Monday, November 24, 2008

Girls' Night Out: Father's Office & Ugo Wine Bar

Since it's my roommates and my last year of college, we decided to make a list of everything we absolutely must do before we graduate. Things that we've wanted to do since freshman year, but just haven't found the time. Things that we're old enough to do, now that we're all 21. Things that anyone and everyone living in Los Angeles should do at least once. So, now that our time together is quickly approaching (sadly), we're going to do it all!

Having a burger and a beer at Father's Office was one of the first things on our list, so last weekend, we went out for a much-needed girls' night. And, in an effort to cross everything off the College To-Do List as efficiently as possible, we looked up the closest wine bar in the area. We found Ugo, an elegant yet unpretentious wine bar with plenty of delicious choices.

Father's Office is a bar with two locations (Santa Monica and Culver City) that's famous for its wide selection of beers on tap - there are probably about 30 at any given time. When we arrived at the Culver City Office for a late dinner, we were quickly ushered inside by a bouncer who first asked, "Have you been here before? (Yes for Emily and Christina, no for Jamie and me) Do you know how this works? Order at the bar, no waiters, seat yourself." We all ordered the famous Office Burger, and each got a different beer (after sampling a few each). Then came the daunting task of finding a table for four. We did a few laps around the restaurant, and decided that the picnic-type tables on the patio were our best bet. When Christina got her food and was worried she'd have to eat it standing up, we decided to get a little more aggressive and ask to share one of the tables. Fortunately, the people we asked were really nice and we squished in next to them (we paid it forward at the end of our meal when another group asked to sit down at our table)!

Jamie and me

Emily and Christina

Our burgers, hailed as the "best in Los Angeles" by many credible sources, were incredible, if a little expensive (around $12). Topped with blue and gruyere cheeses, carmelized onions, and arugula, this burger is the definition of gourmet. Yum! Unfortunately, I couldn't get a decent picture with the dim lighting. Personally, I thought the garlic fries were a little disappointing, but others thought they were fantastic. These fries were very thin and crunchy; I like mine a little meatier. The garlic aioli dip served on the side was tasty, but rich.

Our beers of choice, light to dark

A close-up of my beer... I forget the name!

After dinner and a beer, we took a cab less than a mile to Ugo Wine Bar. Once there, we loaded up "wine cards" at the bar with $10. With a wide selection of wines from all over the world, you can use your card to sample an ounce of wine from a bottle under nitrogen pressure. Each bottle of wine is marked with a different price per ounce, ranging from less than a dollar to over twenty dollars (yikes!). We were all able to sample about four different wines that caught our eye. It's a really fun idea for low-maintenance wine tasting with friends (or on a date!).

Wine dispenser, presented by Christina the hand model

Emily and Jamie

Me and Christina

My glass of wine and wine card

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