Kauai, Hawaii – Los Angeles, California, USA – 2018 – Day 13

07/11/18

The sighs started coming in the night before from Lulu and Renee who were already sad that the trip was coming to an end. The final morning we woke up and took our last walk on the beach. We went back to our Airbnb to shower and final pack before making our way to downtown Kapa’a for breakfast.

We ate at Hemingway Art Cafe – french inspired cuisine. It’s hard to miss being a blue building. It’s a quaint little spot. I ordered The sun also rises. We walked the strip a bit to check out the surf shops for stickers decals to decorate their bottles with. Back in the car, we went to check out the plaza that was around our airbnb before we went to our last stop – Walmart.

Once again, Walmart has all the goodies one would want in terms of souvenirs for Hawaii – macadamia nuts, chocolate, candy, snacks, souvenirs etc. We picked up our last bit of souvenirs and on the way out, we spotted a sign that said ukulele sale – Scotty’s. Lulu was able to pick up a ukulele that was half made in China and half made in Hawaii.

We had a stopover in Los Angeles overnight from 1-8AM. We were thinking of taking an Uber around but with the price of $130USD for a single ride, we thought hey, maybe it’s cheaper to rent a car – which it was. Luckily at LAX, Enterprise is 24 hours however, you do need reservations. We did not have reservations but Renee turned on her data and we were able to book one and off we went in a car for the next few hours.

Our goal was to find some late night Korean BBQ but by the time we got the car rental and drove to the downtown area, it was nearing 2AM and the KBBQ places were closing. We ate at Sun Nong Dan and ordered the huge beef brisket soup dish – $35USD. Free wifi – yay.

It was around 3-330AM by the time we arrived at LACMA to see the Urban Lights. There wasn’t many people around (2-3 + 1-2 security guards). We pretty much had the Urban lights all to ourselves really. Lulu pulled out her ukulele and had a jam session for a bit. We hopped back in the car and went to California Donuts, which is also 24 hours, and I picked up a matcha old fashion and a blueberry old fashion with a Thai iced tea.

We didn’t quite know what to do at 4AM in LA, so we continued to drive around areas that would rather be busy during the day such as Hollywood Blvd and Rodeo Drive. We drove through Beverly Hills area as well but at one point, we just pulled over and tried to sleep a bit in the car – didn’t last long. Slowly drove back to the car rental place as the sun started to rise over LA. Back onto a plane for another 4.5 hours back home to Toronto.

What I ate – New York

New York has such a broad array of cultures and it shows through all the food options.

Below is my list of What I ate and also some places I still want to try.

 

Nolita

Lombardi Pizza32 Spring St

Lombardi Pizza is one of the oldest pizza joints in NYC. Coal-fired and thin crust goodness that uses the freshiest and best ingredients.

 

Café Habana – 17 Prince St

Cafe Habana is very tiny establishment with so much character. 3 people in total – We sat by the front window and ordered ourselves 2 orders of the Mexican Corn, a Cuban and a Chicken Diablo sandwich. The corn comes with 2 per order so I took one for the team and ate 2. All the food was fresh and flavourful and we ate every single morsel off the plates. The corn alone is enough to make you want to come back for more.

Lower East Side

Katz Delicatessen205 E Houston St

Cash Only Deli.

Donut Plant379 Grand St

Hand crafted donuts made with interesting flavor pairings.

 

Midtown 

Cafe Zaiya – 18 E 41st St

Great place for lunch if you are craving sushi, bento and other affordable Japanese sweets like red bean buns in the bakery.

 

Ippudo65 Fourth Avenue – 1 other location

High quality ramen that usually has a line out the door.

Bryant Park Grill – 25 West 40th St

This restaurant is located within Bryant Park and hidden gem behind the New York Public Library. It is a great place to people watching. Bryant Park Grill is a American, European steakhouse. It is a little pricey but the food is delicious. I chose the clam chowder to start and for my main I chose the Kumquat Grand Marnier Duck breast with confit leg. it was absolutely mouth watering and ended off the meal with a sweet and savory crepe filled with apple and ricotta cheese.

Little Italy / Chinatown

Ferrara Bakery & Cafe195 Grand St

This institution has been around since 1892 and serves up some great gelato and famous for their cannolis and other wonderful Italian pastries.

 

Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich369 Broome St

Highly rated as the best Banh mi. What makes it even better; it is under $5USD – Cash Only.

 

Red Egg – 202 Centre St

Excellent quality Chinese cuisine with a contemporary take on dim sum. The Peking Duck sliders are highly recommended.

 

JJ Noodles – 19 Henry St

Chinese cuisine made using fresh ingredients before your eyes where you can get a plate of BBQ Pork or a noodle in soup that is the most satisfying anytime of day. The wonton noodle soup hits the spot.

 

Xian’s Famous Food67 Bayard St

Homemade pulled noodles and Chinese cuisine made Xian-style. This is a place to go when you want something spicy.

 

North Dumpling27A – Essex St.

North Dumpling is literally a hole in the wall but they sure pump out some delicious and cheap dumplings. Whether you are craving fried or steamed – the filling options include pork & chives to vegetable. What’s even better is that you can get 10 dumplings for under $2USD! You heard right. You can see they are being freshly made over the counter as a team of ladies are making magic with their hands. The sesame and scallion pancakes are also delicious items to add to your meal and for all the food, you won’t break your wallet.

East Village

Baohaus238 E 14th St

Taiwanese steamed buns

Momofuku Noodle Bar – 171 1st Avenue

A staple ramen spot in the East Village that also offers a roster of dishes such as fried chicken meal. The Noodle Bar also serves slushies and soft serve. They have been quite successful that they have expanded into multiple locations such as Ssäm Bar, Ko, Ma Peche, Fuku and Nishi to name a few. They have even expanded up north to Toronto.

 

The Halal Guys10-02 34th Avenue

Middle Eastern food. They are wildly known for their Halal Guys cart which serves huge portions at killer prices.

 

Greenwich Village

Piadina – 57 W 10th Street

Piadina serves up rustic Italian fare in a very intimate setting lined with brick walls. Dinner service is run by candlelight making it the perfect date night spot.

Nomad / Midtown / K-Town / Kips Bay 

Brasserie Les Halles411 Park Ave S

Brasserie Les Halles serves up classics using French techinques. They are known for their escargots and their steak frites for only $22USD. This restaurant is the origin of where Anthony Bourdain once started. Reservations are highly recommended.

 

Shake Shack – Madison Ave & E.23rd & multiple locations

East coast version of In-N-Out. Fast food chain that serves up burgers & frozen custard. Multiple locations around and yes there are lines. When it gets busy, they give you a buzzer to let you know when your order is ready. The Peanut butter shake is my GOTO and I have it every chance I get.

Trader Joes – 675 Ave of the Americas

I found this treasure when I lived in Los Angeles. This is the best grocery store for anyone who wants good quality items for reasonable prices including organic and all natural ingredients. It is a College kids dream or anyone on a budget type of grocery store similar to Whole Foods.

 

Yaki Taisho5 St Marks Pl #8

Yaki Taisho is an Izakaya located in the heart of St Marks Place – Between 3 people, we ordered Takoyaki (this was just right), grilled squid, a set of skewers, Unagi roll and the Duck sashimi paired with a delicious plum sake.

Kyochan319 5th Ave

Zesty wings are the signature, but all chicken dishes at this quick Korean stop are uniquely spiced.

 

Woorijip12 W 32nd St

Popular, no-frills staple with buffet-style hot & cold dishes plus prepared foods for a quick lunch.