May 17, 2010

Welcome to LA! Arriving at Thompson Beverly Hills, Crashing the Red Carpet, & a PJ Party with the girls!

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

I’m back from LA! Last week Bertolli sent me (and one of my lovely readers!) on an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to experience an unforgettable culinary tour of the city and meet celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito.

Everything happened so quickly- Bertolli asked me on a Monday if I was interested in participating, and the next Monday at 6:30 am, I was on my flight to LAX! I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but it turned out to be an amazing, extraordinary trip of a lifetime. I’ll never forget the the food, the flavors, the friends, the fun. Bertolli truly rolled out the red carpet and treated us like royalty.

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

My flight landed in LAX at 11 am. When I got to baggage claim, there was a driver holding a sign with my name! And he had a luggage cart! He quickly whisked my carry-on luggage on the cart, grabbed my checked bags from the conveyor belt, and escorted me to my car. There were mints and chilled bottled water waiting for me in the backseat.

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!
Photos via Brittney & Mandy

We stayed in the boutique Thompson Hotel of Beverly Hills, located just steps from Rodeo Drive.

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

The 360º view of Beverly Hills, Hollywood, & Los Angeles from the rooftop was spectacular. We could see the Hollywood sign!

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

My reader, Jenny, was already there, and we were starving! We walked down to Crustacean, a restaurant I’d heard about on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” to try An’s Famous Garlic Noodles. I don’t know how I didn’t end up with a picture of the noodles!? But pictured above is the special appetizer plate the server brought out for us. It wasn’t on the menu, but it was 2 of every single appetizer on the menu- just for us to sample! :) Oh, and check out that FLOOR! Yes! That is a huge fish tank! On the floor! We followed the fish tank path through the bar area and walked over a little bridge to the seating area. Very cool.

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

Right across the street from Crustacean was… Sprinkles Cupcakes! We had to get several to sample! Clockwise from top left: chocolate marshmallow, cinnamon sugar, vanilla, black & white, mocha, and milk chocolate.

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

Just two short blocks from Sprinkles was Rodeo Drive!

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

Me & Jenny

We shopped, gawked at all the excess and got our picture taken with the sign. :)

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

After we had thoroughly worn ourselves out shopping, we headed back to the hotel to meet up with the other girls who were arriving. But first we stopped at Pinkberry for some frozen yogurt!

I was super excited to meet Jenny from PickyPalate! She is as sweet & precious as she looks in pics. :) We all had rooms right next to each other and we were as giddy as school girls. We also met up with Brittney who won the trip from Briana of Blisstree.com. Brittney is hilarious and the life of the party! She smooth-talked the very large security guard into letting us all into a very swanky, very LA, private party on the roof. It was a premiere party for a new show called Haute & Bothered. We crashed the red carpet and had our pictures made- just like we were supposed to be there! (Yeah right!)

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

Jenny, me, & Jenny @ PickyPalate

We didn’t stay long- it was way past dinner & we were starving again! My guest Jenny had the most brilliant idea- as soon as we got back to our rooms we all changed into our PJs and ordered room service for a PJ Party! Bertolli graciously told us- “Whatever you want, charge it to the room.” ♥

We ordered practically one of everything from the entire menu! It all sounded so delicious- how could we choose?? :) There were 5 girls, but the room service waiter kept bringing in plate after plate!

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

We needed one whole tray just for the water, utensils, and condiments!

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

I loved these tiny ketchup bottles!! :)

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

Of course we had to have sushi! Baked King Crab Dynamite Hand Roll, California Roll, and Seasame Crusted Shrimp Roll.

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

and tasty Parmesan Truffle Popcorn…

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

Delicious Kobe Beef Mini Sliders

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

Chicken Club – I can never resist a club sandwich! Loved the fries.

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

Lobster Tacos (incredible!)

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

My absolute favorite from the night: Grilled Cheese with Tomato & Basil

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

Penne Bolognese

Into the Heart of LA | My Trip to Beverly Hills via Bertolli!

Jenny @ PickyPalate, me, & Jenny

Here’s just half of what we ordered! :) We put it all on the bed and tried some of everything.

We also ordered house-made vanilla & espresso ice cream and fresh baked cookies & milk… but I guess we devoured those too quickly before we got a pic! :)

We ate, chatted, got to know each other, and speculated about our big day in the morning.

Best. PJ Party. Ever.

***

Stay Tuned!

Tomorrow I’ll post pictures of our incredible day exploring L.A.’s unique culinary scene- starting with our amazing breakfast & tour of LA’s oldest and original Farmers’ Market.

Thanks for looking!! :)



See More Posts About: Everything ElsePhotographyTravel

38 Comments






1
Lisette aka Liszha May 17, 2010 at 6:53 am

And suddenly I am so hungry!

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2
Judy May 17, 2010 at 6:56 am

Amazing!

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3
Southern Gal May 17, 2010 at 7:13 am

I would be like you and prefer the grilled cheese, but those Lobster Tacos? Wow.

Looks like you all had a fabulous time. Can’t wait to see the rest of the pictures.

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4
Mary Anne May 17, 2010 at 7:17 am

And what’s the one thing I noticed out of everything? Your Boston Terrier pj bottoms!! Can you tell I’m obsessed with Bostons??!
The lobster tacos look amazing by the way!

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5
Grace May 17, 2010 at 7:43 am

Looks like you had an amazing time. I’m loving the pictures!!

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6
Cathy May 17, 2010 at 8:03 am

How fun!

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7
preppylittledress May 17, 2010 at 8:27 am

Great photos! Looks like you had a fabulous time!!

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8
Jennifer in Idaho May 17, 2010 at 8:30 am

Wow. That is so amazing! I LOVE pajama parties! Thanks for sharing with us.

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9
Jenny Flake May 17, 2010 at 8:45 am

LOVE it Amanda!! Thrilled to have spent time with you last week, let’s do it again soon!! Will look forward to following all of our LA posts :)

ps: you were up late!! lol!

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10
Lori May 17, 2010 at 9:05 am

Sounds like you had an amazing time, Mandy! I LOVE traveling vicariously through others…pictures speak a thousand words! :-) I would love to have a weekend like yours–you must’ve felt so famous! ;-)

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11
wendyp May 17, 2010 at 9:14 am

its only 10 in the morning here and I am starving looking at all that yummy food!!! Those ketchup bottles are too CUTE! I would have been really tempted not to stow them in my suitcase to bring back to my kids, LOL!!!

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12
Courtney May 17, 2010 at 9:15 am

Jealous! Looks like you had a FAB time!

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13
Becky May 17, 2010 at 9:38 am

Wow…fabulous trip to such a beautiful place and lots of great food. What a weekend to remember. I can’t wait to see more….. Becky

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14
Bree May 17, 2010 at 11:09 am

LOVE the pictures!!! I’m so jealous! :D Can’t wait for your next post! :D

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15
HeatherB May 17, 2010 at 11:17 am

This looks like so much fun. And thank you for including all those fabulous pictures of the food. Yum yum!

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16
Molly in MN May 17, 2010 at 11:40 am

I’m so incredibly jealous!! Looks like a blast!

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17
Jennie larsen May 17, 2010 at 11:55 am

Amanda~ You lucky lucky girl~ Hollywood treatment it seemed. TO FUN, what a blast, and all that food too.. YUM! What a memorable trip. Jenn

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18
From the Heart May 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm

looks like a great girls trip! cant wait to see more pix!

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19
Vickie May 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Wow!!! Looks like you guys had a blast. I would love to experience something like that.

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20
Chastity May 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Just stumbled across your blog and love it! Looks like your having an amazing time!

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21
miralatiff May 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

The foods look yummy..suddenly I feel hungry! *drooling*

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22
creole wisdom May 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm

You are so cute. I love the way that sushi looks… yum! LA is fun to visit, but I would never live there :) I’ve been once and LOVED walking around where all the stars are on the sidewalks and the Chineese theatre :)

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23
Kayla May 17, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Can I say, jealous? :D

Looks like you had a fabulous time!

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24
Claudia May 17, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Gorgeous,splendiferous photos – I love that you had a pajama party. It was truly a trip for the memory banks – to savor and taste all over again.

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25
TwoHeartsTogether May 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm

awesome pictures! I cant wait to see what else you did on your next post!

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26
mjrooney May 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Looks like a great time!!

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27
terri May 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm

What a great trip you were blest with! It thrills me that you had such an opportunity!

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28
Peggy Whisenhunt May 17, 2010 at 8:34 pm

great photos and I know you had such a wonderful time. Wow rodeo drive viewing, what a great opportunity you had.

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29
Debi May 17, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Wow! I can’t wait to see more pics and hear more details about your fabulous trip! Sounds like you had a blast!

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30
Kristi B May 17, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Love the pictures of the food, your a girl after my own heart. Being a SoCal girl myself you made me want to go up to LA for the day.

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31
Brooke May 17, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Sounds like a dream. Can’t wait for your next installment!

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32
Donna T. May 18, 2010 at 12:10 am

You DESERVED every moment of your trip! Congratulations!! Glad you had a wonderful time in my side of the country!

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33
Pat May 18, 2010 at 12:20 am

I can’t get over the fabulous room service party you girls had! I wish I thought of that! Love the “cover girl” photo!

♥ Pat

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34
Michelle | Bleeding Espresso May 18, 2010 at 3:11 am

Bertolli really did a great job with this! I’m absolutely loving living vicariously through all the different posts about the contest (I found out through Pat at Mille Fiori Favoriti; I live in southern Italy close to where her husband is from. Thanks so much for sharing this experience with us :D

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35
The Drama Mama May 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm

OMG wow. That food looks delicious and heavenly, and I think I’m gaining 100 lbs just scrolling through your post. It looks like you had a great time!

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36
synz August 23, 2010 at 9:38 pm

nice pix.. what cam are you using? :)

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