Liz’s Perfect Day in Los Angeles

Liz in LA

It’s Saturday! Everything begins at Millie’s, where nearly all breakfasts come with biscuits and you get your own little pot of strawberry jam and the waitstaff’s really ace about constantly refilling your coffee. I always order the Jackie G. Special (scrambled eggs + cream cheese + scallions + sherry wine = LOVE), but the Devil’s Mess is also divine (if you dig on meat, especially greasy spicy sausagey goodness).

Runyon Canyon Los Angeles

You really can’t ever avoid overdoing it at Millie’s, so afterwards let’s try a slightly slackerish hike through Runyon Canyon. It’s off of Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills, and on the way I’d stop at Laurel Canyon Country Store for water and maybe some vintage British candy, or even a bottle of Canyon Country Store Wine for later (because the label’s all trippy and groovy, and sometimes it’s fun to pretend that you too are some trippy/groovy product of the Canyon).

Malibu Country Mart

After stomping around Runyon and getting our brains completely melted by the sweeping views of El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de la Porciuncula, we’d climb back down the mountain and take off for the ocean (with either Exile on Main Street or Neil Young’s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere on the stereo, probably, definitely). En route there’ll be a quick stop at Malibu Kitchen in Malibu Country Mart – they’ve got cupcakes as big as your head with lots of gumdrops and shark-shaped gummy candies plunked into the frosting, and of course you can’t go to the beach without cupcakes!

Malibu Sealife

My favorite swim spot is El Matador, even though I’ve heard tell that the water’s kinda dangerous there: The riptide’s really intense but the bodysurfing’s fantastic, and there’s lots of crazy sea caves and rock formations and – a little ways down the beach, where it’s more secluded – you can find starfish and sea anemones and other happy ocean animals just hanging out and being lovely.

Hidden Treasures

Once we’ve crawled out of the ocean, we’ll get back in the car and head up the Pacific Coast Highway for Neptune’s Net (a heavily biker-populated seafood joint that’s great not only because it’s featured prominently in the movie Point Break and because Bret Michaels takes Rock of Love contestants on dates there sometimes, but also ’cause you can get pitchers of beer and corn on the cob and New England style clam chowder and really fresh fish all fried up like paradise). Heading back down the PCH after Neptune’s Net, we’d turn at Topanga Canyon, ideally right around dusk. (The perfect driving-through-Topanga soundtrack, by the way, would be Devendra Banhart’s Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, recorded right in these very hills.) Maybe stop at Hidden Treasures for some vintage-shopping, but maybe just keep going till we get to Froggy’s. You sit on the back deck, which is sort of like some elaborate treehouse for beer-guzzling weirdos, drink a couple pint glasses of hemp ale, and – if you’ve got a hollow leg and can somehow keep on gorging yourself – order some fish tacos and chips and salsa. Totally to die for.

Venice, California

And after Froggy’s it’s back on the PCH, all the way to Santa Monica and then Venice Beach, where the night ends at the Townhouse, aka My Favorite Dive Bar That’s Hardly Even Divey Anymore. (Dear NASCAR decor: I miss you.) The beers are oversized and there’s lots of cute boys with salty hair, if you’re into that sort of thing. And please note that, had this not been a Perfect Day, it’s highly likely that the combined commute time between each of these far-flung destinations would probably make it so we wouldn’t actually get to Venice till dawn the next day. And that would be a sweet thing, actually, ’cause then we could go to Cow’s End for Blanca Cafe Au Lait and bring our coffee down to the pier and watch the surfers wait for waves, which is maybe the most blissfully voyeuristic way you could ever spend a Sunday morning. HEAVEN.

Liz Barker is a freelance writer and executive editor of fashion/music/everything blog NOGOODFORME.COM. She lives in Echo Park but keeps wishing for a pink cottage by the sea.

{My Perfect Day is a weekly Tidepooler series that reveals the most wonderful and interesting places in cities and towns around the world, as shared by the people who live there}

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1 comment
  1. xcvbnm said:

    You really can’t ever avoid overdoing it at Millie’s, so afterwards let’s try a slightly slackerish hike through Runyon Canyon. It’s off of Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills, and on the way I’d stop at Laurel Canyon Country Store for water and maybe some vintage British candy, or even a bottle of Canyon Country Store Wine for later (because the label’s all trippy and groovy, and sometimes it’s fun to pretend that you too are some trippy/groovy product of the Canyon)?

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