My L.A. Travel Diary

Guys…I just uploaded my first YouTube video! It might not be the *best* video, but during my L.A. trip I noticed that I was in love with the video quality of my camera and I got a little inspired. I shoot with a Canon 70D, by the way. And if you want to subscribe to my channel, I’m planning on some more YouTube videos in the future!

I did a little highlight video of my L.A. trip, but here are some still photos for those of you who are used to my traditional blog format!
L.A. Pink Wall Paul Smith West Hollywood

Komodo Venice Tacos
Bulletproof Coffee Venice Beach L.A.  Tart Restauant Los Angeles

Tart Restaurant Brunch Review Bottomless Mimosas

Tart Restaurant Fried Brussel Sprouts

D.C. travel blogger Alicia Tenise at the Malibu Pier

Malibu Farm Restaurant Pier

A Travel Blogger's Guide to Malibu

Malibu Farm Cafe Seafood

Comissary Downtown Los Angeles Brunch

Salt and Straw Venice Beach

What to Do in Venice Beach

Ok: I loved my visit to L.A. In 5 days, we were able to see a lot of sights! I’m sure there’s plenty more to explore, but here is a quick guide to some of my favorites.

  • Komodo Venice (Venice Beach):  Two words: fusion tacos. This Mexican spot is casual, and has a delicious asian flair: I had Kimchi Nachos (highly recommend) and the Komodo 2.0 taco, as well as stole a few bites of my friends’ tacos because I’m a joy to be around!
  • Bulletproof Coffee (Santa Monica): Guys, this is probably the most delicious cup of coffee that I’ve had. Please, try it black. It’s made with butter. No joke! It’s also a great space if you need to post up and do a little work (which, ahem, I totally did! #workaholic)
  • Gracias Madre (West Hollywood): The one thing I loved about L.A. was how fresh everything tasted. Gracias Madre is a plant-based Mexican restaurant, AKA delicious and healthy for you at the same time. Not to mention, the cocktails are absolutely delicious! The meal was super filling, and they have communal tables just in case you didn’t make a reservation. 
  • Tart Restaurant (Mid City West): If you’re going to brunch in L.A., this is one spot you need to hit up! They had bottomless mimosas, an awesome, huge outdoor patio, and an amazing menu. We had the fried brussel sprouts, fried chicken and waffles, and their their quiche of the day. It’s such a fun place to hang out for a long brunch with your friends — but pro tip: make a reservation. It’s also right across the street from The Grove if you need to walk it off afterwards!
  • Salt & Straw (Venice Beach): Ok, I thought I had good ice cream before, but apparently I was dead wrong. Salt & Straw has the craziest ice cream options (I had an avocado and strawberry ice cream — trust me, it tasted so good!) It *is* super touristy, so prepare for a line.
  • COMMISSARY (Koreatown): If you’re from D.C. and are looking for a bottomless brunch option that reminds you of home, this is your place. They have an incredible buffet, bottomless mimosas or bloody marys, and they’ll make custom omelettes for you as part of the buffet fee as well! Plus, it’s absolutely gorgeous (this is the restaurant that looks like a greenhouse in my video!)
  • Soowon Galbi (Koreatown): If you want to go into a food coma, grab a group of your friends and head over to this Korean BBQ joint! It is *the* best Korean food I’ve probably ever had in my life — I’m drooling just thinking about it! 
  • The Grove (Mid City West): Real talk, I have mixed thoughts on The Grove. Coming from D.C. and having major shopping malls such as Tysons basically in my backyard, the store selection was pretty standard. The one cool thing about The Grove is that you could probably catch an appearance from your favorite L.A. fashion blogger at one of the stores, and it’s a nice place to walk around on a sunny day!
  • West Hollywood Shopping (West Hollywood): WeHo was one of my favorite neighborhoods to just be in overall — amazing restaurants, good food, and amazing murals. The shopping however, was pretty next level. No matter your budget, you’ll find a store you love in WeHo: from Christian Louboutin to Nasty Gal. I’d make an afternoon out of it for sure!
  • Santa Monica Promenade (Santa Monica): The Promenade is similar to the grove, but I prefer it a little more because you can walk over to the Santa Monica Pier and hang out on the beach afterwards! If you’re hanging out in Santa Monica, I would for sure walk over to the promenade: there’s another Nasty Gal location there as well, and some local shops mixed in with well-known retailers.
  • Venice Beach — Abbot Kinney Boutiques (Venice Beach): This was probably my absolute favorite place to shop in L.A., hands down! I loved popping into the smaller boutiques on Abbot Kinney; the prices were way more my speed and I picked up some unique pieces that I could never find on the East Coast. There’s also a Show Me Your Mumu store right next to Salt & Straw if you’re a fan of that brand!
  • The Den on Sunset (West Hollywood): Loved the vibe of this spot! It was a great, chill place to unwind with friends on a Friday night. I would definitely start your evening here on the patio with a few drinks before getting down!
  • Lock & Key (Koreatown): If I go back to L.A., I’m definitely coming back here! It has the coolest entrance: basically it’s a wall of door knobs and you have to pick the right knob to even enter the bar. The cocktails were also incredible, so unique and everything was absolutely delicious. Great date night spot!
  • Tenant of the Trees (Silver Lake): This bar was another one of my favorites as well: it’s pretty massive, but chill at the same time. You can dance, you can chill, and there’s outdoor and indoor space. It’s a little on the hipster side, but the crowd here was laid back and welcoming!
  • Adults Only (Hollywood): This bar was my favorite out of every place we went! It’s a speakeasy that’s tucked away in a pretty random strip mall, but once you go inside it’s heaven. The DJ also plays a lot of 90’s hip hop and R&B, so get your dancing shoes on!
  • Laurel Hardware (West Hollywood): I absolutely loved the vibe of Laurel Hardware, and apparently, there’s a small chance of a celebrity spotting here as well!
  • Venice Whaler (Venice Beach): Come for the cheap happy hour. Trust me! It’s a tad bit on the touristy side, but the prices really are un-beatable. And, if you sit outside, you can get a great view of the boardwalk!
  • Hiking: So I did the Hollywood Sign Trail, but another option is Runyon Canyon. The Hollywood Sign Trail was pretty perfect for a beginner like me, and, definitely makes for a solid ‘gram!
  • Day Trip to Malibu: Malibu was about a 40-minute drive from Santa Monica in moderate traffic, so I would make a day out of it! The beach is stunning, and you’ll oogle at the homes. We ate at Malibu Farm Cafe after doing a short hike and walking along the beach. Seriously, it was an amazing day!
  • Mural Hop: As you’ve seen in my previous outfit posts, I loved me some L.A. murals! Here’s a super convenient guide for some notable murals — and be prepared for a flock of teens at each one!
  • Catch Live Music: If you’re a fan of live music, you’re for sure going to want to hit up some local performances. This is a town full of talented people trying to make it big in the industry, after all! We went to a Sofar performance, which is  sometimes held in someone’s home, sometimes in an apartment complex, but it’s an intimate way to discover really awesome local musicians. Highly recommend!
  • Museums on Museums: From LACMA to The Break Up Museum, don’t forget to catch a museum if you have any downtime. Even though I love me some Smithsonian exhibits, I’m obsessed with some of the quirky, modern museums this city has to offer!

Phew, that was a lot! Feel free to drop your L.A. favorites in the comments — I know I’ll be back again!

Leave a Comment


  1. Ashley Vickney wrote:

    So now I need to book a trip to LA. I’ve never been but this looks like SO much fun! Also that off the should top looks smoking on you!
    You styled this so well Alicia!

    Posted 1.25.17 Reply
  2. Becky wrote:

    Beautiful photos! I’m heading to L.A. in March for the third time so hopefully I can check out some new stops this time.

    Posted 1.30.17 Reply