I recently had a chance to go to LA for the first time. My husband was going to a conference in downtown LA, and since it was over spring break I could leave the kids in the capable hands of my two oldest, who are now 20 and 17-yikes. (What it feels like to be a mom of a 20 year old is another topic for another time.)
Anyway, I was exited about the LA food scene, and some of the local buisnesses that have become destinations. The food scene did not disappoint. Especially Grand Central Market in downtown LA. This place is awesome on so many levels. It’s a huge warehouse with lots of different local vendors. International lunches, dessert, juice bars, craft beer, candy, cheese, coffee, produce, you name it. Our local cousin recommended Sari Saria Fillipino rice bowl place, and my husband had pupusas from Sarita’s Pupuseria. Both very tasty. But choosing was hard, there are so many options. Check out their current vendors at Grand Central Market .
LA Art District
I loved this part of town. It’s growing fast, lots of new condos moving in. After dropping off the hubs at Art District Brewery, I ventured over to 3rd street where Apolis is located. I bought one of their iconic bags, which was a splurge, but I’m super happy with it. I use it for the pool, the beach, the lake, wherever. It’s waterproof, and so big you can fit the family’s swim gear in it. And look LA cool while shlepping towels.
Abbott Kinney in Venice was nice, I just didn’t have enough time there. I had a really good, healthy lunch at Gjelina, a hot spot in Venice, where I had my first and only celebrity sighting. I stared at her as inconspicuous as possible. She looked familiar, but I couldn’t figure out who she was. A friendly couple, I was sharing the table with, finally told me it was Sophia Bush from Chicago Fire.
A few things surprised me in LA.
People were really nice. From my time in Chicago and visits to NY, Paris, and London I kind of expect people form large cities to be rude. Not here.
I actually liked driving in LA. The few times I drove in our rental I really enjoyed. I should add, I never once got stuck in traffic. I was always going in the opposite direction everyone else was going. But I found the drivers a lot nicer than I imagined. A few times we took Lyft and that was also very enjoyable. My drivers were friendly and chatty for the most part, ranging from musicians, to an actor’s assistant, which was super interesting. I think Im still so used to cab drivers, who drive as their main job, and who are not really interested in talking, or playing tourist guides.
Lastly, the homeless. Wow, over 5,000 homeless in tents on side walks. Mostly near downtown and the Art District. It’s quite overwhelming.
Other places we enjoyed were the Factory Kitchen. Their handmade pasta was beyond good. Our cousin took us to the Strand House in Manhattan Beach, where you can watch the sunset over the ocean. It doesn’t get much better than that. Everything we ate there was really good.
We really enjoyed our time there, and little did we know we would be back so soon.
I stayed for three nights, cause you can only leave the kids for so long…