Shade Hotel, Manhattan Beach – No Splendor in the Grasshopper

shade hotel, manhattan beach, los angeles, ca
Strong cocktails. *raises eyebrows*

Swanky hotel. *a coy smile takes shape at one corner of her mouth*

You can only imagine how my Delicious evening at Manhattan Beach’s Shade Hotel ended (or started, if you know what I mean). *wink*

You’re wrong! Wrong! It takes more than a cocktail to get me “back to your room.” What kind of Jezebel do you think I am?

I need dinner, too, Cowboy. Okay, at least a salad, but the dressing better be on the side.

shade hotel, manhattan beach, los angeles, ca
everything is cooler in the shade

We went to the Shade Hotel for drinks and left without even finishing them. I took two sips of the foulest Grasshopper ever mixed on this planet – quite possibly in this universe if there are lushes out there in space – then left the Shade Hotel wondering if it legal for a bar to serve Listerine that has passed through the GI tract of a Benobo monkey then left as puddle to fester in the jungle heat until a wandering native scrapes up the minty residue and dilutes it with his own saliva. Apparently it is legal, if it’s on the rocks.

I knew I was in trouble when I asked for a Grasshopper and the bartender gave me a blank look. Surely he knew what a Grasshopper was, and he was simply taking a moment to riffle through the two file folders in his pretty little head for the recipe.

“It’s crème de menthe and vodka.”

His face brightened with understanding. A sense of relief washed over me. Grasshoppers, I realize, are what the yute these days would call “retro,” and I thought perhaps that my asking for such a historical drink was akin to my grandmother asking me if I had fun at the Sock Hop. (Please, I know they did not have “sock hops” in Korea, but can you just play along for one post?!?)

The bartender was either much dumber than he looked, or someone was trying to punish me. He literally must have grabbed the only thing in the bar that was remotely must-be-mint-because-it’s-green and mixed it with some cheap battery acid vodka. No cream. My glass looked like Irish Spring Easter egg dye.

The drink catastrophe was an unfortunate hiccup in what had held so much promise when we first arrived. Ignoring the fact that it’s practically all the way as far down as Mexico (hey, if anything east of the 405 is Nevada, then anything south of the 10 might as well be Mexico), the Shade Hotel is quite lovely. Despite it’s rather strange location set at the far end of what feels like an upscale mini-mall, the interior definitely feels “boutique.” It has a sort of South Beach vibe, with its blue backlit sign, wasabi green and dark wood color scheme, a patio, lush potted greenery, the clean, modern interior, and the somewhat quiet attitude of the staff. Now why a beach city like Manhattan Beach would need a vibe borrowed from a beach 4000 miles away is beyond me, but that’s what it feels like.

The bar is right there in the front, perfect for seeing others from some dark areas and being seen under the brighter lights. When we were there, it wasn’t crowded at all, so we were able to sit down on one of the low chaises. Of course, it didn’t take long before I gacked at my drink and we got up to make a quick tour of the rest of the hotel and leave.

If I lived in Manhattan Beach. I’d probably go to the Shade Hotel on the weekends. Rumour has it though, that it’s quite the hotspot now, and I don’t do so well with velvet ropes.

Shade Hotel
1221 N Valley Dr (@Manhattan Beach Boulevard)
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

** a year ago today, tong dang was a thai breaker **

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Anonymous November 28, 2006 at 3:30 pm

I *hate* it when I order a drink and the bartender just looks at me like “…”

I never order anything weird, only things a bartender should know, like gimlets, sidecars, manhattans, etc.

After the time I ordered a sidecar and got something red in a highball glass on the rocks, I learned that when I get that look I just need to order a glass of wine. Or a scotch.


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