LA is a divided city. If you have a weekend here, you best believe you don’t want to spend it in traffic staring at other people in traffic. So, I broke it down for you. This New Yorker’s guide to a weekend in LA is split into two parts so you can get into a good part of the city, and stay there….
Friday EAST SIDE
A dish at Alimento.
I’d go to In-N-Out immediately—something about In-N-Out helps me calibrate when I get off a plane. Now, off to Ace Hotel Downtown Roof because you’re not ready for too much Hollywood just yet, you just landed, give it time. Then run to Alimento for a late-night bite and grab the best salad in LA along with a life-changing chicken sandwich.
In-N-Out Tip: Get it Animal Style and ask for some extra spread on the side. 7009 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 800-786-1000
Ace Hotel Downtown Roof Tip: The entrance for the roof is the door on the right side of the building. Take the elevator up, and get a frozen drink. 929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, 213-623-3233
Alimento Tip: Check to see what’s on tap. For food, the chicken Milanese sandwich with peperoncini slaw and prosciutto cotto is a revelation and is the move. Share the salad because you have to get it. 1710 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-928-2888
Friday WEST SIDE
The spread at Ingo's Tasty Diner.
For me, when I land, I want something homey/something that will wreck my diet. It’s LA and that doesn’t exist here, so how about the most perfect version of comfort food ever? Hit Ingo’s Tasty Diner, where they’ve got amazing versions of all the classic diner food you love, but with that farmer’s market flair. Afterward, head over to one of my new favorite places to chill, Baltaire, for incredible food and relaxing in their beautiful open-air space.
Ingo’s Tasty Diner Tip: Everything is farm to table. The crispy Brussels sprouts with marcona almonds and goat cheese dipping sauce is seriously a must-have. And I’m still excited about the lamb. You really can’t make a wrong move here. 1213 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-395-4646
Baltaire Tip: Get a drink, hide in a corner, and take it all in. 11647 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, 424-273-1660
Saturday EAST SIDE
Some of the food at Grand Central Market.
OMG, you’re awake and you’re in LA. Roll over to Silverlake and hit Stumptown, then Millie’s Cafe. After breakfast, walk—yes, you can actually walk—over to the Mohawk General Store. If I were you, I’d go hit the Ace and chill by the tiny pool, because it’s super fun. Then, get lunch at the Grand Central. Some other East Side callouts are Eggslut, Belcampo, La Tostaderia, Wexler's, and Sticky Rice.
Stumptown Tip: The pastries are incredible here. They come out of Sugar Bloom Bakery, which is special because they don’t have a standalone shop. These are hands-down some of my favorite pastries. 806 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, 213-337-0936
Millie’s Cafe Tip: There will be a wait, but live with it. It’s probably the best diner I’ve ever been to. Order the devil’s mess (open-faced omelet of spicy sausage, onions, green peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and mild curry, finished with melted white cheddar and avocado)—oh my god. Also, the biscuits and rosemary potatoes. You’ve got your work cut out for you here. 3524 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-664-0404
GrandCentral Market Tip: Take a moment and note all of your options. It’s overwhelming, so hold a friend’s hand to keep from losing it. 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, 213-624-2378
Saturday WEST SIDE
Some of Ox and Son's best dishes.
All right, all right, let’s get to it. Saturday morning you’re going to hit the beach ASAP. Afterward, stop at Gjusta—the god of cafe bakeries—and grab your coffee and breakfast sandwich to go. Post beach, I’d saunter over to Plant Food + Wine and get some light snacks and a glass of wine in their epic back garden. Enjoy true LA life in this garden-patio situation and fight the urge you may have to move here. Then, go get ready for the night, because you’re eating at Ox and Son—an incredible new spot in Santa Monica. Everything is market-fresh and the menu is always changing. Honorable mentions go to Bungalow, Ysabel, and Pink’s Hot Dogs.
Gjusta Tip: It’s a super confusing and crowded set-up, but take a moment to understand that there are different menus and items available in different parts of the cafe. The sandwiches are insane (think: juicy prime rib), as are the breakfast sandwiches. Pastries sell out fast too. 320 Sunset Ave., Venice, 310-314-0320
Plant Food + Wine Tip: Head right for the back patio. Everything is plant based here, just like the title says. 1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310-450-1009
Ox and Son Tip: Note details like different plates for each item. The menu changes constantly, and make sure to ask about the specials. Sit outside for a calm, quiet experience, or inside for a buzzier one. 1534 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, 310-829-3990
Sunday WEST SIDE
Some of the amazing Chinese food at Genghis Cohen.
Head over to Melrose Place where you can see the state animal, the Mercedes G Wagon, in a variety of colors. There’s also APC, Violet Grey, the Sunday Melrose farmer’s market, and Free Range. Don’t forget to drop into Alfred’s with shades and a Yankee hat pulled way down over your eyes to draw maximum attention to yourself. Later on, hit Erewhon and grab a juice and bulletproof coffee for the walk over to Genghis Cohen because it’s the best Chinese food in the world. Later for dinner, loop back to Jon & Vinny’s for one of my favorite places to eat.
Free Range Tip: One of my favorite things about LA hands down. They have a limit on biscuits per person and they run out early. It really is that serious—as it should be for the crispiest, juiciest, most tender chicken on a sandwich/biscuit. 801 N. Fairfax, Los Angeles
Genghis Cohen Tip: The walnut shrimp and the ribs are life-changing. The crispy noodles that are usually free everywhere else aren’t free here. Order them. 740 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, 323-653-0640
Jon & Vinny’s Tip: The meatballs and garlic bread are a top five dish in LA right now. Outside of that, pizza, pasta, and well, the whole menu?! 412 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, 323-334-3369
Sunday EAST SIDE
A few delicious things at Maré.
Start out on La Brea today, where you can eat at the Sycamore Kitchen. Then, bounce up to Studio City for lunch at Maradentro. After lunch, get back down to the Arts District and hit up Blacktop Coffee. Take a moment and do whatever you want before dinner, which will be at Maré.
Sycamore Kitchen Tip: Take in all that outdoor seating, and be sure to order a pastry and pork belly hash. 143 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles
Maradentro Tip: This is a new fish-focused hotspot. I wouldn’t be mad if you started drinking at this point. 11929 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-358-3423
Blacktop Coffee Tip: Stop here for a mid-day avocado toast. I wouldn’t recommend it unless it was as bomb as it is. 826 E. Third St., Los Angeles
Maré Tip: Where to start? The tiny menu, the chef, the secret back patio, the free grilled cheese and sangria while you wait, the fun drawer. I’ve said too much. It’s an out-of-control situation, really. 7465 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-592-3226
About Remington Guest: Exploring the streets of Los Angeles is one of my favorite things to do. Why? I’m looking for the best. The best damn croissants, the perfect overcoat, that impossible to find French brand, or the place that will make frozen margaritas to go. Now I’m bicoastal. Whether I’m in New York or Los Angeles, I find specific items and places you absolutely must know about. The focus isn’t on the usual, but the cheap, the best, and the hidden. Follow me on instagram @remington