I know this is late, but between a cross country road trip and a move across the ocean, I have a good excuse, right? Anyway, to follow up from my Los Angeles recommendations post a few months ago, I wanted to post some final thoughts and other favorites for anyone heading out that way. Keep in mind I was only there for about two months, so I've barely scratched the surface, but here are some other places I enjoyed.
Upright Citizens Brigade- You might remember my post from June when I saw a show here. This is a cozy little venue in the Hollywood Hills that features established and up and coming comedians and improv actors. Tickets are cheap and there are shows seven nights a week. Plus, it's on a cool street with lots of little cafes and shops to check out afterwards.
Crunch - The first thing we did after moving into our new place was find a gym. Top contenders were Equinox and Crunch, but to be honest, the Crunch people were nicer on the phone (ask for Nicolette, that girl will take care of you!) and they had more convenient parking than Equinox. The facility is excellent - it's never really that crowded, and the space and equipment is always clean. They recently upgraded their shower game with bamboo flooring, and they've got hairdryers and Bliss lotion, shampoo and conditioner as well. The people who work out there are friendly, and the instructors were great. I took three hip hop classes a week and I loved that they were actual dance classes, and more focused on learning choreography rather than burning calories. That alone was worth the membership fee! Further, it's right upstairs from Trader Joe's and across the street from the Laugh Factory.
Yoga Master Classes - For anyone really into yoga, you absolutely must go to YogaGlo in Santa Monica. I got to take a couple amazing classes from top yoga instructors there, and highly recommend it. The space is filled with natural light, and is just beautiful. The one caveat is that the classes are filmed for their website, so it is unlikely that the instructor will give many adjustments, and in some cases, they won't give any, because they're needing to demo the majority of the class. Parking can be an issue, so get there at least fifteen minutes early and you'll be able to snag a spot right out front. Also, it's free!
Hiking - What I think I loved most about LA is that you're right in the hustle and bustle of things in a major city, but you can easily escape and head to the hills for a hike if you're starting to feel claustrophobic. I hate to admit it since I grew up loving New York, but it really has New York beat in that respect. Anyway, there are lots of options for hiking. I particularly enjoyed Runyon Canyon and Griffith Park, and can recommend each depending on what you're looking for. Runyon is more of a scene - I saw a celeb (or at least someone I recognized from reality tv) each time I went, and it was pretty crowded regardless of whether it was 6am or 6pm, but being new to the area, it didn't bother me.
My friend Janell introduced me to Griffith Park, which is more low key. We only passed a few people, and there are so many different routes to take that it felt like you truly could be alone if you wanted to. Both places allow dogs, too.
Health Food Stores
Whole Foods - I don't really have to expand on this, do I?
Trader Joe's - They're everywhere, and are cheaper than Whole Foods, but generally have less of a selection. I usually would just grab my basics here - fruits and veggies, basic meats like chicken and then the harder to find items I'd pick up at Whole Foods.
Erewhon - Super sceney place, and prices that make your eyes bulge but also a pretty great selection of health food. Nice little park right across the street.
Foods of Nature - Hmm, no website that I could find but it's 1700 S Robertson Blvd, and it's a nice little health food store with fair prices.
Where to Stay in Los Angeles
AirBnB - We searched forever and even enlisted the help of friends (thank you, Molly!) to find a spot we'd feel comfortable in, and wound up going with a place off AirBnB in West Hollywood. It was walking distance to The Grove, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. In the mornings, I'd walk to Shred Juice in Beverly Hills with the pup, or go in the other direction to Erewhon and grab a green juice before heading to the park across the street. What I love about AirBnB is that you walk in and it feels like you're home. You're not staying in some stuffy hotel, yet for the price of a hotel you've got an entire house or apartment. If you'd like to try it out, here's a $25 AirBnB credit that can go toward your next stay. (Disclosure: I get $25 when you book, but after you use the code, you can refer friends and get $25 when they book.)
Uber - I know I mentioned this in the last post, but I really loved this service, and was psyched to see Prague just got its own Uber program recently. Anyway, even if you're not in LA, check and see if Uber is set up in your city. If it is, you can use this Uber promo code to get $30 off your first ride. (Disclosure: I get a $30 credit toward one right if you use this, but then you can refer your friends and get $30 credits toward future rides.)
Let's Talk We're planning on being back in the LA area for the summer again, so if you have any tips of your own, I'd love to hear!