Joan’s on Third

If my first week of vacation was all about catching up with friends, the second week of vacation was all about large lunches, reading and shopping (post to come on my new business casual work wear acquisitions). Wednesday I went to the opening of Lemonade in Brentwood and on Thursday I went shopping at the Grove and then took myself out to lunch at Joan’s on Third. I’ve been to Joan’s for cupcakes before but never for lunch.

Joan’s was busy (as usual) but way less busy than it would be on a weekend. I love everything about Joan’s. They have a cheese case that I just want to dive into <- not even kidding. I placed my order at the counter and was lucky to snag a table outside.

My tour of the Chelsea Handler catalogue continues…

To drink I ordered an iced tea.

Soon enough my sandwich arrived. It was a tough decision but I ended up getting apricot glazed ham with brie on wheat. Obviously, brie and ham is always going to be my go to.

The sandwich was delicious! There was brie but not too much. The bread was very grainy and delicious. I sat in the shade, read my book, sipped on my iced tea and enjoyed my sandwich. Pure lazy vacation bliss!

The staff at Joan’s is great. I wish I could say the same for the other patrons. While I was in line there was a group of women I will refer to as the plastic surgery gallery (really, why does anyone do anything to themselves that makes them look like they are going through a wind tunnel at all times?) and they were on their phones while ordering. The cashiers were trying to tell them to order as a group on one register but because they were on their phones they didn’t understand. It was obnoxious.

Then while eating my sandwich, another patron waiting for a table threw a hissy fit, was incredibly rude to the server and basically demanded a table that wasn’t rightfully hers. In order to appease the women the server ended up asking me to move half way through my meal to a table in a lesser location. The staff was very nice to me as they asked me to move, clearly they were in a bind and they made things right with the drink refills but I was shocked at the audacity of the customer to basically demand another customer to move.

Other customers aside, the staff was nice and tried to be accommodating. The food was amazing as always. I snagged a cupcake on my way out, same as last time which was tasty! I will be hitting Joan’s again, but maybe only to go.

Any dining horror stories of other patrons? I consider myself a pretty low maintenance diner so I was shocked someone would cause a scene just to secure a table in a certain location.

In other news!

My little brother started a blog! He is spending the next 10 weeks in Cameroon doing civil engineering work. If you want to travel his exploits in Africa, you can follow his blog. I am so proud of him going out in the world and making a difference.

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Lemonade: Brentwood

This little vacation of mine has been perfectly timed! I saw a tweet on Tuesday night that Lemonade in Brentwood would be opening for lunch on Wednesday. Because I had the day off I decided to check it out!

Lemonade has several outposts in LA including in Downtown, Venice and West Hollywood. Yesterday they opened one in Brentwood (which is super close to where I live, very conveniently located). The concept behind Lemonade is that the food should be delicious, simple, and is served cafeteria style. It’s like a grown up lemonade stand! This has been on my to dine list for a while and I was so excited to check it out on opening day!

Loved the décor. Super clean, white and crisp. I got there around 1 and they were busy but I was able to get a great table. Before I sat down I went to the counter and picked my meals. Lemonade serves a combination of salads, proteins, soups, entrees, and sandwiches. Because it was my first visit I tried 1/2 portions of several salads and one of the proteins.

I have to give credit to the staff at Brentwood Lemonade. They were fantastic! They had great recommendations, made sure that I knew what I was doing because it was my first visit and were very attentive and chatty after I sat down. They made my dining experience wonderful.

This was my plate:

4 salads:

  • Brussels sprouts, shaved parmesan and balsamic
  • Drunken soy chicken, soba noodles, peanut, creamy sesame
  • Sweet potato and pistachio
  • Roasted parsnips, rosemary red onion, honey and blue cheese

Plus 1 protein

  • Seared Ahi Tuna with a crushed orange ponzu (in the middle)

All of the food was delicious. I love the idea of being able to split portions and try different things. The sweet potatoes and the drunken chicken were my favorite but they were all tasty.

Obviously, Lemonade serves several types of Lemonade. My server recommended watermelon rosemary and who am I to argue with a tasty sounding recommendation?

Holy yum. This might be my favorite lemonade, ever. It was crisp and not too sweet. Plus the rosemary flavor gave it a little something extra. Normally I am a black, unsweetened iced tea girl but this drink is the exception to my rule (bonus points if you get the movie reference).

As usual, I couldn’t resist getting dessert. I opted for the peanut butter milk chocolate crunch bar.

Can you blame me? The peanut butter was creamy, the rice krispy was, ah, crispy (?) and the chocolate smoothed the whole thing out. I only ate half while I was at lunch because I was so full! There were so many other treats that I want to try soon.

Overall, I am glad Lemonade has moved into my hood. The staff was friendly and the food was delicious with plenty of variety. This is definitely going to be one of my go to places in the future.

Will I Ever Learn?

Probably not.

Yep. That is a burn line on the left side of my left leg and just the tops of both of my knees. Because “I don’t burn on my legs” despite all evidence to the contrary and when I say “evidence to the contrary” I mean despite the fact that I got a super painful burn on my legs during spring break freshman year of high school while kayaking in Florida. See, laughing at myself. The burn is actually book shaped. I’m pretty sure I will have demolished the entire Chelsea Handler catalogue by the end of this week. Can you blame me? She’s a funny lady.

In related news: Running with a burn is a terrible idea unless you want to feel very lightheaded and want your legs to feel burn-ey. Getting a burn while lounging poolside the day before my half is the new worst case scenario.

In food news I have a new obsession: Soba Noodles.

First things first, they only take three mins to cook. Where was this obsession during finals? I don’t know! I sauté up some Apple and Chardonnay Chicken Sausage (thank you TJ’s!), spinach, carrots and a dash of soyaki. Kind of a random combination but oddly, exactly what I wanted. Yay for low maintenance dinners when my legs are too burned to cook something high maintenance. I promise there is something glorious with scallops coming up tomorrow.

I’m off to take an ibprofin with my vacation vino and slather my legs with aloe!

Anyone have a sunburn miracle cure? You know outside of just being responsible and putting on sunscreen.

San Diego 1/2 Marathon Update

Hey gang!

I haven’t really updated about running in a while so I thought this would be a good time for a running state of the union.

You might remember that I am running the San Diego Rock n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon in less than two weeks. I am so excited! I’ve never been to San Diego before and I am so excited to run my second 1/2.

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I haven’t posted about my training much. In all honesty, the build up to this 1/2 hasn’t been the same as the build up to Malibu (my first 1/2 back in November. Since Malibu was my first 1/2 the training was more special. Every long run was a new personal distance record. When I signed up for Malibu (almost a year ago!) I had never run further than 4 miles. After I had a runners high that lasted for a week. It really was the most incredible feeling.

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This time around I haven’t been as excited but in the past few weeks, especially since finals, I’ve been starting to get excited again. I’ve also learned some great lessons. For starters, I made an ambitious training plan which I didn’t really follow. I shouldn’t have made my plan before classes started. I have, however, been working out hard.

In addition to running I’ve consistently gone to yoga twice a week since January. I’ve noticed some changes in my body. I’ve toned up and right now I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I’ve lost another size since my last 1/2 and have upped my mileage to greater than 20 a week. All in all, I’ve been working out 6 days a week nearly every week with the exception of some random rest weeks, like Spring Break for example, when I let shopping be my cardio.

I don’t time myself when I run so I’m not totally sure what to expect in terms of my time on race day. It would be amazing to run faster than I did in Malibu. I ran Malibu at a just over 10 min mile pace for 2:11. Malibu was super hilly and hot plus when I was training for Malibu I was ONLY running and not cross training at all. In terms of race goals I just want to have fun. So much is left to chance with a race. Who knows how I will feel on race day or what the weather will do. My major race goal is to have fun, but don’t get me wrong, I really want to set a PR. We shall see!

Another reason to be excited for SD? LCCDAD is coming to So Cal to watch me run! He has never seen me run a race before and I haven’t seen him since December so I am very excited to spend some quality time with him.

After completing SD I am going to turn my attention to marathon training! You may remember that I registered for the Chicago Marathon last February. I am so stoked to tackle the marathon. I’ve been reading up on marathons for a while and I am working on a training plan for Chicago. For the record: its only going to be a partial plan. I’ve learned from my mistakes this semester. I haven’t selected classes for Fall yet and I refuse to commit myself to something I’m not 100% sure I can keep. Once I pick classes I will plan my week day workouts. I will however plan out my weekends (which I know will consist of long runs and my favorite yoga class).

So many amazing things are on the horizon, I cannot wait to share it all with you!  

You Are Beautiful!

Major thank you to Melissa for tagging me for a “Smile- You are Beautiful” award! Side note: if you don’t know about Operation Beautiful you really should. I love the concept behind it and I own the book. Caitlin is amazing and I love her mantra to “focus on the pivotal and not the trivial”.


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1. Smile!

Done. If you know me you know that I walk around with a cheesy grin on my face unless I’m facing some kind of epic life disaster like not getting a parking spot near Susie Cakes or you know death or an epic family/friend crisis.

2. Write 3 things you like about your looks.

-I love my face. The whole thing. I like my eyes (shape [almond] and color [brown]), my noise, my lips and smile. I love the scar on my chin, my round cheeks, and my little sun freckles.

-I love my hips. Even though I’ve gotten healthier in the past 18 months I’m still curvy. I enjoy them because they are feminine and lovely.

– I love my ankles. They are toned and are great evidence that I am a runner.

Clearly have some serious issues with self love 😉

3. Write 3 things you appreciate about your personality.

-My Optimism and Faith: No matter how bad things seem, I always believe that things are going to be better in the future. I truly believe that something better is always on the horizon.

-My perseverance & ability to work hard: I have been a freaking hustler when it comes to getting internships, taking on leadership roles, prepping for exams, taking classes, writing papers, and networking (especially in college, I’ve let myself relax in law school). Wanna hear a true story? My Brother was talking to a law student and mentioned that I was in law school at UCLA. The kid said “wow, she must be crazy smart” and he replied “no, she just works really hard”. While it might annoy me that my brother denied my intelligence (I like to think I’m smart) he is right, I have worked my tail off to get where I am and have been tremendously lucky. And when people tell me “no” or doubt my abilities it only makes me work harder.

-My Ability to Laugh at Myself: I’m pretty good at not taking myself too seriously and let’s face it: I do some random and hilarious crap. It’s good for the soul to laugh about it. It’s even to have girlfriends to laugh about it with.

4. Write about something you find beautiful in other people (looks, personality – whatever)

-I think it’s beautiful when people are passionate about something outside of themselves. It doesn’t matter what it is (I mean, as long as it isn’t like illegal). The ability to care about something outside of your self is a beautiful thing.

5. Award as many other people as you like and let them know!

Kelley <- it’s all you girl!

Blogger Picnic

Saturday was a beautiful day! To celebrate I got together with some awesome LA area bloggers for a picnic at the Hollywood Bowl. You can access the bowl whenever you like if there isn’t a show. There was literally no one else there.

Best Seats I’ve had at the Bowl, ever. Way more mainstream than that time I snuck in to see Tom Petty.

My picnicking buddies were Kaitlin, Amanda, Lea, Lynn and Eden.

Kaitlin and I (photo credit to Amanda)

Amanda, Eden, and Lea

Lynn, Kaitlin and I (photo credit to Kaitlin- as always, I love how your camera makes me look!)

It should be noted that we took over not 1, 2 or 3 boxes BUT 5 boxes. Oh yes. There was that much food! I brought my Roasted Shrimp and Orzo Salad.

Kaitlin brought veggies and hummus and almonds

Lynn brought granola bars (um, they were amazing) and muffins with fig jam (!)

Eden brought cold cuts and mini quiches & Amanda brought chips, hummus, dips, cheese and drinks.

And Lea brought veggie bars

I had 3 plates FULL of food, but I only took a picture of plate 1… I was distracted by all the tasty food.

I left the event with an awesome food baby and some rocken’ tan lines. I had a great time meeting hanging out with old friends and meeting some new LA bloggers!

What did you do this weekend?

Bieres De Champagne

The other fantastic part of vacation, besides running, cooking and unlimited yoga is spending time with friends I haven’t been able to see in a while. Wednesday night met up with Kelley and Kaitlin at the Eagle Rock Brewery for a Women’s Beer Forum on Bieres de Champagne. I’d never been to the Eagle Rock Brewery before. It’s totally off the beaten path (as in it doesn’t really have a store front) but the main room was nice and inviting. We were in a back room for the event.

You can kind of see the actual store through the glass. We felt like we were in a fish bowl. OR were they the ones in the fish bowl? Yeah, think about that for a little while.

The room we were in had barrels and other beer type things.

The event was focused on beers brewed with the Methode Champenoise. This is a traditional method of making sparkling wine and is adapted here to the making of beers. The technique creates a higher level of effervesance from a secondary fermentation that occurs after the beverage is bottled. Further, the emphasis of this process is to remove as much of the solid yeast sediment as possible to achieve a higher level of clarity. Champs + beer? SIGN ME UP! The beer even came in Champagne bottles.

We tried a flight of 4 different beers. Once they were poured people made a bee line for booze.

The first beer was Dues, which is bottled in Belgium. It had notes of pear, cider, cumin, cinnamon, honey, light fruit, lemon grass, and baking spices.

I really liked this one, and the girls and I decided we could totally taste the honey (prefect for Kaitlin).

Ting, from the Eagle Rock Brewery told us all the details about the beers in between tastings.

We also got these handy cheat sheets…

The second beer, Maltose Falcons Brut from Woodland Hills, CA was my favorite. Of course, because it’s my favorite it’s also the one that is rare and isn’t commercially available. It’s made by a home brewery group and is only made once a year. You know what that means? It’s different and special every time! I love exclusivity.

So crisp, so tasty.

The third beer was very different! Liefmans Curvee-Brut from Belgium was deep, bright and red. It was dark cherry-like with a hint of tartness. The flavor was tart and had a bit of sweetness.

It tasted like grape soda and was good and different.

The fourth and final beer was Malheur Brut Noir from Belgium. Honestly, I don’t remember many details from this beer. I know I drank it and enjoyed it!

Cheers!

According to my cheat sheet this had notes of tart cherries, cotton candy and spicy fermentation character. Sounds good to me!

It was great to catch up with Kaitlin and Kelley. I haven’t seen them in like a month.

Yay for lady time and blog talk! These are some awesome ladies.

After 4 beers I needed to feed the beast (my belly). Luckily there was a food truck waiting outside for us!

The truck was called Almoosal and featured Vietnamese sandwiches. I ordered one with beef, arugula, caramelized onion and tomato. It also came with sweet potato fries and a garlic sauce.

I loved every bite!

Overall, the Eagle Rock Brewery knows how to throw an event! I would love to return for another Wednesday night event. They run them once a month and I would love to return to the actual brewery sometime. They seemed like they had a lot of interesting and affordable flights and parking was easy, which is such a blessing in LA. Overall, a fantastic vacation Wednesday!

Have you ever tried Bieres de Champagne?

Our Cheers

You know, that place where “everybody know your name”? My friend David and I found it…

That place for us, is the Polo Lounge. I intended to blog what we were eating and drinking but I forgot my camera. I will say that they now know our names and our drink orders (dirty Tanqueray, extra olives in case you were wondering). I love the Polo Lounge. It truly is my happy place, like La La Land where everything is always shiny and perfect and fabulous. Lets just say, the Polo Lounge is my Cheers!

Chocolate Chip Macaroons

This week the Flour Cookbook made its triumphant return.

I’m slowly working my way though the book. Thus far I have made:

I’ve never made macaroons before but I love them so I thought I should give it a shot. Obviously I added chocolate chips because chocolate makes everything tasty. These were way easier that I thought they would be.

And before I knew it my apartment smelled like toasted coconut and I had this…

Ignore the fact that there is a bite out of the side of that one on the right. 😉 I made a half batch and refrigerated the rest of the dough. In total I have about 40 macaroons on my hands. You always have friends when you have chocolate chip macaroons.