I once knew a girl who told me that the prime reason she chose to attend UCLA over USC was the fact that the Bruins get to kick it in a much cooler neighborhood than the Trojans. I used to think that was shallow, but maybe she was right. The Westside is stacked with a ton of cool spots for UCLA students to hang out and unwind. For those who want a little taste of “The Hills,” the W Hotel (930 Hilgard Ave., Westwood; 310-208-8765) is a chic and trendy spot to do your best LC or Audrina impersonation. In the summer, you can sit and enjoy cocktails or a nice meal on the patio as you covertly send cell phone shots of all the hot celebrities you’ve spotted to your friends. Or, hit up Nine Thirty for some sexy, sultry nightlife. If exotic flavor is more your thing, then grab your crew and head over to the Habibi Cafe (923 Broxton Ave., Westwood Village; habibicafe.com). Here, you can suck on a hookah pipe while flirting with all the rich hippies in the area. Escapism, L.A. style! Love to chug brewskis? You’re in good company. Drinking beers is a rite of passage when it comes to the college experience. That’s why the Westwood Brewing Company (1097 Glendon Ave., Westwood; thebrewco.net) is so spectacular. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., offering patrons half off all beer. Yep. Cheap beers. This is also a great place for catching the game – in the event that you can’t make it in person. As popular as the WBC is, you’re liable to run into a ton of people you know! UCLA is home to one of the greatest film schools in the nation. To all the dreamers out there who love to escape through the majesty of cinema, head over to the Crest Theatre (1262 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; westwoodcrest.com). This legendary movie house is similar to the Eastside’s Vista Theatre; it’s grand on the inside and beautifully decorated. Sit back and enjoy new releases in the lap of luxury – as opposed to cramming into a crowded multiplex. Occasionally, you and your friends will want to venture away from some of the same old hangouts and try something new. Nearby Santa Monica is perfect for that. Located just down the way from Westwood Village is Temple Bar (610 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica; 310-393-6611). Greats like Cody ChesnuTT and Floetry have performed here. And it’s no wonder. The atmosphere when you walk through the doors is relaxed and incredibly sensual. Temple Bar has great drinks, an inexpensive menu and promises a ton of fun. Southern transplants now have a place to call their very own. It’s South (3001 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; southsantamonica.com). This bar has one of the most killer menus in town. Feast on fried green tomatoes and crawfish popcorn while watching the game on any of the plasma TVs overhead. South is nicely priced for students – the majority of the menu items are under $15. If you’ve never had soul food or southern cuisine, then now is the time to develop a taste for it. Finally, you can get a great slice at Frankie & Johnnie’s NY Pizza (8947 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; frankie-johnniesnypizza.com). All you have to do is travel down Sunset Boulevard to this renowned eatery. The Sunset strip used to be a hotbed for sin and fun (think of it as the Echo Park or Silver Lake of the 1960s-1990s). However, it still has its charms. F & J’s is a fun spot to do lunch or to chill in between classes. The slices are tasty and flavorful and, well, it’s pizza. It’s pretty difficult to screw that up!
Blogs: Fun for Less
How Bruins Get Their 'Chill-On'
By Ebony March
Article posted on 6/15/2009
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