Where do I begin? I've always loved visiting L.A. What's not to love about 75-degrees and sunny when climates in New York are as fickle as they come?
This trip, however, we were in La La Land for nearly five weeks. When it came time to leave, I forgot that we didn't live there.
We spent the first few weeks with friends on the west side, where I attempted to live my best beach-bordered life. I went to SoulCycle Santa Monica on the reg. My dear friend, Natalie, even convinced me to participate in her soul-stretching, heart-racing, muscle-aching workout with The Class. At a vintage market, I bought some outstanding pieces, hiked in Temescal Canyon, and got zen on the beach.
On the tail end of our trip, we zipped across town and stayed in Atwater Village. While I relished in the low-key beach vibes of west L.A., the east side felt much more like home, reminiscent as it were to Brooklyn. I quickly settled into my routine of taking hot yoga classes at Rise, eating all the pastries at Proof Bakery, and paying too much money for green juices at The Juice. I got the best Ilana Kohn denim jumper at Individual Medley.
I WAS LIVING MY BEST LIFE. Sure, some of the people in L.A. can be flakey and vapid, and yes, the traffic is stupid, and besides a few highlights, I don't find that the city itself is anything to write home about (it's so spread out!), but I still love L.A. This is mostly due to the fact that almost everyone I know and love there is a New York ex-pat. This makes going to L.A. feel like being in New York, except sunnier. And easier.
However, I like that L.A. has a quickly developing cultural and creative scene. Also, that the food industry is thriving. Everyone talks about how healthy L.A. is. Sure, there's that. But if you want to sausage-roll your way through town, you could do that, too.
At Bestia, the roasted bone marrow with spinach gnocchetti is...hmm, what's the word I'm look for?...ORGASMIC. I can't tell you which pasta I had after that because I blacked out from joy, but I know it was incredible. The burger at Petit Trois is truly a burger for the books (though go hungry. As in, don't eat for a week prior). Nobu is always a win--and great for people watching.
I returned to Gjelina, always a good meal, and yes I stood in line for ice cream at Salt & Straw. At Jon & Vinny's, try the Ham & Yeezy with ranch crust dip and, for the love of crispy greens, get the gem lettuce salad. I enjoyed Son of a Gun, though I don't know if I'd go back. (They did have a killer sparkling rosé.)
I usually have a rule about paying for avocado toast ($6 for toast?!), but the avo toast at Groundwork Coffee is not ordinary toast. It has truffle oil on it. I'm a sucker for truffled anything. Also, Ester's Wine Bar. Go there. It's beautiful, there's cheese and wine.
On the east side, Sqirl lived up to its hype. Din Tai Fung was lackluster compared to New York's Nice Green Bo, but I never turn down a soup dumpling. Pizzeria Mozza was solid (as to be expected from Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali). Sadly, I didn't make it to Animal, Trois Mec, or Sugarfish, but I'll be back in due time.
Onward and eastward to Denver...