Previously left wanting in LA, we finally found some love for the City of Angels on a recent CRAVE venture. Late November, waving goodbye to an unforgivingly cold and rainy London, to be met with 27 degree heat and palm trees? Well, if we must. Here, we share some of our non-touristy, favourite things to do in Los Angeles. Word to the Yoda’s who showed us around.
If we’re being honest, we’re somewhat loathed to share this one. If 7 Eleven, transparent Gameboys, Tekken/Street Fighter or generally ‘arcades’ mean anything to your childhood, if they evoke any kind of nostalgia… you can thank us now. Bar arcade (‘barcade’) EightyTwo opened earlier this year, boasting 40 restored and playable arcades, a full cocktail bar and a handful of cool, understated LA DJs to help move the arcade-side queues along. No pretentiousness to it, good vibes, a great mixture of people and very welcoming of women who kick Tekken ass better than the boys. Barcades seem to be popping up all over across the pond, here’s hoping we adopt the concept in a non-Shoreditch-esque fashion in London.
Disclaimer: Yes it’s Downtown, don’t believe the hype, it’s perfectly safe if you’re not a moron.
If, like us, you travel the world via your tastebuds, Korean BBQ is an absolute must in LA. Expect plenty of meat beautifully grilled (by you!) and bowls filled with bold and brothy soups. We headed down to Hae Jang Chon in Koreatown and can vouch for the simple fact that what they lack in website design is more than made up for in their kitchens! With the bonus that it’s open until the wee hours everyday, we’d definitely head back.
LA Lakers at the Staples Centre
You don’t have to love basketball to really enjoy a game (we do, but that’s not the point) and in LA, you’ll struggle to avoid being drawn into the passion and cheer of the Lakers fans. In true all-American style, expect the stadium to be sold out – it was even on Thanksgiving Eve, making for a loud and lively Los Angeles Lakers v. Memphis Grizzlies game. If you like sports and you’re in LA, Staples Centre is worth a visit, not least since it’s touted as the best event space in America.
If you can, go for Premium seating – no queuing to get in, food and drinks service to your seat and a brilliant view.
The Misfit, Santa Monica
Categorically serving the best chicken burger ever to be consumed by a human being on this planet. Full stop. Eclectic gastropub The Misfit also offers a great selection of small plates if you have time for grazing, and expertly mixed cocktails if you’re in need of a beverage. Save space for the choc-chip and sea salt cookies that come with the bill. Definitely the best lunch near the promenade.
OK, so we’re suckers for a breathtaking view and hence have included one slightly more tourist friendly activity. Escaping the pace and pressures of city life to hike Runyon Canyon is well worth it, if not only to look down at the basin below, gain some perspective and re-adjust those spirit levels. The 160 acre park is located in Hollywood and offers some of the most magnificent views of the city, accompanied by a host of (sickeningly) chiseled trainers and if you’re a Hollywood fan, the odd sweaty celeb. For the non-fitness-freaks among us, they even give you the option of an easy hike or a tougher, steeper steps hike. We shan’t reveal which we took, suffice it to say a big brunch was earned.