Since graduating from the fake-world to the real-world my schedule has been completely full of work, sleep and errands with a few bouts of bar crawling behavior splattered randomly into my new adult reality. In an impromptu decision and a great airfare deal from Expedia, J and I will be jetting off to LA on Thursday evening via Jet Blue (the only airline I will fly because of the 36 channels of Direct TV).
Since I will only be in the homeland of Runyon Canyon for 3 days I must plan methodically so I can fit in all of my foodie/shopping/activity must haves. After careful consideration and planning these are the places/things that made the cut:
Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market and Pain vin et Fromage
Marcel’s is my go to market, breakfast, and lunch spot over at the Farmers Market at the Grove. While I love the Grove and the Farmers Market as a whole, Marcel is a standout. From amazing truffle fries dipped in over-easy eggs to Gruyere Fondue in a white wine broth with a yummy mimosa, all of the food is simply amazing.
Inside the market you can expect an amazing charcuterie selection as well as a separate wine room and hard to find TRUE truffle oil/salt/butter.
Known for it’s “seen and be seen” crowd and band of paparazzi that camp outside, I go to this place ONLY for the food. Yes, it is a ridiculous place to people watch. Yes, the staff can be rude. and Yes, it is a bit expensive. But nothing tastes like the Crispy Rock Shrimp, Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna and the Salmon Sashimi with Caviar. And to boot, now they offer take out which I expect waiting for me in the car when I get off of my 7 hour flight at LAX.
Paradise Cove in Malibu
Immense portions, Pina Coladas served inside of an actual coconut while sitting in an Adirondack chair overlooking a beautiful pier and stretch of beach is a must have for me. While it is a tourist trap, and a bit dive-y I love the peanuts by the barrel and the discarded shells littering the floor. A great place to go when recovering from a hangover. Paradise Cove is my favorite Sunday afternoon spot.
Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza
When I say that you have to literally call one month to the date as soon as they open to secure a weekend reservation at a decent time (after 5PM and before 11PM) I am really not joking. Attached by a door, Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza are drastically different. Osteria Mozza boasts an exquisite menu chock full of rare specialties and Pizzeria Mozza is the more casual and classic of the two. I personally love Pizzeria Mozza as the Caprese Salad is to die for and I am just a casual person in general.
Hiking and Yoga in Runyon Canyon
Many people hike Runyon for the people watching or the view of the city. I enjoy it not so much for its fitness factor but for the fact that it is completely dog friendly. My pups love it here and they enjoy their walks in the park. Hiking has slowly grown on me since most of my favorite spots in LA are food joints and I need to offset my insane eating habits somehow.
While The Grove on 3rd and La Brea does not have any unique stores they have all of my favorites: Anthropologie, Barnes and Noble, J Crew, Forever 21, Nordstrom, Sur la Table. I love coming here for a quick shop as I feel they always have the best selection, especially the Anthropologie. The Grove however, is one of my favorite places in the entire world during the Holiday Season (Week before Thanksgiving to after New Years)
For those that are unaware, I am a nice Jewish girl who is INFATUATED with Christmas. The Grove goes from a great shopping center to a winter wonderland with a full size Gingerbread house where children and pets can have their picture taken. Last year Mim and I dressed up Charlie, Maddy, Stella and Marmite and took them all to have their picture taken with Santa. It. was. insane. No joke, the craziest thing I have ever done but I loved every second of it.
Nigel Beauty Emporium
I was an avid Sephora customer until Mim and Ben introduced me to the North Hollywood beauty mecca Nigel’s. They have staple products and brands like Make Up Forever, Khiels, Dermalogica and Bumble and Bumble to smaller brands and products that you have always needed and wanted but never knew existed. Whether you need to stock up or find the item you have been searching for, Nigel’s is the Make-up and Beauty go to in the Hollywood/ Studio City Area.
Disneyland and California Adventure
Many people I know and love regularly hate on the “happiest place on earth” (I am looking right at you T) but I love it here and have never had a bad time or bad experience with my favorite celebrity, Minnie. I have been a HUGE Minnie Mouse fan since I was kid and I don’t think that will ever change. I think it is important for every adult to have the opportunity to act like a kid for day; eating cotton candy, riding Space Mountain (my favorite ride) and singing along to It’s a Small World.
I personally love the California version of in part because of its sister park California Adventure with its Disney Vineyard (yes, drinking in Disneyland is amazing), World of Color water and fire show, Soarin’ California 3D ride over Napa, San Francisco and LA full of sounds, sights and smells, and last but not least Screamin’ California the massive upside down roller coaster that is the main attraction in the park.
While this is the short list of all of the places and things I must do while in LA this weekend it was an impossible choice to eliminate places as LA has some unique restaurants and finds throughout the city and surrounding areas.