Santa Cruz Memories

It’s snowy, wet and cold outside. February started a few days ago and my husband is away right now. Every time he goes away… I think more and more that it’s true what they say… absence does make the heart grow fonder!

He’s in California right now where it is sunny- lucky him!

I love California! I have been there twice, once with my husband and once with my friend Janeen. I had some awesome adventures there. I blogged a bunch of those adventures last time I was there, you should check out some of my California posts! I would and will go back to that state in a heartbeat.

I can not stop thinking about one day I spent in Santa Cruz with Dan. It is one of my favorite memories and one of the best days of my life. It is stuck in my brain and makes me smile every time I think about it.

Not having a plan, driving coastal California, we pulled off the highway in Santa Cruz. It was tough finding a spot to camp or stay, but we found a hippie-dippy campground with a woodpecker and other cool birds only 10 minutes from the Santa Cruz boardwalk. We pitched our tent and headed towards the ocean for the evening.

There we found… the best boardwalk ever! Corn dog and a Sierra Nevada as you stroll down the boards? Yes! Band playing on the beach right next to the pacific ocean? Yes! This boardwalk was excellent.

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Dan and I strolled around exploring the walk that seemed to go on forever. There was a huge old arcade that we walked around with some old-timey photos and displays. The penny squisher was jammed and I didn’t get a penny 😦 So if anyone find them self there… squish one for me please! The sky turned pink as the sun set and the neon lights started to glow all around us.

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We took a ride on the sky ride and got a birds-eye-view of the seaside amusement park and the board walk.

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There were so many rides- the Fireball, Ferris wheel, and THE GIANT DIPPER!

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The oldest roller coaster on the West coast! We went for a ride on the Giant Dipper and believe it or not – this roller coaster ride was our first (and only) ever together.

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We spent all night on the boardwalk, watched the sun set, and walked all the way down to the fishing pier. This crazy red moon rose over the water…

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The fishing pier is huge and there are sea lion barks abound. We couldn’t find them at first – then we found the stairs. The stairs were built onto the side of the pier and seemed to go right down to the ocean. We found that they lead to several landings that were right above the water and they were filled with sea lions!

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They were right in front of us, and only separated by a fence! There were so many of them, just being huge, hanging out and barking. There was a little guy that some how found his way to the other side of the fence… I don’t think his momma was too happy about that. It was really exciting to see them so close.

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What a great night… and it was just on a whim that we stopped in this ocean town.

I have realized this how my most loved travel memories are made. Don’t make plans, just go. I’m pretty lucky that I can travel with my husband like this – we take wrong turns, get lost, and laugh about it along the way… but it always leads to great adventures.

Stay warm everybody!

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Global Gardens Meyer Lemon Balsamic Bliss

I spent one day of my vacation in California wine tasting in Los Olivos. I was also really excited that day because we did an olive oil tasting at a place called Global Gardens. I loved it so much that I decided to join their quarterly olive oil club… so four times a year I get a package in the mail containing 3 bottles of Global Gardens products.

My next olive oil package is coming in November. I’m not sure what I am going to get next month but I hope it’s as good as the one I purchased in August. This one included Mediterranean Finishing Glaze, Peach Cinnamon Balsamic Vinegar, and 10th Anniversary Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I added the Meyer Lemon balsamic Bliss to my package because I tried it at the shop and it was amazing on a piece of bread so I had to try it on some other food!

I decided to share one of the recipes I made with the Meyer Lemon balsamic Bliss. Global Gardens has several fruit infused vinegars – some of which I got to try while I was in their tasting room – and all of them were outstanding! I have used the Meyer Lemon blend to marinate steak and several times as a salad dressing so far.

Here’s my sliced Bliss marinated steak with heirloom tomato and feta salad.

I rubbed salt and pepper to two small steaks and placed them into a zip top bag. I added about 2 tbsp. of the Bliss vinegar and 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil. I’ll be honest… I can’t remember what cut of steak I used because I made this dish in August. I would recommend using a skirt or flank steak. They are some of my favorites to marinate.

I let the steaks hang out in the refrigerator for most of the day. I grilled them over a medium high charcoal fire only for a few minutes until they were medium rare. If you use flank steak make sure you cut it at an angle against the grain so that it is tender, otherwise you’ll end up with some tough-to-chew pieces.

I mixed spring mix and some home-grown romaine lettuce together with heirloom tomatoes cut into quarters, parsley, cucumber, and feta cheese. I used the Meyer Lemon Bliss for the dressing as well and drizzled the salad with extra virgin olive oil.

The whole meal was a really nice light and bright summer dinner.

The 10th Anniversary Extra Virgin Olive oil is a blend of organic Mission and Manzanilla olives. It is fruity and crisp and it finishes with a peppery flavor. It’s a great dipping oil for bread. It goes really well with aged balsamic vinegar.

I haven’t tried to create anything with the Peach Cinnamon Vinegar but it is good on a simple salad of butter lettuce and strawberry slices…

The Mediterranean Finishing Glaze makes a great bread dipping sauce. I’ve also had it over pasta and it was pretty good. I think it would be best used in a cold pasta salad if you are going to put it on pasta. It is the perfect accompaniment to a nice Antipasto appetizer plate. I do love finger foods, tapas, and snacking.

If you are debating ordering something from Global Gardens, I would support you! It can get a little pricey, I would get some kind of package or gift set instead of buying individual items. I am trying it out for now because the Olive Oil Club is a pretty good deal. I really enjoy that they use good quality ingredients to make everything they sell. I definitely recommend a stop in Los Olivos and a stop at Global Gardens if you are going to California and you are going to be wine tasting.

Vacation Eats – The Epic San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market

Since returning from vacation, I’ve already visited my local farmers’ market in Lancaster twice. I have stocked up on fresh summer veggies and have been having some amazing salads and pasta dishes. I wanted to tell you about a farmers’ market that Janeen and I discovered in California that you must not miss if you are driving on the west coast.

After our adventure in Morro Bay, we drive back inland to San Luis Obispo for the Farmers’ Market that was advertised to happen ever Thursday night from 5-9pm.

We did not know what we were in for… this farmers’ market was epic! It happens every week… I couldn’t believe it. It was five blocks long – they shut down five blocks and the side streets in the busiest part of town for the whole evening!

There were a ton of different vendors selling anything you wanted. There were vegetable stands, local goods like honey, jelly, and canned veggies. There were crafty vendors and a vendor selling shoes. There were A LOT of food options… everything from Korean BBQ to American BBQ 🙂 and plenty of dessert options. There were performers at ever cross street; including rock bands, street performers, and this guy:

We got lemonades from F. McLintocks. There was a line that stretched well past the block where their barbecue stand stood. I wanted to see if it was really worth it but I was starving and not sure if I could wait an hour for food. They do have a restaurant right there that is open as well, so you could try their food anytime. I think the barbecue might be a special for the farmers’ market because they were smoking it right there on the street. Luckily, the lemonade was in the express line. Check out the giant specialty-built box they use to contain the lemonade.

We decided to try the noodle bowls from Mee Heng Low Noodle House. I have had this hunger for some kind of noodles the whole time I was in LA, so I think that’s why I gravitated towards this choice. The name was pretty funny too… I didn’t really notice until the second time we walked by.

Here’s our noodle bowl:

I got the chicken and veggie. It had cabbage, red peppers, scallions, carrots and mushrooms all mixed up in noodles similar to Udon noodles. There was a thin brown sauce coating everything. I thought it was good, but not awesome. It definitely satisfied me but it didn’t really stand out as something special. I think I might be able to do better at home, I think that my bowl just had way too much sauce because it pooled down on the bottom. Next time, I am going to stand in line at the barbecue place, or the Korean barbecue place..

We also made sure we had dessert! As we walked around, we couldn’t help bu notice this mini doughnut machine:

It was retro and oh-so-cool! The silver funnel held the batter and dispensed it in perfectly shaped mini doughnut rings. They took a float in the long fryer and this little scooper flipped them over half way down the line. If you look at the picture above, you’ll see half of the little doughnuts look cooked and the other half look very light colored – that’s right before they get flipped over. The doughnuts are dumped in the pan at the end and then coated with sugar.

And they are oh-so-awesome! A delicious treat… I would love to own one of these mini-doughnut makers. What a fun thing to have for a party. I guess they got started with a mini doughnut truck in Denver, Colorado and now have a spot in California. It’s a great idea, the doughnuts are great street food.

There was a really nice park with a creek and pretty flowers right behind the street where the farmer’s market is located. The restaurants all had decks and outside seating along the creek. It was a very nice spot to hang out and have a drink. The temperature outside was cool and refreshing. Right across from that was the old mission of San Luis Obispo.

Right before we ended our walk around town we remembered a touristy attraction that we read about and wanted to have a look for ourselves at the weirdness that is called Bubble Gum Alley. People have been sticking their chewed up gum all over this little alley’s walls for over forty years!

I didn’t think I would be grossed out by this but it was pretty disgusting. I definitely did not want to touch it.

Vacation Eats – Morro Bay Adventure

More from our California Adventure…

We drove from San Luis Obispo to Morrow Bay on Thursday (August 4th). We stayed at the Hostel Obispo the night before and had their sourdough pancakes in the morning. The batter was mixed but Janeen cooked them, so I had to do the dishes.

There were no available rooms at the hostel for Thursday night so we were hoping to get a camp site by the bay. We headed out early and tried to get a camp site at Montaña de Oro State Park, with its beautiful golden hillsides looking out on to the ocean… but it was full! We did scored a camp site at Morro Bay State Park. The campground was really close to everything, only a short ride to the center of Morro Bay town. There was also a great coastal Natural History Museum with info about the bay and a very helpful volunteer who told us where we could see otters and elephant seals!

Just a note about the California coast** The campgrounds, hostels, and hotels up the coast fill up quick in the summer months. We hadn’t made any plans but we kind of lucked out every night and found somewhere to sleep. If I make this drive again I’ll probably try to make some plans. I should have learned that from the time I visited with Dan two years ago. We had a really hard time finding places to stay and camp. It may cramp my go-with-the-flow adventure style, but it might save some morning hours spent searching for somewhere to sleep at night.

We started our Day in Morro Bay walking Embarcadero Street and checking out the shops and looking at sea lions from the docks.

We decided to go to Giovanni’s Fish Market for an early lunch. I knew we made the right choice when I saw that the line outside the order window was long and the tables were busy.

I couldn’t decide what kind of seafood to try but I did know that I wanted their famous fish and chips. I started with a cup of clam chowder. So fresh, creamy and loaded with clams. We washed it all down with a Hefeweizen from Widmer Brothers brewery in Oregon, This seemed to be a popular brewery around CA, I kept seeing it everywhere. I was a really good Hefe and it went great with the fish.

I ended up with a variety basket of fish, shrimp, scallops, and squid. The fish was the best thing in the basket! The fish and squid were coated with  light beer batter that was much better than the bread-crummy batter coating the shrimp and scallops. I recommend sticking with the classic if you go here.

I would upgrade the french fries to garlic fries! I saw this on the menu and I wondered what it was… I thought maybe they just threw some garlic powder on top but it was $2 extra so I thought that it had to be something more special than that. I was right! They took fries that were already great and added fresh garlic, fresh chopped parsley and real Parmesan cheese to them. The result is delicious and right up my alley.

After completely stuffing ourselves for lunch we need to take a walk. We walked all the way out to Morrow Rock – a volcanic rock that separates the bay from the ocean. The town saved it from being demolished a while ago and now it is a huge nesting ground for shore birds. You can see it in the top picture behind me and Janeen. There were otters playing in the kelp at the bay, squirrels making boroughs in between the rocks, and birds flying everywhere. Here’s some of the sea otter family floating in the kelp, enjoying their lunch of urchins and shellfish.

Our walk inspired us to rent a kayak and get right in the bay. A good idea but it was super windy that day and a bit harder than it seemed it should be. We did get closer to the sea lions and otters, and we got to paddle through the shallow waters where jellyfish were floating and seaweeds were growing.

So the kayaking was kind of hard. I got totally soaked and full of sand. I tried to get off on the sand bar island and sank into the muddy sand, it was still fun though.  We were a little exhausted but we still had a great night – We went back to San Luis Obispo for an epic farmers market… stay tuned!

Vacation Eats – Tar Pits and Hitting the Road

Back to the California trip… It’s about time for a famous eatery stop. So on Wednesday (August 3rd) we had hot dogs for breakfast.

We choose Pink’s Famous Hot Dog Stand on LaBrea Avenue in Hollywood. Pinks has dozens of condiments and topping combinations on their famous dogs. The specials are named after famous stars, chefs, TV personalities and landmarks.

I chose the Emeril BAM! Dog. Emeril has a new show called The Originals that featured Pinks on one of the episodes about LA. It airs on the Cooking channel if you’re interested in finding it.

This special dog had cheese, jalapenos, mustard, onions, bacon, and cole slaw. I had to take a lot of the jalapenos off because there were so many they were falling out of the bun. I also am not a huge fan of pickled jalapenos, or bacon for that matter, but the cole slaw pulled me into picking this dog. The combination overall was BAM good, I would get it again!

Janeen got the Pastrami Reuben Dog, not named after any celebrity but I think it was famous all by itself. it was loaded with sauerkraut, pastrami, swiss cheese, and mustard. I tried it and it was a mouthful of meat. there was so much pastrami on it, it was falling all over the place. It was a fine dog.

With our bellies full of hot dogs we drove through Miracle Mile and into the La Brea Tar Pits. I’m kind of a science nerd so I thought this stop was great. The Page Museum held a lot of the fossils they excavated from the tar pits. There are also open sites that they are working on that you could observe.

We drove back across Hollywood into Echo Park to eat a late lunch at The Park restaurant, which the wonderful Erin caters to the lunch time crowd. Janeen and I had an identical lunch today. We both got Lucifer Ale, a nice light Belgian with hints of apple.

The Park has sandwich specials that all looked so good it made it really hard to choose just one. I went with some thing kind of light because I ate the hotdog for breakfast… I enjoyed the avocado and Gruyère sandwich piled high with avocado, Gruyère cheese, tomato, and lettuce. I added crispy onions, as per Erin’s recomendtion and spread some Dijon on the grilled whole wheat sourdough bread.

It was nice light and delicious, perfect after a morning of looking at gas bubble out of pits of black asphalt smelling pits.

So we headed out late that afternoon to drive up the coast. We had one perfect stop as we made our way North. I was reading “taste of Santa Barbara” magazine in the car and telling Janeen about this amazing looking Gelato in Montecito. A little bit later she noticed that we were passing Montecito on the highway and said “wasn’t something in Montecito? oh yea, isn’t the Gelato place there?” So I checked the magazine and yes! So we pulled off the exit and 2 minutes down the road we were stopping at Here’s the Scoop for a Gelato dinner.

This place it definitely worth the stop! They let you try any flavor you want and they make everything with local ingredients. Yes, I realize I keep writing about these places using local, organic ingredients, but I am drawn to that so I am either a sucker for people writing local on everything or I just pick really awesome places… probably a little bit of both. Anyway… The gelato and sorbet are out of this world awesome at this place.

I tasted the lavender lemon flavor which was crisp and refreshing but I ultimately decided on one scoop coconut, one scoop chocolate strawberry in a waffle cone. Janeen got Italian chocolate chip (which tasted like cannoli filling) and espresso in a chocolate waffle cone.  All flavors got my stamp of approval and left me wanting more.

Vacation Eats – Santa Monica and Venice Beach

On our Tuesday (August 2) in California, we headed down to the beach towns. We strolled along the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica in the morning to window shop and have brunch. We chose a little french cafe in the middle of the promenade called Monsieur Marcel. We sat outside watching passer-bys. I ordered the Benedict Marcel- poached eggs atop a buttery croissant with smoked ham and Hollandaise sauce.

It was good, a solid take on eggs Benedict, but not the best I have ever had… Janeen asked me where the best eggs Benedict was and I immediately replied two places… The Nodding Head Brewery in Philadelphia (they have sunday brunch with excellent bloody marys) and this little shack (can’t remember the name of it) beside a river in Connectitcut that I stopped at on the way back from cape cod.

Janeen had the souffle french toast. I tried it – it was super-good! It was so good I wished I had gotten in. It was soft, fluffy, buttery and it had a slight citrusy taste to it. French perfection, that’s what I would call it. If you ever find yourself eating brunch in Santa Monica, I highly recommend it.

We checked out the pier and rode the ferris wheel to get a birds eye view of everything.

Then we took a tip from Erin’s friend and went to The Lobster for a large bloody mary with a giant prawn and olive attached to it. It was a good bloody mary, kind of mild but really impressive looking. It was a nice break from the sun and we got some post cards written.

We rented bikes and rode the sandy bike trail down to the complete spectacle that is Venice beach. We locked the bikes by the skate park where skaters were zooming around the concrete learning tricks. The two headed turtle was out in front of the freak show and it seemed all the usual buskers were out.

We stopped into a cafe that was set back a little from the boardwalk. They advertised Peach Chai, which sounded good, so we decided to try it. Not really that great, it was ok but I would def not go there again. Janeen got an iced vanilla latte that was so sweet she didn’t even really drink it. I can not remember the name at all but I don’t think I’ll be going back.

We walked the whole ocean front, headed back to our bikes, and rode back to Santa Monica. On our way out, we knew there was going to be a lot of traffic and it was going to take a long time to get back, so we got a snack. We sampled the frozen yogurt at PinkBerry. It is all fat free and made with ultra fresh ingredients.

We both got waffle cones. I tasted the salted caramel, a great little bite but a bit too rich to eat a whole cone. I went with pomegranate and mango swirl with strawberries in the bottom of the come. Janeen stuck with the strawberries and got chocolate and original side-by-side in her waffle cone. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I know some people love Pinkberry and some people don’t. It is a chain that I usually only see in big cities, I think they have a good business plan. I thought it was tasty, but wait until you read what we had on Wednesday…

We had to rush once we got back to Erin’s place because we were going to her comedy show in Downtown LA and we didn’t have much time. Erin was nice enough to make us dinner. Arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette with little cukes and avocado slices.

She even cut up some pickled cauliflower (from giardiniera) and added slivered almonds. Great salad Erin! We also had pasta with olive sauce that we got at Global Gardens on our wine tasting adventure.

Erin’s comedy show was great! It was at a theater called the Downtown Independent. Finally a place with some Sierra Nevada! Good beer, good laughs. Thank you Erin for a wonderful evening!

Vacation Eats – Los Olivos Wine Adventure

Today we woke up bright and early and decided to go north to wine country. Our pick was the tiny town of Los Olivos, in the Santa Ynez Valley.

We began the morning eating Mexican Breakfast at Tacos Delta in Silver Lake. We split two burritos between the three of us because they were pretty big. We got a bacon-potato-egg-rice-bean burrito and a potato-cheese-egg-rice-bean burrito. The salsa at this place was great! It was not too spicy and it had cilantro in it, a good addition to the burritos.

We grabbed a coffee at Casbah Cafe. I had an iced coffee (which was excellent). The shop was really colorful inside and all of the pastries and foods were carefully set up with care to look beautiful. I loved that they had nice brown hard boiled eggs on the counter top and fresh figs.

We got our coffees to-go and we started our journey north. We made it pretty far before we had to make a pit stop…

We stopped in a small beach town called Summerland and walked into a cafe with lots of lawn ornaments and a nice front porch called Cafe Luna. I am mentioning this place because I thought it was really cool that they had home-brewed Kombucha tea. There’s only one girl that knows how to brew it that works there. Unfortunately, she was on her own vacation and their Kombucha supply ran dry until she gets back. We all got their standard black iced tea. It had a nice clean and slightly sweet flavor (it was unsweetened though) and you didn’t have to add anything to it. It was perfect just how it was.


Next stop, Los Olivos. The drive up was mostly highway that ran through beautiful hills next to the coast then we had to turn inland. We drove amongst golden grassy hills with wiry oak trees that looked like they grew slightly tilted from the wind.

Los Olivos was quaint. It had one market, one coffee shop, and numerous wine tasting rooms from the surrounding vineyards and farms.

We stopped at Andrew Murray Vineyards, Blair Fox, and Kaena wine tasting rooms. I can’t even pretend to know exactly what I am talking about when it comes to wine. I do love tasting them though and I think I learned a lot about wine just in one day!

Andrew Murray wines were my favorite. I realized here that I actually like white wine. We tried a Viognier (which I have never had) that was delicious and fruity and seemed perfect for a hot day. I learned pretty quick that I really like the blended wines. I ended up getting one from here called Eleven, a blend of grenache, cabernet and syrah. It is a reference to Spinal Tap and the amplifier that can crank the volume to Eleven.

The one thing that really stuck out at Blair Fox vineyard is that their wine was very earthy. It was like you could taste the differences in the dirt the grapes were grown in. It made me notice different flavors and definitely remember them.

There was one white wine at Kaena that had a creamy, smooth, fruity flavor to it. It is called Hapa Blanc, a blend of grenache blanc and roussanne. I like it so much that I bought a bottle to take home with me. One thing that I will take away from this wine experience is that I learned I like good white wine. White wine (any kind) isn’t my favorite, but I now realize I was probably just drinking some very low quality ones.

Before we left the town center, we went to Global Gardens for an olive oil tasting! This was my favorite part of this little adventure. Yes, I like wine, but I love olive oil! We tasted a few olive oils from first pressings, blood orange infused olive oil, spice blends, olive spread, and infused vinegars. They gave you a really nice little bread roll to soak up all of the flavors and the woman that poured all of our tastings told you all about each one so it was really informative. Of course… I ended up joining the Olive Oil club (with some gentle pushing from Janeen and Erin). You get a shipment of their products four times a year for a pretty good price. I can’t wait to go home and try them out… my first one will be waiting for me when I get back! Here’s our tasting palate…

We also went to Buttonwood winery, a few miles down from all of the wine tasting rooms in Los Olivos center. Their wine was good but maybe not as good as some of the other places. This winery stop was all about the farm. They had chickens, pigs, goats, a horse, flower gardens, a peach orchard, and all kinds of places outside to sit and take it all in. It was beautiful. We had a really fun time taking pictures here…

We had to start heading back to LA after Buttonwood and we had to get some dinner. Tasting all that wine made us work up an appetite….

We tried to find this place called Cold Spring Tavern… and what a find it was! We took a winding desolate road for a while and just as we thought we went the wrong way, we see all cars lining the skinny roadway on both sides. This place was an oasis in the dry hills, and it was packed! It was part dining room, part biker bar, part BBQ pit, with shacks in the woods from the stage coach era. We went for the beef tri-tip sandwiches. You had to go in to the bar to purchase a ticket, then go outside to the BBQ pit to get your giant sandwiches from a big burly Mexican guy.

He took a giant hunk of meat off the grill and sliced it up for the three of us, placed it on grilled bread, handed over the sandwiches and told us to squish it all together. Erin asked him how he eats it and his reply was “horseradish and salsa.” I chose the barbeque sauce and horseradish sauce on mine.

It was so big, I couldn’t eat it all. I am definitely not used to eating that much meat all in one sitting. It filled me up for the rest of the night.

We made our way back to Los Angeles through stretches of traffic. We stopped in at a party at The Park restaurant, where Erin works. Then we headed into Hollywood for a comedy show. All-in-all a great day in CA!

Vacation Eats- Silver Lake and Hollywood, CA

Janeen and I made it to California! We came out here to see our really great friend Erin (Hollywood comedy star). We are starting our vacation in Los Angeles. Erin lives in Silver Lake not far from Hollywood,  an awesome part of town.

The first thing we did when we got to LA was hit up a food truck! It was late but we just got off the plane and into Erin’s neighborhood.

This one was called Gus’s Lunch Box. It had standard Mexican food like burritos and tacos. I had the Taco Pastor, which was pork in red sauce. It did not have pineapple, which I was expecting because of how the Mexican place back home makes them.

The tacos hit the spot. I chose the mild sauce because I can’t eat very hot spices anymore… I’m not sure why, but I have developed an allergy to one of the chemicals in hot red peppers. The mild sauce was great though and the corn tortillas were really good.

In the morning, Janeen and I set out on a mini-walking adventure that turned into an all day affair. We walked through Silver Lake and stopped at Local for brunch. As you can see by the menu, it was right up my alley. Everything was fresh and well made.

Even though this menu looks bangin’ and I wanted all of the dishes on it, we chose to eat off the special whole wheat crepe menu.

We ordered the La Razza and a dessert crepe (the one with sweet lemon ricotta) and split them between the two of us.

Here’s the La Razza, cut in half with sour cream, avocado, and some awesome home fries. It also came with a smokey (but not hot) pepper sauce that was really good spread on the home fries.The whole wheat crepes added a new texture that went really well with all of the fillings.

The dessert crepe had lemon ricotta stuffing the crisp whole wheat crepe, topped with cooked fresh strawberries and creme fraiche. Excellent, I still ate a lot of it even though I was a little full from the breakfast crepe.

Sharing the two crepes was a great idea. I was comfortably full after the half of breakfast crepe and stuffed after half the dessert crepe. This place also had excellent iced coffee. They even had soy milk out on the fixins table. I really appreciate this because I always have to ask and usually pay extra for soy milk.

After our excellent brunch, we headed onward to the Silver Lake Farmers Market. Here we found super fresh fruits, veggies, and taste-tested many delightful treats. We got a ginger lime juice to share with cane syrup and found some pretty styling LA hats. Here’s some veggie eye candy from the market…

We started walking down Sunset Blvd. and just kept on going until we hit Hollywood Blvd. We actually walked the whole way to the Chinese Theater. Sightseeing, penny squishing, and stopping for a frozen margarita along the way. We had to call Erin to come pick us up because we had walked 5 miles to get all the way over to the most touristy part of Hollywood. On our way home we stopped at the Griffith Park Observatory for some spectacular views of the city.

After some freshening up it was dinner time! We went to Erin’s favorite place Pho Cafe for Vietnamese.

We shared the #3, spring rolls with shrimp and beef inside and a large Sapporo beer.

I got the Pho Ga #13 – rice noodle soup with free range chicken, ginger sauce, and herbs.

Both dishes are highly recommended. They use really good meat here, the beef and shrimp in the spring rolls and the chicken in the soup were all really good.

After dinner we went to a wine and beer bar. My drink of choice was Russian River Damnation. A smooth Belgian ale with an apple/pear taste to it. Perfect for sipping after a late dinner.