Let Drag Icon Monique Heart’s Guide to West Hollywood Inspire Your Next Trip

'Tis the season for a fabulous getaway.

Photo courtesy of PRYSM Management

Monique Heart is one of the most memorable drag queens in the herstory of RuPaul's Drag Race, having competed on the show’s 10th season and on the fourth season of All Stars. She’s also the queen who’s blessed us with some of the best catchphrases in pop culture, including “Facts are facts,” “Giving you the ooh ah ah sensation,” and “Stunning,” just to name a few.

Now she’s gifting us with her very own guide to West Hollywood and Los Angeles, right in time to inspire a fabulous getaway with your tribe during the holidays. Heart moved to LA from Kansas City, Missouri, in February 2019; in October 2020, she relocated to Palm Springs, and, today, she continues to spend time in LA for work. Between her music, hosting (catch her on Amazon Music’s The Walk In), and running her own beauty company, she’s gotten to know the city—and, more specifically, West Hollywood—in a unique way.

We caught up with Heart on a call where she filled us in on how to experience West Hollywood, from where to get coffee to what bars are cashless to where to learn about queer history in LA and even where to propose.

Eat & Drink

Verve Coffee Roasters: “It's where I go when I don't want to go to Starbucks. They were open during the Covina. It was a lovely place just to go outside. They have a cute little patio area where you can wait outside for your coffee and can look at cute people.”

Gracias Madre: “It's a vegan-Mexican restaurant. Very fabulous. It has a mezcal bar, which I'm making one of my favorites. I went there last night for dinner again. You need to go, especially if you’re like me; I'm a carnivore, but I'm trying to be better. So if I can at least cut some of my meat consumption, then I feel like I'm doing my part. The Soy Beef Chorizo and the Crab Cakes—it was so good, I didn't know the difference. It’s a fabulous place to check out.”

Pura Vita: “I like this Italian-vegan restaurant off of Santa Monica. I think it was the first time that I had mushroom and it didn't taste like mushroom and it tasted like meat. My manager used to bring me there.”

Nightlife

“When I’m in town, I'm probably hanging out with Assaad Yacoub. He's the one who did my video for "Brown Cow Stunning" and he also just did Trixie Mattel’s new video. Hello. So I'll go hang out with him and Carti G, the drag queen. We'll go to Beaches. It's not generally balls to the wall. I feel like I can breathe, you know what I mean? Rocco's if I can get a little outdoor patio moment. I'll go to The Abbey for happy hour. She will never fail you. I'll go see Mayhem [Miller] on a Tuesday.

Also Revolver's a good time, but know that they do not take cash. So make sure that your debit card and credit card is paid. Most people take money out when they go to the bar, then it's cashless. So you will be screwed.

And before the pan dam, Fubar [temporarily closed], baby, that was the place. I really enjoyed the fact that it was a dark little hole in the wall and there weren’t a thousand and one people. Everybody was kind of chilling in their own vibe. It also was a little less, like, darling scene, which, that's just not my energy.”

Photo courtesy of PRYSM Management

Shopping

Circus of Books: “It’s the queer bookshop on Santa Monica. If you want to hear some great history about queer LA, they’ll also talk to you about it.”

The Grove & Rodeo Drive: “If you want good money management, you can go to The Grove. If you have money to throw away and wear somebody else's last name, then you can go to Rodeo Drive, or you can stop on Rodeo Drive, honey, and just shop the clearance, okay? You can go get a vintage Chanel brooch, put it on a jacket, and then the whole thing is Chanel. Very that.”

The Santee Alley: “I do get my lashes from Santee Alley. If we have any people who are fashion people, you need to pick up some fabrics, some appliques, some frames, some sequins, some Ostrich feathers. You want to go to Santee Alley. Valentina Textile: That's where I get all of my tafeta from. I get little sequined fabrics from Castle Fabrics.”

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The holidays are a perfect time to take a trip with your best friend, partner, or chosen family. As an active ally to the LGBTQIA+ community, Orbitz is committed to helping everyone travel freely and take up space, wherever they go. Their LGBTQIA-welcoming hotels filter features properties that have taken an inclusivity pledge, so that you can feel comfortable and accepted exactly as you are. All you have to do is pick a destination. Visit Orbitz.com/Pride to learn more.

Hotels

The Chamberlain and W Hotel: “Stay at the Chamberlain. She's very cute. I felt very bougie. I was like, 'Whoa, girl.' They have money. Stay at the W. It's real cute. The room's fabulous. The W gives you that Vegas feeling—it's just huge. I don't know if it was the weekend that I was there, but it was just a bunch of things going on.”

Photo courtesy of PRYSM Management

Pro Tips

Rainbow Crosswalk: "Create a reel, a boomerang, or a story post walking across it. It's a great place to take a photo, hand held, you get your feet—that's the photo. If you want to propose, that would be real cute. The homos would see and then lose their mind and create a whole fantasy.”

Out of the Closet: "It's a secondhand store, but you can go get tested for HIV. I feel like if you're going to be doing things, girl, just pop in. You're walking down the strip anyway. I think that's something very romantical. You’re like, 'Hey, let's go get tested together.' Boom, lovely. And if you are afraid, I think that should tell you something right there that you should go deal with it. Bring you a friend, but you should at least know and not be saying, 'I got tested… eight months ago.' Eight months ago, that's a long time. You got to go get checked out. Also, they can give you information about PrEP or PEP. It's lovely.”