Every week we'll be asking you to come with us to some of our favorite small towns and cities—and we'll show you the places, secret spots, and nooks we love.
Today: There's more to Los Angeles than bad traffic and celebrity sightings. (Like authentic Korean food, hikes with a view, lots of ice cream, and an abundance of picnic opportunities.)
The Orpheum Theater in downtown, Los Angeles. (Image courtesy of Ryan Vaarsi via Flickr).
Just before I started high school, my parents moved us out of Los Angeles, citing the traffic and the fact that "it just isn't as fun as it used to be." So when I announced years later that I'd be returning to L.A. for a summer internship, they, now fully reformed ex-Angelenos living in Northern Nevada, showered me with 405 horror stories. But, with the exception of an unfortunate black widow situation on the I-10 headed West (I survived; the spider didn't), I hardly had any car-related disasters and ended up falling in love with the city ten years after I'd moved away.
I spent the summer hopping between my apartment in Brentwood, my job in Santa Monica, friends' apartments downtown, and Echo Park for my internship. At night, I'd head to places I'd cross-referenced between restaurant reviews and my friends' recommendations. Even as an East Coast transplant (I now live in Manhattan), I still dream about the taramosalata from Papa Cristo's and use Freehand on West 3rd Street as a gauge of what an amazing store should be. So here's a local-Angeleno-turned-Nevadan-who-went-back-to-Los-Angeles' guide to L.A.:
Left: Artichokes at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Right: The bike trail heading North from Venice to Malibu, where fantastic hikes await.
Favorite places to grab a quick bite:
The interior of A-Frame, Roy Choi's restaurant in Venice (Image courtesy of Catherine Linblom via Flickr)
Best places to grab a souvenir (or shop for yourself):
Left: The view from Griffith Observatory at dusk (Image courtesy of Coco Mault via Flickr). Right: Malibu Family Wines, the perfect place for a picnic outside of the city (Image courtesy of MalibuFamilyWines via Flickr).
The best things to do with a free afternoon:
See all of our picks on the map below. Where do you love to go in Los Angeles? Leave your suggestions for us in the comments!
A correction was made to the article on 6/4. The original article said that the sandwich from Bay Cities was a Godfather, but it has since been corrected to Godmother.