Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dinner at Drago Centro

So last week I met up with a friend, B, in Downtown LA for a little spot of dinner. She lives near that area so I asked her where we should go. She gave me three options and for some reason Drago Centro just stuck out for me.

With one little press of an elevator button we were on our way to a delicious dinner!

We sat at the bar so that we could order from the happy hour prices which were too good to pass up!

We both got the mint cocktails which were delicious! If mint is not your thing then pick a different drink, but if you're like me, who cannot control herself around mint lifesavers, than it's perfect!

After browsing the menu, B and I agreed to share the Margherita Pizza, which was delicious! I really wanted to try their other pizzas, but I knew I wanted to save room for my next dish... 

the "la pasta al formaggio"...or simply Mac N Cheese!

It was probably one of the best Mac N Cheese that I have ever had at a restaurant (the best being the Truffled Mac N Cheese at Club 33 in Disneyland).
It was rich, but not too rich...incredibly creamy and cheesey...overall best thing ever!
What I loved about this place was even just sitting at the bar, I had a great experience at Drago Centro. The prices weren't that bad especially for the location and type of restaurant and parking was free with validation.

It's absolutely gorgeous both inside and outside, and there is an outside patio with a fire pit that would make for a great spring dinner spot.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Waffle Sandwiches at Bruxie

Every time I see my Aunt S, she goes on about this placed called Bruxie. Apparently they have these amazing waffles, and you must try the Seasonal Crème Brulee.

So finally we were all able to go to the one in Downtown Brea and tried it out.
It was the best waffle I have ever had!
They have a vast menu including chicken and waffles and even green eggs and ham!

We've been enjoying some warm weather this winter so the restaurant had all the windows up and doors opened.
They have a really cute outdoor patio, but sadly we could only get seats inside.

Seating is rather limited and it does get crowded so don't be surprised if you don't get your dream seating arrangement. My sister had to stand next to our table because there were no other seats.
I think she would say that it was totally worth it!
We all ordered the Seasonal Crème Brulee which had strawberries. It's "seasonal" because the fruit inside of this wonderful waffle sandwich is filled with seasonal fruit.

Inside are sliced strawberries, vanilla crème, and brunt raw sugar.
Basically it's my favorite dessert sandwiched between a waffle with powder sugar ontop!
They have old fashioned "Pure Cane Sugar" sodas with flavors cola, diet cola, lemon lime, orange, vanilla crème, root beer, spiced cola, and a seasonal flavor.
My aunt got grape soda (seasonal flavor) which she gladly shared with everyone, but sadly I've given up my beloved soda for New Year's. I stuck with the complimentary water which was just as delicious...not...

I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves dessert! It's not very filling (at least not what I got), but it's great for a snack or special treat.
They have locations all around Southern California, but none yet in Los Angeles.
Hopefully they'll be expanding soon!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Maggiano's and "The Lion King"

Part of our Christmas gifts were tickets to "The Lion King" and "The Book of Mormon". Two weekends ago we went to see "The Lion King" at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.
My family and I debated about what to do for dinner before the show, but we finally decided on Maggiano's

It is located at The Grove, which is a short drive to the Pantages Theatre.
We had made reservations earlier in the day so we had a small wait before being seated out in the patio.

It was so pretty with this gorgeous courtyard!


After browsing the menu, I decided on the Rustic Chicken and Shrimp.
It was exactly what I was craving!

Pasta with a creamy cheese filled sauce, prosciutto, shrimp, and chicken. It came with pieces of pepper. Since I am not a fan of eating peppers, I just avoided them and focused on the yummy-ness that was the rest of the dish.
My mum also got this dish, but my sister got their Mushroom Ravioli al Forno, which is her favorite at Maggiano's.

It doesn't look like much, but it is very filling and you even get another order to go!
Dad got the Taylor Street Baked Ziti, which is a baked ziti with a lot of cheese and sausage. His was another dish were you got a whole new dish to go. I didn't know that Maggiano's did this, and I think it's a great idea! 

After finishing with our dinner, we decided that we definitely wanted dessert! It was our Christmas present after all.
Mum picked the personal sized Tiramisu, which was the perfect size!

Dad decided on the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, and even posed for a cute picture with it.

My sister and I have this thing where if there is Crème Brulee we spilt it between the two of us. There is always a worry that it won't be enough to satisfy both of our cravings, but the Crème Brulee at Maggiano's was one of the best I've ever had!

It was so good!
After we got our fill, we headed off for the show!
I would highly recommend pre-paying for parking available at the Pantages Theatre as it saves money and time.

After no time we were walking into the theatre to take our seats.

The Pantages Theatre originally opened in 1930 and that shows in the beautiful architecture.

We took our seats and waited for the show to begin!

I had seen "The Lion King" with some friends while living in London and loved it! When I heard it was coming to Los Angeles, I knew I wanted my family to see it as well.
It is a great show for families, and for those who loved the movie.
I cannot wait to see the "Book of Mormon"!
Here is the website for the Pantages Theatre (http://hollywoodpantages.com/index.php) should you wish to see a show while in Los Angeles, which I would highly recommend!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rose Parade Adventures

So sorry this is being posted almost two weeks after it occurred, but life has been so hectic!
Anywhoo...! I was not able to have a proper New Year's Eve because I had to wake up at 4am on January 1st to watch the Rose Parade.

Growing up in Southern California, I was always aware of the Rose Parade, but I never knew it was so famous around the world...it was just always there!

4am is sooo early! It was so dark outside that it made me want to go back inside and sleep for a few more hours..."Maybe I would just watch the parade on TV?" That thought was quickly squashed though as one of my cousins was going to be in the parade.
My family and I decided to drive to the outskirts of Pasadena, park in a metro parking lot, and take the metro into Old Town Pasadena where the parade takes place. We did not want to dare driving into the heart of Pasadena on the morning of the Rose Parade, and figured this would be the least stressful way to travel.
It totally was!

I would highly recommend it to people going to the Rose Parade in the future, and if you can try buying your $5 day pass before the big day as the line for the machines was crazy!
Riding the train brought back so many fond memories of living in London. I miss riding a train everyday and people watching.

It was a bit of a walk to the grandstands, but it was so awesome seeing this sight. I had no idea that they shut down a part of the freeway for vans and buses.

Sarah and I having a little fun during the last bit of our walk!

Finally we got to our seats which were across the street from the Norton Simon Museum.

After waiting for what seemed like forever snuggled in our jackets and blankets, the Rose Parade finally started!

My cousin was in the Color Guard for Caramel High School for Caramel, Indiana and it was so exciting when they finally got to us!

Natalie Cole!! "This is will be..an everlasting love! This will be...the one I'm waiting for..."


KC & The Sunshine Band!! "Shake your groove thing!"

The finale leading up to the Rose Bowl later that day!

Because of our seats in the grandstands, it took ages for us to exit onto Colorado Blvd. The two hours it took for the parade to end flew by, but my stomach rumbles were a constant reminder that I had not had anything to eat that whole morning.
My mum knew of a place in Pasadena that sells buns with melted butter in the middle.

Thankfully PappaRich (http://www.papparichusa.com/) was open and very close to where we had been sitting.
They have four flavors of buns (as well as an assortment of pastries and sandwiches): Mocha, Chocolate, Milk, and Cheese).

My mum kept saying that the mocha was the best while the milk bun had no real flavor to it, but I really wanted to try the cheese flavor. They described it as every cheese lover's dream. "Well...I love cheese..." I thought. Boy was I wrong!

After a few zealous bites I started to realize that I did not taste anything but butter! This may not always be a bad thing, but I was so hungry and so disappointed in the lack of cheese flavor that I really did not find any real enjoyment in the bun.

My sister had the chocolate bun and loved it...the rest of my family had the mocha bun and loved it!
Guess I was the only unlucky one...
So did I enjoy my time at the Rose Parade? Yes I did!
Would I go again? Nope! Once was enough, but I would highly recommend for everyone to go at least once in their life.