Entourage and Urth Cafe

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Kevin and I watched Entourage (movie) earlier this summer. We used to be into the HBO show, aka Sex and the City for men, at one point in our lives but we lost interest at around Season 4 and we stopped watching it altogether.

We went to the movie anyway because we had gift certificates to iPic Theatre in Old Town Pasadena and it seemed like this was the kind of movie that we can watch care free, like, if we fall a sleep, we don’t have to kick ourselves afterward. The movie didn’t receive a raving review from the critic but I thought it was fun, and it was a nice way to catch up with our old buddies on the silver screen. It was also nice to see a cameo appearance by the Los Angeles Kings players, although I suspect that noone but Kings fans recognized them.

After we watched the film, Kevin and I decided to catch up on the rest of the TV show, so we purchased the remaining seasons on Amazon Prime and binge watched all the episodes that we had missed (which, by the way, became available for free on Amazon Prime Instant Video only a few weeks after we paid a pretty penny for each missed season. evil)

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One thing I noticed while salivating over Ari’s super hotness was how much those boys loved Urth Café! They frequented this organic coffee and tea house so much that it should have been the fifth character in the show. Well, the product placement totally worked because I’ve made a trip or two (well, four, but who’s counting?) to its Pasadena location in the last few months alone.  Here are the pictures from my last outing — Green Tea Latte and Egg Salmone.

And here are some from the other outing:

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Darn you boys!  This place is amazing but it ain’t cheap!

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Day 1: LA Adventures

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The last time Maya visited me, Pon Pon was only four days old. I had just returned home from the hospital after delivering the baby, and I was exhausted, severely sleep deprived, hormonal, stressed, moody, and a hot mess — definitely not a good company.  So I’m happy that we got to spend quality time together this time around. She came down from PDX for Pon Pon’s first birthday party and I got to spend a week of quality girl time with my BFF.

After the party, I took off my mommy hat and headed to Mondrian Hotel on Sunset for a baby-free weekend. It was my first time being away from Pon Pon overnight and I have to admit that it was a little tough at first (yes, I have become one of those parents who can’t stay away from their bebe for more than a few hours)  … but I knew that Kevin was holding down the fort at home and she was in good hand. By the time Maya and I got on the road, I was no longer a mom but a buck wild party girl (okay, this is totally not true).

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Mondrian Hotel was lovely.  The room was very tiny but we got the room with an amazing view of West Hollywood.  Maya and I are such Asians – as soon as we walked into the room, we started snapping pictures!

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I wish there was a bath tub … but the shower had a pretty good water pressure.

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Our balcony overlooked the Herringbone restaurant.

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Picturesque West Hollywood.  You can see Beverly Center and Lawry’s Prime Rib, our wedding venue, from here.

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I remember when Sunset Boulevard was the place to hang out on a weekend.  It was so much more quiet and tamed this night.  I wonder if this famous strip has lost its charm, or I just got older.  Things didn’t look as mesmerizing as I once remembered as a wee twenty-something.

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After we unpacked and unwind, we headed over to Little Next Door for some late dinner.  We weren’t overly hungry, so we decided to eat something light with a glass or two of wine.

Maya and I almost always order fresh oysters when they’re available and we’re usually happy with them.  Unfortunately, this was not that time.  Each oyster was so tiny that we felt like we got ripped off.

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I order this Salad Nicoise almost every time I’m here at the restaurant.  It’s not necessarily that it’s the best item on the menu, but because I’m a Salad Nicoise addict and I cannot say no to it when it’s on the menu.

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Here’s Maya’s fish dish.  We ordered dessert and coffee but we forgot to take pictures.

We were so exhausted by the time we finished dinner, we returned to our hotel room, took off our shoes, and just watched the Olympics.  Although we were in the middle of action in a city that doesn’t sleep (okay, that’s not true .. unlike NYC, bars close early in LA), we realized we’d much rather stay in and relax in our comfortable pajamas.  I guess you can take a girl out of a home, but you can’t take her hominess out of a girl.

Sunday Breakfast: Larchmont Bungalow

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Kevin and I had Sunday breakfast at Larchmont Bungalow in the lovely mid-city neighborhood with even lovelier friends Matt, Liz, and Baby E . The last time I saw Liz, she was still pregnant with Baby E. Thirteen short months later, Baby E grew up to be an adorable little boy who walks and eats solid food!biggrin

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It’s amazing how fast babies grow up. In a mere year, an infant who you bring home from the hospital, fresh out of the mommy’s womb, grows into a toddler, and in the blink of the eyes, leaves home to go to college. Veteran parents always advise us newbies to enjoy and savor every minute we spend with our children because they grow up so fast. Watching the little Baby E blossom into a little person made me realize how true that is, and how precious each second is to parents.

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The breakfast was fabulous.  This is the first time in my life that I’m not overly concerned about the amount of calories I consume, especially during this time of the year when the world is attempting to kick-start a healthier lifestyle as part of the New Year’s resolutions. I do try to be careful that I eat a balanced diet for me and the baby, of course, but I don’t beat myself up if I eat something wacky and perhaps unhealthy, like Red and Blue Velvet Pancakes, once in a while, which, by the way, were completely bizarre but surprisingly delicious.

I’m also extremely thankful for the ever-shrinking stomach. Now that Pon Pon is starting to push against my insides, I can’t eat as much as I want to, which helps me control my consumption. It’s like having a natural gastric bypass to shrink my stomach.

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Here’s the Seafood Lover’s Omelet that I ordered, packed with lobster, shrimp, and fresh blue crab, with a side of green salad and pumpernickel toasts. It was pretty pricey at $14.95 but I enjoyed every bite of it.

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Kevin had the Meat Sensation Omelet.

If there’s a place like Larchmont Bungalow in our neighborhood, I’ll be there every day!  It was a perfect Sunday morning spent with wonderful friends and a precious little munchkin, over great good … and it wasn’t even 11:00 a.m. yet!

The Stanley Cup Parade and Rally!

In 2001, a friend took me to my first hockey game at Staple Center and I fell absolutely in love with the sport and the team! It wasn’t all roses for many years when there were way more losses than wins. There were so many empty promises and disappointments throughout the years, but the young core players started developing and we started to see the glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel, especially when we finally began making the push for playoffs.

I knew this year’s team was a true contender but I never, in my wildest dream, thought that we will be hoisting the Stanley Cup in June.eek But what do I know — we bulldozed over all the opponents we faced in the playoffs and broke a bunch of records along the way!  Talk about winning in style!

After watching the winning moments over and over again, reading about it on papers, watching the players appear on nightly talk shows (here, here, and here), and even cheering at the victory parade, I still feel like I’m dreaming. I think this feeling will last for a very long time.

You can see Bailey with the flag!

Glitters!

Even Magic sported the Black and White!

Inside the rally at Staple Center!

We were so happy to witness history!

Kerry, Carmela, and I took the metro from North Hollywood to Staple Center (while Kevin walked from his office).  We initially met up at the Universal City station but there were absolutely no places to park, so we drove 2 miles to the nearest NoHo stop.  There were no spaces there either but we got lucky and found spaces on the streets.  It was great to see a bunch of energetic Kings fan on the way, to start the celebration early!

I feel so lucky that my time off request was granted … I bet you 249,999 people that were at the parade this afternoon all played hooky from work!  lol

You can watch the entire footage of the rally here!

And special thanks to Carmela for finding us in the crowd (at around 36 minutes and 10 seconds into the video, during Brownie’s speech)! We got on TV, baby!

The Getty Villa

After the wedding, Kevin and I took a week off to recover from the sleepless nights that lead up to the big day. We decided to hold off on our honeymoon until later in the year and take the week to do the cliché touristy things around our Los Angeles backyard. We figured there’s a good reason why so many newlyweds make a pilgrimage to LA for their honeymoon every year.  It was time to let our true Japanese tourist spirits go to work! lol  And we can save travel costs this way since we don’t have to worry about flights and lodging.

Both Kevin and I have lived in the LA area pretty much all our lives, but there are so many things in this city that we have not done or experienced. Getty Villa in Malibu was one of those places that we’ve always been interested but never made an effort to visit. After experiencing its beautify, I wondered why we waited for so long!

Although they are both very different in the types of artwork they exhibit, I might like the Villa better than The Getty Center.

It  felt more intimidate and serene, and the gardens are  amazing here.  It reminded me of the many museums that I had the opportunity to visit in Florence.

The entrance to the Villa is free but you have to call in advance to reserve a parking space for $15.

When you visit, make sure to come hungry and check up the cafe.  The food is pretty delicious!  Here’s our Bruschetta Mista with olive tapenade, prosciutto, brie and apricot, and tomato and basil.

My favorite sculpture … it’s called, “Young Satyr with a Theater Mask (Roman A.D. 100-200).”  It looks like a little kid put on the huge theater mask over his head.  You can see his mischievous smile from the opening.  So surreal but humorous.

Totally reminds me of Monet‘s water lilies!

Just being silly by the fountain!

After spending three, blissful hours at Getty Villa, we headed over to the Universal City Walk for a movie (The Avengers) and dinner.  It can’t get more touristy than this!  We stopped by a place called Zen Zone and took a 20-minute water massage (you go inside this capsule bed and the pressure of the water massages your entire body — strange, I know).  We also enjoyed the complimentary oxygen bar, even though we had no idea if it had any positive affect in our bodies.

We ate dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  The only reason we decided on this place was because of its hush puppies but they were all out by the time we got there.  I was so bummed.  We ended up still staying and we had shrimps, mussels, and mac and cheese.

I love cheesy LA!