Steph and I are attempting to travel somewhere once a month this year, so for July, we headed down to Orange County/Los Angeles. And like real adults, we didn’t take Friday off to enjoy a longer weekend (which was a first!). On the plane, I started diving into Street of Eternal Happiness. I had high expectations for this book because Starr really enjoyed it. And she definitely didn’t lie – it is pretty good! I wish my flight was longer so I could’ve read more. I ended up forgetting my copy on Jason’s car, so I was scrambling to find a kindle version when I got back to the bay. I ended up just borrowing it from my library. The librarian I chatted with also put it on her list of books to read cause she thought the book sounded really interesting!
After we arrived at the John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, Jason picked us up, and we headed over to Anaheim Packing District to meet up with Kat. We had reservations at The Blind Rabbit, but since we still had a little bit of time, we decided to get some food to fuel up before the drinking began.
Jason lives in Irvine, which is less than half an hour away from Anaheim, and he has never been to Anaheim Packing District. What!? I got him a popsicle at Popbar! He ate it so fast… I wasn’t even able to get a bite.
And since everyone talks about the poutine at The Kroft, we decided to try the Braised Short Ribs Poutine. The cashier told us it was the most popular, but I also noticed it was the most expensive! Honestly, the braised short ribs were tasty, but the overall dish was just okay to me. I can’t really understand why so many people love this place.
Since we had one of the later reservations for The Blind Rabbit, we were able to stay longer than the 2 hour limit rule they have for other guests. Sweet! We ended up trying a few of their cocktails, which were all strong and tasty. If you get the chance, order the mac n cheese. It was bomb! It’s definitely one of my favorite speakeasies.
After we drank at The Blind Rabbit, we headed back to Kat’s place in Fullerton. She offered us drinks from her bar-on-top-of-her-fridge (see? still acceptable to party like you’re in college) and then busted out this wine bottle filled with “tequila made in a bathtub.” Let me explain – Kat recently went to Mexico and bought a bottle of homemade tequila. The guy made the batch in a bathtub! If you know me, I’ll try anything once… The tequila was smooth and had a hint of sweetness. (And I’m still alive to tell this story, so at least we know it wasn’t poisoned.)
Then we went to DTF (downtown Fullerton) for more drinks. We always go to the same places, but it’s all good because Hopscotch Tavern is fun!
The next morning, Jason gave me a tour of his apartment complex. This is just one part of the rooftop amenities. The whole pool area looked like a beach club in Vegas! The gym was really nice, and Jason told me half of it is blocked off because famous people came in to work out. (What.)
One of the things I missed most about Orange County was the strawberry croissants from Cream Pan. So for breakfast, we headed over to wait in line. We picked up a bunch of strawberry croissants, cream pans, curry buns, and other Japanese bakery items. So delicious! We ended up watching a ton of American Ninja Warrior while enjoying our pastries.
For lunch, Jason wanted me to try this Hawaiian place, Da Hawaiian Kitchen, that he frequents. The restaurant is very mom and pops, which I really like! We ended up ordering what they’re known for: the Chili Peppa Chicken with a side of fried rice. At first, I thought the fried rice looked whatever, but it ended up tasting delicious. I wish I didn’t have to share half of a portion with him… The chicken was perfectly crispy on the outside and very juicy on the inside. It tastes just as good as leftover later on!
After filling our tummies, Jason took me to Milk & Honey. We used to always pick up drinks here when I visited because the adjacent parking lot is cute, the cafe is homey, and the drinks are refreshing. However, this time, we noticed they used a bunch of syrup to mix into the drinks. We’re pretty sure they didn’t use to make drinks like this! Regardless, the peach tea with aloe chunks was still tasty!
At night, Jason and I headed to the OC Fair to meet up with his coworker Liz and her husband Brian. I was kind of scared that the fair would be super crowded, but surprisingly even though there were a lot of people, I didn’t feel claustrophobic.
It was a good thing Liz and I enjoy the same kinds of foods. We were both looking for fried pickles, so when we found these fried bacon wrapped pickles, we immediately got them to share. Mmmm, pickles!
We spent quite a bit of time playing carnival games. I never play these games because I know they’re rigged. But Jason encouraged me to play the game where you try to throw a ping pong ball into one of the colors bowls. I tossed a few, and one of my balls actually made it into the grand prize bowl. I went home happy with a Squirt! (I really wanted Jason to win me a Squirtle, but Squirt is cute enough!) Liz was able to trade up a few prizes to get that Bulbasaur. Pokemon toys were all the rage this year! It was so good catching up with both Liz and Brian!
When we got back to Jason’s place, we ended up just drinking and chillin’ with his roommate and her boyfriend. We were planning to go to Hashigo Korean Kitchen for late night bites like old times, but we ended up just ordering take out from there and eating at home. I always order their bootcamp ramen, and that night was no different. It was glorious! And I had extras to eat the next morning. 🙂
On our last day in SoCal, we went to see our grandparents. We went to our usual all you can eat KBBQ/hot pot place Kariya Shabu Shabu and BBQ. $13 AYCE meals are hands down the best. (But you can really tell my metabolism is slowing down. How does one stop getting older? Asking for a friend…)
After lunch, Kat took us to The Bruery in Placentia. It was well hidden in an industrial complex, much like JP Das Brew Beer Tasting Room in Fremont. You pick up a menu and check off the beers you want to drink. Most people went with the flights, which end up costing around $10, which isn’t too shabby. Steph and Kat’s other friends, Jessica and Galaxy, joined us shortly after and we ended up playing Spyfall. That game is so stressful!
Although we were only in Southern California for less than 48 hours, I felt like we did so much! It’s always nice to spend time with Jason because he’s a creature of habit… so when we hang, we always go back to the places that we like. A lot of the places we drank at and dined at were places we enjoyed when we were in college. 🙂 Good ole times!