When Gaspar de Portola, Father Juan Crespi, and their men in 1769 tramped their way through the swamps and wetlands of what we know as Los Angeles, they were greeted with dozens of temblors, fire, and fog. You can find paradise among the urban sprawl in the City of Angels. You just have to know where to look.
Figtrees on Venice Boardwalk at Venice Beach
Mimosas and a tasty brunch with the California sun beating down at you while the Pacific breaks on the shore ahead, can life get any better?
So good 2Pac, Ice Cube, and Biggie Smalls have memorialized their burgers. An absolute L.A. gem. To experience the full Angeleno flavor try the West Hollywood spot (7450 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046).
Sawtelle Kitchen in Little Tokyo, West Los Angeles, near UCLA
The best of Japanese meets rustic French cuisine without taxing the wallet. The mussels with linguine in a green curry sauce is unforgettable. They also have a red snapper with an almond crust that I’m still dreaming about. While dining here, you can also check out the original Giant Robot.
Photo from AmpRadio 97.1 “Shop on the Cheap”
Urth Caffe (original on Melrose in West Hollywood)
Tasty organic fare at the edge of Hollywood. Last visit, while enjoying a savory chicken salad sandwich with Indian curry, a customer who sat nearby, apparently a professional music video dancer, got into a fight on his cell phone with his agent because he didn’t want to share the stage with a famous R&B star. Very low-key LA scene, which can be a really good thing.
Soot Jeep Bull in the heart of Koreatowwn
Hardcore Korean BBQ with charcoal grill! Wear clothes that you won’t mind end up smelling like you’ve come from a campfire. You will want to take a shower after eating here, but the BBQ fare is the best, hands down.
The Getty Villa off PCH, north of Santa Monica
The museum specializes in antiquities, meaning a little bit of a yawn, but the architecture is breathtaking. Clinging to the Malibu cliffs you feel like you could just float off into the Pacific Ocean. Translation: Elysium at the edge of chaos.
LACMA or Los Angeles County Museum
Fave museum in LA proper featuring old and new work and a Japanese Pavilion styled as a mini Guggenheim.
The Getty, Los Angeles
This Getty’s perched in Beverly Hills, west of the 405 affording a 180- degree vista of La La Land. It’s nice…but its not the Villa.
And, because you just can’t visit a city without enjoying a sip of their potations:
A historic drinking hole in Hollywood, you must designate a driver for this spot, and if your DD plans to have a drink, he/she should not finish it! Deliciously sweet and potent tropical concoctions, this dive bar is famous for knocking you off your feet. Huell Howser of PBS’ California’s Gold frequents this joint. Enjoy yourself, but, seriously, drink responsibly here.
Photo from the Tiki Ti home page.