Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Hello! Yes, I am alive! So much to say, so let's get to it. The second part of the spring break adventure was a short trip to Los Angeles with my friend Susan. We do this every so often - a little girls getaway. I'm not sure when I stopped hating LA and started loving it, but we have so much fun when we go up there. The impetus for this particular weekend was an event called Lucky Shops - put on by Lucky magazine. They set up a big warehouse (or in this case, a studio) full of small boutiques with discounted fashion items. We were both on a bit of a budget so we didn't buy much, but I was thrilled to find these Clare Vivier clutches at about 20% off, and I found these shoes. (I'm really inspired lately by Joslyn's credo - don't buy anything you can't see yourself keeping for at least five years - when it doubt that really helps with the decision making.)
After the Lucky Shops, we headed over to Pizzeria Mozza for an early dinner - and had the best pizza of our lives. The crust was paper thin in the center and puffy and crackly on the edges - and the toppings were shredded scallions, bacon and goat cheese. We also had the meatballs and an order of their squash blossoms - then we moved on to dessert.
Everyone raves about the butterscotch budino, but I for one am crazy about their gelato desserts. This was the banana ice cream pie with hot fudge and candied nuts.
And this is the caramel copetta, with marshmallow cream, salted peanuts and salted caramel sauce. I can never get enough of this. Sorry for the crummy iPhone photos, but I was too shy to pull out the real camera after they scolded me on the last visit. Though I have to say, I don't think anyone was really watching this time. It was definitely a lot less crowded than it's been on previous visits too - the hysteria may have finally died down just a bit.
After dinner we checked into our hotel - the Standard on Sunset. It's affordable but stylish - and we had a killer view.
The next morning, we headed down the hill to Third Street to do some window shopping and have brunch at AOC. I couldn't resist the smoked salmon platter with goat cream cheese, tomato, onion and cucumbers...
and Susan had the croque madame, a thick slice of brioche toast topped with bechamel and gruyere, layered with lightly dressed curly endive and a perfect fried egg. It was delightful. I hadn't been to AOC before, and was surprised by how "fine dining" it was. It was the kind of place where they re-fold your napkin when you get up to go to the bathroom. You don't necessarily expect that at brunch. It could be a little more relaxed, but it was certainly very nice. Not terribly expensive either, and they take reservations - no waiting outside for hours (like some of the other places in the neighborhood.)
As we were sitting at our table, I spotted Suzanne Goin at the bar, talking with the servers. Starstruck, I gasped (I thought quietly, but apparently not!) "There's Suzanne!" She looked up and said "I heard my name" then came over to say hello. She kindly accommodated my friend Susan's request for a picture - then Susan took one of me with her. It's the kind of thing I'd be too shy to ask for, but I'm glad we did it. She was sharp, funny and gracious - exactly as you would expect.
After brunch we strolled down Third Street and back, popping in and out of the boutiques, and stopping for a "cloud cupcake" - at Joan's on Third. It was worth every calorie - moist chocolate cake topped with light marshmallow fluff dipped in chocolate.
We also walked into the new Magnolia Bakery almost right across the street, but we didn't have it in us to try another one.
One of my favorite shops on Third was OK. It's full of cool and unusual books, objets d'art, jewelry and useful household items. I bought some Japanese fabric shears for myself and an Opinel picnic knife to take home to James. (This collection of bottle openers is pretty awesome too.)
From Third Street we headed over to the other side of the Grove and CBS Studios to the Heath store on Beverly. We parked on a side street, and as we walked back toward the main drag, we checked out some of the very cool, classic Hollywood apartment buildings in the neighborhood. This place had a huge beautiful orange tree and a koi pond in the courtyard, along with beautiful classic light fixtures (the mailman clued us in to have a look inside as we were walking by!)
The Heath store is a must if you're a fan of the ceramics line. (I wrote about my visit to their Sausalito factory and store here.) This is their new Spring color scheme, lemongrass and creamy white linen.
Just next door to the Heath store, we stumbled on a lovely nursery and garden store, Rolling Greens. They had some beautiful gifts, garden furniture and plants as well as full nursery services.
The next day we did the Rose Bowl Flea Market, but that really deserves a post of its own. Maybe I'll mix that in with a little New Orleans, since I really need to get going on that! xox
Here's where we went:
641 N Highland Ave
The Standard Hotel
8300 Sunset Blvd
8022 West Third Street
Joan's on Third
8350 W 3rd St
8303 West 3rd St
7525 Beverly Boulevard
Rolling Greens Nursery
7505 Beverly Boulevard