Fall is officially here, and we are ready to share recommendations to some of our favourite travel destinations around the globe.
What better time to escape somewhere warm than now? When picking a place to go with your closest friends, hundreds of cities come to mind, but nothing can be quite as unique and fitting as La La Land.
Earlier this year, we once again partnered with Discover L.A. to bring you the best places in the city, with the perfect mix of the hustle-and-bustle that the City of Angels has to offer. This time, we have a focal point: healthy and fun, with a focus on vegan and vegetarian options, and a fashionable twist.
Here we go!
WHAT TO PACK
HATS FROM FUMILE
A must-have accessory for your trip to L.A. is a beautiful hat to wear while you sun yourself on a patio, sipping cocktails, or walk through The Grove while doing the much-needed L.A. shopping. What’s best at Fumile is that all hats are entirely handmade. Options come in many different colours and all can be custom made for you!
DRESSES FROM 1861
The go-to spot for dresses is hands down boutique 1861. No matter the season, this Montréal store is guaranteed to have something in stock for you. Out of time? No problem. Their efficient and fast online service has you covered. Simply go on the web, select the dress of your choice and within a few clicks you already have something being shipped your way! Want a more casual look? Their section of La Petite Garconne is a perfect match for your casual strolls through the LACMA!
WHERE TO STAY
THE STANDARD HOTEL
You have arrived! When staying in Downtown L.A., the only place to be is at the Standard Hotel. You may remember this property from countless movies it has appeared in, and recognize shots filmed at their fabulous rooftop with incredible panoramic views of the city and a very welcoming rooftop pool. If the views weren’t enough, the rooftop bar serves incredible cocktails and bar bites, paired with chic vibes and upbeat tunes from their DJ.
The hotel is located within the financial district and is a quick walk from the nearest cafes and bars, the Walt Disney concert hall and Bottega Louie (read more about this below). Bathrooms are stocked up with fascinating toiletries and have glass walls, so be prepared to bare all. The rooms are trendy, spacious and bright, and come equipped with your very own sound system for dance parties in your PJs, and great reads for you to curl up with if you’re feeling lazy. Hungry? No problem. The hotel has a 24-hour restaurant where you can indulge in organic, mouthwatering plates, as well as a fantastic ping pong room next door where you can burn off the calories afterwards!
WHERE TO EAT
And now to the most exciting part. Located just a short walk from the Standard Hotel in DTLA, Bottega Louie is a little gem that comes in a beautifully wrapped package. The perfect place for an all-girls brunch, paired with mimosas and your prettiest hat. Move over Breakfast at Tiffany’s, it’s Breakfast at Louie’s now!
From the moment you walk into the building (note its incredibly historic architecture), you are swept away with the hustle-and-bustle of the open-concept kitchen, a vitrine filled with perfectly stacked macarons and a bar just summoning you to order champagne. Must-tries on the menu are the lobster hash and the lemon ricotta pancakes, and a bunch of macarons or little desserts to take away (did I mention they have an in-house patisserie/café at the entrance?). The portions are extremely generous, so come hungry, and if you are around the area again, don’t forget they are open for dinner as well!
This place is truly a place where magic happens and sushi is done right. Tucked away in a rather hidden location, the food in this restaurant truly speaks for itself. Did I mention that it is entirely vegan and organic?
When arriving at Shojin, we were instantly greeted by the smiling team and escorted to the dining room hidden behind a wall and curtains. Dimly lit atmosphere welcomes you to sip on some good sake (great options to choose from) and sample menu items that will not only explode your taste buds, but also get lit on fire (you have to try the items that are torched). For us, the highlight of the menu was the Kiss of the Spider Woman and the Spicy Baked Scallop roll (torched at the table).
189 by Dominique Ansel
Located in the heart of The Grove shopping complex, this place is a fantastic spot to take a break while shopping. This gem is located on two separate floors: first one is a take-out café/bakery where you can order phenomenal baked goods and sip on great coffee, and just up the stairs is the restaurant portion, with a fantastic outdoor patio and beautiful yellow umbrellas.
We opted for brunch and were blown away by the neat concept that is implemented at this restaurant. Upon being seated, you are given a sheet of paper and a big sharing platter is placed on your table. Following that, waiters circulate with huge platters full of goodies (ranging from organic vegan to deep-fried items) and you are welcome to choose as many as you like! After you add to your platter, the waiter simply stamps your sheet and moves onto the next table. Full? No problem, just flip if over and they won’t bug you until you’re ready for more.
Home to delicious food and a perfect spot to enjoy the incredible L.A. weather, this place is the perfect choice to sit outside with your besties, while sipping on an Aperol Spritz and enjoying an interactive brunch.
Ever wanted to have a cheat meal without feeling guilty? Well, we found just the place for that. By Chloe is the perfect location to order a huge platter of nachos or a burger, stuff your face full of flavour and spice, and leave feeling simply glorious. The best part? It is fully vegan and organic.
The décor is chic, with white swings that you can wait on for a takeout order. The restaurant is full of people lining up to order yummy bites or simply grabbing one of their phenomenal smoothies (almost a meal in itself!). For us, the highlight was the nachos, the imitation meat that honestly tasted exactly like meat, and the vegan cheese. Zesty, cheesy, delicious and 100% guilt free. Must-tries are the Fenway Nachos, the guac burger and the pesto meatball sandwich.
Last but certainly not least is Badmassh. The first thing you notice when you enter this venue is the décor. There is a huge wall covered in striped colours and the upstairs has a vivid collection of Andy Warhol-themed pictures of Ghandi, all wearing brightly coloured Ray Ban sunglasses.
Décor aside, have I mentioned that this is a gastropub? While you sip on a beer or a Thumbs Up (Indian version of Coke) from small silver cups, the food truly speaks for itself. We opted for the vegan items on the menu (however, amazing non-vegan options are also available) and our tastebuds couldn’t be happier. The basmati rice was simple yet delicious, the spicy side-dish that accompanied our order was a fresh surprise of flavour, and the broccoli tandoori really stole our hearts. Whether stopping for a quick bite or a full meal, this place is not to be missed in downtown L.A.!
Stay tuned for part 2 of our travel guide, coming soon!
FAJO would like to thank the Discover Los Angeles and its partners for organizing this trip and experience.