Friday, April 12, 2013

A Week in LA

I spent this past week in LA on work travel. I landed Monday afternoon, and my first stop was, as you might guess, In N Out. At the location near the airport, I got my standard order (a Double Double with Animal Fries), and we grabbed a spot in the sun, digging in as airplanes roared overhead, coming in for their landing at LAX.
After lunch, I spent the rest of the afternoon around the Manhattan Beach Pier. I got a giant Jamba Juice smoothie (another favorite painfully absent from the Boston area, aside from one terribly inconvenient location by BU) and then strolled down to the end of the pier. The whole world was washed in sunshine, and the strong coastal wind whipped my hair around and whipped up strong waves crashing into the pier. 
After admiring the view and peeking into the little aquarium at the end of the pier, I trudged through the sand to the water's edge and let the waves surge up over my feet. Once I lost all feeling in my toes, it was time to head back up to dry land.

Contrary to what you might expect, I don't really miss living in Los Angeles, but I do miss the sunshine. And I miss the food. That evening, after March Madness drew to a close (and after winning $38 for a 3rd place bracket), I needed a Mexican food fix.  The Manhattan Beach El Tarasco is a tiny hole in the wall spot with just bar stool seating along a single countertop. It looks a little seedy, in stark contrast to the usual poshness of Manhattan Beach, but don't let that scare you away. With a plate of carnitas tacos smothered in guacamole, a big pile of spanish rice, and a basket of homemade tortilla chips and salsa, I was in heaven.
The next evening I met up with some of my LA friends for sushi. We tried a new spot (to me), B.A.D. (Best and Delicious) Sushi in downtown El Segundo.  I love El Segundo, a quaint small town oasis in the midst of sprawling cosmopolitan LA, and since sushi is pretty much the unofficial official food of LA, it seemed like an appropriate choice. And it's always so nice to catch up with old friends.
I spent my last evening in town out with my co-workers. Back at the Manhattan Beach pier, we took in the view of rolling waves glowing from the fiery orange sun setting below the watery horizon, the distant mountains black against the vibrant sky, colorful beach houses crowded next to each other, spindly palm trees dotting the shoreline, and sand as far as you could see in either direction.

We tried to go to Simzy's for dinner, but upon hearing that it would be an hour wait, we went to Plan B: more Mexican food at Pancho's.  Now, I prefer to go to Pancho's on Sunday mornings for brunch and complimentary bottomless champagne, but it's still pretty good on a Wednesday night with margaritas.
Yesterday, after three long days of meetings and three nights sleeping in a hotel bed, it was high time to come home. After the long cross-country flight, my sweet husband greeted me at the airport with a ricotta-filled cannoli from Mike's Pastry and a big hug and kiss.  What a sight for sore eyes!
Back in chilly, rainy Boston, I sure miss the LA sunshine, but boy is it nice to be home!  This weekend we'll be taking Brad's cousin Jaycie and her fiance around Boston, so let the fun begin! Happy Friday, everyone!

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