11 years ago by

Here is the city guide of my friend Nicole Cari!

In the last few years I’ve fallen in love with the LA lifestyle (only thing is I am still not used to the idea of having to have a car…) but this is definitely a city where I’d love to go spend a few months one day. In the meantime, I ask my friends for their best adresses and each time I go there, I discover a new treasure!

How would you describe LA to a New Yorker?
The complete opposite of New York. The weather is consistently sunny, the city spreads wide not tall, and it’s all about staying in and not out.

Just about everyone complains about the traffic in LA, but is there one spot you don’t mind being stuck in traffic?
The PCH. At least the traffic comes with an ocean view.

Will I survive if I don’t drive? How?
Not gonna lie, you need a car in LA. But once you learn to drive, the key is keeping your world small. Live near where you work and close to friends.

What neighborhood do you live in?
Silver Lake.

How would you describe it?
Silver Lake is often described as hipsterville and compared to Williamsburg, but I just find it to be a nice place to live because there’s great food, coffee & juice, a nice farmer’s market, beautiful sunsets and walks around the reservoir, and lovely little homes in the hills. You escape the Hollywood crowd and most of the negative characteristics LA gets a bad rep for. I also like that it’s near downtown, Pasadena, and the 101.

What hotel do you recommend to friends from out of town?
Beverly Laurel Hotel for somewhere on the cheap, or Beverly Hills Hotel for pricey and amazing.

And what restaurant? (…And what should they order?)
The Fountain Coffee Room for silver dollar buttermilk pancakes, bacon and a milk shake.

Little Dom’s for brunch. The prosecco mimosas and/or their Bloody Mary, blueberry ricotta pancakes and the breakfast proscuitto pizza. It’s always a good idea to get the rice balls for the table too.

Forage for the salmon bowl or chicken with cavalo nero and arugula salad and chickpea and beet salad with cumin yogurt.

M Cafe for lunch, get the M Chopped salad or grilled tuna burger.

Pace for Zeus pizza and any pasta.

El Compadre for dinner, margs and enchiladas.

Where should you go to spot a celebrity?
Tower Bar or Giorgio Baldi.

…And to avoid them?
Stay in Silver Lake.

What is your favorite place for…

A date night: Cafe Stella.
A dinner with friends: Speranza.
A work meeting: Sqirl Cafe.
People watching: Chateau Marmont.
A girls night: At someone’s house, or Gjelina.

Where do you get your hair done?
Chris McMillan Salon.

And nails?
I bite, don’t do.

Best spot for a day of pampering?
Thibiant Spa for facials with Lidia.

Best spot for a fresh juice?
Beverly Hills Juice & Pressed Juicery.

Do you have a favorite hiking spot?
Fryman Canyon for a casual stroll, “the witches teet” on Runyon Canyon for a crazy work out, and Temescal Canyon for beauty.

The best place to watch the sunset?
Soho House or Barnsdall Art Park.

Where do you shop?
Scout, Creatures of Comfort, Lake, Lawson Fenning, Mohawk General, g. Colton, and the shops on Melrose Place.

Where is the best place for vintage?
Resurrection, Tavin, Scout, Rose Bowl Flea Market, and The Way we Wore.

Favorite beach?
El Matador in Malibu or Rincon in Ventura .

Where do you get your coffee fix? Is The Coffee Bean really the best?
Intelligentsia, but I usually make it at home. Not sure I’ve actually been to a Coffee Bean… Is that a thing?

How do you get around the city?
Prius party.

What is one touristy spot you still love visiting?
Staples Center for Clippers games and concerts.

How do you stay fit? Do you go to a gym? Spin class? Trapeze class?
Spin! (at YAS). A bit of yoga too. Lot’s of walking and a little running around the Silver Lake Reservoir.

Should we go to the Chateau?
Yes. They have a yummy cheeseburger.

The best movie theatre?
The Arclight. Assigned seats and kettle corn.

Describe your ideal day in Los Angeles…

An ideal weekend day for me in LA is sleeping in, making coffee and enjoying it in a ceramic mug instead of a to-go container, going for a run around the reservoir or walk through the Silver Lake Hills with a friend. If it’s Saturday I might go to brunch at Little Dom’s and enjoy some daytime drinking and pancakes, if it’s Sunday I like to grab a pastry at Proof Bakery and then go to the Atwater Farmer’s Market. At the moment we have a pool, so an ideal afternoon is spent swimming, reading and having some neighborhood friends over for Modelo Especials and a bowl of guacamole. I also love grabbing a loaf of olive bread at Cook Book in Echo Park, and toasting it up with avocado for lunch. The avocado factor is huge here, and a prominent reason I live in California.

A great Friday or Saturday evening is started with a cheese and wine picnic w/ friends at the Silver Lake Meadow, and then dinner out at Cafe Stella or Speranza. Sunday is usually reserved for making a big meal at home and enjoying it by the fire.

Nicole is wearing Band of Outsiders (that’s where she works!) and I took that picture on the terrasse of my room at the Standard (I know, amazing view, if one day I was to write a book, I would just do it there)…

For more City Guides, click here!


Add yours
  • Ce qu’elle décrit me fait tout simplement RÊVER ! Comme son mode de vie paraît agréable…

  • J’adore son style! Nice bomber jacket
    Paris-NYC Fashion Blog
    The Deep Blue Cory Fashion Blog
    The Deep Blue Cory Facebook Page
    Xoxo Cory

  • no rain for ever….my dream weather! :)

  • La photo est magnifique : pleine de fraicheur et de délicatesse !

  • Que le Etas Unies sont différents de l’Europe!

  • Ahhh il y a parmi ces lieux quelques uns qui me rappellent de supers souvenris! J’adore l’ambiance à LA, le côté cool et détendu de certains coins!
    Merci !

  • Lovely photo! great background & love her clothes.

  • This makes me wanna move to LA! I have never been, but get the feeling I am missing out on some really interesting life styles. xo

  • Si un jour je vais à LA, je noterais toutes ces bonnes adresses! Super interview!

  • I’ve been wanting to visit LA for so long now, hopefully it will happen this year.


  • Mon Dieu ! Et moi qui rêvait vivre à LA en me disant que je ferai du roller toute l’année. Mais bon, on verra bien. Beau City Guide.

  • Ca fait rêver en effet ! Le temps étant de plus en plus pourri sur Paris, ça me tenterait bien ce mode de vie :-)

  • rholala ! ca donne vraiment envie d’aller à LA! mais malgré tout je crois que je prefere qd meme NY qui est tellement incroyable…peut etre un voyage

  • ahhhh le commentaire est parti trop vite :-)
    peut être un prochain voyage a LA me fera changer d’avis??
    Merci Garance pour ses bonnes adresses, je les garde sous le coude !

  • I love this post. Can’t wait to try some of Nicole’s tips next time I am in LA.

    See you in my blog, maybe.

  • Merci infiniment pour cet article ! J’ai adoré Los Angeles et espère pouvoir y retourner très vite, je met ton article dans mes favoris ;)

  • Louise L April, 5 2013, 9:21 / Reply

    Une fille qui se ronge les ongles?
    Qui boit des cafés tranquillou chez elle?
    Qui adore que ses amis passent à la maison?
    Et qui aime cuisiner?

    Aaaaaahhh !!

    Une fille comme moi!

  • LA, la ville où j’adore habiter. Le style de vie est génial et bien différent de ce que croient les gens (surtout à NY où j’ai aussi habité).
    Oh et j’ai adoré l’interview de DVN, cet homme semble quelqu’un de bien.

  • Garance, please you can do a city guide for Montréal!!

  • I agree with all her picks — but as a “Westsider” I would note that she’s got you running all around town! The key to LA is to plan your day with as little driving as possible…there are so many great places but they do get a bit far flung. My additions? Definitely add brunch at Superba in Venice MUCH better food (and attitude) than Gjelina. Intelligensia is terrific (no matter what branch) but also great is Cafe Luxe. Sunday Farmer’s market on Main Street in Santa Monica because you can people-watch, shop and picnic and listen to street music…a REAL California Beach crowd scene. Take a hike because it is UNBELIEVABLE that you have to watch out for rattle snakes in a major city! Culver City for the Art Walks & restaurants. Be sure to go “Downtown” for something…MOCA, Disney Hall, RedCat…and eat at one of the new restaurants that are springing up. There are also excellent bars. Creative types are completely re-making the city.

    xxxx (PS — LOVE Band of Outsiders!)

  • Pascale April, 5 2013, 11:10 / Reply

    Super, merci pour toutes ces adresses, du coup j’ai bien hâte d’y retourner. En plus je trouve la lumière magnifique là-bas. Bonne journée Garance

  • I am not a big fan of LA. It’s huge and massive. But I do love Santa Monica : )

  • Je rêve d’aller à Los Angeles, alors je garde précieusement toutes ces adresses

  • Interesting post! I am an east coaster and have never been to L.A. I will remember this if I ever decide to go.

  • Love M Cafe…The grilled tuna burger is my fav there

  • Merci pour toutes ces infos je pars a LA cette après midi;-)
    Je ne suis pas trop fan de la ville qui pour moi manque d’authenticité mais c’est lieux que San diego!!!

  • Interessant de découvrir LA à travers ses yeux !

  • Nice post and I hope.. One day I will see LA and see some tips like that. Have a nice day,.

  • This list is great! LA is beautiful and I am always looking for things to do or places to do when I visit LA. Ahh, I love band of outsiders!


  • THANK YOU GARANCE!!!! I have just moved here from Sydney, Australia and like I do every few days when scrolling through your lovely website just two days ago thought I’d check to see if someone in the ‘travels’ section had done a review on LA. Not until now…perfect timing! Love the name dropping on great places to eat and drink….JUST what I needed. XxXx fiona

  • Fun interview, lots of great ideas and things to do.

  • Just a note from a native New Yorker who moved to LA 3 years ago without a driver’s license – it is possible to live in LA without a car! I live in Venice, work in Culver City and get around just fine. The weather is to die for and everyone loves the outdoors. Somehow, the days feel longer and more leisurely here – best spur of the moment decision I ever made!


  • Pascale April, 5 2013, 2:18 / Reply

    “se préparer un café et le boire dans une vraie tasse plutôt que dans un gobelet à emporter”, attention, révolutionnaire !
    A prendre mon ton ironique avec un grain de sel bien sur. Mais en vrai, des fois y’a de quoi hausser les yeux au ciel. LA ce n’est pas pour tout le monde !

  • princessglee April, 5 2013, 3:05 / Reply

    Yay! Someone who knows how to live well in LA. I’ll have to check out some of her places to shop. She sounds like a reliable source.

  • Gjelina is bad !I got a food poisoning over there. You can survive without a car, Santa Monica and Venice are the Best !!!

  • Bérénice April, 5 2013, 4:07 / Reply

    Encore merci pour une entrevue sympa et pertinente!
    L.A. fait partie des endroits où je veux aller, et c’est tellement étendu qu’il doit être facile de passer à côté d’endroits géniaux si on a pas de hints. Je garderai la liste de Nicole en note.
    Je ne sais pas si j’oserai aller au Chateau Marmont, mais bon…

    Bon weekend, Garance!


  • Great post! While I agree about living near your job (after 12 years, I have not learned this lesson), I disagree about keeping your world small. I was just talking to a friend about Silverlake who dismissed it as some “random hood”. So not true! If you don’t get out and explore different parts of the city you are really missing out. There are hidden gems in every part of the city from the Westside, Downtown, Culver City, the South Bay Beaches and up north to the Palisaides. Life is challenging here without a car or access to one, and while public transportation has improved but is completely arcane. (Besides, driving in L.A. for 2 months will get you fluent in the second most popular language here: “L.A. Freeway speak”).

    My unsolicited advice to anyone who’s looking to move here is to not get caught up in an idealized notion of life in L.A. There’s room to find your niche without thinking that you need to have a bungalow in the Hollywood Hills and have access to Soho house.

  • So true — but it can take a long time to find your niche and sometimes you have to live across several neighborhoods to do it! I live across Brentwood, Venice, Pacific Palisades, West Hollywood, Culver City, Downtown/Japantown and Los Feliz. I wish I could do more “living” in Pasadena, Atwater Village Hancock Park and Echo Park. I just had a friend buy an old house in “Country Club Park” — who knew? Now I visit her and eat Korean food…..

  • Uh oh. I’m sure I’m now blackballed from Soho House… Good thing I’m not in “the industry”. :)

  • *sigh* this makes me miss LA so much!!

  • Ce city guide ne pouvait pas mieux tomber pour moi ! Je pars m’y installer cet été et les adresses qu’elles donnent sont vraiment tentantes. J’irai y jeter un coup d’œil sans aucun doute !

  • emilia April, 5 2013, 5:33 / Reply

    Vas-y Garance avec le livre!

  • Sylvia S April, 5 2013, 5:43 / Reply

    Oh avocados are sooo good !!!
    For saladas, sandwiches, tacos, even for ice-creams.
    Avocados are also good for yr. hair with some olive oil and for the face.
    Great fruit i love it!

    with love from Mexico citry

  • Kimberly April, 5 2013, 6:45 / Reply

    I will second Little Dom’s, I was there on my last visit. Mimosas. Also, if you want some great Italian, truly authentic, try Via Veneto in Santa Monica. the absolute best! Seriously, white truffle risotto anyone?

  • do these people have anything else to think about than which kind of food to eat or brand of coffee to drink?

  • This photo is so beautiful..!!! I love the city guide’s section!!

  • I love your city guides Garance! When I read this one about LA, I started to think about Florence.. My boyfriend and I are going there for the first time ever this summer, and I would love to have a guide that could show us the secret treasures in the city, that only a few can find.. I’m sure we’re gonna be surrounded by tourists in most places so it would be a delight to find something that is just ours…
    I’m sure you have friends in Florence, Garance? :)

  • I really wish to go to LA, sooner or later (I hope sooner than later!), but I can’t drive…. but going to LA is the main reason I’d like to learn.

  • Used to live in NY–which is still the greatest city in the world in my opinion–but moved to LA a year and a half ago…love love love it! Definitely not going back to NY (except to visit)! Great city guide! The only thing left out was where to get your hair done:

  • As a transplant to L.A. from NYC 20 years ago, I would say the biggest thing I miss is the joy of walking the streets of Manhattan and riding the subway. We drive by things in our cars and even if we’re walking, the way in which all kinds of humanity bump into each other in New York doesn’t happen here; you have to seek it out. But oh, having a yard and hikes and bougainvilla and palm trees, all within a huge, sprawling, thriving metropolis – the dichotomies we get to enjoy here – these are worth all the ways I miss New York (most of the time).

  • Love the lighting of this pic, .A. is so amazing cant wait to go back one day soon! xo MIMI

  • I would say to all of those coming to visit LA, either have a local show you around, or plan your days in small neighborhoods (as many have advised.)

    The quickest way to hate LA is to attempt to go too many places because they don’t “seem” far apart. “But its only seven miles across Santa Monica Blvd, that should be 20 minutes?” No! It could take forever. Find a spot, with a museum or shopping or a hike or food or a movie or a concert, and stay in that neighborhood and explore. Is all of LA a walkable city? No, it’s not, but some of the neighborhoods are becoming more that way.

  • check this out

  • Garance!
    Il me faut un city guide à San Diego – j’y passerai 3 mois de janvier à mars 2014…
    Si jamais une fois… ;)

  • Rincon beach is heaven (if youre a surfer). not in ventura though

  • Anne-Marie July, 9 2013, 10:09 / Reply

    Cet article me donne envie de quitter Londres direct!

  • Been in LA for 12 years from Athens, Greece and I would desribe the same way the things you can do in LA with a positive point of view. If people get over driving, it is a city that has great things to taste, to discover and experience.

  • The weather in LA is perfect. -Dave

  • I traveled to NY and have great memories, this city is stunning ! I’m sure LA is terrific as well !

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