Daily Archive: November 12, 2012

Lessons Learned at USC

Posted by Lauren

Mostly food related, little lessons I learned while visiting Nicole this weekend at USC!

1. An after work cocktail with your high school bff, Natalie, is totally permissible since you’re not a student under 21.

We tried downtown LA’s swanky Pattern Bar (100 W 9th St, LA) and both ordered their Galliano cocktail – Spicebox whiskey, King’s ginger, and fresh squeezed lemon! This Fashion District bar is quite tailored, with a dramatically high ceiling, black and white tiles, antique sewing machines, and soft lighting. Drinks fall into the fashion theme as well, with names like The Chanel, The Lagerfeld, and The McQueen.

2. When Zada Kabab (3013 S Figueroa St, LA) offers you the 10% student discount, you TAKE the student discount!

My college bff, Kerry, took the train up to LA on Friday night. After happy hour with Natalie, we drove to Union Station and picked up Kerry amidst some sort of filming going on. Oh, how LA? Kerry and I continued towards USC, dropping off Nat along the way. We chose Zada Kabab for dinner because of its proximity to the restaurant we were supposed to go to…. As if we were twins, we ordered identical shawarma combo wraps (chicken and beef)

3. A visit to Spudnuts Donuts (3001 S Figueroa St, LA) is acceptable at any hour.

Immediately after dinner, Kerry and I walked 36 feet to Spudnuts Donuts. While most students visit between the hours of 11 PM and 3 AM, Kerry encouraged us to visit since I have “always wanted to go there.” They make their donuts from a secret potato flour recipe that dates back to the 40s. Kerry picked her favorite, an apple fritter, and I picked a new-to-me doughnut, the maple glazed French cruller. We also picked up a dozen doughnut holes for game time snackage.

4. The Galen Center doesn’t allow food inside.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t smuggle in said donut holes to enjoy while watching the men’s basketball game Trojan Dance Force. I’m so happy Kerry took the train all the way to LA for 3 hours of quality time :) and a little rebellious donut sneak. We acted like 4th graders and talked about boys for the majority of the game!

5. Disneyland isn’t that far away!

When Fran pitched the idea of Disneyland on Saturday, I was a little worried about getting there with scary LA traffic. I encountered zero traffic just by mixing up my route and triple checking Google Maps/Waze. Once again, thank you for the invite to Disneyland, Fran! I loved every minute of it and am so happy we got to catch up!

6. Malibu IS that far away.

From the packet pickup at the lame-o expo (more on that later) to the actual half marathon itself, Malibu was about 20 miles further than I had hoped. The late race start meant we had less time to spend in Malibu after the race. Consequently, I was unable to try Lily’s breakfast burrito, which came highly recommended by my friend Anthony. Next time!

7. If you want a French Dip, go to Cole’s. But if you want an Italian deli sandwich, make the trek to Santa Monica for the Godmother at Bay Cities Italian Bakery & Deli.

Trust me here. This deli has a proven track record on Yelp, with over 2k views and 4.5 star rating (in case you don’t want to trust me). First, pull a number to secure your spot in line and stick around. If you’re roaming the market aisles and don’t hear your number, there’s no one to blame but you. Second, try not to get flustered and nervous about over-complicating your order. Go with this: “small Godmother with the works, hot, no mayo.” You’ll get a surprisingly large sub on a FRESH ITALIAN ROLL with genoa salami, mortadella, coppacola, ham, prosciutto, provolone and onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, Italian dressing, and hot pepper salad. Flavor explosion!

8. On Game Day, stay hydrated, well fed, and warm/cool enough.

That translates to always having something to sip on ;) especially during the tailgate! Avoid the stadium food and go for a dirty dog, but make sure you go to the carts that have cilantro (Lindsey is so wise). Although it’s usually hot hot hot in the Coliseum, the wind on Saturday was too much for me. Nicole’s ASU friend lent me his sweatshirt, but that meant I had Sun Devils gear on. The horror!

Question:Tell me about your favorite cocktail or sandwich or donut! Do you ever sneak food into some place you aren’t supposed to? Mini bottles and a San Diego club come to mind….


Homecoming: USC vs. ASU and Disneyland!

Posted by Lauren and Nicole

N: Saturday morning, I woke up at 7 AM to get some coffee and sell shirts at the Dance Force table. I got back to my apartment at 9, woke Lauren up, ate breakfast, popped champagne, and then met up with friends on campus.

L: Nicole’s forgetting that she made me breakfast (again). I’m a spoiled guest. :) Eggs, carrots, cauliflower, and marinara sauce with a morning Shock Top in honor of game day.

N: The fanny pack sure came in handy once we got to the quad!

N: Because it was homecoming weekend, houses paired together for the game day festivities. We roamed around to various fraternity/sorority tailgates before heading towards the coliseum.

L: I’m slowly building up a a collection of USC gear. What has Nicole done to me?

N: We made it into the Coliseum a little bit after the game started. It was a fun game and the Trojans ended up beating the Sun Devils 38-17!

L: I loved hanging out with Nicole’s friends – Lindsey, Arj, Natty… good people! Plus, Lindsey shared part of her ‘dirty dog’ with me and that’s friendship.

N: FYI, a dirty dog is a hotdog wrapped in bacon and covered with sautéed onions and peppers. After the game, Lauren and I met up with my best friend from high school, Cassie.  She was visiting from Pepperdine and she gave us a ride back to my apartment… hey, we had to save our energy for the half marathon on Sunday!

L: As soon as we got back to Nicole’s apartment, I quickly changed, and hit the road. First stop, Starbucks. I needed a medium coffee and egg wrap, stat. With the proper fuel, I drove about 35 minutes to Cypress so I could visit my college roomie, Fran! We went to the happiest place on Earth…. Disneyland!

L: I can’t remember the last time I visited Disneyland or California Adventure – big shout out to Randy (Fran’s dad) for sharing his guest passes with us!!!! :) Fran and I started in CA Adventure at Car’s Land….

L: I kept hoping that the Christmas decorations would be up, and they were! Now I’m in a holly jolly spirit and can’t wait for Thanksgiving/Xmas! Disney does holiday cheer better than Starbucks does red cups, ya know?

L: After Cars, we walked over to Disneyland and posed for the obligatory castle photo:

L: We continued on through the park, chatting our way in and out of the Star Tours line, Snow White’s Scary Adventure ride, and Thunder Mountain’s coaster. Around 6:30 we caught the tail end of the parade.

L: We walked back to California Adventure just in time to catch the Tim Burton-esque Mad T Party nighttime dance party. Mad Hatter creeped us out with his intense ‘eyes’ for Alice. Yikes.

L: We rounded out our night with a free sample of Ghirardelli chocolate, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, and the awesome “World of Color” water fountain spectacle. It was beautiful!!! See for yourself:

L: BRB. Tracking down all of the recent Disney movies I have yet to see:

  • Princess and the Frog
  • Tangled
  • Up
  • WALL-E
  • Brave
  • Cars

L: Question: What Disney flick should I watch first? When did you last ‘tailgate’ for something? Which do you prefer, theme parks in summer or winter?

-Lauren and Nicole