LA in a day

Last weekend, my friend R from high school came to LA to visit! She was coincidentally in town taking her Step 2 CS (the one which I will have to take in Philadelphia next month) and took the opportunity to catch up and explore LA with me. I love the fact that I've been able to catch up with some old friends this trip, some of whom I haven't seen in years. After a few minutes though, it feels like no time has passed at all.

We started off with celebratory drinks and tacos at Blue Plate Taco, a hoppin' joint by the beach in Santa Monica.

I got fish tacos, like always. I like any city where I can eat tacos every day. 

We walked along the Santa Monica pier with the other throngs of tourists and experienced some of LA's live music, but then retired early to prepare a full day the next day.

After my next morning in weight loss clinic, we did the responsible thing and got vegan food at Native Foods Cafe, probably one of my favorite places in Westwood. It's a fast casual place with awesome vegan food that isn't pretentious and doesn't even taste like vegan food, just healthy. My Rockin Moroccan bowl was full of veggies and enough to take home for leftovers the next day. Their lemonades and ice teas are also a must try! I can't wait to go back so I can try more of their bowls and vegan sandwiches. 

Thankfully R gets me and lets me rearrange plates and take pictures of everything we ate :)

Lunch was followed by a campus tour, right in the middle of LA's heat wave last week. We "bear"ly made it!

Then, we set out for an adventure to DTLA! T picked us up again and took us to the famous sights I had seen and heard in the movies, including "the pillars," aka the Urban Light installation outside of the LACMA. ("Take me to the pillars!""...what are you talking about")

And the Grove, a huge outdoor shopping center and home to the country's original Farmer's Market, a cute collection of outdoor food stalls and old school grocery stores. 

Then, my favorite part of the day was our trip to Griffith Observatory, where we finally saw the Hollywood sign in all its glory. When R and I first caught sight of the Hollywood sign in the car, we both gasped in excitement because we had never seen in person before. Such tourists! But it's definitely less of a big deal for native Los Angelinos who never even give it a second thought. And it is quite small up close...

Not only do you get the best views of the Hollywood sign from Griffith Observatory, you get the best views of downtown spread out before you. It's definitely a must-see for everyone who comes through LA.

 Best tour guide
 cue "The Hills" music

We ended our night in true DTLA in Chinatown, at the Chinatown moon cake festival. LA's Chinatown is actually pretty sizable, definitely bigger than DC and even London's, but obviously smaller than SF or NYC's. We ate at some food trucks parked nearby, so I didn't actually get to try any of the Chinese food, but I've heard it's better in neighborhoods like Roland Heights or Acadia, which I haven't had a chance to visit.

Whew what a jam packed post and jam packed day! From Santa Monica to Westwood to Griffith Observatory to Chinatown all in a day I'm glad I was able to see so much of LA last weekend with friends. As I'm posting this, I have exactly one week left in LA and I'm determined to see as much as I can...I'm hoping a remaining 10 page paper doesn't stand in my way. Next up, Venice and Malibu! 


  1. I'm quite the fan of Native Foods Cafe also! We have one here in Chicago pretty close to my place. The lavender lemonade is good times.

  2. your photos turned out amazing, yoyo! xoxo


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