CITY OF ANGELS

by Charlotte

With Coachella just around the corner and many a festival goer likely to stop-over in Los Angeles, I thought it was about time I posted this up!

I was lucky enough to spend most of 2016 living in L.A. and was based in Los Feliz, which is right next to Hollywood and Griffith Park.  I can’t wait to get back there one day but for now, here are some of my favourite spots and things to do! 

GETTING AROUND

First and foremost, L.A. is very spread out! If you’re visiting for more than a week, I’d recommend renting a car to get from A to B.  The traffic in L.A. is not the best, so make sure you leave time in your schedule to account for that.   Alternatively, Uber or bus.

COFFEE

Intelligensia (Silverlake): good coffee.  It’s a cool area in general with a great café culture.

Alfred Coffee:  Great coffee, and they also serve Gratitude Food to Go. Are located on Melrose Place and Melrose Ave.

CASUAL DINING

Blue Plate Taco (Santa Monica):  Probably my favourite restaurant. I would order the grilled fish tacos in lettuce leaves with slaw as a side…and the Tuna ceviche (best of my life).

Little Dom’s (Los Feliz):  Great Italian breakfast and dinner! Celebs often found here – a friend actually met Gerard Butler at this spot, who then took her for a ride on his motorcycle #onlyinLA

Figaro Bistro (Los Feliz):  Cute little French place for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Happy hour every day from 5-7 pm with food specials too.  The salmon crepe at breakfast is divine…but very rich.  Note: Madonna shot her Louis Vuitton campaign here.

Dumplings (Hollywood):  IXLB on Sunset. The best dumplings I have ever had – authentic, but with a modern twist.  It’s very casual and stand up or take away only.  I always ordered the har-gow (prawn) dumplings, veggie dumplings and spicy prawn wontons (they are all steamed). Siu-mai also great!

AND you MUST have them all with the chilli oil. #lifechanging

Tacos Tu Madre (Los Feliz):  Although the name would lead you to believe that you should try the tacos here, I actually preferred the burritos! Grilled chicken in a spinach tortilla was my go-to.

Kettle Black (Silverlake):  a fantastic, rustic italian restaurant.

DINERS & TAKEOUT (YOLO, you’re in America)

FANCY DINING

The Nice Guy or Catch (both West Hollywood):  – if you can get a reservation.  Both spots are celeb magnets and paparazzi are generally hovering outside.  Note:  You can’t take photos in The Nice Guy, but they have a photo booth (which will clearly provide for a way better Insta anyway #photoofaphoto)

Cecconi’s (WeHo):  Absolutely delicious dinner and the cocktails are on point. Breakfast was pretty good too.

Barton G (WeHo):  Fun upmarket restaurant where your food is served in interesting ways…for example, there is a Marie Antoinette dessert served as a doll with candy-floss hair and their shrimp popcorn is served in a mini popcorn machine.

COCKTAILS (it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere)

Beverley Hills Hotel:  This is not the most affordable place for a day of cocktails…because you’re bound to want more than one. But, it’s a must. The Frozen Mojitos are tops, and the setting is cute – pink and white décor, with poolside bartenders dressed in tennis white.

The Bungalow (Santa Monica):  Large watering hole, indoor and outdoor. Differently themed interiors in each room of…an old bungalow house. Good outdoor area too, with fairy lights and large tables. Queues can be long if there is an event on.

Rooftops:

  • London Rooftop (Hollywood)
  • Mama Shelter (Hollywood):  Good Tapas.
  • EP& LP Rooftop (WeHo): this place is fairly popular, but it’s not high-up on my list of must-dos

Good Times:  casual drinks on El Centro opposite LA Fitness – entry is through a fridge door. Pool and gaming inside, feels kind of like a den or man cave.

PARTY TIME (HOLLYWOOD)

No Vacancy (Hollywood):  A cool experience – you’ll have to go to find out what I mean. Line gets quite long if you’re not there early.

Dirty Laundry (Hollywood):  Go here after No Vacancy.

Jumbos Clown Room (Los Feliz):  It’s a dive bar.  Go to have a few drinks and shower the dancing girls with some dollar bills. They are actually great dancers and it’s a SUPER famous place in LA (not dodgy…if you’re wondering).

ICE-CREAM

Jeni’s (Los Feliz):  The Best Ice-cream is ABSOLUTELY HANDS DOWN found here – in Los Feliz (check their hours – can be random). You can also buy their ice cream in tubs from Gelson’s supermarket.

ALSO – I love the Yoghurtland in the strip mall on Vermont (but any Youghurtland will do – Vermont was my favourite for some reason, I tried a few!). They always offer you tester cups on entry, so you can try all the flavours and then get a tub (self-serve) and put toppings on it til your heart’s content. After indulging in far too many testers before I finally bought my yoghurt (seriously, I would have so much fun trying to fit as much of the tester in the mini cup without if falling down), I would usually opt for plain tart covered with fruit. I probably went here at least once a fortnight. It’s fun if you’re in the mood for a bit of yoghurt splurge and have a friend to go with.

Rawberri (WeHo):  Acai bowls. Serves cocowhip ice-cream. Lacking a lively atmosphere, but still the best place to get an acai bowl and there is a funky banana leaf wall that makes for a good snap!

HEALTH FOODS

Erewhon (WeHo, near the Grove):  Forget Wholefoods, this is where it’s at – and yes, I just made that call.

Lassens: is great if you’re in an area with one (Echo Park, Los Feliz).

Trader Joes:  Super affordable food, because they have their own production company and don’t have as many overheads costs.  E.g. they sell nut butters (etc) for nearly half the price of what you could buy at Wholefoods or other health stores.

EXERCISE

Griffith Park:  Flag Runyon and go to the Observatory part of the park – it’s much nicer. You could either walk up to the Observatory from the Greek Theatre entrance (as in, ‘Get Him to the Greek’ the movie) or drive up to the Observatory and walk from the car park there to the peak! From the car park, I would walk straight up the front of the peak, not the winding trail like most people. It was much more challenging and didn’t take as long to get to the top (more like climbing a mountain). You can take the winding part to come down if you want. Again, I just went down the front #bosslady

Set and Flow Yoga (Hollywood):  Battleropes and TRX (got to Valentine’s Class), Hot Pilates (got to Rachel or Eddie’s class) 

Yoga Vibe (Los Feliz):  The BEST Vinyasa yoga studio I have ever been to in my life.  ALL the instructors are great and I like the music. Has a lovely homely atmosphere which is unusual for LA.

If you have any other questions, feel free to  comment below and I’ll get back to you!  I haven’t covered off fashion in this post, but definitely know a thing or two about where to go, so let me know if you’d like details about that too.

Charlotte x

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