Japanese Food Festival

An afternoon filled with Japanese food and drink is a great way to spend a day in LA. Held in the grand ballroom at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, the Japanese Food Festival should definitely be on your foodie bucket list. It cost $50 for admission and you get 3 hours of unlimited tastings. To make your food adventure more efficient, I suggest going with a friend! Some lines are longer than others because it takes time to prepare the dish. While my boyfriend waited in line, I went out a got some samples to bring back and enjoy while queuing up. Pro tip is to try to eat all the food first then make your rounds for drinks. This festival is a great way to learn about Japanese food and culture without having to go to Japan.




Throughout the afternoon, there are various demonstrations happening on the main stage. When we first walked in there was a drum performance, called taiko. After that, they showed how to properly fillet tuna, which would then be used for the sashimi station! The biggest spectacle was the preparation of the mega sushi roll. With multiple chefs working together, the end result was a giant roll that could feed a village! After that, they had traditional Japanese dances and tutorials on how to create cute characters out of rice and seaweed.



There were so many types of food to try! One of my favorites was the fresh cut sashimi, they used the fish from the filleting demonstration. We first stopped at the okonomiyaki station, a savory pancake grilled right in front of you. Then right after that, we tried some yakisoba noodles and takoyaki, a ball-shaped snack with diced octopus inside. We also got to try hand rolls prepared by the up and coming chefs from the Sushi Chef Institute. There were also vendors that were serving up some ramen and karaage, which is Japanese fried chicken. We ended the afternoon with some yummy dessert samples, red bean and matcha ice cream and aloe yogurt.  



While eating all that good food, we got to taste many different types of sake and beer! You can definitely get your money's worth by drinking samples. I didn’t know much about sake, so when I tasted the various kinds, like filters, unfiltered, or premium, I was sure to ask the brand reps to explain the differences to me. They also told us what kind of food pairs well with each sake! There were also two beer vendors,  Orion and Kirin, they kept the beer flowing. We sipped on our beverages while waiting in the food lines. If alcohol isn't your thing, they also had bottles of yakult, ramune, and a whole line of juices from Aloha Maid.


Day in Downtown LA

Finally all the rain storms have passed! This weekend was the perfect time to have an adventure in downtown LA, clear skies, lighter traffic, and of course our reservation date for

The Broad

was finally here. A lot of the stuff we did today was totally spontaneous and we only had planned the museums and our friends birthday party later that night. Follow along and see what stops we found ourselves at throughout the day!

We woke up early to get to The Broad by 10am. We lucked out a found a parking structure on Olive, right across the street for $9. Since it was all day parking we decided to leave our car there instead of paying for parking again at another structure. I absolutely loved walking around The Broad museum, there were so many art pieces to observe and of course take pictures in front of. Out of all the installations, my favorite was the

Infinity Room

. I didn’t know a tiny room can transport you to different world. We only got 45 seconds to admire the lights and the space we shared, time definitely passed too fast.

We exited the museum, hungry for some lunch, but we didn’t know where to eat. There were a few food trucks lined up in front so we quickly decided to try out

Bool BBQ

, Korean Mexican fusion really hit the spot. Andy got the Bool Bowl and I got the Taco Mix, both were absolutely delicious.

After, we walked a few minutes down the street and went to the


(Museum of Contemporary Art). This was a quick browse, and we finished it in an hour. They have very interesting pieces, like videos and a large anti-war installation. Take to time to read all the descriptions, it helps to understand what you’re looking at.

After the MOCA, we decided to take a short 20 minute walk to

Little Tokyo

. Walking around and exploring isn’t too bad, plus you get to save some parking money. We stopped by a grocery store in the heart of Little Tokyo, admired all the super cute food and bought a small refreshment. Then we stopped at

Tea Master

for yummy matcha soft serve. This light dessert was delicious, it had matcha powder sprinkled on top.

Once we were done, we were so excited to see that

Angel City Brewery

was right across the street! The entrance was through the back and I was blown away by how big their space was. There were two floors, room for corn hole, a gift shop in the middle, and tons of board games that are available to play. Andy got a Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, and I got the White Nite, a nitro ale with hints of coffee. Both were so good!

After playing a game of Battleship and enjoying our beers, we walked a few minutes to


, a popular barcade in the Arts District. They have a ton of old school arcade games and pinball machines that you can play while you drink. We didn’t drink anything since we were going to a friend’s birthday in a few hours, but their drinks are game themed and they sounded delicious . We spent only a few dollars on a couple pinball machines, but we had so much fun trying to get that high score!


Uber Pooled

back to the parking structure and it only cost about $5, then it was off to

Abbot Kinney

! Parking isn’t too bad, just find a spot about a block away from the main street in the residences. We walked down the street, browsing stores we can’t afford. Window shopping was fun, but we were getting tired from exploring LA. Then we spotted

Blue Bottle Coffee

, and got the Iced New Orleans Coffee, the perfect pick me up. We also browsed a small art and craft fair, with handmade accessories and unique furniture. There were so many cute dogs and people had amazing style. Abbot Kinney definitely had a chill vibe, I loved it.

Then it was off to our friends birthday party at

Mom’s Bar

, a very popular Dive Bar with $7 drinks! We ended the night with good friends, and went home to sleep and rest after a long day. Another LA adventure for the books!

What are you favorite stops in LA?