Wednesday, June 9, 2010

spotlight on LA (part 1)

let's say you're at a party. one of those mildly pretentious, overly self aware yet enjoyable gatherings you love to attend and love to hate. now let's say you throw out that you just got back from new york and you just loved it and would live there if it weren't for immigration/apartment prices/work/weather/etc. everyone around you would likely agree and off you'd go in conversation talking about cool-sounding new york topics like the bowery, the newest banksy and how cookies are the new macarons which were the new cupcakes. now let's say you throw out that you just got back from los angeles and you just loved it and would live there if it weren't for immigration/traffic/work/pollution/etc. NOW what's the reaction? we're supposed to love NY and hate LA, right? well call me crazy, but i love LA. oh sure i don't love that cars are a necessity, or that everyone looks up when you enter a room to see if you "matter", but here are a few things i do love...

*this post was originally written for Trip Styler. check it out for tons of great travel tips and my full Spotlight :: LA Food & Fun post.

part one :: food & fun

silver lake location: 3922 W sunset blvd.
venice location: 1331 abbot kinney blvd.
*the best coffee in LA – and the best looking coffee shops (in both design and customers). don’t be discouraged by the line!

casual chic
location: 1429 abbot kinney blvd.*this might be my favourite street in all of LA, and this might be my favourite restaurant on that street. great thin-crust pizza, wine list, people watching (sit at the communal table to overhear some sweet conversations), brunch and bloody beer.

sushi katsu-ya
original location: 11680 ventura blvd.*incredible sushi in a strip mall in studio city? YES! order off the specials board. you *must* order the crispy sesame tuna and spicy tuna on crispy rice. worth. the. wait.

joan’s on third
location: 8350 W 3rd st.*eat in or take out, this adorable café has baked goods, deli items, sandwiches and specials, plus a gourmet market. don’t miss out on the caramel-covered marshmallows – they’re to die for!

various locations
*great selection with flavours like banana, red velvet (vegan or gluten-free options), peanut butter chocolate, chai latte or good ol’ vanilla. check the cupcake calendar online to see if your favourite flavour is in that day.

frozen yogurt
various locations
*it’s an LA institution, only a few years in the making. i like the original flavour with fruit toppings, but you can choose your own – that’s the beauty of it!

bollywood cafe
original location: 11101 ventura blvd.
second location: 737 cahuenga blvd.
*the vegetarian samosas, complimentary papadums and courteous service keep me coming back.

restaurants on my "to eat" list:
animal, flore, wurstkuche, pace, elf café, village idiot, umami burger, the griddle café, shaved ice truck, kogi bbq truck

** more LA food suggestions on Trip Styler **

griffith park
location: 2800 E observatory rd.
*stunning city views. stroll around the observatory and hike the trails - it will feel like you’ve left the city!

the getty center
location: 1200 getty center dr.
*another spot for city views, but this one comes with world-class art, architecture and a groovy tram. admission is free, but parking is $15, except on saturdays when it’s all free. beautiful way to spend a beautiful day.

hollywood bowl
location: 2301 N highland ave.
*home of the LA philharmonic and seasonal concerts. box seating down low and bleacher seating up high. go early and bring a picnic – it’s BYOW(ine)! oh and don’t park in the overpriced parking at the bowl – it’s stacked and takes forever to get out.

venice canals
location: between ocean ave. & pacific ave. / S venice blvd. & 28th ave.
*stroll along the lemon tree-lined canals and peek into people’s modern homes or kitschy bungalows you just WISH were yours.

places on my "to do" list:
lacma, dodgers game, rose bowl flea market, movie at the hollywood forever cemetary, moca, music at the hotel café

** more LA fun suggestions on Trip Styler **

what am i missing? what are your LA faves for food & fun? share the love in the comments section...


Unknown said...

I heart LA too. And it's true, people's eyes glaze over when you state this. "Oh, I hate LA." Why? It's amazing, I personally like driving everywhere, it beats taking transit. If you're located in one of the many cute burrows, one can walk or ride a bike. It's warm, and oh, did I mention that it's warm.

julia said...

So, I think you should do Montreal next. Or else meet me in New York in August. Yes?