Ice Cream Lab – Fresh Flavors, Flash Frozen

Ice Cream Lab – Fresh Flavors, Flash Frozen

Some photos used in this article were provided by Ice Cream Lab. I received no compensation for this article.

It’s August and the heat is still standing in the city. So naturally, as we’re melting away we’re looking for a fancy way to cool down. And yes, you could go to your freezer and pull out one of the plain old ice cream sandwiches. But why not try something new and exciting?

IMG_8402

I recently went to see my lawyer in Beverly Hills and decided to take a stroll, when I stumbled onto the one-of-a-kind ice cream parlor. The Ice Cream Lab is pretty inconspicuous from the outside but once you enter it and you see the graffiti-like artwork on the wall you know you’re in a special place.

But wait until you order your ice cream!

IMG_7114

The flavors change on a regular basis, so you should check their website to see what’s currently available. My personal favorite is the Blue Velvet, that they’ve always had available when I’ve stopped by. Once you’ve picked out the flavor you desire, it’s onto the fun part. Here is where the Ice Cream Lab really sets itself apart from other stores.

Ice Cream 3

The “Lab Technicians” as they call themselves here, mix the ingredients together in front of your eyes and put it in a special ice cream mixer that gets instantly frozen by liquid nitrogen. The fun part: the process fills the room with cool fog as a special effect!

And what comes out of this process is super-creamy, yummy and especially fresh ice cream. So if you’re ever in the area stop by and try a scoop. It’s fun to watch the process and you get good ice cream on a hot day.

Also, we’ve got some good news: They’re planning on expanding even more from Beverly Hills to Westlake, Old Pasadena and Little Tokyo in LA. And according to their website they’ll even go overseas to Dubai!

Hot Chocolate Marshmallows

Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Ice Cream

In case you want to stop by, here’s their address. It’s right next to Rodeo Drive.

Ice Cream Lab

9461 S Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA. 90210
http://icecreamlab.com/

As usual: Please let me know what you think. Are you interested in stopping by? Or if you’ve stopped by, what’s your opinion on their ice cream?

Orange County Fair: Carnival Rides, Farm Fun & Fried Treats

Orange County Fair: Carnival Rides, Farm Fun & Fried Treats

IMG_8278

What are you doing this summer? Are you bored and need a place to go with your family? The OC fair is the place to go.

It’s summer and there are plenty of events going on in Los Angeles and down the coast. This weekend Justin and I decided to check out the famous OC Fair in Costa Mesa.

The weather was perfect, so we took the hour long drive down the 405.

As soon as we got there, we were overwhelmed by the delicious smells of funnel cakes, corn dogs and turkey legs. And we got there just in time. They had two promotions that day from noon to 4pm: $2 taste of fair food and $2 rides and games.

Justin is big into carnival rides ever since we went to Vienna and he decided to try out two of the scariest ones.

As long as they spin and turn you upside down – he’s in!

And there was plenty of fun to be had with games such as ring throw, water balloon pop and other family favorites. The prizes were pretty impressive – I’m talking donut pillows! – and I’m sad I didn’t win one.

Of course, anyone who comes to the fair shouldn’t miss all the exciting food items you can get. And let me tell you, they seem strange to a European self-proclaimed gourmet like myself.

Fried cheesecake, fried oreos, fried snickers bars? Basically, any sweet and savory treat you could find was sold fried. We decided on some corn on the cob, an extra-long hot dog and fries.

IMG_8292

But my personal food highlight of this trip was my very first corn dog. A friend once told me that I will never forget my first corn dog. And I have to tell you – she was right.

After lunch we took a ride on the “ski-lift” across the premises and we were able to see just how large the grounds actually are. From the birds-eye view, we knew exactly where we wanted to go – to the animals. The fair offers educational fun as well as rides with their animal and farm exhibition. Additionally, they hold competitions on growing vegetables and decorative cake making, and display the winners for the visitors to see.

Everyone should also check out the pig races. It’s the cutest thing you will see in a long time.

If you and your family want to visit the OC fair you can still do so until August 10, 2014. It’s worth the trip wherever you come from. Let me know how your experience was at the OC Fair in the comments!

OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
http://ocfair.com/2014/index.asp

 

Sun, Fun & Boats! – Marina Fest in Marina Del Rey

Sun, Fun & Boats! – Marina Fest in Marina Del Rey

IMGP0719

Yacht & Boats in Marina Del Rey

First, I would like to apologize for my super late post. My week was crazy busy, so I just didn’t find the time unfortunately. But now I’ll recap for you what I did last weekend. Justin & I went to the Marina Fest in the Marina del Rey harbor.

The marina, to me, is a special place – an escape from the big city life. I love how peaceful and quiet it is and not to mention the ocean breeze! Last week, they held the Marina Fest, a festival with vendors and exhibitors all about boating. Booths all set up shop in Burton Chase Park and their offers ranged from education about save oil disposal to realtor services. And as you can see in the next photo, some of them were even selling toilets.

We strolled around the park and looked at the old and new yachts, that were open to be boarded by the public.

IMGP0726

Vendors and exhibitors at the Marina Fest

The food options were unfortunately a little grim because only two food trucks were catering the event. India Jones was serving up Indian food and customers enjoyed Pork Belly sandwiches at the Pork Belly truck. The latter took a rather long break and the lined up queue of hungry customers jumped ship and gave their business to the Indian truck.

We were really hungry, too, so we bought some curry fries from the India Jones’ truck and they were absolutely delicious. Even Justin liked them, and he does not like Indian food. After the Pork Belly truck reopened, we finally got our sandwiches too and we ordered the PBLT sandwich, which was a BLT with pork belly instead of bacon.It was great, albeit a bit greasy.

A DJ pumped up the crowd with his music and many of the visitors took advantage of the free water taxi around the harbor. As we came a little late, we opted out of that fun.

All in all, we had a great time and I’d love to come back some time to picnic in this awesome park. That’s definitely on my to-do-list for this summer.

Click through my gallery to see some more of the awesome pictures we took:

[slideshow_deploy id=’705′]

 

Disneyland – Annual Passes for the Happiest Place on Earth

Disneyland – Annual Passes for the Happiest Place on Earth

IMG_6496Disneyland – the happiest place on earth. Where people could get hurt and you wouldn’t even notice because they are the masters of deception. (And I’ve seen that happen before.)

Growing up, I’ve always wanted to live close to any of the theme parks but I was always too far away from them all. And let’s be honest: EuroDisney Paris just doesn’t have the same kind of charm.

Naturally, now that I’m living in LA, I’ve decided to invest in an annual pass, so I can go back there any time I would like. There is really no better place to forget about your every-day troubles.

 

Unfortunately, Disneyland isn’t quite DisneyWorld and there are days where I miss the Epcot park but I’m happy with what I got. Out of the two parks that we do have, I think I prefer Magic Kingdom (do we call it that in LA too?) – you know the regular Disney park.

The major difference between the two is that the amount of kids is significantly reduced in the California Adventure park. That’s in part because California Adventure is the first park that seems to be geared more towards adults. They are the only Disney park to serve alcohol – namely margaritas, wine and other cocktails. What’s interesting about that is, that it’s the only Disney park that allows alcohol. Walt never wanted the parks to serve any adult beverages, so they waited until he died to build a park that allows the consumption of alcohol.

IMG_6488

Bruschetta at Disneyland California Adventure

IMG_6475

Cocktails at Disney’s California Adventure

 

Regardless, I love spending time at Disneyland and I will make sure to spend every free moment there to make sure I really use that annual pass. So let me know, if you guys ever make it out there. Maybe I will see you there.

 

IMG_6492

California Peet at California Adventure

IMG_6499

Annual Pass

Blu Jam Cafe – A reason to cut your beauty sleep short for brunch

Blu Jam Cafe – A reason to cut your beauty sleep short for brunch

IMG_6268

Loxex Scramble – Salmon & Brie

Usually, I don’t get up early on a Saturday. Well, I don’t get up early on any day unless I have to or someone promises me something I find rewarding or entertaining enough to cut my beauty sleep short.

So when my friend Angelica invited me to brunch, I was naturally a little lazy. And indeed it took us a couple of weeks to actually go through with it.

But last Saturday we ended up meeting at this place called Blu Jam Cafe in Sherman Oaks. The cafe itself is pretty easy to find, located on Ventura Blvd. When I arrived there, I tried to park in their small (but free) parking lot in the back and after a while I found a spot. If you’re there on a Saturday, be prepared to battle for it. Or you can park on the meters on the street.

When I entered the restaurant, there were a lot of people waiting to get a table and it took us 30 minutes to get seated.

Our table was nestled in a small outside area and it was pretty crammed but I didn’t feel bothered by the other guests. When I took a look at the menu, I was ecstatic.

The menu had a vast array of items you don’t usually see on a brunch menu – or at least I’ve never seen them before. Which other place serves Italian Breakfast Risotto and Breakfast Carbonara? And indeed, it looks just as delicious as it sounds. According to their website, their Breakfast Carbonara is  risotto with crispy smoked bacon, green peas, parsley and parmesan, topped with two poached eggs and herb pistou.

We chose a little more traditional breakfasts. I picked the Lorox scramble, which are made with smoked salmon, chives and brie. Unfortunately, the waitress messed up my order and I got the regular eggs, instead of egg whites. But hey, let’s not be difficult here. So I let it slide.

Crispy French Toast & Breakfast Quesadilla

Crispy French Toast & Breakfast Quesadilla

My friend ordered the Breakfast Quesadilla which also looked delicious. Even though both our orders came with fruits, we decided we needed more sweets. So we went, with the specialty, which they are known for, crispy french toast. That’s regular french toast rolled in cornflakes and served with fresh berries and a vanilla bean sauce. It was my first time trying any kind of french toast and I really enjoyed it.

The price overall was very affordable and I had a great time. Well, until they declined my card and I found out someone had stolen my credit card information but that’s a story for another day. And it’s definitely not their fault, so if you’re ever in the neighborhood of Sherman Oaks or just feel like a really good brunch place. Check them out.

Blu Jam Cafe
15045 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
http://www.blujamcafe.com/menus/

IMG_6272

Breakfast at Blu Jam Café!