July Favorites

Wow. We're already ten days (most likely 11 by the time you read this) into August! Where has the summer gone? It feels like it's literally slipped through my fingers and we're barreling towards the end of the year. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. This year has been incredibly odd. I've also had a real bad case of summertime sadness, but that's a story for a different post. I'd really like to introduce a new type of post - my end of the month favorites. So, without further ado, let's get to the things I was jamming with during the month of July! 

  • Micheladas at Disneyland - I am going to be so sad when this seasonal beverage is no longer offered. This tomato juice/beer combo is so refreshing on a hot summer day. Which just the right amount of spice...SIGH. Disney is kicking it up a notch in the snack/drink department and this foodie is trying to make the most out of her pass.
  • Green hair - I installed a green unit this month and while I was unsure at first (I've never had green hair), I have quickly fallen in love and think emerald hued locks will be here to stay for a while.
  • Handmaid's Tale - Just like everyone else, I got sucked into this show and it's warnings about our possible dystopian (not-so-distant) future. While I definitely think the criticism's about it's blind spots were valid, it still hit a hard nerve with me. 
  • Reign - Okay, thanks to my mom and Netflix, I got sucked into everything that is Reign. This is a show that had been on my radar and after catching a few random episodes, I knew I eventually wanted to dive in. And I did. And now I'm beside myself because it's over. The costumes were not period appropriate, but they were GORGEOUS. There was so much DRAMA, and ROMANCE, and MAGIC. And of course, because it's a CW show, ridiculously good looking young people. 10/10 would binge again.
  • Retrowave - A discovered a whole new genre of music thanks to my friends Cristina and Daniel and I am OBSESSED. "Retrowave is a musical genre and growing culture that harnesses the sound, drive and sheer passion of the 80's-90's. It is one of the most refreshing sounds to hit the music scene and has been long overdue." Via NewRetroWave. It is everything in that exerpt and more. It's given me life.
  • Muna - I also became OBSESSED with the band Muna. They're three queer girls from LA who make dark pop and their album is AMAZING. I've included my favorite song of that release on the July playlist. Don't just take my word for it - they're opening for Harry Styles on his upcoming US tour.
  • Banana Pudding - I had the best banana pudding I've ever had at a party on July 4th and now I'm lowkey obsessed with the desert - and I never really cared for it before. 
  • Laura Palmers - Half lemonade. Half coffee. I know it sounds crazy, but it's tart and acidic and totally refreshing. 
  • Green Crush - I'm all about agua fresca when it's hot out, and the only place I know where it's readily and quickly available is Green Crush. The offerings at Green Crush are a bit sugary, and they are only located in malls, but they're still great. 
  • Face Masks - Dude. Summer is rough on the skin. Take care of your precious faces. I've been doing approximately two masks a week and still had some skin flareups from travel, stress, sun, sweat, etc.
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - Picked up a copy at SDCC and read the whole book in about six hours. I am all about SnowBaz and wish there were more books. It basically takes all of the subversive things in Harry Potter that fans complain about and makes them canon. Perfection.
  • DreamDaddy - Damien Bloodmarch is my sweet goth Daddy whom I love with all of my heart. Fight me.

And to finish things off - here's the July playlist. 

Love you all. Be kind to yourselves.


All photos in this post are the property of their respective owner's and I am using them at the mercy and with the thanks of Google image search. 

Beetlehouse LA

So, I went to Beetlehouse LA for my birthday, and I feel like we need to talk about it. Beetlehouse is a Tim Burton themed restaurant and bar; first done as a pop-up in NYC and then brought to Los Angeles. My honest thoughts? Go to the bar, skip the dinner reservation. 

I was stoked when I first heard about Beetlehouse NYC. I've been a lover of Tim Burton's work as far back as I can remember. The Burton exhibit done at LACMA was one of my favorite exhibits there. However, after that bullshit Tim was talking about black people during the press cycle for "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children"; it's been a little bit harder for me to think of him fondly. That said, I wanted to separate art from artist and enjoy an evening out. Beetlehouse LA's opening was announced a few months ago, and the timing coincided with my birthday, so I decided to make dinner reservations and celebrate in a style that felt true to my aesthetic and interests.

And I did! It's a very cute restaurant. The door is basically a hole in the wall; you're let in by a bouncer and ascend up a thin staircase to a macabre world lit by blacklight. There's fog being pumped through the whole bar, and the walls that house various pieces of artwork based on Burton's filmography have been made to look crumbling and decrepit. There's a host of different entertainers mingling with the guest; from a Mad Hatter, to a Jack Skellington, to a Willy Wonka, to an Edward Scissorhands. There are also freak performers! One approached me and nailed a nail into her nose while my friend watched (there's no fucking way I looked at her doing that. No way). The drink menu features a ton of different Burton themed cocktails. There's a great assortment of "goth" rock playing on the stereo. If it were just the bar; I'd recommend without hesitation. Dinner is a different story. 

(Menu and Decor picture above. Everything is bathed in blacklight; 90% of your pictures will probably turn out like shit.) 

Now, the service I received from the greeter and the host was great. I had a rather large party of seven and a baby, every last one of us was almost 45 minutes late, and they still sat us immediately without any hesitation. The restaurant area is more of the same as far as decor is concerned. It's all very cute. There's a stage where clips from Burton movies are played on loop, and a freak show happens every hour or so. It was a lot of fun. The service we received from our server was mediocre at best. He was a nice person. He really was. But, the food took forever to come out to us, and considering it's a set menu with few options it was rather upsetting. He also copped attitude because my friend and I wanted to split our three course entré. Uh, we're rather petite ladies; we weren't going to finish all of the offered food by ourselves. He also didn't want to let one of my friends order their alcoholic beverages on a separate check, in order to make our splitting the bill easier at the end of the night. I've worked in food service - these are all rather standard requests. That's not where my big gripe is though. My biggest gripe is the food itself. It wasn't really that great. The food is themed as well; but the presentation is lackluster and the food itself leaves something to be desired. For $40 - $45 per plate, plus tax and tip; I wanted the full experience and I've had food at Chili's that tasted better. 

So, all in all, have dinner somewhere else, go to the bar, enjoy the spooky vibe, and try not to think about how Johnny Depp is basically the same caricature in every movie now. 

Phantom Carriage

Alright y'all. I'm about to talk about one of my favorite things: BRUNCH. If you don't like brunch get the fuck out; because how could you hate sleeping in and still getting to enjoy breakfast food, the best kind of food of them all (after Mexican food)? I was recently introduced to a great new brunch spot; Phantom Carriage Brewery in Carson, California! 

Phantom Carriage Brewery is a horror themed brewery that's just over two years old. I was told about it recently by my friend, Melissa, a fellow horror fan, and we both decided we had to go there as soon as possible. The decor is everything you'd expect from a horror themed brewery; vintage horror movie posters, skeletons, specimen jars, etc. It's dimly lit, they blast metal over the speakers, there's a theater room off of the entrance hall where they screen horror movies, and of course barrels and barrels and bottles and bottles of beer. 

I was in heaven the second I stepped inside. Before I talk about anything else; I'd really like to mention the exceptional service. My friend Melissa uses a wheelchair, and I was nervous when I got there before she did, because despite their wheelchair accessible blue signs posted, I didn't see anywhere she'd be comfortable - every table was a high bar table with bar stools. However, the second I mentioned I was being met by a friend who needed to be accommodated; they immediately made sure we had somewhere comfortable for her to sit and brought me a chair the same height, so I wouldn't be towering over in a bar stool. Every member of the staff I met that day was ridiculously nice; made sure we had everything we needed, and were generally just great people. 

The beer selection and the brunch menu were on point. I was a little skeptical, most bars have shit food. However, Phantom Carriage does not disappoint. 

So many great looking choices! I went for the seasonal Ancient Horror, the Breakfast sandwich, and finished off with an Obsidian Stout. Everything was impeccable. The Ancient Horror had citrusy and floral notes and was just sweet enough to really compliment my savory breakfast sandwich that had the most delicious runny egg and an especially sour pickle on the side. Their stout is great; really deep and chocolatey. The don't play around when it comes to the ABV either; I didn't finish my Stout, because I drove.

All in all, Phantom Carriage was a great time. 10/10 would recommend. Got any great brunch spots in the LA area I should know about? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time. xo.