Months ago a saw a posting about Star Wars Celebration tickets going on sale and seeing if anyone wanted to go, and of course i wanted to go. Episode VII coming out it made the event that much bigger and as the weeks went by and more and more announcements were made of guest speakers, and special panels.
Saturday marked the first day of summer, and it just so happened to be Joy and my first real date night since Alice came into our lives. My mother was kind enough to spend the night at our house to watch over little Alice while we got to head out sans diaper bag.
A month ago Jonathan Gold released his 101 Best Restaurants of LA and had Providence as its #1 restaurant. A few weeks later Providence announced the reopening and a special nine year anniversary four course dinner special for the month of June so i jumped online and made RSVP for the 21st.
We got up to LA with a little time to kill so we started off by getting a drink at Mozza Pizzeria, but unbeknownst to me, they serve wine in little carafes at a glass and a half, which we had to finish in a half hour. We were pretty toasty to say the least.
Having a 5:30 RSVP made us have restaurant almost to ourselves, but filled up once we finished. We looked over the menu and besides the 4 course menu, we could’ve gone with the other menus that ranged from 8-12 dishes with the longest being around 3 hour ordeal. We decided to keep to the 4 course, and add in an Uni Egg, and i ordered the supplemental a5 Wagyu Beef. It was my delayed father’s day dinner so why not splurge a little.
Along with the four courses it started off with a bunch of amuse bouches from a Dark and Stormy jello shot, to a really good smoked halibut soup. The Uni Egg was delicious and this coming from two people that don’t typically eat it. The wagyu beef was super buttery and i’m glad i tried it, but it really made me miss having some actual beef beef. The dinner took about 2 hours to finish, and was a great experience.
After dinner we took a walk around Hollywood and Highland
Saturday afternoon we went out to La Palma to celebrate Dani’s 1st birthday. It was a nice day to be outside and enjoy some tacos and cake.
We got to meet Jacob for the first time after being born just two month ago.
Sunday we woke up early and headed out to do some shopping at the Pasadena City College Flea Market (every 1st Sunday of the month). I got to meet up with my old Disneyland co-worker Esme as she shopped for her Etsy store.
Shopping under the shade of the parking structure is a luxury you can’t understand until you’ve walked up and down endless rows of hot asphalt. Alice got to enjoy getting out of the stroller and being strapped on as she cooed and stared at everything around her. I walked away with a trifle stand, a couple of metal trashbins and a old drink cart that i’m going to try to restore.
Sunday morning Alice was up early, so i was hanging out with her on the couch checking Facebook of course, and noticed one of my twitter friends was also awake at that time. He’s a big eater of course so i asked him what his plans were and he said that he was headed to the Grand Central Market in DTLA after church. I’ve been seeing a lot of photos of new eateries on my instagram account so i thought it would be a good reason to get out of the house early in the morning and meet up with him.
We got there around 8:30am and on Sundays there’s free street parking and being so early not many people around yet. I saw my friend Remil snapping away for his 1800+ followers on Instagram and said hello. We started off with some coffee at G&B Coffee for some early morning caffeine. Its quite expensive for your everyday cup of joe, but if you treat it like vacation it doesn’t hurt as bad. We’re talking about 3.5 for a cup of coffee.
Next Remil gave us walking tour which his friends affectionally calls #pinoypandatours of all the old and new restaurants inside the building. He told us that with the revamp of the building, that they were trying to force out some of the older tenants to bring in hipper stores, and bring in a younger crowd. I can see a move towards being a Ferry Building South, but sad to see some of the old charm exiting as well. We were also disappointed that Valerie isn’t open on Sundays, but since it was the morning we were really in the need of some bacon and eggs.
Our main course was going to served by Eggslut a food truck turned quick order breakfast counter. They’re only open from 8am-noon so get there early or else you’ll miss out. I ordered the “Slut” which was a poached egg on top of some whipped potato garnished with salt and chives served with toast. Joy opted for a more classic Bacon, Egg, and Cheddar sandwich on a brioche bun, with ketchup! Didn’t think anyone else ate their sandwich with ketchup. I guess the truck serves their sandwich in a biscuit which i probably would of rather had.
Once we finished eating we walked around for a little bit, picking up a bag of cherries for a dollar, and checked out the new cheese stand which was opening later in the day, but couldn’t spend much more time out since Alice was going to need to eat soon. It was a fun morning out of the house, and i’m glad we can still do things like this with our kid in tow.
After all these years i’ve finally made it to the LACMA. I guess its just one of those things you end up doing after you have kids because, well there aren’t as many options as you once had. I invited my parents along since they were going to stop by anyways.
Luckily there was a table setup outside the entrance that told us that kids under the age of 18 can get in free and get in an adult with them too. That saved us $15 for an adult admission. Too bad the museum isn’t a little closer because i’m sure we would go more often.
We started off checking out some art from Southeast Asia which included some stuff from Thailand. The next exhibit we saw was Metropolis II by Chris Burden which was really cool. I could’ve stayed there for hours, but it runs on a timed schedule so it only runs every hour.
Lastly we visited the The Boone Children’s Gallery where kids were doing all sorts of art projects and we decided to do stamp’s alice’s feet in ink to compare with her newborn prints. I think she enjoyed getting paint on her feet.
The Magic Castle®, located at 7001 Franklin Avenue in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, California, is a nightclub formagicians and magic enthusiasts, as well as the clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts. It bills itself as “the most unusual private club in the world.”
A few months ago I was talking about wanting to go to The Magic Castle(TMC) with Tiffany, and she mentioned she could get us in if we wanted to go. Of course I said yes, but since at the time Joy was still pregnant, and it was out in Hollywood we needed a weekend reservation, which ended up being this past Sunday.
Thankfully my mom said she could stay over and babysit Alice over the night, so Joy got a chance to dress up, and enjoy an evening with our friends. Our night was joined by Tiffany and Ben of course, Shane and Joann, and Tiffany’s cousin.
TMC doesn’t allow pictures beyond the lobby so this is the only pictures i could take, and its hard to explain how interesting the building is. Its like a house that was in constant expansion with lots of stairs and rooms around different corners where random magicians hangout waiting to be engaged and put on a show for a few or a group of people. I’m not sure if it was because of just my age, or just the advancement in home technology that everything was just a bit kitchy and the whole time you were just like, oh i know how that works.
We had dinner reservations at 6pm where i got to try Beef Wellington for the first time, while Joy enjoyed some filet of beef. The food was fine, nothing to be wow’d about but nothing terrible.
The main attraction of the night was a show in their auditorium which looked like it was straight out of the 70s or 80s Vegas with the overacting magician and dancing assistant but was fun nevertheless. It seemed like it was straight out of some comedy parody show, but for real.
Saturday night I invited the Manichans to our weekly dinner date night. They made reservations for us and we were totally confused because Ben called the place Gousteau’s, and we kept searching and searching for it online and couldn’t not find it. Only until we got to their house we learned that Ben kept giving the name a French twist instead of an Italian twist which meant the restaurant’s name was really Gusto.
Joy and I actually walked by Gusto the night we went to Son of Gun which was just a couple doors down. Gusto is a small restaurant with s concise menu, which allowed us to pick and choose a good number of dishes that covered most of the menu.
We started off with the Carciofi (fried artichokes) and Polpette (meatballs) and a sausage pizza. For our pasta dishes we got the Ravioli (spinach, ricotta, bacon) a much better ravioli compared to last week’s ravioli at Osteria Mozza. Carbonara, and Casarecci (lamb ragu). To finish off the meal we got the Merluzzo Nero (black cod). It was a nice dinner, and i actually preferred the more casual meal compared to Osteria Mozza.
For date night number 4 i originally had planned a Sunday Night Supper at Lucques (sister to AOC) but i was needed for my basketball league so i had to make a change in reservations. With most restaurants booked up i was pleased at getting a 6:30pm reservation at Osteria Mozza (sister of Pizzeria Mozza) the more formal dining experience of the Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich group.
As we were being seated we were brought pass the busy main dining area into the back area which felt awkward since we were the only ones there in this sectioned off area because it was so much quieter, it ended up being super nice because we could actually talk without screaming compared to the main area.
We once again over ordered but it was understandable since it was our first time there and wanted to try a bunch of stuff. We started off with a grilled octopus dish, along with a bacon mozzarella dish. For our primi course I of course went with a goat cheese ravioli, and joy went with a oxtail ragu tagliatelle. Lastly we ordered the Duck al Mattone.
The best dish the grilled octopus, followed by the two pasta dishes. The duck came out after we were pretty much done and so we ended up taking most of it home to make duck noodle soup with it. We ended up going to Milk for dessert but they were nice enough to drop off a scoop of gelato on our table to congratulate us on our upcoming Fatty Jr.
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.
Last weekend I re-watached the 100th episode of No Reservation where Tony Bourdain along with Eric Ripert goes on a tour of the new Paris food scene. It made me really miss our time there last year, so I immediately hopped on to yelp to find a restaurant that has the same sensibility. I stumbled upon Papilles in Hollywood which serves a prix fixe menu that changes every other week and thought it would be perfect.
I invited the Manichans to join us on Saturday night and we enjoyed a fun evening of stuffing our face with some really good bread, a little wine, and of course our food. Both couples got one of each dish, with Tiffany getting the vegetarian option. My favorite dishes were both of the opening dishes where the octopus was one of the best octopus dishes i’ve ever had (i haven’t that many), and the risotto was very comforting. The mains were good, but not as good as the first course, and for dessert I couldn’t believe that I liked the blue cheese paired with the honey the best. I really enjoyed our dinner here, and will definitely add it to our rotation.
6221 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
3 courses, $41. Menu subject to change. Vegetarian option available upon request.