Last week, I went to LA for the first time since I first came to the United States, which was back in 2016. So basically, I was visiting for the first time haha. I don’t think I’ll ever move there (due to the cost of living, traffic, PARKING, etc.) but I had a blast and can’t wait to go back! In today’s blog post, I’m sharing my very favorites/highlights of the trip!
THINGS WE ATE
Hanu KBBQ – While this is not an all-you-can-eat place, Hanu provided super KBBQ experience (I would say top two for me). They have an extensive selection of banchans and the service was so friendly and attentive!
Oakobing – While we have bingsu in the Triangle, Oakobing was one of the many small reminders of how deprived life in the Triangle can be for Korean/Asian folks… Their melon bings was so, so good. And this is coming from a strawberry person! They all come with a “shot” of milk to pour over the bingsu. We got the personal size bings which was plenty big and only ~$6.
Sushi Gen – This was both my sister and I’d favorite meal of the trip (closely followed by Hanu KBBQ and BCD Tofu House). They do not take reservations so I recommend getting there early! We got there around 4:30pm (they open at 5pm) and there was already a line by that time. They’re not super small so you don’t have to be the first 10 groups but they still had a line when we were leaving later in the evening. Great sushi at reasonable prices. The medium fatty tuna was simply the best; we ordered it twice!
THINGS WE DID
Getty Villa Museum – Located in a replica roman villa, Getty Museum was a sight to see! It feels unreal in the middle of LA–you can spend hours here. They have a lot of audio tours you can follow, including a Percy Jackson one which my sister loved. Admission is free though you have to reserve a time slot. We went right at 10am when they opened and I highly recommend doing that; we were practically alone (maybe with three other parties) for a solid half hour to an hour. The parking is $20 but you can get a voucher for the other Getty Museum (which is a more typical museum and I would personally be okay with skipping).
Griffith Observatory Deck – This was one of the most recommended and popular activity. I’m glad I did it since the sight at the top of the deck is stunning. If you can, go early to avoid paying for parking. We went on Saturday and parking was free until 10am. We were in and out by 9:30am.
Santa Monica Pier – While Santa Monica Pier is not as active of an activity as the Getty Villa or the Griffith Observatory Deck but it was so cute! I mean, I’ve never seen an “amusement park” right oft ehe each and I found it so fun.
BOOKSTORES WE WENT TO
Aladdin Books – Located in Koreatown, Aladdin Books is the largest Korean bookshop I’ve been to and probably the largest one in the country. Browsing there gave me all the nostalgic feeling that no other bookstore has given me since moving to the States. I love that they sell both new and used books. My sister and I each picked up a couple of titles here.
The Last Bookstore – When I was doing research ahead of this trip (mostly in some Facebook groups I’m in), I kept seeing The Last Bookstore, particularly LA locals mentioning it as a spot that they take out of town friends. I must agree it is worth the hype! It’s a huge two-story bookstore that carries both new and used books. You can send HOURS here–there is so much to look at! The upstairs is basically a maze in the best way with so many photo ops!
The Ripped Bodice – Owned by sisters, The Ripped Bodice focuses on romance books and is just the CUTEST! Every corner is absolutely adorable and I felt like I was squealing the entire time I was inside The Ripped Bodice! It’s in Culver City which had a cute shopping area