Hey everyone! So it has officially been one week since my return home from birthday weekend in Los Angeles! So of course I have to share my experience with all of you! Throughout this post I will highlight the way my birthday weekend panned out and of course the yummy-ness that I experienced.

So for those of you that don’t know, my birthday is June 6th and my cousin/sister/best friend’s birthday is June 13th. We have been inseperable sense we were 5, and we have always talked about celebrating our birthdays together. Unfortunately, we have never been able to do so, until this year. This year we turned 22 and finally got the opportunity to enjoy our time together and decided to do it somewhere different, Los Angeles.

So if you have read about my cross-country road trip (read it HERE) then you would know that I have been to Los Angeles before. I actually have been a few times before my road trip with my family. But this time around it was a different experience. This time it was Vaimoe’s first time being in Los Angeles, and the goal was to have a good time between exploring during the day and exploring the night life. Overall, there was definitely plenty of memories made.

Points of Interest:

  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
    • Of course as soon as I touched down in LAX and saw a new coffee shop, I had to try it. At this time of the day it was warm and I was thirsty. So I just had to have an iced tea. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to get a Blood Orange green tea. Yum!
  • In n Out burger
    • Everyone knows about In-n-Out burger, and we finally got a chance to try it. Although it is an icon, I did not find it to be as exciting as I expected. But still yummy and nice to finally try it.
  • Lazy Dog Restaurant
    • This is a restaurant that was new to us and luckily was in the same parking lot as our hotel. The night that we went was during the NBA finals, so it was pretty busy and lively. Considering it was such a packed night, we immediately found a seat in the bar area so that we wouldn’t have to wait an hour to be seated. Although we were happy to quickly be served, it was unfortunate that I didn’t get to experience the beautiful patio area that features a few fire pits and wonderful landscaping. Of course, when it comes to the food, it was amazing. I decided on an appetizer version of nachos that had a wide variety of toppings to enjoy.
  • Paris in a Cup
    • I wouldn’t be a tea enthusiast if I didn’t insist on checking out a tearoom while in Los Angeles. This tea shop was settled into the charming Downtown Orange, California. When I first walked up to Paris in a Cup, I was immediately excited to see that even the outside of the tea room was beautiful, even though it was nestled between two other buildings. When you first walk in, you are greeted with a glass case full of chocolates and macaroons. As you walk through, you are tempted with the wide variety of jewelry, décor, and even perfume, that is mainly Parisian-themed. On the opposite side is where the tea collection is presented. Although I was expecting to find house tea, it was actually a pleasant surprise to find main stream brands of tea. I ended up picking out one of my forgotten favorites, Harney & Son’s pomegranate Oolong. ( Watch out for a full review coming soon) And of course the best feature of Paris in a Cup is the cafe in the back! During this time I even got to pick a hibiscus flower fresh from the bush!
  • Alberto’s
    • Let me tell you, when we pulled up to Alberto’s I was a little worried. But this place was highly suggested from a friend and I always have high hopes for local finds. And of course, this place did not disappoint. Not only was the service super speedy, but the carne asada fries were to die for. Although I am more of an enchilada fan when I go for Mexican food, I was happy that I ended up with this amazing dish. And, it was such a huge portion that I didn’t even get to finish it!
  • Santa Monica Pier & Promenades
    • Y’all should know by now that I am a sucker for scenery. And the Santa Monica Pier did not disappoint. When I was in Los Angeles last fall, I chose Venice Beach over Santa Monica, and I must say that I am so glad I got to experience it’s beauty this time around. Of course I had to get on the roller coaster and find some dessert. So I got a funnel cake while Vaimoe got ice cream. And we actually got to enjoy our dessert sitting on the beach, admiring the beauty.
  • Smorgasburg
    • Okay, I must admit Smorgasburg was my favorite part of my weekend. Smorgasburg is a weekly Sunday market that features food vendors, shopping, and even a beer garden. It is held in Row  DTLA where the weekly Alameda Produce Market is held. The only reason I knew about Smorgasburg is because I was searching for a way to get my hands on Wanderlust Creamerie’s products. I must say that I went for rice cream, but was happy to taste many other delecusies.
      • Sky High Tea Supply
        • Yum, yum,yum! I was so happy to see a tea company at a place like Smorgasburg. With a long line at that! While there was a great list of iced tea options, of course I immediately gravitated towards the Hibiscus tea. A pleasant surprise with this Hibiscus tea is that it is paired with lemongrass.
      • Sus Arepas
        • Y’all! I was so excited that I found this food truck that features a cuisine that isn’t typical. Sus Arepas offers a variety of Venezuelan/Columbian arepas. I personally wanted to try “the original” that had plantains, avocado, black beans, and rice. It was amazing! I never expected to enjoy a dish with that flavor combination but it definetly married so well together. Although it was filled with a bunch of starchy ingredients, I did not feel like I was over consuming carbs or feeling heavy.
      • Yellow Business
        • Oh the Instagram famous dessert. I personally did not want to overdo the dessert, but Vaimoe did choose this to try. Of course, I had to take a bite, and I was presently surprised by the wonderful texture that this egg waffle presented.
      • Wanderlust creamery
        • Now for the reason I ended up at Smorgasburg! If you have been keeping up with me on Instagram, you already know about my admiration for Wanderlust Creamery. This company is one that I adore because they simply spread culture through each flavor in a product that everyone recognizes. Every flavor of ice cream and sorbet is based on the signature flavors of different countries. This is exactly the theme and mission that I have always dreamed of incorporating into my future café. Hence the name Foreign Taste Buds for my blog. Although I had an idea of the flavors I wanted to try, unfortunately for me, there was only a limited variety of flavors considering it was a pop-up shop and not the actual creamery. But I was happy to get the Hawaiian Lilikoi Pineapple Li Hing Sorbet (top) and the Filipino Ube Malted Crunch Ice Cream (bottom.)
      • Kohk & Sahk
        • Lao style jerky? Yes! I would have never guessed to see a stand like this but leave it to Los Angeles to expose so much culture. So there was two types of jerky both in pork and beef. Either spicy jerky or heavenly jerky and let me tell you, I bought the heavenly pork to bring back to Rodney ( a major jerky fan) Y’all! This jerky was so amazingly sweet and flavorful. It is not a jerky that can be described, you just have to taste it!
    • Santee Alley
      • An interesting alley full of all types of shops in the Fashion District of DTLA. This is something that you have to see to believe.
    • Olvera Street
      • The famous Mexican street right across from the DTLA Union Station. It is always a treat to go here and feel like you are in a hidden land.

Although we didn’t get to do everything that we wanted to, we still had an amazing time during our 4 day weekend in Los Angeles. All links above are simply the websites of companies to make it easier for you to research them. Have you ever been to Los Angeles? What is your favorite LA dessert? Let me know in the comments below so I can add them to my foodie bucket list! Would you like to partner up? You can reach me through email or on twitter. Find my contact information of the About Me page.

Disclaimer: As always, all items were purchased on my own and in no way is this post sponsored or endorsed. All pictures are my own (some were taken by Vaimoe) and in no one can be used without my permission.