I’ve always received mixed reviews on LA. It seems you either love it or you hate it. Well, I’ve been to LA three times now, and I think its safe to say that my tent is pitched in the LOVE camp.
This trip was a speedy one, literally an overnight stay before we headed to Vegas. But that didn’t stop up from cramming as much LA goodness into our trip as possible!
We landed at 6am in LA (after leaving at 9am the same day in Melbourne – so we basically travelled through time). And time travel makes you hungry. So first stop was Eggslut, at Grand Central Market on Broadway, for maybe one of the BEST breakfasts we had the entire trip – we really peaked early in this case…
I had the Slut. Which was a coddled egg with potato puree, served in a jar and topped with chives, a side of bacon (because, bacon) and some deliciously toasted slices of baguette. With a cold pressed coffee (someone didn’t get much sleep on the plane). The line for food is apparently always long, but worth it. The whole of Grand Central Market was just a food paradise, I would have loved to have been able to stay for a week and try a new stall every day. If you go to LA, make sure you go here. Food markets + warehouse interiors + flowers + fresh produce. And of course, Eggslut.
We then had the day to explore before we could check into our hotel. We’d rented a car, and having been to LA a few times before, decided to spend the day driving down the coast to Laguna Beach (was I hoping to run into LC? Yes, yes I was.)
It took us a little bit over an hour to get there and we only played Phantom Planet’s ‘California‘ 3 times (ok, 6) on the drive down. I think when we got to the beach, it hit me I was on holidays, because I just became so damn happy. We spent the day wandering, browsing the markets near the beach, before heading back to LA to check into our hotel.
We stayed at the Sirtaj Hotel in Beverly Hills, which was a strategic choice as we had booked dinner at Maude, Curtis Stone’s LA restaurant, and the Sirtaj was just down the road. Having said that the hotel was great – after a 16 hour flight and a long day of exploring, that bed was absolute heaven. But I really need a minute to talk about Maude…
We had tried to get reservations at Maude the last time we were in LA, but couldn’t – it books out months in advance. So when comparing this to four years ago when we were up at 3am trying to get online tickets to Coachella, fast forward to 2016 and we were up again at 3am, trying to get reservations to Maude on the day that April bookings opened. (A real eye opener to where our lives have moved over the past few years…) This time, we got a reservation, and I am not even exaggerating in the slightest when I say IT WAS THE BEST MEAL I’VE EVER HAD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. Sorry for shouting, I needed caps to emphasise.
Maude has a monthly set menu that focuses on one key ingredient, which is then used in every dish you are served. We were there for radish month. Which to be honest, I was a little reserved about initially (previous to radish month was avocado month and before that was potato month – two of the best foods on this earth), but I can now say that I am 100% team radish. It’s a 9 course degustation (we also had matching wines) and after every dish I’m pretty sure I claimed that was the best thing i’d ever eaten. I didn’t take any photos, I was too in love with the entire experience to even think about stopping to document it, and although it was very pricey, it was the most amazing ‘Treat Yo Self’ meal I think we’ve ever had. Well played Mr. Stone. Well played.
The next morning we met a friend who lives in LA for brunch at Commissary at The Line Hotel in Korea Town. Set in a greenhouse, it’s a hot spot for Sunday brunches and long lunches. I had the spicy ramen, and a bagel with cream cheese on the side (just try and keep me from eating all of the bagels in America) and generally spent the entire time in awe of the beautiful greenery and plotting ways to make this my new home.
From there, we headed to Vegas via the Mojave desert, but not before stopping at the most instagrammed wall in LA, the bright pink wall of Paul Smith on Melrose. Instagram husband was in full flight.
Next stop: Vegas.