Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Road Trip Part III: Los Angeles again

I don't know if I mentioned this, but the whole reason Amber and I drove down to so cal was because she had a recruitment workshop at UC Irvine. So I convinced her to drive down a day early so we could stop for famous burritos, pick up Matt, and hang out with Andrew. She agreed :) Anyways, where were on Saturday, Amber drove down to Irvine for her workshop and Matt and I hung out with Andrew. We went to my dad's restaurant in the morning and feasted on dim sum for free (the perks of being my dad's daughter). I wish I had taken pictures, but we completely forgot to bring cameras. Here's a picture of dim sum (from Google) in case you have no idea what I'm talking about.

Well since we had a few hours to kill until Amber came back, Andrew took us shopping in downtown Pasadena. There's a really big outdoor mall called Paseo Colorado, which had some very fun shops. Of course, Matt insisted we go into Brookstone, and Andrew they could sit in the massage chairs for 10 minutes haha. Anyone who knows Matt knows that this is typical behavior for him. He would probably live at Brookstone if they let him. However, the coolest store we went to was the Pasadena Antique really was its own little mini mall. I've never been a huge antique shopper, but I think it's mainly because I wouldn't really know the value of anything antique-y. However, this antique store definitely was pricey, because they probably found these antique items for cheap and then yanked up the price. I didn't buy anything, but it was really fun to wander around. They had aisles and aisles filled with books (and a whole architecture section that Matt looked through for about 15 minutes), along with old records and vintage clothing and shoes. They had a lot of collectible items based off of old cartoons, tv shows, movie stars, etc. I found piles of old Time Magazines, a whole section dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, and even a clearance room. It was such a blast from the past. I also found some metal signs...the kind that was popular back in the 30s or 40s advertising Coca Cola or root beer for 5 cents. I love these signs!


I definitely recommend antique shopping if you've never done it before. Even if you're just window shopping, it's a great way to kill some time. Matt actually found something awesome...he ended up buying the Lord of the Rings trilogy in books-on-CDs for around $13. It was quite the steal!! We must have spent a good 30-40 minutes just wandering through the shop. Afterwards, Matt and I convinced Andrew to come grab a beer with us at the Yard House. Originally, Andrew said he would just hang out while we grabbed drinks, but how can you turn down "the world's largest selection of draft beers?" Since we had already had brunch/lunch, we each grabbed a beer. Matt talked to the bartender to get some advice on the beer selection and decided to go with an IPA (India Pale Ale). I'm no beer expertise, so you'll have to ask Matt to explain that to you. I decided to try something new and ordered a beer blend called the Black Velvet, which was a mixture of Guinness Stout and Wyder's Pear Cider....maybe the best decision I've ever made. I wasn't a huge Guinness fan before (it nearly gave Matt (and Amber) a heart attach when he found out I didn't like it), but now I've jumped on board the Guinness Train. If you ever get to go to the Yard House, get a beer blend if you don't like beer. Even if you do like beer (like me), you should still get a blend...because where else would they serve you a beer blend? We spent a little time watching the Saturday college football games and finally decided to let Andrew go home and study (because that's what med students do...if you keep them away from the books for too long, they get anxious haha). 

The Black Velvet
Well, while Andrew was studying...I heard from Amber, who asked us if we would mind staying an extra night. Andrew was supposed to hang out with his girlfriend, Gina, and Matt and I didn't want to crash their date. So we came up with a plan. I called my dad and asked him if we could borrow his car while he was working and he said yes! So Matt and I decided we would have Andrew drop us off at my dad's restaurant (which was like 10 minutes from Andrew's). We bade Andrew farewell and took off to the Citadel Outlets where we walked around and shopped some more. Matt was trying to decide whether or not he should buy a pair of swim trunks. The ones he wanted were a bright neon blue, and I picked up another pair, which was a royal blue, and told him that I liked the royal blue pair more. But Matt decided to get his neon pair. The underlying reason I'm telling you this story is because even though Matt won't admit it, he refused to buy the pair I picked out because they were Dodger blue. And we all know how Matt feels about the Dodgers. We also went into the Old Navy outlet store, but nothing really caught our eye. For an outlet store, it wasn't really selling any outlet-y stuff for cheap. We didn't end up shopping very long because we were both starving. Andrew had recommended a famous french dip restaurant in Los Angeles, so we headed to Philippe's. I'm not sure if you guys have ever heard of this place, but they claim to have invented the French Dip (and I must admit, they did a darn good job). If you've ever been there, you'll notice that it's not exactly the nicest area at night, but if you've got a big strong man (like Matt), it's worth the trip. I'm sure when Philippe's opened in 1927, their sandwiches were not $5.75 a pop, but in my opinion, 5.75 is worth it for the yumminess of these sandwiches. We both ordered the Beef French Dip (with Swiss cheese) and we tacked on two lemonades and a potato salad. If I was yelping this place, I would give it a four. I was a little disappointed because Philippe's sandwiches come pre-dipped. There is no actual dipping process for the customer, which in my opinion is the best part. But what I really enjoyed was the experience. Their dinner menu was very simple and the whole place seems to have changed very little since 1927. It was sort of like a cafeteria, but not the school kind. In my mind, I could almost see the factory workers coming in during their lunch break and plopping down at the rows of tables with their trays of food. It's a very unique experience, and another blast from the past (seems to be the theme of the day). When you check out their website, make sure you click on the history tab :)

After our delicious (but simple) dinner, we headed to Diddy Riese in Westwood Village by UCLA. Diddy Riese is maybe one of my favorite places in the entire world (well it would at least make my Top 10 list). Diddy Riese is an ice cream shop, or maybe it's a cookie store...actually it's just the ultimate ice cream sandwich shop. This place is famous amongst UCLA Bruins and is well worth the drive. I'm actually glad we stayed in Los Angeles an extra night, because it gave us the chance to go to Diddy Riese. It was Matt's first time!!!!!! We parked in the Village and walked over to Diddy Riese. Did you know that in Westwood, you can cross a street diagonally (like on Rodeo Dr.) saves you a little time and walking. Well, of course we waited in line (for about 10 minutes), but it was well worth the wait. Matt and I each ordered an ice cream sandwich for $1.25 (I know, the price is part of the magic of DR) and also each ordered a dozen cookies (for $3.00)! I was going to get a sandwich for Amber, but I had a gut feeling it would melt before I got it to her. I ordered butter pecan ice cream with cinnamon sugar cookies, while Matt ordered chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with chocolate chip cookies. In my opinion, I think that sandwich changed his life, but you'll have to ask him about that yourself. Diddy Riese has also been around for a while, since 1983, and I'm sure that it was well worth the wait back then too. Though this night was very spontaneously planned, it was exactly what I needed: a cute date night with my favorite guy, so thanks for making us stay the extra night Amber :) I love cute date nights with my cute boyfriend :)

life-changing moment.

Only in Los Angeles :)
PS. look at the cute dog we saw while we were waiting in line!!

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