Friday, March 07, 2014
The kids are getting a week off sometime this month... what to do? Last year we took a drive up the coast to Pismo Beach, which is not all that crowded this time of year and boasts reasonably priced hotels right off the water (and, handily, right off the 101). Pismo Beach is also a quick drive to San Luis Obispo, and close to many nearby Central Coast wineries. For a scenic drive, take the 154 highway north of Santa Barbara, which brings you through the countryside and Lake Cachuma. From there, you can hit Santa Ynez, Solvang and Los Olivos, and then stop by Los Alamos back on the 101 on the way north.
A few pics from our visit last year:
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Not only is Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge one of our favorite spots to visit, but hike it a bit and you'll be rewarded with some fantastic views of the foothills.
Later this month, check out Descanso's Cherry Blossom Festival. (Check out more March events here.
1418 Descanso Drive
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
Descanso Gardens is open daily except for Christmas. Hours are 9 am to 5 pm (last entry is 4:30 pm). There is ample free parking.
General $9. Senior/Students $6. Children (5 to 12 years) $4. Guild members and children under 5 free.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Fun chat with host Madeleine Brand on Tuesday's edition of KCRW's "Press Play." We chat up Oscar ratings, the trends of pilot season and how Jimmy Kimmel's interview with Toronto mayor Rob Ford turned out. It's 20 minutes into this episode, stream it below:
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
You know all those amazing things you hear about working at Google? Turns out they're pretty true, at least from what I witnessed on Monday at the company's Venice-based "Google LA" office. Amazing food, a large cafeteria (with soft serve!), a dynamic theater room that regularly houses "Google Talks" and a lively environment that even includes plenty of amenities in the restroom. Yeah, I'm easily impressed.
But I was there to host a half-hour Google Plus Hangout chat with "Community" stars Jim Rash, Alison Brie and Danny Pudi -- and it was as much fun as you'd expect. Watch below:
Monday, March 03, 2014
Restaurant: Donut Friend
Location: 5107 York Blvd. (Highland Park)
Type of restaurant: Donuts
We stipulated: The kids were having a sleepover at their cousins' house, so it was just Maria and I on Sunday morning. We decided to finally do some recon on Donut Friend sans kids.
They stipulated: "Donut Friend is a new take on the old donut. Rather than trying to guess what our customers want, we let them tell us what they want, and we make it for them, right before their eyes. Using the freshest ingredients we can find, locally sourced when possible, Donut Friend wants to redefine what a donut can be. At Donut Friend, we don't just do donuts. We Do Donuts Differently."
What we ordered: Maria -- Bacon 182 (Maple glaze and regular or vegan bacon on top of our traditional donut; $3.50) Mike -- Chocolate from the Crypt (A chocolate cake donut topped with chocolate glaze, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and chocolate shavings; $2.50)
High point: Not only were the donuts mighty tasty, but the coffee was great too.
Low point: I was really excited to try "Jimmy Eat Swirl" donut, but alas, it wasn't available.
Overall impression: The idea behind Donut Friend sounds intimidating. And for donut purists like myself, the idea of piling toppings on top, yogurt bar style, is a bit off-putting. But the Donut Friend folks have come up with some fascinating flavors, and there are ways to still keep it deliciously simple.
Will we return: OFTEN. (And next time with kids.) Must try every flavor! I will get fat.