When planning a trip, there’s nothing like advice from a local or a frequent visitor. RueBaRue asked savvy globetrotters to share what they like best about the places they love. This time round, we asked This Yuppie Life to share with us her Los Angeles secrets.
Why did you choose Los Angeles?
I have lived in LA for 16 years, so hopefully I’ve learned a thing or two. My best travel experiences always come from local recommendations.
When was the first time you visited the city?
I first visited when I was 11 or 12. I’m originally from a very tiny town in North Carolina called Albemarle. From a very early age I was fascinated with LA and always knew I would move here one day. My parents finally brought me on a quick layover on the way to Hawaii and it was every bit as magical as I had hoped. Nobody thought I would stay more than a month when I moved here after college, but I did!
How often do you visit?
Every day of my life ;). What I love most about LA is that there is always something new to discover.
What is your favorite place for…
Cooks County in West Hollywood. It’s a little bit of a secret gem. You can always get a table and the food is incredible.
In this sprawling city, it helps to have a couple of favorites based on what side of town you are at any given moment.
In Santa Monica
Bay Cities Italian Deli. This is a local favorite. It’s actually an Italian grocery store in Santa Monica that has a large deli counter. It is so popular with the locals, there have been articles written on how to best navigate the madness. My tips? Order ahead online as you can schedule pick up time, have someone drive you and wait around the corner so you can avoid the insanity that is their parking lot. Take sandwiches to the beach for a picnic. It’s the closest you’ll get to New York without hoping on a plane and it is 100% worth the effort.
In West Hollywood
Joan’s on 3rd. This is an LA institution to locals. Joan McNamara became one of LA’s most sought after caterers and from there she pretty much created an empire. Every morsel from her sandwiches to salads and baked goods are to die for and are beautifully presented as a gourmet marketplace.
Mid afternoon treat
Oysters and hand crafted cocktails at Hungry Cat. I’ve never had a bad meal here either…their lobster roll is my favorite in town. There is a location in Hollywood and in Santa Monica.
I am a big wine bar fan and my favorite is Bar Covell in Silverlake. For something extra special, £10 at the Montage in Beverly Hills is a secret little whisky bar located above the restaurant Scarpetta, where you can taste some of the world’s rarest and precious whisky. They also have an ice menu (!!!) and fabulous cocktails that will set you back way more than £10.
Pizzeria Mozza is one of my absolute favorites. Restaurants tend to come and go in LA as everyone wants new, new, new, but this one has remained at the top for one reason…the food. We live around the corner and love to cozy in on a Friday night, sit at the bar and share some antipasti and a pizza. They have an excellent wine menu too.
Which part of town do you like and feel that most visitors never get to see?
Without question, where I live... Hancock Park/Larchmont Village. It’s just east of West Hollywood/South of Hollywood and is a gorgeous historical neighborhood that was one of the first prominent neighborhoods in town. A lot of the homes are huge estates and at night antique street lamps line the paths. Larchmont is an adorable street located in the middle of it that has restaurants, my favorite coffee bar Go Get Em Tiger, and shops including the best beauty store in Los Angeles…Larchmont Beauty.
Are there any shopping secrets we should know about?
Speaking of Larchmont, I never leave the clothing boutique Library without a great pair of jeans or a great sweater. But, aside from that, Melrose Place has become the newest shopping destination—Violet Grey is a must visit for makeup/beauty. Elyse Walker in the Pacific Palisades is off the beaten path and one of the best high end clothing boutiques…their shoe collection is off the charts.
What is your favourite touristy landmark in the city?
I still love to see the Hollywood sign. It was such a symbol of my childhood hopes and dreams and I still smile every time I see it.
Do you have a favorite museum?
I’m a member of LACMA…they tend to have the most exhibits I want to see. But, on a beautiful day, there’s no place better than the Getty. I also just went to The Broad and their collection is astounding and certainly worth a visit.
What is your favorite hotel in town?
Shutters on the Beach. It is a luxury boutique hotel right on the beach in Santa Monica that feels like your own personal beach house.
About Molly Schoneveld
Molly shares her adventures in food, travel & interior design on her blog. Molly owns a boutique PR firm that handles personal publicity for celebrities, interior designers, lifestyle experts and hotels. Molly lives in Los Angeles, but calls North Carolina home.