Here’s a random photo from our Istria page of our Croatia photo album.
Here’s a random photo from our Istria page of our Croatia photo album.
Here’s a random photo from our Plitvice Lakes page of our Croatia photo album:
It’s no accident that the Laugh Factory is one of the only places that you can find household name comedians performing short 15 minute sets in between concert appearances or TV specials.
The Laugh Factory books the best talent and sells out almost every weekend night show. For travelers, the Laugh Factory is recommended because during any of the All-Star Comedy shows, you are almost sure to see someone you recognize or have heard before. If you only have one night to invest in seeing stand-up, the Laugh Factory is your best bet. It’s a bit more expensive than the other venues in town, but like everything in life, you get what you pay for (and then you have to buy two drinks).
Jamie Masada owns the Laugh Factory and runs the nightly shows on the Sunset Strip. The Laugh Factory opened in West Hollywood in 1979 and rumor has it that Richard Pryor was the first to perform on the stage. Rumor also has it that when Masada tried to pay Pryor for the performance, Pryor instead gave Masada a hundred dollar bill and said, “You’re going to need it.”
Now, the Laugh Factory runs shows every night of the week and two or three on the weekends. They also do a comic camp in the summer for kids and every Tuesday there is an open mic night and comedy showcase for new talent trying to earn a spot in the regular rotation.
Sign ups for the open mics start at 5:00 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30. Comedy for the open mics is limited to clean, “TV friendly” material and is regulated by a host.
The Laugh Factory is located at 8001 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90046. Parking is extremely tight around the Laugh Factory and the best option is to carpool and split the cost of the valet. Parking can be found in the neighborhood to the east, but the parking laws are extremely strict and cars do get towed. If you do park among the houses read the parking signs carefully.
Shows are 18 and over and the cover charge is generally $20. There is also a two drink minimum for every show. Drinks run between $6.50 and $8.
Some call Porec a resort town, but the truth is, there are only a few places to stay within the little town of 12,000. Most of the tourism takes place in the outlying areas, where travelers find places to stay in the rooms for rent among the villagers and spend the nights in the quiet countryside.
Porec sits on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula, far enough north that it escapes the summer heat that descends on the rest of the Dalmatian coast. Porec instead receives cooler summer weather that makes for easy days and pleasant nights all summer long.
Porec is also one of the few Croatian towns that receives winter tourism. Travelers from Italy, Slovenia and Austria come through Porec to tour the natural scenery and to experience the local coastal vibe. Porec used to be part of Italy, the language is still spoken there and much of the signage is still in Italian. Porec, however, is part of Croatia and not yet on the Euro monetary system. To vacation there is cheaper than going over to Italy, so Porec attracts some of the travelers from Europe on weekend trips away from home or vacationers on a tight budget.
Porec is also an easy destination if you just want to jump into Croatia on your way to somewhere else. It’s closeness to rail lines and transport centers that connect with the rest of Europe make it an easy stop for those just passing through and want to get a feel for Croatia or say that they were there.
If you’re stay in Porec is limited by time, the one thing you must see is the Euphrasian Basilica. Named a UNESCO World Heritage sight, the basilica contains unparalleled Byzantine artwork and mosaics for travelers to marvel at. Most of the mosaics are over 1,500 years old and there is evidence of a construction of a similar Basilica on the same land before this one was finished in the 4th century. That ancient building is no longer standing, but it is still quite a rush to think that thousands of years ago, someone stood right where you stand and appreciated works of art tin exactly the same way.
Ask any of the locals in Split. Fife (FEE-fay) is the quintessential konoba in Dalmatia’s largest city. The word konoba means ‘cellar’ in Dalmatian dialect, and since many small taverns began operating in family wine cellars, the term is used also to refer to casual dining and drinking establishments where traditional home cooking is all you’ll find. At Fife, you’ll find the requisite assortment of expertly grilled fish, meat and sausages along with a vast array of saucy braised meats, pastas, risottos, vegetables and sides. Order the traditional Dalmatian pot roast known as pašticada (pahsh-tee-TSAH-dah) with a side of potato gnocchi. You won’t be able to stop thinking about it for a week. If you have room for dessert there’s a variety of filled palačinke (pah-lah-CHEEN-keh, meaning ‘pancakes’) and a daily torte available.
All in all, the focus is on fresh ingredients prepared simply and traditionally, and Fife’s prices can’t be beat. For these reasons and others, it’s a unanimous favorite with families and senior Dalmatians in Split. Seating on the small terrace is accented by soft breezes that rattle nearby palms and carry whiffs of rosemary and lavender from the promenade. The sound of a busy Dalmatian harbor in late afternoon is all the music needed to complete the atmosphere, but if you opt to sit inside you’ll be serenaded by songbirds in hanging cages.
Located at the north end of the promenade in Split, Fife often does a brisk business during the high season. The waiters sometimes look as if they’re about to lose their minds (it’s part of the place’s charm), but food always arrives swiftly, without a hitch and served with a smile. The dress code is whatever you’re wearing, portions are generous, prices are reasonable, and reservations are hardly required. A short list of soft drinks, beers and Croatian wines is a more than adequate selection of liquid accompaniment.
Buffet Fife – Trumbićeva obala 11, Split
tel: +385 (0)21 345 233
About the writer:
John J. Goddard is an independent writer and veteran culinary professional. He has lived in Zagreb and on the Dalmatian coast, and travelled extensively throughout the republic. John is currently at work on a Dalmatian cookbook and a non-fictional account of his experiences as an expatriate chef in Croatia. He publishes DalmatianCooking.com and a few other blogs.
Here’s a random photo from our Boats and Beaches page of our Croatia photo album:
Here’s a random photo from our Istria page of our Croatia photo album:
If you’re looking for more than a snack, but not quite a full-blown meal in the center of Zagreb, Mimice (MEE-mee-tseh, meaning ‘things overlooked or hidden’) may be just the place for you. Set into the foundation of Ulica Nikole Jurišića 21, this mom-and-pop fish house is just a few blocks east of the main square. The selection of fried Adriatic fish, potatoes and a few simple vegetable dishes is offered a la carte, which makes the unpretentious hideaway ideal for those who enjoy sampling from one another’s plates. Service is cafeteria-style. Simply walk up to the counter, tell the lady in the hair net what you’d like, then pay for it (in cash) at the cash register.
You might expect a destination that has blossomed into one of the world’s top tourism destinations so quickly to have a widespread competition for tourist dollars taking place throughout the city. Nightclubs should be popping up all over the place and the nightlife should diffuse and spread around to many neighborhoods.
That is not the case in Dubrovnik. Like it’s New Orleans cousin, Dubrovnik’s “Bourbon Street” has packed most of the city’s bars and clubs into that section of town and the nightlife runs wild late into hot, summer nights. Hotels and hostels advertise how close they are to Bourbon Street on fliers and other advertisements and the marketing does bring in guests looking for pub crawls and dance clubs to wander between all night.
Bourbon Street is unmarked and if you don’t know where to go, finding it can be an intimidating task, especially in a foreign country. The real name of the street is Bana Jelacica but, no one knows that, and if you follow the tide of youngish looking people at night in the summer you’ll probably find it. If you ask someone, they’ll most certainly know what and where it is.
Bars along Bourbon Street allow casual attire and few have a prohibitive dress code of any kind. There are places that you’ll feel out of place in flip flops, but generally you’ll not get thrown out or denied entrance. Cover charges average about 20 kuna, but many come with a free drink once you’re inside and drink specials are designed to keep you well lubed and enjoying yourself.
At this point there aren’t a ton of hostels in Los Angeles, but if the worldwide trend continues here, it won’t be long before more open their doors. Many Americans are still unfamiliar with the concept of hostels, but that is definitely changing. The other major trend on the worldwide hostels scene is that more hostels are adding more private rooms to their dorm setups, and this will definitely help more Americans get on board.
When you are searching for hostels you’ll discover that virtually every booking site has the exact same hostels at the exact same prices. In a way this is good, since it means it’s almost impossible to get ripped off when booking a hostel. But this might also make people think all the sites are otherwise the same, even though they aren’t.
Some hostel-booking sites have helpful maps of the area and others have good travel guide information that helps first-time visitors decide which parts of the city are best to stay in. You can’t trust all the boastful claims about each hostel because they are usually written by the hostel itself (or at least someone working there, probably not the building doing the writing). But the hostel-booking sites do each add value so you should check them out and decide which appeals to you.
For your convenience, here are some of the major hostel-booking sites that cover Los Angeles: