I spent a four days in sunny Los Angeles in the fall of 2018 - in part visiting a friend who happened to be there at the time and also in pursuit of warmth that was quickly retreating as the leaves rusted back in the East Coast.
This being my umpteenth time to the city and the SoCal area, I hit up a few of the touristy spots that I’ve missed in my previous trips. Griffith Observatory was one such place, perhaps more well-known after being featured in La La Land.
In addition to expansive views of the city at night, the observatory also offers visitors to observe the skies via one of the Hubble telescopes, inside the dome below.
The line that night was quite long, however, so we opted to just take a few shots of the lights below instead.
Inside the building, there are many exhibits and a domed theater for 30-min shows for a fee of a few dollars. Below, the time-telling pendulum inside the main hall of the observatory, and the intricate ceiling in the observatory’s center dome, above.
I went to OUE Skyspace in downtown LA, one for the panoramic views, but two mostly for the ‘skyslide’ - pictured below. Essentially its a slide attached (securely) to the exterior of the building. (The whole experience was over much faster than I imagined, so I didn’t see much during the ride itself, tbh)
Entrance to the skyslide…
The bottom of the ‘skyslide’ at OUE Skyspace. Riders are given a sack to sit in land land on this mat.
Other than the slide, I recommend skyspace on a non-crowded day (Friday mornings, when I went, seemed to be an opportune time). They have two outdoor patios featuring 360 degree views of the city.
In Downtown LA, the best bet to grab some lunch, or really any meal of the day, would be Grand Central Market.
There was a lot of choices inside the market, but we chose two of the more well-known: the Insta-famous Eggslut, and Villa Moreliana for tacos.
The line at Eggslut was 30-40 minutes long, wrapping around the stand itself - hence the tacos while we were waiting in line.
The orange juice at Eggslut was some of the best I’ve ever had, rumored to be 100% pure. Bottom left is the namesake dish the ‘slut',’ featuring a runny egg on top of potato gratin in a jar, with crispy baguette to dip. Left, egg-salad sandwich, also some of the best I’ve had. Needless to say, the restaurant knows its eggs.
Villa Moreliana offered a wide variety of tacos - I was told they’re most famous for carnitas - and you even get samples while in line.
Left, from top to bottom, we opted for tripe, carnitas, and pig ear. It came really loaded, so much so that each taco was wrapped in not one but two soft corn tortillas.
That same afternoon, we visited the Getty Museum, located in the Northwestern part of the city, toward Santa Monica.
Though the museum’s history is much shorter than, say, the Louvre or the Met, it is a majestic space overall, and definitely worth a visit if you’re in town.
As much as the pieces of artwork indoors is a draw, the Getty also boasts gorgeous sculptural gardens on its acres of ground.
My second day here was spent seeing friends who lived in the area - and - eating Yoshinoya. Verdict: not as good as in Asia. As you can guess from the spring rolls and wings (right), very much adapted for the tastes in the States, losing, in my opinion, much of its authenticity and savory flavor,
Last day was spent at Santa Monica, a classic destination in LA but nonetheless enjoyable.
Another recommendation for dinner: Chinchikurin in Little Tokyo (and another location near Santa Monica), for Hiroshima style okonomiyaki. And they have takoyaki here as well!
Takoyaki - combination of 4 flavors.
Surprise! Deserts here are good too.
The last supper, courtesy of our Airbnb host who is also a professional Italian chef (!). Authentic home-style Italian at its best. She hosts classes through airbnb experiences too.
Risotto, left, and spinach and ragu ravioli - all homemade.
Left, some of the best butternut squash ravioli I’ve ever had. Right, classic Italian salad
Dessert! Homemade cake, and pie.
Home-made limoncello cream liquer. Very interesting.