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Last month, we visited Los Angeles and spent a long weekend in Las Vegas meeting friends who came down from the Bay area.  Rather than sightseeing  (most sights in LA had been seen already), we were just chilling in the suburb.  Unlike NYC, LA is not known to be welcoming for pedestrians.  So, it was a matter of driving from one mall to another, big and small.  Below are snapshots of things we saw on some of the store shelves.

Don’t know if you can see it, the sign says “Spices A-Z” – at Penzeys, a specialty spices supplier who has one of its stores in Torrance. You are looking at the C section. I first encountered them in NYC’s Grand Central market where they have a stand. Everything you need and many you have not heard of can be found here. I bought mostly their specialty mixes which you cannot get anywhere else. They also pack the spices in ziplock bags so they travel lightly and flatly.

We went to a bunch of Asian supermarkets. I have seen plenty of Japanese meals presented as realistic plastic models in restaurant windows, but not plastic kimichi until now.

Oodles of Vietnamese rice noodles.

We were at Mitsuwa‘s Torrance branch – pictured below are their European-style cakes. We used to live within minutes from the east coast store – really missing it now. Watch my video taken at Mitsuwa Edgewater where we bought freshly-carved bluefin tuna.

Speaking of plastic food, this is a model of my favorite ramen combo at Santouka 山頭火 in Mitsuwa’s food court. I crave the ikura don. This is a rather old review of the Santouka chain by rameniac.

Assault rifles on sale, prices range from $299 to $549 and shotguns from $199 $299 at Big Five. We bought our New Balance trainers there, no weapon or ammo.

This section in Barnes and Noble caught my eye when I walked by because most of the books on the top shelf have a reddish book jacket – the section took on a pinkish hue against the green/brown color scheme of the store – not sure this photo really shows it.  There is a little irony here – putting “Love & Sex” right next to “Addiction/Recovery” – I think they used to name this section “Self-Help”.   I guess the concept of self-help is a bit jarring when it comes to the topic of “Sex” and “Addiction”.

The book titles are sensational to say the least – if you want to browse the shelves, click on the photo for a bigger version. Go for it, it’s worth zooming in – at a minimum, your curiosity will be satisfied without the self-consciousness associated with actually standing in front of this bookshelf in Barnes and Noble. Prominently displayed under Addiction/Recovery is a book titled “Oral sex he’ll never forget”. I presume this book gives advices on how to feed an addiction and not about recovering from an addiction.

With weapons galore and such self-help manuals, the suburb is not sleepy.

We continue our trip through the malls in part 2.

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2 Comments

  1. yes, very amusing Chris. the books and the plastic kimchee. i’m going to a conference in Anaheim next week. Two days off will spend visiting/relaxing if I can. let’s catch up soon by phone or in vivo if you’re back in NY in the near future. regards to Sue.

  2. I used to get that ikura don at least once a week when I was working in Torrance. Delish!!!!


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