If you follow me on Instagram, you know Vishnu and I spent this past weekend in Los Angeles, California. Thankfully, my in-laws were able to fly up and watch Kaiden. #blessed
This was probably the first trip we’ve taken where every activity and meal wasn’t planned out in advance. In some ways, this is the best. Leaves room for some relaxation. In other ways, it means you may miss out on something fun. I would say we experienced a little bit of both.
Vishnu and I love hiking and getting outdoors, so the one thing we wished we had planned for was the hike to the Hollywood sign. By the time we realized this was something we could do, it was a little too late. Next time!
Other than that, we had a great weekend hanging out, eating delicious food, and attending a beautiful wedding.
Where we ate
Cafe Gratitude – Vishnu suggested this place, as did the concierge at the hotel. Cafe Gratitude is the quintessential Cali restaurant. Fresh vegan food that’s slightly upscale but insanely delicious. We enjoyed a plate of Buffalo Cauliflower, a bowl of Bibimbap, a Summer Grain Salad, and a Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookie. Vishnu and I both commented on how we didn’t feel overly full after eating a good amount of food. Win! Our favorite aspect of this restaurant is the location and ambiance. Located on Canon (two streets over from Rodeo), the open concept layout and beautiful patio makes the food that much more enjoyable to eat!
Gracias Madre – When I saw this restaurant on multiple ‘best of LA’ lists, I knew we had to check it out. I didn’t know if Vishnu would be up for yet another vegan restaurant, but he was…”when in California.” It’s actually owned by the same group as Cafe Gratitude (we didn’t know until we were driving to the restaurant), but the food was quite different. Gracias Madre serves upscale plant based Mexican cuisine. You guys, I had jackfruit tacos that tasted like CHICKEN! Vishnu had chimichangas filled with all kinds of deliciousness and topped with cashew cheese. And for dessert, we indulged in the peanut butter cup – a nut and cocoa based crust filled peanut butter cream. I left this place oh so happy!
Chaumont Bakery & Cafe – This little cafe sits blocks from Rodeo Drive and serves delicious breakfast and lunch options. The menu is filled with traditional menu items with a French twist. While the food was good, Vishnu and I truly devoured the baked goods. The chocolate croissant was one of the best I’ve ever had. SO buttery and flaky! I wish I could eat one of those every morning!
Walking up and down Rodeo Drive was quite the experience. We didn’t do any shopping (shocking!), but we did gawk at the beautiful cars (ok fine, Vishnu gawked). We ventured into the Tom Ford store just to take a look, but after realizing we were being followed around, we quickly left. Just a tad uncomfortable!
While Rodeo is fun to experience, I enjoyed some of the other surrounding streets a little more. Probably because we could actually walk into some of the stores and not stick out like sore thumbs.
Honestly, unless you’re a big baller, this is probably a one and done type of experience. Vishnu and I both agreed we probably won’t be back.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Another one and done, although I did visit this about 20 years ago. Vishnu had never been, so we decided to Uber it over. If you’re a pop culture junkie, it’s exciting to see your favorite celebs’ stars. We also got a glimpse at the Hollywood sign. Other than that, there’s not much else to do.
The reason for our trip
The reason for our trip was Vishnu’s friend Andrew’s wedding. Vishnu and AJ met during their intern year of residency in St. Pete and have stayed in touch ever since. When Vishnu asked if I wanted to attend, I immediately said yes, and I’m so glad I did. AJ and Shaz are a beautiful couple and so much fun, and it was quite the experience watching them become husband and wife.
This was my first Persian wedding, and I loved all of the beautiful ceremonies/aspects that reminded me of Indian weddings. Family involvement, lots of dancing, delicious food!
Shaz and AJ (and their families) know how to throw a party! We had an absolute blast. In fact, it’s been years since I’ve seen Vishnu tear it down on the dance floor like he did! SO MUCH FUN!
And in the blink of an eye, we were back in Chicago with our little guy. We missed him so much, as evident by the number of times we talked about him!
Now we’re in Atlanta to spend time with family and celebrate Kaiden’s first birthday this coming weekend!