it is no secret that LA is my favourite city, and California is my favourite state. it is sweet irony that the one place i feel most at home in all the world is a country in which i don't have a green card. if anyone wants to hook me up, please get in contact.
my LA is lazy. full of walks - yes i walk in LA! - and sun and yoga classes. every trip i find a couple of new things, but it is my old favourites that i keep coming back to again and again. i can spend an entire week returning to the same few places. the idea is to just hang out and be a local whilst i'm here. LA is truly my second home - much more than any of my former homes! i couldn't tell you where to go in Singapore, for example, but if you're looking for a local's guide to the City of Los Angeles, particularly the Venice/SaMo/Malibu area, hit me up.
note: one of the things i never do in LA is drive. as a not-so-confident driver, driving in LA terrifies me. i walk a lot in LA - we're lucky to live in our favourite LA area - but also rely a lot on Uber and Lyft (i prefer Lyft for ethical reasons). i'm desperate to head to joshua tree or yosemite one of these days, so i'm sure we'll end up renting a car soonish. but ride-sharing apps have been great so far.
one of my favourite walking 'loops' begins at Lincoln Boulevard between Rose and Washington - it's been dubbed the 'New, Less Gentrified Abbot Kinney'. it's home to one of my recent discoveries Superba Food & Bread. it's a great place for brunch or lunch or a takeaway loaf of crusty bread, but also big points for having both the LA Times and the New York Times available for reading in-store. i hate when cafes don't have the paper (and a lot of them don't!). fun fact: Lincoln Boulevard is actually part of California State Route 1!
my day usually starts with a tea or coffee for an hour or so at Flowerboy Project before crossing the road to Love Yoga for the 9.30am class. alex nashton's classes are my favourite so i try to get to hers when i can. post-class i like to duck into superba for bread or a coffee and the paper. some of my favourite little shops are all here too - Late Sunday Afternoon, General Store, Christy Dawn... it's a great way to spend a morning.
i continue walking to Rose Avenue - my favourite little strip in Venice. it's got the best Whole Foods store ever - there's even a little wine bar in there! Rose Ave is home to Venice icons Rose Cafe & Restaurant (since 1979!), Cafe Gratitude, Moon Juice... there's a yoga studio here too, a great little ice cream parlour and my favourite wine bar Venice Beach Wines. from here it's only a short walk away to Gjusta - my favourite Fran Camaj venue (Camaj owns Gjusta, Gjelina, GTA and MTN - all within walking distance from each other). it's a popular spot for both locals AND tourists - be sure to take a number from the dispenser or you'll be hanging around for a while VERY confused. i love the porridge waffle here, but also the tomato confit and burrata sandwich. the croissants are also fantastic (okay you'd be hard-pressed to find ANYTHING on the menu that isn't bloody amazing). Gjusta Goods two doors down is also a great spot to spend your dollars - they sell all the ceramics that they use in the restaurants).
from here it's only a short walk to Venice Beach and the infamous boardwalk, but i generally head straight to my former favourite Venice strip: Abbot Kinney! i have such a love/hate with AKB these days - the past couple of years has seen many bigger brands and chains open up as the smaller independent stores close due to rising rent. with the addition of brands like adidas, hourglass and smashbox AKB is starting to look much less hipster cool and much more like a smaller version of Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade. not cool. nevertheless, some of my favourite spots still call AKB home. The Butcher's Daughter is an LA tradition for us - they do the best mimosas AND dippy eggs with soldiers (my fave breakfast), and Oakland-born Blue Bottle serves my favourite coffee. Tortoise General Store is hands-down my favourite store on AKB - stocking a great selection of curated products from Japan. Cuyana is also a great spot for quality basics and leather goods.
AKB is also home to two of Portland (Oregon)'s most famous exports: Blue Star Donuts and Salt + Straw ice cream. expect queues, especially at Salt + Straw. the trick is to come during the work-week, and as early as possible. alternatively, grab a tub to go and you get to skip the queue.
Gjusta is the only Camaj venue NOT on Abbot Kinney - all three other venues call AKB home and serve excellent food. BUT if it's pizza you're after, i'd suggest you hightail it to Abbot's. it's one of - if not THE - longest serving independent businesses on AKB and serves the best pizza i've tried in LA. it's a must-try! for happy hour, Wabi Sabi does some great cocktail and sushi snack specials, and The Tasting Kitchen is the best date night spot on the strip.
my day ends with my all-time favourite spot: a grocery store. every bougie wellness person in LA would have Erewhon on their top 5 list, and it sits happily on mine as numero uno. they sell my favourite gjusta loaves, an impressive range of kombucha, excellent sushi, adaptogens and about ten thousand things i love and want. no joke, it is where the bulk of my spending money goes. the girls from LA wellness podcast That's So Retrograde once joked that Erewhon is where their paychecks automatically get routed to, and if LA was my home for real that would 100% be the case for me.