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lucky number 13.

14 Jul

I had an unexpectedly eventful Friday the 13th – and not in a creepy way that one might expect. The day started with my typical morning at the Criminal Courts Building. For lunch, our judge and all of his courtroom staff (bailiff, clerk, court reporter, Deputy DA, and the public defender assigned to his room, plus the externs) all went out to lunch at the local (delicious) pizza place, Pitfire Artisan Pizza. I’d been there a few times before, and this time I chose a pizza off their list of specials.

You can literally never go wrong with heirloom tomatos.

heirlooms errywhere.

After work, I hopped over to the gym for a low-key 3 mile run on the T-mill and then another (low-key) swim workout (800 m total).

A few side-notes related to exercise:

  • Pool etiquette: I am relatively inexperienced and new at this whole swimming for exercise thing, but I am pretty sure lap pools are meant for swimming laps and not for monkey in the middle games played by pre-teens, or as a wading pool for middle-aged men. Does anyone else experience this at their gym? I am totally fine sharing a lane with someone, but I feel like the other person should be swimming. If not, get outta the pool.
  • Heel stomping?  I’ve had some weird knee, shin, and top-of-foot pain this week, and I am fairly certain it is from stomping around downtown LA all week (summer?) in heels. Any remedies for this?
 Anyway, I left the gym and met my mom for dinner. We walked over to Café Pinot, a lovely little outdoor spot at 5th and Grand. I felt like we were eating in NYC’s Bryant Park, except for that whole still being in LA thing. This place was super nice – what you’d call “bougie” even. I was not up to snuff in my cut-off shorts, post-pool hair, and lack of make-up. Living in LA for the win! Love that casual style rules all. #yessss. My mom had a few hours to kill before carpooling home with my Dad (he worked the late shift) so we relaxed over a nice dinner.

My mom ordered a Spanish wine (love that she’s a converted Spain-o-phile). Her wine was Monte Oton, Grenache, Borja, Spain. I didn’t know much about Borja (or even where it was). Kaley over at Y Mucho Más is the Spanish wine expert. My mom’s (super colorful and tasty) meal was actually an appetizer. She ordered the house cured citrus salmon [rainbow carrot confit, red onion, juniper berry gastrique, fingerling potatoes, crème fraîche]. One day I will know what a “gastrique” is. Today is not that day.

I stuck to tradition and went with a Green Flash West Coast IPA. The waiter asked if I’d tried this one before, to which I replied “hah. I’m an IPA fanatic.” I had a heavy lunch (see pizza, above) so I noshed on the asparagus salad. My mom and I eyed our neighbors’ desert and knew we had to have it, so we split the lemon cake at the end of our meal. We’re both suckers for ANYTHING lemon, and the addition of mango and passion fruit flavors were clutch.

Overall, I really liked Café Pinot. The flavors were super inventive and seasonally appropriate. The restaurant itself was a little more uppity than I like – especially for downtown, but the food and service lived up to the refined, high-class air.

After dinner, I headed to meet up with Aviva and Armita for a random but fun night.

crazy, monsoon-like weather produces this.

First, we headed to the Culver Hotel in Culver City. Downtown Culver City is adorable. Aviva had recently been to this place and noted their live jazz – each night they have something different going on. We need to go back for the 30’s Jazz night, as well as the contemporary stuff. This place was awesome – really great vibe, music, and delicious drinks.

I indulged with the waitress’ rec, the “red slipper” which was comprised of Absolut wild tea vodka, Beefeater gin, sweet and sour, Agave nectar & strawberry puree. Living dangerously pays off, this thing was incredible.

possibly better than the dorothy of oz version.

Aviva sipped an original mojito, and Armita went with a “flirtini.” Despite the girly name, this thing packs a punch – vodka, champagne, and a little cranberry juice.

Definitely worth a stop anytime you’re in Culver City!

After our drink at the hotel, we headed further west to a live music venue in Santa Monica called Central: A Social Aid and Pleasure Club. One of Aviva’s childhood friends is now an electronic music artist (!) so I was stoked to check it out.

The venue looked sketch from the outside but was truly awesome. It reminded me of some of the smaller bars in Madrid’s Malasaña district – with its quirky, indie vibe. We caught up with some of Aviva’s friends – including Charlie, aka the artist known as sahy uhns. (apparently pronounced “science,” which I think is pretty cool). His technique is also uniquely cool as well (love this article).

I really enjoyed his set! It was described to me as “intelligent dance music.” Definitely worth a listen (here) if you’re into this stuff. I definitely want to go to more shows (possibly his next show on Monday at The Echo). I was also stoked to learn that The Hood Internet is coming to Central in August! Boom!

By the time the night was over, we were all hungry so a stop at Swingers for some mac n cheese and sweet potato fries was key.

I went to bed super sleepy, but from a fun-filled Friday. I have also been listening to say uhns and The Hood Internet all day, too. #sorryimnotsorry  You should too.

Have you discovered any new venues or artists lately? 

Favorite late-night snack?

the fourth.

5 Jul

A mid-week Fourth of July was something a little bit different this year, but I didn’t hate it. Last year, I re-committed to my tradition of doing a race on the 4th every year with a 10k PR in Ventura. This year, I made a last-minute decision to run the Will Rogers 10k in the Palisades. I’d done this race before (5 years ago!) and remember there being a tough climb halfway through. My time in 2007 was 53+, so my goal was to run relaxed, have fun, and try and just break 50. Long story short…I ran 46:30 and felt great.

I went out a little bit too fast (6:44) but quickly settled.  My slowest mile (the one with the gnarly hill) was still sub-8, and I love the fun, festive nature of this event.

I didn’t get any photos at the race since I did this solo, but I’d recommend it! I also scored a dry-fit T-shirt. Love the Palisades. I can, however, share with you my playlist. It is pretty incredible if I do say so myself:

The rest of my Fourth involved Aviva, Armita, and Taylor, pool/lounging around, margaritas, delicious BBQ, mindless TV, fireworks, and lots of arguing over really important things (track and field v. golf in terms of which is more worthy of being classified as a “sport” and Batman v. Superman v. Spiderman. There is a right answer here, and one very, very wrong one. Any guesses?)

boom.

I was completely zonked by the time I returned to my apartment at 11 pm (left the house before 7 to get to my race) but I had a great holiday – it was low-key but a lot of fun. It was a little rough this morning getting up to go on a “field trip” for my work to the LA Superior Court’s Mental Health courts, but it was a really interesting experience. As a psychology major, I am really interested in things like mental illness so this was up my alley.

An interesting note from today – I did my first swimming exercise in years (literally, 5 of them)!

Anyway, I digress. Hope everyone had a safe, fun, happy, and healthy 4th of July 🙂

long overdue.

17 Jun

I need to get back in action in terms of blogging. So much has happened since I blogged last week!

I had an eventful second week of work – the jury trial I have been watching came to an end on Thursday in an anti-climactic hung jury. This week was also fun outside of work too, and I was insanely busy.

On Monday, after my gym workout, I tried a new-to-me yoga place with Whitney called CorePower Yoga in West LA. On Mondays, they have a free, open class that left me super sweaty and yet relaxed. I quickly became a fan and am going to try and make it here more often, and probably do a full workout-review of this place at some point.

Tuesday night featured a trip to the Chavez Ravine for a Dodger game with Aviva and her parents at Dodger Stadium! I have been a Dodger fan from a young age, and try to make it to a few games every season. This was an exciting 5-2 win over the cross-town rivals, the Angels, which was awesome. I also scored a Mike Scoscia bobble-head! Aviva and I enjoyed the Dodger game classic of Dodger dogs and beer.

america’s pastime.

On Thursday, I met up with my Aunt Melinda and Uncle Casey for dinner in Pasadena at La Grande Orange Cafe. They were in town for a short stint and it was so nice to see them. We each had a drink in the bar before dinner – I went with the local Point the Way IPA from Glendale.

i have literally never met an IPA i didn’t LOVE.

My Aunt and I each ordered the Short Rib tacos for our entree which were delicious, and we shared the deviled egg app which was spot-on.  The service was great – we scored some free English muffins on our way out, as well as incredible salted chocolate chip cookie. (Our server was CJ in case you want to make a special request!) My uncle didn’t love his chicken and cinnamon roll duo, but overall I think this is a pretty solid option for lunch or dinner in the ‘dena.

deviled eggs!

After dinner, I coaxed Casey and Melinda to get frozen yogurt with me at 21 Choices. My roommate introduced me to this place a few yeas ago and I have been fanatical ever since. It’s like Cold Stone – you pick a yogurt and various mix-ins – allowing you to get creative. I went with a suggested creation – the “oatmeal cookie” which consisted of vanilla yogurt, cinnamon, cookie dough, and granola. Thank goodness they have a “tres small” size or else I would have keeled over from fullness.

My judge’s courtroom was “dark” on Friday so I got an unexpected day-off which was pretty sweet. I decided to take it relatively easy and just do things I wanted to do that I normally can’t. My first stop was Urth Cafe for a coffee.

Next on the agenda was Runyon Canyon Yoga. If you live in LA this is a serious gem – they offer 3-4 COMPLETELY donation-based yoga classes per day. This was my second time going, and there is something really awesome about outdoor yoga under the sun. After the class, I decided to hike Runyon, which was fun. I never really go hiking by myself, but I enjoyed it.

horses & hollywood.

After some errands, I met up with Aviva and Armita for happy hour/early dinner downtown at my fav pizza place, Urbano Pizza Bar. We tried the “Quattro” and the “Fennel” pies, and both were scrumptious. A Stone IPA was also imbibed. They have an incredible happy hour – from 3-6 pm, M-F, all pizzas are half-off!

hand-rolled mozzarella for $5? not complaining.

We also checked out neighboring Library Bar (checking off another DTLA bar off my list!) I liked the place, but it was so insanely dark, especially for it still being light outside. We enjoyed a drink, chatted, and randomly ran into my friend Matt there. Small world.

Saturday morning Aviva and I drove out to Malibu to meet up with Taylor for a day of paddle-boarding, swimming, “naps in the sun” and his usual BBQ feast. It was a particularly windy day, meaning while I was paddling out I got knocked over by a huge wave and crashed into some rocks on the shore…so I have some gnarly scrapes and gashes that complement my bruise from shooting last weekend rather nicely. I am a little bit sore (scrapped my plan to go running today sadly) but it was otherwise really fun, and I got back out there. Swimming in the Pacific was awesome too, but it really made me realize just how badly I need to get into actual swimming shape. Here are some photos from the day…

paddle-boarding!

paddling out (before my big crash).

um, yes?

Now I’m hanging out with my family (my brother is back after his junior year in Santa Cruz) for Father’s Day.

Here’s last week’s workouts:

  • Monday: 3 mi. treadmill run, New Rules of Lifting For Women 2A, CorePower Yoga
  • Tuesday: 4 mi. run (AM)
  • Wednesday: 3 mi. treadmill run, NROFLW 2B
  • Thursday: 3 mi. run
  • Friday: Yoga, Hike
  • Saturday: (off, but I swam and paddle-boarded).
  • Sunday: Off. (Injured. Boo).

Happy Father’s Day Everyone 🙂 Hope I’ll be back before next Sunday…

may daze.

31 May

Finals are over. Grades are starting to roll in, and write-on is completed and turned in. I have been enjoying my week of pure summer before work starts by seeing friends, hanging out, and enjoying the gorgeous LA weather.

On Monday, my buddy Taylor and I tackled a 7-mile hike in the Pacific Palisades.

This is a shot from the top, at Eagle Rock.

It was just long enough to count as a real workout, and we ran a little bit on the way back. It was so gorgeous out AND I came away with a souvenir of a skinned knee “scaling” a rock. Win!

A few hours later Aviva joined us for dinner in Santa Monica at Sushi Roku. Aviva went with a salad (not a raw fish fan). I went with an Asahi, in honor of the famous Civ Pro case (FML). Taylor and I realized we were both going for the Caterpillar roll so we ordered a second one and split. Both were delicious, but nothing can compare with the Caterpillar roll. Who knew eel, eel sauce, and avocado could be do bomb? NOM.

On Tuesday, I swung by school to turn in my write-on packet. After, I drove out to my parents’ house because my mom and I had long-running plans to spend the day together.

First, we had a mediocre lunch at The Mermaid Tavern in Thousand Oaks. We were hoping it’d be on par with Ladyface but it was lackluster at best. Fail.

Our next stop made up for it, though. We rented kayaks at Ventura Harbor for an hour.  My mom has been an avid kayaker for years – her license plate frame literally used to read “My other car is a kayak.” We spent an hour on the water, spotted some sea lions, and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

sea lions!

On our way home, we stopped by the Camarillo Premium Outlets. I scored two pairs of Nike Tempo Track shorts at the Nike Outlet for $9 each. Later, my mom and I hopped over to her gym and I acted as her “trainer” during her first NROLFW workout which was fun!

On Wednesday, I started my day with my first massage ever, via LivingSocial. I was pleased with what I got for my $35 – even if the masseuse claimed I “wear my shoulders like they’re earrings.” It was an interesting combination of intensely painful  and super relaxing. Next, I did a workout at SoulCycle WeHo. This deserves its own post, but I am DEFINITELY a fan.

I rejoined up with – you guessed it – Taylor and Aviva for dinner at Tart, quickly becoming one of my LA eateries.  I started things off with a Stone IPA.

love the mason jar.

I chowed down on their “meat + 3” option. Any protein + 3 sides for $15. I went with steak, mac ‘n’ cheese, green beans, and country apple. All of it was really good, especially the macaroni and cheese.

I am still full.

Next up on the agenda was Men in Black 3. Even though I knew it was only getting “meh” reviews, I had to see it since I was a fan of the first two. I can’t believe it’s been 14 years since the first one came out, and I remember seeing the second one with my aunt and uncle in Oakland a few years later.

This, for some reason, is my favorite scene from the first one, probably due to my brother’s insane impression of it:

I also love how each of the films has its own song. Which is your favorite of the three?

May was largely spent in the library, but the last week made up for it – here’s to an exciting June!