On my birthday, friends and I went to Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle. The Magic Castle in nestled in the hills of Hollywood on Franklin ave., and in order to visit you need a guest pass from a member, and members are all certified magicians. Because of this, it has this exclusive aura to it, and I have always wanted to check it out.
So here’s the deal, from my experience. The Magic Castle itself is super cool. The building is a huge Victorian house filled with creepy, fun details. In many ways, it is just like the Haunted Mansion ride at DisneyLand. Even the entrance is through a bookshelf that opens when you say “Open Sesame.” My favorite area was The Owl Bar upstairs, where carved wooden owls line the liquor shelves, and a giant stuffed owl with hoot and nod or shake his head when you ask a question.
Also, I am a huge fan of Neil Patrick Harris, who serves as the President of the Academy of Magical Arts that is located there. Betcha didn’t know that! There are portraits of his him all over the place.
The thing about LA, and especially places that bank on their exclusivity, is that the service often sucks. I waited tables for several years in LA and Orange County, in chain restaurants and fine dining, so I am the type of person who will afford service staff a lot of patience, but poor service and bad attitude really annoy me. Even though we had reservations, we had to wait 25 minutes for our table. The waitress wasn’t able to answer a lot of our questions about the food or wine, and her lack of knowledge was pretty shameful. As usual, hostesses were extra snooty, and even the bartender was a bit surly. We’re incredibly good tippers, so the bartender’s attitude really surprised me.
The food was alright. It wasn’t awful, but not great either. They had these ridiculously dull steak knives that were about as useful as a butter knife, so that was a bummer.
Buuttt, the dinner reservations include a show afterwards, which was a lot of fun. It was the kind of cheesy, sawing a woman in a box in half type of magic show I was hoping for. I am a sucker for that shit. I don’t even like to guess how the trick works because I love to be amazed, and sequined leotards and jazz hands were just the icing on the birthday cake that I hoped for.
If you have the chance, visit the castle. Be prepared to spend a pretty penny, and don’t expect the best meal of your life, but you will probably enjoy it.