Run Around Saturday & Shakespeare by the Sea

The theme of the day Saturday was running around completing errands. I am going to Boston on Tuesday night for a week to see one of my college besties get married and moving the week I come home from Boston so I have a lot to do this weekend.

I ran 8 miles.

I worked on packing and unpacking.

(Some) of my cookbooks have a home!

I also ran to Venice to get my hair done.

Like it? It’s going to be long and bang-less for a while! I kind of love it. I haven’t had long hair since early 2009. It’s time for a change.

Then I went to the tailor and picked up my dress for the wedding I’m going to in Boston! It had to be taken in and it turned out great! With the help of my mom personal shopper I am accessorizing with a pearl necklace. It’s a bit prep but I think it kind of has a funky west coast twist.

Opinions? Don’t worry, I’ll get an actual picture at the wedding (after I have HENNA!) Oh yes, I am psyched.

Finally I ran to Whole Foods to pick up dinner and hopped in the car and drove to San Pedro to see Shakespeare by the Sea!

Kaitlin’s roommate Mark is in King Lear this summer. Shakespeare by the Sea puts on FREE plays every summer all over Southern California. They were playing in San Pedro for a while and now they are traveling all over So Cal. Check it out because Mark might be coming to a city near you!

Like the title of the company suggests, we were by the sea…

It was nice and cool by the water.

It took me about 5 seconds to break into my dinner. My house is in chaos right now from moving so I stopped by Whole Foods for my dinner.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad. Apparently I was really in the mood for Mediterranean?

Plus roasted butternut squash with caramelized onions, for something sweet!

I also packed my new go-to treat drink: Pellegrino and Lemonade in a jar!

Last week I had this with a little nectarine squeezed in. It was so delicious. Seriously, lemonade with a nectarine squeezed in. So freaking delicious.

And then the show started! I took a Shakespeare class in college and we actually both read King Lear and saw a production of it that our professor was in (he fancied himself an actor- I promise it was as amusing as it sounds). I really like Lear. Obviously, being a tragedy it is super dramatic. Mark was awesome and provided some comic relief in the middle of the play.

Overall, I had a great time. The actors were great and really committed to their roles. It was also fun seeing a friend in a production! You should check out Shakespeare by the Sea if you’re in LA this summer. You will not be disappointed.

Do you like Shakespeare? What is your favorite play? I also like Measure for Measure, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Taming of the Shrew.

Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles

Saturday night was an interesting night. A bunch of my co workers and I had the opportunity to attend the Justice Ball, hosted by Bet Tzedek. The event was held at the Palladium in Hollywood and Nelly (yes, the rapper) headlined. Oh yes. Nelly as in the rapper known for “Hot in Heree” and “Country Grammar” (I love the classics, duh).

Before the Ball we headed to a bar called The Well. The Well has happy hour (!) on Saturday (!!) until 9 pm (!!!). Obviously, we had no problems hanging out there! I also got a lovely reminder that running 8 miles means you need to eat something more substantial than quinoa with beets for dinner. Around 10 we made our way over to the ball.

Get it? Like “Nellyville” the album but Justiceville?

The Justice Ball is a fundraiser hosted by Bet Tzedek, a legal non-profit in LA. The interns at my office scored free tickets for being free labor awesome. The event was a typical fundraiser: drinks, a DJ, dancing, silent auction, and various booths. Once of them was producing flip books. I ran into a couple friends from law school and my co workers and I looked at the prom decorations.

Like this light up gazebo:

Oh yes. It was just like prom! Around 11 we realized that there was still an hour before Nelly and the St. Lunitics would grace us with their presence. The group felt like we were kind of done with the ball and then my co worker Jennifer made a magical suggestion: Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. Game. On.

Roscoe’s is an LA institution. They serve many things but are world famous for their Chicken and Waffles. Going to Roscoe’s has been on my LA to do list for a while and I was so excited that the Ball was a block away from the Hollywood location. We didn’t have to wait that long before we got a table.

Roscoe’s menu features many Southern and breakfast items. Obviously what I wanted to eat was a no brainer. I was also STARVING due to eating quinoa post 8 mile run. Really wasn’t using my brain when I made that decision. Roscoe’s isn’t fancy and doesn’t have much of an ambiance which really is what makes the ambiance special. There were plenty of groups of people just hanging out, having a good time and joking around. The vibe was comfortable and down home. Seriously. Love.

Clearly I ordered fried chicken and waffles. I’m not one to mess with perfection.

OK, so this meal isn’t really anything special to look at but let me break this thing down for you: crispy skin on the fried chicken with the moist meat and a waffle with a gob of butter on top. You know how some waffles get that icky waffle mix taste? You know what I’m talking about. Let me tell you, this waffle tasted like pure moist butter. It was amazing.

You know what makes amazing even more amazing? Wrapping fried chicken in a butter drenched waffle.

That, my friends, is some serious food porn.

Oh, and I got a side of mac and cheese because I just kinda felt like it.

More food porn. This mac and cheese wasn’t too rich or creamy making it the perfect Roscoe’s side dish.

Overall, I very much enjoyed my time at Roscoe’s. I don’t think I’ve really blogged about it but my love for soul food knows no bounds so I was more than happy with Roscoe’s! Definitely a LA landmark everyone should visit at some point. I think I need to take my Bro when he visits!

Do you love soul food? I could eat fried chicken, mac and cheese, collard greens, okra, and sweet potato pie every day for the rest of my life.

Summer Nights

I already have gushed plenty about how much I love summer. This Friday was particularly awesome because I got to hang out with Bloggers and sing songs at the top of my lungs here…

Who doesn’t love that? Friday there was a Grease Sing a Long at the Hollywood Bowl.

Basically you get to watch the movie outside, on a big screen and singing is highly encouraged. I love musicals so I fully participated in the loud singing.

But first, I high tailed it over to The Alcove to pick up my dinner.

I’ve been to The Alcove several times but I’ve never blogged about it before.

After looking over the menu I knew exactly what I wanted! I also grabbed an iced tea.

And this cookie. Isn’t it beautiful?

Then I made my way over to the Bowl to meet up with Kaitlin, some of her friends and Kelley and her husband Irving. I always have a fantastic time with these ladies!

Thanks, Kelley!

For my dinner I had the blackened salmon sandwich. This sandwich, like all sandwiches at the Alcove was pretty much amazing. Look at the HUGE portion of avocado. I have been eating a ton of salmon as of late and this sandwich continued to feed the obsession.

There was also spinach and a lovely spread on the sandwich. On the side there was an apple and pear slaw. It was unconventional and crisp. Perfect health conscious side dish!

I brought one of my favorite summer adult beverages: Sam Adams Summer. This reminds me of summers in Boston and it was the perfect pairing for a night at the Bowl.

Then we settled into our seats. One of the best parts of the event was the people watching. There was a costume contest and there were tons of people who got really into it. The actress that played Frenchie was the MC for the contest and they did a little tribute to Jeff Conway who died recently.

As usual, Grease was fantastic. It really holds up on a 5th or 10th viewing. It was fun watching the movie with the peanut gallery all around. Anyone who has seen Grease as an adult and as a child knows that the movie is actually really dirty. It was fun seeing all the adults laughing and all the little kids being confused by the adult themes.

Going to the Bowl was a great way to kick off summer. I can’t wait to make it back!

Traveling to San Diego & the Coronado

Saturday LCCDad and I headed down to San Diego for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon (where I set a 9 min PR, running 2:02. Read the race recap!) We packed up early…

And hit the road. But not without stopping at Clementine for breakfast, obviously.

I started the carb loading early with a bagel and lox. This is probably one of my favorite breakfast items, after pancakes. And bacon. And breakfast potatoes.

I also had a latte, which I promptly spilled all over my white blouse. I have issues. We know this.

Because of the spilling incident we had to go back home but pretty soon we finally hit the 405 South.

You might remember that one of my goals for 2011 was to explore California. Signing up for races is really a great way to explore more parts of the state. I’ve never been further South (in CA) than Corona del Mar. Dad and I decided to take the 405 until Long Beach, cut over to the 1 and then after going through the beach towns in Orange County cutting back to the 5. The ride was long but the views were gorgeous.

We stopped in Laguna Beach for Starbucks and a bathroom pit stop. I restrained myself from doing impressions from Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. I loved the area near the beach! The vibe was perfect for this beach girl.

And then we hit the road again, but stayed within view of the beach.

Before we knew it we were in San Diego. The city is so beautiful! Now I know why so many of my classmates are working there this summer.

We stopped in at the expo which was a mad house! Dad was illegally parked so I ran in, grabbed my packet and ran out. There weren’t that many freebies but I did get a new technical tee:

Not a huge fan of black running shirts (too hot) but I’m sure I will still manage to get plenty of wear out of it.

After getting out of the expo mess we drove somewhere much more relaxing: Coronado. Coronado is an island and to me, Coronado is like Martha’s Vineyard, Marco Island, and Palm Springs had a love child and placed it on the Pacific Ocean. I pretty much never wanted to leave. I was very fortunate to travel with my Dad, who wanted to stay at the Coronado Hotel. I am a very fortunate girl.

The Coronado was absolutely beautiful!

Source

The outside of the hotel is pretty iconic and it sits on the beach. I am 100% a beach girl so it was pure bliss. The rooms were also very nice! I was lucky to have my own room on this trip.

LCCDad is making a cameo in that one!

Laying on the bed.

I was a happy camper.

This was the view!

The hotel itself is HUGE! There were two weddings that I saw taking place on various parts of the beach. This place is a well oiled machine!

The rest of the day consisted of frantic sun screen applying, pool hanging and a bananas pre race meal at the 1300 Ocean restaurant in the hotel which included a glass of malbec, burrata cheese with broccoli and a blood orange sauce, seared diver scallops, mac and cheese, and an orange crème brule. I didn’t photograph but it was a great pre race meal.

Overall between the drive south, exploring a new city by running through it, staying at the Coronado and setting an incredible PR it was a pretty special weekend. Special thanks need to be given to LCCDad for an epic trip and weekend.

The past two days have been crazy busy between work picking up and LCCDad not leaving town until this AM. I am still on cloud 9 due to my new PR. I tweeted this and this true:

I’m already debating returning to the scene of the crime in August for another half marathon. Sub 2:00 or BUST!

Anyone know of any good half marathons in So Cal this summer? Or alternatively what hotel have you always wanted to stay in? I seriously want to stay in the 7 star hotel in Dubai because I seriously love luxury (I know, you’re probably not surprised)

Getting Ready for San Diego

For the first time in my life I’m packing more socks for a trip than I am shoes. I have more “things” than I have tops and bottoms. I’m packing snacks. OK, so I always pack snacks. That isn’t so different but I am packing some serious Gu.

Seriously, how do I know which pair of running socks I’m going to want on Sunday? Clearly they all need to make the trip. I’m still working on my playlist for the race and I will post it in my recap. I also am packing copious amounts of body glide because chafing is bad.

LCCDad arrived today and I met up with him after work for cocktails poolside at the W and an amazing dinner at Pecorino in Brentwood. Oh my goodness it was good. I had a grilled eggplant appetizer, pappadelle with fava beans and pesto for an entrée (the same that I had over spring break) and pear gratin for dessert. It was fantastic! Didn’t blog because I was catching up with my Dad and didn’t want to feel like I was working (plus I have an insane blog backlog right now).

LCCDad brought me a little something which I know LCCMom had a hand in picking out…

A running hat and a running watch! Pretty much the best gift ever. I need the hat to keep the sun off my face while running. The California sun is hot and this hat will prevent sunburn and wick sweat. I have never run with any kind of watch and I don’t plan to wear it for the half. Running with something new seems like asking for painful chafing but I will need this for marathon training. The watch is small and it will be nice to finally be able to track my runs. You can also see my packing list, which has pretty much every possible item I could even possibly need to run. Running takes so much more than just clothing and shoes.

Tomorrow morning I head out with my Dad for the drive south. We will probably meander down the coast, drop in at the expo and then pool hang in the afternoon. We’re staying at the Coronado which should be beautiful! I can’t believe I’m running another half marathon in 48 hours. Can’t wait to share the experience with all of you!

In the meantime, if you want to read about my training and race goals, click here!

Saturday Brunching

Saturday I drove east to Silver Lake for lunch with my awesome cousin Joe. Joe is actually my mother’s cousin which makes him my first cousin once removed (I think). I love hanging out with Joe because 1) he’s been in LA forever and knows a ton about the city 2) he is a great conversationalist and is up on politics AND popular culture 3) he reads Dlisted which automatically makes him good people. We had brunch at Local. I’ve been to Local before but never blogged about it.

Just like last time I ordered this amazing apple and pecan pancake.

Guys, this pancake was insane. The roasted apples with cinnamon and pecans? Yes, please. This is one of the thickest pancakes that I’ve even had. I didn’t eat the whole thing because obviously I had to save room for this glorious plate of bacon:

Food porn. I’m not even kidding. I know a few weeks ago I said The Griddle has the best bacon ever but I think I need to revoke the title and give it to Local. This was the perfect combination of crispy and chewy. Amazing. If you are on the east side or just want a great restaurant in LA to try, you should hit up Local.

After brunch we hit the Silver Lake FM which had blood oranges! I haven’t seen them on the Westside in a few weeks. Literally, my heart skipped a beat and I bought like 7. Overall, a wonderful way to spend Saturday morning and early afternoon.

Tomorrow LCCDad arrives in LA and Saturday I leave for San Diego! I’m starting to get excited and a little bit nervous for Sundays half marathon. Fingers crossed it goes well!

Anyone have awesome weekend plans?

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.

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.

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?