Thursday, July 21, 2016

Employees Only {Spoilers included}

Something I like to do is pre-birthday hangouts with people who can't make the entire festivities. My friend Mac and I had been thinking of going to Employees Only, the secret bar/restaurant for years and years. What better time than now!

Spoilers on a Secret Restaurant ahead!

As you all know by now, NYC was taken over by all these fancy secret bars in the past half decade. Some of them are so popular that you might not even realize it's supposed to be a secret. Beauty and Essex is definitely one such place.

I digress.

Employees Only is on a stretch of land called Hudson Ave. which was always too far west for me to care about or venture to. So imagine my surprise when I discovered the restaurant was hidden there. 

Mac and I knew that there would be a bouncer denying entry if you either didn't look the part (hello, tourists in white sneakers and fannypacks) or if you didn't have some sort of reservation. They're also pretty strict on seating, you must be ordering dinner if you book a table. 

When we finally walked in it was a bit of a let down, there's a psychic table immediately in front of you to keep up with the idea that they place is only a Psychic business. Then immediately to your right, you want into what looks like it could've been a tiny clothing store at one point but was now a dimly lit (not very impressive) bar. 

It was also really confusing to figure out who we speak to once we walk in to be seated. There were several people waiting for a seat and the hostess was on her phone or something who knows. All I know is that we were two seconds from walking out when she finally got to us.

I had made a reservation with the full knowledge that we'd have to eat dinner - she tried to sit us in a tiny corner but we preferred to sit you know - where all the other dinner guests were.

After we were seated, the server came over to us...eventually. I was really in a sour mood. Not to mention the couples to our left and to our right. One was on their first date - so that conversation was obnoxious. The other table had these really loud seemingly teenagers talking at the top of their voices.

Then the food arrived and ok, fine, it was probably the most delicious handmade pasta I've had in a very long time. And isn't that the point really? That the food is good?

I left knowing I will never go back or recommend the place to anyone, bu
t I had a great time catching up with an old friend and some wildly delicious pasta.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

It *was* my birthday.

About a week ago (precisely a week ago) on July 13th, I rang in my new year with a ton of events. It's what I like to call #CelebrateLaToyaWeek (it's a real hashtag with over 50 posts on Instagram because, La Toya).

A lot of people ask me how I do it each year, coordinating all my friends, choosing the locations, carving out the agenda etc.

What better way to begin my food/books/sometimes music blog than to review and go through my entire week with photos and critique?!

So stay tuned for daily posts, happy birthday to me, and thanks for checking out my blog!

The layout is a work in progress so don't be alarmed if it continues to improve the more you come back.

***Please note: this blog used to be LazyGirlReads, then the bookish La Toya, Literally blog. 

And now here we are - a culture blog with the same name that will now include primarily book and restaurant reviews with a dash of music and travel thrown in. Because that's all I know and BECAUSE SO MANY OF YOU ASKED FOR IT (yay!!)