Sunday, July 10, 2011

To Live and Eat in L.A.

Yeah, that's right, I took that title from a movie, To Live and Die in L.A. You got a problem with that? :P Anyhoo... This post is mostly photos from outside of Anime Expo which consists of scenery and food. That's right, food pictures, so if you're hungry, you may want to look at this post and lick the monitor...

Anyway, the four of us, myself, a friend from Vancouver, Tsubasa and soulfringe, stayed at the JW Mariott this year in hopes of staying somewhere close but split the cost small enough for us to stay. It was nice and convenient, but we had all sorts of trouble. For one, the bathroom in each suite didn't have a lock on the door... Then the second day, we had trouble with keycards and credit cards. And apparently there was a prank fire alarm being set off. I was in the hotel when that happened, but I didn't hear it from where I was at the time... Very strange. I'll have to give this hotel another thought next time...

Nice view from the window seat, but I don't even know where this is...
Anyway... Let's start fresh from the beginning. We originally drove from Vancouver to Bellingham and from there we'd take Horizon Air to fly to Seattle. And then finally fly from Seattle to L.A. Very convoluted, I know, but it was cheaper than direct from Van to L.A. and from Seattle to L.A.

No trouble with the flights at all. Maybe a little late, maybe a little early, but it was all perfectly timed. Nothing wrong with our luggage too, though I did worry a bit since I brought Helen and Mugi along ^^;

Arriving at the LAX gate were these Samsung charging stations. It was free if you got your charger around. There was one in Seattle that had all the hookups, but it was charging something like $5 for 30 minutes if you didn't have a charger.

On the first night we had dinner at Matsui. I had an Oyakodon set with tanuki udon. Very filling... But I still prefer soba over udon.

And here's the others' meals. We all had the set, but it was quite a bit that we didn't finish everything, though I tried...

After this I keep forgetting to take pictures of our meals. I mean there was a time where we all had some pizza at California Pizza Kitchen and the numerous Starbucks breakfast sandwich and the overpriced food at the Convention Center cafe... Oh and also the one time I had ice cream for my late lunch/early dinner. That was an awesome lunner! And to be honest there weren't much cheap food around the convention... The fast food were a bit of a walk away and us Vancouverites didn't know where they were.

This was soulfringe's free appetizer because he's got a Premier Fan badge. Very large portion. We didn't finish it and the spicy jalapeno messed with my stomach ^^;

This is his lunch, lol. I didn't take pictures of mine, hahaha. We both thought this looked like a dessert when it came. A brownie on top of vanilla ice cream with donuts on the side ^^; It's actually beef ribs on a bed of mashed potatoes and onion rings.

Finally remembered to bring someone to accompany me to dinner.
On the last night, we went out for dinner and I asked for something easy and something unique to US or California. In-N-Out was the answer. It was very busy when we came. But the food was good. I didn't get around to try out the secret menu items though. The bun was grilled so it was actually really crispy. I had a lot of fries too!

Afterwards Tsubasa drove us through Hollywood and we got to see some of the famous buildings like Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and the Grauman's Chinese Theater. It was hard to get photos though since we were moving and it was at night.

The one time we had a red light, it had to stop at this building called "Playmates"... I wonder what's in there, especially since it's got a Grand Opening on the side :P

Pantages is famous for having all the musicals and plays going on in there. Right now they have Shrek The Musical playing...

After checking out of the hotel but before heading to the airport, we were able to visit a Cheesecake Factory at The Grove in Beverly Hills. This one is my lunch. Orange chicken which was mucho delicioso! Tsubasa had the Miso Salmon which was really good too. It melted in your mouth! This was the smaller portion but I was already full when I finished it!

But since it's called "Cheesecake Factory", I had to get one before we went. I got the Ultimate Red Velvet just to show Chun :P But it was my undoing... It was so big that I almost got sick trying to finish it ^^;;; It was good, but it was just too much.

Let the red velvet suck you in closer... Closer... CLOSER!!!

The last view from the fancy Grove in Beverly Hills.
And then it was pretty much a rinse and repeat process where we flew from L.A. to Seattle, then to Bellingham and drive back to Vancouver. One of the most interesting thing that I saw and wished I took a photo of was the TSA agents in the airport checking my bag in the X-ray with 2 dolls inside, Helen and Mugi.

Also a big big big thank you to Tsubasa who picked us up at the airport and drove us around when he could and drove us to the airport when we had to depart. I am very grateful for your help and definitely return the favour if you come to Vancouver ;)


  1. You didn't check out the Kogi truck or any of the other food trucks parked outside of the LA Convention Center during AX? That's what we SoCal people eat now...

  2. Haha, I don't know why Playmates has a "Grand Opening" sign, since they've been there forever, but they're basically a stripper clothes store. Good source of cosplay shoes sometimes!

  3. @amateur_cameko: What time did they close? I seem to remember lots and lots of lines for that ^^; My friend seems to be picky with lines, though tbh, I coulda lived without eating so much, lol.

    @Max: OH! Is that the store that you got the Wonder Woman boots from? Maybe they just haven't taken off that sign for a long time XD

  4. I'm so hungry for some nachos right now!

  5. When I was in LA, I had a fun time at Hollywood with my brother. I walked all over the stars and saw some cool stuff. It looked you had fun there, love to hang out with you sometime in LA.

  6. Glad you got to go to In-N-Out! When you come back again, get an animal-style burger, animal-style fries, and a neapolitan shake XD I never order regular items on the menu anymore ahahaha

    I keep forgetting In-N-Outs aren't abundant. There are a couple of them in San Diego, one of which is 10 min away from me ^^;

  7. @Yi: Just lick the picture there, lol. I kid, I kid. It's surprisingly easy to make at home from what I hear :D

    @Cadha13: Yah, kinda wish I had more time in LA to do that kind of things. One day, yea?

    @Lene: LoL ok, I shall order those next time I'm in Cali. Kinda glad to go to In-N-Out at least once, hahaha. I want to try White Castle, too, but apparently that's only in the easy XD

  8. good choice on the In N Out. . . california has beyond good food. . .

  9. I'm sorry I couldn't take you around this time, a lot of crazy stuff happened during that week lol

    It looks like you guys had a lot of fun, you should take a tour through the tourist spots next time you cross the US border, if you hadn't done so.

  10. @jose: It seems so. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

    @yakuri: Yeah, you were kinda busy at home :/ It's ok though, we got to hung out during the con :) I've had a tour way back in the 80's, lol. May have to refresh my mind one day ^^