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My LA to Z: Meiko
The Los Feliz-based singer-songwriter, who just released her sophomore album, The Bright Side, lists her favorite spots for organic ice cream, finding vintage clothing and the music venue that changed her life
The Trails Café has really good avocado sandwiches. I go there to eat and then I’ll hike on the little trail across from the café. It’s a place I go to when I need to think about what I want to do. I get to the top and make three plans or goals to see if I can try and get them done before the next time I go back. When I drive up there and show people how massive L.A. is, it’s a proud moment.
I’m really into Japanese food and I love this ramen place in Little Tokyo. I don’t know if it’s a secret recipe but it’s really amazing ramen. I spend a lot of time in Little Tokyo eating sushi and I was burnt out on it when I found this place. It’s definitely my favorite.
My sister turned me on to it and we’ve gone there since we moved to L.A. ten years ago. It’s a family restaurant, so the owner knows us and sits with us sometimes. It’s got a Cheers vibe. They have the best spicy tuna roll.
They have a really good gluten-free pizza and I’m not a gluten-free person, but I tried it out and it’s delicious. They’re always playing good music and it’s the local pizza joint with amazing cream soda. They have Mexican coke, which I love. Why aren’t all Cokes like it? They use plain sugar instead of corn syrup and it’s so much better.
The Griddle Cafe
Mama’s French Toast is amazing, the bread is so good. My friend Michelle Branch took me there one morning. They also have really good bacon, I’m kind of addicted. This is definitely one of the places where I indulge.
It’s a raw/vegan ice cream place. I got into a raw phase and I looked up places to try out in L.A. and found this. I feel guilty eating lots of ice cream all the time and this is one place where I don’t feel guilty. They make these amazing milkshakes and I get the chocolate one. It tastes better than regular chocolate.
It’s my sister’s store in downtown. She makes these pants that are like lounge pants that are called Cute Booty. I have them on now and I can’t stop wearing them. They are really comfortable pants that make your butt look good and I take them on tour all the time.
Crossroads Trading Co.
I love thrift stores and this place is very particular about what they take in. I like recycled clothes so I take my stuff and trade, which makes me nervous because sometimes they don’t like the stuff that I have. They constantly deny me, but if I believe in the item, I’ll take it again but to a different person.
It’s kind of an old-time speakeasy and they have mixologists with fancy drinks and big ice cubes. They’re always playing cool jazz or piano, so it feels very underground and fancy but it’s not too expensive. I love spicy drinks so I always get something with jalapeno but it’s never exactly the same.
It’s a vegetarian Thai place and they have these chicken-less chicken wings that are crazy good. I would choose them over any other chicken wings in L.A.
I bought my last two guitars there. I had a guitar that I didn’t really play, so I went there and traded it for a new guitar that I play it all the time.
I used to work there as a waitress and they gave me a chance to start playing there. I stopped working there and went on tour. It’s a place I love and it’s changed my life. It’s one of the coolest venues I’ve been to in the world.
Photographs courtesy (in order): (1) wikipedia.org, (2) dkramen.com (3) japaneserestaurantinfo.com/chiba/, (4) facebook.com/tomatopiepizza, (5)facebook.com/pages/The-Griddle-Cafe, (6) facebook.com/kindkreme, (7) kellynishimoto.com, (8) crossroadstrading.com/, (9)213nightlife.com/thevarnish, (10) facebook.com/pages/Bulan-Thai-Vegetarian-Kitchen/230943930561, (11)facebook.com/truetonemusiconline,12) facebook.com/thehotelcafe