Saturday, July 14, 2012

7/13/13 - Knocking it Out of the Park

It was a big day. I harassed Rickett into getting out of bed and going downtown with me to see Thao and the Get Down Stay Down play for free in California Plaza at noon.

We were going to grab lunch at Starry Kitchen, but they make all their noodle dishes with linguine noodles, so that kind of knocked out all the options for me. Seriously, what kind of Asian restaurant uses Italian pasta? Kind of disappointing, really. We got salads from Mixt instead. Their salads sound good, but boy are they stingy with the goodies. Lots of greens, not much of anything else. Thao was great though. I really enjoyed her and her band.

After that I kidnapped Rickett away to Harbor City, where I was finally to visit the Shangri-La of Spanish food in Los Angeles: La Espanola.

What? Doesn't that look like Shangri-La to you? Ok, so it looks like an industrial park. That's mostly because it is, but inside...

Inside is this charming little market with all manner of olive oils, wines, olives, almonds, and cheeses from Spain, as well as a huge selection of Spanish-style sausage made right there in the building under the label Dona Juana.  It almost brought tears to my eyes, I swear. I was greeted in Spanish, which tickled me pink. I'm such a sucker. 

I was sorely tempted to buy a lot of things, but I edited myself. I ended up with a modest haul of jamon iberico, crushed nora pepper, cantimpalo, queso de tetilla, and the thing I'm the most thrilled about: mato!

I was so thrilled about mato, that I bought two. You may wonder what mato is. Hell, the guy at The Cheese Shoppe next to Trader Joe's didn't know what it was. It's not easy to find. Mato is a soft Catalan farmers cheese with no salt, no tanginess, just the natural creamy sweetness of the milk. In Cataluna, they put honey on it (mel i mato), and I'm telling you, it's to die for. I cannot wait. Tetilla cheese is kinda fun, mostly because its name means "little breast," referring to the shape. The top right of the above photo shows about an 1/8th of said breast. I am very very excited to make Saturday night's dinner.

To tide myself over/wallow in my Spain-o-filia, I watched "Volver." I still love that film. Alex doesn't like it, and I just don't understand. Have I mentioned how much I love the production design? I enjoyed trying to understand without reading the subtitles. I'm just going to have to watch more Spanish movies. Maybe it will improve my language skills.

As if that wasn't enough excitement for one day, Alex and I went to the Skirball Center for Into the Night: Playtime, a sort of grown-up game night. It was really fun. We met up with Franco and Helene. There was a craft area where we took silly photos, then decorated frames for them.
 There was a video game lounge with games created by UCLA students. There were also some people walking around with arcade game consoles on their backs. There was an over-sized board game area with big Jenga, Connect Four, Chinese and regular checkers, and Twister (which was actually regular sized). My favorite thing though was Sea Wolf. I love that band. They played a couple of new songs, and that made me a happy happy girl. Geographer was good too, but they can't beat Alex Brown Church. ABC, you're my FBD.

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