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California – Part II

 

After taking in the beauty of Malibu, we drove along Mulholland Drive (but only after we somehow ended up on a dirt path and had to backtrack), which winds along the Santa Monica Mountains and the Hollywood Hills.  Along the way, we had beautiful views of the Los Angeles basin and the San Fernando Valley.  And oh look, we found this sign –

Once back in the city proper, J and I fought traffic to make our way to Sushi Gen for their omakase.

Not the most beautiful signage ever... but as long as the food is good, people will come, right?

A starter of daikon and seaweed (I think).

I was hungry and ate the first piece of this duo before remembering to take a picture.

I wish I remembered what these fish were.

Salmon roe and uni (sea urchin).

I think one of these two was my favorite - the texture was just so incredibly buttery...

Unagi (eel) and salmon.

This is where I discovered my love for tamago.

I love my sushi (and J does too, thank goodness), and the meal at Sushi Gen was satisfying.  Fresh fish makes for yummy sushi.  Afterwards, we wandered around Little Tokyo for a bit and found Mikawaya for mochi ice cream!

So many flavors - we chose red bean.

The next day began with a coffee stop at the Conservatory for Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa, which just happened to be across the street from Sony Studios.  I’m afraid I’m becoming a bit of a coffee snob… I cringe a little every time I see flavored beans/coffees/syrups.  But the ice coffee we had was good (and huge!).

Next up?  Rodeo Drive.

A bit of window shopping followed, and then it was time to seek out lunch!  Destination?  La Brea Bakery.  But we passed by a Wahoo’s Fish Taco, and J had to make a detour.

But we made it to La Brea…and proceeded to gawk at all the baked goodness.  It took awhile for me to make my choices, but finally narrowed our selections down to a few items.

Pretzel baguette that was oh-em-gee delicious. I'm a pretzel-holic.

Artichoke bread! Isn't it pretty?

Apple tart. Just wait 'til you see the inside.

From La Brea, we intended to drive up to Hollywood.  Except another food detour occurred when we drove right by the famous Pink’s Hot Dogs.  Somehow J and I managed to find all these places by pure coincidence…or luck!

Check out that line. See J?

The menu is quite extensive.

There's something that's just so nice about a hot dog with ketchup and mustard.

Smurfs!

The hot dog was yummy – but let’s be honest, hot dogs will never be one of those foods that make your knees weak.  But in the realm of hot dog goodness, this was a solid contender.  Besides, I think the appeal of Pink’s is more its history.  And Patrick Dempsey’s autograph.

All these food pit stops later, we drove through Hollywood, snacking on the aforementioned apple tart while laughing at all the tourists doing tourist-y things.  Not that we weren’t tourists.  We just chose to “tour” different things…like apple tarts.

I believe "drool" is the correct word.

At this point, J and I were fully satiated.  I requested a Slurpee from 7-11 to quench my thirst…and then it was off to Pasadena!  We had quite a bit of time before the wedding rehearsal (which J had to be at…), so we spent some time walking around a nifty outdoor shopping center in Glendale.  While J was at the wedding rehearsal, I drove out to Arcadia to pick up his pants (long story…).  And then it was time for the rehearsal dinner and drinks with the bride and groom to be.  Quite a full day, for sure.

 

 

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