you may have heard that my most recent quarter of school was not as… taxing as other quarters. so when my friend b asked if i was willing to hang out the weekend before finals, i was naturally down. our mutual friend s is always dod (“definition of down”), so she rounded out our trio for these week 10 adventures.
a few months ago, guardians of the galaxy: mission breakout opened and replaced the iconic tower of terror in california adventure. we basically stayed long enough to get fast passes for it, left, then came back to ride it, then left again. i wanted to stay longer, but what can you say when the person with the free passes wants to leave? anyways, if you like tower of terror then you’ll probably still like this. the ride is essentially the same, though the details and theming are different. i’m not a huge fan of drop rides, and my own nail marks were embedded in my palms, but even i think it’s worth riding at least once.
we had dim sum at mint leaf, which was more of a fast food rather than sit down dim sum place. we got ham suey gok (fried mochi filled with pork and mushrooms), siu mai (pork and shrimp dumpling), har gao (shrimp dumpling), nai wong bao (sweet custard buns), fried shrimp balls, noodles and tofu skin with mushrooms. was it the best dim sum i’ve ever had? no. the noodles were kind of bland, and the ham suey gok wasn’t as crispy as i wanted. but for the convenience and price, it was pretty good. and the custard buns were fun. you’re supposed to stick your chopstick in where its mouth would be, and when you squish the bun, the molten custard comes out. to me, it’s more like it’s peeing but hey, when else can you say that you have a peeing bun?
the loop has been on my radar for a while, and it was pretty worth it. i got a churro dusted with cinnamon sugar, brushed with matcha glaze and sprinkled with chopped almonds. the churro was super crispy (but still tender and not hard on the inside) and fresh, and the matcha glaze was pretty strong in the tea department. it was messy, with the almonds falling off every second, but tasty.
and because going to one theme park apparently wasn’t enough, we ended up at universal studios later on in the day. never mind that it took 1.5 hours to get there with traffic, or that the park was closing in < 2 hours, or that s and i had been at universal less than a week before. b and s could not be swayed into doing something more local. luckily it was free (well, pre-paid, since we all have season passes), and luckily the studio tour remains amazing no matter how many times you sit through it.
dinner was at sushi stop. give me allllllll the fish.
brunch was at crave in santa ana. we might have overordered. just maybe. the frittatas (in the top left and bottom right, both filled with herbs, cheese, potatoes, spinach, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and grilled chicken) were super flavorful and massive. they took 20+ minutes to come out because they get baked fresh. normally not an issue, but b and s got bottomless mimosas, and were a wee bit …happy before the food came out. it was apparently too much to ask for them to wait for the food before having any alcohol. the croissant was tasty if unmemorable. the creme brulee french toast was custardy on the inside, crispy on the outside, with plenty of berries. they undercharged us and after we mentioned it, they brought us a chocolate chip cookie and a snickerdoodle. my mouth wasn’t behaving and even though the waiter was in hearing range, somehow a loud nooooooooo escaped. because i was full and did not deserve more sugar, and yet i knew they’d be nibbled away by the end of the day until only crumbs remained. anyways, if you need a massive chocolate chip cookie, theirs is pretty solid.
we spent some time at the getty villa in pacific palisades, though we didn’t venture into any of the indoor exhibits and wandered around/did photoshoots in the gardens. hey, i was wearing a dress for once, so i needed to make it somewhat worthwhile.
and since it was so close to the getty, we ended up at the self realization fellowship lake shrine temple. super serene, with plenty of benches and nooks to peer at and relax near.
the last stop of our weekend was gresescent ice cream. b got a bouquet of ice cream (10, count em, TEN scoops) and refused to share with me. i sampled the lemon bar, which was more custardy/decadent than lemony, and the honey hazelnut pistachio, which was super nutty. i ended up with a scoop of the blackberry mint mojito, which had a good bit of tartness from the berries and freshness from the mint.
just like that, the weekend was over. it was a good break right before finals, and seeing how i passed my classes with good enough grades (thank goodness russian children’s literature is done), i think it was worth it (;
1 year ago: Baba Ghanoush, Roasted Broccoli Salad with Baba Ghanoush
2 years ago: Caramelized Veggie and Cheddar Frittata, Creamy Curried Carrot Salad with Walnuts and Sesame
3 years ago: Mix-in-the-Pan Berry Almond Bars, Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew
more adventures in socal