My Trip to LA! (February 2016)

As you all know, I recently made a trip to LA. Basically, VaynerMedia, the social media marketing agency that I just started working for in December, decided that all accounts are going to be transitioned out of the SF office, and moved to either NY or LA. Mine moved to LA, so they offered me a job and relocation. I decided to give it a try, so they flew me down for a week. This is my story... 

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LA is a beautiful place. I landed right before sunset on a Monday, picked up my rental car, and headed toward the beach. My sister went to college in Marina del Rey and I used to visit her frequently, so I'm somewhat familiar with the Venice/Santa Monica area. I drove down Abbot Kinney, picked up some juice (see below for a full list of all juiceries I visited), and headed east to my Airbnb downtown. 

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Why did I choose to live in DTLA for 5 days? No one knows... not even I. My place was sick, it was a two bedroom loft with great amenities, but it didn't make up for the fact that I was about a block away from Skid Row. This really awkward selfie sums up my emotions: out of my comfort zone, and not happy. As much as I love asking police to escort me to my door, I knew I needed to bounce, ASAP. 

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On Wednesday night I had my first dinner out and about with my coworkers from SF. There were about 6 of us in total visiting LA, so we enjoyed a nice meal together at Salt Air. It's a super cool seafood restaurant that reminds me of Anchor & Hope in SF. Four bottles of wine later, we all called it a successful night.

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VaynerMedia's LA office is dope. It has about 70 people, as opposed to our 30 person SF office. It's located in The Valley on Ventura Blvd, which isn't the coolest location, but is close to our clients in Studio City. It's really hilarious watching a highly skilled team of strategists and creatives stress about the latest Keeping up with the Kardashians social content. I am seriously opposed to the entertainment industry as a whole, so picturing myself working here full time wasn't really revving my engine. 

That being said, I found an okay acai bowl/smoothie place nearby. I had it for lunch almost every day, and was quite fond of their "Southwest" quinoa bowl (pictured above with Health Ade).

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After work on Friday I moved to a new Airbnb which was a studio located in Santa Monica, about a block and a half off of Abbot Kinney. It was absolutely adorable – I was obsessed! The light was amazing, and I had a seriously relaxing view of palm trees and greenery.

That night I went out to two restaurants with a coworker. The first was Wabi Sabi, and the second was Gjelina. Both (pictured below) were really good, and relatively well priced compared to SF restaurants. We had sushi for appetizers, and pizza for our mains.

Appetizers at Wabi/Sabi

Appetizers at Wabi/Sabi

Pizza at Gjelina

Pizza at Gjelina

 

Now on to the important stuff... Brunch and juice! 

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I tried two different lunch places during the weekend. The first is a long time favorite – Cafe Gratitude, the 100% vegan place that makes you say positive affirmations when ordering ("I AM... beautiful"). The second was Sweetfin Poke, which is a new concept to me. We don't have [many] poke places in SF, so it was a nice treat to experience the 'real deal' in LA. I ate alone both times, since most of my coworkers were gone by this point in the week, and I literally have zero close friends in LA. I'm like the epitome of Kanye's two songs: 'Real Friends' and 'No More Parties in LA'.

 

Juice Timeeeeeee!!

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If LA does anything right... it's their green juice (and maybe weather). I enjoyed my favorite Juice Served Here on the go, Cafe Gratitude's $5 happy hour green elixir, Urth Cafe's strawberry banana smoothie while strolling down Main Street, Main Squeeze's green pick me up while also on that same street, and EarthBar's maca strawberry smoothie after my Saturday SoulCycle class. They were all bomb. 

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All in all, I decided that LA is not for me. I was born and raised in SF (and Hillsborough), and don't plan on leaving any time soon.

Travel, PersonalLily Kaplan