August 18, 2013

A few Los Angeles Favorites

Hollywood Sign seen from Beachwood Drive

Lately I've been missing Los Angeles more than usual. We've only been back in San Francisco for four months, so it's probably just because summer here is such a bummer. Days are overcast, foggy and damp, especially in our neighborhood. I'm jonesing for sunshine! So I've been meaning to write a post about my favorite things in L.A. for a while, and now seems a good time to reminisce!

L.A. is one of those cities that you have to take your time to discover. When we first lived there in the late 90's, it took us years to make friends, figure out where to eat, recreate, and to appreciate its gems, from tiny hole-in-the-wall theaters with extremely talented actors, to stunningly beautiful parks. My favorites tend to be contained to the Hollywood and the east side areas, 'cause that's my hood.

Belgian Waffle at Shaky Alibi, Los Angeles
  • Liege Waffles at Shaky Alibi - When we took my father-in-law here and he had his first real Belgian liege waffle he said "Can we franchise this?" Liege waffles are yeasty, crispy caramelized, and just so delectable that it's hard to describe. They are not like any other waffle. Served up with crunchy speculoos cookie spread they are truly a treat.

Vertical Mass at LACMA
Stanley Kubrick's cameras at LACMA
  • The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) - Much of my personal and professional life has been spent in museums and LACMA is definitely one of my favorites. People don't typically visit LA to go its art museums, but they should! LACMA's collections are encyclopedic and there's something for everyone's taste and interest, from Asian to contemporary art. There are great special exhibitions, tons of educational programming, and fun, free outdoor sculpture gardens. 

Trails of Griffith Park, Los Angeles
  • Hiking to Iconic Hollywood Landmarks - L.A. is much more than gritty city streets. Many don't realize that there are incredible natural areas literally five minutes from Hollywood. A bit further and you'll find waterfalls and wilderness that are wholly unexpected to many. It's pretty easy to hike to the Hollywood sign and to Griffith Observatory and the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful L.A. weather. 
My friend Ondrea on Angel's Flight
Ramen in Japantown
Diorama at the Natural History Museum
photo from LA Home & Style
Bibimbap at Forage
The Cheese Store of Silverlake
Entrance to the Raven Spa

  • The Raven Spa + Silverlake - Silverlake is a well-known hipster mecca and not usually my cup of tea, but there are too many good things about the area not to love it. One of my very favorite finds in LA is The Raven Spa. I picked up a Groupon for this authentic but upscale thai massage place and have been a devotee ever since. At or near Sunset Junction: The Cheese Store, Mohawk General Store, ultra-hip Intelligentsia coffee, Bar Keeper, and Forage

There are many, many more things to do and eat in and around LA, such as beaches in Malibu, Palm Springs, the Donut Man, and of course, Disneyland, which never bores this born-and-bred California girl.

Sunset in L.A.

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