Friday, July 18, 2014

New World Mac

I'm only writing this because I'm so sick of seeing my last post! I don't know if I've lost the urge to blog. I don't! So many people blog now. So many opinions. So much is being said. Go here, do that, think this way. Not sure what I think of any of it. I really don't. I just know though when I find a good thing, a really really good thing, I want people to know about it -- especially a good thing in LA that might be under the radar. Let's face it, that's all I ever really care about anyway: secret stairs, secret restaurants, secret tours.

So I was in New Mexico and had a terrible nightmare about what I'll never know when I woke up, disoriented and in moving my hands like a helicopter propeller to figure out where I was I spilled water onto my laptop. It was so weird and startling when I finally found the light and then saw this little puddle; this little innocuous looking puddle. Like it meant nothing. But it meant everything. It was the arsenic and old lace to my constant companion.

I tried wiping it off and praying and blowing on it but it was 2 in the morning. So eventually I closed the top and said good night to it and sort of drifted off into an uneasy sleep where a pool was following me onto a campus and I wasn't wearing any pants.

The next morning I woke only to immediately look at my computer the way you look at someone who's on a deathbed but you're not really sure if they're still alive or how you want to figure that out. I was at my friend's house, who said that we should dry it out. It might be fine. "Really, Cyn." So we opened it up and left it out in the desert sun to get warm, to get color in its cheeks. And on the advice of a Southwestern nerd we didn't turn it on. At night we brought it inside. As the days wore on, we sort of stopped noticing it was there, just hanging around. Outside during the day, inside on the counter no one goes near at night. We just let it sit. And sit. And sit.

Finally it was time to head back to LA. While packing up, I remembered my laptop like some lonesome sock that you can't leave at your friend's house but you know it's useless and no longer has a place with you. Or rather it was an appendage that had no nerve endings; a floppy, lifeless dewclaw that just hung there. In went my metallic dewclaw into my bag like a dead person being transported for burial. Though I had a shard of hope. Perhaps when I got back to LA it would be fine with all that sunshine and that not being pressed ON, etc. All our high-tech methods.

But at The Genius Bar in Pasadena (does anyone else feel scared and alone when visiting The Genius Bar?) I was told the water corroded the board and in all likelihood it was done. Maybe the hard drive could be saved. They showed me the damage. They showed me what I had done with my flailing arms and my forever forgotten dream. And then they told me to try and fix it would be $1,200.00. Oh and it would take days (I already had had to wait a few days just to get in there). $1,200.00 smackaroos. That's like 4 roundtrips to New Mexico or rent or just a ridiculous amount of money. Who cares what I could spend $1,200 dollars on? $1,200 dollars is simply too much. The other option they offered me was to spend more. I could buy a new laptop for two grand. I mean who are these people and what have they done with common sense?

I left. Me and my appendage, walking down the mean, bright, dry streets of Pasadena. I knew what I had to do. I had to get a new computer. Just not the Apple Store way.

I went online for a refurbished laptop. I found one for under a grand so good, good. Once it would come in, my plan was to find a private Mac Repair shop to see if the hard drive was still good. Apparently they couldn't tell me that at The Genius Bar at the time. The Genius Bar--where genius's hang out and drink hope away like an iced chai latte.

So... I kept my fingers crossed. Perhaps my hard drive did avoid the deadly water like Roy Scheider in Jaws. Though Roy did get wet and eventually had to paddle his way back to shore with Richard Dreyfuss. (must find a new analogy).

The computer arrived today. It's almost as nice as my last laptop but six months older. It has a little more weight and harsh edges where my old laptop had sexy woman curves. Either which way I called around about that hard drive thing. Prices quoted were from $75 to $150. Oddly I went to the $150 place. I wasn't sure it would cost that -- the guy said it could be less -- but it was that he seemed nice. I wanted to feel taken care of. The business of computers had up until that point felt cold and harsh and expedited. I wanted a second to breathe. To be treated like a human. To have another human look up from a device, look me in the eye and tell me what's what; maybe even say that everything would be okay. That it all wasn't such a big deal.

I went over to New Mac World in Echo Park on Sunset and Laveta Terrace (otherwise known to my friends as Nicole's old street). Guy is the person who greeted me AND SHOOK MY HAND. And then he introduced me to Andy who was wearing a good rocker shirt and was very nice and mellow and took a look at my hard drive and within moments said it was perfectly fine. I suppose he's a SUPER genius. The transfer would not be hard. He could do it right then and there. And he asked me what I was going to do with the old computer. I'm sure I could have figured out a whole slew of things. Maybe there was a way to make money off the parts. But I also knew most likely I would dream that dream of doing something with it and do nothing with it and then have it sit there and stare at me and act as a surface for papers and old scripts and guilt so I said, "I have no idea." He told me he'd take it and not charge me for the hard drive transfer. I said "Yes." From start to finish I was in and out within 20 minutes. I was done. It was over. And wait, he even carried my water for me out to the car because, well, I'm sure you can understand why: I didn't want to carry my water and my computer at the same time.

I'll get some pictures to post on this eventually. I'm not even sure I'm really back to blogging. But I wanted you guys to know THERE ARE GOOD BUSINESSES OUT THERE! Run by good, hard-working, polite, efficient small business owners who don't want to scare you and aren't juggling 3,000 people an hour. They will see you right away. They're right there. They're fair, they're even, they're cool. And they're in our town. Which is so good.

Yay New World Mac!
1498 Sunset Boulevard
LA, CA 90026
They have two designated parking spots but you can also park on the street.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


I'm no connoisseur regarding sushi. I just know I fell in love with the cuisine when I moved to LA. I used to go to a fun place called Sushi 101 in the valley in North Hollywood. The chef there, Toshi, was a great guy and those were the halcyon days of sushi, shrimp heads, sake and Sapporo. It was a wonderful introduction. But then I moved and when I did, someone, at some point, introduced me to Ike on Hollywood and Gower. Not the nicest section but man, did I chow down.

Oh how I loved Chef Ike. But then he left to go to Japan.  Eventually I heard he opened a new restaurant, Kimagure, in Pasadena on Raymond. I wanted to go but didn't make it there. Money got tight. We moved ourselves. Life got busy. It was as if I forgot sushi even existed. 

Then yesterday for some weird reason I said I wanted sushi. Every now and again it's a part of living in LA: you have to go out for sushi. It's a treat, to be certain, but it's as much a part of the LA experience as going to the beach once in awhile or getting an In and Out Burger.

Oh my God. Had I known I live only 15 minutes from Kimagure I would have gone much sooner. I might go to the beach twice a year but I'll sell my kidney for every other weekend at Kimagure.

Here's some photos. I went a la carte, as I always do:

I never eat grilled octopus. My fear always is it'll be chewy and one of those suckers will adhere to the roof of mouth. Not so here. It was delicious.
The grilled salmon, no lie, was like butta. Unbelievable. One of the best things I've ever eaten. So tender, melts in your mouth, and this nice smoky little touch. Oy gavult konichiwa!
Of course the shrimp was lovely, so fresh I think it was wiggling and I ate it just as he served it, straight up, no extra sauce or b.s. mishigas. Oh and check out the generous ginger. Ike don't skimp.

Much is not pictured. I was busy eating. Chef Ike made us a nice tuna roll, a kanpyo roll which I'm sure very few people get but I kind of like it for my last thing. It's a gourd soaked in sweet stuff and then wrapped in rice, of course. But the thing he started me with - and trust me - this guy and I go waaaaaaaaaaay back, is my favorite. Halibut sashimi with his perfect sauce. Oh my God. I didn't picture it. I just ate. I was starving, it had been a long time, I'm sure you understand.

Here's the menu in case you want to have the chef choose for you:
It'll probably look something like this:
But Chef Ike, he knows me. He knows I don't eat everything. I'm very picky, not that adventurous. I like what I like.

I recommend making reservations and there's a parking lot right underneath (this is at the Del Mar Metro Station). So you can park for 90 minutes free, walk upstairs, fish it up and then go home sated, sake'd and stoked.

Ike-san! I salute you!
Kimagure is at 220 South Raymond, Pasadena, CA 91105. Park underneath in the Metro parking lot. 90 minutes free parking. To make reservations: 626-535-0880.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Favorite Salad

Just have to make a quick and fast recommendation for one of my favorite salads. Actually it's one of my favorite lunch spots.
On Sunset, just a couple of blocks east of Silverlake Boulevard, sandwiched between Sumi's and Hemingway & Pickett, is Food + Lab. Now there's another Food + Lab in West Hollywood, and that one is fine, but this is the one I love and I can't for the life of me say there's any real major difference aside from the fact that...'s in Silverlake.

Food + Lab is simple. Good food. Fresh food. Well prepared. But also the entire place is clean and mellow. New York tiled, metal but comf chairs and and I'm a big fan of the mirror and the artwork and hanging-low light fixtures:

There aren't that many restaurants where I feel I can really think. I can be alone and it's okay. This though is one of them. And though it has delicious sammys...
Grilled Cheese with Kale Salad at Food + Lab
...tons of sides like kale salad and white bean salad, and Deluscious Cookies (which are at the counter and just trust me you should get one, they are fabulous) the reason I go is for one reason and one reason alone.

The Cobb Salad at Food + Lab
This is my favorite salad. It is the Chicken Cobb. Grilled chicken, yummy little tomatoes, spring lettuce, gorgonzola. It comes with 1 dressing but I ask for two and mix them because they're both AMAZING. They're not fattening, they whip the dressing so they taste rich and have a silky texure and it's a salad and who cares? One is the House Vinaigrette, the other, Lemon. The salad comes with bacon and egg but I don't get either. I feel indulgent with the bacon and I dislike cooked egg. So for me they usually just throw in some more of something like the cheese or the avocado or the tomato. Doesn't matter to me which component is added because they're all so good and the chicken, seriously, is grilled to perfection. I mean to the point that Tom Colicchio, and it's his voice I hear in my head when I bite into it, would say, "The chicken is cooked perfectly."
Grilled Veggie Salad. Which is good too. But it isn't the Cobb.
They have other salads too, obviously. They can't just serve one. Like they have the extremely popular grilled veggie with goat cheese but I likes what I likes and you'll rarely see me diverge from my original setting.

While you're on the block, it's worth going to the places that align Food + Lab. They're both good little stores -- though one is about to move. Sumi's is going to Vermont which is a shame but they're there for now and the handmade jewelry is really lovely.
Sumi sells both some of her own designs, some of local designers. Very tasteful stuff and a close friend actually got her wedding ring here. 
Wrapped Necklace at Sumi $143
Classy and simple Rose Gold Earrings, designed by Sumi $46
There are also these very cute handmade Carita Viola bags from Finland, tons of artwork and pretty little knick knacks. 

Gorgeous scarf at Sumi $22
On the other side of Food + Lab is Hemingway & Pickett. Also a totally charming and unique store.

$12 for the pair of Territorial Beer Holders
Awesome retro clocks by Bruno. $55.
Terra Nova Natur Oil, 10 bucks.
Original cards.
They're great places. Probably worth the trip alone. But for me, it's very clear why I'm coming to this stretch of land...
Food + Lab is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and can cater. Hours are 10 to 9 on weekdays, 9 to 9 on weekends. It's located at 3206 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Metered parking is available on Sunset, free side street parking is also worth the hunt but check the signs. 323.661.2666. The other location is at 7253 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90046. Their hours are 8-8 daily. There's metered parking on Santa Monica and free parking is available in the back of the restaurant. 323.851.7120.

Sumi's is at 3204 Sunset. Monday thru Saturday, 11-7. Sundays 11-6. 323.660.0869.

Hemingway & Pickett is at 3208 Sunset. Tuesday thru Saturday, 11-7. Sunday and Monday, 11-5. 323.660.4200.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dumb Starbucks

People don't really know what to make of it or if it's legal. But in Los Feliz, right on Hillhurst, a place that looks exactly like Starbucks but with the word "DUMB" in front of the name, has popped up.

Dumb Starbucks... the fact that someone did this makes me VERY happy.
Just south of Franklin on the corner of Melbourne in the same outdoor mini-mall as Tubtim (ever been there? I didn't think so) you'll find a really Dumb Starbucks.
 I think in all my time of living in LA I've never even noticed this outdoor mini-mall. Getting lots of attention now...
There were hipsters lined up around the block to get what I hear is pretty crappy coffee but the point wasn't the coffee. It was to be a part of a parody art movement.

I appreciate this little touch on the inside:
Apparently they were out of Dumb Norah Jones.

Dumb Starbucks might be, as @YayLAMag says, a "one note joke" but that is a joke I didn't think of and I really respect. Case in point:
Their legal justification for being able to do this Banksy Style Business Art which reeks of Copyright Infringement or some Legal Throat Clearing Mumbo Jumbo Lawsuit-Waiting-To-Happen is detailed in a letter they have posted at the cash register:
I hope no one sues them or makes them take it down. Because I like it. I hope some day there's a Dumb Target and a Dumb Vons and a Dumb Pinkberry.

I didn't wait in line because I hate lines and I had already heard the coffee was bad and really, it wasn't the point. The point was that they - whoever they may be - did it.

And whoever "they" are, if "they" are reading this, Dumb Starbucks is Stupid Fresh.

My hat is off to you.

Thank you and do this EVERYWHERE.

Dumb Starbucks is located at 1802 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Feliz, CA 90027. Find them on Twitter @dumbstarbucks.

Dumb Iced Tea

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fire Fire Go Away

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake. I hadn't been in LA that long and suddenly, I'm in my bed, at 4:30whatever in the morning, the ground starts shaking and I'm positive we're at war. I'm from New York! I was never in an earthquake before. I was never in a war zone either but I had no freakin idea what was happening. And no one told me how loud it would be. Finally I realized Okay, this is an earthquake. It was a co-worker who told me when I experience my first earthquake to tell myself This is going to end. That helped me get through it. A few seconds during an earthquake is a very long time, and every second you feel somewhat calm is something to be grateful for.

Back then I was a typical New Yorker. The reason my co-worker gave me that advice? I was a cocky jerk who said something dumb like, "I want to experience an earthquake to see what it's like." Well, by the time that earthquake stopped and I had ridden out some gnarly aftershocks, I was like Karen Hill in "Goodfellas" when she said I've seen enough helicopters for one day, thank you. I had had enough. Trust me. I know it's unlikely but if I never have to go through a big earthquake again, it'll be fine with me.

It made me consider moving back. Which was confusing for me because even though I hadn't become the overnight success I was supposed to be by that point, I actually had come to kind of like LA. I loved my roommate Adam who had an amazing car and liked to drive all over the place showing me stuff: The Sunset Strip, The Brady House, El Matador, Poquito Mas... As a result of those Saturday excursions, LA was revealing itself to me as a beautiful, strange and exotic place. But home beckoned after that quake. I missed places that delivered at all hours, all night bars, the seasons. Yeah, it was nice here most of the time but I craved the crispness of when football weather began or the first snow.

But the truth was I hated being cold. Sure the first snow was always so magical and beautiful but then suddenly it would be January and there'd be slush and it would be freezing inside your clothes and just watch "Inside Llewyn Davis" when his pants are wet while he's sitting at the diner if you want to know what I mean. I know in that moment he's in Chicago, right? Doesn't matter. I had had that experience in New York and Boston plenty of times. The way I saw it, the way I knew it, cold was cold and even though I came out here for a career move, an added benefit was no longer having to sit on my hands on the subway to keep them warm.

In the end I didn't move back. The earthquake shook me, sure. And I wasn't the overnight success I had hoped I'd become. But truth was I liked it here. There were possibilities here. And it was beautiful. It was, in ways, amazing. The terrain? There was nothing like it back home. The colors at sundown blew my mind. And in one moment you could be at the beach, another, in the mountains. It was different, majestic, hopeful and exciting. I liked those qualities so I stayed.

But with great beauty comes a real trade off. That's what I've been thinking of today. There are people risking their lives trying to get this thing under control. Homes have been lost. At least 1700 acres have already burned in the Colby Fire. And they're now saying wild animals might start running out of the foothills. It's scary. It's sad. And now LA is my home! You feel different when something's happening on your homefront. Back east is no longer a consideration for me. I don't think I'm that cocky jerk I once was. This is the real deal, these are my neighbors and I feel so badly for all those people, animals, what's being lost. I pray for all of everyone who has to deal up close with any of this and all I know is...

This is going to end.

*Photo by Cyndi Wyatt

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Inexpensive Dates: Echo Park

I love Echo Park. It's the perfect place to go on a date. Whether it's the first date or the 21st, Echo Park's a nice stretch, not expensive, and there's so much to do. It's also nice for walking and certainly appeals to this native New Yorker. There are a lot of stores in which to browse, cafes for eclectic people gazing, and lawn art to admire. There is of course at times a bit of a dark side -- a little pollution, some polluted people -- but I don't know, doesn't bother me. And there's a lot to do. Like a lot.

I have hand-picked a few suggestions to give you a taste of what Echo Park has to offer for when you're taking someone out and would like to have some money left over in your wallet the next morning.

First off: Parking. Unlike the rest of LA where parking is usually SUCH a pain in the ass, Echo Park parking is easy. The main thrust of the action resides in two stretches: the first is between Logan and Rosemont on Sunset and the second is a few blocks on Echo Park Avenue between Scott and Lucretia (though there are stragglers beyond in both directions). You can find a bunch of street parking on Echo Park Ave., around the lake of course, and also west of Rosemont on Sunset. There's also easy metered parking (though some only take coinage). Finally there's a public parking lot behind Sunset between Echo Park Ave. and Logan that's not expensive.

It's at that last location where you'll find The Echo Park Farmer's Market, from 3 to 7pm every Friday.

It's not a huge Farmer's Market but it has a lot of fun stuff, is great for strolling and you'll come across good tastes like the Kombucha from Better Booch, a specialty local Kombucha maker. I happen to think Farmer's Markets are great walking and talking dates, which if you're free on a Friday afternoon, why not? To that end if it is a day date, one of my all-time favorite (and inexpensive) things to do is go on the pedal boats at the newly restored Echo Park Lake.

This place is so much fun and beautiful and goofy. It only costs ten bucks a person (unless you're from the Echo Park zip code and it's Wednesday, then it's $10 for the two of you). Pedaling right up to that fountain is pretty awesome and you'll get wet so don't be too prissy about your outfit. There are ducks on the lake, protected lily pads and cute people like yourselves, wearing their life jackets and risking it all. 
Early in the relationship it's good to find out how you and your potential life partner work as a team in a sea vessel 
It gets busy on the weekends so be prepared to wait, but luckily Square One has set up shop at the boathouse. Most everything costs under 8 bucks and the bacon is delightful. 
Square One at The Boathouse
They have Intelligentsia coffee and for lunch they offer a varied selection of sandwiches and salads. What I like about this place is it has the perfect balance. They've got the healthy Kale Salad but they also have hot dogs. And I'm not going to snub my nose at the frozen banana with milk chocolate and nuts. Nothing wrong with that. ($3.50 and a lot of good memories).

If it is the outdoors that's up your alley but spending money is not, go for a hike. Nearby Elysian Park is not nearly as overrun as Runyon, has tons of beauty and IT'S FREE!

I come here with my dog all the time and all I can tell you is he's in love with me. It's not that difficult to find either. When you're on Echo Park Ave., just go right at The Chevron onto Morris and you'll take a right up Morris Terrace.

But not everyone wants to work out on their dates. Sometimes just sitting down and eating sugar with a new love is the sweetest way to "break bread." Thankfully one day I happened to stumble into Valerie, a new bakery by lauded LA confectioner Valerie and her husband, Stan. Well... let the confectioning begin...

Valerie has AMAZING petit fours. I mean award winning: Champagne, Ginger, Macha, Lemon and no one is going to suddenly say Valerie is inexpensive but these are! In my humble opinion, all you need is two: one for me, one for you.
That's 8 to 9 bucks for the two of you, in and out. It could be just the sweet bite you need to get you there.

Another dessert idea, if that's your thang, is Pazzo Gelato. I've been going to the one in Silverlake for years. This one's right next to the Citibank on Sunset.

There's almost always Madagascar Vanilla and Almond Fig (yum). And both the gelato and sorbetto are heaven. Pure heaven. Fresh Mint Chip might not sound as exotic as their more elaborate flavors but trust me if they have it, that's real fresh mint in there and it's good for you and your breath. If you want to go dairy-free try the sorbetto. Peach, Toasted Coconut or Rhubarb are to die for. They are many interesting flavors and they have a reputation for the unique (ie.: Fleur de Cactus). And they've got a little Happy Hour deal. From 4 to 5pm every day each scoop is $1.50 with a 2 scoop maximum.

Now both these spots though close by 6pm. So if it's sort of at a later moment you might want to share some sweets with your new sweet...
The Brite Spot
Sugar is served up to 3am at The Brite Spot, Wednesday thru Saturday. (Sunday thru Tuesday it's open until midnight). You can be like a bobby soxer and split a milkshake here for $6 or a Rootbeer Float for $5. And I happen to be of the belief that a diner is a great place to hang out with someone new or not so new. Diners are intimate, they're relaxed, music's playing, and usually some drunk people (maybe you) are sandwiched in a booth nearby for some entertainment value. And if this is a really good date, think about it: A diner's a great place to get your first breakfast.

Speaking of food...

Xoia (pronounced Soya) is a funky, cute place, with great interior design and a delicious Vietnamese menu with a teeny bit of Mexican thrown in. My favorite are the Vietnamese Crepes with Lemongrass Beef. That's $9.25. Also the Crispy Tacos, 3 for $6.75, are delicious and satisfying (I love the Pork/Shrimp). And not for nothin but the Vietnamese Ice Coffee will kick your ass.

I loooooooooooooooooooooove Guisados. This is hands down one of my favorite taquerias in the whole damn city. I don't find it outrageously romantic but the food is so good, who cares? And there's this great outdoor patio with twinkly lights. Try the Tinga de Pollo (stew-y, rich and delicious) and Calabacitas tacos ($2.50 a taco). I must say there are a few downsides. Guisados is at 1261 Sunset Boulevard meaning, it's almost downtown. Therefore if you're where all the action is you'll have to drive to Guisados if you want some tacos. Secondly the parking lot is rather small. If you can, park on the street. Finally, I'm not the only one who knows how good Guisados is. It's kind of famous. So you might be waiting on line for a bit. Oh well! Time to get to know how you both handle waiting.


I just went to Sage for the first time recently and I have to say, it's a really great place. The reason I said "I have to say" is I'm not a health nut. I'm ashamed/proud to admit I'm a carnivore or rather an everythingavore. To purposely go to a strictly vegetarian restaurant almost never appeals to me. Therefore "I have to say" I was pleasantly surprised. Sage is lovely and fun. It has a lot of life to it. Even when I didn't go I'd always take notice how many people were in there. It looked pretty hoppin' from the outside. I wondered, do I have to get healthy to step inside? The answer is no. But you can be healthy for the hour you're on your date and not go broke eating fresh, well-prepared vegetarian.
Girls on a date at Sage
I had the Soul Bowl. It was downright delicious. Tons of stuff in there: Kale, quinoa, roasted sweet potato, crunchy okra that I loved... Super filling, too. I could've split this with someone and made it a meal - though let me tell you, try to suggest that on the first date and you might come across as a little cheap. Speaking of moola, it didn't break the bank at $12.95 for my meal (this was lunch). Dinner prices are $14 for most entrees and around 8 bucks for most apps. And it's a bring your own wine spot. Give it a go. If you really need meat, just know you can always hit an In and Out on the ride home.

Still lunch or dinner (or breakfast for that matter) might be too big of a commitment for you. Many people meet for a cup of coffee - just to see if they want to take it further. If you're going to do that, I strongly suggest you at least have a good cup of coffee or go to an interesting place. That way if you're not into your date, you're happy you drank the coffee or discovered a new hang-out. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a huge Tierra Mia fan (on Alvarado, north Sunset) but I'd also like to suggest Fix
The outdoor patio at Fix in Echo Park
This is such a cool cafe. I had an ice coffee there and loved it. It wasn't hot coffee with ice dropped into it but cold coffee. For the record, that's the way they should do it. Otherwise it gets soupy and thin and gives you a stomach ache. Hokay. Fix is way up there on Echo Park Avenue. My suggestion is to park where a little more stuff is going on, like around Flounce, Chango and Valerie, and actually walk up the avenue to get some fresh air on your way to caffeinate together as a couple for the very first time. On the way, there's some pretty awesome houses with such fantastic lawn art, you'll be impressed:
Lawn Art provides interesting Landscape Chat
Another coffee place but one that has more than the eats and the java, is Stories. It keeps you right where everything is happening on Sunset and offers an insight into your paramour's reading taste - which could be good to know. 
The coffee's not the point here. Stories has a great outdoor patio and browsing at books and sneaking glances above Che Guevera postcards is cinematically sexy. Plus there's a parking lot in the back.
Stories patio. They have little events here, too.
Of course if you've done the walking, you're caffeinated, you ate... how about checking out some good stores?
Origami Vinyl
Think about perusing the records at Origami Vinyl or the trinkets, clothing and art at Vlad. Actually the latter currently has some art up on the wall by my friend Jason Hadley that is very cool. I also recommend popping into some thrift and vintage clothing stores. Try something on. Even if it doesn't look good, the on/off motion implies there is a willingness on your part to be naked. Two places that come to mind immediately are Sunday's Best Thrift Store and Flounce. Sunday's Best is at 1547 Sunset Blvd. and it's one of the nicest thrift stores in LA: Small, attentive customer service and it's well-organized. But I have a very big soft spot for Flounce Vintage on Echo Park Ave. They have beautiful and very feminine clothing circa 30's, 40's on up.
Slipping into something more comfortable at Flounce in Echo Park
Nothing like putting on a swanky little Bette Davis number or a floppy Carly Simon hat to get your mojo moving.

But all this could sound like work to you. Or just not up your alley. Maybe you want to relax, release the tension, get rid of your nerves while lying down. Amen to that. For a little serious R & R I highly recommend Echo Foot Lounge.
It looks like nothing from the outside but inside you will NOT be disappointed. 
The lobby at Echo Foot Lounge
Echo Foot Lounge is a cerebral, mellow space with an incredibly helpful staff who just want to reflexologize you into feeling happy. In a communal room, you will get a very lovely rub-down at a cost that is pretty much unheard of.  A custom 1 hour full foot and body massage is 30 DOLLARS! They also have a 30 minute massage for 20 bucks but I'm like, we're just warming up at minute 29. You do stay clothed so you might want to wear something that can be manipulated for the masseuse. The evening I visited, I went from anxious to noodle-ish and I think it made it so I was good company for the rest of the night. Because it was good for me. Which leads me to say even if you're not on a date, come here anyway. Treat yourself! You will feel fantastic afterward.

As for shaking that new and relaxed and improved body, how about going to hear some music? Everyone knows The Echo is a fine place to catch a show. Admission is free every Monday night in January and frankly most of the other nights won't cost you financial agita either. Just check out their calendar for what's coming up. Tickets are usually under $20 unless a big name is headlining (ie.: Lucinda Williams in February is $24-34 a pop).

Though if a more intimate atmosphere is more your speed, I found what I think is one of the most wonderful speakeasys in all of LA while researching this post. 
1642 is at 1642 Temple, right near a Tamale place and not near anything else. I mean it. It's not like you're at The Echo Foot Lounge and are going to stroll over here afterwards. You're going to have to drive.
That being said, it's worth it. Step inside and it's like the outside no longer exists. It's such a warmly lit atmosphere, they have such lovely little tables, and with candles lit on each. I also like the fact there is an insanely friendly and ingratiating bartender. For their more raucous evenings, they have an awesome open jam the first Thursday of every month, lead by Triple Chicken Foot. It's for old-timey music lovers and anyone can bring their fiddle and bow if they want to join in. Also on Thursdays, from 6-8pm, you get a tamale with your beer or wine as part of their Happy Hour. But honestly any night here is romantic and fun and in the best way 1642 reminds me of the most romantic haunts in NYC.

That about sums it up. I hope wherever you go, whatever you do, you find the love you're looking for very soon. These posts are so nothing stands in the way of you're finding that love. Even in LA.
Sexy is the attitude of Echo Park (art from Stories Books & Cafe)
When you go:

Echo Park Farmer's Market Every Friday, rain or shine, from 3 to 7, on Logan, just south of Sunset.
Echo Park Pedal Boats is at 751 Echo Park Ave. **
Square One at the Boat House is at 751 Echo Park Ave. Kitchen's open every day 8-3p. Coffee & pastries until 5pm. 213.481.8495.
Elysian Park is off of Morris Terrace.
Valerie is at 1665 Echo Park Ave. Open Wednesday thru Saturday, 8 to 6. Sundays 9 to 5. 213.250.9365.
Pazzo Gelato is at 1910 W. Sunset Blvd. 213.353.9263. Open until 6.
The Brite Spot Diner is at 1918 Sunset Blvd. 213.484.9800.
Xoia is located at 1801 W. Sunset Blvd.  213.413.3232.
Guisados is at 1261 W. Sunset Blvd. 213.250.7600. Mon thru Thursday, 10:30  to 9. Fridays and Saturdays it's open until 10pm. Sundays it closes at 5.
Sage is located at 1700 W. Sunset Blvd. Check website for hours.
Tierra Mia is at 1202 N. Alvarado. It's open daily from 6:30am to 10pm.
Fix is at 2100 Echo Park Ave. Monday thru Friday, 7 to 7. Saturdays & Sundays 8 to 7. 323.284.8962. They offer a full menu.
Stories Books & Cafe 1716 W. Sunset Blvd. 213.413.3733. Check site for special events.
Origami Vinyl is at 1816 W. Sunset Blvd. 213.413.3030. It's open 7 days a week, Sunday thru Thursday, noon til 9, Fridays and Saturdays it's open until 10pm.
Vlad the Retailer is at 2153 W. Sunset Blvd.
Sunday's Best Thrift Apparel is at 1547 W. Sunset Blvd. 213.986.5695.
Flounce Vintage is at 1555 Echo Park Ave. 213.481.1975. (p.s. I love that phone number).
Echo Foot Lounge is at 2148 W. Sunset Blvd. 323.452.FOOT (3668). Open Monday thru Friday, 12-8pm. Saturdays & Sundays, 10 to 9:30pm.
The Echo and Echoplex is at 1822 W. Sunset Blvd. 213.413.8200. Entrance to The Echoplex is at 1154 Glendale Boulevard (through the alley). For updates follow them @theechola
1642 is at 1642 W. Temple. Can't walk there from these other places -- or rather I wouldn't recommend it. 213.989.6826.


* First picture is from 1642 Bar.
**Echo Park is in the 90026 zip code