This past week I was teaching in Sacramento, California. After finishing up on Friday, I took the shuttle to Los Angeles to visit my son Jay and his girlfriend Barbara. Los Angeles is so diverse. Approximately 47.5% of its residents are Latinos, mainly Mexicans. About a 5 minute walk from Jay and Barbara's apartment is an amazingly vibrant Latino neighborhood replete with food street vendors, indoor markets with hundreds of 8 by 8 stalls, hair stylists with 10 patrons waiting patiently for a $10 hair cut and well lit ethnic murals, like the one pictured above.
We had two wonderful meals in LA over the weekend. The first was at Shunji in West LA. Many consider Shunji the best Japanese restaurant in LA. The presentation of each dish in an unpretentious setting was spectacular. It was all about the food here. The dish below included an uni ball topped with caviar, the most moist tomato ball ever, a piece of amazingly tender octopus and a chunk of marinated ginger for cleansing the palate. If in Los Angeles, Shunji is worth a visit.
On Saturday, Jay and I walked a tad over 10 miles. We started by walking to the Flower Market downtown. You pay a $1 admission and then can buy a bird of paradise, that would cost $10-$15 at a florist, for a couple of dollars. Undoubtedly, there are scientists in this crowd. Check out the dye-infused roses below.
The downtown LA skyline is interesting as there are few really tall buildings. The Wilshire Grand, including its spire, is the tallest building in LA. While not completed yet, you get a feel of what it will look like if you find the right angle.
Santa Monica was our next stop. I found it beautiful, edgy and touristy all at once. Santa Monica has a large, fancy indoor/outdoor mall that has palm trees as well as a beach with acrobats and an amusement park. Loved the contrast of the locale.
Los Angeles is a great walking town and takes on a different look at night time. On our way back from a great dinner at Orsa and Winston, we saw great street lights, a ridiculously crowded ice skating rink (yes, you read that right). All in all, it was a great eve with the happy couple. The roof at Jay and Barbara's apartment provided a final great view at the end of a great day.
Los Angeles has many juice bars. One coffee and juice bar, Verve, whose patrons were quite hip, had a 10 juice flight. The Block Rockin Beets includes beets, carrots, lemon, tomato, cilantro and jalapeño. Amazing! You can actually order an 8 pack of 15 oz juices for $75 a week delivered straight to your door. Tempted?