La La Land Travel Diary
Prior to this trip, I'd never spent more than three consecutive nights in LA. Because of its proximity to San Francisco, I viewed LA more as a place for a quick weekend getaway, rather than a real vacation destination.
But that means I'd never really delved very deep into the city of angels before. This time around, we booked an Airbnb in Silver Lake for a full week, during which I fell in love with LA's inspiring street style, the beautiful people, the delicious food, and all the artfully designed spaces.
Here’s a list of my recommended places on where to eat, drink and play in Los Angeles:
Sqirl – Because of the ricotta toast. Duh. But also I was seriously obsessed with their crispy rice salad with a fried egg and sausage on top – I could eat that every single day.
Ostrich Farm – This is one of the most stunning restaurant spaces I’ve ever seen. I wish I could’ve sampled their cocktails because the bartender clearly knew his stuff, plus the gold barware was divine. My chickpea bowl with kale and feta was healthy and delicious, and the service went above and beyond. Our orders got slightly delayed due to some issues with the kitchen, and the manager gifted us a round of mimosas and also comp’d our entire meal. I will definitely be back.
Pine & Crane – UGH WHY DOESN’T SAN FRANCISCO HAVE ANY GOOD TAIWANESE RESTAURANTS?! The food here was above par but still not as good as in Taipei, but I didn’t care because I missed all my traditional Taiwanese dishes soooooo much. Their dan dan noodles, scallion pancakes and minced pork over rice were crack <3
Alfred Coffee (Silver Lake) – Absolutely crucial stop, if not just for that iconic “BUT FIRST COFFEE” Instagram photo. But also because they serve their espresso in an ice cream cone! Pretty awesome.
Micheltorena Stairs – Beautiful stairs painted by local artist Corinne Carrey. Also, conveniently located right across from Alfred Coffee.
Abbot Kinney and Venice Beach – Obligatory stops, for shopping and sunbathing reasons.
Cafe Stella – This is one of my favorite restaurants in LA; I felt like I’d been transported to an Italian bistro and never wanted to leave. I had a perfect dinner of French onion soup and steak, complemented by a sultry Manhattan cocktail (though next time I’ll have to try their $20 martini).
Eggslut – I went to their newly opened Venice Beach location and was shocked to find that there was NO LINE. Seriously, folks – we walked right up to the counter. But if there was a line, I would’ve waited an hour+ because their breakfast sandwich with sausage, an over medium egg and cheddar cheese served in a warm brioche bun was one of my favorite bites of food ever. The egg gratuitously bursts upon first bite and is just mind-blowing in every possible way.
Mohawk General Store – This is the gold standard for all concept stores – they’ve just got the most perfectly curated selection of mid- and high-end clothing, shoes, accessories, and homewares.
Marugame Monzo – Seriously some of the best udon I've ever had. The miso carbonara udon and the mentai uni udon were both so buttery and rich in flavor, yet the addictive broth was still light enough to slurp down. Best of all you can watch the chefs making the udon from scratch right before your eyes.
Verve Coffee Roasters – I forgot to get the juice flight, and per usual, I got some ugly latte art (note: I don’t really blame the barista, that just seems to be my fate wherever I go), but the coffee was strong and really cured my hangover on January 1st.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art – We were torn between the Broad and LACMA, but ultimately opted for the latter because my friends who’d gone to the Broad a few days earlier warned of lines that were 3+ hours long (and ain’t no one got time for that). The tar fields were stinky but cool, and the urban lights were just as breathtaking as they appear in photos.
Republique – Everything was so unbelievably good here, from the mushroom toast (this is a must-order) to the kimchee fried rice to the thick-cut bacon. Also, the Spanish-style structure is gorgeous, and apparently served as Charlie Chaplin’s office back in the day.
American Rag Cie – The denim collection is insane, and they carried such an impressive array of designers, from Freda Salvador to Pendleton to Rag & Bone. I could’ve spent all day here.
Yu Chun – I've actually hated naengmyeon (Korean cold noodles) all my life, ever since I was a kid. But Yu Chun has officially converted me. Also, they have self-serve bone broth (you know I got 4 cups at least) and delicious bibimbop and kalbi.
Bestia – We were so incredibly fortunate to be able to snag reservations at this adorable Italian restaurant located in LA's arts district, and let me tell you, the hype is warranted. You MUST order the roasted marrow bone (even if you're not a fan, I beg you to get this – I promise you you won't regret it), clam pizza and ricotta dumplings with pork sausage and black truffles.
And that's it for now! I didn't have time to stop at Apartment by the Line and Dream Collective this time, but that just gives me more incentive to return to LA again soon. Let me know if there's any other places I missed that I should visit next time! xx