California Donuts

Since my move to LA to be with my boo, I’ve heard from various sources that California Donuts is a must-do. Last week I had an intense sweet craving and, knowing that nothing but a donut would satisfy, we made our way over to its 3rd Street location for a treat.

Lemme tell you something first: being originally from New York and having lived in Atlanta, I know donuts. Everything from the classic chocolate glazed Dunkin Donuts that NYers love, to the famous light and fluffy Krispy Kreme champion of the south, to the trendy Revolution Doughnuts and Sublime Donuts famous in ATL–I know donuts.

But this–

Source: your dreams
Source: your dreams

–this is something else entirely. This is a feast of the senses: see, hear, smell, feel, and taste. Not to mention the psychic connection you feel as you walk toward that glass window to place your order.

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Afters

You guys.

OMG, you guys.

I had the most delicious experience this weekend. We had an appointment in Long Beach Saturday afternoon, so we decided to have lunch there afterwards. One of our favorite spots for a sweet treat is in Long Beach (Sweet Jill’s), and so I thought maybe we’d stop by there after lunch and on the way home. But then, BUT THEN…

I remembered that Afters Ice Cream the place famous for their milky buns, had a location in the LBC. Hmm…monster cinnamon rolls or ice cream? Decisions, decisions right? I went with the ice cream, of course, and boy was it a treat.

My milky bun
My milky bun

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Daisy Mint

I work in the Glendale/Pasadena area weekday afternoons, so a few weeks ago Melo and I decided to stay in the area for our date night.

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How cute are those chandeliers?!

Melo LOVES Thai food, so I surprised her by taking her to Daisy Mint, a Thai spot right off of Colorado Blvd near Cal Tech and not too far from Old Pasadena. This place is so adorable! The cozy interior actually reminded me a lot of my favorite brunch spot in Atlanta (you can read about it here). It’s very charming and quaint; perfect for a date!

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Travel + Adventure Show

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Yesterday we had the opportunity to attend day 2 of the Travel + Adventure Show. The expo has been around for 12 years and gives travelers the opportunity to link up directly with industry exhibitors at the expo. Exhibitors offer deeply discounted travel deals, free giveaways, and raffle prizes. The expo also hosts several industry professionals who give either cooking demonstrations or short lectures on traveling with families, how to get the best deals, and the best technology for travelers. Speakers include Rick Steves of Travel with Rick Steves, Peter Greenberg of The Travel Detective, and Samantha Brown of the Travel Channel.

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Natas Pastries in Sherman Oaks

 

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Tai’s baked salmon

So far this year, I have to say that my favorite restaurant in L.A. is Natas Pastries, a Portuguese restaurant in Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando Valley AKA The Valley–yes, that valley that pop culture associates with so-called Valley Girls some decades ago. Needless to say, I usually do not venture out to the Valley that much, especially with the million distractions where I live right in central L.A. surrounded by the neighborhoods of Downtown AKA DTLA, Koreatown AKA Ktown, Hollywood, Silverlake, and Mid-City. However, as part of my local birthday celebrations (yes, on top of the Vegas shenanigans), Tai surprised me by taking me here one chilly winter Sunday evening via the northbound 101 freeway. After she drove through and past the Hollywood freeway, I felt clueless about where we were going since I have limited knowledge of the territory beyond Universal Studios in North Hollywood. She parked in a residential street and we then walked over a few blocks to Ventura Blvd. and Fulton Ave. in Sherman Oaks. Once we made our way to the entrance of Natas, I became instantly excited since I love Portuguese food! Continue reading Natas Pastries in Sherman Oaks