Tag Archives: los angeles

Vegan Food Crawl

A few weeks ago, my lovely friend Lauren sent me a link to something called a Vegan Food Crawl, asking me if I wanted to go with her.

Yummy, probably healthy, vegetarian (vegan, even!) food, all along a long walk, alongside one of my best friends? Sign me up!

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When we showed up, we were each given a bag with the Urban Food Crawl label on it.

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I thought this was a cute touch, though it definitely made me think we’d be getting more nibbles-to-go than we did (since we didn’t get anything to-go unless we didn’t finish what we got at each location).

We got a menu in these bags, however, which let us know what we had to look forward to.

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As the menu suggested, our first stop was Malo.

20120130-094203.jpgThere, we got Vegan Chipotle Soyrizo Tortas (and burritos, actually) with avocado, lettuce and tomato.

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Once splitting was all said and done, this is what my plate of tastes looked like:

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This location, being the first, was also the first where I got a real sense of what this food crawl would be like. We were all kind of sitting around at a table and rather than being treated like this was a professional food crawl. We were instead kind of like a big, distant family, especially given that we got plates to split with each other. We also waited about 20  minutes for our order to come, as it seems they didn’t put the order in until we got there.

Once we ate and the hosts paid, we moved on to the next location, which was across the street: Garage Pizza.

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This place offered the same kind of deal, where we all sat at tables there and waited for our food, which we split up.

At Garage Pizza, we got the Vegan Calzone, which had Daiya cheese, mushrooms, vegan sausage and red onion. It’s actually supposed to come with bell peppers instead of mushrooms, but one of the hosts had a personal preference that led her to change the official order.

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My piece:

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At this point, only two stops in, I was already kind of full!

We took a break part-way through to stop at a spice station. It was a cool location, but definitely added to the very slow pace of the food crawl.

Next up: Berlin Currywurst

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This was, by far, my favorite location. Not only was the food good (and plentiful), but this was the only stop that really seemed to “get” what we were there for. The staff of the restaurant told us about their food and why they brought it to Los Angeles from Germany, and also told us about how they came to offer vegan options.

One of these options involved these amazing french fries, which we dipped in curry ketchup.

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So good.

The other was a surprise favorite of mine: vegan kielbasa (tasted real and I had no problem with that, even though I’m not a meat fan!). There were a variety of flavors, but to me, the clear winner was one that had both orange and curry flavors. It was to die for. It also came with German bread, which was a really nice touch.

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The next stop was Naya, an India restaurant.

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This place was kind of weird, since they definitely did not seem to get that we were on a food tour. They crowded us around low tables at a bar and asked for individual orders, which was odd.

Their food, however, was good! Two Samosas each — one spinach & tofu and one pea & potato.

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The pea and potato Samosa was one of my favorite things we tasted all day.

Sadly, this is where the tour stopped for Lauren and me. While this mostly can be chalked up to a personal call I got that basically forced me to leave, I can also say that I wasn’t all that sorry to go. As much as I loved the food tour, I was a) completely full at this point and no longer wanted any more food and b) sort of over it. This was three hours in, we’d been to four stops, people were ordering drinks, and I just didn’t want to spend a fourth hour of my Sunday on a food crawl with strangers.

I think this food crawl could be awesome and I know it’s through a new company, so I’m hoping they’ll keep improving the tour. I seriously encourage any of you fellow LA-ites to check it out, but I’d also encourage them to change things. For instance: they should cut down the amount of food at each stop, the amount of time spent at each stop and the amount of time total. If the tour was something more expected by each location (say, “we’ll be here at 2:15PM, so please be ready with these dishes”), the food was already paid for, and there was a little more information about the food at each stop, it might feel more like an actual food crawl.

That being said, go check their website out if you’re in LA!

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LA Galaxy and My New iPhone

So, this weekend, I got a new iPhone. I’m obsessed with it. I can’t stop playing with it (TWSS). And no, I didn’t get the iPhone 4S. I just got the 4. It’s such a ridiculous upgrade from my broken 3G, it’s not even funny. I can’t get over how amazing it is to have a phone that works.

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to go to a soccer game with the beautiful David Beckham, as I saw the LA Galaxy play.

What do these two things have to do with each other? Well, I am not only obsessed with my new phone, but also one of the apps on it: Instagram. I took a bunch of Instagram pictures while tailgating and at the game yesterday, so I figured I’d share those for something new and different and awesome.

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That’s Mark and Emily in tailgating spot #1.

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And that’s my delicious fried chicken.

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Those are the (delicious) candy corn cookies I made. Don’t you worry, I’ll post the recipe soon.

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Those were our tickets, obviously.

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I just got excited about the palm trees and my Instagram filters at that point.

A few pictures of the game…

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And, finally, of us!

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Beautiful night.

And in case you’re wondering, I blogged from my awesome new phone. Woohoo!

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Hiking Endorphins

Sometimes, when things get overwhelming, all I want to do is hole up in my room and spend a little time with myself. I spent all weekend doing a thousand things, including that birthday party on the boat on Saturday and another party thrown by my friend Meredith (of Oscars Party KWH fame!) on Sunday. So, on Monday, I… well, I needed a break. I think I wanted to feel sorry for myself. Not because of the parties, but just because change overwhelms me sometimes and I’m experiencing a lot of life changes.

But, um, that’s stupid. Pouting, that is. And all I was going to do was lie in my bed and eat Saltines (such a weird habit) while watching How I Met Your Mother. And I still did that (later), but first, my friend Chris told me to take a hike.

No, literally.

I’m so glad I did. Endorphins are way better for your mood than pouting is.

We hiked up to the Hollywood sign, which was awesome because I’ve never done that before!

When we got there, we found these two homemade signs pointing us in the right direction. I actually found this really funny. After all, you have to go up this curving residential street to get to this not-at-all secret path!

We did, by the way, find the horses anyway.

The boys I hiked with:

That’s Jason and Chris. Wonderful hiking buddies.

One crazy thing about this hike is that there are basically no fences. Seriously, you could fall off and die at any point. And it certainly doesn’t help that this is just about the only “warning:”

Effective.

So there’s a pretty steep part to start with, and then you get to about here:

After that, it’s just kind of a gradual uphill. However, it was still exhausting because we were hiking at noon in about 95 degree heat. Whoops. Fortunately, we brought a few bottles of water with us and took advantage of the few shady areas.

This is about how far away you are (at the side) from the sign about halfway through the hike:

We also got to look down over downtown LA, which is always nice.

This is as close as we got to the sign at the end:

We were (mostly) stopped by these signs:

I say “mostly” because it didn’t entirely stop Chris, who hiked up a teensy bit more (though technically not past the sign).

He eventually crawled climbed down.

I was a goody-two-shoes and stayed in front of the signs.

It’s cool. My camera has zoom.

So this is as far as we were when we started…

And this is as close as we my camera got.

Pretty close, right?

Totally worth getting out of bed for. 🙂

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I’m On A Boat!

Hi guys! How was everyone’s Labor Day Weekend? Anyone do anything fun?

I, for one, attended a birthday party on a boat.

Naturally, it ended like this.

But, um, allow me to back up.

These lovely ladies, Dianne and Christin, were celebrating their nearly shared (a day apart) 30th birthdays.

They wanted to do something epic to celebrate, so they got us all on what was essentially a booze cruise with a sit-down dinner.

You can’t really tell in the pictures since it was dark, but the views were lovely and sparkly.

When we sat down, we were greeted with salads and “endless” champagne and wine.

I say “endless” because they only brought a few bottles of champagne on board (poor planning for a group like us!) and the wine… well, the wine was endless for a reason. That reason was that it was terrible and hard to get down. Oh well.

We also had a dinner of chicken, prime rib, green beans and cheesy potatoes.

The food was pretty “meh,” but the wonderful part of dinner was the company, obviously.

As soon as dinner was over, we went upstairs to the deck for the dance party portion of the evening.

Naturally, we also took advantage of the amazing views…

And took a few pictures…

By the way, do you remember Mamito, my old roommate? She’s visiting from the UK! It’s so good to see her.

And, in reuniting with each other, we may have gone a little, um, overboard (hahahahaha boat humor).

I’ll never let go, Mamito. I’ll never let go.

Who can call that movie? It had really better be all of you or I’m going to be embarrassed on your behalfs. Behalves? Good lord, I have no idea.

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The Circus!

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to go to the circus with my friends Robyn and Josh.

Barnum & Bailey, to be exact. 🙂

I’ll keep this post light on the words and heavy on the pictures — they’re too much fun to NOT share (albeit a few weeks late) but I think they’re fairly self-explanatory.

One cool thing about this circus is that the audience is invited into the rings before the show starts and everyone gets to interact with the stars of the show.

There was even a wardrobe station where you could try on some of the costumes.

Both the young…

… and old…

…enjoyed this privilege. 😉

Kids were also invited to dance with the dancers.

It was adorable. I sort of wanted to join in.

I refrained.

The circus performers even came into the audience before the show. I particularly enjoyed this clown.

And then the show began!

The trapeze artists were my absolute favorite. They were beyond talented.

I mean, come on, right?

Oh, and these guys made me super nervous.

I would just never have the balls (or, let’s be honest, skill) to do what all of these performers do.

Speaking of things I could never do, one guy was catapulted from one end of the three rings…

… to the other…

ON FIRE!

Ridiculous.

I also really enjoyed the elephants. I enjoyed all of the animals, actually, but I think I liked the elephants the most.

I didn’t manage to get a good picture of the gymnasts, unfortunately, but they were so talented.

I barely have enough coordination to walk up the stairs. Impressive.

And then, all of a sudden, it was the grand finale!

Such a fun time!

Have you ever been to the circus? My mom says that when I was taken to a one-ring circus as a child, I was unimpressed. Whaaaaat a brat.

(I was talking about my mom, obviously. I was an angel. 😉  )

P.S. — Happy September 1st! It’s basically FALL!

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Pop Champagne

A couple of weekends ago, I went on a really romantic date.

And I mean, really, really romantic.

It involved champagne….

Dessert….

Mood lighting…

Lots of loving eye contact…  good conversation…

Oh, and the best date ever…

My friend, Lauren!

You see, when I bought the LivingSocial deal for Pop Champagne and Dessert Bar, I assumed that I’d obviously find a guy with whom I’d want to go on a romantic date by the time it expired.

Well, you know what they say about assuming. Oh well! Lauren was more fun than some dumb boy anyway, right?

Anyway, Pop Champagne is on the pricey side, so we did things our own way. Instead of spending the whole deal on dinner, we figured we’d spend it on what they’re known for (champagne and dessert) and we went the classy route beforehand by picking up slices of pizza around the corner first. 😉

Worth it! And FYI, that pizza was fantastic. Best pizza I’ve had in California (which isn’t saying much, but you know what I mean).

When we did head over for our reservation, we each started with a flight of champagnes.

Lauren got the “Pretty in Pink” and I got the “Around the World.” Because, you know, Lauren’s pretty and I’m worldly. Or something.

We also ordered, as you saw the above, the Meyer Lemon Tart. We got it mostly because it came with basil ice cream, which my friend Robyn had recommended.

The tart was lovely but the basil ice cream took it to another level. While we both sort of felt like we were eating pizza ice cream when we ate the ice cream alone, we loved it with the tart.

We spent most of the experience taking silly pictures of the champagne each other.

Ahh, we’re fun.

It was a lovely date. Right up there with the last romantic date I had.

Hmm… maybe I should get a boyfriend, huh?

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Sunset Dinner at The Castaway

As I mentioned in my weekend post, I went to a sunset dinner on Sunday. Amanda and Andy came into LA so we could go to dinner at a restaurant that Mark and I have wanted to try for a while — The Castaway in the hills of Burbank.

It was arguably the most romantic date I’ve ever been on. Too bad Mark’s like my brother, huh?

The vibe of the restaurant is like a tropical vacation restaurant. The second you arrive, you feel like you’re at a resort. I liked that a lot! What a wonderful way to escape for a few hours. You feel very far away from LA, despite that the whole draw of the place is that you’re looking over it. 🙂

It’s a sort of pricey restaurant for people like us (by which I mean young people on a budget), but they have a great prix-fixe menu for the Sunset Dinner. It comes with soup or salad, an entree, and a dessert. This is, in my opinion, a really good deal for $19.95 — especially when you take the view into account!

In reading Yelp reviews, I was under the impression that the service sucked and the food was lackluster, but that the views made up for it. The views were beautiful and the service did suck, but I actually thought the food was pretty great!

The bread was so good.

In fact, between a few slices of bread and the delicious salad, I filled up before my dinner came. Whoops!

I made it work, though.

I ended up eating the broccolini and half of the potatoes and then just took all of the chicken and the remaining potatoes home. I did, however, manage to finish my cheesecake. Priorities, people!

I didn’t get coffee, but Mark did, and I thought this picture was so pretty.

We were all really happy with our experience, even if Amanda and Andy don’t look like it. 🙂



How could we not be, with these views?


Pretty, right?

Anyway, that meal ended up lasting me for three meals! I used the chicken and potatoes for not one, but two salads — both yesterday’s and today’s lunches.

All in all, not a bad deal for $19.95. 🙂

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