I Love LA (pending these really specific requirements)
November 21, 2010 8:08 AM   Subscribe

I'm a New Yorker in Los Angeles for the next 24 hours, for the first time ever. I'm looking for some very specific things.

I'm really excited to be here, and will be visiting my aunt who lives in the area a little bit later today.

However, as someone who's lived my entire life hopping around the east coast (NJ to Boston to NYC), it's just shaken out that I've never been to California (or the west coast, for that matter), and there are some really specific things I'd love to find here. Especially:

* The best burrito that happens to be vegan
Note that this need not be a burrito from an explicitly vegan source - it's just that this seems something worth very much doing while in southern California, and if there's a burrito that is both the best and incidentally vegan (or can be made vegan), I'm in.

* A really unique/wonderful movie theater experience
It seems from the main thread on this that people are essentially torn between the ArcLight and some of the more specialty/repertory theaters. If anyone wants to give their take on the definitive best place to go for a cinema geek that's never been to LA, or has a really special film-event suggestion that specific to this weekend, I'd be very appreciative. (And any kind of experience not easily found in NYC is also well-taken.)

* Something film-noiry
Vague, I know - I'm someone who loves the aesthetics of film noir (DOA, Double Indemnity) and detective novels by Chandler and the like. Perhaps somewhere one could order a really good gimlet in true Marlowe fashion?

* The best food truck fare that happens to be vegan
Any food trucks out and about on Sundays that has a particularly stunning veg option? Any tips on this front?

* Something for someone who's really into bands like Descendents, Dead Kennedys, Jawbreaker, etc.
Yes, these are more bay area bands - but if there's anything that I'd flip for in the area, I'd love to check it out.

* A really good Mexican restaurant with veg options
Surely there's some truly excellent food that I'm not privy to as an effete east-coaster.

* A really good vegan restaurant generally
Anything I must check out?

I do know that I'm going to be seeing a show at the UCB theater tonight, and getting fries at the In 'N Out Burger. (If there's anything else applicable there, let me know!) Also, for some reason I find that I have this strong desire to see the Pacific Ocean. Is there any obvious place to do this that won't be a packed-beach bottleneck? (And if anyone has any musts that aren't explicitly asked for above, but seem like they'd be in my wheelhouse, feel free to post.)

Thanks in advance, everyone. Can't wait to see your city (as much as one can in so limited a time-frame.)
posted by (The Rt Hon.) MP to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You'll see the ocean when your plane leaves from LAX, almost certainly. It always seems a lot more dramatic to me than the Atlantic views you get out of New York because of the islands and mountains! Get a window seat.
posted by mdonley at 8:11 AM on November 21, 2010

Veggie/vegan food: Pure Luck and Scoops Ice Cream, which are conveniently across the street from each other. Get the carnitas (it's made from jackfruit!!) and fried pickles at Pure Luck, then go across the street and order as many of the dairy-free flavors from Scoops as you can. Seriously. Besides the Museum of Jurassic Technology, these two places are my favorite things in LA.
posted by soleiluna at 8:32 AM on November 21, 2010

There are two highly rated vegan restaurants in Santa Monica, both a few blocks from the beach, so there's two birds with one stone.



Depending on where you're staying (and if you have a car) you can get there by driving all the way down Sunset, which I've always found to be faster than taking any freeways - but since you're there on Sunday that might not be the case.

Sky's Gourmet Tacos has vegan options and a food truck. And a Twitter.


The UCB theatre is across the street from the Scientology Celebrity Centre, which is a very pretty building filled with weirdos.

Descendents were from Manhattan Beach. But that's a bit of a schlep.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:43 AM on November 21, 2010

If you want an old school drink, go to Musso and Frank on Hollywood. Cinnamon is a vegetarian/vegan Mexican restaurant in Highland Park that I've heard good things about. You could go there and check out a show at Mr T's after.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 8:44 AM on November 21, 2010

Maybe Musso and Frank's for a gimlet. It's a couple blocks away from the Egyptian.

This list of historic LA bars might give you more noir-y ideas.

I can't believe you want to do all this stuff in 24 hours. You're insane! :)
posted by elsietheeel at 8:52 AM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Have you checked out quarrygirl.com? It's a blog (mostly) devoted to reviewing LA vegan restaurants. I don't go to vegan restaurants nearly as often as I'd like, but I really like Vinh Loi Tofu.
posted by kitty teeth at 9:30 AM on November 21, 2010

If you want to see the ocean, today is probably a good day to go to Santa Monica. It rained last night and the weather is cool, so no worries about the beach or pier being crowded. Plus, you might get to see the last of the storm clouds over the ocean (my favorite time to be at the beach, but your tastes may vary.)

Sorry to hear you're only here for 24 hours! Enjoy.
posted by corey flood at 10:26 AM on November 21, 2010

Also you should come to our meetup this afternoon in Little Ethiopia!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 10:43 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Go to Olvera Street for the Angeleno Pueblo experience. They have a general website you can check out to see if you find it interesting.

The Academy of Motion Picture Sciences currently has a show up of 75 years of Warner Brothers vintage photography www.oscars.org Oh, and the notebooks of Ingmar Bergman. Free and wonderful.

See what Cinefamily has up on their website. It used to be The Silent Movie Theater, but they have some really unique and cozy events.
posted by effluvia at 11:11 AM on November 21, 2010

definitely make it out to Santa Monica or Venice today. it's nice out, and not terribly crowded yet. just driving down ocean ave in Santa Monica should meet your requirement for seeing the ocean.

you could stop at the golden mean on wilshire for vegan lunch. not sure about if they have a good burrito though.

then head over to Hollywood and hit the arclight, and stop in at amoeba (best record store ever).

what UCB show are you seeing? there's a good book/record shop and that block that might have some bay area stuff. oh! there's a vegan deli shop called Locali a block east of the UCB that's good. vegan cupcakes and reuben sandwiches.

can't help with the noir at all, sorry.
posted by dogwalker at 11:12 AM on November 21, 2010

Definitely check out hidden LA (a mefi's own product) for excellent stuff to do around town today. And yeah, we'll be in Little Ethiopia today at 1pm. Come have lunch!

As for a movie theater experience, skip the ArcLight. Overpriced suburban mega-theater experience that's honestly insulting to a cinephile. For something a little special, though it doesn't seem to be exactly up your alley, try El Capitan, Disney's movie theater in Hollywood. I don't know what they have playing right now (whatever the latest Disney release is, likely) but every show opens with an organist and a floor show, it's a grand ol' building, and it's right in the middle of Hollywood. You'll come out of it staring across the street at the infamous Graumann's Chinese Theater (worth looking at from the front, pretty hum-drum otherwise).

A theater that's awesome but a little closer to a lot of the vegan/veg stuff people have been suggesting is the Vista, where Hollywood and Sunset merge. It's very close to Pure Luck and Scoops, and plays whatever 'hip' movie is out. It's a beautiful and very old-timey theater inside.

If you don't have time tonight to make it out to a show in Eagle Rock/Highland Park/Silverlake/Echo Park, then make sure you take a visit to Amoeba Records. It is perhaps the most awe-inspiring thing anyone with any sort of love of recorded music can do in this city. It's very near to the In'N'Out you'll be eating at in Hollywood too.
posted by carsonb at 11:15 AM on November 21, 2010

yeah, I usually recommend the el capitan or grauman's but they are playing the cgi Christmas Carol and Skyline, respectively. which don't really seem like a noir-lover's big day at the movies. but if you're not all that interested in what's on the screen, those are the most interesting/historic theatres. better than the dome at the arclight.
posted by dogwalker at 11:27 AM on November 21, 2010

The last time I was in LA the Pacific and Mann theater ads in the LA Times would make a point of what screened in the Cinerama Dome (now part of Arclight, though one couldn't get all its perks there) and the original Chinese. Do they still do that?

Nthing Musso's. My grandfather's bookstore was a few doors down and I've been going there since I was a baby. It looks like Vroman's in Pasadena and Book Soup on Sunset in West Hollywood are the remaining good independent bookstores.
posted by brujita at 11:05 PM on November 21, 2010

« Older ESET for computer protection?   |   Inviting non-friends to a Facebook event? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.