LA in December

It had been a while since I’d been to the Los Angeles area, so my friend Charlyn and I decided to check out the Left Coast for a little shopping and celebrity watching.

We arrived Friday noonish for a long weekend.  Great 70 degree weather…a little incongruous while hearing Christmas carols and seeing Christmas trees for sale on the street corners, but better than the 30 degree weather at home.  We rented our car from Hertz (long line, but nice car) and headed to our hotel for the weekend.  The Hollywood Celebrity Hotel is in a great location;  about a block away from Mann’s Chinese Theatre and at the base of the Hollywood Hills.  The hotel itself is one of those 70’s kitschy places with a  very friendly staff, clean fairly large room, free parking and free breakfast.  All in all  I’d totally recommend it to someone on a budget who wanted to be near tourist attractions.  After a little wine and snack while formulating our weekend game plan we headed out to see the local sights.  First stop was the Hotel Roosevelt on Hollywood Blvd.  We lounged in the beautiful reception area for a while before heading to the back of the hotel to the pool bar for a couple of drinks.  This is worth seeking out…it’s lit up at night with torches all around the pool and has lots of chaise lounges to relax on while having a drink.   From there we walked down Hollywood Blvd. a few blocks for dinner at the Geisha House.  This is a trendy sushi restaurant with really incredible food.  We got way more than we could eat so we could try a lot of different items…all good.

Saturday we woke up and decided which sample sales we would try to get to.  We found listings of all the sales in the area on BargainsLA .  We managed to hit 5 or 6 different sales…not all worthy of the trip, but a few gems in the bunch.  After sample saleing we headed to Robertson Ave. and had lunch at the Ivy Restaurant.  We were hoping to see lots of celebritys there, but didn’t see one!  We did however pay way too much for a mediocre salad…much better was the mocha we had later at one of the many Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf locations around the area.  A little more shopping on Melrose Ave. was in order before we headed back to our hotel.  We wanted a drink before dinner, so we walked a couple of blocks to the Lucky Strike bowling lanes.  Nicest bowling alley I’ve ever seen!   We decided to try out The Spanish Kitchen on La Cienega Blvd. for dinner.   Another fabulous meal there…it seems to be the place to have your birthday dinner judging by the number of times we heard the wait staff singing ‘Happy Birthday’.

Sunday I decided to go for a little run to work off some of these meals we’d been having.  The Hollywood Hills are aptly named! My run quickly turned into a walk and I got to view some beautiful houses perched on the edge of the hillside.  We wanted to check out the Farmer’s Market, an enclave of small shops and restaurants on the corner of 3rd St. and Fairfax.  It’s colocated with The Grove, an outdoor mall with upscale shops.  Again, funny to hear Christmas carols and see Santa while wearing shorts and t-shirts.  We had to try the famous Pinkberry frozen yogurt, and it was all it was hyped up to be…delicious and fat-free!  In the interest of being completely touristy, we headed to a movie theater where the animated movie ‘The Tale of  Despereaux’ was premiering.  From our vantage point across the street we saw the stars of the movie (and several people we could not recognize but figured were of some importance) walk the red carpet.  After leaving the premiere we saw a sign for a yard sale nearby.  Neither of us can pass up a yard sale so we decided to find it.  We were thrilled to find the yard sale located at a famous LA attraction:  The David House.  Well worth the stop.  All this excitement had worked up an appetite so we headed to 3rd St. and were lucky enough to snag a table at Toast.  Great food and even better people watching.  We took a walk (decidedly un-LA) down 3rd St. to the Beverly Center for a little last-minute shopping.  Nothing special there, but the Beverly Center is the home of Hunky Santa and the Candy Cane girls…only in LA!

Before our red-eye flights home we took a small detour to Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Pier…there’s a whole other neighborhood of LA to explore further on our next trip!

Photo credit:  sciman111, dave mayerhofer on flickr

By | 2009-04-21T00:14:14+00:00 April 21st, 2009|Food and Drink, Girlfriend Getaways, L.A., Markets, Shopping|