Friday, July 5, 2013

Four Things Friday

Ghosts ceramics, The Varnish bar, ramen, The Parker
Sometimes it's nice to just take a break from normal life and use the "i'm on vacation" excuse for everything.  This was one of those weeks.  Filled with lovely friends and a weekend away in Palm Springs (where I'd never visited until now), it was the perfect way to start the month.  After this week though, I will definitely need to BLOW OFF alcohol and go through a serious detox-- sort of like Sandra Bullock in 28 Days (not to be mistaken with the zombie movie 28 Days Later or the Katherine Heigl classic 27 Dresses.)

arrow, ghosts ceramics, tea!
best house guests ever/best gifts ever
This week, my friends from Umami Mart in Oakland (Kayoko and Yoko and Anders) came to Los Angeles to do some business and throw a sake tasting in Culver City.  We were lucky enough to host them at our place.  We had some delicious meals and I finally got to meet Anders, (way of Copenhagen) designer of their stunning store & brand new combini AND my favorite mugCheck out his awesome website.  The above items are three lovely housewarming gifts they brought for us (clockwise: symbolic arrow of the Shinto religion that wards off evil spirits by Anders,  Ghosts ceramic by Anders, and the Atelier Dion Tea Cup custom created for Umami Mart w/Japanese tea) .  If you are in need of retail therapy, but don't live in Oakland, then check out their online store.  I love having visitors, it's the perfect way to get out of the daily routine and see all the great things about the city you live in through the eyes of other people.  And if you're going through a break up, hosting friends is a much needed distraction from thinking about your ex. 
Silverlake Ramen, Umami Mart & friends
SilverLake Ramen (2927 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, 90026)
Speaking of good food, our farewell meal with Umami Mart was a giant bowl of steaming hot ramen at SilverLake Ramen.  Um, talk about amazing comfort food.  This will be my new spot every time it rains in LA (yes, it does rain in LA) and even though we went there on a really hot day, the ramen still hit the spot.  Plus, we got to dine there with Umami Mart's Ramen Shamen.  I learned a lot about ramen-- for starters, the broth takes as long as sixteen hours to perfect.  And ramen is meant to be eaten quickly (cause the noodles expand), so even though a couple people in our party didn't have their food yet, we had to go ahead and dig into ours.  I ordered the Tonkotsu Ramen with pork belly and a hard boiled egg.  We got salads and gyoza too and it was under $20 per person.  This place is a great cheap eat on a date, but wait until you're not shy about eating in front of your significant other.  There's a lot of slurping and noodles falling out of your mouth involved.
The Varnish (118 East 6th Street, Los Angeles 90014)
My new favorite Los Angeles bar is a speak easy in downtown LA.  I had visited The Varnish a couple years ago, but only went back for the second time last weekend when Genevieve, one of my oldest friends (3rd grade, y'all), was in town all the way from Scotland.  The following night, Team Umami Mart also wanted to check out the much talked about bar.  So, basically now I'm a regular.  The Varnish is a hidden bar in the back of Cole's French Dip, but even though it has a bit of an exclusive feel to it, the bartenders and waiters are not snooty at all.  For the perfect date spot, check out their Sinful Sundays when their house band sings naughty songs from the 20s.  Also, their drinks are STRONG, so if you want to numb the pain of a break up, it's the perfect spot for you.  But drink with caution cause the first time I ever went there, I puked a bunch.
The Parker Palm Springs (4200 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs 92264)
I got a bit of a hard time from the H-bomb recently for going out with my friends too much, but I guess that means he likes having me around.  And even though absence makes the heart grow fonder,  it was nice to get away together for a few days.  I've been wanting to stay at the Parker Palm Springs for a long time and the hotel did not disappoint. Jonathan Adler redesigned the hotel in 2004 and I love its modern meets bohemian decor.  Even though it's a 1,000 degrees outside, our room has been the perfect place to escape the heat.  If you live in California, this could be a perfect vacation spot for you and the new significant other in your life.  And if you're single, this would be a great place to go with your girlfriends.  Ladies, we don't have to wait for bachelorette parties to get our girl trips on!

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend and that if any of you are going through a BLOW OFF, you have some good friends and some good booze in your life to help you turn the corner. 


  1. The H-bomb sounds abusive and controlling... Take the e, huff the varnish and dance your pants off.

  2. LOL. That's so funny cause I was like "wha?" when he said i'd been going out a lot cause he never says stuff like that. plus, he only beats me when i deserve it.

  3. By Carrie-Anne Moss, in front of Laurence Fishburne at the Parker? What happened to your dreams of suburbia?