Now for part 2 of my Los Angeles favourites! You can find part 1 here (link), which involved a hearty amount of salad, a hefty dose of pie and a side of burger. Part 1 was delicious. I hope you’re still hungry for part 2, as there’s more tasty travel tales to come.
Let’s drink some green juice and do this!
Ben and I stayed at The Standard in West Hollywood for one night, which was completely über everything cool. This move kind of blew our minds and budget, and landed us in separate hostel dorms the following two nights. But it was totally worth it for the retro radness and late-night cocktails in our room…
Next stop? Santa Monica!
The Santa Monica Farmers Market has long been on my list, after hearing my parents rave about the produce you can get. They’re KCRW fans who appreciate Laura Avery. I really need to get on that bandwagon and stop listening so much to parenting podcasts. I don’t even have children but I sure know a lot about potty training.
Browsing the stalls was a lovely way to ease into the morning. I arrived on a Wednesday before 8:30 to check out the chefs purchasing their goods, ticking off lists for their kitchen cravings. My favourite stall? The sprout man.
Now onto some eats…
Huckleberry is a dream – self-service coffee, gangster good doughnuts and other delectable baked goods (flaky, oh so flaky), as well as loads of yummy salads. Oh and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot some celebrities. Frances McDormand and Matt Armendariz in one day? No big deal (huge, huge deal for this Fargo and food fan).
For a fun activity, I recommend hiring a bike and cruising along the coast from Santa Monica to Venice. This was a really sweet afternoon date, complete with flowers, helmet hair and multiple attacks of sand in mouth (it was windy).
On this date day, we visited Gjelina Take-Away for lunch, refuelling with caramelised fennel pizza for my fennel-loving husband and albacore and caper salad on olive bread for my tuna-mad self.
After riding around the canals and selecting dream houses, we headed home and drove to malibu, just to say we did. Then in the evening we headed back to Venice for a drink at Venice Beach Wine bar. Here we had red wine, parmesan and truffle oil dressed crisps and conversation about business. Business conversation + wine = enthusiastic grand life planning. I love those dates.
While waiting an hour for our table at Gjelina we headed to The Tasting Kitchen for a most refreshing gin and cucumber cocktail. Once seated at Gjelina we got to ordering like true professionals. Spring onion, leek and potato soup and roasted cauliflower to start…
…followed by mussels and bread, then the best roasted chicken and kale I’ve ever had – note, wine and gin and significant hunger may have bumped this chicken-love up a few points. Either way it was truly dreamy and I have never appreciated the LA emphasis on local and organic more. The quality of this produce sung through so beautifully, wooing me very successfully.
And that is that!
Thank you for the glorious visit, Los Angeles. I like the cut of your
chicken jib and your green juice drinkin’ ways.
Los Angeles Notes
Length of stay: 4 nights, which I believe to be a good amount of time. 1 night in Downtown, 1 night in Hollywood, 2 nights in Santa Monica. You could certainly extend this to explore more extensively (or if you’re into shopping, which we’re not, unless it involves food). I think anywhere between 4 nights to 1 week would be a nice time, certainly spending some of this outside of LA and in Santa Monica for a change of pace/scenery.
Accommodation: Jerry’s Motel in Downtown LA – brilliant! So affordable ($85 per night) and such clean and comfortable rooms. Not the most attractive area but close to our downtown wish list of a Lakers game at the Staples Centre and also good eats such as Pie Hole. The Standard, in West Hollywood – a worthy splurge ($275 per night), such a funky hotel, with a bar and pool area, serving truly delicious gin cocktails. After this splurge we headed to Santa Monica Hostelling International ($38 per night) in separate dorms (female/male). This hostel is clean and well organised, and was one of the best hostels we’ve stayed at. We just felt like 22 year old backpackers again.
* Hire a car. Do it! It is the easiest, best way to get around and is quite cheap. Parking is easy and generally very cheap, too. Being able to drive through Silverlake, Beverley Hills, Laurel Canyon, etc to just check out the areas was awesome. We picked ours up from LAX and dropped it off there too, using Alamo (taken to their lot by a shuttle at the arrivals curb). But there are lots of other cheap finds such as Dollar rental. Oh, and pay for GPS – you’ll need it!
* The eats listed & part 1 and in part 2, above are all highly recommended.
Highlights: seeing Ben enjoy the Lakers game, hiking adventures, eating crazy good salads and kale smoothies and then crazy good doughnuts and pie, meeting Lynn for tea, riding bikes to Venice, cocktails in our room at The Standard, watching Matt Armendariz shoot the Huckleberry cookbook and then shaking his hand *fan girl moment!*, wine and cocktails and chicken in Venice. Oh, and being with this guy after three months living apart.