Category Archives: Dining

Scenes from LA – a Mexican Market and Quinceanera Dresses

Little dried silver fish at Grand Central Market in LA. What type of dish are they used in? I have to look that up...

During the day I am forced to entertain myself while my husband is at work. I’m not from LA, I’m here for a month and don’t know anyone. However, since I tend to be somewhat socially awkward, I really don’t mind exploring the city on my own. We decided to stay downtown, the thought being that I could take public transportation to other places, much the way we do in NYC…I quickly realized though that this is a city of cars and there is not much use of the subway system in LA. So, I mostly just walk.

Yesterday, it was beautiful out so I decided to stop by Grand Central Market. I was amazed by all of the fresh Mexican spices, fish, baked goods and sweets. Most of these items I have never seen before. I would love to know what the Charal Pequeno are used for, not that I am much of a cook (although I love food). My most recent attempt at rice, I forgot I was boiling it and burnt the bottom to a crisp. It was pretty embarrassing, I think even my dog was disgusted with me.

Near the market were many shops selling highly embellished Quinceanera Dresses. The area surrounding the dresses was rather industrial in look and feel, metal gates over the shops, unkept sidewalks, store fronts that had dulled with age. I couldn’t help but notice the contrast between these ornate, pristine and brightly colorful dresses as compared to their frayed surroundings.

So, following are a few photos from my visit.

– Stephanie,

Dried and seasoned shrimp. It was hard for me to resist buying these, even though I had no idea what to use them in!

All types of seasoned meats and chorizo.

I have never seen so many types of Mole before!

Different types of Mexican spices.

Mexican cakes. I had to buy some of these, they were amazing.

A lovely dress in pale pink.

Another dress in bold blue.

Bright pink!

I noticed a lengthy line for auditions for "America's Got Talent." I briefly toyed with the idea of standing in line and auditioning myself. However, the only thing I really excel at is procrastination...


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A Day in the Little Tokyo Neighborhood of Los Angeles

A confection made of bean paste and wrapped in a cherry blossom leaf. The pink is sweet and the leaf is salty. Being a huge chocolate covered pretzel fan, I loved these. This particular sweet is seasonal and only available in January and February.

My husband was recently assigned to Los Angeles on a rather large project his office is working on. As I have never visited this city before, I thought this would be a great opportunity to visit and take a look around.

Yesterday, I wandered to the Little Tokyo neighborhood, located in downtown. I had read about the Japanese American National Museum and decided to stop by. It is a rather small museum but very well put together and certainly worth visiting. It focuses on the contributions of Japanese Americans, as well as the experiences of  Japanese immigrants to this country. One part of the museum showed a particularly dark moment in US history, the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent during WWII.

After touring the museum, I wandered around all of the wonderful shops. The weather out was perfect, not a cloud in the sky and in the 70s. Made me feel a little sorry for my friends back in NYC…but not that much!

I made a point to stop in Fugetsu-Do Confectionery. This little shop has been around and selling Japanese sweets since 1903. Everything looked so lovely, it was hard to pick. I love Japanese sweets, each one is a little piece of art. So, before I tore into them, I thought it might be nice to take a few photos.

– Stephanie,

This one was gone in seconds! One of their most popular it is mochi with a strawberry bean paste inside and a chocolate decoration on top.

Not exactly sure what this one is. But I really liked the clean lines and the square shape contained within the round shape.

No idea what this is either, but it seems almost too pretty to eat.

A display of sweets at Fugetsu-Do. I'll be back!

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The restaurant at Les Cols in Olot, Spain

The 13th century farm house that contained the restaurant.

After an amazing night and a lovely breakfast in our room, we wandered around for a little bit and then headed to lunch. No matter that I was still quite full. Once we entered the restaurant, we were seated in the back courtyard, see in the above photo. They brought us drinks and a beautiful assortment of little dishes. After relaxing on this perfect, crisp, fall afternoon, we headed inside the restaurant for lunch. The interior of the restaurant was stunning, as was the pristine kitchen.

One of the dining areas at Les Cols.

The kitchen.

Each dish was a work of art and the quality of everything was simply amazing.

A pumpkin soup.

Local onions stuffed with regional cheese, herbs and bread crumbs. This was amazing!

The steak.

We had an wonderful wine from the town of Girona, but were too consumed by our surroundings and the excellent food to write down the name. As soon as we drove away, back toward Barcelona, I was ready to turn around and head back to Les Cols. For information, you can follow this link.


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