Thursday, October 2, 2008

creating taste memories: American Girl Café

creating the setting with pretty bows + detailed ambiance throughout.........

Last summer while visiting in southern California, I took my girls out to lunch at the American Girl Cafe in Los Angeles.

Yes, I said last summer, so this is a back-logged post soooo long overdue!

We had scheduled to spend the afternoon with Grandma and Auntie but due to some last minute travel issues they were not able to join us. Fortunately, we were still able to have a *girls day out* on a wonderful sunny southern California afternoon.

Ahhhhhhhh, so nice to be without humidity for awhile.

dessert first concept: toasty warm miniature cinnamon rolls were served upon arrival

The American Girl Place is located inside The Grove shopping area located adjacent to my favorite Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax.

So much to say here about all this.

First off, the American Girl Place is just plain HUGE.

Downstairs is a shop with the variety American Girl dolls displayed plus their outfits, toys and other accessories.

Yes......accessories and lots of it. This store; namely this brand teaches young girls to accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. Learning about accessories at a young age may be quite harmful, don't you think? Especially to the gullible parent(s) involved.

He he....

There is also a beauty salon downstairs where the dolls can get their battered faces, eschewed and entwined knotty hair refreshed and revitalized.

Ooooh and did I mention ear piercing? Yes, ear piercing for the earrings, earring sets and more accessories.

Upstairs, there are more dolls, more clothes and more accessories. There is also a doll museum. My girls loved the doll museum.

The cafe is located upstairs as well. You can traipse through the store and do a bit of damage before you finally hit the cafe.

sparkling apple cider with Samantha.........

You MUST make reservations at the cafe. This is a highly coveted experience.

My brother told me about this place. He said he had never been inside, but the last time he was at The Grove he said he *saw kids looking through the store window and salivating*

We arrived, checked in and were given a place number. We browsed until the doors were open for our allotted time span to *lunch*. There was a HUGE mob at the door. It reminded me of trying to get into a stadium of a rock concert or sports event (my brief mention about sports here). I haven't been to a sports event since leaving California.......another story.

Everyone was being quite pleasant though. I did have thoughts that kept rewinding forward from months back of a stage mom shoving me aside while I was walking up the stairs to get seats in the theatre to for my daughter's ballet recital.

Motherhood can be quite intense.

I am trying to go with the flow.......really.

So about The Grove.

The Grove is a pleasant outdoor shopping mall, complete with water fountains, shady sitting areas and lots of decadent shops.

There is even a movie theatre embedded in between which I just adore. The movie theatre located within the hub of shops, restaurants and other activities is such a southern California concept I have surely missed. Many movie theatres or lets say ALL the movie theatres on the east side of the coast where I live near now are stand alones.

My kids gotta kick out of the movie theatres in the midst of shops and community-centric activities. This is from a consumer + marketing p.o.v thought - but I do relish the thought of urban-centric gathering areas especially in such a spread out community as Los Angeles.

Speaking of community, this brings me to the Farmer's Market I just adore.

all the girls were given a tea set + plate for their dolls to use during lunch.

The vintage farmer's market is in walking distance and a must see. I love it's old world charm, diverse ethnic pace and the ease emanated by the visitors gathered to share a moment in time together.

Really good nachos too.........

Kit enjoying cheeseburger + curly fries

dessert trio: chocolate mousse, sugar cookie with white frosting + pink sprinkles, heart shaped white cake.....

check out the grand total: $1400 for apple bubbly, burgers, salad + pasta. Wwwwwwhhhhaattt?

Okay.......the food at the cafe wasn't anything to write home about. I was biting my lip as our lunch arrived. I don't know why, but I immediately thought of Sisco and Aramark.

Then I decided to think forward. The farmer's market perhaps later. Nachos perhaps if I had any funds left over from this decadent lunch.

((( s i g h )))

But wait.....when I received the bill for our girls' lunch out, I nearly dropped when I saw the $1401.00 tallied on the receipt.

Geez, talk about snafus.

When I brought it to my server's attention she thought I was trying to get out on a bill until she caught sight of what I was talking about.

It was pleasantly corrected and I was able to breathe again.

stick on pedicures ~ lovely way to end the day


Nicole said...

Cute post! My mom has been saying that she wanted to go up with all the girl grandchildren. There are 5 of them but the youngest 2 probably wouldn't care about it yet. I KNOW Danielle would just love it!!! I have to do it soon.

That is soooo funny about your bill!

Anonymous said...

OMG I have seen this now several times and blogs and I know if I had a little girl we would SO be there! Awesome!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great tme was had by one and all. Glad you got the bill corrected!!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

I think there's an American Girl Place in NYC too. I've never been into dolls, even as a little girl, but looks like a cute place to take my niece.

Thistlemoon said...

Oh my gosh! I would have been freaking out if I saw that bill! LOL! So glad it was a snafu!

Glad you enjoyed a lunch date out with our girls and their girls! :)

Simply...Gluten-free said...

I would have fainted if I had gotten that bill. For that kind of money I had better be drinking something more than apple juice! Glad it was a mistake. I miss the Grove. I used to live in West Hollywood and I just loved to spend a Sunday there.

taste memory said...

nicole ~ it would definitely be a fun afternoon! lotsa of eye candy there for the girls - hold onto your checkbook! aaahhhh ~

noble pig ~ It was a bit overwhelming walking through - but the best part of it (at least I thought) was the doll museum displaying all the dolls in historical/present day back drop. I think they have *boy* dolls - yea right! boys r too much fun too!

halloween girl ~ thanks for dropping by ;-)

jessica ~ definitely a fun place...the more the merrier. but as I said *food* was not anything to brag about, maybe nyc has a better menu

jennDz ~ I did have a slight anxiety chilling freak out when I FIRST saw the bill! In the back of my mind I recalled I had asked for an extra napkin(which comes with the bow tie ponytail holder) plus something I thought they might have charged me an arm + leg!

simply gluten free ~ yea like French Champagne with 24K gold flecks right!?! Hi Calif girl!

Pandalicious said...

wow! thats a huge total.. glad they were able to correct it for you.

Unknown said...

oh gosh! i was shocked when i saw the numbers too!

annechovie said...

Great post and your daughters are adorable! My niece is in love with the American Girls Collection and my little sister used to have Samantha - great concept for little girls and I am sure they make a mint.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

Geez, you'da thunk they put diamonds in your drinks.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

My daughter would have loved this place when she was young..she was such a "girlie girl"...what a special place where everything is geared to them:D

taste memory said...

pandalicious ~ hello + welcome! yea mega surprise on that bill....

mocha rita ~ totally freaked, my head was spinning

annechovie ~ really, am sure they are living pretty large now....

nate n' annie ~ hi sweets!

bellini valli ~ yes, overall it was a fun time and special afternoon out for the girls. It reminded me of the traditional tea rooms they have for ladies...but this one fully equipped with dolls + girly things. Isn't fun having girly girls!?

Lori Lynn said...

Way. Too. Cute.

I live in LA, you have reminded me that I have got to get to the farmers' market with my new camera :)