California Day 6- (blog 4) A Day In LA

It's 8:24 in the morning (day 7) but I was just too tired last night to blog. So day 4 & 5 I didn't blog because all we did those days were move in my brother and eat the food they were serving at orientation. I didn't think that would make for a good post so I decided to wait till we went to LA. It was about 50 minutes from our hotel- luckily we passed the traffic. We left at about 10:30 and get there just in time for lunch. We went to this really cute restaurant called Cravings. They had the best bread ever. I could've eaten the whole basket. Then I had the spring rolls with a mango chili sauce and then a beet and ricotta salad. I loved the combination of flavors of the spring rolls and then the textures in the salad were so unique. I would've never thought to put ricotta in a beet salad but it worked perfectly. I almost ate every bite, even though the raspberry vinaigrette  was barely there... which is my pet peeve when it comes to salads. 

spring rolls 

beet & ricotta salad

Plus they had a gorgeous variety of desserts to choose from but we passed for that meal. Then we headed into the Westwood area for some cool shopping. They had a farmer's market all down the street with tons of vendors selling different foods and items! We went to a few stores- I bought several things... And then after a very long time trying to find it we rode down Rodeo Drive. Which was gorgeous and then after a very long time of driving around we decided to park our car on Rodeo and walk around- with no intentions to buy anything. My mom and I got dragged into this skin care store and the salesman just wouldn't stop being... a salesman. Finally we got out and continued walking. I took a ton of pictures of the city- here are a few of my favorites

my attempt to get a picture of the Hollywood sign... and construction workers.

Then we stopped by this chocolate store and of course I had to go in there. The store had walls and walls full of exotic chocolates and I was in (a very unique) chocolate heaven. Finally I came out with a hickory bacon, sea salt, caramel chocolate bar. 
After eating one..

It was delicious. (I saved it for after dinner so I wouldn't be tempted to buy dessert. Which I'm glad I did because after my meal I was perfectly full- not bloated and disgusting feeling but not craving a little more. I was perfectly satisfied which has been an upgrade from most of the other nights while I had been satisfied but disgusting feeling as well. So it was an Italian place along Sunset called Cafe Med, I was very happy to find that they made fresh homemade pasta everyday. The very first thing I looked for was gnocchi because that is my absolute favorite type of pasta... If you can even consider a potato dumpling pasta. Well basically I love any dumpling; matzo balls, gnocchi, fried, steamed, or a typical doughy dumpling in chicken & dumpling soup. After I saw that,  i found a pumpkin ricotta ravioli in a butter sage sauce on the menu. But after a long time of going back and forth between the two, I decided on my gnocchi- Gnocchi Verde and Di Funghi Sauce. Which means spinach gnocchi in a delicious butter cream-based mushroom sauce (made with sausage). But before that we had bread- kind of the same as lunch- so delicious. Especially with olive oil, fresh cracked black pepper, and crushed red pepper- courtesy of my dad. Then he ordered a cheese plate with an array of salty Italian cheeses- my favorite, fresh hard salami, castelvetrano olives (my all-time favorite), and walnuts. 

We all devoured that and then ordered food. While my mom and I both got half sizes of our pasta, my dad got the biggest piece of lasagna I had ever seen. It was huge- and delicious. My dish was also amazing. The gnocchi tasted so fresh and delicious-
spinach gnocchi, mushroom sauce & TONS of parm. 

 I would have a gnocchi dish every night if I could. My first encounter with gnocchi was about 4 years ago at Publix in Nashville (before I moved to Mississippi). I was with a classmates family after church and her older sister who was a little older than I am now at the time had seen a food stand serving gnocchi- probably the best part of Publix. She pointed it out, tried a bite and was freaking out over how good it was. So we all got a taste and yes... for a quick packaged Publix gnocchi sample, it was good. So then it was my mission to have gnocchi at every Italian place I step into and I've done pretty good so far. So that was when I first fell in love with potato dumplings. After my lovely dinner I had my chocolate and then we hit the road back to our hotel. So after a very long and successful day of walking, eating, driving, and shopping... I fell asleep. And that was my day 4 in California.
                                                                                        -XOXO Cecilia A.


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