Los Angeles – Day 2

random observations from the first full day of the Los Angeles mini-sojourn:

  1. Atlanta tends to be my frame of reference with Los Angeles due to what I had heard from friends who had experienced both.  I did not see the bucolic Atlanta a hell of a lot, so that showed in my first entry.  However, there are a couple of ways that Los Angeles and Atlanta are a LOT alike.  One is the traffic and massive roads – though LA has a curious lack of turn lanes considering the traffic.  The other of the areas is in how small the downtown actually is.  Today, we took to exploring LA’s downtown – the amazing thing is how it actually really only amounts to a couple dozen blocks (granted the blocks are large).  We started in Little Tokyo but went to Pueblo de Los Angeles and Chinatown and really did not take up much time.
  2. LA’s Chinatown, the inspiration for Polanski’s classic of course, is actually a bit of a disappointment.  Chunking Plaza holds a lot of young artists galleries and showings, and the work varied the way that all artists could vary – typical bell curve sort of thing.  However, the mom and pop restaurant thing – largely underwhelming and (granted this was Thursday afternoon) curiously deserted.
  3. LA’s Little Tokyo on the other hand, was pretty cool.  A contrast to the tourist knick knack silliness of Olivera Street – ok, not a contrast, there was tourist trap Hello Kittyness – the Japanese section was legitimately cool and interesting.  In particular, we went and got lunch at Sushi-Gen, a highly recommended sushi joint in the area.  You knew it was a special place given the Disney-World sized line that was forming at 11 AM (we got in the front).  Also the menu was lacking in chef’s rolls – the fish was the star.  I got the Sushi Combination special – which came with a salmon skin and green salad which was a tasty start.  The sushi was lovely – I thought the “taste the difference” thing with California was a wives’ tale, but with the tuna, it just melted in your mouth.  It was just so much fresher as to render East Coast Sushi silly.  The eel was similarly lovely.  The Tamago/Japanese Omelet I just don’t think I like generally. (food porn below)
  4. Dinner took us to the Kogi truck – which was at UCLA.  UCLA campus driving through was ok, but did not fill me with yearning to not have been a Brown graduate :).  Kogi itself is a Korean-Mexican mashup food truck.  I got a Kogi dog, a hot dog with a Korean spicy slaw (with cabbage, bean sprouts, kimchi spices) – the best Slaw Dog I have ever had.  Also shared in a Kimchee Quesadilla which was delicious, crispy, cheesy and spicy.  This was the best food truck I have experienced, not even close.  Dessert a cookie sammich at Diddy Riese.  Normally, cookie ice cream sammiches are awesome – when the cookie is hot, so much the better.  Good Humor this was not
  5. Attended a Dennis Hopper exhibit at the Geffen at the Museum of Contemporary Art.  Very modern, conceptual – the notion of taking a common piece, calling it art and suddenly, it’s art!  Warhol pictures abounded.  It was interesting, but without photographing the works, hard to discuss further.
Very modern art
Sushi-Gen Sushi Combo. Tuna and Eel were something to behold.A nice view of teeny tiny downtown
Bradbury Building - interiors used in Blade Runner ... I think 500 Days of Summer Featured this also
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