Los Angeles Trip Day 4

Day 4 T-Shirt of Choice: Live While You Can by Dance Party Massacre

The main attraction for Day 4 was a trip to the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino – but more on that in a little bit. To kick start the day, we drove to Glendale and stopped over at Porto’s Bakery & Cafe. This not-so-little bakery came to us highly recommended by a couple of our friends, so of course, we had to check it out. Porto’s is known for their cheese rolls and potato ball, neither of which I have ever tasted. Needless to say, my taste buds were excited. They weren’t disappointed. The potato balls were quite filling, a bit dense, and very tasty. The cheese rolls were just downright amazingly good. I’m writing this post over a week since our visit to Porto’s and I can still taste those amazing cheese rolls. I want some right now.

After Porto’s we made a pit stop at Old Pasadena Town. This is a neat little place filled with a lot of big and small name shops. We of course had to stop over at Urban Outfitters (I so wish that we had one in Hawaii). Michelle loves to browse the trinkets whenever we stop at Urban Outfitters and I, of course, love to check out the clothes – T-Shirts specifically. Another stop we made while checking out Old Pasadena Town was Dots Cupcakes. We were both a little hesitant due to our lackluster Sprinkles experience a few days prior. Luckily, we had nothing to worry about. The cupcakes at Dots were amazingly good. So much better than Sprinkles and *possibly* a little better than Butter Lane in New York City. They looked amazing and tasted just as good as they looked. I had the Chocolate Mint and let me tell you, it’s to die for! Another plus about Dots is that you don’t need to wait in a ridiculous line like that found at Sprinkles in Beverly Hills. If you ever find yourself in Old Pasadena Town then be sure to stop by Dots Cupcakes.

With all that food in our tummies, Huntington Botanical Gardens was our next stop. I’ve been to a couple of Botanical Gardens, across a few states, and I have to say that this was probably the most impressive one thus far. It was beautiful. It was picturesque. It was serene. And it was huge! It was so big that we had to narrow our focus on a couple of specific parts of the garden. We decided to focus on the Japanese and Chinese Gardens. The view that you initially get when you reach the Japanese Garden is just stunning and totally worth the visit, in my opinion. I could imagine myself just coming here with a book and getting lost in my own imagination. There are a ton of photo taking opportunities, so when you visit, make sure that your camera’s memory card is free of space because you’ll definitely want to take a lot of photos. I’d highly recommend a visit here.

By the time that we had left the botanical gardens, the sun had just about set. We, however, weren’t done for the day. We decided to make a trip back to Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Why? Well, the first time that I was there, I spotted Godzilla’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I failed to take a photo, though, because of the crazy foot traffic. I regretted that decision and was able to convince Michelle to make a stop there once again. And yes, I found Godzilla’s star the second time around and I was sure to get my photo!

For dinner we were both craving some Italian food. Michelle spotted this one restaurant during a previous trip to Melrose Avenue called Osteria La Buca. The Yelp ratings were favorable so we decided to give it a shot and make it our dinner destination. Michelle had the linguini di mare and I went with the tagliatelle bolognese. One thing that’s great about Osteria La Buca is that they make all of their pasta in house. Whenever something is made by hand and from scratch, you can really tell the difference. I enjoyed Osteria La Buca and I imagine that If I lived in the area, I would make this restaurant one of the places that I’d dine at on a regular basis.

Los Angeles Trip Day 1

This is the first of a couple day-by-day updates that I’ll be doing during my trip to Los Angeles. I thought it would be cool to keep you guys up to date on what I’m up to and what tees I’m wearing! If you want to check out the tee that I wore, just click on the orange links.

Day 1 T-Shirt of Choice: Moustardche! by Marcelo Jimenez (Threadless)

The one thing that I love more than T-Shirts is traveling! In my first trip of 2011, both Michelle and I travel 2551 from Honolulu to the movie capital of the world. The flight was relatively short, just 4 hours. We had the red eye, and so we left Honolulu at 10pm and arrived in Lost Angeles at around 5 am. We were both very, very tired. But we had to make the best of the time, since time is of course money!

Our first stop after picking up our rental car was to our hotel to unpack and freshen up! It also gave me a chance to throw on Moustardche! by Marcelo Jimenez. I thought that it was the perfect shirt considering what we were planning to have for lunch (but more on this in a bit). The main reason for the trip was so that Michelle could do some very specific shopping. So after we got her stuff done (which was the first thing that we did), we could start playing tourists and foodies.

Our first taste of Los Angeles was at Wurstküche Restaurant, located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. Our friend Ade, from Milk & Eggs Co., suggested Wurstküche as THE place to go for hot dogs in LA that isn’t a tourist trap (see Pink’s Hot Dogs). Wurstküche is known for their eclectic collection of sausages. They have rattlesnake, alligator, rabbit, and duck. But don’t worry, they also carry regular sausages as well. But the oridinary dogs are not what we came for. We came for the strange.

Sausage heaven indeed!

I ordered the Duck & Bacon sausage sandwich, while Michelle had the Alligator with Pork & Andouille. My sausage was to die for. Seriously, duck and bacon? How can anything get better than that? I also took a bite of Michelle’s alligator sausage – it had kick and it was good! My mention of Wurstküche would be remiss if I failed to mention their AMAZING belgian fries. These were the best fries ever. So good!

After Wurstküche, we of course had to clean our palate with some desert? Where to go for desert in Los Angeles? How about Sprinkles, the world’s first cupcake bakery. These guys started the cupcake trend. The line to Sprinkles was out the door. We ordered 3 cupcakes: Red Velvet, Banana, and the Black & White. You might remember that during our New York trip, we paid a visit to Butter Lane, as the per the suggestion of our favorite baking buddy, Carlos from Oven Fresh Dreams. I’d have to say that Butter Lane cupcakes dominates those from Sprinkles. Sprinkles cupcakes were very cake-y and dense, whereas the cupcakes at butterlane are a bit more light. Don’t get me wrong, the cupcakes were delicious but I just wish I lived closer to Butter Lane.

As you can see, the Red Velvet supply has been depleted!

OH and since we’re talking Sprinkles, I have to say that we had a crazy time finding this little cupcake bakery! It’ll take some time for me to get used to the LA roads. In getting lost, though, we did find ourselves in Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. All I could think about was that scene in Pretty Woman with Vivian Ward  (Julia Roberts) being snubbed in one of the high end boutique shops!

By this time, both I was 100% exhausted. The constant traffic takes a toll and that small car we rented is a bit cramped for my liking, making the driving experience that much more difficult. So we headed back to our hotel for a quick nap before dinner.

As you can tell, we love to eat. Whereas other people spend time shopping, we spend time finding and eating good food. For dinner, we walked 2 blocks to KOI restaurant. Apparently, a lot of celebrities stop by KOI. We didn’t see anyone of note. So KOI serves Japanese-inspired cuisine, so that means, lot’s of trendy sounding sushi rolls. To start, we had the Rock Shrimp Tempura and the Baked Crab Rolls. The crab rolls, I thought, were a bit of a miss. On the other hand, the Rock Shrimp Tempura was very tasty and delicious – I wanted more! As far as entrees, I had a Kobe style filet mignon that was prepared Topan-Yaki styled. I’m not sure why they say Kobe style because if it’s not Kobe beef, it’s not Kobe beef! It’s just beef. Despite this, the filet mignon was excellent. It’s melted in my mouth like butter. It was delectable and cooked perfectly for my tastes (which by the way is rare-medium).For desert we shared the signature KOI sundae. I’ll let the picture of the Sundae speak for itself!

And that was it for our first day! We ended the night a bit early, but hey, it was our first day and we were both so tired. Here’s looking forward to tomorrow’s adventures!

The Seal of Dreams

Dreams are a funny thing. For some people, dreams tend unravel quickly. For others, dreams take some time and come true at the most surprising of moments. For Carlos J. EasyBake, Oven Fresh Dreams is a dream in progress that was born out of his passion for baking, tattoos and T-Shirts. Oven Fresh Dreams was inspired by clothing lines such as Paul Frank, Johnny Cupcakes, and Benny Gold, with the hope of intertwining the t-shirt, tattoo, and baking community.

I had the opportunity to meet up with Mr. EasyBaske on a recent visit to New York and he invited me to meet up with him at the bakery that he works at. We chatted about out common interests: T-Shirts and food! It was awesome to learn that Carlos was a foodie like myself and I had a great time picking Carlos’ brain on all things food and restaurant related in NYC. We even had a chance to stop by a few of his recommended dining spots, and of course, they were amazing experiences. The one thing that I did get from my visit with Carlos was that his passion for the things that he loves (baking, tees, family) is 100% pure.

The big dream for Carlos is to one day open his own bake shop, and fuse T-Shirt and skate culture into it. The Seal of Dreams T-Shirt is an indication that Mr. EasyBake is taking the right steps into the right direction. He has done a great job at branding Oven Fresh Dreams so far (he has over 1600 fans on Facebook) and has made connections with some amazing people within the T-Shirt community, like Nicolo Nimor of Nick Automatic, who designed one of his first collaboration tees.

“This shirt represents the dreams we carry with us every day. Oven Fresh Dreams is much more than a baking, lifestyle company. It’s a movement that embraces individuality & achieving anything we put our minds to. By wearing this shirt you’re letting everyone know you’re not afraid to take risks because you’re a dreamer!”

The Seal of Dreams is printed on a white American Apparel tee and is available now from Oven Fresh Dreams for $15.99. Go pick one up now and start to make your dreams a reality!

Oven Fresh Dreams

Oven Fresh Dreams

Toronto/New York Trip Day 7

Day 7 T-Shirt of Choice: Refill Required by Glennz Tees / Origami Pigeon by Random Objects

NYC Neighborhoods Visited: Midtown West, Lower East Side, East Village, Theater District, Flatiron

Today was our last full day in New York City and it started early. very early. How early? 5 am early. Now you might be wondering what would compel two people already lacking in much needed sleep to wake up to 5 am. The answer: Foursquare. I was determined to earn my Today Show Newbie badge and the only way to do that was to be at Studio 1A in Rockefeller Center before 6 am. Possible? Absolutely! Out hotel is situated about a 5 minute walk away from Studio 1A and so quickly getting there was not an issue. The alarm went off at 5 am sharp, but we both hit the snooze the button. It went off again at 5:30 am, we jumped out of bed, quickly got ready and was out of the door by 5:35 am. By 5:40 we were at Studio 1A and I was able to score my Foursquare Today Show Newbie Badge! I was excited and tired as hell. And so instead of standing in line with the crazy Today Show fans, we decided to head back to the hotel to snooze off again. Hah!

At The Today Show

After a slight blog disaster (it lasted a good 30 minutes before the problems were resolved), we decided to head back to the Lower East Side to experience the one and only Katz’s Delicatessen. Located on East Houston St., Katz is famous for their popular Pastrami on Rye Sandwich.

If you’ve seen When Harry Met Sally then you’re already familiar with Katz’s Delicatessen. It’s the place where Sally had the greatest orgasm ever. They even have a sign situated right above the table in which the infamous scene took place. Part of the Katz experience is simply getting your food. They have a weird system of ordering, but if it works for them, why change it? When you first enter Katz, you are given a ticket. You are then directed to one of 4 different areas of the counter. Depending on what you want, that is the area of the counter that you go to. We wanted our Pastrami Sandwich, and after initially go to the wrong line (the breakfast line), we headed to the sandwich line. Now, there was literally no one there when we went since we stopped by shortly after opening, but apparently, it gets super busy at peak lunch times. Our sandwich server was a little grumpy, but he did offer us samples of the meats while he made our sandwiches. The samples were so delicious and was a great prelude to the real deal. I ordered the classic Pastrami on Rye and Michelle had the Reuben on Rye. After you get your sandwich, you then go to one of the drink lines to grab your beverage. There’s one section for canned sodas, and another line for everything else. At each counter station, you give the helper your ticket and they serially tally your total charges. Interestingly, you don’t pay until after you finish eating. You bring your ticket to the front of the restaurant and pay the cashier before heading out the door full and satisfied.

Katz's Delicatessen

Katz's Delicatessen

The pastrami for me was the best I have ever had. I’m used to wet pastrami sandwiches, this was hardly that. The meat was tender, but it was not dripping like crazy with oil as I ate it. Also, the serving was huge (for me at least). I asked the server if the sandwich was big (we considered sharing one). Then, he flashed me the piece of bread he was using and then said “no, it’s not.” And that is why we ordered two separate sandwiches. But when we received our sandwiches (it took about 5 minutes for him to cut the meat and prep it) we noticed that they really do pack on the meat. If it’s a big and succulent pastrami that you’re looking for, then be sure to check out Katz’s Delicatessen. Meg Ryan would approve.

Though we couldn’t even finish our sandwiches from Katz’s, we headed down to Butter Lane for cupcakes, as suggested by Carlos of Oven Fresh Dreams. We arrived there right before they opened. Upon entering, we were greeted by trays of mouthwatering cupcakes. I decided on the Elvis (banana cupcake with a peanut butter frosting, topped with marshmallows) and Michelle had the Marco (chocolate cupcake with a maple pecan frosting). The cupcakes was so light and moist and the frosting was not overly sweet. One of the best cupcakes we’ve ever had!

Butter Lane

Butter Lane

Butter Lane

Hey, that’s me sporting Origami Pigeon in front of Butter Lane! Be on the look out for this shirt to be featured in an upcoming episode of Co-Tee TV (I should know, because it’s already been filmed).

We then caught the subway back up to 5th avenue to check out the NBA Store. I’m a big basketball fan, but the prices were just a little too outrageous for me. Once we did our walk through, we headed back to Hotel Mela for some much needed rest and some shut eye. After 5 days in New York City, we were both very exhausted.

Feeling rejuvenated, we caught the subway back to the Lower East Side to pay a visit to Brian Shevlin of Year of the T-Shirt fame. He’s the guy that’s been wearing a different T-Shirt ever day in 2010 and posting his tees on his site on a daily basis. Brian runs a little art collective called Con Artist, with Con standing for Connected. It’s a place where artists can congregate, socialize, design and sell their goods and artwork. Con Artist is a little hole in the ground, literally. Two black doors are swung open from the sidewalk of Ludlow Street, inviting guests to come and take a peek at the artwork, as well as the vintage and new tees. Brian gave me a tour of his little art abode and I was thoroughly impressed and blown away by their quality of work. If you’re in the Lower East Side and you want to be inspired, then be sure to stop by Con Artist – tell Brian that Coty sent you!

Brian let me take a TON of photos of his gallery and workshop, and I will be posting those in the coming days in a separate post, so be sure to be on the lookout for that.

Con Artsit

Year of the T-Shirt

Year of the T-Shirt

A few blocks away from Con Artist was our dinner destination. Boca Chica was highly recommended by Carlos of Oven Fresh Dreams (remember, we stopped by and visited him the day before) and so we just had to check it out. Tired of Italian, we were excited to tingle out tongues with Latin American cuisine. Carlos was right, Boca Chica was an awesome food experience – it was so good! We started off with plantain chips and bean dip (on the house) and Alitas De Pollo (grilled spicy, honeyed wings). The honeywings were so tender and spiced just right. For the entrees, Michelle had the Arroz Con Camarones (shrimp and yellow rice) and I had the Pollo Havanero (grilled chicken with almond, parsley, garlic sauce). The Pollo Havanero was delicious, and the sauce that was smothered over the chicken was perfect.

Boca Chica

After dinner we made a pit stop at Trader Joe’s to pick up a few more goodies to bring back home and then we made one last ditch effort to taste the famous sticky buns from Amy’s Bread. When we visited Carlos at the Amy’s Bread on Bleaker St., they were unfortunately out of sticky buns. Lucky for us, they had one sticky bun left at Amy’s Bread in the Hell’s Kitchen area.

Amy's Bread

With our sticky bun curiosity put aside, we headed back to our hotel to pack up our things for our flight back to Honolulu, Hawaii. We made one last trip to the Shake Shack on 44th for a midnight snack. The Shack Burger hit the spot and was the perfect ending to a delightful and food-filled NYC experience.

In 5 days we did so much, experienced so much and tasted so much. The only thing left to wonder about New York is when we will be back. I Heart New York, that’s for sure.

Weekly Recap and Linkology | May 21, 2010

Sorry about missing the Linkology post last week. I was too busy preparing for all the LOST madness that was posted this past week! Please forgive me.

Around This Blog:

This past week has been ALL ABOUT LOST! And of course the best way to celebrate the last week and final two episodes of one of the greatest shows ever on television is by having an epic list of T-Shirts!

108 Lost T-Shirts, Tees, Shirts, T's

If you haven’t checked out Damon Carlton And A Polar Bear then you are missing out on some of THE BEST LOST T-Shirts around. I’m not kidding.

Locke Honor

I ran a short, flash contest that only last 5 hours. All you needed to do was write a LOST themed haiku and you could have won Constant, a LOST/Back To The Future mashup tee from Teefury. There were nearly 40 haiku entries! These two won the T-Shirts:

Walt by cul-de-zack

“Waaaaaaaalt! Waaaaaalt! Waaaaaaaalt! Waaaaaalt! Waaaaaaaalt!”
Now take a deep breath, Michael.
“Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalt! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalt! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalt! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalt! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALT!”

Crazy Moms by VoxRobotica

Claire’s a Crazy Mom
Just like our French Friend Rousseau
and Jacob’s “Mother”.

Read ALL of the haiku entires here.

And finally, I wanted to mention some of the blogs that mentioned the 108 LOST T-Shirts to Celebrate The End Including 20 You Can’t Buy list! Thanks to:

DarkUFO: The BEST LOST Blog around!

Consumer Reports

Holy Kaw: The Alltop Blog

The Honolulu Advertiser: LOST In Hawaii Blog

T-Shirt Blogging Friends:

Nice find by Andy from Hide Your Arms. The shirt is called Form Follows Function and is available now from AIAIAI for € 40.

form_follows_fun-480x480

Our good friend, Macho Slut from Found Item Clothing has put together a nice list of 10 Iron Man Themed T-Shirts! Go check it out! Via Found Item Clothing.

I know that Johnny Cupcakes posted this cupcake cannon video a few weeks ago, but, I noticed that it was on frequent play on ESPN this past week, especially SportsNation. Awesome, Johnny!

Or good buddy, Chris Reimer of Rizzo Tees just landed a pretty sweet gig at Scorch Agency. He is the new Chief Marketing Officer at Scorch. Congratulations, Chris! Everyone else, go and buy some Rizzo Tees to celebrate!

Finally, congratulations to Bo of Loving This Tee for accomplishing something that just 1% of the world populations accomplishes … graduating college!

Other Coty Links:

This is what happens when you combine the iPad and industrial strength Velcro. Conceptualized by Jesse Rosten. Via SwipeTap.

You didn’t think the LOST mentions would stop, now did you? Check out this awesome Hip-Hop tribute song to LOST by The Injustice League. Via Tumblr Trends.

I’d never wear this shirt. Via FAILShirt.

blink

Threadless News:

My Threadless picks of the week go to Deadly Goldmine by Andreas Krapf and A Brief History of the World by João Lauro Fonte. Oh and in case you haven’t heard, Threadless now has flat rate shipping rates of $5 for the US and $10 for international folks!

Deadly Goldmine

A Brief History of the World

Sick On Sin Winter Release

The crazy Canadaians over at Sick On Sin has just released their newest line of tees featuring 8 fun characters. My favorite is the Vampire tee – it’s super cute. Though I think they should have released this line closer to Halloween. I was kind of hoping to see some corrupt christmas characters – but oh well, maybe next time!

The new tees are priced at $26 CAD (Canadian) but you can save some mucho cash, with mucho equating to 20% off your order, by using the coupon code  4NS1109 up until November 22, 2009.

Also note that if you are planning on giving the gift of Sin this holiday the estimated shipping deadlines are December 8 for Canada, December 1 for USA, and November 26 for International.

Vampire

sos2

Vampire

Vampire