August 24, 2010

A lovely weekend

It isn’t often that my husband gets weekends off. TheBoy works long hours in a demanding industry, so we cherish just about every second we have together.

Luckily, he had this weekend off. Saturday he slept, and Sunday we had planned on going to the Dodgers game. Only, it was hot and the thought of sitting in the sun for the duration of the game was sounding less and less appealing as time went on. So instead of the game, we decided to go a little more local and have some fun.

We had a wonderful day, and as we were driving home, TheBoy asked if I was going to blog about it that night. I said I wasn’t sure- since I’d only just blogged about privacy concerns on the Internet. In the interest in promoting my hometown, I might as well share our day.

Uptown Whittier. It’s a great neighborhood that reminds me of my childhood in Ventura. As a teenager, I’d spend my weekends walking through Downtown Ventura, going to thrift stores- looking for affordable jeans and martini glasses (I was a bit obsessed with them). All in buildings from the turn of the century (well most of them), that housed neat little independent shops. Uptown Whittier’s a lot like that- quirky shops, a wide variety of restaurants and not too many chains (there is a Starbucks and a Coffee Bean).

Our lovely day started off at Crepes & Grapes, which is a great French cafe. They serve a wide variety of dishes, but yes, mostly crepes. Having driven by it on a couple occasions when it was closed, TheBoy and I were eager to try it out. Also, I really like French food.

We got there around 11:45 on a Sunday, still able to sample their Brunch menu, as well as pick from their regular meal. As it was quite warm, we stuck with water (I know, we’re boring). We both decided to order from their savory crepes menu.

Their entrees come with a soup or salad. While it was warm, TheBoy and I couldn’t pass up the chance to have French Onion Soup.

As you can see, the soup wasn’t quite prepared in the traditional sense- with a piece of bread floating at the top, covered with gooey cheese broiled until it’s melted into a crust. There were cubes of french bread in the soup, and some grated cheese. Good, but not quite what I’d been expecting. (But good!)

I ordered the Chicken Mushroom Herb Savory Crepe- which was served on top a potato pancake and with a creamy wine sauce. Light, lovely, and like having a wonderful chicken mushroom and rice soup in a crepe. Now, we’re talking an entree that’s about 8″ across- and I devoured all but a quarter (as well as some of TheBoy’s salmon and potatoes).

Clearly, it was delicious. In fact, it was so good that I’m having a hard time telling myself that I’ll order something else when we go again.

TheBoy ordered the Spring Salmon crepe, which had the salmon served alongside a crepe filled with leeks, asparagus, red onion and garlic, with a side of their scalloped potatoes.

The salmon was cooked perfectly, and potatoes… so wonderful and creamy and TheBoy gave it a big thumbs up as well.

Their website has their pricing listed (and their lunch prices are less than their dinner prices) – but it’s in the $9-$20 range. They’re open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am to 9:30 pm, Friday and Saturday from 8 am to 11:30 pm, and Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm.

Crepes & Grapes
6560 Greenleaf Ave.
Whittier, CA

After our lunch, TheBoy went to get a haircut and I wrote for a bit in the Uptown Starbucks. After that? We caught a showing of Scott Pilgrim vs The World. This would be our second time, and definitely worth it.

Remember that local movie theater I gushed about, but didn’t share the details? It’s Whittier Village Cinemas, an independently run 6 screen theater with all digital projection and stadium seatings. Wonderfully clean theaters and a pleasant staff. (And as an added bonus, I know that for 3D showings, they clean the glasses between every showing- more than once I’ve had to wait to enter a showing because the glasses had a few more minutes to go)

Whittier Village Cinemas
7038 Greenleaf Ave.
Whittier, CA

Whittier Village Cinemas used to be an adult theater. I’m sure before that, it was your classic one theater movie house. But with the renovation, they bought most of the buildings on the block and built a modern theater complex. The theaters range from ones that rival the large stadium theaters at a chain, to small 30 seat theaters that are quite cozy – that’s where we saw this showing of Scott Pilgrim. It was a great crowd, too! Ranging from a couple hipsters, to an older couple- and everyone laughed and enjoyed it.

Again, it looks like it’s only going to appeal to the video game crowd, or the hipster music crowd. But, like the graphic novels it’s based on, it is rooted in a story about love and relationships- with characters that seem real. Yes, Michael Cera plays the same sort of characters. But you know what? He was great. He manages to create a neurotic and inexplicably loveable slacker who’s a bit of a jerk when you really think about it- but remains someone that you want to root for.

Universal went out on a limb. They gave it a big budget and a full marketing push, and largely people aren’t seeing it because they’re trying to judge it by the way that every studio normally markets movies. So please, go, give it a shot. Just let go and enjoy the ride! Show Hollywood that you want them to take risks, instead of greenlighting a sequel, hashing out a remake, or making movies that you can tell everything about from the trailers.

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