Hello Nerdie Foodies! I am back from a little weekend getaway in Los Angeles (LA). If you have been following our Instagram (@nerdycurious), you have seen some of the sights and sounds of the places I had visited during my time there. Thank you for joining me on my trip! Now as promised, a look at all the food places we went to eat! Let’s go!
Wow! What can I say? This place has a funky style and really good food. Now granted I’m not an expert on Mexican food, I even had to call in the expert for this one. And this place is pretty legit if I have to ask our nerd captain Roni about some items on the menu! Apparently Mexican cola is better than regular coca cola. I ordered one on Roni’s recommendation, only to find out that they had run out. So instead, I ordered a refreshing mint and cucumber lemonade drink. It was so yummy after a long morning under the heat of the sun!
While we waited for our entrees to arrive, they served us complimentary chips and salsa. The chips were definitely not the store-bought kind, but were fried fresh and the salsa had enough of a kick in it to make you wanting more!
My entrée was the Pink Taco Bowl. The bowl itself was essentially a giant tortilla chip and had achiote chicken, cilantro rice, bean salad, cabbage slaw, cotija cheese, Mexican crema, arbol salsa, and pico de gallo. All that for just $12 plus tax! It was the perfect size, filling, but not to the point of having the feeling of being overstuffed. And most of all, the chicken was moist and the entire dish was absolutely tasty!
The obligatory stop to Cheesecake Factory. That and the fact that a couple people in my travel group had never been to Cheesecake Factory before and we were already headed to The Grove to check out the shopping.
I ordered the chicken madeira. It was delicious! The chicken was cooked well but still moist throughout. It was covered in melted mozzarella cheese and topped with a mushroom madeira sauce. It also came with a side of asparagus and a generous helping of creamy mashed potatoes. This meal was huge. For $18.95, the chicken itself took up almost half of the plate. I purposely skipped the complimentary bread basket in hopes of making room for the cheesecake dessert. Sadly, I had to skip the dessert as well. Stuffed from my entree alone, I managed to finish everything except for the mashed potatoes. I think that was a pretty good feat!
We spent one day at Santa Monica Pier and the Third Street Promenade. We decided to have a quick sit down meal at Cafe Crepe because we were familiar with their menu. I ended up ordering the chicken filet burger (hold the onion). This burger came with an actual piece of chicken breast. Again, it was cooked well and was not dry at all. And it just enough food to satisfy my hunger before we headed over to the pier for some beach time.
After our beach time, we were in search for some ice cream before we headed back to the apartment. Stickhouse had handmade Italian gelato and we decided to go inside instead of searching for another place. Boy, did we make a good decision! You choose your gelato or sorbetto flavour, then you can choose to have it dipped into chocolate (white, milk, or dark) and top it off with chopped hazelnuts, almonds, or shredded coconut if you wanted to. It really is a work of art!
An Italian restaurant that is owned by Lisa Vanderpump from the reality TV show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. A couple of the girls in my travel group really wanted to go and try one of her restaurants, so we ended up with reservations for Villa Blanca in Rodeo Drive. This place was a beautiful sight right from the moment you step into the restaurant. The entire place is decked out in white with silver décor and fresh white flowers at every table. The atmosphere presented a very chic and elegant restaurant that was perfect for a fancy girls’ night. The price tag is surprisingly reasonable for the amount of food you get and was not outrageous despite being in Rodeo Drive.
We ordered a bottle of white wine (a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand) for the table which was actually quite tasty and I’m not even a wine person! We also had a round of shots – don’t ask me what it was because I have no idea. All I know is that that shot was actually pretty yummy.
We then shared a plate of calamari. The sauce is not your average cocktail sauce! It is a red sauce but it has got a kick to it that will now make me only want this delicious sauce with calamari from now on (aside from tzatziki sauce of course).
For an entrée, I had the wild mushroom and truffle ravioli ($19). Seriously, this dish was super filling! You get a decent portion of ravioli with delicious wild mushrooms in a white wine cream sauce. Topped off with thin slices of parmesan cheese, white truffle oil and more cheese if you wanted to courtesy of your server. Overall, my experience at Villa Blanca was very enjoyable and I will definitely go back if I’m ever in the area.
When you arrive to Universal CityWalk, the first thing you think of are doughnuts for breakfast/morning snack right? Right. The only place to go is Voodoo’s. We got two doughnuts, one Bacon Maple Bar and one Portland Cream doughnut that was stuffed to the brim with sweet Bavarian cream and a chocolate top with two eyes made of icing! My only suggestion is to have smaller boxes. They gave us the signature large pink doughnut box for just two doughnuts.
We took another snack break after I purchased my very first wand at Ollivander’s (we skipped the wand pairing show) and yes, my wand still chose me, it just felt right! We stopped at the Butterbeer Cart that’s just outside Ollivander’s. Frosted, not stirred. Let me tell you, this drink is tasty! It is a bit on the sweeter side though, so if you’re not a fan of sweet drinks, this may not be the drink for you. It was like a combination of frozen whipped cream and caramel mixed together with the slightest hint of either nutmeg or cinnamon to give it that extra oomph. Of course, because we got the frosted version, it was more like an ice frappe drink, foam included!
We stopped for lunch at the Three Broomsticks and boy did this place surprise me in a good way. Thinking that this was a theme park within a theme park, the food would be your usual theme park fare. But to my surprise, the Three Broomsticks had food fare that you’d find in a pub in England and it was delicious to boot! More so that your average theme park food fare for sure!
I ended up getting the shepard’s pie with a garden salad and Ferdie got the bangers and mash! Both were super filling and hit the right spot to keep us going in the afternoon! It was great! Inside the pub was a bit dark at first when you’re coming from the outside. But once your eyes adjusted to the dimmer lighting, you can see just how much detail and thought was put into creating this space. The ambiance and atmosphere was perfect. It really did transport you to a different place and for a moment, you forget you’re in a theme park.
During our last night in LA, we decided to keep things simple and order in for the night so that we could pack. I wasn’t too keen on ordering in Chinese take-out, but it wasn’t too bad at all. The delivery was quicker than we had anticipated. They told us it would take one hour, when in fact it was less than that. I decided to keep things simple and order something I was familiar with, like home cooking. So, I decided to order the chicken chow fun. It was actually really good. The only thing I would suggest is to add more veggies to this simple stir fry. It surprised me because we are so spoiled here in Vancouver with the quality of Asian foods that are available to us. The best part? It was a cheap meal. It only cost $10. I would definitely order from here again!
Another must have for me whenever I’m in California. We were on a time restraint to catch our flights back home, In-N-Out is a great spot because even though the line ups are long, it did not take long to get from the end of the line to the front of the line to place in your order. It truly embodies the term “fast food”. The service was friendly yet efficient. I ordered the cheeseburger combo with unsweetened iced tea. The burger had fresh ingredients from the lettuce and tomatoes all the way down to the meat – juicy and tender. How can you beat that? And the price couldn’t have been any cheaper!
A Mexican takeout joint inside LAX departures that has decently priced food. I ordered the chicken taquitos to go as my dinner. This was the appetizer portion that came with 6 taquitos, huge scoops of guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo as toppings, and with fresh slaw. They were still super crispy to eat and not at all spicy if you’re worried about the heat content. The appetizer portion kept me full for the entire plan ride home.
Overall, I had an amazing time in Los Angeles even if it was for a short weekend getaway. I want to give a special shout-out to Ferdie for taking me around Harry Potter World and Universal Studios, and to Jami for coming out to hang out with us in the afternoon! I will be back one day to hang out with the rest of my Cali nerd fam jam!
‘Til next time,