Los Angeles March 2009

I have a close friend, E, in Los Angeles who I hadn't visited in way too long. One weekend in March (Saturday morning the 14th through Monday morning the 16th), I decided to fly down to L.A. to hang out. It was a fun trip, filled with conversations and board games.

I took a few pictures on Saturday and Sunday, but the pictures don't cover everything I did this weekend.

E picked me up from the airport and we immediately went to lunch at Father's Office. Father's Office is both a bar with an enormous beer list and a restaurant with good food and even some gourmet items on the menu. It has a feel that's somehow casual and cultured. I really like the feel, and I usually don't like the atmosphere at places that are commonly called bars. It's the kind of place I could see myself going every week with friends for drinks and a meal. (And, yes, the burger I had this visit was good.)

In the afternoon, we decided to go hiking in Will Rogers State Historic Park. We happened to arrive when a tour of Rogers's home was starting. We joined. Although the tour guide was pretty unengaged, I nevertheless enjoyed seeing the house. It didn't feel as large as it was (31 rooms). Rogers clearly had taste in designing the house, as exemplified by his nice library and the large picture window in the living room.

Finally, onto our real purpose: we hiked up to Inspiration Point. It's pretty. Incidentally, we discussed flirting with a tourist who also toured the house.

For dinner, we ended up at Sakura, a pleasing and rightly popular Japanese restaurant / sushi joint.

In the evening, we walked from E's condo to another condo to join some of E's homies to play Power Grid. I'd always heard the game disparaged as a test to see who can build the best minimum spanning tree. While the observation is apt, I still found it to be a fun game as each player attempts to balance expansion and resource acquisition.

After a late and lazy morning, E and I went out for lunch. E brought me to a good, secret Persian joint (Atari).

Later, some of E's coworkers came over in the afternoon for gaming. First we played Modern Art, an auction game where I found that all the economic analysis instincts I learned in college led me astray. Then we collaboratively learned Agricola, an overly complex game in the style of Puerto Rico. After the lengthy game of Agricola, we went out for a decent dinner at All India Cafe, then returned to finish up the evening with some Rock Band.

On Monday I flew home, a nominally unremarkable activity except my one-hour flight was delayed two hours.