My boyfriend and I just got back from a lovely vacation to California. I had never been before and he was all excited to go back. We flew into Los Angeles and spent some time in that area, drove down to San Diego for a few days, and ended back in LA.
The day we landed, we didn’t go too crazy. We checked into our hotel in Koreatown and went off to explore. We grabbed lunch at this cute little Korean restaurant called The Bun Shop. I ordered the pork belly and spicy pig buns with a glass of Angel City Pilsner to start the trip off right. This beer is pretty consistent with the pilsner style. It was light and moderately grainy which went really nicely with the buns I chose.
After driving around for a bit, we ended up at Farmers Market. It’s a really cute shopping area. We mostly stayed around the food stalls. Jason saw this little bar area and ordered some local beer for us to split. I was stuck between Strand Brewing Co. Orange Wheat and Cismontane Brewing Co. Oxalis Sour Blonde Ale. Jason came back with a flight that included my two choices and Fireman’s Brew Brunette Beer and Honest Abe Farmhouse Apple Cider. The Fireman’s Brew was by far the best of the four, which is saying something for me since I’m not usually a fan of dopplebocks. He also bought a Santa Monica Brew Works Inclined IPA that I rather enjoyed even though I’ve been shying away from them. We also popped open a can of Golden State Mighty Dry Hard Cider that we had picked up at one of the shops nearby. That cider really does live up to it’s name!
The next day we started our endless line of California theme parks. Two years ago I went to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida and tried a Duff beer, so I knew I had to have a Duff Dry this time around. This beer was actually really nice and light considering how dark it is and the heat of the day. I also learned that no amount of sunscreen could save me from the tan lines I got from wearing my super cute Pinup Girl Clothing Voodoo Vixen Top in the Cali sun all day.
That night we drove down to Knott’s Berry Farm. A few of Jason’s regular customers told him that we HAD to eat at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant while we were there. We both ordered a boysenberry beer and the fried chicken dinner. The beer was refreshing and not too fruity. The meal starts off with bread and butter and a delicious boysenberry jam, a choice of two soups and a salad. Then the main course, which had to have been half a chicken plus sides! For dessert there were a few options to choose from, but we both ordered pie. Jason played it safe and got apple, while I got the boysenberry. (If you’re curious about the amount of boysenberry items like I was, the history section of the Knott’s Berry Farm Wikipedia page is an enlightening read.)
We spent the next day at Disneyland. There was no drinking, but we did have a lot of fun. Like idiots, we waited on line for what we assumed was a Star Wars ride for 40 minutes, but it was actually a photo op with Chewbacca. That was a fantastic and funny way to start the day. It was really cool to see the differences between the rides that are at both Disneyland and Disney World and I enjoyed going on the ones exclusive to California. I got a number of compliments, (and stains!), on my Pinup Girl Clothing Mary Blair Trains Dress. It made that tiny hipster part of my heart happy to be Disneybounding in such an obscure way that no one knew I was!
After Disney, we drove down to San Diego and went to bed. Our first stop the next day was the Ballast Point which was a few blocks away from our hotel in Little Italy. They had so many options too choose from. I started with a Cinnamon & Raisin Commodore Stout, (which was amazing), and Jason got a Red Velvet Cake. They have a really awesome food menu in addition to their beer list. We ordered truffle fries and and by far the most interesting cheese plate we’ve ever had. I learned that I’m not against duck pâté and we confirmed that Jason only likes soft blue cheeses. We also got a flight with Orange Vanilla Fathom, Pumpkin Down, Navigator, and Longfin Lager. The Fathom was by far my favourite of the four and tasted like a beer Creamsicle.
After doing some touristy things, like riding a double bike, (in a skirt!), on the boardwalk and walking through the shops, we out to dinner and did some drinking. I don’t remember the name of the Mexican restaurant we went to, but I had the most delicious one pound surf and turf burrito and an award winning spicy margarita that I neglected to photograph. We went to a bar afterwards that had super cheap Coronas, so I had a few of those until the promotion expired. While sitting at the bar, Jason noticed a purple can and I discovered was a sour beer and of course had to have. I enjoyed Saint Archer Blackberry Gose enough that I purchased a six pack of it from a liquor store before we flew home.
The next day I made Jason go to the San Diego Zoo. I really enjoyed it! The zoo is set up in themes more so than continents like the Bronx Zoo. It also has a nice historical area near the elephants with information on Ice Age animals. Since he was so kind as to humor me, Jason got to pick dinner. We went to a German restaurant called Kaiserhof, because even when on vacation our job follows us. We both ordered a Kaiserhof Kolsch which is brewed for the restaurant by Ballast Point. It tasted like a pretty basic kolsch style. The food was good, but very different in taste and presentation from the dishes at the German restaurant where we work. After dinner, we went to the beach so that I could say that I’ve been in the ocean on both coasts of the United States and in the Pacific on two continents.
Our last full day in California was another non-drinking day in Los Angeles. There were a number of touristy things I wanted to do and Jason once again humored me. I’m very happy I was able to see La Brea Tar Pits, the Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Sign and TCL Chinese Theatre. Jason also thought it would be fun to go to Madame Tussauds since it was an attraction included on our City Go Passes, (which are super cool and get you into a number of different places for one fee).
I had a really nice time on our trip. I don’t think I could ever live in California, but I’d definitely go back for a visit. We also played a lot of Pokemon Go while we were there and caught Pokemon that are harder to find in New York and we took over a bunch of gyms!
Once again, I was extremely happy with my Benevolent Beauty Box. If you love makeup and/or subscription boxes and don’t already get this one, you really need to. June’s box is worth over $118 and contains fantastic products.
I think this is going to be the last week I’m going to do Thirsty Thursday in this current format. I’m going to be switching it over to reviews on specific beers or breweries and possibly cocktail recipes. Exciting stuff!
Thursday, June 30
I covered a bar shift in the beer garden of the restaurant where I work. It was a really slow night and it was quite hot and muggy. While I was cleaning and closing up the bar, I had two Schöfferhofer Grapefruits. I love when I get to have this beer on draft.