We recently hopped over to the west coast to check out Coachella (weekend II) via LA. It’s been about a week since we’ve returned to NYC, and I’m still feeling like I left my heart in California. Maybe it’s the fresh produce, the coastal beaches or the one-of-a-kind shops, but the region has a certain vibe that keeps it impossibly cool and laidback.
Needless to say, our trip was a whirlwind of expected and unexpected experiences: introductions with awesome new designers (more to come on that later), yummy food discoveries, sun soaking and of course, Coachella! Here’s a recap.
If you’re a flea market junkie, than I’ve got the perfect place for you. One of America’s most famous flea markets is Rosebowl. Occurring the second Sunday of every month, this place has it all…
Our days in LA were chilly and overcast but that didn’t stop us from going to Santa Monica Beach…
… or from getting ice cream! Sweet Rose Creamery is definitely worth a try but more than anything, I thought it was the most charming little place to kick back after the beach.
Its true, California produce is exceptionally fresh and flavorful. To get the most out of them, you’ll need to have a few raw pressed juices. Get to my fave by plugging 8382 Beverly Blvd into your GPS and you’ll find yourself at Beverly Hills Juice Club. Winning combination = coconut/mint/apple.
The Stahl House tour was one of the highlights of our trip and had me dreaming about living in this beautiful private home in the Hollywood Hills, if only for that incredible view. Check back for a full post on the house later this week.
Watching a basketball game at Staples Center was a nice check off the ol’ bucket list.
Ok let’s talk food. Above we have Steve deciding from the endless menu of Latin inspired tortas at Cook’s Tortas. You can probably go with anything and be satisfied but we went with the Mojito and Ahogada. More on that below…
The above are all must try places. Clockwise we have:
Cook’s Tortas: Specializes in tortas but they also have great sides and agua frescas. The Mojito and Ahogada were amazing (grab extra napkins for the latter!). Big portions, delicious sides, so tasty and the tortas are made with fresh handmade bread as an extra bonus.
Umami Burger: House ground, hand formed patties on a slightly sweet bun. They have a bunch of locations. The Earth burger is pictured above but the Truffle burger is the one to get for the true Umami experience.
Raffi’s Place: Inspired by authentic Persian and Middle Eastern home cooked cuisine. Great atmosphere, huge portions, and their specialty Persian rice selection is the highlight.
Taco’s Baja Ensenada: Fresh Mexican seafood tacos. The best fish and fried shrimp tacos ever. That’s all I’ll say. You have to try it.
As we discovered, the great thing about LA is that you can get a chock-full of authentic cuisine at all sorts of price ranges. Even the biggest hole in the walls had extraordinary food. For a place on the cheap try the red sauce chicken at Dino’s Chicken & Burgers or the boat noodles at Thai restaurant, Pa Ord Noodle. For Japanese ramen try…
…Daikokuya. They have a big menu but don’t stray, just get one of their ramens, it is their specialty. They had hand-drawn vintage Japanese posters along the walls that were very intriguing and helped make the 1hr wait a bit more bearable.
The night before Coachella, we gathered with the gang but, that meant finding a restaurant that could accommodate the whole lot (that’s Bill, Amy, Mark, Jeff, Steve, me, Riza, Pat and Holly). An Italian restaurant in Silverlake called Speranza, was the perfect place. Go with a group or go with a date, the atmosphere is beautiful with outdoor candlelit garden seating and wool blankets for the chilly LA nights. Try any of their house-made pastas, lobster risotto and their cheese plate.
Onwards to Indio, the land of Coachella!
So much scheduling overlap it hurt but we still managed to catch the tail end of Of Monsters and Men (pictured above) after Alt-J. Other bands we caught? Wu-Tang Clan, Lumineers, Theophilus London, 2 Chainz, Local Natives, Passion Pit, Beach House, Band of Horses, The XX, Phoenix and Jessie Ware. The band we wish we caught? Franz Ferdinand. Heard it was amazing.
Regardless of who we saw, Coachella was more about catching up with old friends against a backdrop of sun and music anyway. We couldn’t agree more, Coachella snail! “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together”…
…And if you want to have an amazing vacation, go to California!
Special thanks to Riza Arrieta and Holly Diep for photos.