What We Did (Ate) in Los Angeles

huntington library

We absolutely love Los Angeles, which is a weird thing and neither one of us ever thought we’d feel that way about such a big, notoriously vapid, sprawling city with terrible traffic. But there is so much more. The weather is one thing, obviously—like who wouldn’t want 75 degrees and sunny 10 months of the year? Access to hills and hiking trails is another—we always go on a few hikes while we’re there and it’s always an absolute treat to get a gorgeous outdoors workout right in the city. And then there’s the food. Dear lord there is so much incredible food in LA, both in cheap hole-in-the-wall places and in airy modern spots with expensive (and delicious) toast that scream of LA cliches.

And then there’s the fact that so many of our friends live in LA, like our bff Camille who just moved there. So we spent a whole lot of our time just catching up with folks over meals or drinks at different spots they recommended. We’ve highlighted a few of those spots below at the end of this post and you have to try them, ok?

Night + Market Song | I’m confident in saying this was the best spot we tried on this trip. We went here twice and I am very happy we did tbh. The place is billed as Thai drinking food, and apparently was originally intended to be a wine bar that just also served food—it does both of those things very well. The wine list is entirely natural wines that are just unfancy and delicious, and the food is wildly tasty family-style takes on Thai classics. Don’t miss the tom khar gai hot pot or the uni fried rice. There are no reservations and there will be a wait, so be prepared for that. Located in Silver Lake, great for dinner but also serves lunch.

Joy | We had split feelings on this one. Beau thought it was one of the best meals of his life, and I thought it was SO GOOD but not quite as…intensely amazing as he’s been saying it was. Some of the highlights: Thousand Layer Pancake with Egg & Cheese, Scallion Bread Sandwich with Pork Belly, and the Dan Dan Noodles. It’s a Taiwanese counter service spot, and there might be a bit of a line when you go, but it’s worth the wait. Located in Highland Park, great for lunch or casual dinner.

Botanica | Basically one big Silver Lake stereotype in the most beautiful, pleasant way possible. It feels airy and wonderful and the patio is incredible and everyone is chill like REALLY CHILL and seemingly happy. The food is exactly that balance of hearty but healthy that we love—with bold flavors and fresh produce coming together to make something incredible. We had the Turkish Eggs, Tomatillo Shakshuka, and Green Tahini Toast with fresh green beans and grapefruit. Located in Silver Lake, great for lunch or dinner.

Five Leaves | Here’s another design-forward spot that just feels so nice and airy to be in, and the food was pretty incredible, too. We had Sunday brunch here and really it was the perfect brunch atmosphere with its beautifully distressed plaster walls, bronze light fixtures, and almost obnoxious collection of plants (which you KNOW we lived for). I got a chicken sandwich and it was completely perfect, and Beau had the Moroccan egg scramble—and I was jealous of him. Located in Los Feliz, great for brunch.

Din Tai Fung | Basically your go-to spot for soup dumplings. Also the pork bun was lit. Also those green beans. A LOT of people told us to go here, and it lives up to the hype for sure. Great for lunch. One location in Pasadena and one in Century City. We stopped here for lunch after visiting the Huntington Botanical Gardens in Pasadena. Great for lunch or dinner.

The Huntington

The Huntington | We also spent a day at The Huntington Botanical Gardens, where there are 16 themed gardens in a 120 acre complex and it was absolutely incredible, weird, and beautiful. We saw cacti the size of buildings in the desert garden, ate dumplings in the Chinese garden, saw teeny tiny little bonsai trees in the Japanese garden, and then took selfies with a bunch of statues. You could spend a full day here and not see everything—but it was unusually hot and we are trying to avoid fainting if possible so we only stayed a few hours. But we will definitely return to see all the gardens we missed!

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog! We had such a good time and can’t wait to come back—so let us know about any places we missed!

xoxo Matt (& Beau!)