The places you can’t miss
I have to be honest, I came to LA with a lot of doubts and mix feelings. People were divided right in the middle between positive and negative experience so I didn’t know what to expect. I came with pretty low expectations. Maybe that's why my experience in the place was so good.
Food, atmosphere, nature, vibrant city feeling, desserts, nightlife and especially my outside look of all the people here that act like they are on the verge of their huge Hollywood made my experience in LA to something really special.
So, how many days should you spend in LA? There is no unequivocal answer. It all depends on what you love to do and see. In my opinion a minimum of three days can provide you with a decent experience of the city.
Since everyone knows all about the touristy places and the famous sightseeing landmarks in LA, I wanted to write about the less familiar places (which I think are the best way to experience the true vibe of the city).
We started our first morning with coffee (how elseJ ) in downtown LA at the Grand Central Market indoor food market. In the market you can find many food and coffee carts. The nice thing about this places especially in the morning is that you can catch a lot of locals, mainly people that work outside, starting their day there.
We came there at 8AM and there were already people eating ramen, Mexican food and Asian. The smells were pretty intense. We ended up choosing the breakfast in Eggslut – which sales… wait for it…. eggs! They have a big line which is a drawback but there egg sandwich draws hundreds of people each day that want to start the day with a savory fatty egg sandwich.
From there you can talk a walk in the neighborhood, we made it to Little Tokyo, I’m a sucker for small and authentic minimarkets … that’s where I got this baby – a clear Coca-Cola. It tastes like a mix between Coca-Cola and cough syrup , but I had to try it out.
If you happen to visit on a Sunday, you can Uber from there to the Smorgasburg food market (yes this is part of the Smorgasburg brand and is also open in NY –you can read more about it here) The reason is it’s unique location. It’s in a middle of a once deserted warehouses and now a rejuvenating hotspot. Every Sunday Smorgasburg hosts here a colorful food market, which music, artist booths and of course plenty of alcohol. important note: the entrance is kind of hidden, we felt like in we were looking for the Hogwarts train platform, but don’t discourage , if you can’t find it at first, just walk around (it’s basically a huge square) and you’ll find the entrance.
Ok, its dessert time!
My first recommendation is the Dominique Ansel Bakery , it’s located in the GROVE mall, which is an open mall – unique to cities with weather like LA. My love for the Dominique Ansel products started years ago in one of my first visits to NY. I think this establishment is one of the few on the world that elevated the level of desserts to an art form. I’ve been to many branches of the exquisite bakery and I think this one is one of the bests. In the first floor you can find the famous bakery that includes all of the bakery famous and delicious desserts. The second floor is one of the chains restaurant – in the last few years Dominique extended the brand to include also restaurants and you can definitely see the same unique touch they have in desserts reflected in the food as well. Highly recommended.
The second bakery I think you should definitely visit is also from the French origins, it’s location is AMAZING and I think that despite being a combined café -bakery mix the quality of the desserts here do not fall short than any other upscale bakery I wrote about in this blog. Laduree, is a French base chain of bakery-café, they have lots of branches worldwide and also specifically in the US.
i must admit that part of this branches’ charm is its location in the heart of Beverly hills , 5 min away from Rodeo drive. If you can’t afford to shop on Rodeo and spent 2-3 hours window shopping, like 99.9999% of the world population… you can at least do it while indulging with something sweet.
When it comes to night life… I mean there is no much you need to know except that it’s all over the place…. I actually want to recommend you on a light tasty dinner that won’t hold you down when you tear up the dance floor. I think the Ramen is one of the best dinner foods, it’s not heavy, it’s filling and also healthy (compare to other alternatives when you eating out). We eat at E.A.K Ramen (and came back there almost every night). The restaurant itself is built in a really wired way, the front reminded my with hipster ramen place with wooden (kind of old) stools and the back is fancy with beautiful outdoor open setting. It’s located on Melrose so very central. The dishes there are not as big as other ramen places I visited, but flavor wise it’s one of the top 5 for sure.
Now, every blog post on LA must include something on one of the most famous landmarks – the Beverly Hills.
I know that many people choose to take a bus tour since it’s so big. We decided to try and walk it – DON’T! it’s too much… what I would recommend doing (that’s what we did after like 10 Miles- got to burn off some of those cakes! J) We rented out scooters – you have so many there – Lime, Bird and others. Rent those so you can stop by houses you like to try and get a better peek… Just check the map first because you cant return them all over Beverly Hills, so do plan ahead. But by far that was one of the most amazing experiences we had in LA.
Enjoy! And if you get discovered while in the GROVE or traveling in Beverly Hills don’t forget to thank me in your Oscar acceptance speech
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