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Guidebook for Los Angeles

Abbie

Guidebook for Los Angeles

Food Scene
Blu Jam serves breakfast and lunch only (breakfast all day) and has delicious, healthy food. They have some not-so-healthy options also but it's all organic and fresh. You can walk there from my house if you're up for it. It's 1.3 miles downhill to get there. So that means it's 1.3 miles uphill to get back. A nice morning walk if the weather is nice. They have outdoor seating also. The inside can get pretty loud.
Blu Jam Cafe
18700 Ventura Blvd
Blu Jam serves breakfast and lunch only (breakfast all day) and has delicious, healthy food. They have some not-so-healthy options also but it's all organic and fresh. You can walk there from my house if you're up for it. It's 1.3 miles downhill to get there. So that means it's 1.3 miles uphill to get back. A nice morning walk if the weather is nice. They have outdoor seating also. The inside can get pretty loud.
Cici's is always crowded because the food is great. But--it's painfully loud so if you're bothered by that it's not the place for you. They're known for their pancakes and breakfast items. There's usually a line but I always say, if there's a line there's a reason. You can walk from my house. It's about 1.5 miles with the return walk up the hill.
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Cici's Cafe
18912 Ventura Boulevard
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Cici's is always crowded because the food is great. But--it's painfully loud so if you're bothered by that it's not the place for you. They're known for their pancakes and breakfast items. There's usually a line but I always say, if there's a line there's a reason. You can walk from my house. It's about 1.5 miles with the return walk up the hill.
This is my favorite place for breakfast in the area. It's small and open only for breakfast and lunch. The menu isn't as extensive as Cici's but it's quaint and the prices are better. It's 1.5 miles from my house so you can walk if you don't mind the uphill walk home.
Little Cafe
19204 Ventura Boulevard
This is my favorite place for breakfast in the area. It's small and open only for breakfast and lunch. The menu isn't as extensive as Cici's but it's quaint and the prices are better. It's 1.5 miles from my house so you can walk if you don't mind the uphill walk home.
I love a dive with great food and this is one of my favorites. Bronco Burrito is a shack where you order the food at the counter. It's inexpensive and the food is outstanding. If you like carnitas, you will love it here.
Bronco Burrito
19511 Ventura Blvd
I love a dive with great food and this is one of my favorites. Bronco Burrito is a shack where you order the food at the counter. It's inexpensive and the food is outstanding. If you like carnitas, you will love it here.
If you like Mexican food and want a full-service restaurant with a scene, Sol Y Luna is close by and the food is very good. The bar is fun and you can eat dinner there if you can grab a table. There can be a long wait here but it's worth it.
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Sol Y Luna
19601 Ventura Boulevard
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If you like Mexican food and want a full-service restaurant with a scene, Sol Y Luna is close by and the food is very good. The bar is fun and you can eat dinner there if you can grab a table. There can be a long wait here but it's worth it.
This is the only sushi restaurant in the area with any sort of ambience. The food is outstanding every time, but the service is consistently bad. I can't figure out why they don't hire more people because it's busy every time I'm there. The service is better at the sushi bar.
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Kushiyu
18713 Ventura Boulevard
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This is the only sushi restaurant in the area with any sort of ambience. The food is outstanding every time, but the service is consistently bad. I can't figure out why they don't hire more people because it's busy every time I'm there. The service is better at the sushi bar.
I love Sushi Spot for the food. It's in a weird strip mall (as are most restaurants in the valley, but this one is kind of gross). The chefs are very friendly and the food is absolutely delicious. The place itself is no-frills, but the food is great and you may see some celebrities there. It's one of my favorite sushi places in the area. Warning: It can be expensive depending on what you order but everything is super fresh and delicious.
Sushi Spot Restaurant
19658 Ventura Blvd
I love Sushi Spot for the food. It's in a weird strip mall (as are most restaurants in the valley, but this one is kind of gross). The chefs are very friendly and the food is absolutely delicious. The place itself is no-frills, but the food is great and you may see some celebrities there. It's one of my favorite sushi places in the area. Warning: It can be expensive depending on what you order but everything is super fresh and delicious.
If you're not from California and you've heard about In-N-Out and never tried it, go for it. It really is as good as everyone says. They don't show the "animal style" burger on the menu but ask for it. It's the secret menu item that everyone raves about. There will probably be a big line (it's a drive through but you can also park and walk up to the window) but it moves very quickly.
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In-N-Out Burger
19920 Ventura Boulevard
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If you're not from California and you've heard about In-N-Out and never tried it, go for it. It really is as good as everyone says. They don't show the "animal style" burger on the menu but ask for it. It's the secret menu item that everyone raves about. There will probably be a big line (it's a drive through but you can also park and walk up to the window) but it moves very quickly.
It's another no-frills restaurant with amazing food. This Lebanese restaurant has delicious sandwiches, hummus, kebabs and more. They deliver or you can pick it up.
Cafe Du Liban
19223 Ventura Fwy
It's another no-frills restaurant with amazing food. This Lebanese restaurant has delicious sandwiches, hummus, kebabs and more. They deliver or you can pick it up.
I searched for years for good Thai food in the area and finally found Coconut Thai. They deliver and the food is great.
Coconut Thai Cuisine
18594 Ventura Blvd
I searched for years for good Thai food in the area and finally found Coconut Thai. They deliver and the food is great.
Grand Central Market is a conglomeration of food stalls and restaurants with every sort of ethnic food you can imagine. You can tie this in with a trip to The Broad and it'll be a fun day in DTLA (our code for Downtown LA).
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Grand Central Market
317 S Broadway
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Grand Central Market is a conglomeration of food stalls and restaurants with every sort of ethnic food you can imagine. You can tie this in with a trip to The Broad and it'll be a fun day in DTLA (our code for Downtown LA).
The Village is one of my favorite restaurants in the valley. If you like shared plates, check this place out. There's a fun bar with indoor and outdoor seating, the food is consistently good, and I love that you can try lots of different things.
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The Village
12345 Ventura Boulevard
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The Village is one of my favorite restaurants in the valley. If you like shared plates, check this place out. There's a fun bar with indoor and outdoor seating, the food is consistently good, and I love that you can try lots of different things.
Firefly is a mix of beautiful restaurant and comfortable bar. The food is great with a menu that changes with the seasons so everything is always super fresh. The bar has a great lounge area with sofas and cushy chairs. It's expensive.
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Firefly
11720 Ventura Boulevard
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Firefly is a mix of beautiful restaurant and comfortable bar. The food is great with a menu that changes with the seasons so everything is always super fresh. The bar has a great lounge area with sofas and cushy chairs. It's expensive.
Great Italian food is hard to find in Los Angeles (I've lived in New York so I'm sort of spoiled). But...I love La Loggia. The service is always great and the chef is very accommodating. It's a quiet place and perfect for a relaxing dinner. Moderate to expensive.
La Loggia Restaurant
11814 Ventura Boulevard
Great Italian food is hard to find in Los Angeles (I've lived in New York so I'm sort of spoiled). But...I love La Loggia. The service is always great and the chef is very accommodating. It's a quiet place and perfect for a relaxing dinner. Moderate to expensive.
This might be my favorite restaurant in LA. It's literally on the beach. The food is excellent and the people watching is fantastic. The service is slow but it doesn't matter. You'll be sitting in front of the bike path watching people ride, walk and roller blade by. It gets crowded in the summer. If there's a long wait you can give your name and go for a walk. Casual and moderately priced. Wear sunscreen.
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Back on the Beach Cafe
445 Pacific Coast Highway
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This might be my favorite restaurant in LA. It's literally on the beach. The food is excellent and the people watching is fantastic. The service is slow but it doesn't matter. You'll be sitting in front of the bike path watching people ride, walk and roller blade by. It gets crowded in the summer. If there's a long wait you can give your name and go for a walk. Casual and moderately priced. Wear sunscreen.
A quiet spot just a mile from my house, Unwind is an elegant yet casual spot for wine and fresh gourmet food. I like sitting at the bar and sharing different plates. It's in a weird spot, literally under a stairwell behind the iHop, but once you walk in you'll feel like you're in a New York neighborhood joint. They just changed ownership and last time I was there the service was a little slow, but the ambiance is great and the food is really good.
Unwind
19100 Ventura Blvd
A quiet spot just a mile from my house, Unwind is an elegant yet casual spot for wine and fresh gourmet food. I like sitting at the bar and sharing different plates. It's in a weird spot, literally under a stairwell behind the iHop, but once you walk in you'll feel like you're in a New York neighborhood joint. They just changed ownership and last time I was there the service was a little slow, but the ambiance is great and the food is really good.
This place opened recently and I've only been once, but it's close by and on a night with good weather it's a good place to go--they have an outdoor patio which is nice. It's all small plates meant to be shared. I thought the food was excellent, although expensive.
Arcwood Wine Bar
18636 Ventura Blvd
This place opened recently and I've only been once, but it's close by and on a night with good weather it's a good place to go--they have an outdoor patio which is nice. It's all small plates meant to be shared. I thought the food was excellent, although expensive.
Parks & Nature
If you enjoy hiking, this is a great spot about a 1.5 miles from my house. You can hike to the top for an ocean view. Watch the signs for parking--they give tickets if you park in the wrong spot.
Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park
3600 Reseda Boulevard
If you enjoy hiking, this is a great spot about a 1.5 miles from my house. You can hike to the top for an ocean view. Watch the signs for parking--they give tickets if you park in the wrong spot.
Another hiking trail close by that people love. It gets very hot in the summer so if you go be sure to bring plenty of water.
Caballero Canyon - Santa Monica Mountains Trail
Another hiking trail close by that people love. It gets very hot in the summer so if you go be sure to bring plenty of water.
In my opinion this is the most beautiful beach in the area. It's about a 40 minute drive from my house but worth it. In the summer, the temperature could be as much as 20 degrees cooler than here in the valley.
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El Matador State Beach
32350 Pacific Coast Highway
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In my opinion this is the most beautiful beach in the area. It's about a 40 minute drive from my house but worth it. In the summer, the temperature could be as much as 20 degrees cooler than here in the valley.
Essentials
This is the closest pharmacy in the area.
Walgreens
18568 Ventura Boulevard
This is the closest pharmacy in the area.
Gelson's is a high-end grocery store with a fantastic meats and fish department. They also have a bakery and Wolfgang Puck restaurant inside. Easy parking, always quick to get in and out. It's more expensive that the big grocery stores but it's close and for produce or meats, it's the place to go.
Gelson's Market
5500 Reseda Blvd
Gelson's is a high-end grocery store with a fantastic meats and fish department. They also have a bakery and Wolfgang Puck restaurant inside. Easy parking, always quick to get in and out. It's more expensive that the big grocery stores but it's close and for produce or meats, it's the place to go.
Easy parking underground and well, it's Whole Foods.
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Whole Foods Market
18700 Ventura Boulevard
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Easy parking underground and well, it's Whole Foods.
This is the grocery store where I do most of my shopping--except for meats or fish which I get at either Gelson's or Whole Foods.
Ralphs
20060 Ventura Blvd
This is the grocery store where I do most of my shopping--except for meats or fish which I get at either Gelson's or Whole Foods.
Very typical of this area are the nail salons along Ventura Blvd. I go to Capri Nails because I've known the owner for years and the prices are very good. I get a pedicure in the massage chair and it's $20. It's not what I'd call a relaxing place--the TV is on and there's lots of Vietnamese chatter between the staff, but it's a quick in and out and they do a good job.
Capri Nails
19556 Ventura Blvd
Very typical of this area are the nail salons along Ventura Blvd. I go to Capri Nails because I've known the owner for years and the prices are very good. I get a pedicure in the massage chair and it's $20. It's not what I'd call a relaxing place--the TV is on and there's lots of Vietnamese chatter between the staff, but it's a quick in and out and they do a good job.
Shopping
Malibu Country Mart is about a 35 minute drive and is great for cafes, shopping, and beach views. You can spend a day at the beach and then stop here for lunch or shopping afterwards.
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Malibu Country Mart
3835 Cross Creek Rd
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Malibu Country Mart is about a 35 minute drive and is great for cafes, shopping, and beach views. You can spend a day at the beach and then stop here for lunch or shopping afterwards.
This Farmers Market is open on Sundays and has a great variety of prepared foods of all kinds in addition to the typical organic fruits and vegetables you'd expect. I love the empanadas.
Encino Farmers Market
17400 Victory Boulevard
This Farmers Market is open on Sundays and has a great variety of prepared foods of all kinds in addition to the typical organic fruits and vegetables you'd expect. I love the empanadas.
Arts & Culture
This is a newer museum in LA with an incredible collection of modern art. You can get through it in an hour or so. DTLA is a fun area to check out and this can be one stop on the way.
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The Broad
221 South Grand Avenue
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This is a newer museum in LA with an incredible collection of modern art. You can get through it in an hour or so. DTLA is a fun area to check out and this can be one stop on the way.
The Getty Villa is just above the ocean in Pacific Palisades. You need to make a reservation to park. It's not too big so you can work it into a day in Malibu or Santa Monica.
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The Getty Villa
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
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The Getty Villa is just above the ocean in Pacific Palisades. You need to make a reservation to park. It's not too big so you can work it into a day in Malibu or Santa Monica.
Drinks & Nightlife
The bar at the Huntley Hotel is a great spot to watch the sunset and catch some of LA's "scene." It's a beautiful spot with amazing views. I like the lounge area with sofas all around. Expensive.
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The Huntley Hotel Santa Monica Beach
1111 2nd Street
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The bar at the Huntley Hotel is a great spot to watch the sunset and catch some of LA's "scene." It's a beautiful spot with amazing views. I like the lounge area with sofas all around. Expensive.
Entertainment & Activities
Beatbike is the local gym where I take spinning classes. They offer classes all day every day with every kind of music, and they offer circuit training classes, too. You can pay for a single class, or buy a packet. Lisa is my favorite spin instructor and plays a great mix of contemporary and classic music.
Beatbike Indoor Cycling Amphitheater
18700 Ventura Blvd
Beatbike is the local gym where I take spinning classes. They offer classes all day every day with every kind of music, and they offer circuit training classes, too. You can pay for a single class, or buy a packet. Lisa is my favorite spin instructor and plays a great mix of contemporary and classic music.
Great yoga and pilates classes in the neighborhood.
YogaWorks Tarzana
18700 Ventura Boulevard
Great yoga and pilates classes in the neighborhood.