It’s 1,5 months since my return from LA and I finally found the time to dig in to all my notes, receipts and scrapbooks and write down the places I’d most highly recommend. I already kept you in the loop of everything I did – from photo shoots to crazy grocery shopping to getting ear piercings and surfing – in my Daily LA diary posts.
So now, on popular demand, I’m telling you about all the hotspots and must see places in Los Angeles. All are tried and tested by me and most were spontaneous finds or recommendations by the most awesome LA locals.
YARA’S LOS ANGELES TIPS, TRIED AND TESTED
Area’s I’d recommend are: Venice Beach (for that typical Cali vibe), Silverlake (which is more rock ‘n roll but with a certain chic), Downtown (which is more grungy and upcoming), Abbot Kinney (basically it’s one long street and one of the few walkable areas in LA).
COFFEE / LUNCH
My favorite coffee place to sit down with Wifi and people-watch while getting some e-mails done, and I bumped in to a few of my awesome readers there too. Intelligentsia is based in Silverlake, Venice and Pasadena.
Handsome coffee roasters
A true Downtown gem, this coffee place where I went for meetings and always ended up making new friends. The staff is incredibly friendly and handed me a tiny bag of coffee beans to take home on my last day.
Your go to place for sensational juices and smoothies with all health supplements and health shots imaginable, from Aloe vera to shilajit to probiotics. It’s a bit pricier than usual but phenomenal. My top picks are the Carrot, lime & coconut juice and the Date & almond shake. Please, please, please open in Amsterdam soon!
An all-organic LA classic, serving the best and biggest sandwiches, pies, salads and juices.
The Village bakery
An adorable little neighborhood bakery with oatmeal cinnamon pancakes you ought to try.
My go to place in Silver lake. Stella is great for breakfast, lunch and dinner too. Try their truffle fries with the veggie sandwich and mimosa’s for Sunday brunch! There’s a hidden little cocktail bar attached to it with a living room feel and deliciously strong drinks.
Another Silver lake tip, this place serves the best and simplest ramen noodle soup I’ve ever tasted. Add the tuna sushi roll!
A favorite on Abbot Kinney, Gjelina literally has all the food I love on one menu. They have different dishes for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and late night snacks (you go guys!) Great vibe, great staff (there’s one particularly handsome waiter), great dishes… and then hop over the bar that’s a few doors further. I can’t remember the name but you’ll figure it out.
A fast food icon on the West coast. Order the Double double with animal fries and you’ll end up in a happy food coma. Umami burger, featuring these gourmet burgers rather than fast food, was another delicious favorite.
For Mexican food – which is huuuge in LA, visit Bar Ama or Malo, or any of the food trucks. Pork burrito’s are usually a great option.
Bäco Mercat is by the same owners as Bar Ama and serves delicious fusion sandwiches like crispy pork belly and beef carnitas with caraway pepper.
Mohawk general store
Go here for the best mix of edgy and super wearable pieces. Brands include ALC, Acne, Karen Walker, Carven, Hope and more – and it’s where I discovered Kathleen Whitaker jewelry.
Are you a sucker for adorable post cards, prints, stationary and interior decoration accessories? (Who isn’t, you wonder…) Then this is your place to shop.
Based in Charlie Chaplin’s old studio, this is a must-stop-shop even just for that. Especially during sale season, you’ll find great deals on unique designer pieces.
Creatures of comfort
Featuring smaller labels, this is a store to get inspired and perhaps pick up a one-of-a-kind fashion find.
Offering slightly more accessible brands than ‘regular’ Barney’s and stocking a lot of in-demand, high end American designers like Alexander Wang and 3.1 Phillip Lim. Their accessory department is particularly on spot.
A NIGHT OUT
If the walls of this mansion could talk… This is a mystical place, with Sophia Coppola and James Franco having shot movies here. This is a place you won’t be able to just walk in to. All dressed up, we drank wine in the star studded garden surrounded by Benicio del Toro and Zoe Saldana – just to name a few.
Loud hip hop music, a weird vending machine and a photo booth: ingredients for an epic night of dancing.
Tucked in the far front of the Roosevelt Hotel, Teddy’s is one of Hollywood’s most notorious and star studded night clubs.
For a cool cocktail night, look no further than the Ace Hotel Downtown. Their rooftop bar overlooks the city and is the place to be after having opened at the beginning of this year.
Based in Downtown LA, this is a fun place to hang out and have a drink without it being too crowded.
CULTURE / OTHER
An avant-garde house built by the famous Eames couple is a treat for modern design lovers.
Visit at least one big museum in Los Angeles, either the Getty or LACMA – spanning anything from ancient times to art from the present.
A beautiful, big park with a breathtaking observatory that overlooks the entire city. This is your place to get away from the buzz, take a hike and actually breathe in some fresh air.
Los Angeles has a big film culture, obviously, and visiting a vintage cinema is a must. Vista features one movie at a time – I saw Her here – and has the best typical American snacks like Milk duds and peanut butter cups.
Body Electric tattoo
Hit up Body Electric if you’re looking to immortalize your trip with a tattoo or piercing. I got two new ones done here, and Brian is an absolute legend when it comes to delicate ear piercings.
Melrose trading post
This weekly Melrose flea market is an ideal place to spend a laid back Sunday while vintage treasure hunting.
Surfing at Venice Beach
Rent a surfboard – or a bike with a basket if you’re more comfortable on dry land – at Jay’s and become one with Californian culture for a moment.