Visit Me in Los Angeles! (A Guide)

Follow Me 2 (1 of 1)

This post has helped me organize my thoughts and goals for Sofia (at Papaya Pieces) and Patty‘s (Patty Nguyen) visit in September.  I’m so excited!  We’re packing a lot in, but since we’ll put Sofia on a plane right away to Europe, she can sleep off her exhaustion; Patty has to go back to a schoolroom full of . . . highschoolers, so I’m not so sure what we’ll do with her for her recovery.

What to bring:

1.  Hunger/appetite and lots of it.

2.  Running/walking sneakers.

3.  Energy.  Eat your wheaties, quinoa salad, bacon and eggs . . . whatever, and be ready.

*We won’t be doing any yoga, barre, pilates or spinning classes here, nor drinking any green juice, even though if you want to, there’s an option on nearly every corner.  My indoor exercise days are over . . . too many bodies, too crowded, and as far as juices go, too expensive.  This is primarily a food and fellowship tour.

1.  Coffee/Tea:

We wake up early around here (5 a.m.) but I’ll let you sleep (til 7 a.m.).  We’ve got a lot of ground and meals to cover, so the earlier we get started, the more we can do.

There are more Starbucks and Peets (“2nd wave”), as well as artisan/micro-roasters (“3rd wave”) coffee outfits per square mile here than I can imagine anywhere else.  We’ll hit a 3rd wave place, Primo Passo, that’s a block from my house and procures outstanding french macarons and where the baristas are actually nice.

Latte and Macarons at Primo Passo

Latte and Macarons at Primo Passo

 2.  Breakfast.

Red Bread is moving to a new location and for now is closed, so it’s a toss up between FarmshopMilo & Olive, Huckleberry & The Larder at Tavern.  Everything from homemade bread, jam and pastries, to eclectic egg, grain & vegetable dishes. There’s bacon and sausage too.  Farmshop is located in the very tony Brentwood Country Mart, where we’ll likely see Gwyneth, Ben & Jennifer, Kate Hudson, Steven Speilberg, Uma Thurman, Tobey Maguire (just to name a few I’m always seeing there) and where there’s also great boutique shopping.  Or more like, great browsing (and not buying . . . unless you have a trust fund).  There’s a Space NK Apothecary if you want some great makeup and products in a small boutique setting without harassment; a James Perse shop, Calypso St. Barthes and Jenny Kayne just to name a few.  Back in the day when I was a little kid, it was just a nice neighborhood gathering, eating and shopping place, where my Dad used to cart me around to his friends so I could spout off the memorized names of the Laker’s 70’s team.  Anyhow, moving on . . .

Rolled Omelet at Farmshop?

Rolled Omelet at Farmshop?


Farmshop Dining Room (Photo courtesy of Farmshop)


The Market at Farmshop (Photo Courtesy of Farmshop)

Need Fragrance or Makeup? (Space NK)

Need Fragrance or Makeup? (Space NK)

Sticky Bun at Larder at Tavern?

Sticky Bun at Larder at Tavern?


Pastries at Huckleberry?

3.  Field Trip.

While we’re digesting, we’ll head down town to Grand Central Market just to look, although if you’re hungry by the time we get there (which is a distinct possibility if we encounter any traffic accidents or any typical vehicular congestion), you can get anything from pupusas to chow mein to cheese to home cured pastrami on homemade rye bread.  We may also take a stroll through the arts district, as it’s pretty happening right now with lots of galleries and bakeries and loft spaces.  If we do hit traffic, I’ll just take you to the original “Farmer’s Market” on Fairfax, next door to the Grove, home of some serious old school Los Angeles eats.  From the old (Dupars and Bob’s Donuts and Singaporean food) to the new (Loteria for tacos, Fritzi Dog for a carrot dog — yes, that’s right), it’s awesome!

Pupusas (1 of 1)

Pupusas and Plantains from Sorita’s? (Grand Central Market)

Sandwich from Eggslut (Grand Central Market)

Sandwich from Eggslut (Grand Central Market)

Pastrami (1 of 1)

“Old School” Pastrami on Rye at Wexler’s Deli? (GCM)

This place has hands down the best ever beignets.

This place has hands down the best ever beignets (Farmers Market on Fairfax)

And Bavarians

And Bavarians

Carrot Dog with Fried Brussels Sprouts

Carrot Dog with Fried Brussels Sprouts at Fritzi Dog at the Fairfax Ave. Farmers Market

4.  Lunch

We may hit up one of the “toss up” places mentioned at breakfast, but we may also go to Sawtelle for some stellar ramen or vietnamese food.

Bun Bo Hu (1 of 1)

Bun Bo Hu with Noodle at Nong La?

Milo & Olive for Peach & Pork Belly Pizza?

Milo & Olive for Peach & Pork Belly Pizza?

Or Papardalle with Pesto and Tomato?

Or Papardalle with Pesto and Tomato?

One of my Favorite LA Burgers:  Triple Pork with Chorizo, Manchego and Romesco at Larder

One of my Favorite LA Burgers: Triple Pork with Chorizo, Manchego and Romesco at Larder


Tsujita L.A. for Ramen?

Also-must-mentions:  Bay Cities Italian Deli for the Godmother; Langer’s for Pastrami; The Apple Pan for the ultimate Los Angeles Burger.

5.  Nap.

If you like.

6.  Walk

It’ll be about time for a stroll down Ocean Avenue, down the hill to the beach perhaps, then up the infamous Santa Monica stairs.  You can either do the steps or just people watch.  Maybe even hit the 3rd Street Promenade, although I might drop you off and pick you up.  Just can’t walk it one more time!

Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Beach

7.  Pre-Dinner Drinks

We’ll find someplace cool for you to have a beer, cocktail or wine, I just don’t know where yet!

8.  Dinner.

Mom’s House.

You are in for a serious treat if this is on your itinerary.  Since the owner is, well, my mom (yeah, my Dad lives here too but he may be in the man cave), we’ll get good seats and you can dress real casual.  No better table in town!

9.  Post Dinner Activities.

Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

There’s a reason why they call Gustavo Dudamel “GOD,” besides the fact that it’s sort of an acronym for his name.  His love for music and genuine love of life is contagious, and his hair . . . well his hair should have it’s own blog. It’s legendary.  We heard him conduct Beethoven’s 7th (albeit re-telecast at a movie theater), one of my truly most very favorite pieces of music ever.  Unfortunately the LA Phil season doesn’t start til the very end of September, and it begins with an epic Mahler series, so we’ll have to put that off til next year.  We’ll probably just retire to our house and relax, maybe watch a little TV, visit, listen to music, etc.

Gustavo Dudamel, Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Photo Courtesy of Earthtones)

Gustavo Dudamel, Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Photo Courtesy of Earthtones)

10.  Late Night Eats.

If we have any appetite or desire, we’ll hit up Stan’s in Westwood for donuts for maybe a Huell (Howser — TV personality; buttermilk bar stuffed with peanut butter and covered in chocolate) and Kogi truck for a korean short rib taco or a black jack quesadilla (too many ingredients to describe!).  Stan’s is a tradition when my niece comes to town, and also on Christmas morning with my son, Mom, Dad and husband.  Roy Choi of KogiBBQ fame is one of my favorite cooking “personality.”  I have his book and I think he not only writes quite well, but has a romantic sensibility, a quick wit, and a great sense of humor.  The food served at his truck is absolutely fantastic, too.  But I’m thinking probably next visit.

Stans (1 of 1)

Black Jack Quesadilla:  Cheddar & Jack, Spicy Pork, Kimchee, Salsa Verde

Black Jack Quesadilla: Cheddar & Jack, Spicy Pork, Kimchee, Salsa Verde

Are you tired yet?  I am!

Hope to see you soon.










24 Comments on “Visit Me in Los Angeles! (A Guide)

  1. That reads real well.. Carrot dog with Brussel sprouts? sheesh!! no wonder they call you chaps crazy over there huh?

  2. Are you kidding me? I”m coming over. Sofia’s coming? Now I”m there even moreso! Love this post!

  3. I love this! Sadly, although I’ve lived in LA all my life, I’ve never been to most of the places on your list (except for a few on the Westside). I definitely need to spend more time being a tourist in my own city. Great list!

    • Yes we have a lot of photo worthy and drool worthy food in our neighborhood, so as much as I rail against LA I have to remember to also be grateful!!!

  4. OMG IS IT SEPTEMBER 19TH YET??? EGGSLUT, HERE I COME! I CAN’T STOP YELLING! WHEEEE!!! I’m changing my flight. I’m not staying a day, I’m staying a whole week! 😉

    • Stay a month, what the hell!!! I am so excited, Patty, and so happy we’re friends! Pretty amazing for 2 people who don’t like people!

  5. Wait, what?! I don’t like people either, how can I get in on this action? 🙂 I will make it down to LA again someday, Sue, and traipse around Santa Monica with you. I am incredibly jealous of your weekend with Sofia and Patty, and cannot wait to see all you do together!

    • Oh, misanthropes foodies unite!!!!!! This is extremely funny, hit my funny bone! Is that why we all blog, so we can be friends without seeing each other? Haha! Ngan you are always welcome at our place and oh, okay, I guess Jesse too!

  6. OMG thanks for warning me of this post, I think you published it the day we went from the North of France (from Mr. H.’s family) to the South of Spain (my parents place) and I didn’t open the computer… Gosh, it looks like there is soooooo much to eat 🙂 haha Yes to Space NK (I love cosmetics, I actually work with cosmetics, will tell you about it). I saw Dudamel in Barcelona this year so that ok 🙂 Seriously, dinner at your mums? That sounds like such an honour!
    PS I didn’t know pork belly pizza existed.. whoa

    • I know, lots to eat, lots to do. Perhaps you can give me an eyeshadow lesson? Then again, my eyelids are so droopy it may not be possible. But yes, pork belly everything exists here in LA., there is even a whole restaurant based on pork belly sandwiches in Venice.

      • Oh pork belly heaven. Spain is a very pork loving country, but they haven’t caught up with the pork belly thing (which is why I’ll have to learn to cook it myself). For the best make up lessons check out the Lisa Eldridge website, everything is possible!

      • Oh thank you so much for that link, I am a total product junkie ! Tomboy, but closet diva!

      • Oh wow, this is perfect because I have to wait for carpet men and then be here while they put new carpet in . . . what could be better than watching make up videos?

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