my friend b flew down at the end of february, and we spent the next 60 hours of glory with another friend, s, who goes to college (and went to elementary, middle and high school) with me, though we were never really friends until she transferred from junior college to our current college. hence, socal february 2017: theme parks and swirled ice cream.
our day started at universal studios, where i froze my butt off all day. it's inland la, but the weather decided to be outright cold (goosebump level cold). the studio tour, where you get driven around in a tram and look at the universal backlot and their sets, was hands down my favorite attraction we went on, even given how frozen i felt after it. we brought sandwiches in an effort to be healthier and cheaper, and then somehow still ended up buying garlic parmesan fries, tropical orange swirled soft serve (creamyyyy but if you don't like orange flavored candy, this isn't for you), and tea (did i mention it was chilly?).
we stopped by griffith observatory at sunset because b is very obsessed with la la land. for which i don't get the hype. the songs are catchy but i don't love them, and that ending, what the heck?! then onto kbbq; we opted for inchewon in garden grove because there was no wait. wasn't bad, but there's a reason why other places have a wait and this one did not.
lido marina, newport beach: think of the most white (in terms of aesthetic and clientele), rich, pretty shopping center, and you get lido marina. we walked around snapping pictures everywhere, and b eventually bought a vanilla latte just for the instagram. sigh.
baos hog: i tried their bolsa (a traditional crispy pork belly) and hot chick (fried chicken). the bolsa was okay; the pork skin was super crispy, but i wish that the rest of it had been more tender. still highly recommend the pork belly buns from momofuku (though those are a little far from california, sigh). the hot chick was delicious; i loved how crispy and light the batter on the chicken was, and how juicy and tender the meat was. this one was a little messy to eat, but no cabbage or carrot julienne got left behind, even if it fell out.
disneyland: we went because we were bored. oh, how tough, i know. but b has free disney (she works at a disney store at home, essentially for the perks), and we were carless while s had work that night anyways, so it was an easy way to spend an afternoon/night. but man, it was crowded. i've never seen it so crowded, and there were too many special events that day. we ended up boredom eating, oops. and did you know how hard it is to take a nice picture of a churro? we also had some poutine from red rose tavern, a special restaurant pop-up in fantasyland for the premiere of beauty and the beast. it was tasty, but the fries got soggy very fast and the gravy teetered on the edge of inedibly salty (we counteracted this with copious amounts of ketchup. come at me, poutine purists). they ran out of the special cakes (grey stuff, and a rose cake), which i was kind of sad about. we didn't go on any rides until 9pm (a solid 7 hours after we first entered the park), and we only ended up going on 3 minor rides (little mermaid, it's a small world, haunted mansion) because somehow the big ones (ie indiana jones) still had 1+ hour waits at 10pm. there were also struggles trying to see the beauty and the beast preview, and we ended up sitting through it's tough to be a bug! and freaked out with the smoke and bugs "running" under our butts and things coming out of the chair to poke us. we did get to the right theater for beauty and the beast eventually, thank goodness, but it was overall a weird day at disney.
we tried to be cultured on sunday and went to lacma (the la county museum of arts; i thought everyone knew what it was, but my mom didn't, so here you are). turns out, i don't really understand art. and the main pieces that b wanted to see were gone. so after a couple of hours of meandering, along with some coffee and a massive kouign amann (super sticky, caramelly, flaky, very solid kouign amann) from c+m coffee and milk at lacma, we left.
and onto the la la land mural, which b found randomly on twitter and of course dragged us to. it was a very pretty wall, though i wouldn't wait 20 minutes to take a picture with it if i was alone.
we meant to get bingsoo, korean shaved ice, in ktown, but then stumbled upon somisomi, and got that instead. it's taiyaki, which is japanese fish bread, and it also goes by the name of bungeoppang in korean. not quite sure what the difference is (lmk if you do!), but they're both fish shaped breads. the texture is very different from a typical french/western bread, and the edges are crispy while the inside is really chewy and mochi-like. this one was filled with sweetened mashed red bean, and the creamiest matcha and milk swirled soft serve. mmm. s and i shared, because we were assuming that we'd get bingsoo after, but she tapped out. sigh. I'LL BE BACK FOR YOU, SUL & BEANS.
the rest of the day was spent wandering around ktown and then sawtelle, with a detour to sushistop for dinner, an attempt to go to a beach (but we gave up because it was too cold), and a stop at target for bathrooms before returning b to lax.
1 year ago: Orange-Scented Almond Olive Oil Muffins, Coconut Cake with Strawberry Compote and Pink Swiss Meringue Buttercream
2 years ago: America's Test Kitchen's Clumpalicious Almond Granola, Apricot Almond Amaretto Pound Cake
3 years ago: Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies