Every year Southern California welcomes in the spring season with a very special attraction - The Flower Fields at Carlsbad. If you are in the area during the months of March and April, it is a must to stop by the Flower Fields.

We visited this beautiful ranch a day before Mother’s Day. Flowers were in bloom..just the perfect time to visit!

Over 50 acres of flowers in bloom, every color imaginable!

<3<3<3

What better way to celebrate Cinco De Mayo with a beautiful stay at Camp Pendleton, Del Mar Beach Resort. It was a perfect weekend — spent with family, friends and a one-mile private beach.

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Security check-up

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Sunset with a view of the Pacific

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Cabanas by the beach

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We stayed at Del Mar Beach Resort. It is a one-mile private beach that offers fun in the sun and relaxation. Bonfires, volleyball nets, playground, laundromat, sundries, restrooms, and showers are available here. It’s really different from the public beaches in SoCal, since this place is the best getaway for some relaxation.

Del Mar Beach Resort offers a luxury oceanfront resort spanning pristine beaches and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

I was so fortunate to get invited to this camp trip since it can only be occupied by active and retired military personnel, active and retired marine corps. Special thank you to my uncle. :)

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The beach villa was excellent. Residential in style with upgraded amenities for a much-needed respite or family vacation. It was fun to be filled with a good company and a lot of mothers who would continuously prepare food for us .

During the day, we would just chill by the beach, and enjoy a drink or two or go out to the nearby outlets. At night, we would make smores and camp around the camp fire!

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Food was prepared by my God Brother, Kevin and his good friend, Ryan. They both work for Five Guys Burgers thats why they wore their shirts while cooking for us.

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Unwind with this spectacular view <3 

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Venice Beach – the most popular beach destination in Los Angeles.  Not the nicest beach in L.A., but it’s full of character and characters.

Live music, people in their teens (to late 50’s even) rollerblading to the tunes pumping out of an 80’s style boom box, skateboarders doing that skate park thing they do, “herb doctors” on site, muscle heads showing off the fruits of their labor, street performers, and people from all walks of life just chilling.

Yup, that’s Venice Beach.

POSTED: 2 weeks ago NOTES: 1

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Happiness comes in different ways — in different shapes and sizes too. For me, they come in a pink square shaped boxes filled with dozen of French Macarons, 12 inch pizza crusts topped with cheese, 8 ounces of pure hot chocolate, bowl of spicy ramen and the list goes on.

Most of my close friends or acquaintances would send me an SMS or chat with me and ask the same question.. “Where should I eat in LA?”. Honestly, I’m not the right person to ask. First of all,  I’m not a local in the area so I wouldn’t know all the hole-in-the-wall sort of restaurants and the best places to get the best deals and second, my dishes are limited to vegetarian/pescetarian choices. So when I answer the question, I can only refer the places that I have actually dine in.

Although I do some research on where to eat and where to people watch. (LOL) All thanks to my trusted app, Yelp!

Here’s a post on some of the gastronomic places I’ve been to when I was in the city of Angels. To all foodies out there, please do not judge… I’m no professional here :) Just sharing my dining experiences to those who simply ask the same question….

1. Bottega Louie (700 S Grand Ave Los Angeles, CA 90014)

For Sunday brunch or afternoon coffee, Bottega Louie should be on top of my list. If you go here, you have choices: You can dine or grab stuff to go from their market place or just have a quick bite and coffee. If you are a macaron fan (like me), this is definitely a must try!

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These babies taste like heaven in your mouth. Sinful? Yes — they are. They are very addicting too. And they don’t come cheap.

A friday night in LA was spent in one of the most finest dining experiences in town, Bottega Louie. It was a terrible mistake to visit this place on a Friday night. My friend and I had to wait for an hour and a half just to be seated. What’s even worst — we were both so hungry.

For our dinner, we ordered a salad and pizza. We didn’t think twice anymore since all we wanted was a satisfied stomach.

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Service was superb and food surely did not disappoint. I wish we ordered their portobello fries though — a lot of my friends have been telling me how good these fries are.

2. Aroma Bakery Cafe (7373 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90046)

Coffee and sweet trip at Aroma Bakery Cafe. Their soufflé was delicious and very rich, and yes, kind of on the expensive side. Nice staff, and a good place for people watching :)

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Chocolate Souffle

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Hot Chocolate

3.  Café Santorini (64 W Union St PasadenaCA 91103)

After a long day of shopping, my aunt, god brother and I had dinner at Old Town Pasadena. Since we were craving for some mid-eastern, greek food —- Cafê Santorini was suggested.

Romantic lighting, and heat lamps on an outdoor patio is absolutely perfect with a Greek meal. 

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Everything we ordered was delicious. I had the walnut Gorgonzola salad which got a bit salty toward the end; The feta cheese that came sprinkled over the Greek salad was amazing. 

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Walnut Gorgonzola salad 

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Salmon with Brocolli

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Hummus

Overall, one of the best places to get Mediterranean food. Great service, great portions and great ambience.

4. Lemonade (146 S Lake Ave PasadenaCA 91101)

Since there has been so much hype about this place, I decided to give it a try. A perfect word is to describe this place — gourmet cafeteria. I loved the whole look of the place.

Lemonade surely impressed me since it met my healthy and vegetarian needs.

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Ahi Tuna with Watermelon Radish, Strawberry and Aragula and Curry Cauiliflower.

If you’re not really into overpriced and super healthy food, then this place maybe isn’t the best place to go. The lemonade (drink) was really great though. 

5. Urth Caffe (451 S Hewitt St Los AngelesCA 90013)

 

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I already blogged about this place in my previous entry, but this time I will take about Urth Caffe is a detailed way.

Urth Caffe, another personal favorite and it will always my answer when people ask me where to eat in LA. I love Urth beyond words. I don’t know if it’s because of the ambiance, their green tea boba or their food — I just love it here. I’m really glad that they branched out and opened in other place in SoCal like Pasadena and the OC. 

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Urth Caffe is downtown Los Angeles

Pizza, paninis, healthy salads, spanish lattes, green tea bobas are among my favorite in Urth. 

There’s actually a hundred more lovely places to visit and dine but I’ll just stop here at 5. I really hope this post helped you out, and answered the question… “where to eat in Los Angeles?”

Bon Appetit!

As cliche as the saying goes, “everything happens for a reason”. Yup, there I said it.

After a few weeks of pure enjoyment and relaxation — I wanted a job. I wanted to experience working in the city of Angels (although I knew I wasn’t going to be there for so long)

Funny how I was looking for something productive to do besides the usual sight seeing and bumming around, my friend Chin posts a status on Facebook saying that she’s looking for someone in Los Angeles who’s willing to work in the art department for a TV show for a few days since she had other priorities. I don’t know what entered my head, but I volunteered and accepted the offer. She then gave my details to the Art Director and everything followed — i got emails as to where the shoot would be, call time, and etc.

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Good Morning, Sunset Blvd.

On the day of the shoot — I arrived at Sunset Blvd at 5:30 AM.The call time was 7 but I just wanted to be early on the first day. For that scene, it was going to be filmed at Meltdown Comics, Sunset Blvd.

Around 6:30, as I just waited inside my car— I received a call from the Art Director telling me that she needed 30 yellow balloons for the set. She needed it by 8 AM. I did some research and majority of the shops in the area opens at 10. I panicked!!!! I really had no idea where to purchase 30 yellow balloons at that hour. I didn’t want to disappoint her. I googled, checked yelp and everything and found a shop that was open that sells balloons but it was 20 minutes away. I immediately left and drove all the way to Century City.

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The set (my balloons at the back)

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Silly me, I forgot to mention what this whole show was. Sweethearts of the Galaxy is a comedy Web series about a girl who dresses up as superheroes at comic book conventions. Hence, the outfits. Lol

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I really can’t believe that I helped out on this production. Zero experience, zero education in this industry — yet I still did a good job. *pats self on the back*

It was really interesting.

I learned so much about prepping sets, styling and behind the scenes. An experience I’ll never forget.

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Speaking of this series, its finally online!

Check http://www.youtube.com/user/GalacticSweethearts

As I was going through the credits, I found my name!!! 

My dear aunt wanted to spend some quality time with me and I’m so glad she drove me down south to Newport Beach. Perfect place to visit if you’re tired of all those crowded beaches. It may be small, though people who live or vacation here know what a wonderful place it is. This one is very clean too. I’d call this the “pearl of the OC”. 

What a beautiful city, so much to see and do, great food and shopping.

As soon as we arrived, we went to her favorite bike rental shop — where mom and her rented bicycles two years back. The owner still recognized her and gladly gave us a discount :)

Bike Rentals

#Selfie

It was so fun to bike around the neighborhood and simply explore Newport Beach and Balboa Island. Seeing all the beautiful houses with yachts/boats at their backyard inspired me to have one for myself when I retire. LOL (if only)

Bike bike bike

Boats at the backyard

All that biking got me exhausted. Rockin’ Baja Lobster Coastal Cantina did not disappoint.

Fish tacos were superb

Spent the rest of the afternoon chilling by the beach, appreciating the view and just enjoying the moment.

It was lovely, it was beautiful, it was Newport.

Want to see a spectacular view of downtown LA? Want to hike to the Hollywood sign? I’m sure you do.. Griffith Park is indeed the place to be.

Comprising over 4,000 acres, Griffith Park is one of the largest urban parks in the world. It is filled with wonderful attractions — LA Zoo, Griffith Observatory, Hiking trails and more! 

It was my first time to visit Griffith Park and I mainly depended on my Google Map App to take me there. Sadly, I got lost a couple of times and it took me to a different place in Los Feliz. But after numerous turns and phone calls we’ve made, we finally found Griffith!

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A healthy picnic

We started the afternoon by a having a lovely picnic at the park. You can never go wrong with Nutella, Strawberries and Banana.

Wheat bread with Nutella topped with bananas and strawberries

Our next stop was the Griffith Observatory. Here you can witness a breathtaking view of the city. Tens of millions have come to walk the inside of the building, view the live planetarium shows, or simply gaze out towards the coast and the heavens. The observatory was built with funds from the wealthy mining speculator, Griffith J. Griffith. I guess we all owe it to this man for making astronomy and observation accessible to all. He wanted a great park for a great city.He donated 3,015 acres of Rancho Los Felis to the City of Los Angeles in order to create a public park in his name.

The observatory

In my hiking attire

Love the view

After appreciating the view and taking the tour at the Observatory, it was finally time to take a hike. 

Now we are here!!! It was a good hike. :)

I can’t wait to visit this place again. Definitely a must see in SoCal.

From City Hall to Olvera Street to the ramen at Little Tokyo, Downtown LA has a lot to offer. 

My mom used to work in DTLA few years back and during my visit, I really wanted to see and experience the metropolitan life. Who knows, maybe one day I could work there too?  I spent the entire day at downtown — I wanted to unleash the inner city girl in me. That is by visiting city hall, riding the metro, having lunch at Little Tokyo, visiting museums and appreciating modern art and experiencing the so called DTLA traffic. One thing I hate about DTLA is the traffic. It is horrible… and most of the roads are one way. Driving could be a hassle here if you are unfamiliar with the area.

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On the 101 Freeway

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Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles City Hall

My first stop was the Los Angeles City Hall. A historical landmark that has an observation deck at the top. This is where I was able to enjoy a panoramic view of the City of Angels at the 27th floor of the building. Entrance is FREE, but you have to sign in at the lobby.

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Downtown Los Angeles Skyline

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Union Station

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Selfie time

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From Spring Street, I walked all the way to 1st Street where Little Tokyo/Japanese Village Plaza is. Here you will find authentic Japanese restaurants, cute mochi and dessert cafes and lots of shops! My favorite shop “Japangeles” has a little kiosk there. You will certainly have that vibe that you are strolling around a little Japan. 

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Welcome to Little Tokyo!

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Those lanterns add an extra feel of Japanese culture

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Daikokuya Special Ramen

For my first time in Daikokuya, I was surprised I only waited for 5 minutes to get seated at this famous ramen shop.I came during 12 noon and I expected a queue. There’s always an hour an half wait, but it’s definitely worth it. Hands down, one of the best ramens I ever had in my life. I totally recommend this place, if you’re a ramen lover. The broth is good, rich and flavorful.

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OOTD - Cap from Japangeles & Shirt from Brandy MelVille

LAPD

My next stop was Olvera Street. It is located at N Alameda St.(near Union Station), so I couldn’t just walk from Little Tokyo. It’s probably a 5 minute drive.

It is a great place to visit if you want to act like a tourist. 

Little Mexico? Yup, if that title existed, Olvera would fit the mood. Here you get a taste of Mexico. Created in the 1930’s with a purpose “to preserve and present the customs and trades of early California’, Olvera St. is the birthplace of LA. This place is filled with history, modeled after any main plaza in any Mexican town, has cute and colorful kiosks in the middle where they have bands playing in the weekend. Charming, alive with vendors, stores, street carts and authentic Mexican restaurants — it is surely a must-see in LA.  Many of the merchants on Olvera Street today are descended from the original vendors. 

Cute items from Mexico

Wishing Well at Olvera

The plaza at Olvera where performances take place

Costumes for Sale

Large wooden Olvera Street cross

I was craving for a green tea boba so badly that I decided to go to the DTLA branch of Urth Caffe. 

The plan was to head home after Urth, but my body and mind still did not want to. I wanted to visit a museum before calling it a day.Good thing the Museum of Modern Contemporary Art was by the area.

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is a really cool art museum in the heart of LA. I’m a huge fan of modern art, and this museum certainly did not disappoint. I was lucky enough to visit on a Thursday, since admission is free. They constantly change their artwork and during my visit, it was all wax and clay creations.


The exhibit was all done by 1,500 people and 1 artist using clay and wax.

The artist made a few wax sculptures and lit them so they burn consistently/all the time and are melting in front of everyone who visits the museum-very cool concept.

That ends my downtown adventure in LA. Pretty amazing day filled with culture, art, nationalism and of course.. food! I cannot wait for my next trip to DTLA.

 

POSTED: 6 months ago NOTES: 0

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If you want to see what eating in the city of Angels is like, beyond all the fancy schmancy bistros along Beverly Hills, and all those 5 star top celebrity visited restaurants, then I suggest you try different food trucks in LA. Not that food trucks themselves are anything new of course - but the quality of food and the sheer variety of cuisines on offer right now is extraordinarily high. The variety is crazy, I tell you — from cupcakes, crepes, pancakes, ice cream, sushi, Filipino food, Brazilian steak, vegan delights, Vietnamese food and the list goes on and on. These trucks don’t stay in the same street everyday though. Keep tabs on their Facebook and Twitter pages to find out where they’ll be heading to next.

Since my stay in LA was only for 2 months, I wasn’t able to try all the food trucks in the city.  Here are some that I tried:

1. Grilled Cheese Truck

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My first ever food truck experience was with the famous Grilled Cheese Truck. I decided it to give it a try since I saw it on TV earlier that day. I was so lucky to catch them in my area too! When I arrived at the food truck festival, the GC truck had the longest queue compared to the other food trucks. It amazed me and I asked myself how can these people wait in line for 30 minutes for bread and cheese? I guess it must be really good! I really wanted to try it out since the hype was crazy

Their grilled cheese is good, but maybe I had set my expectations up a little too high.I had the brie melt and added some basil on it. Pretty good but I guess it’s too expensive for a sandwich. 

This food truck is a little over hyped. Their grilled cheese is definitely something you should try at least once. But don’t expect to be knocked off your feet!

2. Kogi BBQ

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Spicy Pork Rib tacos, Calamari tacos, Pacman quesadilla — are just some of the best sellers on the menu of this famous food truck. I heard good things about the Kogi BBQ truck so that’s why I had to check it out.

I honestly am not a fan of Korean BBQ or anything that has meat since I’m pescetarian. It is a good thing they had other stuff on the menu besides spicy pork rib. This food truck is an Asian Fusion mixed with Korean and Mexican style. The food here can be amazing and delicious. I was impressed by its service since they were very friendly and speedy. 

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3. George’s Greek Truck

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From the 3 trucks I’ve tried, I got to say this is my favorite. I am huge fan of Mediterranean and Greek food, so I couldn’t miss this food truck — George’s Greek Truck. They serve beef and lamb gyros, kebabs, pita, hummus, feta fries, Greek salads and more. For my afternoon snack, I just had the hummus and pita bread. It was a good choice! Price is reasonable and service is just great.

For more info about the different Los Angeles food trucks, click here: http://www.findlafoodtrucks.com/

Lights, Camera, Action!

LA is the place for seeing where your favorite movies were shot. If you thought movies were made in faraway exotic locales, visiting a studio will burst that bubble. LA can pass for New York, Tokyo and everywhere in between.

My next entry is about my visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. I’ve been to this theme park twice before, and it still remains as one of my favorites. Its a great park to visit if you are into movies, live and interactive shows and crazy rides. I was so stoked to ride the Mummy ride and Jurassic Park ride.

I came here with a fellow Cebuana, Katrina who is one of the craziest girls I know and who is truly down for any sort of adventure. 

We started off with the Studio Tour. It is a classic and is probably the best thing in the park since you learn so much about movies and television shows. It’s pretty interesting. What’s great about this ride is that you are on a tram and get to drive through the actual sets of Universal Studios. They always have something new when you visit since it constantly changes… although King Kong, Jaws and Psycho remain. 

Fast and the furious. 

Amazing set

If you’re asking about my favorite ride in this theme park, i’m gonna have to say it is the Revenge of the Mummy! Believe it or not, but we rode it 5 times non stop. It’s cool but it’s so short!!!

The staff of this ride were so friendly and accommodating. In fact, one of them joined us on our last ride!

We also enjoyed the Jurassic Park ride. We got so wet!

 

I love Shaved Ice!

Everyone told me to ride the Transformer’s ride. They said it was the newest attraction. Line wasn’t that long so luckily we got to ride it. However, I wasn’t that impressed. It was so-so.

Since we came on a weekday, lining up was not a problem for us. We had the privilege to ride everything, and watch all the shows. 

Another great day spent outdoors. I love LA!