Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

pumpkin lighting

I actually have a real pumpkin but I'm thinking of making something with him since he's also a cooking pumpkin.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm gonna copy pasta this right here

Because I have a hard time trying to figure out what the actual link is, or even where this is on the web (besides my reader). Sanrio's blogs are iffy.

"Sanrio, Inc. continues their 50th Anniversary celebration with the upcoming Small Gift anchor event in Los Angeles. Small Gift Los Angeles is a 10 day carnival-style event open to the public Friday, November 12 – Sunday, November 21 at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica. Small Gift Miami is the East Coast anchor event and will take place December 2 – 5, during Art Basel.

Inspired by the brand’s “small gift, big smile” philosophy, Small Gift Los Angeles will have a nostalgic fair/midway theme and offer fans of all ages a chance to immerse themselves in the whimsical world of Sanrio. Interactive games and rides, art exhibit and installations, product retrospective, pop-up shop, food trucks, dress-up photo booths, character appearances, workshops and special theme days combine to make this event a one-of-a kind experience. Entry to the venue is free of charge and tickets for games and activities will be available for purchase.

Small Gift Los Angeles will include:

Midway Carnival — a game booth area featuring classic characters will include Hello Kitty’s Spilled Milk Bottle Toss, Little Twin Stars Shooting Stars, Tuxedosam Bowtie Bounce, Chocopand Dough Toss, Hangyodon Ring Fling, Landry Lucky Duckies, and Sanrio Friends Spin ‘n’ Win Wheel, a Japanese activity corner, a retro videogame arcade, photo booths and a ferris wheel with multiple characters represented on the cars. Two 9-hole miniature golf courses celebrating Sanrio’s legacy of characters will round out the midway fun!

Art Exhibition — curated by Jamie Rivadeneira, owner of JapanLA, Small Gift Los Angeles will showcase artist works as well as eleven unique installation rooms that transform favorite Sanrio characters into original works. Fifty top artists will participate including Buff Monster, Gary Baseman, Paul Frank Sunich, Crowded Teeth, Natalia Fabia, Simone Legno, and many others. Artwork will be for sale; with a portion of the proceeds going to Los Angeles based L.A. Works. L.A. Works is a non-profit, volunteer action center that creates and implements hands-on community service projects throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Contact us for a more detailed listing of artists on display, works and artist bios.

Food Extravaganza — the “mobile food court” of food trucks will be a centerpiece of Small Gift Los Angeles, with many different trucks visiting over the 10 days, including The Grilled Cheese Truck. In addition, cream puff gurus Beard Papa’s will have a booth for the duration of Small Gift Los Angeles and have developed a special Hello Kitty flavor – a yummy strawberry flavored cream puff with sprinkles. Also on sale, an eco-friendly, co-branded Beard Papa’s/Hello Kitty tote created by Beard Papa’s to commemorate the event. Yogurtland will also staff a booth throughout Small Gift Los Angeles, offering a variety of special yogurt flavors and toppings tied back to Hello Kitty®, My Melody®, Keroppi®, and Chococat®.

Pop Up Shop — in addition to playing, participating and previewing, guests of Sanrio will also have the opportunity to purchase specially created and selected commemorative product in the Small Gift Los Angeles pop-up shop. Sanrio’s 50th Anniversary marks the first time that so many of the characters have appeared together and there are a variety of must-have, collectible pieces including iPhone cases and laptop cases, t-shirts, tin lunch boxes, tote bags, bobbleheads, plush, a commemorative 50th Anniversary book and much, much more.

Events Within the Main Event — special parties and events will abound over the 10 days of Small Gift Los Angeles. The themed “I Heart Nerds” party hosted by Sanrio and Loungefly and “Kitty in Pink – Retro 80s Prom Party” offer fans a chance to dress up, have fun and compete for ‘best-dressed’ prizes. Workshops will include Sushi Bento Box making, Sunae (Japanese sand art), cupcake decorating, jewelry and craft making with participating artists, and an intro to Hello Kitty Beauty by Sephora. Tickets will be available for purchase prior to events and workshops on brownpapertickets.com. Sanrio will also host groups of children with L.A. Works throughout Small Gift Los Angeles.

Special Partnerships — many special partners will be on hand throughout Small Gift Los Angeles to participate in this massive celebration. Various models of the newly launched Hello Kitty Smart Cars will be on display, inviting fans to hop inside, explore, and snap pictures. New partner Sephora will give fans a sneak peek of their soon-to-launch “Hello Kitty Beauty” collection featuring a luxurious line of cosmetics and collectible accessories."

Just in case anyone is in the area and wants to get a blast of Japanese cartoon animals.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I needed some Halloween spirit

So Friday we did something silly considering Obama was in town and traffic was a bear. We drove out to Burbank because it was Black Phoenix Alchemy Will Call for Halloween. I threw on some h.NAOTO clothing and my new Dolce Vita boots and went in search of anything remotely Halloweenish.

Halloween Town

Think I found it?

Halloween Town 2

Part of the window display for Halloween Town. No photos allowed inside but just as well because it was busy!

Randomly I decided we should try a restaurant across the street because I have this strange ability to find good food most of the time.

Bella Vista

Didn't fail me this time. Bella Vista in Burbank was so retro Italian restaurant right down to leather on the bathroom doors. I knew it had to be cool when the host asked how many and then said "Two? Right over here" and shrugged and pointed over his shoulder.

Bella Vista veg lasagna

Sorry the lighting was low so photos not so great but I had to get one of the best vegetarian lasagna I have ever eaten. I am really looking forward to going back for more!

bpal Halloween 2010

I have to admit every time we go to that part of the Valley we end up having trouble finding places. This time Google failed because they have the old address for Dark Delicacies. But at their old location is a comic book store that just happens to be run by the kids of the Dark Delicacies owners so we were in luck. (Another one of my inspired decisions to ask them). BPAL Will Calls are now held at Dark Delicacies book store and it's a much better location. Still was a lot of people there and so many scents to try out!

So this is a shot of what I bought and what was in my goodie bag. There was a Libertarian in there but I gave it away. My only regret of the night was that they aren't selling The Heraeon of Argos separately. Oh well.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Where I have tea with a few of my favorite artists.

royal t 11

And one strange girl with cats.

royal t 3

We were in Culver City today and decided to see if Royal T was open. It was so we had a bit to eat with a nice green tea.

royal t 1

Cheesecake and a really yummy brownie.

royal t 2

royal t 5

While sitting next to one of my favorite artist's work, Takashi Murakami.

royal t 6

royal t 14

It's an interesting space. Designed more towards holding events there than a restaurant or art gallery. Still the food and maids were quite nice.

royal t 7

And as the sign says, the exhibit was Warholian, which was fun to see some of Andy's work in person.

royal t 10

royal t 8

Also lovely to see Yoshitomo Nara's work.

royal t 9

Right now there is an Emily the Strange pop-up shop there and an event Tuesday night.

royal t 15

While they did have some things to buy, it seemed a bit understocked. Possibly saving things for Tuesday's Masquerade? I was surprised to see they still had Pullip dolls there. Although it was a little not so great that the sales lady didn't know that Jun Planning was not the maker of the dolls and started arguing when I mentioned that...kind of killed off any sale.

royal t 13

But it was fun to see the various Emily the Strange products. Especially the window clings which I really wish they would make to sell. Along with Emily's chair.

royal t 12

So there is part of my day in Culver City. A rather interesting area which we seem to end up at from time to time.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy 75th Anniversary Kit Kat!

I've been holding out. I take lots of photos but often feel too tired to post. But then it's all worked out for this one post.

framboise kitkat 2

Hope you don't mind me sharing just a few of the different Japanese Kit Kats I was able to try during the year.

framboise kitkat

First is my favorite. These came out around Valentines Day. Found a few more at a store yesterday. Chocolate and raspberry. Delicious!


sweetpotatokitkat

sweetpotatokitkat2

Right around winter last year was when these Roasted Sweet Potato Kit Kats showed up. The red packets had regular chocolate Kit Kats and the yellow packets were the Roasted Sweet Potato. I wasn't that impressed with those but I know other people liked them.

royalmilktea kitkat

Royal Milk Tea. I got this back when I also tried their Milk Coffee one. I think for people who like these drinks they would enjoy these. B loves Royal Milk Tea and was more than happy to finish this one up.

richchocolate kitkat

richchocolate kitkat 2

Melt In Your Mouth Kit Kat came out at the Holidays. Pocky also had a richer chocolate offering then. I can say these were really good. A little darker and richer cocoa than regular Kit Kat.

greenteasakura kitkat

greenteasakura kitkat 2

Spring brought these Sakura Matcha Kit Kats. I might have posted these before. Interesting aftertaste. I have a theory that they flavor most of these Japanese Kit Kats a bit more because they are meant to be eaten when having tea. The stronger sweeter taste helps counter the bitterness of the tea. And yes, this one was pink inside.

raspberrypassionfruit kitkat

raspberrypassionfruit kitkat 2

Raspberry and Passionfruit was a limited Valentine Day Kit Kat. I was really happy when I found these at the store. Discovered the color of the box didn't make a difference, they were the same. Similar to the later Framboise but a little more sour tasting and with dark chocolate. Also pretty delicious.

banana kitkat

banana kitkat 2

I'm weird, I like the Banana Kit Kats. They have a decent banana taste and smell. I don't know if it's the white chocolate or the flavoring that has a bit of an aftertaste, but then most of these have that. I think for the white chocolate Kit Kats I've tried I like this one the best.

blueberry kitkat

A more recent offering, Blueberry Kit Kats. These aren't as strong flavored as some of the bigger Kit Kats. The blueberry flavoring works well with the milk chocolate. I still see these in the stores.

bitteralmond kitkat

bitteralmond kitkat 2

Most recent are these Bitter Almond Kit Kats. I would have to say these along with the Semi-Sweet Kit Kats are my favorite dark chocolate Kit Kats. These have little bits of almond in them which gives them a little texture besides the cookie. Really good and also still around.

I can say I didn't try all the kinds that I saw in the stores. I had to pass on the Ginger Ale and the Mixed Fruit. Beyond that, I'd say I was really lucky to be able to sample all that I did!

Forgot to put a link! I've submitted this to the August J-Festa and you can see all the other great food posts here. Take a look if you can.



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I will admit

That I need to try more foods from different places. So with that in mind and being a birthday celebration, we went out for my second round of Korean BBQ. My first time was a nice but late meal in Tokyo.

Shilla sign

This second time was much closer to home. Stilla Korean BBQ in Gardena, Calif. to be exact. Not hard to find.

Shilla 2

With that sign and rather decorative building.

Shilla 4

Shilla ceiling

Inside was even nicer.

Shilla 7

So a bit of Dassai sake and the introduction of condiments and the lighting of the grill, we were about to be served a feast!

Shilla 9

First they brought out side dishes of potatoes, rice noodles and green salad.

Shilla 10

Then kimchee and glass noodles with mayo, sort of a slaw salad.

Shilla 11

And then even more dishes! Spicy pickles, a bit of vegetables and a bean sprout dish. I had no idea we would get all this with just getting their BBQ. There was also a rather spicy vegetable soup.

shilla 12

Also included was this bubbling hot chawanmushi dish. There was so much steam from it all my photos of it look foggy.

Shilla shrimp

But what about the BBQ? Well there was very nice shrimp with a bit of cantaloupe.

shilla chicken

Although their Sweet Teriyaki Chicken was the crowd pleasure of the night.