When Elizabeth's sisters were here visiting last September, we took them down to Olvera Street one afternoon. It was the perfect afternoon for the place: very hot and not too crowded. We finished off a couple hours of shopping - Dawn bought a "Los Doyers" t-shirt and Kate bought a painting of a large naked woman - with some cold drinks on the patio of one of the cantinas.
Dawn, who is getting married in July, recently decided there is something she saw on that trip that she would like to be a part of her wedding. (I'm not supposed to say what, on the off chance that one of my seven readers might somehow be at the wedding, and thus the surprise would be ruined.)
So Elizabeth and I headed down to Olvera Street to see if we could pick up this particular thing. We took our friend Carla with us, who had not been there in years. After the shopping, we stopped into El Paseo Inn for a snack. We started with chips and salsa, which were great. There are very few things in life that I find more addicting than tortilla chips when they're fresh out of the fryer. Elizabeth ordered a peach margarita and I opted for a Pacifico (I've never been a margarita fan). Carla asked the waitress's advice and ended up getting a Cadillac Margarita.
The patio was crowded so we sat inside. This did not bother me; I love the inside of this building. Unfortunately, three kids were raising hell - running around the place at full speed, swinging toys on the end of strings, and climbing on the vacant tables, throwing the clean silverware at each other. A table full of women sat nearby but I could not tell if the kids belonged to the women, as they made no effort to stop the kids' activities. Eventually they got up to leave - and sure enough, the kids did belong to them. F**k, I hate people sometimes.
We ordered some chimichangas - flour tortillas stuffed with chicken and spices, rolled, and covered with tons of cheese and green salsa. These were absolutely delicious, like the flautas we'd had at Casa del Rey, only the exact opposite. We were thinking about getting another appetizer but instead decided to have a churro.
We left El Paseo and walked down to a churro cart. Churros might be one of the things that are more addictive than fresh tortilla chips. These were fantastic. Some people were getting their churros filled with caramel or creme, but we opted to eat them plain. I could have eaten at least five of these.
I really like Olvera Street. Yes, it's usually crowded and it's pretty much a tourist trap. In half a dozen trips there over the last few years, I have yet to see one item in any of the stores that I would like to own. But there is a certain charm to the place: it may be dirty and cramped, but it's ours, you know? The oldest existing house in Los Angeles is there, built in 1818 - the equivalent of something 500 years old on the East Coast.
Afterwards we walked over to Union Station to catch the Gold Line home. This is one of my favorite buildings in Los Angeles, and we stopped at the Traxx bar to have a beer before we left.