A Little L.A Diary
After my ‘How to Enjoy Cities Solo’ post, I thought it was only right to share some of the things I’d been up to in L.A. My boyfriend’s been working over there for over a month and luckily, thanks to my job, I can work from anywhere with good wifi so I decamped out there for two weeks… It’s my third time out there this year so it’s come to feel a bit like a second home with still so much I haven’t done and want to explore. However, it feels like the pressure’s off slightly now and we’ll often cook, return to favourite spots or just have friends over to our Air bnb for beers and ramen rather than feeling the need to do new things every single day. However, with my new 35mm camera in tow, I tried to take one picture from every new spot I ventured to… I didn’t quite succeed, so some of the below are on my regular Olympus Pen-F or iphone, but I’m getting better at it.
One of the things that was top of my list this trip was a trip to Malibu Farm on the pier for lunch, and we finally did it. Imagine Daylesford by way L.A and you’ve got the picture… We arrived at around midday on a Saturday and got a table straight away but a few hours later the queues were crazy so get there earlyish. We ate at the restaurant bit but after lunch discovered the more casual (the restaurant is very chilled to be fair) cafe at the end of the pier which does tacos and sandwiches to takeaway or eat on picnic benches. It doesn’t get more California feeling than this…. After lunch we laid down some towels on neighbouring Surf Rider beach and watched the surfers catching waves while we digested our food babies. Pretty much the perfect day.
Mohawk General Store is a great little independent boutique in Silverlake I love visiting. I first went five years ago and it’s better than ever today. The have a great shoe selection, hence the snap, by the likes of Loq, Marym Nassir Zadeh and Jaquemus with sweet little bits of homewares and trinkets dotted around the ready-to-wear.
Some L.A native friends of mine told me about Destroyer in Culver city, a fairly new restaurant that’s delivering deconstructed bowls and plates of deliciousness, mostly based on no more than three key ingredients. The name sounds like a thrash metal band, but it is in fact zen-like and puritan inside with plenty of outside seating too. I went here solo and really loved it… I had the bowl of brown rice, cauliflower, garlic and black chicken skin and it was heaven. Exactly what you’d want to eat on a chilly Autumnal day, or a boiling hot L.A day in this case. It’s a pretty good spot to go solo too. There’s lots of fashion labels and production studios dotted around there so the crowd is a mix of creative business meetings and a tete a tetes and solo diners on their iphones with a fork in hand. Definitely worth a visit in my mind.
Combine Destroyer with a trip to Platform in Culver city for some shopping. This little cluster of stores, restaurants and pop-ups pretty much has all your L.A shopping needs covered… There’s a Reformation, surf brand Salt Surf, Janessa Leone (the best hats) and Bird boutique which stocks the likes of Rachel Comey, Isabel Marant and Ulla Johnson. There’s also cute little interiors stores and a Tom Dixon outpost, There’s amazing tacos at Loqui (had them last time I was there), juice at Juice Served Here, Sao Acai bowsls and ice cream that has people queuing up at Van Leeuwen. Essentially it’s a great mid town spot to combine shopping and eating one afternoon or on your way to Venice maybe.
Discovered ‘frose’, frozen rose and tequila (LETHAL) and cheese plates at happy hour with my friend Drea at Kettle Black in Silverlake. Delicious food and drinks and a sweet buzzy spot for an evening drink… Amazing how these kind of places are actually hard to find in L.A so worth noting them when you find them.
I’ve wanted to go to Rose Bowl Flea Market for years but have been in L.A on the right weekend. It’s only on on the first Sunday of every month I believe… In short, it’s enormous. A huge swath of vintage stands from homeware and clothes, to 80s video games, matches, crystals and just about everything else you can think off. Be more prepared than we were if going in the heat of a summer’s day; take a hat (I had to buy one I was so hot!) and a massive bottle of water to keep you going. It takes real commitment to find the good stuff and I think my jet lag stopped me from really getting stuck in this time but I’d definitely go back when I’m more in the game.
No trip to L.A is complete for me without walking around the Venice Canals idly. It makes me feel like I’m in Californication (the canals are where Hank and Becca go walking with ice cream a lot) and is a really peaceful corner from the Venice boardwalk craziness… House spotting round here is pretty fun too.
Dinner and lots of Marmont mules in the garden at Chateau Marmont with some honey-mooning friends of ours. I do love this place once in a blue moon (mostly because it reminds me of our first ever trip to L.A years ago and again, Californication) and it’s a pretty fun spot for one night of cosy decadence. Make sure you book in advance or you won’t get past the parking lot…
My friend Jodie took me on a new hike trip up Temascal Canyon and it was a really great one. It’s sort of round the back of Pacific Palisades, just dow the PCH from Venice It was a misty and cloudy day we went up there which was a blessing in disguise because it really was a hike; I was struggling to talk at one point so you definitely feel like you’re working hard. You get incredible views over the palisades and down to the beach from the top and you don’t pass too many people so it feels pretty rugged. The are some really beautiful, peaceful spots along the way; hiking is 100% my favourite kind of cardio.
I’m not vegan, but I do appreciate really good vegan doughnuts and these are it. They also do non-vegan doughnuts and there’s an amazing selection of flavours (maple bacon anyone) at Blue Star doughnuts on Abbott Kinney. I treated myself to two one day (I promise I shared) and they were 100% worth every bite…
It was too dark to take pictures but we went for dinner at Alimento in Silverlake and the pasta was SO GOOD. A really lovely little nieghbourhood place with amazing wine and a delicious menu designed to share so no food envy. Modern combinations and presentations, but classic Italian flavours. Yum.
Last but not least, we popped into Shutters one evening for some margaritas (skinny spicy margaritas are my new favourite thing). A bit of an institution in L.A, Santa Monica’s Shutters feels very old world compared to lots of L.A and if you nab a table on the teeny terrace, you’ll get a killer sunset view. We came for dinner here many years ago and left very poor and a little underwhelmed but drinks are lovely…
Ph. by myself and James Wright