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how i spend 48 hours in LA
There are infinite ways to experience LA. It’s one of my favorite cities and while the East Bay is my home, I often wonder if I moved away too early in my 20s. Luckily, it’s a very short flight. Every visit I stumble on something new that becomes a “must” for the next trip. Here are the places and experiences close to my heart.
Pine and Crane: This is the first meal I like to eat after landing at the airport because it’s perfected fast-casual taiwanese dishes. It’s a nice place to dine alone and order a hot tea and ask for three rounds of hot water refills. I remember when the dan dan noodles were $6.50 in 2017, and they taste just as good five years later. My order: the aforementioned noodles, eggplant basil rice, wood ear mushroom, and the pork potstickers. Their boba tea drinks are also very tea-forward and not overly sweet.
Hangari Kalguksu: Even on a hot summer day, I want a boiling hot cauldron of chicken or clam kalguksu. It’s just really delicious and will soothe any travel anxiety nausea or hangovers.
Otus Thai: I find this part of Hollywood overstimulating and stressful but I will make the trek for dinner at Otus. The interior is very cozy: cesca cane chairs bathed in dim orange lighting. I’d order the fluffy crab omelette (and really anything else crab on the menu) with orange wine.
Holbox: For the seafood lovers. Ideal on a summer day because you order at a food court type setup and sit in the courtyard. My order: grilled branzino, scallop aguachile, any of the tacos.
Lowboy & Bar Flores: Where I like to go for drinks or a late night burger. They’re right next to each other and it’s easy to hop between the two. I would start at Bar Flores for a more charming ambiance and get one mezcal margarita, and then go to Lowboy when you’re hungry and order a second mezcal margarita because that’s the best drink plus a burger and alligator fries.
Maru: My body doesn’t handle caffeine well but I’ll always take the hit for a matcha latte or espresso tonic from Maru. I suggest the Arts District location for better people watching and street style observation.
Donut Man: How thrilling to doordash a box of iconic strawberry donuts to your hotel/airbnb/place of stay at 1am.
Get a body scrub and lay in the mineral rooms at Crystal Spa in Ktown. It’s an experience you won’t forget.
Get a perm or hair color done at Ssooniestyle. I trust them to do Asian hair well so I try to sync my hair appointments with my travel plans.
I have been to the Broad a few times and to be honest I haven’t been feeling museums in LA lately. But it’s pretty fun if you’re looking for an art experience.
Pop up sales: the very best shopping in LA (imo) is through word of mouth pop up events, flea markets, etc. I just keep tabs on sale events happening on Instagram. This past trip I stumbled on an amazing pop up and left with six vintage pieces, including a peach silk Betsey Johnson dress (cries).
Mohawk General Store: out of habit, I always check out the store for new arrivals and emerging designers to learn about. There’s always something that piques my interest and clothes to try on.
Skylight Books: a superb selection of art books and zines. It makes you want to collect art books and have a beautiful bookcase at home. Walking distance from Los Feliz Maru if you want to walk somewhere with your coffee.
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