While I’ve been to Los Angeles quite a few times, this was the first time since Uber came into existence. Prior to that, 17-year-old Margaret had thought it ordinary to walk, bus and train the mammoth blocks of the City of Angels. Years later, shock-horrored friends would insist that this was not the way to do LA. Armed with Jayne‘s list of Holy Grails, Alex and I reattempted to fall in love with the place.
Let’s call it a success story.
And few extra pounds on the bathroom scales.
7:00 AM: Now, what the hell would Los Angeles be without smoothies, egg-white omelettes, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free…? Run wild at Wholefoods and embrace the cliché. Otherwise, there are plenty of places that do delivery breakfast (a concept foreign to Australians) – our go-to with the shortest delivery time to our apartment was Mocafe.
8:00 AM: Lounge in the LA-ness of your apartment. I’ve noticed that Airbnb hosts in Los Angeles allocate a lot more time towards making their humble abodes look like the stuff of Tumblr dreams. It really makes you reconsider the state of your own homely affairs, over a latte and a grilled grapefruit. This West Hollywood gem couldn’t have been cuter.
9:00 AM: Stop by Citizens of Humanity’s jaw-dropping showroom space. Like the Angelites’ homes, LA native brands go above and beyond the functionality of a showroom when it comes to communicating their lifestyle. If my someday apartment ends up looking anything like these terribly chic meeting settings, I’ll be a happy woman.
10:00 AM: Play tag in Chris Burden’s Urban Light installation at LACMA, and get yelled at by security for attempting a Singing in the Rain rendition. Worth it. Meanwhile, the John Altoon and French and German Expressionism exhibits are captivating, and highly recommended while they’re still up.
12:00 PM: LA has the longest all-day-everything menus I’ve ever seen – be sure to chow at Real Food Daily (West Hollywood), Urth Cafe (Arts District), dessert at MILK (West Hollywood), Gjelina (Abbot Kinney) and a competitive soy chai latte to finish at Intelligentsia Coffee (Silverlake). On weekends, try the farmers’ market at The Grove, and stalk interesting-looking people in Barnes & Noble.
1:00 PM: Sit in as much traffic as is required to get to a promenade by the sea (Venice and Santa Monica are an order). I still struggle to get my head around how stupidly long, wide and straight these LA beaches are compared to our humble Bondis and Brontes. Indulge in frozen yoghurt, Baywatch-themed Instagrams, and being that annoying tourist on the Muscle Beach equipment when tanks are legitimately trying to work out. God. Stop ruining everything.
2:00 PM: Make the drive up to Malibu. The Uber costs a mint, but feeling like Charlie Sheen is worth the awkward car talk on the way up. If you haven’t managed to snag a good Airbnb or buddy’s party on the waterfront, make-believe that the Getty Villa is your home on the way up, then loiter at Malibu Country Mart on arrival. If you are with your sisters from another mister at Revolve, get too much sun, too much sea, too many donuts, and a bit of work in between.
5:00 PM: Spend the rest of your afternoon in Downtown Los Angeles – by far my favourite area, perhaps for its similarities to New York. The main intersection you want to hit is South Broadway and West 9th Street – your hit-list is as follow:
- Acne store and its adjoining café with friendly Swedes and great iced tea
- Umami Burger – Alex claimed that the Ahi Tuna burger was the best thing he’s ever tasted
- OAK NYC store – a great selection ranging from Scandi-minimal wear all the way through to irridescent flatforms. Mostly black-and-white and muted, with the raddest retail staff that ever did rad
- Nails on 9th is legitimately the best mani-pedi I’ve ever had
- Urban Outfitters – unlike New York (where UO stores are pretty much the same), LA stores vary quite significantly in their interior design and product selection. Of all of the menswear sections I uprooted, the South Broadway store was definitely the most impressive
8:00 PM: Wind up and wind down at the Ace Hotel’s rooftop bar – brunch is also allegedly excellent here. Sunset over downtown is magical.
9:00 PM: Late-night treat run to Bottega Louie and second dinner if you have the guts for it. This place impressed me with its high-ceilings and huge marble everythings (I’m so baffled by how much horizontal space there is in Los Angeles). Try and eat with at least four people, so you can sample as many little pieces of their excellent menu as possible.