Thursday, January 27, 2011

salomon XR crossmax - first look

with warrior dash 2011 (april) and the 10k mudrun at camp pendleton (june) looming, it was time to lock down the right equipment for my training in the mountains. with my vegas winnings from hitting a 5-team parlay, i treated myself to some new kicks - the salomon XR crossmax, a hybrid trail-running shoe designed for the trail and for the streets.

since i spend quite a bit of my time either running, hiking or tooling around various fire roads, what better way to take advantage of the terrain with only one shoe than these suckers. the upper is a stretchy mesh which is virtually seamless, so the fit is snug yet with room to roam. plus, it has a one-tug lacing system designed for speed, with a hidden pocket to hide the laces in.

the sole looks like a traction beast, with miniature hang glider cutouts designed to plant in the toughest conditions. i hope to take these puppies out for a spin this weekend...

salomon XR crossmax
release date: february 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

abbot kinney tomfoolery

monday brought about lunch at gjelina... yay! typically it's a 3-4 week advance reservation for dinner, but MLK day enabled my first foray there for petite déjeuner. while waiting for my traditionally tardy cousin (hey line!), my parents and i got to exchange POVs outside of ohm salon...

we got seated at 12:10pm next to the outdoor patio and after promptly ordering a maredsous 10 and a moylan's IPA for pops, it was on. we proceeded to order - and devour - the following:

* grilled chicories w/crispy farm egg, shaved parmesan & pancetta vinaigrette
* roasted beets, burrata, arugula, toasted walnut & walnut oil
* grilled monterey bay squid w/braised lentils, roasted peppers & salsa verde
* charred brussels sprouts w/bacon, dates & vinegar
* P.E.I. mussels w/chorizo, confit tomato, white wine & grilled bread
* guanciale, green olive, fresno chiles, buffalo mozzarella & rosemary pizza
* pressed braised beef brisket, tomato, onion, arugula & horseradish mustard
* butterscotch pot de crème (last but best)

1429 abbot kinney blvd.
venice, CA 90291

eats - water grill

sunday night brought about dinner in downtown at the water grill, another los angeles first checked off courtesy of my parents. come to think of it, my folks should come down more often if it's going to inspire me to get about town!

the water grill has been hailed as the best seafood in los angeles, so a spin from the raw bar was in order. we ordered a dozen oysters of three varieties - my fave being the conway cups from prince edward island - plus the jumbo lump blue crab cake and calamari fritto misto to start it off.

for our main course, heidi swiped my original selection of the soy ginger-braised black cod, so i opted for the line caught pacific swordfish w/peppadew hummus, pomegranate couscous and mint yogurt sauce. swordfish is traditionally a meatier and less flaky fish, but this iteration was the most tender i've had yet. pops had the flat-iron steak w/truffle watercress butter and my mom went all in with the 1 1/4 lb. steamed lobster w/butter sauce:

even though we were pretty full, who can pass up dessert? red velvet pudding and cheesecake w/pear & blackberry jam were in the house:

the restaurant even threw in their 2nd complimentary dish (the 1st was an amuse bouche of raw tuna) - another dessert including mini chocolate hazelnut macarons and lemon poppyseed tarts. the food was terrific and the service even better - props to our server mike for such an enjoyable feast!

water grill
544 s. grand ave.
los angeles, CA 90071

Monday, January 17, 2011

getty center visit

sunday was a most opportune time to visit the getty center for the very first time (embarrassing, i know), with my parents in town and the weather gorgeous. we parked in the lot and excitedly jumped aboard the tram, taking a neat 5-minute ride directly above the 405 freeway.

upon exiting the tram, i was struck by the fact that i had never been to this sparkling jewel of a museum before, despite living a mere 10 minutes away. the beauty is obvious in and of itself, but the lines, the shapes, the breathtaking view(s), the fact that it's free... let's just say that it won't be another 13 years before i make it back for a second visit.

i perused most, if not all of the north (art before 1700) and west (after 1800) pavilions, paying particular attention to the center for photographs in the west terrace. the ability to tell a story succinctly - in some instances just one photo - and visually is something i'm very much fond of, so there was a great deal to admire. yet i found myself gravitating towards the architecture, so i ambled around the halls and outdoors in search of eye candy.

this doesn't even take into account the central garden, who in the words of its creator, artist robert irwin, calls it "a sculpture in the form of a garden aspiring to be art."

getty center
1200 getty center dr.
los angeles, CA 90049

Thursday, January 13, 2011

camp pendleton mud run

not sure what i got myself into, but my buddy just signed us up for the world famous mud run at the marine corps base at camp pendleton. the race isn't until june, but it's never too late to start training for the grueling 10k run with "hills, tire obstacles, river crossings, two walls, tunnel crawl, slippery hill climb and a 30-foot mud pit."

never thought staying disease free would be a goal at a 10k, but there you have it. wish me luck...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

a few more pics...

yup, that's me on the way down. and lastly here's a panoramic bird's eye view of catarata rio fortuna:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

costa rica - ziplining

and here's a short clip of heidi getting shoved off to zipline...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

hiking - paseo miramar

fresh from the trip to costa rica, i felt the need to get my hike on, so thursday afternoon brought about a trip to my good ol standby - paseo miramar. just a 10-minute drive from my apartment, it's an intermediate 5 mile up-and-back with gorgeous views of the pacific ocean. i kept pace with the cyclist below for about a mile before he pulled away.

i used to come here and run 1.5 of the 2.5 miles uphill (it's pretty steep), take a breather at the parker mesa overlook then rumble back to the car in about 45 minutes' time.

lastly, here's a panoramic shot from the overlook, stitching together two pictures i took side by side: