Saturday, August 30, 2008

run down

alas, the summer adventures had to come to an end. b and I returned on monday to a long list of molliedash projects and requests to fill. but since I carefully collected business cards along the way, I'd like to share some of my favorite restaurants and shops that we visited. starting and ending our trip in gardena, ca., b's home town, we ate at shilla, because we loove us some korean food. driving up north, we were more than pleased by the quality of food at even the smallest hole in the wall. Barron Mexican Restaurant (more of a taqueria) at 449 N. State St. in Ukiah, Ca., had some of the most delicious carnitas tacos I've tasted. While we found that we couldn't go wrong in Northern Cal and Oregon, (possibly the best foodie region in the country) Maui was a bit more of a challenge. But one night on the ride back from Lahaina, we stopped in Kihei where there was a large grouping of restaurants on Kihei Road. Most of them had a loud nightlife scene going on, but we managed to find this great little noodle house amongst them. wokstar offered simply amazing, healthy, tasty pan-asian cuisine, served on their tiny, casual patio with that famous hawaiian hospitality. I loved their iced mint green tea. Exploring Kahalui's industrial park, we found Maui Specialty Chocolates, sampling a few pieces and taking home some boxes for family. These chocolates were outrageously good and bargain priced. We loved the peanut butter cups. Earlier in the summer I had heard Jonathan Gold on KCRW's Good Food recommend Renu Nakorn in Norwalk as the place that introduced L.A. to gourmet Thai cooking. So since we bookended the trip in south bay, we decided to check it out. Wowee, was this place good. We sampled things from the Northern Thai section of the menu, which was a nice change from the offerings at your typical Thai restaurant. On our last day in L.A. we visited the Theosophy Lodge with Stacy for a morning class. I loved it- it's been so long since I've given my brain a good workout. Afterwards, we had lunch at Chichen Itza inside the Mercado la Paloma

While walking through Arcata, Ca., I spotted this great poster in a store window with an image of a plant growing up through planet earth. I went inside Let It Grow Hydroponics to see if they sold the poster. They didn't, but we were amazed by the extensive selection of horticultural and home brew supplies. The place had a really neat peaty, yeasty smell too. In Venice, Ca. a walk down Abbot Kinney Blvd., one of L.A.'s best design drags, was in order. I knew Cory Madley from when I worked at Ritual Adornments, as she had been a former employee, and was purchasing supplies for her business. Cory now owns a shop on Abbot Kinney called Madley, where she sells her jewelry and knitwear, as well as creations by other designers.

I wasn't planning on shopping in Maui, but it was hard to resist. Near our hotel in Kahalui was Fabric Mart, at 55 Kaahumanu Ave. The selection of Hawaiian print fabrics was unbelievable, and the prices were super low. I needed a new bikini, but was having trouble finding something I liked. We stopped in Maui Girl in Paia, and hit bikini nirvana. This shopped is stocked to the gills with their own line of mix and match pieces, and suits by other lines. The owner, Debbie Kowalski Wilson, and her assistant made sure I found the right suit that fit and was flattering. Little notes are tacked up the fitting room, reminding you to love your body and stop judging. It helped! I left the store smiling, with new suit in hand. Or should I say "in bag," because Maui Girl uses ones made of corn plastic. Also in Paia, I picked up some beautiful pendants at Aloha Bead Company, at 43 Hana Hwy.

One of our favorite towns was Wailuku, the county seat of Maui. We were wondering where the hipster part of Maui was, and we kind of found it there. Market Street, the main drag, has a number of pawn shops, antique stores, a coffee house, and a couple of restaurants. Requests, on the corner of Market and Main, is a well-stocked, old school record shop. Across the street is maui thing, a great sportswear shop whose motto is "stuck on good." maui thing's clothing was a bit edgier than in most Maui shops, and their ethic is community-minded and green.

well that's it, folks. I hope to have time to post more photos on flickr. now it's full steam ahead for fall!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

more maui pics

Friday, August 22, 2008

echo park

yesterday was fun. we headed up to echo park so I could check out show pony, a shop I've known about for years, but had yet to visit. I found three! great things on their bargain rack, and was really impressed with their collection of new items for fall. the shop has an airy feel to it, adorned with funky accessories and owner kime buzzelli's luscious artwork. show pony's located on a block tucked into echo park's residential area, and shared with like-minded businesses like hope gallery. after our visit, we explored sunset blvd. in echo park, which has come up a lot in the past few years. I am so, so glad to see that Los Angeles is getting hip to the idea of locally-run street level retail. so much of the city in the last few decades has been dominated by suburban-style shopping centers clogged with big-box chains. if they can work on the public transportation problem, as they seem to be doing, the city will greatly improve. car culture means that people zip right by tiny businesses. for now, that part of sunset is still a series of disjointed clusters of shops. making it into a walking destination would be awesome.

hungry for lunch, we headed over to Alegria on Sunset, upon b's suggestion. wow, it was fantastic. the freshest style of mexican food imaginable. I had "ensalada de aguacate y camarones" - mixed baby greens and romaine, a whole avocado, red potatoes, green beans, carrots, and large, seasoned shrimp. to drink, iced "cafe de la olla," coffee brewed with piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar) and cinnamon sticks. yum! the place is beautifully decorated with bright colors, and our waiter couldn't have been nicer.

continuing to hunt around sunset blvd. through echo park and silver lake, we explored some antique shops and found sumi's, a shop full of artisan goods and unique gifts. it reminded me of rare device. heading west on sunset, we hit up a silverlake institution, wacko. the enormous converted warehouse space houses the book shop and novelty store, stocks their line of soap plant products, and is home to la luz de jesus gallery. a must-see in silverlake.

after getting our fill of echo park and silverlake shops, galleries and restaurants, we drove into the neighborhood to catch a glimpse of dodger stadium. I was curious to see it, as it's hidden back in the canyons and somewhat of a mystery. then b headed north to glendale, another area of L.A. I had never seen. I was kind of surprised by how big and built up that area is. we drove around for a while, before winding our way to chinatown. we grabbed some vietnamese food, walked around the chinatown plaza and chung king road, and ended the day with treats from the phoenix bakery!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

hanging in pedro

we'll be in san pedro till monday, then back in nyc. I've been adding some photos to the travel posts, and hope to do some more posting about the trip. Since I've been away, Felecia dropped off some new molliedash items at Sodafine. bye for now.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


b's still asleep- I'm getting ready to clean up the hotel room. we leave maui at 10:40 tonight, but have to check out by 11:00 am. ah, what a great trip it's been. we'll stay another few days in Los Angeles before heading back to nyc. b has a little business to take care of and I have to see that baby koa again!

yesterday we took the *hana highway,* touring through the lush, tropical east coast of the island. driving the 50-some miles of twisting, turning, cliff-side road, we arrived in hana and hit the beach. maui is so small that any time you get in the car, you're likely to hit some coastline. the surf was a bit rough- each bit of beach is different. on the way into town we had passed a grouping of food shacks, so we decided to head back out and eat on the way. b spotted an older man who was thumbing a ride, and asked me if we should pick him up. we had passed by so many hitchhikers in northern cal and oregon, and I was wondering if b would ever stop for someone. so I said yes, and he got in the car. this man, bob, turned out to be somewhat of a legend. a retiree from glendale, ca, he lives in lahaina and hitchhikes every day to hana. b told him we were headed back to kahalui and would be stopping for lunch, and he was agreeable. when we got to the food shacks, the woman serving tacos (choice of mesquite-grilled kaluha pork or fish) thanked us for taking care of bob. it had started raining, and she mentioned to him that it was a good thing he was riding with us, and not in the back of a pickup. (a commonly-seen thing in hawaii)

as we headed in to town, b suggested that we could keep going and take bob to lahaina. we had been there once, but it had been at night. I have an old friend living there, and I had gotten her number a few days ago from a mutual friend. I called her up to let her know we were coming, and she agreed to meet us with her three daughters, under lahaina's enormous banyon tree. we walked around lahaina with alice and the girls, going into a small grouping of shops where alice's friend runs a jewelry store. I mentioned to her the story of bob, and she said, "oh, the guy?" apparently everyone knows him. we ate some yummy ice cream where they blend fresh fruit into vanilla to make the flavor. so good! and then strolled to alice's house so she could change athena's diaper. the two year old was suffering bad from "owie butt!"

so I hope to be filling these posts in with more info about the trip, and adding photos to the previous posts.

until then, aloha!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


this is not brooklyn.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


We're in Maui, but I'll tell you about Portland. We went to visit my old friends Brianne and Wes, and it was my first visit to the city. We arrived pretty late on Friday the 1st, and we all wanted to go out for food and drinks. b+w kind of debated for a while on where to go, since many restaurants close early there. they settled on a pub, the goodfoot lounge, acting as if the choice was a consolation. upon entering the cavernous place, we walked to the bar to order. wes got a pitcher of a local ipa for the table, and I chose a few *snacks,* each priced at $5.00. when the bartender arrived with the items a few minutes later, he presented three heaping plates of ridiculously fresh food. this would be an indication of how seriously Portlanders take their cuisine. the walls were covered with local artwork, and there was plenty of room for a pool table. you can still smoke in bars in oregon, but this place was so big and airy, it was barely noticeable. I didn't find out until the next night, when they brought us to a smaller, more crowded place, how much I don't miss smoking in bars.

we spent the weekend with b+w, touring around the city. on saturday we started the day at the vietnamese restaurant (?). beautiful, airy, colorful atmosphere, and again, crazy fresh food with a lot of attention to detail. after that we visited mount tabor park, near b*w's house in southwest, up on a hill which is a dormant volcano, overlooking the city. then we headed into town, as I wanted to visit hermitage, a shop which carries my work. the owner jennifer june was away that weekend, but we were charmed nonetheless. the store has a great mix of old and modern, and information about each artist is hand written on little cards. we walked up and down the main drags of Northwest, 21st and 23rd Avenues, before heading over to Mississippi to see brianne's friend Clara. b really liked this part of town, and I did too.

okay, I need to crash. this post is going to have to happen, finished or not.

I don't know what to say about Maui. magic? yeah, that's it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


b and I are hanging out at stacy's, waiting for his mom to call. we got in to L.A. around 1am last night, and headed straight to In n Out Burger. After passing so many cattle on the trip up north, I decided I couldn't eat a hamburger and got just fries. Today we're getting ready to leave for Hawaii in the morning.

Leaving Eureka last friday morning, we toured the Humboldt Bay area, including the former logging company town of Samoa. We were fascinated by the peninsula town's uniform, but shaggy look. b had eaten at the samoa cook house years ago, and wanted to show it to me. we peered in the windows, but he advised against eating such a heavy lumberjack breakfast.

following the coast, the next stop was Trinidad. We could see giant, white rocks jutting out of the ocean, and were compelled to stop. It was lovely, and we agreed to spend more time there on another trip.

following the 101 north, we wound through mountain passes and dense redwood forests. we were amused by the many roadside attractions, including houses carved inside giant trees, and the mystery spot.

heading into oregon, the topography and climate changed. california's rugged hills gave way to pristine, pine tree-covered mountains. the chilly coast also turned milder as we made our way up north. still on the 101, we crossed numerous estuaries that let out to the pacific. we were amazed by the huge rock formations sticking out from the ocean.

all along, we passed through tiny towns, crossed old bridges, and saw many logging trucks. after passing through hours of untouched forest, we came upon the areas where logging occurs. It was quite jarring to see this- sections of mountain stripped bare, then various stages of regrowth, turning the wilderness into a giant pine tree farm.

the pacific northwest is known for its coffee, and there are all sorts of drive-through espresso bars in the region. they range from tiny, privately owned shacks to the giant dutch brothers franchise.

okay, it's now 10:35 pm and i need to finish my laundry. argh, I hope to catch up on my posts. see you in hawaii.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

laura on the rings

santa monica beach, last tuesday.

Friday, August 1, 2008


we're in a cheap motel room with wifi in eureka, california. we left l.a. wednesday at noon, drove up to the bay area, poked around point reyes, arriving after it was too dark to camp. drove further north and spent the night in healdsburg, in the heart of sonoma county. the next morning, after a quick swim in the pool and dip in the jacuzzi, we headed into downtown healdsburg for breakfast and a walk through town. then into the dry creek valley for wine tasting. it was my first time in wine country, and I fell in love. sonoma is filled with small, family-owned vineyards, each with its own character. the vintners live right on their "estates," and often the tasting room is part of their home. we loved Preston of Dry Creek, which beyond being a winery, is a fully functioning organic farm. the tasting room is part of a market where they sell their eggs, cheese, bread, olive oil, and produce. guests are invited take the goods outside and picnic in their garden. not only did we pick up some wine and peaches at Preston, but b spotted a table down the road with an honor jar. it was put out by some local residents, and we got five fresh, crisp apples for a dollar!

well I should get to sleep, but lots more to tell and photos to post soon. heading up to portland tomorrow.

We stayed at the L&M in Healdsburg, a motor lodge owned by the same family since the 1930's.

Downtown Healdsburg

Dry Creek Valley