Recently the SwankStore team were lucky enough to make a short trip to the City Of Angels AKA Los Angeles. A bit of business mixed with some fun as well. In a big city like LA you need to know where to go & how avoid the nasty tourist traps or else you'll end up doing the same boring things your friends have been doing for years. Thats no fun!
While we all love a trip to Disney Land & its kinda cool to take a selfie with the Hollywood sign in the background, let your friends @TheSwankStore give you some real advice about our fave places to hang out, while in Los Angeles. From Beverly Hills to Downtow, read on for the lowdown!
When we visit LA like to set up base camp around the famed 'Sunset Strip', also known as Sunset Boulevard. Sunset Strip is the name given to the mile-and-a-half stretch of Sunset Boulevard that passes through West Hollywood & is home to some of the hippest bars, restaurants, retail stores & concert venues in all of LA. While really just a thoroughfare road, Sunset Boulevard boasts noted hotspots like The Viper Room, Sky Bar@Mondrian, Wiskeyagogo & many more. At the bottom of the Hollywood Hills, the vibrant, eclectic & energetic feeling of LA comes to life at night time oozing fashion, style & cool around the many entertainment precincts in the area.
And, Sunset Boulevard is close to the trendy areas of Melrose Avenue & Santa Monica Boulevard so there is always plenty to see & do
The Mondrian West Hollywood
The Mondrian is a noted boutique hotel that is made up of quirky hotel rooms & suites, a fabulous bar called the SkyBar@ Mondrian & the perfect lunch & dinner spots.
Often frequented by celebrities, fashionistas & cool crowd, The Mondrian features a gorgeous outdoor pool (perfect for morning Mimosa cocktails) and then comes to life at night time.
The hotel as a whole has an air of relaxed & laid back Los Angeles cool, with hotel rooms designed by famed french designer Phillipe Starck (You will just love the TVs set inside the mirrors), and high quality furnishings with a modern, romantic feeling. As a bonus, each room comes with a collection of premium toiletries that smell & feel great!
Mondrian features a 24 hour gym if you need to work off the calories & we recommend ordering ranchos herrros for sunday breakfast!
Rooms start @ $199AUD per night & give you no worries access to the SkyBar & swimming pool area too!
check it out @ www.mondrianhotel.com/
The London: West Hollywood
For a level of sophistication & urban cool, we like staying at The London, boutique suites. The London features hotel suites rather than rooms, which means that you have a bit more room to play, when you stay. Featuring a most amazing rooftop pool (with cabanas mind you!), it is the ideal vantage point to watch the long afternoon sun going down over the city, cosmopolitan cocktail in hand of course!
In 2015 The London made Trip Advisors Hall of Fame as one of the best hotels & it goes without saying!
The hotel features VIP movie screening room, a 24 hour gym, a concierge service that can help you find almost anything, anywhere, anytime & again, those views from the famous Rooftop pool bar are to die for!
For the foodies out there, LA is a mecca for every kind of food you wish to be part of, with options across every price point & every kind of food taste you may want. For us, we love real American fast food like burgers & Californian Mexican cuisine, but outside of a quick fix, take a look at our favourite food spots below to get your food inspiration on.
Pinks Hot Dogs
If you're looking for a quintessential LA food destination its hard to go past one the much loved Pinks Hotdogs just off Melrose Ave in West Hollywood. Serving delicious American street style fast food for over 76 years now, Pinks is frequented by the Hollywood A-List as well as the rest of normal folk. Just be prepared to wait in line like all the other visitors- The wait may be upto 90 minutes during lunch of dinner rush.
Dont be surprised if you see a a brand spanking new Rolls Royce pull up outside the diner & the driver jump out & wait in line like to pick up a few treats for the passengers inside!
At Pinks, we like to order the Famous Chilli Dog!
POKE POKE - Venice Beach
Poke (pronouced Po-Key) is the new healthy eating food trend that has taken all of California by storm. Originating in Hawaii, Poke is essentially a sashimi salad that the cool hipsters seem to have gone nuts for…
BLU JAM - Melrose Ave
In Australia we love a good sunday brunch & while not a new thing to Americans, it does seem that there is not as much of a Sunday brunching culture as you may expect. Well, things may just be turning around thanks to a few popular & high quality brunching spots that have been popping up around Los Angeles.
One that is seems to be setting the standard is a cafe called 'Blu Jam Cafe' - on Melrose Avenue. This great cafe spot has become synonymous with sunday hangover breakfast & where they dont accept reservations, just expect to wait a fair half hour to be seated. Once you've been shown to your table you will be surprised to see real cafe coffee made by a real barista - so those who are dying for their morning caffene fix will be very glad indeed.
We tried the brunch-time classic of salmon eggs bennedict, yummie, & waffles with berries tasty but the menu offers all your favourite brunch time options, but with a slight Americana twist. Just remember, the plate sizes are large so maybe skip your breakfast & head straight to Blu Jam for a filling & very fulfilling brunch after 11am!
You can check out the vibes at www.bluejamcafe.com
You can make a reservation at www.drybar.com
Uber & Lyft
Navigating your way around LA is not the easiest of tasks as a tourist in the city. Taxi cabs are not cheap (especially in the LAs notorious traffic) & driving around in a hire-car can be a real headache. Thankfully, the smart cookies over in silicon valley invented a popular ride sharing service & app that has taken the hassle & costs out of getting around. Its called Uber. Maybe you've heard of it?
Whats great about Uber is that you can use the same app you use in Australia you wont even need pay for overseas transaction costs too.
The price of Uber rides are about 30 - 50% cheaper than a taxi & there as so many Uber drivers around you wont be waiting for long for a pick up to take you where you need.
For more information look to
www.uber.com or www.lyft.com