For President's Day, we decided to make a visit to the Huntington Library in San Marino. I had originally planned to come here on Valentine's Day, but due to an unexpected tire explosion (yes, an explosion!) our trip was delayed a few days. We got a flat tire in Arroyo Secco, a part of the city I've never been to before. After fixing the tire, we then had to get a replacement and it was a whole ordeal. On the plus side, we ended up at The Americana at Brand, which is an upscale shopping community in Glendale. It was completely foreign to us -- but actually super cool. Katsuya (one of my favorite sushi restaurants, which I didn't know had a location beyond The Westside), Sprinkles Cupcakes, Urban Outfitters, H&M, Kate Spade and Sephora were among a few of the restaurants and shops. Apparently, the architecture is also supposed to reflect the Industrial Era (there was an exposed beam elevator in the shape of the Eiffel tower)... LA is full of surprises.
Anyways, back to the Huntington Library! My grandma used to take me here as a kid, and I was always in awe of the beautiful landscaping, flowers and attention to detail. They have so many gardens; the Jungle Garden, the Desert Garden and the Rose Garden are just to name a few. My favorites, however, are the Chinese and Japanese Gardens (pictured below). This place truly is magical. When you're walking around it really does feel like you've been transplanted to a whole different country. The Chinese Garden even offers an Asian-fusion restaurant overlooking the lake.
The only thing slightly disappointing about our trip was the cafe. There are three different eating locations (not including the Coffee Shop). There's the Tea Room (think small cakes, appetizers and finger food -- pinkies up!), the Chinese Garden Tea House (Asian-inspired dishes), and the Rose Garden Cafe (where we ate). We chose to eat the least expensive place and the line was insane. We waited in line for around thirty minutes and the food was just okay.
Living on The Westside, it was a trek to get out to San Marino (located around Pasadena and Glendale). It was a fun visit, and I love that a 40-minute drive can transport me to another world.