After reuniting over pizza and dragging my Dad to a 10 mile race on the Saturday morning of my Dad and sis’s weekend visit, I planned to take both of them to some of my favorite places in the LA area so far—more so for my sister’s sake, since she had never been to Santa Monica. So after some homework and nap time, we left my apartment around 3pm and headed over to the Pier/Promenade area.
We found $5 parking underground…a few blocks from a parking lot that had the nerve to charge $20 for a spot. Guess we showed them! My sis was feeling peckish, so she had some appetizer-size tacos from one of the food stalls at the food court in the upper-level.
After having the chance to quell her munchies, we walked around the Promenade, and browsed a couple shops—including Urban Outiftters and Crossroads Trading Co. She’s more of a thrifter than I am, but I was the one that ended up making purchases that day (two jeans, one of which was a pair of dark wash Free People flares for only $25!) Yay!
After shopping, we found our patient Dad waiting for us outside. He was able to entertain himself, and us later, by showing us photos of the “interesting folk” that passed by. I (sort of) seriously recommended that he should make it a thing—could get an art book deal or something out of it !
Crossing the street to get to dinner!
For dinner, we headed over to Real Food Daily since I was craving a huge bowl of wholesome food. My sister was surprisingly still ravenous, but I knew that RFD was the perfect solution!
The SaMo location would be pretty easy to miss, if it were not for the square hanging sign humbly displayed outside. We entered the dimly lit restaurant, and asked if we could sit upstairs.
We found a cozy spot in the back corner, and after settling in, we looked at the menu and decided to order family-style since it was the perfect opportunity to get a taste of all sorts of crazy-delicious RFD menu items. In the end, I picked the Not-Chos, my sis the Club, and my Dad the Basic Five, from which we selected five items from the categories of veggies, beans & grains, and one plant protein. After much convincing and a guarantee from our server that “yes, the golden gravy is flavorful, Dad”, we chose as a group our five selections to be the sea vegetables, garlicky greens, soba noodles, mashed potatoes w/gravy, and the almond “tuna”.
After placing our family-size order, my sister and I climbed downstairs to wash our hands in the restroom. My sister didn’t lock the door since she was just washing her hands, but it was still awkward when one of the kitchen staff shot by me and opened the door to the bathroom without even knocking.
The kitchen area where a member of the kitchen staff flew right by me!
After that awkward incident, we went back upstairs and chatted amongst eachother while we waited for our food…which, despite our growing hunger, was well worth the wait…
Not-chos ~ Melted cashew cheese, black beans, pico de gallo,
tofu sour cream, guacamole
The Club ~ triple decker
or in a wrap w/ crispy seitan, tempeh bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, aioli, sourdough
L-to-R going clockwise ~ almond “tuna”, sea vegetables, soba noodles, mashed potatoes with gravy, garlicky greens—they forgot the golden gravy at first, so they brought it in a little bowl off to the side…
I mostly attacked the nachos, but I wasn’t a fan of the chips. They tasted a bit too stale for me—but when topped with the almond “tuna”? De.licious.
So obviously I was using the almond “tuna” as an additional topping for my nachos because I couldn’t get enough of it. I also found the sea vegetables, garlicky greens, and soba noodles all flavorful and filling (very filling). My sister finally felt full after (almost) getting through all four sandwich quarters.
Don’t let vegan food fool ya…it can be quite rich!
My Dad and sis were both pleased with the meal, with my sis saying she hasn’t had anything that tasty and delicious for quite some time, since her dining commons at school has nothing in comparison. I was glad that I was able to share another one of my favorites with them, and thought about taking them to the RFD in WeHo next time.
Fancy art shows on Ocean Ave.
We left with our bellies full (no room for dessert!) and semi-waddled over to Ocean Ave. We were too
stuffed tired to make it down to the Pier, but I didn’t mind since we could always save that for another day.
The SM Pier @ night
On Sunday, I let my Dad and sister sleep in while I went out for a morning long run with the group I’m training for the LA Marathon with. After the run, I came back to an apartment smelling like omelettes, coffee, and freshly-washed dishes. Gotta love parents!
My Dad had been wanting me to give him a campus tour, so that occupied the rest of our morning after running some last-minute in-house errands and helping the fam pack up. After walking around my campus (very slowly, in heels nonetheless), we decided to have a late Sunday lunch at the Urth Caffe in DTLA. When I told my sister about the amazing green tea tiramisu I had, she looked up the menu and had tre latti on the brain all weekend. I couldn’t deny her the indulgence after letting her in on the secret !
I have got to be honest and say it was hard to find, since it was in the middle of the Arts District downtown.
It was also the only “edible” location in the area…
While my Dad looked for parking, my sis and I found our spot in the queue that was (not surprisingly) already out the door.
When we made our way inside, we still had to face some crowds…
…but, at least our eyes weren’t bored!
Tea and mug wall // dessert goods // cool urth-y mural
There were a lot of seating options, and so we found a table in the indoor patio dining area.
Beautiful room, not so beautiful display of wasted food.
^ If I wasn’t wary of infectious diseases, I would have grabbed that tiramisu. Pity it had to go to waste
We ordered family-style again, but we ordered platter-style entrees that would be easy to split among three people. It was a long wait, but all of our food (and teas!) came out at once so it was like a feast:
The Mediterranean Platter – a plate of feta cheese, grape leaves, hummus, tabouli, roasted peppers & mixed olives (with pits) garnished with mint, grilled artichokes and pure olive oil served with pita bread.
Nori Plum Rice Wrap - nori sheet stuffed with avocado, organic brown rice, carrots, broccoli, green onions, umeboshi plum paste, and five spice tofu served with a mixed greens salad and wasabi.
Pita bread on the side
I split the Moroccan Mint Tea with my Dad, while my sister indulged in the English Tea Latte with her Tre Latti!
Moroccan Tea Latté – made with organic green tea and cool creamy mint
English Tea Latte – a rich creamy organic tea latte perfect for high tea!
Tre Latti – vanilla sponge cake soaked in FOUR different sweet milks, a layer of chantilly cream and iced with a caramelized meringue
The description itself sounds like it flew over from Italy personally, and landed on my sister’s plate!
We were able to clean our plates (in other words, no excess food was ordered or wasted), and we left the restaurant happy with our family meal out, yet again.
I was dropped off at home while my Dad headed up north with my sis to drop her off at her college before Monday classes. My Dad actually ended up seeing me the next two days since he had to come back for business, but it was a real parting between my sister and I that afternoon since I wouldn’t be able to see her until Thanksgiving!
But for the time being, I would say we had a pretty swell time ♥