LA is warm and sunny, and the city’s restaurants are blessed with a year-round supply of high-quality fresh produce. This is reflected in the menus which are packed with sun-ripened organic fruit and vegetables, and there is something for most palates and wallets.
Los Angeles Blog
Los Angeles is a great place for shopping, but because the city is so spread out, you need to know where you’re going, as there’s often a long drive between the different shopping areas. Most of you have probably heard about Rodeo Drive, and while it’s a nice place for sightseeing (Hello Pretty Woman!), there are other places, which are better for shopping:
Los Angeles is a very large city and most people are surprised by the distances. There is no real city center as we are used to in Denmark, nor any pedestrian shopping areas except from Rodeo Drive and the likes. Without a car, getting around in LA can therefore be a troublesome affair.
After 5 wonderful days with Poul in New York, I’m now in Los Angeles. My plane landed right after the flight Trine was on from Copenhagen, so we met in the airport and went to pick up our rental car. Alamo has these self-service machines, which allow you to fetch your booking without having to wait in line.
Though the machine got confused over the 3 different ways the “ø” in my last name appeared on my driver license, my credit card and in my booking (“ø”, “o” and “oe”) so we had to wait in line for human service anyway.
By the time we were ready to leave the airport, it was in the middle of rush hour, so it took us a little longer to get to the apartment we had rented in West Hollywood. The location is amazing, and we have so many things within walking distance, which is quite unusual for LA. I’ve therefore sent Trine out to get us some coffee (the Pumpkin Spice Latte season is here), and while she’s gone, I’ll write about our dinner at Katana last night.
When you stay in West Hollywood, Venice Beach feels just as far away as the French Alps, and a visit requires careful planning both regarding traffic and weather.
The breakfast at Gjelina on Abbot Kinney Boulevard is pricey, but delicious. Their Lemon Ricotta Pancakes might be the best pancakes ever made, and they’re worth both the long drive and the money. In addition to that, the coffee is quite perfect too. But I’m not a coffee drinker? Well, now I am.
Since June this year, the popular Brooklyn food market Smorgasburg is also in Los Angeles. Smorgasburg is a food lover’s paradise, so after we found out about this, there was only one place Trine and I wanted to be on a Sunday afternoon.
It looks like Smorgasburg has had a great start in LA, and the big market space between the industrial buildings was busy from we arrived and until we left. The number of vendors seemed somewhat smaller than in New York, but everything edible looked very tempting, and after an initial exploratory round, we felt like ordering everything. We took another round to make up our minds and ended up getting a grilled lobster from Lobsterdamus. You could choose between ordinary butter and Cajun butter, but both options sounded heavenly, so we had one half with each. The Cajun butter was the best. The spicy, yet buttery flavor provided the perfect kick to the freshly grilled lobster.
On our way to the table, Trine fell in love with a pink passionfruit soda from Popdup Store, which makes delicious gourmet sodas with real fruit and raw sugar. I had a Michelada from I Love Michelada’s Michemobil. For many years, my standard summer drink has been a glass of chilled rosé, but this summer, I’ve been drinking a lot of Micheladas. Micheladas are like beer with Bloody Mary mix, so if you like savory, spicy drinks, you’ll probably also like Micheladas.
On our way out, we spotted the Guerilla Tacos food truck, so even though I was full, there was no way around: I had to order something. The last couple of times I’ve been to LA, I’ve wanted to try their tacos, but I’ve never managed to be at the same place as their food truck. I had an Ahi Tuna Tostada with white miso. Exactly as tasty as it sounds.
And we’re in Las Vegas! We’ve actually been here since Thursday, but I haven’t had the time to sit down and blog until now. The trip from LA to Las Vegas usually takes around 4 hours, if there isn’t any traffic, but we took a little longer because we made two stops along the way.
If you’ve watched Pretty Woman, you will definitely recognize Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame, as the place where Julia Roberts’ character Vivian, dressed in patent-leather OTK boots runs her “business”. Since Pretty Woman, Hollywood Boulevard has got a much needed face lift and new constructions including the impressive Hollywood & Highland, has helped Hollywood regain some of its original glory.
First brunch in LA was at Commissary, which is a nice rooftop restaurant inside a giant greenhouse at The Line Hotel. We started out with each our cold pressed juice, before we decided to share an Eggs Benedict, a cauliflower tempura and a cheese plate. The size of the portions in the U.S. are so big that it’s easy to order too much food, and the 3 dishes we ordered also turned out to be much more than we could eat. I also liked the settings a lot. You’re inside but it feels like you’re sitting outside in someone’s garden. On top of a hotel:)
Eggs Benedict origins from the States, so I guess that’s why they’re so good at making that dish over here. I think I’ve had around 7 Eggs Benedicts on my trip so far, and none of them has been bad. The ones we had a Commissary was also really good and came with hash browns on the side and a slice of prosciutto under the eggs. Really delicious!
Commissary, The Line Hotel, 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90010, Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-2:30pm & 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun: 7am-3pm & 5pm-11pm (weekend brunch buffet 9am-3pm)
Yesterday, we went for a late dinner at Katana, which is just across the street from where we’re staying. We ordered the Izakaya Feast, which for $60 provides a wallet-friendly introduction to the highlights at Katana. Our Feast last night started with a selection of appetizers including a superb spicy tuna on crispy rice. It was amazing and Trine claimed it was the best thing she had ever eaten.
In-N-Out is a Californian burger chain. There are several In-N-Outs across the city, but the most popular branch is this one on Sepulveda Blvd close to LAX. The restaurant is located right at the end of runway 24R, so there are plenty of plane spotting opportunities.
Ever since opening in 2008, Gjelina has been a favorite among LA foodies. The Venice restaurant with a penchant for organic, local produce, and simple, almost rustic compositions, has taken everyone by storm. Even before we arrived in LA, I therefore made a table reservation.
Update: Din Tai Fung in Arcadia has now moved to Westfield Santa Anita
The Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung serves up some of LA’s best dumplings. It is a very popular place and they do not take table reservations, so you will have to wait your turn (usually there is a line all the way out on the parking lot). Upon arrival, you are handed a queue number and asked to fill in an order form, while you are waiting, so you are ready to place your order as soon as you are assigned a table.
BCD Tofu House is a small chain of restaurants specializing in Korean Soon Tofu, soft tofu, which is served in a scrumptious, smoking hot soup, soondubu jjigae, seasoned with chili and kimchi. BCD Tofu House was founded by Korean immigrant Hee Sook Lee and the first restaurant opened in LA in 1996. Today there are 13 branches including one in Koreatown, New York.
The historical district El Pueblo is home to some of the oldest buildings in Los Angeles. The neighborhood is just north of Little Tokyo, so when I was visiting Little Tokyo one afternoon, I decided that I might as well stop by El Pueblo too.
Poul and I got married in Las Vegas back in 2011, and some of our best friends from Denmark and the Faroe Islands joined us on the trip. We started out with one week in Los Angeles before we drove to Las Vegas and spent another week there. It was my third time to visit Los Angeles, and Poul’s second time, but while this was the trip that really made me love LA, Poul never got the same kick out of the city, and he hadn’t been back since.
I’m a big fan of Sephora, but in Dubai the service is often quite bad. On several occasions, I’ve walked into the Sephora branches in Marina Mall and Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, only to leave again empty-handed, because I got tired of waiting for the staff, who obviously couldn’t care less and seemed to pretend that the customers were invisible.
I’ve always liked oysters, but this summer, it almost got out of control. With only a few exceptions, I think I had oysters every day during my LA trip. There’s always room to slurp down an oyster or two, and I had them for starters, mains and dessert.
I’ve been to LA a number of times, but it was only recently DTLA (Downtown LA) caught my attention. Even though Downtown hotels are usually both nice and affordable, the Downtown area has struggled with a reputation of being less safe than West Hollywood, Hollywood and Beverly Hills, which are usually among my favorite picks.