Los Angeles

By HelloJesso

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Ok LA, show us what you've got!

It's my first time on the West Coast and I'm pretty excited. Travelling with the Husband, we've come to LA to visit a friend, see the sights and eat all the food - obviously.

Day 1 involved:

- Eating Sushi
- Drinking Bubble tea
- A walk around Venice Canals
- A trip to Venice Beach
- Epic sunset
- Drinks and Dinner at Sunny Spot (www.sunnyspotvenice.com)

All in all a great first day!

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Today jetlag won.

Despite staying up all day yesterday, after a few hours awake today sleepiness took hold.

When we finally managed to shake off the sleeps, we headed out to Santa Monica for some shopping and of course food.

Shopped at:
- Madewell (bought 2 rings)
- Sunglass Hut (because we came to LA without any sunnies. Doh!)
- Sephora

I also managed to get my nails did before settling down for dinner at Umami (www.umami.com/umami-burger) for burgers galore.

My burger was topped with short rib BBQ. Excessive? Probably. Delicious? Yes!

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Today, more friends arrived from NYC to join in the LA fun.

To celebrate, we popped our In-N-Out cherry. We'd heard lots of good things about this fast food joint, so of course we had to try it. I kept it classic with a cheeseburger although I do wish I had tried the animal style fries. Oh well, another reason to come back!

Other places we ate:
- Demitasse for a coffee stop
- POT at The Line Hotel for dinner and drinks (www.thelinehotel.com/dining/pot)

POT (another Roy Choi eatery) was delicious. Tasty Korean-American fare in a cool setting. Pots of spicy stew, kimchi fried rice, yummy dumplings, and more.

What we saw:
- Walt Disney Concert Hall
You can't come to LA and not check out the undulating lines of Frank Gehry's concert hall. It was great to see, but I think the Guggenheim in Bilbao was more impressive. Sorry, Frank.

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Today we rented a car - not just any old car, but a white Mustang convertible. Tourist alert!

Uber in LA was great and really efficient, but renting a car just meant a lot more freedom to explore.

What we saw:
- Griffith Observatory (www.griffithobs.org)
I've seen many a photo on Instagram of this place, and of course in many a movie. The views did not disappoint!

- Stahl House: Case study house No.22 (www.stahlhouse.com)
If you like mid-modern architecture, book yourself on a tour of this house. Can I live here please?
Stunning views and great architecture. Pricey entrance fee, but totally worth it. They don't make houses like this anymore.

Where we ate:
- Canters Deli for lunch (www.cantersdeli.com)
Classic deli sandwiches packed with fillings and a taste of their famous cheesecake.

- Baja Cantina for dinner
We had a hard time choosing what to have for dinner as there was big group of us, but we settled on Mexican. Good choice.

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More exploring and meeting up with more friends.

Some took an early trip to Venice beach, but I stayed in and slept a little longer after having to do some work till 3am. Zzzzzz

What we saw:
- LACMA: LA County Museum of Art (www.lacma.org)
I saw the giant floating rock, had our British accents mocked, the famous LACMA lamps, and a woman dressed as a banana.

- Staples Center
Our friend had tickets to Walking with Dinosaurs, so we went to see it. Pretty impressive how they bought the dinos to life.

Where we ate:
- Mendocino Farms (www.mendocinofarms.com)
Oh. My. Goodness. Sandwiches from heaven. Definitely have the 'Not so fried chicken'.

- Milk (www.themilkshop.com)
What's a meal with out ice-cream for dessert?
A plethora of ice-cream flavours available in sticks, scoops, or sandwiches. I didn't manage to get a picture of my red velvet ice-cream sammie as I was an ice-cream monster and ate it immediately. Oh, did I mention you could also build your own custom ice-cream sandwich? Heck yes!

- Carmela Ice-cream (www.carmelaicecream.com)
After LACMA, we were all in need of caffeine and sugar. Not content with one ice-cream fix, we headed to Carmela which had something for everyone - coffee and ice-cream. I opted for cantaloupe sorbet. Refreshing!

- Sockerbit (www.sockerbit.com)
Two doors down from Carmela was Sockerbit. A Swedish candy shop filled with all my favourite childhood sweets from gummies to liquorice straws. I may have spent a small fortune in here.

- Playa Provisions (www.playaprovisions.com)
For dinner we really wanted Korean BBQ, but the wait was so long and we had friends waiting at Playa Provisions. So, we just headed here and had some bar bites which included some tasty calamari and courgette fries, oh and of course cocktails.

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Penultimate day in LA!
Time was running out so we had a lot to cram in today.

What I bought:
- Warby Parker (www.warbyparker.com)
I came to LA with no sunglasses and had been meaning to buy a pair all week. So as luck would have it, a new Warby Parker store was opening in Abbot Kinney today. Hurrah! I am officially obsessed with this brand.

As part of the opening, they were giving away free ice-cream sandwiches from Sweet Rose Creamery. Best breakfast ever!

What we saw:
- LA River
We headed downtown to this movie location classic. Remember the chase scene in Terminator 2, how about the famous race scene in Grease? Yes, this is where they were filmed.

- Getty Centre (www.getty.edu/visit/center)
Breathtaking setting and views. Such a nice museum. If I lived in LA, I would hang out here, a lot. It was so nice to just hang out here with old friends and new friends.

- Hollywood Bowl (www.hollywoodbowl.com)
On a whim yesterday, we decided to check if there was anything on at the Hollywood Bowl. Imagine our surprise when we saw it was - The Simpsons Take The Bowl! A live orchestra playing songs from key scenes of The Simpsons!

If that wasn't enough, it was hosted by Hank Azaria (voice of many a Simpsons character), Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa), and Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart). Matt Groening (the creator), Jon Lovitz, and my all time fave - Conan O'Brien all made an appearance. My head almost exploded from excitement!

It was a brilliant evening that ended with fireworks!

Definitely look up events at the 'Bowl if you're ever visiting LA.

What we ate:
- Sweet Rose Creamery (www.sweetrosecreamery.com)

- Casa Linda (www.casalindamexicangrill.com)
Mexican place on Abbott Kinney. Definitely try the shrimp tacos or burritos. Mmmmmmm!

We didn't really have dinner, as after the Hollywood Bowl we decided to head back to Abbot Kinney for drinks.

One drink in, we had the brilliant idea to go and do some late night bowling. So we went. Unfortunately we got there so late, we didn't get to finish a full game. I was in the lead at time of close, so technically I won.

We may not have had time to finish bowling but some tequila may have been consumed which led to the bad decision of drive-thru McDonalds. Oops.

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Final day! Sad face.

We wanted to make the most of our last day, so we started the day with a trip to Manhattan Beach. Enjoying the perfect temperature, a dip in the Pacific, and burying each other in the sand.

We had a meeting so had a working lunch at Tsujita LA (www.tsujita-la.com) for what we've been told is the best ramen in LA. Unfortunately the wait was long and the air con broken, so we headed across the road for Tsujita LA annex. Same company but different ramen. Still tasty though.

After, the meeting we headed out to West Hollywood to look at trainer/sneaker stores including Flight Club (www.flightclub.com) and Undefeated (www.undefeated.com). Followed by a trip to the mall in Culver City and Target. No trip to the US, would be complete without a trip to Target!

Finally, it was time to head back and pack before making our way to the airport.

It was an awesome trip filled with fun and friends.

See more photos under the hashtag #buddiesinLA on Instagram.

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