Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Heart SoCal - Part 1 of 2

Hey everyone! I know, it's been a while since I've blogged, but I was seriously busy with weddings, long weekends and my trip to Southern California. Sorry! So to make it up to you guys, I'm going to have 2 SUPER long posts about my trip to CA with the bf =) I took over 600+ pics, and tried to condense it down to 50-some pics per post, so if your browser freezes up, you've been warned. Let's get started!

DAY 1- Los Angeles

Left from Dulles Airport at the crack of dawn. I haven't flown out from Dulles in years and was surprised to see the trains they have in between terminals! I remember going on some old shuttles when I was younger. This reminded me of the airport in Las Vegas and Atlanta.

It was the beginning of our vacation, so we wasted no time pigging out. I can't usually eat much 1st thing in the morning, so most of this was the bf's food.

This was our 1st time flying on Virgin America and it was AWESOME! Leather seats, pink and purple lit ceilings, free cable TV, video games, electrical outlets and wifi and movies (both were not free). It was a very trendy plane, and I'm all for that.

Welcome to Los Angeles...

We rented a car using Hotwire (love that site! we booked our hotel that way too) and went all over the place with our GPS. I don't know how people used to go on trips without one! We used my iPhone and Yelp for addresses and just drove from place to place. Thanks to my friends and Pink for the suggestions!

Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles
1518 N Gower St
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Neighborhood: Hollywood
(323) 466-7453

1st meal in LA was was at the famous Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. I don't even know how I first heard of this place, but the name has been ingrained in my brain for years. The interior was dark and den-like with wood and brick.

We ordered similar items. The bf got the '#1 Scoe's (1/2 Chix prepared Southern style, 2 waffles, our own private mix) for $10.20'. OMGGGGG, hands down the best waffles I've ever had. The bf agrees as well. Fluffy, buttery, sweet and salty. They were perfect. I tasted the chicken and it was seasoned so well, and delicious. I like how they gave 2 containers of syrup too.

I ordered the '#2 Scoe's (1/4 Chix smothered in gravy and onions, 2 waffles, our own mix) $10.40' and the gravy was smooth and warm over the very moist chicken. The 'Mac & Cheese' for $4.50 seemed a bit expensive for a small portion, but it tasted great. The bf thought it was the best he's ever had. It tasted homemade and was creamy, cheesy and just salty enough.
Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles on Urbanspoon

Mulholland Drive
From the 405 to the 101
Los Angeles, CA 90189

I'm usually a planning freak when it comes to vacations, but the bf stumbled upon this on his own, and I was so impressed! Molholland Drive goes up a mountain and there's a "scenic view" stop where you can overlook the entire city of LA. It was so beautiful!

You can also see the Hollywood sign in the other direction.

It wasn't crowded at all on the drive up or at the stop, so it was a cute place for a photo opp and to get away from the traffic.

Hollywood and Highland
6801 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
Neighborhood: Hollywood
(323) 817-0200

The bf has never been to California before so we had to do some tourist things too. We checked out the Grauman's Chinese Theatre, which was preparing for the movie premiere of Splice. The shopping center is beautiful with a bunch of shops and restaurants. It can get really crowded around there though.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame was up and down the street. Can you tell who we each admired?

Beard Papa Sweets Cafe
6801 Hollywood Blvd.No.1.5.-153
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 462-6100

The bf saw a sign for "Award Winning Cheese Cake" so we checked it out!

It was a tiny bakery with cute outdoor seating. They had a lot of pastries and drinks.

I didn't realize it was going to be a tiny stick, but it was interesting. Like cheesier cheesecake filling on a cracker. The green milk tea was so strong and good! Very floral but I liked it.
Beard Papa Sweets on Urbanspoon

The Grove
189 The Grove Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Neighborhood: Mid-City West
(888) 315-8883

Don't mind him... The Grove is a beautiful outdoor shopping center.

They have a trolley that goes around, tons of shops and restaurants. Really pretty monuments, fountains and groomed flower beds. The weather was perfect and I just enjoyed taking a stroll because it wasn't overly crowded either.

It was the 1st time we got to play with an iPad, and it's pretty awesome!

They also had a Farmer's Market! It wasn't crowded, maybe because it was a weekday? Produce, candy, restaurants, gift shops, etc.

9540 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Neighborhood: Culver City
(310) 838-3131

For dinner we went to a Korean fusion restaurant. I bought this Groupon deal of $30 for $60 worth of food while at home after reading about the place on Gastronomy (the best LA food guide). The interior is very modern and cool looking. I loved that yellow lit wall. The booths were huge, and the place felt very open.

We ordered the 'Gyenari Galbee (USDA Prime Aged Beef Short Rib, Marinated in our House Signature Marinade) for $28' and the 'Natural Pork Belly' for' $24. There was SO much meat! I liked the Galbi the best because it was marinated, but the bf didn't think it tasted authentic so he liked the pork belly more.

They had some cool dipping sauces, one of which was a mayo-based. The ban chan (little side dishes) were good even though they tasted different from the usual way.

'Japchae (Sweet Potato Glass Noodles wok tossed with Assorted Vegetables, Soy, and Beef) for $12. It was really good! The portions were really big and the bf gave his stamp of approval.

They had smokeless grills, which was so great. The place didn't reek of smoke or food and there was no obtrusive fan above the table.
Gyenari on Urbanspoon

Day 2- San Diego

On our way to San Diego we were stuck in traffic because there was a brush fire! Not cool...

San Diego Zoo
2920 Zoo Dr
San Diego, CA 92101
Neighborhood: Balboa Park
(619) 231-1515

We drove 2 hours from LA to San Diego and HAD to check out the zoo. It's supposed to be the best in the country! We loved it because it's very beautiful with a ton of animals. The National Zoo was nothing compared to this place.

The animals were all so close to us! The koalas were all sleeping so cute. The elephants had a huge open area for them to roam and eat.

The polar bears might have been my favorite! One was playing with a blue rubber ball, and was having a blast. The panda exhibit was very heart warming since it was a mommy panda with her baby.

The giraffes were very close too! I enjoyed watching the baby eating with its mom. The orangutans were hanging out and watching the visitors gawk at them.

We didn't really eat much at the zoo because there was too much to do and see. I felt a bit faint after walking around for 3.5 hours without food, so we stopped by for a quick snack. Hebrew National hot dogs are the best.

Balboa Park
1549 El Prado
(between Plaza De Panama & Village Pl)
San Diego, CA 92101
Neighborhood: Balboa Park
(619) 239-0512

Another place the bf took us that I was unaware of! He's better at this than I thought =) This was the MOST BEAUTIFUL park I've ever been to. These pics don't really show how nice it was. I could have stayed there all day.

Museums, fountains, atrium, architecture, gardens, amphitheaters, churches, etc.

So serene with minimal people, and just quietness. I took a ton of pictures of this place.

The sky was so clear that day too, which made the experience better. I would highly recommend checking this park out if you are in San Diego.

Can someone tell me what flower this is?! They were planted all over California and smelled amazing whenever I walked by them.

There were only 2 vendors that we saw, so the bf bought a 'chicken tamale with green sauce' for about $3. It was quite tasty. The tamale girl said Balboa Park was the prettiest place in San Diego too.

La Jolla Cove
1100 Coast Blvd
(at Girard Ave)
La Jolla, CA 92037
Neighborhood: La Jolla

A breathtaking place with rocks overlooking the ocean and seals! You can't really see them but they're on the darker rocks below those kayaking. You can definitely hear them when you're walking around.

There was a tiny beach that we walked along too. Seagulls and pelicans were all over the rocks too.

It was also very peaceful there and the air was brisk and fresh. There were some really nice homes and condos overlooking the water too.

Can I live here please?

Hotel Del Coronado
1500 Orange Ave
(between Adella Ave & Glorietta Blvd)
Coronado, CA 92118
Neighborhood: Coronado
(619) 435-6611

Probably the most famous hotel on the Coronado Island, we stopped by to walk along the sand. The hotel is huge and beautiful. The sky was kind of hazy but once again, very peaceful. I feel like all of San Diego is peaceful, haha.

Miguel's Cocina
1351 Orange Ave
(between Churchill Pl & B Ave)
Coronado, CA 92118
Neighborhood: Coronado
(619) 437-4237

I found the spot on Yelp because of its great reviews. The place felt like I was in Cancun or something. Really fun place and it was packed!

I was addicted to their jalapeño white sauce, which comes free with fresh chips and salsa. It's very mild and liquidy, but somehow really good!

We both ended up ordering enchiladas. Both were insanely tasty and came with rice and beans.
Top: The bf ordered their specialty 'Shrimp Enchiladas (topped with jalapeño white sauce, cheese and avocado)' for $14.
Bottom: I'm a big fan of green sauce, so I ordered the 'Enchiladas Suizas (shredded chicken enchiladas topped with verde sauce and sour cream)' for $10.50.
Miguel's Cocina on Urbanspoon

Coming up - Orange County and more of LA!!


C. said...

im excited for part 2! i wanna do CA but it seems difficult, any more recs?

shin said...

ahhh dopeness..looks like a really great time =).

sonharmuito said...

La Jolla and the Balboa park or whatevs it is look awesome gurl! I'm starting to get amped for this trip!! Loox like you did a lot of damange out there :D

Anonymous said...

Omg, I just went to L.A. in May and hit up nearly the same spots you did! (yes, the Chicken/waffles from Roscoe's were the best I've ever had :). Awesome post - it makes me want to return and check out San Diego now. Thanks.

Amanda said...

I think the flower you liked is a Vinca of some sort...

Dskco said...

Thanks guys it was very fun! Part 2 will be posted tmrw.

Amanda- Thanks for responding about the flowers! They smell so good, i'll have to look into that

Private Investigation in Beverly Hills said...

Awesome trip,
I remember my olden day when I was in California.

I feel as I am also with you & enjoy the trip during reading the post.

Amber said...

I just got home last night from here. I was in San Diego for work and then my parents came out for the weekend. We spent our days in La Jolla, Old Town San Deigo, and Coronado Island. I am glad that you enjoyed your trip!

sarah (Catch A Cub In Its Den) said...

how funny that roscoe's was your first meal in LA... i've lived here for 6 years and still haven't been! really need to remedy that.

Joanna said...

Those are called Star Jasmine. Glad you like them. I actually think they smell a bit too strong. The other Jasmine I like better are Arabian Jasmine (also grown in Taiwan) and Madagascar Jasmine (also known as stephanotis).

Thanks for blogging about your trip to SoCal. I live here and I haven't visited as many eateries as you have! I'm looking forward to checking out Guppy House and going back to Balboa Park!