Just a Coupla Cali Beaches
Last week (okay no, TWO weeks ago) Zach toted me along on his work trip to California! We shot right over to LAX and took a town car to Long Beach.
Post travel, almost everyone I have talked to has the same memories of Long Beach. Compared to Orange County or other beaches, it's a bit rough. Still beautiful weather and next to the ocean! But it's an old harbor town with a lot of industrial vibes.
The city has done a great job with the downtown-making it as tourist friendly as possible - highlighting the marina and ocean front and building restaurant row and shopping next to the hotel/convention center area.
Zach and I threw our bags down and did the usual. Walked and walked and walked and walked.
We found good bar foods and reallllllly good beers at Beechwood Lounge.
10 miles later we found a great hole in the wall bar with a pretty good whiskey selection. If you're needing a break in Long Beach, check out The Stache on 4th Ave.
Travel day usually ends in pizza and a movie. The next day we found our way to the best coffee shop in town-Recreational Coffee. Talkative baristas and a wide open door.
We ate breakfast at this vegan cafe called the Berlin Bistro. Classic avocado toast and breakfast bowls type of place.
I helped Zach and team set up for the show-steamed the fabric on that banner for at least an hour.
Real quick, I got a tattoo at Outer Limits Tattoo. The oldest tattoo parlour in the US!
Where the navy guys would get a little something before heading out in WWII.
We met up with the team for oysters and fish at Kings Fish House. Getting me in the mood for our trip to the U.K. this fall!
The next morning I bid farwell to Zach and the booth!
Betsy and I headed north to Venice! Having swooped through LA once on a wonderful college road trip, I have been to very few parts of the city.
Anyone who has been, knows Venice is wonderful and terrible at the same time. Like the weirdest people but also for sure models riding their bikes to surf all day.
Abbott Kinney Road was a lucky find. Only gravitated off the beach because of the Butcher's Daughter. It's got ALL THE GOODS.
We had juices, kale chips, and grain/veggie bowls in what felt like an Anthropologie porch. Lucky to have had my friend take me here in Manhattan :)
We walked, we popped in the coolest stores, we tried on linen jumpsuits from Melbourne women, and we wound our way back to the beach.
Betsy drove us home on the 405, we strolled back into Long Beach an hour and twenty minutes later. Yikes I don't know how people are cool with that much time in the car on the reg.
OKAY. More food. I have never had Spanish cuisine. Mediterranean and Italian, yes, but not specifically Spanish. Andrew took Zach and I to a place called Sevilla-and showed us the ropes of everything. Still so full from the Butchers Daughter, but v. curious about the differences between Spain and Italy foods.
I feel like squid ink covered rice (Arroz Negros) was never on the menu in Italy, however, I was 21 and probabaly not looking for squid ink.
That was a good new palate that I will expand someday.
The best of the best was Jamon Iberico.
This chef is way passionate about his jamon. But I mean, after tasting, I maybe passionate as well. Pigs that are raised in a mountainous region in Spain that eat solely acorns. The leg of the pig is cured, and served in thin thin slices. This service was with a little wine and some mangos alongside.
The next day we went south on the Pacific Coast Hwy. Through Huntington Beach and Newport Beach and into Laguna.
Betsy used to live in the area, so I got the locals tour of the best hotels, restaurants, and shops in Laguna.
If you ever want to daydream about spending a crazy amount of dollars on a room, walk through the lobby of the Montage. It's beautiful. Somehow this property bought 30 beach side acres and put this quaint resort here.
There are a million paths and gardens leading down to the beach.
My personal favorite is the Casa Laguna across the road from the beach. An old mission built in the early 1920's now renovated into a little boutique hotel and spa. The tiny lobby and winding hallways were beautiful.
Lastly, the Surf & Sand Resort is a huge sand castle on the sea. We ate lunch at Splashes.
We popped in the downtown Laguna shops before we trekked back an hour or so to Long Beach.
Loved getting to spend a couple of days seeing Betsy's old stomping grounds and taking her to new favorites (Butcher's Daughter). If there was anyone that can hang with a 25 year old in LA all weekend, it's Betsy.
We all shared sushi and sake at Octopus Sushi and called it a night.
The next morning we had just enough time to revisit our favorites- Recreational Coffee and Berlin Bistro before heading to LAX.
I'm just letting you know-you really don't need to spend time in LBC if you're in the area. There are so many great beaches and little coast towns to choose from. However, if you find yourself there for a specific reason, there are some gems tucked in there!
We are hommmeeeee! For the summer! Maybe a few fishing and camping weekends, but it's good to have Saturdays with friends and evenings to enjoy.
Cheers from Pleasant St!