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┬áSunday 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

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Bike Tour: LA to Tijuana

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Zumi & Apollo’s chicken katsu curry (cutlet)

Last week, the homies Zumi and Apollo invited me over for dinner after returning from their bike tour from L.A. to Tijuana with the local collective, L.A. Rooted. When I say bike tour, I meant they rode their bikes from L.A. all the way down and across the border of Mexico to Tijuana–all in their two-wheeled machines–over the course of a few days! By car, it would take only about two hours to drive 140 miles, but on bicycles powered by human muscles, sweat, and sheer stamina, this seems like a daunting task. Continue reading Bike Tour: LA to Tijuana

Flashback Friday: Beer Belly

One of the graduate students in Melo’s program first mentioned Beer Belly to her last summer. When my mom and her husband came for a visit in October and she mentioned it to us after having seen it on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, we decided we needed to try it out sometime in the near future. Continue reading Flashback Friday: Beer Belly