Lena's Guide to Los Angeles, California

Lena's Guide to Los Angeles, California

California: utterly warmer than Boston in November, full of amazing food, lots of beautiful sunsets and mountains and everything in-between. Paul and I are coming up on our 3 year anniversary, and finally took our first BIG trip together to Los Angeles! We balled out for a week and had a blast. If you were following on my Instagram stories, you saw some hilarious videos, lots of food, and tons of bubble tea. Here's your Lena Mirisola guide to LA - including details on everywhere we stayed, ate, and visited! All photos taken in iPhone, all panoramas by Paul ;)

Hello pretty mountains!

AIRBNB #1 - SILVER LAKE DREAM HOUSE

This Airbnb was insane. No right angles in the whole thing! We climbed up tons of stairs past lemon and orange trees to our little piece of paradise - with a 360 degree wraparound porch overlooking the Hollywood Sign, mountains, and Silver Lake. The sunsets were truly amazing.

Silver Lake Ramen = possibly my best meal in LA. Look at that fried chicken. They cook their broth for 16 hours... my stomach is grumbling just thinking about it.

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DesignerCon was happening in Pasadena, and our Johnny Cupcakes family was there... so of course we had to pop over and surprise them!!! We had a blast looking at all the art, seeing our friends on a different coast, and buying some art prints (bubble tea themed of course).

We got lost trying to find the Hollywood sign. Note: the signs that say "no access?" They're serious. We scrambled up to the Griffith Observatory instead with only 20 minutes to spare before sunset (damn you daylight savings) - and boy did we see something spectacular. 

What the f.

So, the next day, we tried to find the REAL Hollywood sign trails. It said 3 miles roundtrip. HA! I can power walk that in Boston in like 45 minutes. Let's do this.

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NOPE. A WHOLE LOT OF NOPE. That hike was almost 1,000 foot elevation climb in the dead sun. I almost died, like 100% fact. We had no idea the hike would be that grueling... and if you didn't know before, I FUCKING HATE HIKING.

I only smiled for 4 seconds the whole time trust me

So after coming back from the dead and showering off the 17 layers of dirt on us, we headed to Santa Monica and Venice Beach.

...and got the famous PHORRITO! Yup. A pho burrito. And yes - it tasted just like the real thing!!! We grabbed tea and mini waffles from Boba Lab to picnic on the beach with. We watch the waves and grabbed cheap hoodies from the vendors in Venice before grabbing a Frose at a rooftop bar for sunset.

And then sat in an hour and a half of bumper to bumper traffic back to Silver Lake #veryLA

Millie's breakfast was wild. That's a whole coconut! So delicious, you gotta go. Although the matcha was very Instagrammable, it was a little watery ;)

I love rocks in the ocean which is why I love El Matador State Park!!! We were killing time before checking into our Malibu Airbnb, so we packed a picnic and drove to this amazing beach.

Below right: the drive up the mountains to the Airbnb, below left: the view from the Airbnb!

All windows baby. You had to drive an extra 10/15 min winding up and down the mountains to get here... it was so remote, but watching the sunrise and sunset from here was awesome.

We've arrived at Malibu Pier! Free street parking too.

Malibu Farm breakfast was out of this world. Coconut milk quinoa oatmeal?!?!? AND THAT VIEW!!! A bit pricey, but what ISN'T in Malibu?

NEW BEACH!!! Point Dume beach was incredible. You can take a tiny hike up the cliffs for stunning views, climb over rocks at low tide for a private beach (Pirate's Cove) and we even saw seals hanging out on the rocks!!!

Had the whole thing to ourselves!

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Quick trip down to Santa Monica (I was going stir crazy in Malibu - it's like being out in the countryside!!! Not much to do but go to the beach!!!)

We caught the sunset, grabbed tea at Volcano Tea, and had some delicious burgers at Pono Burger.

I definitely freaked out upon entering. The view was insane. Mountains on the left, city on the right. This is my dream home. How much is rent!?!?

Paul made us stop at In-n-out and while I'm pretty sure they haven't changed the prices since 1948, the fries and shake were A++++. We started to miss driving our little Porsche down the Pacific Coast Highway.

Sunset in the hot tub = so much yes

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Quarters Korean BBQ - what an experience holy cow!!! The drinks were the best we had all trip and the food was wowwwww! The sesame marinated chicken, bulgogi, and japchae.... WOW.

Grand Central Market was SO COOL!!! SO many hipster venues, and I've been following Eggslut for so long on Instagram it was about time I had one in real life. Unfortunately I ate it on the sidewalk in 37 seconds. #sad

We visited The Broad, which is a free museum... but you have to pay $30 each for the exhibit. We lined up thinking we were buying tickets... WRONG. After an hour and a half (already committed, you know) we finally got to the front - and we still couldn't see the exhibit for another 4 hours minimum. And no, you can't buy tickets for the next day. Oh well! We came back later than night for Yayoi Kusama's show.

The dot room was wicked fun (we touched it all)

Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Koons...

Why not be tourists on the last day? (Only cared about the Disney stars and Judge Judy)

Goodbye LA, you were incredible. Until next time.... XOXO

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FOOD

SILVER LAKE

Silver Lake Ramen
Dinosaur Coffee
Cliff’s Edge
Same Same Thai
Millie’s Cafe
The Thirsty Crow

SANTA MONICA

Komodo
Boba Lab
Volcano Tea
High Lounge
Pono Burger

MALIBU

Malibu Farm
Duke’s 

KOREATOWN

Quarters Korean BBQ
Snow Monster
It’s Boba Time
Mr. Boba
OB Bear

DOWNTOWN

Grand Central Market (Eggslut!)

HOLLYWOOD

Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles

CAR

Turo

(Airbnb for cars - it was SO easy, fun, and cheaper than renting esp drivers under 25!)

ACTIVITIES

Griffith Observatory
Hollywood sign hike
Santa Monica Beach
Venice Beach
El Matador Beach
Point Dume Beach
The Broad Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art
Hollywood Walk of Fame

RANDOM THINGS TO NOTE

Gas is $$$

Valet parking is everywhere. Yeah, you gotta pay to park in a parking lot. It sucks. And don't forget to tip.

The traffic is bad but time things between 10am-2pm on a weekday and you'll be fine.

Wear sunscreen.

Make reservations when you can.

There were 30+ more places on our list to eat and drink, but you can only do so much in a week! If you have more faves when visiting LA, drop it in the comments for my readers!

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Lena Mirisola

Boston, MA 01886, USA

Photographer. Bubble tea addict. Girlboss.