One thing I noticed during my trip this week has to do with change. I hadn't been in Los Angeles in a long time. I had been there since they tore down the old Air Force buildings and put up the shiny new and completely confusing new ones, in which every hallway and every cubicle looks identical. My company's facilities change less, though there's a new parking structure and a new visitor facility which I don't understand at all (since I don't have to use it - I can get a parking pass at the gate).
But El Segundo has changed a lot. I used google maps to seek out new restaurant possibilities the other night and saw a couple which looked interesting and appeared to be right by each other. The map was not actually helpful in finding them, but I did stumble across the sign for one a little further on. And discovered that there is a whole new upscale shopping area I had been unaware of. I think I knew there was a Whole Foods and a Borders there, but I didn't know there was a group of very pricy stores right off of Sepulveda there. I had a nice dinner at Marmalade Cafe - seared ahi with wasabi mashed potatoes and vegetables and creme brulee for dessert. (This is a menu choice that will not surprise anybody who knows me.) The ahi could have used a tad more ginger, but was still very good, and the potatoes were outstanding. (By the way, I only eat mashed potatoes if they contain lots of certain spices - either wasabi or garlic will do. Otherwise, the flavor is not interesting enough to make up for the texture.) The creme brulee was only so-so, with custard that was tasted too eggy and had less vanilla than I'd have preferred. Still, it was nice to have this sort of meal in an area that used to have nothing beyond greasy fast food.
There is, by the way, at least one more promising restaurant over there. Something to keep in mind for future trips, I suppose. As I was leaving, I drove around the loop the other way and came out right by the storage place where I used to rent a unit. That made the shopping center even more surprising.