Black Book: Upper East Side

My first time staying on the Upper East Side in over a decade! It is such a different vibe from downtown but every bit as fun.  Think more young families in matching sweaters and less crackheads waking up at noon.  I LOVE the Surrey Hotel for its proximity to the park and the most heavenly bed i have ever slept in.  This trip was unusual because we were so busy exploring our new neighborhood that we didn't even have time to shop! 

**click on the pics for more info**

A night in Del Mar

In the interest of budget and overall liver health, we decided to do Del Mar in an overnight trip. My journey began on the amtrack surfliner at 9am from Santa Barbara. I recommend taking the train to the del mar track for the following reasons:

  1. The solana beach stop drops you directly at the track
  2. Enjoy an adult beverage and/or catch up on work while you travel
  3. it is gorgeous! the train track takes you along the beach for some dramatic beach scenery
  4. check out the free snack bag i got when i upgraded to a business seat ($47)
  5. There are serious characters on the train. Old Ladies who think they are southern royalty and a middle aged man fondling a married couple are some of who i encountered.

I was more interested in what was going on around the racetrack than the horse race itself. The track is dramatic and when you combine that with a sunset over the ocean and hot air balloons floating in the hills it feels like a disneylandish dream.

By the time we got inside the restaurants were closed and people were drunk.  It was not the elegant affair I had imagined. This was a friday night scene. Not the sunday brunch you read about in vogue.  I got some wings which were actually really good and a huge "Del Margarita".  I bet it all on the margarita. This margarita ($20) could be a game changer... but it was gross. So gross that I begged the bar tender to re make it. twice.  It never got any better. My advice is to sneak your own booze unless you enjoy simple well drinks.

For our hotel, I used the Hotel Tonight app and selected the Winner's Circle Resort based on price ($130) and reviews.  This hotel is a great deal. Our room was large and updated.  The hotel is across the street from the race track's stables and next door to my new favorite restaurant/bar/lounge Red Tracton's. Red Tracton's turned out to be one of the coolest, chillest party scenes I have ever come across. A true mix of people from surf bum to the carls jr bikini girl. Everyone is having a great time drinking and cavorting between the restaurants many different rooms.

this trip was a huge success mostly due to the proximity of our hotel to the track and red tracton's.  i will definitely do this trip again and hopefully peep the weekend daytime crowd.

On our way home we stopped at my #1 instagram stalking foodporn restaurant Searsucker.  It was a super cute space with a huge wrap around bar and a koi pond outside.  This place looks like it gets GOING at night.  We loved our cobb salads and check out my bloody mary!!

download Hotel Tonight in the app store and use my discount code LSADEL for $25 off!


margarita guide

30 of my favorites 'ritas in no particular order