To be completely honest, I travel for two reasons, and two reasons only. First, to discover – whether that is to discover new places, friends, that my knowledge of directions is completely out of whack or that Pinterest photos are completely photo shopped; it doesn’t matter. Discovering is discovering. The second is to eat. Mostly eating in fact. I’m so thankful I found a boyfriend that also strongly agrees with me on this. Food is the best. Food is also the reason I don’t look like Jennifer Aniston (or so a girl can dream). This is why the first thing I typed into Google, after booking our cheap flights to LAX was “where to eat”. Below is not a list of what I found on other sites, besides the classics of course, nor are they all affordable to eat at for an entire week, so tread with caution.
We couldn’t go to city of angels without stopping in for a quick window shop along the luxurious Rodeo Dr. The streets themselves seemed surreal to me. It really hit me when I started daydreaming over a pair of heels that were worth double that of my pay cheque, it was in that moment I decided the only thing I could afford on this street was Happy Hour. Thankfully, tucked away on the corner of the street, a smart businessman had also come to this conclusion and decided to profit off of it. 208 Rodeo struck me as a subtle French-style restaurant, which inspired you to take a break from the madness down below and enjoy a long lunch, avec vino. On this warm LA day, the patio was the best place to be, especially with a chilled cocktail in hand. The best part however, was the to die for cheese fondue appetizer accompanied by apple slices and cranberry bread crustinis – a welcomed touch as the sun dipped down behind the buildings. Everything on the menu enticed me to stay for dinner and possibly curl up in the crisp while table clothes in a food comma after closing hours.
This place definitely took the prize for the most expensive bill we had in Los Angeles. Besides the deliciously fresh oceanic menu, the only thing that would have made my experience better would be to know what I was eating. I love sushi, and eat it frequently, but this was not the type of place to ask questions about the menu, as the red carpet attire of everyone dining here but me so bluntly stated. You could practically hear the sophistication and gold bricks in the air, and they could all read lux Japanese inspired menus apparently. Of course, I ordered completely wrong, but still enjoyed my ceviche and Tiffany blue ocean views. As we were dining we saw whales swimming 20ft off the deck and spotted Jamie Foxx and his crew – if that wasn’t worth it, I don’t know what is.
Grand Central Market
Egg slut had a line around half the market. I saw that and shrugged, suggesting I wanted to jump at the chance to see what everyone else already knew what I didn’t. My boyfriend looked at it and said to me, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me, right?’ So we settled for a place just around the corner, and ate at Berlin Currywurst. I won’t lie… It wasn’t the breakfast I had built up in my head, but it was a fantastic choice nonetheless. Quite timely as well, considering we ordered, waited and ate before more people in the other line even made it to the counter. Of course, the health-addict in me who just gobbled down a bratwurst for breakfast decided the only way to redeem myself would be to pair it with a Press Brothers Juicery drink, and I was not wrong. It was cold, pressed and worth every penny. Whatever you do, don't miss this place.
The Original Farmers Market
Not to be confused with the Grand Central Market, as I so gracefully did, this place is definitely worth a visit. You could even make a day of it, what with the attached mall and cinema, if you wish. I found it particularly beautiful at night, and it made for a picturesque dinner spot. Due to timing, we hit up the farmers market first, wandering around the maze-like pathways, drooling at the glass displays of baked goods, spices and meats. The smells were fantastic, and with every turn you craved something completely different. Seeing as this was a pre-dinner visit, I settled for some peppered beef jerky, some hard cheese samples and a perfectly baked Coconut Cream cake, which was later devoured in the hotel room. Seeing as the market was closing, we followed the cobble stone path past the outdoor shops into Rome, nah, I wish. It was just the Americanized version of it, but complete with outdoor patio lining the street, heat lamps, white linens, candlelight and foundations, it was as close as I was going to get tonight – it’s no wonder I ordered the wooden fire baked pizza.
You can’t go to LA without eating Mexican food, and if I had had it my way, that’s all we would’ve eaten the entire trip. This one we stumbled upon by pure accident. It was the type of place where you order two appetizers before you even decide what you’d have to drink (ops!). While in Venice Beach, on the trendy place of Lincoln Blvd, we ordered some of the tastiest guacamole I’ve ever had (besides mine, I make a mean Guac), and some delicious tacos of all varieties. The restaurant had simple decorations, authentic music and was filled with friends and family enjoying each others company over great food – it was the type of place I would hope to create if I were a restaurant owner. I left feeling ten pounds heavier, but very satisfied and was happy to learn that this was the cheapest, yet most favourful place we had eaten out at the entire trip.
The One that Got Away…
Sadly, the answer is no. As much as I tried I couldn’t eat my way through the entire LA food bucket list I made for myself prior to arriving. This is not for a lack of trying however. Part of me would like to blame the fact that I didn’t want to ruin my slim beach bod, but who am I kidding about that, it would first have to exist for me to ruin it with cupcakes. Mostly I point my finger at the LA traffic for making it so hard to get everywhere, but reality is my budget went out the window eating at these first two places – someone needs to teach me how to budget.
Next time I set foot in LAX, the Uber will drive me straight to #1: MILK #2: Gjelina #3: Lemonade