Big cities mean tons of options, which unfortunately can also mean too many options when you’re pressed to find the best. When you want insight into the top spots a city has to offer, you turn to the locals. So to share the best gems of Los Angeles, we’ve assembled the A-team of insiders: some of our favorite Krrb sellers and local bloggers with knowledge on where to go and who to see. Let’s meet the team!
Baz Burchell, owner of Platform 9 sells a “carnival” of vintage goods. He has a background in film production and his one-of-a-kind listings have a Hollywood feel to them that make you feel like a star. (BB)
Caroline Juen of Love & Loathing LA left the Bay Area in search of glamour and good times. She found it in Los Angeles where she’s currently eating and drinking her way through the city’s social scene—all while stylishly dressed. (CJ)
Shannon Coffey, YouTube personality and former host of VH1 Top 20 Countdown is bicoastal but she’s partial to the West Coast lifestyle. When she’s not tweeting up a storm or exploring shops in Los Feliz, she’s working on a web series for Refinery29. Catch her in Ladylike, a new hidden camera prank show on MTV that premieres at the end of March. (SC)
1. Where do you go for to enjoy lazy cup of coffee and people watch?
CL: The best people watching is on Abbot Kinney, and my favorite place to sit and sip on not-so-lazy cups of very strong coffee is Gjelina.
BB: One of my favorite places to relax and watch the world go by is Café Figaro on Vermont Ave. Super laid back and authentic, it’s a relaxing little slice of French café society and the Los Feliz neighborhood never fails to provide a fascinating visual backdrop.
2. What’s your best burger spot in the neighborhood?
BB: Well there are so many places that do a decent burger these days. If only I could somehow transplant the one from The Spotted Pig in New York City, that really is the best I’ve ever had. Barring that, the “English Burger” with blue cheese at Franklin and Company in Franklin Village does a pretty good job. Ask them to serve it on the Brioche bun!
CL: In my Culver City neighborhood, it’d have to be Father’s Office. My favorite burger in the city right now though is the Terrine Burger at Terrine. Two words—truffle butter.
3. After an exhausting day, where do you go locally to recharge?
SC:I grab my skates and go to Moonlight Rollerway. I love going rollerskating, it’s super fun.
CL: After an exhausting day when I finally come to, I’m usually so hungry I can’t even see straight. Recharging for me comes in the form of a glass of Eberle Full Boar Red wine and classic Shabu Shabu fare at Eat Shabu in Santa Monica.
BB: There’s really only one place—Birds on Franklin Ave. It sounds like such a cliché, but this little neighborhood joint truly is the closest thing to Cheers that I’ve come across in 25 years of living in Los Angeles. From cops to college kids. Teachers to treasure hunters. Gay, straight, young or old, everyone is welcomed by Mary and her top-notch bartenders and the daily happy hour crowd is always made up of a wonderfully unique and colorful cast of characters.
4. What’s the most underrated community event?
CL: LA Fashion Week! For Los Angeles being the home to so many incredible designers and brands, LA Fashion Week is seriously underrated in comparison to New York’s and beyond.
BB: I’m not sure if I would describe it as “underrated” but I think one of the most valuable has got to be the Friends of the Los Angeles River. I often walk along stretches of the river near Atwater Village and after the recent El Nino storm there has been so much trash and plastic washed up and hanging along the trees by the shore. It looks totally apocalyptic in places. During the month of April they will be cleaning up refuse from 15 different sites over three weekends. It’s such a worthwhile community event and I’d encourage as many people as possible to volunteer their time.
5. The forecast calls for a rainy afternoon. Where do you while away the hours?
SC: My favorite pastime in LA were going to an arcade named Family Arcade. It is cheap, fun and I love air hockey.
CL: On a rainy afternoon in LA you would most certainly find me sitting on a velvet couch, working, and sipping on tea or wine (depending on the hour) at the coziest and quaintest place in my ‘hood – the Culver Hotel.
BB: A long time ago someone told me that one the best places to head to is actually the LA Zoo because all the animals that are typically shading themselves from the sun come out to get themselves a refreshing cool shower. But I haven’t made it there myself yet, because on those rare occasions when it rains in Southern California I usually like to pull up a seat at the bar in the Village Idiot on Melrose. It reminds me of the pubs at home in England and the huge glass windows facing out onto the street let you observe the hilarity that ensues when LA LA Land briefly turns into Waterworld.
6. You want to spend as little money possible but still have a good time. What do you do?
CL: Take a trip to the Broad Museum downtown—admission is free! After that you could spend plenty of time walking around the area and exploring Grand Central Market and the Fashion District.
BB: I live in the Los Feliz area of town which means that the splendor of Griffith Park is literally right on my doorstep. It’s so great to be able to explore the miles and miles of trails and mountains throughout the park. You can spend all the hours you want without spending a penny. And while you’re there, Griffith Observatory is a must see with many free planetary exhibits all designed to expand your mind without depleting your wallet. But try to go during the week if possible because at the weekends it gets totally packed.
SC: If I wanted to spend zero dollars I would just grab snacks from home, meet up with a friend and go to a park…they are all great. I usually go to Griffith the most.
7. And for fellow travelers, what one place is a must-see on a tour of the city?
CL: The one activity I always encourage is a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, starting in Venice and working your way to Malibu. It always reminds me why I love living here so much, and it always feels so theatrical! Not to mention there are plenty of great places to stop along the way.
BB: Of course there are all the usual suspects, The Hollywood sign, Venice Beach, Malibu etc but when friends visit from out of town I always like to take them to eat in Koreatown. It’s a totally fascinating place that many tourists never get to experience. It still feels like another world to me and I love blowing their minds with the huge variety of incredible cuisines that are packed into this part of town.
We hope you’ve been inspired to discover the best of Los Angeles! If you have any other local favorites (with some insider perspective), let us know in the comments!