Yes, its Valentine’s so here’s the obligatory post. Well, not really but reason enough. There’s always a bunch of places in the neighborhood you walk or drive past and think – we should check this out sometime. So today was the right day and time to check out this Thai place I’ve been eyeing since I moved to Hollywood. Called Nong-La, its nestled between a series of businesses on La Brea. The outer area has these green creepers growing over the window rails that makes it look very cozy compared to all the other buildings around. Since I live close by, this was the lunch spot today. Most folks seem to prefer to sit outside on the semi open porch area and it can get pretty noisy real soon so we opted for indoors. Started out with the Thai tea and iced coffee. Both perfectly milky and sweet as expected. For lunch though, despite what looks like a limited menu, there is a reasonable amount of dishes to choose from, even though I stay away from pork/pork products, and they do have a lot of dishes with pork added in the mix. The husband settled for a beef pho bowl while I chose the curry chicken with vermicelli. I thought it would be a smaller portion compared to typical pho bowl sizes but it actually turned out to be the opposite. So yes, there it is, the bowl of curry chicken with vermicelli and sweet potato. Just the right balance of salt and spice, lemongrass and onions. I could savor only half of it though before having to resort to a box to go. Ended the lunch with their caramel flan. Perfect ending to a lovely lunch with lovely company (read:husband).
Enjoying the beautiful gardens - great spot to get some writing, reading, meditation accomplished!
Well, technically, don’t have to hunt it down since it is such a well-known landmark but more like I had to hunt down a reason to get myself to Huntington. And once I did, I was kicking myself for not having visited earlier. Now I know for a fact that I will have to go back soon to complete my visit. Checked out this venue for a volunteering event today and was completely taken aback by how big it is. I assumed as I entered the gateway that it was but I certainly did not expect so many different gardens and galleries housed within. So yes, there is the library portion of the venue that consists of collections and galleries, research and education but then there are all these gardens as you walk along the way. The Japanese and Chinese gardens were clear favorites and that’s where most of these pictures are from here. Lots of beautiful calming spaces to walk around, enjoy reading, immerse yourself in nature, enjoy the sound of water in the pools…did not imagine all this in there. I certainly had no time for any of the gallery areas or to see the collections so this definitely warrants a return trip to fully experience Huntington at my own pace. Their event calendar is chock full of tons of interesting stuff coming up and they have some good exhibitions lined up in the next few months as well so planning my visit already. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy some of the images, and do share if you have ever been/have any pointers on visiting for me. I suspect I will need a full day to explore!
This life-size bridge usually has everyone enthralled
One of the best parts of living in a large city like Los Angeles is the opportunity to visit so many museums, not necessarily all free but definitely easily accessible. On my last visit to The Broad, I totally did not realize that the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) was right across the street (if you can believe it)! But I did intend on visiting and glad I finally found the time. Here are a few things to know before you go...
Beautiful art deco venue, look straight up at the ceiling when you visit.
While Chinese New Year is celebrated on the 28th this year, the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills set the ball rolling with a fantastic performance by artists from the Charming Beijing Variety Show. The theater itself is a renowned venue and the show has gathered appreciation over the last few years with locals and the community. If you don’t believe me, you should have seen the long lines ahead of the show at the entrance!
A spot I've been planning on trying for a while - one of those that I've driven past but never eaten at. Decided to change that today. Met with a friend for a dinner catch up and tried the Dine L.A. specials at Connie & Ted's . I do love a good lobster roll and fantastic desserts are an easy way to my heart so this one was a winner all the way. Added to my fave list!
Met with a friend to check out the Dine L.A. special at Birch for dinner. See the images in the gallery for a quick visual review. Everything was delicious - can't complain. Was impressed though with the cocktail featuring turmeric - seems like an unlikely ingredient for an evening libation. And the dessert was certainly the crowning glory. Will be back!
The Banana Split Cruller at Plan Check (Photo Credit:Wagstaff)
Last year, it had been only three months since I had moved to L.A and I didn't quite make the most of the dineL.A. experience much as I would have liked. So this year, I marked my calendar in advance... dineL.A. is back with a bang, friends! If you like checking out restaurants new and old, trying different cuisines and getting the inside scoop on what local area chefs are up to then the prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner offered during this event are a no-brainer. Here are some of my top picks for your consideration. Some of these are new to the event, some returning and some are part of their Exclusive Series but I hope you make time to enjoy a little of everything! This is by no means an exhaustive list - check their website for all the details:
I know I am headed to Birch for sure so watch out for reviews. A few others on my radar include Plan Check Kitchen + Bar featuring Mexican and American comfort classics complemented by Asian flavors, such as dashi, ponzu, and kalbi beef. Each meal begins with an amuse bouche of Spicy Crab & Crispy Shallot Deviled Eggs followed by a selection of plates such as Kalbi Beef Salad and Tuna Tartare. You can read my review of their DTLA location here!Another is acclaimed L.A. Chef Michael Cimarusti’s Connie and Ted’swhich I am planning to visit as well. This is his ode to New England seafood located in the heart of West Hollywood, and some of the menu items that caught my eye include Ed’s Portuguese Fish Stew and theBlondie!
What are your top picks? Are you headed out for dineL.A? I am all ears on recommendations and your reviews so leave me a comment below...
If you know me well, I am always on the lookout for suggestions and recommendations of where to travel to next. This list of offerings from Rothschild Safaris had me all excited. I hope to experinece one of these this year but meanwhile, take a look at some of the destinations on this list. I have bene to some but not all ... time to get working on getting myself there!
From a previous trip to NYC and Central Park, cannot wait to be back!
I try to have a somewhat ready calendar of my travel plans for the year, every year. Some years are great and some not so much but I’ve had a reasonable amount of travel the last few years, for work and pleasure, mostly within the U.S and slowly but surely expanding my horizons to international destinations. The earlier part of this year is actually looking a tad bit lighter with a few U.S locations but here’s what is in store for now:
January – New York City February – Carlsbad, CA March - Michigan April - Virginia May – Costa Rica June – Poland/Buenos Aires July - India August - Vermont September - Hawaii October – Greenville, S.C November - Quebec December – Yucatan