We arrived around noon on a Friday and were immediately whisked off to the excellent CaCao Mexicatessen for lunch. GO THERE! I had a Michelada and a Carne Asada Sope. A lunch companion had a spicy cucumber margarita and let me have a taste. Amazing.
Carne Asada Sope
Next, we went to our rental house in Altadena. It was, naturally, amazing. Mediterranean villa style with immaculate interior and lovely patio and pool. A fellow foodie and I ventured forth to get provisions for the place, including some hard-to-come-by ice and way more alcohol than we could ever drink. We had a lot of fun. We also found a cute watermelon and some fresh figs.
We were in town for a family wedding, so next was rehearsal dinner. This was in a great spot in Old Pasadena called AKA Bistro, on a European feeling patio that backed into a square that happened to be showing their weekly movie... Chicken Run.
Salad course included beets, tomatoes, and goat cheese.
My neighbor and I shared entrees. Here's his burger.
And here's my huge platter of pacific coast mussels (that also included sausage, peppers, and clams).
The next morning we made eggs in our rental house and noshed on spinach boreg. I tried to catch up on some sleep while others accidentally purchased more watermelon.
Then... the wedding. I love weddings, particularly how a wedding is such a unique expression of the couple who create it. This one was completely charming and surprising and lovely and fun. We loved seeing two good people tie the knot, and being able to celebrate with them.
And next... the 9-course Chinese banquet. I never thought I'd get to do this, and it was AMAZING.
Cold Cuts Platter
Chicken soup with "bamboo pith." Not advertised but present was fish maw. It was quite delicious!
Stir-fried lobster with garlic. I took big bits because I don't know how to deal with these bugs.
Honey Walnut Prawns--one of my favorites. Sooooooo good. I took seconds.
Andrew Style Filet Mignon--we figured out Andrew is one of the co-owners of the catering company. I like his style.
Peking duck fixin's
Peking duck ready to eat. YUM!
Andrew Style vegetables.
Whole fish, scraped off the bone at-table. Skeleton at front, tender fish pieces at back.
There was much dancing and enjoyment and use of fans (no AC) after dinner. There was a DJ and there may have been some Hey Ya and some All Good People. And then we still had two days left in Cali!
On Sunday morning we went to a family brunch at Amalia's in east Hollywood. This low key treasure serves Guatemalan food. Do NOT ask for a burrito, as they will politely inform you that a burrito is not Guatemalan at all.
September in Los Angeles deserves a large ice water with lime. And an unsweetened iced tea, too... I had two, not shown.
Delicious appetizers, very simple flavors from black bean to meat to guacamole.
I never get a chile relleno by itself (left) when I can get a tamale too (right). These were very different from the Santa Fe versions I'm used to, but tender and yummy!
Coming up next... dim sum on an LA afternoon!