I mentioned earlier in the week in this post that Melo had planned a birthday surprise for me and that I would tell you about it later.
This is later. And this is me telling you about it.
My sneaky girlfriend went behind my back (how dare she!) and planned a double feature birthday night out for me with some of my favorite people in LA.
First up, Catalina Jazz Club.
This place will sneak up on ya. The web site for this place is super basic and the building that it occupies is nondescript, but don’t sleep on Catalina. If you love jazz–and I do–this places oozes that cool kat jazz vibe from the inside out. It’s a bit of journey to get to the door: you have to go to the back part of the building, through the parking garage, and then out into a courtyard to get to the front door. And once you open that door, you’re met with a dimly lit jazz club that offers a full menu and bar (which, btw, there is a 2 drink or 1 entree minimum per person; we had drinks and dessert).
Playing that night was Strunz & Farah: an acoustic duo from Costa Rica and Iran, respectively, and who–might I add–killed it. Their improvisational style merged Latin American, Afro-Caribbean, and Middle Eastern sounds. I haven’t used the term “amazeballs” in a really long time, but I’ll break my streak and tell ya it was amazeballs (I’m actually listening to them as I write this). As far as the food and drink was concerned, the tiramisu was exceptional. I wasn’t too impressed with their cocktails, however.
Next, it was on to Hamburger Mary’s.
We’ve been wanting to go to the location in Long Beach after our friend Veronica raved about the drag shows there, but haven’t made it out there just yet. For my birthday, however, we did make it to the Backwoods Barbie Drag Show at the West Hollywood location. By the time we got there the place was almost full, so we had to sit in two separate booths in the back, but it was actually more fun that way. We were able to goof off and chill without having to be completely engaged in the show. If we had been sitting closer to the stage, one of those queens would’ve called us out for not paying attention.
The show was awesome, though! And hilarious. Including the part where I had to dance on stage with the stripper pole because it was my birthday. I was mad that Melo and the others made me go up there, but it was all in good fun. The drinks were on point and we ordered some nachos as well to snack on. Our waiter was awesome and so buff I thought his shirt sleeves were going to rip like that scene in “Twins” where Arnold rests his arm on the car door and his sleeve rips in half from bicep to shoulder.
It was an amazing birthday celebration after having traveled all day on my actual birthday (thanks, babe!). And if you’re looking to kick it with some awesome jazz or campy drag show, now you know where.
Enjoy the photos!