Kate’s Guide to Los Angeles

 

Well hello there!

It seems that I decided to take a short blog vacation, lol. I didn’t know it was happening, but it did and I apologize for my unannounced absence! So many exciting things have happened since I last wrote. Some tough things have happened since then too, but right now, I’m going to focus on the good.

To name a few things:

  • I went to Dallas for a week for work and got to hang out with my parents and few old friends in my down time. It was good for the soul.
  • Nick and I became an aunt and uncle again! Our new baby nephew Miles decided it was time to meet the world today. We’re going to meet him in a few weeks, but I already know from pictures that he’s perfect.
  • Dinner No. 2 happened! Goodness gracious, you guys. It couldn’t have been more fun. I’m so appreciative of all the creative minds that helped bring everything together. Stay tuned for more… this will be my next blog post.
  • My Dad started a blog about PIE. You should most definitely check it out. It’s called Life A Slice At A Time… couldn’t have come up with a better name if I’d tried.
  • I saw Adele, The National and Sufjan Stevens, so, the summer music quota is being fulfilled.

Another exciting thing that happened is that my Uncle Joel and his family came to visit Los Angeles a few weeks ago. Prior to their visit, they asked for some recommendations on what to do during their time here. In the same week, I had another friend reach out and ask for the same. So, I started what I thought would be a quick cute list, and then I went into a deep dark cave for a bit and reemerged with a short novel. Knowing another person will likely ask me for LA ideas in the future, it only makes sense for me to post this list here.

This list has a WIDE variety of things to do, places to see, and food to eat, with everything organized by region. Nick definitely helped weigh in on some of these spots, as many of them have become collective favorites. I hope that, should you take any of these suggestions, you enjoy your time in what has become one of my favorite cities in the world, and what is now called home.

Without further ado…

 

Kate’s Guide to Los Angeles

Pasadena

  • The South Pasadena Farmer’s Market – I recently discovered this and have gone several times since. The market takes place every Thursday from 4pm-8pm and has some really amazing vendors. There’s a cute train that runs right by it. There’s also really fun vintage shops right over in this area.
  • Olive and June – If you wanted to get a pedicure or manicure, this is a great spot! There’s one in Beverly Hills and one that opened recently in Pasadena and Santa Monica.

 

Glendale / Atwater Village

  • Fish KingThis is a regular stop for me. Their hawaiian poke and fresh ceviche with tostada chips is a meal I consume at least once a week, if not more.
  • Dune – Amazing falafel and lamb (taking Nick’s word for this) pita sandwiches — Nick and I go here regularly.
  • Proof – The best chocolate chip cookies and our personal favorite coffee shop because it’s close and feels like home. I’m not ashamed to say that they know our dog Otter here.
  • Tacos Villa Corona – This is a true hole in the wall. You walk up to a window, order, and a few minutes later, a hand comes through a screen and hands you your food. The papas burrito is a regularly devoured breakfast burrito in our household. Nick likes to add bacon to his! I keep it as is.
  • Individual Medley – If you want a store with California vibes, this is it. They’ve got clothes, little candles, things to put around the house, etc. 
  • Descanso Gardens – This is in Altadena on the east side of LA. I believe it’s $9 a person to enter, and it is well worth it! There are beautiful flowers and walking trails (nothing rigorous) all over this property. It’d be a great place for everyone. I took my parents and some family friends here the last time they were visiting and everyone loved it.
  • The Brand Library – This library looks like an amateur Taj Mahal from the outside. You could take a blanket and picnic in the park in front of it or go inside and explore.

 

Los Feliz

  • Blair’s – Great for a nice dinner out! Italian and American food. It’s Nick and I’s regular date night spot!
  • The Raven Spa – If you’re feeling like splurging on some pampering, do it here! It’s so peaceful here… you feel like you’ve been transported to another country.
  • Broome Street General Store – A quaint place to go read or write on the patio with coffee or tea and a treat and shop around after. The store isn’t big, but it definitely has some little treasures in it.
  • Jeni’s Ice Cream – All of their ice cream is amazing.
  • Churro Borough – Great spot for a post-dinner treat! The churro sandwich with horchata ice cream is out of this world.
  • Big Foot Lodge – This is a great place to get a moscow mule. When you walk into this bar, you feel as though you’ve entered a log cabin.
  • Shakespeare in the Park – This is a totally free event that goes on during the summer Wednesday through Sunday (double check that…) in Griffith Park. It’s fun to take a picnic and watch the play / eat!

 

Silverlake

  • Sqirl – Potentially my favorite breakfast spot on this entire list. Definitely look up the menu before you go to make sure you like their unique spin on dishes, but if you do, you cannot go wrong with anything on the menu.
  • Trois Familia – I have yet to go, but this is one of Nick’s favorite spots for French, Mexican & California cooking.
  • Night + Market Song – Incredible Thai food! Really fun hot pink walls inside.
  • Dinosaur – Nick’s favorite coffee spot these days! If you’re not into coffee, get the shrub. Maybe get the shrub even if you are into coffee… they’re that good.
  • Vista Vintage Theater – This is the best theater in LA to go see a blockbuster movie at. They show one movie at a time. It feels like an Egyptian palace inside and tickets are really cheap if you go to a matinee. Bonus: Victor, a guy who has been working there forever, dresses up as his favorite character from whatever movie is playing on the opening night.

 

Echo Park / Highland Park

  • Taco Zone – My personal favorite taco truck in LA. They’re open from 8pm to 2am, so it’s great for a post concert / outing bite. Their mulitas are like WOAH.
  • Mohawk Bend – The only thing you need to know about Mohawk Bend… buffalo cauliflower. This is a great place for a date or for a group outing at night. They’ve got a rad photo booth too. 
  • The Greyhound Bar & Grill – There is no way this place is written up on any lists… the food isn’t even something to write home about, but it’s got a lot of charm and makes you feel like you’re in a pub in Europe. They do a tasty English breakfast.
  • Civil Coffee – Great atmosphere inside, cool neighborhood to walk around, and yummy eats and drinks.

 

Downtown / Arts District

  • L.A. Chapter – Nick and I go here for breakfast anytime we come in from LAX because it’s on our way home. It’s in the Ace Hotel and serves delish American food. They also have a photo booth inside the gift shop that we frequently take pictures in.
  • G&B – This is located in Grand Central Station, which is a really fun area to walk around! It’s a market with lots of different vendors. G&B will arguably give you the best cup of coffee in LA.
  • Eggslut – Also located in Grand Central Market. The line is usually out of control, but it’s worth the wait. They make amazing breakfast sandwiches. We’re about to get one in Glendale just a few blocks from our home… you could say we’re just a tiny bit pumped.
  • Würstküche – German sausages and my favorite fries in the whole world. They have tons of dipping sauces that come with them, and a vast array of sausages, including vegetarian ones, or I obvs wouldn’t be into this place.
  • Salt & Straw – Killer ice cream spot with really unique flavors. My personal favorite is the roasted strawberry and toasted white chocolate.
  • 3rd St. – Poketo, Apolis, Woo and Matteo are all really cute stores to shop around in for nice little somethings like candles and jewelry and bags.

 

Hollywood

  • Petit Trois – Upscale, cute French restaurant. It’s Nick’s favorite place to get a nice burger.
  • Sugarfish – Our favorite sushi place! Everything is really simple and fresh. There are locations all over. 
  • Pizzeria Mozza – This is one of Mario Batali’s restaurants. The pizza is thin and perfectly baked. I would call ahead of time to make a reservation here or you can always call and get a pizza to go.
  • République – Modern french food. The interior of this restaurant is by far the best on this list — so pretty! Great spot for brunch.
  • Café Gratitude – Delish vegan eats. Everything on the menu here is great.
  • Gracias Madre – Similar to Cafe Gratitude (same owners), but a little more upscale. They serve great vegan Mexican eats.
  • Library Bar – This bar is in the Roosevelt hotel and feels like a speak easy. They don’t have a menu. You just tell them what you’re in the mood for and they make you a one-of-a-kind drink.
  • Commissary – This magical greenhouse restaurant / bar is located on the rooftop of The Line hotel. I’ve only ever gone at night time, but am anxious to try it out for brunch sometime because it’s really beautiful and their drinks are most refreshing.
  • Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Take blankets and food and you can (creepily… but it’s awesome) watch a movie on a giant screen in the cemetery.
  • Griffith Observatory – A classic for a reason. It’s beautiful and educational and wonderful at all times of the day. Night time is obviously fun because you can see constellations, but truly, it’s great anytime.
  • The LACMA – This would give you a similar experience to the Getty, but there are quirky things there like the lamp posts, hanging noodles (that’s what I call them) and a kid’s room where you can paint. I’ve definitely gone in to paint as an adult.
  • Melrose Trading Post – Grab some cash and walk around the flea market on a Sunday afternoon! There are so many good finds here.

 

Venice

  • Gjelina – French influenced food! Everything here is great. If you go to the to-go side of the restaurant, get a breakfast sandwich.
  • Gjusta – Owned by the same people as Gjelina… has more of a market feel to it. Everyone raves about their meats and breads, but truly, you cannot go wrong with a single thing on the menu.
  • The Butcher’s Daughter – Vegetarian restaurant with similar vibes to the two restaurants listed above. Everything is healthy, but so so tasty. They also have a cute store area in the front with all sorts of things.
  • Blue Star Donuts – If you’re in the area, you must go here and get a donut! The old fashioned buttermilk is the way to go.
  • Abbott Kinney – Abbott Kinney is the main street that runs through Venice. There are tons of great stores to shop in on Abbott! My favorite is called Tortoise General Store. They have amazing Japanese influenced everything — plates, napkins, pottery, knick-knacks.

 

Malibu

  • Taverna Tony – Greek food! I went here more times than I could ever count in college. Their bread and house dip are from the heavens.
  • Cafe Habana – They serve delicious Cuban food. I could eat a few cobs of their roasted corn for an entire meal and be happy.
  • Malibu Seafood – This is a great place for a casual bite. Their fish is really fresh and you can look out over the beach while you eat!
  • Malibu Wines – Great spot to kill an entire afternoon. Take a picnic and enjoy some wine on a blanket while live music plays in the background.
  • Vitamin Barn – Their lean protein smoothie is LIFE. The perfect pick-me-up if you’re running around town.
  • Lily’s Cafe and Pastries – There is no breakfast burrito that compares to the one Lily’s serves. These got me through college, along with every one of my closest friends. Go hungry and just let it happen.
  • Serra Retreat – If you need to get away and enjoy the peace and quiet, this is the place to do it. It’s a monastery that’s open to the public. You can walk around a labyrinth or simply go sit on a bench and overlook the ocean.  
  • Point Dume or El Matador – Great beaches in Malibu! There’s an epic lookout point at Pt. Dume if you’re up for a tiny hike. El Matador is full of lots of rocks that you can walk around on.
  • Hiking – There are too many good spots to list off to hike… if I were going to hike anywhere, I would go to Malibu and do Escondido Falls or Malibu Creek State Park. Some of my fondest college memories were made hiking both of these trails with friends.

 

Brentwood

  • The Getty – Only $15 parking per car, museum entry is free! This is a great place to walk around and see some truly one-of-a-kind art. There’s a beautiful garden that people like to take picnics to / walk around.

For now I must be going. Talk soon, friends!

Kate

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