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The Bradbury Building

In my head, I have an unofficial bucket list of places to check out in the LA area. The Bradbury Building has been on my list for the longest time and I finally got to experience it! If this place looks familiar, it’s because it’s been in plenty of movies. In particular, it was in my favorite indie movie, 500 Days of Summer. This building was at the end of the movie where Tom had an interview with his dream job and met Autumn.

We were only allowed to go up one flight of stairs but we weren’t able to actually walk around the floors. It wasn’t necessary to explore upstairs because the architecture from ground zero was amazing enough. The geometry of the structure and the detailed iron work on the elevator and the railings made me speechless. Once you walk into this quiet yet powerful building, you will be taken aback by its beauty.

Lewis L. Bradbury, a gold mining millionaire, wanted an extravagant building to be constructed. He hired George Wyman to be the architect of creating this $500,000 (now worth more than $11 million) masterpiece that was built in 1893. Currently, the building is the headquarters for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Internal Affairs and other government agencies. For more information about The Bradbury Building check out Wikipedia.

Yes, I just gave you a link to Wikipedia. It was actually pretty resourceful.

To see the building in person, go to 304 S. Broadway in Los Angeles, California. After visiting the place, treat yourself out to all kinds of food at Grand Central Market which is across the street from The Bradbury Building. Literally, they have all kinds of food in there.

Thanks Linda for being a tourist with me at The Bradbury Building. I hope you were in awe of it as much as I was.

 

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Brodard’s Restaurant

I took my mom out on a date to Brodard Restaurant in Garden Grove. I had to take her here since she has never been! This Vietnamese restaurant is known for their spring rolls. It is mandatory that you order them as appetizer before chowing down on your pho. I repeat, mandatory!

For $7, they will give you 4 rolls or you can get 3 rolls for $5.25. They are called Nem Nöôùng Cuoán aka pork spring rolls. It has grilled pork sausage wrapped in rice paper with lettuce, cucumber, carrots, cilantro, chives, daikon and mint served with house special sauce. That sauce is amaze-sauce. It does not hurt to dunk and drench your spring rolls into it because it is sweet but light in flavor. It is not overwhelming on the palette at all!

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I wasn’t feeling pho that day and I just didn’t want to feel so greasy so I got myself vermicelli with a side of the fish sauce that you pour over. Somehow that fish sauce goes a long way!

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I feel like at all the Vietnamese restaurants I’ve been to, they tend to stuff the vermicelli bowl with a lot of noodles, vegetables, and meat! I even think that I have too much meat left and not enough noodles which is a great thing! With this one, I loved every slurp of the noodles.

I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish the bowl because I was pretty full even from the spring rolls! I couldn’t waste the food and it wasn’t a good idea to take it home because the noodles would get too soggy. So I just had to finish it!

I’ve been to Brodard’s Restaurant numerous times and I have never been disappointed of their food! My mom definitely loved her spring rolls experience. Yelpers love this place as they currently stand with 4 out of 5 stars and with 3500+ reviews! Wew!

Wow, thirty five hundred is a lot. Good for Brodard’s Restaurant!

Side note: Don’t go to Brodard’s Restaurant on Tuesdays because they are closed. My friends and I went there on a Tuesday and found the parking lot surprisingly empty because they were closed. It was one of the most upsetting food adventures ever. You can always go to the fancy one called Brodard Chateau but I would say it’s not worth it. Stick with the regular Brodard’s Restaurant.

After dinner, we walked over to 85 Degrees Bakery within the same plaza. I got myself some bread with chocolate. I don’t even know what kind of bread it was but I saw chocolate chips in them and had to get it instantly. I’ve been loving chocolate chips for some odd reason. Actually, I love sweets in general.

I enjoy taking my mom out to new places and I can’t wait to take her somewhere new again! Any suggestions? Please include dessert or coffee!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midtown, Sacramento

Alex, Justin, and I went over to Midtown for our first official exploration in Sacramento! In Midtown, there’s a museum and a park right next to each other. Unfortunately, by the time we got to California State Indian Musuem, it was closed! This relatively small museum has 4 out of 5 stars with 19 reviews on Yelp. I wouldn’t mind checking out this museum next time I’m here. It doesn’t hurt learn more about California history! Luckily, we were still able to hang around the area because of Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. This spacious park was scenic even at night! I’m sure it’s more beautiful in the daytime but it was nice to take a walk around the park and enjoy each other’s company! As we were walking to find a place to eat, we made a new friend in Midtown! I can’t remember his name but he complimented Alex on his shoes. For the next five minutes, they became best friends. Justin and I were walking right behind them, protecting Alex’s back just in case anything happened, literally. It was quite an entertaining walk. We decided to grab some food at The Red Rabbit that has a homey service with a hip vibe to it. They focus on providing seasonal and local products and services. In other words, their food and drinks are seasonal but also when it comes to their banking, accounting, and anything behind the scenes, it’s all done locally. Thoughtfully amazing, huh? I love how they use their community to build each other up. Read more about the restaurant here. When you read about their history, you’ll understand why they have a strong standing on Yelp with 4/5 stars and more than 500 reviews! We made dinner plans for later in the night to meet up with a few other friends so we had to save room for that. For the time being, we decided to share some appetizers. We first shared the School Boy Poutine. They were tater tots topped with some fresh hot poutine! You always gotta have some greens so we also shared another starter of Brussels & Bacon. The crispy and fried brussels were stuffed in a basket with thick strips of bacon! To finish it off, there was a side of chipotle aioli sauce. Surprisingly, I was pretty stuffed from just these two starters! I really enjoyed the ambiance of this restaurant and of course the food! It’s something different and new that I have yet to experience in SoCal. By the way, let me formally introduce you to my friend, Alex! I’ve known him a little too long. Just kidding! Sarcasm. I’ve known him since 5th grade! I’m not sure why but when we were younger, we were pretty competitive against each in everything! Whether it was math, music, or running. You name it, we were pretty competitive. The picture below defines our current friendship. Just kidding! We are in different paths in life so there isn’t so much competition between us. It’s good to know that we are still friends after all that competition! Well, at least I hope think we are still friends. Meet Justin who is friends with Alex! Huge thanks to Justin for driving us around in Sacramento and for being so hospitable! Back to The Red Rabbit. If I could, I would have a birthday dinner or some group function here for dinner. They have private rooms made just for those occasions! They have a patio outside with a fireplace and it just makes the ambiance so much more comfortable! After The Red Rabbit, we drove over to Quan Nem Ninh Hoa, a popular Vietnamese restaurant that has 4/5 stars with 506 reviews on Yelp. There, we met up with Phil and Jaclyn! Since we had already eaten a little something-something, Alex, Justin and I decided to share appetizers again. We got some traditional spring rolls that are popular at this restaurant. We also ordered something that was new to me which was the Bahn Beo. A Bahn Beo is a soft rice cake topped with dried crispy shrimp and onions. You pour some fish sauce over the little rice cake and then you eat it like you would with an oyster. A spoon or chopsticks will be helpful to scoop the rice cake out. If you want a starter that is sweet and savory with crispy and soft textures then this is something to try! Excuse me for the pixelated and blurry group picture! A selfie stick would have been handy for this occasion but this will do for now. I’m glad that we got one group selfie in there! After dinner, we parted ways with Jaclyn and Phil. We went to sing our hearts out with Briana at Oishii, a Japanese sushi and karaoke bar. Though Yelp gives them only 3 stars with 175 reviews, I really enjoyed the karaoke part at this place. They have a wide range of music in different languages and they have the latest songs you can sing to. I guess the only downside or difference about this place compared to Korean karaoke places is that you have to go up to the machine to select your music rather than pressing buttons on a large keypad. We sang all kinds of songs for an hour and a half. I lost my voice after singing but it was well worth singing with some fun friends! Thanks Jaclyn and Phil for meeting up with us for dinner! I’m glad we were able to finally see you both again but in Sacramento this time! Thank you, Briana, my best frenemy, for singing Taylor Swift songs with me! I didn’t think you were going to be able to come out but I’m thankful that your schedule allowed you to! Thanks again to Justin for showing us around in Sacramento! Alex, thanks for not being competitive with me anymore!

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!

 

 

SacTown

Eat Pray Love Journey – Day 3 – Sacramento

I woke up early in the morning to get to the Greyhound station in San Jose. Huge thanks to Stacy and Yesie for waking up early to drop me off at 7am!

I was at the station to get a ride from San Jose to Sacramento for my next stop. It was $18.50 for this ride! So I was probably one of the first few people who arrived at the station early. So I just read and played on my iPad until the bus came.

Note to future self: You don’t need to get there an hour before your departure time especially if it’s early in the morning. Maybe get there 30 minutes before departure.

Right when I got inside the bus, I knew that this bus traveled many places with many kinds of people. It just smelled in there in the beginning and I’m sure I blended in with the smell so I couldn’t smell it anymore. I should’ve brought Febreeze. Oh well, next time.

Anyway, the bus had WiFi! I was so surprised how technology has advanced in that way but unfortunately, the WiFi was a little spotty. It wasn’t the best WiFi but hey, better than nothing, right?

So I checked my email and read some more. Then there was a stop in Oakland. I thought that we were picking more people up from Oakland but I quickly realized that they were dropping us off there! I was thinking to myself, “Oh man. I’m back in Oakland. Here we go again…” I was at the Oakland Greyhound station for an hour and time flew by quickly! Luckily, nothing shady happened. Wew!

So then after Oakland, we were finally on our way to Sacramento for an hour and a half drive! There were probably less than 20 people on the bus and the ride was not bad at all. It still smelled but I was just glad to be out of Oakland for my own safety.

Briana, my best frenemy, picked me up from the Sacramento Greyhound Station. By the way, Briana is one of the most punctual friends ever. I’m really thankful to have a friend like her who values time like that! Go Bri!

It was so surreal to see her in SacTown! We talk on the phone quite often so it felt like it was no big deal to see her there but then again, I couldn’t believe that I was visiting her in Sacramento!

Since I arrived in the afternoon, we grabbed lunch at Jack’s Urban Eats in downtown Sacramento. I told Briana that I didn’t care what I did in Sacramento but all I wanted to do was eat as healthy as I could.

This place is like Pluto’s where they make salad in front of you. They currently have 3.5 stars with more than 400 reviews on Yelp. Even though this place may be all about salad, one of their popular items is the garlic fries!

I got the Santa Fe Chicken which is like any other Santa Fe Chicken salad for $10.04. It had grilled chicken, romaine, fire-roasted red bell pepper, jicama, corn, black beans, tomato, tortilla strips, and tequila lime dressing. I don’t know why but I really like Santa Fe Chicken salads. I think it’s because I like how it has soft and crispy textures mixed in.

Jack’s Urban Eats is overall a simple salad and sandwich restaurant. It doesn’t hurt to check this place out but you’re also not missing out on much if you can’t stop by.

We were probably there for a few hours catching up. We tend to talk a lot in person and on the phone. Especially on the phone, we can easily talk for an hour minimum!

So we went over to her place and relaxed. Actually, she had to study for a bit which worked out perfectly because I wanted to work out! Yes, I worked out during my travels and it felt good!

Like I mentioned earlier, I told Briana that I didn’t really care for much what we were going to do. I didn’t Google what to do in Sacramento because I honestly didn’t mind taking it easy since I was only going to be there for a little less than 24 hours.

We did some errands as if we were just hanging out together in Orange County and picked up some food at Kabob Palace. This restaurant is an Afghan restaurant with 4 out of 5 stars and 58 reviews on Yelp. Though it currently has some decent reviews, this place was bare on a Friday night. Actually, the area we were in reminded me of South Orange County where shops close early and the town gets dark and quiet pretty quickly at night.

I enjoyed the chicken kabob I got for $12.95. It wasn’t greasy at all and had some spices to bring out the flavor of the chicken. The bread and the rice that comes with the kabob were pretty darn good. You can easily get addicted to it but I had to have some self control to not have so much carbs.

After dinner, we went over to one of her friend’s place to watch a movie. It was my first time watching any movie in a long time! I’m not much of a movie person unless it’s a documentary. Weird, I know. That’s a whole different story. Anyway, so we watched Insidious. It was fun watching it because I do enjoy scary and thriller movies. At one point though, I knocked out. I’m not sure if it was the loud noise from the movie that made me fall asleep or because I was already tired from traveling or that it was past my bed time. I did wake up just in time to see how it ended! But ugh…I knew there was something wrong with the dad! I just knew it!

It was definitely really late after watching the movie and my contacts were dried out! So we ended our Friday night with a scary movie!

Side note: Scary movies have no affect on me except to make me fall asleep. Just kidding-ish. I enjoy getting scared and don’t get nightmares after watching them. But! When people scream during the movie, it makes me jump out of my seat even though nothing actually happened in the movie. I’m usually pretty calm. And that’s what happened when I watched Insidious. People were screaming and it scared me. The end.

Thanks Briana for picking me up at the station and making it a chill visit!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Woah. I. Am. 25. Years. Old. Can you believe it? I never thought this day would come. I remember turning 18 and thought that would never happen. Same with turning 21. Turning 18 and 21 are pretty significant turning points in life. Some may think turning 25 isn’t anything too special but rather depressing. I remember reading someone’s Facebook status that said, “I turned 25. What am I supposed to do? Rent a car?” Somehow that status stuck with me until I turned 25 recently. I knew that I was going to rent a car once I turned 25. Not just any car but a convertible Mustang GT for the day!

I don’t know what it is about that Mustang but it’s just a fun car to look at and drive especially with the top down in SoCal! So on my birthday, I didn’t even sleep in. I actually lost some sleep the night before because I was FaceTiming with Briana for almost an hour and a half! She was the first one to wish me a happy birthday! Thanks girl!

The picture above looks like we were having a virtual sleepover! Sorry the picture is so big but I just don’t want you to forget how she looks like since she’s one of my close friends!

I wanted to take advantage of driving my Mustang all day so I picked it up at 8 AM. On my birthday, I like to treat my mom out. I started doing this since college when a friend suggested that I buy flowers for my mom on my birthday. It’s nice to always give back to someone who always gives like my mom.


In the morning, I took my mom to a hipster coffee shop hidden in Dana Point called JC Beans Coffee HouseYelp gives this coffee shop 4.5 stars with 191 reviews. What’s so popular about this place is how cozy and friendly it is with the service and ambiance. There can be a long wait in the drive thru lanee but I say it’s best to sit down inside and sip your coffee!

JC Beans Coffee House is small but I love the layout of it. There are books on the shelves that you can check out but also purchase!

You can also sit outside which my mom and I did as we were sipping on our drinks. I was working on my blog as she was browsing the web on her iPad. She got a cup of coffee and I got a Vanilla Chai Latte. We both shared a pastry and with those 3 items together, the total was around $10-$12. It’s a little more on the pricey end but worth the ambiance and the taste.


My mom was pretty impressed how I took a picture of my drink and the pastry. Looks hip, right?

After an hour or so, we decided to get back on the road and make use of my Mustang. We drove down on PCH with the top down and made a stop at Laguna Beach. We took some pictures and walked around. I really don’t know where we were exactly in Laguna Beach but we found a good spot to hang out!


It was such a beautiful day. The sun was shining, there was a breeze from the waves, and it was my birthday! Perfect day.

The view was so breathtaking that I really felt like I could just sit there and enjoy the beach as a living.

My mom took a candid picture of me that I thought looked pretty nice! Go mom!

By afternoon, my mom and I grabbed lunch with my sister at Panini Cafe in Corona Del Mar, right on PCH. Panini Cafe is a Greek, Italian, and Mediterranean kind of a restaurant.  They are located in eight different cities within Orange County and LA County. So you can’t miss one! The one we went to currently has 4 out of 5 stars with 289 reviews on Yelp.

We first ordered the Hummus Trio as an appetizer for $8.95. This large plate of hummus had the traditional garbanzo, black bean, and edmame hummus. The pita bread and the three different kinds of hummus easily filled us up!

After all that hummus, I got myself a healthy Mediterranean Greek Salad that was mixed with onions, Roma Tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese in balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

This beautiful green mountain made me feel clean! Actually, there may have been a tad bit too much dressing but overall, I enjoyed the various fresh vegetables mixed together for $8.95.

Beware that if you go to Panini Cafe on PCH in the afternoon, get there a little early because parking might be a little tough to find and it can get packed in the restaurant. Due to the busyness of the restaurant, there was a lack of quality customer service. I wasn’t too upset about it because I didn’t want to let that ruin my birthday lunch! Luckily, there was dinner to make up for it.

We headed back home in my Mustang, of course. I relaxed for a little bit at home and started to get ready for dinner at Laguna Beach with some friends! I curled my hair, did my make up, and slipped on my pink floral dress from Zara. The best part about this dress was that I bought it for only $10! I’m pretty sure it was originally priced at least $80 or so. Pretty good stinkin’ deal, right? It was my first time ever wearing it since I bought a little more than a year ago and I just had to save it for a perfect occasion like this!

So Cindy and Elaine came over to carpool to K’ya Bistro that is located on PCH.

Huge thanks to them for letting me put the top down and have their hair-do get a little messy. I say it was worth the mess!

I decided to have dinner at K’ya Bistro because it was on PCH. Again, I just had to take advantage of my Mustang by driving up and down PCH since it’s a perfect road to have the top down. I also just wanted to have dinner somewhere new and different. So I found this restaurant just from Yelping around and read great reviews about it. Yelp shows a solid 4 out of 5 stars with almost 700 reviews!

Right when you enter the restaurant, there’s a bar where you can order some drinks while waiting to be seated.

They’re known for their tapas of American and Mediterranean food. We all shared a little bit of everything. We started out with some Truffle-Parmesian Fries and Spiced Sweet Potato Fries at $5.50 each. They were pretty addicting to eat, so be careful!

I ordered one of their popular items, Lobster Mac and Cheese. They really knew how to stuff that Mac and Cheese with lobster! It was everything that I imagined it to be like. The Mac and Cheese had the perfect homemade texture and cheesiness to it. The lobster was melted smoothly with the whole Mac and Cheese.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures of what I ate there because I was too distracted talking to my friends at dinner. I definitely have to come back here again and get that Lobster Mac and Cheese and take a picture of it! As for now, enjoy the pictures of my beautiful friends!

Whatever item you get on the menu, I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it a lot as my friends did. We all liked we got whether it was the salad, fries, empanadas, or any other tapas.

Thank you everyone for celebrating my 25th birthday with me! I’m excited to see what this new age has in stored!

Jean Paul’s Goodies

I heard about Jean Paul’s Goodies from Sammie & Harold who heard about it from Ed. They said that Jean Paul’s Goodies has the best cappuccino ever! When I heard that, I knew I had to check it out prompto!

Prior to going, they told me and Elaine how there was an old grumpy grandpa running the store. The grandpa was so grumpy that you were able to tell by looking at him that he was not in a good mood. Apparently that’s just how he is general. Sounds like a character from some kind of movie, huh?

In general, there’s no menu in the shop so you have to know what you want or else he might just get grumpier. I guess Harold had asked before for the menu but the grandpa responded along the lines of, “You should know what you want.” Crazy, huh? Oddly enough, I think for Harold and Sammie, experiencing bad customer service was worth the cappuccino.

Since Elaine and I love coffee we decided to check out Jean Paul’s Goodies with Sammie & Harold. When the four of us got there, I was slowly starting to get nervous to meet the grumpy grandpa. He was pretty intimidating to look at even from afar. The ambiance at the shop was eery as we walked in. It was dead quiet. I’m sure customers knew not to talk while standing in line. You will know what I’m talking about once you walk in.

Luckily, Harold was able to order for the 4 of us so I wasn’t inside for long. The grandpa made the cappuccino himself using his cappuccino machine and poured milk. It was nothing fancy at all in the way he made it but once I had a sip of it, it tasted fancy! The texture was so smooth and nothing was too bitter. It was perfect. It was one good cappuccino!

Unfortunately, I have no pictures to show you other than the one in front of the store. I wanted to take more pictures but ended up getting too scared. Check out Yelp if you’re curious about the grumpy grandpa or other people’s reviews about the place. Even though it only has 3.5 stars with only 33 reviews, it’s definitely a hole in the wall place  to check out in Laguna Beach.

I wouldn’t mind going back there again for the cappuccino but I think I would want someone to order for me. By the way, this man closes whenever he wants! We got our drinks around 1PM on a Saturday. Once he made our drinks, he was already out the door! Customers tried to come in but he had to shoo them away! Sammie, Harold, Elaine and I concluded that because this grandpa makes good cappuccino, he probably has people coming back a lot! So his business must be really successful for him to leave whenever he wants though Yelp may not show the right numbers.

If you ever go, please let me know what your experience there is like! Don’t forget to know what you want before going there so you don’t get yelled at!

Thanks Harold and Sammie for treating me and Elaine out for some good cappuccino!