on saturday, i had the pleasure of meeting up with a group of girlfriends - not the SFAMily, but the JLC (joy luck club). ha! although we didn't take any pictures of each other, you can guess why we've dubbed ourselves as such (minus the mah jongg).
i always look forward to meeting with both groups of buddies, because i am inevitably treated to a new westside restaurant experience. and today was no different - alcove cafe & bakery, chosen by the monkey, was the spot for today.
after making it to l.a. in a mere 35 minutes, i circled the area a few times before finding a parking spot off the beaten path, in a residential area on a little sidestreet. although i hadn't yet spied the restaurant with my own two eyes, i was assured by my navi that i was there. and as i strolled down the street, i realized i'd been misled (although only slightly) - i was across the street. across the very, very busy street. oh, well. i trucked on down to closest signal light and figured i'd just burn a few extra calories before stuffing my face.
and then i was there! yay!
it's the kind of place where you order at the counter, take a number, and then find a seat. and as i looked around and didn't see any of the others, i assumed i was the first to arrive. luckily, a few minutes later, tater arrived. we chatted for a few minutes and then the couple in front of us passed us a menu to peruse. turns out we'd both already checked out the offerings on the restaurant website, so we already had a good idea of what to order.
it was a cute little place, with a gourmet food shop in the same building. i knew i'd get into some trouble if i ventured inside, so i made sure to stay far away. heh.
as we got closer to the counter, tater and i decided to each order the two things that caught our attention, and split. best of both worlds! [cue miley cyrus]
look at the display case of freshly baked goods! and yes, that IS a blue cake. blue velvet, to be exact, along with the more traditional red velvet.
tater and i snickered at this little sign.
i pointed towards an empty table just beyond the counter, and i suggested that she nab it while i placed our order. but she came back a few moments later with the news that we were not, in fact, the first to arrive - the others were already waiting with their numbers, seated at a table under an umbrella in the back! whee! i took my o.j., red velvet cupcake, and our order number and we joined them at the table.
i was rather startled to note the price of that cupcake, which was about a third of the size of your typical sprinkles treat. yikes! "it better be good," i thought.
it was lovely to see everyone, and we sat and chatted until the food came. that is, until their food came. mine, of course, was lagging. somehow, that shit ALWAYS happens to me. oh, well.
shrimp and lobster omelette.
smoked salmon & potato pancake stacks.
roast beef panini.
fish & chips (sweet potato fries, to be exact).
and then, finally, my own shrimp and lobster (plus lump crab meat, yum!) was served. thank goodness - i was starving!
oh, it was so delicious. best $30 breakfast i ever had ;) no, really. it was! $30 AND delicious. tee hee. and because i still had money to spend, one of the other girls and i got back in line for some after-brunch coffees and a slice of that blue velvet cake to share.
and our brightly colored desserts, side-by-side like besties:
the blue cake was...not so good. the red velvet was slightly better, but i was still disappointed. there was far too much overly-sweet frosting, and the cake itself wasn't great. crumbly and dense, with not much flavor to speak of. oh, well.
i always have a self-portrait, to prove i was there.
i especially loved my parting gift.
you can see MUCH better pictures of our time together here. i'm no photographer, but what i lack in actual skill, i make up for in enthusiasm!
whee! fun, friends, and food. what better way to start off the weekend?