In a previous post, I talked about how my family and I recently went on a cruise vacation with Princess Cruises that embarked from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas for 5 days. Once we got back on land, we stayed a couple of more days in LA to do a little site seeing and spend some time with my mom who lives in Seal Beach. The kids always enjoy spending time with her because she spoils them like crazy!
We love LA for so many reasons: the beaches, the food, the weather, and the vibrant yet laid back vibe of SoCal.
For those of you coming for a long weekend or a getaway, I’ve compiled a list of things for you to do.
- Dine at Nobu in Malibu
- Shop at The Grove
- Grab a coffee at Alfred Coffee & Kitchen
- Try the boba at Alfred Tea
- Snap photos at LACMA
- Dine at Sugarfish
Dine at Nobu in Malibu
Nobu is one of my favorite restaurants to go to for a special occasion. I’ve dined at the Vegas and San Diego locations before but this was my first time at the Nobu in Malibu and it was by far my favorite!
The restaurant is located on the Pacific Coast Highway so your view from your table (even if you are seated indoors) is of the Pacific Ocean. It truly is a magnificent space with high ceilings, wooden exterior and an amazing outdoor seating area and patio. I highly recommend you make reservations weeks in advance and ask for an outdoor table thats covered with an umbrella. If you can, schedule your reservation around the time the sun sets because I assure you, the view of the sunset from here is epic!
We ordered a variety of dishes to share: Edamame, Crispy Okra with Ponzu, Fish & Chips, Rock Shrimp Tempura, Yellowtail sashimi with Jalapeño, Black Cod with Miso, Crispy Rice With Spicy Tuna, Big Eye Tuna Roll, Spicy Big Eye Tuna Roll, Shrimp Tempura Roll, salmon sushi and tuna rolls. Everything was amazing but my favorite was the crispy rice with spicy tuna. Yum!
The service was excellent and the wait staff was very attentive and prompt. Our water was always refilled (a huge deal for me) and they always came around to pick up empty dishes and clean up our table.
After lunch, we headed outside and snapped a ton of photos by the ocean. Rowell and Gabe even went down to the beach and played around for a while. There is a set of stairs (a little hidden but located in front of the parking lot) that leads to the beach.
Shop at The Grove
After lunch, we went to The Grove which is a shopping, dining and entertainment destination. One of my favorite things here is the trolley ride and the grassy area where you can often catch a live band playing some tunes. When we were there, there was a jazz band playing that we enjoyed listening to for a good hour. The Grove provides red blankets that you can spread out in the grassy area to lay out in and I was impressed with how often the blankets were restocked.
While we were enjoying listening to a live jazz band, we grabbed some macaroons from Laduree and it was heaven!
The dancing fountain is also a must see. At night, this fountain dances to music similar to what you see at the Bellagio in Vegas (on a much smaller scale). Some of my favorite shops are also located at The Grove such as Banana Republic, Anthropologie and Zara. They hold a lot of special events throughout the week and if you’re lucky, you may catch a taping of the show EXTRA with Mario Lopez!
There are so many great restaurants here such as Umami Burger, Morel’s French Steakhouse, The Cheesecake Factory and more, but we opted for Wood Ranch BBQ and Grill for dinner which was so delicious.
Grab a coffee at Alfred Coffee & Kitchen in Melrose Place
There are several Alfred Coffee locations throughout LA but the one we went to was on Melrose Place. I like this location because it gave us an opportunity to stroll along the street and window shop and people watch. We were surprised at how many people were having photoshoots there but its because the street is filled with high end stores that are lined with beautiful plants and greenery. My favorite store front was Isabel Marant. So gorgeous!
It was our first time at Alfred Coffee and we were pleasantly surprised to see that they offer fresh coconut juice with their logo imprinted on the coconut. It was so refreshing on a really hot day and we even took the coconut home to scrape off the “meat” for us to eat. So good! We also got ice coffees and some pastries to get us fueled for the day.
The space is pretty large. The first level is the seating area with really cool decor like Power Rangers art work with a big community table in the middle and seats along the side. The bottom level (you just go down a few steps) is the area where you place your order. They also have seats outside which make for great Instagram photos and people watching. The atmosphere here is great and it has a cool vibe to it. Very LA!
Try the boba at Alfred Tea Room
Just around the corner from Alfred Coffee is Alfred Tea Room. This is the cutest space ever!!! Think pink everything and expect a lot of people taking photos outside by the pink wall. I ordered their matcha green tea boba and the hype is real. It was the best matcha boba I’ve ever had and I’m totally craving one as I type this. If you don’t drink boba, they have a variety of other teas that you can try. The place is just so darn cute though that even if you don’t order anything, it’s worth going to for the pictures.
Snap photos at LACMA
Since we were constrained by time, we knew we wouldn’t be able to go inside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art but we wanted to stop by and see the famous “Urban Light” sculpture located at the Wilshire Boulevard entrance. It comprises of 202 street lamps, most of which were actual street lamps used in Southern California.
We had so much fun taking photos here and the kids enjoyed running around and getting lost inside the lamp structures. Again, expect a lot of people to be taking photos so if you want to capture a shot with no-one around, try arriving early in the day.
Dine at SUGARFISH
SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa has many locations throughout the Los Angeles area and we went to the one on La Brea. They don’t accept reservations so we planned to go during an off time in hopes that we wouldn’t have to wait too long for a table. We arrived late in the afternoon, around 4pm and waited only 15 minutes. This location is fairly small but the service is efficient so you can be in and out in less than an hour.
The menu at Sugarfish is very simple. You can get one of the three “Trust Me” set meals or order a la carte. We ordered the Nozawa Trust Me for $42 and it was, in my opinion, the best value because you get 10 pieces of sushi, 2 hand rolls, 1 order of sashimi, a special of the day and edamame. I was so full after our meal!
Now let me talk about the sushi. I’ve had a lot of sushi in my day. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE SUSHI. But this. This was the best sushi I’ve ever had. Period. The fish was so buttery and fresh, the rice was warm and the perfect consistency and even the seaweed was toasted crisp to perfection. The sushi melts in your mouth! Some sushi come with sauce already and you are instructed to NOT dip these ones in soy. Also, the dishes come out as soon is they are prepared by the sushi chef (meaning you don’t receive all your sushi on one plate) and you are to eat it as soon as it is served while the rice is still warm. Eating it this way is the only way I want to eat sushi from now on!
Unfortunately, I was not able to take any photos at this restaurant because the lighting was a little too dark but trust me when I say that this place WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
Thanks so much for reading this super long post! Leave me a comment below of your favorite LA hotspots!