Monday, April 15, 2013

LA Eats & Travelogue

A week after Hong Kong, we took a mini road trip down to LA for a business / personal trip.  I spent the majority of my time in a meeting, but did get to sample some of the yummy eats SoCal has to offer.  You already know that I love Yelp.  Another website I like to frequent for food recommendations is TV Food Maps.  I can't tell you how many times I've seen something on Top Chef or The Food Channel and wanted to try it.  This site allows you to search via TV show and city / map for featured eateries.  My favorite shows to search for are The Best Thing I Ever Ate and Top Chef.

But the highlight of my trip?  Meeting Aubrey!  After work, we went for some bubble tea and chatted like old friends.  I'm so happy we got to meet up and hope to do so again when we have the chance!
Cha Cha Chili - Korean/Mexican fusion: Kalbi Burrito & Mushroom Poppers
Yelp Stats: 514 reviews, 4 stars
Big, bold flavors and tender beef with a spicy kick.  Fresh ingredients and friendly staff.

Golden Deli - Vietnamese: Chao Tom, Beef Banh Mi, and Pretzel Banana Cupcake
Yelp Stats: 1080 reviews, 4 stars
Featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate for their Chao Tom.  If you're not familiar with Chao Tom (I wasn't), it's a shrimp paste wrapped around sugar cane and served with rice paper, fresh herbs & veggies for DIY wraps.  The funny thing about this place?  They had the BEST cupcake!  Moist, flavorful without being too tooth-achingly sweet, and filled with fresh bananas.

Oumi Sasaya - Japanese: Curry Tempura Shrimp Udon, Duck Udon, Scallop Tataki, & Tofu Appetizer
Yelp Stats: 204 reviews, 4.5 stars
Best udon broth ever!  So much depth and loved the different options available.

Sushi-Gen - Japanese: Sashimi Combo, Sushi Combo, Teriyaki Chicken + Sashimi Combo
Yelp stats: 1775 reviews, 4.5 stars 
I saved the best for last.  This place is AMAZING!  The sashimi is crazy fresh and just melts in your mouth - some of the best I've ever had in my life.  The lunch specials come with a ton of food for a mere $15.  The only caveat?  Be prepared to wait for a table, so arrive early!  

Redondo Beach - gorgeous ocean views, morning bike rides along the beach, and a nautically themed hotel :)

Pasadena - we moved to a hotel in Pasadena (larger rooms and closer to San Gabriel / Asian stuff) for the personal portion of the trip.
After staying in hotels for 3 out of the past 4 weeks, the kids have acclimated well to living out of a suitcase.  Almost too well!  My son keeps asking me when we're going back to hotel because they make him happy.

I love everything we get to see and do when we travel, but it makes me feel so worn out (I'm such a travel wuss).  How long does it take you to feel normal again after a trip?  My husband is able to transition seamlessly and fall right back into his routines, but it seems to take me a couple of weeks.  Makes me wonder how others feel :)  


  1. Love the food pics! Glad you had a good time and the kids were happy too. Getting back into routine depends on how good my vacation was. If it is good i take longer and if not I can just slip in easily :)

  2. The food looks amazing. I really want to try Sushi Gen based on your recommendation. I, too, take awhile to get acclimated to normal life after being on vacation mode.

  3. ohhh i love food from la! i feel like their Vietnamese food is more yummy than sf. how do you compared LA food with sf? if you like viet sandwiches, you should try cafe bunn mi on clement in sf. also on the same street, there is also burma super star and b star bar (owned by the same people)!

  4. Love all the food pictures! I wish we had more well executed fusion restaurants in Vancouver! I tend to jump right back into the swing of things after business travel - but if it's a personal trip, it's hard for me to get back into my working schedule (since I tend to sleep in as much as

  5. I've been enjoying your travel posts. Keep them coming :) . I just started using Yelp and it's very helpful. Sounds like you and your family had a great time in LA. Have a great Tuesday!

  6. I echo Golden Deli. Next time you're back in LA I'll be happy to give you recommendations. I live in the San Gabriel Valley so there are lots of gear Asian eateries.

  7. I echo Golden Deli. Next time you're back in LA I'll be happy to give you recommendations. I live in the San Gabriel Valley so there are lots of gear Asian eateries.

  8. Cool site, that TV Food Maps! I love Yelp but this seems like a great resource too! You are KILLING me with the food photos. Spicy mexican, banh mi, and sushi, oh sushi....and how big is your little girl getting already!! Your boy too cute being so happy in hotels. Hehe. After a long trip, I also need at least a week to settle back down. I just need clean laundry. That always makes me feel better.

  9. Aww, no pic of you and Aubs? :(

    My weakness is Japanese food *drools all over your photos* I REALLY need to make a trip out to LA sometime.

    Lol @ your son! I loved traveling as a kid because hotel TVs have cable channels. Going home meant back to basic TV, haha.

  10. Yum, I've been craving ramen today! Instead I'm chowing down on some udon noodles and an egg in my broth. It'll have to do for now.
    Ohh that cupcake looks amazing nom nom nom


  11. Thanks for the TVFoodMaps shout out!

  12. I'm going to LA soon and want to try Cha Cha Chili!


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