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Monday, November 21, 2005

Second Weekend (w/ the parentals) Part 1

I would have posted pictures of last weekend’s activities but my parents brought the camera to Las Vegas where they spent 4 wonderful days sampling different restaurants, watching shows (Mamma Mia, Lance Burton's, and Cirque du Soleil's "O"), walking the strip, and gambling the night away (well not really, for those who know my parents it's more like a few dollars at the slots every night).

I’ll try to post a few pictures from last weekend and from our activities this weekend when I get home. Incidentally, this post is brought to you straight from my lunch break at work.

Our second weekend together started with my hubby and brother bringing my folks over to my office on Friday. They came bearing gifts (pili nut pies) for everyone at the office. That meant everyone naturally had to stop working and start socializing with my folks and of course sampling the really “hard-to-eat-just-one-piece” pies. Incidentally we did not know what the English translation of the Philippine pili nut is and none of my American co-workers had ever tasted anything like this (please e-mail me if you have any idea so we can get to the bottom of this mind boggler.)

After about an hour of chit-chat, my folks, brother and I left to have lunch at Pinks (my hubby had to work). Pinks Hotdogs on La Brea is a Los Angeles city institution and so I thought it would be great to spend our day in LA with lunch at the famous restaurant (well not so much a “restaurant” as it is really just a “stand” with a sitting area in the parking lot behind it). My dad had the Chicago spicy polish dog (which was really spicy!), my mom had the pastrami reuben dog (Side note: my mom is the only person I know who can eat a hotdog balanced on a tiny bun, loaded with a gazillion toppings, and not spill anything or get anything on her face!), my brother had the chili cheese dog (a classic), while I had the Rosie O’Donnell dog (chopped tomatoes, sweet onions, sauerkraut, and chili). The hotdogs were good but what I really liked was the creamy coleslaw and the crispy, flavored fries.

Our next stop was to visit some family friends to pick up some things and to drop off pasalubong (gifts from back home), which as it turns out we left in my hubby’s car (we had taken my car for lunch). So after exchanging small talk I had to promise that I would be back next week to bring their pasalubong. We then stopped by The Grove on Third. Did a little clothes shopping, home accessories shopping (for my mom), stopped by Banana Rep and Bath & Body Works, and then headed for the Farmer’s Market next door where we loaded up on andouille sausages, French-style baguettes, and different kinds of fresh cheese.

We then met with my hubby and arrived half an hour early for our dinner reservation at Lawry’s Prime Rib on La Cienega. While waiting for our table we got into a conversation with a fellow Filipina who was both irritatingly talkative (she kept butting in on our conversation) and yet strangely funny at the same time (her comments were outrageous!). And even if we were waiting to have dinner, we just had to sample the complimentary appetizers: thick-cut, home-style potato chips (yum!) and meatballs in tomato sauce (good but on the salty side). Finally we sat down to a super scrumptious and mouthwatering dinner of prime rib. I really like Lawry’s not just for the food but the whole ambience of the place. I find it to be filled with such an old-world charm. I also like their servers and staff who are all extremely gracious. Our server that night was a beautiful lady named Ms. Gosk. We ordered glasses of Merlot and Riesling (which is my new favorite dinner wine – served chilled, it is slightly sweet, fruity, and very refreshing). After a while, the prime rib cart came around and we ordered different cuts of prime rib. Mom and I had the Lawry’s cut, dad had the Diamond Jim Brady cut, while my brother and hubby (who were either very, very hungry or feeling quite macho) ordered the Beef Bowl cut (also known as the “half-a-cow” cut!!!).

The Prime Rib dinners (as if they were not large enough) come with Yorkshire pudding (sounds better than it tastes, if you ask me), mashed potatoes with au jus gravy, and whipped horseradish (which I love). You also get your choice of creamed corn, creamed spinach, a baked potato or steamed asparagus. I have to say, Lawry's does not have a huge menu but the few things they do serve, they really do exceptionally well. The prime rib literally melts in your mouth and each bite is tender and flavorful (with or without gravy). Dinner was very, very good but was really too much for us. We had to box up most of our steaks. We did leave room for the Dessert Sampler though - and am I glad that we did! The sampler included a tart lemon-like pudding on a butter-cookie cup, a miniature ramekin of crème brulee, a mini sundae with nuts and hot fudge, a tiny raspberry truffle with whipped cream, and a small slice of flourless chocolate cake. Again, all I can say is “Yum!”.

This is only Friday and I still have Saturday and Sunday to go. Unfortunately I have a meeting in half an hour that I need to prepare for. So the rest of the weekend's activities will follow soon …


jol said...

The actual experience of your listed activities was every bit as wonderful as your narration. This is one trip that I surely will not forget as it is logged on to my computer through your blog. I eagerly await Part II and possibly Part III as I have fallen under your spell.

Sareet said...

I love Lawry's too and agree - the Yorkshire pudding sounds better than it tastes.

I also really like the salad cart and how they spin the dressing into the bowl.

Sounds like you're having a great time with the parents in town!

Joanne said...

Hi Sareet, I did forget to mention the fancy salad bowl spinning on a bed of ice. And of course the seasoned pepper and salt that they serve along with it. Maybe it's the ambience of the place - but even their salt and pepper taste better :)

Yup, it's great having my folks over. I'm trying to find ways to convince them to extend their stay.

jml said...

Amazing how many things there are to see do and taste on a visit to L.A. There never is a dull moment. You kids have made this visit a most womderful and memorable exprience for us.