the l.a. guide.
by victoria comment


Los Angeles City Guide / sfgirlbybay

i have a love/hate relationship with los angeles. it’s the place i grew up, so i love being near family and lots of good friends i have there. i love the warm evenings, and swimming in the ocean. there’s certain neighborhoods i’m especially drawn to, like silverlake, los feliz and venice. downtown is fascinating to me and i love that it’s had a resurgence of late. when i was living there, no one went downtown. the hate part is mostly the traffic and sometimes that heat — i just don’t function well when it’s over 85 degrees. i’ve come accustomed to san francisco’s cooler temperatures, i guess. and i kinda hate how sprawling and spread out los angeles is. if you live in venice, i hear you never see friends on the east side. i wish i could squish it all together and have the ocean butt right up to silverlake. but unless some epic earthquake does that for me, it’s not going to happen.

so i go there for extended periods of time and soak in all the good bits. this trip was one of those. good times with great friends and celebrating my brother’s birthday with family. i love that part for certain. here’s my guide to the good side of L.A. and some of the really special places i visited. thanks to everyone on instagram who hastagged your L.A. pics #sfgirlinla — you had some awesome recommendations and i spent time in many of them.

Los Angeles City Guide / sfgirlbybay


in and around silverlake there’s some great shopping and dining. bri took me to amazing spots. yolk is a cute boutique on silverlake boulevard, carrying wonderful home accessories, clothing, cards and stationery, and really darling kids stuff as well. a few doors down is lawson-fenning — a stunning home interiors boutique with great mix of new and vintage furniture and home decor accessories. and next door to that is lake (where i found a gorgeous new rug) — they carry beautiful clothes, jewerly, bags and candles. a really special little shop. across the street is a yummy little bar and restaurant, L & E Oyster bar with a great happy hour upstairs with a open air balcony with lounge-y sofas to relax on.


yolk boutique.



lawson-fenning and lake (below).



over on sunset in silverlake is ensoie (below), a beautiful clothing and accessories shop with the cutest handmade pouches and totes — have i mentioned how addicted to cute pouches i am? it’s a problem. and right around the corner i picked up a pretty new wallet at the clare vivier shop — another beautiful accessories store. and nearby at sunset junction, we stopped into clementine floral studio for a breath of fresh air — such unique flowers and arrangements you’ll find there.



clementine floral studio.


one afternoon, we headed downtown and had cocktails on the roof deck of the ace hotel. what a fantastic space they’ve created in the historic United Artists theater building. they’ve completely restored this ornate architectural gem, built in 1927 for the maverick film studio. this is a must visit for dinner, cocktails, or simply a stop in the photo booth. and don’t miss the view from the rooftop deck of the stunning art deco buildings surrounding the area. why doesn’t san francisco have an ace? i ask myself this question all the time.





this was a blast from my past. i spent many hours in wacko/the soap plant in the 80’s — shopping for kistchy collectibles. not much has changed at this shop on sunset near hollywood boulevard in los feliz, but the exterior has taken on an aged pastel patina that was loving the camera. chay (below) is a beautiful clothing boutique on West 3rd Street, owned by chay wike featuring her own line of locally made clothing and lifestyle pieces that are both timeless and utilitarian. The store is set in a warm and intimate space that echoes a NY apartment (where chay grew up).






the weather was scorching hot while i was there, so one day we headed to venice, to one of my personal favorite stomping grounds — abbott kinney boulevard. we had a divine lunch at beautiful gjellina. such a pretty space and delicious food — it’s a must stop. we also wandered into the piece collective, a fairly new clothing and accessories shop we blogged about last week in a sunny, cottage-like atmosphere. and across the street is ilan dei studio, a sweet outdoor space with great modern patio furniture they design themsleves, succulents and outdoor acccessories galore.



ilan dei studio.



we also visited our friend audrey who owns urbanic paper boutique — an adorable shop that carries every kind of home accessories, gifts, wrapping paper, card or stationery one could hope for. urbanic also offers custom wedding invitations and custom stationery.



and finally — perhaps the Pièce de résistancethe commissary restaurant atop the line hotel in korea town. it looks like you’re dining in a giant green house, with views of the roof top pool, and the food is just fabulous. prettiest place i’ve eaten in a long time. and downstairs in the line hotel is poketo’s new second location — a cute shop where you’ll find unique home accessories and clothing, so be sure to stop in there, too.






33 responses to “the l.a. guide.”

  1. I love the photos in this post! You capture LA so beautifully! I live in LA but was born and raised in CT so I totally understand the love/hate thing with the City of Angels! I do love the natural light here, it is just so energizing!

  2. Thank you, Victoria, for this lovely guide to LA! Your timing couldn’t be better. We’ll be in LA for a week over Christmas. I can’t wait to explore the stores and restos you’ve mentioned. We’re also taking the dogs, so we’ll be hitting up some of the many dog-friendly hiking trails!

  3. Wow, now you make me want to go to LA. I’ve only been once, early in 2007 and I hated it! The sprawl really got to me. I live in Sydney, so getting to SF was a real relief after LA. But your post has made me want to give it a second chance!

  4. Looks like an awesome trip! It makes me want to visit, especially after a long wet winter in New Zealand, just look at all that sun!

  5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post Victoria!! I haven’t been to LA in six years but this post sure makes me want to visit again sooooo badly. It’s a wonderful guide and I will make sure to keep this handy the next time I visit.


  6. I absolutely adore the imagery in this post. Looks like some parts of LA are amazing. I would love to visit Ensoie one day and see those pretty flowers in Silver Lake.!
    Love your blog! Keep on Keepin on!

    xo Jules

    • Totally agree with you about La. I actually am from SF and live In LA. It’s so spread out compared to the bay and the traffic is ridiculous! No one likes to commute and we don’t have bart so your kinda screwed! it definetly has it’s upsides! The weather can’t be beat!

  7. The images are stunning, I have to admit LA has never been on a list of my must visit locations, but after seeing these I might have to rethink!

  8. Those are my three favorite neighborhoods of LA too– I would have to throw in the Getty as well as a visit there always humbles me. We calculate pit stops around gjellina especially when we find ourselves in a traffic jam. Wishing you many more birthday celebrations in these eclectic hoods.

  9. Awesome just spotted the Ecojot striped water-colour weekly planner in the very pretty Urbanic Store pic! What a gorgeous guide. Now I really feel like visiting again. Been 2x, its amazing!

  10. Victoria, where are you actually from in LA? Where did you live? I’m from LA, and nobody I know over the age of 40 actually grew up in Silver Lake. It’s full of hipsters now, young kids with sellout style. If you want to report on something more “up and coming” or “cool” by your apparent standards, try Echo Park or Atwater Village.

    • i’m not sure what you’re referring to. i didn’t say anything in reference to growing up in silverlake. i grew up in the valley, and lived in los feliz and santa monica and the south bay. and i did visit korea town and highland park and downtown and venice, and i have no ‘apparent standards’ about anything ‘up and coming or cool’. there’s no mention of that in my post. what are you referring to? i just went to some places i liked an thought i’d share.

  11. I have never been to Los Angeles, but I have always wanted to, and in fact I have quite a few friends currently living there. This post really inspired me to pay them a visit! These pictures turned out so well, great composition and very thoughtful remarks.


  12. Great article! I live in SD but go to LA often to discover new areas I haven’t been before. I happen to be spending this weekend in LA and came across to this post randomly :) Stayed at Line Hotel before and I’m a big fan! Poketo too! Super cute :)

    Keep up the great work!

  13. Hi Victoria,
    I don’t suppose you’ll be doing a new 2016 L.A post? You’re my L.A Guru and I’m heading there in March and don’t want to miss any of your new hot spots or tips?! You’re amaze.
    Love Hopeful in Sydney x

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