Looking to buy an experience
December 19, 2007 10:38 PM   Subscribe

Help me find an hour or two of extravagance in Los Angeles

My Mom is on the frugal side, mostly out of necessity. I'm going to be visiting her soon, but just for a couple days. I'd like to treat her to an "experience" while I'm there that is a tiny bit on the extravagant side. She's lived in L.A. for decades, but likely hasn't spent more than $30 bucks on a meal the whole time she's been there. (I don't think that's unusual or anything! but just to reinforce the idea she doesn't spend much, even on special occasions)...
Now, when I say extravagant, I'm not talking crazy...I'm talking about spending a couple hundred bucks on something a bit decadent, that she would never do for herself. It should be something we can do together (i'm a guy, if that matters), and the emphasis should be on an experience. I'd love it to be memorable for her, above all else.

She's not a spa person (and let's face it, neither am I) but something like a day in a desert spa wouldn't be *too* far from the mark, but not quite right either. A helicopter ride? She doesn't like to fly, but that is at least meeting a couple of the criteria.

Oh, and while I appreciate the sentiment, please don't suggest saving the money and going for a walk in the park. In this particular case, that's not the point. I want it to cost a few bucks, just because I'm lucky enough to be able to blow a few bucks on my Mom!

Thanks so much! And I'll watch the thread to answer questions. I know I haven't given much of an idea about the kind of stuff she likes, but that's because I'd love to hear a range of ideas.
posted by Ziggurat to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are there touristy things you can do? For me, I never do those kinds of things where I live until someone else visits.

Also, this blog seems to have some cool things to do in LA.
posted by lockestockbarrel at 11:07 PM on December 19, 2007

For me, if I could do something extravegant it would be staying at the Grand Californian at Disneyland and getting the fancy special guided tour...so I'm probably not the person to help.

But in the great tradition of MeFi, I'll help anyway ;)

Would a really nice meal out be along the lines? Dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Cut or at the Bel Air hotel?

Does it have to be right away? How about front row seats to something at the Hollywood Bowl? WAYYYyyy down in front where they have the tables.

Rent a really really fancy car at one of those places that let you rent a Rolls and drive to Vegas? Or up to wine country?

Most of what I can think of involves theme parks...so I'll stop :)

posted by legotech at 11:10 PM on December 19, 2007

I think Excitations might have what you're looking for-- experience gifts. Even if you don't buy through them, it might be useful just to see what's available in the area.
posted by Flamingo at 11:17 PM on December 19, 2007

Does mom like seafood? If she does, then try to snag the chef's table at Providence for the fixed price dinner, with or without wine. It's entertaining to watch the chefs prepping, and the high concept dishes are fascinating and delicious.
posted by Scram at 11:34 PM on December 19, 2007

One has to get season tickets for those Hollywood Bowl boxes.
Nthing dinner at a coat and tie place....I liked Valentino and Diaghilev and the Beverly Hills Spago (where I was treated very graciously by myself) 10 years ago--no idea what they're like now.
posted by brujita at 12:09 AM on December 20, 2007

book her a room for one night at a very posh hotel, like the Peninsula, it'll be fun -- pool, room service, etc.
posted by matteo at 1:04 AM on December 20, 2007

You could take her out to a very schmancy show (it looks like Wicked is playing at the Pantages Theater, according to their website) and pair it with one of the equally schmancy dinners suggested here already.
posted by universal_qlc at 2:20 AM on December 20, 2007

Rent a limo, have it drive you around for the day - sightsee, go shopping, go to a museum, the movies, dinner.
posted by FreezBoy at 5:49 AM on December 20, 2007

Dinner at Musso & Frank's. Classic Old Hollywood, sidecars to die for, and delicious food.
posted by mynameisluka at 7:38 AM on December 20, 2007

Dinner at the Ivy? If she likes sushi, dinner at Nobu in Malibu?
posted by dontoine at 10:31 AM on December 20, 2007

You could go for afternoon tea in the Rendezvous Court at the Millenium Biltmore in downtown. Not insanely expensive in itself, but hey, throw in a limo....
posted by forallmankind at 4:49 PM on December 20, 2007

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