In 2015 I was fortunate enough to visit Los Angeles for the first time with Katie, one of my closest friends in the world! Flash forward two years, and Katie is now living there; I couldn’t be happier for her or more proud of her. And, of course, I couldn’t have been more eager to visit her as soon as she made the cross-country move out there. What can I say? I’ve been in love with the place ever since we landed at LAX the first time.
A couple weeks ago I booked myself a redeye flight and told Katie I’d see her on the 2nd! She’s a total city girl, and I’ve been a beach girl since day one–thankfully, LA has the best of both worlds (plus, the mountains, which neither of us can get enough of), so we didn’t miss out on anything.
I spent a couple warm, sunny days enjoying the Santa Monica/Venice Beach area–two neighborhoods in which we spent a ton of time our last trip. At the risk of sounding like a total tourist, I just cannot get enough of Venice’s world-famous boardwalk–there is always something new to see there. And the beachside views really can’t be beat.
Because we’ve only had a handful of good beach days so far on the East Coast, I was able to take a couple of this season’s swimsuits for a test run–including a pair of high-cut bottoms for my first time ever. I enjoyed fresh fruit on the beach, and later picked up a multicolor knit halter top in Venice–which worked perfectly for a night out with my black vinyl pants.
Silver Lake, Melrose Trading Post + Little Tokyo
These are three LA must-dos I missed out on last time I visited. Thankfully, I had time for all three during my second trip.
Katie took me out to her favorite (and super authentic!) Thai restaurant in Silver Lake called Night + Market Song. I ordered Kuay Tiew Khua Gai, a rice noodle dish with octopus served over romaine lettuce, and we shared a side of coconut sticky rice.
That morning I woke up bright on early so I could get to Melrose Trading Post when it opened. As I mentioned on Instagram, Melrose Trading Post is a vintage-lover’s dream; it was full of topnotch handmade and secondhand goodies.
I luckily found the perfect pair of light-wash Levi’s at one of the first vendors. As a size 25, it is really difficult to find a pair of booty-hugging vintage jeans–most are catered to women size 27 and up. Because these jeans are secondhand, they’re already broken-in and super comfortable! I seriously don’t want to take them off.
At Melrose Trading Post I was also able to enjoy local food trucks. For lunch I decided on an ahi poke bowl full of fresh, local ingredients. It was so flavorful that I’m still thinking about it…
Later on I made my way to Little Tokyo in the Downtown Arts District. I tried frozen boba for the first time, and stocked up on some Asian beauty products at Tony Moly and Make Asobi (haul + review coming soon). The Japanese Village Plaza was super cute and a fun place to visit! It made me forget I was in the middle of LA; I didn’t want to leave.
Kaite lives in Hollywood, so I spent the week with her in the Hills. It is a young, lively area where bars are busy every night of the week! My favorite spot by far was Good Times at Davey Wayne’s–a 1970s-themed bar with a major house party vibe.
Instead of the beach, I decided to spend an afternoon at W Hollywood’s rooftop pool–and I am so glad I did! It was clean and quiet, but still a ton of fun. Plus, the view from the word-famous rooftop is incredible, even with a little construction happening in the area.
Earlier that day I met up with Katie for lunch at a small place on Melrose Avenue called Antequera de Oaxaca, where we had quiet possibly the best tacos and guacamole ever.
On my last full day in town, it was pretty chilly by LA standards, but we still managed to make our way to Griffith Park for a hike–and were definitely able to break a sweat! Hiking in LA is the best, and it is always a great way to end a West Coast trip.