Wood Spoon is a Brazilian restaurant located in the Fashion District of downtown Los Angeles, California. The Wood Spoon is the best place to enjoy authentic Brazilian food from the Minas Gerais region with inspirational African, European and Indian influence in a comfortable homey atmosphere.
Chicken pot pie and Sangria are the best in town hands down!
I decided to go for dinner after spending the day downtown. The restaurant is always packed when I pass by, so I highly recommend making reservations for brunch, lunch or dinner. I made sure to arrive as soon as the doors open for dinner to secure a table.
The moment I open the door heavenly smells of food with perfectly blended seasoning arouses my nose from the kitchen. My taste buds were eager to taste the aroma circulating throughout the restaurant.
Natalia Pereira is the owner and head chef of Wood Spoon. Natalia is down to earth with a genuine personality. She works the room by making time to greet every person inside the restaurant.
Each table is set with freshly cut flowers as a centerpiece inside a glass vase, to complement the linen napkins and tea light for an elegant dining experience.
Pictures frames with dancers on the wall is reminiscent of Natalia’s father who was a dancer in Brazil.
It’s enjoyable to the mind and body to taste the labor of love in a meal.
Yuca fries are delicious!
Creamy rice pudding with cinnamon was amazing!
Chocolate truffles was the perfect desert to seal the meal.
Everything was outstanding at the Wood Spoon from the food to customer service!
Wurstküche Restaurant is the place to go for exotic sausage. Wurstküche Restaurant has two locations to choose from Venice, California and Los Angeles, California in the Arts District. The restaurant is considered as one of the hippest restaurants in Los Angeles since opening in 2008. The initial plan was to open a bar until the City of Los Angeles strong-armed business partners Tyler Wilson and Joseph Pitruzelli to open a restaurant with a German beer hall. In 2011, the second location was opened in Venice.
We walk inside an open triangle industrial space with a cashier and food preparers behind the counter and gourmet sausage display case with labels describing sausage flavors; Austin Blues, Bockwurst, Bratwurst, Chicken Apple & Spices (x2), Duck & Bacon with Jalapeno Peppers, Filipino Maharlika, Hot Italian, Klelbasa, Lamb w/Mediterranean Spices (x2), Louisiana Hot Link, Mango Jalapeno, Pheasant with Herbs de Provence, Rattlesnake & Rabbit with Jalapeno Peppers, Roasted Red Pepper, Sun Dried Tomato & Mozzarella, Vegetarian Mexican Chipotle, Vegetarian Smoked Apple Sage and Veggiewurst. Alligator sausage was taken off the menu because the restaurant could not consistently provide a quality product for customers.
We place our orders to taste the top-selling buttery and mildly spicy Rattlesnake & Rabbit sausage.
We are given numbers to place on the table for the waiter/waitress to deliver the food we ordered to our table and instructed to walk to the back of the building, which turns out to be a large industrial room with tables, bench seats, chairs and barstools to accommodate an occupancy of 202.
We sit down to enjoy our drinks as we wait for our food to arrive.
On the table there are five (5) mustard flavors; American, Brown, Dijon, Mustard, Whole Grain and ketchup.
Eating utensils, courtesy water, glasses and napkins are available for guests inside the dining area.
I order the Vegetarian Smoked Apple Sage sausage, Belgian Fries with Chipotle Aioli dipping sauce and Ginger Beer.
Prepare to pay for parking in the Arts District, stand in a long line once inside the restaurant and enjoy exotic meat sausage or vegetarian sausage in a clean and spacious atmosphere.
Martini preferences become an interesting conversation with mature adults drinking the classy drink shaken or stirred, wet, dry or very dry to the choice of Gin or Vodka.
The traditional Martini is made with Gin and dry Vermouth.
Gin has a very strong distinctive taste and Vodka is tasteless although both are made from a variety of grains, wheat, barley and sometimes potatoes.
In the game of life, traditions and rules were made to be broken for the evolution of a great Martini.
In 1953, James Bond introduced the Vesper aka the Vodka Martini in Ian Fleming’s novel Casino Royale “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet (a wine similar to vermouth). Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.”
It doesn’t matter to me if the Martini is made with Gin or Vodka, shaken or stirred…I just want the Bartender to mix it right and serve it cold in a chilled Martini glass.
The list below includes my top 3 favorite Martini spots to enjoy with my loved ones and the rest are presented in no particular order.
1. Martini Bar in Las Vegas Nevada makes the best Martini’s in a vibrant atmosphere and they are not stingy with the olives!
7. Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar in Santa Clarita, California allow adults to enjoy a Martini in a pet friendly environment outdoors. I was inside enjoying my Martini with loved ones since I did not have my Rottweiler with me…
Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner billboard advertisements on Interstate 15 between Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada entice some drivers and passengers to exit for a bite to eat.
Lynn and I decide to stop for a slice of pie and a cup of coffee after all you can’t go wrong with pie at a 1950’s diner.
The moment you walk up to the front entrance of the restaurants there are words surrounding the door reassuring it’s okay to walk inside.
After walking through the double doors, I notice a candy store to my left and the diner to my right…I decide to walk straight ahead to the ladies Powder Room.
There are Hollywood stars of fame painted on the wall inside the bathroom stalls above the toilet. I’m sharing the stall with the late Audrey Hepburn to schedule ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ until I hear Bing Crosby in my head singing “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas….”
I walk out of the stall to wash my hands and I notice a statue of a man using a urinal…I’m sure this is a great icebreaker to start a conversation between a woman and an inquisitive little girl about the facts of life…
There is a sign on the wall to instruct women and little girls how to pee properly while using the toilet “Please Remain Seated for the Entire Performance.”
There is also the famous World War II “We Can Do It!” sign used to encourage women to join the industrial work force to fulfill the labor demands due to the deployment of men overseas on the wall…
Before walking out of the ladies Powder Room are uplifting words from Audrey Hepburn to remind us the love you have inside your heart for self and others reflect beauty on the outside.
There are a lot of pictures on the walls and statues of entertainers pre and post 1950s to include The Blues Brothers from 1978…
We sit down at the table and I pick up a 1934 Remember When booklet to browse through a timeline from January through December, world news, national news and my favorite the cost of living…the average income was $1,601.00 per year, new house was $5,972.00 and gasoline was 10 cents per gallon!
When the waitress finally arrives to our table to take our order, Lynn ask, “What is the Chuck Berry Pie?” The waitress responds with confidence “It’s all of the pies Apple, Cherry, Strawberry, Blueberry and Pecan!” and with that I decide to order a Cherry Pie and glass of water and Lynn orders a Blueberry Pie with hot tea. The waitress asked if we want vanilla ice cream with warm pies and we both agree, before she walks away from our table. Lynn decided to ask another waitress passing by our table, “What is the Chuck Berry Pie?” her response was “I don’t know.”
Lynn decides to dip her Lipton tea bag from the 1800s into a cup of hot water as we both express our disappointment of the waitress’s lack of knowledge of which pie is associated with Chuck Berry an African American singer, songwriter and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music.
Our hot cherry and blueberry pies are served with melting ice cream while we wait for the waitress to bring eating utensils for us to eat our pies.
As we sit, wait and watch our ice cream melt on our pies, we notice a sign on the wall that reads “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone – Regardless of who you are, who you think you are, who your daddy is, or how much money you make!!” We both start laughing….
After we receive our utensils, we finish eating our Cherry and Blueberry Pies with melted ice cream like a bowl of cereal on a plate and walk up to the cashier to pay for our food.
Lynn decides to ask another waitress, “What is the Chuck Berry Pie?” her response “Blueberry is the Chuck Berry Pie.” We both looked at each other, laugh and walk out of the restaurant.
Lynn made the right selection by ordering the Blueberry Pie in honor of the “poet laureate” and “father” of rock and roll music Charles Edward Anderson Berry aka Chuck Berry!
I was reminded by another picture on the wall that life is defined by the journey, not the destination…enjoy and live in the moment!
Halfway House Café is located on Sierra Highway in Canyon Country halfway between Los Angeles and Palmdale. In 1906, this location was a trading post before operating as a restaurant in 1931. This restaurant has been in numerous commercials, television shows and movies. The restaurant is open every day from 6:00am to 3:00pm and only closes for special filming requests. Parking is available in front and behind the restaurant.
We were genuinely greeted by staff the moment we walked inside. Each table inside the restaurant has the Halfway House Café logo in the center with advertisements from various companies outlining the edges.
We were seated at a comfortable table for four.
The menu includes a list of commercials, television shows and movies filmed at the Halfway House Café and there is a television inside the restaurant with recorded clippings for guest to watch while enjoying a meal.
We enjoyed coffee, hot chocolate with whipped topping and apple pie à la mode.
The staff are friendly and down to earth. One of the waitresses made homemade fudge and shared samples with us. It was delicious!
Inside the ladies restroom are two toilets with no dividing wall for privacy and one sink. There is a toilet paper dispenser on the wall and the other is between the toilets.
There are pictures with uplifting and comical affirmations including a great quote by Lucille Ball “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.”
Overall the restaurant is a great place to visit if you want to enjoy vintage history.
Let’s take a moment of silence to address the responsibility of maintaining a rider fit lifestyle in a world with wind noise, loud pipes, loud music and headphones while riding a motorcycle with no hearing protection in the inner ear.
If you lose your hearing, you can’t get it back.
I made an appointment with an Audiologist to check my hearing after riding motorcycles cross country for more than ten years. The Audiologist conducted a few tests inside a soundproof room. The first test was an Otoscopy to check for ear wax and blockages and the final test was the Audiometry where I had to push a button when I hear sound through earphones.
Luckily for me my hearing is within the normal range.
Wind noise from turbulence is the primary causes of irreversible damage resulting in hearing loss when hearing protection is not worn inside the ears. Wind noise take the reins over the sound of loud pipes and loud music with or without a helmet. Hearing loss from noise may occur with one time exposure from an intense sound such as an explosion or from an activity such as motorcycle riding over a long period of time.
Turbulence is the primary source of the wind moving around your body or into your helmet at high speeds. The faster you ride the more severe the sound of wind noise due to turbulence.
Hearing protection such as earplugs or earmolds can suppress sound when worn during motorcycle rides.
There is not a 100% guarantee hearing protection will prevent hearing loss.
Some options available to reduce wind noise while riding a motorcycle are earplugs, earmolds, head/face mask to cover ears, windshield and specialized helmets.
The least expensive option to reduce wind noise are disposable earplugs available for purchase over the counter. It is important to adhere to state laws regarding earplugs http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/State-Laws-Database. For example, in the state of California motorcycle riders wearing earplugs must be able to hear a siren or horn from an emergency vehicle or horn from another motor vehicle.
Earmolds are professionally designed to the impression inside your ear and ear canal.
Head/Face mask to cover ears with ear plugs or ear molds may provide additional protection.
Windshields may block wind depending on the size and height of the shield and rider.
A few helmet manufacturers such as Shuberth, Shoei, Shark, HJC and Arai design aerodynamic quiet helmets with a snug fit to address turbulence and to reduce the chances of wind flowing through vents, visors, around the neck and under the chin.
The Tail of the Dragon was on my Biker Bucket List since 2005. On Monday, June 27, 2016, I finally build up the courage to slay the Dragon’s 318 curves in 11 miles on the 2016 Indian Roadmaster Motorcycle.
I had a difficult time falling asleep the night before. I spent most of my time reading news articles on the internet and watching videos trying to prepare myself mentally because I do not like riding through the mountains on roads with twists and turns and the spontaneous reaction of my heart to switchback and hairpin turns and yellow warning signs changing speed limits and pictures of wild animals.
I wake up early ready to conquer my fear of the unknown and to ignore the rumors and myths about the Tail of the Dragon. I stop by the Tree of Shame refusing to leave any motorcycle parts behind with my signature claiming no gain with lots of pain.
I pick up a Dragon Tail Sword to strike before I get on the bike.
The starting point of the Tail of the Dragon is at the Deal Gap Motorcycle Resort in Robbinsville, North Carolina and ends in Tennessee on U.S. Route 129.
I’m so glad I had my sister Porsche Taylor with me to provide positive words of encouragement to accomplish this intimidating goal since she knows I’m not a fan of twisty roads with blind spots.
If the Tail of the Dragon is on your biker bucket list, ride your ride and keep your eyes focused on the road.
I remember like it was yesterday riding an Indian Roadmaster down U.S. Highway 50 through Nevada as the tail gunner for a pack of female motorcycle riders for the Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride.
I notice a shoe tree to my right while riding west on U.S. Highway 50 on our way to grab a delicious burger at Old Middlegate Station. The station served as a Pony Express stop in 1860-1861. The restaurant is a few miles up the road from the shoe tree.
I inform Gin Sheer, Robin Rimsky and a few other female motorcycle riders during lunch I’ve been riding cross country with an old pair of cowboy boots in my saddle bag that I’d like to toss on a the tree since Indian Motorcycles gave me a brand new pair of Redwing Boots to wear as a sponsored motorcycle rider.
We ride our motorcycles back to the shoe tree after lunch so I can toss my cowboy boots in the tree.
Cowboy boots don’t have shoe strings so Lisa Jackson gives me a zip tie to attach the boots together by the pull straps.
I toss my old raggedy Cowboy boots in the shoe tree on the first try!
Mission accomplished…now I ride home to California with a lighter load.
I noticed on my 18th cross country motorcycle ride an increase of wild horses roaming the open roads and bringing traffic to a complete stop.
A few wild horses crossed my path while riding my motorcycle at a slow speed on twisting roads through the mountains in Carson City, Nevada.
I was able to capture a picture of a couple of wild horses grazing the grass near a Chevron gas station.
Wild horses are protected by Federal law via the Bureau of Land Management and roam free in the western states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.
Nevada is home to 60% of the wild horses in the United States of America
The Bureau of Land Management provides holding facilities to remove excess wild horses to protect rangeland from over-grazing, which is shared with private livestock.
Cattle Ranchers complain the Bureau of Land Management is not managing wild horses because they have increased 150% over the appropriate management level with a growing population of approximately 20% each year.
The Bureau of Land Management reports a decrease of wild horse adoption from 9,000 per year to less than 3,000 per year. The holding facilities are getting over crowded. The cost to maintain 50,000 wild horses and burros in holding facilities is more than $43 million per year.
Wild horses can live 25 years or more in captivity.
Please ride your motorcycles with caution in the wind so the wild horses can run unbridled and live free!
In Colorado between Silverton and Ouray U.S. ROUTE 550 is known as the MILLION DOLLAR HIGHWAY and ONE OF THE DANGEROUS ROADS IN THE WORLD.
I’ll never forget riding a motorcycle on U.S. Route 550 early in the morning through drizzling and sprinkling rain soaking a narrow road with switchbacks and steep hills at high elevation with no guardrails. It was the first time I had three deer to run cross my path while riding a motorcycle and the first time I witnessed deer climb up a steep vertical mountain wall like a mountain goat.
If you decide to ride your motorcycle on U.S. Route 550, keep your eyes on the road, respect the speed limit and stop in Ouray to soak in the Hot Springs!