chad Johnson on Jojo Fletcher’s season 12, to fun party girl, Corinne Olympios on Nick Viall’s season 21, to last season’s love-to-hate-her Krystal Nielson, there’s always a dark horse in the mix that makes for really good TV.  Inspired by the outcast that is always there “for the right reasons”, this gift box includes original bad girl Courtney Robertson’s book appropriately titled I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain, DryBar‘s “Money Maker” flexible hold hairspray because hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it, “Haters Gonna Hate” ceramic mug (haterade not included), Sugarfina sugar lips gummy candies because no doubt there will be kissing and telling this season, Bachelorette-inspired gold imprinted pencils with sayings like, “Here for the right reasons”, a black t-shirt emblazoned with “The most dramatic rose ceremony ever,” (because Chris Harrison is the ultimate hype-man), and gold kiss temporary tattoos (Becca has four).

To Enter

  1. Follow us on Instagram here and/or Facebook here
  2. Like the giveaway post
  3. Tag a friend that likes The Bachelorette or has haters (we all do!)

That’s it!  So easy.  Every tag is an entry so feel free to tag away.  Then stay tuned for the next gift box giveaway because we’re giving away three more gift boxes during the show so make sure you’re following us for your chance to win.

We also curate gift boxes for any occasion like birthdays, babies, brides, bosses, besties – we do it all and would love to work with you or your company on custom gifts.  To check out more gift boxes we’ve put together, you can view images here.  We’d love to get your final rose.

Giveaway Timeline
The giveaway for this box starts on Tuesday, June 19th and ends on Monday, June 25th at 11:59pm PST.  Winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 26th.

Terms & Conditions

  • Each tag is one entry
  • Contest runs from 6/19-6/25
  • Winner will be chosen at random and notified via DM
  • Must be 18 or older and live within the contiguous United States
  • Gift is not permitted to be resold
  • Private accounts are not eligible to win
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram or Facebook

we’re giving away FIVE gift boxes during the new season of the bachelorette

If last season’s finale of The Bachelor left you saying, “Arie you kidding me!?”, then these themed gift boxes are definitely for you.  Inspired by new Bachelorette, Becca Kufrin, these boxes have everything you need for an epic watch party, a Bachelorette super fan, or just to send to your bestie because she’s for sure final rose material.

Because we’re obsessed with all the rose ceremony drama, we’re giving away FIVE Bachelorette themed gift boxes over on our Instagram page during Season 14 when it debuts on Monday, May 28th.  And you’re totally gonna want to win these, trust us.

We’ll be releasing and giving away a different box each week and this week’s box is appropriately named The Bachelorette Box.  Let’s take a peek at what’s inside below.

The Bachelorette Box

When you think The Bachelorette, I bet you’re thinking wine and roses, am I right?  This gift box comes with NY Times best-selling book Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure by LA Times entertainment writer, Amy Kaufman, elderflower and rose lemonade (we’re mixing ours with some vodka while we watch, obvi), sparkling rosé gummy bears from upscale candy boutique, Sugarfina, a pink rosé wine flavored chocolate bar, “Hot Toddy” heat & UV protectant by hair gurus, DryBar, (because Becca’s luscious locks are always on point), a hand-poured rose scented soy candle from The Little Market, and “Wine Bachelor Yoga Pants” tank which will pair perfectly with our ponytail and vodka lemonade on the couch.

To Enter

  1. Follow us on Instagram here and/or Facebook here
  2. Like the giveaway post when it’s posted on Monday
  3. Tag a friend that likes The Bachelorette, roses, or wine

That’s it!  So easy.  Every tag is an entry so feel free to tag away.  Then stay tuned for the next gift box giveaway because we’re giving away FIVE gift boxes during the show so make sure you’re following us for your chance to win.

We also curate gift boxes for any occasion like birthdays, babies, brides, bosses, besties – we do it all and would love to work with you or your company on custom gifts.  To check out more gift boxes we’ve put together, you can view images here.  We’d love to get your final rose.

 

 

Giveaway Timeline
The giveaway for this box starts on Monday, May 28th when we post and ends on Saturday, June 2nd at 11:59pm PST.  Winner will be announced on Sunday, June 3rd.

Terms & Conditions

  • Each tag is one entry
  • Contest runs from 5/28-6/2
  • Winner will be chosen at random and notified via DM
  • Must be 18 or older and live within the contiguous United States
  • Gift is not permitted to be resold
  • Private accounts are not eligible to win
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram or Facebook

these walls do talk: the retro wallpaper we find

When we’re remodeling an apartment, there’s nothing we get more excited about than stumbling across a gorgeous vintage wallpaper design hidden underneath 65 years worth of paint.

Back in the day, wallpaper was the stylish norm and we wish that we could find pictures of our Old Hollywood-era building to see what the apartments looked like when they were originally built.  What we’ve pieced together after updating a few of our apartments is that the kitchen cabinets were probably an avocado green and the floor a black-and-white checkered linoleum with wallpaper in the dining room (different in each unit as far as we can tell).  We usually find these fun wallpapers just above the chair rail as we’re scraping off layers of paint (and sometimes layers and layers of wallpaper).

To help preserve this 1950’s nostalgia, we started saving intact scraps to frame and hang in each apartment, but we found that some of the designs were too large to get a good salvageable piece and a small scrap just didn’t do them justice.  So we’ve made sure to take photographs of the last layer of wallpaper and mark what suite number we found it in, so we can share them here.

Let us know which design is your favorite in the comments below and be sure to check out our before and after shots of a recently remodeled apartment here.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been updated.


these walls do talk: laundry room remodel

Laundry: Before

Laundry.  It’s loads of fun, right?  Maybe not, but I definitely think that hitting the spin cycle in a pretty space makes it a little easier to get through.  Apartment laundry rooms are notorious for being dark, drab and boring and since we’re all about “elevating apartment life”, we set out to remodel the last of the two laundry rooms at the building we manage in West Hollywood.

We got the other laundry room up and running after 20 years of downtime a few summers back, but this one was still looking all sorts of sad and in dire need of its own so fresh and so clean. Now we’re not one to air our dirty laundry, but we wanted to tell you about how we made over this space.

the before

The first thing we always like to do when tackling a project is to really take a look at the space and identify what the problems are (if any) and think of ways we can improve on them.  The first issue in this room (other than it was just sad and ugly) was that it had an awkward layout with the dryers so far away from the wall that the previous manager had to run the exhaust pipes pretty much across the length of the room.  Not pretty or practical.

Then we had the unsightly water heater in the corner and an old table to set your laundry basket on that was found on the curb (thumbs up for recycling).  The plastic sink wasn’t flush with the sloped floor and was made level by screwing it to a piece of wood that had paint peeling off of it (nice work, MacGyver).  The original 1950’s back splash, while I love vintage charm, was way too big for that small sink and just looked odd because of it.  We know from when we remodeled the other laundry room that both rooms were originally set up to have two cast iron sinks, but we’re not quite sure where they went or why they were removed from this one.  Overall, the layout left us with a tight space with not much room to maneuver and a square room screaming for some perky paint and a new personality.

the design process

Part of the fun of a project like this is getting to design it – it’s a great creative outlet for me.  I knew immediately that I wanted to incorporate a nod to the building’s 1950’s heritage and add in a bit of drama with dark walls.  My color inspiration came from blowout salon, Drybar, since I love their color combination of gray and white with touches of yellow.

I also knew that I wanted to add some cabinets with cubbies inside for the tenants to be able to store their laundry supplies like we did in the other laundry room.  That way they don’t have to carry them back and forth every time they want to throw a load of laundry in.  In the other laundry room that we remodeled, we purchased cabinets from Home Depot and then put in dividers to make individual cubbies and added colorful storage baskets for each of the tenants on that side of the building.  But this time I wanted to do something a little bit different, so I thought we’d change it up and do a Shaker-style door instead.  I know, we got super crazy!  Off to Home Depot we went to pick up the cabinets.

When shopping for accessories for this remodel, Target was one of our first stops.  Now if you’re like me, then you already know that feeling of unadulterated pure joy that can only be felt when going up and down every aisle at Target for no reason at all.  Oh those stylish Nate Berkus desk accessories; those colorful Oh Joy! and Design Love Fest end caps filled with fun little goodies that you just HAVE to have to complete your soul.

Since I was designing this laundry room at the tail end of fall, it was right around the time that “Back to School” accessories went on sale.  Naturally, I needed to browse through these as I dreamt about our future children and their cute little backpacks filled to the brim with brand new folders and pencils (all color coordinated, of course).  I pushed my cart further down the aisle and became legitimately mesmerized at all the colorful locker accessories.  Umm, where were these when I was an awkward teenager navigating the treacherous waters that are middle school?  My locker could’ve used some of this “cool” factor back in the 90’s to go along with my C+C Music Factory and En Vogue tapes, for sure.

Back at the job site later, I reminisced about those super rad locker magnets and mini chandeliers that I saw at Target to my project manager (and boyfriend), Brian.  I think I might’ve even said, “I wish I could go back to school just to decorate my locker!”  Well, then smarty pants Brian looked at me and said, “Why don’t we do lockers for the cubbies in the laundry room instead?”  DING!  That’s it!  That’s a brilliant idea that I didn’t come up with on my own (err…). But I gotta give design credit where it’s due and Brian definitely earned this one.  Back to Home Depot we went to return the Shaker-style cabinets.

We hunted high and low for lockers that were big enough to fit a standard size laundry soap jug and thought that square “box” style lockers were just the ticket.  Only we weren’t able to find them anywhere where they were also counter height.  They were either too tall or too short. Having to abandon my dream of eight individual box lockers stacked two high and four wide, we ended up going to a locker salvage yard and purchasing used double-tier vintage lockers instead.  Oh, the memories they evoked from my Thunderbird days.  The good news was that they were within budget.  The bad news was that they were old, beat up, and blue.  Brian got to work on power washing them and then hammering out some dents in addition to cutting them in half, painting, and securing them together.

 

pulling it all together

Now that we had our lockers and a solid vision, we got to work on pulling the whole design together.  We started by relocating the ugly water heater out of the room and to the other side of the wall where there is an adjacent storage closet.  This freed up a ton of space and let us lay out the room in a more functional way.

We chose white wainscoting for the lower half of the walls to break up the space and give it some fun texture.  Behr “Ultra Pure White” is always our go-to white and it really helped to brighten up the small space.  To give the room some drama, we tested a few samples for the top part of the walls and finally landed on “Legendary Gray”, also by Behr.

We chose a standard Home Depot bathroom cabinet to house the sink and to covertly hide a few cleaning supplies underneath too.  I’m happy to say that when we remodeled the other laundry room, it had those two original cast iron sinks I mentioned earlier.  We saved one for this remodel and after storing it for a few years, we were able to put in back into action.  Welcome back, old buddy!  We gave it a good scrub and anchored it to the wall and cabinet.

To give the space a little glam, we tiled the sink surround with marble tile.  The hexagon shape was another nod to the 1950’s while the material was just the perfect touch to elevate the space a bit.  I think it’s so fun to use fancy finishes in unexpected places like a boring, old laundry room.  And because the amount of tile we needed was so small, we could afford to splurge a little bit here.

the after

They always say “the devil’s in the details” and I definitely think it’s the accessories job to help make the whole design come together in a cohesive way.

For the counter top, we opted for butcher block to warm up the space since Carrera marble felt too cold and like a little bit too much.  Each locker got a butcher block shelf added to it to create a place for two tenants to store their laundry supplies.  Then we labeled the inside of each locker door with yellow numbers that correspond to the tenant’s apartment number.  I still get a nostalgic kick out of that sound of metal hitting metal when opening up the lockers now.  On top of the counter top, we found the cutest vintage washing machine container from Cost Plus.  We used our Cricut to label this as the “lost & found” for stray socks.  When a solemate goes missing and is placed inside, it looks like the little washing machine has a full load of laundry in it.  So cute!

On the wall above the lockers, we added a few Ikea “Ribba” frames and used our Cricut again to design and cut out our own “artwork”.  We used large clothespins for one frame and classic laundering symbols for the other to help illustrate tenant “laundriquette” when using the communal space.

There’s nothing worse than when doing laundry, a neighbor cuts in front of you or (gasp) moves your laundry from the washer to the dryer so that they can use it.  As Stephanie Tanner would say, “How rude!”  To avoid these types of scenarios, we designed a way for the tenants to communicate who was doing laundry and who was next in line.  Each tenant now has their own name tag hung on a bubble-filled drawer pull anchored to the wall.  When doing laundry, they can move their name tag to the clip that says “washing” or “drying” to let neighbors know who is doing laundry and who is next in line.  That way, if a load is accidentally left in the dryer and forgotten about, we know whose door to knock on.  Or a tenant can claim their place in line by putting their name in the “waiting” clip.  Our tenants are very courteous and will knock on each other’s doors to let them know that they’re finished and that the washer is now available.  And for some fun, we added some magnetic poetry to play with while they wait for the machines to stop spinning.

To light the room, we went with an affordable Ikea “Vitemolla” fixture that brought in some texture and then angled each of the lights to spotlight certain parts of the room.  We chose a 50’s inspired trash can from The Container Store and to create an immediate focal point, we added a decal from Etsy that helped to bring in some of that vintage feel as well as break up the gray wall.

On the wall above the sink, we added a wire organizer from Cost Plus that was painted white and inside we added a few small accessories like a plant, vintage-looking hand soap, and a mason jar filled with clothes pins.  Above the self, we hung a metal “laundry” sign, also from Cost Plus, that we repainted yellow.  And since we always like to “surprise and delight” wherever we can, we also added a mason jar filled with Lemonhead candies for our tenants to enjoy while doing laundry.  We think the space turned out pretty sweet (even without the candies).

Let us know your favorite part of the remodel in the comments below.


norah: brunch at this approachable weho hot spot

Norah_Interior

Still looking all incognito with no signage, Norah will pull you in with her enigmatic front doors if the smell of that skillet cornbread with rosemary honey butter wafting down Santa Monica Boulevard doesn’t get you first.

Once home to O-Bar (we still miss those blueberry mancakes shots) and then Don’t Tell Mama (nothing to write home about there, sorry mom), Norah has quietly taken over the trendy nightlife scene with all that they have.  Quite literally.  Everything we have experienced at this establishment, from the decor to the drinks, to the service to the food, has been something to tell our mama about.  (Even seeing hunky Keith Urban meet friends at one of the long chef’s tables.)

Norah_Front Entry Doors

First off, let us take a quick moment to just marvel at Norah’s front entry.  Those doors.  Those exquisite, dazzling wood doors.  As we waited patiently for them to open for brunch, we admired their design and craftsmanship.  We knew that they held back some amazingly delectable dishes for dinner, but what brunch secrets were locked inside?  We were the first ones in on a Saturday morning to find out.

In the fresh morning light, the atmosphere and decor was upbeat and stylish.  Accents of black, white, and tan are mixed with textures like marble counter tops and leather chairs at the bar.  A herringbone pattern wood floor leads you to large abstract black and white artwork and carved wooden figurines on the walls that lend an African vibe, but then you look around and see metal bar stools, glass walls, and bunches of filament lightbulbs that almost scream industrial.  The textures and patterns all mix so well together.  Kind of like their drinks.

While the beer selection leaves much to be desired for us (it’s all canned and lacks variety), the mixed cocktails are more show stopping and more in line with their diverse food offerings.  One thing that consistently stands out though is Norah’s level of service.  For a place as trendy as this, every host or hostess has been warm and inviting.  Those sly smirks and side-eye about how long their wait is from other restaurants has instead been replaced with a kind suggestion of checking out their two-sided bar while you wait.  Once seated, the servers and bartenders are all smiles and suggestions in their patterned button-downs and dark jeans.  Ask for Danny or Sean behind the bar for a well mixed cocktail and attentive service or ask for John, the restaurant manager, to share ravings of your favorite dish with him.

the spread

  • Morning spritzer with aperol, vermouth bianco, peach, lemon, sparkling wine – $12
  • Cast iron cornbread with rosemary honey butter – $8
  • Cinnamon roll monkey bread with salted caramel – $8
  • Squash & burrata with walnut puree, crispy quinoa, date caramel – $15
  • Breakfast martini no.2 with gin, sticky wine, apricot, lemon, coriander, egg white – $12

top nosh

While the carbs we ordered washed down well with our drinks, the squash and burrata had us at hello.  The presentation was on fleek point but the showstopper of the dish was the crunchy texture of the crispy quinoa mixed with the soft burrata.  The squash made us feel like we were getting some healthy vegetables in at brunch (we’re definitely telling our mama about that) while the walnut puree and date caramel felt like we were cheating on dessert.

may we suggest

  • Since Norah is super hot right now, we would suggest reserving a table for dinner early.
  • Better yet, go for brunch since it wasn’t crowded and some of the menu offerings are the same at both brunch and dinner (we’re talking about you, cornbread).
  • Sit at the bar for a more casual vibe and friendly banter from the bartenders.  I asked to modify one of their mezcal drinks with tequila instead and Luigi whipped up a whole different cocktail worth craving that’s not on their menu.  Grazie!
  • Suggest Norah to impress both your foodie friends and your trendy ones.
  • Order a bunch of their smaller, shareable dishes to get a feel for their style.

the specifics

Norah
8279 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood 90069
323.450.4211
www.norahrestaurant.com

Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 11am to 3pm
Dinner: Daily 6pm to Midnight

Also be sure to check out our posts on Crossroads on Melrose and Animal on Fairfax for even more great #SuiteSpots to check out.

All food and drink and front door photos: The Suite Life
Interior photos: the infatuation, colony, la eater

 


oh baby! custom gift box for a new baby boy

Gift box: baby boy_open with card

Ahoy, baby boy!  There’s nothing better than the sweet smell of a newborn baby.  Well, except maybe helping to celebrate the new little’s arrival perhaps.  We were excited to put together a custom gift box to welcome a couple’s first tiny #SuiteHeart and since it was a boy and his daddy used to be a lifeguard and his grandfather was in the Navy, what better theme than a nautical one to make celebratory waves for little Logan?

The card set the tone and featured a blue and orange color palette with ocean creatures like whales, crabs, and fish.  We then took our keepsake box (handmade in OC by our handy and cute BF) and monogrammed the lid with an anchor and baby Logan’s initials.  We chose a nautical rope to adorn the box (well, technically our BF lays claim to having found the rope) and included a bit of orange ribbon to help pull together the whole look and keep it cohesive.

Gift box: baby boy_monogrammed boxGift box: baby boy TSL logo

Inside was a fun puppet book appropriately titled “Little Fish”, Honest Company’s hypoallergenic, plant-based organic diaper rash cream, and a cute outfit that would be perfect at the beach or by the pool: dark blue cargo pants with white drawstring waist, a blue-and-white tie dye T, and a white hoodie with whale logo to help ‘anchor’ the look.  No doubt, little Logan will be making waves of his own in no time.  Anchors away, little man!

Gift box: baby boy_open boxGift box: baby boy_with cardGift box: baby boy_little fishGift box: baby boy outfit