I had no trouble getting back into my routine after returning from Las Vegas, but one piece of news threw me for a loop.
One of my undergraduate assistants informed me that the week would be his last, even though he originally had plans to stay and help me out for a longer period of time.
Even though his change of plans was a disappointment, he still came in over the weekend, and so at least I had one solid weekend free from the constraints of lab. I definitely took advantage of this.
I was able to take the car out to Encino, and from Santa Monica it was an (almost) easy drive up the 405. I was also able to avoid paying for street parking by finding a neighborhood to park at and from there walk over.
Veggie Grill was my destination since they sent me a $5 off birthday coupon that I couldn’t resist…
…and the dish I couldn’t avoid ordering, despite having it before AND the fact that their summer menu had a mouth-watering array of options. A plate of Mondo Nachos sounded just perfect at the time.
Compared to the plate I had at the WeHo location more than a year ago, I felt like it lacked a lot of guac and soy crumbles (they replaced it with grilled chik’n this time around). This was more of an observation than a complaint, however. I also brought my laptop and did some work at the restaurant for a few hours after eating. I guess it’s more “normal” to set up shop like that at a Starbucks or a cafe,but Veggie Grill had a jammin’ playlist so I wasn’t too pressured to get up and leave!
I headed out a little after 1 and my next stop was in Grocery Outlet in Burbank. I inevitably had to face traffic, and it took me almost thirty minutes to get from Encino to Burbank.
When I did arrive however, I was ecstatic to finally be stepping into one of GO’s newer So Cal locations. Ah, it had been too long!
I made out with a week’s worth of food with plenty of change to spare, so it only made sense to drive by Glendale and finally get me some Yoga-Urt! They had been on my radar for quite some time now, and I’ve actually been following them on Instagram since their opening two years ago in 2015! Getting there by public transit always posed a challenge, but with a car handy it’s really not that impossible to get to.
The shop is very small, with a few patio chairs and tables in the front. There’s also a huge blackboard wall near the entrance, the contents of which are frequently changing.
They offered a lot on their menu, but their flavors of soft serve were limited for the day.
A turmeric/gold rose flavor sounded unique, and was listed as one of their offered flavors, but unfortunately not on the day I visited.
A small cup of froyo with one topping proved to be pricey (~$6!), but since it was vegan-friendly and a hand-crafted kind of place, I thought it was a worthy treat to splurge on. I ended up going for the Peanut Butter Prana topped with dried mulberries.
I enjoyed my cup outside, and marveled at how thick the soft serve was. It was like those So Delicious ice creams I rave about, except smoother and creamier. The mulberries added some varied crunch, but to be honest they weren’t a vital component.
After spending the day driving and eating through North LA, I made the drive back home, and spent the remainder of the evening napping and catching up on some work. I was squeezing every minute out of this “free” weekend, because who know when my next one will be!
I was in the mood to venture out on Saturday, knowing that the Saturday to follow would be best spent close to home…to prepare for the arduous 26.2 mile journey on Valentine’s Day!
The week leading up to Saturday was taper week, and honestly, running ANY distance lower than 20 miles sounded appealing after that monsoon run! After a Tuesday 8 miler, I enjoyed a bowl of oatmeal with a melted Combat Crunch bar (cookies & cream flavor)!
With the melted CC bar in there, it didn’t matter that I did not include some sort of nut butter or spread…the chocolate coating was perfect enough!
Before heading to Burbank for a late lunch on Saturday, I stopped by the library to pick up some holds…for the very first time since moving to LA! So far, I’ve only used my library card membership to download free music. After almost a year and a half, I managed to get around to actually checking out some books 😛
My pre-lunch snack was this Mission1 bar, in chocolate brownie. It was extremely chewy, with a consistency equivalent to chocolate taffy. I know they are the latest craze on social media right now, but to me it just tasted okay. Perhaps things would be different if I let it melt atop of some piping hot oatmeal…
From the library, the bus ride to Burbank took about an hour. At least my stop was right in front of Tony’s Darts Away on Magnolia.
I always feel so awkward when I walk into pubs, but my reason for ever venturing into one has always been for the vegan food. From what I can recall, all of my pub visits have involved vegan food—even one hidden in downtown Fresno that served pretty tasty vegan Mexican food!
After standing around awkwardly for five minutes, I made way to the counter and learned that I could order what I wanted at the front and then sit down wherever I wanted. I was able to find a table by a stack of board games, despite a loud birthday party that took up several tables.
I ordered the vegan Korean bowl, since it sounded appetizing with its kimchi, sticky rice, and glazed vegan pork slices. I didn’t have to wait too long to dig into this earthy, insanely-delicious bowl either!
The vegan “pork” ended up being my favorite of course, and I saved it for last to mix with my sticky rice. The kimchi was what I had first, and it was flavorful and tasted fine on its own. The entire bowl took me a while to finish, but I made my way to the very bottom. Even though I did feel full, I knew that a walk down a couple blocks on Magnolia would get my appetite revved up for some dessert…I did remember passing by a Yummy Cupcakes after all!