Monday, July 14, 2014

U Space in Little Tokyo

I had an appointment to interview artist Hirokazu Kosaka last week. There's a ukelele shop on the first floor of the Japanese Community and Cultural Center in Little Tokyo. In the shop is also a coffee shop and so i had an espresso. It was a good and delicious cup, not quite Barca but good. you know. I was happy to see James Okazaki there too. James has been in the public transportation field for decades including LADOT and Metro. He's a great guy. It's always a pleasure to talk to James.

Ketchy's II off of Sawtelle

I've been trying to grab a meal at this place for a while. I finally made it to the westside around lunch time. The Curry Cutlet was really delicious, tender meat and juicy curry. I also had their Potato Stick, which was good. I sort of wish he fried it just two minutes more. Ketchy's II is located at 11270 La Grange Ave LA CA 90025.

Antigua Organic Coffee and Tea in Lincoln Heights

A return to Antigua Organic Coffee and Tea at 3400 N Figueroa St LA CA, today. It was after a two hour oral history recording session with artist Jacqueline Alexander. It was a wonderful session. She told me about 7 decades of living as an artist/ writer, an amazing life of creativity. It's a focus I'm getting better at, recording oral histories. I do need to un-wind afterwards and Antigua lent the perfect afternoon setting and meal. I enjoyed a simple club called Club Maya with turkey meat and bacon. I ate it with an ice coffee and for dessert, a juice shake called Chango Mango. There was a drawing pad with pencil inside the cafe and attached to a light pole outside another drawing pad with pencil. There's also a large bike rack right in front. Interesting.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Chibiscus Asian Cafe & Restaurant in Hollywood

Tonight, I was able to have dinner with my son who stayed the night last night. It was fun hanging out with him today. We went to the El Segundo Museum of Contemporary Art to see an amazing graffiti art exhibit and to LACMA to see the Calder, Altoon and Soccer exhibit. My daughter did not join us which was a bit too bad but we hang out a lot so, oh well. For dinner, Ken said he wanted to eat ramen so I Yelp'd ramen and found a place near our house. I just wasn't in the mood to drive to Little Tokyo or Sawtelle. I found Chibiscus Asian Cafe & Restaurant in Hollywood, 7361 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90046. It got a lot of stars so I figured that was a good sign. We walked into a familiar mini-mall near the music shops west of La Brea. All of the tables were taken but one, left for us. The service was great. I guess I was thinking the old school ramen shop but soon, as my soul adjusted, well, this place is just too cute for words. They had K-Pop on the digital screen switching from so cute boy bands to so cute girl bands. The quality of the video and the productions were actually impressive. Ken and I were giggling. It was like walking into an animae or something like that but every one was so wonderful and welcoming. We both ordered the house ramen, Chibiscus Tonkotsu Pork Ramen. We also shared a fried rice and for dessert, we shared the Bread Pudding but I think Ken had maybe two small bites. He's not really into cakes and such. The food is excellent. I mean, the chef really has orchestrated an amazing and unique adventurer into ramen eating. The fried rice was on the wet side with pork richness but a sweet after taste, much like the K-Pop playing on the wide screen. At first, it was a little shocking to me but it's just so good. The ramen comes in a broth of which I've never experienced before. The broth magically separated all ingredients while framing each ingredient. In other words, the base water, a filtered water, lays a clean foundation and everything, like a theatrical presentation where there's a stage and everything is spot lit in a fun choreographed work, can be tasted in it's own respect. The ramen also had a sweet after taste. It was uncharacteristically refreshing. I've never had ramen like this before. It was amazing. The Bread Pudding was also delicious and although it wasn't as sweet as I thought it might be, we couldn't finish it. I highly recommend this place. Oh, and the unsweetened Green and Jasmine Ice Tea was perfect. You get one refill and it's more than enough.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Wood in Silver Lake

Banetoriko said she wanted to try the new pizza place in Silver Lake. Wood is located at 2861 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026. It used to be a hamburger place. The Wood has really unusual table tops. It's a kind of oxidized rainbow like glass, really nice. Well, to make a long story short, this may be my favorite pizza place or at least in my top 5. The crust is amazing. They really have that wood oven down. I have to tell you, at first bite, Banetoriko and I were like, Whoa…. I will mos def be back! The salad pictured was an elegant beet (red and hello beet) dish. perfecto!!!!

Valerie in Echo Park

Valerie's brick and mortar part two is on Echo Park Blvd. The menu is a little different from the Grand Central Market but I can't give you details. I met Valerie for the first time two weeks ago. She's very cool, business and energetic. She's really built a great presence in LA. I also enjoyed her booth at the Hollywood Farmers Market as well. Great food.

Wexler Deli at Grand Central Market

> Wexler Deli is one of the new most popular eateries to come into Grand Central Market. Almost always a line (although I heard breakfast is a little less so), the line goes fairly fast. I ordered the MacArthur, which is a pastrami with coleslaw, so i really appreciated the respect to Langers. Very classy, Wexler Deli. I went with Erina and Janet and as you can see from the photo. Food coma to the max!

Alberto's in Pasadena

Alberto's is a Mexican food chain fast food/restaurant. I even saw one in Salt Lake City last month. My daughter goes to Pasadena City College so one night she said she was going to bring home dinner and it was from Alberto's, 1543 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 91106. The food was delicious. It's a very American version of Mexican Food with the amount of cheeses and crunchy tacos but it's what I grew up with so it's nostalgic.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Pan in Gardena

With the Cordary Arts artists, we went out to lunch at a place called the Pan, 16601 S Western Ave Gardena, CA. I ordered the BBQ chicken salad that was quite delicious. A little too much dressing but otherwise, a good salad. The pizza we shared was quite good as well. This used to be a fast food place back in the day. They retrofitted a restaurant into it and the result is a comfortable eatery in the heart of Gardena.

Salt Flat Cafe in Wendover Utah

Utah trip, out in Wendover Utah, to visit the CLUI sites, Sun Tunnels for Nancy Holts memorial and a short morning visit to the Bonneville Flats. The Flats are the humongous desert like salt residue of a once upon a time lake. Since, the salt floor has been used for racing and speed records. The morning I went, I met these bikers from Nashville. Good folk, on a very cool trip. Some of them were riding around the flats and some were doing donuts. Anyway, along the road to the flats is the Salt Flats cafe. It's connected to a convenient store and gas station. I ordered the Huevos Rancho. Very delicious. Hikmet Loe and Phyllis Baldino also had breakfast. I loved hearing their stories about Nancy Holt. Awesome experience.