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Tag Archives: los angeles

Just came back from vacation. We are feeling lazy and don’t want to write much.

So here are some fruits, vegetables and nuts!

They were taken in a supermarket in LA.

The display (what display?) is just the opposite of Whole Foods where everything is neatly stacked into perfectly balanced pyramids. In this market, there are just piles of stuff.

It is not a wholesale market.

Haven’t lived in the US for a while, so we don’t know the prices of groceries. It is probably cheaper than your regular supermarket.

The US is truly the land of plenty.

This is Sue’s favorite melons (when they are sweet).

You people probably think that we are crazy – taking all these pictures. Film is cheap nowadays.

POM source

Not from Georgia. Likely from California.

Lassi anyone ?

Alright, gotta go. Ciao.

This is our 300th post !  Thanks for visiting and leaving comments. The adventure continues …

For regular folks like us, the time to do shopping is mostly the weekend. But when all of us are shopping at the same time at the same places, the result is crowds and stress which strip away all sense of fun.  While on vacation, we visited a suburban mall in Southern California (Los Angeles county) on a weekday and it was a real pleasure to browse and shop leisurely. No groups of people clogging up the aisles, and you have the full attention of the assistants.  And when it is lunch time, we wandered off to a restaurant in the mall (no lines !).  This mall restaurant uses man’s best friend as the theme.

Next to the entrance of Lazy Dog Cafe is the menu framed by a fire hydrant.

Lazy Dog Cafe is a mini chain of restaurants, all of them located in Southern California. Small-town hospitality is their secret sauce and the name was inspired by the sight of a lazy dog lying by a fire in a ski lodge (according to their website).

Portraits of dogs adorn the dining room

Suspended from the ceiling are giant dog paws (diffused light fixtures) that “walk” you to the bar area.

Sue really liked their chicken sandwich and is a repeat customer. I had a fish taco.

Bone-shaped bar tap. Notice the Kikkoman soy sauce and Sriracha chili sauce – not commonly found on the counter (at least not on the east coast). This place can turn into a sports bar at night.

Their dogs, like the two near the entrance, are metallic sculptures in gun metal grey. Can someone tell me what breed of dog is this one ? I find these sculpture a bit odd given the warm friendly atmosphere of the restaurant.  This one resembles a robo-canine that the Terminator would keep (look at those claws!)

Paw print on each table.

A new variant of the gender sign on the toilet door. In case of doubt, the word “boy” makes sure that it is understood.

Another whimsical dog-themed light fixture. Notice the high ceiling and stone interior.

Finally, a bone-shaped door handle.

All in all, the Lazy Dog Cafe is a very pleasant eatery (and grade A cleanliness according to California Public Health authority). I wonder if there is a cat-themed restaurant some where.

This type of restaurant, which serves mid-priced every day food in a spacious relaxing dining room, unfortunately does not exist in Switzerland.

Another restaurant – Stacked – just opened in the same mall.  On their menu is this item: “Kung Fusion” – Brioche Bun / Certified Angus Beef/ Cucumber / Wasabi Mayo / Sriracha Mayo/ Pickled Ginger Slaw. Love to try it.

One day while I was in LA, I had a few hours in the afternoon to wander around in Koreatown. And I came across this graffiti-mural of Los Angeles. The five pictures here were taken in sequence from left to right.

The artist was looking north presumably from Koreatown, so Santa Monica is on the left. Oops, I think there is a little gap here. Tiny gap only (as you will see below). The bottom half of the mural is filled with wildstyle, cubist vegetation, and tags.

I don’t know the landmarks and geography of LA well enough to identify the freeways and buildings. Somebody please help me out (put them in Comments). The mural is panning from west to east.

And the mural ends at Dodger stadium with a blimp. Don’t know why the sky is yellow – perhaps it is meant to depict the scorching sun or smog.

The mural is located on Western Ave between Beverly and W1st. Well, I just found it on Google map.  With Google map, there is no need to travel physically anymore – see my earlier post relating to this point.
A couple of blocks south on Western Avenue is a US Post Office named after Nat King Cole!  There is really much to be discovered on foot in LA.
If you want to see how New York looks according to …, check out my earlier post on a fantastic mural at East Houston Street, downtown, NYC.

Paris Baguette, Los Cerritos mall

You can tell by the name, Paris Baguette, that this cafe is not run by a French company. It is a franchise run by a rather successful Korean chaebol (SPC group) that has landed in the US a few years ago. There was one in Fort Lee, NJ near us (before we moved). The deco is certainly way cooler than Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. Although the wooden chairs did not look too comfortable, the sofa we were sitting on was nice and cushy. Their bread and pastries were very good indeed, and the selection included Asian flavors, e.g. red bean-stuffed bakery products, etc.

Well, it was February – a week from Valentine’s day. Starbucks livened up what thousands if not millions of people hold in their hands. Evidently, Sue ordered the drink. We did not try the Cup Magic mobile app as suggested on the cup.

Hairbucks? No chance that the goods or services offered here will be confused with the Seattle company’s offerings. But does the similarity of the mark do anything for this business ?

Fancy buying a car in the shopping mall ? One can do just that in this mall which is not far from Cerritos Auto Square (well known as one of the largest and allegedly best places to buy a car). The Fiat 500 (“cinquecento”), so small and cutely colorful, can fit the description of a mall merchandise. A colleague of mine, a Dutch man bought a pink special edition for his wife.

The beverage retail concept below does not make sense. Holland is not well known for either of the ingredients: chocolate or red wine. I guess they are being honest about the source of “ChocoVine Original”. The label shows only tulips, not a grape or cocoa is in sight. Even if it is made with Swiss chocolate and French fine red wine, I really am not sure if the combination works. Just look at the color. And it is four times more expensive than the Merlot next to it !

The “office” attire of certain professionals in Las Vegas, on display at Agent Provacateur.

We were in the west, enough said.

One of the more architecturally interesting mall – namely the Fashion Show Mall in Vegas. Is it meant to be a UFO or a surfboard ?

In the end, we did end up doing a lot of shopping during this trip, mostly electronics goods – in some of the malls where the above photos were taken, although not the items shown in the photos.  To pack the stuff home, we bought a suitcase from a luggage store in the Fashion Show Mall – and minutes later just round the corner, we came across the brand’s own store in a Vegas hotel.

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.