LA

AirBnB in LA

Finding a place to spend one night in LA was quite of a challenge in a fun way. There are way too many cute places to stay at in LA through AirBnB. I highly suggest you to avoid spending the night in any LA hotels because it is overly priced and parking your car in a structure can be almost as expensive as $40. So, no thanks. Go through AirBnB and you will find a lot of artsy studio apartments or houses that are so unique to LA compared to any other areas.

Linda and I found a cute little two bedroom house in LA that was on top of a hill overlooking Downtown LA. It was 10 minutes away from Chinatown, Fashion District, and all sorts of fun places!

The house we stayed at had some eccentric artworks on the wall. They definitely caught our attention.

This huge red orange canvas on the wall definitely illuminated the room!

All the guests who stayed at this house through AirBnB wrote such sweet and loving notes to the host on this white board!

We walked around so much in that afternoon that we decided to relax outside on the patio for the night.

We had such a great view of LA from where we were! I would love to come back here if time permits next time! It was affordable and convenient to stay here! Thanks Linda and AirBnB for a short and sweet adventure in LA!

The Chandelier Tree

Our very last stop for the night was at The Chandelier Tree. I somehow knew about this place awhile ago through Pinterest or Snapchat. I kept forgetting to check this place out until Aaron mentioned it!

The Chandelier Tree is an iconic spot in Los Angeles, California. They’re perfectly located in one of the most trendy areas, Silver Lake. This is a one of a kind front yard that has 30 vintage chandeliers gracefully hanging on a sycamore tree.

According to LA Times, “Marriage proposals and wedding photo shoots are commonly held beneath the tree, and locals often show off the tree to visitors. The sycamore has appeared in music videos, and five film location scouts list the location in their books.” Now that all makes sense why it looks so familiar!

It was quite a magical night standing underneath the tree and looking above at all the chandeliers. I have to come back here and bring my DSLR to take nicer pictures. These pictures certainly do not do justice of how beautiful everything is in person. I was in awe of this house right when I saw it. It was like love at first sight.

If you want to learn more about The Chandelier Tree, check out their Facebook page and Yelp! To visit them, go to 2811 West Silver Drive in Los Angeles, CA 90039.

Thanks Aaron for showing us The Chandelier Tree! Thanks Aaron, Alex, Elaine, and Junie for joining me spontaneously to explore Los Angeles due to my travel bug.

Chinatown in LA

The morning I got back from Sacramento, I went to my niece’s and nephew’s birthday party without coffee. For some odd reason, I was pretty much feeling strong and awake even though I only got four or five hours of sleep. After the party, I tried to rest at home but was eager to just go out. I realized the travel bug was in me and it was real. It was so real that I had to go somewhere to explore.

With a few friends, we grabbed dinner at In-N-Out and then we were off to a spontaneous trip to LA! I’ve been wanting to check out Chinatown in LA to see the Chinese lanterns lit up and simply to explore the area since I always drive by it whenever I’m in the area.

When my friends and I got there, it was pretty dead. It was nice to have the whole town to ourselves!

Chinatown can easily be explored in less than 30 minutes but we took our time taking pictures and enjoying the bright neon lights. Next time, I’m going to have come here in the afternoon when it’s busy and have some dim sum!

Thanks Chinatown for temporarily curing my travel bug!

Since we were near Little Tokyo, we decided to grab some milk tea from one of my favorite boba shops! I got my usual Brown Sugar Milk Tea which was perfect as always!

We hung out at Ozero for a little bit before heading out to our last adventure!

Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink

Once I had a taste of those cronuts from Bakers Donuts, it was time to ice skate! Well first, I had to pack my belongings at Briana’s place since it was my last day in Sacramento. I packed, helped Briana clean up her place, and then off to the next adventure!

Sadly, Briana wasn’t able to ice skate because she had other plans for the night so she dropped me off at my next destination. From there, we said our goodbyes and parted ways. Tear, tear.

Going to Downtown Sacramento to ice skate was like going to Rockefeller Center in New York City because of the outdoorsy feel. Actually, I’ve never been to NYC but I imagine it would be something similar. Coming from SoCal, you don’t see an outdoors ice rink quite often. It’s not a significant attraction to check out nor is it available in SoCal so it was nice to experience a new kind of winter culture in Sacramento.

At the ice rink, I met up with Phil, Jaclyn, and a bunch of other people! To be more specific, I met some new friends who were friends with Jaclyn. Also, Alex and Justin joined in on the fun!

Since we skated on a Friday night, we got a dollar discount on admission fee. We ended up paying $9 each, eight for the admission and a dollar to rent the skates. We skated for a good 2 hours!

The rink was big enough for me to practice my triple axels flawlessly like Yuna Kim. Just kidding, I have no skills in ice skating except moving forward and opening up my arms gracefully like a ballerina.

I don’t know what it is but ice skating around the rink is a lot of fun. Whether you’re skating with your friends or even by yourself, to skate through the cold is ironically fun. Maybe you get a sense of freedom like an eagle soaring through the sky and from that comes out joy perhaps. It’s just liberating to skate in a circle for some odd reason.

I was having so much fun like a little kid that I really didn’t want it to end! But, we had to get going since it was our last night there and we were planning to leave a few hours after ice skating.

Thank you, thank you Briana for taking care of me and showing me your favorites spots in Sacramento! I’m glad that I was able to hang out in Sacramento for more than 24 hours unlike last time! Ok, talk to you on the phone soon!

 

Dunkin’ Donuts

Everyone in SoCal has been going a little too cray, cray about Dunkin’ Donuts now that it’s finally here! My friends and I went to Whittier to check out what Dunkin’ Donuts is all about since it’s so popular in the east coast.

Not only do they sell donuts and coffee, but they also have breakfast sandwiches! Since it was a little after lunch, I just got myself an iced vanilla coffee and a blueberry donut. I had to get the blueberry donut so I could compare it to other blueberry donuts I’ve tried before.

The iced vanilla coffee was made exactly the way I like it! There was no addition of sugar or cream. It was just the coffee and the vanilla sweetener for a little less than $2. It’s more on the sweeter end for a vanilla coffee compared to Starbucks or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

The donut wasn’t too exciting, unfortunately. The blueberry flavor was light that you could barely taste it. The donut was like any other typical blueberry donut. They were nothing like the duffins aka blueberry donuts that are like muffins from M & M Donuts. Apparently, the donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts are not anything too special.

I guess I’m not too surprised that it’s a-ok here because Yelp gives them 3 stars with only 60 reviews.

Aside from the coffee and donut, the interior layout had a modern taste to it. They made it comfortable enough for customers to hang out in the area. So comfortable that I made a new friend! This little girl kept looking at me whenever I turned around. She was quite an entertainment as my friends and I were hanging out!

Thanks Stanley for treating us all out! It was good seeing the Lee Family out with us spontaneously!

 

 

OC Block Party

I found out through Instagram that there was going to be a OC Block Party aka a night market in Orange County hosted by KTOWN Night Market! They were giving out free tickets to the first 1,000 people so I quickly signed up for one and penciled it into my schedule. General admission is usually five dollars max.

Note to readers: This is a late post, a really late one! But hey, better late than never, right? Right!

Phil, John, Ann and I carpooled over to the Angel Stadium of Anaheim by 7PM. Around that time, the crowd wasn’t too bad. I was a little scared that it would be jam packed to the point where you wouldn’t even be able to move and enjoy the atmosphere. I’ve heard that that happens quite often at these night markets.

When we entered the venue, we saw a lot of food trucks, vendors selling clothes and accessories, carnival games and rides, performances on stage, and of course plenty of booths for food! Some of the lines for food that were extremely long were for the ramen burger, fruity drinks in mason jars, potato twists, and Mexican-Korean fusion food.

We weren’t willing to wait in line for the ramen burger because I heard it’s overrated. Even if it is, I’d like to try it one day when the line isn’t too long at a night market or at the actual restaurant. We started our adventure with a potato twist! It was fresh and well seasoned. It’s surprisingly  addicting to eat! Potato twists are pretty much available at a lot of boba shops. If you want one, I would suggest checking out Lollicup where it’s cheap and good!


Ann was eager to get a drink in a mason jar so we headed over to a food stand called Main Squeeze OC. She shared her lemonade with everyone since it was huge! It was sweet and not too tangy just the way I like it! There were pieces of lychees in there too!

Main Squeeze OC doesn’t actually have a shop that you can stop by to pick up a drink. It seems like they’re only available at food fairs or night markets. Make sure to check out their Facebook or their Twitter to locate them at their next appearance!

As we were walking around, we picked up more food like some sausages and popcorn chicken. I think we inhaled those pretty quickly because they were so good!

If you ever go to these night markets, make sure to not wear your nicest clothes! You’ll definitely smell from all the meat they’re grilling all around the night market!

Just imagine as if you’re going to an all you can eat KBBQ restaurant. What would you wear? Something light so your clothes don’t soak up the smell but also loose so you can eat a lot! That’s how you should dress accordingly to a night market!


Phil got himself a Pork Belly Pocket -Crispy for $5.

For a small pocket, they knew how to stuff it with the pork belly!

It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted because I wanted something easy and clean to eat, affordable, and of course there had to be meat! I ended up going to a Mongolian food stand and picked up two skewers of chicken and pork for $5!

Actually, it wasn’t too easy to eat it because once you’re in the middle of the skewer, it’s kind of hard to take a bite of the meat. It was definitely a challenge that I overcame! I slightly regretted getting these skewers because I was pretty full from the lemonade, potato twists, and all the other snacks we shared. But hey, YOLO!

After eating so much, we walked around and watched some talented people from the Asian American community perform! It was great to have some entertainment though the crowd was a little dead that night. We walked over to the carnival side and it was sadly a little bare. Hardly anyone was playing games or going on the rides. I think everyone was focused on the food!

After hanging out at the OC Block Party for a few hours, we were ready to head out for more food…Don’t judge!

We went over to a fairly new 85 Degrees Cafe in Garden Grove to get some cake for Ann’s birthday! We celebrated her 25th birthday with an awesome strawberry cake!

Happy (now belated) birthday, Ann! I’m thankful that we were able to celebrate your 25th birthday together! Also, thanks Ann, John, and Phil for checking out OC Block Party with me!

El Chato Wins!

I’ve been wanting to check out POT in LA because it opened pretty recently and I heard great reviews about it. It’s a Korean restaurant with a modernized twist to traditional food. I thought it’d be fun to try out something new for Derek’s birthday with some friends. We had a rough start for this occasion though. Of course, because we were in LA, parking was hard to find. We didn’t want to pay for valet at the restaurant. So we drove around the location few times and luckily found a spot a few blocks away from restaurant. We got there after a little after 8PM and found that it was a TWO HOUR wait to get seated. Extremely disappointed by the wait time, we had to walk away.

Diagonally across the street was an all you can eat Korean BBQ called Castle 2 for $10! We walk over there and the wait was about 40 minutes long. Still a little disappointed by the wait time, we decided to stick it out. After five minutes of waiting, someone somehow mentioned El Chato. El Chato is a food truck that has one of the best burritos, tacos, and quesadillas at a very affordable price! According to Yelp, it has 4.5 stars with more than 600 reviews.

General downside of El Chato is that it opens at 9PM on the corner of Wilshire and Redondo Boulevard. So we were contemplating whether or not to stick with Korean food. Going for KBBQ meant that it was going to be all you can eat at a decent price but the wait was going to take awhile. On the other hand, there was El Chato where it’s cheap and good, but we would also have to wait for at least 30 minutes until they start serving.  The four of us were going back and forth a lot, not knowing how to decide.

Phil had a genius idea to resolve our contemplation. He yelled out excitedly, “Straw poll!” He sent us all a text of a poll.

Thanks to Phil, we were able to quickly decide on what to do. El Chato easily won all of our hearts according to the poll. It was logically the best decision because you can definitely get your money’s worth at El Chato and the wait was approximately going to be the same time as Castle 2.

We drove over to El Chato and waited in the empty lot for 15-20 minutes. We were the first ones there but slowly, other hungry eaters were trailing in. Keep in mind to get there early because the line can get long quickly!

Josephine and I decided to share the Carne Asada Burrito and the Al Pastor Quesadilla. 
Once we all ordered, it took about 15-20 minutes to receive our food.

We went over to Derek’s place to eat where we inhaled everything pretty quickly. We ate so fast that we wanted more. We thought we had ordered a lot but we realized, it’s never enough to have too much of El Chato.

El Chato’s meat is juicy and quite savory. The tender meat just melts in your mouth. Late night Mexican food always seals the deal somehow and El Chato is perfect for those late munchies. You won’t be disappointed with anything on the menu. It will easily satisfy your hunger.

We had to have dessert afterwards, so we headed to Ozero in Little Tokyo which is one of my favorite boba shops in LA. I got my favorite Brown Sugar Milk Tea for almost $4. The size of their drinks are huge so it’s best that you share. I on the other hand didn’t want to share because I love their milk tea that much! We all ended our night in Little Tokyo enjoying each other’s company!

Note to future self: Get to POT really early. Always buy more than you think you can eat at El Chato. When in doubt, use Straw poll!

Thank you, Phil, for the Straw Poll idea! Happy (belated) birthday Derek!