Sunday, March 19, 2006

E for East Side

There's nothing better than having a full weekend. Seems like the more we do, the longer the weekend feels. As usual, food was a huge part of our weekend (in my opinion, LA is the best city for ethnic food), but in addition to great food, we went to the movies and spotted an A-List celeb (read on for details).

On Friday night we headed to Pasadena for Chinese food at Fu Shing and used book store browsing at Cliff's Books. The food at Fu Shing was mediocre to good, depending on the dish. I suspect that Mr. Octopus wanted to eat there so that he could stop at Cliff's on the way back. Cliff's is one of the better used book shops that we've been to in LA. The other is Iliad Book Shop in North Hollywood.

Saturday was great. We started the day with a visit to the surprisingly good India Spices and Sweets in Atwater Village (below). We ate lunch at the restaurant (and watched Bollywood movies at the same time) and then loaded up on the spices and veggies at the store. Mr. Octopus felt like he was in Jackson Heights. We haven't found a good Indian restaurant in LA yet (the best one we've found is about as good as an average Indian on Sixth Street in NYC), so this store is our consolation. I suppose we'd have to drive down to Artesia to get authentic Indian here in the Southland.

Nighttime held even more in store for us. Friends introduced us to pupusas at Atlacatl on Beverly (below). A Savadoran specialty, pupusas are thick, round, tortilla-like things filled with cheese, beans or meat. They're topped off with a lightly spiced cabbage concoction called curtido. There are pupserias all over town. I'm glad I can now say that I've been to one.

After pupusas, we headed straight to the Arclight in Hollywood, which is a huge movie experience (movie "theater" doesn't do it justice). The Arclight has about 15 screens, stadium seating and, most notably, assigned seating. It's like going to the opera. It's also a good place to see celebrities because as we were standing in line to retrieve our tickets for V for Vendetta, we saw Charlize Theron. A movie star going to the movies. How trippy is that! She was in jeans and boots and had her hair tucked under a paperboy hat. She must've been about six feet tall. But wait, I'm not done. We took our seats for V and who do you think plopped down one row in front of us? No joke! For those more interested in the movie than the movie star, I liked V for Vendetta. It's a highly entertaining movie that, when you peel away the bizarre costumes and special effects, has some very radical and inflammatory ideas.

Finally, Sunday was spent much like last Sunday-- looking at open houses around Eagle Rock, Pasadena and South Pasadena. We grabbed a late lunch at Pie 'n Burger, a Pasadena institution. I was so hungry I ordered a bunch of stuff and managed to eat it all. Hours later, I could still smell the cheeseburger on my fingers.


ivanomartin said...

There's a good pupusa stand at the Sunday Hollywood Greenmarket. Check it out sometime.

I had my own Brooklyn celeb sighting (although nowhere near as big as yours): Gabriel Byrne buying date logs at Damascus bakery yesterday.


chanchow said...

Tell me again where the greenmarket is? Off Ivar?

Seeing Gabriel Byrne is cool, especially since he probably lives down your street or something. I remember seeing Jennifer Connelley on Smith. That was pretty neat.

ivanomartin said...

It's on Ivar between Hollywood and Sunset. It starts around 7 or 8am on Sunday and usually is over by around 1pm (maybe a little later).

Parking can be a pain, but you could take the train from your house to Sunset/Vine.


hh said...

i like india sweets and spices too...though i've not gotten anything in the market part yet!

oooh i'm glad you figured out the proper name for the "spicy cole slaw" so i don't have to sound trashy when i talk about it in the future. :)

and ps...if you do drive to the hollywood farmers market, it's right by amoeba and the arclight so you could get your parking validated that way and treat yourself to a cd! or street parking--it's sunday so it should be free.

Octopus Grigori said...

Isn't anyone as excited as I am that the Doughboy is hawking roti?

Octopus Grigori said...

er, "hocking"