Very belated post, but couldn't NOT post about my weekend in LA, even though the majority of it was spent in Agoura Hills for a friend's wedding. Clearly didn't have enough time to explore and shop to my heart's content (though unsurprisingly I did find time to eat).
Will have to make another trip down soon. In the meantime, I cannot get over how gorgeous Malibu is, how fresh and delicious the eats are, how sunny and vibrant the beaches are.
Don't get me wrong, my heart is with SF. But I do like the way LA people are so motivated to put themselves together in the morning. There is a certain charm to San Franciscans' inherent insouciance – yay for being able to wear Birkenstocks to work and for looking so perfectly unkempt – but I do miss opportunities to dress up. And by dress up I mean wearing a dress and heels out, and not looking like I'm trying too hard. Yes, some take it too far in LA and look trashy and/or all the same, but for the most part the population is quite nice to look at.
Malibu Farm was crazy cute, but rather overpriced. As the name suggests, it's a farm-to-table restaurant and all of its food (from the bread to the coffee to the produce) are purchased from local farmers. I highly recommend you eat on the upstairs deck, where you can take full advantage of the view. The food really relies on natural flavors and fresh ingredients – all beautiful in their simplicity.
Gjelina delivers cuisine from another planet. The waitstaff were all beautifully chiseled and impeccably dressed (aspiring actors, most likely), if not slightly bizarre and rude. Whatever. I don't know that I've tasted pizza, pancakes and duck confit this good. Book in advance and request the terrace. Trust.