Friday, March 30, 2012

Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe Pt 1

One of our favorite places to eat when we've been visiting home the last few years away has been Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe. Usually we'd go there for breakfast, so having lunch there Thursday after we brought the cats up from DTLA was a nice treat.

Rudy's has a HUGE menu selection, and many dishes are vegetarian, or can be made meatless. I was craving mac n cheese and we didn't have butter in the house yet to make our own, so the one place we knew we could get Mac N Cheese was Rudy's. =)

Combat Mac N Cheese
Thursday's special is the "Combat Mac N Cheese"

Not sure what makes it 'combat'.. It's a blend of six cheeses, topped with bread crumbs. Whatever cheeses they use, they are pretty mild, and seem to cancel each other out. Luckily there was some "Gringo Bandito" to splash on my half to spice it up. It was still good mac and cheese, just not up to comparing to my favorite places in LA.. It wasn't as creamy as Royal Clayton's, nor was it as cheesy as Pete's Cafe, or as zesty as the Nickel Diner. It was mac & cheese and it fit the current craving I had.. just wasn't amazing.

Luckily there was the Monster BLT.. Sean let me try some of his sandwich:
Monster BLT served with vegetarian chili
Monster BLT: double bacon, double, lettuce, double tomato.. mayo served on wheat toast

I *heart* good bacon.. this was the winner of our lunch.. Sean opted for vegetarian chili which was very hearty and was super good. Definitely something to order again..

Since Rudy's is one of our favorite places, and we live in E*Ville now, I'm sure we'll get a chance to work our way through the menu!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

On the Move..

Kiki taking a long last look onto Main Street..
Kiki takes one last look out our South facing window over Main Street..

on the road:
Hillside Poppies growing near Lebec, along the I-5


On the other side of the Grapevine and Fort Tejon, the Valley spreads out below:

a farm along the I-5:

sorry so blurry.. was trapped in the back seat with two cats and not much movement.. =) Didn't get any photos after I moved to another seat since it had gotten dark by then.. =)

Last Meals Pt 2

Our last meals before I headed up to the Bay Area with the cats were at Starry Kitchen on Tuesday and on Wednesday we visited the Nickel Diner.. my go-to spot for really good bacon-avo burgers,amazing onion rings,tasty "Smac N Cheese", tummy-stuffing breakfasts (OMG blueberry pancakes!) and oh so naughty desserts of all kinds..

We pretty much had lunch and then hit the road.. but we left DTLA very happy (and full):

sean and our lunch!
Sean and our double dose of Bacon Avo Burgers!

Bacon Avo Burger with Onion Rings!
Bacon Avo Burger w/ those yummy onion rings..

Bacon Avo Burger with fries!
Same but different.. with fries

What to order when you know you won't be able to eat at the Nickel Diner for the unforeseen future??
Salt Peanut..
Salt Peanut Cake of course!!

Thank you so much to Monica and Kristen for all the yummy meals and for bringing such a delicious and comfy place to our neighborhood. The Nickel was one of the many bright spots our good times in the Historic Core.. and yes, like an action hero with a heavy accent, we'll be back! =)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Last Meals..

The last meals before heading up to the Bay Area with the cats were spent at Starry Kitchen and the Nickel Diner..

Lunch at Starry Kitchen, March 27th..

We both ordered the bulgogi burger.. mine on Banh Mi with Cilantro Peanut Dan Dan noodles.. and Sean had the lunch plate with the Cilantro Peanut Dan Dan noodles and brown rice. He also ordered a side of Spicy Cracked Krab Cakes. We were treated to an order of Pandan Flan for dessert.. =)




Pandan Flan! I'll miss you..

Thank you Starry Kitchen for all the wonderful meals and fun times! You know we'll be back.. just not as soon as we'd like!! *hugs* to the whole Team SK! We <3 you guys!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Moving Day

After the loaders finished..
Our mostly empty loft at the San Fernando, home for the last three of our four years in the Old Bank District.. Our neighborhood for 4 of the almost 6 years we've lived in DTLA.. Pretty happy times!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

on the edge of moving..

Having issues changing my banner image.. but here you can see an image it's based:

emeryville city limits

Sean & I are still in DTLA but we've made the trip up & back on Sunday the 18th to sign for the keys and take measurements of the spaces so we know what we can and can't do with our furniture. Sean wil pick up what I found out to be a U*haul.. not a Budget truck (collective groan) but hopefully we get one of the "good ones" and will have no issues. =)

We'll still be back & forth in DTLA the next week til the end of the month.. then it's time to settle into our new old neighborhood. =)

Emeryville is sandwiched between Berkeley and Oakland along the Eastbay. Part of the 1 1/2 square milage of the city is actually offshore so that's fun.. I don't expect I'll be exploring that part of Emeryville much. =)

I expect I'll still post a lot about food and retail and events that I either attend or are going on in the Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland area.. and if we move back to Berkeley proper I am thinking I may keep the name anyway.. Sean suggested it when we neared our future loft home.. "See, we're on the edge of E*Ville!"

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rainy St Patrick's Day Protest

St Patrick's Day 2012 showed itself to be a rainy one, with a storm coming through in various strengths throughout the day.

Around lunchtime several LAPD patrol cars zoomed up Main Street to converge somewhere (possibly near City Hall) What later turned out to be an OccupyLA protest was dispersed some tweeted with "unnecessary violence." Since I wasn't there I can't comment on what happened, (we were having lunch with a neighbor friend when LAPD were zooming up the street).

A couple hours later we heard voices chanting.. a small group of protestors were marching down Main Street against the flow of traffic.. I got my iPhone taping just as they passed our building.. sorry about the quality.. I didn't want to open the window since the cats were nearby.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Aloha DTLA!

Alexander the loft kitty..
Alexander hanging out in our South-facing window.

The good thing about Aloha is that it's been used to mean 'hello' as well as 'goodbye' and so with this explanation, we announce that we've made it official. Sean & I put in our 30 day notice this morning. We're giving up our spacious, light-filled loft in the Old Bank District.

When Sean & I made the decision to leave the SF Bay Area & Berkeley for SoCal, it seemed like the logical choice, given how much traveling Sean was doing with work. It seemed like he was away or traveling more than he was home. We made the move thinking "nothing's permanent.." Well, that's what I told myself. That was eight years ago. We never imagined ourselves living in a live/work loft situation in DTLA. Since then, we find that time and experience changes things. Now I can't imagine why we didn't move to Downtown LA sooner.

We loved calling the Historic Core and the Old Bank District home. It's a little slice of what life should be everywhere. Where neighbors talk to each other, where we get involved in our community and take an interest in each other and how we can make life better for one another. I can't say I did much of that myself, but I really liked being a part of that environment. The creative and self-determined and civic-minded.

I enjoyed the time I was helping blog about our neighborhood, meeting new people and learning about the businesses around DTLA. I loved attending community events like Hope For Firefighters, National Night Out, or the Public Safety BBQ at 7th &Fig. Sean loved going to Art Walk and exploring the pop-up galleries and creative spaces around Gallery Row. We had favorite places we loved to go eat: Starry Kitchen, The Nickel Diner, Pete's Cafe, Syrup Desserts, Blossom, Wurstkuche,(as well as Royal Clayton's which will be re-opening in its new location on Spring later this year) to name just a few that we enjoyed regularly these past several years.

We made so many friends here, we found a home, and community. That said, why are we heading back to the Bay Area? Well, it's home. The decision to leave Berkeley for SoCal was made with our heads and not so much with our heart. Sean's family is from the Bay Area.. and while I'm not from there, I fell in love with the City and pretty much everything about living there. With Sean's work travel it made sense to move to SoCal.. but we missed home and it was a topic of conversation that came up over the years. "Do you think we'll ever move back to Berkeley?" Who knows? "Do you think they'll let you transfer back?" Who knows? At first it didn't make sense to move back, as there was still some traveling involved with his work.. The last couple years he's been telecommuting (when he's not having to travel now & again). So with our place being a true 'live/work' loft situation, the topic came up a few times. Working from home, Sean & I could live anywhere.. While we have been very happy where we live, we realized that the time might be right to see about moving back to Berkeley.. or to the Bay Area in general (San Jose came up a couple times). So Sean looked into it, and here we are.

We found an adaptive reuse 'live/work' loft space to live in Emeryville,Ca. Many of our friends know Emeryville as Pixar Headquarters. =) It's also where Peet's Coffe & Tea is based, Title Nine, Leap Frog, and Jamba Juice among many others.. Emeryville is also a very small city: Incorporated in the late 1800s.. It has a police and fire department, but no public library or newspaper! Sandwiched between Berkeley and Oakland in the Eastbay, it may not need a paper but this is where community blogging comes in. Blogs are essential to sharing information and news around Emeryville. While I can't say what I personally will do along the lines of blogging, I do intend to keep posting updates.. I just won't be posting about DTLA so much. While I fully intend to visit to DTLA pretty often, I don't expect to make like I can keep up on the goings-on. We're relocating pretty far away; things will be missed.

I don't know if I should keep updating this, maybe change the name of the blog to something more Bay-centric? I don't expect DTLA friends & neighbors to be interested in what's going on in Emeryville.. I do have a wordpress blog that I started when I was doing research for the move back, but then it doesn't make sense to me to keep up two blogs about what is most likely to be the same topic. Honestly I just don't know.. Maybe some folks have suggestions.. Until such time, we're keeping busy.

I've been scavenging boxes from the neighbors and I got another moving kit coming in from Costco. We're looking into movers now and contemplating a visit from "Out of the Closet" for some of our furniture. I'm doing a lot of sorting, dusting, organizing.. Despite all that, the place is a mess.. and looks more untidy than it did before I started. The cats are getting a little upset about the constant movement of 'stuff' around the loft.

We're anxious. We're excited. We're happy. We're sad.. We're stressed. This is a good thing. We'll be missing so much about downtown and yet we know this isn't goodbye forever. With friends and community we found here, it's just "so long for now.. see you soon.." Aloha.

Kiki kitty!
Kiki loves a warm patch of sun as it comes through one of our many frosted glass windows.