We spent two days in LA en route to our honeymoon, and I thought it would be fun to share our whirlwind itinerary. We end up visiting Southern California at least annually given that many of our close friends live there, and you may recall that I celebrated my bachelorette weekend in LA this past spring. For this trip, we opted to make it just the two of us since it was, in fact, our honeymoon. And don't worry - I'll share a full download of our trip to the lush paradise of French Polynesia soon!
Morning: We landed at LAX around 9am, and headed straight to Manhattan Beach for breakfast at Uncle Bill's Pancake House. Imagine diner food on a patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean, including the most deliciously indulgent hash browns. I am extremely grateful to my dear friend and her husband to introducing me to Uncle Bill's on my first visit to LA four years ago. After breakfast we wandered down to the Manhattan Beach pier before heading to neighboring Hermosa Beach to grab (more) coffee at The Source Cafe and wandering through the adorable shops (Gumtree and Wicked+ General Store are favorites).
Afternoon: We drove from the South Bay beach towns through the heart of LA to Griffith Park, where we hiked the Firebreak Trail to Griffith Observatory. I like to pick the route with the best views and fewest people, and Doug is a good sport given that those trails are often the most difficult. We were both exhausted after the wedding and an early cross-country flight, which provided an added challenge for our hike! Nevertheless, the hazy views of LA were worth it.
Evening: I've been curious to check out Downtown LA after hearing so much about its renaissance, and when a good friend recommend that we try Redbird I was totally game. I highly recommend this restaurant. The food was inventive and well executed, the service was knowledge and personable, and the space is just. so. cool. Redbird is in the former rectory of cathedral, and has a retractable roof. We consider that meal, much of which spent eating under the stars, as a highlight of the entire honeymoon.
Morning: We were still on East Coast time (despite our best efforts) and therefore rose very early. I jumped at the chance to have breakfast at Sqirl without braving the legendary line. Any place that has been praised by both Mark Bittman and Alice Waters (two of the titans who have shaped my thoughts on how to eat) is HIGH on my list. The famous ricotta toast did not disappoint, and we loved the "Famous Damus", a better-than-average breakfast sandwich with soft scrambled eggs and cured ham on ciabatta bread. YUM. We followed breakfast with a misty walk around the nearby Silver Lake Reservoir for a bit of gentle activity.
Afternoon: We knew that the amount of exploring we wanted to do would be best served by renting a car, and we took full advantage of that freedom by winding along scenic Mulholland Drive. Doug is a car guy, and I knew that all the twists and turns along Mulholland - plus the eventual drive down one of the canyons - would be a treat for him. You also can't beat the views over the Hollywood Hills. We finished up the drive by heading east along Wilshire Boulevard through Beverly Hills and Hollywood. We spent a relaxing lunch at the Eveleigh in West Hollywood, where we took full advantage of the back deck.
Evening: With a redeye flight on the horizon, we headed back to the Santa Monica / Venice area to get dinner and take the notorious LA traffic out of the getting-to-the-airport-ontime equation. We had been properly feasting since our wedding, so we bailed on our original dinner plan (sausage and beer at Wurstkuche) for tacos and margs at El Cholo in Santa Monica. With that, it was off to LAX and from there onward to paradise!
Until next time, LA