Friday, June 1, 2012

Los Angeles

Park's BBQ
To me, Los Angeles has always meant family. Sure, over the years I've been a tourist (Disney, Knott's, Hollywood, studio tours...), but now it is all about Koreatown. We got in to LA in time for dinner. Our uncle picked us up, and we met our cousins and grandparents for some Korean food at Halabuji's favorite food court. (I call my grandparents Halabuji and Halmoni,, Anglo spellings of the Korean words for Grandpa and Grandma.). My grandparents also insisted on taking us to a grocery store and buying us Korean treats; I chose Pepero! Sissy and I also stopped at a coffee shop, Korea's answer to Starbucks called Tom n Toms, before calling it a night. What a whirlwind of a day! (And I did a scratch my sister's car in LA, which was mortifying... subsequently I avoided and dreaded driving for the rest of the trip. Sigh.)

Halmoni cooking my favorite kalbi!
The next day, we visited the Melrose Farmers Market to see our friend AA, who is selling this amazing kombucha called Better Booch. It is unlike any kombucha I have had, all because of its freshness. I also splurged on some phenomenal raw honey from Isabell's Honey Farm. (Sissy says I bought it because the guy was hot... but it was really amazing honey!) I finished up with some gourmet tomato basil and garlic pastas from Pappardelle's.

Rumer Willis
Our uncle KH picked us up for lunch at Park's BBQ (featured in this month's Delta Sky magazine!) and took us on a driving tour of LA, ending with a walk around the Mexican market on Olvera Street.

After that, Sissy and I spent the afternoon with our grandparents at their apartment, watching Korean game shows and napping. It was nice just to spend time with them; I only see them every other year or so.

We had my favorite Korean BBQ for dinner, but this time it was made by my Halmoni. :) What is better than a grandmother's cooking?

Afterwards, we met up with a couple of high school friends who are now LA transplants, and headed to a very cool bar, Harvard & Stone. The cocktails were just superb (A+ for mixology!) and we even had a pseudo-celebrity sighting... Shane West from the movie A Walk to Remember, and Rumer Willis (daughter of Bruce/Demi) who was actually singing with the band. She was very pretty in person (tiny waist!) and had an interesting sound. Kind of soulful.

My uncle took me to a great diner breakfast at The Original Pantry Cafe. It is an LA landmark open since the 1920s, where Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, and even mobsters would frequent for some awesome breakfast platters. Then Sissy and I stopped by Santa Monica for a quick shop (H&M!) and met her college buddy for lunch at Kokomo Cafe.

Then it was time for the long drive back to Phoenix... but fortunately traffic wasn't too bad!  We made it back before sunset, and relaxed in front of the TV.  On my last night, Sissy took me to dinner at Prado, at the Montelucia Resort.  The Nonna's Spaghetti was to DIE for... so fresh and delicious.  Yum.

I had such a good time visiting my sister.  I was definitely sad to leave her.  But I'll get to see her in Tennessee at the end of this month!

View from Prado of Camelback Mountain

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