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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vacation photos: Los Angeles

My darlings, I'd love to share a couple photos from our Christmas vacation. California was a great place to travel as a family. As a new-ish mom, I was a little nervous about such a big trip with the baby, but the warm weather made things soooo easy and fun; Toby loved all the action (and avocados), and we could take walks on the beach while he napped in the stroller.
One afternoon, we went out onto the Venice pier. I was impressed that the surfers were going strong in December--the water was freezing that day!
It was really nice to be out and about with nothing to do.
Guess what Toby got for Christmas? His two front teeth!
After a while, we stopped so I could nurse Toby next to a bunch of guys playing basketball. Of course, he wanted to watch the game afterwards. :)
Whenever we're in L.A., Alex always wants to stop by Stronghold, an hipper-than-hip store with selvedge jeans, Filson bags and friendly salespeople. Toby loved rolling around on the rug and trying on the hats. (He looked awesome in a fedora:)
Bonus: They have free whiskey, so you can pour yourself a drink!
Late that afternoon, we met up with our friends Michael and Caroline at the restaurant Gjelina. We sat in the back garden and got pizzas and salads.
I love this photo of Toby. Doesn't he look like such a player? :) He's like, "Yeah, I'm chilling in the arms of a beautiful older woman, no big deal."
Now we're secretly fantasizing about moving to L.A. :) It's such a fun place, and we can't wait to go back!

A few of our favorite places in west Los Angeles, which we've been to over the years:
* Huckleberry Cafe for lunch. (The yummiest salads and sandwiches and desserts. I could eat here everyday.)
* Blue Plate Oysterette for lunch. (Fish tacos in a breezy little nautical restaurant across from the beach.)
* Tavern. (Big, beautiful, understated room with trees indoors. We think we spotted David Hockney at the next table. Their adjoining bakery sells delicious desserts, including chocolate-chip cookies made two ways: crispy and chewy. Genius!)
* Gjelina. (Dark, bustling, sceney. Fun vibe; sexy lighting. A fire pit in the back garden.)
* The Tasting Kitchen. (We had such a romantic date here. Dark, lovely. Don't miss the bread pudding.)

Have you ever been to L.A., or do you live there? Any favorite restaurants or tips? I'd love to hear. xoxo

Next up: Palm Springs...

(Photos taken with the Hipstamatic App on the iPhone)

163 comments:

Fanny said...

Toby is so cuuuuuute !! thanks for sharing your pictures x

www.thefashionmom.com

Aura said...

Lovely photos, Joanna.
From the time I was a little girl until I was in college, my family road tripped to California (a full 2 day drive) almost every Summer. I miss it so, so much.
I adore the Farmer's Market and Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. There's also a little carnival on that Pier that is so cute. If you're ever traveling farther south, the San Diego zoo is my absolute favorite.

I can't wait to go there with my husband some day (he's never been) and even more so, to take our little one and have her dip her toes in that cold, Pacific Ocean.
Thanks for sharing!

my little apartment said...

oh my goodness, don't even get me started!

it sounds like you stuck to the west side, but I've got the scoop on the east side fun! I keep a google-doc of my fave stuff to do in LA and send it when friends visit, I'll email it to you! :)

Joanna Goddard said...

dean, i would love that!!! yeah, we've always stayed in santa monica or venice, but i'd love to explore the east side next time :)

{ Nina Designs } said...

LOVE the photos! It sure looks like you had a good time!

Val said...

I love this post!! Might be because I live here in LA. It's truly a great place. I'm glad you enjoyed your time.

AliveintheFire said...

Love the vintage feel of your photos. Great details too. Thanks for including the food you tried! I love hearing about cool spots to visit.

Toby is adorable, as usual.

XOXO

Happy '11! (And happy 1/11/11 today hehe!)
-Rachel @ Alive in the Fire
www.aliveinthefire.blogspot.com

Lisa said...

what kind of camera do you have??, i love your pictures.

XoXo,
Lisa

Chapstick Fanatic said...

do you have a holga camera? i love the photos. they feel very LAish.

stop by and enter the infinity necklace giveaway: http://lachapstickfanatique.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

looks as if you and Alex had a great break! Lovely photos, too.

TERI REES WANG said...

Ah, you managed it hit up all my most favorite spots!

Funny about the drink a Stonghold, cause there is also an AA meeting that is hosted up stairs.

Cheers!

Sarah said...

I love the photos, what kind of camera did you use?

Gabby / Gypsy*Diaries said...

I was on vacation with my family when I was an adolescent... it's time to discover it as a big girl now as welll... :) Lovely pics!
xxx

http://gypsy-diaries.blogspot.com/

Dancing Branflake said...

Gorgeous photos! And you got Toby Sophie! I saw her in Real Simple and fell in love.

You are so beautiful in every photo. Toby looks so much like the both of you.

Joanna Goddard said...

no way, teri! and sarah and lisa, we used the hipstamatic app on the iPhone; it's awesome :)

natalie. said...

looks like such a blast - and toby is growing so fast! congrats on a nice holiday in LA. =)

rebecca s. said...

toby is a true doll! i LOVE how relaxed he is in your friends arms. you all look so happy, it's so lovely!

i'm glad someone is emailing you about the eastside. we live on the eastside and love it. auntie ems, casa biancas... too many great places. email me on your next visit and we'll send you home with pomegranates, avocados and grapefruits from our backyard! xoxo.

Hollie said...

I think Toby gets cuter by the day (is that even possible?!)

ps. free whiskey? This would shopping a much more enjoyable experience. I wonder if I can talk my local supermarket into this. ha.

Jovana M. said...

Those are cute photos! That pic of Toby chilling in your friend's arms is adorable. :)

My boyfriend went to LA last year and if it were up to him, we'd move there. I'm fine with my Canada for now thanks. haha

Glenda said...

Thanks for sharing. Toby is adorable! I live in San Diego ;)

Lexie, Little Boat said...

first kate of for me, for you, and now you professing LA love?! i was only there for 24 hours in december -- clearly i need to arrange for a return trip!

Diana Mieczan said...

Those photos are so cool..Look at Toby with his baby-teeth!!! I totally agree that Toby is a player...hahah The one of him and your friends rocks!!! Glad you had fun:) Kisses

megan said...

It's nice to see people actually liking LA and not complaining about it! My dad worked there for a time so I would live there during the summers. I always loved it! When I was older I would make the trip out there occasionally too to visit friends and family.

Bright Bit said...

obsessed with my hipstamatic!!

www.thebrightbit.com

amynicole said...

Little Toby is so darling! Your trip looked like so much fun! I can't wait to read about the rest of it!

Jen@GreenWeddingShoes said...

hi joanna! toby is SO cute. You guys stopped by all by favorites. :) Although I haven't been to the Blue Plate Oysterette - will have to check that out. Huckleberry is also amazing for breakfast. Gjelina + Tasting Kitchen are my alltime favorites.

You will need to try Umami Burger next time you are in LA - the best burgers, veggie burgers + fries. Another not to miss place is The Bazaar at the SLS hotel - although that is more Mid Wilshire area. I live near Manhattan Beach which is a fun beach town also - super laid back. Glad you have fun - move out here! :)

Stephanie said...

Toby is so cute, I can't handle it!!! Oh, and my cousin's little girl got her two front teeth for Christmas too! :-)

dreamday said...

i love your pics and LA. it's only a short 5 hours from where we live but still always a treat for a few day get-away. toby's giraffe must be a fave, he looks so happy holding it! reminds me of my son's walrus when he was about the same age... mr.walrus went everywhere! xo!

Ahn said...

wow toby is adorable...getting so big! next time skip la and come to santa barbara! i promise you'll like it better.

erica said...

dreamy photos, joanna! leon and i are headed to SoCal for 2 weeks this month. Disneyland, the aquarium, beaches, museums. i'm excited that he's old enough to enjoy these special outings! i love LA and would move there at the drop of a hat.

kristine g. said...

you guys def gotta try a father's office burger next you're in town! it's a must. there are two locations now -- one in culver city, and the original on montana ave in santa monica.

they take burger to a whole new level: dry aged beef, caramelized onions, bacon compote, gruyere and blue cheese, fresh arugula, on a really good french roll. see what i mean? DIE!

denene @ style and inspiration said...

Really digging the hipstamatic app. Very cool!

Holly said...

i just love you photos, LA looks like so much fun. thats the next vacation destination for my bf and i. great recommendations!

Behind the Lashes said...

Love the look and feel you did with these photos. Looked like you had a lovely trip.

Angela said...

Thanks for the LA to-do ideas! We get there once a month or so (from Las Vegas). My favorite low-key thing to do in the area is a visit to the Huntington Gardens, while my husband prefers Amoeba Records.
http://outofthemoment.blogspot.com/2010/07/you-are-my-sunshine-july-25-july-31.html

Matrioshka said...

I miss LA so much. Last year I brought my (then boyfriend), a past New York resident and therefore very skeptical, to LA and we had a blast. Definitely dream of moving back every once in a while.

Lisa said...

Gorgeous pictures! Toby is the cutest!

Tournesol said...

You should try Bottega Louie's next trip out here. I live about 45 minutes from L.A. Lunch at B. L.'s is great, they have a really beautiful bakery in front with gorgeous pastries, etc. and great coffee. Last time I was there for lunch Selma Blair was at the table at my right and behind me Trish from "Clean House". My 11 year old recognized her voice!

Suburban Girl said...

Love the pictures! I can't believe that they were taken with an IPhone!!!

Ps: Your baby is so adorable with his big blue eyes! Gorgeous family!

http://thesuburbangirl.blogspot.com/

christina said...

Great pics! Toby has such a cute face!! This post makes me grateful I live in la. Thanks for the reminder to practice gratitude every day!

Btw, venture east next time! We live in silver lake & it's the best!!! xox

Anonymous said...

You fail to mention which area you were in..it was abbot kinney! Every first friday of the month is a great street festival. You missed out on Joe's, I think Gjelina is average...but their pizza's are the best it has to offer. Hopefully since they opened the food got a bit better. Main St near venice beach is great for shops and places to eat. Then Montana street is great for yummy mommies! Blue Plate is great for brunch you are right!..but if you want a great burger head to Father's Office for a great burger! In Los Felize, great place called the Alcove! Also, 3 rd street near beverly center has great stores and restaurants like SOFIA FOR GREEK, AOC FOR WINE AND CHEESE, THE LITTLE DOOR FOR MEDITTERANEAN AND SUSHI ROKU for incredible sushi better than their santa monica counterpart. Then of course do PCH and head to malibu but stop at Duke's for tropical fair...then proceed to malibu country mart for fab fines, great restaurants and boutique shopping! Yes I used to live there and yes I miss it!

Michele said...

I've never been to LA, but I really want to go now! Toby is so incredibly cute and it's amazing how much he looks like you and Alex! Wow. I love seeing babies next to their parents, because the facial likings are incredible. When I do go to LA though, I'm definitely coming back to this post for reference. Thanks for the great spots! :)

Marie said...

Looks like you've had a great time
I would love to go to LA but just like you our next trip is Palm Spring (cannot wait !!). Funny how Sophie the giraffe is in half of the pics, my son used to LOVE her when he started to get his teeth, best baby toy ever ! xx

Anonymous said...

Cricket ( Cristina in fact, without the ''h'' )

''Be careful what you wish for, cause u might just get it'' :)
Toby is trully wonderful, he takes after you a lot!U're one lucky woman!
I've been reading your blog for quite some time, i find it very insipiring in so so many ways!
This is my first comment, but i'll be back:)
Have a great week!

luv_bug said...

Great pictures! I live in LA, and there are three places you have to try next time you come:

-the Malibu state park beaches are half an hour north of the beaches visible by the freeway. They are way less crowded. So much so that we often feel like we are at our own private beach.

-The Edison downtown is a 1920s-themed bar set in one of LA's oldest powerhouses. It is beautiful, requires dressing up, and during happy hour they have 35 cent martinis.

-Elf Cafe is near Silverlake, and it's a tiny vegetarian restaurant owned and run by an indie rock band. Not only is the food totally delicious, but cute rocker guys serve and cook it for you, which I love.

Sandy a la Mode said...

*sigh* what lovely photos! i can't wait to go back to LA!!

Monica from Hola!design said...

i'd love to live in california....beach + sunshine + laid back people.....someday!
toby is very cute.....his eyes.... awww.

bussbuss said...

Yes, please move to LA! It is a really fun place and feels like such a treat coming from New York (like permanent vacation). The Silver Lake area is much more New York-esque with all the hipsters, but the west side has the beach. You can't go wrong. :)

Let us know next time you're out west and we'll meet up!

xx,
kelly

p.s.
Toby is sooooo cute!

stephanie said...

looks like a wonderful trip!! toby is so adorable, i love that last picture of him :)

the lil bee said...

Jo, he really looks like you in those two smiling pics! And I need this app already.

wonderchris said...

Toby is so adorable - just SOOO adorable!

Glad you had a great time.

Jillian said...

fun photos! toby is adorable!! i havent been to LA for years.. i need to take a trip back soon. xoxo jcd

Natasha said...

I live in Venice and its so fun to hear about your experience here! We live in the canals and it is a perfect neighborhood to walk around and feed the ducks, Toby would love it! If you haven't been in that area come by next time.

Another great spot in Venice is the Erwin hotel. I just wrote about it here: www.hercaviardreams.blogspot.com

Ana* said...

I have never been to LA but I would loveee to!!

Notes from Holly St. said...

i love the hipstomatic app! makes every photo look super cool :). the funny thing is that i've lived in LA my whole life and have never been to the places you listed. i'm going to have to try them soon. next time you're in town you have to visit Umami Burger (one in Hollywood and one in Santa Monica) and, of course, Joan's on Third.

[anna] said...

toby is so chill. and oh too adorable! so glad you had a fun trip with the family.

xoxo

Siri said...

What fun to see you in my 'hood! I love all of those places you mentioned, but I've never tried Gjelina and now I must!

Love seeing Sophie the Giraffe just chillin' in the photos : )

The Zhush said...

Goodness these photos are FUN! Was hoping you were going to divulge the method and or app..and there it is, so excited to download this now...thanks! (and Sophie!)

Rachel Johnson said...

I used to live in Santa Monica so I love this post! Huckleberry is divine. I also love El Cholo, Lago, and the Library.

I went to Pepperdine and Malibu is a dream. If you ever get the chance, drive up PCH a ways and head to John's Garden for lunch!

dizzy_izzy said...

Love the photos! I live and mostly stay on the East side of LA but this makes me want to brave the traffic and head out to the West side more often!

Some of my favorite restaurants are Botega Louie's, Jones in West Hollywood, Homegirl Cafe & Phillipes near Union Station. Or you can even try some of the awesome food trucks!

Cara said...

I live downtown and almost never make it out to the west side. So thank you for your post! It has inspired me to try some things outside of my neighborhood.

As for things you have to see when you come back to LA, there is amazing stuff in Los Feliz, Silver Lake, and Downtown (my favorite spots).

In Los Feliz you should check out Rockwell VT. It's a bar/lounge with no real roof and a tree growing in the middle. The ambiance is amazing. It doesn't hurt that the cocktails are usually fantastic too! If you are hungry afterward, definitely go to The Alcove. Fresh food, all outdoor seating, white lights, and pieces of cake bigger than your head!

Also if you need to work up an appetite before drinks or dinner, Griffith Park is just up the street. The park is huge and lovely in the winter/spring when things are still green. I've never gotten tired of hiking there. (Fun fact - the tunnel you drive through to get to the Observatory is the tunnel from Back to the Future!)

In Silverlake, my favorite restaurant that I have tried so far is Cafe Stella (french food). I went with a group of 6 and not a single one of us didn't absolutely love our meal. It's small but cute with nice indoor and outdoor seating.

In Downtown there is so much! I can barely begin here, but everyone goes to (and loves) Bottega Louie. It's a very chic experience with very reasonably priced food and wine. Plus, you can get beautiful macaroons to take home. If that wasn't enough to get you in the door, Jon Hamm has been sighted there too! There is a ton more, but this comment is already too long.

- Cara

PS: I got my brother (the Naval Academy aerospace engineering major) the pi ice cubes and astronaut ice cream from you gift guide. They were a huge hit. Thanks for the suggestions!

Gabriella said...

I seriously think that that photo of you and Toby is so darling, it should be printed, stuck in a little frame and have a special place somewhere in your apartment :)

TheSensesFive said...

What a fun trip! You're making me want to give LA a second chance. My first and only trip there wasn't too great, but I was with some questionable tour guides ;).

Traveller said...

Great photos and your boy is so very cute!

B. in the Know said...

Thanks for sharing! I love seeing the pics of the pcean - and Toby is just getting cuter and cuter!
Much love,
B

marysia reeves said...

How fun! We lived in Venice last year for a couple months and I did the same thing...strolling along the ocean. My daughter loves those parks. Can't wait to hear about Palm Springs..haven't been there yet. cheers, Marysia

Tamara Nicole said...

Love the pictures:-) Looks like a fun time!

Emily Jean said...

try the alcove in silverlake--delicious!

the photos of toby are absolutely adorable!

http://www.informalthing.blogspot.com

jaclyn said...

loved your photographs - they capture LA perfectly!

http://www.thelateafternoon.com

Belclaire House said...

Love the photos! I've so enjoyed reading your blog. I'm a new mom as well (my son's 4 months). I've greatly appreciated your advice for mom's and your posts on Toby as well as all your other fabulous insight. Thank you for sharing!

ink and post said...

great picks... Huckleberry is super delicious! And been wanting to try tavern.

House of Milk said...

Toby just melts my heart. Is that weird to say about a baby I've never even met??? Those eyes are just the sweetest!

Bronwyn said...

Your vacation sounded incredible!

windeater.blogspot.com

Kirsteen said...

Your photos are gorgeous. And you have Sophie la Giraffe! My little boy, Alfie, loves his. So good for teething! x

Kate said...

Oh, Joanna, this is right where I live now! Too bad you weren't there just one week later:)

Anonymous said...

oh i just love your photos. these definitely do look very LAish. My favorties are the photo of the Stronghold sign, the people roller-skating, and the beautiful water. I also love the restaurant one! The hipstamatic app is very cool! and so perfect for LA. for some reason seeing these photos reminded me of photos of LA in the '70's. I wonder if there's any cameras that take photos like that, as I don't own an iPhone.

Maura said...

Oh this is perfect! I'm going to LA for the first time on Thursday and I'll definitely try one of your fav places!

designstiles said...

I love Gjelina. It's delicious. I have to say, though, that my favorite place is The Alcove in Silverlake. It's so cute and quaint. And their food is delicious!

Jenni Austria Germany said...

free whiskey? whoa. and i love that picture of toby, too!!!!

dianasaur said...

Joanna,

I've lived in Orange County, LA, and Santa Barbara my whole life and I must say--it's the best. I have traveled a ton and I still come back to California with the biggest smile on my face. It really doesn't get better than this. It's usually sunny and warm and there are oceans everywhere!

If you're looking for something a little more mellow than LA you should look into Santa Barbara. It's really the most gorgeous place in the world. I love it here!

Also, when you come to SB you need to go to Blue Agave (such a cute bar), Los Arroyos (superb Mexican food) and get a drink at the Biltmore, Four Seasons.

I've got lots of tips for places to go if you want more just email me at dmcneill@westmont.edu.

Ooooh and go to Seven Grand (on Seventh and Grand in Santa Monica) next time your here. Don't be mistaken there are two, you want the one with a picture of a deer and it's upstairs above some lame bar, but it's seriously the coolest place in LA. Cabin feel, pool tables, 1,200 dollar whiskey shots ahahah but also, regular type prices too. It's sick.

Diana

Mabel and Zora said...

Sophie the giraffe looks like she had too much to drink. Great photos!

...like a rolling stone. said...

oooh i will just add to the growing number of toby fans and say that he. is. way. too. cute.
what a player. so darling!
thanks for sharing photos. so fun!
xo.

Jenn said...

awesome pictures!
I had to giggle when I read that your baby got his 2 front teeth because my baby lost her 2 front teeth!

Tish said...

I LIVE in West Los Angeles and I didn't even know about those places. I've seen them when I'm bouncing about, but that's about it. Thank you for the new places to try. I'll be checking out the store your hubby likes as well. Any place that gives out free whiskey deserves a looksy.

www.luvandkiwi.com

jessicarsommer said...

Ah!!! You just visited my Home... I live on the edge of Santa Monica/Venice Beach.
Santa Monica- Main Street. Also please do not ignore all of our albeit 'trendy' healthy/vegan restaurants. They are delicious! Good for you too.
Venice Beach. Abbot Kinney. Amazing. Also enjoy spray painting *legally and the canals, Lemonade Cafe- local favorite.
I am absolutely not an LA'er that 'hates LA' (also popular...) but I stay all within a mile or so from the beach- easy to love our laid back coast! So happy you visited.
Xo Jessica Rae
{lovely ugly design}
http://lovelyuglydesign.blogspot.com/

Heather said...

We're huge fans of the Rose cafe which isn't too far from 3rd Street and the famous Venice clown. However, my favorite place was this adorable little British Tea Resteraunt and Grocery right on 4th Street. It had the best custard I've ever had in my life.

christie said...

beautiful photos jo! glad to hear you and your family had a lovely time :)

xx Christie
www.christie86.blogspot.com

outsmartener said...

Toby is SOOO CUUUTEE!!

About Last Weekend said...

Hi nice to meet you. What a refreshing tale of LA - its had a bad rap over the years as congested and unfriendly. But it really is the most magical place with beaches, markets and charming gardens around the back streets Love that your little guy comes with! Cheers, Jody

Galipette. said...

Beautiful pictures~ it looks like it was a fantastic time. Toby is such a doll!

xo,
Luce

Michemily said...

I wonder if you read all these comments . . . anyway, I couldn't believe how much Toby looked like you in the photos where he's smiling.

Luisa said...

OMG, I'd move to LA in a heartbeat if I could. I'm convinced I must have lived there in a former life. All my New Yorker friends hate LA, but I feel like I'm coming home every time I'm there! It makes me so happy. Can you imagine: kumquat trees in your own backyard? Sunshine every day? The Santa Monica Farmer's Market TWICE A WEEK? :) xo

Stephanie said...

Toby is just gorgeous!

Tiny Little House said...

I lived in L.A. for two years and although it was not my cup tea I still loved certain things. I highly recommend the Los Feliz neighborhood if you are interested in venturing east. My favorite restaurants there are Figaro Bistrot and En Sushi. There are lots of cute shops on Vermont Avenue as well. And while your in the neighborhood you should head up to The Griffith Observatory for star watching.

Raquel said...

Toby is so adorable! You're pictures of LA are so gorgeous- it looks like you had a ton of fun with your family! I've been to LA once, and can't wait for the next time I'm able to visit!

Cheers! x

Catherine said...

Thanks for your post. You've also inspired me to take more advantage of the city that I live in. I live in Hermosa Beach which has a bit of a quieter, beachy vibe to it. (I love it.) There is an amazing arts & crafts fair at the Hermosa Pier every Memorial Day and Labor Day. Definitely something to take advantage of. Also, if you ever want to take a gorgeous drive, head over to Palos Verdes and drive along Palos Verdes Drive West. Just keep going until you get to Terranea Resort, stop, and have a bite to eat. You can also explore some tidepools and see little creatures like sea urchins and starfish at Abalone Cove along the same drive. It is so gorgeous there.

natasha said...

La Paella on san vicente close to the Beverly Center is a-ma-zing. Craft in Century City and New York Bagel Company in Brentwood. If you want to travel into the valley, Little Island Sushi in Sherman Oaks and Casa Vega for Mexican (also in Sherman Oaks). So many more great places, not enough room to write all of them!


naatie425.blogspot.com

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

These are such sweet pictures. Sure makes me want to be in California!

deborahjustine said...

I'm a native Angeleno, and mother of 3 and I can say I love living in West Los Angeles. I don't venture to West Hollywood all that much, but places near where I live that I love include:
Natural History Museum and Science Center
The Grove and Farmer's Market
Annenberg Beach/Pool in Santa Monica
American Rag-for shopping
Melrose- for fun vintage finds
an amazing hands on exhibit of Noah's Ark at the Skirball cultural center
Westside Tavern & Landmark Theatres for the best food and movie combo
Father's Office- the coolest little pub/best burgers
The Westside has really great schools which is very important for parents and why we are where we are. I post a ton of what I do with my kids and where I take them to that's local on my blog, www.deborahjustine.wordpress.com
So happy you liked our town!

Anonymous said...

I love your photos! They are so vintage-y, and LAish, and very cool. Your vacation sounds like a lot of fun! I <3 the beach and wish i was there right now...
Can't wait to see more of your vacation photos!
P.S. LA certainly is nice to live in, but growing up (and living) in New York City is very fun. I'd take vacations, but still live in NY. I guess they both have their advantages and charms.

Amy K. of the Boom Club said...

Planning a big trip to Cali later this year for ComiCon and visits with family and friends. Thanks for the L.A. suggestions.

Also your photos are beautiful

Flourishing Networks said...

looks great - I love seeing beach photos from other parts of the world. Great to see your list of favourites - love it!!

Kate said...

I live in LA and absolutely love it. There's so much hate from the outside world, but if you stay away from all the touristy stuff, its so great.

On of my favorite things to do is to escape to Griffith Park. I lived in the neighborhood just near the Greek Theatre (a great place to see shows) for three years and now I live just down the hill a little way..still in Los Feliz. When I felt the need to escape the city life, I'd go out and explore all there is to explore in the park...as well as the observatory (where I got engaged!).

As far as restaurants go, Thai Town is really close by..and if you love Thai food, there are so many to choose from. My personal favorite is Pattaya Bay on Vermont Avenue. Someone mentioned the Alcove, which has a great outdoor vibe, but I love the Mustard Seed which is right near by. There's also Fred 62's which is a great diner as well as Cafe 101 (off of Franklin Ave) which is where they shot a lot of movies. Just down the road in Silverlake, they have a great strip of restaurants and coffee shops including Intelligentcia, which everyone tends to go to..and you'll even see some celebs from time to time. If you're a Vegetarian or Vegan, there are tons of places to eat...

Other good places to go for food are on Larchmont...go to Larchmont Wine and Cheese for great sandwiches! If you want some good diner/fast food...Astro Burger on Melrose and Gower is a must! They have the biggest selection for vegetarians there...and its amazing!!

As far as shopping goes, Melrose is always great and has great Vintage shopping. There is a vintage flea market on Sundays on Melrose and Fairfax every Sunday that has really great stuff ...as well as the Rose Bowl Flea market that is every second Sunday, I believe? It's HUGE!! Plus, Pasadena has really great restaurants and shops and hiking....oh, there's so much to do in LA. I'll write a post about it soon!!

Marie said...

Were these photos taken with the hipstamatic camera app?! If so, I love that app I use it everytime I take a pic. Makes them look all vintage and cool. Those photos look amazing and I'm secretly fantasizing about moving to cali as well ;)

annie said...

HI Joanna! your trip looked just wonderful and i live in Belmont Shore but i go to LA and Santa Monica all the time and have never been to these places but now i must try them! Thanks for the links to the restaurant and i love going to The Counter in Santa Monica!

Linka said...

Thank youso much for sharing these lovely photos! Toby is adorable

sarah piper said...

Makes me miss home! Can't believe the weather was so sunny - wasn't it pouring over there?? We're planning a "Cali beach party in winter" birthday party for my roommate out here in snowy Indiana, so these are great photos for inspiration!

Helen & Jessica said...

Wow, LOVE your pictures! I actually just booked my spring break trip to California. Will be staying with my best friend at his home on Newport Beach... first time on the West Coast so I'm psyched!!! Thanks for all your suggestions :)

Tbadee said...

I live in West Los Angeles, and work in Venice and have never eaten at ANY of those restaurants! That's the great thing about LA, always so much to explore! and now I can't wait to check out your recommendations. You're photos are adorable, glad you enjoyed it here!

Beth {Embracing Twentysomething} said...

Toby looks like the sweetest, happiest baby - he is adorable and looks filled with personality! But how couldn't he, with a mom as rad as you? Thanks for sharing these darling pictures of your vava! :)

Eileen said...

The one of Toby in your friend's arms is the best. So cute.

Jess said...

Your vacation looks lovely! How many people besides Toby can say they actually got their two front teeth for Christmas!

(PS Love the Eggies in a Basket from the previous post!)

laurenjeanallece said...

Love the photos! I lived in Malibu for four years while I was going to school and still love to go play in LA with friends who still live there. The big Farmer's Market area at The Grove is like a tour of the world, you can find any kind of food you want! Also, the Aero theater in Santa Monica shows classic movies on the big screen (often it's a double feature!)!!!

Glad you all had fun, there really is no place on earth like it!

Alice Yoo said...

Looks like you hit up some great places like Gjelina, one of my fave places! Hope you got the mushroom toast..yum.

Heather said...

I've been debating whether we want to move to LA. These photos and your post on places to go are VERY convincing! Thanks for sharing. So fun!

Samantha Holcomb said...

OH MY TOBY IS A LITTLE SWEETIE!!

naomi said...

my uncle lives on the venice canals. it is so beautiful there! i got at least once a year. i also love intelligentsia coffee on abbott kinney.

finally hatachi

Kristin said...

You have head east next time to Los Feliz, Silverlake and Echo Park! Though the ocean is a powerful siren song, you'll fall in love with all the eastsiders have to offer when it comes to restaurants, stores, vintage, architecture, culture and people! Come visit! :)

Kyle n Lisa said...

I live in Santa Monica... you chose my two favorites, Huckleberry for brunch and Tavern for dinner! Next time try Rustic Canyon it's delicious. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hello Joanna,

THANK YOU so much for your post. My husband and I are in a bit of a dilemna so your post has helped me to decide whether we should move to LA or to San Antonio or Houston Texas. We are having a hard time deciding! Worried about high cost of living in LA, etc, as compared to Texas. Have you ever been to Texas, what do you think dear Joanna?
I love your blog by the way!
Chickadee

Anonymous said...

I just moved from Santa Barbara, and secretly wish I could move back :>... If you ever do go there I recommend the Zoo and if you like Indian food, check out Flavor of India, so flavorful and yummy. In Topanga Canyon I love to go for a hike then eat at In of The Seventh Ray, organic, whimsical beautiful setting! Hope Toby handled the teething okay.
Vanesza

Kaitlin said...

Joanna, please move here! I would love to have you in my city!

Some things to check out for your next visit:

Melrose Trading Post: Flea market that takes place every Sunday at the intersection of Fairfax and Melrose. Amazing finds for clothes, jewelry and furniture!

Joan's on Third: Amazing brunch spot and baked goods :)

Doughboys: Great soups

Bodega Wine Bar

Sweet Lady Jane Bakery: Delicious baked goods.

Lemonade: Great sandwiches, salads, desserts

Clementine: Good lunch spot. Great blueberry muffin!

Hope you come back and visit soon!

ladybonq said...

Not big on LA b/c I hate traffic (!) but I've had my share of good places to eat in the area.

People, if you want to have some great foods prepared with ingredients from locally grown farmers' gardens (and donated by the locals too!) try FORAGE in Silverlake. They have killer mac n cheese, seasonal vegetables, great desserts... a great concept of a restaurant. GREAT FOOD!!!

The creator of FORAGE used to be a chef at LUCQUES, a french restaurant started up by Suzanne Goin and her husband (I believe), same creators of TAVERN. Lucques' mini hamburgers are just something... everything is delicious. Very hip atmosphere.

If you like garlic and don't mind smelling like it for the next 3 days, try THE STINKING ROSE. You'll know what I mean after you've had anything on the menu, including the garlic ice cream.

Joanna said...

I've been singing Huckleberry's praises since its opening. Happy to know you enjoyed it so much. It's super close to where I live in Santa Monica. Life here is pretty darn close to perfect, if I do say so myself. :-)

Another restaurant I'd recommend in LA is Providence. It's a michelin star restaurant that is a little on the pricey side, but the food is phenomenal. Absolutely one of the best dining experiences of my life. It's so worth the splurge. Perfect date place with the hubby. :-)

Eilish said...

ssooo cute :) loving the summer feel of these photos.


faialofa.blogspot.com

baballa said...

Love all the pics!! Toby looks great and having so much fun!!!

Kristina said...

Would love to have some Californian sunshine here in cold Switzerland today.
I have lived close to LA when I was 17 (high-school exchange) and I loved California! It is really one of the most beautiful places on this planet!
Viele Gruesse, Kristina

Miss Molly said...

these are such beaut holiday pics and Toby is getting so big! he really is adorable and i also love that pic of him in your friends arms!

xoxo

www.missmollyfashions.blogspot.com

heemmaa said...

Toby has common interrests with french babies... This Giraffe Toy ("Sophie" is her name) is made in France... This is a very popular gift for newborns here. My nephew received... Three of them. I love this toy!

ana said...

it's you all had a great time in L.A.

read me... said...

Toby is simply gorgeous! Looks like a great break.

jane said...

too funny! we were also in ca (west side + palm springs) over the holidays. i would wholeheartedly concur with your eating recs. we ate at huckleberry and tavern as well .... love r + d burgers, too. dying to try father's office but our 13yo can't go in.

classiq said...

beautiful pics! Toby is adorable!

Joanna Goddard said...

chickadee, i've never been to texas, but LA is pretty awesome. :) thanks for all these sweet comments! xoxo

Suite Henry said...

Really fun shots!
L.A. looks so much more interesting now... I still have my heart set on San Fransisco.

Megan Champion said...

love your photos.... it looks like you had such an awesome time.

Joslyn said...

looks like an amazing trip...man that toby is a cutie!!!

Chessa! said...

Good for toby that he got his two teeth! yay! Lucia is still all gums and I feel like I will miss it when her teeth come in but seeing Toby with his and looking so cute now I can't wait! :) she loves her sophie too!! the photos look fantastic. glad you guys had fun.

oh and ps--we took lucia on vacation in december too and I was nervous at first but it is so much easier with a baby in warm weather, right? none of this nonsense with 800 layers and them fighting us as we struggle to get it all on them! :)

KTH said...

My husband has been there many times and we also went for our honeymoon 3 years ago. Lovely place. We went to a restaurant called Splash or Splashes (something along those lines) in Laguna Beach and at high tide the waves come up to the window at your table. Sooo neat!

Tusssk said...

Love all of these suggestions - I live on the east side and need to venture out further!

Would have to second The Inn of the Seventh Ray, its so lovely at night!
Also Cobras and Matadors in Mid-City is a must.

lady lyles said...

how did you manage to make LA look like the classiest, most darling place in the world? xo

M said...

Love the pictures! My husband and I were in California for Christmas too. Except it was terribly rainy for the most part.

Also, I love the pictures of Toby. He's adorable.

Shannyn said...

LOVE your taste in LA spots! All favorites of mine here on the westside =)

lovely by m said...

My daughter got her 2 front teeth for Christmas too! Perfection. Looks like a lovely time.

S. said...

beautiful photos! I hope one day I too can enjoy the sun of Los Angeles.
many kisses lucky girl

elizabeth antonia said...

awwww, look at that smile. he is such a perfect mix of you two. you are a hit with the 7 month old set as long as you have sophie the giraffe and avocados!

someone in la misses you! xo elizabeth

Amy said...

You live in NY and want to move to LA... and I live in LA and want to move to NY! LA really is wonderful in the winter - the sun is shining, there's little smog and the temperature is perfect. I also highly recommend Huntington Gardens for your next visit. It's hands down my favorite place in LA.

Mo said...

Toby looks so happy! Free whiskey? Why would you not shop there?!

Rell said...

My wee fella got his 2 front (bottom) teeth for xmas too!! Must have been on sale:)

Anonymous said...

I live in the LA area...my favorite brunch spot: Dusty's Bistro in Silverlake and my favorite LA Mexican joint: El Arco Iris in Highland Park...You SHOULD move here!

Danielle said...

Uh, Toby is totally terrifically adorable!!!!! So flippin' smoochie, makes me miss my son's early years something terrible, especially since I haven't been able to have a second. Such is life! Just joined your lovely blog. Wishin' I found it earlier, but I must say...A CUP OF TEA for me, coffee does a number on my stomach. Ok, way too much info., I'll stop while I'm ahead or am I behind now. Seriously, your son is cute and your blog fab. xx Danielle

Anonymous said...

Stumbled across your blog through my son's girlfriends blog.I've been going back and reading some old post to get caught up. You have a nice family Toby is totally adorable enjoy every minute of it. My oldest will be 27 this week. Wow where has the time gone. Take care :)

maison21 said...

you've hit all the good spots in sm/venice, now come inland a bit (all my suggestions are bh/west hollyood/miracle mile, save botegga louie, downtown):

jar

luques

pizzeria mozza

comme ca

aoc

hatfields

bld

animal

campanile

chateau marmont

polo lounge (brunch)

cut

bazaar at the sls

bottega louie


ps- just had my first dinner at the tasting kitchen last week. it won't be my last!

Melinda said...

I grew up south from la and there is plenty to do and see down south as well. Disneyland, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Aquarium of the Pacific, Queen Mary, etc. etc. and quite alot of restuarants to choose from as well :)

Btw - I can't believe how big Toby is getting!! Time flies! :)

elle. said...

URTH CAFFE is a MUST! :)

erinalthea said...

Auntie Ems in Eagle Rock is my fave!(East Side)

Anonymous said...

What kind of camera do you use? I love your photography and your site is awesome!

krisel keeper said...

I read your vacation posts while we were on vacation in Colorado (we live in LA). Lovely to hear your thoughts on this city as I really love to hear about your NYC life.

Everyone gave you great suggestions...Urth Cafe, Vermont Ave in Silver Lake etc. Love all those places but I noticed no one (i think) gave you suggestions on what to do when you have a child. I suspect the next time you come to LA Toby might just be walking and soon your time will be split by his activities. I'm not a mom who goes to "kid joints". I love doing things in our city that my daughter and I will both enjoy ie good food and creative stuff so here is my list of things to do in our city when you have a little curious one en tow.

Skirball Center (west side)
They have an exhibition called Noah's Ark. Beautiful, educational and a lovely place all around.

Getty Villa and Center (Malibu and west side) Both places have great views, great food and great kid friendly activities revolving around art. At the Getty Center you can also run around and picnic in their garden which is beautiful and seasonal.

Malibu Country Mart
outdoor shopping space with a playground in the middle so you can order food from surrounding restaurants and then eat right there while you watch your kid swing.

LACMA (LA County Museum of Art)
In the heart of Hollywood so you can hit the Grove or the shops on 3rd and 6th. If you sign Toby up for NexGen(free) he and a parent get into for free. Great painting area for kids. Great food but if you prefer to walk just down the street there is Mani's Bakery Cafe. Organic, yummy food and they are so helpful with kids, ie they'll bring you little samples of the food to make sure your kid will eat a bowl food.

If on the West side you can go to the Sunday Santa Monica farmers market on Main Street ( close to Venice). They have pony rides and you'll get a better vibe for living in LA.

Ok. some idea for future trips.
Love your blog. You inspire me!

Almost Interesting said...

I'm so glad you made it to Huckleberry! It's my favorite place in LA. :) I TRY to eat there everyday. Hehe.

Los Angeles Vacation Rentals said...

Toby looks so cute!

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