Tuesday, May 21, 2013
This past weekend was the BIG PARADE, a downtown to Hollywood Hills multi loop/phase two day urban hike with guest speakers and experts educating us about the City and it's hidden treasurers. I only made it to the first loop which included Water Court, Grand Park, Angelino Heights, etc. I left the pack of enthusiasts for K Bakery, where I re-cooped by eating a chili relleno, cactus taco and a juice of beets, carrots and oranges. It was DELICIOUS!!! Especially after that hike through Downtown LA. I hope I get to go again because there's a lot on that menu and that juice was rejuvenating. They are located at 1258 W Temple St LA CA 90026.
Grand Park is one of the newest hot spots in Downtown LA. Perhaps the antithesis of Pershing Square, in that it's welcoming, safe and navigable and perhaps most important, used. The grand Heidi Zeller, Ms. Ciclavia, invited me to go check out this salsa band that was playing at Grand Park for lunch. There were a good number of folks but not as much as you would expect for a Grammy-award winning salsa band. Food trucks circled around the center of the park ad we picked No Joas Cuban Kitchen. The portions was huge. We got a meat and rice dish that was pretty good and a side of crunchy plantains, that were huge as well. They gave us generous portions at what i felt was a very reasonable price, like $9. I really like Grand Park, especially the pink furniture.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
My friends Angelene, Wayne and I went on a bike ride from Little Tokyo to the LBC. We stopped at the Museum of Latin American Art and got lunch at their cafe, Cafe Viva, 644 Alamitos Ave, LB CA. I had heard the food was pretty good at Cafe Viva but never had an opportunity to try it out until this day. We were all pleasantly surprised at the quality, service and ambiance of this restaurant. They have an interior and exterior seating area and it looks like they have a canopy system on the days that ot gets hot. There was a little bit of what looked like mold on these canvas canopies, which was a little off putting. The woman who took our order is also a bicyclist, which of course warms our hearts. I ordered the Torta de Pollo con Mole and an ice Yerba Matte. The food was really good and i would love to order another meal again soon here.
What a funny place. I had never been here before but it right next door to the Grand Central Market. Shrimp is really tricky. We all know what frozen shrimp taste like. I understand why restaurants have to sue frozen shrimp but there's a process of defrosting it and preparing so that it doesn't TASTE like it was frozen. I guess because of the name of the place, I assumed the shrimp would be awesome but, whoops! Definitely frozen shrimp, like frozen minutes ago. Another bummer was the crunchy tortillas were stale. YIKES! How does that happen? What a bummer. The interior is also very sad. This place really needs an expert to come in and give it a facelift and managerial overhaul. Holly molly!
The Paris Photo event this year was perhaps the best display of photography i have ever seen in my life. It took place throughout the backlots and monumental sound stages of Paramount Studios. My daughter and I perused the enormous displays, screening rooms and temporary galleries. I especially loved how they used the faux storefronts in the backlots as galleries. We went the evening of the opening and it was packed. Unfortunately at the end, along with over a hundred others, we waited for two hours to get our car back via the valet service. That's right, over 100 art folks, some dressed up in suits and gowns, waiting, endlessly for a staff of incompetent valets to retrieve cars that I found out later where parked in various lots around Paramount Studios. It was insane. But, even with that brain numbing conclusion, it did not put a dent in my enthusiasm for the exhibition. Back to the backlots. They had various food trucks parked throughout the make believe city street. We picked one called Wicked Kitchen. The aesthetic of this truck was fun, kind of a wacky thrift shop vibe. We ordered the Jambalaya and Marsala. Over all, watery-soupy. I suspect they made the overall taste to accommodate as many customers as possible; not too spicy, not too rich, not too substantial. It was like by playing it safe they completely sold out to a bland direction. It was really unfortunate but the exhibit was awesome. In hind-sight, I really appreciated that we ate during the exhibition because little did we know we would be waiting an hour for our car. http://wickedkitchn.tumblr.com
Saturday, May 11, 2013
I was in Claremont this week for a meeting and took advantage of lunch time to check out this place I'd never been to. That is my MO. Union on Yale is located at 232 Yale Ave Claremont CA 91711. Clearly a good place to grab a drink after work but I was working so I picked that which pleases me, a healthy green salad and a greasy fat-filled pie. The arugula and cheese salad was refreshing, so fresh and bouncy. The Cottage Pie was a no brainer. I'm not sure I ever had a cottage pie before. It was a deliciously unusual and even though it seemed like a not very healthy thing to be eating, it was great to the last spoonful.
Two things, 1) sometimes the vibe is the most important and 2) sometimes I order the wrong thing. After reading Yelp, I think I should have ordered the burger or the ribs but I was feeling guilty for having try-tip the night before and wanted to slow it down so I got the chicken BBQ, which was so dry, it was like bad jerky. I had to drink three arnold palmers to get it down. Having said that, the backed potato was delicious and that texas toast is very fun to eat. The service is excellent and even though it was lunch time on a weekday, the crowd was festive. The interior is the best part, a rustic hovel!!!! Awesome! 9257 Slauson Ave Pico Rivera CA 90660