El Matador State Beach
What always feels like a mini-vacation is taking my two kids to El Matador. It’s a pretty brutal staircase down and up, but it’s so worth it because it’s so gorgeous. It’s a hike, but I’m telling you—if you go over Malibu Canyon, you feel like you’re taking deeper breaths. And the tide pools are incredible.
Coogie’s Natural Cafe
My kids aren’t great eaters. They love beige food. It’s all beige all the time and occasionally some green. But after a day at El Matador, we’ll stop at Coogie’s on the way home, which is this awesome, fancy diner. The food is amazing. They have really good fish tacos, shakes, and good wine. It’s perfect.
La Gondola Shoe Repair
It’s the best shoe repair in the city. It feels very Eastern European—it’s the teeniest closet of a shop. Their service is fantastic. It’s cash only, and they’re great with re-soling—I’m a firm believer in re-soling. I don’t have the patience to wear in a new pair of shoes.
It has the greatest vibe, it has an outdoor seating garden area, and the food is so good. If you go early enough, they might have these peanut butter and brown rice balls that they dip in chocolate and put sea salt on top of. It’s the stupidest, most amazing dessert you’ve ever had. Like, I dream about it. So good. But they don’t have them every night. Sometimes my hubby and I will walk there and then Uber home because it’s straight up a hill and we’ve had too much rosé and I can’t handle it. Or too many of those peanut butter balls.
I’ve got to shout out to my girls at Yolk. In my humble opinion, it’s the best gift store in Los Angeles. Sometimes I will go and buy five six-year-old girl birthday presents and five seven-year-old boy birthday presents just to have them for the onslaught of fall birthdays. For kids clothing they carry Anthem of the Ants, which is fancy but so cute. I wish it was my size. Plus they have home wares, toys, everything. I’m telling you, it’s the greatest, and the ladies who own it are fantastic.
Sunset and Micheltorena
It’s a great little corner. There’s Stark Waxing Studio, which is my favorite place to get waxed. It’s really good for brows because they will tweeze, and they don’t go crazy. I’m growing mine back in, but I found one curly white one and I was like, ‘oh my God, I’m turning into my father.’ They have great gifts, too. It’s like, you can get a bikini wax and a present for your child! And a candle! They actually make a great candle called the Silver Lake, which I highly recommend. Around the corner there’s Dream Collective and Tomboy Kids. And there’s Heywood Grilled Cheese. And that Clare Vivier is no joke. It’s so good and so bad. That whole corner is terrifyingly good.
I’m not really good at the gym because I talk myself out of everything. If I can’t read an Us magazine on a machine, I’m going too fast. So nothing gets done. That’s why I like Pop Physique. Aside from the fact that it’s hard to explain to a seven-year-old why there’s a picture of a woman’s ass on their billboards, the class is efficient, which I love. It’s 45-minutes and it works everything. It’s low impact; a lot of core work with some ballet and barre stuff. It targets the whole situation.
The place takes itself so seriously, but the food is so good. I can’t help it—I’ll take my cold brew coffee in a recycled beer bottle and I’ll drink it because it’s amazing. I love that in the middle of nowhere there is a crazy exciting little oasis. There is also a great florist and a gift store near there, too.
If I don’t break a sweat three times a week—not just related to anxiety—I’ll go crazy. I like YAS in Silver Lake, but I just do the spinning class. The music is fantastic. I usually show up a song or two in with a lot of fake apologies, but I’m just so proud that I made it.
They have cold pressed juices now, which are fantastic. And they have some kind of off-the-menu banana cream pie smoothie that is so good. It’s insane. Let’s just say it features Fig Newtons. It’s delicious. Sometimes I literally get it with a protein powder just to make myself feel better. They also have a Cold Buster juice that I swear by with cayenne pepper in it. It absolutely could be a placebo, but I buy it. For $8.99.
Creatures of Comfort
I love that place and I’ve loved it forever. They stock my favorite designers. A lot of Acme, Isabel Marant, Margiela. And they have their own line of really great clothing.
Huntington Gardens is so gorgeous and well endowed, and Descanso Gardens is a bit like its rag tag cousin, but it’s the best. It’s so great for kids. There’s a little tiny train and a Patina Group restaurant and a pond with frogs. It’s the sweetest Sunday.
Melissa and Sue
They are two ladies who run a series of art camps for kids, and they are incredible. My daughter just did a fairy camp in Griffith Park for two weeks that sets up this whole mythology of all of the Griffith Park fairies. She literally believes in fairies. It’s the cutest. They have camps all throughout the year, and they are amazing and inspiring ladies. I wish I could take fairy camp so badly.
Photographs courtesy: (1) flickr.com/Vinh Tran, (2) coogiescafe.com, (3) city-data.com, (4) instagram.com/Pallavi, (13) melissaandsue.com. All other photographs courtesy facebook.com.