Los Angeles Trip Day 5

Day 5 T-Shirt: The Collaborate & Dream Series: Nicolo Nimor/Nick Automatic

Day 5 was the last day of our 2011 Los Angeles trip and we spent most of the time shopping, and you guessed it, eating! Our first shopping destination was Citadel Outlets. We first passed by Citadel on our way to Disneyland a few days prior. Let me tell, this outlet mall stands out because it really does look like a big medieval fortress. While we were there, we did some shopping but not as much as I had expected. I did pick up a few things from Billabong and Quicksilver (I usually stock up on shorts – a staple if you live in Hawaii) like I normally do. Though I was surprised that I left Nike and H&M empty handed. It’s okay, there’s always another time and another trip!

By the time we had finished shopping at Citadel it was midday and we were both quite hungry for some lunch. We decided to hit up a burger joint that had been on our itinerary a few days earlier but had decided to skip. The restaurant is called Umami Burger, and let me tell you, it is not to be missed. The flavors that you will get from these burgers are out-of-this-world good! And the onion rings, so delicious. I had my eyes set on the Triple Pork Burger (fresh ground pork, choriz0, and applewood smoked bacon with manchego cheese & pimenton aioli). Sounds nice and fatty, huh? I know, I was excited too! Unfortunately, they were out. What to do now? Two words: MANLY BURGER. This burger consists of beer-cheddar cheese, smoked salt onion rings, and bacon lardons. Good god did my mouth have an mouthgasm that day. Michelle had the signature Umami Burger and she swears that it was just as delicious. If you like burgers, try this place out!

Once we had our fill of the savory flavors of umami, we decided to do more … shopping! This time, we stopped by a little shop called Japan LA. It’s a small Japanese pop culture shop right off of Melrose Avenue. Think of it as Sanrio plus some. They’ve got a ton of Sanrio trinkets as well as other little Japanese oddities. It’s definitely a fun store. I hear they are nearly ready to move into a new, 4x bigger space, so if you’re into Japanese pop toys then you should definitely pay these guys a visit. One thing that I did notice during my visit to Japan LA were some Seibei goods. There were just a few Seibei tees and tanks left, but they did have the Make Me A Sandwich Dino tee!

You might see a pattern going on for Day 5: shop, eat, shop…so of course the next thing that we did was eat! we finally made it to the world famous Diddy Riese Cookies in Westwood, located near UCLA. Nothing in LA is cheap, except for Diddy Riese Cookies! You can score an awesome homemade ice-cream cookie sandwich for just $1.50. Insane? I’ll have two please! Needless to say, I left with two dozen cookies and my co-workers sure did enjoy them!

Now back to Melrose and back to shopping. This time we hit up a few stores, including Johnny Cupcakes (yes, again), Tokidoki, Urban Outfitters, and Paul Frank. Doesn’t it seem like all of the awesome store are in LA?

And finally, for our final dinner in Los Angeles, we decided to dine at Craft in West LA. Some of you might know Tom Colicchio from Top Chef, well, this is his restaurant. I’d say that Craft is casual fine dining. You don’t need to get too dressed up for it, but you definitely don’t want to walk in with shorts and a T-Shirt. I have to say that our Craft experience was pretty amazing. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was great, and the service was excellent. And although our server did initially forget our sparkling water, when she remembered, she immediately brought it to our table courtesy of the house. They do give you a lot of freebies (not on the menu), while you wait for your main entree, however, I failed to jot down any notes. They even served the both of us a complimentary arugula salad while we waited for our food (she brought it out because she said my chicken would take some time to cook). Ah yes, the chicken. Everything on the menu is ala carte, I ended up getting the Roasted Farm Chicken and Michelle had the Steelhead Salmon & Espelette. For sides we shared some potatoes gratin and broccoli. Thanks to Milk & Eggs Co. for the great suggestion!

Craft marked the ending to quite an eventful trip. We ate really good food every single day and we got to meet Mickey Mouse. Could things have been any better? Maybe. Would I have changed anything about this trip? Nah, it was awesomely perfect.

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!

365 Days of T-Shirts: Day 7 – Buy Some Johnny Cupcakes T-Shirts

So today’s project was more like an “activity.” Since I’m in Los Angeles, I thought it was a must to check out the Johnny Cupcakes boutique on Melrose Avenue. Now, I’ve been to Johnny’s Boston shop on the swanky Newbury St. in Boston. This shop seemed a bit bigger than the Boston shop. I picked up a couple of tees that I’ve been wanting to pick up for some time now, including the iconic white and black Crossbones T-Shirt.

If you do decide to stop by Johnny Cupcakes on Melrose Avenue then I would suggest that you also cross the street and check out the Kid Robot and Loyal Army Shops. You’ll find a ton of trendy T-Shirts there as well.

Now, go buy some T-Shirts!

*I’ll also be doing a separate post covering my visit to Johnny Cupcakes in Los Angeles, complete with photos of the shop! Check back for that.

Johnny Cupcakes
7959 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, California 90048
(323) 653-2253

Day 6: Buy Some Johnny Cupcakes T-Shirts

All artwork belong to their respective owners.

The T-Shirt 365 project is free of charge, meaning, you can use the materials provided here as many times as you would like. However, I do ask that you DO NOT repost the actual project files on other websites. It would be better if you simply linked back to the particular blog post on my website! It’s good karma for you and it’ll make me super happy to see the linkback!

The goal of the project is to have enough material so that I can make a book encompassing the entire project. If all goes as planned, we’ll have something amazing available in 2012!

Los Angelino

The only ones that will bleed tears of defeat in this years NBA Finals are the Los Angeles Lakers. Having said that, all of you Laker fans might be interested in this recently reprinted tee from Los Angeles based clothing company, Bloodbath. Los Angelino features the familiar Lakers insignia and the classic LA gold and purple.

You can pick up Los Angelino from Bloodbath now for $27.99.

By the way: GO CELTICS.

Los Angelino by Bloodbath

Unique LA Day 2 Recap Photos

Looks like a lot of you enjoyed the photos provided by our friends at Milk & Eggs Co! Fortunately for you, there’s more where that came from. Here are some photos from Day 2 of the Independent Design and Gift Show: Unique LA. Please enjoy and remember to visit Milk & Eggs Co. for some awesome and fun teeeeee shirts!

FAZE Apparel | FAZE is an acronym for Fearless and Zealous Everyday and is a San Francisco clothing line brought to you by three uniquely different, yet similar individuals. To us and our supporters, FAZE is more than a brand, it’s a mentality that should be upheld daily. You are driven by passion and FAZE will help you prove it to the world, through apparel with elevated designs and harmonious color schemes that represent your adaptive and visionary instinct.

FAZE Apparel

FAZE Apparel

LiNK: Liberty In North Korea | LiNK exists so that one day the crisis in North Korea will not. We operate under a mandate that does not allow us to remain silent about the human rights and refugee crisis that is a result of this emergency. We educate, protect, advocate, provide and empower the North Korean people so that one day they will have the opportunity to live in true freedom.

LINK

LINK

M7

M7

MNKR | To make people happy through the wearable medium of the T-Shirt.

MNKR

MNKR

[Read more…]

Johnny Cupcakes Presents: The Bakers Dozen

Johnny Cupcakes, known for his limited edition ways, has unleashed the first of his Bakers Dozen series of tees. This line of tees will be especially difficult to get since they will be in-store only exclusive – advantage goes to Los Angeles and Boston residents. That means that the rest of us – who live outside of LA and Beantown can only hope one of these guys end up on eBay for a reasonable (I cringe at how much they will go for) price. The Bakers Dozen tees will come in waves of 130, with each of the tees numbered. What do you guys think about these in-store exclusives? 

The Bakers Dozen

Mr. Cupcakes also showed off some other in-store exclusives (non Bakers Dozen):

Johnny Cupcakes Exclusives

Johnny Cupcakes Exclusives