LA from my POV

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Only until I was able to confidently hop on a train to go to Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA), and take the bus without really looking at the bus app anymore, that I was able to fully enjoy exploring the hidden gems of the city. I have company on Thursdays, but otherwise, it’s a better idea to have your own loose schedule, making room for randonimity.

I have my favorite spots like I’d want to go back to over and over again, and share it with friends.

The Last Bookstore on Spring St. is walkable from my other fave places like the Grand Central Market.

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The Los Angeles Arts District is for someone who doesn’t mind walking blocks of old warehouses converted to galleries, hip bars and cafes and trendy boutiques. If Instagrammable settings are your thing, then you should be hawk-eyed for catchy street art.

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Hipsterdom Silver Lake also happens to be a foodie heaven. Too many options, but so far liking Pine and Crane for Taiwanese food, Millie’s breakfast plates, El Cochinito for Cuban homestyle cooking,  kitschy Thai restaurant Night + Market Song, Milk for desserts, and on the border of East Hollywood, there’s Sqirl which I never tire of. If you eat only organic, you will love the weekend market.

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Not your ordinary vintage shops abound in this neighbornood.

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Any Chinatown in the world is interesting, but what makes the Los Angeles Chinatown more interesting is the fact that the Far East Plaza, which used to house Chinese cultural art and traditional products, has opened its doors to an insane hodgepodge of globally liked dishes, like there’s a good ramen spot, a Chego, which creates modern Korean rice bowls, a banh mi and pho place, a bao house owned by actor Eddie Huang (they have the best coffin bao!), an inexpensive but fantastic Chinese restaurant, Scoops with the most original ice cream flavors, the newly opened contemporary Filipino LASA, not to forget Howlin’ Ray’s which has an impossible long line always.

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Not far from the Far East Plaza are great dim sum restaurants like Ocean Seafood (if you find the San Gabriel Valley out of the way).

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The Grand Central Market. Yes, the iconic 1917 Grand Central Market is better than ever, what with the new Los Angeles food culture. And then mixing the old with the new makes the experience more evocative.

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The long line leading to Eggslut is still there. I always get the Fairfax with avocado and bacon add-ons. Sari-Sari Store is good news to Filipino food lovers. Liking the sisig bowl, super nakaka-nostalgia.

A lot of food for the soul here.

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Right across the Grand Central Market is the Bradbury Building, a living proof of stellar historical preservation. If it looks familiar to you, it is because it was used as filming location to scenes in the original Blade Runner.

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Something I enjoyed was tracking down the Camera Obscura that gives a pinhole view of the Santa Monica beach.

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Discovering the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine on Sunset Blvd. in Pacific Palisades was serendipity. So Zen, it is a place to forget all your worries, or just be away from the urban wild.

I like spending my time in museums. I love LACMA where Picasso made me cry. And The Broad was so much fun. Across The Broad is the Disney Concert Hall.

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They say the best thing about LA is Koreatown. If you like Korean food you will definitely agree, but there’s more than Kbbq and bibimbap and jap chae here. The busiest Boiling Crab is in Ktown. It’s also home to Sun Nong Dan, which serves the best sullungtang bone broth and cheesy galbi jjim. I swear by Cassell’s Hamburgers at the Hotel Normandie. And the best bingsoo, to me, is at Anko. Wako Donkasu, for its  cold soba and pork katsu, is another personal fave. I’m having an affair with a Korean hairstylist. I buy my green tea here, and checking out the latest in Kbeauty is therapeutic.

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I’ve never enjoyed Los Angeles like this before.

Phone Photos of Silver Lake and Brunch at Millie’s

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Yay! I am a new owner of a 4G phone, a gift from my brother and sister-in-law. Getting the hang of mobile photography. Let’s start with my neighborhood. Honestly, walking to Sunset Blvd. was more pleasurable with just a phone and twenty dollars in my pocket.

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Went to this old American breakfast place called Millie’s. An institution in Silver Lake, Millie’s is open only up til 4PM and is always packed, oftentimes with long lines, but I was lucky to get a seat by the bar. Eggs, toasts and pancakes are popular, as well as their Mexican-inspired and vegan options. It was difficult to choose what eggs Benedict to get. Settled with California style, traditional Benedict merged with avocados and crisp smoked applewood bacon, with rosemary potatoes on the side. The hollandaise sauce was flawless. The explosion of flavors sent me to a foodgasm. The serving was hefty, but it was all worth the trip. Staff is wonderful, food is served quickly, and it really feels like a friendly neighborhood eatery.

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Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2016

Inside Night + Market Song

Night + Market Song

My mom and I share a love for Thai food. Hot soup, preferably tom yum, plus pad thai is pure comfort. We went to Night + Market Song, that little Thai restaurant, after telling her about the rather quirky spot Ericke pointed to in hipster Silver Lake. The quirkiness doesn’t end with the pink paint. The kitschy oil cloth-covered tables were matchy-matchy with the white enamel plates. I remembered the same white plate (yes, the only one) I have back home. In the Philippines, enamel ware and bright mantel del hule are standard in carinderias (turo-turo eateries). And they are suddenly so cool, thanks to the owner-chef of Night + Market Song who I read is a New York University film graduate. Song in Thai is two ‘coz there’s another Night + Market on Sunset (West Hollywood).

Night + Market SongNight + Market Song

The pad thai at this place is vegetarian, so we ordered another noodle dish called pad see ew gai that had chicken and broccoli. The strong flavors hit the right notes.

Interestingly, tom yum is not served at Night + Market Song. But our tom khar gai was a good substitute. It had coconut milk, chicken and mushrooms and the rest is basically the same flavors in tom yum, but with more spark.

I’d love to try a salad sometime. They also have Thai desserts and beer.

Tom Khar Gai Hot PotPad See Ew GaiNight + Market Song

Night + Market Song 3322 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles Phone: (323) 849-0223 Open 12am – 3pm, 5 – 10:30pm

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

Neighborhood Milk

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The gentrification of Silver Lake is good for my neighborhood. Burgeoning left and right, hip establishments are getting closer, and more diverse like there’s an organic coffee bar that supports livelihoods and biodiversity just two blocks near my home, and Milk is walkable if you love walking like me.

Milk is known for their macaron ice cream sandwiches, but there’s quite an ample selection of desserts which includes cakes, cookies (molasses cookies, yum!), puddings, ice cream cones, sundaes and floats.

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The ambiance is relaxed with subtle lighting. You can squat on the sitting area inside or blend in with the crowd outside.

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Just coconut cake for me. Ericke loved her Thai tea ice cream. It’s on the pricey side, but I’m not earning yet.

MILK 1639 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 Phone: (323) 913-9911 Open 10AM-10PM

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015