A Los Angeles Travel Guide that focuses on the healthier side of LA.
As we all know, late last October I had a twinge-y Achilles that I ignored and kept running on until I couldn’t do a squat, let alone walk, because of it. I spent two-ish months in physical therapy, still aiming towards being able to run the LA Marathon. Finally, when I still wasn’t able to run in early December, I scrapped my plans and just focused on getting my Achilles healthy again.
Part of the allure of running the LA Marathon was that the Olympic Trials were the day before. I thought it would feel really historic and cool to run the same course (spoiler alert: not the same course) as a lot of the elite and professional runners I admire. Emily and I decided that while I was no longer running the marathon, it would still be cool to spend a weekend in LA and watch the Olympic Trials — it felt like a shame for them to be so close to SF and to not go.
It was totally the perfect weekend of running (including my first double-digit run in months), relaxing, napping, drinking a lot of coffee, eating delicious food and girl time we both needed. I actually already have a trip planned with Kristine and Jane to head back down next month for another wellness weekend in Santa Monica (think SoulCycle, more brunches and laying by the pool).
Gjelina: If you’re going to splurge on one meal (dollar-wise, not so much calorie wise) in LA, definitely hit up Gjelina on Abbot-Kinney in Venice. They’re famous for their pizzas, veggie-centric dishes and mushroom toast. Em and I were having a “wellness weekend” so we ordered a couple veggies (Brussels sprouts and grilled kobucha squash) and two meats (seared scallops and a wild boar sausage with homemade sauerkraut and mustard). I’m definitely looking forward to going again and trying more of the menu next time I’m in LA.
Cassia: On a whim we decided to go here on Saturday night after seeing it on Eater LA’s Essential 38 list. This space is huge (something we’re not really used to in SF), absolutely stunning and they have Scribe Sylvaner on their wine list — done. They serve up Southeast Asian fare, going a little heavy on the French influence — think pates, oysters, the most amazing beef curry I’ve ever had, jellyfish salad (as far as I know, I had never had jellyfish before) and delicious grilled Chinese broccoli with fish sauce.
Sage: There’s three outposts of this vegan bistro (Echo Park, Pasadena and Culver City) and even if you’re not vegan, this place is a must-try. They have nourishing bowls, salads, sandwiches and tacos and have a ton of gluten-free options. I recommend the Brazilian Bowl — fried plantains, black beans, quinoa, guac, mushrooms and leeks.
Eggslut: Living in SF, we’re accustomed to waiting in line for things (Bi-Rite, The Mill… that time we waited two and a half hours for brunch at Plow…) but I don’t think we expected the hour wait on Valentine’s Day at Eggslut. Located in the Grand Central Market it Downtown LA, the line for breakfast sandwiches and the famous Eggslut (eggs coddled in a potato puree and topped with cheese and chives, served with crusty baguette) wrapped around the building. A bacon, egg and cheese with avocado was much appreciated after SoulCycle.
Alfred Coffee: You know when decor makes a place almost more famous than the food does (Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, anyone?) — well, I think that’s the case at Alfred. Their coffee is great (Is any place that serves Stumptown not great?) and they also have a $10 latte, which is just Pressed Juicery Almond Milk over espresso. The guy was cool enough to give us a sip of their kombucha on tap too, which was a beet flavored one. There’s locations in Brentwood, Santa Monica and Silver Lake.
Woodcat Coffee Bar: Because I was originally going to LA to actually run the marathon I wanted to stay near the start at Dodgers Stadium so I booked a place in Echo Park. Emily and I obviously needed coffee the day we arrived after we ran and ate some lunch at Sage. (Fun fact: in three days we made at least six coffee stops.) Their beans are from Wrecking Ball in SF which is probably a half-mile from my apartment.
Compartes Chocolatiers: We all know I’m obsessed with Compartes (there actually is a photo of me with like 8 different Compartes bars at my kitchen table). If you’re in LA stop by their Brentwood store and stock up on the best chocolate ever.
Shout & About: I literally wanted to buy everything in this store. If you need a gift or just a fun pick me up, head to this Echo Park store.
Burro: Before dinner at Gjelina, we popped into Burro to shop for things we didn’t need but everyone wants — pricey candles, beautiful paper foods, Pendleton blankets, cookbooks, pillows and a bazillion other things I wanted.
Chat with me:
Have you been to LA? What are your favorite places? What spots should I hit up when I go back next month?