instagram is always good for giving us ideas of places to go, things to see, and of course, delicious food to try. that's how we ended up heading out to little tokyo one day, on a quest to try some amazing-sounding udon at marugame monzo. after looking at the map, i realized that it was pretty close to japanese village plaza and so that's where we parked. we were about an hour early so we browsed through the shops there, starting with the sanrio store.
the bean was excited to go into the mokuyobi store, full of all kinds of colorful retro bags and clothing and accessories.
there are markers on the ground in front of most of these establishments, noting what businesses used to be there and when they were in operation. i always find it really interesting to read them and see how long the building has been in that same spot.
once the restaurant opened for business, we were seated pretty quickly. the service was a little slow, but let me tell you - 100% worth the wait. the miso carbonara udon was pretty much everything i hoped it would be - creamy, savory, chewy, amazing.
the old lady ordered the gratin udon - noodles covered in a chicken cream sauce topped with cheese and baked. this was also delicious.
and for the bean, the beef udon with fluffy egg. they were in seventh heaven with this bowl of goodness.
those plates were damn near licked clean. and after all that rich food, we decided to head off on a walk - browsing through a few stores, doing some window shopping, and then we took a brief detour here:
yelp had told us that there's a pretty little rooftop garden here that's worth a visit for a moment of peace and serenity in the middle of the city. apparently it's meant for hotel guests and those attending a private event, so we just sashayed our happy asses in there and headed right to the elevators. no one stopped us or even glanced our way, so we were good. we pressed the "G" button - garden? ground? that doesn't make sense. oh, whatever - and up we went.