California Dreaming Day 1 & 2
Day 1 was spent wandering around Long Beach – where we are staying, in a haze of jet lag, after a 16 hour flight from Dubai which Manus HARDLY slept a wink, just trying to familiarise ourselves with our new home for the next 10 days and to pick up our rental car – we fell asleep by 4pm!
Day 2 headed off to Costa Mesa to South Coast Plaza – after being recommended it as a shopping destination by my flight attendant buddies who call Long Beach their second home. Costa Mesa by car is about a 45 min drive away, in Orange County. If you do happen to make it there as a tourist, make sure you ask for a Tourist Passport that gives you access to discounts and deals across different stores in the centre. It’s a massive centre which has a garden bridge that joins the home part of the mall to the main part of medium to upmarket stores.
Here I fell in love with a store called Williams-Sonoma – kitchenware and some foods (like gourmet cupcake mixes and do-it-yourself kombucha kits) and was pleased to discover they conduct daily free workshops. I happen to arrive on just the right day. They were demonstrating how to culture kombucha! This month they are also doing juicing and reboot workshops based on Joe Cross (Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’s) 60 day juice fast.
We took a lunch time break to head up the road 5 minutes to 118 degrees for lunch (not to be confused with 105’ degrees which is now Matthew Kenney Academy in OKC and where I did my culinary training).
I had a Daily 5 smoothie, which was seasonal fruit, with almond milk and coconut and greens (I think) and shared with the big man.
But i had serious food envy off Pat’s coconut lemonade – coconut water and lemon juice. YUMMY.
Cheese and Cracker Platter (as per the website)
3 of our house made cheeses- pistachio pesto, chipotle cheese and tahini cheese and everybody’s favorites our sprouted grain bread and crispy flax crackers.
Really tasty especially the tahini cheese – both our faves – but in my opinion, more dips than cheeses.
Then Pat ordered the Buddha bowl with seaweed as an addition
Curried Vegetables featuring Cauliflower, Grapes, Chopped Chard, Shitake and Enoki Mushrooms with Sprouted Grains on Sweet Miso Noodles
and I ordered the Topaz Pizza
Decadent Pistachio Pesto with Tomatoes and Herbed Italian Squash on Our Sprouted Grain Crust. Served warm with Sun-Dried Tomato Topping, Chopped Olives, Marinara & Basil Cheese.
Honestly, largest serving sizes ever! We could have ordered one meal to share, probably because we had also shared the cheese platter too, but serious sizes.
And then, I didn’t even realise until after we left, but we met Jenny Ross, the owner, as she came out to chat to other guests, and was asking us about Manus as he was a little naughty walking around the restaurant, chatting to other lunchers and she had a little newborn in her arms! Gorgeous.
The highlight of the trip to 118 degrees was discovering on leaving that Jenny was in fact the raw chef that wrote a raw recipe book with none other than Doreen Virtue, one of my mother’s favourite authors and gurus, who we happened to meet about 7 years ago when she toured Australia – Doreen even gave my mum a random reading in a talk she did in front of about 1000 people. Cool hey? So of course I had to buy the book!
Dinner was a vegan friendly local Korean BBQ restaurant I found online at Veg Out (Happy Cow’s vegetarian restaurant app for iPhones) and was happy to enjoy their Japchae (rice noodles with tofu and seasonal vegetables)
and some vegetable dumplings
alongside the traditional Korean pickled vegetable accompaniments (love them!), whilst husband was happy that he was able to still enjoy his Korean BBQ ribs. Win!Share on Facebook