Traveling between cities sure can get exhausting but you get caught up in the holiday excitement that keeps you going. Not only is it the things you get to see and do, but I think the eating adventures are just as fun and equally important. See what we got up to traveling from Sacramento to LA in just one day…..
IHOP – International House of Pancakes
As a farewell breakfast in Sacramento, we dine at one of the only places opened at 7.30 in the morning. With IHOP being such a big chain in America, it felt like a great opportunity to try some of the dishes that are very “American”.
I ordered the Blueberry Harvest Grain N Nut Combo with two grain (wholemeal) pancakes with blueberries with fresh slices of banana and scrambled egg $8.99. The pancakes are massive and are quite light and fluffy! I think one would have been perfect but I just kept digging in. I didn’t feel too heavy afterwards, but it was the portion size that got me.
Biggie orders the Belgian Waffle combo with sausage, over-easy eggs and whipped topping (sorry, forgot the price but it was cheap). I think he ordered this because there was no chicken and waffles available so this was the next best thing =P
We had no dramas flying in to LA. The only drama we had was getting picked up – my cousins made us wait an hour, which was the total flying time from Sacramento to LA! Haha. First stop is Wurstkuche with exotic sausages on offer in Downtown LA for some brunch, even though it felt like we only just ate breakfast. That’s vacation for you.
Clockwise from top left:
1. Sausages on display
2. Saw sarsparilla on the menu and had to get it
3. Belgian Fries
4. Duck & Bacon Sausage and Buffalo, Beef and Pork Sausage
The menu is amazing with plenty of variations of sausages. I must admit I really did want to try some of the exotic ones but I just couldn’t get my head around it. The boy opts for the duck and bacon sausage with jalapeño peppers and complimentary toppings caramelised onions and sweet peppers (bottom left $7.50). This had an amazing flavour and I think the fat of the bacon really gave the sausage the perfect balance considering how duck meat is quite lean.
I order the buffalo, beef and pork sausage with chipotle peppers, spicy peppers and caramelised onions ($7.50) which was delicious also, but there was lacking a bit of fat. I found it a little bit dry and felt like I was just eating grounded up meat, but it did not lack in flavour that’s for sure. Those chipotle and spicy peppers sure gave the whole thing a bite!
Of course we can’t go without some belgian fries, which are twice fried served with a white truffle glaze (Large $5.50 and $2 extra for truffle glaze). We also get two complimentary sauces and I select the chipotle aioli and pesto mayo which were so so good. Again, not sure if I’ve already mentioned it but hot chips are my absolute weakness and this was amazing. Twice fried anything has got to be good!
Next pitt stop is Bottega Louie which is a restaurant, gourmet market and patisserie all in one. As much as I would have loved to had a meal there, we only stopped by for the infamous macarons. My cousins were sweet enough to make the stop here, only because they knew how much I loved macarons (and I know they secretly went for themselves too).
The most amazing macarontower I have ever seen!
I did in fact buy 2 x boxes of 13 macarons each at $26 a box – one was for my Aunty and the other was for me. Flavours can be found here (I got everything but the chocolate orange). Sadly I part ways with this goodies box for too long and it got eaten by my cousins which I was very, very upset about lol. I did try the salted caramel one however and it was divine! Definitely one of the better macarons that I’ve tasted – shell was slightly chewy (just the way I like it), not hollow but yet still delicate and the filling was flavoursome and the perfect consistency.
That evening we watched a baseball game – how very American! We watched the LA Dodgers VS St. Louis Cardinals Much like my experience at a NFL game, the atmosphere is amazing. The crowd is always filled with excitement, passion and some are there to just chill out with beers in one hand and a hot dog in the other. Love it!
I couldn’t resist and had to do the same thing – bought myself a hot dog and garlic fries, much like the rest of the stadium. The hot dog was pretty average, but you couldn’t ask for a better feed at a sporting event. There’s something about sport and hot dogs that just go hand in hand. These garlic fries were deliciously golden and crunchy smothered in lots of garlic. By the end of it, we sure had very strong garlic breath but hey, who cares, because 1. they were delicious so worth the eat; and 2. we were on vacation =)
The view of downtown LA from the carpark lot at Dodger Stadium. Just gorgeous.
Since hot dogs and fries don’t really count as being dinner, we of course have to have dinner, even though it’s well after 11pm on a Thursday night. We meet up with another cousin of mine who recommended this place, Tatsu, as it is one of his favourite go to places for a quick, cheap late night feed.
Before you sit down, you order on the iPad menus right at the entrance. You select your main dish and then you add any extra sides you like and then take a seat. (Just had to point out that corn and seaweed sides are for free, yes for free!) You can customise your dish any way you like. Tatsu even caters for vegans, non-pork eaters, vegetarians etc. It’s not a huge restaurant and does have limited seating, but the turnaround time of customers going in and out of the place is quite quick.
Bold Ramen $10
Biggie gets the bold ramen with homemade tonkotsu broth with 11 bold ingredients. It sure is packed with flavour and has to be one of the best ramens we’ve ever had. Sadly til this day, we’ve not had tonkotsu anywhere near the same standard and quality as this one. We’ve tried a couple times now and always just seem to compare back to Tatsu. We miss LA =(
Naked Ramen $9
Soft boiled egg $1
Kurobuta Pork Chashu – $2
I have the naked ramen, highly recommended by my cousin. I suppose it’s not your typical ramen because there is no broth, it’s naked as the name says. A bowl full of curly noodles is covered in a sweet sesame glaze, lime and crunchy whole-wheat breadcrumbs. I order an extra soft boiled egg and some slices of chashu pork. My oh my was it fan-friggen-tastic. Everything was perfect – well seasoned, flavours very well developed and all items tasted great individually and even better together! It’s no wonder why my cousin comes here so very often! I would too if I lived in LA….
That wraps up the day’s events, no really, that was what we did in one day. I can barely believe it myself. I’m sure we would have kicked on but we needed to get some rest for a weekend in Vegas. Stay tuned for a non-food filled weekend in Vegas post coming up.