The last time I was in California in 2008, I was quite disappointed with the food experience, especially considering the reputation for being a culinary capital. Well, I can say that California has redeemed itself because I had some great meals!
First, The Stinking Rose, The Garlic Restaurant in San Francisco. If you love garlic, this is the place for you!
My appetizer, their signature “garlic soaking in a hot tub”
My main dish..16oz. prime rib with garlic cloves, garlic mashed potato and garlic spinach
And my dessert..you guessed it, garlic ice cream!
Next up, Animal…reputed to be one of the top restaurants in LA, this resto offers a wide variety of animal parts including pig’s head, pig’s ear, chicken liver, rabbit, sweetbreads, veal brain etc.
I started with the veal tongue garnished with Ikura and black mustard
Next foie gras over Spam over a hamburger all topped with a quail egg..it was AWESOME!
Finally tres leches, dulce de leche for dessert
Definitely worth a visit and worthy of its reputation!
Many major watch brands have a retail presence on Rodeo Drive but I was a bit disappointed with the selection in each store. I have to say they were not up to Vegas standards. Also, none of the stores let me take pics inside, again, a diminished shopping experience compared to Vegas. I did get some pics of their storefronts.
Audemars Piguet is one of my favourite brands but there were only two watches in the store that I liked, the Royal Oak Diver in the window and the white cased Tourbillon on display for US$288,000!
That Royal Oak Tourbillon was cheap in comparison to the watch I liked at Richard Mille, also a Tourbillon, the Yohan Blake for a cool US$660,000
Patek Philippe, another of my favourite brands…just had one Nautilus that I liked
Rolex..two Sea Dwellers but no Deep Sea or Daytonas
Some Type XX Transatlantiques in Breguet’s window
IWC, again, I saw a far better selection in Vegas however they did have a Rodeo Drive exclusive made of polished ceramic
The best selection by far was at Westime! They had TWO Breitling Emergencys, all the new limited edition Hublot and tons of brands including Urwerk, DeBethune, Franck Mueller, Zenith, Omega, Bell & Ross and on and on. They were also very friendly and gave me TONS of catalogues.
Clothing and accessories
Of course LA is well known for the high end fashion on Rodeo Drive (I’ll get to that in a minute) but it is just as strong for “streetwear”.
Located just next to Animal restaurant that I reviewed above, is the Supreme store. It was closed by the time I got there but there was already a line forming for the new clothes to drop at 11am!
Indeed, when I went back there at 11 am, the line was quite long. Funny thing, one of the guys recognized me from the previous night and thanks to my camera said “Hey, LA Times, you are back” hahahahah oh, street culture.
But really I went back to see the flagship store for my favourite brand, Crooks and Castles!
One of the reasons I love this brand is their gun themed clothing, which showed up in the store décor as well
Fetty Wap fans would get the Rari reference
I did not leave empty handed
And now for my new favourite streetwear brand, Robin’s Jeans! I love the bling!
I bought this hat as a gift for a special lady
Fortunately they had the hat that I wanted as well
And for blingy shoes, Giusseppe Zanoti
DITA Sunglasses..i was really looking forward to pick up a pair of Grandmaster 3 but after trying them on, they did not get the go ahead
More streetwear DOPE and DGK
Ok on to Rodeo Drive!
Versace, Versace, Versace, Versace
God I LOVE these shoes!
Speaking of cool shoes, it is too bad I did not have a chance to stop in at Maison Margiela
Yes, the elevator at the Tod’s shoe store has two chairs for the ride..dont think I have ever seen that before
Valentino and Moncler
I booked a convertible Camaro SS through Hertz and it was not available when I arrived! After about an hour of arguing with them I was able to upgrade to their Dream Collection for an extra $75! Check out the selection!
I chose a red 911! The 911 Turbo was my favourite car around the track in Vegas (vs. a Nissan GTR, AMG SLS, and 430 Scuderia) and this one was super fun as well. I did have a very, very embarrassing moment though when I pulled up to a gas station in my shiny red 911 and the attendant said ‘you have to back up..the gas tank is in the front’…sigh
When I returned the car to Hertz, I arrived behind a beautiful gwagen, also available for rental through their Dream Car program.
It turns out I would see tons of G-wagens when I got to LA, including this spectacular mirrored one
At the opposite end of the spectrum, matte black..i saw several of these (or maybe it was the same one?)
There is something you don’t see every day, a Lorinser Mercedes
Lots of 911s
One of four or five Ferraris that I saw
You might think with the California specific anti-gun and knife rules that the knife scene here is lacking but it is quite the opposite…there are major knifemakers like Emerson and Strider (and many more) as well as major dealers like Plaza Cutlery, TAD, EDC etc. located throughout the State. Last time I was here I went to We Be Knives and TAD. This time I visited Emerson! Sadly Ernie had just left so I did not get a shop tour but I did check out their showroom.
I don’t always carry a knife, but when I do, it’s an Emerson
On to the knife displays…
Big selection of t-shirts and apparel
More great accessories
Some interesting sights