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Eating in Los Angeles with Nasir Shakouri

The first leg of our trip to Los Angeles has officially started! Nasir and I can’t stop talking about this weather and I kinda feel like a jerk walking around talking to strangers about this great weather. 75 degrees in NOVEMBER?! This feels unreal to a native of rainy and oftentimes cold Seattle. I don’t like the traffic, but I could definitely get used to the weather and the food.

Jess and Nasir Shakouri @ Sushi Tsujita

Chirashi bowl at Sushi Tsujita

Our first stop was at a sushi restaurant near UCLA called Sushi Tsujita. This restaurant shows four $$$$ signs on Yelp, but we stopped by for lunch and was pleasantly surprised by the relatively low cost for a chirashi bowl. A chirashi bowl with uni and ikura will cost betweent $14 and $18 at most run of the mill sushi spots located in strip malls. The bowl at Sushi Tsujita cost us $15. They only have 15 of these specially priced chirashi bowls a day, so get there early if you want to try it out. The service was impeccable and the decor was fancy. Nasir felt a little under dressed in flip flops and a tank top. Yes, you read that right. We wore flip flops in November. Sushi Tsujita is on our list of restaurants to eat at again before we leave. In case you didn’t know, Jess and Nasir Shakouri love sushi.

There was a really long line at a ramen place down the street with the same name. We will try Tsujita Ramen tomorrow and report on it to everyone. The line yesterday was much too long and Nasir can get quite hangry when he doesn’t eat every 3.5 hours.

Sushi Tsujita

Sushi Tsujita

For dinner, Nasir wanted to check out a Mexican restaurant that is highly reviewed on Yelp. Gilbert’s El Indio Restaurant in Santa Monica looks like an older El Torito family restaurant, but the staff is really attentive and the locals here seem to love it. The first thing I noticed was that the server brought out homemade tortilla chips, salsa, and pickled carrots. I don’t really like eating pickled carrots, but Nasir loves them! The server kept bringing more carrots and salsa, but she didn’t seemed fazed at all. I love restaurants that serve free appetizers like this. Nasir got a Super Mule Burrito and it was huge! The burrito was literally the size of both of my forearms and it was covered in cheese and a green sauce. I don’t know how he did it, but Nasir ate the whole thing and got another round of pickled carrots after. In case you didn’t know, Nasir Shakouri loves burritos. This wasn’t my favorite place, but seeing my man so happy made me feel happy. The atmosphere was fun and relaxed and I loved the old pictures on the walls.

Super Mule Burrito

Super Mule Burrito at Gilbert’s

The trip to LA has been pretty laid back and chill compared to our trip to Boston. We are definitely walking less and driving more because LA is so big. Driving from Santa Monica to Downtown is only 10 or 15 miles, but it took us over an hour in rush hour. I guess when you live here, you learn to stay off the road at certain times. Lesson learned. Now I know why the SNL skit about Californians is so funny. Nasir and I have been here for a couple days and we are already talking about different routes to different parts of the city.

I am looking forward to spending the week in a warm and sunny place with friends and family. Please leave comments below and tell Nasir how great Los Angeles is and why we should move here. Thanks!

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Jess and Nasir are Moving!

So Jess and I are looking for a place to live in Los Angeles, Portland, or San Francisco. Since both of us can work remotely, we are looking to move out of Seattle for a couple years before we get married and have kids. Our decision will be based on four major factors; price, weather, access to good live music, and proximity to awesome food. I know that all three cities offer everything in this list, so we are going to visit each one in the coming weeks to get a real feel for the city.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

First on the list is Los Angeles. Los Angeles seems a lot different from Seattle and from the way the media portrays the city, it looks a little superficial and full of girls with plastic surgery. I’m not complaining about the plastic surgery, but it does seem a little foreign to me and I am kind of hesitant. Jess thinks I would do well in LA because I love the beach and I love comedy clubs (for those that don’t know, Los Angeles has a pretty cool comedy scene). The housing costs seem to be very diverse in Los Angeles. There are some areas that look really affordable and others that look ridiculously expensive. If we move to Los Angeles, I want to take full advantage of living in a city that is warm year round and live near the beach. The housing in the beach cities seem more expensive than the rent we are paying in Seattle, but cest la vie. I will update my next post with our adventures in Los Angeles.

San Francisco

San Francisco

The second city we will be visiting is San Francisco. I’ve visited San Francisco and I loved it. The restaurants are legendary and the nightlife was pretty fun. San Francisco seems a lot more laid back than Los Angeles and the people here don’t take themselves as seriously as their LA counterparts. The biggest problem is that the cost of living in San Francisco is higher than LA and Portland. I want to live in a fun city with good food, but I don’t want to not experience the city because I can’t afford anything other than housing. The weather is brisk and can be a bit colder in the winter, compared to LA, but it’s probably not much colder than Seattle. Jess loves Emeryville, a small city on the other side of the Bay Bridge. The housing looks more affordable on the East Bay and it is a quick BART ride to the city. San Francisco looks inviting and I can’t wait to visit again with Jess. I will post an update from San Francisco after our trip.

Portland

Portland

Portland is the last city on the list, but it’s definitely not the least. Jess and I have been to Portland many times in the last few years. We love how laid back the city is and the food culture is amazing. The only thing that is holding us back about Portland is that we have been there many times and even spent last summer there. Part of the reason that we are moving is so that we can experience a new city and a new way of life for a few years. Portland just seems like a home away from home and this will be our last stop on our search for a new hometown. Wish us luck and safe travels, because this is going to be an exciting time!

We have already started pinning apartment decor ideas on Pinterest. Check it out and send me some cool pins if you come across any.

 

Last Day in Boston

Dogs near the Esplanade

Dogs near the Esplanade

Our last day in Boston, we headed over to the Esplanade next to the Charles River, near Newbury Street. It was a pleasant walk through a corridor of parks with falling leaves. Jess and I saw a man walking 3 dogs and the dogs started rushing to this trash can next to a bench. Turns out the little trash can is filled with dog treats and the dogs knew it. It was such a funny site to see!

Fearless squirrel

Fearless squirrel

We finally got to the Esplanade and it was such a treat. The squirrels were running around collecting acorns and we saw a couple hawks eyeing the squirrels from a tree. The squirrels were not scared by humans at all. I literally walked up really close to this squirrel and took a picture without using zoom. It was pretty cool seeing all this wildlife in the middle of a major metropolitan area.

The Esplanade was probably my favorite spot in Boston. Jess was more excited about the restaurants, but she still had fun watching me chase squirrels and hand feeding them acorns. I don’t think our trip would have been complete without a trip to the Esplanade.

James Hook Lobsters

James Hook Lobsters

After our walk down the Esplanade we decided to eat at James Hook and Co. for our final lobster meal in Boston. The prices were a bit higher than Alive and Kicking, but still a great deal. Jess got the lobster roll and I got some lobster bisque and fresh tuna sashimi that the guys cut for us. I tried to convince Jess to take some lobsters back to Seattle, but she didn’t want to add to our already overloaded carry on bags. Good call Jess! Until next time, here’s a picture of our last meal in Boston.

 

Lobster Roll and Lobster Bisque

Lobster Roll and Lobster Bisque

 

Boston in the Fall part 1

View from Top of the Hub. Boston, MA

View from Top of the Hub. Boston, MA

Jess and I are in Boston for a nice little getaway. We got really lucky and we are having the perfect Boston Autumn weather; no rain, crisp cold temperatures, but not too cold. This is a picture of our early dinner at the Top of the Hub restaurant in the Prudential Tower. Our view of the Charles River and Newbury Street were magnificent! I love how most of the buildings are made of brick. You can really see the difference between the new and old buildings. The buildings closer to the river were mainly brick buildings and as you got further away, you can start seeing the high rises and other modern buildings.

Our friend Sean lives in Boston and showed us around Copley Square, Harvard Square, Newbury Street, the Esplanade, Chinatown, and about a dozen delicious eateries.

Below is a picture of Pinocchio’s near Harvard Square in Cambridge. Jess was not a big fan, but I had to go and reminisce my youth when I spent a semester in Harvard.

Pinocchio's in Cambridge

Pinocchio’s in Cambridge

I think Jess’ favorite restaurant was either Shabu Zen in Chinatown or the hole in the wall restaurant/seafood market Alive and Kicking Lobsters in Cambridge. Alive and Kicking had one of the best lobster sandwiches I have ever had. The prices were also some of the lowest I have seen for lobster; $25 for 2 whole lobsters, $28 for 2 whole lobsters and steamers, $17 for a lobster sandwich (with a whole bunch of lobster).

Shabu Zen

Shabu Zen

Chinatown was pretty cool to visit. When we walked around, we saw a group of elderly people practicing Tai Chi in front of the Chinatown entrance. They seemed really focused and looked like they were drowning out all noises in the city. I know it’s kinda tacky, but we took a picture of them meditating. I’m sure none of them minded, especially since they all had their eyes closed.

Tai Chi in Chinatown

Tai Chi in Chinatown

I recommend getting a week long T Pass (for the bus and subway) if you plan to visit for more than 3 days. The one day T Pass was $11 while the week pass was $19. I’m really glad that we passed on getting a rental because Boston is a lot smaller than I imagined and the public transportation was really easy to use.

Ok, back to exploring Boston! Missing Seattle, but not too much. Tweet me if you’re in the area and want to meet up.

 

RIP Robin Williams

Robin Williams

Robin Williams

Robin Williams passed away on August 11, 2014 and I just can’t believe it. He was one of the most talented comedians of our generation and now he’s gone. I remember watching Aladdin and thinking (as a pre-pubescent boy) that I would like to grow up to be like the Genie one day. This has been a sad week with the passing of Lauren Bacall and Robin Williams. Make sure to tell the ones you love how much you love them and carpe diem.

Twitter Rant

Twitter Earnings Report

Twitter Earnings Report

The Twitter earnings report is coming out tomorrow and I’m thinking it is going to be below expectations. Most analysts think that its going to be on the positive side, but I just don’t see it. I have been using Twitter less and less and have been using Instagram more and more. I know that this is very anecdotal, but I see my friends jumping the Twitter ship for Instagram and Snapchat. Anyways, if you want to follow my Twitter account you can reach me @Nshakouri.

If you want to follow someone a little more interesting, I suggest following @JoelEmbiid. Go Sixers! Wow, haven’t said that since Iverson left.

Wow, that was an incoherent rant.

Richard Sherman hosts celebrity charity softball game

R-L: Macklemore, Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, Kobe Bryant, Richard Sherman

R-L: Macklemore, Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, Kobe Bryant, Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks hosted a charity softball game at Safeco Field in Seattle last weekend. Macklemore made an appearance and Kobe Bryant hit a home run to cap off a very successful event in front of 22,000 fans. Other notable athletes included Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Russel Wilson, and Jamal Crawford.