A Weekend in LV, Part II

A Weekend in LV, Part II

My second full day in Vegas started off at a steamy 95 degrees. I kept waking up throughout the night due to the heat/constant shuffling in and out of the bathroom of the other guests, and so I decided to actually wake up at 6, since sleeping in just wasn’t going to work out.

View from the convention center
View from the convention center

I told my friend to pick me up from the convention center at 9, and so to kill time, I tried to find a session or two to join in. I didn’t find anything too remarkable, so I just participated in a yoga class that was going on. It made me quickly realize that as a runner—I need to stretch more.

When my friend arrived, she looked tired due to her long working day on Friday, but we still followed through with our plans and headed out to Red Rock Canyon.

Driving to Red Rock Canyon
Driving to Red Rock Canyon

But just soon as we stepped out of the car, we stepped back in. The heat was unbelievably unbearable, but we couldn’t leave without a selfie, haha.

Red Rock Canyon...so hot!
Red Rock Canyon…so hot!

She was hungry and had a craving for eggs, especially after hearing about a chain of brunch-type restaurants called Egg Works. We stopped by one of them on her way to work.

Eggworks in Summerlin
Eggworks in Summerlin

It definitely had a mom-and-pop vibe, and even though we were offered seats at the bar, we were able to snag a cozy booth and enjoy our meals without background kitchen noise.

Their menu was extensive, with not only egg dishes, but the sweet breakfast stuff too. But since it was practically noon, I was all about something savory and eager to get some protein in me.

<3

The Veggie Benny was mine, while my friend ordered a Benedict as well, with extra bacon on the side.

Veggie Benny ♥
Veggie Benny ♥

 

A working girl's plate...
A working girl’s plate…

I pretty much wiped my plate clean, except for the tomato slices I had on the side. Maybe I should have been like my friend and gotten some cubed potatoes for my side…

After finishing up brunch, we drove around for a bit on the way back to Town Square since my friend had a shift a work starting at 2pm. I found a spot in Whole Foods to work on some things via laptop to pass the time. I grew restless about two hours in, and decided to spend the rest of the time doing some window (and real) shopping.

Haha, of course this statue would catch my eye. There are a variety of these around Town Square, painted for different themes.
Haha, of course this statue would catch my eye. There are a variety of these around Town Square, painted for different themes.

I met up with my friend again after 6pm, and from there we drove our tired selves over to The Strip. It was still blazing hot outside, but we managed to find free parking at Planet Hollywood, and after going down five flights, walked inside the hotel casino before stepping out and walking in the southern direction of The Strip.

For dinner, we agreed on burgers and Bobby’s Burger Palace was on the way.

BBP
BBP

Of course it was packed, like any other restaurant on The Strip on Saturday night. Everything was also very meat heavy, except for two veggie options: a Veggie Burger and a Grilled Cheese.

♥

I went for the veggie burger, and even though my friend and I ordered back-to-back, her plate came out a good fifteen minutes before mine did. We blame it on the party of ten who ordered at the register next to us…we think their orders got mixed in with ours and caused the delay, haha.

My Veggie burger was alright thought! I mean, even Bobby is looking adoringly at it on that napkin holder. There was a good ratio of sauce to burger, so it didn’t taste too dry or soggy. It also came with a huge pickle on the side, all of the burgers did actually.

♥

After getting food in our systems, we were in a chattier mood. The sun also went down so it was a bit cooler than an hour before. Our next destination was Sambalatte, right outside Monte Carlo.

♥

It was a cozy little coffee shop, and while it didn’t make much sense to get coffee at night, I had my reasons…

♥

I would drink coffee at midnight if it meant having a mug of this Unicorn Latte. For the ‘gram, if nothing else.

Unicorn Latte ♥
Unicorn Latte ♥

TBH, it’s taste didn’t match it looks. While it looked like it was a coffee made out of rainbow rays, it needed the help of some sweetener. My friend and I took turns sipping at the mug, and then walked into the casino next door. We quickly turned around when her BF texted her to come home since the were meeting family for a late night get together. The abrupt change in plans was a slight disappointment, since I didn’t know the next time I’d be able to see my friend again, but she offered to drop me off at my BNB before heading out.

The next day was nothing momentous. I was glad to finally leave that weird BNB and head back to LA. Of course I wish I could have spent another day or two with my friend, but she also looked like she needed some rest. I guess as long as she’s there, I’ll have a reason to come back to LV.

Bobby's Burger Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Seattle Adventures – Part I

Seattle Adventures – Part I

I can’t believe it’s been a week since I returned from Seattle! The trip was a blast…and man do I have so many photos! It’s going to be exhausting writing up posts, but I guess it’ll give me some consistent content for the blog while I think of some other “creative” things, haha.

I flew from LA into Seattle early in the morning on the Tuesday before Memorial Day Weekend. My sis and friend were arriving four hours after I landed, so I set up a standing work station where I worked and snacked on vegetarian sushi until their arrival.

Once my girls arrived, we figured out how to work the public transit, and got ourselves some Orca passes (the transit card used for the Metro system there).

It took us about an hour and a half to get to our Airbnb, and after dropping off our things, we caught a bus headed towards downtown to walk around Pike St. for a bit.

Pike's Place!
Pike’s Place!

We were all getting to the point of hanger since it was past six and pushing 7pm. Our original destination was El Borracho on 1st and Pike, since they had some tasty-sounding vegan nachos, but we were “kicked out” because my sis was underage, and they apparently don’t serve minors—not even food (!!!)—after 6pm. Um…okay, we’ll take our $$$ somewhere else??

The phrase that is on repeat through the minds of three hangry girls roam around Pike's Place...
The phrase that is on repeat through the minds of three hangry girls roaming around Pike’s Place…

A lot of the places were already closed surprisingly, but we did find Virginia Inn too be open, and while they were far from being a vegan-friendly restaurant, they did have some vegetarian options and it seemed to be something all three of us hangry girls could agree on.

They did have this though...lentils?!
They did have this though…lentils?!

The inside of the restaurant reminded me of a bar from the 1980s…like straight out of Cheers or something, haha.

virginia_INN
West Coast Cheers set?

My friend got a beer while my sis and I had waters (she is of age, haha). With her order of salmon, she got a plate of fries that came with ketchup and a flavor-less white sauce…as well as a side of complimentary bread because, carbs. My sis was able to get a vegetarian sandwich that they normally only serve at lunch.

food
Friend’s fries, sis’s sammie, and extra buuurrrrreaaaddd.

My dish was the curried lentils, which I did take a photo of, but must have accidentally deleted through the transfer and uploading of things! It wasn’t anything spectacular though, as it was sooooo small and definitely not worth the $16 price 🙁 . Obviously this meant I needed to pick off my friend’s fry plate for added nourishment 😉

But I did take a picture of the back of their coaster because it was an odd thing...
But I did take a picture of the back of their coaster because it was an odd thing…

After dinner, we had enough in our replenished stores to walk around Pike’s Market (literally, we didn’t go inside until later in the trip).

Walking around Public Market.
Walking around Public Market.

We took the bus back and rested at our Airbnb for the remainder of the evening. I brought my running things just in case I’d feel like running Seattle in the mornings, but I ended up taking those days I was on vacation “off”. And man did it feel good to sleep in!!

The next morning, we took our time getting ready, and headed into Fremont District for some brunch at Silence-Heart-Nest.

SHN
The chick paintings reminded me of marshmallow Peeps.

I read beforehand they had a delicious-sounding sweet potato biscuits with mushroom gravy…and that the owners are part of a cult (??). Maybe that’s just a local rumor 😛

SHN_2
Outside of SHN // Menu

Unfortunately, they only serve the sweet potato biscuit dish on weekends, so I had to get something else. I was initially thinking I’d get an eggs benedict dish as my back-up, but the vegan tofu scramble seemed to catch my eyes on the menu.

They truly caught my attention once they landed at the table.

tofuscramble!
Vegan Tofu Scramble

My sis and friend both got egg dishes that were absolutely drool-inducing. And my friend being the total random that she is, got a side of fruit that my sis and I ended up eating 😛

ohwowzathoseeggggggs
Eggs, potaaytoooes, and strawbs (friend’s dish)

After brunch, we continued our Seattle adventures from the evening before onwards toward Green Lake! More on that in the next post 🙂

Have you ever visited Seattle?

Silence-Heart-Nest Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

BenADDICTs

BenADDICTs

When you have the chance to take it easy on a Sunday morning, you force yourself to sleep until 10AM (even if it means waking up three times between 6AM and 10AM, and having to read while lying down in order to get sleepy again) and obviously take advantage of Sunday brunch.

My train/bus back to LA was leaving at 2PM, so my sister and I wanted to have one more meal together before I had to go. We soon learned that a lot of restaurants and cafes are closed in Fresno on Sundays, at least the ones we wanted to go to, but there was an ample selection of breakfast/brunch destinations. Benaddiction was one of them (a brunch place that actually began as a food truck), and we ultimately decided on them based on their variety of Benedict plates.

1
Strip mall location…

It was another strip mall find, but based on inside appearances, you probably wouldn’t guess that.

3
…But cozy and perfectly-themed on the inside!

We found booth seating by the wall, where we also had a great view of this music-themed collage.

4
Music album wall.

The tables were also chalkboard-style, and there were small buckets at each table with chalk. The chalk sticks were too large for drawing fine artwork though, I tried! When we asked for water, we were given two large, open mason jars filled with ice.

2
Chalkboard table and mason jars filled with water.

There were a couple of vegetarian options for us to choose from in the Eggs Benedict—I mean, Eggs BenADDict—section. Each option also could be served as a closed sandwich (Benaddiction) or open-faced (Benaddict). I chose to get Blaze of Glory while my sister got the delicious-sounding Alive, both of us opting for the Benaddict plates.

5
Blaze of Glory & Alive on the menu.

Even though we were in a semi-time crunch, our orders were prepared and received promptly. My sister’s Alive plate was to die for. Those crispy hashbrowns alone made me second guess my decision to go with fruit as my side…

6
Alive Benaddict ~ Crimini Mushrooms, Peppers, Onions, Avocado, and Tomato

My plate was pretty gorgeous too, but looking at all of the sauce already spilling on the plate, I realized that a side of roasted potatoes or bread would have helped 😛 . But, you can’t go wrong with grapes, watermelon, and (one) strawberries!

7
Blaze of Glory ~ Pesto, Fresh Mozzarella, and Tomato

The stacked layers impressed me the most: tomato -> mozzarella -> tomato -> egg (with runny yolk), all perfectly placed atop a crisp English muffin.

8
Those layerzzzz tho.

My sister and I wished we could have the time/patience/and skill to make such a filling, nutritious, and delicious breakfast everyday, but at least for our last brunch together for a while, we chose wisely to have it at Benaddiction.

What’s your favorite way to eat/cook eggs?

Benaddiction Brunch on Wheels Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Making Time for Lyfe, Hummus, and Rosewater

Making Time for Lyfe, Hummus, and Rosewater

My weekdays are starting to become busier and busier, and by the time Friday evening rolls around, I want to fall asleep right after eating dinner…at 7:30pm. I’ve (obviously) become much more appreciative of my weekend time, and even though sometimes work manages to squeeze in even on a Saturday and/or Sunday, I always try to have a more “fun” activity be the focus of my weekend days. 

On Saturday, I went up north and a little west after doing some homework in the morning. I combined my grocery shopping trip with a late lunch date (with myself 😉 )at Lyfe Kitchen in Tarzana. 

SAMSUNG

I first ate at a Lyfe Kitchen establishment back in September, in Culver City. It was just as sunny and warm as it was in Culver City when I paid a visit to the Tarzana location this time around.

lyfekitchenoutside

Everyone was eating outside, so the inside of the restaurant was clean and empty. The counter was filled with a display of fresh juices and drinks.

atthecounter

After ordering at the counter, I walked around the restaurant to figure out which finely decorated area to take a seat at. There were tables in the back, booths on the side, and of course, outdoor seating. I chose to sit at a high-chair style booth, with a gray backdrop (bottom frame in the below pic):

lyfetarzanainside

It didn’t take too long for my food to arrive, and I was actually surprised with the amount I got, based on my last visit. Last time, I ordered a flatbread that had a crust consistency comparable to that of a thin wafer or nonexistant chip, but the veganthai red curry bowl was actually decent-sized!

SAMSUNG
marinated tofu with broccoli, eggplant, peppers, peas, whole grain wheatberries, thai basil

Peas and wheatberries: may not be the first ingredients that come to mind when thinking about Thai food, but they were the better parts of the dish…that, and the generous portion of coconut milk drenching all of the veggies and tofu! And even though it was overall a good portion for lunch, I made sure to wipe the bowl clean and not leave a trace of coconut milk.

curry

After lunch, I stopped by Whole Foods next door.

WFTARZANA

I didn’t buy any groceries for the week here, but I did not stop for some dessert. When I saw an Artic Zero pint from the relatively new ‘chunky’ line, I had to try it!

articzero_lilbitchippy

Lil’ Bit Chippy was a 300 calorie Artic Zero pint that was all-creamy, and all-chunky thanks to the innumerable amounts of mini chocolate chips tossed in. It was certainly a fun treat to dive into at 4pm, with the sun still beating down and the temperature at an all-time high for the day.

lilbitchippy

I then walked for a half hour back to Encino to stop at Vitamin Shoppe and Ralph’s (to actually buy groceries) before heading home. I spent the rest of the evening plowing through stats homework before hitting the hay.

I woke up on Sunday morning around 6AM to clock in a 14 mile long run. I’m grateful for being able to stick with my maintenance goals, but it has been so tough to get out for those long runs without a group to run with or a race to look forward to. Hopefully I can remedy this real soon though!

As a reward for plowing through 14 miles along the same route I normally run on weekends, I made plans to have a late lunch and ice cream at some locations that had exotic items on their menus. Like Saturday, I first spent the late morning/early afternoon reviewing notes and writing up and outline so I could tell myself that hey, I did study this weekend!! 😉 . The real fun started after 2pm though, when I made my way back to downtown and hopped on board the Metro Red Line to get off at the Hollywood/Highland station.

I was taken by surprise though. I always thought Hollywood/Vine was the spot for tourists (and as a result, always wondered why it seemed to be less busy than I thought it would be…), but no…Hollywood/Highland was where the action is at—as I soon found out.

I found myself getting irritated by the slow-walking tourists trying to find their favorite entertainers on the Walk of Fame. It was also a challenge to avoid Elmo, Spider Man, the Tin Man, and Snow White (yes, I guess the pressure of working at Disneyland was getting to her?), but I managed to do so when I finally hit La Brea and was able to walk away from the commotion.

It was a long walk on Sunset, but I saw Aroma Bar & Grill in the distance, and picked up the pace to get to the food faster 😛

sunsetblvd

It was another sunny LA day, so many diners were already occupied outside on the patio. I kept up with my renegade style, and asked to sit in a booth by the window inside.

inside

The menu was quite extensive, but I had some time to look through it beforehand, and knew I wanted to go with one of their “old world classics”. The Sabich sounded quite appetizing…

menu
As per menu ~ Sabich – an exotic breakfast feast with eggplant bakes overnight, served with hummus, red onions, Israeli salad, pickles, and green olives.

The waitress was friendly and helpful, but I realized the whole California drought thing was really kicking in when I had to ask for a glass of water. But when I did though, she offered to include some ice and lemon. Nice touch!

dining options

It took about 15-20 minutes for my food to come to the table, and I was pretty much people-watching through the window until my food was ready. About 5 minutes before the plate came, I actually pulled out my notes to try and get more studying done, but obviously that didn’t work out 😉

 Sorry genetics, had to devote my attention to THIS.
Sorry genetics, had to devote my attention to THIS.

I honestly did not know where to start—everything was overflowing and everything looked scrumptious! I started off by trying the eggs + hummus together since I never have had both foods together before.

I then went on to mix in the eggplant with the hummus, and layer that on the pita bread that was given to me. I tried adding the raw veggies on top, but since they persistently kept falling off, I mixed them in with my delicately-dressed Israeli salad.

aroma cafe sabbich

And as you can see, nothing went to waste.

dontforgetthepita!

I was honestly quite stuffed after finishing off this beautiful platter, but I still was in the mood for some ice cream. Especially since Mashti Malone’s was right around the corner

SAMSUNG

Even though it wasn’t located in the most posh of settings, it was a strip mall gem…much like how Doomie’s was!

SAMSUNG

Inside, there were baked goods for sale, along with a variety of their trademark exotic flavors in pints.

interior_mm

The girls behind the counter were really sweet, helpful, and didn’t mind that I took forever to look over each flavor before coming to a decision.

flavors

To try the most interesting combination possible, I chose to get two scoops in a cup of lavender (because of its purple hue) and ginger rosewater (because it just sounds cool). The size of the scoops were generous as well, and my cup was organized so that ginger rosewater was at the bottom and lavender was at the top.

SAMSUNG

I think lavender as a flavor tasted like a general vanilla ice cream, but looked attractive because of its color. I could definitely note the ginger in the ginger rosewater though. I was more impressed by the texture—incredibly soft, airy, and fluffy!

So even though my weekdays are starting to become busier and busier (and will probably not reverse in this trend for quite some time…), I’m still making it my priority to keep my weekends both productive and fun. This past week (the week after the weekend highlighted in this post) was packed, but at least I have another fun-filled weekend to look forward to starting tomorrow!

Now go enjoy your weekend! 🙂

Lyfe Kitchen on Urbanspoon
Aroma Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon Mashti Malone's on Urbanspoon

Feeling Savory for Shakshuka

Feeling Savory for Shakshuka

Whenever I think of a savory breakfast, my mind immediately goes to eggs—scrambled, sunny-side up, or hard-boiled. Even though you can make so many creative dishes with eggs, I often find it hard to think of something to make beyond the basic omelet, especially if my stomach is growling at me to feed it something quick!

I was browsing through an old issue of Vegetarian Times (VT) when I stumbled upon a recipe for Shakshuka. The picture of four poached eggs surrounded by a blanket of diced tomatoes made my mouth water, and I knew right away that this had to be my breakfast the next morning.

Shakshuka is known to be a popular Israeli breakfast, but is of Tunisian origin, according to it’s Wiki page. It is a dish comprised of poached eggs, surrounded by tomato sauce and diced vegetables that include onions, tomato, pepper, and spices.

Shakshuka

Shakshuka
Makes 2 servings.
Adapted from VT, which is suitable for 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup mushroom
  • A tomato or two
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • Two eggs
  • Salt
  • Garlic, cayenne, jalapeno, and basil are optional

Directions

  • In a skillet, brown cumin seeds. Add onion and garlic, and sautee in oil until soft.
  • Add other vegetables one-by-one.
  • Dissolve tomato paste in 1/2 cup of water. Add to mixture.
  • Cover and cook until most of water is gone.
  • Beat the eggs in a separate container.
  • Make a cavity in the middle of scramble, and pour egg mixture into it.
  • Cover again, and reduce the heat until egg is cooked through.

Shakshuka Single Serving

It almost looks like a cheese pizza without the crust if you look at it a certain way! My dad and I split this for breakfast a few mornings ago and we both loved it. It would probably taste even more delicious with some Boca crumbles and ketchup (eggs and ketchup are a superb combo in my book :D!)

Have your breakfasts mostly been sweet or savory lately? Or do you make sure to mix it up regularly?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...