Who: Afton Figueroa-Kulp, Student Majoring in Psychology/Obsessive Lover of Vintage
Where: Here and There
When: Saturday

1. Brunch at Canelé. This cozy French-Mediterranean restaurant immediately radiates a communal vibe as soon as you walk through the door. With it’s perfect blend of rustic charm (exposed brick walls, wooden dining tables) and urban nonchalance (chalkboard menus, exposed kitchen), Canelé is exactly where I need to be in order to begin my sweetest day. My habitual brunch order is a two-parter, to start off, delicious house-made ginger ale and a decaf coffee (from LAMILL), French baguette toast and house-made strawberry jam. Now, for the pièce de résistance, I order my absolute favorite item off the brunch menu- the always cooked to over-medium perfection, egg in a hole. 

2. Creative Pursuit at MOCA. I absolutely love inspiration, whether it’s creative, moral, or epiphany producing, preferably all three at the same time, I love it; I’m an inspiration hoarder. On this specific day, I’d recommend the MOCA. The Museum of Contemporary Art at the Pacific Design Center is hosting “Rodarte: States of Matter” on March 4–June 5, 2011. The exhibit will feature garments, in a stationary and kinetic display, which Rodarte designers, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, have designed for fashion and/or film. Anticipation commences.

3. Lunch at Fiore Market Café. I am a South Pasadena native, born and raised, and to describe my happiness about Fiore’s opening, is, well, going to be verbal lack luster. South Pasadena is three and one half square miles and when something extraordinary opens, I want more than anything for it to become a place of permanence. In Fiore’s case I assume I’ll have no anxiety about its permanence because it is perfect. Fiore seems to want to emulate the familial vibe of a small town café in Italy. It airs towards gourmet fare that is as delectable as it is accessible.

4. A sunset walk to Buster’s coffee shop in the Mission District. After a food-filled morning and early afternoon, I usually like to take a walk (yes, even after the rigorous calisthenics of a museum stroll) around the small city of South Pasadena. I love sitting alone outside of Buster’s at sunset with a decaf Mexican Mocha, and the Weekly’s (L.A., Pasadena) in hand. It’s beautiful, sabroso, and informs my week all in one sitting.

5. Dinner and Drinks at The Open Door. Monterey Park is the epitome and epicenter of “tasty” Asian cuisine. Whether it’s amazing Chinese food at Tasty Garden, or ramen and dumplings at Daikokuya, Monterey Park is where the MSG-free food reigns. While Tasty Garden and Daikokuya’s cuisine are both authentic and delectable, The Open Door is my favorite in terms of food and aesthetic. I recommend enjoying a Hitachino Nest, Truffle-butter Edamame, and short ribs served with a savory sweet gravy and roasted potatoes. Also, due to the fact that it’s “open” till one a.m., this gives me the opportunity to ride out my perfect day into the next.

6. Karaoke at All Star Lanes in Eagle Rock. Last but definitely not least. I’m the kind of lady that likes to prolong a perfect day and night into the next day… and if It’s meant to be, most likely I’ll end up watching friends and my lovely significant other serenade me with Michael McDonald hits and misses, at this lovely bowling alley/karaoke bar. Now, that is what I call sweet.

{photos by phil donohue and me. microphone}