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Santa Monica/Suzy's Wedding


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Man, it’s a long 6 hour flight from BOS to LAX. It’s even longer when you are in the middle of 30 or so Marshfield High cheerleaders on their way to route for their Rams playing the Beverly High School football team. Reason 3,489 why I am not ready to have kids: dealing with 14-17 year old girls….yikes! Talk about getting no sleep on a flight at all.

Anyway, we get into LAX, get our rental, and immediately head off to our first destination: the famous Pinks Hot Dog Stand in Hollywood.

Pinks Hot Dog

Everybody knows Pinks is the place where the cool hang out. (Actually, everyone except Sir Mix A Lot, who’s posse hung out at Dicks in Seattle.) Every time you see a travel show going to LA, they always stop over at Pinks to showcase off Hollywood’s favorite hot dog stand. What I didn’t know was that Pinks was known for their chili more so than their hot dog. This was a pleasant surprise, because I love chili dogs!

We get to Pinks and park on La Brea. There’s parking in the back, but some construction was going on. The line didn’t seem that long, only wrapping itself a couple of times around, so we were pumped. We’ve seen the pics and heard the stories about how the line can go all the way down La Brea. When we get in line, others around us are commenting on how short the line is today. Lucky us. Pinks serves chili dogs, chili fries, and hamburgers. Typical hot dog stand fare. Along the menu wall there are hot dog creations that were originated by celebs: Rosie O’Donnell, the TODAY show, Three Dog Night, and even a Martha Stewart dog. I went with the Huell Howser Dog (I have no idea who Huell Howser is) which is two hot dogs in one bun with chili, cheese, mustard and onion. Abby went with a regular chili dog and Guadalajara dog, which had relish, onions, tomatoes and sour cream.

Once you order, you go inside and watch as they get your dogs together. We get the dogs, along with a root beer for me and a diet coke for Abby, and paid and sat down inside. There are the photos of all the famous people who have eaten at Pinks. I see Huell Howser is a celeb. Again, no idea who he is. I’m disgusted by the cheating Pete Carroll photo who is beloved by all in southern California….well maybe not UCLA fans, but either way he’s a douche and a prick and that goes for his Trojans too. (Except the Song girls…they are cool, well hot, but you know what I mean.)

The hot dog itself was pretty good. Slightly better than a street vendor dog. The chili though was kinda average to below average. Nothing special going on there…it was watery and didn’t have any great flavor. Abby’s Guadalajara dog (that’s fun to spell) was pretty good though. No chili on it, but the tomatoes and relish and sour cream made it a nice light hot dog.

Overall, it’s worth experiencing the famous Pinks hot dog stand, and if I lived in the neighborhood, I’d come here every so often for a hot dog. I give Pinks a 3 out of 5.

Pink's Hot Dogs on Urbanspoon

Rehearsal Party

My sister’s wedding rehearsal party was one of the coolest events ever, mainly because of the food. In a back yard of a rented house in Santa Monica, my sister had rented a taco stand for the evening. As readers of this blog know, I love taco stands! For those of you lucky enough to live on southern California or Texas, taco stands are everywhere and are awesome. Normally around $0.50-$1 you will get the best tacos ever. But my sister did not stop there, no she also had a bunch of Vietnamese sandwiches brought in, along with some other Vietnamese catered food and also a few boxes of In-and-Out burgers. Talk about food heaven!

The tacos were incredible…better than anything you will ever find in Boston. Taco Loco is a good spot in Somerville, but it might as well be Taco Crapo compared to this taco stand. After six tacos, I attacked a double double burger from In-and-Out. (This is why, this is why, this is why I’m fat, fat.)

The night also included a lot of drinking and trying to get the future bride and groom completely shit-faced. My sister was getting mad at us for making the groom take shot after shot after shot. It was all good.

Vietnamese Tea Ceremony

The morning of the wedding is the traditional Vietnamese Tea Ceremony. It’s when the groom side introduces themselves to the bride side and brings along gifts in hopes that the bride side will accept the groom side and allow the bride to get married. Whatever…It’s all about the pig in my eyes. Do you not see the pics of the pig? Look how amazing that skin is! And believe me, it was even crispier and tastier than it looks. God I love pig!

Wedding and After

A lot of things happened at the wedding and afterwards at the reception, but those tales aren’t really necessary for this blog. The dinner was either sea bass or steak (I of course got the steak) and it was good, but nothing special really though. After the reception, a bunch of us went down to the bar where we did shots of Irish Carbombs and hung out until last call. Abby and I made friends with the bartender a couple of days earlier and so we took a photo with him.

The next morning, we all went to the Santa Monica Farmers Market for brunch. It’s a very nice farmers market, with tons and tons of food stands and local produce. I got breakfast from some Mexican grill and it was a pretty decent breakfast. Eggs, potatoes and sausage.

There were some oysters being shucked that were calling my name, but being hung over from the night before, I just didn’t have the appetite. We sat along the grass and right behind us was our first celebrity sighting: Helen Hunt. Let me tell you, I wish she was still married to Hank Azaria and I would have been excited. Helen Hunt does nothing for me…she represented Oklahomans in a bad light in Twister and I also think she’s kinda hideous to look at. My mom though was impressed and kept staring at her.

We went to a big dinner at a place in Garden Grove (which is the little Saigon area of LA…and by little I mean enormous.) It was a Bo 7 Mon place (which literally translate to “Beef 7 ways” in Vietnamese.) Basically you order different cuts of beef or seafood, and you cook it on a cast iron domed skillet in front of you. Then you wrap up the cooked protein up in a rice paper wrapper with some lettuce and some pickled carrots and maybe a slice of cucumber and eat it. It’s always good, but it takes a lot of this to feel me up.

Home and Monday Dinner

We finally make it home on Monday and did not want to leave the house at all. Some friends were meeting at The Point to watch Monday Night Football and have some cheap wings and while that sounded fabulous and tasty, we just didn’t have the heart to leave the condo. Wings really did sound good though, so we took a quick block walk to Foodies and grabbed some chicken party wings. I quickly made up some fried rice while I fried up the wings and dinner was done. With the fried rice, I cut up some picked thai eggplant. Nice and easy and tasty! (The pics aren't the best because I didn't take them until after we started eating.)

That was basically our long weekend away in a nutshell.