restaurants in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Hiking

On Saturday I dragged Michael out of bed πŸ˜‰ and we drove to Pacific Palisades to go for a hike in Will Rogers State Park. It’s a really big place! And it was nice. We did the Inspiration Trail. It was fairly easy, but connected to other trails you could do to make it longer.

It was about 65 degrees but felt warmer in the sunshine. It felt SO nice after being back in cold, rainy Portland for two weeks after paradise. πŸ™‚

The trail looped around a big hill and at the top there were really nice views.

There were also stables, so we saw horses. And trail runners, mountain bikers and people walking their dogs. It was a popular place.

It was a really nice workout. After that we drove to Pacific Palisades for lunch. It was a really cute place! Lots of cute little restaurants and shops. I would like to explore that area some more, too. We went to lunch at Cafe Vida, which was very popular. The place was packed the entire time and had a long wait. But it was worth it.

I got the mahi mahi grilled fish tacos topped with cabbage slaw made with yogurt and a mild sauce. It came with black beans and rice. It was SO SO delicious! Michael got a chicken and veggie bowl and he loved it, too.

I definitely recommend this place and would try and go back next time I’m there. The food felt really healthy. It wasn’t spicy, which was kind of a bummer because I like spicy fish tacos, but it was still delicious.

Saturday night we went out to dinner at Paul Martin’s in Manhattan Beach. Another great place I highly recommend! Classy joint, great food, good service. Reasonable prices compared to a lot of LA options! Also, Manhattan Beach is super cute, and parking was easy at the restaurant, so definitely check it out. The place filled up fast, too!

I got a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (delicious wine list!) and they brought freshly baked bread (the butter was awesome). I got the Wedge Salad (very very good):

And the French Onion soup:

Michael got the steak cobb salad and he said it was one of the best he’d had.

Then we splurged and shared a piece of chocolate cheesecake for dessert. Everything was so good! Definitely ate too much. Worth it.

We had an early night because we had to get up at 4:45 to get to LAX for our flight home. The early morning hour turned out to be a good time for LAX and everything went super easy. We even saw Jason Momoa at the airport!

The flight home was turbulent (yuck) but we landed and got to see Logan! I’d missed him SO much! I admit, I got a little homesick for my baby. This was the longest we’d ever been away from him (4 days) and the first time we were in another state without him. It was very weird for me. I couldn’t stop giving him kisses when I saw him!

It was a good trip. Driving in LA is nuts and I felt like our trip was spent just driving places. I didn’t get to do all the things I’d wanted to do (partly because of how long everything took to drive to) but it’s on my list for our next visit (The Getty Villa, The Natural History Museum, Runyon Canyon).

It is so good to be home. Michael and I are both “over” being on vacation though! Traveling is tiring. (Not complaining, it was all amazing, but dang we are tired!)

LA: The Restaurants and the Fitness

We flew into LA in the afternoon so I was able to get in my workout at home before we left. That was nice, getting it out of the way so I could enjoy some pizza for dinner!

Vito’s PizzaΒ We went here for a slice the first night we arrived. The pizza was supposedly very highly rated. I didn’t like the vibe of the place, but the food was good. The restaurant was small, cramped, with limited seating options and it was in a strip mall. It seems like most of LA is in a strip mall…The pizza came out on a paper plate–again, lacking in atmosphere! But the pizza was decent. I got the white pie with pesto.

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What I thought were chunks of mozzarella cheese turned out to be ricotta. It was odd and new to me, but good. The only flaw is that they used a lot of ricotta cheese and it was really rich. The pesto helped balance out the sweet ricotta.

Fitness in Hollywood

On Saturday I woke up a little early in order to enjoy the gym in the Loew’s Hollywood Hotel. It was such a cool gym! It wasn’t lame like a lot of hotel gyms. There were half a dozen treadmills, 4 ellipticals, a few bikes and the weight room was outside next to the pool.

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I worked out on the elliptical for about 20 minutes and then spent some time lifting weights. I had to modify my workout quite a bit because I didn’t have access to some of the things I needed for my program, but I still got in a good workout!

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On Sunday I went for a swim in the pool. I wanted to do more swimming on this trip but just didn’t get around to it. The pool was empty when I got there Sunday morning and was able to enjoy my swim with the pool all to myself. It was kind of a small pool for lap swimming but I made do.

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Then a guy joined me and decided to swim in a circle around the perimeter of the pool while I was trying to swim laps. I have no idea what he was thinking. πŸ˜› It was very annoying.

On Monday I took a rest day from the gym but ended up doing so much walking in Santa Monica that I definitely got a work out!

More Restaurants

The AbbeyΒ This place was such a cool find! It was such a cool building and huge! So much outdoor and indoor seating. It’s a restaurant/gay club/bar/nightclub.

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We went here on a Sunday afternoon for a late lunch/snack and the place was completely packed. Not only that, there was a DJ spinning records. On a Sunday afternoon? Crazy!

25 DegreesΒ We went here twice because the options near our hotel were so limited. First we went for happy hour. The drink options were decent and I loved the wine I got. We shared an order of happy hour onion rings and Michael liked them a lot. I did not. The batter was odd in flavor and texture.

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The next day we got breakfast here. It was super spendy and honestly, overpriced for what we got, but the food was okay. This time Michael wasn’t impressed but I enjoyed breakfast. I got the scrambled eggs with burrata cheese, tomato, pesto and prosciutto.

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The dish was a little saltier than I prefer but it came with a big bowl of fresh fruit that was great. At the very least, go to The Roosevelt Hotel to check it out. The inside is amazing. We wanted to go to their bar for a drink but ran out of time.

Ray’s and Stark BarΒ This was a nice discovery. It was a really hot day and we’d been outside seeing the sights and walking around the park for the La Brea Tar Pits for hours. This was much needed shade. The vibe was very cool and there was a nice breeze as we sat in the shade.

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We ordered a drink each and they gave us some homemade chips (which I wasn’t a fan of). They also brought out a thick menu for bottled water. Guess what, I could have had a bottle of water for only $20! πŸ˜›

Murakami HollywoodΒ Hands down one of the best sushi dinners I’ve had, almost as good as the stuff we had in Hawaii. The reviews were raving and recommended the garlic soy sauce. Michael and I kind of mocked the people raving about it…I mean really, how good is garlic soy sauce? It’s pretty damn amazing we discovered! That sauce was fantastic. I don’t know how they made it but damn, I want more of that stuff.

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The fish was fresh and delicious. Michael got the spicy tuna bowl and I got the mixed sashimi salad combo that came with a specialty roll. The food was so good I wanted to go back the next day and eat it again!

Chateau MarmontΒ Hell yeah we went here! We actually went here for a drink and appetizer before going to the sushi restaurant for dinner. I’d wanted to go to the Chateau Marmont for years. It was so cool seeing it and enjoying a drink on the outside garden patio!

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We shared an order of calamari at the restaurant and a drink. Cameras weren’t allowed, which I knew ahead of time but was still hoping to spot some celebrities and get photos!

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When we were leaving I saw Richard Lewis at the valet. He gave me THAT look–the one that says “I know you know who I am, but please don’t say anything or talk to me” look. LOL Whatever. It was still cool to see him!

In-n-Out Sunset BlvdΒ OF COURSE we went to In-n-Out. I’d been thinking about it for weeks leading up to the vacation and could not wait. We had lunch here our first day (skipped breakfast for it, too!). We kind of also went again for lunch on our last day before flying home…

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Animal style is where it’s at. It’s a good thing I don’t live in California because I’d eat here all the time. All. The. Time.

I’m so glad we got to eat at some GOOD restaurants, slightly disappointed that we got burned at a few places. I guess I had high expectations for LA restaurants. I definitely ate more than normal and things I don’t normally eat. I’m glad we shared a lot of the meals we ordered–hopefully I didn’t do too muchΒ damage…But, the happy memories are worth it!

QUESTION: Ever seen a celebrity in person?