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Los Angeles is home to over 3.9 million people and is over 503 square miles big making it the second largest city in the United States and thus why I added “Part 1” to this title because you just can’t fit it all into a weekend. Trust me, I’ve lived here almost 10 years and still haven’t seen it all. So pack up your stylish walking shoes and your celebrity sighting glasses, we’re going to LA kids!
So you just arrived and it’s time to crush those cravings for Mexican food. REAL Mexican food. Don’t even try to tell us about your local Mexican restaurant cause we are Los Angeles, we were settled by the Mexican monks, the Spanish conquistadors and the Native American, we LAUGH in the face of your tacos. And you’ll see in this round up, I’ll take you to some of our best starting with this place:
Yes, that’s the name. There are three things on this menu: fish, shrimp and potato and nothing else, so don’t ask. The man who runs this joint catches the fish himself and brings it to the little restaurant where nice Latina ladies make magic and put it in tortillas for you. Then take those bundles of sea and fried awesome to the salsa bar and LOAD UP with crema, various salsas, cabbage and a tiny sprinkle of salt. Best Fish Tacos of Ensenada has an patio to eat and sip your Horchata or Tamarindo or even better go grab a couple tall boys at the liquor store next door. NO SHAME IN THAT GAME.
You must know that LA is a laid back town, we get that vibe from the sun, the weather, the ocean and each other. Friday is no different, we’re not ready to race headlong into the weekend, we need a breather, so Friday night is for movies and dinners and pacing yourself. It’s a secret to NO ONE that Los Angeles is home to Hollywood and the entertainment industry especially movies! You can tour most studios, see hand prints of stars on the sidewalks and watch movies in theaters that date back to the silent era. Whether it’s the famous ones: the Chinese Theater, El Capitain, The Vista (which still shows cartoons and the original concession stand commercials before each screening) you can’t go wrong. But may I suggest a movie at Arclight if you’re in the mood for a mainstream hit, you can pick your own seats!!! and NO advertisements. Someone even comes in to the movie to introduce it. And it wouldn’t be the Arclight without the occasional Q&A with cast and crew following a movie or a celeb sighting. Celebs, they’re just like us! OR if you’re in the mood for something more independent or artsy, may I suggest the Laemmle Playhouse which shows so many amazing movies that never get a large release.
Rewind a few years to when downtown was not a place many people lived or stayed in after 5PM, it was mostly a place with run down dive bars (the best in fact) and a lot of homeless people (something we’ve finally acknowledged and are working on!). Over the last few years downtown has undergone an explosive resurgence with new condos (I moved here!), new restaurants, increased stops and additions to the Metro system and so many new shops you can’t keep track of them all. That’s why you’ll be spending Saturday downtown! Start off your day at Grand Central Market where you can choose from foods around the globe at the GOURMET food stalls, pick up a bouquet of flowers, get some herbs, grab some fruit and pound a coffee, or maybe a fresh pressed juice is more your thing. They got it if you’ve got 9 bucks! May I suggest Wexler’s Deli for the best Everything Bagel I’ve ever eaten. Sorry New York. Or you can pull a Bekah and Nikki and get a tray of Oysters and some Champagne if you’re so inclined.
For here a road diverges in the wood and you, you will take
the one less traveled the one that sounds the best to you.
If you have young Children walk a few blocks to Grand Park where they can play in the water feature or the new playground, you can throw a frisbee with your mom and brother (like me), or if you go during the week take of of their free boot camps or yoga classes. There’s even a Starbucks on site for a quick refresh and next door CLEAN BATHROOMS. Clean bathrooms cannot be stated enough.
The Broad is the new crown jewel of downtown and the new crown jewel in LA’s modern art museum world! The museum just opened last week (we have tickets for October) and boasts one of the larges collections of post-war and modern art in the world. And if looks so freaking cool. AAANNNDDD did I mention it’s FREE! ALWAYS free, just reserve a ticket!
It’s Sunday in LA that means late mornings in bed, Farmer’s Markets in Hollywood and Silver Lake and going to brunch.
Zinc is an outdoors, meets indoors, meets organic comfort meets arts district is the place for a lazy Sunday brunch with family. If it’s not too hot sit on one of the patios or grab the huge family style table on the front deck if your party’s big enough. The breakfast bowl, the avacado toast, the tea… so done. No one’s reinventing the wheel here, they’re just making the wheel so much tastier.
Time to shop! Whether it’s The Bev Center, The Grove, The Americana or even Melrose, they’re a bit played out, and honestly you can find most of that stuff in your home town. Well minus the crazies of Melrose. So stick downtown (seriously, just don’t leave) and go to a little strip of shops on traction including Alchemy Works. Not only can you get your glasses there, they have an amazing curated section of mens and women’s clothing, accessories and home goods. Sure, it’s not cheap but you can find some really great one of a kind stuff here.
Have I mentioned their displays or how nice the couple who owns the store are? Well it’s grand and they are!
Din Tai Fung (or DTF if you’re cheeky) is our version of Sunday dinner. My friends and I gather here to (wait hours) then order mountains of steamed, soupy dumplings, rice cakes, hot soups and talk and talk and talk. Whether you go to the Glendale location or you take a little drive out to the Arcadia restaurant you won’t be disappointed. It continues to receive accolades, fans around the world and lines of hungry people. Din Tai Fung is one of my Last Meal places. It’s THAT good.
Even Tom Cruise likes it.
If America is the melting pot of the world, Los Angeles is the melting pot of the US. So many people groups, ethnicities, personalities, careers, stars, foods, places. You name it, we probably have it. This post didn’t even hit spots past Hollywood or into Koreatown or Little Ethiopia or The Valley or Chinatown or the Westside. Perhaps this is just part one of many posts about Los Angeles. People may talk shit about LA (they’re jealous, let’s be honest) but it’s the best, it’s my favorite city, it has my favorite people and I love it!
Come visit Los Angeles! We’re waiting!