I recently went to the city of angels with my new husband. L.A. is one of my favorite cities in the U.S. and I was excited to show McKay more than just the beaches and the freeways. I constantly talk about my favorite places to go, eat and buildings to see, I figured it was time to share it.
Our first stop was at the Ace Hotel for dinner. This was actually a first for me, and a building I had been wanting to see in person for a long time. We arrived and this first thing I did was take a million photos of the Islamic inspired architecture. We then were shown to the dining area outside, very cafe style, of the L.A. Chapter.
As soon as we sat down, I was obsessed with these chairs. I was already starting to plan our future patio set in my head. We had an awesome waitress who was very helpful with the menu. We started off with this nut bread that was topped with ricotta, figs and a bit of honey.. DIVINE! And then we both ordered dry aged burgers for our main course. We washed it all down with simple Mountain Valley Spring Sparkling water.
I highly recommend getting the cheese, bacon AND avocado add-ons! It was a lovely evening, and the weather was how I wish it was every night in my home of Salt Lake City.
Now, don’t leave without going up to see the roof of the hotel. There is a rope with a “bouncer.” When I say bouncer, I mean a chick that looks like she just walked out of an Urban Outfitters catalog, so don’t be shy about asking. It’s cool if you’re not a guest of the hotel.
Upstairs not only has the rad view, but has a pool, karaoke on Sunday nights, and a full bar.
We used AirBNB to find our humble abode for the week. We stayed in a cute little studio apartment in Los Feliz that was just adjacent to the famous neighborhood of Silverlake. We were in walking distance of a grocery store, several inviting coffee shops, record stores and vintage clothing stores.
A restaurant we were very close to was one I had been to years before with my friend Marcello. I remember asking him before the trip what the name of it was. Neither of us could remember, and I all I knew was that it had amazing burgers. So when we got to LA I was googling best burger places and the name Umami popped up. It sounded familiar, so I looked at the photos, and low and behold, that was it! McKay and I walked over during one of our nights there and let’s just say, it was a burger oasis for us both. It was everything I remembered it to be. It has a great vibe to the place, and great staff. I had the Mindy Burger. I burger partnered with Mindy Kaling. It has sriracha aioli, and many other delicious things, but let’s be honest that had me hooked right away. McKay had the Umami burger, and was in food daze of happiness the whole time he was eating it. And don’t forget the truffle fries if you go. You’re welcome in advance. We finished everything off with a dessert suggestion from our waiter, it was called a UFO. Tempura fried oatmeal cookie with sweet cream gelato on top, drizzled with caramel sauce… Yeah!! My stomach still yells at me for not feeding it that cookie everyday.
Now let’s talk about Hollywood. There are two places that are a must see for me in Hollywood. Sure there’s the walk of fame, which is cool to stroll around, just make sure it’s not a 100 degrees out when you do. But, I like to start my day out with the best breakfast in town, and pancakes bigger than my head.
This breakfast heaven is called The Griddle Cafe. Of course they have many other delicious things besides pancakes, but as a first timer you have to try at least one. They have a page full of choices, so you’re not just getting a regular pancake. I chose the eyes wide open this time. It was a chocolate/espresso dream and I wish I had had a larger stomach to eat all the three pancakes that I ordered. And if you wanted to veer off course just a tad, McKay got some divine french toast.
So once you recover from the food coma, head on down to Amoeba Music for some new tunes. This place is huge, and has about everything you could want for your music library. However, a lot of the older albums you may want are represses and not originals. So I would suggest walking out with some vinyl goodies of newer things and hunting down first pressings elsewhere. (Thanks McKay for teaching me all that.) However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find any at all. And be sure to check out their website for scheduled free shows.
Once the sun starts to go down head up to Griffith Observatory for some sunset/star gazing. It’s a great museum that takes me back to my time in Young Astronauts in elementary school. And if you get there early enough it’s great to walk around Griffith Park, go on a hike to the Hollywood sign, or just lay out on a blanket and read a book.
Finally I’m going to give a break down of some of my favorite places in the heart of downtown L.A. that are a must. If you feel like spending a day walking this is what to see.
And be sure to look up..
Stop by the library, of course. Anywhere that has books has me sold. There are so many levels to the LA County Library and an awesome library store that sells used books. This photo above is what you will see when you ride the escalators down each level.
Angel’s Flight which is across from Grand Central Market. And if you’re hungry, check out the BBQ place across the street, Horse Thief BBQ. This was a tip from Marcello as well, thanks Marcello!
I just have to say, the potato salad was A-MA-ZING!
A couple of other places to see while around this block:
Disney Concert Hall
And the Bradbury Building
This was actually my first time visiting the Bradbury Building. It is beautiful inside, but you can’t go above the staircase to the second floor.
Make sure to stop by my favorite place in L.A.: The Last Bookstore. It has art studios upstairs, record store and bookstore downstairs. I could spend hours in there, and if you happen to be visiting during the second Thursday of the month there is an art walk that The Last Bookstore participates in and many other galleries in the surrounding blocks.
And finally we spent our day before heading to the airport at LACMA. I love this museum, and I wish we had had more time to spend there the day that we went. I would devote a whole afternoon to LACMA if you end up going, and you may want to go later so that you can see the lamp posts lit up at night.
And to end this long post about a city I love, I will say that there are so many wonderful things to see in do in L.A. that are not in the above photos and text. Somethings we did that I didn’t even post photos of, but you can see on instagram: c.w.rose. The Natural History Museum is a great place to stop by, the MOCA, there are countless shows going on, a good way to see if there’s any you would like to see is using Bandsintown. And if you see any buildings or businesses on the street that interest you, go on in! See what it’s about and share those cool places with people. I could spend a year in L.A. and find something new everyday. And I hope this helps peak some of your interests in going to this wonderful city.
Thanks for reading!