City guide: Los Angeles
Charmaine is a new hot mama and the founder of Elementary Co. - a marketing and branding collective. She runs the agency with her husband, Derek Ong. In this interview, she shares with us why she's attracted to the ridiculously good-looking people of LA and of course, the Californian weather.
What type of traveler are you?
I'd like to think that I'm an adventurous traveler! I'm definitely open to trying anything once, be it jumping out of a plane with a parachute strapped to my back or going glacier hiking, but also milder things like trying local street food and delicacies or exploring the underground subculture of nightlife, music and the arts.
We hear that you love Los Angeles (we can understand why). Besides Californian eye candy, tell us more why Los Angeles is your favorite city.
I love California for the weather (perfect, blue skies all year round), the people (everyone's an aspiring actor/ musician/ model so they're all ridiculously good looking, creative and mostly talented!), the food (everything is so fresh and bursting with flavour!) and the overall laid back, chilled out Cali vibe. There are also some really good museums there like the LACMA and the Getty, and no shortage of great live music acts to catch.
Charmaine's Los Angeles recommendations
Eat at Cleo
A Mediterranean small plates & restaurant housed in the Redbury Hotel on Hollywood and Vine, a slightly creepy, yet charming old hotel. I've never had better scallops in my life and the brussel sprouts are amazing, as are their specialty cocktails. Also fun for eavesdropping on the conversations of your fellow diners who run the gamut of network execs to movie studio producers and the likes.
Breakfast at Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe in Santa Monica
Go before 11am. Have the green eggs and ham. Try the duck hash. You must have the the mind-blowing pastries. In the words of my friend who recommended the place to me - "If you don't go, don't come back."
Have eggs at Egg Slut
Where do I even begin? They started as a food truck selling gourmet sandwiches and grew so popular that they now have a permanent outlet at Grand Central Market. Eggslut is a celebration of all things eggy - think hardwood smoked bacon, over medium egg, oozy cheddar cheese and chipotle ketchup on a warm, golden brioche bun. I'm salivating as I type just thinking about it!
Drink at The Edison
The Edison's a steampunk themed nightclub located inside the Higgins Building basement - Los Angeles' first privately owned power plant.
Outdoor nights at Villains
This super cool downtown LA club right by the LA River that sports an immersive Steampunk/Goth decor, with antique doors, medicine bottles and other vintage bric-a-brac as a backdrop for outstanding cocktails. The top draw is the huge alfresco patio with an outdoor stage where a folk and blues bands play live.
You must shop at the weekend markets and vintage stores which LA is famous for! Check out Melrose Trading Post every Sunday for mint condition vintage jewellery as well as music and film paraphernalia, and the Rose Bowl Flea Market every second Sunday for just about everything under the sun.
On the way to Melrose Trading Post be sure to stop by Melanie Ehsani to check out her quirky range of bold jewelry and apparel that's quintessentially West Coast. Then there's Shareen Vintage, a vintage dress haven where some of the top fashion brands in the world come to for inspiration. They have a strict "no boys allowed" policy though so ladies please take note!
Pictured above: Rose Bowl Flea Market (credit: Kaitlin Schluter)
Not enough? Follow more of Charmaine's travel and shopping tips here!
Where to stay in Los Angeles
Can't get enough? Book a place to stay in LA for your next trip!