USC

LA Part Two: Pi Day

After the concert Aaron, Derek and I were hungry. Since we were in LA we had to eat at some good place! Guess where we decided to eat? El Chato! El Chato is a food truck but not your typical food truck. It’s a trailer hooked to a truck parked in a random corner of an intersection in a cramped parking lot. Ghetto fabulous.
El Chato Truck

They’re at that spot only on certain days and certain times. Basically Tuesday through Saturday from 9PM until later in the night. So we got there around 10 and had a very, very late dinner. I got a burrito with two different kinds of meat, pollo and chorizo. There was something about the burrito that was different from all the other burritos I’ve ever tried in my life. Whatever sauce they used made the burrito juicy and flavorful. There was an even amount of rice, meat, cheese, and vegetables. Because of the even spread and the sauce, it made my El Chato experience enjoyable.
El Chato

Since El Chato has no seating whatsoever, we just stood and ate by Aaron’s car. We used his trunk as our table. The food definitely filled us up! I’m surprised that Aaron was able to eat the burrito and the quesadilla! The quesadilla was probably good for two. But he killed the burrito and quesadilla. Props to him. What a trooper!
Time to eat!

I only ate three fourths of my burrito and just could not finish it. But really, I had to save room for dessert though it was way past ten at night. So I couldn’t “finish” the burrito but thankfully the guys were able to help me out. They finished it for me. Thanks friends!

Aaron and Derek were pretty resistant about getting dessert since they were full to the max from El Chato, but I kept insisting we go get some kind of dessert. Especially since it was Pi Day! Come on, you can’t not celebrate Pi Day, right? Right. After some minor argument, Derek ended up Yelping a place and found Susina Bakery.

It’s a cute fancy bakery. Kind of like Champagne Bakery but way better. We all shared a mini yet large banana cream pie in honor of Pi Day. It was a decent size pie to share between 3 to 4 people.
Banana Cream Pie

We also got a huge slice of Berry Blossom. It’s a vanilla cake with berries in the middle. Everything was good! I have a sweet tooth so I probably enjoyed it the most out of the three of us. Aaron and Derek were kind of dying and blamed that the dessert for the pain they were going through. I blamed the El Chato.
Cake

Even though we were disgustingly full, we were able to clean up the dessert really well. Good teamwork! The dessert was totally worth it though it was a little pricey. Susina Bakery is a great place to check out if you’re in the LA area. There’s a wide range of desserts to select from, great service, and comfortable ambiance.
No more dessert.

By the time we were done eating, Susina was closing up. So we left after a pleasant time of celebrating Pi Day and headed back home sweet home. Thank you Aaron and Derek for joining me in this LA excursion and for the late dinner and super late dessert! I owe you both! Hope you three had fun as much as I did!

LA Part One: USC Concerto Night

I’m taking a piano class at a community college and my piano instructor invited the class to her performance with the USC Thornton Symphony at the Bovard Auditorium. I was very much impressed by every single piece of music that was performed. First, Joseph Morris, a clarinetist performed Neilsen’s Clarinet Concerto flawlessly. Oh man. I’ve never seen a clarinetist perform like Morris. His musicality was so controlled yet so freely played beautifully. As he performed, you were able to tell he was very much in sync with the music. If you ever have the opportunity to see Morris perform this song or to listen to this song live at a concert, I highly recommend you to take advantage of it. His performance was one where you had to be there experience the difficulty of the piece he played.

Frederich-Olivier Rosselet, a cellist, performed Lutoslawski’s Cello Concerto. Now this piece brought out all kinds of emotions from me and my friends. There was darkness, confusion, terror, and loneliness from this piece. If you closed your eyes and listened to this song, it almost felt like you were hiding from someone who was chasing you or you were trying to run away and somehow ended up getting lost in a pitch black room or a forest at night. You pace back and forth not knowing what to do because all your thoughts are scattered as you’re by yourself in the middle of nowhere.

Playing an open string so gently seemed almost harmless but in this piece, it still carried a bold sense of emotion. Whether you open or close your eyes during a live performance of this piece, I am sure that you will be carried away by your emotions. Even the musician, Rosselet, was so lost in the music because the piece had a heavy character to it that required great technical skills to execute almost effortlessly and beautifully.
Frederich-Olivier Rosselet

The final performance was my piano instructor, Fang-Fang Shi Inouye. From the beginning, you were able to hear easily that the music was composed by Beethoven. Inouye gracefully played Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with great flow of emotion. I was in awe of how she moved across the keyboard effortlessly and so quickly. Though I saw with my own eyes that she was hitting every note, I still could not believe the intensity of her technical skills. Her performance was a great way to end the show as it had an enlightening experience to it.

This concert certainly inspired me to continue playing music as it is an art that challenges the mind and imagination in so many levels. I hope to attend another Conceto Night performed by USC or different symphony sometime soon. It’s really amazing how music can really paint emotions to your ears.
Fang-Fang Shi Inouye