I spent February 2017 in Los Angeles, which meant lots of time with friends, a dozen or so meals out, and a few work gigs. Here are the photo highlights…
Enjoyed a very fun night out with my former Young & Restless co-workers Michael, Laura, and Kai. I will never tire of happy hours with these guys, which usually turn into a whole night of laughter, reflection, and wine.
Laura and Michael were game to accompany me to Masa of Echo Park, one of my favorite restaurants in all of LA, known for phenomenal deep dish pizza. The photo speaks for itself.
And speaking of pizza and former co-workers, I loved catching up with Nancy!
I heard about a restaurant in Pasadena called Slater’s 50/50 that serves burgers made of half ground beef and half ground bacon. BACON! My roommates Jenny & Ziggy were eager to try this miracle burger too. YUM.
Loved meeting up with my college friend Steve for dinner at Pearl’s in WeHo!
And hiking / travel buddy Lindsay — we got coffee at Romancing the Bean in Burbank, a great java spot.
Had a fun night of trivia with friends at Bigfoot Lodge in Atwater Village. Meant to take a group photo but forgot.
I met my friend Tamar one night after work to try Everson Royce Bar in downtown LA. Swanky place with fun drinks.
My friend Elena very kindly showed me around her neighborhood Mar Visa, part of Los Angeles that I haven’t spent much time in. It’s lovely!
Poke nachos at Sea Salt in Culver City:
LOVED The Corner Door, pictured above and below — it’s got a cozy vibe and they serve really good Moscow Mules. Elena’s finance Jess joined us for drinks when she got out of work!
I spent four days working on the Grammy Red Carpet Preshow in downtown LA. Here is our script team:
Quiet time on the red carpet leading up to show day:
I hung out with audio during the main show, realizing partway through that both the mixer and playback guys had worked at Young & Restless in the late 90’s for many years. We texted a photo of us to our mutual friends. What a small world!
Co-workers, college friends, and new friends!
Okay, let’s move on to the food and beverage portion of this recap…
Groundworks has a new location in North Hollywood at an old train depot right next to the metro station. The layout is very spacious and comfortable, and they serve breakfast / lunch too. Shout out to the Mexican Mocha Latte.
Nancy introduced me to Rubies + Diamonds (#notajewelrystore), a trendy coffee joint in Hollywood. Wish I lived closer because whoa, their caramel sea salt latte is outrageously good. I tried it both hot and iced over two visits. Next time I’ll try their cold brew.
I spent a week working on a kids’ game show in West Hollywood. It ended up getting postponed a few weeks so I couldn’t finish the project, but I did enjoy working from that location — in addition to trying new-to-me restaurants, I stumbled across Smith & Tait Coffee Bar.
But don’t worry, I’ve still logged most days at my favorite coffee shop, Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake. I joke that it’s my office.
I got a burger at Bob’s Big Boy:
And here’s a closer look at that 50% bacon / 50% beef burger from Slater’s 50/50 in Pasadena (also… there is bacon in that ketchup):
And to go from one extreme to the other — bacon burger to zero meat — I enjoyed a delicious vegan burger with my good friends Mike & Amy at Crossroads in WeHo. It’s called The Impossible Burger and they only sell them at lunch Monday-Friday, dine-in only, one per person. It truly tastes like a beef burger. On a chemical level, they have imitated the molecular structure of beef using plant-based foods. Fascinating. Also: I should’ve taken a photo with Mike & Amy, but the burger pic will have to suffice!
I finally went to an Indian restaurant on Lankershim (Royal Curry Cafe) that I’ve been meaning to try for over a year now — I got an eggplant dish that was quite tasty. And of course garlic naan.
And I stopped at Spitz for a chicken doner kebab wrap. Love that place.
My favorite new find of the month is H2O Poke Grill in Burbank. They have poke burritos! I repeat: poke burritos!
My friend Jenny got a poke taco and clam chowder. They make the taco wrap out of fried / tempura seaweed. Amazing.
My other favorite food find of the month is Rodini Park in North Hollywood. It’s a Greek place and this entire plate of food (including a side of baba ganoush!) cost me $10. It was DELICIOUS.
But the best part is that they have baklava cheesecake for dessert. I know, right?! Who is the genius who thought to combine those two foods, and how can we properly honor him / her in the annals of history?
They also have baklava sticky buns.
I was too full for dessert the first time I went there, but don’t worry — I stopped back a day later for the cheesecake.
Went to a few fun events this past month… saw Ronna & Beverly at UCB, and then went to a screening of Manchester by the Sea followed by a Q&A with producer Matt Damon and recent Oscar winner Casey Affleck.
Saw many great pieces of theater this past month. My favorite was Benjamin Scheuer’s one-man show The Lion at the Geffen, a musical I’ve followed for two years now — he’s been performing it across the country but this is the first time I’ve been in the same city as him to see it. And Los Angeles was the last stop on his tour so I’m glad it worked out! Also at the Geffen, I very much enjoyed their current production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night with Alfred Molina and Jane Kaczmarek. Made it to the Wallis to see 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, a production by the UK-based theater group Kneehigh about an English community interacting with black American soldiers during D-Day. It was quite good. I also saw White Guy on a Bus at The Road in NoHo (that play makes its off-Broadway debut this month) and the wonderful and timely revival of Zoot Suit running at the Mark Taper Forum in downtown LA (third and final extension just announced through April 2nd — get tickets now!). Also saw Newsies in theaters; they filmed the stage version of the show to debut in movie theaters.
My friends Eva & Bryan told me about The Dog Cafe (near Vermont / Beverly) where visitors can play with rescue puppies! Done and done — I’m there.
You can make a reservation for an hour-long time slot on-line (a good idea if you plan to go on the weekend), or just walk in if it’s on a weekday. It was $15 and includes a beverage from their coffee shop next door; they also have fun flavors of lemonade. Then you can play with the dogs! I was in heaven.
The dogs are all available to foster or adopt. A couple of them are senior dogs, but most are younger. You don’t have to go with the intent to take home a dog — you can just cuddle with them. Within 30 seconds of arriving, this little girl crawled into my lap — a two-year-old DoxiePoo named Tango:
Starting on the top left photo below:
1) Chester, a 4-y.o. Chihuahua mix
2) Shrek, a 12-y.o. Shih Tzu
3) Can’t recall these two cuties’ names (but the gold one might be Twinkie)
4) Rocket, a 5-year-old Corgi mix rescued from South Korea; he has lost his back two legs — he is separated from the other dogs because they sometimes think his specialty wheelchair is a toy.
Here’s a glimpse of the dogs on their website, but I think it hasn’t been updated in awhile:
You can imagine that visiting the Dog Cafe makes me miss these guys all the more — I can’t wait to cuddle with Missy and Oscar when I get back to Connecticut. My sister sent me this pic of our parents and pups:
A few other miscellaneous photos…
Here is my lunchtime view from that kids’ game show I worked on for a week — great view of the WeHo hills from the kitchen:
And I had one glorious day reading in the park. Let me tell you — this is one of life’s greatest simple pleasures: to lay down on a blanket in the grass while reading a book uninterrupted for 2.5 hours, with coffee and lunch at your fingertips. I remember to do this like once a year, and it should really happen once a month for all the happiness it brings me.
I spent an afternoon hiking in Griffith Park, freshly green from all the rain we’ve had these past few weeks.
Went to a planetarium show at the Observatory for the first time ever! We are all stardust.
Really impressive views of the city from up here. I love LA.
I can’t believe that Harry Potter World at Universal has been open almost a whole year already — this was my first visit and I loved it. I went alone and brought my camera, taking my time snapping photos and soaking up the ambiance of this world. And I ran into a former UConn women’s basketball star, Breanna Stewart! What are the odds?! That was super neat.
Whole post on Harry Potter World coming soon. As I prepare to exit the theme park, a bold rainbow appeared over Toluca Lake — I was in a great vantage spot to photograph it.
And I went to San Diego to visit my lifelong friend Emily. We met in preschool around the age of three. Look at us now!
I’ll have posts up about this trip soon. But here are some of the highlights — we walked along the scenic beach cliffs at Torrey Pines State Reserve.
Polite Provisions is a great cocktail bar with unique offerings in Emily’s neighborhood:
Walked by all the seals at La Jolla Cove.
And enjoyed several fun restaurants and coffee shops. Very fun.
Grateful to be here and enjoying life. Thankful for these memories of time with friends and exploring both new and familiar places.