After my birthday party I went home and went to bed and then I woke up and flew to Los Angeles. Mom and Owen and Stuart picked me up from the airport and were kind enough to humor my need to go to three Mexican places on the way home to Grandma's.
First we stopped at Mariscos Jalisco on Olympic in Boyle Heights for their famous shrimp tacos.
These are two of said shrimp tacos. They're deep friend in the shell (taco shell, not shrimp) and served covered in an avocado-studded salsa. Delicious!
The Mariscos Jalisco truck parks outside this little office building with seating inside if you don't feel like eating your Mexican seafood in the sun (or shade). There's also ladies inside there selling toys and candy.
On the tables: gigantic bottles of habanero salsa with charming copy.
And then we drove north, and west, a bit to the Arts District.
To try Guerrilla Tacos. (There's Mom!)
Guerilla Tacos serves expensive fancy tacos befitting the hipster wonderland vibe of the neighborhood where they're found. Here's a few of their chorizo and Peruvian potato (Peruvian potato? That's not very Mexican!) with pickled onion tacos...very tasty, yes.
And here's a sweet potato and feta taco. Also good. Great tacos. Award-winning tacos, all around. But these ain't hip hop.
What do I mean by "hipster wonderland" when I describe the Arts District? Well, there was a Van Leeuwen ice cream truck parked just down the block. And the Guerrilla Tacos truck was parked in front of a coffee shop with a Warby Parker in the back--this must be where they live on New Girl.
Vibes of the old neighborhood remain, though.
And then we drove on over to...
It was carnitas sopes all around for our table and a dozen tamales to go. Mom's remains unimpeachable, as always. Just the best.
Where Owen tried on a sheep fur for Saturday (more on that later...later later)
That night we all went to see Age of Ultron with Collin and then we went to get dinner at Chego, which now shares its mini-mall with a Pok Pok Phat Thai, so I grabbed a plate of those noodles while my family ordered at Chego.
Collin getting all up in those noodles.
Our Chego food...
Kung Pao noodles
Believe this is a Hen House bowl
Meatballs and Ooey Gooey fries
Prime Rib rice bowl.
One side of the table.
And the other.
One last thing to do: take a picture in the Pooh pot.
And a little late night curbside conversation.
The next morning Collin and Mallory came over
They brought me a birthday coffee cake!
This would be a good time to show you another present I got in California.
Then we went with Owen to do something cool all day I'll tell you about later (later later).
That night I had dinner with Mom and Owen at Lucky Noodle King on East Valley.
Cabbage and peanut starter plate.
Dan Dan Noodles
Twice Cooked Pork (VERY good, I don't believe I had this the last time I was there. The waitress knew everything we were going to order before we said it, I guess certain guests always order the same things they saw recommended on the internet?)
Chongqing Chicken fulfilling Owen's dreams of knowing what numbing spice is like.
I think we got all the chicken?
Mom and new friend.
Then we met Afton and Stuart at Towhey's for dessert (Bittersweet Hot Fudge Sundaes and onion rings)
I do believe this would be on the Taylor family crest.
Sunday afternoon we took our traditional walk over to Caltech.
Things were really hopping at the turtle ponds.
Then it was back to the backyard.
Grandma and Mom.
Monday's breakfast of champions
Then we had lunch at the Boat.
In the car Owen was asking if we thought it was possible to get their chili burger on their famous cheese bread instead of on a bun and I was like "I don't know but I'm asking for that!" I thought they were going to look at me like I was crazy but actually I was a dummy because it turns out that's something they totally do. They call it "Heart Attack Style", I think they could pick a better name. Cheese bread doesn't give you heart attacks! Right?
CincOwen de Mayo
After the Boat we drove down East Valley again to the Kang Kang Foodcourt in Alhambra. It's a lot to take in for first timers (a.k.a. "all of us").
We were just there to try their famed pan-fried soup dumplings (but I wish I had gotten their deep-fried layered pancake, too). The dumplings were great, but I should have youtube'd "How to eat soup dumplings" before going to Kang Kang. Lots of accidental squirts.
Driving home, passing sights. Had never seen the Alhambra ward house before, which is weird.
Back at Grandma's, Stuart and Afton had two cats with them, but the only one I ever saw was Frodo.
By the afternoon the trip was drawing to an end. Owen had to go to LAX to fly back to Boise, so it was porch picture time. There's my socks!
Our mother and us.
Later Jesse picked me up on her way home from work because she was kind enough to volunteer to take me to the airport. But first we stopped at her house to see her foster kittens.
So that was my trip to California. It was a great post-Birthday celebration, and I can't believe I probably ate more Asian food than Mexican. You just never know what strange turns your life is going to take!