Sunday, May 31, 2009

Meander-ific!

I was a good girl and went on the bike meander today.. I didn't have the point & shoot (the Canon died at Disneyland, and although now working.. doesn't seem to work as quick as it used to) so I only had a cellphone for the ride...

Meander from Vernon
Here we are at an overpass.. There was eight of us today,(Warren & Kay are foreground left & right respectively) on our way back through Vernon and Hancock Park.. One of the 'new folks' had a flat, which allowed my uber- out of shape self catch up.


Sometimes I know I've been avoiding the meander.. I keep meaning to go, head on over to the Toy Lofts around 10am and have fun meandering around downtown LA. Sometimes schedules work where I don't make it as there's friends in from out of town, or we're going out of town.. Then sometimes I get anxious, and don't go.

The last big one back in January had us heading to the Atwater Village bike bridge and back.. that really kicked my butt. It seems like when Warren isn't heading up these meanders people end up going to long distance places like SilverLake or who knows where. This is where my angst comes from. I know I'm out of shape and honestly not up for the long distance, or the hilly streets like I had in the past. I get anxious about where we are going and if I'll wear out. My knees have been popping a lot more lately. *whine*

We got some good meanderers though.. Kay comes all the way from Eagle Rock. I know I can't complain when this bike goddess shows herself after a ride from Eagle Rock, then rides back home. Then again, she hasn't been sitting on her butt these past five months. ;P

I am proud of myself though. I made it.. and then I met SeanYoda for a lunch at Wurstkuche (which was extra yummy since I forgot to eat breakfast before heading out) and super filling. A good treat, then walking back from the Arts District. Several hours later and I can honestly say I'm not sore. Yay Me! =)

Will I go next week?? um.. yes? =)

**LA Bike Meander is an informal group of cycling folks that meet up at 10am in front of the Toy Lofts every Sunday to ride around wherever, not a race.. but a meander. Yes, sometimes there's a meander of one.. sometimes four, and sometimes, like today, there were eight...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Anniversary Dinner at Bottega Louie

Tuesday the 19th (besides being Tip-a-Cop day at Pete's) was my 8th wedding anniversary. Hubby had to work so we had made tentative plans for "Happy Hour" at the recently opened Trader Vic's at LA Live: (We have made a point to celebrate a couple of our anniversaries at the Trader Vic's Emeryville previously).

SeanYoda worked much too late so our backup plan was suggested as trying Bottega Louie at 7th & Grand. It's been open a month now, and we'd heard many good things about the cafe, the wifi, the take-out etc.. Since we'd not been.. the anniversary dinner seemed like a good opportunity to give it a go!

It was after 9pm when we met up outside the restaurant. I didn't bother taking exterior or interior architectural shots.. Suffice to say the place on the inside is rather voluminous with plenty of seating and the high ceilings make for an echo chamber of patrons conversing over their meals.

You can see the menu online at the Bottega Louie website but I'll of course have shots of what we ordered!

First we were seated in the main dining area (the front is the cafe where one can have coffee, pastries or pick up from the take out coolers; I assume the wifi is also used in this area). We could barely hear anything that was said to us because of the echoing noise of the patronage. There was a good number of diners, but room for more.

We were offered stil or sparkling water which I gathered we got the still water. We ordered drinks: Diet Coke and an Arnold Palmer. While we waited for our drinks we looked over the menu. A lady sitting at the table next to us was politely inquiring if we'd been here before and was saying how much she enjoyed the Portobello fries.. so ended up ordering that (under small plates) and the Italian Salad which we asked for split plates on that..

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The Italian Salad ($12) Chopped lettuce, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, black olives, pepperoncini, provolone, pepperoni & red wine vinaigrette. The Italian salad is plenty for 2 people (this is just half).


Portobello fries
Portobello Fries ($8) were a delicious and zesty treat of battered & fried portebello mushroom slices, seasoned and served with a dipping sauce. Very good! SeanYoda was thinking he'd like more sauce.. but otherwise I would definitely order this again (and was tempted to say I'd want my own.. in that it was almost too good to share. There was plenty enough for two, however).

Entrees..

After such great starters I didn't want to overstuff myself.. there were a couple items that caught my eye.. the Ravioli especially. Our server Kim suggested the ravioli since the portion was a little more sensible. As you will see it's 6 pillows of ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese..

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Ravioli ($12) House made pasta stuffed with spinach and ricotta in a light cream sauce with pancetta, sage & peas.

Just the right size and very delicious! I used a little bit of the bread we were served with our water to make sure I got all that wonderful sauce.

SeanYoda went with our server's suggestion for the Trenne..
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Trenne ($12) Braised prime rib-eye with Tuscan black kale. The pasta in this dish is a bit chewy.. The meat is heavy with flavor. SeanYoda said he liked it but I definitely preferred my dish. =)

I was definitely satisfied with my meal.. everything was perfect, but then Sean suggested dessert. I didn't know if we had it in us to split dessert.

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Dessert.. which I can't recall the name of but it was very good! A fine finish to a wonderful dinner. The berries in sauce were rich!

Total with tax (before tip) came to about $60.

I have nothing but good things to say about our experience here, from the service, to the food and everything.. The only downside is the noise.. Because of the high ceilings, the sounds are just way too loud to be able to hear what is being said to one another or the staff without asking multiple times. It got rather frustrating. Despite that, we'll definitely be back!

**note: our fellow patrons at the table next to us got a pizza to go (pizza is around $14) that too looked good.. The sandwiches run about the same price so a more recession friendly meal is defnitely possible here. Don't be scared off by the fancy menu.. between a pizza and a couple beers another night, I am thinking this would be a regular spot for Downtowners.. (also the Breakfast menu looks very tempting!)

Bottega Louie
700 S. Grand
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.802.1470

Monday, May 18, 2009

Regent Theatre


Regent Theater
Never get tired of seeing the Regent sign lit up!

May Art Walk

I ended up staying in during May Art Walk last Thursday to relax and enjoy not being out in the noise and crowds. I was tempted to go out but figured there were other folks out taking photos and I was right!

Under the Alexandria has some shots here: May Art Walk

This just makes me realize I need to start getting out again.. I'm getting some cabin fever.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Resolutions what Resolutions?

So much for losing weight.. I haven't been doing the wii since January.. nor riding my bike, nor doing the Skid Row Watch Walk.. nor.. well really much of anything that will help me lose the weight.. and if anything it's gotten worse.

The heavier I get, the less likely I feel comfortable going out & about.. which is exactly what I need if I want to lose the weight.. Today's weigh in?? (after I had breakfast.. which I know is bad!) 212lb. yep.. I am WAY over the 200 mark..

It's weird this time last year I was well on my way to 180 and under.. (I got down to 170lb and maintained for about a month before settling at 175 for a bit..) then around September/ October I cut out my all day walks down to practically nothing.. just walking when I needed to get somewhere.. I was able to do the Great LA Walk with little to no problem (the pain came after!) as well meander around Disney World for 2 weeks with no issue.. but now I'm mortified that all my progress has gone down the toilet.

What's weird is that I'm eating out a LOT less... but I'm still gaining weight. Something to be said about walking it all off I guess. =(

Hate to say it but I need to cut out the desserts if & when I do go out to eat.. and maybe my next couple reviews need to be more on the healthier side.. perhaps I should try the salads next time I go to the Nickel?? sigh... no more salt peanut cake. *cry*

dessert @ the Nickel
Fat Meeko likes her salt peanut cake. Maybe a little too much..

Maybe we need to try some of that old New Orleans "half-fast walking club" strategy?? I don't know that Pete Fountain lost any weight doing it.. but maybe I'll try something different (like not drinking my way too much through it).

OK enough personal.. hopefully next post will be more downtown.