As you all probably know, we have been going back and forth to Los Angeles A LOT for work recently, and on all of our journeys we’ve eaten so much really good food, found colorful places, and shopped at some fun places. SO we’re rounding up all of our favorite places so far to give you one big, colorful guide to LA! As a matter of fact, we’re heading back to the West Coast in the beginning of September, so I’m sure we’ll have many other places to add here once we come back from that trip! I’ve been working on this post since our very first trip to LA, so bear with me because it’s a longgg one (probably the longest post we’ve ever done), but hopefully it helps all of you East coasters out when planning your next trip over to that side of the country. Let’s do this!!!
The Line is definitely our favorite hotel we’ve ever stayed at in LA. Some of the rooms look out onto Hollywood, so we were able to see the Hollywood sign in the distance on our last trip! Plus, they have a really great restaurant that I’ve listed in the “where to eat” section.
One of the cutest pool areas I’ve ever seen is in the middle of the Avalon! Seriously, it’s adorable! We loved being in Beverly Hills when we stayed here because it meant that getting to all of the shops was just a short distance away.
We haven’t stayed here yet, but I’ve heard really good things about The Standard. And if you’ve ever seen photos of an all yellow restaurant in LA floating around Instagram, that restaurant belongs to The Standard.
We stayed here our first time in LA ever. The rooms were really fun and hip, but the only bad thing was that the hotel isn’t really in an area with much to do around it, so if you want to go to some shops without venturing far, I’d suggest staying at the Line or Avalon.
Our studio manager stayed here during her last trip and really loved the decor of the rooms. Every time we try to stay here, they’re completely booked, so that must say something, right?!
We’ve probably gone here more times than any other place in LA. What can I say? We like our tacos! This is a little place right under Hotel Covell, and the brisket tacos are both mine and Kyle’s favorite.
The first time we ever went to Gracias Madre I didn’t even realize it was vegan until after one of our friends told us once we had finished the meal. And I typically don’t like fake meat, so you know it must be good!
Plan on a long wait at Night + Market Song because it is REALLY popular. It’s a Thai restaurant that has a pink exterior and Kyle really loved the fried chicken sandwich he ordered off of the secret menu.
We ate here twice when we stayed at The Line, and loved our food both times. Tip: If you go on a night where DineLA is happening, your food is a lot cheaper, and you get three courses.
Kyle’s first time ever eating sushi was at Sugarfish, and we’ve been back multiple times now. It’s a very minimal kind of sushi, with just the rice and fish, but that’s kind of what I grew up eating, so I love it there.
We still haven’t been to the LA location, but we ate here in Vegas and really liked it. It’s a really great breakfast spot and perfect if you love a runny yolk on your food!
Bottega Louie is probably one of the brightest, prettiest places I’ve ever eaten. We still haven’t made it here for brunch yet (which I hear is really good), but the colorful macaron display alone makes me keep coming back for more!
Salt and Straw (dessert)
My friend Asher swears by this place, so this was our first ever dessert stop, and it DID NOT disappoint. Kyle is allergic to dairy (and picky about vegan ice cream), so he didn’t get anything, but I got a chocolate brownie ice cream that seriously exceeded my expectations!
Milk Jar Cookies (dessert)
I went big here and got 6 cookies all for myself (and these are giant cookies) because I had heard SO many good things about Milk Jar. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. The sprinkle funfetti cookie was AH-mazing!!!
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream (dessert)
It seems like everyone I know loves Jeni’s, and although we haven’t been there yet, it’s first on my list for our next trip! Can’t pass up trying every ice cream joint!!
I got a really pretty pink to yellow gradient paper here that I’m going to use as a backdrop. Plus, there’s a Salt and Straw right by Poketo, so you can get some ice cream right after!
This was the cutest little shop. I’m a sucker for cute greeting cards, and I ended up getting some colorful matches here in case I ever need them to use for a photo prop.
If you’re over by the rainbow staircase, stop in here (it’s a big pink building!!!) and get your stationary fix. I bought the coolest holographic envelopes here that I want to keep forever!
The outside of this store is just as amazing as the inside, trust me! They have a little selection of kid’s stuff here too, so pick up something for your little one!
This place was like my childhood dream! It’s inside of a huge market, so it’s a little hard to find, but they have SO many stickers you’ll end up spending a ton of money here without even knowing it. Ha!
This is a little shop pretty close to Sticker Planet, that sells jewelry, cards, and other knick-knacks from local artists. They also host events here a lot, so check the website for details!
One of my favorite Australian brands recently opened a store in LA, and if you’ve ever seen me wear a pair of crazy Memphis-style pants, they were from Gorman Clothing!
I’ve gotten my nails done here every time we’ve been in LA, and I’ve been so happy with the outcome. You all know I’m super picky about my nails, but they do a really great job with gel and nail art.
Wacko was probably my favorite out of any store we went to in LA. It’s right across the street from Homestate and they sell a bunch of novelty items. Anddd if you didn’t already know, I collect vinyl toys, and they sell some good ones here!
When I first posted the photo of this place on Instagram, everyone kept asking me if it was photoshopped, but it’s indeed real life! This lifeguard tower is right on Venice beach and was painted rainbow for Pride Month. I’m not sure how long it will stay rainbow, so hurry over there!
Another place that people couldn’t believe was real was this Barbie house! If you want to take photos in front of it, make sure to go sometime on a weekday so no cars are in the driveway. Also, be prepared for people to shout at you as they drive by. Ha!
If you’ve been to the Museum of Ice Cream (or seen photos of it on Instagram), you’ll know that this is a whole building that is painted light pink! So basically the photo opportunities are endless. Go on a day when the Museum of Ice Cream isn’t open though to have the whole place to yourself.
The pink Paul Smith is SUPER popular now, so it’s a little impossible to take photos there anymore. Plus, they added a whole list of rules when taking photos in front of the wall BUT it’s still a great option for a solid pink wall to stop at!
The first time we went to these stairs, they were covered in graffiti, BUT they were recently painted over, so get over there! Go on a cloudy day, it’s almost impossible to get a photo without huge shadows when it’s bright and sunny out.
This wall is behind a vegan restaurant called The Springs LA. There are never any cars blocking it, so it’s perfect for a photo op, and obviously the colors make it even better!
Photos by Kyle Larsen
Whew! Hope you’re still with me, that was a long one! We’d love to hear about some of your favorite LA spots, so let us know about them below and we’ll add ’em to the list! I’m STILL working on a New York guide, but what other places would you like to see guides for? We’ve done Miami and Las Vegas ones too!
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- August 16, 2017