Dani Buncher and Scott Simons of the pop-duo TeamMate have gone from a “couple” of almost ten years, to a platonic couple of best friends/bandmates, giving them more than a little authority on the world of relationships and making them the perfect team to guide us through a fun and friend-friendly Valentine’s Day in LA.
Their new track "Damage" is just a taste of their debut full-length album, which is due out later this month. Listen to the track below and read on to discover where to go on this Valentine's Day.
Los Angeles is notoriously spread out and hard to navigate. On big holiday nights, it gets even trickier. It’s not a great city for just going with the flow and seeing where the night takes you but it has a lot of great things to do and see. The distance between areas of town and the ever present traffic mean having a good plan is key. So, we’ve made a Valentine’s Day plan for you based on one of our favorite themes: The 80’s.
Dani's Daytime Recs:
I grew up on the east coast and I was pretty much obsessed with any movie that took place in Southern California. I was mesmerized by the sunshine/no seasons, outdoor lockers at school, palm trees, desert, ocean, and sunglasses. It’s been quite fun visiting and passing through these locations ever since I moved to here, three years ago.
Cabazon Dinosaurs/Dalton Reed CC flickr
Where: The Dinosaurs of Cabazon
For my ideal Valentine’s Day, we’ll need to start early because we have some driving to do. First stop is to see the Dinosaurs of Cabazon. These dinosaurs were featured in just about everything pop-culture, growing up. You can see them in “The Wizard” (super awesome Fred Savage and Jenny Lewis movie about kids on a journey to a Nintendo tournament.), the video for “Everybody Want’s to Rule the World” (one of my favorite songs), and most famously in “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.” You can climb inside T-Rex’s mouth, it’s wild. More importantly, the Wheel Inn Diner is a few steps away and you can see where Large Marge sent Pee-Wee. (Note: I don’t think the diner is open any more so you’ll need to pack a lunch. Oh, and it’s possible that there may be a new Creationist themed gift shop that I can’t really get behind, but different strokes/different folks, I guess.)
Where: Golf N’ Stuff
After you get your dino-fix, we’re jumping back in the car and headed to Golf N’ Stuff in Norwalk. This is where Daniel takes Ali in “The Karate Kid” for arguably the best first-date montage in any movie. Probably the best date I’VE ever had, was a surprise trip to this very spot. Mini-golf, video games, skee ball, bumper-boats, ice cream, EVERYTHING. With nostalgia surrounding every corner, it’s impossible not to have a blast.
Scott's Nighttime Recs:
Los Angeles has great sushi and there are tons of places around town that I really like (Iza-Ka-Ya on 3rd Street is my favorite). But keeping with our 80’s theme, I chose Nobu because it used to be Chez Quis - the fictional French eatery where Ferris Bueller poses as Abe From an “The Sausage King of Chicago”. At the time it was actually L’Orangerie but it’s since been remodeled and reopened as Nobu.
Where: Sunset Strip
We both live in West Hollywood but as a local, I rarely go up to the Sunset Strip. However, if we’re talking 80’s, this part of town was the height of the rock scene and makes for a fun late night. From the Rainbow Room Bar and Grill seen in the Guns N’ Roses “November Rain” video legendary live music venues like The Roxy, The Viper Room and Whisky A Go Go there is plenty to do and mostly walkable. Something about the vibe of this area still feels like it’s stuck in 1987 in a sort of good way. For a pre or post show drink, I like Rock N’ Reilly’s which used to be a famous dive bar hang for the Sunset Strip bands. Now, it’s an Irish bar with a great selection or beer and whiskey.
Canters Deli/Jeff Rose CC Flickr
For a late night snack, you gotta hit Canter’s. It’s one of those places that every celebrity and politician ever has made a stop at. The history of the Jewish deli dates back way before the 1980’s but it was a popular post show hang for the Sunset Strip bands. Its look has gone unchanged for 50+ years and it’s open 24/7. I’m not saying it’s the most romantic place for Valentine’s Day but hey, it’s cool.
I’m a vegetarian but I’m sure the corned beef is great. And get a knish. With the brown mustard. Trust me
So, there it is… Our 80’s Los Angeles Valentine’s Day plan. Get some sleep on February 13th. You’ve got a long day ahead of you the next day.
TeamMate’s full-length debut album comes out on February 16 through Rostrum Records.