We just got back from spending a long weekend in la and had a fantastic time! I heard that the Create + Cultivate blogger conference was going to be there and was dying to go. It landed on Mother’s Day weekend, so we decided to make a family trip out of it. We crammed a ton of our top stops into a few days and are now wanting to head right back.
We stayed at the Ace Hotel in downtown LA. The vibe is cool and the rooms are comfortable and modern. The rooftop bar is a go to spot after six and the adjoining pool is a hipster haven. We grabbed a cocktail one evening and took our kiddos up for a dip one morning. We were super tired when we arrived and ordered a late lunch to our room. The food was good and the service was phenomenal. The valet was great and the coffee shop was good too. On our way out, we grabbed a savory danish and an iced coffee and headed to the airport. When you go, also enjoy the Rudy’s shower products and Malin and Goetz lotions. There are also cool touches like Pearl soap on a rope at each sink, Waterworks fixtures and record players and vinyl albums in each room.
After we went to a happy hour for the blogging conference I was attending, we stopped into Republique. The interior is cool and my kids loved watching the kitchen prep meals and they also loved eyeing the desserts and baked goods. We started with some red wine and the burrata crostini. Yum! Next we had the Coleman lettuces with avocado, cucumber, radishes, sunflower seeds and green goddess dressing. Now I have had a ton of salads, but this one was amazing! We also had the english pea agnolotti which was great too. The show stopper for the kids was the chocolate cake topped with salted caramel sauce. I have to admit, it was pretty decadent and amazing.
Create and Cultivate
Create and Cultivate is a super hip blogging conference with big names in the creative world. This conference I was excited to hear industry advice from Bri Emery and Emily Henderson, and the keynote speakers were Chelsea Handler, Rachel Zoe and Jessica Alba. There were also big brand names showcasing their new trends too. It was an exciting and inspiring day! I will be sharing more about this later this week!
Commissary at Line LA
This hip restaurant is on the rooftop of the line hotel in Koreatown. It’s housed in a plant filled greenhouse and is super modern. We started with the pimm’s cup and the presentation is super cute. Everything is served family style and comes out when the kitchen has it ready. Our meal began with the cauliflower tempura with shoyu dipping sauce. It was decadent and tasty. We also had the grilled lettuces with pear and avocado. The kids really loved that charred broccolini with quinoa and kochukara nuts. The main dish that we were all smitten with was the rigatoni with lemon, capers and garlic cream sauce.
My crew got me donuts that spelled my name for mother’s day. This was ultra cute and fun. We enjoyed them at the Griffith Observatory.
This observatory is amazing. We went during the day and enjoyed amazing views of the Hollywood hills and sign. You can also see fabulous views of la too! This is a great place to hike as well!
For mother’s day brunch we headed to the Ivy. The flowers and interior are as pretty as you can imagine. We started out with a raspberry gimlet, it was served with sugar cane and mint. We had the mozzarella, basil, and tomato omelet and it was tasty. The multi-colored flowers on each table and the cookies they send you home with are nice touches too!
Santa Monica Pier
The beach in Santa Monica is super pretty. We walked out to the Santa Monica Pier and it is super cute. There is a roller coaster and a ferris wheel that overlook the ocean and to my surprise, my kiddos actually wanted to ride this time. They took their first roller coaster ride and we had our fortunes told by Zoltar. All in all, a pretty fun beach afternoon!
Gjelina is a cool pizza bar in Venice and we were happy to get reservations. We started with a cab franc and a light and delicious salad. It had arugula, radicchio, crispy shallot, parmesan, and sherry vinaigrette. The kiddos had house-made lime Italian sodas and cheese pizza. Our pizza had squash blossoms, cherry tomato, thyme, burrata, and parmesan. It was a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy dinner.
This breakfast hot spot is located in Grand Central Market in dtla. We split the Fairfax sandwich and it was amazing. It had cage-free scrambled eggs and chives topped with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and sriracha mayo. We added avocado and it was super tasty! The line is long and it is certainly worth the wait!!
We had lunch at the Chateau Marmont and it was hands down our favorite meal of our trip. We made reservations for lunch at noon and it was perfect. The patio was uncrowded and lovely. We enjoyed some Sancerre and chopped salads. The salads had avocado, edamame, carrots, yellow grape tomatoes, pea sprouts, radishes, pea pods, asparagus, and lemon poppyseed dressing. We also had the grilled asparagus, which was lemony and perfect. We plan on staying at a garden cottage here on our next trip.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
I know that it’s super touristy, but Harper had all of the stars that she wanted to have her picture taken with. She found Walt Disney, the Muppets, Mickey Mouse, and more. It was fun to check out the Hollywood scene!
Rodeo Drive is a fun place for some shopping! We loved Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tom Ford, and Chanel. It is a lovely experience shopping here rather than the big meccas in New York and Chicago, which can be crowded and a bit smoggy. I am smitten with some new LV shades for summer and an LV pillow and blanket for my sofa in my living room!
Joan’s on Third
Joan’s on Third is a super yummy deli and carryout destination. My kiddos enjoyed ice cream and a cold drink. Dan and I opted for a light afternoon appetizer. We had the grilled artichoke with balsamic dipping sauce. It was delicious and I am dying to come back to order carryout picnics here! Wouldn’t it be amazing to order one to enjoy at a concert at the Hollywood Bowl!?! That’s on the bucket list too!!
The different landscapes and plants that grow in LA are pretty impressive!
We were dining in Venice and didn’t want to miss the canals. They were super pretty and picturesque!
The succulent situation in LA is really insane. There are amazing plantings everywhere in containers, walls, you name it. And each one is lovelier than the one before.
Venice has some amazing shopping and dining. We kept walking by this super cute ice cream shop and the smell was insane. You know that heavenly aroma of waffle cones and ice cream goodness!?! We couldn’t stand it and had to indulge in a scoop. We split the salted, malted chocolate chip cookie dough. It was super yummy.
We loved the little bit of shopping we got to do in Venice too. I loved this little gift shop, Borro, that I found. I found the cutest little music box that plays “Here Comes the Sun.” Jackson and Dan were smitten with a cool shop they found too. It’s called Enda King and it is filled with cool Goorin Bros hats, Velvet tees, and other apparel and accessories for him. Jackson got a trucker hat and was in seventh heaven.
We wanted to check out the urban light exhibit at LACMA while we were in la too. It’s such a cool exhibit and is made of 202 restored antique cast iron street lights. It’s the perfect place for pictures too!
Right down the street is the Petersen Automotive Museum. Dan took Jackson here while we went to the Create + Cultivate conference and they had a great time. The museum has a ton of cars that they thought were amazing. There was the Batmobile, the car from Back to the Future, and a collection of Hollywood cars. This was a fun part of their guy’s day. They took a look at the DJ classes at the Scratch Academy, went to a skate park, and hunted for the best burrito in LA.
Our last stop was Bestia in dtla. It’s in a super industrial neighborhood and it’s really tough to get a table here. Make reservations for sure. We started with the Make My Day, it’s tequila, china china, agave syrup, pineapple juice, lemon juice and barrel-aged bitters. Yummy! We started with the marinated olives and the Genevieve’s little gems salad. The salad was fresh and lovely. It had a walnut vinaigrette, ricotta salata, herbs, radishes, and shallots. Our pizza had burrata, san marzano tomatoes, castelvetrano olives, oregano, and fermented chilies. Wow, this was spicy! It was super yummy and definitely had a kick! We loved this hotspot and were definitely happy that we made the trek!
Our trek to LA was a jam-packed trip but it was super fun and left us inspired. It’s always good to get out of your comfort zone and try new things. It’s also fun to see what your kids are interested in as they grow and change. Watching them become little people is fun and a little bittersweet. It’s also fun to remember that as much as we are a family, we are a couple and individuals too and that we can explore the things that interest us and invigorate our creative sides!