This post is a long time coming. To say I'm a fan of LA is a gross understatement. We loved every minute of our time there, and do really hope to live in California one day in the future. I think the city gets a bad rap sometimes, but we really found everyone to be warm and friendly, and it really is one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. We stayed in a few different neighborhoods during our trip (Santa Monica, Hollywood and Beverly Hills), and then ventured out to a few other areas during the day. We had some fantastic food in Echo Park and Koreatown, but I have to say, I just love being by the ocean in Santa Monica and Venice so much. On our last day there, we drove out to Malibu which is something I've always wanted to do. The Pacific Coast Highway is every bit as beautiful as I imagined, and we spent the afternoon on the pier having lunch and watching surfers. Perfection!
EAT: - Night + Market Song - This was my favorite meal in LA, and we stumbled upon it by accident a couple of hours before our flight home. Easily the best Thai food I've had outside of Thailand. - Animal - We went for brunch, and it was just beyond fantastic. Really creative, fresh dishes. We heard reservations can get tough, but we arrived right when they opened, and had no issues. - Ostrich Farm - It's just beautiful and bright in here which I really love. Had a great sparkling rose and shared a snack. I wish we could have gone back for brunch. - Pine & Crane - Inexpensive, and really delicious. We grabbed some dumplings, and chilled out here for a couple of hours.
DRINK: - The Black Cat - We stopped in here for a happy hour, and they made a really wonderful Aperol spritz (my favorite cocktail) so I was sold! - Cafe Stella - Close to the Black Cat, Cafe Stella churns out some really well-made cocktails. The patio is tiny but really nice if you can snag a spot. - The Frolic Room - This place is a little bizarre, but in the best way. It's a no frills, old Hollywood type place that sells cheap beer, and hasn't really changed in the past few decades. - Good Times at Davey Wayne's - This was such a cool spot with a great 70s vibe. It was such a great mix of people which I really loved.
SEE/DO: - Griffith Observatory - Worth a visit every time. The views are just so perfect, and you can't help but love LA when you're up there. - Malibu - Again, worth it to take the time to drive over, especially if you're into the beach. - The Getty - Admittedly, I didn't get a chance to go this time around but I'm dying to visit next time around, and thought I'd include it. - Venice Fishing Pier - I'm a sucker for all things ocean related, but this pier was my absolute favorite. The view of Venice from the end is to die for.
Final tip? We've always been told what a driving/car-centric city LA is. Save for renting a Zipcar to get to Malibu, we Ubered everywhere, and found it to be way cheaper and easier than renting a car. We talked to a few locals, and found that more and more people are opting for public transit/Uber.