A blog exploiting my recently acquired singledom by documenting my exploration of local Bay Area night life hot spots while observing the reactions to some of my favorite pick up lines as I cast them out among the bar and club going men I encounter.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What the Hub bub's about at Menlo Hub, Menlo Park, CA

The Spot: Menlo Hub
On Friday evening my coworker and I decided to take advantage of the 5pm – 7pm happy hour at Menlo Hub, a stylish little bar/restaurant on El Camino in Menlo Park that boasts an outstanding happy hour menu featuring $5.00 personal pizzas (which are quite satisfying both in taste and size) as well as a few other appetizer and tapas selections and $5.00 drink options including several wines or your choice of a margarita, Lemon drop, martini, Manhattan or cosmopolitan. They also host live music several nights a week, so it was a rare find- a place to enjoy a sophisticated libation (or two or three or in my case last Friday 5 or 6?) in a classy fun atmosphere while paying hole in the wall prices. How quaintly awesome!

THE LURE: a healthy serving of meat OR the beef slider that wasn't on the menu
 While perusing the menu, we put our heads together to come up with a pick up line for the evening. As it turned out, our menus were actually a good muse for crafting lurid lines. The “beef sliders” appetizer sounded like a pick up line in itself. As in: “have you had the beef slider here? … ‘Cause I heard the beef in it isn’t nearly as thick and juicy as the beef slider you serve up. I’d sure love to get one of those in me.” As we were giggling about how that establishment really knew how to put “happy men” in their “happy hour menu”, I caught a glimpse of a tasty dish that wasn't on the menu, but seemed to come with two good sides (front and back): our tall, lean, neatly-bearded waiter.

When he approached and asked my friend and I if we were both 21 and when we both said we were, he seemed satisfied, but my co-worker, who is 22, and still seems to enjoy the novelty of being carded, eagerly presented her ID to him despite his not asking to see it. I couldn’t be bothered to rummage through my pockets for mine (and didn’t want to feel old compared to my young friend), so I didn’t offer mine up, but after he returned my coworker’s license to her, our waitor looked at me expectantly with his twinkling green eyes and said with a playful smile: “Well since I checked her ID, I think I should take a look at yours too.”
“Fine.” I relented as I fished my driver’s license out of my jacket pocket, adding with exaggerated candor, “There goes my anonymity and sense of mystery.”
“You’re still mysterious” he said once again flashing his adorable smile, adding that he was born a year before me.

As we got to the bottom of our first round of drinks, my newly single coworker, enlivened by the healthy splash of tequila in her margarita, mentioned that she was a little excited about the idea of taking a dip in the local dating pool or perhaps, as I teased her, letting a local date take a dip in to her. I offered to take a night off from my own man-fishing to be her wing man, but she said she didn’t really see anyone at the bar that was her type. I’d been so dazzled to that point by our cute waiter that I hadn’t really taken stock of the crowd, but as I looked around, it did seem like we would not be likely to hit anyone in our target demographic in that bar. There were certainly a lot of men there, but the majority of them were probably between 40 -70 years old.

“What about our waiter, he’s cute!” I offered to my co-worker.
“Yeah he is cute.” She conceded.
“but he talked me out of getting pepperoni on my pizza and now I really wish I hadn’t let him. I want meat.” she complained
Laughing, I told her that she should say exactly that to him – “just tell him that he’s going to have to find some other source of meat to satiate you since he talked you out of the pepperoni”
She reciprocated my laughter and added: “Yeah, seriously, I should just tell him that I was really hoping to get some meat in me and he’s just the one to deliver it.”
I continued to laugh, but I was starting to feel like a traitor to vegetarianism at that point for harping so hard on the meat/ penis metaphor, but I guess sometimes you've just gotta take what you're given.

We were still giggling as our waiter returned with the second round of drinks we’d ordered. I looked at my friend expectantly as he asked if there was anything else he could get for us. What a perfect set up, she better go for it I thought to myself.

“No, we’re good. Thanks.”
She replied to him.

“Wait, wasn’t there something else you needed?” I said to my co-worker, cajoling her like a mother prompting her child to say ‘thank you’.
“no. I don’t think so.” She said, clearly annoyed with me.
“What? I thought there was something missing on your pizza.” I coaxed.

“Oh. Was there something wrong with your pizza.” Our waiter asked, brow furrowed with polite concern.
God, he’s so adorable when he’s thinking about customer satisfaction I mused…  then giggled inwardly about how much satisfaction he could bring to this customer.
Meanwhile, outside of my pervy brain, my coworker was telling our waiter that she was sorry her friend (that would be me) was being rude, but her pizza was really good. We ordered another round of drinks and our waiter disappeared again.

After a sharp, “I can’t believe you just did that” from my coworker, we went back to enjoying our drinks and talking about work, and were after not too long interrupted by a guy who’d been sitting next to us. He introduced himself and asked about our jobs... then he started leaning over and jumping  into our conversation 
intermittently for the rest of the evening. He was nice guy, in his mid 40s and seemed fairly interesting, but neither of us wanted any part of his beef slider, so we weren’t too engaging with him, especially after the return of our waiter who, by the way, became even sexier to me when,  he revealed that he too was a vegetarian* (which I decided was why he’d taken it upon himself to talk my friend out of the pepperoni pizza and was therefore, I decided, both chivalrous and smooth). It was hard to refuse such an attentive, chivalrous, golden tongued, good looking guy, so every time he asked me if I wanted another drink, I flashed him the most adorable smile I could muster and gave a resounding “I sure would!” ( Which is one reason why hiring a super attractive waiter is an excellent business strategy for any barkeep). He definitely put the hubba hubba in the Menlo Hub that night!

Disappointingly, our waiter’s shift ended around the time when the "rock and roll band" (if they can even be called that after refusing my coworker's behest for them to play Led Zeppelin), started to play. He did say, before he left though, that all the tip he wanted from us was our phone numbers. The man was smooth!

We of course obliged him, each scribbling our phone numbers on the receipt when we go the check (but still leaving a generous tip as well), so despite the lack of meat, I think my coworker was still satisfied with her evening and I know I was! Which is why, I would definitely recommend to anyone that they should come check out the Menlo Hub and see what all the hub bub's about! 

*Apparently my drunkenness and smitteness deafened me when the waiter later recanted his claim to be vegetarian, telling my coworker the he actually loved meat...sigh...perhaps my quest for the perfect male specimen is not over.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Finding Sanctuary in Marina CA

Last weekend a friend and I took a mini vacation to Sanctuary Beach Resort, a secluded beachfront hotel near Monterey, CA. As its name implied, the resort was a delightfully peaceful and luxurious place to relax and get away. When we arrived, the friendly girl at the front desk checked us in (even though we were an hour early) and showed us on a map where our room would be. “A porter will meet you in the parking lot to take you to your room and give you the keys to your golf cart.” The front desk girl explained.
“We get a golf cart?!” My friend and I both echoed back in delighted amazement.
“That’s right” The girl confirmed. I’d had no idea when I’d booked our trip that we would be provided with our own personal motor-cart to transport us from our beach view room to the pool, spa or restaurant in style. SCORE!

As soon as we parked my car and began to unload our luggage, a gorgeous young man (who looked like he couldn’t have been more than 22) with impeccably clear olive skin and warm brown eyes pulled up next to us in a pristine white golf cart. “Are you… Jillian?” he asked, reading my name off of a card as he got out of his cart. “I sure am!” I said. He introduced himself and started loading our luggage onto the back of his cart and then we zipped up a hill to our room.

The porter unlocked the door and ushered us into our little slice of paradise for the night. “You can help yourselves to that complimentary bottle of wine if you like” he said gesturing to a small bottle sitting enticingly on a table betwixt two glasses that glimmered in the sunshine streaming through our ocean view window. “Wow, you really know how to impress a lady.” I said to the porter as I took in the scene.  He lingered awkwardly for a moment before my friend took our room key from him with one hand and slyly slipped him a five with the other. “Super classy execution on the tip hand off!” I commended her after the porter had backed out of the room.

As soon as he left, my friend and I adorned ourselves in the bathrobes that had been hanging in our closet, curled up on the plush easy chairs that sat in front of our ocean view window and sunbathed like cats while we sipped the deliciously smooth cabernet sauvignon that had been bequeathed to us by the hotel. The girl at the check in desk had mentioned that they put on a nightly  bonfire down at the beach at 5:00, but that conflicted with the happy hour in the hotel’s restaurant, which was from 3:30 – 6:30, so as we (mostly I) finished our bottle of wine, we decided we’d rather have s’more to drink at the restaurant than chocolaty s’mores by the beach, so we hopped in our golf cart and zoomed over to the resort’s restaurant and bar where we each enjoyed a $4.00 cocktail and $2.00 appetizer before dinner.

The restaurant had the usual steak house options and some sushi as well, but seemed a bit pricey for what it was… even the climax of our dining experience, the chocolate eruption cake, was not all that mind blowing. 

All in all, Sanctuary Beach Resort in Marina, CA was a delightful place to spend the weekend and I definitely wouldn’t mind returning at some point, but it’s a bit pricey and it’s on the coast near Monterey, so it’s the kind of place you go with someone – not to meet someone. Singles just don’t usually drop a couple of Benjamin’s to go on the prowl.

I would like to tell you that while I was at this sandy vacation resort, Pick-up lines rolled off my tongue like waves onto the beach… and it was high tide all weekend long! I would like to tell you that, but the reality is, though there was a vast ocean of material at my disposal at this coastal sanctuary, there were really no fish in the sea. I honestly wasn’t too bothered by it though. My friend and I had come to relax and catch up since it’d been ages since we’d seen each other, so man hunting was not high on my agenda last weekend. That being said, the pick up line generating machine that is my brain was still in action so, if you happen to find yourself at a luxy beach resort here are some lines I didn’t get a chance to cast out:

Next time you’re cruising around your resort in a pimpin’ golf cart and you happen upon some young sex panther of a man who’s walking down the road, why not pull up alongside him and casually call to him: “Hey there. Can I pick you up? ‘cause If you come with me, it would be an enjoyable ride for both of us.” I can’t see any way that would fail. Especially if it was cold out or there was a hill. Any dude would be jumping in your cart like a flea on a dog.

A line I’d considered using if there had been any enticing prospects down by the bonfire was:
“Wow, these s’mores are good. But chocolate and marshmallows aren’t what I really want s’more of in my mouth… I bet you can guess what I’m really after!” and then when they get all awkward and blush or whatever, be like “Graham crackers!” Boys like to be teased like that. It makes them think you’re just kind of easy at first but then they’re like: “oh you’re easy, but you’re also kinda funny!” and then they know they’ve hit the jack pot.

Or if a sexy AAA guy shows up to jump your car after you’ve accidentally left the lights on all day long ‘cause you drove in on a road that instructed you to turn your headlights on even during the day, it’s the perfect opportunity to pull out the dialogue that you’ve been keeping in your back pocket for just such an occasion: when a sexy mechanic shows up to service your vehicle. Mine goes a little something like this:
“Oh my! You’re just who I was hoping would show up to give me a jump tonight. I can’t wait for you to get out your equipment and start revving your engine, ‘cause I know it’s going to really get me going!”
and no. I did not steal any of that from a bad porno… but I definitely think I could qualify for an award at the adult entertainment Oscars if I ever decided to knuckle down and put out a full script. I have no immediate plans to do so though.

And if you are ever in a restaurant with a cute waiter and they offer chocolate eruption cake on their menu… just order that… he’ll know what you’re after.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Gotta be a little Boulder to get Belayed at City Beach Fremont, CA

Going behind a rock to get boulder …  maybe even get belayed

When I first heard about City Beach in Fremont, a wonderland that boast both a bar AND a rock climbing gym, it seemed too good to be true! Drinking and Climbing? A place to pick up a tall lean rock climber after having a tall cold beer? NICE!

There’d been a short phase in my life where I fancied myself a bit of a climber, that is to say after months of trying, I managed (one time) to completed a V1 bouldering course (and if that means nothing to you, don’t worry because knowing what a V1 bouldering course is just means you know what a “mole hill” the “mountain” I conquered was). Though I did climb around on some boulders back in the day, I’ve never done much climbing where ropes were required, however, I was optimistic that when I hit City Beach I could make up for my lack of experience in hooking lines to rocks, with my skill at hooking in climbers with lines. I didn't think it would be physically possible for one of those lanky rock climbing guys to resist me after I posed the adorable question: “Wanna go behind a rock and get a little bolder?” But if I felt like something a little sexier was in order, I’d figured I'd just go up to a sporty looking guy at the bar and ask: “Do you rock climb? ‘cause I’m really lookin’ to get belayed tonight?”.  With those irresistible lines to hang on, I figured any climber in that bar-gym would love to hoist me up and tell me what to grab a hold of.   


You know how people don’t really go to the beach at night …
As it turns out if, (like I was), you were thinking of going to City Beach one of these nights to hook up with a hot single climber in the prime of his life, you’re probably going to be disappointed (like I was). It’s not that kind of place. I had an inkling that it might not be the best joint to find a mountaineer to mount when I read on their website that: “Saturday night is family fun night”, but I told myself, that’s fine Saturday is for Families so Friday must be for crazy sexy singles. It wasn’t. I guess I’d just been so dazzled by the climbing related pickup line gems that I wanted rock at this bar that I couldn't bring myself to choose another spot last night.

My co-worker and I rolled into city Beach around 9:30PM yesterday and the bar was pretty much empty.  There was a group of older gentlemen speaking in an Asian dialect that I couldn’t identify at a tall table in one corner of the room, two couples sitting at the bar … and us. Hmm not a good sign I thought to myself as my friend and I ordered a couple of beers and a bite to eat.  I figured maybe after we’d finished our beers we could hit up the climbing area to see what the climbers in there were up to.

There was a sign in the bar that said: “Don’t Drink Then Rock Climb” which seemed like some rock solid advice for novices, but I figured with my weeks of experience from years ago I could handle some beer and some bouldering. Unfortunately though, I didn’t have a chance to ignore their don’t drink and climb rule because the Rock Climbing area closed at 10:00. Bummer! My coworker and I lingered in the Bar area until around 10:30. Waiting for the climbers to come in for a beer after their rocky night, but none did. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to climb up the rock wall that night, but they I was quite satisfied with the mountain of fries I conquered. They may not offer a heapin’ helpin’ of happnin’ hotties at City Beach, but believe me, they certainly serve up ample supplies when it comes to french fries.

City Beach has more to offer than just the bar and rock climbing gym though. They also have quite a few pool and ping pong tables as well as bocce ball, a basketball court and a few other various activities. My coworker and I decided to play pool and check out the inhabitants of the game table area. Other than an elderly guy and his young grandson quite skillfully batting around a ping pong ball, the folks that were playing pool and ping pong seemed to mostly be couples who were out on a date. Since minors and seniors are not really in the demographic I’m looking to rope in with my lines, I did not going to even get to cast a single line out. Disappointing. I did enjoy playing pool with my friend though… BTW, a fun thing to say to a friend that you’re playing pool with after she sinks two or more shots in a row is: “oh crap, did you just get some butter on your pants? … ‘cause you are on a roll right now!”

City Beach, Fremont, CA

They have more dining options than a typical bar, even offering a pretty tasty veggie burger, adorably named the tree hugger : )

They have a full bar with good prices on drinks. Plus there are a multitude of activities to participate in: pool, ping pong, basketball bocce ball, and giant chess set, rock climbing and even inflatable slides. No music or dancing though. Also there was a pretty gross stain on the pool table my friend and I used + my cue kept getting stuck in the net separating our pool table from the B-ball court.

Another element that makes the bar less appealing for young singles is that they allow minors. I love cute inquisitive kids as much as the next chick, but when they are running around asking you about each shot you take when playing pool …in a bar at 11:00PM… it’s less adorable than normal. Plus who wants to worry about accidentally throwing out a C U Next Tuesdays or dropping an F bomb when they are out drinking with their friends. If I had kids I might think it was awesome that I could have them hang with me at a bar until 1:00AM… oh wait… no that just seems like bad parenting.

 The pool equipment was old and the tables were packed pretty close together which meant we had to keep waiting for our neighbors to move out of the way for a lot of shot, so if you’re looking to play pool I recommend South 1st St Billiards in San Jose.   Ping pong stuff looked to be in better shape at City Beach though.  Overall, I’d say it’s a good spot to hang out with a group of friends or take a date, but unless you are actually talking about rock climbing you probably aren’t going to get belayed or get a little bolder behind any rocks there.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Saddling up and Racking 'em in at The Saddle Rack: Fremont, CA

steering away from some lame lines
After my sojourn last weekend, I decided to stay close to home on Friday night and hoe it down at The Saddle Rack, a Country Western Bar tucked away in a business park in my home town,  Fremont. In honor of the cowboy theme of the bar, I’d decided that I wanted to use a line that played on the cowboyish term, “giddy-up” because yup and giddy are both words that I am particularly fond of. When I ran the giddy yup thing by my friends though, that started to seem like not such a good idea…

“wanna hear a pick up line?” I coaxed one of my companions.
“Sure” She amiable replied.
“Ask me if I’m giddy” I instructed her.
“What?” She asked, confused and not sure she’d heard me right.
“It’s part of my line, just ask me if I’m giddy?”
“So wait, how are you going to find a guy that is going to ask you if your giddy… the odds of that are so small”
“No no no. I will say to them what I’m saying to you now. I will say: Ask me if I’m giddy”
“Are you giddy?”
“Haha. Oh ok. I see what you did.”

At that point I figured that the line was 1- not going to go over well in the wild , 2- pretty stupid, which I’d already known, but before I’d said it out loud, I’d told myself it was just endearingly lame… now I was like nope… just stupid… so I went back to the drawing board.

The Saddle Rack was actually riddled with bespectacled folks last Friday night, and I had come up with
a better response for the impromptu “you know what they say about people with glasses?” line that I’d botched the previous week, “quite magnificent spectacles to behold.”  So I considered trying that again, but decided it was best not to recycle a losing line, so I was still trying to think of an even better pick up that I could use to rack in the cowboys when my friends and I moseyed on back to the bull pen to give the mechanical bull a whirl. By the time I’d finished rocking that robotic steer’s world, I figured all I’d need to do to rope in any guy in that water hole, would be to just ask them if they’d seen me up there on the bull.

Riding my bull.
Dragging my friend along with me, I galloped full speed, in my snazzy cowgirl boots, through the parking lot of the Saddle Rack at 8:59 PM on Friday night, hell bent on avoiding the 9:00 PM cover hike from $10.00 to $15.00 and was elated when we made it in just in time. (On Saturday night, there is even more incentive for financially savvy (cheap) ladies like me to be early birds since the cover goes from $10.00 before 9:00 to $20.00 after). Once inside, my friend and I met up with 3 of our other friends who’d snagged a table near the dance floor with a good view of the stage.  At that point, the house band, Diablo Road, was beltin’ out really “country western”  style country music covers (none of which I was familiar with) to a room full of mostly 40 something cowboys who like to come early on Friday nights for the line dancing lesson they give from 7:30-9:00 PM.

 My friends and I took advantage of the low-ish noise level and short lines at the bar stations to catch up with each other over $2.00 Jello shots and $5.00- $7.00 beer and cocktails. While we waited for things to liven up, one of my friends, taking note of the fact that the front woman from the band was giving shout outs to people who were celebrating special occasions, decided to request a song and a shout out of her own. We all laughed when my friend took her seat as the singer was reading her napkin note, declaring, “We have a single lady here with us tonight,  who is celebrating being free from the jerk wad who broke up with her on Valentines day!” Around that time, towards 10:00 or so, the band started to diversify the style of music they were playing, sneaking in some Rock or pop along with more mainstream country like Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.
As the music got younger and more diverse, so did the crowd, a colorful mix of 20-30 year olds had started to fill up the spaces around the “barber chair”, where you can have a bartender mix a cocktail in your mouth, which is something I appreciate, because it’s such an eco-friendly and efficient way to get drunk. Why waste resources on washing cups or using disposable plastic when you can cut out the middleman and just have your libation of choice delivered directly to its ultimate destination. 

By 10:30, as folks were getting more loose and daring, the giant cage next to the band’s stage was packed full of girls dancing and undulating inside it’s cast iron bars like they were trying to bust out of stripper jail. It was around that time that one of my friends and I decided to giddy on up to the mechanical bull at the back of the bar. One at a time, we each threw down the $4.00 ridding fee, and saddled up. My friend went first, showing that bull -and the crowd her stuff for about twenty or thirty seconds before tumbling off onto the rubber mats in the bull pen. Then it was my turn. In my mind, sportin’ my gold and silver sequin top, I imagined I looked like a sexy cowgirl disco ball for the 45 seconds or so that I was up there. However, when my friend showed me the video she’d recorded of me, it seemed that I just looked more like a shinier than average flailing chick on a mechanical bull, but I was still pleased enough with my performance that I’d decided to work it into my pick up that evening.

I didn’t immediately see anyone I wanted to rope in with my line, so about twenty minutes had passed before I spotted a handsome stud with jet black hair, a stylishly groomed beard and black twinkling eyes seated at a table by himself. I waited a second to see if he might have a girlfriend nearby. Didn’t seem to, so I strode over, leaned towards him and asked:  “Did you see me ride the bull earlier?”
“yeah I think so” He replied.
“You know, bulls aren’t even what I ride best!” I said, arching my brow suggestively.
“Really?”, my bearded companion inquired with a laugh.
“Yup… I can ride a bike like nobody’s business… I actually bike to work every day.” I said
My new acquaintance was laughing even harder as he asked: “Oh really, How far away is your office from your home?”
When I told him it was 11 miles each way, I could tell he was impressed. Especially when he said:
“Wow I’m impressed”
“yeah, it’s pretty impressive.” I conceded.
Then we reverted to the usual small talk: Do you live around here? Come here often? What do you do for a living? There was some banter about the bull and how much like a disco ball I’d looked. I felt like I really was bringing a pretty good game that night, but this guy didn’t seem to be moving it forward.

Meanwhile, I look over and 4 guys are standing around my newly jerk wad free friend. Damn, I need to take a page from her book, I thought to myself. She was DEFINITELY on her game! The bearded guy and I had pretty much run out of momentum in our conversation so I told him I had to get back to my friends.

As soon as I walked over to them though, a girl appeared by his side and then hopped in his lap… either she was much more on top of her game than I as well, or that was his girlfriend and would explain why he wasn’t trying to get any friendlier than just having a cordial conversation with me. Either way, I didn’t let it ruin my night.

My one friend went and made out with one of her men from the harem she’d just assembled and I hung back with our other friends and watched a few more people get tossed off the bull before calling it a night. I’ve been to the saddle rack at least a half dozen times before and I’ve never had a bad time there, this weekend was no exception to that either. You’d have to try pretty hard to have a bad time at a place with so much to do and such a lively crowd.

THE SPOT:The Saddle Rack, Fremont, CA
The saddle rack is  a good bar for pretty much any occasion from dancing with your girlfriends, to taking a date or going to pick up guys. I am not a particular fan of country music, but it’s still fun to go hoe it down on the dance floor there or just people watch since there are plenty of interesting diversions at the bar: mechanical bull, line dancing, gogo cage, live music. There are 4 separate bar areas, (besides the barber chair), and two dance floors: an upper floor for line dancing and a larger floor right in front of the stage for more freestyle dancing. Plus they have a wait staff that is very attentive to groups that are seated at any of the dozens of tables around the main dance floor and bull pen and 2 dance floors. Drinks are average price $5.00 -10.00 and they have some snacks available for a few bucks ( popcorn, hot dogs nachos etc) if you need to fuel up so you can keep dancing and riding all night long. In my mind The Saddle Rack has just about everything you could want in a bar, so do I think going there will make you giddy – yup!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Venturing out in Ventura, CA

Brainstorming over Martinis and Chocolate at The WaterMark

Yesterday I went for a night out in my old high school stomping ground, Ventura County. I’d come to town for my friend’s bridal shower (on Sunday), so on Saturday night me and another friend decided to take the bride to be out for a ladies night/ mini bachelorette on Main St in Ventura, CA. After dinner we went to an upscale bar that my friends, who are locals, had always wanted to go to, but never had occasion to, The Watermark. It was Gorgeous! The perfect place for a special occasion date. Romantic mood lighting, polished wood paneling on the bar and walls, gleaming marble floors. Downstairs there was 50s era big band and Sinatra style music playing. If you took the stairs or the elevator up to the 3rd floor you were at the W20 lounge there was a live band playing up tempo jazz a few loungey areas with sofas and some tables scattered around. It was a cougar den  up there though: mostly mid 30s to mid 40s ladies with a few gentlemen around the same age range… not really my scene so my friends and I opted to have some drinks and dessert at the deserted bar downstairs. While we were enjoying our drinks a two couples took seats at the bar next to us, but it didn’t seem like the kind of bar where a single lady can pick up something to go. The chocolate Indulgence and Meyer Limoncello Zabaglione desserts we had were fantastic though. SO good in fact that in my eagerness to get a spoonful of the gooey chocolatey goodness of the chocolate one I spilled half of my $12.00 martini in my lap.

The tall dark and handsome, tuxedo vest clad bartender who’d been attending to another customer saw my friends and I pilfering napkins from behind the bar and asked if we were ok. I told him: “I spilled my drink on myself, but it’s ok, my clothes are going to taste much better now.”
He laughed politely flashing a gorgeous smile at us before getting back to the other bar patrons.
I was trying to think of how I could work that into a pick up line and toying with the idea of trying t pick up the bar tender, but he seemed like he had his hands full and the lines I kept coming up with were all pretty raunchy and overly direct along the lines of: “I spilled a drink on my lap earlier… it was pretty good, want to taste it.” My friends agreed that was pretty vulgar and not likely to appeal to the type of guy I was after… so we put our heads together and came up with something better…My one friend suggested that I should just go up to a guy and tell him he looks like Robert Pattenson… I figured there were only two possible responses that would elicit though: a confused “who’s Robert Patterson” or offense at being compared to the pale spindly star of Twighlight. Either way I figured it’d be hard to segway into a conversation from there… after all, my pick up line really isn’t the thing that I’d like a guy to be holding against me at the end of the night. I did like the concept of a celebrity comparison though. Stroking a mans ego usually goes over pretty well, so I decided I would  just taylor the celebrity comparison to fit the particular guy I was hitting on. 
“what if they say they don’t get your comparison?”my other friend asked
then my first friend giggled saying “you should just be like –eeh me neither.” I thought that was a brilliant idea.

Getting tangled in my line at Dargan’s and good looking catch at The Its All Good Bar

Around 10:30PM, my two friends and I crossed the street from The Watermark, flashed our IDs at the bouncer of Dargan’s Irish Pub , who didn’t ask us to pay a cover – YAY!- and  found a place along a wall near the bar to scope out our fellow patrons. There were a lot of men… but they all seemed to be huddled together in a most un-approachable way.

I did a lap of the bar and didn’t really see many promising prospects, the guys that I would have liked to be uninvitingly huddled shoulder to shoulder with friends and guys that weren’t so hard to single out were not really my type . After re-uniting with my friends I did one last scan of the bar and spotted a pretty cute Latino guy wearing thick rimmed glasses standing at the opposite side of the bar from where we were.

As soon as I saw him, I immediately strode directly over to him, trying to think of a celebrity he looked like as I walked, after failing to conger up a celebrity comparison by the time I reached him, I decided to improvise:
 “ those glasses look good on you.” I said following immediately with “...and you know what they say about people with glasses...”
“No what?” Hmm I’d been trying to bate him into conversation with that rhetorical question… giving him an opportunity to say something clever, but he was clearly going to make me do all the work here.
“ i dont know… they look smart... At least i get that a lot...” I said with what I hoped was endearing exaggerated lameness.
He didn’t laugh… clearly my awkward humor was lost on him, but he introduced himself anyway.
He asked if I was from Ventura.
“Nope. Bay area” I said… he didn’t have much to say about that, but the look on his face said that being a non Venturan was a strike against me.
“Why aren’t you drinking tonight?” he asked
“I am. I had a couple drinks at the pricey bar across the street.” He didn’t really respond, so I tried to think of something witty to say and instead came up with:
 “My stomach is like totally spoiled now from the snooty drinks I had over there. It feels like it’s too good for the stuff they serve in here now.” I’d been going for sarcastic self deprecating humor, but I could see that this guy took me literally, and therefore I came off like kind of an uppity douche. Thus I wasn’t too surprised when the next thing he said was: “Well it WAS nice to meet you” and extended his hand as a consolatory thanks-for-playing-but-please-go-away-now gesture. I shook his hand, then immediately regretted having done so… because he was after all snubbing and rejecting me, I should have just turned and left without offering an appeasing handshake, but I guess sometimes it’s hard to repress the polite propriety my parents instilled in me. He hadn’t given me much to work with and clearly my humor was above his head, so I wasn’t too heartbroken as I returned to my friends saying:

“Not sure about the crowd here, shall we go to another bar?”

The were up for it, so
we walked a few doors down to the “ it’s all good bar and grill” and were drawn in by the funk-rock live music being played by a live band inside. Once again, I was delighted that there was no cover, but once again, once inside, it looked like the 90s had just never stopped for the folks there. It was a sea of plaid flannel, trucker hats and hoodies. I was really regretting not saving some of my own plaid flannels and timber boots from high school, it probably would have upped my game with the Ventura crowd.

The guys in this bar were much cuter and seemed more approachable. My soon to be wed friend immediately spotted an attractive lad standing directly behind me and told me that it was her Bachlorette wish to vicariously hit on through me. Since I am after all the fairy of Bachlorette wishes, I had no choice but to oblige.

I decided he looked a bit like Heath ledger, so I swiveled around and casually asked:
“Hey do people tell you al the time th at you look like heath ledger?”
“No.” he replied with a  chuckle.
“Yeah, I guess that makes sense ‘cause you really don’t look THAT much like him.” I said playfully.
he laughed heartily at that then asked.” So you really think I look like heath ledger?”
“ No. I just said you dont  didn’t I?”
. His friend interjected at that point "heath ledger? More like Jesus. "
“...oh i wouldn’t know. I’ve never met Jesus.” I said.
The Ledger-alike immediately shot back: “Oh have you met Heath Ledger? "
He was quick. That was good.  “Yup” I said without missing a beat “he and i were bffs before he died. Im still not over that though... So thanks for bringing it up.”
“Well, actually you came over to me and brought up Heath Ledger, so you can’t pin that on me.” He retorted.
I laughed. “I guess you’re right.”
I’m just having a cherry coke, the ledger-a-like explained to me as the bartender handed him a beverage.
“Oh. That must make you very popular with your friends who drink…at least if you drive.”
“No I don’t drive.”
“oh. Bummer… you don’t drink and you can’t be a designated river…I guess you’re pretty useless then” I teased

We fell into the usual conversation at that point about what we did for a living and where we lived. The Ledger-alike  introduced me to his two friends. At first I thought maybe he was trying to pawn me off to one of them, but he lingered and continued to engage in conversation, so I guess he just wanted to show me off.
One of his friends, who apparently worked at the bar offered to get me a drink . I took him up on the offer, asking for a water.
We talked a bit more, but I didn’t get the feeling anything was going to happen with the Ledger-alike so I told himI wanted to get back to my friend’s bachelorette party. He asked me to find him and say goodbye before I left, but my friends were ready to go immediately after I got back to them and I didn’t see him as we headed out the door, so I guess it was not meant to be, so me and my 2 lady friends ventured out of Ventura and get back to my parents house for the night.

The W2O lounge on the 3rd floor and the bar on the ground floor are fun for a ladies night out - if you’ve got some cash to burn. It’s gorgeous inside and the drinks and desserts are delicious. Pretty much all drinks were $10.00+ and desserts are around $8.00 or so. There is a lot of seating upstairs, but not a lot of standing room to mingle and meet people. Most of the patrons upstairs and downstairs seemed to be at least in their Mid 30s and upper middle to upper class.


The Venue itself was a typical Irish pub, with shinned wood bar and tables. They served dinner until 11:00 and at the bar had beer wine and whisky. They also offered late night food served until 1:00 AM which is always nice. There were a lot of tables and bar seating though none were available when we got there. The fact that there were so many tables left little room for standing or mingling though and dancing seems like something that probably doesn’t happen there. The ratio of men to women seemed at first to be skewed in favor of a single lady such as myself looking to find a guy to connect with, however, at least the night I was there. The, mostly early to mid 20s guys did not seemed like they were mostly looking to hang out with their bros rather than mingle with the opposite sex, so it seemed like its probably a good place to go hang out with friends on a night away from your significant other, have a beer and shoot the ish, but not the best pick up spot.

I feel like this place lived up to the casualness implied by its name. It was packed with a diverse mix of ladies and gents from 21- 30 years old. The fact that it was a smallish bar with not a lot of seating made it quite conducive to comingling with strangers. They offered a full bar selection (mixed drinks, beer, wine etc). They had live music and the band I heard was pretty good, so there were a lot of people dancing and folks seemed to be enjoying themselves. I’d say this is a good bar to go to if you are on the prowl… probably not so good if you are looking to catch up with friends over drinks.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sexually harassing workers at The Office, San Carlos and trying to find someone to celebrate Read A Book In The Bathtub Day with at The Underground, Redwood City

A bar named “The Office” seems like an obscenely appropriate place to cast out some tongue-in-cheek pick-up lines. As soon as I set my mind to the task, it was almost too easy to come up innuendo laden lines that made light of the ironically named bar: “Wow, I can’t believe you’re at the office on a Saturday. You’re so diligent, I’d love to see what results COME of all your HARD work”, “You look like you might be having a HARD night at the office, so I’d love to COME with you somewhere whenever you GET OFF”. “I hope you won’t report me for sexual harassment at the office if I tell you how sexy you’re looking tonight.”

As a backup to the office specific lines, I was also prepared to make note of the fact that, per a friend of mine, February 9th is official “read a book in the bath day”, it's definitely not as exciting a holiday as Australia Day, but I figured another good line to cast out yesterday night would be: “Did you know that today is official read a book in the bath day? … Have you celebrated yet ‘cause I haven’t, but I’d love to observe this momentous occasion with you later.”

I sank like an anchor more than I reeled in the boys hook line and sinker.

Last night I had made tentative plans to meet some friends at The Office, a bar in San Carlos, after they’d gone to a wine tasting yesterday. In my mind, I was thinking we’d go there after dinner – maybe around 9:00 or 9:30PM, so when I received a text from my friends at 5:30PM: saying “We’re heading over to the bar now”, I was still sitting in my kitchen having arts and crafts time with my roommate (making a greeting card for a friend who just got a great job opportunity). Hmm, I thought as I hurriedly finished up my card, I hope they are going to want to hang out for a while, ‘cause it may be pretty hard to pick someone up at 6:30 or 7:00 PM. I’m always up for a challenge though, so I decided even if they weren’t going to stay long I’d still try and cast out a line or two at the early crowd.

By the time I got there, at 6:30, my friends had already finished their beers and appetizers and were only planning to stay for another half hour or so. I perused the menu of cleverly named drinks such as the “sick day” and the “pink slip” but decided I wouldn’t partake of anything since my friends were pretty eager to get going. So much for a pick up tonight I thought as I looked around the mostly deserted bar, at the husband, wife and 3 young girls sitting around a fire pit next to us, the tables of couples enjoying an early meal at a few of the other outdoor patio tables and fire pits. No one was sitting at any of the long bar tables outside on the patio area or inside the interior of the bar. The outdoor bar service area was not open yet  and the only people sitting at the bar inside were two middle aged men who were intently watching and jeering at a basketball game that was playing on the bar’s TVs. Yup. This isn’t going to happen I was thinking to myself just as the cute Latino waiter who’d been serving my friends came over with the check. hmm. I figured maybe I could at least try a line on him.

 Since he was actually working though, my customized “The Office” lines wouldn’t really have the same effect… I started to psych myself out. It felt kind of awkward and tacky to hit on someone while they were serving a table full of my friends and I, so in the end I didn’t muster up enough Chutzpah to verbally pick up on the cute waiter, but I did try for a pick up on the tab, writing  a quick note on the receipt: “Thank you  for being so serviceable to us this evening. Let me know if you ever want me to repay the favor sometime.” And then left my phone number. Slutty and to the point... we'll see how that works out. I definitely would like to see who comes and goes from the office during peak hours, so I probably will get to work on that one of these nights.

I had thought that was going to be the extent of my bar going that evening, but as I was driving my friends home. I got a text from my coworker asking me if I wanted to meet her and two of our friends at The Underground in Redwood City. I sure did, so at around 10:30 I walked through the unassuming glass doors of the Underground and hung by the bar while I waited for my friends to arrive.

There seemed to be plenty of things to keep a group occupied at the Underground, a pool table and two beer pong tables downstairs and the same set up upstairs as well, plus a shelf downstairs full of board games. There were not a lot of chairs or tables to sit at though, a cluster of 3 or 4 wine barrel tables and a total of about 8 stools between them all downstairs and upstairs there were another 2 or 3 wine barrel tables and stoops as well as some bench seating by the beer pong tables.  Overall the bar felt a little dingy and unclean, so my initial reaction when I went into the downstairs bathroom and there was a ratty easy chair facing the toilet, was:  Of course there is… at least I know where to find a private lounge where I can chill in a disgusting but comfy seat and hang out with my friends while the’re peeing… it makes total sense that there is almost as much seating in the bathroom as in the entire rest of the bar.

After my initial assessment of my grody surroundings, it didn’t seem too surprising to me that the crowd was pretty sparse even on a Saturday night. (Although my coworker, who has been to The Underground quite a few times, tells me that sometimes it can get quite busy there.) The folks that were there were probably early to mid-20s and most were pretty attractive though, so that was a plus. The bartender upstairs was in charge of the music and was playing a mix of current dance hits, some 90s and of course, my coworker requested that they play “baby got back” and the bartender was happy to oblige her. Again, per my co-worker, there is often a DJ at the stage set up in the upstairs section of the bar.

A few beers helped me to loosen up, get the stick out of my ass and forget about the cold dank ambiance pretty quickly, so I had a lot of fun playing beer pong and dancing with my friends while keeping my eyes open for any hot guys I might want to reel in.  At the intermission between our first and second beer pong games, I set my sites on a cute bespectacled guy sitting on one of the benches upstairs and I took advantage in the lull between games to go cast my line.

“Do you know what today is?” I asked him
“No. What?” He asked
“National read a book in the bath day…. Have you celebrated yet?"
"Uhm... No.”
“Me neither… … … " I said. When he did not take advantage of the opportunity I’d given him to fill in a sexy reply, and I couldn’t remember my line about having him come celebrate with me later, I threw out an awkward: “I was going to celebrate earlier but my roommates and I have a shared bathroom, and I didn’t want to be the one chillin’ in the tub finishing up war and peace while someone was about to have a potty emergency…”

My new acquaintance obviously didn’t have much to say in reply to that awesomely awkward tid bit, so I casually excused myself saying: "oh hey, look at that, my friends are done setting up for our beer pong game, I should get back to that!" Needless to say, I did not give or receive any digits that evening, but  
 despite the fact that I wasn’t able to land a catch with my line, I did have a good night overall. I wouldn’t say I’d never go back to the Underground, but it probably wouldn’t be my first choice of establishments to visit on a Saturday night.


Stylish and comfy. Lots of tvs at the inside bar to distract the men, which is not something I personally am a fan of, but if you’re a guy who likes to watch sports while you drink and over pay for fried food, then there you go – enjoy!

I love that they have several fire pits that you can sit around outside and I like that you have the option of indoor or outdoor seating. Plus I personally appreciate the irony and wit that went into naming the drinks and the bar itself.

I wouldn’t recommend dining there though. The food didn’t have any particular heightened taste or appeal to match the elevated prices they charge.

 A good place to go when you’ve got a group of friends and you want to hang out, but don’t mind a dank atmosphere and the early 20s kids that were there last night certainly didn’t seem to. They certainly aren’t lacking for entertainment options with the beer pong and pool tables + board games they provide as well as the danceable music. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The old "can I buy you a drink" at Old Pro, Palo Alto, CA

Suspended license for driving ladies crazy / a variation on “can I buy you a drink”
I packed some classic bait into my tackle box before I headed off to cast out my line last night: “I heard they suspended your license for driving all the ladies here crazy” line. Here is how I planned to throw it out there:
(Sidle up close to desired target)
ME: Did you drive here?
Guy: (OPTION 1… if he says): Yes
ME: Damn, that’s pretty daring of you, I heard they suspended your license for driving all the ladies crazy!
OPTION 2:  if he says NO
ME: That’s what I figured; I heard they’d suspended your license for driving all the ladies here crazy!

Because this is kind of a wordy pick up, I did a couple dry runs with my friends before heading out last night. I botched both of my dry runs, but figured if I messed up on the real thing I’d just play it off as endearing.

When we arrived to Old Pro around 11:30, we had to pay a cover charge. Fortunately the cover comes with a drink ticket for 2 drinks- which must be redeemed at once. (They start charging a $10.00 cover around 8:45 on Friday and Saturday nights.) This unique cover charge system lent itself well to an easier, location specific pick-up:  “Hey, I’ve got a coupon for two drinks, so what shall I get for you?”

Spotting one that measures up 
After doing a couple laps around old pro, no one stood out to me as a good catch. I wanted to use my drink coupon line though, so I held onto my coupon, sipped a soda and chatted with my friends. To bide time while I waiting to acquire a suitable target I watched a couple of old pro’s patrons live out their rodeo fantasies atop the Mechanical Bull in the back corner of the bar. It seemed like the guy at the controls to the bull was going pretty easy on the riders, but the two guys that I saw saddle up to that mechanized beast were pretty rigid and did not last more than a few seconds before they unceremoniously shot off. (Which, I’m sure is, not the reputation they were hoping to establish when they’d decided to mount that steed).

There was not a steady flow of activity at the bull riding area, so my friends and I crossed over to the opposite side of the bar and claimed a spot at one of the dozen or so long tall bar tables that lined one wall of old pro. I kept an eye on the door to see if any interesting prospects showed up, but by 12:30 when I still hadn't seen anyone promising, and with my free drink ticket burning a hole in my pocket, I turned to one of my guy friends and laid it on him: “Do you need another drink? -I've still got my drink ticket from the cover fee.” I asked nonchalantly.

  He said he would indeed take me up on the offer, so we chatted a bit as we walked over to cash in my drink coupon and, gentleman that he is, he even took care of the annoying task of flagging down a bartender and ordering the drinks for us, so even though I had no romantic designs on my friend, I’m still going to call that a successful catch with my line. I feel like the drink coupon bit really does provide a good way to break the ice and get some one on one time with a person.

I still wanted to use my driver’s license pick up though, so after I finished my beer, I did another lap of the bar and FINALLY, I saw someone worthy of my super-cheesy-over-rehearsed-license-line. When I saw my intended guy, I decided to hang back and run through my lines again in my head to be sure I landed the pick up… before I could finish my mental dress rehearsal though, the guy’s friend walked over and started chatting me up. Drat!

The cute guy’s friend was reasonably attractive and seemed nice enough though, so I figured I would still try to work the line in just to see how well it went over, but this guy who’d approached me was firing questions at me like his life depended on it. I barely had a chance to finish answering his last question before he’d shot a new inquiry my way, so working in a complicated pick up line seemed like it was not going to be easy. Plus, by the third time he asked me “Do you come here often.” To which I replied “still no,” I really didn’t even want to use the line anymore… I just wanted to stop answering this guy's same handful of questions over and over and get away, so when he finally paused  for a minute, I took the opportunity to excuse myself, explaining that I had to get back to my friends that I’d come with.

We left the bar shortly after I rejoined my group… but before heading home, one of my friends wanted to satiate her ravenous hunger for pizza, so we walked a couple blocks down University Ave. and joined the throngs of other folks who’d just been turned out of the various bars in the area at 2:00 AM and were now in line for a slice at Pizza My Heart. I have never waited so eagerly or so long to get pizza as I did last night. The line stretched well out the door of the restaurant into the adjacent plaza.

One thing I will say is that, though it was cold waiting in the line (until we got to the part of the line that was actually inside the building), it was a pretty interesting experience. First of all, there were waaayy more hot guys at Pizza My Heart than there had been at Old Pro, so aesthetically that was nice. Second of all, the homeless guy wearing a bedazzled Tony the Tiger Tshirt under his Orange Velvet Sweat suite was amusing at least for a little while as he sung (poorly) along to the old school 80s songs he was blasting from his boom box.

Also, because pretty much everyone in line was drunk, they were all very friendly, so it passed some time when the guy in front of me, who was apparently a newbie to Palo Alto, started chatting me up, asking about what people did for fun in Silicon Valley and then when his attention waned and he moved onto talking to the person on the other side of him in line, I got some good banter going with another guy about the fight that must have occurred to result in the catastrophically mangled pile of lettuce and accouterments at the bottom of the salad display case in Pizza My Heart and of course by the time my friends and I finally did get our pizza,  I know for me at least, it was the most satisfying dining experience I’ve had in recent memory… That warm foldable slice with it’s tangy sauce and salty cheese was absolute perfection especially after the beer I’d had earlier. So, thought it wasn’t necessarily what I’d been looking for at the start of my outing, I definitely got some pleasant oral stimulation at the end of the night.


Fun things to do: mechanical bull, photo booth, Shotskis/ yard of beer pitchers

-Lots of seating: indoor long bar tables, + small alcove with a sofa etc inside.
& outdoor seating around fire pits.

-They have a late-night menu.

CONS: (The night that I was there at least) Not an attractive dating pool.

No Dance Floor/ DJ

 PROS: -Pizza is delicious!

-They are open late.

-They sell by the slice ($3.25 - 4.50/ slice depending on toppings)

CONS:Due to the fact that many people seem to know about the deliciousness of the pizza coupled with the fact that not many places are open, if you show up here at 2:00 AM, you will be waiting a good long while for your pizza.

-Line to order moves very slow.