Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It is March and I am wearing shorts!

I went to LA the first weekend in March to visit Asmi. It was approximately 4pm PST on a Friday, and I was wearing shorts on the beach and riding the ferris wheel (you know, the one that was in the OC). Later that week, back in NYC, there was a blizzard. #unfair.
I packed a grilled cheese sandwich for my flight. Then it was delayed by a few hours, so danger lurked in the lounge...MILANO COOKIES, chocolate covered pretzels, and cheese. Of course, the chocolate from the milano cookies melted all over my keyboard and some of my dress. This always happens to me.

I found a new way to use emojis! By inserting them into photos! This emoji is saying "stay away from my chocolate covered pretzels!"

I think the best kind of sleep is the kind in which I fall asleep as the plane rolls away from the gate, and I stay asleep through the meal service. As you are all well aware by now, I usually jolt up the second I hear the metal clanging down the aisle. But this time, I was out cold!

What a lucky girl I was - Asmi baked me chocolate chip cookies! I had about 8 before going to bed. These cookies are egg-free!

The next afternoon, Asmi and I headed out to Santa Monica, and she took me to Real Food Daily. RFD has an extensive vegan menu and even I didn't know where to start! Well, that's a lie. I saw prosecco and I knew we would start there.

Asmi and I shared the cold soba noodles and the RFD burger with "the works". I don't think I have had a tempeh vegetable patty before, but I really liked it (also helped that this was topped with avocado). It kind of inspires into making quinoa and lentil burgers with butter lettuce buns.

Carnivores, don't groan, I really enjoyed my burger here as much as I like normal burgers!

On Saturday, Asmi and I hiked Runyon Canyon, and afterwards, we were in the mood for a healthy-ish lunch. So we stopped at Veggie Grill. Another restaurant that is entirely vegetarian. I was amazed! I wish one would open up in NYC. You can get your burger on a bed of steamed kale, instead of a bun. Oh, LA. I love you.

I ordered a "Papa's Portobello" burger on kale, and a side of quinoa. My "burger" was basically a portobello mushroom topped with caramelized onions, tomato, basil, and garlic, and I added avocado on top. I thought it was really tasty, and while I would have preferred a bun, the steamed kale "bun" was just fine. I was not too impressed with the quinoa, it was pretty bland. Better than a side of fries, I guess!

Later that afternoon, Asmi and I went to Venice and Abbot Kinney Blvd. We happened to stumble upon Gjelina, which Becca had recommended to me. Still full from lunch, we just had some cocktails.

{Blood orange bellini}

While strolling Abbot Kinney, we came across El Vino, that offered wine tastings, so, we popped in. The tasting was 3 different kinds of wine, for $10. The owner picks different wines to feature every week. Out of the three we tasted, I'd have to say the rose (the first one) was my favorite.

Jenner, you say? As in...KENDALL AND KYLIE? Oh. No. Never mind.

We described this color (Cantine Salvatore) as ruby red.

For Sunday brunch, Asmi took me to Urth Caffe on Melrose Avenue. So, the spanish latte here is incredible. And the fact that I was drinking said latte while wearing shorts was even more incredible. When I ordered, I could also pick what roast I wanted (light or dark). I was only going to order a breakfast pizza, but then I laid my eyes on the perfectly cripsy looking croissants. So I settled on a chocolate croissant as well. #eyesbiggerthanstomach.

Flaky and filled with chocolate. Perfection!

If I were to go again, I'd skip the pizza and just order more pastries. I did, however, realize that I: 1) love breakfast pizza 2) love egg on said breakfast pizza 3) still don't like sausage all that much.

My guess is that this is loaded with sweetened condensed milk. I am not complaining. YUM. I love condensed milk!

After brunch, we drove over to the grove and checked out the farmer's market. It is not a farmer's market in the traditional sense, with vendors selling fruits, veggies, cheese, etc. It is actually a ton of small restaurants and shops that sell all kinds of food, from sweets to sausage.

We ran out of time to go to In n Out burger, which wasn't a big deal, because I've had In n Out on several occasions before. The flyaway shuttle bus to the airport passed an In n Out that was literally right outside of the airport, and I thought to myself "wouldn't it be funny if my flight were delayed and I could come here?". As luck would have it, my flight back to NYC was cancelled. Sooo as soon as the United agents re-booked me on another flight, I asked them how to get to In n Out, since I did not have a car.

The agents mentioned that I have to pretend to be a Parking Spot customer, as the Parking Spot garage is right in front of In n Out, and take the Parking Spot shuttle to Sepulvada Blvd. So I left terminal 7 and quickly hopped on the shuttle. In a matter of minutes, there it was. I ordered the burger, animal style (medium rare of course), fries, and a chocolate shake.

You know what I love about In N Out? Everything is just the right size so I can order the works (burger, fries, shake), and not feel sick afterwards. So, the one time my eyes are not bigger than my stomach!

Well, this night got even better. Since In n Out is right at the airport, you can watch the planes land if you sit outside! For a better part of an hour, I ate my burger, chomped on my fries, and slurped on my milkshake while watching flights land, while wearing shorts. One arriving flight was Virgin Atlantic, so I figured Becca could have been on that one from London. Another one was Lufthansa, so I guessed that it was a non stop from Frankfurt, and maybe the first class passengers had a lot of champagne in the first class terminal in FRA. A few Delta, a few United, several Southwest. I was hoping for an A380, but no luck. Can I reiterate, what could be better than wearing shorts in March, eating a perfect medium rare burger, and watching planes land? Nothing. Nothing could be more perfect.

Next stop: flying across the pond tonight to visit London for a (long) weekend!

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