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Guidebook for Los Angeles

Dana

Guidebook for Los Angeles

Everything Else
Absolutely the best Mexican food in town. Homemade flour tortillas are a must have! It gets super packed on weekend nights, but it is worth the wait!
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Paco's Tacos
4141 South Centinela Avenue
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Absolutely the best Mexican food in town. Homemade flour tortillas are a must have! It gets super packed on weekend nights, but it is worth the wait!
Trendy and happening place for the younger crowd. Fun place to check out regardless of age.
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Bigfoot Lodge West
10939 Venice Boulevard
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Trendy and happening place for the younger crowd. Fun place to check out regardless of age.
Amazing smaller museum with an amazing collection. Close proximity to UCLA in Westwood.
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Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
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Amazing smaller museum with an amazing collection. Close proximity to UCLA in Westwood.
Food Scene
Iconic taco place in Los Angeles. Never listen to their theme song from their commercial or it will haunt you for the rest of your life. Bring your cash, because they don't take credit cards. Super old school!
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Tito’s Tacos
11222 Washington Pl
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Iconic taco place in Los Angeles. Never listen to their theme song from their commercial or it will haunt you for the rest of your life. Bring your cash, because they don't take credit cards. Super old school!
The garlic will blow your head off, but it is the yummiest Italian food I've had in Los Angeles. The bread is so good! Family friendly seating.
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Alejo's Presto Trattoria Italian Restaurant
8343 Lincoln Boulevard
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The garlic will blow your head off, but it is the yummiest Italian food I've had in Los Angeles. The bread is so good! Family friendly seating.
Amazing Indian food that will not break the bank. Samosa's are awesome and only $1.50 each. Delicious selection of vegetarian food. It's already made so they just scoop up the yumminess into your to-go or stay and eat plate. I'm here at least once a week. Don't forget the ginger beer (it is nonalcoholic in case you didn't know!)
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Samosa House
11510 West Washington Boulevard
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Amazing Indian food that will not break the bank. Samosa's are awesome and only $1.50 each. Delicious selection of vegetarian food. It's already made so they just scoop up the yumminess into your to-go or stay and eat plate. I'm here at least once a week. Don't forget the ginger beer (it is nonalcoholic in case you didn't know!)
I selected this place because it is super close to the house and has a good upscale menu. It's a trendy restaurant in the Westside Pavillion mall near the movie theater. Family friendly but nice enough for adults to have a dinner out alone. Good drinks too.
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Westside Tavern
10850 West Pico Boulevard
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I selected this place because it is super close to the house and has a good upscale menu. It's a trendy restaurant in the Westside Pavillion mall near the movie theater. Family friendly but nice enough for adults to have a dinner out alone. Good drinks too.
Super popular place to get the best cookies on the planet. Get a scoop of ice cream to make a chipwich...There is usually a long line to get in but it is worth the wait...Trust the Bruins!
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Diddy Riese
926 Broxton Avenue
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Super popular place to get the best cookies on the planet. Get a scoop of ice cream to make a chipwich...There is usually a long line to get in but it is worth the wait...Trust the Bruins!
Family friendly eatery with a fun surfer vibe. A sure win with the young ones.
Islands Restaurant West LA
10948 West Pico Boulevard
Family friendly eatery with a fun surfer vibe. A sure win with the young ones.
Delicious Thai food and a modern fun decor. The pad thai and thai iced tea are my favorites. They even deliver! You can order online too.
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Natalee
10101 Venice Boulevard
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Delicious Thai food and a modern fun decor. The pad thai and thai iced tea are my favorites. They even deliver! You can order online too.
If you want to blow your socks off with a huge breakfast of German pancakes, Apple Pan Pancakes, and hearty waffles, head to Dinah's. They are also famous for their fried chicken. This iconic place has been in business since 1959. Delicious breakfasts, but expect a wait on weekends.
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Dinah's Family Restaurant
6521 South Sepulveda Boulevard
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If you want to blow your socks off with a huge breakfast of German pancakes, Apple Pan Pancakes, and hearty waffles, head to Dinah's. They are also famous for their fried chicken. This iconic place has been in business since 1959. Delicious breakfasts, but expect a wait on weekends.
Yes, it's just another chain restaurant, but if your want to order something familiar this place has good soups and American Cuisine. The staff here is super friendly, which I think makes it a nice spot. Good for breakfast too, but they stop serving that around 11am or so.
Marie Callender's
11324 National Boulevard
Yes, it's just another chain restaurant, but if your want to order something familiar this place has good soups and American Cuisine. The staff here is super friendly, which I think makes it a nice spot. Good for breakfast too, but they stop serving that around 11am or so.
Delicious seafood and yummiest cheese potatoes ever. Located in Santa Monica, it just off of Main Street and a few blocks from the ocean. Take a stroll down Main Street to check out the awesome (yet sometimes pricey) shops or head over to the beach for a sunset walk on the sand.
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Enterprise Fish Co.
174 Kinney Street
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Delicious seafood and yummiest cheese potatoes ever. Located in Santa Monica, it just off of Main Street and a few blocks from the ocean. Take a stroll down Main Street to check out the awesome (yet sometimes pricey) shops or head over to the beach for a sunset walk on the sand.
This place is well known for its seafood and stunning views of the Pacific. Make a reservation if you plan to go on a weekend just in case. They take walk-ins but the wait can be long. I always make it a point to have leftovers so they wrap them into a huge foil swan. Don't be surprised if you see a famous person or two...
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Gladstones Restaurant
17300 Pacific Coast Highway
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This place is well known for its seafood and stunning views of the Pacific. Make a reservation if you plan to go on a weekend just in case. They take walk-ins but the wait can be long. I always make it a point to have leftovers so they wrap them into a huge foil swan. Don't be surprised if you see a famous person or two...
Geoffrey's is an iconic restaurant located on Pacific Coast Highway. Call for reservations and check out website for menu. I ran into Rod Stewart once at dinner! Don't be surprised if you find a star of your own.
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Geoffrey's
27400 Pacific Coast Highway
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Geoffrey's is an iconic restaurant located on Pacific Coast Highway. Call for reservations and check out website for menu. I ran into Rod Stewart once at dinner! Don't be surprised if you find a star of your own.
There are a few "CPK's" around the Westside, including the nearby Culver City and Beverly Hills locations. I tend to like the decor at the Westwood location a bit better. Another chain, so food tends to be consistent. Very kid friendly.
California Pizza Kitchen at Westwood
1001 Broxton Avenue
There are a few "CPK's" around the Westside, including the nearby Culver City and Beverly Hills locations. I tend to like the decor at the Westwood location a bit better. Another chain, so food tends to be consistent. Very kid friendly.
Super yummy healthy food in Venice. Very fun decor and a relaxed vibe. The salads and chicken kabobs are absolutely delicious. Reasonably priced. Parking can be a bit of a hassle but the food is worth it.
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Kreation Organic Kafe & Juicery
1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd
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Super yummy healthy food in Venice. Very fun decor and a relaxed vibe. The salads and chicken kabobs are absolutely delicious. Reasonably priced. Parking can be a bit of a hassle but the food is worth it.
Amazingly delicious vegan food in the heart of Westwood. My favorites are the tempura green beans and (un) Chicken sandwich. Good even if you are not vegan. They have a good kids menu as well. Walking distance to lots of stores and shops in Westwood.
Veggie Grill
10916 Lindbrook Drive
Amazingly delicious vegan food in the heart of Westwood. My favorites are the tempura green beans and (un) Chicken sandwich. Good even if you are not vegan. They have a good kids menu as well. Walking distance to lots of stores and shops in Westwood.
This is a great (still semi-secret) vegan food place that is absolutely delicious. I love the coconut curry and brown rice, pad thai, and the banana blueberry pancakes. My kids love the pancakes and can't believe "vegan" can taste so good. Two thumbs up. There is a farmer's market going on in front on Sunday's so the street is closed off. You can still find parking across the street but it is a bit more challenging than the other days of the week.
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The Vegan Joint (West LA)
10438 National Boulevard
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This is a great (still semi-secret) vegan food place that is absolutely delicious. I love the coconut curry and brown rice, pad thai, and the banana blueberry pancakes. My kids love the pancakes and can't believe "vegan" can taste so good. Two thumbs up. There is a farmer's market going on in front on Sunday's so the street is closed off. You can still find parking across the street but it is a bit more challenging than the other days of the week.
Absolutely amazing Italian food and pizza. You must try their chicken wings. I've yet to taste better! They even deliver.
Mama's Original Pizza & Pasta
3311 Motor Avenue
Absolutely amazing Italian food and pizza. You must try their chicken wings. I've yet to taste better! They even deliver.
You have not, and I repeat have not had pastrami until you've been to Johnnie's. This amazing place has been open since 1952 and you'll feel like you are back in the 50's. Juke boxes on the table, root beer floats, outdoor fire pits on the patio. Not to mention the pastrami, fries and fried shrimp are to die for. Once you go to Johnnie's you'll make it a necessary stop for all your L.A. visits. Bring cash, they are old school and don't take plastic.
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Johnnie's Pastrami
4017 S Sepulveda Blvd
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You have not, and I repeat have not had pastrami until you've been to Johnnie's. This amazing place has been open since 1952 and you'll feel like you are back in the 50's. Juke boxes on the table, root beer floats, outdoor fire pits on the patio. Not to mention the pastrami, fries and fried shrimp are to die for. Once you go to Johnnie's you'll make it a necessary stop for all your L.A. visits. Bring cash, they are old school and don't take plastic.
If you love garlic, this is the place for you. Good food and a fun vibe located in Beverly Hills. If you have a birthday there they give you a garlic bulb hat to wear...hilarious. They do have garlic ice cream, which I tried just because it was so unique. That won't happen again!
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The Stinking Rose
55 North La Cienega Boulevard
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If you love garlic, this is the place for you. Good food and a fun vibe located in Beverly Hills. If you have a birthday there they give you a garlic bulb hat to wear...hilarious. They do have garlic ice cream, which I tried just because it was so unique. That won't happen again!
Shopping
Westside central and indoors. Nordstrom, Macy's, and lots of chain retailers. This is where Tom Petty filmed one of his music videos...Was it "Free Falling?" I'll have to check. Don't forget to stop by the awesome Guitar Center across the street.
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Westside Pavilion
10800 West Pico Boulevard
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Westside central and indoors. Nordstrom, Macy's, and lots of chain retailers. This is where Tom Petty filmed one of his music videos...Was it "Free Falling?" I'll have to check. Don't forget to stop by the awesome Guitar Center across the street.
The Grove is a beautiful outdoor shopping mall that grew out of the old Los Angeles Farmers Market. You can visit the old side of the original Farmers Market and then walk over to the new and upscale area which boasts a beautiful fountains, entertainment, shops and restaurants. If you like BBQ try , Wood Ranch. There is an American Girl store and cafe that is a young girls dream come true. There are also delicious restaurants such as Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano's Little Italy, and Morel's French Steakhouse & Bistro.
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The Grove
189 The Grove Drive
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The Grove is a beautiful outdoor shopping mall that grew out of the old Los Angeles Farmers Market. You can visit the old side of the original Farmers Market and then walk over to the new and upscale area which boasts a beautiful fountains, entertainment, shops and restaurants. If you like BBQ try , Wood Ranch. There is an American Girl store and cafe that is a young girls dream come true. There are also delicious restaurants such as Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano's Little Italy, and Morel's French Steakhouse & Bistro.
Just a hop, skip and jump away from the iconic Santa Monica Pier is the iconic 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. This area in Santa Monica has tons of restaurants, shopping, movie theaters, and plenty of other touristy things to do. Take the Expo Line Metro Train and it drops you off right in front of the Santa Monica Mall which is just a block away from the promenade.
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3rd Street Promenade
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Just a hop, skip and jump away from the iconic Santa Monica Pier is the iconic 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. This area in Santa Monica has tons of restaurants, shopping, movie theaters, and plenty of other touristy things to do. Take the Expo Line Metro Train and it drops you off right in front of the Santa Monica Mall which is just a block away from the promenade.
Essentials
Gotta love Trader Joe's. This is a westside staple for groceries and locally made baked goods. Parking is becoming more and more challenging, so try to avoid busiest times (after regular business hours, lunch...)
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Trader Joe's
3456 South Sepulveda Boulevard
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Gotta love Trader Joe's. This is a westside staple for groceries and locally made baked goods. Parking is becoming more and more challenging, so try to avoid busiest times (after regular business hours, lunch...)
Another Trader Joe's that is super close...Westside Village is the luckiest village! Parking here is a bit tricky during rush hour, so try to avoid these times if possible...Unless of course you are seeking the 'real" L.A. experience. If that is the case just go for it.
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Trader Joe's
10850 National Boulevard
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Another Trader Joe's that is super close...Westside Village is the luckiest village! Parking here is a bit tricky during rush hour, so try to avoid these times if possible...Unless of course you are seeking the 'real" L.A. experience. If that is the case just go for it.
Larger Grocery Chain located in the same parking lot as CVS pharmacy, El Pollo Loco, Subway, Starbucks, See's Candy, ATT Store, Dry Cleaner, Wells Fargo, and Bagel Shop.
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Vons
9860 National Boulevard
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Larger Grocery Chain located in the same parking lot as CVS pharmacy, El Pollo Loco, Subway, Starbucks, See's Candy, ATT Store, Dry Cleaner, Wells Fargo, and Bagel Shop.
Pharmacy and convenience store that has all of your basic necessities as well as an on-duty pharmacist.
CVS
3010 South Sepulveda Boulevard
Pharmacy and convenience store that has all of your basic necessities as well as an on-duty pharmacist.
Sightseeing
If you visit Los Angeles I highly recommend the eclectic and unusual sights of Venice Beach Boardwalk. Walk along the Pacific Ocean and check out the local restaurants and shops. Expect the unexpected as you meander around Muscle Beach and the rest of the strip. Wear plenty of sunscreen and bring a hat. Have fun people watching!
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Venice Beach Boardwalk
1800 Ocean Front Walk
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If you visit Los Angeles I highly recommend the eclectic and unusual sights of Venice Beach Boardwalk. Walk along the Pacific Ocean and check out the local restaurants and shops. Expect the unexpected as you meander around Muscle Beach and the rest of the strip. Wear plenty of sunscreen and bring a hat. Have fun people watching!
The icon of Hollywood, Grumman's Chinese Theatre is located on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There are local shops and touristy things to do and see. People watching is a must. A must see during your visit to L.A. Close to the Wax Museum and El Capitan Disney Theatre.
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TCL Chinese Theatre
6925 Hollywood Blvd
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The icon of Hollywood, Grumman's Chinese Theatre is located on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There are local shops and touristy things to do and see. People watching is a must. A must see during your visit to L.A. Close to the Wax Museum and El Capitan Disney Theatre.
If you enjoy horseback riding, good food, and the closest view of the Hollywood sign, this is your tour. I recommend the two hour tour. Not for those afraid of heights and I recommend some riding experience.
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Sunset Ranch Hollywood
3400 North Beachwood Drive
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If you enjoy horseback riding, good food, and the closest view of the Hollywood sign, this is your tour. I recommend the two hour tour. Not for those afraid of heights and I recommend some riding experience.
Want to get a great picture/selfie of you and the Hollywood Sign? This is the location I take all of my visitors from out-of-town. The roads are a bit winding but I promise the view is worthwhile. Keep following your GPS nav to the exact location and you can park on the street and take a great photo. You can go to Hollywood and Vine as well as TLC Chinese Theatre/Walk of Fame during the same excursion to get your fill of the Hollywood Life!
3000 Canyon Lake Dr
3000 Canyon Lake Dr
Want to get a great picture/selfie of you and the Hollywood Sign? This is the location I take all of my visitors from out-of-town. The roads are a bit winding but I promise the view is worthwhile. Keep following your GPS nav to the exact location and you can park on the street and take a great photo. You can go to Hollywood and Vine as well as TLC Chinese Theatre/Walk of Fame during the same excursion to get your fill of the Hollywood Life!
Iconic night club that started some of the best bands in the world. This place is fun to drive by or watch a band. Bands such as the Eagles, Linda Rondstadt, and the Doors. John Lennon got kicked out for heckling the Smothers Brothers and Steve Martin and Cheech and Chong got their start here. Very cool venue.
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Troubadour
9081 North Santa Monica Boulevard
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Iconic night club that started some of the best bands in the world. This place is fun to drive by or watch a band. Bands such as the Eagles, Linda Rondstadt, and the Doors. John Lennon got kicked out for heckling the Smothers Brothers and Steve Martin and Cheech and Chong got their start here. Very cool venue.
Cute pier on the coast. Nice restaurants and cool little shops. Great photo view of the ocean and California Coast. Have cash to pay for the parking, which is usually $10 or so.
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Malibu Pier
23000 Pacific Coast Hwy
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Cute pier on the coast. Nice restaurants and cool little shops. Great photo view of the ocean and California Coast. Have cash to pay for the parking, which is usually $10 or so.
Parks & Nature
This park is a hidden gem in the Marina Del Rey and has a beautiful view of the harbor. Watch boats go by and you may see the seals upon the docks. A great place for kids to run around and a great spot for picnics. Many TV shows have been filmed here.
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Burton Chace Park
13650 Mindanao Way
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This park is a hidden gem in the Marina Del Rey and has a beautiful view of the harbor. Watch boats go by and you may see the seals upon the docks. A great place for kids to run around and a great spot for picnics. Many TV shows have been filmed here.
Great hike that takes you to a beautiful ocean view. Nice family hike (3 miles) for the outdoorsy types. When there is water (i.e., we are not in a drought!) the creek boasts a waterfall. Follow the bridge to the ocean view. Have cash to pay for parking. Don't forget to put your money in the envelope and drop box or you'll get cited! Wear proper shoes as there are rocks. Do not attempt in flip flops!
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Temescal Canyon Park
15900 Pacific Coast Hwy.
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Great hike that takes you to a beautiful ocean view. Nice family hike (3 miles) for the outdoorsy types. When there is water (i.e., we are not in a drought!) the creek boasts a waterfall. Follow the bridge to the ocean view. Have cash to pay for parking. Don't forget to put your money in the envelope and drop box or you'll get cited! Wear proper shoes as there are rocks. Do not attempt in flip flops!
Getting Around
Love the new Expo line. It runs until 2am so you can enjoy a late night movie in Santa Monica and then just take a short walk or Uber drive back to the Zen house.
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Expo Line
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Love the new Expo line. It runs until 2am so you can enjoy a late night movie in Santa Monica and then just take a short walk or Uber drive back to the Zen house.