Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Los Angeles Virgins

...would be the best way to describe my first best friends and myself. None of us have ever been! But over the next three days, we'll be romping through the world of hills, sunshine, and movie stars.

Other than Toast on Third, which came highly recommended by my LA lady Danielle, we don't really have any set plans. Any advice?! Restaurants, LA boutiques, must-see sights? We are staying at a hotel that's very centrally located and will have a car. Help!

Also - do I have any readers from LA who can share with me a bit about how to dress? What's the weather like this time of year? Warm? Layers? Again - help!


  1. Sigh... LA! How I miss thee. I grew up there and just spent a couple of weeks there for my summer vacation.

    Definitely check out the Getty museum, and give yourself 2-3 hours to explore. Gorgeous gardens. Museum is free, but parking is probably $10 or so.

    Also, if you get a chance, UCLA is a beautiful campus down the street. In Westwood, there's a classic college stop where you can get cookie/ice cream sandwiches for $1.50.

    For going out, I recommend Main Street in Santa Monica/Venice - there's also a phenomenal tapas place called Manchego down there. Oh, and it's BYO Wine!

    Also, be sure to grab burgers at Umami in Fred Segal and Father's Office (both in Santa Monica).

    Enjoy LA!

  2. Great pictures! Enjoy!

    I went SEVEN years ago, in December/January; and even then it was warm! Weather's pretty sweet.

    If you're interested, come see some African Wedding style:

  3. I would agree on going to the UCLA campus. It's so cool over there and there are some cute local shops mixed in near campus.

    I heard today that LA is in the 90s, so it's unseasonably hot. Not sure how to dress for that in the fall! Good luck!

  4. I'd recommend "Chin Chin's" Chinese Chicken Salad!

    Drive through the Hollywood Hills, just for the views when you come through at the end!

    oh so many food choices and iconic places, but eat well and take lots of pics! ;) ~enjoy

  5. Definitely check out the Brentwood Country Mart, corner of San Vicente and 26th street, right on the border between Brentwood and Santa Monica. And if you make it that far west, you should check out Main Street in Santa Monica and Abbot Kinney in Venice... Those two neighborhoods are right down the street from one another. Main Street is everything we love about Santa Monica but without the touristy nonsense that exists at the Promenade. And Abbot Kinney is a super artsy hipster spot with tons of cool galleries and boutiques, not to mention some great food options. Definitely look all these places up online to get an idea of what's more your flavor :)

    As for weather, it's pretty warm this week. Plan to wear fairly summery clothes during the day ( temps in the 70's and 80's), but bring some booties and light jackets/sweaters for when it cools off at night (temps in the 50's and 60's).

  6. I second the Getty Museum. It's fantastic. If you do stop by UCLA, check out Diddy Riese Cookies. There's usually a line, but it's $1.50 for a cookie ice cream sandwich. So fun.

    I haven't been to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, but I hear it's good.

    Not sure if Santa Monica would be too far for you, but the pier, beach and Promenade shopping area is pretty fun. They have a great breakfast place, Jinky's. Yummy chocolate chip pancakes.

    Have a great time!

  7. The weather has been beautiful lately - not sure exactly when you're coming, but it is supposed to be HOT (80s-90s depending on where) but it cools down significantly at night. Dresses during the day, and definitely layer at night.

    Like others, I would suggest the Getty (decent art but the views will blow you away). Also, if you are in a museum mood, the Tim Burton exhibit at LACMA is good and there's a new restaurant/bar there - Ray's and Stark Bar that are fun!

    Toast on 3rd is definitely awesome. I would also go to Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice and do brunch at Gjelina (always a line, if you don't want to wait, 3 Square down the street is also good usually with less of a wait). Really awesome shops/boutiques on Abbot Kinney. Also, if you want to do check out cool houses, go to the nearby Venice canals where you can be a voyeur and really peak into how people live (it's where I take my out of town visitors). I would skip the UCLA campus but that's just me.

    Silverlake is also fun (stores along Silverlake Blvd., can walk along the Silverlake Resevoir and see some great mid century houses).

    I second the Umami recommendation. Son of a Gun is also a fun dinner spot (most of it is 1st come 1st serve so expect a wait), as is Pizzeria Mozza - if you don't have a reservation, you can sit at the pizza bar which is even more fun in my opinion.

    Have fun!

  8. I would agree with the restaurant suggestions, getty museum, Santa Monica, and UCLA... But I am going to have to go cliche and add melrose. I grew up in LA and never spent a day in that area, but recently my sister took me for a day of shopping and lunching on my birthday. If you are going to be there on a Sunday I highly suggest the Melrose Trading Post, its a flea market that is on the corner of Fairfax and Melrose. Then you can walk and shop up and down the street. Lots of fun shops, coffee spots and cafe's. Lovely for a girly day of shopping! Oh and as far as dressing goes... Layers for sure. And if you're going to be near the water bring a jacket. It can get chilly in the evening!

  9. Ahh, LA...home to four years of FUN while I was in college. Agree on the Getty. Good collection and you'll love the views. If you can swing it, the Getty Villa out in Malibu is also beautiful. In fact, hiking in Malibu is also another fun thing to do -- bring your camera, then finish with a walk on Zuma beach! If you want to stay in town and hike, Runyon Canyon or Griffith Park are both good options.

    You would LOVE walking around Abbott Kinney in Venice. Fantastic design/furniture stores, good restaurants, fun little shops. It's also home of Gjelina, aka, super delicious (and currently super popular) restaurant. Seriously, it's amazing.

    I also like Wurstkuche and Church & State, both located just outside of downtown. Don't be scared by the drive through Skid Row. Both places are great.

    Have a wonderful time!

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  11. Ahh, my home! It's super warm today and will be hot the rest of the week, so i would say less is more.

    As far as restaurants go, you MUST go to Bottega Louie downtown for any meal of the day (I prefer dinner, but they don't take reservations, so try to get there as early as possible); Paulette for the city's best macarons; the Penthouse at the Huntley in Santa Monica for brunch; the Peninsula in Beverly Hills or the Langham in Pasadena for afternoon tea; Malibu Seafood for the freshest fish and chips and BEST clam chowder; Cobras and Matadors or AOC for awesome tapas.

    Shopping: Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Old Town Pasadena, Santa Monica Place, Beverly Center, Melrose, Robertson, etc.

    You're going to have so much fun! You got really lucky with the weather. You MUST go to Malibu to soak up the sun. Let me know if you need any more info!

  12. Father's Office in Culver City for beers and burgers, and the area it's in has HD Buttercup and a bunch of great home shopping and some galleries. Downtown Culver City in general is darling: Bottle Rock is a good wine bar, Native Foods is great (and vegan) food.

    Shopping at Santa Monica Place is fun, esp. grabbing drinks at Sonoma Wine Garden on the top story or dinner at True Food Kitchen. West Hollywood is definitely worth an afternoon stroll.

    Temescal Canyon is a great hike and gives a killer view of the ocean and all of LA from the top on a clear day.

    Urth Cafe (any of the locations...though I'm partial to the one on Main St. in Santa Monica) is a wonderful place for tea or coffee and brunch.

    It's hot this week but it will cool down a bit - layers are key.

    Have fun!!

  13. For great views of the city, check out the Griffith Park Observatory. The building itself is amazing, and it costs nothing just to walk around (I think there's a charge for the shows). Plus it's surrounded by some amazing neighborhoods (Los Feliz and the Hollywood Hills).

  14. Why not drive south and come see me in San Diego ... It is super hot, suppose to get hotter but then get back down to the 70 this weekend. Have a great trip - LA is awesome :)

  15. You are going to have the most amazing time. So jealous. :)

  16. Here's a guest post I did on LA last month. Have a great time. The weather will be great, but bring a jacket for the nights.

  17. Bottega Louie in Downtown LA with after dinner drinks across the street in the secret bar below Mas Malo.

    Right by The Grove there is an insane restaurant supply store called "bargain Fair" which is awesome

  18. I work in commercial production so we usually have to impress or feed out of town agencies. Here's what we've learned:

    I'm gonna echo the must go of Bottega Louie. Great food, great service, great place, good decor. Great for girl's night out since it's loud and buzzy but worth it 100%.

    The Varnish was recommended by GOOP, speakeasy style bar.

    If you want the most incredible bar in Los Angeles: THE EDISON. Check out their website and reserve a table. It's… words fail me.

    Thomas Keller has a Bouchon location there that's good. If you want to see a celebrity try the Ivy. If you want a great meal OhJoy recommends Eveleigh. Speaking of her blog has a lot of great LA tips. I use her all the time for new restaurant tips.

    I dunno about Toast on 3rd but Joan's on Third (they're on the same street) is a landmark with our production industry. We feed from there to impress people. Butter lettuce salad is a personal favorite. It's a hot spot. And just nearby is The Grove shopping center which is an outdoor mall and has a big Nordstrom, M Fredric, Crate & Barrel, Apple Store, etc.

    Urth Caffe was mentioned also, great place. The Farmer's Salad is popular and delicious.

    For people/star watching, I swear, the Whole Foods market in Santa Monica will have a B list celebrity or an A lister most days. Keep an eye out.

    Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica has the best shopping. West Elm, CB2, Anthro, Urban, everything you can think of. Plus it's close to the beach. On Lincoln Blvd is Bay Cities Italian Deli for the best sandwiches in LA. Poorboy

    While in Santa Monica Bodega Wine Bar on Colorado is a great little chill place to grab appetizers and drink. They sell the wine by caraf so you can split with a friend. There's also a location in Hollywood on Sunset and Vine which is great too.

    Sunset Blvd around Vine has a few great restaurants right next door to each other: Magnolia, The Bowery, and Fabiolus (Italian).

    The pool area by the Roosevelt hotel is a great bar and outdoor hang out.

    If you can score reservations for Osteria Mozza (Mario Batali's place) you'd be a lucky lady. It's near Hollywood. Great service, great food, great mozzarella. Once we were there and the man himself was there in his glorious Orange crocs. Plus it's not TOO expensive and they treat you like royalty. I believe they gave us a wet towel with lavender at the end of our meal.

    As far as attire, hmm, if it's around 70, we'll be busting out the jeans tucked into flat boots thing with a scarf. But honestly, there's no right way to dress over here. People are all over the board. You dress lovely, you'll be fine.

    Wow, that was fun writing that. Now I'm hungry.

  19. I too was an LA virgin until I visited my bro last spring and LOVED it. Several recs... It's A Wrap( sells designer clothes off of movies sets for MUCH less), Redondo Pier (best seafood ever), Griffith Observatory (best views), Apple Pan (amazing burgers) and of COURSE the Getty. You will have a blast! xo

  20. I would highly recommend Perch downtown. It's pretty new. And it has gorgeous views of the city.

    Gjelina in Venice on Abbott Kinney.

    Alcove in Silverlake.

    Everything is just so spread out in LA. A car is a must.

    How to dress? It's been warm and people are pretty relaxed around here. I think it just depends where you hang out. Venice is casual. Silverlake is way hipster and West Hollywood is more trendy. And downtown is kind of a mix of all.

  21. We're having a heat wave (again)! Pretty much anything goes here, totally not like NYC. I second the Getty, and get up to Griffith Observatory if you can! The view is amazing and they've filmed a million movies there, plus it's right next to the Hollywood Sign! Third Street in Santa Monica is fun for shopping (giant Anthro!), plus you can go see the pier from there, super cute. If you can get to it, old town Pasadena is fantastic for foodies and great shopping. Hope you have fun!!



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