In feng shui, river rocks are a wonderful and easy way to incorporate more earth into an environment. The grounded energy provided by these smooth stones helps to bring peace, prosperity and abundance into an area. Their close connection to water, which is associated with wealth, can bring about many positive changes when applied correctly. They are an ideal example of what can happen when water meets land; two elements collaborating to creating something beautiful, natural and auspicious. There is a swanky tavern in Sherman Oaks that has prime examples of elements in harmony known as The River Rock Lounge.
Located inside the historic Sportsmen’s Lodge along Ventura Boulevard, my friend Victoria and I decided to check out their Happy Hour. From 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, seven days a week, they offer $5.00 food options, as well as select beverages from $6.00 – $8.00.
In addition to select beer and wine options, The River Rock Lounge offers two cocktails on Happy Hour: The Casting Couch and The Talent Scout (pictured on left.) The Talent Scout is a seductive cucumber libation with pisco, lime juice, and a hint of basil. I had two of these. Delicious and refreshing. As for wine, I opted to try their Liberty School Chardonnay (pictured on right). I’ve been a fan of Liberty School’s Cabernet for years, so it was a safe bet I’d like their chardonnay – and I did! Citrus and green apple are the dominant tastes in this luscious white wine. Crisp and stimulating.
Artichoke Dip – A tantalizing blend of cheeses, spinach and artichoke combined, with sun-dried tomatoes reposed on top. The Happy Hour version comes with four sliced of pita, and a small phyllo cup filled with the dip. (I only wish the portion was larger) Luxurious and rich.
Mini Corn Dogs – Corn dogs served gourmet style, and garnished with a piquant whole-grain mustard, onions and pickled veggies. Four come to an order, and they’re piping hot. Absolutely excellent.
Hot Wings – My favorite food item here, hands down. A myriad of spices and a tangy mango BBQ sauce cover these savory morsels of chicken. Five come to an order, and a mild bleu cheese sauce is spread below. It was so good, we ordered two of these. Scrumptious and sophisticated.
The environment at River Rock is reminiscent of a vintage chalet of the Rock Hudson era, but with modern flair. Unlike most lodges, you won’t find any dead animals on the walls here. Instead, they’ve opted for beautiful animal sculptures. Most of them were elk heads (pictured), but there were also some sculpted fish over the fireplace, and a large plastered bison head over the bar. These are inherently far more auspicious to have in an environment rather than their once living counterparts; they offer that lodge feel without the taxidermy. Animal carcasses around the room = really bad energy.
Comfy leather seating in cream hues dominate the room, along with a few cafe tables and stools. A more formal dining area is separated by a small wall of river rocks.
Cafe tables and stools gather in one area available for dancing. I was most intrigued with the stylish tree wallpaper, which seemed to almost mimic the faux antlers in the chandelier. Yet again providing that chalet-lodge feel, but without the negative connotations.
Ornate carpet in an almost Klimt version of river rocks adorns many of the interior hallways.
I found the grounds of the lodge to be elegant calming. A pond is spread throughout a large portion of the property, with small creeks and fountains creating an ethereal feel to the environment. Rose bushes line many of the manmade creeks.
I was also particularly taken with these beautiful led trees (pictured below). During the daytime hours when turned off, they make for intriguing arboreal statues. But at night, when aglow, they make for an enchanting light source. Scattered throughout the grounds, these are classy light fixtures with a distinct wood element influence.
There are many ways to incorporate river rocks into an environment. One way I suggest to clients is to place them in the bathroom. Find a flat bowl, or a plate with some kind of protective lip, and place river rocks inside it. Place the vessel with the rocks on the toilet. Ideally, this should be directly on the lid of the toilet tank, or on a shelf above. Wash the rocks once a month with water and soap. Having more earth in a bathroom environment will aid in keeping wealth and abundance from being flushed down the toilet, “grounding” ones finances and prosperity.
One current decorating trend (which many interior designers have embraced) is putting stones at the bottom of the bathroom sink. This is another highly beneficial way to add the earth element to a bathroom or restroom. However, some people may not like the idea of having to clean these sink stones on a regular basis. If choosing to have rocks in the sink, I suggest choosing a few wide, flat stones. A good example of sink stones is the communal basin outside the restrooms of Take a Bao in Studio City.
This is a great hot pad, made from smooth stones glued to felt.
Here we have a wonderful door mat made from river rocks glued to thick shelf paper. I would probably use something a little more substantial than shelf paper for the base, however. Maybe something plastic, or a carpet remnant. There are many places to get river rocks, such as Dollar Tree, Michael’s, or Hobby Lobby, as well as countless online options. Or, one could go exploring along a beach or riverbank and select your own that way. (Mine happen to be a mixture of found and purchased stones.)
In addition to the delicious food and grounded ambiance, the service at the River Rock Lounge is excellent. The staff are dressed in vintage, cabaret-esque attire. Our server, Kellie, was attentive and delightful. Her suggestions were spot-on and we wanted for nothing. I can’t wait to come back here for their Sunday Brunch, which features $12.00 bottomless mimosas. Or I may come back for Sunday night dinner. In addition to live entertainment, Sunday is local’s night, and the corkage fee is waived. Until then, I’m going to add some more river rocks to my environment. I better get started on that door mat…
River Rock Lounge, Sportsmen’s Lodge
12833 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks CA
Hours: Lunch: Thursday – Friday 11:30 am – 3:00 pm, Brunch: Saturday – Sunday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Dinner: Monday – Thursday 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Friday – Saturday 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Sunday 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Happy Hour: Tuesday – Sunday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Late Night Happy Hour: Monday – Thursday 10:00 pm – Midnight (beverage only), Friday – Saturday 10:00 pm – Midnight (food and beverage)