Sunday, August 31, 2014

Last day in LA - Union Station, The Cheesecake Factory, LA Public Library and Border Grill

On our last day in Los Angeles, we went to a nearby Starbucks for breakfast - I ordered their blueberry porridge, which I alas discovered way too late, as it is not on the menu board.  As we were leaving Starbucks, we were witness to the chopper at the top of this post, flying very close to the buildings as part of a movie being filmed nearby.  Many of the streets in the area were cordoned off to facilitate filming.

After breakfast, I took Tim to Union Station.  We didn't want to catch the train - rather, I wanted Tim to see the Union Station building, which is striking both inside and out:

Our next stop was to visit the Farmers Market and The Grove in West Hollywood.  We made the mistake of choosing to go there by bus instead of train, and ended up on a Saturday morning bus so crowded that we couldn't see where we were going for most of the way. 
After a brief turn around the Farmers Market and picking up a couple of bargains at Sur La Table, we went for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, our homage to The Big Bang Theory:

We were not familiar with the system for getting a table at The Cheesecake Factory, so went upstairs and sat down. We were promptly shepherded back downstairs, as you have to register at the counter first, then wait in a teeny tiny reception area with a lot of other people until your beeper goes off to let you know that it is your turn to ascend the stairway to heaven:

On being seated, we were presented with a menu with a dizzying array of choices:

We were also presented with a bread basket with some very nice bread:

I made the serious mistake of trying to save my calories for cheesecake, and ordered the SkinnyLicious Hamburger:

It comes deconstructed and you put it together yourself with as much ketchup as takes your fancy:

Unfortunately, it was not very tasty - it rated up there with the Denny's  Fit Fare meal in lack-lustreness.  There wasn't even any salad dressing.  Yeah, I know that it was meant to be "skinny licious", but low calorie doesn't have to mean rabbit food.  I was wistfully eyeing off Tim's normal burger and fries for the whole meal.

I was having some serious food envy in the dessert department too.  I ordered the Mango Key Lime Cheesecake, which I expected to be fresh and zesty:

Instead, it was way too sweet and cloying for my tastes.  On the other hand, Tim's White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake was just devine:

Luckily he did give me a taste.

We travelled back to downtown LA by train, being a quicker and easier option than the bus.

I then took Tim to the LA Central Library:

That might sound weird, but again, it is a fabulous building and well worth a look.  For example, they have an amazing art installation, visible from the atrium at all levels of the library:

And lovely wall murals:

And crazy book-themed statues:

If you are tired and need somewhere to chill for a while, the library is a great place to do it, as it is cool and quiet with chairs to sit on and books to read.

Before departing for the airport, we had dinner at the LA Downtown branch of Border Grill, a Mexican establishment:

Our friendly waitress loved our Aussie accents, and brought us out the ubiquitous corn chips and chilli to start:

I ordered the Tortilla Soup ($10) - roasted tomato chipotle broth with chicken, corn tortillas and panella cheese:

and the Carne Asada Tortillas ($17) - grilled steak, caramelized onions, salsa fresca and guacamole served with rice and black beans:

I also ordered a final margarita (the prices were too good to refuse).  We enjoyed the Border Grill - it was a great place to have our beloved Mexican/South Western cuisine before heading back to Australia, our Route 66/US odyssey complete.

800 N Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
United States

189 The Grove Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90036
United States

189 The Grove Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90036
United States
Ph: +1 323 634 0511
630 W 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
United States
Ph: +1 213 228 7000
Downtown LA
445 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
United States
Ph: +1 213 486 5171


Emily said...

Yum! That tortilla soup looks amazing! I love the cheesecake factory. Their lettuce wraps are really good and healthy.

The Caked Crusader said...

Wow - that station building is incredible!

The food doesn't look bad either!

Teresa said...

It was years before I realized that the Cheesecake Factory was a real place - I thought it was a product of the writers' imaginations. I think the station building and the library look incredible. And I'm glad you had a great meal to end your time in LA, too.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Teresa, I thought the same too until I went to the US. I had the Dutch caramel apple cheesecake in San Francisco the first time I went - oh my it was good!

Kayte said...

Oh, I just love it when you travel and share all these things. Mark loved that you went to the Cheesecake Factory in honor of The Big Bang Theory, one of his favorite shows! Loved all your photos of the places you visited as it brought back memories of when we were there...Border Grill food looks great, especially that soup. I think we are making a soup person of you after all!! :-)