Other LA Stuff: Porto's Bakery!

This is a must-visit every time I take a trip to the LA area.  One of my favorite bakeries--Porto's Bakery, in Burbank & Glendale, a Cuban bakery that serves up generous helpings of sweets, snacks, and sandwiches for a beautifully low price.  I got 14 guava-cheese strudels (the BEST thing they make!), 2 apple strudels, 3 potato balls, and a cubano sandwich for something like $18.

Strudels: guava jam and cream cheese in a puff pastry shell.
Balls: minced spiced meat wrapped in mashed potatoes, breaded and fried
Sandwich: slow-roasted pork, ham, cheese, butter, and pickles on flaky white bread

And they ask me why I love LA...

Plans for tonight kind of fell together at the last minute.  

My childhood friend and I decided against the LACMA (free after 5pm) because of the protests happening near the Israeli consulate (I can't even begin to talk about that), and opted instead for a bit of boutique browsing on Melrose.  We went into one with some fashion-forward, well-priced-for-the-quality clothes.  I wasn't planning to get anything, but asked where they sourced their stuff--she told me California Mart, one of the largest fashion wholesale centers in the US.  It's in Downtown LA and has sample sales open to the public once a month.  My mom and I used to shop there years and years ago.

We also visited Susina, a decent bakery (but doesn't hold a candle to SF's Tartine), for a sticky bun.

The one thing I really miss about LA is, as ya'll know, the abundance of authentic, and amazingly cheap, ethnic food.  Tonight we went to Sanamluang Cafe in Thai Town (Hollywood Blvd. x Western Ave.).  I forgot how much tasty goodness can be had for $6.50.  We ordered:
  • Tom kha gai: A huge bowl of the sour-ish Thai soup, much like tom yum, except with coconut milk.  Flavored with lemongrass, galanga and cilantro, and chock-full of tender morsels of chicken and straw mushrooms.
  • Pad kee mow: Probably my favorite type of Thai noodle.  Flat rice noodles with tomatoes, onions, and your choice of ground meat (we chose beef).
  • Stir-fried eggplant, vegetarian style with tofu.
There was a ton of food left over, enough for another 2 people probably, and the whole thing cost like $22 including tax.  After that we headed to The Hungry Cat for drinks with some other friends.  I had a very delicious oatmeal stout from the Craftsman Brewing Co. and chocolate bread pudding.

Oh, and we scored some free parking on Sunset Blvd. just a block away from the Hungry Cat!

Traveling the World from my desktop.

Ok so I have not yet played with Google Earth (shameful, I know!).  But I do love to explore Google Maps, especially with the satellite feature (and I just love maps in general).  I just discovered a new feature--looks like Google Maps has teamed with a product called Panoramio, which pairs gorgeous photos taken by just about anyone, with different points on the map.

It's pretty darn cool, man.  It's just enough information to make me want to visit ALL these cool places.  Well actually, I actually have been to Bagan Archaelogical Zone in Burma.  One of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in my life--1000s of pagodas dotting a plain stretching as far as the eye can see.

Photos from LA: The Food!

1. My cousins and I chowing down on Bob's Doughnuts at the historic 3rd Street Farmer's Market
2. Sweets at the Farmer's Market
3. Pinkberry
4. Amazing, creamy tortilla soup with avocado, and tacos: chicken simmered in peanut sauce, and savory albondigas (Mexican meatballs) over soft handmade corn tortillas.  From Loteria in the Farmer's Market.
5. Homemade breakfast for two (me and my friend Jane): eggs over easy, wheat toast, fried Spam, and fresh fruit salad (nectarines, bushberries, and bananas)
6. The most tender and delectable spinach-ricotta ravioli ever, slathered in rich pesto sauce, at Rosti Tuscany Kitchen (Father's Office was closed for lunch -_______-)
7. Mouth watering roasted chicken in citrus marinade, with white rice, black beans and plantains.  From Versailles Cuban Food in Culver City.
8. Nighttime at the Farmer's Market