Travel Diaries; LA
LA LA land… It is the city of angels, possibilities and sunshine. But it’t not all what you see on the screen. Jack Kerouac once said LA is the “Loneliest and most brutal of all American cities”, and after being there for 5 weeks I can see where he got this from. It’s filled with glamour and magic but It’s also filled with loneliness, homeless people, and insecurities.
I was in LA for @plantlab (A vegan culinary school), I did a week long raw plant based dessert course and then jumped right into the 4 week level 1 raw vegan course. This was something I had been wanting to do for so long, and it definitely did not disappoint. The techniques, recipes and skill that were taught exceeded expectation. The recipes we created were works of art that tasted incredible.
The course was based in Venice, so I rented an air bnb there which Is definitely the way to go if you’re looking for something a little cheaper than a hotel.
I realised that there are 3 things you must need when you visit LA…
1. Money, everything is soo expensive!!
2. A car, or enough money to pay for Uber’s because you really can’t walk everywhere and public transport is difficult to figure out.
3. Friends, LA is not the most ideal places to come alone, I mean for a short visit it’s great but if you are planning on being there for a while I would suggest bringing a friend, or knowing people there.
Surya Yoga Studio. [1501 Main St #106, Venice, CA 90291.] This place offered an intro month for $50 which was such a great deal. They offer a variety of classes, mostly vinyasa, throughout the day. The atmosphere was nice, the room was pretty small but it never seemed to be too overcrowded.
Love Yoga Studio. [835 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291.] This studio offered a 5 class pass for $30 which is great for $10 a class. The space is a little bigger and the vibe is fun with classes being imaginative. There is a large number of teachers which made it tricky if you found a teacher you vibe’d with and wanted to catch again. A great studio!
The Yoga Collective. [512 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291] This place was fab, I loved the morning classes here, the room was hot so be prepared to sweat!! The classes were challenging but still catered to all levels. Be sure to arrive early or book online beforehand as each class was pretty full. This place also offered 3 classes for $30.
As I was located in Venice, most of these reviews are for the places that were near enough for me to walk to.
Sadtha. Located on Lincoln Blvd in Santa Monica. This place is plant-based Thai based cuisine. And boy oh boy it was amazing!! I had the eggplant catfish and the beet died noodles which were both so delicious! Probably my favourite food I tried in LA!
Cafe Gratitude. This place is a must when visiting LA, they have 2 spots - one in Venice and the other in Melrose. All plant-based and a huge menu to choose from. Everything is super tasty and all the food and drinks are named after a mantra, like “I am amazing” or “I am beautiful”, which is pretty special! They also have a daily question or topic to talk over with your friends! I loved that!! Make sure you leave some room for desserts, as they are super delicious too!
Erewhon. This organic supermarket is so special. You could spend hours parading the aisles reading up on all the amazing products they have to offer. There is a salad bar, fresh soups, and a huge selection of freshly prepared hot food. They also have a drink and tonic bar where you can choose from a selection of smoothies, bowls, coffees or superfood tonics.
Pressed Juicery. The best vegan soft serve ice cream, with numerous flavours, toppings and sauces. They also sell a wide variety of cold-pressed juices.
Groundwork coffee. Located on Rose Ave. Come here for the best coffee in town! Try their Nitro Iced Coffee!! Also, a great place if you want to do some work, it has fast internet and a quiet space!
Moon Juice. This place is super cool. They have an interesting menu of smoothies, tonics, juices, hot drinks and healthy snacks. They specialise in unique adaptogenic powders such as; brain dust, beauty dust, sex dust and spirit dust to just mention a few. I found this a very inspiring environment by learning about their products and ingredients used. The staff were super friendly and ready to answer any questions.
True foods. Located in Santa Monica. Not 100% vegan but lots of vegan options. Try their Ancient grains bowl and kale salad. So good!
Localli - If you fancy a bit of fast healthy food this place serves a good selection of sandwiches, wraps and bowls. I had their vegan Rueban sandwich which was very tasty!!
Gracias Madre - This place isn’t in Venice but located in West Hollywood. All plant-based and Mexican heaven was definitely worth the trip. The space is amazing, with a large courtyard and a beautiful bar area with all the right kind of interior details. I ordered the crab cakes to start and the stuffed poblano pepper which were both delicious. I also drank the best Margarita to date!;) I've also heard from many the vegan burger is a must!
OTHER FUN ACTIVITIES IN LA
Visit one of the many Farmers' Markets, it is a great experience even if you’re not buying lots of groceries. The abundance and variety of organic fruit and vegetables here are amazing. I had the best figs, plums and peaches I have ever tasted!!
A great and fun way to get around Venice and other areas is by renting a Bird, which is an electric scooter. Download the Bird app.
Make sure to take a hike. I didn’t end up making it on a hike which is definitely a reason for me to go back!! But if you want the iconic Hollywood hikes head to Runyon Canyon or Griffith Park. Also, a great hike near Santa Monica I was told is Temescal Canyon range. Head there mid-week and early in the morning to miss the crowds and mid-day heat.
THANKS FOR READING. I HOPE YOU FIND THESE TIPS USEFUL IF YOU ARE HEADING TO LA. I'M DEFINITELY EXCITED TO RETURN NOW I KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.