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.