Afternoon on Melrose

I absolutely love Los Angeles.  It is unlike any other place on earth — a mix of sixties kitsch, up-to-the-nanosecond trendiness, vanity, depth, celebrity, history, unpredictability, and perfect weather.  It's cross-pollination of the unexpected: palm trees and maple trees, hipsters and wannabes, vegan organic and the birthplace of Pink's hot dogs.

BLU JAM CAFE — Mazatlan Shrimp Scramble
and a Vanilla Latte.
At the heart of Los Angeles is Melrose Avenue, famous for its restaurants, tattoo parlors, vintage shops, and iconic entertainment spots.  Touristy though it can be, for locals like me, it's still a favorite way to spend an afternoon — strolling, browsing, eating, and of course, enjoying the warm-even-in-February sun.

This morning I slept in and hit a late brunch at Blu Jam Cafe with my dear friend Tara, only this time I skipped the french toast in favor of something savory.  After a flawless meal and my favorite vanilla latte, Tara tipped me off to a kicked-up ice cream shop she and her husband had stumbled over on a previous visit to Melrose: Neveux Aristan Creamery & Espresso Bar.

NEVEUX ARTISAN CREAMERY —  Maple Fig, Strawberry Balsamic and Peppered Peach.  
Hands down, the best ice cream I've ever had.  Flavors like Toasted Marshmallow, Salted Caramel, Coconut Curry Lemongrass and Crème Fraîche were unexpected (always an immediate draw for me), and a hit.  My favorites were the Peppered Peach, Maple Fig and Strawberry Balsamic.  Absolutely ridiculous.

After ice cream, Tara dashed off to meet the hubs, while I popped into Notorious, a trendy-yet-edgy clothing store with surprisingly good prices and well-made designs.  I had to wait for a dressing room since the place is tiny, but it was worth it for the chance to pick up an über-feminine electric blue spring dress for the unbeatable price of thirty six dollars.  

Days like this make me want to move from my spacious place in the 'burbs to a tiny-yet-walkable bungalow in the middle of everything.  Ah, priorities.  :)


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