I love this big crazy city. I’ve lived here for quite a long time and there are a handful of important things to understand about Los Angeles: don’t use the 405 unless someone is paying you for your time and gas mileage, know your dry cleaner by name, shop at an awesome wine shop, and know thy taco truck. I get a lot of requests for Los Angeles recommendation from readers who find themselves visiting this city. Here’s a hearty beginning: where to eat, where to sit, where you might want to pray, and some dang spicy Thai food (among other things).
The Best Little Crowded Place to Get Wine is Venice Beach Wine Bar. It’s small and cozy and has an almost communal seating feel. It’s a neighborhood bar that fills up every night… and even though it’s packed, it’s the kind of place that feels like you can always find a seat. They also sell wine by the bottle… and maybe you’ll see Zach Galifianakis there.
For Church on Sunday Morning I love Ecclesia Hollywood. The community of people who make up this church is warm, welcoming, talented, and creative. This church makes this biiiiiig city, feel like a small, connected, Godly place.
Sit in the lobby at Shutters, Santa Monica. They’ll bring you water and free potato chips and you can sit in the beach-sun without getting sand in your shoes. There’s a cocktail bar downstairs and loads of beach to walk on should you feel sand-and-sunny. Also in the neighborhood is The Viceroy. This hotel is for the cool kids and totally worth a visit.
You won’t be orange. It’s organic. It’s spray tan. I’ve done it because I’m pale and I wear sunscreen and sometimes I just don’t want to be as pale as the day is long. Don’t you judge me.
For old-school Los Angeles eats, I adore Phillipe’s French Dip Sandwiches. I’ve gone to Phillipe’s (literally) all of my life. My parents met working right across the street from this sandwich shop. My grandfather loved two things: baseball and Phillipe’s. So yea, this LA eatery is in my blood. I order a double-dipped roast beef sandwich, potato salad, coconut cream pie, lemonade, and coffee. I’m not shy.
Thai Food is serious business. Night + Market on Sunset Blvd is really the only way to go. Night+Market is Thai street food. Yes, there’s Pad Thai… but there are also awesome dishes like Cat Fish Tamales and Fried Pig Tail. It’s bold and seriously spicy food. The wine list is also STELLAR. The restaurant is located right at the end of the Sunset Strip… it’s sort of an adventure.
There are two places to eat sausage and pie and they happen to be neighbors. Wurstkuche sells house-made fancy German hot dogs. I tend to top mine with a questionably large amount of sauerkraut. Their fries are bonkers thick and don’t even get me started on the dipping sauces. Right across the street is The Pie Hole. These people care about pie. Their Key Lime Meringue Pie is perfect with a cup of coffee and a cute date.