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 Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal finale 4/25 updated on 5/6

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wanderingjew

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Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal finale 4/25 updated on 5/6 Sun, 04/26/09 6:04 PM (permalink)
Got back from my trip last night. I have one day to settle in before I return to work tomorrow....

I managed to upload the first two days of photos-the report will be divided into 9 parts - one part for each day I was away.

Friday April 17

I flew on Southwest Airlines on an award ticket so my ticket was basically free- well they actually charged me $10, but I can live with that....

Since I had a 2 1/2 hour layover at Midway Airport in Chicago, I knew where my first stop for lunch was going to be...



Gold Coast  Dogs
At first I thought I was going to get 2 chicago style dogs, but I noticed that they also have Italian Beef Sandwiches on the menu. I ordered one of each- Unfortunately they don't do sweet peppers - only giardinara, I like my beef hot n' sweet- I also  forgot to ask them to double dip- but then I figured they probably don't do that too... I also ordered ordered one chicago style dog with everything..

The Italian Beef sandwich was a little dry, I thought the beef itself was limp and lacked assertiveness, it really wasn't a bad sandwich, but I've had better...



The dog on the other hand was a Vienna Beef Char Dog at its finest with a rugged crisp exterior and a juicy flavorful interior,  probably my favorite Chicago style dog along with the dog served at Wieners Circle.



In hindsight I would have probably been better off having two dogs versus one dog and one beef, but overall I was very satisfied with my lunch.

Without mishaps, I arrived in San Diego about 1/2 hour early, but still had to wait 45 minutes for my checked luggage...I called my friend Cliff while waiting for my luggage to let him know I was in town. Cliff lives here in Rhode Island but was on an extended business trip to San Diego...We were going to meet for dinner.

After picking up my rental, a fire engine red Mazda, I decided to get a GPS for $9 a day extra- it was well worth the extra $72- driving around San Diego isn't a problem, but I knew that driving around Los Angeles would be...

I stayed on Shelter Island at the Mona Kai Resort Hotel- an amazing deal on priceline- too bad I was only there for one night...

My friend Cliff picked me up at the hotel and my first "official" stop for dinner was...



Hodads!

We were greeted by a long, but fast moving line....We were chatting with two ladies and a gentleman who came to visit all the way from Sweden, ironically they were with a long haired local dude who had never been to Hodads before. Somehow the conversation turned to Lutefisk, seriously, it did, I only said that to please Davydd and the Traveling Man, actually we ended up talking about Hockey. Again, it made me wonder if there were more tourists than locals...After a 15 or 20 minute wait we finally got a table...Besides the neon menu board



What also caught my attention were the hundreds if not thousands of out of state and out of country license plates on the wall.....

I already knew what I was getting.....

My chocolate malt arrived served in a huge silver beaker....
I took one sip- and this was decadence beyond decadence. Rich, thick sweet chocolately goodness with a fudge drizzle. Cliff ordered the same thing and agreed accordingly....He finished his shake, I was only able to finish just about half of mine...




This malt was probably one of the best (if not the best) single item I had on this trip and I know is going to deserve a top 10 spot on one of my lists for 2009.

 Finally the burger arrived....




What a jaw dropper! I ordered the double bacon cheese with fries...

But, but, but!!! is it going to taste as good as it looks????


I took one bite, and yes I was able to fit it into my mouth, and then I took another bite.....and before I can say anything, Cliff, who ordered the single cheeseburger without bacon said exactly what I was thinking...."I can taste everything but the burger" I was searching, searching and searching for a taste of the burger, I tasted a texture- but that could have been the bacon, I'm not sure....Don't get me wrong, this was a fine sandwich, and I put an emphasis on the word "sandwich", I truly can't call this a burger if the taste is hidden and overwhelmed by the other toppings, Cliff noted the onions were specifically strong. Frankly you could have replaced the burger with styrofoam, a Hersheys Bar or a Hockey Puck and it probably wouldn't have made much of a difference...I finished half of my burger and only had 3 or 4 fries before I gave up and was stuffed to the gills....

On my way out , I had to get a photo of the infamous VW bug table...



After strolling around Ocean Beach, Cliff dropped me off at my hotel..I had an early day to look forward to the next day...


<message edited by wanderingjew on Wed, 05/6/09 9:04 PM>
 
#1
    buffetbuster

    Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Sun, 04/26/09 6:11 PM (permalink)
    My single biggest Roadfood goal is to once enjoy sitting in the VW Bus at Hodad's.  I have been there four times and haven't been able to sit there, yet.  Someday!


    Great start WJ!  The photo of the chocolate malt is a real beauty!!!!!
     
    #2
      buffetbuster

      Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Sun, 04/26/09 6:13 PM (permalink)
      As for the thread title, will you be posting a photo of yourself with bleached blonde hair?
       
      #3
        Buffalo Tarheel

        Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Sun, 04/26/09 6:20 PM (permalink)
        Great start!  I am looking forward to living vicariously through all nine parts of the report.
         
        #4
          billyboy

          • Total Posts: 2363
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          • Location: New York City, NY
          Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Sun, 04/26/09 6:45 PM (permalink)
          Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuude!!  Rad report, bra!
           
          #5
            DLnWPBrown

            • Total Posts: 832
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            • Location: Cary, NC
            Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Sun, 04/26/09 7:36 PM (permalink)
            Dale, I bet they don't have pulled pork BBQ out there like we have here.... OR banana pudding??? 


            Dennis lauighing out loud in Cary
             
            #6
              CajunKing

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              Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Sun, 04/26/09 7:39 PM (permalink)
              I would have been in a chocolate induced coma after that malt, OMG what a beautiful sight.

              Somehow when I saw the group ahead of you was from Sweden, I KNEW where the conversation was going.  ;-)

              Great start, can't wait to see the rest of the trip.
               
              #7
                jeepguy

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                Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Sun, 04/26/09 8:17 PM (permalink)
                 CAML TOE...nice. Not in this state!
                 
                #8
                  wanderingjew

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                  Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Sun, 04/26/09 9:15 PM (permalink)
                  Buffetbuster

                  No, but you may see a photo of me with bleached gray hair- wait a second- I think you've seen those photos already!

                  Dennis,

                  no Pulled pork bbq- but I did have pork bbq- you're going to have to wait for part 3 to find out more.....By the way, I think you're going to get a kick out of the punchline at the end of part 2!
                   
                  #9
                    Nancypalooza

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                    Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Sun, 04/26/09 9:19 PM (permalink)
                    That is a gorgeous burger--so is that 'no taste' thing a side effect of frozen meat?  Anyone?
                     
                    #10
                      wanderingjew

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                      Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Sun, 04/26/09 10:33 PM (permalink)
                      Part 2 Saturday April  18

                      Getting up early wasn't too much of a challenge. My clock was three hours ahead of schedule anyway with the time difference...My first stop prior to leaving San Diego was the Point Loma location of The Living Room Coffee House. I had a strong, rich and delicious dark roast and was on the road before 7:30 AM.....

                      My first stop was an old  legendary Roadfood landmark that somehow or another and oddly, bizarrely and strangely enough without any explanation has been simply dismissed as "out of business".



                      The Orange Inn in artsy Laguna Beach....

                      Around since 1931 this place is to Smoothies what Pats Steaks is to Cheesesteaks or what the Anchor Bar is to Buffalo Wings....I walked in and waited patiently in line. The place was hopping and it wasn't even 9AM!



                      I asked the lady behind the counter if this is the same Orange Inn that used to be in Corona Del Mar, she replied yes. I told her that I thought they closed and went out of business, she looked at me like I had 3 heads, and replied we never went out of business, in fact we have the same owner, we just moved to Laguna Beach a couple of decades ago"




                      I ordered the original Fruit Smoothie,  and it was served without any fanfare...




                      This is the real deal.....sweet - tart- refreshing all at once.... it even comes with bee pollen- those are the specks you see on top of the smoothie....

                      I know some of you are going to ask

                      "but can't you get......???"

                      and before you can complete your sentence I'm going to cut you off with an emphatic NO!!!!

                      You can't get smoothies in other parts of the country,  or at least not the ones you can find  in Southern California. The ones that you can find at some of  your local coffee houses are made with powders, mixes, syrups, sugar and ice cream....

                      Now I know where this is going to lead- some smart a**  is going to post a website of the one smoothie joint in their nearest largest city that happens to serve 'real fruit smoothies'....Well....for every one Smoothie joint in your area, there are hundreds, if not thousands of them in Southern California, not including the smoothie chains that well....started there....


                       
                      Now thats Roadfood!!- Southern Cal style
                      !


                      I didn't have anytime to walk around Laguna Beach, because I had an early Dodger game to attend in LA....

                      After leaving Laguna Beach I arrived a little over an hour later at



                      In N Out

                      I looked at the menu board



                      and knew I had to order the double and someone previously mentioned something about "animal style" which I have no idea what that means, but I ordered it anyway.... Since I  knew I was going to at least 3 burger joints today, I knew I was only going to eat half a burger at each place....

                      The burger arrived....



                      and although it has been over 2 decades since I ate at In n Out I was hoping that it would taste like the burgers I used to enjoy at Kid Valley in Seattle- my favorite fast food burger

                      Frankly, I don't think it tasted much better than a McDonald's Big Mac. The lettuce and tomato seemed fresh and I could taste what seemed like thousand island dressing....It wasn't bad, I simply found it quite ordinary and didn't find anything special about it.

                      My next stop on the burger run was...



                      The Original Tommy's

                      Here I had to endure a short, but extremely slow line. I noticed I was the only customer who actually relayed the order in English...Again, I asked for a double.....



                      I enjoyed this less than the In N Out Burger....All I could taste was the pickle and onion as well as the "wet texture" of the tasteless chili......After eating half of the burger, I had enough.....this was by far the worst meal of the trip...

                      After checking into my hotel, The Super 8, which happenned to be the same hotel I stayed at 3 years earlier due to its walkable proximity to Dodger Stadium, I actually got a non - smoking room this time, away from busy and noisy Sunset Blvd...The advantages of checking in at 11:40 AM....

                      I walked up, down and then up again to Dodger Stadium....

                      and noticed this...




                      The Dodgers "think blue" slogan which mimics the Hollywood sign....

                      I snapped some photos of the exterior of the ballpark which was constructed "ampitheatre style" and built  into the hill....





                      As well as some interior shots

                      Including the scoreboard



                      Yeah, I know, being a Yankees fan I should hate Manny, but he did score the first two home runs of the game, and Joe Torre, whose an all around great guy is the manager (I'm surprised he didn't make Manny cut those dreads)

                      Here's the field



                      and the dugout



                      and the virtually empty stadium





                      This was an unusually long game....Since I had placed to go I left three hours after it started just before the beginning of the 8th inning....The Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 9-5...

                      As I walked back to my hotel to get my car, I took this photo of the downtown LA skyline...



                      I returned to my hotel, got back in my car....and drove to my next stop in hellacious traffic on the Santa Monica Freeway...It took 40 minutes to go 12 miles to...



                      The Apple Pan

                      There was a decent sized crowd, but more than enough seats....I looked at the menu and



                      ordered the Hickory Burger....



                      (sorry for the blurry shot- even photo shopping didn't help)

                      This was actually the first time I felt compelled to eat the entire burger.....Although the beef itself wasn't anything special, the hickory sauce was quite tasty and somewhat addicting...

                      I knew I didn't want to disappoint Buffetbuster and I had enough of an appetite for a slice of pie....I ordered the Banana Cream.....it was good but not "Gray's Cafeteria" good.....The photo turned out so bad, I decided not to post it...

                      I walked around  trendy West LA Pico Blvd a bit prior to getting back in my car.

                      The 40 minute 12 mile drive to the Apple Pan from my hotel, turned into a 50 minute return ride...It was now after 6pm and the burger run was over....  I couldn't make it to Farmer Boys due to lack of time...

                      My last stop of the day was a short ride to the funky Los Feliz neighborhood to visit
                      Mako a funky minimalist Japanese fast food joint, apparently very popular with the "interesting looking" locals... It was very difficult finding parking in this neighborhood, but ended up parking in the Post Office parking lot a couple of blocks away. Apparently parking is allowed there after 5pm



                      The meal starts with basic Miso Soup...



                      Which to me still is still tasteless..

                      I then moved on to an amazingly fresh cabbage salad with a delicious and very light ginger dressing...



                      and then the California Rolls...




                      California Rolls were invented in Los Angeles back in the 1970's, which lead to some even more inventive, creative and downright wacky rolls which will be re-addressed in a couple of subsequent chapters....At Mako's the calfornia rolls are made with real crabmeat, and although they're better than the ones I've had in Rhode Island, I realized that they are somewhat plain and I think I've graduated to something more adventurous...

                      Finally the main course



                      Squid Teriyaki....It was served without rice and was good, but I just didn't get the rave reviews it received on yelp.com   I think I would have been better off with the salmon or ahi teriyaki instead....Overall the meal didn't exceed my expectations, but it was cheap, with iced green tea, the entire meal was $10 with tax and tip...

                      After dinner, I walked around the funky neighborhood and came across this in one of the storefronts..



                      You can't tell from the still shot, but the cat's paws are moving in a "waving motion"

                       I know what you're all asking.....So  where is the best burger in Southern California??

                      The answer is.......




                      The Burger at the Char Grill in Raleigh NC

                      That's the best burger I've had all year!!


                       
                      #11
                        TJ Jackson

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                        Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Sun, 04/26/09 10:44 PM (permalink)
                        You ate burgers in CA :-)

                        Come to Cincinnati, I'll take you to all the best pizza places :-)
                         
                        #12
                          Nancypalooza

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                          Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Sun, 04/26/09 11:03 PM (permalink)
                          Dale, this may never happen again, so here you go: I agree with you about the Char-Grill.  I've had Tommy's and In-N-Out (but not the Apple Pan burger), and I would gladly take the Char-Grill over either of those.
                           
                          #13
                            smokestack lightning

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                            • Location: San Francisco, CA
                            Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 12:19 AM (permalink)
                            Great report. I agree completely about smoothies in Southern California. And for me sushi in LA is different is perfect Roadfood- different than almost anywhere including here in SF. As a kid in about 1960 he was being interrviewed at Wrigley Field in Chicago for a Sports Illustrated story about him as a rookie phenomenon. A friends father took us two 9 or 10 year olds to the photo shoot as he was the SI photographer. Joe Torre made a point of being kind and gracious and took us on the field. If you ever take a trip to Northern California perhaps we can share a meal.
                             
                            #14
                              BigGlenn

                              Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 1:54 AM (permalink)
                              An In N Out Burger should not be tried "Animal Style" for first timers. Thats when they add thousand island dressing to the burger. Now animal style fries (Dressing, Cheese and Onions) at In N Out are good every once in a while. But for just a good old fashion "fast food" hamburger, In N Out is just about the best.  IMHO.
                               
                              #15
                                buffetbuster

                                Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 9:43 AM (permalink)
                                WJ-
                                Thanks for thinking of me when you got the banana cream pie.  Sorry the photo didn't turn out, since I would have loved to have seen what it looked like.  But, you made the correct decision not posting a bad, blurry shot.

                                Oh, and the smoothie looks fantastic!
                                 
                                #16
                                  MiamiDon

                                  Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 10:02 AM (permalink)
                                  wanderingjew: 

                                  Great tour so far.  Did you get a buzz from the bee pollen?  Thanks for the shots of Dodger stadium.  Why is this "Part 2"?

                                  Nancypalooza:

                                  1. Too little fat.
                                  2. Lack of basic seasoning.
                                  3. Fried, rather than flame- or char-grilled.

                                  At least, that would be my guess.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    mar52

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                                    Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 10:07 AM (permalink)
                                    There's banana cream pie better than the Apple Pan's?

                                    Okay, Okay... great start, Dale!  Looks like I have to put Hodad's on my list.  It's a must!  Just for the malt and maybe one to go.  I understand eating half a Tommy's (not that I'd ever do it again) but not finishing a malted? A chocolate malted?  

                                    You are correct about the Apple Pan's Hickory Burger.  It's the sauce!  Did you notice how they cook them?  I can never get a perfect view but it looks like they boil them after grilling.  I guess it's a swim in the hickory sauce.

                                    Funny,  I never thought of a smoothy as anything but a smoothy.  Never knew I was privileged.

                                    Love your take on LA!

                                     
                                    #18
                                      DLnWPBrown

                                      • Total Posts: 832
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                                      Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 10:17 AM (permalink)
                                      Well Dale come on back anytime and have another burger and we will have some homemade banana pudding waiting for you.



                                      Dennis in Cary
                                       
                                      #19
                                        Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle

                                        • Total Posts: 1350
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                                        Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 10:59 AM (permalink)
                                        wanderingjew, it'll be great to have the Orange Inn again listed with its fellow California Roadfood restaurants.  Looks good! (You didn't leave an email address with your Contact Roadfood.com message.)  What led you to believe they had closed?
                                         
                                        #20
                                          wanderingjew

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                                          Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 12:45 PM (permalink)
                                          Smokestack Lightening

                                          I'll be in the Reno/Tahoe area in early August, that's about as close to Northern Cal I'll get, at least for the near future...

                                          TJ,

                                          I'll eat burgers just about anywhere- besides it was just one meal on an entire 9 day trip

                                          Mar

                                          Yes, you folks in So Cal are extremely lucky to have so many establishments serving authentic smoothies.... When it's always around you - you take it for granted.. Shortly after graduating college in 1987, I briefly moved to Albuquerque, and was in for quite the rude awaking when I tried Pizza and Chinese food there for the first time...

                                          I didn't pay attention to how they prepared the burger at Apple Pan but that hickory sauce was good!

                                          Don

                                          I don't think the bee pollen had any influence on me.
                                          The trip report will be divided into a total of 9 parts. Each day represents each part for a total of 9 days..

                                          Bruce...

                                          Besides the Orange Inn, I'll be forwarding at least 1/2 a dozen additional reviews plus photos for roadfood restaurants already reviewed...

                                          I think it was you who led me to believe that the Orange Inn was closed...

                                          <message edited by wanderingjew on Mon, 04/27/09 12:48 PM>
                                           
                                          #21
                                            Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle

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                                            Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 1:34 PM (permalink)
                                            wanderingjew

                                            I think it was you who led me to believe that the Orange Inn was closed...

                                            Uh-oh... when did I do that?
                                             
                                            #22
                                              wanderingjew

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                                              Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 1:41 PM (permalink)
                                              Bruce Bilmes and Sue Boyle


                                              wanderingjew

                                              I think it was you who led me to believe that the Orange Inn was closed...

                                              Uh-oh... when did I do that?


                                              It was in one of the earlier threads whe we were discussing Juice Caboose, The OB Juice Bar, etc...I think you referred to The Orange Inn as something along the lines of a "long gone roadfood classic"
                                               
                                              #23
                                                Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle

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                                                Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 2:18 PM (permalink)
                                                wanderingjew


                                                Bruce Bilmes and Sue Boyle


                                                wanderingjew

                                                I think it was you who led me to believe that the Orange Inn was closed...

                                                Uh-oh... when did I do that?


                                                It was in one of the earlier threads whe we were discussing Juice Caboose, The OB Juice Bar, etc...I think you referred to The Orange Inn as something along the lines of a "long gone roadfood classic"


                                                I've never been, or tried to go, to the Orange Inn in Corona del Mar.  I think it was in the classic "What is Roadfood" debate of '08: you wondered why Orange Inn, which was once listed in the Sterns' books, was no longer listed in their books or on the website (it was never on Roadfood.com, since it moved before the site was founded).  I guess I looked it up and saw that there was no longer an Orange Inn in Corona del Mar, and I told you it had closed.  I apologize if I gave you the wrong impression - I had no special knowledge of the Orange Inn - wouldn't have known that it had moved to a different town in California - just saw that the Corona del Mar location was long gone.
                                                 
                                                Anyway, I'm glad to see you tracked it down and confirmed that it's still good.  I look forward to your review!
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle

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                                                  Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 2:42 PM (permalink)
                                                  What's up with that Dodger "crowd"?  Was this a pre-season game?  Or is it true what I've heard: that people don't arrive for the games until around the third inning?
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    mr chips

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                                                    Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 3:35 PM (permalink)
                                                    Great report so far.
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      CajunKing

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                                                      Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 4:14 PM (permalink)
                                                      WJ

                                                      Your trip so far looks like a winner, your smoothie looked awesome, as did the burgers (sorry they didnt taste as good as they looked)

                                                      Chavez Ravine is truly a great spot to watch a game.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        wanderingjew

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                                                        Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 5:55 PM (permalink)
                                                        Bruce Bilmes and Sue Boyle


                                                        What's up with that Dodger "crowd"?  Was this a pre-season game?  Or is it true what I've heard: that people don't arrive for the games until around the third inning?


                                                        Bruce,

                                                        Believe it or not, this was a regular season game....You are correct that many people don't arrive until the third inning- and usually leave before the 8th!
                                                        Eventually the stadium was about a third full...I have a feeling that because it was such a nice day- in the 80's that many folks opted for the beach instead of the ballpark, evidenced by crippling traffic on the Santa Monica freeway...
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          mar52

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                                                          Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 1 4/17 Mon, 04/27/09 7:45 PM (permalink)
                                                          Dale, I have a question about Chicago and the airport.

                                                          Do you actually leave the airport?  If the answer is yes, don't you worry about getting back in time?

                                                          Don't you worry about getting back in time?

                                                          My nerves wouldn't allow it.
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            wanderingjew

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                                                            Re:Beach Bums and Bleached Blondes- So-Cal-09 The Real Deal Part 2 4/18 updated! Mon, 04/27/09 7:47 PM (permalink)
                                                            Part 3 Sunday April 19

                                                            First thing in the morning, I headed to Urth Coffee in West Hollywood for another stellar cup of rich dark roasted coffee...Located on funky- trendy Melrose Avenue, this is another one of my favorite coffee houses in the country...afterwards I was going to head to Aguas Tijuana's Juice Bar in Downey, located approximately 12 miles east of LA. When I got their they were closed! Their website indicates they were open on Sundays...I checked with the donut shop next door and the young lady told me that they had a minor flood that morning but were almost cleaned up and should be reopening that day but she wasn't sure when - There was no one in the store and I didn't know when they were planning to reopen so I drove back to my hotel for game plan # 2- I called the smoothie shop when I returned to my hotel and of course they were now open. I wasn't planning on returning that morning but they assured me they would be open Monday Morning....

                                                            I decided to head to



                                                             The Juices Fountain in Hollywood instead which was actually on the itinerary for Monday- so I simply switched the days around- besides I was really hungry (thirsty) for breakfast....

                                                            Juices Fountain has been in business for over 3 decades. Owned and  operated by a family from Columbia. They offer smoothies, shakes, juices and healthy "Southern Cal" good for you sandwiches (think sprouts and avocado)



                                                            After looking at the menu, I wanted to try something a little different than what I had the day before...I decided to go with the Yogurt Delight..



                                                            The smoothie had yogurt, lo fat milk, papaya, banana and honey in it...
                                                            This tasted almost like a milkshake to me- Althought it was good, it just had too much of a yogurty-dairy taste- not what I'm looking for in a fruit smoothie...

                                                            After my healthy but filling breakfast I took a little stroll down the walk of fame...



                                                            and noticed Capitol Records in the foreground..



                                                            Hollywood appeared alot different than what I remembered 2 decades ago.... When I first visited it kinda reminded me of what Time Square in NYC used to be, now it just looked like LA's version of Jamaica Queens or Spanish Harlem...

                                                            I did come across this nice surprise....a Sunday morning farmer's market....



                                                            Yes, I did end up buying one! What a bargain for a buck- fat free and sugar free too!

                                                            There were some more interesting vendors too..












                                                            Well, they do say that LA is the land of Fruits and Nuts!

                                                            After my little venture in Hollywood , I returned to my hotel for an hour or so and checked out-

                                                            It was now time for our official Sunday afternoon meet n greet at



                                                            Philippe


                                                            Luckily I found on street parking one block away- free on Sunday!

                                                            although most of the details of our event can be found here...(thanks  Mar52!)

                                                            http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Southern-California-Meet-n-Greet-Philippe-41909-m498615-p5.aspx

                                                            I'll provide a brief recap with photos...

                                                            Many of the cities I visit  have a landmark establishment I always need to return to when I visit...
                                                            In Memphis its Interstate BBQ, in Portland ME it's Gilbert's Chowderhouse in Miami its Puerto Sagua, well here in LA it's Philippe-




                                                            This is what "Classic" LA is all about...Sawdust on the floor and all..

                                                            You can even get your own Philippe's T Shirt and a jar of their spicy mustard
                                                            (sorry Poverty Pete for forgetting yours)



                                                            After bracing another long line of hungry patrons...... I ordered this lamb dip- double dipped-


                                                            all this sandwich needs is just a hint of Philippe's spicy mustard. the tender meat was as smooth as butter....

                                                            Oh yes....



                                                            I got the creamy coleslaw too!



                                                            from left to right- here's Sop That (Joe) Ms Sop That (I'm so sorry I forgot your name) Mr Red Patti (Jeff) Big Glenn's progeny (Shane) and the back of Mar 52's (Marlene) head



                                                            and from left to right- Shane, Big Glenn, Red Patti and Mar 52

                                                            and




                                                            and the whole gang (minus Moraganen's friend- was it Stephanie I believe?)
                                                             Clockwise beginning at noon Mar52 (Marlene) Red Patti (Patti) Mr Elise T (Bob), Elise T, Catasaurus (Pilar) Morganen (Elizabeth), Sop That (Joe) Ms. Sop That, Mr Red Patti (Jeff), Big Glenn's kid (Shane) and Big Glenn

                                                            We all had a great time everyone seemed to really enjoy the food, even Elise T and Bob who arrived an hour late!

                                                            Things got a little confusing as we were saying our goodbyes....Some of us were going to head to Olvera Street, the oldest block in Los Angeles, now a bonafide tourist spot with Mexican shops, vendors and street performers...I went ahead with Morganen and her friend and we thought that Mar52 and Catasaurus were going to meet us there....We arrived and were looking for Marlene and Pilar but couldn't find them...

                                                            I did enjoy a couple of Taquitos...




                                                            from
                                                            Cielito Lindo



                                                            Famous for their avocado sauce



                                                            the green avocado sauce actually had more of a cilantro seasoning...

                                                            We walked around in 95 degree heat and enjoyed the street carnival atmosphere...




                                                            There did appear to be a theme and pre-occupation with skulls



                                                            Believe it or not, there was a sign next to this donkey that stated they charge $5 for a photo with "your camera" ....yeah, like I really paid it!




                                                            There was even a Mariachi Band



                                                            and some really cool break dancing!



                                                            and historic Union Station is just across the street



                                                            Olvera Street also houses the oldest structure in Los Angeles






                                                            And what a surpise look who showed up unexpectedly!




                                                            from left to right (Cecif, Poverty Pete and Buffetbuster)
                                                            Oh- wait that's another trip report- right??!!

                                                            Unfortunately after strolling around for about 45 minutes or so, we gave up on trying to locate Mar52 and Catasaurus.....

                                                            Before dinner, I decided to stroll around nearby Chinatown








                                                            If you read the top of this sign, you may think this must be one helluva hotel!




                                                            After my walk around Chinatown I drove to my dinner stop....



                                                            Parks BBQ located in Koreatown, when I got there- Mar52 was there waiting...As it turns out- it would only be the two of us tonight....Glen and his son decided to visit some nearby relatives...But several of us already had plans to meet the next day for dinner...

                                                            This was my first experience with Korean BBQ....for more details see Mar52's great description in the thread provided earlier in Part 3.

                                                            Again I'll just provide a quick recap

                                                            Each table has a gas grill built into it



                                                            the wait staff actually grills the meat...

                                                            We decided on...



                                                            The Prime Beef

                                                            and



                                                            The Pork Belly...

                                                            The meal starts with a crisp salad in a marinade that doubles as a dipping sauce for the beef



                                                            Little side dishes called "banshan" accompany the meal including such exotic delicasies such  as tripe and jellyfish






                                                            Which we sampled while the beef



                                                            and Pork



                                                            were on the grill..

                                                            here are the finished products

                                                            the beef



                                                            and the pork belly...



                                                            The Beef was tender and earthy, the Pork had a chewier texture and was not fatty at all....

                                                            This was a great experience, if you haven't tried Korean BBQ I completely recommend it...

                                                            After dinner I drove to Redondo Beach to check into my new hotel- The Ramada...

                                                            more tomorrow...


                                                            <message edited by wanderingjew on Mon, 04/27/09 8:13 PM>
                                                             
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