continue to read more downtown adventure with premium coffee, Japanese book store, arts and a special pie place!
From where we live in Pasadena..., it takes about 30 minutes to get to Little Tokyo via Metro (Gold Line). It's not necessary faster to take a train especially on the weekend when there is no commute traffic, but it surely is more exciting for Roo and less hassle for us to deal with downtown parking!
Our main stop was Kinokuniya, a Japanese chain book store in Little Tokyo. We enjoy browsing Japanese magazines and design books there but this time I had my ulterior motive to try some of the fountain pens they carry.
But of course... on our way to Kinokuniya from Little Tokyo train station, we had to find an emergency restroom stop (the other side of "not" having to deal with a diaper... is constant restroom breaks) so we decided to indulge on special coffees at Demitasse while we were at it. Their Kyoto-style Iced Coffee (brewed and dripped in a crazy contraption!) reminded us of our visit to Inoda coffee in Kyoto. We sat at their outside patio, shared a tea cake (in pink!) and Roo played around the water fountain courtyard next door. A perfect mid-morning break:)
Our bookstore browsing rule: divide and conquer!
While Frido took Roo for a leisurely aisle walk through the entire bookstore, picked a special set of stickers for her and found a monitor displaying some preview of anime..., I immersed myself into the world of fountain pens. I tried every single one of their pen samples... but the sales person was super sweet and very informative... sharing his thoughts on which one might work better for me. At the end, I picked up one pen and Frido picked up another. I will definitely dedicate one whole post for the beginning of my fountain pen journey:)
Then it was Frido's turn to explore the bookstore in his own pace. So Roo and I spent good chunk of time flipping through Japanese children's books in the little corner of the bookstore. I can't believe how much this bookstore reminds me of a real Japanese bookstore in Japan... Even the lighting quality is similar... gives me a total flash backs to our sabbatical from a year ago. Weird, huh??
After we had enough of book and stationery browsing, we walked to the other side of Little Tokyo which is the ever evolving Art District. I once studied at SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture) and spent days and nights working on project in this neighborhood... The area looked quite different then. (12 years can do a magic to the neighborhood...) We like exploring the streets and discovering random art works and industrial textures. It feels little bit like treasure hunting!
One cute shop we like stopping by in this neighborhood is Poketo! So much fun and color packed in this lofty space!!! I couldn't stop staring at stuffed animals for our little ones.
Our last stop was Pie hole! I mean... who can refuse shop full of pies?? Check out their video on their website... you know what I mean. We tried their mac&cheese pie and St. Patrick pie. I think our family favorite was mac&cheese;)