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Like any big city, Los Angeles has plenty of incredible food spots to choose from. Whether you're visiting or a local, it can be tough to narrow down the choices. Maybe you’re looking for a fabulous place to go for brunch, or you want to visit a hip and trendy venue. I’ve included in this list some great finds I’ve personally tried out recently, each with its own unique reasons to go. With that being said, check out these 4 great LA restaurants.
The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker
Reasons to Go:
This restaurant is located in Sunset Plaza, an upscale section of West Hollywood’s famous Sunset Strip, making this a great place if you need to grab a bite to eat while touring the area. There’s plenty of outdoor seating, and the look of the venue is reminiscent of something you’d see in Santorini. One of my favorite things about this venue is that you get a lot for the price. I ordered the traditional breakfast, which costs $19 and was more food than I could finish. I find that sometimes at nice restaurants they’ll charge you an arm and a leg for practically a sliver of food, but this was not the case at The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker. Another interesting thing about this restaurant is the drinks. If you’re into mimosas, they have a cool mimosa flight, but even the lattes here are impressive. The color burst latte is definitely worth an Instagram picture.
The Highlight Room
Reasons to Go:
The Highlight Room is a rooftop pool and restaurant located in the heart of Hollywood. It’s also one of those LA places where the ‘beautiful people’ go to see and be seen, so if that’s your vibe, then you’ll want to check out this spot. More than likely the majority of those working here are aspiring influencers and actors, and while sometimes that can mean snobby service, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the hosts and servers here were really nice. The best part about The Highlight Room is the view, though. I ate here during the day, and you can see all across Hollywood right from your dining table. Food and drinks were costly, with most meals in the $20-25 range. I ordered a grilled chicken Caesar salad, so not the most interesting thing, but it was good. In comparison to the other restaurants on this list, the food here was probably my least favorite, and it was the same for the other people in my dining group. But again, the bigger draw of this venue isn’t the food so much as the ambiance and views. Plus, it’s in the heart of Hollywood, so if you have plans to sightsee around the Walk of Fame, this is a great spot hit up the same day.
All Day Baby
Reasons to Go:
All Day Baby is located on Sunset Blvd. in LA’s eclectic Silver Lake neighborhood, east of Hollywood. If you’re a tourist visiting LA, this is where you’re likely to find more locals hanging out. This venue is the most budget-friendly place on this list, but this also depends on what and how much you order. Rather than being seated and ordering from your table, you’ll wait order and pay upfront. You then seat yourself, and your food is delivered to your table. I chose the fried chicken sandwich with a side order of fries. I was pleasantly surprised with the sandwich, but I will say their breakfast sandwich also looked pretty good. As far as food goes, their dinnertime menu did look better than the daytime one, so just keep that in mind as well. This restaurant has plenty of outdoor and open-air indoor seating. They also have some locally-made pastries worth trying, but they can sell out quickly. I had my eye on the cinnamon rolls, and they were long gone by the time I got there.
El Coyote Mexican Café
Reasons to Go:
As far as food and drinks go, El Coyote is hands down the winner here. I ordered the steak fajitas and a margarita to drink, both of which were incredible! You’ll likely have plenty of leftovers with this meal, but they’re worth ordering. If you’re 21+, be sure to try their margarita. This was honestly the best margarita I’ve ever had, but I want to warn you that it’s the kind that doesn’t taste strong but secretly is. So, if you plan to have one, take a ride share, walk, or give yourself plenty of time to digest it in order to drive safely. They have indoor and outdoor seating. El Coyote is also the most historic restaurant on this list, though part of its fame is steeped in tragedy. El Coyote was the restaurant Sharon Tate and friends dined at the night of the Charles Manson murders. Because of this history, El Coyote was also featured in the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The restaurant has been open for over 90 years, making it one of the city’s oldest spots. So, if you’re into Hollywood history - and want some seriously good Mexican food and margaritas - definitely check out El Coyote. They also have free parking in the back until 4:00 p.m. After that, you’ll have to pay to park there.
Let’s be real: one of the biggest draws of visiting Los Angeles is the possibility of getting to see a celebrity in person. But in a sprawling city of millions, it might be tricky to locate them. Of course, there are the safe bets like TV show tapings or awards show ceremonies where the glitterati are bound to gather. But what about encountering them ‘in the wild’ without the cameras, bodyguards, and loads of fans? I’m going to let you in on a Los Angeles hidden gem where you will definitely spot a celeb, including my own experiences with celebrity sightings there.
If you want to see celebrities in LA, go to the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood. The Sunset Marquis entrance is located on Alta Loma, a quiet street just off the Sunset Strip, a block west of La Cienega. The Sunset Marquis has a restaurant and bar that’s open to anyone for dining, so you don’t need to be a guest to enter. One time my friend Anna Flora was visiting town, and we walked into the Sunset Marquis just to look around the property. While walking around I saw Helen Mirren reading a magazine by the pool area.
The best option though is to actually make an experience of it by having lunch there. I recently met a friend there for lunch. I hadn’t seen her in four years, so we had a lot of catching up to do. I was so engrossed in our conversation that I didn’t realize a major Hollywood actor was sitting right by us. It wasn’t until after he left that my friend revealed the actor who was just inches away from me was none other than Oscar Isaac. I could have kicked myself. Poe Dameron in the flesh.
So there you have it. If you want to see movie and tv stars up close during your stay in Los Angeles, pay a visit to the Sunset Marquis Hotel.
Idyllwild, California has some personal significance to me, so it was extra exciting to finally be able to see this California mountain town. I went with my fiancé and our dog to celebrate my fiancé's (somewhat) recent milestone birthday. Our overnight trip was in late February, and we were driving from Los Angeles.
Idyllwild is a mountain town located in the San Jacinto Mountains and is about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles. Idyllwild makes for a great day trip, overnight trip, or weekend trip. In this article, I’ll share what to know if you’re considering a mini-getaway to this quaint town in the mountains.
What is Idyllwild known for?
Idyllwild is a mountain town located in the San Jacinto Mountains in Southern California. It’s about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles. Idyllwild provides access to hiking, wilderness, and local businesses such as restaurants, shops, and wineries. The town is ideal for a short escape from the hustle and bustle of busier SoCal cities. Idyllwild is perfect for a day trip, overnight visit, or weekend getaway.
Does Idyllwild have snow?
Yes, Idyllwild has snow. This may be surprising considering it’s located in Southern California, but once you start driving up into the San Jacinto Mountains, it’s as if you’re being transported into a whole other world. You leave the desert climate of inland SoCal and enter a wintery landscape full of snow, beautiful mountains, and pine trees. Now, don’t expect snow in Idyllwild all-year-round, but if you go in the winter, there’s a good chance you’ll hit a beautiful snowfall.
Is Idyllwild worth visiting?
Yes, Idyllwild is worth visiting. Idyllwild definitely embraces the quaint mountain town aesthetic. From cabin-like lodging to adorable local shops, you shouldn’t be disappointed. Plus, Idyllwild is super-relaxing and quiet; I slept the best I had in months during our overnight stay! Our dog, Piper, also got to meet the Idyllwild Mayor, an adorable golden retriever who made the rounds visiting folks in town.
Where to Stay in Idyllwild
We stayed at the Silver Pines Lodge, which is located right around the corner from the center of town, so the location is great. Silver Pines Lodge offers cabin-style rooms that are very cozy. The rooms come with a fireplace that runs on a thermostat system, so it's easy to control. The main issue we encountered with our room was that the bathroom does not get heated, and as a result, the floor in there was extremely cold. A refrigerator was included with the room, though, which was a nice addition. They are also pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your dog on the trip if you stay here!
How long to stay in Idyllwild
You should stay in Idyllwild for a day, overnight, or for the weekend. Idyllwild is not very big, so any time longer than a few days isn’t necessary.
About the author
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer and comedian who has been featured on Amazon, truTV, The New York Times, Matador Network, BUST Magazine, Sleep Advisor, Tiplr, ARTRPRNR Magazine, YourTango, Thought Catalog, GoMad Nomad, Mashable, The Daily Mail UK, the Cannes Film Festival, LaughFest, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, and the Funny Women Festival LA. For more info visit: http://www.jillzwarensteyn.weebly.com