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A Few Days In LaLa Land

December 11th, 2009 No Comments

Readers have emailed recently asking about what to do on their upcoming trips to Los Angeles.  So I offer you a weekend guide that hits all of the hot spots and makes sense geographically (which is VERY important considering the traffic).

Please note that when I say “shopping” that does not imply you have to purchase anything, it just means it’s fun to meander in that area and see the stores.

First of all, you should try to stay at one of these hotels:

  • $$$ Beverly Hills – Peninsula, Montage, Four Seasons
  • $$$ West Hollywood  – SLS or The London
  • $$$ Santa Monica – The Viceroy or Shutters
  • $$ West Hollywood – The Chamberlain
  • $$ Santa Monica – The Huntley

A Day in Hollywood

  • Breakfast: The Griddle
  • Stroll down Hollywood Boulevard
  • Lunch: Baja Fresh, In-N-Out, or if you’re really being touristy hit Pink’s hot dogs.
  • Afternoon: same as Weho below just reverse it.  Start at American Rag
  • Dinner: The Hungry Cat, Magnolia, Vinolio, Katsuya
  • After dinner: there are clubs EVERYWHERE, and it all depends on which night you’re out.  Ask a friend or the concierge for some recommendations.

A Day in West Hollywood

  • Morning: Healthy Breakfast at Urth Cafe, shopping on Robertson (Kitson, Lisa Klein, Reiss, Chanel concept store, etc)
  • Noon: Spin class at Equinox West Hollywood (guest fee is $25), shower at the gym
  • Lunch at Toast, Joan’s on Third or Fred Siegel
  • Afternoon: Shopping on Melrose West to East – Marc Jacobs, DVF, Madison, Fred Segal, BCBG clearance store.  Drive east on Melrose, turn right on La Brea and hit American Rag just south of 1st street.
  • Dinner: poolside with a view of the city at Asia de Cuba, Katana or Katsuya for a trendy scene, Koi is still my favorite for Japanese in the area, Mozza Pizzeria, Boa for steak and scene, Jones is hipster and American with  and really good pizza.  Phillipe (like the one in NYC) is the latest craze.
  • After dinner: 1912 or Chateau Marmont

A Day in Beverly Hills

  • Breakfast: coffee and muffin from Coffee Bean
  • Shopping down Rodeo and Beverly
  • Lunch: poolside at the Beverly Hills Hotel ($$$) or the grilled chicken special (order extra hot) at Il Tramazzino on Canon.  Pick up a cupcake at Sprinkles for dessert (or later).
  • Afternoon: Barney’s and Neiman Marcus (see Charles for women’s shoes or Phil for men’s clothes)
  • Mani/Pedi at Golden Nail
  • Dinner at Maestro’s for Steak or Spago.  SLS for unique experience.  Expensive, but you have to splurge once right?
  • After dinner: drinks at The Montage or Four Seasons.

A Day on The West Side/Santa Monica

  • Breakfast – Coffee Bean or Peet’s
  • Morning hike up Temescal Canyon or through Will Rogers Park
  • Lunch at Frida’s in Brentwood Country Mart (order the chicken mole tacos in  lettuce wraps, so good!)
  • Shopping on Montana
  • Drinks watching the sunset at Casa Del Mar
  • Dinner at The Ivy, Cafe Montana, Father’s Office (supposedly the best burger, that’s all they have), The Wilshire
  • After dinner: The rooftop restaurant at The Huntley

A Day in Santa Monica/Venice/Malibu

  • Breakfast At Urth Cafe on Main Street
  • Stroll Venice beach and people watch
  • Lunch at the original Billy Blues BBQ in Venice
  • Drive up PCH to Malibu
  • Day at the beach and/or shopping at the Malibu Country Mart
  • Dinner:  For really good Italian Georgio Baldi ($$$ unbelievable food and you will see a celebrity), The Sage Room, or Tivoli Cafe in the Palisades.  Nobu for Japanese.  Moonshadows is a beautiful and fun spot, but the food is nothing special.

For a day at the beach: set up near The Pier in Hermosa Beach or Malibu.

You’ll notice I didn’t mention any malls or The Grove.  You’re on vacation, please don’t go to the mall.  I’m also not a big fan of Westwood, so I don’t see it as a “must.”

And… you really should find time to hit up In-N-Out Burger at some point.  Don’t forget to order your burger “animal style.” :)

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