Los Angeles, USA

4th – 7th July 2016

Updated after another trip March 2017

This was my third trip to LA but this time I was only there for a short three night trip with Mum, Dad and Sam. We booked an air Bnb in Santa Monica on 5th Street. It was two bedroom, two bathroom and a great base for the couple of days. We arrived on the 4th July and it was very cool to walk down to 3rd Street Promenade and the beach and check out the 4th July festivities. Everyone was in red white and blue and enjoying the sunshine with their chilly bins full of beer. I wish New Zealand had a national day like this. Here are some of my tips if you visit and stay in the Santa Monica area.

For Santa Monica and LA in general I would recommend Air BnB for accomodation – hotels are scarce and tend to be really expensive so this is a great option. For transport while we were there we used uber it is the best way to get around and see everything LA has to offer, especially as there was four of us it made it very cost effective.


Trastevere – Italian, delicious and right in the action on 3rd street. I had seafood pasta which I would recommend.

1360 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States 

Whole foods supermarket – great place to stock up on breakfast food so you don’t need to buy three meals a day and fresh snacks. We need a supermarket like this back home so badly.

Nobu Malibu – It is in the most amazing location sitting over the beach in Malibu. Food is Japanese Tapas like Sashimi, sushi and other Japanese deliciousness. I could have sat here all afternoon drinking cocktails – maybe in a future life when I am rich and famous.

22706 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, United States

Pono burgers – 9th Street and Broadway – picture below – highly recommend for a cheap and fast meal after a busy day.

829 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401, United States

Rose – Amazing cafe on Rose Road in Venice. I ordered fried chicken despite a menu of healthy options – classic. I also shared with Sam who ordered a Turkey Sandwich.

220 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291, United States

Connie and Teds – West Hollywood seafood restaurant with a bit of a southern Spin. Everything we had here was amazing – busy place but they turn over tables fast and there is a bar if you need to wait.

8171 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046, United States

Ivy Beverly Hills – Such a cute spot to go for brunch. Of course it is a bit overpriced because of its famous reputation but you have to go once at least. The decor is floral, colourful and reminds me of my grandma (in a good way). Maybe you will even spot a famous person while you chomp down your eggs bene.

113 N Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA

Fusion Sushi Manhattan Beach – Went here with a couple of friends who live in LA and it did not disappoint. Go here on a friday or Saturday night if you are ready for a party and good food. The sushi is delicious and quick and if you are in the back party room there is music/dj decks so loud you will think you are in a club. Good fun and lots of sake.

1150 Morningside Drive, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, United States
Fish Bar Manhattan Beach – Great spot for weekend brunch. Bloody Mary’s and mimosas for days and a huge menu full of seafood options. I had clam chowder and it was amazing, the girls had shrimp waffles and it looked equally good. Start a day of drinking here for a fun day down by the beach.
True Food Kitchen Santa Monica – Healthy lunch spot on 3rd Street Boulevard. Great place to stop when you are shopping. Bit of an institution around America now i think. Yum food. Wanted to go back every day.
395 Santa Monica place #172, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA


Hire a bike and ride down Santa Monica Boulevard all the way to Venice Beach or further. The boardwalk is so nice to ride down and the beach is stunning the whole way.

Watch a concert at the Greek Theater. We saw Bryan Adams here and it was an amazing atmosphere to watch a concert in an outdoor  venue located within Griffith Park.

Shop on 3rd Street Promenade and at Venice Beach.


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