FOOD | Tacos at Yxta Cocina Mexicana

Happy weekend lovelies! I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a pretty rough week. It takes a lot to get me angry and I feel like these past couple of weeks people have been on a roll to try to get me past that point of no return! 😈 Ha! 😇

Yesterday I just needed to get away. I was so emotionally drained. So what better way to start the weekend than with happy hour!

My good friend and I hit up Yxta in downtown LA for some well deserved tacos and tequila. I love this place because it’s totally unexpected. The location itself borders skid row and 6th (anyone familiar with the area knows this isn’t somewhere you just go for a casual stroll).  The people that go here are making the trip specifically for the food.  Luckily for me, I’m friends with a foodie that knows all the good places to go.

Since we went specifically for ‘hora feliz’, we indulged in all the menu offerings. Peach margaritas were the special of day and quite tastey with a tajin rim.

Peach Margarita

Dos Gringas is always a crowd favorite – Al pastor tacos on a warm flour tortilla with melted Oaxaca cheese and guacamole salsa.

Dos Gringas

We also tried a calabazita appetizer, the regular tacos al pastor, tacos de carnitas, tastadita de ceviche, and duck taquitos.

Yxta is an indoor/outdoor modern trendy Mexican restaurant offering traditional cuisine with an updated flare. This place offers a great Happy Hour menu Monday –  Friday from 4:00pm – 7:00pm and Saturday from 4:00pm – 6:00pm. The restaurant offers valet for $4 and there is free street parking after 6:00pm.  Make sure to check Yxta’s links for the most up to date information.

Don’t forget to indulge every once and a while. 😉


XOXO

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– ♥ ♥ ♥ –

Yxta’s Links:
 YELP: Yxta Cocina
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Palace of fine arts San Francisco California

Motivation | To take a step without feet


This is love:
to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First, to let go of life.
In the end, to take a step without feet

RUMI


Palace of fine arts San Francisco California

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, California


What does that mean, “to take a step without feet”?  Feet provide you with stability when you walk.  They aide you with movement and provide you with support.  Without feet, you’d probably have a difficult time running, walking, or even standing up.  It doesn’t mean that it would be impossible to do, it would just be more of a challenge.

I think that the message Rumi is trying to convey is that, “taking a step without feet” is like taking a step not knowing whether you can control the outcome.  Not many people would be willing to do that.  Control is a difficult thing to let go.  What would be the incentive for you to do so?

It’s a scary thought if you think about it.  If you were to take a step without feet, you would probably fall.  But, on the the other hand, there is also a chance that you may not.  Allowing yourself to be okay with that thought is difficult.  To be okay with falling is not an instinctive trait.  Human nature drives off of survival.  It is that little voice in your head that cautions you from doing things that could potentially hurt you; physically and emotionally.

If you’ve been hurt repeatedly, your mind keeps building on that protection and your caution grows more and more.  Sometimes to the point where your mind may be cautioning you too much, and you become fearful of exploring things that may actually be good for you.

While your body is only trying to help, there comes a point where you have to consciously decide, “What are the things you can control, and what are the things you should throw caution to the wind?”  Making that distinction is the first step.  You can’t control everything in life, but you can control your approach.  It is about acknowledging and knowing that, yes, you can take a step without feet – it will be difficult, but it is not impossible.  In the end, sometimes the biggest payoffs are the ones you approach without having firm grounding.  The ones where you let go of life, and you take a step without feet.


XOXO

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Galentine’s Day | Exploring Pasadena, CA

“Galentine’s Day?”, you may be asking.  What exactly is Galentine’s Day?  Well that’s the same question I had when I noticed that hash tag trending in IG – so I looked it up!

Season 2 of Parks and Recs can be credited for starting the trend.  Galentine’s Day is celebrated on February 13th, the day before Valentine’s.  According to Wikia, Galentine’s Day is the best day of the year.  It is a day to celebrate your female friendships and it’s basically an excuse to pamper yourselves and have a girls day out.

Armed with excessive FOMO (fear of missing out), my cousin and I set up our Galentine’s date and set out to explore Pasadena.

We started out the day with intentions to do brunch at Urth Caffe.  If you checked out my ‘Breakfast in Southern California’ post, you probably have a good idea of just how amazing breakfast at Urth Caffe is.

Well, things didn’t turn out quite as planned and we missed the breakfast menu.  But that didn’t stop us from enjoying our “brunch”.  We ordered a green tea boba, morrocan tea boba (which tastes like a minty green tea), a chicken pesto salad, and sprout sandwich.

Urth Caffe Chicken Pesto Salad SmallUrth Cafe Sprout Sandwhich

Our lunch options did not disappoint.  The lunch at Urth Caffe is just as good as the breakfast.

Urth Caffe

Did I mention it was my cousin’s birthday?  The main reason for celebration of course!  (Although a Galentine’s Day celebration is also a good excuse.)

Following our lunch, we ventured out to old town Pasadena, one of my favorite places for people watching and window shopping.  We were pleasantly surprised to find an interactive art installation in One Colorado.  It was entitled “Heart Strings”.  Guests were encouraged to take a heart and write a message of love or declaration for an admirer and pin it to strings that were hung from wooden posts.

I was so excited when @EnjoyPasadena re-posted my photo on their Instagram account!

Heart Strings Pasadena

Following our stroll we decided to stop by POP Champagne & Dessert Bar for some bubbly.  It’s not a true brunch unless champagne is involved.  😉

We wrapped up our day with milky buns from AFTERS ice cream.  What is a milky bun you may ask?  Only the most amazing deliciousness wrapped in a donut!

Milky Bun Cookie Butter

At AFTERS, we shared a glazed milky bun with cookie butter ice cream and mochi.  Nom nom nom.  Let me tell you, it was delicious.

Oh, I almost forgot. We also managed to squeeze in a photo shoot before the sun went down. That OOTD post still to come. 😉

OOTD

Let me know if enjoyed this Galentine’s Day post by liking and commenting below!


 

XOXO

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Dine LA | 2016 Winter Restaurant Week Roundup

Hi Lovlies! Hope you had a good weekend.  I’ve spent most of the last couple of days working and eating my way around Los Angeles. 😅 If you follow me on Instagram (@curlsoxoxo_ca), you’ve probably been flooded with food pics.

DineLA restaurant week, is a bi-annual event which takes place in Los Angeles county every winter and summer.  The event is 14-days with over 300 participating restaurants offering pre-fixed lunch ($15-$25) and dinner ($29-$49) menus.  Restaurant week is a great opportunity to try some high-end restaurants at a good price.  Most of the pre-fixe menus include a 3-course meal and can be a great value.

Here is my 2016 winter restaurant week roundup.  I tried dinner at Nick and Stef’s, Mi Piace, Central Park Restaurant, and Knuckle and Claw.  My favorite restaurant by far was Mi Piace!  Knuckle and Claw, while delicious, was not a deal for the price.  The poor service didn’t help the situation, but the lobster rolls were outstanding.

Nick and Stef’s

Mi Piace

Central Park Restaurant

Knuckle and Claw

Did you check out restaurant week?

XOXO

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4 Unique Hot Spots in DTLA | Music + Entertainment + Food & Drinks

Los Angeles has an endless abundance of ‘weird’, and I welcome the weirdness!  I like to think of it as being more quirky or unique.  It’s what makes living in LA fun and exciting. 🙂   –  So bring on the weird!

I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite downtown Los Angeles night time hot spots.  Each venue bringing it’s own unique eclectic touch to the table.  What makes them worth visiting is the combination of music, entertainment, food, drinks, and an overall awesome vibe.

Now, here is a disclaimer.  I’m using the term “entertainment” loosely, because for two of the four locations the entertainment is activity based – meaning, you entertain yourself.  So unless you are anti-having fun, this should not be a problem.  😜 

If you are looking for good date night spots or fun places to take out of town guests or just hang out with your friends, then this list is definitely for you.


4 Unique Hot Spots in DTLA


 # 1 – The Edison

108 W 2nd St #101, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Edison

Vibe: Sultry, sexy, 1920’s – I just drank a bottle of absinthe and am hallucinating about fairies type of vibe.

The Edison is every bit true to it’s 1920’s era.  The location was originally used as a power plant for the city in the early 1900’s.  Today, you can see the remnants of the history of the building as the the lounge integrated most of the historical artifacts of the power plant into it’s design.  The high ceilings coupled with the art nouveau and industrial gothic design make for a truly unique and sexy venue.  Transcending down the huge staircase you become immersed in the experience with the live jazz music, DJs, and burlesque dancers completing it all – oh, and let’s not forget the fairies selling absinthe.  You will think you stepped right into Baz Luhrmann‘s depiction of the Moulin Rouge.

This location is very popular on the weekdays with the after work business suits and ties type of crowd and even more of a hot spot on the weekends.  This is a great place to take out of town guests or business associates.  It’s an especially good location if you want to impress a date.  Sexy booths are hidden throughout the venue and advanced table reservations are accepted.  However, they do not offer a full service kitchen, only serving snacks and flat breads.  This is why I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this place to celebrate a special occasion.  It’s more of a, “let’s start the night out and to set the mood and see where things go,” type of place.

What you need to know:  The Edison is only open Wednesday – Saturday.  The location is hidden down an alley, but you’ll notice where to enter by the discreet doormen hanging out front.  There is a $10 cover charge on the weekends and a minimum food/beverage order is required for table reservations after 7pm.  Dress code is enforced with collared shirts and dress shoes required for men.  Check out more information on their website, www.edisondowntown.com.


#2 – Mrs. Fish

448 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Mrs. Fish

Vibe: Edgy, glamorous, eclectic – If the show Empire married an aquarium, this would be their baby.

Mrs. Fish needs to be experienced in order to be understood.  Located in the basement of the same building that houses Perch, a long staircase leads you down to the surprises that await underneath.  The setting has a an intimate yet casual feel with a two story open air concept and tables and lounge areas located throughout.  The location houses a large suspended illuminated aquarium full of sea life which you just can’t take your eyes off.  The second story wrap-around balcony allows for great people watching and views of the entertainment.  Live music takes place in the center of the building, with low couches directly in front and high table tops against the wall and bar, allowing for great views throughout.

The food and drinks are phenomenal and the plates are served tapas style, which makes it ideal for sharing.  The music selection varies by night, from jazz to dance rock, but each time I’ve been, I’ve had no complaints.  This in an ideal date place or just chill out and meet people type of venue.  It’s somewhere you can share an intimate setting, people watch, and listen to music.

What you need to know:  Mrs. Fish is only open Wednesday – Saturday, with happy hour offered Wednesday – Friday from 5pm to 7pm.  Mrs. Fish does not maintain a dress code, but the setting calls for dressing up a bit.  For more information, check out their website, www.mrsfish.com.


#3 – SPiN at the Standard

550 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, 90071

image

Vibe: Casual chic – It’s an adult version of 90’s cosmic bowling except for ping pong, with drinks, music, and alot of balls.

Glow in the dark ping pong?? Yes, please!  Talk about a unique experience.  SPiN refers to itself as a ping pong social club.  It is a place where you can chill out, have a drink, listen to some good music, and play some good old fashioned ping pong.  The location is more or less a medium sized space, with ping pong tables wrapped around a small lounge area which sits next to a bar.  SPiN, hosts a variety of daily events ranging from weekly tournaments to comedy nights and happy hours.  My favorite times have been with their summer glow in the dark events.  While glow in the dark ping pong takes place most nights, the special themed events encourage sporting your most awesome neon outfits, which people happily oblige.

Personally, I suck at ping pong, but I love going for the entertainment factor.  It’s great for small to large groups and fun date night place.  They offer both food and drinks, so you can munch off their big bites menu while waiting for your turn.

What you need to know:  SPiN is located on the second floor of the Standard Hotel and becomes a 21+ venue after 7pm.  The have VERY seasonal days and hours of operation.  Check their schedule before planning a trip.  For more information, visit their website, www.wearespin.com.


#4 – Arts District Brewing Company

828 Traction Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90013

Arts District Brewery

Vibe: Chill warehouse style brewery – If Dave and Buster’s and Yard House had a hipster baby, this would be it.

Arts District Brewing Company is a fairly new addition to the DTLA Art’s District.  The venue is really cool with a chill vibe.  They offer a great selection of beers, games, food, and, most importantly, tons of seating/table space!  Tucked away in a corner of the brewery is Fritzi, which sells the food for the venue.  The main bar area sits right in the center of the space, showcasing their in-house brewery barrels.  The bar offers a great selection of beers along with full service cocktails.  The venue itself is a huge warehouse with indoor and outdoor seating.  They play music, which adds to the awesome vibe, but still allows for conversation.  Skee ball, darts, ping pong, foosball, and cornhole games are available to be played throughout.

This is a great place to meet with friends to unwind at the end of the day.  This is also a perfect option if you are meeting up with someone for a first date.  You can start with drinks, and if things go well, throw in some burgers and foosball, and there you go… awesome first date!

What you need to know:  The Arts District Brewing Company is open 7 days a week starting at 4pm on weekdays and 12pm Sat/Sun.  I did see some families there when I visited, but it seems to turn into a more hipster crowd after 9pm.  There are no waiters.  You grab your drinks at the bar and food at Fritzi’s.  For more information, visit their website, www.artsdistrictbrewing.com.


If you enjoyed reading this post, make sure to check out my previous post, 4 Weird and/or Unique Things to See in DTLA! Comment below on any places you recommend.  Thanks for reading.

XOXO