June 12, 2016

What to Do In... LA (When You're Only in Town for 3 Days)

Last summer I spent a few days in LA with one of my best friends (who was kind enough to let me stay at her house and eat her food).  I couldn't get Los Angeles out of my head. I needed to know what it was like, so I booked a flight. Even though I was only in town for three full days, we managed to cover a lot of territory. I can't wait to go back next summer and discover more neighborhoods and restaurants, but for now, here are my LA recommendations!


LACMA: You've probably seen pictures of the iconic lampposts outside LACMA, but inside the museum is even better. Great collections, quite a number of galleries... there were buildings we didn't make it to at all, and we were there for a couple of hours.

Amoeba Music (multiple locations): Amoeba has three locations, but we went to the one in Hollywood. If you love music, you should ignore the tourist stigma and stop by anyway. They have tons of CDs and vinyl, including out-of-print items (I definitely snagged one because I just couldn't pass it up for the price).

The Grove/Farmer's Market (Fairfax): Most definitely a tourist trap, though enough locals come here to do their shopping, too (I think?). Pretty good selection of well-known brand shopping (Nordstrom, Topshop, Madewell, J.Crew), and Farmer's Market is really cute, with a pretty varied selection of fresh, local, and ethnic food options if you feel like avoiding the chain restaurants.

3rd Street Promenade/Santa Monica pier: Loved. Yes, a tourist trap. More brand shopping. But I loved Santa Monica, anyway. I've lived almost my entire life only a 10-15 minute drive to the beach (sometimes even closer, like a kayak trip across the intracoastal and a sprint across a highway...), so it's definitely something I've taken for granted— and missed while I was living in New York— so coastal charm is not lost on me. Also, the Pacific coast is so different from the Atlantic coast, and it was neat to see it in person. 

Eat at:

Eveleigh (W. Hollywood): I loved the street (W. Sunset) this place was on, and I loved the actual place even more. It has a greenhouse-type area out back where you can eat and enjoy the mountain views. Rustic benches, twinkle lights, good food. I ordered the "Bubble and Squeak," a corned beef hash with potatoes, mustard greens, and a poached egg (it looks like they've since changed their menu items a bit) and a really good glass of iced coffee. West Hollywood is one of the areas I'm looking at to live in in LA, so maybe I could become a regular here....

Donut Friend (Highland Park): If you didn't know, I'm a doughnut fanatic, as my bio says. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I keep track of doughnut shop openings like it's my job. Anyway, this place is in a pretty non-descript spot—it seems some of the best places are— next to a tattoo parlor on York Blvd in LA's Highland Park neighborhood. The 'nuts are all named after bands or reference something musical (try the S'morrissey or the Bacon 182). I ordered the Coconut of Conformity, which was delicious, but you can also customize your own doughnut. Vegan and gluten-free options are available, too.

Loteria Grill (multiple locations): I actually ended up eating here twice, once at Farmer's Market and then at LAX when I was flying home. Yes, technically it's a chain, but it's a small one (there are only six of them around LA). For lunch, I had the papa con rajas burrito with potatoes, roasted poblanos, salsa verde, queso fresco, and fresh cilantro and onion. Really good. For breakfast at LAX, I had a simple breakfast burrito with chorizo, also really good. 


Oldtown Pasadena: I really enjoyed Pasadena. We ran out of street to walk pretty quickly, but it's a great spot to grab dinner and walk around town on a Saturday night.

Griffith Observatory (Los Feliz area): Though we didn't actually make it here (we ended up driving up, only to find that parking was closed for some reason), I fully intend on hiking up and seeing the views next trip. Griffith also happens to border Los Feliz, another neighborhood I'm looking to live in.

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