Los Angeles translates to The Angels in Spanish, therefore it being referred to the City of Angels.
A guide in L.A – Places to Eat and Shop
California has a special place in my heart; the vibe, atmosphere, and especially that laid back west coast mentality is what made me fall in love ever since I first visited in 2006. Every year I make sure to visit even if it’s only for a couple days. Los Angeles has either the ultimate “Hollywood” scene or the laid back Cali hipster scene which can be experienced in places like Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and Marina Del Rey. I prefer the laid back lifestyle and the vibe that you get from Venice Beach and Santa Monica, therefore usually splitting up my stay between the two areas.
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Travel Junkie Diary
Things to do & Place to eat while in Santa Monica
- Shopping at Third Street Promenade
- Exploring Main Street shops
- Spending the afternoon getting sun kissed
- Visiting the Santa Monica Pier
- Biking along the beach
- Breakfast at Urth Café
- Shutters on the Beach (Brunch)
- Venice Ale House (Brunch)
- The Ivy in Santa Monica (Lunch)
- Gjelina (Dinner)
- Tasting Kitchen (Dinner)
When in West Hollywood…
- Morning hike at Runyon Canyon – Not only do you get an amazing workout but it’s a great place to capture beautiful shots of LA and if you are into “Hollywood” celebrities, you will probably see very familiar faces. Make sure to go during the week as weekends are very crowded and get there by 10am to be able to find parking. (Tip: Apply sun block and carry a cold bottle of water) Usually after the hike, I head to Earth Bar to load up on my vitamins and nutrients with a green juice and shot: Wellness Shot or E3 Live Shot and I get a fresh green juice to go: Citrus Cleanse, Gimme Greens, or Belly Well.
Being that I’m into health & wellness, I recently tried the Earth Vitality Center that’s located inside Earth Bar for IV supplements or Vitamin Injections, I recommend the Vitamin B Complex + B12 injection and the Athlete IV – perfect for those who do intense training regularly or the Globe Traveler IV (this one is great for travelling to avoid getting sick & helps with jetlag symptoms). Another great place for a hike is Griffith Park (the West Trail) – gives you a view of the Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Sign, and City View.Day trip to Newport Beach or Laguna Beach – Start your day early as it takes 45mins up to 1 hour depending on traffic to get there. You can do shopping on Fashion Island, take a ferry trip to Catalina Island and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
- Day trip to Newport Beach or Laguna Beach – Start your day early as it takes 45mins up to 1 hour depending on traffic to get there. You can do shopping on Fashion Island, take a ferry trip to Catalina Island and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
- Shopping – Some of my favorite stores in West Hollywood are Intermix, Kitson, and Dash. I usually go to Melrose, North Robertson Blvd, and Rodeo Drive to do my shopping. The summer time around July – August has the best summer sales so you can find some amazing deals in places like Intermix. You can find Saks Fifth Ave, Barneys, Neiman Marcus on Rodeo Drive as well.
- Beverly Hills – There are also some really cute boutiques that I have found on Beverly Drive as well that I like to visit. Grab a coffee or drink from Urth Café and then take a stroll on Beverly Drive to check out the different shops.
Places to eat
The Griddle – The all American breakfast experience! A great guide to the American breakfast!
Urth Café – I am practically at Urth Café for breakfast, lunch, and snack or just to chill at a coffee shop; love their menu and the atmosphere. One thing to note is that their food portions are big. I recommend the Melrose and Beverly Drive locations. FYI, the Green Tea Latte or Green Tea Boba is to die for!
Toast – Believe me, a first time experience at Toast Bakery & Café will have you coming back for more. I prefer to go there for breakfast or brunch and I just can’t get over how good the food is. Literally everything on the menu sounds good!
The Ivy – This is one of those tourist attractions for people visiting LA for the first time because it gives you that complete “Hollywood/Paparazzi” experience. They are always lingering around because celebrities tend to dine here.
Villa Blanca – Great option for brunch if you are visiting Rodeo Drive as it’s in the same vicinity
il Pastaio – Amazing food, nice restaurant to dine at for lunch, make sure you sit outside as the weather is always amazing, great for people watching, and nice atmosphere. Also another place to have lunch after spending your day shopping on Rodeo Drive.
Sugar Fish – One of my favorite sushi places in the world and I’ve been to a lot but there is something about Sugar Fish that makes me crave it constantly. I recommend the Nozawa Trust Me platter to share for 2 people and my favorite items from the menu are: Albacore Belly Sushi, Toro Fatty Tuna Hand Roll, Lobster Hand Roll, Halibut Sashimi.
Nobu in Malibu – I’m more on Team Zuma than Nobu but the trip to Malibu for Nobu is mainly because of the amazing location and the view. Make sure you request to sit outside because that beautiful weather and being located right on the Pacific Ocean must be experienced.
Geoffreys in Malibu – Good food & amazing scenery gives you that ultimate Oceanside dining experience. I love the drive on the Pacific Coast Highway so I’m always up for taking a day trip to Malibu for lunch.
BOA Steakhouse on Sunset Boulevard – Get dressed up and head out for a nice dinner to BOA, you can visit lounges that are on Sunset Boulevard after.
Madeo – The best option for Italian food and Tom Cruise’s too!
A.O.C – Wine Bar for Tapas & Wine – casual dining, shared plates, cute atmosphere and request to be seated in the outdoor area or near the patio.
Katana – This one is a classic for Japanese restaurant, great vibe right on Sunset Boulevard opposite the Mondrian Hotel. Outdoor seating is highly recommended!
Barton G’s – Now this is a unique dining experience and I believe that’s what the owners wanted to give their customers, not just food but a complete experience. I think everyone should experience this restaurant. I got to try it out for the first time this year on my birthday and it’s the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion. I will let the pictures speak for itself but items that must be ordered: Rake & Ho Garden Salad, Lobster Pop Tarts, Laughing Bird Popcorn Shrimp, Samurai Tuna, Wagyu Beef with Foie Gras. I really enjoyed taking pictures of my dishes, see for yourself!
Lady M Cake Boutique – is like stepping into heaven! I’ve heard so much about Lady M from friends who visited New York and my friends in LA, During my last trip to LA in February, I got to finally experience it for myself. Now I’m not big on cakes but I do get a serious sweet tooth from time to time. Their signature cake is the Lady M Mille Crepe cake – WOW! I’ve tried the Flour-less Chocolate Cake and the Chocolate Arc-en-Ciel as well which were divine!
Umami Burger – One of the best burgers I’ve tried was at Umami Burger. I prefer their location in The Grove so that you can go for a walk after eating. What I love about their burgers is that you don’t feel gross or stuffed after indulging. It’s the perfect size and oh my god so scrumptious. I’ve tried the Truffle Burger and their Turkey Patty Burger.
Berris Café – This one is great for late night cravings, delicious pizza, very cute café and they are open till 4 AM. They are open during the day as well for lunch and dinner. I’ve only visited them for a late meal or 2am random pizza craving. I’ve never tried their other dishes but they are known for their pizzas!!! After a night out with your friends, it’s a great place to end up and you get to meet some fun and interesting people during those late night adventures.