I have only been to CA a few times in my life – once to Disneyland when I was 8, once after college to visit a boyfriend who was bagel boy at CAA in LA (fyi…he lasted about five minutes there and came crawling home to New York) and once to San Fran for a wedding. It has never had the pull that Europe had for me. If I were going to take a plane, it was always east not west. As I get older though, any chance I get to travel within the 50 states makes me happy. Outside of the USA, customer service does not exist. In Milan, I assure you, the shop-girls never tell me that it’s AWESOME that I live in London – nor would they ever care to ask where I lived. America is full of warm-hearted friendly people who love to chat – there is nothing wrong with that! We also make a damn good hamburger.
LA – what a weird place – the land of the thinnest, tightest women in the world yet the best place for burgers, hotdogs and Mexican food. From super glam and pretentious to the down and dirty with Disneyland thrown in for good measure. I must admit that LA is growing on me.
If you have time to spare and money to save, jump on the super shuttle from LAX to anywhere in the LA area. $20 and I was in Studio City ready to have lunch…it did take me 1:45 hours though.
The hotdogs of hotdogs. Pinks has been around for more than 70 years. Opened by Paul and Betty Pink. The Bacon Chili Cheese Dog is a Michelin winning hunk of pork product.
THE GROVE FARMER’S MARKET: LOTERIA GRILL
6333 West Third Street, Stall #322; 323-930-2211
My friend, Sue, is not the only one who loves Loteria Grill at the Grove. The finest Mexican food – everything is so fresh. The tacos are wonderful and what’s great is that you can have the filling in a lettuce leaf if you are an insane LA person.
THE HAMBURGER WAR: WHO WILL WIN
In one corner is:
IN & OUT BURGER
All over LA but I dined at the 3640 Cahuenga Blvd one.
There is the main menu and the secret menu which is on their website but all you have to remember is Double Double Animal Style: two all beef patties, special sauce, grilled onions on a delicious bun. Nothing is frozen here and it is all made to order.
In the opposite corner:
4655 Hollywood Boulevard – but other sites as well
Everyone’s new best friend – they go on about the fifth taste being umami, blah, blah, blah, all i care about was that it tastes good and it does! Go for the Manly Burger (beer-cheddar cheese, smoked-salt onion strings, bacon lardon)…i liked it better than the umami burger. Only one bad thing – they make their own ketchup…why when Heinz does it so well.
189 The Grove Drive, 323 930 1541
The Grove is filled with the same old stores – J. Crew, Gap. Banana Republic but a new one made me stop in my tracks. These guys have been in business for twenty some years but only now do they have two shops. It has a crunchy, casual, chic feel but everything is, as they say in CA, AWESOME!
8100 Melrose Ave. at Crescent Heights West Hollywood, 323-651-4129
Everyone knows Fred Segal but there were two brands that I think deserve a special mention:
I had never heard of designer Chitose Abe’s Sacai collection and there is not much online. The prices are insane but the sweaters and shirts are one of a kind bits of fabulousness. It’s all about the back.
100% Pure: www.100percentpure.com
The most delicious smelling body creams and stuff. They have a store in Berkeley but I didn’t know.
8323 West Third Street; 323.6511782
A small clothing store that has cutting edge, cool clothes – Clergerie, Sacai, the DeClerc sisters.
8303 West Third Street; 323 653 3501
If you need a gift this is the place to go, a homewares, books, art, jewelry – bought the very picky Cypriot a gift from here.
SOHO HOUSE WEST HOLLYWOOD
9200 Sunset Boulevard; +1 (310) 432 9200
Beg someone to invite you to this hot club. Supposedly there is a 4,000 person waiting list. I would hate this kind of place in London but as it’s LA I went with it. What a view, what drinks, what a terrace! On a clear day you can see almost to my next stop…
THE ONE AND ONLY
Yes, it’s true! Spent the whole day from 8:15am until 10:45pm…with three other crazies like me. What a perfect day to start by boarding the Pirates of Caribbean ride and end it by watching 30 minutes of the best fireworks and Tinkerbell flying through the air.
Stay in one of Los Angeles’s Luxury Hotels
- The Peninsula Beverly Hills – 9882 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212-1605
- Hotel Bel-Air – 701 Stone Canyon Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90077-2909
- Chateau Marmont – 8221 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046-2484