Full disclosure: I don't live in Los Angeles, so I never have the privilege of frequenting SUR, the sexiest and most unique restaurant in the City of Angels. So when it came time for some of SUR's finest bartenders — Ariana Madix, Tom Sandoval, and Jax Taylor — to show off their skills at some of the Meatpacking District's coolest spots, I made sure I was there for every minute of the VanderCrawl. These folks were finally on my home turf of NYC.
The pals getting interviewed at the event by moi.
The SURvers turned up to the event in their best party attire — especially Scheana Shay, who rocked a spandex catsuit. Meow!
The SURvers take Manhattan!
Katie, Stassi, and Kristen in the moments before the crawl kicked off on November 2.
Katie and Schwartz giving their best party face.
Ariana and Sandoval in their bartending finest.
The night started at Kola, where a mix of VIP guests and influencers (I see you there, Sammi Sweetheart and JoJo Fletcher) partied to celebrate the premiere of Vanderpump Rules right alongside the crew themselves — Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Katie Maloney (rocking Pat McGrath glitter lips, natch) and Tom Schwartz, who mingled with the crowd. And the party goers reveled in the chance to get some one-on-one time with the crew — including Sammi, who admitted to me to being a big fan of the show and how it reminds her a bit of Jersey Shore. It felt like everyone in the room wanted a photo with the squad.
During the Kola stop, Sandoval was behind the bar mixing up drinks in light-up suspenders and a bow tie. He whipped up a Hot Pink cocktail, inspired by the drink from SUR, which was pretty easy on the palette. "I do love Ariana. She's my best friend, but Sandoval makes the best drinks I've ever had," Scheana revealed. VIPs chilled with the crew as we dined on cuisine like fried chicken tenders with a house dipping sauce, hush puppies with a cheese dipping sauce, beef skewers, and crab salad on toast.
As difficult as it was to pull myself away from Sandoval's cocktails and those tasty treats, The Tippler was up next. The subterranean spot offered up a completely different vibe. It was less loungy and downtown cool, and more chill and relaxed. Luckily there was even more food to chow down on, including pressed sandwiches, hot pretzel, and a cheese platter. Ariana was behind the bar serving her own specialty, Pinky's Lemonade, which included a splash of LVP Sangria and definitely hit the spot. "I'm really nervous about tonight," Ariana confessed earlier. "I just want to make sure that I'm getting people drinks. That everyone's having a good time. It's gonna maybe get crazy and isn't that what a VanderCrawl should be?"
The final stop of the night belonged to Jax, who served beverages at the ultra-hip No. 8, which gave off the most clubby vibe of the night. Jax was mixing up all sorts of drinks, including the Cape Fizz, which party goers enjoyed in the dark spot. Jax was definitely the most in demand of all the people behind the bar. Everyone wanted him to make their drink. If seeing Jax behind the bar wasn't enough to make No.8 a highlight on the tour, there were also mini cheeseburgers. I believe that's called a party win.
The biggest takeaway of the night, however, was the fact that Justin Bieber's "Sorry" was basically on repeat. Not complaining, just saying.
Vanderpump Rules returns on November 7 at 9/8c. Don't forget to check out the Toms on Bravo After Hours, below.