Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday Scurrying

I drove all over town yesterday. This is what happens when your friends live far apart. The great thing about where I live, though, is that it is 15 to 20 minutes from almost anywhere I want to go in L.A. -- Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, wherever.

At 10:30 a.m., I arrived at Dashing Diva to meet Lilcee, who needed to get her nails done for a wedding she would attend later. We both got the Divaroma Manicure ($20) and Divaroma Pedicure ($35).

The service was very friendly. The place seemed pretty clean, although I was disappointed that there were foot sinks as opposed to disposable or rinsable bowls. However, the salon does pride itself with hygiene and sanitation, claiming that its ceramic sinks are disinfected between customers and are free from the dangers that surround whirlpool foot baths.

Dashing Diva offers its own line of polish, which I tried. Lilcee said that she'd read reviews indicating that the polish chipped far more easily than OPI or Essie, so she brought her own Essie nail polish. I decided to chance it, and tonight I'm regretting it already. No chipping yet, but my nails have already lost a bit of their luster. I should've taken Lilcee up on her offer of her lovely Starter Wife shade. Boo!

My car was quite warm after my nail beautification. Check out the lower right.

I then drove to visit Curly Fries in Pacific Palisades. What a difference location makes!

Small Fries has grown so much since I last saw him. He is a deliciously happy baby who is the chubbier spitting image of pretty little Curly Fries.

Curly Fries reads both my blog and Wan's blog regularly, so she had seen pictures of me with Wan's baby (which she thought were hysterical) and was delighted to take another picture of me with her baby! It turns out babies kinda like me. It's probably my goofy face.

Playing with Small Fries was just as fun as playing with Wan's bean. He made such funny little noises and thought everything I did was incredibly hilarious. He laughed and laughed and laughed. It's nice to have an easy audience. I think Small Fries and Wan's bean should get together for a playdate. They are almost the same age, separated by only a few weeks.

The three of us walked to The Village Pantry, former mayor Richard Riordan's fairly new offering to the Palisades. The Village Pantry replaced Mort's Deli, a longtime favorite of many locals.

Lest you think this establishment is anything like Riordan's downtown greasy spoon institution, be advised that The Village Pantry seems to pride itself in offering fairly healthy food. There are burgers available, yes, but the highlights are the gourmet sandwiches.

We split a pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries and a smoked turkey and burrata sandwich with shoestring fries. Both were delish. At $12 a pop, they aren't cheap, but I think they're worth it. You could tell that only quality ingredients were used, and they were huge!

Here's some motherly love at The Village Pantry.

It's times like these that make me think I should lug my real camera around everywhere I go. At least the iPhone is better than nothing at all.

Baskin Robbins called us from across the street. We just had to answer. Curly Fries had mint chocolate chip. I tried "tax crunch." It's a good thing we walked!

On our way home, we ran into the cutest little Airedale puppy. It turns out it was Charlie, a young neighborhood dog with whom Curly Fries is familiar. She scooped him up, and we returned Charlie to his home. Apparently, he had escaped from his gate.

After I bid Curly Fries and Small Fries adieu, I headed to The Apple Store with one objective -- get the Paul Frank Julius iPhone case! Lilcee had called me earlier to inform me that she saw some at The Apple Store in Pasadena (we had discussed my quest earlier at Dashing Diva), so I decided to try my luck at the store at The Grove on my way home, as I couldn't find it online the night before.

There were a number of Paul Frank options available.

But I only wanted one thing. Success!

I came home to an empty condo. Mr. Monkey has been in Vegas for his annual March Madness trip. This year, he and the boys stayed in a suite at The Palazzo, complete with a sunken living room. He also ate at Bouchon on someone else's dime. I am seething with jealousy. Somewhat relatedly, Papa Monkey is in Taiwan, Mama Monkey is in China, and Brother Monkey is still on tour with Torry (I think).

[cue "All By Myself" -- the original Eric Carmen version, not Celine Dion]

I was happy to go to LAX to pick up Mr. Monkey, and we headed to a late light dinner at Yashima (11301 W. Olympic Blvd.), which is located at the Olympic Collection at the corner of Olympic and Sawtelle.

Yashima is typical strip mall food. Everything is rather mediocre, except for one dish -- the soft shell crab salad. This, my friends, is excellent and worth braving the strip mall. We gobbled up a salad each and were on our merry way to our next stop.

Yes, next stop! Mr. Monkey wanted to go to pinkberry and a crepe place we'd never tried. I nixed the pinkberry idea, since we have it fairly frequently, so we went to Crepes Dusigne, also located at the Olympic Collection.


What a great pick! I dare say that these were the best crepes I've had in the L.A. area thus far, and they came from a little store in a strip mall!

The store was already closing up when we poked our heads in, but the three people left (who had been chattering in French) were extremely friendly and invited us to place the last order of the day. It should be noted that this warmth and good cheer is a huge contrast to the behavior of the little Japanese dude (whom I call The Crepe Nazi) around the corner at Crepe to Go on Sawtelle.

We ordered a spinach and cheese ($5.40) and a sugar, lime, and banana ($4.50) to go. The savory included a side salad, and the French folks threw in another side salad for free because they're just that nice.

The savory crepe was buckwheat, while the sweet crepe was slightly sweetened white wheat. (Take note that buckwheat crepes are gluten-free!)

A-maz-ing. Both of them!

I could taste the freshness of the spinach and cheese, and the tart and sweet combination of the dessert crepe was sublime. Both crepes had the most marvelous texture, even after being transported several minutes in the car.

The presentation may not have been beautiful (hey, they were to go), but Crepes Dusigne kicks ass. I would pick this place over any of the other crepe restaurants I've sampled. With crepes ranging from $3.25 to $7.60, the value can't be beat, and the quality is phenomenal. I'm convinced that the crepes taste so fantastic because they are elegantly simple and made by a real Frenchman.

The Crepe Nazi is so going out of business.


  1. I wish that I lived out your and Mr. Monkey go on the most amazing food adventures!! Mr. Zeesbride and I would be in heaven to eat all of your reccomendations!

  2. OMG, I am tired just reading about your day!

  3. Oh, and all this talk about crepes is making me want one SO BAD!

    Well, more than one, really...

  4. Wow, jam-packed day filled with fun stuff! You're cute posing with a baby... :)

  5. awww what a cute baby!! I visited a new little baby cousin this weekend- what a coincidence! did that baby spit up on your shoulder too? (or was i the only lucky girl..)

  6. *squeal* Airedale puppy!! I had an Airedale when I was growing up. Great, underappreciated dogs. Glad you found the iPhone case!

  7. gluten free crepes? I am flipping out! I might have to go there TOMORROW! They look delicious! love the i-phone cover too :)

  8. dashing diva wasn't as fab as i remembered, eh? maybe it was pregnant brain. because, of course, that's the last time i had my nails done. mm-hmm, the bean's almost 6 months old.

    i'm excited and flattered at learning that small fries takes the time to occasionally peruse my blog! and that adorable face - i want to squeeze him. play date! play date! too bad we're so far apart.

    dude, you're a natural with the wee ones.

  9. yay for finding the case!!! yay that it fits!

    i also really dislike crepe to go and the crepe nazi. your entry makes me sad that i no longer live on sawtelle and no longer have a client who i needed to visit quite often (just around lunchtime) in the palisades.

  10. I will have a crepe today in honor of this post.

  11. I. Want. Pinkberry.

    And now I also want crepes. Dammit.

  12. Awwww, I love Airedales! So cute!

  13. Does it make me a bad person if I got far more excited about the dog than the baby?

  14. I have got to try a crepe sometime soon. You're killing me with the descriptions!

  15. dayum! what a busy day. I'm beat just reading about it.

    (you look great with a baby in tow) ;P

  16. I love that nail salon but not the price. They do drinks on thursdays.

    i wanna eats that baby and everything that you ate :)

  17. how did mr. monkey like the palazzo suites? i know we were quite impressed, but i'm curious as to what he thought.

    that iphone case suites you perfectly!

    curly fries and small fries are too cute. looks like a great day!


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