Warning: this is super picture heavy— but also, probably super useful if you’re traveling to LA. Hell, maybe even useful if you live in LA because apparently I knew of more new food places than some people who live in LA, haha– the internet is a wonderful place to explore new food, isn’t it?

So we got into LA pretty late– I think we made it to our airbnb around 2 am PST which is 5 am for us. But we both did sleep a bit on the plane so it wasn’t too bad. What was super crazy though was the hills that were waiting for us. Coming from southern FL, well it was a bit of a “whoa” moment. I grew up with hills in worcester, but after being away for so long, I think I forget how incredibly intense they really can be! The closest thing we have to a hill here in south florida are land fills— yuck. So yeah, the hills was one of the first big shockers when it came to our LA trip.

The second big shocker was the weather. Thank god alex told me to check the weather before we headed out for our flight! It made me pack two extra, very much needed, long sleeve shirts. It was COLD! For real! I mean, I know we’re (alex and I) sort of babies when it comes to colder climates, but it was chilly!

The third big shocker was ice-cream. Man, you Californians really freaking love your ice-cream! It was EVERYWHERE. I don’t eat sugar at home– but I totally broke my own rules and indulged in ice-cream a few times! How could I not?! There were delicious food trucks and ice-cream stands with vegan ice-cream on every corner! And I always got the cone– but made alex eat it, haha.

The last big shocker was how much I truly loved LA. I for sure expected to not like it or be indifferent at best— but after 4 days in LA? I can say I genuinely like it and would love to be back there right now! The food was delicious. The people we met (new friends and old friends) were all amazing. Even the weather grew on me. It was great! I took a lot of random photos— some good, some whatever, but I hope you like the upcoming LA trip posts. I’m def. going to link as many places as I can, because everywhere we went was delicious and amazing!

We love staying in airbnb places. If you haven’t signed up yet, tried it out, I totally recommend it— (here’s 25$ off your first time) just read the reviews and things, you know! We’ve only had good experiences so far. We typically do this to stay somewhere with a kitchen, but skipped the kitchen this time, since my “things to do map” basically only listed food and maybe 5 places, haha.

We woke up bright and early friday morning (thanks time zone change!) and decided to head to the nearby coffee shop that was listed at less than a mile away— well— by the time we got to the place, I Was like “you can leave me here, pick me up at the bottom of the hill” haha. Those hills are intense! It’s hard to accurently show the steepness of them via my photos. But holy moly, my calves only stopped hurting today, one week later! But honestly, I’m not complaining, I’d totally take the weather and hills here, it was such a nice change!

There was also citrus EVERYWHERE. I think this drove Alex most insane. He was overly concerned with the amount of trees growing everywhere, haha.

Our first stop was The Fix in Echo park (where we were staying). We had only walked down for coffee- but decided to get a quick bite to eat– as a pre-breakfast meal 😉 eggs for him, steel cut oats with fruit for me. nom nom. We both got coffee too 😉

Then we made our way back up the other sides of the hills! Walked our burning calves (my burning calves?) back to the airbnb to jump in the car and drive downtown.

Per suggestion of a lot of you, we headed to Cafe Gratitude. It was totally a bit over the top with it’s— umm— gratitude-ness, haha. But it was amazing. The food was just who I eat at home– focused on real food with loads of natural fermented foods, probiotics, tonics, and all the good stuff. And better than the food? The company. We met up with Hailey and husband, Dan and Raha too! I met both girls via the india trip last year. So grateful to call them my friends.

I ordered a “whole” bowl I also got the “brave” elixir. You know, cause I am brave AND whole.

Stole this photo from Hailey— cause look, a photo of us together! Also, she wrote a blog post on our day too, if you want check it out! 🙂

we then took photos outside—- and made friends by doing this. haha. ps. you can buy that book to the left in her shop.

After Cafe Gratitude we said “see ya later” to Raha and decided to make our way around town by foot. This was a great idea. Not the saying bye to Raha part– but the walking around part. It was a very LA day around The Arts District— people shooting commercials, people being famous, you know whatever, LA stuff, haha.

We checked out a few shops, like Poketo (that one was on my list) and then found a Salt and Straw ice-cream truck– so obviously we stopped for ice-cream.

We then made our way to the little tokoyo district, where we stopped in a giant market — and I found it– I finally found it! NATTO. I had been on the search for it for a while since I kept hearing about how good it was for you. I knew that it was sticky and icky and super pungent smellling– but I thought for sure I would like it. I mean, I love tempeh. I love fermented foods. The stank-ier the kimchi is, the better. It made sense that I would fall in love with natty. Except I finally found it, tried it, and was completely mortified. It was absolutely disgusting!! I can’t remember the last time I actually had to spit food out, but I totally had to with this! It was AWFUL. I guess I won’t be receiving it’s health benefits, but at least now I know 😉

We also picked up probiotic drinks, pickles, plantains, and whatever other random things we thought we needed. Obviously.

After little tokoyo and my natto experience we continued on our long walk to grand central market. Passing what appeared to be the drug paraphernalia district.— you know loads of shops with bongs and things? It was super weird. But apparently there’s a district for everything in LA. But anyway, we got to Grand Central market— another place on my list. It was rad. ANY food you wanted to eat was in this market. And it  was filled with vegan choices too!

As if we didn’t have enough from our three previous meals, we decided to get more food. And beer for the rest of the kids, not me 😉 Kombucha for me— my splurge drink of choice when others are drinking 😉

I want a bargain bin! 

want beer? they got it. noodles? yup. spices? that too? a whole stand with different types of mole’s? yup. pizza? check. a sugar store? uh-huh. everything.

We then continued our journey to The Broad art museum. We got super lucky on this one. At this point we had marked off most of the places on my downtown LA map and most other museums were closing, but not The Broad. You have to get tickets in advance usually (even though it’s free), but we lucked out and only had to wait in like for about 20 minutes before making out way inside. As soon as we got up the escalator I geeked out cause it was my tattoo on the wall! Or the art that inspired my tattoo anyway. Or the tattoo I used to have that is mostly faded by now, anyway. Haha. You can see a slightly better photo of my once tattoo HERE if you’re interested.

Hi Hailey. 

After we checked out the art, we re-packed our plantains and headed outside to grab an uber….

to china town! or is it called the china district? everything is a district, I swear. 

Where we then decided it would be a good idea to get 15$ foot massages from all the walking. Alex was a bit skeptical. But it wasn’t a good idea, it was actually a great idea. I need more 15$ foot massages in my life.

After our foot massages we made it to our last stop for the day– Pok Pok. It was pretty delicious. The turmeric tonic/spritzer thing I had was delicious. The food was good too, I just with mine was a whole lot spicier. That was maybe my biggest food complaint the whole trip! I wanted everything to be more spicy! I think my spice tolerance has hit a new level though 😉 
We then parted with Hailey and Dan and made our way back up many hills to our airbnb and slept pretty well after such a great day of walking and eating 🙂 Honestly, I wish everyday could be so rad. The whole trip was amazing. Each day was perfect in it’s own way– and so different from the others. Can’t wait to go back and visit one day!

Alright friends, I’m off to pick up M from her last day of pre-school! Cr-azzzyy. I hope you guys have a wonderful and delicious weekend! <3<3<3


cafe gratitude
grand central market
salt and straw
pok pok

grand central market
the broad
the arts district
little tokoyo




  1. Nicole – Thanks for the defend 😉 I don't really bother with comments like that ^ The person obviously doesn't know anything about me/my life. If they did they would know why I can't eat sugar, why and what my diet actually is, and why I'm so thin even though I eat well over 3,000 calories a day. And they would know that my husband and daughters diet is VERY different than mine. They're just angry in their own life— happy people comment things like that^ 🙂

  2. Woah. Why are you writing this? If you don't know what you're talking about, you should probably mind your own.

  3. It looks like a fantastic trip, somewhere I'd love to go one day. Great to see one of Damien Hirst's spot paintings. CJ xx

    • haha! I was nervous too, but we both LOVED it 🙂 I want to go back and eat ten more pounds of noodles… and at least one more ice-cream cone.

  4. Headed to L.A this weekend, I will always love it there. I got to spend almost four years in FL and now I'm back in San Diego, you must visit!

  5. The Broad art museum looks totally awesome! I'm definitely going to visit when I go to cali on the 28th!


    • try to get tickets in advance! We didn't get to see the downstairs exhibit because it was booked!

    • seriously though. the food in LA was way better than we imagined. I was super impressed with cafe gratitude.