Tag Archives: LA

LA: Hollywood

22 Apr

Eventually we had to venture away from the beaches and go into Hollywood to meet friends and to receive my star on the walk of fame. By star on the walk of fame I mean try In-N-Out burger but you get the gist.

Our ride for the week, redhead not included.

I was worried about driving so much because everyone told us how horrendous the traffic would be and that we would be stuck on La Brea or Olympic every time we ventured into the city. Luckily our hotel was right by the PCH and so we were able to drive up the coast easily and into other parts of town without being mired in a permanent traffic jam*

*This is all a lie to demonstrate how I memorized a few street names and am such a good driver. In reality I never did any of the driving and we found ourselves in a fair amount of traffic.

LA certainly is a driving town and we decided to splurge on a shiny red mustang that the woman at the car rental referred to as “lil’ red,” incidentally the same moniker we used to refer to Jared, pictured above.

We tooled around town in lil’ red checking out vintage shops, flea markets, trendy restaurants and yummy cafes. Hanging out in Hollywood made me feel like I was really “doing LA” at least while I was waiting in line at Coffee Bean.

Some highlights of our time in Hollywood include:

  • Baked goods for breakfast at Joan’s on Third, the inspiration for Meryl Streep’s bakery in It’s Complicated
  • Vintage shopping on Melrose and the Fairfax flea market
  • Classic margherita at Pizzeria Mozza
  • Sweets from the patisserie at The Bazaar
  • Dinner at El Coyote, which according to a source is the go-to spot for Justin Bobby
  • Finally trying In-N-Out burger, animal style of course
  • Hanging out with our friends Jared and Jeni!

Pretzel croissant, homemade poptart and fresh OJ from Joan's

Impressive selection of Jellies and other Coachella-esque accessories at American Rag

LA gear at the Fairfax flea market

Bon bons from Jose Andres' Bazaar at the SLS hotel

LA: Venice

20 Apr

When I move to LA to help manage the career of my very talented and funny friend Jeni, I want to live in Venice. The neighborhood is quirky, relaxed and generally a good time.

Welcome to Venice

The dogs are cooler here

Drinks at the Other Room with Lea and our Venice guide, Becca

My trip to LA was book-ended by time spent in Venice. On the fist day in LA, we went cruising up and down Abbot Kinney Blvd and popping in and out of different boutiques. I recommend:

  • Undrest (beachwear store with cool accessories)
  • Heist (lots of Isabel Marant, Vanessa Bruno and other french lables)
  • Brown’s Hardware (no website, but just the girliest home goods store imaginable.)

Multicolored stemware from Brown's Hardware

One of the highlights of my time in Venice was Lemonade, a health food style cafeteria with delicious sweets and treats. I know what you are thinking, ugh, you went to LA and ate all this health food shit…you probably got a feather hair extension too, where is your East Coast grit?!?!

I’m still quite gritty, but the food at Lemonade was just damn good. You can choose to sample multiple different “salads”, the curry roasted cauliflower and the spaghetti squash were both memorable enough that I had them on two separate occasions. Lemonade’s specialty is, no surprise, their lemonade and I highly suggest getting the blueberry or cucumber mint, you will not be disappointed.

Lemonade, a cafeteria in the GOOP tradition

Giant salted caramel macaron, a must!

After our day of walking around and eating, we went to dinner at Gjelina, a tasty local favorite. Gjelina had kale on the menu and I liked it…don’t judge me! The truth is I also ate meatballs, but the healthy food in LA was so easy to love and super tasty.

Oftentimes I associate health with cardboard, but my trip out West made me realize that sauteing pancetta in everything is not the only way to maximize flavor, although it doesn’t hurt. I wish more local eateries in DC had healthy, delicious options that were as inventive and yummy as what I found in LA. Ok enough of my rant…

On our last day we stopped by Venice beach on the way to the airport to check out the beach, watch the sunset (and eat more Lemonade). The beach in Venice was very different from the beach in Santa Monica – Graffiti! Skaters! Drum Circles! Fresh Kettle Corn!

Sk8r bois

Can you find my tag?

Lea was playing the tambourine

Bye Venice!

I can’t wait to go back to Venice, hurry up and get famous Jeni!

LA: Santa Monica

12 Apr

One of my best friends from college recently wanted to go away together for a few days, and on a whim I suggested LA. I had never been and I thought a ladies weekend was the perfect excuse to see the sights, visit friends and leave behind the gloomy east coast weather.

View of Santa Monica Pier from the beach

Palm tree lined streets in Santa Monica

I flew into LAX filled with excitement…what celebrities was I going to see? How many times was I going to go shop at Kitson? Would I get a boob job? The possibilities were endless!

Although I came back with all my original parts, my trip did not disappoint thanks to some great recommendations by friends.

We stayed at the Oceana in Santa Monica, a hotel I had initially read good things about on Cup of Jo, and luckily snagged a great deal on Jetsetter.  I loved the hotel, the staff was so attentive and friendly, the location was across the street from the beach and easy walking distance to many shops and cafes in the area.

As a city girl, driving everywhere took some adjusting, and I enjoyed staying in Santa Monica because it was walkable and we didn’t need to valet our car just to get a coffee (or in my case an orange juice.)

Coras Coffees Shoppe on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica

We luckily had great weather and enjoyed hanging out on the beach in Santa Monica and pretending to be a kid again on the pier. I had an odd freakout on the ferris wheel, those things move so fast and there are no seat belts! Luckily I calmed down and enjoyed the ride. I’m so LA mellow…

Paddle surfer in the distance

Ferris wheel on Santa Monica Pier

It’s hard not to want to be active when the weather is sunny, 80 degrees and there are so many outdoor resources at your disposal. One thing I kept noticing was that the LA women worked out with their hair down, just in case they ran into a casting agent or producer during their morning jog.

I didn’t just observe other people exercising – as is my norm – I also went on a nice bike ride on the beach. The hotel provided beach cruisers and it was a great way to scoot up the coast line and check out the beach front property.

Obviously I wore my hair down to fit in.

Bikes from the Oceana

Stay tuned for more LA fun in Venice and Hollywood!

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