Downtown Los Angeles 2013

Well, I just found a draft of a Downtown Los Angeles Blog from 2013 and the pictures were all laid out with captions. So I thought for the third year anniversary I would work it up a little and publish it for your entertainment.

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Los Angeles Times Travel Show (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I was invited down to L.A. Live in DTLA for lunch and a private tour of the Grammy Museum courtesy of AEG. I was working a deal to package their events with travel and destination specific tours. At the time when this was written I was a newbie travel advisor and set this deal with AEG up for the agency immediately. This lunch meeting was to discuss all the details and I’ll write more on the outcome later in this Blog.

The day included freeway traffic in both directions from the San Fernando Valley, driving around DTLA, parking at Staples Center and L.A. Live, a nice lunch at Rock’N’Fish and a private tour of the Grammy Museum and the AEG offices.

Here’s the Blog and please note the pics were shot with a Blackberry camera.

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO SEE A LARGER PIC

There was traffic on the 101 Freeway heading Downtown (as usual).

101 Freeway Traffic - Downtown in the Distance (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

101 Freeway Traffic – Downtown in the Distance (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Downtown - This is where once got a flat tire at Midnight (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

101 – 110 Freeway South Exchange – Downtown, Los Angeles – This shoulder is where I once got a flat tire at Midnight (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

110 Freeway south - Downtown, Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

110 Freeway south – Downtown, Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

110 Freeway South

110 Freeway South

110 Freeway South

110 Freeway South

Convention Center or Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Convention Center or Staples Center?  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Los Angeles Convention Center

L.A. Convention Center

L.A. Convention Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Convention Center

L.A. Convention Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Convention Center

L.A. Convention Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center

Up the Escalator - L.A. LIVE (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Up the Escalator – L.A. LIVE (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A.'s Finest at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A.’s Finest at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott Hotels at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott Hotels at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center - Chick Hearn Plaza

Staples Center – Chick Hearn Plaza (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center - Chick Hearn Plaza

Staples Center – Chick Hearn Plaza (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Live

L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lunch at Rock'N'Fish - L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lunch at Rock’N’Fish – L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lunch at Rock’N’Fish!  We shared a Calamari appetizer (no pic, but it was good), then I had the 1/2 rack of Baby Back Ribs with fries and a salad, and Creme Brulee for dessert.  The food was excellent!  The calamari and ribs were tasty and cooked perfectly, and the creme brulee was delicious too.

Luxe Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Luxe Hotel Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live – Would you like a private tour?

Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

In the Lobby of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Janis Joplin’s Porsche 356 in the Lobby of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Photographs are not allowed inside the museum., but I was able to take a picture of the Janis car in the Lobby before taking a private tour. It’s a great space and the permanent and visiting exhibits were pretty spectacular!

NOTE: Dec. 10, 2015 – A 1964 Porsche 356 that once belonged to the rock singer Janis Joplin sold at auction for $1.76 million. The car had been expected to sell for between $400,000 and $600,000. The sale price includes a 10% commission for Sotheby’s auction house.

The Plaza at L.A. Live

The Plaza at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Plaza - L.A. Live

The Plaza – L.A. Live

The Plaza at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Plaza at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

J.W. Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

J.W. Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Downtown Los Angeles

Condo

717 Condo – Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown

Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown

Downtown Los Angeles

Westin Bonaventure Hotel

Westin Bonaventure Hotel and the Wells Fargo Towers

Wedbush Building - Downtown Los Angeles

Wedbush Building – Downtown Los Angeles

Four Level Freeway - Downtown Los Angeles

Four Level Freeway – Downtown Los Angeles

Under the Freeway - Downtown

Under the Freeway – Downtown Los Angeles

Under the Freeway

Under the Freeway – Downtown Los Angeles

 

NOTE: As you can see, there was a lot of the Blog laid out but never finished.

The meeting was a great success! I had a terrific lunch and a private tour of the Grammy Museum. I was gifted a couple of FREE tickets to return another time on my own. I wasn’t able to tour the Staples Center because Rihanna was rehearsing for her concert that night (if I remember right, and we would get a private tour of Staples Center on my next visit). It was a good day downtown and they did comp my parking!

The deal included access to the Grammy Museum and the 200 seat performance space, AEG events at L.A. Live and Staples Center including the Kings, Clippers, and Stars games; the BET Experience and other concerts (including corporate CLUB BOXES) and the L.A. Galaxy soccer (fútbol) games. It was a major score! But, the best laid plans….la la la.

All photos copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel

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Here are a couple more recent picture of DTLA from the Echo Park Blog:

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US District Court Building & Los Angeles City Hall

 

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Echo Park – Downtown Los Angeles, California


“Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?
The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go
Downtown, things’ll be great when you’re
Downtown, no finer place for sure,
Downtown, everything’s waiting for you
Downtown!”

Downtown Los Angeles is the central area of the Los Angeles metropolitan area and features many of the city’s major arts institutions and sports facilities, sightseeing opportunities, a variety of skyscrapers and associated large multinational corporations, and an array of public art and unique shopping opportunities. Downtown Los Angeles is the hub of the city’s freeway network and Metro rapid transit system.

Staples Center, opened in 1999, has contributed immensely to the revitalization of Downtown, adding 250 events and nearly 4 million visitors per year to the neighborhood.  Since the opening of the Staples Center, the adjacent L.A. Live complex was completed, which includes the Nokia Theater, the Regency Theaters and the Grammy Museum.

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Downtown Los Angeles from up high 2014 (taken from WP24)!

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Birthday Dinner at the “Old School” Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Serving the San Fernando Valley since 1947! This place is “Old School” 1950’s era dining at it’s finest and the restaurant’s atmosphere, decor and menu all follow this directive.

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

No valet parking here. Street parking is available, the meters run 8am-8pm everyday, except Sunday. Ready yourself for a “TIME WARP” dining experience!

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Welcome to the Valley Inn!

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Wall of Autographed Headshots!

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Chick Hearn & John Wooden Memorabilia!

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Tweety Bird (& the WB Animators)

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Antique Machine!

The Saloon Bar (order a martini or classic cocktail):

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – The “Old School” Saloon Bar (have a cocktail!)

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – The “Old School” Saloon Bar (have a martini!)

There are two public dining rooms, the John Wooden Board Room and the Main Dining Room, and there’s a private dining room in the back available for small parties.

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – John Wooden & Main Dining Rooms

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – John Wooden Board Room (Dining Room)

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Main Dining Room

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Fine Wine!

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Private Dining Room & Fine Wine Reserve

 

On The Menu: Fried calamari with marinara sauce, Boston clam chowder with soup crackers, Caesar salad, BBQ baby back ribs with wedge fries & coleslaw, bread & butter, a glass of red wine (Artesa Pinot Noir 2013), a coke and a hot fudge sundae for dessert.

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Red Wine! Artesa Pinot Noir 2013

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Fried Calamari with marinara sauce

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Boston Clam Chowder

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Caesar Salad

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – BBQ Baby Back Ribs w/Wedge Potatoes & Coleslaw

Dessert: Happy Birthday to me! A classic Hot Fudge Sundae!

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Hot Fudge Sundae

NOTE: The coffee machine was broken, so they could only offer us decaf…NO COFFEE! We were told they were having it fixed “tomorrow” but that didn’t help us at dinner.

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

The food is good, not great. The atmosphere is good if you like the “retro” dining experience. It’s not a cheap meal, market price for lobster here was $39 per pound.

I would not order the ribs again (they were lacking seasoning and not very good), instead I would have steak and/or lobster.

THE SERVICE NEEDS WORK!!!!! Our server didn’t smile once and seemed totally overworked, which is impossible for a restaurant this size, it was early, and it wasn’t very busy. The service was slow and her attention to detail and our needs while dining was lacking (to put it nicely). There’s a regular crowd that eats and drinks here, and they seem to get better attention/service.

We had a fun party and ate a lot of food. It was a nice dinner, but could have been so much better! Good service and proper attention to the service makes a big difference!

I won’t patronize establishments with poor service where I’m treated as a 2nd class citizen, especially at their prices.

All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel

Valley Inn Restaurant4557 Sherman Oaks Ave. Sherman Oaks 91403 (818)784-1163

Next time we’ll go back to Le Sanglier! Read the Blog> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-XM

 

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UPDATED November 25, 2018: Another Old School Steak Dinner at the Valley Inn!
We have been back and the experience was pretty much the same. We even sat in the same booth. It’s a big meal and a San Fernando Valley experience.
ON THE MENU: Ribeye steak (medium rare) with fries & veggies, fried calamari, salad with ranch dressing, bread & butter, a coke and a vanilla chocolate fudge sundae.
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17-JUN-13: Staples Center at L.A Live – Downtown Los Angeles

Staples Center at L.A Live – Downtown Los Angeles

Staples Center at L.A Live - Downtown Los Angeles

Staples Center at L.A Live  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

And here are a few more random pics from Staples Center and L.A. Live:

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center - Chick Hearn Plaza

Staples Center – Chick Hearn Plaza (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center - view from above (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Staples Center – view from above (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Plaza - L.A. Live

The Plaza – L.A. Live  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

In the Lobby of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

In the Lobby of the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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