Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Why I Need to Get Back on the Bike
Our trips to LA usually end up being a series of long car rides interrupted by family events and eating. This one was no exception. We did visit the Griffith Park Observatory on a spectacularly clear day, saw the pendulum, the memorial to James Dean, the models of the planets, the exhibits that explain eclipes, the seasons, etc. All that astrophysics helps build a healthy appetite, and the GPS led us to an Silver Lake Institution, Burrito King.
There are two locations, one at Alvarado and Sunset, close to Dodger Stadium. That one is across the street from the car wash that was the subject of the epic film, Car Wash, and offers a sense of danger plus no parking. The Silver Lake edition includes covered seating, plus a shared parking lot with the Liberty Bell Rastafarian Temple, complete with imposing armed guard. Machaca, chile rellenos, chicken fajita burrito (not a great choice) and a chile relleno burrito (an excellent choice) and we were in heaven.
The next day, we ventured into historic old Los Angeles, which meant, of course, a stop at Phillipe's, home of the French Dip sandwich. In our large party (larger at the end of the meal), there were several of the roast beef, some with cheese, some without, but the winner sandwich was the lamb with blue cheese. With the cole slaw, macaroni salad, potato salad and pickles, an extended stroll through Olvera Street was in order There one could procure a fine lucha libre mask, a bullwhip, or a churro from Mr. Churro, if you needed dessert. Across the street is LA's Union Station, no longer looking creepy and abandoned because of the automobile, but now looking great, well used, with lots of passengers now commuting by rail.
For us, no trip to LA is complete without deli, and this time Junior's in Westwood was the target. Sandwiches there are named for awards, not for the stars, and the Grammy is the corned beef (or pastrami) on rye with cole slaw and Russian dressing. Junior's rye bread does an excellent job of standing up to the thinly sliced meat and the accompaniments. When paired with latkes, kreplach and matzoh ball soup (the size of a softball), we might be hungry again after several weeks.
Since last week's visit to the Bay Area included a visit to the historic Oasis, and with the onset of fall, grading finals, the holidays and other distractions, more frequent trips to the gym, more miles on the bike, and a steady diet of water, clear broth, fruits and vegetables may be in order to be prepared for whatever challenges may be present in the future.
More photos here....