Silk Button-Down Shirt: c/o Everlane (comes in so many colors!) // Jeans: J.Brand Maria in ‘Bluebird’ wash. They come in lot’s of other colors, too! If you’re looking for more high-waisted jeans, these Levi’s are my other favorite pair // Bag: c/o Lo & Sons (it’s a camera bag, if you can believe it!) Hat: Hinge from Nordstrom // Oxfords: c/o Everlane (I have the Blush color, but they come in lot’s of other colors, too–make sure to size up!) I also love their loafers, and I just got their new “Day” heels which are perhaps the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn.
A month or so ago (okay it was probably two months ago. JEEZE how time flies!) Neal and I spent a quick couple of days in LA. I was very excited about this for two reasons: the biggest one being, I had forgotten what sunlight looked like (ugh, Chicago winter) and felt like, and 2. I used to live here, and hadn’t been back since college!
So, the last time I was in LA, things were very different. Let me set the scene for you.
After my Sophomore year, I spent the summer here with my best friend Alex. Her dad had pulled some strings and gotten us two internships at a Santa Monica PR firm, and we rented a teeny one-bedroom apartment in Westwood (where UCLA’s campus is). Two broke teenagers thinking they ran the town and more often than not had granola bars and a vodka soda for “dinner” on weekends.
Our furniture consisted of one rented couch, coffee table, and king sized bed that we literally shared from June through August. (Do you think it’s weird to live with your best friend for three months and share a bed every night? In hindsight: yes, this was strange.)
Alex is hands-down my smallest friend, so the fact that she drove a gigantic black Lincoln Navigator (which we all lovingly referred to as “The Nav”) and could barely see over the steering wheel made her that much funnier. To get to our parking spot, we had to go through this 15 minute ordeal where we had to do a three point turn, almost taking out several other cars in the process, and back the behemoth Nav down a very narrow alley to get out to the street. Imagine two 19 year olds doing this every day to get to work. (Actually, I was 20, Alex was 18. She’s younger. So together we averaged about 19 years of age.)
So, you get it. This current trip to LA was kind of night and day!
Anyway, we were there because Neal started covering California for work this year (he’s in sales) so I figured, why not tag along? I love traveling with him on work trips–we go our separate ways during the day and meet back up for drinks and dinner at night. It’s the perfect setup! Here are some of our favorite LA spots we hit while we were there.
The Honor Bar
Our first stop in LA was dinner at The Honor Bar–known for its burgers and this famous chicken sandwich with kale slaw I’d heard so much about! We were with Neal’s boss, Sean, so we ordered a bunch of things to split! We started with the kale salad (Fresh herbs & roasted peanut vinaigrette). Let me go into more detail here and tell you I’m not a salad person. I don’t particularly like kale–raw or cooked–unless it’s in a green smoothie and I’m not able to taste it. But based on our server’s recommendation, we ordered it, and omg. It’s probably one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten! Even if you’re not a greens lover, get it. You won’t be sorry!
We also shared the Ding’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich (Crispy chicken, sliced tomato, baby Swiss & dressed kale–yum), the Honor Burger (with cheddar and tomato topped with slaw–equally as amazing) and the carnitas sandwich (which I’d honestly skip next time) and of course, fries.
Funny enough, they’re also known for their sushi. Random? Tip: Arrive early to put your name in. The place is tiny and gets very busy! We waited for about 25 minutes for our table on a Wednesday night.
Alfred Coffee & Verve Coffee Roasters
Two adorable and “very LA” coffee shops. If you’re a frequent instagrammer, you’re likely already familiar with Alfred’s, but Verve, in West Hollywood, was a recommendation by my high school bestie, Alex. I headed here to get some work done in the AM. It’s an adorable space with outdoor seating and really good cold brew!
The Crescent Beverly Hills
Where we stayed on our last trip to LA. Neal typically stays in Beverly Hills for work because it’s centrally located, but even if you aren’t there for work, it’s a great spot to stay on vacation for this very reason if you’re looking to hit a lot of different neighborhoods during your visit.
Finding a reasonably priced hotel anywhere in LA though, is another story. You wouldn’t think that ritzy Beverly Hills would boast some affordable housing, but it does if you know where to look! The key, if you’re trying to save money, is to find the smaller boutique hotels without pools. (Pools=jacked up prices!) We were there in the winter, so it was too chilly for the pool anyway, and besides, we wanted to get out and explore. Pool prices=not necessary.
Anyway, we’d highly recommend The Crescent. It was probably the cutest hotel I’ve ever stayed in, and they include a really nice breakfast spread with your room charge. They don’t have free wifi, but if you purchase it for 24 hours, you get two free beverages from the bar–so that’s pretty cool.
The Sixty Hotel
Alex (she still live in LA!) and I had drinks on the rooftop here–it has an awesome view of the city and the cocktails were great! We got free wifi and it was a great place to get some work done and have a few cocktails! The pool also looks unreal–if we go back and want some time to just lounge, we’d definitely look into staying here!
If you love tacos and margaritas, Petty Cash is a must! The food was amazing, the ambiance was really fun, and the drinks were strong and delicious. It also won’t break your wallet, which is always refreshing on vacation 😉
When asking anyone for restaurant recommendations in LA, you won’t NOT hear Gjelina listed among everyone’s top favorites. It’s a super popular spot in Venice Beach serving up delicious pizzas, fresh veggies, with organic, farm-to-table ingredients. This was our last meal in Venice and it didn’t disappoint! Go with whatever your server recommends, and you can’t go wrong! Make sure to get at least a few veggie sides!
In N Out
Growing up an Arizona kid in my middle school and high school years, I frequented In-N-Out on a weekly basis. It might be the thing I miss most about Arizona other than the weather. If you go to California and have never had it before, you are required by me to stop and order an Animal style cheeseburger.
This little strip of restaurants and shops has been named “the coolest street in the world” by GQ and probably 100 other publications. It’s adorable and bustling with fun things to see, do, and taste.
A word to the wise: You do NOT NEED TO SEE THE VENICE BOARDWALK. It is disgusting. Skip it and just go straight to Abbot Kinney instead.
Last but not least, we should probably touch on today’s outfit–yes?
Well, speaking of California, it happens to be where one of my favorite brands, Everlane, is based. (They’re in SF though, not LA!) They make this silk button down (which comes in several colors as well as a more fitted version), as well as my oxfords (which also come in lot’s of colors!)
Their whole motto is “radical transparency”–meaning, they actually tell you how much each item costs to make, and how much they’re marking it up. They take out the middlemen, so you get in insane quality without paying an arm and a leg. Pretty cool, right?
They are my absolute #1 go-to for classic wardrobe staples. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn this shirt since I got it a couple months back. It works for pretty much any occasion–it’s so classic, and not to mention–insanely comfy! I’ve found that their clothing runs true to size, but for shoes, you should typically size up depending on the type of shoe. (If you read the details on the item, they’ll tell you!) I ordered an 8.5 in my oxfords, and I’m usually an 8!
What are your favorite spots in LA?
P.S. If you’re planning a trip to Cali soon, make sure to check out my Spring Break essentials right over here!