My first week in California was spent doing anything to avoid spending time in an empty apartment and exploring the local area. Now I can use the excuse of not having a functional range/oven and therefore continuing the trend of dining out for nearly every meal. However, I don’t have an excuse for not packing my cute lunch box with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Walking the neighborhood and taking the stairs from the seventh floor will help burn a handful of calories, but I may add a freshman fifteen before coming home for Christmas.

Until recently, I had been on an impressive streak of consuming an alcoholic beverage and/or a taco every day since moving to California. I’ll blog more about that when under the influence of guacamole. In the meantime, a brief summary of recent caloric intake. Feel free to use this post if you’d like to nominate me for a future season of Biggest Loser.

Tuesday; In-and-Out; Was treated to this California delight on my first day of work; Was soon after properly criticized for my plain single-patty burger; Glad to live within range of many In-and-Outs and look forward to improving my orders going forward.

Wednesday: Mr V’s; Once again this was a work luncheon with additional new co-workers who wouldn’t have fit around our table at In-and-Out; Someone else ordered the club sandwich and since I’m not one to duplicate, I went for the Chicken Melt. And Fries.

Thursday: The Sandwich Box; Still resisting the temptation of walking to the grocery store and instead exploring lunch options near the office on my own; This was a great find… Tiny soup and sandwich spot at the end of a strip mall certainly earned a spot in my regular rotation.

Friday: Panda Inn; Casual Friday! Since we broke the streak of office lunches yesterday, we got the gang back together for a Mandarin feast; Orange Chicken wasn’t the most adventurous choice but it hit the spot. Unfortunately I haven’t yet built a place under my desk for afternoon nap time.

Monday: Mom’s Deli; I probably should have gone to the grocery store, but that would have required effort; Instead I maintained the diet of granola bars in the morning and lunch out in the afternoon. This place was like a bizarro Sandwich Box, exact same layout and similar menu. Somehow my request for no lettuce, no tomato was lost in Korean translation.

Tuesday: Rubio’s; (This recap is getting depressing. I didn’t fully realize EVERY meal was dine-out.) After much exploration and u-turns and suburban navigation, I found my Rubio’s street style taco tucked in near the movie theater.

Wednesday: Taqueria Las Comadres; BLACK WEDNESDAY! I fully intended on working through lunch since it was known we would close the office early for the holiday. This was a fantastic, hole in the wall, authentic taco spot that shared a strip mall with a convenience store, florist, car wash and serves many local, loyal blue-collar workers.


Thursday: THANKSGIVING!; I fully intended on turkey take-out and enjoying a gluttonous feast at home by myself before I was invited to dinner at my boss’s home. It was an enjoyable, traditional Thanksgiving Dinner shared around the table with new friends. Turkey Day is the ultimate day of overeating and this day did not disappoint… turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, asparagus, pumpkin pie, pecan pie…

Friday; BLACK FRIDAY; Rubio’s (again!); This was an easy choice going back for more tacos while waiting for Honda Center Traffic to lessen following the Blackhawks game at Anaheim. I bought a single ticket for the 400-level but was offered to trade seats and upgrade for the third period to get a better look at the Chicago’s 4-1 triumph.

IMG_0750 IMG_0753 IMG_0744

…Wednesday; WOK California: I had been doing so well… Two days of bringing a lunch to work, but the streak was busted today. The whole work day was busted when the internet failed and my car needed inspection. I drove around and ended up with a giant styrofoam box of rice and noodles and veggies and meat coated in some dark sauce. I can happily report than I’m still alive.

Thursday; Chipotle: Back to back; Two more days of granola bar mornings and subsequently “forgetting” my lunch box. I cannot justify or quantify or explain, but the Chipotle on Rand Road is the best location with the best tasting meat. Once again I got lost trying to find this spot despite having driven past many times previously.

Friday; DK’s Donuts: CASUAL FRIDAY; Apparently its a thing here that someone brings treats to the office every Friday morning and today was my first turn. I hoped to find a spot near my apartment but instead ended up in the same strip mall complex as WOK. Dunkin Donuts is only now beginning to invade the West Coast and will likely someday overtake small donut shops like DK. I happily walked out of the store with a bakers’ dozen of sugar bombs pleasantly packed in a plain pink box. At least I brought my lunch today…

How L.A. Neighborhoods Got Their Names

Cerritos used to be called “the City of Dairy Valley,” which might be the best name I’ve ever heard for anything. But as the price of land changed, the city shifted its focus from agriculture to development, and the name changed along with it. Cerritos came from the nearby Cerritos College, as well as the 1834 Spanish land grant Rancho Los Cerritos. (Cerritos means “little hills.”)

(per Mental Floss)


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