“Girls just want to have fuh….uuuunnnnn!” So goes the song. But it’s true. And it doesn’t change just because you’re a mom! In fact, with all of the insanity in the daily life as a mother, you need a good time out more than ever! The Mom’s Night Out is one of the most important (and fun!) things you can do for yourself and your sanity and is one of the very best ways to reconnect with that fun-lovin’ free-wheelin’ girl who used to speak in whole sentences and never left the house with two different shoes.
Here are some great ideas (think of them as “GNO “Recipes”) for you and your girlfriends. Whether you can sneak away for a leisurely lunch, a whole evening, or maybe even escape for a night (or *gasp*…maybe TWO!) away with your gal pals, the following “recipes” should provide the relaxation, good time and “fuh…unnnn” you seek: Just add friends and bake…wait…scratch that last part…
($ – Cheap; $$ – Moderate; $$$ – Pricey; $$$$ – Don’t tell your husband)
730 N La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069-5204
This upscale California inspired Japanese joint on La Cienega Boulevard is the perfect place for you and the girls to dish, catch up and enjoy a lovely evening out. The “tapas” styled food is perfect for sharing (don’t miss the spicy tuna on crunchy rice! We love it so much we order two dishes of it before we even look at the menu!) The service is attentive, the food is consistently fantastic, and it’s not so noisy you can’t hear each other speak. When you book a reservation, try to get a booth in the main room. It’s roomy and well-situated for crowd watching. Watch out for the paparazzi on your way out…they’re usually pitched outside.
The Bazaar by Jose Andres
The SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills
465 South La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Beyond the beautiful décor, an evening out at The Bazaar involves a bit of nomadic action for you and your friends. You start at Bar Centro where the drinks (which incorporate a curious and wonderful variety of fresh herbs and fruit) have a dash of liquid nitrogen (think The Addams Family version of a Cosmopolitan) and organic emulsifiers to take the modern cocktail to new levels. Then you and your tribe move on to Rojo y Blanca for Spanish style tapas (yes…I do love to do tapas with my girlfriends). Finally, you leave your table in the dining room and you and your friends belly up to a long table near an open kitchen to order deserts.
692 North Robertson Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Few things say “Girls just wanna have fun!” more than a night out at a gay bar. No pressure to look perfect (and how could you outdo some of these boys anyway! Wow!), no cheesy pick-up lines, freedom for maximum girl time. Great drinks, great music, great vibe. The Abbey is a sprawling complex of lush velvet drapery, exposed brick, and yards and yards of gorgeous men. Cocktails are as fancy as you want them, and the food is tasty too. Plus, being in the heart of WeHo is always fun for the people-watching alone.
1638 N Cahuenga Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
Okay, maybe one thing says “Girls Night Out” more than going to a gay bar. How about hitting a Beauty Shop styled nightclub where you can get a cocktail and a manicure and sit on vintage hair dryer chairs. Great music, good drinks (if a bit heavy-handed on the cheap stuff), and primping. Sounds great to me! It does get a little loud and crowded on the weekends – but as moms, we know the best nights to go out with our “girls” are during the week anyway, right? From Thursday through Saturday (from 7pm – 11pm) Beauty Bar offers “Martinis and Manicures.” You can make a reservation for parties of 6 or more, or cross your fingers for a table and just walk in.
UGO Wine Bar
3865 Cardiff Avenue
Culver City, California 90232
Looking to do something with your friends other than sitting around a table and chatting? Maybe something a bit more fun and unusual (funusual?). Try Ugo’s wine bar in Culver City. Adjacent to their restaurant, this wine bar offers an enomatic wine system. It’s simpler than it sounds. You purchase a “credit card” from your bartender then use your card to sample numerous wines dispensed from special machines in tasting portions. It’s a great way to expand and test your palate and it’s so fun! You can order appetizers from the restaurant next door and nibble and sip your way through a lovely and unique evening.
City Sip LA
2150 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 483-WINE (9463)
This tiny Los Feliz/Silverlake wine “destination” is a popular wine shop and wine bar. The well-priced “Saturday Social” makes this an inexpensive place for you and your gal pals to savor and sample all kinds of wines, tasty charcuterie and other small treats. Want to make an evening of savoring wine? City Sip LA also offers wine tasting classes.
Dinner and Ping Pong
Alejo’s Presto Italian Restaurant
8343 Lincoln Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045-2413
Westside Table Tennis Center
11755 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90064
Alejo’s is favorite Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. As a transplanted New Yorker, I searched high and low for good pasta and great chicken parmesan and I found it at Alejo’s! Cheap and delicious – EVERY TIME! (I’ll probably kick myself for sharing this gem next Friday night when I try to get a table! The Linguine a la Mare is fresh and light. It’s BYOB but they’ll pop your cork for no fee and if you can’t park in the tiny packed parking lot in front, park alongside Washington Boulevard after 6pm.
And after your glorious garlicky gastronomic experience head on over to the Westside Table Tennis Center. Why? Because Ping Pong is just as much fun now as it was when you were a kid! This large indoor Ping Pong club is nestled in on a side street in West LA off Exposition and you can rent all the equipment you need for just a pittance – and for the whole the evening! Just be prepared to be gawked at – some of the “regulars” here don’t see a lot of girls so you and your friends will most likely make quite a splash.
The Montage Hotel
225 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Gorgeous, impeccably appointed rooms (they even put out little pillows on the bed with initial of the person whom booked the reservation), world class food on premises, centrally located in the middle of the best shopping destination in the world! Don’t feel like stepping foot outside the hotel? Settle in for poolside foot rubs and frozen grapes! YUM!
The Derby Deli & Dueling Piano Bar
27741 Crown Valley Pkwy
Mission Viejo, CA 92691-6532
I will say this without any shame whatsoever – I love a piano bar. I love to sing at piano bars, I like to listen to pianos at piano bars and quite frankly – “dueling pianos” are enough to get me to drive all the way down from LA to party behind the “Orange Curtain.” The Derby serves up cheap food, cheap drinks, and provides a fun party atmosphere unlike any other bar around! Filled with other moms on their GNO, you’re sure to get your “sing” on in this fabulous, swingin’ joint.
Cafe, Bar & Coffee / Karaoke Club
134 S. Palm Canyon Drive
Coffee, cocktails and karaoke? That’s the perfect combination of ingredients for a great Girls Night Out. Smack in the middle of Palm Canyon drive in the heart of Palm Springs, Peabody’s is a fun sidewalk café and coffee bar with a full bar. From Lattes to Lime Rickeys, Peabody’s is a great place for you and the girls to gather and sing like rock stars!
My Chauffeur Limousine
Limousines and Sedans
PO Box 2364
Palm Springs, CA 92263
Airport Taxi, Incorporated
3400 E Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
United Independent Taxi
900 North Alvarado Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026-3105
For Santa Monica/Venice Beach/Marina del Rey: Tel: (310) 821-1000
For Los Angeles and Hollywood: Tel: (800) 822-TAXI (8294)
For Culver City: Tel: (800)600-0005
For Beverly Hills and West Hollywood: Tel: (800) 308-0700
AND REMEMBER TO DRINK RESPONSIBLY!
Here are a few reliable taxi companies whose services you might want to engage for the evening. Because you and your girlfriends are responsible women and moms, we know you would never consider driving drunk. But if you can’t agree on a designated driver, for goodness sake – call a CAB! What a great way for all of you to relax for the evening, avoid parking problems, and help ensure a fun (and safe!) evening.
Sarah Maizes knows what’s it’s like to enjoy a good Mom’s Night Out. Her new book, “Got MILF?” extols the virtues of a relaxing fun time with one’s girlfriends and staying fabulous for Mom’s mental health.