Some Great Places to Go in and Around L.A. – posted 1/16/ 2016
In the last week, I got to visit my son Josh and his wife Nancy in Los Angeles where they live. We did get around. Here is my selection of best places we got to:
The Last Bookstore
Located in downtown L.A. in a space that used to be a bank, this bookstore, ironically named, has volume. The place is kind of dark, poorly lit, but there are many new and used books. I didn’t have enough time to look around that much but the literature and classic literature section were especially large. It looked like they put counterculture, aliens, and horror all in the same bank vault – an interesting commingling. I found a good book on Latino history by Juan Gonzalez titled Harvest of Empire. For book lovers, worth checking this place out.
Madcapra Falafel at Grand Central Market
This place may have the best falafel ever. At least the best I have tasted. They had four falafel options. I tried the yellow which included falafel with feta, harissa, cucumbers, pickled sweet peppers and parsley stuffed in flatbread. The sandwich had heft, was very tasty, and was really more than one meal. The cost was very reasonable and the service was good. I would mention the cardoman coffee too. Any coffee lover would dig it.
I have to say I love this bookstore and I always try to get to it whenever I get to L.A.. It is great to see a legit independent bookstore that survives. I would think Amazon would put all out of business. Invariably, I find books I have not seen elsewhere. It has a superior non-fiction, politics and social science section, including progressive politics. I always leave with a list of books I should check out. Most of the books I never heard of before I walked in.
I admit I don’t know from ramen. I had never been to a ramen house before. I think of ramen in little packages where the choice is beef or shrimp. New Hampshire has no ramen houses. The ramen broth at this place was very rich and flavorful. Bowl portions were generous and the noodles had good texture. For dumpling fans, I also would recommend the gyoza. Place is not expensive. The interior was cooly designed to resemble an Asian street scene.
Hiking to Lizard Rock at Thousand Oaks
It was a cool morning and the air was very fresh as we headed out. The hike is pretty easy but the views were good. Not that much vertical. The landscape is so different from the east. Very arid, plenty of cactus. I did not see any rattlesnakes but Josh assured me they were around. You do not see anything like this in New England.