Tuesday, February 19, 2013

#255: Little Tokyo

Did anyone else check out Los Angeles Magazine's February "Hidden L.A." issue? Love it! The O'Neill house, Encino Velodrome and Serra Retreat are just some of the places I've bookmarked from the article.

Among the magazine's recommended hidden L.A. eateries is Fugetsu-do Sweetshop in Little Tokyo. The glossy picture of the delicately arranged Japanese confectionaries made my mouth water and inspired me to pay Little Tokyo my first visit in what has probably been a couple years.  

Fugetsu-do has been selling mochi and manju for 109 years. As the plaque says in front of the shop, Seiichi Kito opened the original Fugetsu-do candy store on Weller in 1903 and in 1930, Fugetsu-do moved to its current location.

From left to right: ogura, manju, ohagi

During our visit they had special mochis made for Valentine's Day and Girl's Day. I got a simple ohagi dessert, which is mashed sweetened azuki beans covering a rice center. Brad got a manju (cake surrounding sweet azuki beans) and a special ogura Valentine's dessert (sweet azuki beans around a sticky mochi rice center). We agreed that the ohagi was the best of the three. 

After grabbing lunch at Suehiro Cafe, we took a walking tour of Little Tokyo. First we made a stop at Weller Court where the Friendship Knot and the Challenger Memorial honoring Colonel Ellison Shoji Onizuka are on display. Onizuka was the first Japanese American astronaut selected to participate in America's Space Program. The Challenger flight was his second mission into space.

Challenger Memorial

Friendship Knot

Then we headed to the Japanese Village Plaza. On the outskirts is a neat gift shop called Bun-ka Do:

Near the Plaza's red tower is Foot Land, home of these awesome Spam shoes: 

And across from Foot Land is the macaron shop 'Lette. I couldn't resist getting a salted caramel from here:

On the corner of Central Avenue and 1st Street is the colorful "Home is Little Tokyo" mural:

Across the street from the Plaza is the Japanese American National Museum  (#57) and MOCA (#200):

Walk a little past MOCA to see the Go For Broke Memorial honoring the Japanese American soldiers who fought in WWII.

There's no place quite like L.A.'s Little Tokyo. It is a mix of old and new, built on a foundation of Japanese spirit and strength. As the Los Angeles Magazine article says, "As time collapses, you'll ask yourself what took you so long to come here."

Planning on taking a walking tour of Little Tokyo? I used this site to plan our own walking tour.

Monday, February 11, 2013

365LA adidas

You know you're a blogger geek when you've got your blog on your shoes!

Brad gave me the gift of mi adidas customizeable shoes this past Christmas, and I got to design my own adidas, including the materials, colors and what to embroider. Neon pink high tops? Sneakers covered in silver sequins? After hemming and hawing, I finally chose a combination of black denim with black suede trim and gold stripes.

Friday, February 8, 2013

#254: The Gagosian Gallery

Coloring Book, Jeff Koons

Remember the basketballs floating in an aquarium at the Broad Art Museum (#4)? The artist behind those basketballs, giant balloon dogs, and an awesome gold statue of Michael Jackson and his monkey is Jeff Koons

Koons' piece titled Coloring Book is currently showing at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. I'm so glad I paid it a visit because it's even more impressive in person!

Frank Gehry's Fish Lamps 

Admission to the Gagosian Gallery is free to the public. The current exhibit is on the lower level, and also features Frank Gehry's beautiful Fish Lamps.  

Frank Gehry is best known as the architect behind the Walt Disney Concert Hall  (#102). For more Gehry, see his house (#235) and Binocular Building (#142)

Gehry's sketches of Fish Lamps

During our visit, the upper level was closed off and contained pieces for private viewing. Undeterred, Brad's dad asked for a private viewing and they showed us the upstairs as well! Worth a shot :)

The docents at the Gagosian Gallery were very nice, and they assured us that photography was ok. 

Since it doesn't take very long to see everything in the gallery, I would combine this outing with something else in the area; the Sprinkles ATM and Beverly Gardens Park (#238) are just a block away.

The Koons and Gehry pieces are on display until February 14th, so be sure to stop by--the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday.

Have you been to the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!

The Gagosian Gallery

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

#253: WWA Gallery

The Bone Shaker, Kelly Hutchison

Sometimes the coolest places are right in front of you. How many times have I stood in line at Tender Greens in Culver City without even a glance at its neighbor next door, the WWA Gallery? A couple of weeks ago while Yelp surfing, I saw that they were having a CreepyCute exhibit. We invited our favorite creepy/cute goth friends to join us, and I took some pictures for you guys to enjoy.

WWA stands for the Wonderful World of Animation. Admission is free and we spent a good half hour admiring the art here. The CreepyCute exhibit runs until February 9th and is followed by an exhibit titled "I Believe in Unicorns, Too!" which runs from February 16th to March 23rd. Check it out!

Buttercup Farm, Dee Chavez

Nightwatchmen, Dee Chavez

Skull Anomaly 5, Jonathan Bergeron

Goodbye Kitty, Chase Tafoya

Saint Gus and Pilot, Larkin

 Feed Me Lover, Larkin

Albino Peace, Desiree Fessler

Girl With Round Glasses, Tansy Myer

Time Machine, Vincent Cacciotti

In This Land, Jeremiah Ketner

Lil Nubby Jr, 64 Colors

Have you been to the WWA Gallery? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below! 

WWA Gallery