Me and my darling recently went on an incredible holiday that we'd been dreaming about for years - LA to Seattle road trip! Thought I'd share some of our photos, stray observations and recommendations.
We ate some great sandwiches, had some excellent shopping experiences and people were very open and friendly.
Most of the places on our 'best of' lists are in the Silverlake area - we promise we did venture elsewhere but they are definitely doing something right over there. Or at least, maybe it felt a little bit Melboure-ish too.
BEST FOOD WE ATE:
Night + Market Song
Every local we asked 'where should we eat?' enthusiastically answered 'Night Market!'. This modern Thai place is so good that Stef cried actual tears. The servers were so nice, the wine was delish and the decor was comfy and cool and not in an over-the-top way. Could've (should've) gone back for a second visit.
Our friend Megan tipped us onto this. An apparent old favourite and quite famous it for their 'French dipped' sandwiches. Which essentially is a meat sandwich where the bun is dipped in the tasty meat juices. It's 1000 times better than it sounds (not if you're a veggo). It's close to Olvera Street and the Mexican markets therein which we were lucky enough to be able to visit on Dia De Los Muertos.
In N' Out Burger
Stef has been having burger fantasies about this place for years. Did not disappoint. Nothing else to say.
Many Melbourne friends recommended this place to us before we left and I can see why. Great coffee and very 'Melbourne-like' cafe food that we really didn't find anywhere else in LA. I'm sure there are more places like this but this was very close to where we were staying so we didn't seek any other breakfast places out (although we really wanted to go to Eggslut but we ran out of time). We also had 2/2 celebrity encounters there (if you care about that sort of thing).
Super-hip coffee shop with a gorgeous fit-out. Was a great place to catch your breath and have a nice sit with an iced latte.
I really regret not taking more photos of shop interiors on the trip because there were some beauties. I'm ready to admit that beautiful boutiques are my thing. Not just to buy stuff but I can sometimes come away just as inspired by a wonderfully curated shop as I would from some art galleries.
BEST SHOPS WE VISITED:
Highly recommended by lots of people. Friendly, fun boutique with beautiful bags, wallets , jewellery and lots else. Beauty!
This place was delicious and reminded me a bit of Dagmar Rousset in Melbourne when it was around. Highly curated high-end pieces (jewellery, garments, scents, ceramics, leather goods) by small labels and designers. I fell in-lust with an Eatable of Many Orders wallet which I didn't end up buying because $$$$ and was introduced to (became obsessed with) a fragrance brand called OLO which seemed to be stocked in every nice shop I walked into thereafter. I eventually found their perfumery in Portland later in the trip. The girls here were really nice and they had a sweet shop dog which is always a plus in my book.
I have been a Rachel Comey admirer from afar for a while and was really excited to finally visit a store. We did this on our 'Melrose Ave day' and I was a bit intimidated to go in actually. But they were so nice in there! I did get a great pair of pants that became part of my holiday uniform. The guys were so helpful and gave us lots of advice on the next leg of our journey.
Classy comic book store that was well curated with a great selection of local titles. Nice, nice people too.
Sadly, this place wasn't open when we went there but we met some really cool people (also tourists) outside who we noticed at a different store the day before. We all peered inside together longingly while trying to contact the owners in what turned out to be quite a nice consolation. So it's made the list regardless.
We went to heaps more great places - if you would like a list we're happy to send you our very comprehensive and nerdy spreadsheet.
Downsides to LA? Poverty. You see people sleeping rough here in Melbourne but there are so many people down and out in LA in ways where you really notice the lack of any kind of safety net. It's really confronting, particularly in a city that's boasts one of highest amounts of billionaires in the world.
Also, just like everybody says, it feels more like a collection of cool awesomeness than a cohesive city, especially when it comes to getting around. The Uber and Lyft drivers were superb and always up for a good chat.
But, man, we went to Getty Centre and, even ignoring all the art up in there, the building is beautiful. We just don't have facilities on that scale here in Australia. Beautiful!
We also wondered who invented strip malls and why? But we eventually learnt to love them for how essentially American they are.
And our "#1 Activity that doesn't fit in any above category" would be our Halloween night Haunted Hay Ride in Griffith Park. Have you ever been slowly towed around in in the dark on a big flat trailer, while scary actors chase you and wave weapons in your face? It is as spooky as it is fun. The bit where you get out and walk through a corn maze full of ghost nuns and living statues? That bit is straight up terrifying. 10/10. Would spook again.