After eight days on the west coat, a couple of long days of driving, being tailgated by a scary red Scion, and almost driving off of a cliff after a gruesome detour, we were on our way to our final destination (not the horror movie): Los Angeles.
We woke up at the Madonna Inn and promptly checked out in the morning, stopping by a Panera Bread to grab breakfast before hitting the road again. Our first stop was Malibu to check out Rosenthal Wines to kill time before we could go to our Airbnb.
My cousin was still learning about which wines she enjoyed as she only just turned 21, and the team at Rosenthal Wines were very kind and informative of what she could enjoy during the tasting. The winery is off of the Pacific Coast Highway, and they have a brilliant back patio to bask in the sunshine with your wine. The tasting flight, however, can only be done inside at the bar. We decided to hang inside and chat with the team, and they were kind enough to give us another glass of our favorite tasting.
An hour of traffic later, we made it to our Airbnb in West Hollywood. My sister used to live in West Hollywood, so I would often go and visit her and she would take me to her favorite places to dine, drink, and sometimes party (once I was 21 and old enough to party with her, that is). This was my cousin’s first time in Los Angeles, and suddenly I was the one sharing places my sister once brought me.
After a power nap, we went to Koreatown to get some Korean BBQ at Kang Ho Dong Baekjong and probably ordered more food than we should have ordered.
My cousin never had KBBQ before, and this was the location my sister used to always take me after I landed in LA. There’s a valet (with validated parking) available for the plaza where KHDB is located. The team takes your order, provides the banchans, and then starts cooking the cheesy corn and the egg on the side of the grill. There were also instructions on how to make a ssam on the table.
Needless to say, we left in a food coma, but Jen still wanted to go to Milk to get macaron ice cream sandwiches. I am not even sure how we managed to fit in dessert. Actually, I didn’t, I needed to toss half of my ice cream because I physically could not fathom another bite (nooooo, the waste though)! I intended on taking my cousin to one of the Houston Brothers locations, but she never woke up after our power nap, so that was the end of night on in Los Angeles.
Food coma: 1 Jen: 0
The next morning, we went to The Grove to get some pastries at Dominique Ansel Bakery - particularly the infamous cronut, but to me, the real winning pastry was the DKA, a caramelized croissant. We also got an egg sandwich on fresh brioche: the flakiest, buttery, puffiest brioche complimented with light, fluffy eggs. Following our breakfast, we wandered through the market, I did some shopping and bought a pair of sneakers I rarely wear (I felt like my fashion didn’t belong with the rest of the sneakerheads of LA, and now I am back in Boston laughing at myself over this purchase since I abandoned the box so I could pack it home), and then we were off to a scenic drive through the city of angels.
We stopped by Leo’s Taco Truck in Echo Park per the recommendation of a friend for the best tacos I’ve ever had: hands down. Then I took us to the Hollywood Sign, we saw Griffith Observatory, and fought some people for parking as we looked to head out to various viewpoints throughout the city.
Evening quickly approached us, and we went to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse to pick up some pastries to bring back home with us. (Fun fact: the folks at JetBlue said that my box of pastries was considered a carry-on luggage and they tried to “confiscate” it!!! So I took my plastic bag that held some accessories and emptied it into my suitcase then dumped the pastries into the bag and into my backpack. Take that, JetBlue.)
We ended our night at one of my sister’s favorites, and a classic for me whenever I am in LA: sushi at Sugarfish by sushi nozawa. We got the Trust Me, which is $33 a person. Honestly, for the quality and the price, I wish there were some places like this on the east coast.
After our dinner, we headed back to our Airbnb, turned on Ugly Delicious, and began packing up for our flight home. This was the end of our road trip.
The next morning, I drove us to Santa Monica to pick up some rice balls from Sunny Blue, another favorite of my sister’s, for airport snacks. I wanted to bring us to Urth Cafe for breakfast, but that was absolutely packed, so we went to this other place called Bulletproof Coffee, and I think this was a moment I was exposed to the “health-oriented” food of LA culture I was not pleased with. Wow, if I wanted to eat eggs that taste like cardboard I would eat cardboard? I didn’t know it was possible to alter eggs like that honestly.
A drive through Abbot Kinney and along the Pacific Coast Highway later, we went to In-N-Out as one does when on the west coast and picked up some more flight foods. My cousin and I had different flights around the same time, so I dropped her off her terminal, dropped off the car (thanks Buick), and took the shuttle to my terminal.
We were our journey home to Boston after our adventure down the west coast.
West Coast Road Trip Series
End of the Road(trip): Los Angeles