Dining in La La Land is expansive and hosts all sorts of cuisines and culinary tastes! It’s such a foodie paradise. I’ve always felt like LA was multiple cities all rolled into one, so this trip, I really wanted to get to multiple neighborhoods (not just downtown). I remember visiting LA while I was in college, and thinking that it wasn’t for me. I’ve been to LA several times, but this was one of the first opportunities I had to really explore more than just near the convention center. I had a few business dinners in addition to my weekend time, so I tried to experience a variety of neighborhoods and dining options! I decided to share some highlights!
Republique is easily one of the hottest restaurants in LA right now. I can understand why, as it was a truly lovely experience. Firstly, the space is just beautiful, both indoors and out! Based in La Brea, this is definitely a happening place. I was interested to see that the atmosphere was very comfortable. I like when a restaurant isn’t too far into one ambiance. Republique would be great for a business dinner, date night, or even a large group! I was so excited to get a reservation, and it definitely did not disappoint!
Foie Gras toast? Most definitely, yes!
These potato and leek beignets were the perfect bites! Personally, I have come to realize that I might be more than a little smitten with any use of gruyere. These little delights packed so much deliciousness inside we couldn’t believe it. Definitely order these!
Our fish came out, sadly, with peppers. Fortunately, I caught it, and our waiter could not have been more apologetic! He immediately corrected the issue, and we received another beautiful plate of fish. It was absolutely delectable.
These root vegetables were earthy and sweet, and the short rib was incredibly tender!
Dessert was rich and flavorful!
Even the floors are stunning! I highly recommend this restaurant. The food was outstanding and the restaurant has great vibes. For LA, the prices, while not inexpensive, are not over the top. It’s an excellent evening out.
The Daily Dose is such a gem right around the corner from the Museum of Ice Cream! On the recommendation of Hello Katie Girl, I decided to check it out! The Daily Dose is a small coffee and eats down an absolutely stunning alley! Seating lines the alley, and the brick is covered with greens. Small patio lights are strung up the alley, and even in the daytime, it makes you feel as if you are stepping into another land.
I ordered a ham and cheese on a sesame bagel (not gluten free, but so yum). I sat myself down at a picnic bench, read my kindle, and listed to spotify. It was a very peaceful and removed atmosphere, and I was very grateful for the respite.
The staff were so sweet. I ordered a yummy iced chai and a chocolate croissant, because of course, and had a lovely little lunch.
Wall art in the alley.
I am extremely grateful (See what I did there) for an excellent meal at Cafe Gratitude. My server took really exceptional care of me! I have been significantly trying to reduce my meat consumption. The difficulty is that most vegan or vegetarian restaurants tend to put some variation of pepper in everything. I’ve been eager to try out Cafe Gratitude for a while, but was wary that there might not be anything I could eat. Fortunately, the staff worked closely with me to devise a meal, and I was pleased to be able to dine! The restaurant itself is just lovely. From the affirmations on the windows to the beautiful lighting and marble counter tops, your mood immediately lifts when you enter!
One of the cute quirks about Cafe Gratitude, is the manner with which you are to order. You’re supposed to say, I feel… and then say the name of your item. I ordered a Noble pressed juice. It was quite yummy. In order to place your order, I had to say, I feel Noble. It’s incredibly cheesy, but there’s definitely something in it! If you say these positive affirmations enough, it really does start to change your outlook. Bravo to Cafe Gratitude for having this as part of their experience.
We settled on the Eclectic (which is flash fried buffalo cauliflower) and they made it plain for me! We added a side of sliced avocado and a polenta cake, and I had my own little bespoke meal for which I was incredibly pleased with. It’s always a kindness when the kitchen works with my allergy to come up with something so that I can eat there. I have absolutely encountered restaurants that just shrug their shoulders and don’t even try to accommodate me. My servers were just lovely, and I was very thankful that they took such consideration and effort to assist me. My food was AMAZING. I was so excited at the delicious flavors!
While there are several locations, I visited the Cafe Gratitude in the Arts District. There are so many beautiful wall art pieces right next to the restaurants! It’s a beautiful area, and this love wall right outside made my mood soar even more. This is wonderful place to get a bite if you need a pick me up, or just a feel good, healthy treat.
I know that I constantly rave about SugarFish, but it’s JUST. SO. GOOD. The blue crab rolls and toro rolls are so yummy, I have to order extras. I have been raving about SugarFish since Kiki and I stumbled upon it when we were in Los Angeles for Expo!Expo! back in 2014. Victoria had never been, despite living in Long Beach, so after years of failed attempts, we finally had our fantastic sushi date. It was everything we hoped and more. Do yourself a favor and try Sugarfish if you are ever in NYC or Los Angeles. The simplicity of the sushi is what makes it so outstanding! It’s a first come, first serve and they won’t seat you without the whole party. Poor Victoria had to wait for me because my Lyft driver took a few wrong turns. No reservations, so definitely get there early.
I loved the Santa Monica Pier. It reminds me so much of being at home on the Jersey Shore. Like fairground or carnivals, boardwalk food is a delicious and rare treat. It’s wildly unhealthy, and should probably be kind of gross, but there’s a certain whimsy when you get the chance to consume it. I love a good funnel cake! Absolutely can’t resist. I’m glad that I didn’t go overboard, and limited myself to just this one treat. I’m not always so restrained, but sometimes you just need to treat yourself!
The Beverly Hilton is stunning property! As part of my, “let’s see more of Los Angeles than just the LA Live district,” I booked a stay after my conference at the Beverly Hilton. I hadn’t been westward in LA since college. This was the perfect opportunity for me to explore a little bit, though I ended up with an overly aggressive timetable and wasn’t able to get about as much as I wanted! My room was lovely, so I woke up, put on my robe, and decided I wanted to have breakfast on my balcony. A short while later, I was dining on eggs and sausage, and a pot full of coffee.
While I do not have any photos, my friend from high school Kristen (who lives in Long Beach now) who I have not seen in years, came out to hang, and we ended up in the bar of the Hilton. We ordered a few snacks, (all tasty), and some lovely cocktails and just caught up and people watched! (The Cinematique was honoring Amy Adams), so there were definitely some very beautiful gowns hurrying past us!
I happened upon Silver Lake Ramen by chance, and I am forever grateful that I did! This is hands down, the best ramen I have had. (And yes, I LOVE Momofuku, but this is in a whole different league).
Firstly, this is a tremendous deal. You can get ramen, a rice bowl. AND edamame for under $25. Yes, in Los Angeles!
The ramen! Silver Lake Ramen says that they boil the broth for 16 hours to give it a rich flavor. The broth was creamy, and silky, and so delicious. My first spoonful was wonderful, and I found that I couldn’t stop sipping it. The richness of the flavor combined with the wonderful consistency of the broth were just incredible. The noodles were exactly as they should be, and combined with the amazing broth, was just heavenly. It might be a little out of the way, but it’s near the Silver Lake Stairs and definitely worth a visit!
If you get the opportunity to visit LA, I had a fabulous dining experience, and can’t wait to return and try some new things! Some of the best parts of LA are the vibrant food scene. There’s always something new and innovative happening! Can’t wait to return (and will likely be making a beeline for Silver Lake. That ramen broth is on my mind, and probably always will be)!