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!