I was going to wait until I got home to post, but I hate to miss a Wednesday post (it’s still Wednesday on the west coast) so I thought I’d share a couple experiences I managed to have on my business trip to the Los Angeles area. My trip’s focus was to visit a couple of the venders I buy from and visit my company’s home office. Fortunately, my boss likes a cigar, so Monday evening when we got into town we located Bo’s Cigar Lounge. I was expecting sticker shock in California, and I wasn’t disapointed. However, this lounge was very nice. They have plenty of TVs which had the Flyers game on, and very comfortable seating. There was even a TV in the loo! There are two locations, the one closest to us was in Torrance. One of the highlights was that one on my longest and most loyal readers, DB, came down to meet and have a cigar or two with us. It’s always a treat to meet a cigar friend whom I had only corresponded with electronically, and I’ve done it hundreds of times. I really appreciate DB taking the time to make the trip down, it was great to finally have a cigar with him in person. The lounge patrons were very friendly and we didn’t feel out of place at all. The selection was excellent, but, as I said, the prices were roughly double what I see in Pennsylvania, which was shocking. Given that we were hanging out in the lounge, the price was justifiable, as one would spend more than that hanging at a bar or something. I picked out a San Lotano Maduro that was a terrific smoke. I think I like this better than the Oval line, the Mexican Maduro is loaded with sweet coffee/cocoa flavors and burned perfectly. We ended up being joined by one of the venders we were meeting later in the week who also is a cigar lover, and ended up having a fine Mexican dinner before parting ways.
Wednesday, after all of the meetings and tours and whatnot, our host took us to his local cigar shop, Old Oaks Cigar Co. in Thousand Oaks, CA. First, I was blown away by the prices in this shop as they were only a dollar or two more than PA prices. How do they do this. They also had a gentleman in the humidor rolling cigars that were also well priced. I really should have picked a couple up in retrospect. I seleceted a La Atelier LAT 56 as I hadn’t smoked one of them before. It should be noted that the cigars I smoked on this trip were not paid for by me. Kevin, our host is a regular at this shop, and introduced me to the owner, Albert, who has an amazing operation. In addition to cigars, they have what my boss described as an unbeliveable selection of Scotches, as well as wine, and a very busy lounge. Kevin directed us to the enclosed patio area in the rear where we enjoyed our smokes and watched some hockey. The LAT 56 was a very nice cigar. Not mild or strong, yet very flavorful and interesting. This was a great shop, exceptional selection and the pricing wasn’t rediculous! Highly recommended.
These couple cigars over the course of a few days really helped relieve the stress I had about this trip. It’s always nice to visit a strange place (and I think we can agree that LA fits that description) and find friendly cigar folks to spend an hour or two communing with. I appreciate everyone’s hospitality. This post was brief, but it’s late and I’m away from home. I didn’t even mention having gone to Cigars International last Sunday and smoking an Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan, which was delicious, by the way. If you have been scared off of the candela wrappers, give this one a try. The blend takes the grassy, chlorophyll flavor out of the wrapper, and the wrapper mellows out the filler blend a bit. I think it’s a fine smoke.
That’s it for now, long day of travel tomorrow and I can’t wait to get back home. Until the next time,