Chicago vs. LA
Understand that they are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT cities. And to really understand the Cali vibe, you have to go there. No amount of reality t.v or hear-say will summarize ones individual experience. Just like any major city, you have to seek it for yourself.
This is my 2nd time visiting the ‘city of angels’. This trip I spent most of it visiting and spending time with my best friend from college. We did some local and touristy stuff, but mostly spent time laughing and reflecting with each other. We reflected on our three years of seeking out our individual cities, and our shared ambition to continue seeking out the best in ourselves.
What to See
LACMA is a great museum. There are some fantastic pieces that call the museum its home, however, I was not completely impressed. Its a good museum, I just prefer another famous one in LA a little better.
As someone who seeks out unique experiences, I believe my experience at the Getty Museum was much more profound. The Getty provides a great deal of insight into how art is made; much more than any museum I have ever visited before. That really stood out to me. Oh, and the views. The Getty has a beautiful landscape, and museum layout that makes it truly unique.
Where to shop
LA is the land of a very trendy style. It is home to brands like BCBG, Guess, Forever 21, and many more. You are never out of style if your everyday ensemble is a dad hat and ripped jeans or a bandage style dress in the day time.
Nope. You fit right in.
The shopping districts range which makes building a wardrobe, a style seekers dream! My friend lives off of Melrose avenue, which is similar, yet 10x better than Chicago’s own Wicker Park. Instead of every other store front being a restaurant, it is instead a clothing store. Melrose is the best place to find name brand, current season clothing at fantastic price. Why? Because of all of the consignment shops. One of the best stores for these type of finds is Wasteland. Wasteland is a men and women’s boutique that carries everything from Maison Margiela jackets to Louis Vuitton garment bags. Along with consignment and vintage shops are true cali classic urban brands, Joyrich. The infamous vine trimmed boutique is home to pop culture collaborative apparel. The store is truly nostalgia in vogue.
The shopping doesn’t end at the retail stores. On Sundays shoppers can visit the Melrose Trading Post, located at Fairfax High School. The weekly market is the perfect shopping grounds for a mecca of diverse items. Visit for a chance to find eclectic home goods, artisanal gifts, and everyone’s favorite Americana classic, Levi’s cut off jeans.
Off of Melrose there are other fantastic shopping districts. Downtown LA is home to major showrooms and markets, such California Market Center . My friend and I ventured to check out their Black Friday sale. Great time to shop for clothes year around from well known and up and coming fashion labels. LA’s downtown Fashion District is also a major hub for wholesale shops and low priced retailers that sell fashion-forward clothing for the ultimate low, bargained price. It’s the New York style street vendors, but with more air conditioning. LA also has a great variety of high-end malls like The Grove and Beverly Center, both of which I visited on my first visit to the city.
All these shopping experiences are great. But nothing comes close to the shops on Rodeo Drive. Rodeo drive is beautiful. So, so beautiful. A luxury shoppers dream come true. The store fronts themselves are a marvel to behold.
Visiting seekers, if your pockets are on empty, don’t be discouraged that you can’t buy anything from the area. Because you probably can! Head two blocks in any direction and you will find yourself in a comfortable shopping range of contemporary brands, like Tory Burch, All Saints, and even Sephora. Can’t shop. People watch. That is a luxury everyone can enjoy.
From one style seeker to another, the shopping in LA is impeccable. If you are visiting in and your weather parallels the West Coast, I would honestly travel with an empty suitcase. You can find great pieces at some pretty low prices, and come back much more fashionable than you left.
Where to Eat
I am biased. Chicago is such a good food town that nothing really screamed, “amazing” in LA.
No, I did not have In and Out. Had it.
No, I did not have Mexican food. Have it.
So my options were not as unique. Plus, I did visit during Thanksgiving. There were plenty of delicious leftovers, that I never felt to compelled to eat out. My friend did have some great selections and I had my first taste of some dishes that I have yet to try in Chicago.
On my last day in the city, I ventured to Los Feliz. I mention the neighborhood in greater detail later on in the post. One of the reasons I was so drawn to the area was because of this highly rated breakfast place in the area, Fred 62. It is a neighborhood gem and celebrities have given it praise. Plus, it was very nostalgic, which is always fun to experience. Its not like diners are Michelin rated or anything, but they do possess something that deserves a praise. So, I made my way to this one. Since I was in California, I decided on the California omelet. The large portion was made up of chicken sausage, goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, pickled onions, and avocado. The meal was excellent, and cheap. Two of the best combinations you can ever get in a place like LA or even Chicago.
Blu Jam Cafe is a popular brunch spot on Melrose. The American-style menu boasts house specialities such as the Crunchy French Toast. A brioche dipped and rolled in corn flakes, topped with berries and powdered sugar. This type of french toast was a first for me. It was pretty good! The dish comes with a vanilla bean sauce that substitutes as a syrup. It doesn’t do much, so I switched it out for the classic maple; much better choice.
My last meal in LA was at Bao, a dimsum restaurant on Beverly blvd. It was excellent, and peaked my interest in exploring the dimsum scene in Chicago. Between my friend, her boyfriend, and her sister, we split about eight different dishes. This restaurant fits the need of any type of eater. The dishes range from steamed dumplings to pan-grilled potstickers. The menu also offers large soups, salads, and friend rice to those who would prefer something other than the speciality dish. We each picked an array from the menu, which is highly recommended. A great option if you are looking for something low-key to enjoy with a group of friends. It was by far my favorite meal from the trip.
On my last day in Los Angeles I ventured out the touristy realm into an intimate neighborhood known as Los Feliz. Los Feliz has a small town charm in tinsel town. The neighborhood is home to Griffith Park and the birth place of Mickey Mouse. My short time there consisted of a delicious breakfast, featured above( California Omelet) and a nice stroll on around the main road. Vermont avenue is home to a indie movie theater, bustling restaurants, and unique retail spaces. Skylight books is one of those unique retails spaces. The book store carries an array of titles, some well-known and others not so much. They even have a separate space for their wide selection of arts focused literature such as comics, fashion periodicals, and the biographies of some of the most influential muscians. The bookstore knows its audience, and carries a collection of books that are current and relevant to today’s ever changing world.
If you don’t know, LA is a city that is best enjoyed by car. Since I didn’t have one, I did what any girl living in the city would do, and made use of the feet God gave me to enjoy the quaint little neighborhood.
I am so thankful for friends in places near and far. So blessed to have the ability to travel and even more excited to share those experiences with other curious people like myself.
My time spent in LA was a great. Anytime spent with friends is always a blessing. Although I didn’t get to experience everything I wanted to in LA, I have planned a future itinerary. Ideally, I would love to see the following: the Broad Museum of Modern Art in downtown LA. Echo Park, and Little Tokyo. Throw a celerbrity in there for good measure too.
Headed to LA? Share what you seek with me!