6 x Amazing Lunch Spots in Los Angeles

Sarah enjoyed a week of sunshine in Los Angeles recently. Before heading to Coachella, she had some time to wander around and find the best lunch spots. (wandering for hours in the streets of LA makes you hungry!) I found some very nice ones that are worth sharing.
Have a look to our Top 6 lunch spots in Los Angeles!

1. The Butchers Daughter

You must visit this spot when you’re in LA. The interior, the food, it’s a dream. Min you, it can get pretty busy so you might have to wait to be seated. They have one location in New York and one in Venice California. But during the busy months, they also have a food truck driving around Los Angeles to easy your hunger. They serve the perfect brunch meals like avocado on toast, poached eggs, pizza’s to die for, Acai bowls and lot’s of veggie options. Come here for breakfast, brunch or cocktails.

FOOD, COFFEE, COCKTAILS
1205 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice
Website (photo source)
2. Kreation
My friend told me to go to this juicery place on trendy Abbot Kinney boulevard. ‘This juicery really provides healthy and delicious drinks designed to invigorate the body and mind! Kreation only uses 100% certified products, which include natural protein, vitamins and trace minerals.’ What? Yes very healthy juices and they all looked so dam good! That’s not all, they make their own cold-pressed raw almond and coconut milk with no added sweeteners and also serve tasty sandwiches and salads. You feel incredible when you walk outside, Health boost to the max! They also do delivery and take away, but the seats inside are very pleasant.

Kreation Los Angeles
FOOD & COFFEE & HEALTY JUICES
1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
176 S Lake Avvenue, Pasedena
3. Joan’s On Third

This is one of the places that I will always remember; I love these kind of shops where you can get high quality charcuterie, french cheese & excellent wines, my favorites!  Joan’s on third is a market place where you can stroll around for hours. Once you have your perfect food they offer seating inside & outside and take away. Next to cheese etc. they also have healthy tasteful sandwiches, crunchy bread, sweet cupcakes and they also sell cook books & coffee mugs. I really enjoyed being here, everyone was very friendly and the food is amazing! What do you think we ordered?

 

top 5 lunch spots in Los Angeles
FOOD & DRINKS
8350 W 3rd St
 Los Angeles
Gjelina Take Away puts you smack in the middle of one of the hippest shopping streets in Los Angeles, Abbot Kinney Boulevard
4. Gjelina
A few local people mentioned this place, the restaurant & take away around the corner on Abbot Kinney is one of the trendy places on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Impressive from the inside & outside. Immediately when you open the wooden doors you feel at home. If you normally can’t choose your dish directly, to many options are mentioned, you are at the right place! Gjelina has a seasonal menu with small plates, cheese and charcuterie, pastas, and pizza. Try the pizza, really!


FOOD & DRINKS
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
http://www.gjelina.com/

5. The Sycamore Kitchen
One of the places that I wanted to visit but didn’t had the time for is this bakery close to Beverly Boulevard.
The passionate couple Karen and Quinn, also owners of Michelin star restaurant Hatfield’s, started this urban bakery-eatery in 2012 where they serve wholesome pastries (daily homemade), delicious lunch, or simply a great cup of coffee. The rustic and industrial space & apparently very nice people makes this place even more special! My friend told me that I should try the Mediterranean Chicken Salad; made with kale, dates, hazelnuts, radicchio, blue cheese and red wine vinaigrette. This makes my mouth water.…. First thing what I will do next time is visit this impressive spot! It has everything that I want for breakfast and lunch!

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source: http://thesycamorekitchen.com/

BAKERY; BREAKFAST, LUNCH & BRUNCH
143 South La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
6. Rosaliné
Located in one of the most high end streets in Los Angeles, expect to pay a little more. Good thing is, you are going to get worth for your money. Rosaliné is a contemporary Peruvian restaurant. The place looks amazing because of the hanging plants from the glass ceiling, white floors and modern use of space. Chef calls it the “next phase of Peruvian dining”. You better go check it out. 
BRUNCH & DINNER
8479 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood
www.rosalinela.com (photo source)

Enjoy!

Love,

Wander-Lust

» Check Elke’s post for our top 5 best Coffee Bars in the world

Night + Market Sahm » A little Thailand in LA

Since its grand opening in February, Night + Market Sahm (which means number three in Thai) has West LA bubbling with excitement. LA residents no longer have to make the trek east to its predecessors Night + Market WeHo and Night + Market Song to enjoy chef Kris Yenbamroong’s Thai-inspired dishes.

The 70-seat restaurant, almost two months later, still regularly boasts quite the line for a table, but worry not; I was pleasantly surprised with an offer from the host to stand in their adjoining “lounge” with a pre-dinner drink until our table was ready. I went for a Thai beer, Singha, as I was feeling a growing nostalgia for my travels through Thailand two years ago.. Without having tasted the food yet, I had time to take in the look and vibe of Night + Market Sahm. Plastic hanging beads separated the entryway from the dining area, brightly colored table clothes covered the surfaces, fluorescent signs dotted the walls, and tropical party décor dangled from the ceilings. Reminiscent of a child’s backyard jungle-themed birthday party, Sahm’s interior is not ostentatious, though it’s undeniably eye-catching.


Photo by wonhophoto.com

The Food
One of the reasons west-siders were so excited for this eatery’s opening, was the prospect of easy access to traditional larb and – my personal Thai favorite — khao soi. Larb originates from Laos but is also found in the Isaan region of Thailand, home to many of Lao ethnicity, and it’s best described as a meat salad. With its roots in Northern Thailand, khao soi is a soup-like curry dish traditionally made with a mix of deep-fried crispy egg noodles and boiled egg noodles, pickled mustard greens, shallots, lime, ground chilies, and a choice of meat (oftentimes duck or pork).


Photo courtesy of www.hannaharista.com

Night + Market Sahm turn LALALand into ThaiLand

If you can wrestle the crowds, let yourself enjoy the wait, and get situated with a table at Night + Market Sahm — and, once you’ve ordered a cocktail or a beer and decided on your larb and khao soi selections — be sure to ask your server for the list of nightly specials. Sure, we devoured our first two dishes (warning: if you’re not adept to serious spice, be sure to request that your larb be made very mild — Thai-level spicy, and even medium, is no joke!); but, our order from the Specials menu, we found, was where the magic really was. As our luck had it, this particular night’s special was a duck “pizza”. Though we were almost (…don’t worry, I said almost) too full from our papaya salad, larb, and khao soi to eat it by the time it arrived, it was no question that our final selection stole the show. With a crusty base yet chewy top, juicy pieces of duck with the crispy, salty skin still on, crisp green onions, and a tangy yet sweet plum sauce drizzled on top, we weren’t about to let any of our last dish go to waste.

Night + Market Sahm
Courtesy of Night + Market Sahm

Lincoln Boulevard, the popular through-way from Santa Monica to the South Bay, is no stranger to restaurants and bars that come and go. And, with so much competition, it’s easy to see why a new establishment vying for the label of a “hotspot” might flounder. But, with two successful restaurants at its base and Venice’s nightlife reinvigorating, bets are on the Night + Market Sahm is here to stay.

Love,

Shae

Night + Market Sahm
2533 Lincoln Blvd, Venice

Website

*Header photo courtesy of wonhophoto.com

*Shae is our guest blogger from Los Angeles. An educator whose lust for experience influences her teaching, she travels with the desire to immerse herself in diverse cultures, seeking new adventure and inspiring others to engage with compassion and expand their world view. Follow Shae on Instagram! @seekvantage

Why you should live abroad at least once in your lifetime

When I just turned seventeen years old, I moved to London. Why? Simply because I wanted to see what it was like. My plan was to live there for one year, and then explore the rest of the world. I ended up staying for 7 years.. I also lived in Los Angeles on and off for about 2 years. It was a great experience. It taught me so many life lessons. I came to London young and pretty naive when I look back at it but living abroad has made me into the women that I am today.

So, do you have any plans to live abroad? And is it for you? If so, these few lessons and tips may prepare you for one of the best decisions of your life. 

1. Stand on your own 2 feet
It’s about letting go of the save harbor and sailing away to a new experience. Yes, it might seem scary but taking that first step and just GO feels great.
You’ll be surprised how quickly you will become that independent person.

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Living abroad made me stand on my own 2 feet and gain my independence.

2. Learn a new language and culture
Ok, I probably picked one of the easiest countries to live in because in The Netherlands we all speak a fair bit of English. 
But I must say, every city speaks it’s own language and with it, it’s own culture. I learned to speak “the London way” and even understood it when people told me they were “Lee Marvin”. (which means Starvin’  in cockney English.) If you learn about different cultures and habits you will also become more open minded, which I think is a good thing. If you don’t know the language at all, take a course. It will make everything 10 times easier.

3. Meet new people (from all over the world)
If you’re going to move to a big city, you’re probably going to meet new friends with different nationalities. I’m still in contact with people from Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, England, Australia and the States. Some of these contacts have visited me back home and the other way around. This way you broaden your network.


Meet new friends for life.

4. You will get to know yourself (really really well)
There’s no better way of getting to know yourself whilst traveling or living abroad. Learn from your mistakes and get back up. Always listen to your intuition if you’re unsure.

5. Make a plan before you go
So, what will you do when you get there? Don’t go there with empty pockets. Save enough money to last you a few months or even better, find a job or course before you go. 
Depending on which country you may fly to, you may need to arrange a visa and working permits. When I moved over to London, I worked as an Au-Pair. This meant that I needed to look after the kids, clean the house and cook dinner. Is a good starting job when you are young and you want to integrate quickly. For this you need some experience and it’s always a good idea to get some sort of a diploma. 
For more information on how to start to work as an Au-Pair, check this website.

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Make a plan before you decide to leave your mark 

Let it happen and enjoy it

6. Fall in love
Whether it’s with a person or a city, you’re probably going to fall in love. Let it happen and enjoy it. It happened to me twice (I dated an English man for 5 years and a guy in LA for about 2,5 years) and although it didn’t work out, it helped me grow and taught me the life lessons we all need to know. Falling in love with a country, city or small town is a beautiful thing. Because you can always return and you will never forget the experience!

Falling in love abroad
Don’t be afraid to fall in love abroad..

7. You can make a new start
You may have fucked up a few times in your life. Or you may have done really good. It doesn’t matter because when you move to another country, you can start all over again! This is great. New friends, new habits, new food, new adventures. 

8. You will appreciate your home country
Homesickness. If you are a frequent traveler, you may have experienced this feeling before. Yes, I have called my mum up a few times, crying my eyes out because I didn’t like my job, didn’t have a lot of friends in the beginning or felt lonely. But I never gave up. At the end, you know you can always return. Nowadays we have so many channels that help us to get in touch with the home front that it is almost impossible to miss home! Living abroad makes you appreciate where you came from. Maybe you shouldn’t complain about the rain so much (sunshine everyday of the year can also get a bit boring believe it or not!) or you may appreciate your mothers home cooked dinners a lot more.

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When I stayed in sunny LA, I loved it when it rained now and then.

So whether you want to move to England, Miami or Australia. Prepare yourself for the best ride of your life and always stay true to yourself.
You’ll be fine!

Love,

Elke

The Arts District: Downtown LA’s Neighborhood-on-the-Rise

Upon first glance, it may not look like much, but take a closer look and you’ll see Downtown LA’s Arts District is more than just early 20th century warehouses and abandoned factories. Must-see galleries, socially-conscious eateries, stylish coffee shops, and trendy blocks are popping up more and more, and Angelinos seeking novel streets to meander and new backdrops for their photos are starting to flock as they catch wind of this hip neighborhood.

Having lived in LA for more than half a decade, I revel in any opportunity to explore places I don’t usually frequent. So, with a fairly open weekend on my hands, I made the drive downtown. With the sun deciding to greet me after a week of Southern California’s infamous “June Gloom”, it was hard to leave my beach town. But, I’m so glad I did.

Zinc Café
Fourth-generation vegetarian, John Secretan attended school in Berkeley, California and dreamed of bringing the vibe of the area down to LA. Opening his first Zinc Café in Laguna Beach almost 30 years ago, Secretan lived behind his first ever food industry venture in a small wooden shack to ensure he’d always have a close hand in the business. 

zinc-outdoor-patio
Choose to eat indoors or out; either way, the dining areas are a welcome respite from the busy city

After years of renovating and expanding, a new branch of Zinc opened in Downtown Los Angeles, boasting the franchise’s first full service restaurant and bar. With three years under its belt now, my brunch experience was a success and filled with creamy lattes, fresh dishes, and creative cocktails. www.zinccafe.com

zinc-asparagus-sandwich
Zinc’s Asparagus Sandwich with a poached egg on top

zinc-drinks
Zinc offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails, and desserts

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Bar Mateo is the newest addition to Zinc, with a craft cocktail bar set in a 1914-built barn

Street Art at Every Corner
Cities around the world are seeing a sprouting cultural wave involving Street Art, and the artists behind the paint are turning into household names. The Downtown Arts District is no stranger to this popular movement. In wandering the streets, you can find hand-painted murals, airbrushed stencils, or thought-provoking proverbs to fit your day’s mood.

street-art-1

street-art-2
I was so excited to see work by Wrdsmth, currently my favorite street artist!

la-streetart
Art everywhere!

Pit Stop at Resident
Perhaps one of the coolest places I’ve discovered in a while is Resident, tucked away only blocks from the popular Arts District Co-op and other chic shops. What began as a studio for the artist-owners, this is “not-your-grandmother’s” backyard, as it has been transformed into a hybrid of a bar, beer garden, and music venue. With beer, wine, and cocktails on tap, drinks are served out of an Airstream, and semi-permanent food trucks are carted in to help you beat those mid-day cravings. At night, the inside opens up as a hip bar, as well. Bonus: The owners, Tim and Bridget Vagedes, still live there, as they’ve secured an RV on the roof of the three-story former metal shop and warehouse, decked out with string lights, yard decorations, and plenty of greenery. www.residentdtla.com

resident-airstream
Resident’s Airstream: an innovative bar

resident-seating
A peek at Resident’s eclectic outdoor seating

The Arts District Co-op is a landmark not to be missed. Picture a 15,000-square foot indoor flea market, but with nothing but the most up-to-date fashions and desirable trinkets. Over two dozen vendors offer jewelry, apparel, home goods, and, if you’re in the market, art of all mediums. Plus, there’s a permanent stage set up in the back for live music featured on the third Saturday of every month!

As the sun set, I didn’t want to admit that the day was coming to a close. I had only scratched the surface of this neighborhood-on-the-rise and hungered for more. For example, the Arts District Brewing Company has finishing tanks stationed behind each bar to serve tap beer straight from the source; and, while sipping your suds, you can play Skee-Ball or try your hand at table hockey. Westbound, unobtrusively set along the perimeter of a mixed-use walk street (both residences and storefronts share this stretch), features craft cocktails, seasonal small bites, and even boozy milkshakes.

It’s not hard to see why this area is becoming so popular, as the Arts District has a little bit of something for everyone. With so many more to streets explore, shops to peruse, and bites to nibble, I’ll certainly be making my way downtown more often.

Love,

Shae

*Shae is our guest blogger from Los Angeles. An educator whose lust for experience influences her teaching, she travels with the desire to immerse herself in diverse cultures, seeking new adventure and inspiring others to engage with compassion and expand their world view. Follow Shae on Instagram! @seekvantage

The BEST Breakfast Sandwich You’ll Ever Have in LA

Los Angeles is a city of transplants, as many of us have uprooted ourselves from where we were born and bred to create lives in the Southern California sun. We come together to share traditions from our pasts, form new ones of our own, and are lucky enough to sincerely call this City of Angels home.

With the influx of people from all over bringing with them their unique backgrounds and cultural flavors, it’s no wonder the restaurant and bar scene has such an improvisational air to it. New hot-spots pop up almost daily; and, if you ask anyone for their advice on the U.S. cities with the most dynamic food, it’s no doubt that Los Angeles ranks high. But, what better to help a new place begin to feel like home than a dependable and familiar neighborhood go-to? I recently sung the praises of one of my top-choice beachy eateries, Playa Provisions (see the post here!) Still, with so many options right outside my doorstep, my list inevitably continues. Another contender for my favorite menu is nestled comfortably on Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice, and it’s a perfect reminder of the melting-pot that L.A. truly is.

Gjelina Take Away
Together forming a foodie trifecta in Venice are three restaurants, Gjelina, Gjelina Take Away, and Gjusta (the latter is the youngest addition to the family – a bakery inspired by an east-coast Jewish/Italian deli). Co-owned by Shelley Kleyn, Travis Lett, and Fran Camaj (Gjelina is named after Camaj’s mother, and Gjusta, after his aunt!), this trio of restaurants seamlessly combines traditional Italian cuisine with the contemporary farm-to-table California taste. The little sister to its neighboring restaurant, Gjelina, Gjelina Take Away (affectionately known as GTA) serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. Offering a quicker experience than dining-in next door, GTA has all the perks of this popular establishment without the wait.

gjelina-take-away-interior
GTA’s interior

Walking into GTA in the morning never fails to intrigue me, as the eclectic mix of patrons is rarely repeated. And, those who stumble upon this hidden spot find themselves faced with a gorgeous spread of daily items displayed to entice each passerby, and all made from seasonal, local ingredients.

gta-behind-the-counter
Behind the counter

In my quest to find the best breakfast sandwich in LA, GTA caught – and kept – my attention. Braised kale, melted gruyere, a crisp, yet runny, fried egg, thick-cut bacon, and hot sauce (if you want it!) on a grilled English muffin…this sandwich may look small, but it’s packed with mighty flavor. And, when I decide to give-in to my need for a treat, GTA’s version of the popular granola and yogurt option beats out its competition. Served with honey and seasonal fresh fruit, the granola is made in-house and is perfectly chewy, sweet, and salty.

Gjelina Take Away-breakfast-sandwich
THE Breakfast Sandwich — so good.

Gjelina Take Away-yogurt
Satisfying house made granola, fresh fruit, and creamy yogurt.

So, if you’re planning a trip to L.A., you’ll be able to find authentic food from all over the world, no matter your taste. But, if a reliably-delicious breakfast is what you’re after, with market-driven ingredients and beautifully delivered dishes, this eatery has everything you’d hope to experience during a treat-yourself morning out.

Travelers’ Bonus: Gjelina Take Away puts you smack in the middle of one of the hippest shopping streets in Los Angeles, Abbot Kinney Boulevard. After you clean the butter and egg yolk off your face and fingers, pop into the boutiques and art galleries for trendsetting fashion, clever gifts, and musings of all sorts. You could easily spend a couple hours taking it all in as you digest your mouthwatering morning meal.

Gjelina Take Away (GTA)
1427 Abbot Kinney Blvd. (two blocks north of Venice Blvd.)
Website

Love,

Shae

*Shae is our guest blogger from Los Angeles. An educator whose lust for experience influences her teaching, she travels with the desire to immerse herself in diverse cultures, seeking new adventure and inspiring others to engage with compassion and expand their world view. Follow Shae on Instagram! @seekvantage

Playa Provisions » The Must Try Breakfast Spot in LA

As Los Angeles continues to grow and evolve, it seems that around every corner, a new restaurateur is aiming to fulfill his or her dream of owning a successful haven for the SoCal foodie. And sometimes, whether you’re a settled local or an eager traveler, it’s a challenge to keep up with each innovative establishment. Some things, though, are unwavering…like the occasional need for an amazing breakfast experience!

I’ve had my share of Los Angeles breakfasts out (it’s hard to pass up the opportunity with almost 300 sunny days a year; who can blame you for not wanting to stay inside to cook?) And, while I may be biased toward the leisure of the beachy west-side life, I have solidified my choices for the TOP BREAKFAST SPOTS, and here’s my first!

Playa Provisions
With the picture-perfect Playa del Rey Beach as its backdrop, Playa Provisions is one of my favorite places to enjoy a sunshine-filled breakfast or brunch. Executive Chef, Brooke Williamson, of Top Chef, alongside her equally-as-talented Chef husband, Nick Roberts, opened this multi-concept space a couple years back, after seeing huge success with their other two gastro pubs, The Tripel and Hudson House. A restaurant, bar, café, and even creamery, Playa Provisions never fails to have just what you’re looking for, whatever the occasion.

Playa Provisions interior
This modern, yet beachy interior makes Playa Provisions a fun place. (Photo by playaprovisions.com)

Playa Provisions
“Dockside”, Playa Provisions’s restaurant, allows a panoramic view of the beach.
(Photo by playaprovisions.com)

While Dockside, Playa Provisions’s seafood-based restaurant, is an ideal dinner spot, Grain, the back bar, offers a variety of whiskeys and other signature cocktails, and Small Batch, a creamery with myriad homemade dessert options, reminds you what it’s like to be a kid in a candy store. But, it’s King Beach, Williamson’s and Roberts’s café, that puts this eatery at the top of my LA Breakfasts list. 

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Impressive latte art!

The King Beach’s Breakfast Sandwich at Playa Provisions is mouthwatering..

When I find myself frequenting the same local spots to get my fill, I like to make my way around the menu to discover my favorites. At Playa Provisions, my top picks have never let me down; first up is the Breakfast Sandwich… King Beach’s Breakfast Sandwich is mouthwatering. A masterfully-cooked egg, turkey and bacon sausages, melted Gruyere, vinegar-cooked collards, avocado, and house-pickled habanero hot sauce on a precisely-toasted ciabatta roll; this is surely the sandwich from which cravings are made.

pp-breakfast-sandwich

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Coconut Chia Seed Pudding and coffee for two? Yes, please!

Looking for something a bit lighter? The Coconut Chia Seed Pudding, topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, in-season kiwi, a bit of ripe mango, and sprinkled with Hemp Seeds, is surprisingly filling, totally satisfying, and just sweet enough to feel indulgent.
And, for those moments when that sugar-yearning really takes over, the homemade Cinnamon Rolls and the Dulce de Leche Biscuits are made fresh and are undeniably delicious. 

Okay, so Playa Provisions sure knows how to deliver. Still, there are top contenders for the best breakfast place, and a few are nestled comfortably on Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice… More on this soon!

Playa Provisions
119 Culver Blvd, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293, USA
Website

Love,

Shae

*Shae is our guest blogger from Los Angeles. An educator whose lust for experience influences her teaching, she travels with the desire to immerse herself in diverse cultures, seeking new adventure and inspiring others to engage with compassion and expand their world view. Follow Shae on Instagram! @seekvantage

Marina del Rey » The Hidden Gem of Los Angeles

When most people plan a visit to Los Angeles, they think of Hollywood and expect the fast pace of a big city: crowded sidewalks, bright lights, and busy restaurants and shops. And, it’s easy to see why so many are drawn to that exciting lifestyle, whether to live or just pass through. But, first timers to this vacation hot-spot without the guidance of a local resident might find that they come all the way to California and miss out on the most beautiful part of LA. Marina del Rey is nestled just south of Venice, California and is arguably Los Angeles’s best kept secret. A working marina and home to over 6,000 boats, it was finished in 1965 is the largest man-made marina in the United States. And, if you’re looking for a spot to sunbathe with half the crowd, the Marina del Rey Beach on the south side of the Venice Pier offers more untouched sands than you’ll find in Venice and Santa Monica.

If you’re lucky enough to spend some time exploring this area, here’s what you should plan to do:

1. Take a stroll around the beautiful, clean marina
Whether just stopping by or docked more permanently, the sailboats, powerboats, and yachts anchored in Marina del Rey are some of the most impressive on the west coast. If you have a free afternoon, head over to Fisherman’s Village and rent a small boat of your own to take out on the water and into the sunshine!

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2. Walk down Washington Boulevard toward the beach
Along this beachy street, you’ll find a mix of restaurants, bars, and boutique shops. Interested in some new swimwear? Want to pop into a yoga class? Or maybe you just want authentic Mexican tacos with a view. Either way, Washington Boulevard has it all (including some awesome opportunities for people-watching!)

3. Get a coffee from Cow’s End
A Marina del Rey/Venice must-visit, Cow’s End is a cool, beachy, privately-owned stop for coffee, juices, smoothies, and small breakfast or lunch bites. The cashiers and baristas are super-friendly locals, and if you look closely enough at the walls, you’ll see photos of what the area looked like more than 50 years ago (and the stashed “customer punch cards” belonging to the restaurant’s regulars so they can tally up points toward free drinks!) www.thecowsendcafe.com

‘Marina del Rey is a strong competitor for the area’s best hidden gem’

Cow's End Marina Del Rey

4. Wander north to Venice
One of the best parts about Marina del Rey is how close it is to so much of Los Angeles! Take a walk up the beach for a stroll along the famous Venice Boardwalk. It’s no surprise Venice Beach is the most visited beach in the United States; there you can find street performers, Muscle Beach, an always-busy skate park, and more restaurants serving fresh ceviche, fish tacos, and local beers and wines than you can count.

5. Relax with food and drinks at some of the best Happy Hours in town
While LA restaurants, particularly on the west side, offer too many Happy Hour specials to count, those in the marina come out on top. A local favorite is Killer Shrimp, with their signature cocktails (like “Pieces of Eight” and the “Westside”), spicy shrimp bowls, and a lobster mac and cheese that will keep you coming back for more. Then there are restaurant/bars like SALT (in Hotel Marina del Rey) and Beachside (in the Jamaica Bay Inn); these chic yet casual spots offer deals on food and drinks seven days a week! www.killershrimp.com

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killer-shrimp-mac-and-drink Marina Del Rey
Cocktails and Mac & Cheese at Killer Shrimp

View-Seeker Pro-Tips:
» When you’re ready for a bite to eat or something to quench your vacationer’s thirst, The Whaler on Washington Boulevard by the beach will provide both, along with a view of surfers and the pier!
» Headed a bit farther north? High rooftop restaurant, atop Hotel Erwin, gives you a bird’s-eye view of Venice’s local life.
» If you happen to make a new local friend who lives in one of the many Marina del Rey apartment buildings, like The Shores or Marina 41, be sure to head up to their roof for a view unlike any other in Los Angeles. From a high enough point in Marina del Rey, you can see the whole coastline (all the way up to Malibu!), as far east as Downtown LA, and even the famous Hollywood Sign!

One of the reasons Los Angeles is such a great vacation destination is because it has such a variety of neighborhoods for anyone’s personal taste. But, from Beverly Hills to Santa Monica, or Silverlake to Venice, Marina del Rey is a strong competitor for the area’s best hidden gem.

Love,

Shae

*Shae is our guest blogger from Los Angeles. An educator whose lust for experience influences her teaching, she travels with the desire to immerse herself in diverse cultures, seeking new adventure and inspiring others to engage with compassion and expand their world view. Follow Shae on Instagram! @seekvantage

USA Roadtrip, part 2 » Los Angeles

Walk along the beautiful Venice Beach boardwalk, spot a movie star on Rodeo drive, go for luxury shopping in Beverly Hills, take a hike to see the famous Hollywood sign, have drinks & lunch in this cozy area Abbot Kinney or dance the night away in Hollywood Teddy’s; talking about Los Angeles!

Read more

USA Roadtrip » Part 1

It’s probably everyones dream: USA Road trip West Coast! Last October we finally made the dream a reality, packing up a RV and hitting the road in what would become a 1600-mile journey from LA to San Francisco via Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Death Valley & High Way 1. Read more