Friday, March 30, 2012

The Points Guy: Destination of the Week Series, Barbados

For The Points Guy Destination of the Week this time around, we headed to a Caribbean island I was lucky enough to visit last December: Barbados.

There are plenty of elements that set this island apart from others in the Caribbean, including the fact that there are few chain hotels--but that doesn't mean you can't earn and burn your points both getting here and staying in a fantastic resort, and there are plenty of options for visitors who want to sit on a beach and those who want a more active getaway alike.

To find out more about this special place and all the things to see, do and enjoy there, take a look at the piece at the link below.

Link: http://thepointsguy.com/2012/03/destination-of-the-week-barbados/

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

LA Confidential Magazine: Hotel Hot Spots

The other piece I wrote for the March issue of LA Confidential was about the city's hottest hotel bars, a topic that combines my love of food and spirits with my passion for travel--even if it is just to some of the best hotels right here in the city.

You'll find a lot of the usual suspects on this list including the Chateau Marmont, the Sunset Tower (pictured above), Bar 1200 at the Sunset Marquis, Library Bar at the Roosevelt and Cameo Bar at the Viceroy, as well as a few more far-flung choices like the newly renovated bar at the Hotel Bel-Air, High at the Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach and Windows Lounge at the Four Seasons. All in all, it's a pretty well rounded list with plenty of options for everyone--whether you like fine wines or hand-crafted cocktails, quiet wood-paneled power dens or breezy rooftop redoubts. Cheers!

Link: http://la-confidential-magazine.com/dining/articles/las-most-exclusive-hotel-hot-spots

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Frontiers: Rosa Mexicano

Just another straight-up restaurant review for Frontiers, this time, the latest installment of Rosa Mexicano--a national chain of upscale Mexican cantinas--that landed on the Sunset Strip.

Definitely go for the guacamole and the cadillac margarita if you know what's good for you, and don't expect just normal old enchiladas and burritos. The men here is more refined and includes duck flautas, ahi ceviche and a delicious take on cochinita pibil with the house specialty mole.

To read the whole review, check this link: http://www.frontiersla.com/Nightlife/Restaurants/Story.aspx?ID=1667867

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Points Guy: Destination of the Week Series, Montreal


Brian used to travel to Montreal all the time as a recruiter for Morgan Stanley, so the city has a special place in his heart--and mine as well since I used to spend holidays with family in the city and surrounding countryside.

So for this week's Destination of the Week on The Points Guy, we decided to talk about this
North American metropolis with a cosmopolitan European flair to it that seems to enchant every traveler who stays here along the banks of the St. Lawrence River, wanders the lanes of Vieux Montreal, and dines in some of the funky fine-dining destination restaurants while enjoying any of the myriad festivals that take place here throughout the year. In fact, just talking about it makes me want to head there for a visit right now!

Good thing I've already looked into all the frequent flyer miles options for getting there and staying in the numerous hotels that will earn you points, or let you use them for free night redemptions.

Bon voyage!

Link: http://thepointsguy.com/2012/03/destination-of-the-week-montreal/

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Points Guy: Destination of the Week Series, Dublin


For our next Destination of the Week on The Points Guy, we chose to travel to the Emerald Isle for a St. Patty's Day preview of how to get to Dublin using airline miles, where to stay using hotel points, and all the fun things you can do with the money you saved getting and staying there--including lots of pints of Guinness, and a musical pub crawl or two.

Sure and begorrah, it'll be a fine way to honor St. Patrick himself!

Link: http://thepointsguy.com/2012/03/st-pattys-day-destination-of-the-week-dublin-ireland/

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Frontiers: Il Covo

For my next review in Frontiers, I cover a spot that took over an LA classic (Orso) and converted it into a cozy little den (hence the name) that serves up Italian comfort food. Though the indoor dining room is just plain lovely and atmospheric and romantic, the outdoor patio is gorgeous with lanterns strung from the trees and a roaring fireplace. You really can't go wrong wherever you sit.

My other note of advice: order the gnocchi special if it's available the evening you go in. You won't regret it. To read about what else I ate and what the place looks like these days, check out my full review at the link below.

Link: http://www.frontiersla.com/Nightlife/Restaurants/Story.aspx?ID=1662016

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Points Guy: Destination of the Week Series, Buenos Aires


For this week's Destination of the Week on The Points Guy, we decided to go a bit more exotic and hit a city south of the equator for the first time as we head to one of my favorite spots (and the first I ever wrote about professionally!): Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In fact, it's kind of funny that we came to BsAs for this piece, because it has been my best points-using story up till now: I flew from LA to New York, stopover for a week, then down to Buenos Aires for a month, then back directly to LA via Dallas. All for 40,000 AAdvantage miles and $52 in taxes!

That's why I could spend my money doing some of the fun stuff I outline in the piece...in fact, I think I might consider heading back there soon now that I know about all the awesome places I can stay using my hotel points! Take a look for yourself at the link below.

Link: http://thepointsguy.com/2012/03/destination-of-the-week-buenos-aires-argentina/

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

JustLuxe: New LA Restaurants March 2012

Time for another roundup of new restaurants I'm dying to try around Los Angeles on JustLuxe. This month, there are a bunch of great new openings that have me excited including Artisan House, Blue Cow Kitchen (from the Mendocino Farms team) and Baco Mercat (from the Lazy Ox Canteen guy) downtown plus a noodle bar of all things at the Millennium Biltmore, and then Tar and Roses from one of my favorite LA chefs, Andrew Kirschner (formerly of Wilshire), in Santa Monica, plus a few others.

Check out the full piece on JustLuxe at the link below.

Link: http://www.justluxe.com/lifestyle/dining/feature-1734797.php

Monday, March 5, 2012

LA Confidential Magazine: Spring Dishes in LA

This was a fun piece to write as spring (finally!) approaches. I reached out to chefs around town to find out what would be in their kitchens over the coming season, and found mouthwatering dishes await at some of my favorite places like Eva, Hatfield's, Lucques, Savory and Wilshire, as well as new restos including Caulfield's and Livello.

Lots of spring peas, asparagus, corn, lemon and other tongue-tingling delights. To read the full list and see some of the dishes, read on at the link below.

Link: http://la-confidential-magazine.com/dining/articles/serving-up-spring

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Points Guy: Destination of the Week Series, Austin


In honor of South by Southwest, we decided to head to Austin for this week's Destination of the Week. I, personally, have never been to the capital of Texas, but I've been dying to for a few years now, and researching this piece has only made me want to go even more. If just for some fabulous barbecue and outdoor activities, plus some great indie music.

If I play my points right, I might just make it there after all. See how you can, too, by checking out the latest Destination of the Week on The Points Guy at the link below.

Link: http://thepointsguy.com/2012/03/destination-of-the-week-austin-texas/