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Santho’s guidebook for LA

Santho

Santho’s guidebook for LA

Neighborhoods
Venice is a very hippy, bohemian beach town with upscale commercial and residential pockets. The Venice Boardwalk is the site of funky shops, street performers and colorful murals. There’s also a skate park and Muscle Beach outdoor gym. Abbot Kinney Boulevard features foodie hot spots, stylish boutiques and coffee bars. If it's your first time in Los Angeles this is a great neighborhood to visit while also visiting Santa Monica which is right next to Venice.
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Venice
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Santa Monica is a great place to visit while visiting Venice Beach. There are a lot of people walking around outside and some great restaurants and art galleries as well. If it's your first time in LA I recommend stopping by the Santa Monica Pier which is a large double-jointed pier at the foot of Colorado Avenue. It contains a small amusement park which is free to enter, concession stands, and areas for views. The rides and attractions at the small park are priced individually and range in price from $5-10 ish.
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Santa Monica
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Santa Monica is a great place to visit while visiting Venice Beach. There are a lot of people walking around outside and some great restaurants and art galleries as well. If it's your first time in LA I recommend stopping by the Santa Monica Pier which is a large double-jointed pier at the foot of Colorado Avenue. It contains a small amusement park which is free to enter, concession stands, and areas for views. The rides and attractions at the small park are priced individually and range in price from $5-10 ish.
Malibu is a city west of LA that you could drive to in about 1 hr. It's a beautiful ride up the PCH and if you want to visit Malibu during the day and end your day stopping in Santa Monica and Venice on the way back it will be a great coastal day. Malibu has a lot of celebrity homes and the beaches are much less busy than they are in LA proper. Zuma Beach is a local favorite. To the east is Malibu Lagoon State Beach, known as Surfrider Beach for its waves. Nearby is the Spanish Revival–style Adamson House, with local history displays in its Malibu Lagoon Museum. There are many cute lunch spots in Malibu for people with all diets.
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Malibu
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Malibu is a city west of LA that you could drive to in about 1 hr. It's a beautiful ride up the PCH and if you want to visit Malibu during the day and end your day stopping in Santa Monica and Venice on the way back it will be a great coastal day. Malibu has a lot of celebrity homes and the beaches are much less busy than they are in LA proper. Zuma Beach is a local favorite. To the east is Malibu Lagoon State Beach, known as Surfrider Beach for its waves. Nearby is the Spanish Revival–style Adamson House, with local history displays in its Malibu Lagoon Museum. There are many cute lunch spots in Malibu for people with all diets.
I know a lot of people who do a day trip to Santa Barbara. It's located on the central California coast, with the Santa Ynez Mountains as backdrop. You'll see Mediterranean-style white stucco buildings with red-tile roofs downtown which reflect the city’s Spanish colonial heritage. State Street has a lot of upscale boutiques and restaurants offering great food and local wines. On a nearby hill, Mission Santa Barbara, founded in 1786, houses Franciscan friars and a museum.
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Santa Barbara
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I know a lot of people who do a day trip to Santa Barbara. It's located on the central California coast, with the Santa Ynez Mountains as backdrop. You'll see Mediterranean-style white stucco buildings with red-tile roofs downtown which reflect the city’s Spanish colonial heritage. State Street has a lot of upscale boutiques and restaurants offering great food and local wines. On a nearby hill, Mission Santa Barbara, founded in 1786, houses Franciscan friars and a museum.
Encinitas is a beach city in the North County area of San Diego. It's very easy to do a day trip to especially if you are visiting San Diego. There are some great places to grab lunch there. The people are really lovely and the vibe is very laid back and feels like a very classic California beach town.
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Encinitas
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Encinitas is a beach city in the North County area of San Diego. It's very easy to do a day trip to especially if you are visiting San Diego. There are some great places to grab lunch there. The people are really lovely and the vibe is very laid back and feels like a very classic California beach town.
Relax
A really lovely place to have a picnic, read a book or walk your dog. There are Pedal Boats [fun for a couple] Picnic Tables and Walking Paths around the lake. Very local spot in the "hip" neighborhood of Echo Park.
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Echo Park Lake
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A really lovely place to have a picnic, read a book or walk your dog. There are Pedal Boats [fun for a couple] Picnic Tables and Walking Paths around the lake. Very local spot in the "hip" neighborhood of Echo Park.
Food scene
A really lovely, "hip" restaurant owned by the musician Moby. Features Mediterranean, plant-based cuisine & woodsy-chic design. I would recommend a reservation. It's a very cozy, intimate atmosphere so it's perfect for both date night and friends meet ups. The food is excellent. Some of my favorites on the menu - The Flat Bread Pizza, The Arancini, Brussels Sprouts and Gnocchi.
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Little Pine
2870 Rowena Ave
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A really lovely, "hip" restaurant owned by the musician Moby. Features Mediterranean, plant-based cuisine & woodsy-chic design. I would recommend a reservation. It's a very cozy, intimate atmosphere so it's perfect for both date night and friends meet ups. The food is excellent. Some of my favorites on the menu - The Flat Bread Pizza, The Arancini, Brussels Sprouts and Gnocchi.
Mohawk Bend is located in a retrofitted 100-year-old silent movie theater and is one of my favorite places to eat and hang out with friends or just go by myself and have a pizza during Happy Hour. They have a ton of California craft beers & a delicious locally sourced American menu with options for all diets. They have a great Happy Hour during ~ Mon – Fri: 3 PM – 7 PM ~ Fri – Sat: 11 PM – Close ~ Sun – Thurs: 10 PM – Close. There is usually a wait during peak hours so I would recommend making a reservation unless you're visiting during HH.
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Mohawk Bend
2141 Sunset Blvd
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Mohawk Bend is located in a retrofitted 100-year-old silent movie theater and is one of my favorite places to eat and hang out with friends or just go by myself and have a pizza during Happy Hour. They have a ton of California craft beers & a delicious locally sourced American menu with options for all diets. They have a great Happy Hour during ~ Mon – Fri: 3 PM – 7 PM ~ Fri – Sat: 11 PM – Close ~ Sun – Thurs: 10 PM – Close. There is usually a wait during peak hours so I would recommend making a reservation unless you're visiting during HH.
INCREDIBLE Donuts. If you have a sweet tooth this is a must visit in LA. They have classic flavors as well as imaginative ones. No one has ever been disappointed.
Donut Friend
543 S Broadway
INCREDIBLE Donuts. If you have a sweet tooth this is a must visit in LA. They have classic flavors as well as imaginative ones. No one has ever been disappointed.
A small, cozy Japanese spot in Koreatown. Iki Ramen serves hand rolls and a variety of excellent ramen with options for all diets. Walking distance from the apartment and is definitely a local gem.
iki ramen
740 South Western Avenue
A small, cozy Japanese spot in Koreatown. Iki Ramen serves hand rolls and a variety of excellent ramen with options for all diets. Walking distance from the apartment and is definitely a local gem.
A very traditional, homey Ethiopian restaurant with delicious food and options for all diets. Friendly staff.
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Messob Ethiopian Restaurant
1041 South Fairfax Avenue
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A very traditional, homey Ethiopian restaurant with delicious food and options for all diets. Friendly staff.
A very authentic and cozy Ethiopian restaurant in Little Ethiopia. They host an all-you-can-eat buffet from 11am-3pm. The staff is really friendly.
Rahel Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine
1047 South Fairfax Avenue
A very authentic and cozy Ethiopian restaurant in Little Ethiopia. They host an all-you-can-eat buffet from 11am-3pm. The staff is really friendly.
Owned and run by a husband-and-wife duo who create house made soft serve flavors that are to DIE FOR. A very chic, friendly little scoop shop in the trendy neighborhood of Silver Lake. If you love ice cream or sweets this is a must try.
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Magpies Softserve
2660 Griffith Park Blvd
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Owned and run by a husband-and-wife duo who create house made soft serve flavors that are to DIE FOR. A very chic, friendly little scoop shop in the trendy neighborhood of Silver Lake. If you love ice cream or sweets this is a must try.
LA's historic GSM is an emporium that hosts many different food vendors with delicious options for people with all diets. Very affordable and is a really unique building that has been open since 1917. I usually take my friends who are visiting to eat here and then we walk over to The Last Book Store.
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Grand Central Market
317 S Broadway
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LA's historic GSM is an emporium that hosts many different food vendors with delicious options for people with all diets. Very affordable and is a really unique building that has been open since 1917. I usually take my friends who are visiting to eat here and then we walk over to The Last Book Store.
Owned by the celebrity Chef, Tal Ronnen, this restaurant is one of my most favorite places in the city. He's prepared meals for Oprah Winfrey & and also catered Ellen DeGeneres' wedding. I would recommend a reservation. Really great for a date night or if you're hanging out alone the bar is a great place to sit and enjoy one of their great drinks and meals.
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Crossroads Kitchen
8284 Melrose Ave
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Owned by the celebrity Chef, Tal Ronnen, this restaurant is one of my most favorite places in the city. He's prepared meals for Oprah Winfrey & and also catered Ellen DeGeneres' wedding. I would recommend a reservation. Really great for a date night or if you're hanging out alone the bar is a great place to sit and enjoy one of their great drinks and meals.
Really popular sushi spot in LA that has a few locations. A little on the more expensive side but incredibly tasty.
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Sugarfish
101 South La Brea Avenue
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Really popular sushi spot in LA that has a few locations. A little on the more expensive side but incredibly tasty.
Sightseeing
Definitely check this place out if you would like to do a very local hike. Once you get to the top you have a beautiful 360 degree view of LA. There are stairs you can climb up or just a trail you can walk up. It seems intimidating at first but it's not bad at all and the view is worth it. I would go earlier in the morning before it gets too hot out.
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Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
6300 Hetzler Rd
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Definitely check this place out if you would like to do a very local hike. Once you get to the top you have a beautiful 360 degree view of LA. There are stairs you can climb up or just a trail you can walk up. It seems intimidating at first but it's not bad at all and the view is worth it. I would go earlier in the morning before it gets too hot out.
Very touristy and much dirtier than everyone expects it to be but when in LA many people do want to visit this strip. I would suggest maybe watching a film at the Chinese Theater at the same time if that interests you.
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Hollywood Bulvarı
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Very touristy and much dirtier than everyone expects it to be but when in LA many people do want to visit this strip. I would suggest maybe watching a film at the Chinese Theater at the same time if that interests you.
A good place to get pics of the Hollywood sign which is one the most recognized landmarks of the world.
Hollywood Sign
A good place to get pics of the Hollywood sign which is one the most recognized landmarks of the world.
ART
This is a fantastic contemporary art museum with three locations in LA. The main branch is located on Grand Avenue in Downtown LA, near the Walt Disney Concert Hall. They have some really great exhibits and admission if free. They also do a shuttle to the Geffen location in Little Tokyo. If you like museums and art this is a must visit and can be reached very easily by the metro.
The Museum of Contemporary Art
250 South Grand Avenue
This is a fantastic contemporary art museum with three locations in LA. The main branch is located on Grand Avenue in Downtown LA, near the Walt Disney Concert Hall. They have some really great exhibits and admission if free. They also do a shuttle to the Geffen location in Little Tokyo. If you like museums and art this is a must visit and can be reached very easily by the metro.
Another free museum located near the Walt Disney Concert Hall Downtown LA which features contemporary art. There are some awesome exhibits there and many opportunities for cool photos.
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The Broad
221 South Grand Avenue
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Another free museum located near the Walt Disney Concert Hall Downtown LA which features contemporary art. There are some awesome exhibits there and many opportunities for cool photos.
LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States. It's located on Museum Row, adjacent to the La Brea Tar Pits which is also a destination for people who visit LA. It's a great place to go to on the same day as the Original Farmers Market if that is a place that's on your list to visit because they are right next to each other.
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Los Angeles Sanat Müzesi
5905 Wilshire Blvd
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LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States. It's located on Museum Row, adjacent to the La Brea Tar Pits which is also a destination for people who visit LA. It's a great place to go to on the same day as the Original Farmers Market if that is a place that's on your list to visit because they are right next to each other.
Located in an old Police Garage, the Geffen is a partner museum to The MOCA and displays awesome contemporary art.
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The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
152 North Central Avenue
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Located in an old Police Garage, the Geffen is a partner museum to The MOCA and displays awesome contemporary art.
Fun Outing
California's largest book & record store that sells new & used items in a multilevel space adorned with local art. There is a huge mezzanine level (2nd floor) that includes the Labyrinth, a gallery, local art and gift shops. I take every friend that visits to this place and they all love it. If you are into taking photos for Instagram, you would love this place. I usually have a meal at Grand Central Market and then walk here.
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The Last Bookstore
453 S Spring St
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California's largest book & record store that sells new & used items in a multilevel space adorned with local art. There is a huge mezzanine level (2nd floor) that includes the Labyrinth, a gallery, local art and gift shops. I take every friend that visits to this place and they all love it. If you are into taking photos for Instagram, you would love this place. I usually have a meal at Grand Central Market and then walk here.
In a very trendy boutique hotel. Has a restaurant downstairs but rooftop bar is REALLY cool and you can order food up there and also play some games. I would recommend going during the afternoon on a weekday when it isn't packed. Great view of the Hollywood sign from the rooftop. Great place to end at if you go do the Hollywood Walk of Fame area.
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Mama Shelter
6500 Selma Ave
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In a very trendy boutique hotel. Has a restaurant downstairs but rooftop bar is REALLY cool and you can order food up there and also play some games. I would recommend going during the afternoon on a weekday when it isn't packed. Great view of the Hollywood sign from the rooftop. Great place to end at if you go do the Hollywood Walk of Fame area.
If you love trees, plants and nature this is an awesome place to visit. It also has art galleries with famous works and the library has very rare-book collections. I spend about 4-5 hours here when I visit and there are a few great place to have lunch and or coffee as well. If you want to visit the Pasadena area this would be a good day to do that coupled with the Huntington Library.
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Huntington Kütüphanesi
1151 Oxford Road
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If you love trees, plants and nature this is an awesome place to visit. It also has art galleries with famous works and the library has very rare-book collections. I spend about 4-5 hours here when I visit and there are a few great place to have lunch and or coffee as well. If you want to visit the Pasadena area this would be a good day to do that coupled with the Huntington Library.
If you're looking to have a very local, chill night seeing some stand up comedy I HIGHLY recommend going to the Virgil on a Monday night for Hot-Tub hosted by Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Schaal. It's only $5 if you buy your ticket online and $8 at the door. Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8. It always attracts a good crowd so if you want to get a good seat I would get there around 6:30 to get in line because we always get a seat when we do that. This bar also has Djs on weekends if you want to go out to dance or hang out Fri or Sat night.
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The Virgil
4519 Santa Monica Blvd
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If you're looking to have a very local, chill night seeing some stand up comedy I HIGHLY recommend going to the Virgil on a Monday night for Hot-Tub hosted by Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Schaal. It's only $5 if you buy your ticket online and $8 at the door. Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8. It always attracts a good crowd so if you want to get a good seat I would get there around 6:30 to get in line because we always get a seat when we do that. This bar also has Djs on weekends if you want to go out to dance or hang out Fri or Sat night.
Very local Sunday open-air market that has many different vendors that sell a range of antiques, vintage clothes, goods & collectibles. Some stalls are expensive and some are very reasonable. Usually has a lot of cool stuff.
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Melrose Trading Post
7850 Melrose Avenue
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Very local Sunday open-air market that has many different vendors that sell a range of antiques, vintage clothes, goods & collectibles. Some stalls are expensive and some are very reasonable. Usually has a lot of cool stuff.
Bar
If you like beer this is a favorite local alehouse with an expansive beer list & lively shuffleboard games on the patio. It's located in the very hip neighborhood of Highland Park and is only a place locals go to. There are some really cute gift shops as well as restaurants on the same street.
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Block Party Highland Park
5052 York Blvd
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If you like beer this is a favorite local alehouse with an expansive beer list & lively shuffleboard games on the patio. It's located in the very hip neighborhood of Highland Park and is only a place locals go to. There are some really cute gift shops as well as restaurants on the same street.
If you want to visit a chill bar that has some great cocktails this is a nice spot that has a really nice atmosphere. It's sort of has a speakeasy vibe because you can barely see there's a bar there unless you are really looking for the door.
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Lock & Key
239 South Vermont Avenue
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If you want to visit a chill bar that has some great cocktails this is a nice spot that has a really nice atmosphere. It's sort of has a speakeasy vibe because you can barely see there's a bar there unless you are really looking for the door.
This is a really cool bar to go to around 8pm to have a drink before it gets packed and has a line down the street. It also has a speakeasy vibe and the place has a lot of character and great drinks. I only go here before 10pm.
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No Vacancy
1727 North Hudson Avenue
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This is a really cool bar to go to around 8pm to have a drink before it gets packed and has a line down the street. It also has a speakeasy vibe and the place has a lot of character and great drinks. I only go here before 10pm.