Kreation Kafe – Santa Monica

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Sorry about all the irregular updates. I’m in the process moving to Salt Lake City(!!) right now, but should be back on schedule within the next couple weeks.

But for now, here is the first restaurant installment of my Los Angeles trip.

Our first trip within the city limits was the apparently well known Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. We quickly found parking at one end of the street and started walking up and down the length of it. There were so many cute shops – decieving antique shops that appeared to be thrift stores but had a price range of a collector’s boutique, shops full of clothing that we didn’t dare enter for fear of some unknown entry fee, and so many cafés, juice bars, and restaurants!

It was around lunch time so we had a hard time deciding which of our many options looked most appealing (and was vegetarian friendly). While we wandered and pondered my future roommate noticed that no one seemed to be happy. Or smile. Or even acknowledge other human beings’ presence. She started smiling pointedly at the obvious locals to get a reaction out of them. After realizing that it simply wasn’t working she started to count how many people in LA smiled. The number can be counted on one hand, and we are pretty sure they were visitors like us.

But back to the food. Which gave us HUGE smiles of delight and satiation.

The place we ultimately decided on was the super trendy and very obviously organic–very-vegetarian-if-not-vegan restaurant – Kreation Kafe. I call it obviously organic and etc. because the outside featured a little portal covered in succulents and grasses, the floor was covered with astroturf (though, admittedly that’s not very sustainable or organic…) and the walls were mainly windows that let in all the natural light. What little that was solid wall was covered in yet more small succulents.

Luckily, it wasn’t too busy when we got there and didn’t have to wait at all, but the restaurant was completely full otherwise.

The menu was simple and offered a nice variety of breakfast dishes, sandwiches, kebabs, salads, and juices. All of the juices you never knew existed (and still aren’t really sure what their purpose is) and more. The last two pages was solid small type charts of various juices that the restaurant served – to order. Suffice it to say I ignored that page and stuck with water.

The meal I chose was a chicken and veggie sandwich with a side salad. The chicken was so tender, the veggies nice and fire roasted. It was a delicious gourmet and locally grown meal. The salad was the freshest I’ve had in a while. I don’t normally rave over the lettuces and leaves unless I have a craving, but this. was. good. It might have had the smallest drizzle of some light vinaigrette, but for the most part it was pure leafy joy. I was full and so happy from this meal.

Some of the other options were smoked salmon and tapas plate, scottish salmon and eggs, and veggies kabobs. Each and every one of us were delighted with the food. Enjoying it so much that we barely spoke at all while nomming. You know that’s a good meal.

And at the end of the meal, the waiter offered us complimentary juices in little test tube bottles. I forgot what flavours we tried, but one was minty and one was beety. Not bad, but I still don’t understand the juice craze.

It was a cute place and had quality food. I definitely would not mind revisiting Kreation Kafe next time I’m in the area.

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Sort-of-Los-Angeles Adventures

IMG_2845As I mentioned in my last post, I took a trip to just outside of LA to reunite my French study abroad besties. 3 of us were in AZ at the time and decided to visit the 4th of our exquisite group in her hometown of Simi Valley. The first full day there we visited Ventura Beach and Amoeba Records in Hollywood.

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The next day her parents were gracious enough to take us along the coast to visit one of their friend’s vineyards in Paso Robles. The trip was beautiful, although it decided to rain on us. The first rain of the year for them!

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We even got to sea some marine life. At Morro Rock Bay we braved our way through the drizzle to walk along the cute line of shops selling taffy, candies, ice cream, and knick knacks. Behind one of the restaurants was a little walkway where we gazed at the sea lions arfing on a floating plank in the middle of the bay.

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When we finally made it to Paso Robles it was starting to clear up. We got to enjoy samples of some of the best red wine I’ve ever had (and I’ve lived in France!) and cuddle with an adorable and HUGE St Bernard.

 

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Along the way we had delicious food, graciously treated to us by the parents, which I will be posting about over the next couple weeks!

Salt Lake City and Ogden

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FIRE FOUNTAIN CHOREOGRAPHED TO MUSIC!!!!!!
Blew my mind.

These last two weeks I have been doing a LOT of traveling! First I drove up to Phoenix on Sunday, flew to Salt Lake City on Monday (and a trip that was supposed to take 3.5 hours ended up taking 6. Just my luck with flying. I hate it so.) Drove back down to Phoenix on Thursday (which took the ENTIRE day- a full twelve hours.) House hopped over the weekend catching up with my homies in the valley. Quick trip back home for a restorative night in my own bed. Back up to Phoenix to leave EARLY Tuesday morning to leave to LA. Well, just outside of LA in Simi Valley for a REUNION ROADTRIP. WOOHOO.

It sounds fun, but is terribly exhausting and I can’t wait to sleep in without a scheduled day.

While in Utah my eating habits were irregular at best, absent at worst. My dear friend and I had delicious Thai food the night I flew in.IMG_2816

IMG_2815 A lovely little restaurant in Ogden with a lovely old Thai man was my respite after hours of delays and taxiing. We were given to-go cups the size of our heads full of Thai iced tea which we sipped while waiting for our Pad Thai and Tom Kha.

This is the gorgeous view from the streets of Ogden the next afternoon. We took the train into the city. It was an hour’s ride, but the train had wi-fi and plugs. The perfect thing for a commute!

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The rest of the pictures are a compilation of our two days’ adventuring in Salt Lake City.

We came across a delightful Indian restaurant that offered a lunch buffet. We caught the tail end of it, but the food was still delicious. They had all the usuals – saag, tikka masala, samosas, etc. There was even pumpkin and warm gulab jamun! The owner was so very nice and even gave us coupons for our next time there. (I am so excited to be able to actually visit it again!)

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Then we strolled along the areas where the City Creek Mall and Gateway Mall are found. It was lovely weather and a perfect day for strolling around the city.

 

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Then we happened upon a cute café called Blue Lemon. They had gluten free desserts and special seasonal coffee drinks! The barista was very nice and gave us drinks with a smile. And the rest of the café (which was also part restaurant) looked exactly out of a Kdrama! We fancied cute Korean couples having arguments or meeting by chance in this adorable place.

 

 

 

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Later we found a SCOTTISH STORE. Haha, both having Scottish roots we had fun exploring. Below is the tartan of my people! Woohoo.

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There was also the Parisian café that had croissants as large as my face. See below:

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And the other Parisian boulangerie that offered macarons:

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The second day was the artsy coffee shop we found. They had delicious drinks. It was very neat too, because they had an art gallery that showed local artists and the shop helped support the local high school students and encouraged them to get into the arts.

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It was so much fun! I am so excited to be soon moving to this bustling and friendly new city. It has all the aspects of city life I have been craving as well as all the nature I desire. There are gorgeous mountains that you can see from almost any spot in the city. I cannot wait to hike them and one day learn to snowboard their snowy peaks.