Los Angeles Food: What we ate on our Honeymoon

So, Los Angeles Food. As you know, all we had was an afternoon & evening in Los Angeles so there’s not much food in this one! 4 meals isn’t too bad though (technically one is in Anaheim but shh!). Here’s what we ate:

Fat Sal’s

I can’t remember where I saw the recommendation for this place but my oh my am I glad we found it. Topher is still asking for fat sandwiches today! We visited the Hollywood location and it was the perfect place to celebrate finally making it to LA.

Los Angeles Food - fat sals

Their fat sandwiches have fries in them. That’s all I need to say! Having been stuffed to the brim with food over the previous 24 hours, we opted to share a sandwich and a portion fries. It was the perfect amount but we wanted more because it was so good.

Los Angeles Food - fat sals sandwich

We chose the classic Fat Sal Sandwich which is roast beef, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, fries and brown gravy on a garlic hero. One word: heaven. Just pure heaven. I would kill to get my hands on another one of these. And one all to myself for that matter. If you’re ever in California or Texas, go! They’ve got a few locations in both states.

Los Angeles Food - inside sandwich

Milk

The home of ice cream and an instagramer’s dream – we stopped off at Milk for some dessert before doing our sightseeing.

Los Angeles Food - milk exterior

Los Angeles Food - milk interior

I was told their ice cream sandwiches are king and I definitely agree. Ice cream sandwiched between two large macarons, it was the perfect size to give you a sugar rush but not put you in a sugar coma. I had red velvet and Topher had some kind of chocolate which probably had coffee in it too (I can’t remember exactly). Both were great and I recommend this place.

Parking was a little bit interesting as there is none but there was a residential street nearby that looked safe enough (in terms of getting a ticket kind of safe!).

Los Angeles Food - ice cream sandwiches

Souplantation

I told myself we would avoid chains (at least ones we had tried before and that you can get everywhere) but after our sightseeing was done in the evening, we headed to Souplantation. The same company as Sweet Tomatoes which Topher and I love; we knew we would need an injection of something green in our diet during the trip. It’s basically a giant salad bar buffet where you can also get soups, and other hot foods along with dessert.

We piled our plates high with veggies and it was awesome. I may have had some cornbread too which I’m known among friends and family for stuffing my handbag full of the stuff on the way out. This time, it was just a couple of pieces on my plate. I also discovered their snickerdoodles which were so incredibly delicious and I don’t remember seeing at Sweet Tomatoes so I’ll have to keep an eye out on our next trip.

Los Angeles Food - souplantation

The Griddle Cafe

In the morning before heading out to Universal Studios, we were in the mood for pancakes so we went to The Griddle Cafe.

Los Angeles Food - griddle cafe interior

The menu was very impressive and the flavours were really out there and interesting. I decided to go with “tis the season” which was pumpkin flavour pancakes and Topher decided on an espresso based stack called Eyes wide open (surprise surprise)

Los Angeles Food - griddle cafe menu

So I was aware that the portions were big…I just didn’t realise that they were this big! Seriously kids, it’s nice to share. Please share!

Los Angeles Food - pumpkin pancakes

I mean this is ridiculous!

Los Angeles Food - diane vs pancakes

Even Topher struggled. Neither of us finished even half of our stack and for Topher that’s saying something. I felt so guilty for wasting so much food.

Los Angeles Food - coffee pancakes

Los Angeles Food - Topher vs Pancakes

He said his was nice but didn’t have enough coffee to it and as for mine, they were so delicious. They got the amount of sweet just right so it wasn’t too much. Apart from the size, my only problem with it was the huge amount of whipped cream on top –  it soaked into the stack and made it waaaay too sweet. I think I would have been able to eat a bit more of it without it. Still wouldn’t have been half but it would have been something.

We couldn’t even take leftovers as we were going to Universal and then off to our new hotel in Anaheim. I would definitely recommend this place though. Just be prepared for the size and share between at least two people.

Los Angeles Food - beaten by pancakes

In N Out Burger

Finally, we couldn’t go to California and not sample In N Out Burger. We went to one in Anaheim near our hotel after getting stuck in a load of traffic so we couldn’t wait to eat. We both ordered cheeseburgers and a side of fries, “Animal Style” to share. For fellow first timers, Animal Style fries are not on the main menu – they’re on a secret one so you just have to ask when you order.

I wouldn’t call it a religious experience but it was tasty and definitely just what we needed after a long day. I’d go again if I was in the area!

Los Angeles Food - in n out burger

And that’s everything we ate. Stay tuned for next week when I post about what we got up to at Disneyland and Universal Studios.

Here’s where we’ve been so far:

Part 1: New York

What we ate in New York

Part 2: San Francisco

What we ate in San Francisco

Color Factory

Madonna Inn & A Californian Roadtrip

Part 3: Los Angeles 

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Los Angeles Honeymoon Travel Diary

So on Day 7 of our honeymoon, we finally arrived in Los Angeles 

Since our schedule was so tight and we prioritised visiting theme parks for this portion of the trip, we basically had a single afternoon to see as much as we could in LA. So after lunch we hit the ground running.

Hollywood Sign

First up was the Hollywood sign. To be fair we could have just left it at this picture but I had scouted out a viewing point where I could park and get out of the car on Google Maps so we headed on up the super windy hills.

Los Angeles - Hollywood street

Hello Hollywood. Topher was a bit disappointed as he thought it would be bigger but I had to remind him that it is big, we just weren’t particularly close!

Los Angeles - hollywood sign

Tourist selfies of course!

Los Angeles - diane and topher hollywood sign

Los Angeles - diane hollywood sign

Griffith Park

Then it was back in the car to drive to Griffith Park. It was huge. I wanted to find the carousel where Walt Disney used to take his daughters and where he got the idea for Disneyland. It was touch and go but we found it!

Los Angeles - walt's carousel

Griffith Observatory

Back in the car for our final driven stop which was Griffith Observatory. As far as I remember (not a lot!) I never went here with my family so this was a first for the both of us. It’s just so iconic! There is paid parking available but you can actually park at the bottom of the hill and hike up for free.

We were tired but it was definitely worth it. I think it took us about 20 mins. Warning – it is steep!

Los Angeles - Griffith observatory

Inside the observatory:

Los Angeles - griffith observatory ceiling

And the park in front of it.

Los Angeles - observatory park

The view was amazing!

Los Angeles - downtown view

Los Angeles - observatory view

Los Angeles - LA view

By this time it was time to check into our hotel, The Moment. I was really happy with our stay here and I definitely recommend it. The Sunset Blvd location is ideal and the hotel is clean and modern.

Los Angeles - The Moment Hotel

Los Angeles - hotel room

Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theater

After getting all checked in, we headed straight out and walked about 15/20 minutes to Hollywood Blvd so we could see the Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theater. It was super busy but we had a good time trying to spot names we knew on the street.

Unfortunately they seemed to be setting up for an event at the Theater so you couldn’t walk right up to it and look at the hand prints but we saw a few cool ones from the edge.

Los Angeles - grauman's chinese theater

Los Angeles - disney star

Absolutely shattered we headed back to the hotel as we would need our rest for Universal Studios in the morning!

Los Angeles - street art

Next up, what we ate in Los Angeles

Here’s where we’ve been so far:

Part 1: New York

What we ate in New York

Part 2: San Francisco

What we ate in San Francisco

Color Factory

Madonna Inn & A Californian Roadtrip

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Madonna Inn & A Californian Roadtrip

Madonna Inn has been on my bucket list for quite a few years now.

After discovering it through the world of blogging and social media, I had to make it part of our honeymoon. Perfectly, the Madonna Inn is situated in San Luis Obispo, California which is approximately half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Though you can spend days road tripping between these two cities, we were on a tighter schedule so split it over two days with Madonna Inn being the overnight stop in between.

So our journey started back at San Francisco airport where we picked up our rental car. This is the only photo I have with it. Isn’t it dinky? I thought Jeep’s were supposed to be big! No matter, we had a giggle and it was a really nice running car.

Madonna Inn - rental car

The Road Trip

We set off sometime between 3 and 4 in the afternoon with plans to reach the Madonna Inn by 8pm latest. We would take the 1 highway that runs along the coast (purely for the photos!) Topher noticed that Big Sur was actually all closed due to roadworks so we planned on getting off the 1 before hitting that section of the road. It seemed like a good plan.

Madonna Inn - Pacific Ocean

Topher actually vlogged a lot of the journey as I was driving so at some point I’ll get that up on my Youtube channel.

Madonna Inn - beach

Unfortunately we ran into a lot of traffic along the way but we also combined it with missing a couple of turns which led to me driving after dark.

Not usually a problem but as you can see, there are no lights on these roads and the cats eyes on the road were pretty useless. So you couldn’t see a thing. There weren’t many other cars on the road. This was paired with the fact that 75% of the time the highway exits were on bends and it was natural to follow them off so you had to really keep your eyes peeled so you stayed on the road.

Topher who usually falls asleep on these kind of trips was wide awake and had his phone sat nav on so he could warn me when the road bended. It’s safe to say that my body was locked in a tense gripping onto the steering wheel type of situation. I’ve been driving for over 12 years and this was my third time driving in the US and was definitely up there on my list of terrifying driving situations.

Luckily it was only about an 80 mile stretch in the dark so I just drove like an old woman and we eventually made it to Madonna Inn at around 10pm.

Madonna Inn - mountains

Our room

Absolutely shattered, we grabbed some burritos from Chipotle just up the road and we checked in.

We got the Starlite room which is the one I requested. Yay! Sorry for the terrible photos – it was obviously night time so the light wasn’t on my side.

So we’ll start with the bed. Doesn’t this look like it belongs in Beauty and the Beast?

Madonna Inn - bed

The ceilings were so high. I now realise I barely took any room photos but I did do a super shaky room tour so I’ll get that on my channel as well.

Madonna Inn - sofa

Madonna Inn - chandelier

Of course I didn’t remember to photograph the bathroom but it was full of these blue tiles.

Madonna Inn - bathroom

After a good night’s sleep we could actually appreciate the balcony that is attached to the room.

Madonna Inn - balcony

The Copper Cafe

We had breakfast in the Copper Cafe which is part of the hotel and we sat in a booth. How awesome are these goblets? They’re actually for sale in their shop so you could get one to take home. Kinda wishing we’d been able to. Next time I guess!

Madonna Inn - table

Madonna Inn - copper cafe

We both had pancakes and I hoovered most of them down. Not a bad effort.

Madonna Inn - pancakes

In the Copper Cafe they also sell chocolates and cookies. So tempting but we were stuffed and knew we’d be eating as soon as we reached LA.

Madonna Inn - chocolate

Madonna Inn - goblets

The Madonna Inn Interior

After breakfast we had a wander round to take some photos before heading off. We only saw the outside the night before and it was so pretty with all of the fairy lights in the world.

The started at the Steakhouse which we had considered booking a table for but I’m so glad we didn’t as we would have definitely missed the reservation.

Madonna Inn - stone desk

Hello creepy doll. It was an animatronic too. Shivers*

Madonna Inn - doll

The restaurant was closed of course but look how kitsch it is!

Madonna Inn - dining room

Below is the bar.

Madonna Inn - bar

The founders.

Madonna Inn - founders

We headed into the basement where there is a wine cellar, gift shop, bathrooms and a candy cavern of course!

Madonna Inn - candy cavern

This is the ladies bathroom. Shiny wallpaper alert!

Madonna Inn - visitor bathroom

The Madonna Inn Exterior

Madonna Inn - front door

I’m so glad we came though I would definitely recommend coming for at least two nights so you can fully enjoy it. They have a spa and do horse riding among other things. There’s a pink tennis court too.

Madonna Inn - exterior

Madonna Inn - check in

Madonna Inn - diane outside

Madonna Inn - topher outside

All checked out, we hit the road just after 10am to a much calmer trip.

Madonna Inn - road

This one passed without incident. Probably because we took the direct route! It only took 3 hours so we arrived just in time for lunch.

Madonna Inn - road to LA

The next chapter is LA. Stay tuned!

Here’s where we’ve been so far:

Part 1: New York

What we ate in New York

Part 2: San Francisco

What we ate in San Francisco

Color Factory

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Color Factory San Francisco

On our last morning in San Francisco, Topher and I spent our time at Color Factory.

As someone who spends a lot of time on Instagram, I found a lot of the colourful American’s that I follow were posting a lot of photos from something called Color Factory in LA. Curious, I took a look and it was an art installation created by Oh Happy Day that looked amazing! Unfortunately it was a ticketed only place that was all sold out.

Then all of a sudden, I noticed that it was so successful that they decided to open another one in San Francisco during September when we happened to be there on honeymoon. I signed up to the mailing list and when tickets went on sale I pounced like the colour hungry blogger that I am and scored two tickets.

One for me and one for my black metal loving, colour hating husband. Evil laughter ensued.

Topher was willing to come as it was something that was important to me but he was convinced that he wouldn’t enjoy it.

I knew I would love the place as soon as I stepped foot on these rainbow stairs. 

color factory - rainbow stairs

color factory - wall

Had we not just stuffed ourselves with beignets at Brenda’s an hour before, I would have been all over the free cookie you got when you entered. Damn delicious beignets!

color factory - monochrome

The first few rooms were more of a wander round and take pictures and selfies kind of deal and not so interactive. Unless you count the orange cheezeits I walked through while filming. Crunch, crunch, crunch.

color factory - orange

color factory - blue bubbles

color factory - disco room

This room is where the fun truly began. Giant felt tip pens. As you can see, the people before really really can’t stay inside the lines!

color factory - colouring room

I now know what feels like being a Borrower.

color factory - colouring

We both really enjoyed this ribbon installation. It just looked like a curtain on Instagram but in fact it was a giant square of ribbons that you could walk through.

color factory - ribbon wall

It was so dark in the middle that I had to turn on my flash!

color factory - lost in ribbons

color factory - neon smily

color factory - polaroid room

Topher loves confetti.

color factory - topher confetti

color factory - diane confetti

Topher actually had a great time in the confetti room making confetti angels. I learned that you shouldn’t make confetti angels without zipping up your cross body bag. Let’s say I may have accidentally brought some confetti home with me…and also dropped a little in all 3 hotels we visited afterwards! Oops.

color factory - topher and diane confetti

The giant yellow ball pit was by far our favourite room. And it was the last room too. I lost track of how long we spent in here – so many silly photos and videos. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been in a ball pit.

color factory - yellow ball pit

color factory - topher stuck

color factory - diane jump

color factory - topher jump

Afterwards we were given tiny ice creams and sent on our way.

color factory - ice cream

I had an amazing time – it was so fun!

I also picked up a pamphlet that explained that they had done mini installations throughout San Francisco as part of the Color Factory. We then realised that we had already seen one in Chinatown a couple of days before and had no idea there was a connection. Look below.

color factory - chinatown

I wish we’d known that before coming as it was our last day and we would have looked out for them. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll be online somewhere.

So after picking up our suitcases from the hotel, we headed back to the airport to pick up our rental car so we could head South. Stay tuned for the next chapter of our honeymoon!

Here’s where we’ve been so far:

Part 1: New York

What we ate in New York

Part 2: San Francisco

What we ate in San Francisco

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San Francisco Food: What We Ate on Our Honeymoon

San Francisco Food – I loved it!

With only a couple of days to sample as many different SF eats, we did our best. The only thing I know that we definitely missed was trying a burrito as apparently the city is quite famous for them. It was on my list but it was on the day that we got sunburned and went back to the hotel early. So we’ll have to leave that for next time.

Once again I’ll remind you that my husband Topher can eat for days while I get starving and then can usually only manage a small portion (boo!).

As for this time, take a look at everything we ate:

Boudin Bakery

What’s a first time trip to San Francisco without visiting the historic Boudin Bakery. Being a seafood lover I had to get the clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. I did have reservations about not being able to finish the whole thing as I saw loads of people leaving their bread bowls but I had no problem at all.

San Francisco Food - boudin bakery

It was so delicious and Topher and I really wanted to take home some chocolate bread too but decided against it due to the sheer amount of other food we needed to consume that weekend. If I ever come back to San Francisco, I’ll definitely be getting this again. Topher had beef chilli in a bread bowl and wolfed the whole thing down. I had a taste of it too and it was nom!

San Francisco Food - clam chowder & chilli

Mr Holmes Bakehouse 

First thing in the morning, we set off to line up for Mr Holmes Bakehouse as I wanted to try a cruffin. One thing to point out with San Francisco, they love queuing for stuff. If something is good, there will pretty much always be a line so keep that in mind! We arrived at about 7.45am on a Saturday morning and the place was due to open at 8. There were about 5 people in line ahead of us and more people joined behind us.

Unfortunately, cruffins don’t actually arrive on the premises until 9am. I didn’t know this until reading the signs outside as at the time of researching I’m pretty sure it didn’t say on their website. They now have a countdown clock on their website so you can figure out what time they arrive. Boo. We had another bakery to hit so I just picked a churro croissant instead.

San Francisco Food - mr holmes bakehouse

You can see them to the left of the green dipped croissants. It was amazing and I don’t even usually like croissants. Topher had a savoury danish which he said “hit the spot”. Croissant in hand, I turned around ready to get my instagram shot with the pink “I got baked in San Francisco” neon sign but it was turned off. Broken? Or the staff couldn’t be bothered to turn it on? Not sure, I felt stupid asking so we left.

I was a bit miffed but it wasn’t the end of the world and I got a tasty pastry so we headed off to our next target bakery.

San Francisco Food - mr holmes pastries

B.Patisserie

I had heard great things about B.Patisserie’s Kouign Aman (pronounced Queen Aman) pastry but nothing prepared me for the piece of heaven I tasted. I could have had a whole plate of them. Dough, butter and sugar have never tasted so good! Topher had a chocolate pastry which he really enjoyed.

San Francisco Food - b patisserie pastries

The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen

On the hunt for carbohydrates after our busy morning, we finally reached The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen where the smell of cheese greeted us. Topher found himself overwhelmed with all the choice but I knew what I wanted. The mac n cheese grilled cheese. Doesn’t that sound like carb heaven?

San Francisco Food - Grilled cheese interior

San Francisco Food - grilled cheese sign

San Francisco Food - grilled cheese wall

It was everything I thought it would be and more!

San Francisco Food - mac & cheese grilled cheese

Topher finally decided on the Reuben Adams which is essentially a pastrami sandwich and he loved it.

San Francisco Food - pastrami grilled cheese

We also had a side of garlic fries as we were starving. They were tasty and I really liked the dip that came with the

San Francisco Food - garlic fries

Ten Ren Tea

This wasn’t a planned stop but while we were strolling through Chinatown, we had a craving for bobo tea so we stopped here. Turns out it’s quite a famous chain. Topher got a coffee one and I got a red bean one. Delicious! Topher was really impressed that they would make it to your specifications too so he got a super strong one. They were perfect for cooling down as it got quite warm that afternoon.

san francisco food - bubble tea

Tadich Grill

In the evening we headed out for our fancy meal of the trip, Tadich Grill. It’s a seafood restaurant that was established in 1849! As you know, I’m a massive seafood fan so I couldn’t miss it. They don’t take reservations so you just have to turn up and wait.

San Francisco Food - tadich grill

We got lucky and got seated straight away despite the long queue because we were willing to sit at the bar. If you want a table, you have to wait and it looks like you may have to wait awhile.

The majority of the bar is used for diners, so we hopped onto our barstools and discussed the menu.

San Francisco Food - tadich interior

Topher had fish which I don’t remember what it was. Trout perhaps? Whatever it was, he ate it all.

San Francisco Food - fish

Topher finds my love of seafood funny as every time we go to a restaurant that serves it, I have to pick the dish that has as many different kinds of seafood in it as possible. Yes, yes, I like to eat the ocean. So of course, I picked the famous Cioppino which is a tomatoey stew sauce with clams, prawns, scallops, white fish, shrimp, crab meat and mussels. They even give you an attractive bib to protect your clothes. It was so tasty! I managed to eat the majority of it but had to forgo most of the garlic toast that accompanied it.

So if you love seafood, I definitely recommend this place.

San Francisco Food - cioppino

Humphry Slocombe

An ice cream shop that is known for it’s interesting flavours, I had to give Humphry Slocombe a try. It usually has a long line but as we arrived not too long before closing at their Ferry Building location, there were only a couple of people in front of us.

San Francisco Food - humprey slocombe

Topher of course had the Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee flavour and I tried the Harvest Graham and Honey Milk which was pretty tasty. Out of the two ice cream places we tried (the other being Bi.Rite which is further down), Topher says that this place was his favourite. I’m not sure which I prefer. Guess I’ll have to come back and try again!

San Francisco Food - humprey slocombe ice cream

Tartine

Another early start and another queue before opening time, we stood outside Tartine Bakery. I’m glad we did as when we sat down with our purchases, the line was down the street. It did move quickly though.

San Francisco Food - tartine exterior

I of course had to have their famous Morning Bun which is pastry with cinnamon, sugar and candied orange. I think this may have snuck into first place on the pastry front for me. It was incredible. Topher had a savoury scone and a chocolate hazelnut tart which he also enjoyed. He did agree that we would have to come back one day to try one of their massive pain au chocolates though. Those things were huge!

San Francisco Food - tartine pastries

Cha Cha Cha

Lunch was at the Haight District branch of Cha Cha Cha – a Caribbean, Cuban tapas place that serves awesome sangria. The interior was super quirky!

San Francisco Food - cha cha cha interior

Say hello to my only alcoholic drink of the holiday! This sangria was really nice.

San Francisco Food - cha cha cha sangria

Topher had the spicy chicken sandwich.

San Francisco Food - chicken sandwich

And I had the steak sandwich.

San Francisco Food - steak sandwich

As good as our sandwiches were, the highlight was definitely the side of plantains. Even Topher was picking away at them and he claimed to not even like plantain!

San Francisco Food - plantain

Bi-Rite Creamery

Be prepared to queue! We weren’t helped that this was a super hot day so of course everyone would be after some ice cream. I would say we queued about 20 minutes – 30 tops, I kind of lost count after awhile as I just wanted to sit down at this point.

San Francisco Food - bi rite creamery queue

So we finally reached the front and went for two scoops each (we earned it!). I got black sesame and ricanelas (snickerdoodle) and Topher got ricanelas and the ritual coffee toffee. I really loved mine. Maybe this was my favourite? I think Topher preferred Humphry’s because the coffee flavour was a lot stronger. I would recommend trying both places so you can pick your own favourite.

San Francisco Food - bi rite ice cream

Brenda’s French Soul Food

I finally got my beignets! And they were awesome. Once again we queued up before opening time and there were only a few people with us. Probably because it was a Monday morning.

San Francisco Food - brenda's exterior

San Francisco Food - brenda's interior

So we decided to share everything and went with some french toast and a beignet flight where you get to try the plain, chocolate, apple and crawfish beignets. Obviously start with the crawfish! All of them were delicious and we were surprised at how big they were. We could have probably just had those and been happy.

San Francisco Food - beignets

But of course we made the mistake of ordering the french toast as well which also turned out to be huge. It’s like a loaf of bread! They were incredibly delicious but I could only manage one slice. Topher did his best and finished the majority but even he couldn’t clean the plate. Oops! I would definitely recommend this place though. The beignets were to die for.

San Francisco Food - french toast

Ike’s

I’d heard good things about this sandwich place so for our last meal in San Francisco, we headed over.

San Francisco Food - ike's

The menu was extensive and there’s something for everyone. They even cater for halal and vegans. I was so happy to see a meatball sandwich that had only beef meatballs so I ordered the Michael Jordan which has meatballs, marinara sauce and pepper jack. It was so good but as I was still full from breakfast I could only eat half of it. I really don’t remember what Topher had but he finished the whole thing so that tells me that he liked it!

San Francisco Food - meatball sub

And that’s it for our food adventure in San Francisco. 

Check out what we got up to while we were there (apart from eating of course!)

And see part one of our Honeymoon where we visited New York

And what we ate!

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