On our official first date i took Joy to AOC in Mid-City West Los Angeles. Coincidentally thinking back it may have been the beginning of both of our culinary adventure together, as it was the first time either of us had been to a restaurant in that stature. The bacon-wrapped dates was the most memorable dish and thankfully its a menu staple that can get it every time we go back.
For our maternity date night last week we went back to AOC in their new location near Cedar Sinai which is a much bigger space from their original location that includes a large patio where the main dining area is now. Its a very nice setting that really takes you out of being in Los Angeles, and into a courtyard that could be anywhere in Europe.
We did our best to not to over order like we did the first time, but we did it again and probably ordered one too many dishes.
I started off with a glass of wine to ease the work week off, and started our meal with some mt. tam cheese, and bacon-wrapped dates. For the first courses we ordered the clams in sherry and garlic, soft-shell crab with green romesco, and to finish it off we got the farro & black rice, and half a roasted chicken, with panznella, fennel, and green olives.
Sunday morning i usually like to get out and go for a run, but after running 3 days last week, plus basketball practice it was a good day to take a rest. Joy decided it would be a good day to go to the California Science Center and check out the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The Science Center is a donation base entrance, but to see the actual shuttle is $2/person for a reserved time to enter the pavilion.
We got there about two hours before our scheduled time (when we got there, they were letting in anyone with a ticket) and explored the museum fully before going to see the shuttle. Its been a while since i’ve been back to this museum and i was pretty happy to see that they’ve added an eco-part of the museum which includes some interactive exhibits showing how animals survive in different climates of the world.
The thing that surprised me was that they have an over/under aquarium which we saw from up top before and noticed how deep it was, and when we left and went down stairs it led to an interactive conversation with a diver. Its definitely not as big as some of the other ones we’ve been to, but its nice that we can go to one basically for free when ever we want.
On the third floor of the museum is a huge photo gallery of the story of the Shuttle being delivered to the museum. There was something touching about seeing the progression of the the shuttle from flying over all the California landmarks, and finally making its way down the streets of Los Angeles. This is where it got emotional for me to see the care it took to move the shuttle inch by inch, seeing the joy of people just seeing it roll down the street, and the stories written by the children about their tears of happiness.
Once you’re ready to see the shuttle, you’ll enter the gallery exhibit where you can learn about all the workings of the shuttle and crew life onboard. There is video on how they go to the bathroom, and eat, with an option to pay to go on a shuttle flight simulator.
Finally when you’re ready to see the shuttle you enter the large temporary hangar where the shuttle will live until the final exhibit space is finished being built. Its so large that the only way to get a full picture of the shuttle is to stand at the very corners of the hangar or use the panoramic setting on your iPhone. We spent a good 30-45 minutes just walking around and around the Endeavour and finally left when we got hungry.
I watch a lot of HGTV and watch occasional show of Flea Market Flip, where they basically pit two teams of two to take some flea market items, fix/clean/change them up and upcycle them at another flea market. This always gets my mind racing on ideas on what i could do to the house or to build myself.
I always wanted to go to the Rose Bowl flea market, but reading a few reviews people find that its too big, can get too hot, too expensive, and have to pay to get in. So instead we tried out the Pasadena City College. The good thing about the PCC flea market is that its free, plenty of parking for a fee or free on the street. We thought it was a little small thing at a parking lot but saw signs that led to an entire parking structure level of more vendors and another outdoor parking lot of other vendors as well. Half way through the structure i stopped really looking hard for things and did more of a flyby as i was getting tired visually and physically.
Joy and I were on the look out for a possible coffee table, and decorative house items. I pulled out a hundred bucks which i thought was a lot, but it was right in the middle comparably speaking. There were some things that were super cheap and others that were super expensive. We found a few interesting pieces but the set of 4 chairs that we liked were being sold for something like $350, and another side table that was being sold by some bitchy ass lady that we didn’t want to give our money to.
Too bad no one taught either Joy and I any negotiation skills so we really didn’t’ feel comfortable haggling for much of a discount. We eventually walked away with some Dr. Seuss books for a buck each, and this wooden elephant which we negotiated from $17 down to $16.
One of the Southland’s largest flea markets, the show is held the first Sunday of every month. Come enjoy the browsing and the bargains. With over 500 vendors, the Market features fascinating antiques and collectibles, thousands of records, tools, clothes, toys and much more, not to mention food and good company.
For lunch on Wednesday Jonathan had to drop off some stuff for creativity heals so we headed to LIttle Tokyo to meet up with Jenny at Spitz. After eating, chatting, and dropping off stuff we went to visit Roy at his Japangeles pod. Its pretty cool to see our one time business banker make it as a small business owner. Last on our agenda was to stop by the Spice Table before dinner service to say hi to Bryant. Seems like he’s a super busy guy beyond just running his restaurant, now that he’s part of a new The Inaugural World Street Food Congress. He’ll be travelling to Singapore this summer to do some speaking and cooking.