Have you ever heard of a restaurant so trendy and stylized and cool, with so many unfamiliar, innovative (and sometimes bizarre) combinations of foods, that you don't think there's any way that someone with relatively mainstream tastes (the manfriend jokes that I think an artichoke is a meal) and who wears jeans and the same Sam Edelman flats to work could possibly fit in or, daresay, enjoy it? Enter: Sqirl.
Now, most of you probably know that I enjoy myself a cup of fancy coffee. And, embarrassingly enough, you've probably deduced as well that I love visiting new foodie spots and reporting back, instagramming a pic or two (or ten), and humble-brag-ing a bit about the general atmosphere in which I drank my $6 latte (or ate my fancy pizza, or falafel, etc etc.)
That said, I am usually still comfortable even when I know I am the most stereotypical white girl in that spot. I readily admit my love of pumpkin spice lattes and I don't know what any member of Mumford & Sons looks like beyond "beardy."
However, there occasionally arises a time when I feel oh so very "unhip," and it helps a great deal to have additional support to ensure any judgment from the locals is limited and goes relatively unnoticed.
...What am I talking about, you ask? I'm talking about my silly friends who make any excursion fun and lighthearted, even if we're not the coolest kids around:
Be forewarned: the wait at Sqirl is not prohibitive, but you will probably want to wear comfortable shoes. We were luckier than all get out that we found 6 seats inside, together, as there is very limited seating including the small outdoor patio.
We waited some time to order at the cashier and took our numbers to our seats to await the cadre of delicacies ordered...
I, typically, paparazzied the wait.
Our dishes came out several at a time, and we happily shared with one another as we tried to determine exactly what it was we were eating.
I believe the below is some kind of berry cake, topped with strawberries and raspberries. It was so good we couldn't wait to begin picking it apart...
I got the (amazing) (delicious) (inimitable) Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl with poached egg, feta, and watermelon radish shown above, as did many of our group.
Freyan ordered the Crispy Rice Salad Bowl with avocado...
...and we made extra sure (like, several people reminding others who were ordering, several times) to get one of the Famed Ricotta Toast. Yes, famed is in the name.
This luxurious toast may not be the most instagrammable item (it's mushiness causes some lighting problems) but damn is it delicious. Rich ricotta (my favorite cheese!) slathered on a thick cut piece of beautiful brioche, and topped with tart berry jam for an extra kick - could breakfast get any better?
We also ordered the poppy seed loaf, seen way way above, and many variants of caffeine. We had a big day planned!
Yes, we just had coffee. But a) you can never have too much coffee, please repeat that to yourselves until it sinks in, and b) it was a convenient (and super-chic) meeting spot for our mini-tour of Silverlake.
Intelligentsia is perched right next to several adorable shops, including Clementine Floral Works (where we saw these stupendous succulents!) and Cheese Store of Silverlake, which I still regret not exploring further.
We also ventured out for some window-shopping, like at Mohawk General Store...
...where everything was amazingly stylized and a wee bit out of my price range.
(Freyan, I still think you should have bought that one dress!)
When our tootsies had had enough, we made our way back to the cars at Intelligentsia and agreed to reconvene later at the hotel for pre-dinner drinks and preparations. Read: girl time.
But before that, Freyan, Rachel and I decided to have some swim time at the pool!
Unfortunately, we were obviously not the only geniuses with this game plan for a sunny Saturday afternoon on Memorial Day.
The pool area, while just as small as any rooftop pool in a metropolitan area, was packed with a total scene of twenty-somethings. From the girl in a one piece wearing a large gold necklace, to the man in a speedo with gold-emblazoned eyeglasses, to the twin-like ladies in bikinis covered just as heavily in tattoos, to the bros taking over an entire lounge-couch in their matching swim trunks, there was nary a section of the rooftop that wasn't primed for people watching.
We perched on the near side of the pool (seen above) until a couple of lounges opened up for us to conquer. Rachel returned to the room for some sketching, while Freyan and I caught up on family, relationships, work, and matters of state.
Just kidding on that last part.
We also ordered a mid-afternoon snack to tide us over until our late dinner at L&E Oyster Bar. Freyan, Sherri, and I shared the tuna tartare and the grilled cheese with an afternoon glass of vino.
Eventually, as the sun set behind our lounge chairs, we made our way back to the room to begin primping for our Big Night Out.
We popped another bottle of champagne, consulted on outfits, and danced along to all the top 40s in our iPhone-possession until it was time to cram ourselves in an Uber for the ride across town to dinner. They say that traveling with someone is a great way to get to know them, and it's even truer for traveling with dear old friends.