Park’s is legendary; I gotta give it to Koreatown. It’s such high quality meat and the owner has been there forever. You walk in and it’s so L.A.—she has pictures of herself with superstars. We bonded right away, like I was the daughter she’s known all her life.
I love the giant grocery store at the Galleria. The second floor has a great beauty store with stuff you can only find in Asia (and they are always in the forefront of beauty there). Plus, they have great alteration stores, which I need a lot because I’m petite. Not to mention the Korean scrubbing spas. They prune you; you soak in a hot tub and these ladies work on your skin. I think it’s so beneficial because the weather here is so dry. People forget L.A. is a desert, but I lived in New York and I can tell the difference.
H.D. buttercup has all this high-end furniture, and it just somehow ended up there. It’s a great resource. I took pictures of things there for the people who decorated my apartment to pull from. I feel like it’s going to be my go-to for furnishing when I start working on my bathroom and other areas. Whatever is there is what you get, so you have to periodically peruse, but that’s part of the charm.
Del Rey Farmer’s Market
When you live in New York, the seasonal fruit thing is an issue. Everything is shipped from California. I’d hear those stats and it didn’t mean anything until I was here. You can taste the difference. I’m rediscovering produce like it’s a new food group. There are these strawberries I live for. They are so sweet; my boyfriend says I have a reaction like in “When Harry Met Sally.”
That place is so good and so decently priced. They give you huge portions and there are so many vegan options and so many options for raw food. Even if you’re not super conscious of that stuff you can find things that taste so good. I go to the one in Venice because it’s by my apartment.
I went paddle boarding for the first time at Venice and I saw dolphins! We were 15 feet in and we hung out with them. I couldn’t believe I was in an area where I’ve gone running 100 times, yet I never stepped in the water. It was whale migration season and I said, “I’ve got to go do this.”
People keep recommending all these facial places with celebrities, but I’m not sold on these machines that do things to your face. I just want a natural, botanical facial. I love Nite Spa. Their claim to fame is that they open late at night—they’re open noon to midnight—but what I love about it is it’s hidden off Abbot Kinney and it’s like a little cottage. It’s charming, the prices are so decent, every product is botanical and it’s exactly what I’m looking for in a facial. It was there before Venice was Venice; I’m convinced they’re solid.
First of all, there are only two in New York City. At both, you’d think the world ran out of food. It’s like the great depression—the shelves are empty and people are gouging each other’s eyes out for the last bottle of Two-buck Chuck. It’s so nice to know that people here are so nice and there is a Trader Joe’s everywhere.
Photographs courtesy (in order): (1) facebook.com/pages/parks-bbq/107504855952906, (2) koreatowngalleria.com, (3) facebook.com/HDButtercup, (4) Creative Commons, (5) facebook.com/cafegratitudela, (6) Wikimedia Commons, (7) Julie Chang, (8) Wikimedia Commons