A friend of mine called me this morning sounding very desperate. He sounded like he’d committed some terrible crime. I asked him what the hell was his problem and he told me that he got a girl’s number. She was a very beautiful girl, he said. In fact, she could be one of the great ones.
“That’s great! So what’s the problem?”
“Our first real date is this Friday.”
“Oh ok. Sorry, I still don’t see the problem.”
“I don’t know where the hell to take her, man.”
“I’m new to this city, after all. And it’s not like I’m rollin in the Benjamins.”
“No of course not.”
“Do you any good spots around town? Unique spots? Maybe places that not everyone knows about. And also of course, not too pricey.”
I had to think about it for a second, but eventually I was able to think of a few.
10. Crave Cafe, Sherman Oaks
A well-known spot amongst the younger crowds living in the valley, Crave is frequently jam-packed with all sorts of film students, musicians, young writers— and, oh right, actors—living anywhere from Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys to Studio City and Burbank.
I’ve never seen it not busy. So, if you’re looking for heavy atmosphere complemented by good, cheap food and even better cups of coffee—big cups which have always been refillable at no charge whenever I’ve been there—then this place is worth checking out. That being said, sometimes it can get loud, even too loud to hear the pretty girl speaking to you from across the table. So try and grab a table outside where it’s a bit more quiet.
It’s also worth mentioning that the cafe is open 24 hours, even though you probably won’t be bringing her out at 3 in the morning.
9. Runyon Canyon, Hollywood
You won’t spend a dime, unless its a dollar at the front gate for a water bottle or a Cliff Bar. There’s no attendant on site and so the powers-that-be are essentially trusting you to throw in a buck for the food. Do it. Be a good guy.
That being said, admission to the park is free and the hike up Runyon Canyon offers an unbeatable view of Hollywood, with the skyline of downtown Los Angles in the background.
The hike itself takes more or less about an hour, and there are two paths you can take which are most commonly known simply as the hard one and the easy one.
Now unless she’s an athlete or frequently hiking, or if she’s only going out with you because she forgot to squeeze in her work-out that day, it’s probably best to stick to the easy path. It’s more casual and better suited to getting to know someone.