Last July, Kevin and I ventured to the West Coast for a 4-day trip to Los Angeles. Now that our next LA adventure is booked and right around the corner, I decided to share some of my favorite memories from our last trip!
One of the things we look forward to most for this trip (and let’s be real, every trip), is the food. Before heading out to Los Angeles, we mapped out a list of all the eye-catching Instagram spots and unique Pinterest foodie finds we were dying to try. From local eats to west coast chains, 4 days was nowhere near enough time to eat everything (though we got very close).
Almost a year later, we’ve added quite a few spots to our list. Now, we just have to hope a 6 day trip gives us enough time to complete it.
One of the first places I knew I had to try was In-N-Out. There’s something special about finally getting to try something which you never thought you’d have the chance. Although I was a bit skeptical at first as to how In-N-Out would live up to the massive hype, I can now confidently say it absolutely does.
Those who’ve ever eaten with me know I like my food sort of plain – some may even define me as “picky.” That unfortunately means I didn’t try my burger or fries “animal style” (but don’t worry, Kevin did).
The Griddle Cafe
If you ever get the chance to visit the Griddle, I highly recommend going on an empty stomach. Why? The Griddle serves the largest stack of pancakes I have ever seen. To be completely honest, my stomach was not at all prepared to handle three massive, “BLUESberry” pancakes. While this was one of the tastiest breakfasts I’ve ever had, I had to fight off a blueberry-induced food coma for the next several hours I learned a very important lesson that day: it pays to pace yourself.
Leo’s Taco Truck
I love street style tacos. There’s no denying that fact. I first discovered my affinity for authentic Mexican tacos while on a trip to South Florida. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked.
After asking Google ever-so politely to present “tacos near me,” we decided to try Leo’s Taco Truck for a late-lunch snack. Between the two of us, I think we ordered about 10 tacos. Tacos al pastor, carne asada, barbacoa. The only thing holding me back from buying the entire truck right then and there was the number of dollar bills in my wallet.
Tucked in Grand Central Market, Egg Slut serves some of the best breakfast sandwiches (and fresh orange juice) I’ve ever had. I followed their Instagram for a month leading up to our trip, and the pictures made me excited and hungry almost every single day.
Both Kevin and I ordered the Bacon, Egg & Cheese (I ordered it without the chipotle ketchup, of course). Pro tip: Arrive early, there usually tends to be a line.
Diddy Riese combines two of my favorite desserts into one amazing sweet treat. This is the best late night snack in Westwood. With ten cookie varieties and about 12 ice cream flavors, the possibilities are practically endless.
Kevin and I love lemonade; the sweet nectar of the gods is almost always in our fridge. So when I heard there was a restaurant dedicated to the most heavenly beverage on earth, leaving LA without paying this establishment a visit was simply not an option. Absolutely nothing compares to a tall glass of lemonade on a sunny Los Angeles day, and this stuff was about as good as it gets.
Oh yeah, they have pretty great food, as well.
Shockingly, we were able to make time for activities other than simply eating our way through southern California. Sure, all the food was delicious, but the views were divine.
One of the first stops on our sightseeing tour was the palm tree-lined streets of Beverly Hills. I have to say, I felt rich and famous just by walking around the area. Fortunately, the remainder of my now-empty wallet kept me grounded – thanks, Leo’s Tacos.
Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica was one of my favorite stops (and not just because I totally owned a Wizard of Oz arcade game for about 45 minutes).
The incredible views of the Pacific were just a perfect way to start the morning. Not to mention, the Pier has plenty of things to do, lots of arcade classics, food, and the relaxing sounds of tourists fighting off seagulls.
Growing up in Florida gave me exposure to a bunch of professional and college-level sports teams. Even with all the different teams, I’d only ever been to one professional baseball stadium: Tropicana Field. Just the massive size of the crowd at Dodger Stadium alone was impressive. The view of the sunset from the stadium and watching how downtown Los Angeles lights up at night, were breathtaking. I highly recommend attending a Dodgers game, even if you don’t care for baseball – just go for the experience.
El Matador State Beach, Malibu
Last but certainly not least, Malibu. The differences between Florida beaches and California beaches are pretty easy to pick up on. For one, the Pacific water is quite a bit colder than the warm bath water I’m used to from the Gulf of Mexico. Secondly, the beach landscape is incredibly different from the flat sandy beaches of Florida. Everything about El Matador State Beach was so different from what I’m used to, but every bit of it was amazing.
Pro tip: Remember, when taking photos in cold water – timing is everything.
Have something I should add to our LA list? Let me know in the comments below!