For a great Girl’s Night Out, we’ve picked a favorite top five including evenings out at the oceanfront Rooftop patio to all-in-one posh salon pamper parties to side-by-side hot stone massages, as well as some urban-meets-boho dining and a refined time at the theatre. It’s a perfect mix of mojitos, mani pedis, decompression time, shopping while you dine, and art. Think GNO, and get your best girlfriends on the line.
The Rooftop Lounge Laguna Beach
The Rooftop in Laguna Beach is about as perfect as a Girls’ Night Out gets. You have a gorgeous, panoramic ocean view, relaxed patio ambiance and a menu full of fabulous specialty cocktails and appetizers. Really, what more can you want? Sip a few Sunset Blushes at sunset, and it’s a blood-orange/lemon-sugar invitation to let your hair down. The Rooftop sits atop the La Casa del Camino hotel. So enter the hotel, and head up the stairs to the roof. The place is packed, and they don’t take reservations, so you might need to bat your eyelashes and smile to amp up your open-table odds. Another good tip is to get the waitresses on your side, and have them be on the lookout for who is leaving. Besides the Sunset Blush drink, try the fresh-fruit mojitos, a house specialty: the Berry is very-berry good. And as far as appetizers, they offer a sampling of small bites and California casual cuisine. The Caprese Skewers of buffalo mozzarella, tomato, basil and pesto dip are quite good. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday 3:00 PM -5:00 PM, when they offer half off all mojitos, beer, wine and well drinks. Be sure to check out the downstairs menu also if you’re interested in a late dinner. The Herb Risotto is outstanding. The Rooftop can get a little chilly (hence the blankets and heaters), so dining downstairs after the sun goes down is a good-to-know way to go.
Porcelain Hair Studio
The new Porcelain Hair Studio salon in downtown Huntington Beach is a great Girls’ Night Out because of the range of services they offer. Traci Hawkins created the salon with a vision of offering many services in one chic stop—from cut and color, blowouts and sugar-scrub mani pedis to airbrush spray tans, brow waxes and makeup to eyelash extensions and botox appointments (dang, that’s a lot of salon in one space). So you can have a GNO and take over the place. Traci and team will uncork some vino for all and everyone can mingle during the mix of treatments. If a Pamper Party sounds good, book away. The salon offers specials for four or more girls to come and get dolled up before a night out. You can also shop some stylish accessories in their boutique. By the way, the salon uses UNITE products and the new luxury oil is light and amazing; makes your hair feel like silk (without worrying about feeling like you’ve used too much). Porcelain is also home to Addiction cosmetics. Make your pamper appointment by calling 714-969-8722, and expect to have a great time. Traci runs a very fun, laid-back, on-trend salon with a talented team.
Have you been to the new CUCINA enoteca at Irvine Spectrum that opened just seven months ago? It’s a modern take on classic cuisine, and it’s a charmed Girls’ Night Out with plenty of space for gal-pal gatherings. The California-inspired Italian kitchen and wine shop is a quirky mix of old (rustic country farmhouse) and new (modern-kitchen cues). The atmosphere of funky chartreuse green and chalkboard art is fun and comfortable in an upscale style. It’s a splash of Bohemia, and everything is for sale—from the chair you sit on (including the cool White Fabric + Burlap Dining Room Chair for $306 ) to the chandeliers above. So essentially, you can shop and dine at the same time. The menu is that of fresh local, organic and sustainable ingredients. You might start the night with a Geisha Martini or Cucumber Blossom—both light and just right—then pair it with a mini mason jar of burrata and roasted garlic confit or the Farmer’s Chopped (excellent), then move on to the spicy angel hair pasta. Dessert? Hey it’s GNO, which means no calorie counting, so perhaps the Zeppole (Italian-style donut holes-gasp!) is a much-need guilty pleasure. Now while there is lots of space in the place, people are beggin’ to get in Saturday nights, so call ahead. And fyi, in addition to the inside dining, there are two large patios that provide outdoor seating options for semi-private dining.
Athena Day Spa
You can gather a group of gals for a spa escape at the quaint Laguna Beach Athena Day Spa, or opt to just get away with a girlfriend for a few hours. The intimate spa offers side-by-side, two-person massages, which is one of their most popular treatments. Select any massage or body treatment and they can pamper you side-by-side while you can catch up in the candle-lit sanctuary. Athena offers different massages such as Hot Stone massage, where the stones are used as tools to melt muscle tension. The spa also has an oceanfront terrace with great views of Catalina Island and Main Beach. Just walk down the steps to put your feet in the sand and rinse off in the beachfront shower. Before your massages, you might also try their Far Infrared Sauna, which is said to ease muscle tension, burn calories, purify cells, detox you and promote overall health. Massages are 60-minute for $95 or you can choose a 90-minute Ultimate Massage for $140. Pricing is times two if you choose 2-person treatments. And a 30-45 minute Far-Infrared Sauna Therapy Session is $30 each. Athena Day Spa uses signature lavender oil, and there’s complimentary parking (priceless in Laguna in the summer).
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Segerstrom Center for the Arts is an ideal excuse for GNO. Leave the boyfriends and husbands at home and hit the Center for a show. The guys will probably send you on your way fast with relief that they can go have a beer and hot dog at a game. On stage now is the hilarious La Cage aux Folles—winner of three Tony Awards® including the award for BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL and the biggest hit of the 2010 Broadway season. The show runs through August 5th. After that run there is always a next great show to see at the gorgeous Segerstrom Hall. It’s also quite divine to have a pre-show bite at Leatherby’s Café Rouge on the SCFTA grounds. It makes for an artful GNO for two or more any season.