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Insider’s Profile: Kyla Cathey, Lodi News-Sentinel Staff Writer

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Posted: Friday, May 29, 2015 10:58 am

My favorite place to eat: I love to eat out, so it’s really hard to choose. (No cooking and no dishes to wash, just delicious food!) I will never turn down Moo Moo’s Burger Barn in Downtown Lodi, or Casa Mexicana and Yen Ching at Bella Terra Plaza on Kettleman Lane.

My absolute favorite is Shangri La Asian Bistro, 203, S. School St. The staff is amazing and always friendly, and the food is always delicious. My favorites are the grilled salmon, curry chicken, ma po tofu, and of course the sushi. The spicy spicy tuna roll, a happy hour offering, is delicious.

One thing not to miss on a tour of Lodi: Micke Grove Zoo! It’s a smaller zoo, but that just means you can spend more time enjoying each exhibit. My favorite is the young bobcat. Sometimes you catch him sleeping, but if he’s awake, he’s usually more than happy to ham it up for visitors. Other favorites: The snow leopard, the golden lion tamarins, and during the summer months, the lorikeets, with their cheerful birdsong and bright-colored feathers. For more information, visit www.mgzoo.com.

A favorite outing: I love to get out and walk, whether it’s in Downtown Lodi or just wandering through neighborhoods, admiring people’s gardening skills (that’s not weird, right?). The trail in Lodi Lake’s Nature Area is great, especially when you get a chance to hang out with the squirrels and deer.

But for a real nature experience, farther away from roads and people, head out to Cosumnes River Preserve. The gorgeous wetland habitat is home to cranes, egrets, geese, Swainson’s hawks and other birds, and all kinds of interesting plant life. While the public is only allowed on part of the 46,000-acre preserve, 11 miles of trails offers a great glimpses of local nature. For more information, visit www.cosumnes.org.

Favorite place to shop: Tom’s Used Books, 108, N. School St., has been one of my favorite places in Lodi since I was in grade school. It’s grown and changed over the years, expanding and stocking new books as well as used. But the important things have stayed the same: It is packed with a labyrinth of reading options, Tom and the staff are helpful and friendly, and there are bookstore cats. I could spend an afternoon and quite a bit of money in there — and do, every time I visit.

Something quirky or cool about Lodi: The art scene. When people think of art, they think of San Francisco, not Lodi. But there is a great art scene here, from our public art offerings — the murals and traffic box art throughout town, mosaic tiles along Lodi Avenue, and sculptures in parks and public places — to our galleries. The Art in Public Places Committee sometimes gets in traveling exhibits, too, like the Seward Johnson sculptures that have visited Lodi twice in the past few years.

My personal favorites are the Sandhill crane sculpture at the Lodi Transit Depot and Double Dip Gallery, 222, W. Pine St., where you can enjoy the art and Gunther’s Ice Cream at the same time.

Be sure to keep an eye out for carved bears around town, too. You can spot a few at Java Stop, 321 S. Hutchins St., and Avenue Grill, 506 W. Lodi Ave.

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