Los Angeles Travel Diary

Monday, December 22, 2014



Happy Monday everyone ! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend and perfect official first day of Winter (if you're living in the Northern hemisphere!). I couldn't be more excited to have finally gone through this school semester and passed all of my exams with great distinction ;) At last, I can now fully indulge in the Holiday season and spend time with my loved ones… And devote a whole lot of my time to catching up on some work at PBTH ! It always feels so good to find quality time to actually work on all of those projects of mine. I always find myself being the most creative when I'm lacking free time (read here, during midterms/finals!) and so, I have all of these cool ideas stuck in my head and just so little time to actually bring them to life. Now that the Holidays have officially begun for me, LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN !

Today, I'm taking you back with me to L.A., where Karl & I spent our Reading Week working on some University stuff for him, and blog stuff for me. We actually got in Los Angeles right on time for Canadian Thanksgiving and so, decided to unorthodoxly enjoy it around a nice Korean BBQ on Hollywood Blvd. Mostly, I was thankful for getting to spend time with the man of my life on the other side of the continent ! In L.A., we stayed at the W Hollywood Hotel, which has been really good to us, aside from a few hitches, here and there. When we travel to L.A., we like to stay either in West Hollywood or Beverly Hills, not that we want to play it like the cool kids or anything but the area is rather close to most of PBTH's business partners, PR offices and photoshoot studios. The more time we can save on transportation, the better !

When we weren't working, Karl & I spent most of our free time on La Brea and Melrose Avenues for some casual shopping and dining, and poolside, on the rooftop of the W Hollywood Hotel. They actually have one of the prettiest pool set up I've ever seen, with a nice cocktail carte and lunch menu, some pool chairs, some cabanas with HD TV's, a business meeting area and a ping pong table (to Karl's greatest pleasure!). Los Angeles is definitely a city where Karl and I wouldn't mind leaving in at some point, New York still being our first pick. But we're just not too stressed out about it because either way, we know we'd be completely stoked to live in one or the other. What I like about L.A. is the 'everything is possible' vibe, as opposed to New York City's fast lane lifestyle which is always all business and parties. L.A. actually has that freshness, sporting a better, healthier living with tons of bio-organic markets, huge parks and mountains, fitness center and beaches. I feel like we're going to move to New York to work and and make big bucks, before finally heading to L.A. to live it up and enjoy life ! How's this for a life plan ?

















@wHollywoodHotel #insider // Peak at our gorgeous #Marvelous #suite & it's relaxing #Ocean #surf sounds, courtesy of 'en-suite' @Sound_Oasis #device 🌊🙏 #PBinLosAngeles #WestCoastPBTH #WayOutWest #Whollywood






In a nutshell…

Car rental company 
Advantage Car Rentals. So as this was our first time ever renting out a car abroad, Karl & I looked up almost every possible car rental companies before finally committing to Advantage because of their great deals on smaller cars. I you ever rent a car and aren't at all used to it, I would suggest to save on the insurance instead of saving on the quality of your vehicle. Thing is, no matter what your situation is, you are very likely to be already insured for minor damages (double check to make sure though!).  For instance, Karl's credit card had us fully ensure no matter what would happen to our vehicle. However, having your car break down in the middle of nowhere really isn't how you want things to turn out, now is it ?


Hotel
W Hollywood Hotel. The W Hollywood is located at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine, near the Kodak Theatre. It is the newest W Hotel in Hollywood, striking a pose in the epicenter of the entertainment capital where glitz, glamour, glorious sunshine, power shopping, vibrant dining, world-class culture and cutting-edge style headline the marquee. The four-star Hotel brings back true movie star glamour with a convenient star-sighting locale. You'll only have to take a few steps to find world-famous sites, like the legendary Pantages Theatre, a 1950s home of The Oscars. Wanna hear more about this intriguing destination ? No worries, I'll get to tell you all about it later this week...

    

Dining Spots
Roscoes Chicken and Waffles. This Long Beach, California-based soul food restaurant is best known, as the name states, for serving chicken and waffles, both together and separately, although they do offer more traditional menu items as well. To me, Roscoe's is a MUST, everytime I travel to L.A. and even though it is not the healthiest restaurant in town (like, by far it isn't!), I always have a blast eating there and cheating on my ever-not-so-strict diet ;)

    

Square One Dining. Located on Fountain Avenue, in Little Armenia, Square One Dining is a 'breakfast all-day' type of Café, featuring a flavourful menu with everything under 15$. They proudly serve all of their meat products, hormone free, and organic, local, and small farm products when possible. Plus, you've got to try their Hollandaise sauce on Benedict's, it is flawless !

  

Cha Cha Cha. Right in between Silverlake and East Hollywood, basically in the middle of nowhere, you'll find an colorful, authentic Jamaican restaurant which serves the BEST food in town. No really ! Cha Cha Cha has definitely been our greatest discovery in L.A. this year and we vowed to go back every single time we're in the area. The food is so great, packed with flavors and the ambience, always festive. The restaurant actually features a Happy Hour menu going from like 4:00 pm (if I remember correctly) to midnight which is a pretty good deal for the amount and quality of food you're going to indulge in. Shootout to the most divine house made rum-based drinks !


BLD. The place serves simple, delicious food made with high-quality, seasonal ingredients. It's the kind of easy, comfort food that you would cooks at home and it's available all day without pretense and expense. A true neighborhood spot, as well as a great destination restaurant ! Fun fact, I spotted a BLD counter at LAX (Terminal 7) where I would totally have had breakfast before heading back to New York... If Karl hadn't been so stressed out with time (we had like 2 hours spare time!) and decided we'd grab breakfast at some random spot instead ;)

    

Cafe Verona. We stumbled up on Café Verona while shopping on La Brea and looking for a cozy place to grab lunch in between stores. It's a quiet Italian Trattoria Al Fresco located in the heart of Los Angeles, where you will find authentic Italian cuisine amidst a canopy of green and the pleasant sounds of a babbling waterfall. A great spot to lunch at, when in the area !

  

Where to shop
La Brea Avenue and the well-known Melrose place area are two of my favourite streets to shop. La Brea is home to a bunch of Fashion x function minded concept stores, while Melrose definitely has a more girly, chic vibe with boutiques and flagship stores like DVF, Paul Smith, Fred Segal and Vivienne Westwood. I also like to head over to Fairfax to shop all-things Air Jordan's, DOPE, Supreme and so on...

Hollywood Sign
Karl & I decided (read I forced Karl!) to drive all the way up to the mountains to go on a hike to see the Hollywood Sign from up-close. The most common question people are generally asking themselves is: What is the address for the Hollywood Sign ? The Hollywood Sign has no address because it is not accessible by car or public transportation. The only options for viewing the Sign are to hike or visit one of the viewpoints listed here ! If you choose to go on a hike, I would recommend wearing sports clothes and running/hiking shoes because some trails are definitely something. It is not the type of visit you wanna make wearing a flowy dress and wedges (like I have seen many women do!).

  



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