Stopped by Intelligentsia (3922 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029) for a coffee fix. I grabbed a bag of espresso beans for my father. The environment and interiors of this establishment is beautiful with its blue and white tiled floors and wooden façade. It is a relaxing space to be in.
After the coffee fix, we drove over to Griffith Park and drove straight up to the Observatory. Did you know the owner of the land put it in his will that he wanted the park to remain free forever to all visitors. Arrive early to find parking. The observatory is beautiful and shows a great view over the city. The first Saturday of each month, there is a star party that is open to the public for star viewing.
We didn’t really have the time to hike (so sad). We drove up Mulholland Drive and parked by the park after a windy and narrow drive up. We walked to an area that was front facing of the Hollywood sign and took photos. A quick stop to pick up 2 of our friends and off we went to Anaheim to Angel Stadium to watch a baseball game with our friend JP. It was Star Wars night meaning the giveaway was a stormtrooper rally monkey. The night became a little dewey as fog started to fall near the end of the game. Sad to say, the Angels lost that night but our night didn’t end there as we went back to our home and hung out for a while.
The plans for our final Saturday (or last full day) was divided into 2 groups – group 1 – surfing and beach bum at Venice Beach and group 2 – myself and Vivien who were on a mission to meet up with our friends and family in LA. The beach group slowly made their way to the beach while the people wanting to surf went a little earlier for surf with our friend Van. Myself and Vivien hopped into our car and off we went to West Hollywood to have breakfast with my friend Brian McCarty at Canter’s Deli (419 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036) – an institution in West Hollywood that is open 24/7 and serves food at a very reasonable price. They have a parking lot and its free when you validate your parking. Brian is a photographer who specializes in his work with toys but more recently has been deeply involved with his on going series – War Toys. Brian alongside art therapists travel to war zones and refugee camps and collaborate with children who are or have been affected by war express what they see and deal with on the regular through art therapy. They use locally found toys then place and posed them in locations known to the children as a way to expressively show their unaccounted perspective on what is happening around them regularly in these war zones.
I was unfortunately about to meet up with one family that I basically spent all my time with when I lived in LA 6 years ago but was fortunate enough to meet up with Wendy Polish, my friend who I spent almost majority of my time working with. Wendy lives in Silverlake and for a glimpse, I was also able to once again see her daughter Logan whom I haven’t seen since she was 10 years old. I regret not getting a photo with her after all this time. Wendy, Vivien and myself walked from her home to Sunset Junction Coffee Shop (3916 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029) for a little snack. Although its been 6 years, we picked up where we left off like time hadn’t past. Afterwards, we returned to her place for a bit and she showed us her beautiful home and we took portraits of her dog Hank. Wendy is an designer and artist who co-founded a beautiful candle company called Le Feu de L’eau.
I said my goodbyes and off we went to our next destination – Yolk (1626 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026) – a beautiful little gift shop that also sells the cutest children clothes as well as housewares (including but not limited to Le Feu de L’eau candles). We went next door to LA Mill Coffee before making our way across the street to MILK (1639 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026) in which my Instagram feed kept showing these beautiful ice cream macaron sandwiches which were a must try! Just like any other ice cream store, you can sample a few of the flavours. I got myself a Thai Tea ice cream macaron sandwich ($6USD) and it was absolutely delicious. The Thai tea was a perfect balance and unlike drinking Thai Ice tea, the after taste didn’t linger in your mouth. I would definitely come back and eat more if I had the time.
After our refreshing treats, we drove east past of Pasadena to Glendora where we visited Vivien’s cousin who’s wife was only a few days away from giving birth to their second child. They had the most adorable little daughter Victoria who doesn’t quite known personal space boundaries but that made her even cuter. We played, chatted and read a few books before making our way through LA traffic back to Venice beach area to retrieve our friends from Abbot Kinney.
This was our last night and once we all returned home, we all showered, packed and decided that since our flight was at 6AM and we needed to be at the airport for 4AM. We packed up the car, checked out and headed to dinner where we would then stay out all night before going to the airport. We said our goodbyes to our home for the week and drove to Little Tokyo where we had dinner at Toshi Sushi (359 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012). Toshi Sushi is a cozy little restaurant but the food had big flavours. The boys for the Chirashi bowls which looked amazing and the look on their faces you could tell it was delicious. I got the Toshi Black Cod special and it was melt in your mouth delicious. Our plan was to meet up with our friend Van for $1 oysters however she ended up falling asleep as the early morning surfing drained her. We ended up walking around Little Tokyo and grabbed Boba at Twinkle Brown Sugar Tea where I got a Thai Tea boba and yes the aftertaste remained but it was a delight to have some BOBA (Bubbletea). Since we had time to kill and we didn’t necessarily fill up at sushi in hopes we were going for $1 oysters, we went back to Daikokuya and had a second dinner. My meal from Toshi was very filling so I opted for Takoyaki instead of a ramen.
We walked through Little Tokyo Plaza once more trying to kill time and I was able to step into Mikawaya once more and grabbed a peaches and crème ice cream mochi just a minute before they closed up for the night. We drove over to Marina Del Ray trying to see if we were able to walk around but we were denied and from there, we made the decision to goto the LAX. Before leaving a car that you have rented and used for a whole week, make sure to check all the pockets, seats and whatnot before departing so no items get left behind. The flight was direct heading home and once again I ended my trip the way I started – a whole row to myself to lay down and sleep. Los Angeles, I will be back for you one day soon.