The Godmother

Today and Yesterday have been busy days.

Yesterday I tried to go to yoga. Twice. It just wasn’t my day.

The first time I tried to go to yoga I drove around a parking lot that insisted it had 15 available spots. Yeah. It didn’t. So I went to Panera and studied until the next class.

I got to the second class but the teacher didn’t. At that point I surrendered and went home.

Today was much better though! Not only did I feel good about the studying I had a good day.

I meet up with Kelly for a study break lunch at Bay Cities in Santa Monica. Bay Cities has 1300 reviews on Yelp and 4.5 stars, does it get any more stellar?

Bay Cities is an Italian deli and shop. They have great sandwiches, bread, pastas, cheese, and olive oil selection. You place your order at the deli counter and then eat outside on the patio.

Check out the garlic in the bottom right corner! We wandered the aisles.. there were so many truffle oils, I will need to go back. The cheese selection was good (holy giant mozzarella) and not too pricey. Next time I need specialty items I know where I’m headed!

We both ordered the signature sandwich, the Godmother, with the works. I mean, the name of the sandwich is etched in the window of the store (see below). How could I not order it?

The counter was pretty busy but we got through pretty fast. We picked out sodas (diet A&W!) and headed outside to enjoy.

I’m not sure what all was on “the works” version of the Godmother, but I can tell you that the bread is freshly baked. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. There are tons of meats in this sandwich and provolone cheese.

Yep, it really was “the works”. I only ate half the sandwich for lunch and I ate the other half for dinner tonight. This was a good sandwich. I think it was the bread that really made it special. Also the meat to cheese to topping ratio was perfect. Sometimes you get a sandwich and there is too much meat but this was just right!

After dropping Kelly off I found a metered parking spot with 40 mins left two blocks from Huckleberry. It would be wrong not to drop in! Right? Right? I grabbed a lemon bar which I ate after dinner.

I love lemon bars and this one did not let me down. It was a little tart but more sweet. There was lemon zest in the bar which was actually pretty good.

The lemon part was light and sugary. So delicious. Huckleberry is always a win.

After lunch I studied more and got my hair cut! I really, really needed it. I am totally that girl who walks into the salon and says “do whatever you want”. I’ve had super long hair, to a pixie cut and tons of styles in between. However, I made an executive decision: time to grow out my bangs.  I have had bangs in one iteration or another since 2007. It was time for a change.

If kinda reminded me of someone I idolize hair…

Source

Yep, I’m a Jackie, not a Marilyn. Its true.

Day 3 of Finals

Cookies consumed: 1

YouTube Video’s watched: 5 (here, here, here, here)

Bagels consumed: 2

Finals taken: 0

I have a fever…

And the only cure are more salted caramel macaroons! For real. It’s love.

I had another opportunity to hit Tavern for lunch yesterday. I didn’t pack lunch and forgot my debit card so I had to go home to get it and then before I knew it I was in my car and parking in a spot directly in front of the restaurant. What can I say? It was meant to be.


I also grabbed an ice tea. Obviously its always more tasty to buy an ice tea than it is to make one.

I took the bounty home to eat while I read. The to go meals at lunch at Tavern are so cute! They come with sweet potato chips….

Notice how Izzy is licking her chops. Everyone loves Tavern!

and the sandwich of the day…

The special was ham and cheese with tomato, lettuce, mustard and butter! Yes, you heard right, BUTTER!

It was fantastic. I cannot lie. Could you imagine it being anything but?

The ham wasn’t your typical ham, it was special and expensive ham and the cheese wasn’t normal cheese but the greatest Gruyere I’ve ever had in a sandwich. And it had butter on the freshly baked bread that is made in house!

What can top this?

Hello, lover.

For real. I’m having a serious committed relationship with my salted caramel macaroons and there is nothing wrong with that. This was the best random lunch ever. Don’t you love when something happens to throw off your daily routine and you get to do something extra special? I sure do.

Also tonight I ate this…

The parsnips a super freak!

 

I sure am enjoying my short week before Thanksgiving. I am going to my friend Catie’s families house (we’re calling it “shea”nksgiving). Can’t wait for some time off!

 

Hope you all have a fun plan for Thanksgiving break!

 

Kings Road Cafe

Sunday morning I had a meeting on the east side. In order to get out of bed and get excited for the day I planned to have breakfast at the Kings Road Cafe on Beverly, which is about half way to my destination. I haven’t gone out for breakfast in a while and I was looking forward to trying something in another part of LA.

I walked in around 9 and was able to grab a bar stool immediately. I was just in time because 30 mins later it was packed and there was some vicious fighting for bar seats.I’m telling you, it was cut throat.

Of course I wasn’t dining alone…

It’s that time in the semester… never a day off.

I really liked the vibe of the Kings Road Cafe. It was small and busy but not overwhelming. It felt like the kind of place where you could sit for and read for hours. The service was quick and attentive, plenty of iced tea refills. I had already perused the menu online and knew exactly what I wanted: whole wheat granola pancakes.

I just had butter on my pancakes, no syrup. With that much butter I didn’t really feel like I needed syrup. The pancakes were not too soft and not too thin. They had pieces of granola baked into them which was really delicious and broke up the whole wheatness of them.

These pancakes remind me of the pancakes from The Greenbay Cafe in Winnetka!

Overall, I really liked Kings Road Cafe. The service was so quick that I wasn’t stressed for time which provided lots peace of mind. I really hate being late and when going out for breakfast at a new place you never know how long it might take.  I definitely will be making a trip back the next time I have an early trek to the east side.

The Harry Potter Night

Yes. I like Harry Potter. I’ve read all the books and seen all the movies (some at midnight- but not since early college or late high school). Yes, I realize this makes me a nerd. But I’m also in law school so you already knew that.

At least I have friends who have the same idea.

We started this fantastic night at a California institution: In & Out Burger.

If you’ve never had In & Out then do yourself a favor. Get on a plane to LA asap and get one. It’s the only fast food that I like. They use fresh ingredients that are never frozen and little touches like toasted buns make the burgers special.

The menu is super simple,

but the glory of In & Out is that there are still a million ways to order your burger that aren’t on the menu! Like protein style, animal style, and grilled without meat. They also have the freshest fries (which can be ordered animal style as well).

I’ve interrogated the calorie counter for In & Out many times and in order to maintain some semblance of health I decided not to get anything animal style (which includes 1000 Island sauce and grilled onions) and to split regular fries with Catie because the fries come in around 400 calories.

I got a cheese burger with just grilled onions.

Obviously it was delicious. As mentioned above, Catie and I split fries.

French fry excitement.

My only only only gripe with In & Out, and I don’t know if So Cal people will agree with me or not, but not all In & Outs are created equally. For example, the Westwood In & Out isn’t as good as the Sunset Blvd In & Out. Actually, I think the best In & Out is in West Covina. It was also the first In & Out I went to, so my perception may be skewed on that. What location do you think is the best In & Out?

After In & Out we made our way to the ArcLight. For those of you that are not familiar, the ArcLight is the greatest movie theater of all time. Why, you ask? Well, there is assigned seating, the chairs are like lazy boys, the service is tops and they have the best amenities including, but not limited to, bathrooms, gift shops, and obviously the snack bar. While I think The Landmark at Westside Pavilion is also awesome, the ArcLight is the clear winner in my opinion.

We got there early with plenty of time to go on the “bathroom ride”, the “snack bar ride”, the “gift shop ride” and ogle the display cases.

Catie with some HP costumes.

We also saw some Burlesque costume.

You know it takes a legend to make a star! Is anyone else excited for Burlesque? It looks campy and fantastic, everything I want in a movie. Also they guy who played Volchok from season 3 of the O.C. is in it! How could you not want to see that magic?

Speaking of magic, back to the purpose for the trip to the ArcLight. We made our way to the “world famous cinedome” for the movie.

All the times I’ve been to the ArcLight, I’ve never seen a movie in the dome! The theater is like an IMAX theater but without the movement. It is huge and there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.

At the movie I snacked on popcorn with real butter!

Best movie popcorn ever! It’s never stale and is always topped with fresh, real butter. Yum!

Overall, the Committee had a great time at the movies. Harry Potter was very good and exciting. I have to say, it was so action packed it was a little stressful to watch. In a good way. I’m very happy it is being presented in two movies. It would have been a lot to watch all that action in one film. Have you seen Harry Potter? What do you think?

 

Huckleberry

After picking up my packet and race info on Friday in Malibu my Mom and I made our way to Santa Monica for treats and shopping on Wilshire. There are several consignment stores very close to Huckleberry an awesome bakery and restaurant. The last time we tried to go to Huckleberry it was super busy and we only got out with a cookie, a very very good cookie. Obviously we went back for more.

Luckily it wasn’t as crowded at 3 on Friday. There were tons of open seats (a good study spot? I think so!) I was hard to pick out our treats because there were so many delectable options. We settled on salted caramel and a pear tart.

Salted caramel was really good. The caramel was cold and placed on a little pie crust. The salt flavor was good, not overwhelming. It really brought out the flavor in the caramel.

Next we tried the pear tart. What can I say, I have a pear dessert obsession.

Really good. This was served room temp but the puff pastry was crispy and played well off of the soft, slightly sugary pear. Excellent selections!

Overall, I loved what I had at Huckleberry. Their menu is chop full of farm fresh breakfast and lunch items so there will be a return trip. Shopping went well too! I got a new trench coat, ruffle top, eyelet dress and a Nanette Lapore silk top in a size 2. I know. I couldn’t believe it either. I blame it on the half marathon training.

Ok! Time to get ice cream and curl up on the couch for Modern Family. Hope you had a happy hump day!

Green Street Tavern

After we lunched at Clementine and visited with family my Mom and I made our way to Old Pasadena for some light shopping and dinner. After unsuccessfully trying to convince my Mom to buy me things in Sur la Table we went to Green Street Tavern for dinner.

Green Street Tavern is super chic and modern looking. The walls are shaped to look like a cocoon and the space is warm and inviting. There were two separated dining rooms. The front room, which we sat in, was small and inviting and the back one was larger and had a really cool design on the walls. The menu has several items that I wanted to try but I started with pinot noir.

Normally I love pinot noir but the Solaire was not my favorite. It was still pretty good as far as wine goes!

Choosing what to order was hard because there were so many tasty sounding dishes on the menu. Mom and I decided to split two appetizers. First we ordered grilled organic tomatoes with burrata cheese, basil pesto and a balsamic reduction.

So good! I love burata cheese and balsamic reduction and the tomatoes were very fresh and flavorful. I would like to order balsamic reduction on everything!

We also sampled roasted beet salad with watercress, toasted hazelnuts, goat cheese and aged balsamic. The goat cheese was like little delicious cheese mountains. I have no complaints with the roasted beets. I love how fresh and seasonal this salad felt.

Then it was time for entrees. There were several options that looked appealing but I settled on braised short ribs with goat cheese orzo (mac + cheese) and garlic green beans.

Holy goat cheese orzo! I MUST figure out a way to make this at home. I already picked up the ingredients and I am working on it soon. It was so good. My mom and I ate and guessed at the “mac and cheese” recipe. The green beans were still a little crunchy (just how I like it) and the garlic flavor was very subtle. The short rib basically fell apart with my fork. Delicious.

Mom ordered the salmon.

The salmon came with polenta pancake and roasted mushrooms and peppers. It looked mighty good.

Because none of the servings were overwhelming we saved plenty of room for dessert. But who am I kidding, we always save room for dessert! We choose a special seasonal offering.

Pumpkin doughnuts with cranberry and honey ice cream. We all know how I feel about everything pumpkin. Covering it in sugar and adding ice cream ONLY improves the situation. We ate this in a matter of moments. It never stood a chance.

Overall, I loved Green Street Tavern and its definitely my Pasadena go to place. It would be a good location for a date or a special meal. Its a bit out of my average price range but the meal was fantastic and the space was cozy. I highly recommend Green Street Tavern.

A Delicious Weekend

There were no blog updates this weekend because I was too busy hanging out with my Mom, eating delicious food, and running my first half marathon (read about it here!) I didn’t even open my computer on Sunday. I didn’t blog every meal but I did capture some!

Right after my Mom arrived we went to Clementine for lunch.

Clementine has switched over to the Fall menu since the last time I went there. Sadly, the best BLT is no longer available. Pretty sad, I know. I settled on the Veg-Italian melt with olive bread, artichokes, and melted cheese. Yum!

Pretty tasty, but no Best BLT. I can’t complain though. We also had a thumbprint cookie with orange marmalade. It was pretty delish! Afterwords we visited family and then made our way to Old Pasadena for an amazing dinner. Stay tuned!

Blogger Love!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a blogger meet up with some LA area Healthy Living Bloggers. We met at Real Food Daily in Santa Monica, which I have been dying to try for months.

Real Food Daily features vegan and organic food. I have heard high praise from my friend Molly who claims it has the best fake bacon of all time. I tried it and it was pretty freaking good.

I was so excited a few weeks ago when Monica contacted me and asked it I wanted to attend a meet up. Of course I said yes.

Attendees included: Ameena @ Fancy That…Fancy This, Andy & Amanda @ Two Boos Who Eat, Brittany @ Pretty Fit, Pretty Healthy, Pretty Happy, Deb @ Smoothie Girl Eats Too, Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA, Jenn @ Girl Heroes, Kaitlin @ Kaitlin With Honey, Katie @ A Joy In Class. Everyone was super nice and you should check out their blogs! Add to your google reader!

It was so refreshing to be in a room with a group of people that are all bloggers! Everyone talked about food, photography, running, the blog community at large, and the Foodbuzz Fest (I wish I was going so bad!). The healthy living community is so supportive. I’m glad I get to be apart of it.
For lunch I made sure I got something with fake bacon. I settled on the club sandwich:
This sandwich was bar none the best vegan food I have ever had. All the ingredients were very fresh and Molly was right, amazing fake bacon. This sandwich didn’t stand a chance.
After lunch we headed outside for more photos.
Benefit of hanging out with bloggers? I’m not the only one taking a copious number of pictures.
This is Amanda, Kaitlin and I. We are talking about running a half marathon together. I hope it works out because they are both awesome! It was a total trip to meet both of them because I love their blogs and communicate with them all the time over Twitter.
Overall, the blogger meet up was a huge success! Thanks again to Monica for organizing it. We should do it again soon!
**Special thanks to Amanda and Andy for letting me use some of your pics**

Takeout Time

Sometimes you just have to waive to white flag of surrender and order takeout. Don’t you agree?

I went out last night to Bar Review at The Abbey. It was a blogger vacation night so no pictures. I got home at a reasonable hour (1:30 am) and was able to sleep “late” til 8:00 so I thought I would feel fine today. However I tossed and turned all night long. I think I got a total of 3 hours of sleep or so. Ugh. So awful. I ingested enough coffee to stay awake through Evidence and then I crashed.

Mid crash I went on a 4 mile run to break in my shoes. It was not my best effort. 1.5 miles in I realized that I couldn’t maintain my pace and slowed down. I turned some less intense running music and tried to chill out.

When I got back I realized I had no energy for cooking so I decided to get takeout from Thai House in Westwood. I rarely get takeout. Normally I can wander around my kitchen and figure out something to roast. Tonight I just wasn’t having it. So I started with Mint Spring Rolls:

The mint rolls are so fresh and they have shrimp! Can’t argue with that.

I also ordered an old standby, Pad See You with chicken:

Delicious.

I also got my cookies from Carolyn and they are fantastic. They completely made my day. I will photograph them tomorrow because I am sitting on my couch with a blanket and I am some dirty dishes and a shower away from face planting in my bed. At 7:30 pm. I know. I’m so cool you just can’t handle it. Party. Animal.

Cayenne

Yesterday Kelly and I perfected the art of the three hour lunch at Cayenne for the last day of restaurant week. Cayenne is on Beverly Blvd close to another favorite restaurant, Milk. Cayenne features Mediterranean food.

We had a three course lunch off of the Dine LA menu. As usual we split everything and had a fantastic time.

Cayenne itself is a cute little cafe with open windows and adorable lanterns hanging from the ceiling.

We started with the So Cal chop salad which was a pretty basic but very well executed. There was a lot of parsley and was super fresh. It literally smelled like a garden.

It was a good primer. Not sure I would pay full price for this item, but hey it comes with the meal!

We also sampled potage with zucchini and curry.

This is the appetizer to get at Cayenne. The curry was delicious and the soaked croutons were fantastic. Flavorful, but not overwhelming.

We liked the appetizers, but we loved the entrees!

I knew exactly what I wanted before I even darkened the door of Cayenne: the angus beef burger on ciabatta with caramelized onion, goat cheese & aioli. I mean… it had goat cheese and caramelized onions. It was love at first sight.

Under the hood:

This was a damn good burger. The flavors were perfect together and the ciabatta was crispy on the outside. And don’t even get me started on the fries…

Crispy on the outside with light garlic flavoring. Delicious!

We also tried the blackened salmon with pesto farfalle.

The pasta was pretty solid. The sauce was good and the mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes added nice flavor. The salmon was cooked to perfection. The flavoring was perfect; you could sense the flavor but it wasn’t over powering.

As if we weren’t full enough, we indulged in dessert. Hey it was a fixed course meal, right 😉

We started with Baklava…

As we know, I love pistachio baklava. This baklava was good and not too sweet.

We also tried pistachio rice flan:

Kelly wasn’t a fan of the consistency but I liked it ok. It was very sweet and different.

Finally, we never turn down chocolate so we sampled the brownie.

It was warm and gooey. So wonderful and delicious. This was Kelly’s favorite. I think my favorite dessert was the baklava.

Overall, Cayenne is a great place to check out for lunch. The entrees are large so if I were to go again I would bypass the appetizers and just get an entree and a dessert. I really liked the ambiance and the waitstaff was really nice and friendly. Another successful 3 hour lunch!