A recipe for Prosciutto Toast inspired by our visit to the California Science Center! Toasted slices of sourdough bread are topped with burrata, arugula, cherry tomatoes, prosciutto, and a balsamic glaze.
California Science Center
During our time in Los Angeles, we loved visiting the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County next door in Exposition Park.
The California Science Center is packed with exciting, incredibly hands-on permanent and special exhibits across three levels.
At the time of this post, it is open day 10-5 (except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day). Some sections may be temporarily closed. Admission is free for the permanent exhibits.
Parking, special exhibits, attractions, and IMAX movies are an additional cost. Reservations and timed-entry may be required. All spaces in the museum are wheelchair accessible.
We would usually spend about 3 hours here, but could easily fill a full day if it was our only visit. These photos span from our first trip in Spring 2019 to our latest in summer 2022.
Of all the exhibits, we usually spent most of our time in Ecosystems on the first and second floors.
This section has both indoor and outdoor areas with a total of eight of zones from a kelp forest, island zone, and river zone to more extreme zones across our world and even a highlight on the local area with the L.A. Zone.
The zones focus on the balance and connection between people, animals, plants, weather, water, and soil.
The Kelp Forest houses an 188,000-gallon tank with Evan’s current favorite giant sea bass along with leopard sharks, moray eels, rock fish, spiny lobsters, and horn sharks.
In the outdoor Extreme Zone: Rocky Shore, visitors will learn how the inhabitants have adapted to live in this unique environment and get a closer look at sea stars, sea urchins, anemones, and more in the touch tank.
I especially enjoyed learning about the combination of natural and man-made environments found in Los Angeles.
On the interactive L.A. Wall Map, you can pinpoint important locations (the kids also loved finding their house/neighborhood).
Air & Space
The Air & Space Exhibit has a collection of artifacts surrounding aircraft, spacecraft, and other related objects.
There are plenty of hands-on activities for kids and adults too.
Notable items on display include the Gemini 11 capsule, full-scale engineering model of the Viking Lander, full-scale flying replica of the 1902 Wright Glider, Apollo-Soyuz Command Module, Mercury-Redstone 2 Capsule, and more.
Space Shuttle Endeavor
The California Science Center is also home to one of the four space shuttles on display: Space Shuttle Endeavour.
Endeavour was the fifth (and last) operational shuttle built as a part of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. It went on 25 missions from May 7, 1992 to May 2011.
Space Shuttle Atlantis is in Cape Canaveral, Florida at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; Space Shuttle Discovery is in Chantilly, Virginia at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center; and Space Shuttle Enterprise is at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City.
The External Tank (ET-94) is located just outside the pavilion. It is the “last flight-qualified external tank in existence.”
Construction began on the shuttle’s new home at the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center in June 2022 and it is expected to open in about 3 years.
Other permanent exhibits in the California Science Center include the Fire! Science & Safety, Life! Beginnings, and the Discovery Rooms (for ages 7 and younger, closed during our last few visits).
In addition to the permanent exhibits, the museum regularly hosts special programs and exhibits.
During our time in Los Angeles, The Art of the Brick (world’s largest display of LEGO art with over 100 sculptures and 1 million bricks) and Angkor: The Lost Empire of Cambodia (120 artifacts with over half on tour outside of Cambodia for the first time) were favorites.
Looking for more science-based museums? Check out my posts for:
- Experimentarium in Copenhagen, Denmark
- NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Maryland Science Center in Baltimore
- The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dining inside the museum includes a kid-friendly food court with indoor/outdoor seating.
I shared nearby restaurants during my post on the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, so today I am covering a few other favorite places north of the California Science Center from Koreatown to Echo Park and Thai Town.
Fence Coffee opened in May 2021 at 2100 W Washington Blvd in Harvard Heights with a fantastic collection of signature coffee, tea, seasonal drinks, toast, and pastries.
Before opening up their shop, the owners had a drink delivery service and my daughter fell in love with their Strawberry Milk. It continues to be a favorite along with their handcrafted lattes.
During my latest visit, I particularly enjoyed the Butterscotch Capp (homemade butterscotch, espresso, milk, and smoked salt).
Jeon Ju Restaurant
Jeon Ju Restaurant was such a great stop for Bibimbap, Korean mixed rice with an assortment of vegetables. Tucked within a small plaza at 2716 W Olympic Blvd Ste 101, this family-owned restaurant has been open since 1997.
We ordered Galbi Dolsot Bibimbap (earthenware pot with rice, cooked vegetables, marinated beef short ribs, and red chili paste) and Bulgogi Dolsot Bibimbap (earthenware pot with rice, cooked vegetables, marinated beef, and red chili paste).
Fantastic Donuts and Croissants
We once ordered some Super Mario-themed doughnuts from Fantastic Donuts and Croissants at 1101 S Vermont Avenue and they were such a fun and special treat!
Sharp Specialty Coffee
Sharp Specialty Coffee was another notable coffee stop at 3421 W 6th Street. They have a variety of coffee, tea, specialty drinks, snacks, and pastries.
During our visit, we enjoyed the Café Blanco and Strawberry Milk.
Saikai Ramen Bar
Saikai Ramen Bar at 209 N Western Avenue highlights modern, chef-driven Japanese ramen and plates with “a collaboration of Japanese and Korean techniques and ingredients.”
We especially loved their specialty bento boxes. It was one of our favorite take-out meals of 2020 and so perfect for transporting home.
The Chicken Katsu Sando Bento Box was paired with a salad and sesame vinaigrette, pickles, croquettes, and fruit. The CLT Sando Bento Box had pork belly chashu, lettuce, tomatoes, dijon, and kewpie along with a salad, gyoza, and fruit.
We also enjoyed the Mazemen (brothless noodles)- temomi noodle, spicy ground pork belly, seasoned seaweed, fish powder, cucumber, nira chives, and seasoned raw egg yolk.
We often stopped by Alchemist Coffee Project (both of their locations at 698 S Vermont Avenue and 687 S Hobart Blvd) while in Koreatown. They focus on coffee, tea, sandwiches, toast, and seasonal drinks.
Favorites include their Blueming Lemonade (lemonade with lemongrass and steeped butterfly pea flowers), New Orleans Cold Brew with Chicory, Tiramisu Latte, and La Perla (Einpänner- coffee topped with whipped cream).
We first came across Egg Tuck while they were a pop-up inside Milk Tavern (now closed), but now they have their own location at 3458 1/2 Wilshire Blvd in Koreatown (plus additional spots in Hollywood and Westwood Village).
Their variety of egg sandwiches are made with a house-made brioche bun, eggs, chives, signature egg sauce, and house sriracha aioli. We enjoyed the Sweet Egg and Avo Egg Sandwiches.
Mumu Bakery Cafe
Mumu Bakery Cafe at 3109 W Olympic Blvd Ste D was one of our first stops in Koreatown after moving to Los Angeles. They have a variety of Teriyaki, pastries, bread, coffee, specialty drinks, and ice cream.
We picked up the Nutella croissant taiyaki and cheesecake. Both were fantastic and the Nutella Croissant Taiyaki was the inspiration for my Nutella Taiyaki recipe.
Laveta Coffee is further north in Echo Park at 318 Glendale Blvd. They are open daily with espresso, signature drinks, tea, waffles, toast, sandwiches, and bowls.
We stopped by once on the way to the zoo and ordered the Ube Latte (caffeine free- a hit with the kids), Laveta (double espresso, maple syrup, oat milk), Prosciutto Toast (sourdough toast, prosciutto, burrata, arugula, cherry tomatoes, balsamic glaze, and white truffle oil), Ube Waffle (Belgian waffle with ube extract, lemon curd, and fresh berries), and Croissants.
The Prosciutto Toast was amazing with the burrata and the inspiration for today’s recipe.
I met my cousin for brunch shortly before we moved at Doubting Thomas in Historic Filipino Town at 2510 W Temple Street. This coffee bar and bakery is open daily with seasonal breakfast, brunch, and lunch options.
We ordered the Tomato Toast (burrata, almond pesto, reduced balsamic on homemade seeded bread), Muddy Chai, Latte with Catalana Syrup (vanilla, orange peel, cinnamon), Thomas Breakfast (2 sunny eggs, applewood smoked bacon, grilled tomato, biscuit, jam), and Passion Fruit Pie with Macadamia Nut Crust.
The Passion Fruit Pie was so incredibly good.
Muddy Paw Coffee
Muddy Paw Coffee at 3320 Sunset Blvd in Silver Lake is a pet and people friendly cafe has coffee, tea, empanadas, and pastries, plus a portion of their profits support local animal shelters.
The Silver Lake location has a nice private patio to enjoy the drinks and food. We haven’t been by, but in Eagle Rock, they have a private patio and dog park.
For drinks, we tried the Salty Old Dog (double shot espresso, raw dark chocolate, caramel, sea salt, milk), Puppy Love (double shot espresso, vanilla, agave, milk), and NY Egg Cream.
We also had a variety of the empanadas- Carne Asada Empanada, Bacon and Egg Empanada, Pepperoni and Mozzarella Empanada, and Nutella Empanada (nutella, oreo, cream cheese).
Sapp Coffee Shop
Sapp Coffee Shop is further north in Thai Town at 5183 Hollywood Blvd. They focus on traditional Thai comfort food with signature noodles, rice dishes, salads, soup, and sides.
We picked up Jade Noodles (so good! Green egg noodles with BBQ pork, roast duck, crabmeat, ground peanut, chili powder, fried garlic, green onion, cilantro, Chinese celery), Pork Wonton Soup (with BBQ pork, fried garlic, green onion, cilantro, Chinese celery), Boat Noodle Soup (with sliced beef, bean sprouts, crispy pork rinds, rice noodles), deep fried veggie spring rolls, and Thai iced tea.
Obet and Del’s Coffee
Obet and Del’s Coffee at 5233 Hollywood Blvd is just a few steps away from Sapp Coffee Shop. They are open daily with coffee, tea, and other drinks.
We loved the Filipino Iced Coffee (single origin dark roast with creamy ube oat milk) and Thai Town Latte (Cha Yen with oat milk, star anise, vanilla, and sweet tamarind).
Taron Bakery has three locations (Glendale, Hollywood, and N. Hollywood) with the 4950 Hollywood Blvd spot just a 0.5 mile (800 meters) to the right of Sapp Coffee Shop. They have a variety of Armenian and Middle Eastern baked goods.
We took home a box filled with Lahmajune, Cheese Beorek, Spinach Beorek, Spicy Cheese Beorek, Potato Beorek, Mini Cheese Xachapure, plus a Yogurt Drink. Everything was so so good.
To pair with this post, I wanted to make something easy and delicious. This Prosciutto Toast inspired by Laveta Coffee was the perfect start to the day (and just as good for a light lunch or afternoon snack).
Simply toast sourdough (or other favorite bread) slices, then top with creamy burrata cheese, arugula, cherry tomatoes, and prosciutto. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper, olive oil, and a reduced balsamic glaze.
This Prosciutto Toast is best immediately after assembling.
A Few Prosciutto Toast Tips
The amounts of the ingredients are mostly guidelines and how I prepare this toast. Adjust based on personal taste.
I used a store-bought balsamic glaze to top the Prosciutto Toast along with a drizzle of olive oil. If you want to make it at home, Seasoned to Taste describes how to reduce the balsamic vinegar.
I halved the cherry tomatoes, but they can also be quartered if larger.
I broiled the 1/2 inch (1.25 centimeter) thick sourdough slices until toasted on each side. You can also use an indoor or outdoor grill pan or bake them in a 400˚F (200˚C) oven until golden brown and crisp.
If swapping for another type of bread, just make sure it is sturdy enough to hold the toppings without falling apart.
Prosciutto Toast Recipe
Adapted from Seasoned to Taste
- 4 slices sourdough bread cut into 1/2 inch (1.25 centimeter) slices
- 8 ounces (227 grams) Burrata cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 ounces (57 grams) arugula
- 5 ounces (142 grams) cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 ounces (85 grams) prosciutto
- Olive oil
- Balsamic glaze
- Heat the sourdough slices on a grill pan or under a broiler until toasted on each side.
- Spread the burrata cheese over each toasted slice of bread.
- Sprinkle the burrata with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Top with a layer of arugula and add a few cherry tomatoes.
- Arrange the prosciutto over the top, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Add a little more salt and/or freshly ground black pepper if desired.
- Serve immediately.