Saturday, June 8, 2013

My Ultimate LA Top Ten!

As many of you may know I am soon leaving LA after a fabulous 10 years. Thats 10 whole years of adventures, discoveries, wins and fails. It is, after all, a HUGE city with everything spread out and I've been lucky enough to have the time to really explore a lot of it. And when you find a gem...oh man, you want to shout it out to the world!

I've compiled a list of all my faves for all of you as part of my love letter to LA. It's been a pleasure living in this fine city and I want everyone to enjoy the things I have and hopefully love them just as much. Take care and be well. xoxo


1.) FAVE FANCY DINNER SPOTS:  Yu-N-MI Sushi in Beverly Hills, small and casual but the sushi is the best I've had in LA and well worth the high price;  Pace on Laurel Canyon, very cool underground atmosphere, great entrees;  Fig and Olive on La Cienega, fresh and spacious with amazing Mediterranean fair and Upper West in Santa Monica, Chef Nick is an absolute genius in the kitchen! Very creative dishes and hip young atmosphere.
                     
 Yu-N-MI roll                                                              Pace Restaurant

              









                My friend Owner/Chef Nick of Upper West


Tasty fresh appetizers at Fig and Olive

2.) FAVE BARS: Roger Room on La Cienega, very small but awesome music and fun cocktails; Frolic Room on Hollywood, authentically old school and cheesy which makes it amazing; Formosa on Santa Monica, also old school and cheap with yummy food too; Sunset Trocadero on Sunset Blvd., the best happy hour in town! Great patio too; Varnish in Downtown LA, dark little speakeasy in the back of Cole's with the best mixologists; and Township Saloon on Sunset, old west vibe with cheap drinks and shuffleboard.
       
                                     
3.) FAVE CHEAP THRILL: Boomers! in Upland. Go karts, Mini Golf, Cosmic Mini Golf, arcade games and more! We love this ghetto fabulous play place and it usually costs only about $45 for a whole day for 2 people.
4.) FAVE PLANT NURSERY: Xotx-Tropico in West Hollywood. I find the coolest exotic herbs and veggie plants here and always of good quality. And the owner, Leon, is always so helpful and will give you a great price. 

5.) FAVE PET SUPPLY STORES: Collar and Leash in West Hollywood and Zoom Room on La Brea. Both great for quality pet food and unique toys and not over priced. And Zoom Room has a pretty cool doggy playground!

                                                                                Zoom Room Doggie Play Area
6.) FAVE HIKES: Fryman Canyon near Studio City, It's $3 to park so it's usually less crowded which is a nice alternative to a packed Runyon especially when you have dogs. The last 1/3 of the hike is through a nice neighborhood, a perfect cool down; Griffith Park near Los Feliz, there are a few routes you can take and all are equally good in my opinion. Ending up at the observatory is a perfect spot for a picnic rest; Franklin Canyon near Beverly Hills, this park is huge and usually dead even though the many trails are all great. There's also a turtle pond with hundreds of all kinds of turtles swimming about; and Escondido Falls in Malibu, some parts can be slightly treacherous, having to use ropes to pull up the mountain, but getting to the stunning little waterfalls is quite rewarding.    

                                   

7.) FAVE SHOPPING SPOTS: The Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, great for cheap vintage items and odds and ends. It is a full day of rummaging so be prepared!; Americana Mall in Glendale, it literally has all major clothing, accessory and cosmetic stores all in one place. Definitely my one stop shopping destination.; Santee Alley, in downtown LA's garment district, it's pretty hectic and packed but I always find interesting clothes and knock offs for super cheap.; and Silverlake Strip, just walking up and down the few blocks of Sunset Blvd. near Intelligencia, you'll come across little boutique gems and will definitely pick up some unique finds that no one has.
                                           American Shops
                                           Rose Bowl Flea Market, every 2nd Sunday of the month.

8.) FAVE CRAFT AND DIY STORES: Kit Kraft in Studio City and Pearl Art Supply on La Cienega. Both have a huge variety of supplies for low prices. It's near impossible to not go crazy and buy everything you see.
                               
9.) FAVE GORMET FOOD SHOPS: Joan's on 3rd, it's half restaurant half gourmet market place and both are fantastic. The meatloaf sandwich and sake glazed chicken wings are the bomb and all the sweets and house packaged goods are great to take home. ; Sur La Table at the Grove, this place is where I get most of my cooking gadgets and take their amazing cooking classes. I'm obsessed.; and Lindy and Grundy on Fairfax, hands down the best butcher in town with quality cuts and awesome staff. You will fall in love.



 10.) FAVE BEACH SPOT: Escondido Beach in Malibu. This is a hidden gem I use quite often. You basically park on the PCH near Geoffrey's Restaurant and enter the gate with the 'COASTAL ACCESS' sign above it, take the pathway and stairs which open up to a wonderfully secluded beach. Its so secluded that I bring my dogs every time and let them run around free which isn't really allowed in California but no ones ever stopped me here. Absolute paradise :)

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