LA Opera and Downtown Round Up by Steven

Our blog just got a little more formal as we headed out to the Los Angeles Opera open house at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion last Saturday. To help expose more people to opera, displays of costumes, wigs, props, storyboards, and diorama were accessible to the general public on the third floor. Throughout the day, people who registered online for free tickets could attend the “Young Artists Showcase.” Those who were unable to get in could still watch a televised performance outside. Because anyone with a ticket could enter, this unfortunately meant that we were frequently interrupted by crying infants. However, I was delighted to see singers from the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program perform several pieces from “Roméo et Juliette,” “Madama Butterfly,” and more. It was a good way to persuade the audience to purchase tickets to the full showing of “Roméo et Juliette” that is currently playing.

I ended up parking my car two blocks away at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for a $5 weekend flat rate. It was less expensive than parking at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and it gave me the perfect opportunity to explore the Roman Catholic Church. The interior is massive with portraits of important religious figures hanging from the sides and a gigantic organ fixated to the front. As Olga mentioned in her review, the acoustic must be splendid. I also witnessed a lovely couple getting married in the chapel within the cathedral. If you plan to visit, there are tours given on the weekdays as well.

In the afternoon, we wanted to have ramen at Daikokuya in Little Tokyo, but due to a long one-hour wait, we opted for the newly-opened Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakate Ramen on 132 S Central Avenue instead. So how does Shin-Sen-Gumi compare to Daikokuya? For appetizers, the gyoza potstickers in Shin-Sen-Gumi are smaller and not as crispy. Shin-Sen-Gumi also serve takoyaki, a savory ball of batter and bits of octopus. Both establishments use a delicious pork soup base for their ramen. I do however prefer the thicker ramen noodles in Daikokuya, but I love the concept of customizing how I want my ramen cooked as well as the amount of oil and broth used in Shin-Sen-Gumi. Initially, it appeared as though the ramen in Shin-Sen-Gumi was less expensive. That's because their ramen comes with only pork and nothing else. Unlike Daikokuya, you must order all other toppings separately on the side. Shin-Sen-Gumi does provide more variety of toppings, including crispy pig's ears and poached egg. Furthermore, since the restaurant is still new to the area, there was no line when we showed up.

Stay tune for our upcoming reviews on the food testing in the Pasadena Food Crawl and Downtown LA ArtWalk.

Until next time,



7 thoughts on “LA Opera and Downtown Round Up by Steven

  1. Hi Folks!
    I had a marvelous time chatting with you at the Pasadena Food Crawl and will be recommending your wonderful blog to all and sundry looking for fun things to do in Los Angeles — on a budget or not! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts about the crawl, and sorry I missed out on the Opera extravaganza…although as a mom I’m kinda sympathetic to the crying babies (poor parents desperately seeking enrichment). 😉 Thanks for setting up this fantastic resource and I look forward to hearing more great things from you amazing up-and-comers! You are all rockstars!


    • Hi Stana. I had a wonderful time talking to you and sharing all that wonderful food at the Food Crawl. Thank you for all your advice. I hope we will see each other again in future events.


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