Having lived in Los Angeles for 10 years, it is always a treat to visit the city I once called home. LA has changed a lot since I lived there. One of the major changes is the traffic. When planning this trip I knew we would need to divide and conquer. Half the time on the east side (Hollywood, Downtown and Beverly Hills) and half the time on the west side (Santa Monica, Venice and Malibu).
We decided to spend the first part of the stay on the east side. While there we enjoyed things like Hollywood Walk of Fame, The Grove, the famed Hollywood sign, Universal Studios, downtown LA, Bel Air and Beverly Hills. We stayed at the Mondrian Los Angeles in West Hollywood. This hotel was the perfect location. It sits right on top of Sunset Boulevard with stunning views of the city. It had a young hip vibe. We even met some celebrities in the elevator. The pool was gorgeous and looks over the city. We also spent some time at Skybar – one of LA’s coolest pool side bars. The staff at the hotel was super-friendly. Plus, the rooms were LA glam. Staying here really made me feel Hollywood famous for a few days!
After three days in Hollywood we headed out to the west side for a long weekend at the beach. During this time, we enjoyed places like Third Street Promenade, Marina del ray, Venice boardwalk, Zuma beach and my favorite Topanga Canyon!
We stayed at The Shore Hotel. A great hotel right smack dab in front of the Pacific Ocean. We had ocean views from our room. Plus, the pool and jacuzzi had ocean views. This was a great west side choice for many reasons. It was very accessible and we could walk many places. The hotel even offers in-house bicycles for guests. One of our favorite adventures was biking down to Venice Beach for the afternoon.
One thing I miss most about living in LA, is all the amazing restaurants. During this trip we ate at so many amazing places. Here are some of my favorites… These restaurants all have multiple locations.
Cleo Hollywood is an awesome award-winning, celebrity studded restaurant. Their sharable Mediterranean-inspired dishes are just amazing. Some of our favorites were the kebobs, flatbreads, hummus with tahini and labneh with feta.
Katsuya Hollywood is another celebrity favorite! Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi and world-renowned designer Philippe Starck working together make this restaurant a stunning adventure. The décor is so cool. You definitely feel like you are in Hollywood. Some of our favorite dishes included the Katsuya ceviche, A4 Wagyu "Fried Rice," and the Wagyu Tobanyaki.
While shopping at The Grove one day we ended up at Umami Burger. The signature house-ground meat, locally sourced produce, house-made ingredients and chef-inspired burgers were so good. Their popular Falafel burger, is the perfect vegetarian burger! This was one of the coolest burger places ever.
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