Lady Birds

Lady Birds

I wasn’t able to hang out with my sis over the holidays, but we were quickly able to make that up last weekend! With the holiday shopping craze out of the way, she didn’t have to work and was able to spend the entire weekend with me.

We met up on Saturday and drove straight to NoHo for lunch. We had tried to eat at Black Bottom Southern Cafe over the summer, but we came on a Sunday (when they are closed), and so they were off our immediate radar for some time. Six months later isn’t too long of a wait, I’d say…

J'eet Yet?
J’eet Yet?

I wouldn’t even call BB a restaurant. The yellow building behind the “J’eet Yet?” billboard was actually a video store, and the actual “restaurant” was a small square order counter.

My sister and I were greeted immediately and were directed toward the laminated menus. We couldn’t decide what to order right away, and despite being a Southern food restaurant, they did have a couple vegetarian and vegan options that sounded delicious.

CA Veggie Bowl
CA SoulVeggie Bowl

I finally decided on the CA Soul Veggie Bowl, which had a cheesy grits base, topped with pickled black eyed peas (Texas Caviar, lol), greens, and fried okra.

Close-up!
Close-up!

My sister got the Portabello “Sliders”, and I joked that it should be in quotes since her sliders looked like a regular sandwich…it wasn’t even served on a mini hamburger bun like you’d expect.

Portabello "Sliders"...
Portabello “Sliders”…

Rather, it was a sandwich made on a Schiacciata (new word of the day!) roll filled with onion, garlic, cheese, pesto, and balsamic glaze. At least she got some crisp sweet potato fried on the side.

We took our time eating (we found seats outside near the back wall of the restaurant) and spent even more time chatting after we finished all of our food. It was weird dining in with take-out boxes, but I guess BB is primarily used to processing to-go orders, explaining the lack of washable dishwear.

After our lunch we decided to check out a movie and we agreed on Lady Bird. I was mainly intrigued by the plot because the protagonist is a high school girl living in the early 2000s in Sacramento. The movie was particularly relatable to us since my sis and I spent most of our lives growing up in Nor Cal, in a city very close to Sacramento. Actually, we unapollegetically call it Suckramento because it really was the most boring place ever, haha! But I will admit that we have a lot of good memories growing up in our small-town city.

We ended up watching the movie in an overpriced theater in Santa Monica, and getting out of the parking garage was a nightmare. Before heading home, we made a quick Target stop in Westwood to pick up some items for a care package my sis is making for her BF. She’s planning to give it to him for Valentine’s Day, basically a box containing all sorts of “care” things he may need but doesn’t have around, like first-aid kit items, cough drops, ibuprofen, etc. When she told me about it, I was literally dying from the cuteness of it all, haha!

Eventually we made it back home but I was dog-tired. Maybe it was sitting in the dark theater, but I just could not keep my eyes open. My sis was skyping her BF and told me the next day that even though she was talking pretty loudly, I was pretty much unconscious. I get serious when it comes to sleep, lol.

The next morning, we agreed to find a coffee shop close by and get some work done. She’s been doing some summer internship research and so I helped her polish off her CV.

Love Coffee Bar
Love Coffee Bar

We parked ourselves at Love Coffee Bar which was a coffee shop I’ve been wanting to check out ever since I moved to SaMo. I’ll admit it was overpriced, but I loved my spiced latte with almond milk.

Spiced Latte Love
Spiced Latte Love

And having Emmy’s Organics Lemon Ginger Coconut Cookies on the side made for a perfect pairing.

emmys_lemonginger
Cookies on the side.

My sis had yet another sandwich, but it was that cute, cafe-sized mini baguette sandwich that went well with a huge cup of coffee.

Sunday coffee mornings.
Sunday coffee mornings.

We were working right outside the coffee shop for a while, and surprisingly didn’t get too distracted by the people coming and going…when it came to well-behaved, regal-looking dogs however…that was another story.

Later on we moved inside, and then in the early afternoon decided to walk to another place close by for lunch.

We walked through Santa Monica College to get to good ol’ Pico, in order to cross another place off my foodie list—Grey Block Pizza!

Grey Block Pizza, literally in a gray building.
Grey Block Pizza, literally in a gray building.

To be honest, the interior of the restaurant was quite depressing (I mean, it was gray after all…), but our pizzas weren’t.

Pizza at its finest.
Pizza at its finest.

My sis and I got a 20″ slice each. I’m not sure exactly which veggie-friendly flavors we got, since it was whatever they had on display. Mine had cheese olives, onions, and tomatoes while my sister’s looked to be like a slice with mostly mushroom, onion, and spinach. I was a fan of the crust, which was thinly rolled but, had a sesame seed coating at the edge.

After our bites of pizza, we walked back, and my sister drove me to Sprouts for a quick grocery stop before dropping me off and heading back to the OC.

I was glad to spend the first weekend of the new year with my lady bird 🙂

Grey Block Pizza Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Skynny on Saturday

The Skynny on Saturday

My Saturdays so far this year have morphed into errand-running days, be it grocery shopping, apartment clean-up, homework catch-up, etc. This was something I had to accept when I was in marathon training, since I knew my Sundays would be completely booked.

Even though I am still keeping my workout schedule the same, and maintaining the long run endurance I’ve built over the past several months by continuing to run long on Sunday mornings (I’m in the process of reverse tapering 😉 ), I want to go back to giving my Saturdays much more ‘appreciation’.

So even though I scheduled an eye appointment and could not get away from getting my grocery shopping for the week done, I still made it a priority to go out and explore…and up to NoHo I went.

Up until this particular Saturday, the furthest station I had been to via the Metro Red Line was Universal/Studio City Station. I even made a trip out to Encino to check out More Than Waffles, but never had I ever reached the most north and terminal point of this line, which was surprising to me since there were at least two places I’ve been meaning to check out in the area!

The first was a small, hole-in-the-wall low-carb-lover’s hidden gem: Lo Carb-U!

SAMSUNG

I first learned about this small warehouse-like shop’s existence when I came upon their website a few years ago. When I learned that they had an actual facility in NoHo, I marked them in my ‘mental list’ of places to check out in LA.

The shop is quite small—and not exactly aesthetically pleasing. It’s basically like a warehouse, but the unique thing is everything is low-carb themed.

SAMSUNG

I spent a lot of my time browsing the frozen goods section, and eventually chose to buy a decent-sized loaf of low-carb rye bread and low-carb pizza crust. I do plan to eventually share more details about my experience with these products when I get around to trying them!

lo carb frozen

So yes—technically this is still considered grocery shopping, but I like to think of it as more of a novelty purchase 😛

Anyways…the second site to stake out was a little restaurant I could not avoid being reminded of:

 Looks like that 'cooler-than-me' tomato is stalking me!
Looks like that ‘cooler-than-me’ tomato is stalking me!

Actually, it’s funny that I saw this add for Skynny Kitchen at a bus stop, since I first learned about the restaurant on a poster that was plastered onto a Metro bus!

The restaurant was tucked away behind a Starbucks, but once inside, I was struck by the neon green alien-like lights.

skynny kitchen counter

I took some time to look over the menu, which had just as many vegetarian options as carnivorous choices. There were also plenty of vegan items, or things could be made vegan upon request.

The idea behind Skynny Kitchen is all of the menu items—from appetizers to entrees—are all under 500 calories. The calorie counts for each menu item is listed alongside the name of that specific dish.

SAMSUNG

If I had walked into this restaurant years—even several months ago—I would have relied too much on the numbers, and I probably would have ordered something against my cravings based on the number listed. In this moment though, I saw the numbers as a gauge, and chose to honor my cravings. Cravings that just happened to match up with the chili cheese fries they offered 😉 !

FRIEZ

The oven-baked, potato wedge fries came in a brown take-out box, but I ate them inside the restaurant.

interior__

The fries were confirmed to be vegetarian, and were smothered in cheddar cheese and a spicy pinto beans ‘chili’ mix. I attacked these fries with a fork, and unarguably wiped the take-out box clean.

skynnykitchen

Skynny Kitchen also recently opened up a franchise in WeHo, which based on my chili fries, is worth a future visit 😉

So I guess it looks like I’m reclaiming my Saturdays? Or at least I’m making a fair attempt…it is all about balance in the end!

Skynny Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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