This past week was jam packed with touristy things. I woke up Saturday morning to learn that our wifi was out. Since I also don’t have a coffee maker at my apartment, I used this as an excuse to explore DTLA (learning the lingo or just posing as a local?) in search of a fun, new, probably hipster spot. I had plans to meet Mariah and Brendan at noon so I had some time to kill. I decided on Astro’s Donuts, a tiny donut shop featured on one of those mouthwatering facebook food videos. They are known for their crème brule donut and chicken n waffle sandwiches. I decided on the Blueberry, Lemon, and Thyme donut and found a spot on the bar to pull out my laptop. The staff was all so nice and they were curious about where I want to school (sticker on my laptop) and how I found Astro’s. Great donut, great coffee, great service, great gram pic.
I met up with Mariah and we drove to Union Station to pick up Brendan who had come in from Claremont on the metrolink. We made our way to Griffith Park, parked somewhere at the bottom, and walked all the way up. None of us had ever been so it was definitely a checked box on the LA Bucket List but we found ourselves to be of only what I’m guessing to be a handful of Americans there. Our tourist was definitely showing. A lot of people were there because of the weekend traffic and it being such a clear day so we did a quick walk-through, took some pictures, and made our way back down the trail. We were hungry and Mariah lives just across the park from The Grove so we decided to go to the Farmer’s Market for lunch. I’d been to The Grove before but this time I saw it very differently. The company that developed The Grove is a competitor of CenterCal so I’d recently done quite a bit of research on the property. Now that I understand a little bit more about what it takes to put a massive project like that together, as well as its management, it’s not just a destination anymore but rather a case study.
That night we celebrated Claire’s, and her twin brother Mark’s, 21st birthdays at a wine bar called Bacaro just down the street from my apartment. True to its reviews, it really is a hidden gem “in the middle of the ghetto.” $20 for unlimited house wine, homemade sangria, champagne, and beer for an hour and a half. Add some Italian tapas and you’ll have yourself a great night and not so great a memory. Some pictures…
The next morning, after dropping Brendan off at Union Station, Mariah realized she forgot her keys at Mark’s apartment the night before. He was already at brunch and wouldn’t be back for a few hours so we tried a coffee shop down the street. It shares a wall with Bacaro and it was just as good! They offer this 3-cookie sampler for $2.50, that and coffee was the perfect next-morning breakfast. When Mark finally responded, we went to his apartment a few blocks from mine. On our way out of the parking garage, we run into 2 CMCers subletting just down the hall from him. What are the chances?!
I was asked to housesit for a coworker who lives in El Segundo Sunday and Monday nights so later that day, I drove down to Long Beach for Caryl’s Tonys Viewing Party in lieu of her tiny bungalow. I would be staying at Caryl’s on Sunday night but I looked forward to staying in El Segundo and avoiding the traffic on Tuesday morning on my way to work. At Caryl’s there were hors d’oeuvres, show tunes, and more wine, what could be better? After work on Monday I went to the nearby Ralph’s and bought a pint of ice cream that I later ate on the beach watching the sun set far over Malibu and the hills beyond. Went back to the Bungalow, watched the Warriors win the NBA Championship, and looked forward to getting an extra hour of sleep before work the next morning.
On Wednesday, I got dinner with Isley at the sushi/thai restaurant sharing Bacaro’s other wall (I’m starting to get the picture that this is the only nice block to eat at in all of USC?!). It was nice to catch up since we hadn’t seen each other at least since starting college. She is working at Hubert’s Lemonade so I left with 2 cases at the end of the night. Free lemonade=promotional materials I guess, comment below if you want some!
On Thursday, I met Connor, Jordan, and Jordan’s cousin for happy hour in downtown LA, and then we ended up getting dinner at another place nearby! The Artisan House is a restaurant I saw on another one of those Facebook videos and I will confidently say that the lobster mac n cheese was even more incredible than it looked in the video. I’m 2 for 2!
Happy Friday! Many more touristy events to come!
Here’s a pic of my breakfast this morning that I’m just a little proud of 🙂