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How to do LA like a Local

Who better to hit up for LA tips than LUXE’s resident curator Amelia Rynkowska? Amelia – writer, model and founder of ethical plant-based skincare line, Cult of Treehouse – was so star-struck by California’s sunsets, enigmatic terrain and lifestyle, she decided to up sticks and move there. Los Angeles has been her home since 2012; here are her top tips on how to live LA like a local…

Breakfast like health-conscious champions at The Trails: a scenic, leafy Griffith Park snack spot that dishes up deliciously fresh eats such as avo sarnies and quiche: the perfect fuel for a hike. There are mighty purdy outdoor tables at which to linger; bring Fido if you have one. Burn off those calories by hiking through the untamed urban park for the Griffith Observatory: an astro nuts’ planetarium that comes with jaw-dropping vistas and the Wolfgang Puck-catered Café at the End of the Universe.

Having taken in LA’s natural charms, it’s time for some man-made distractions. Shopping seems like a sensible start: head to wallet-wrecking Melrose Avenue for the likes of Reformation (an expertly curated one-stop shop that aces ethereal-with-an-urban-edge attire) and Restoration Hardware: a showroom overlooking the Hollywood Hills, whose knockout range of industrial-chic furny, objets d’art and decor just about rivals the killer views.

Your wallet may have gone on a rapid diet, but that doesn’t mean you have to: treat yourself to a long, lazy lunch at Gracias Madre, which somehow makes vegan-Mexican food a ‘Thing’. (You’ll be the one saying ‘gracias’ after a meal here.) Pssst: there’s a mezcal bar, too.

Come evening, take a leisurely wander along Venice Pier for sunset vistas and snaps against an iconic City of Angels backdrop. Explore Abbot Kinney Boulevard, beloved for its shops, bars and restaurants. Speaking of which, have dinner at Gjelina, a SoCal institution, which is packed to burst from weekday mornings to weekend evenings. Enjoy your delish mini-courses on private or shared tables, inside or on the sunny terrace – just minutes from the boardwalk (#peoplewatching).

If you’re a clever sort, you’ll have saved some room for a sweet treat from Salt & Straw, a Portland-born ice-cream dream that draws lines of eager lickers looking for fabulous farm-to-cone flavours. Opt for familiar (sea salt and caramel) or intriguingly inventive flavas: black olive brittle and goats’ cheese, or refreshing avocado-and-strawberry sherbert, perhaps. Resistance is futile.

If you’re lucky enough to be here on a Tuesday, retire to The Peninsula Beverly Hills – famed for its irreproachable service, classic decor, power-diner Belvedere, and pioneering 24-hr check-in and check-out policy – and nab a coveted spot on its ravishing Roof Garden, host to the fabulous ‘Taco Tuesday’.

This article was originally written by LUXE for PenCities.

For more of Amelia’s expert recommendations, nab a copy of the LUXE Los Angeles guide

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