Packing My Bags…

June 30, 2010

The time has come! I’m packing my bags and heading back to the mothership on Saturday – the U.S.A., baby! I can’t wait to be in both New York City and Los Angeles for 17 days. I’m working or at meetings for most of them, but that’s okay because I still have my evenings free to chill, meet friends, roam around with my camera, do a little flea market hoppin’ and hit some of my favorite stores. Like Purl Soho who just moved to a pretty posh space…

Packing My Bags...

It will be nice to watch the fireworks in NYC on the 4th and to celebrate my wedding anniversary in LA with my #1 man as he is flying over with me and we can spend a work-free weekend together before flying back to Germany. I have a mini must-see list for New York and LA, but I want to surprise Debi and take her to some great spots for eats and drinks and also for shopping so if you are in New York or LA and have some great suggestions for meals and shops, please let me know! Debi hasn’t been to LA yet and I really have no clue where to go there for dinner so any suggestions would be just lovely. Also, I’d love a great spot for a romantic dinner with my husband for one night. xo

Packing My Bags...

Now back to Purl Soho. I love this recent entry on their fabulous blog about Hawaiian prints and how totally modern they can look when done right. “Hawaiian quilts are one of those amazing traditional arts that look totally modern. They are usually made by folding a solid fabric from the center and cutting it the way you would cut a paper snowflake, but into a beautiful and wild looking tropical shape. Many of the traditional patterns look like pineapples, plumeria or palm fronds.” Check out these fab pillows and great how-to. Inspiring!

I can’t wait to fly over to the states — I’m sooo excited and a really big bonus is that I’ve booked some fantastic spaces for Decorate and so I can’t wait to meet the homeowners and see these beautiful properties up close and personal. This trip will definitely be a highlight for me someday when I look back on my life, I can’t believe how fortunate I am — I feel completely honored and a little bit nervous but excited still!

So… any NYC/LA tips for us? Oh, please! You guys are so well-connected, I’d love to know what you know! I’d love to know of some shops in NYC/Brooklyn that sell Japanese books/stationery, please tell me where to go for bubble tea, a great cupcake bakery, good restaurants & food carts in the city, cheap eats, flea markets to hit, semi-fancy eats, great parks, lovely flower shops, design-y shops that must be seen, stuff like that. I haven’t been to these cities for a few years (2008 for NY and 2005 for LA)… so I’m rusty!

(images: purl bee soho. psst: the lovely illustrated map is by wonderful lena corwin.)


  • Reply Sarah June 30, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Have a great trip Holly! how exciting…you MUST visit Magnolia Cupcakes in NY city…in the Village – they are phenomenal-it was featured in a ‘Sex and the City’ episode…have fun! :)

  • Reply Elizabeth June 30, 2010 at 5:45 am

    LA/NYC cupcake favorite: Crumbs bake shop. The cinnamon apple cupcake is to DIE for.
    NYC – Billy’s Bakery (I’ve heard rave reviews, never been myself)
    NYC – Magnolia Bakery – known for their cupcakes, but I find them incredibly dry and overrated… however, they have the best banana pudding on the PLANET
    LA- Sprinkles – yummy, yummy, yummy cupcakes! They have the best red velvet I’ve ever had. Incredibly moist.

    Can you tell I love cupcakes? Have a blast in NYC and LA… two of my faves!

  • Reply noemozica June 30, 2010 at 5:55 am

    we envy you a lottttttttttttttttttt!! ^_^

  • Reply juliette June 30, 2010 at 6:31 am

    My favorite place to eat in NYC is at Veselka’s in the East Village. It’s open 24-7 and is an amazing Ukranian diner/restaurant. I used to live on St. Mark’s Place and had blintzes w/raspberry sauce for breakfast every Saturday. Soooo good! (also a good noshing spot after a late night show in the Theater District).

    Happy trails!

  • Reply Monica June 30, 2010 at 6:32 am

    It is a little out of the way but I love Baked ( in Brooklyn. Tai Pan Bakery on Canal Street is great and there a plenty of places for bubble tea nearby. :) I am with Elizabeth on the Banana Pudding at Magnolia – the best. I also recommend a stroll up and down Court and Smith Streets in in the Cobble Hill/ Carrol Gardens neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Plenty of little shops and great restaurants. Oh, the Chelsea Market (former Nabisco headquarters that now houses a great selection of eateries and bakeries) is also a must go and the Highline is right at the back entrance. Have a great time!

  • Reply Will June 30, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Have a safe trip! xoxo

  • Reply Trent Bailey June 30, 2010 at 7:05 am

    You must stop by stump town coffee and drink it in the amazing ace hotel lobby that adjoins the coffee shop. 29th street between 5th ave and broadway.

  • Reply Yumi June 30, 2010 at 7:22 am

    I am very excited for you! NYC and L.A. are 2 pretty amazing places! Purl must be #1 on any crafters list of places to go in NYC. I love everyone there! Here are some musts for NYC…

    Minetta Tavern- voted in Time Out mag for the best burger in NYC. I just went for my birthday last week and they were not kidding! 3 different cuts of aged beef. Make sure you get the bone marrow for an appie. I promise you will not be sorry!

    While Magnolia is great and all I think it is too trendy and not as good as it used to be. If you want a good sweet treat go to Two Little Red Hens in the Upper East Side for a Brooklyn Blackout cupcake. If you find you cannot make it out there you can kill two birds with one stone by going to Dean and Deluca in SOHO…they have them there too! AND you get to see all the glorious wonders of Dean and Deluca. Trust me, you won’t be sorry after a Brooklyn Blackout cupcake!

    Now, a secret about the best breakfast in NYC (in my opinion). You will have to take the L train (or a car) to Williamsburg in Brooklyn and go to Egg. Maybe don’t go on the weekend because you will be waiting a very very long time. Everything they have there is fresh, organic and delish!

    I really hope you will be able to make to any of these places. I would love to hear what you think. I am always inspired by you and respect your taste in EVERYTHING! :) Hopefully I will run into you while you are here.

    HAVE FUN!!

  • Reply KG @ KG Style June 30, 2010 at 7:32 am

    NYC has its annual Restaurant week coming up on July 12-16th. Hopefully, you are still in town to catch it. They have some of the best restaurants offering the restaurant week specials.

  • Reply The Design Dish June 30, 2010 at 7:45 am

    I just love the Purl SOHO store! So colorful and fun! Love your blog!
    The Design DIsh

  • Reply Juana @ SweetVisualAids June 30, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Hi Holly!

    Enjoy your stay in NYC!!! I can’t wait to have another opportunity to go back! In my last stay in NYC I’ve visit Purl at Soho is such a beautiful store, even posted about it :)

    A shop that I really loved is Fishs Eddy :) if I didn’t have luggage limits I would taken a lot of their serveware!

    For eating the best burger I had was in the Shake Shack!! I did a post about food classics in NYC:

    If you have time definitely visit the High Line is really worth it :) super views! plus really close to the Chelsea market!

    Enjoy the City! :D

  • Reply Meghan June 30, 2010 at 7:52 am

    While in NYC treat yourself to a swishy dinner at:
    Balthazar! (my favourite restaurant on earth. It’s right out of Paris – bistro)

    Run amok in Soho…too fun.

    Shop at Century 21 (like Winners on speed)

  • Reply Fulvia June 30, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I recall a most romantic evening listening to a torch singer at NYC’s The Hideway. If it is still there, you should go with your #1man! And, if you swing by Charlotte, NC please be my guest–I am only a few miles south. Hope to see you!

  • Reply pam June 30, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I don’t have any recommendations for LA or NYC – it has been ages since I was either city. But I’m very jealous you are heading to the Purl Shop. I love their blog (as well as yours). I hope you have a fabulous work/vacation! Happy 4th of July!

  • Reply Nilunda June 30, 2010 at 8:08 am

    You MUST go to the Brooklyn Flea in Clinton Hill/Fort Greene. Theres so many interesting things to see (and buy!) and the food is really great too. Even if you don’t buy anything, its a great place for inspiration.

    For cupcakes, my favorites are red velvets with cream cheese frosting at Billy’s bakery on 19th & 8th ave.

    Check out Kinokinuya in Bryant park, its an awesome japanese bookstore. Its 3 floors of awesomeness. You’ll want to take so much of it home. They have everything from japanese fashion magazines, to cook books, travel books, to anime, design books, trinkets, and stationary.

    Hope I helped.
    Have fun!

  • Reply Heather June 30, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Why not check out Moomah? It looks adorable, and has great art…right up your alley! (And if I’m around, I’ll meet you there with my son, and we can do art projects!)

    Yummy cupcakes if you like just an excellent buttercream frosting is the Buttercup Bakery on W. 72 AND, that’s conveniently located right near Columbus Ave. (good shopping) and the Jonathan Adler Store (bet. 74 & 75) AND Urban Outfitters (Bway and 72)

    There are so many great restaurants for dinner, you can’t go wrong!
    Have a great trip!

  • Reply Knittinglizzie June 30, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Kinokinuya is fantastic!

    Food carts are really popular right now! @CalexicoCart has really fantastic food. @Vlaic Van leeuwen Ice cream is artisian ice cream, but they have great coffee too! and @WaffleTruck Wafels and Dinges is Belgian waffles with toppings! Oh! and @Biggayicecream! you can follow them on twitter to find out where they are parked for the day!

  • Reply RaynaNyc June 30, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Hey Holly, You will have an amazing trip it sounds like and hope the weather is like today — perfect. A few reco’s for you to consider although you seem to have some good ones already (tried not repeating anything from above):

    The Brooklyn Flea (Ft. Greene, Bklyn on Sat.) — Fun vibe, browsing, and I always find interesting things.

    If you’re out and about downtown in NYC, be on the lookout for the Van Leeuwen Ice Cream truck — they have a few locations where they park; you can either pick up on Twitter or their site Amazing artisinal ice cream.

    If you’re hanging out on the Lower East Side checkout The Meatball Shop on Stanton. The chef there is so creative. Very casual but the most amazing meatballs, that’s all he makes — an experience and this is a fun part of town to stroll and shop (and eat).

    For home and accessories you owe it to yourself to take a walk through ABC Carpet and Home (Bway & 19th st). Give yourself some time here to browse. FYI: They also have a Pain e Quotiden on premise to revive yourself with a ‘coffee and.’ I love this store and happily have purchased many items (big and small). Just diagonally across the street is a Fishes Eddy for glassware/table stuff. It’s a quick browse

    I think you would enjoy browsing the boutiques of Williamsburg and so many great places to eat, relax with coffee or drink, You can jump on the L train and stroll Bedford, Driggs, Roebling, (they also have their own weekend ‘Artists & Fleas’. Apartment Therapy has good shopping guides that you might find helpful. They have one for Williamsburg, just search ‘Williamsburg Tour’.

    There’s a new Anthropologie store in Chelsea Market (9th ave & 15th st). There are a few in the city but this one is beautiful.

    Best part about NYC is strolling (you won’t do that much of it in L.A.) — around neighborhoods, over the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, or along the Hudson River (also great to bike there). Sorry for the long post. Can you can tell I’m a native:) Happy travels.

    P.S. on Two Red Hens and their cupcakes (Dean and DeLuca in Soho carries them in case you don’t want to trek all the way up to 85th & 2nd ave). I agree, the chocolate blackout is to die for! (also red velvet)

  • Reply Nancy June 30, 2010 at 10:21 am

    When you visit the new store Purl Soho, you need to checkout KITEYA SOHO (464 Broome St.; btwn Mercer and Greene St.) for Japanese papers and accessories then drop by MOONCAKE FOODS (28 Watts St.; near Thompson St.) for a casual and delicious lunch. For bubble tea, I will recommend TEN REN’S TEA TIME & SHOP (79 Mott St., near Canal St.). And the mecca of all Japanese goodies is KINOKUNIYA BOOKSTORE (1073 Sixth Ave., near 41st St.).

    Have fun in NYC!

  • Reply edina June 30, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Highly recommend Pizzeria Mozza & Campanile in LA

    Have a great trip!

  • Reply Angela Broderick June 30, 2010 at 10:38 am

    On my last visit to NY I fell in love with cookies at this new place:

    I second the recommendation for Fishs Eddy – wonderful store!

    In LA, “Yummy Cupcakes” in Santa Monica are absolute best!


  • Reply Jessica B. June 30, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Have a ball in LA! My favorite breakfast anywhere in the country is at BLD Restaurant on Beverly Blvd! The Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes are worth selling your soul for and there’s always a chance to peep a celebrity or two.

    For dinner, I’d strongly recommend Osteria Mozza on Highland and Melrose. Goodness, I could spend a week in there, gobbling up everything in sight.

  • Reply Victoria Bennett Beyer June 30, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Never been to either so I don’t have any tips, but have a GREAT time!

  • Reply simone June 30, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Hi Holly- Oh you are going ot have such a wonderful trip. I have a few LA tips for you–
    Abbott Kinney Blvd. in Venice has AMAZING boutiques and a really great vibe along with amazing restaurants (you honestly cannot go wrong with any of them) FloralArt is on this street too- you would absolutley LOVE that place! So you! (I’m sure you’ve probably already blogged about it at one time or another :))
    One of my all time fave restaurants is The Hungry Cat- it’s in sort of a weird location but the food and cocktails are phenominal. It’s like a modern old school seafood place- very maryland- amazing old school cocktails (like a pimlico made with fresh squeezed lime and orange juices and mint- delish!) check it out here…
    Have a great trip!

  • Reply Holly June 30, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I think I have fallen in love with this store just from the pictures!! I love the bright colors against the white…I now want to go to NY! Hope you have a good trip and can’t wait to hear about it!

  • Reply Angelina June 30, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Billy’s bakery in Chelsea for the most moist and delicious treats. The banana, red velvet and carrot cake are especially good with a load of cream cheese icing on top. Close enough to the Chelsea flea market too.
    The highline park is a good stop. Grab a homemade Popsicle or other cold snacks at the Chelsea market. The raspberry-basil Popsicle is so good on hot days.

    I second stump town coffee if your in the area. If you’re dowtown, I also second the meatball shop. They have plenty of options and customizable ice cream sandwiches. Morandi’s (for Italian) and Kampuchea (Cambodian fushion) are also favorite dinner spots for me.

  • Reply cajeta June 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    HI, I’m an LA gurrl w/ some suggestions, but of course it depends which part of Los Angeles you are staying in. Babycakes has a delicious store in LA & NYC serving the best gluten free cookies, frosting, and cupcakes (go during the downtown LA art walk). Mozza has excellent “fancy” pizza and pannini in Hollywood/larchmont. LA crepe cafe has the best crepes on the Santa Monica 3rd street promenade. In Eaglerock (near downtonw & pasadena) Fatty’s is my favorite “date night” veggie fancy restaurant (it will impress & delight meat eaters!) In East LA, “La Tia Mole” has excellent Mexican food w/ many different types of mole. For casual afternoon cafe dining, try The Village cafe in Atwater next to Griffith Park (perfect to eat before heading up to the Observatory). On a hot day, cool down w/ some gelato at Pazzo gelato in Silver lake, or get a fantastic casual sandwhich at Downbeat cafe in Echo park. Masa in Echo park is another great spot for lunch or dinner. The best macarons are at Pasadena’s Europane cafe. If you’re in Santa Monica, go for the “Godmother” at Bay Cities deli. In Venice, I love Seeds cafe near Westward.

  • Reply kat June 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    yummy cupcakes in Santa Monica! it’s delicious – where in LA will you be? it’s a big place.

  • Reply Garin June 30, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    LA – Pizzeria Mozza has been mention a few times, but I just had to say it’s wonderful!! Nice ambiance, great food!
    A small breakfast/lunch/early dinner place we love is in Century City. Clementine is a great cafe with wonderful seasonal menus. It’s up the street from us so we walk there often.

  • Reply Malinda Lloyd June 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    In La – I recommend Frosted and/or Sprinkles for cupcakes

    The Kinokuniya in Little Tokyo is FAB and there are several really good house wares stores right in the area you can walk to. I personally recommend Orochan for Ramen while you are there (one floor up from the bookstore in the same mall).

  • Reply Jill Seidner | Interior Design June 30, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Have a great trip! I’m in LA – happy to make some recommendations. What part of town will you be staying in? For design, visit Beverly Blvd & La Brea, be sure to check out Abbot Kinney in Venice, Santa Monica for the Pier & 3rd Street Promenade, a drive out to Malibu is always nice, be sure to check out some of the iconic hotels – the Beverly Hills Hotel & Chateau Marmont (for a drink/dinner), visit the Getty Museum, & of course shops in Beverly Hills. Feel free to email me if you have any questions/want more ideas: (I live in West Los Angeles/Bel Air)

  • Reply Shaz June 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I have some (westside) LA recommendations. Totally agree with the suggestion to hit Abbott Kinney Blvd. Gjelina is the hot restuarant there, but I also love Axe. Real Food Daily in Santa Monica and West Hollywood for amazing organic vegan food. Have a cocktail in the bar at Casa del Mar over looking the Santa Monica beach and Pier. Sushi is so good in LA. My favorite place is Hama Sushi in Venice for a casual beachy vibe. One of the many farmers markets is a must – Santa Monica has a good one on Wed and Sat from 8:30-1:30. Also agree with the Hungry Cat suggestion – love that place. Have fun.

  • Reply mina June 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Here we go:

    Downtown NY
    Magnolia Bakery
    401 Bleecker Street

    Excellent Dumpling House
    111 Lafayette St
    New York, NY 10013

    While you’re there, checkout West Broadway for the awesomest modern art galleries.

    Brooklyn Dumbo
    Zakka Corporation
    155 Plymouth Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11201

    Japanese culture, toys, books, magazines.

    Also, if you need a great haircut, checkout Woodley and Bunny in Williamsburg.

    Have fun girl!!! Wish I could join you in your photo shoots or at least I wish I would have submitted my Brooklyn apartment if it were in a stylish shape… but its not, yet.

    Safe travels and remember, it’s hot and humid here, much more than Germany!

  • Reply Corrie Sullivan June 30, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Hey Holly
    here are some LA finds. I moved to LA from Ireland 3 years ago and its been fun finding those specials places.
    Silverlake is a great area that I love to visit. You have to check out Reform School and Home Ec Shop.
    Also Lost and Found store in Hollywood has amazing interior treasures
    The last romantic fun restaurant I went to with my husband was LA Farm. Its really fun and has an interesting take on farm food!
    Hope that helps!
    Ps. If you get time American Rag for fabulous clothes for you!

  • Reply jill June 30, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    *seconds everything raynanyc said!*

    from a gal that’s been here for 20 years.

    have a blast!

  • Reply Anna June 30, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Ohh! Have fun and safe travels. Enjoy some USA air for me. I hope to go back home and visit the states later this year.
    With Love From Bali,

  • Reply suzie June 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm


    The best romantic restaurant in LA is The Little Door ( ) – the best atmosphere and food…it will complete what sounds like quite an adventurous trip.


  • Reply Julie Cove June 30, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Holly, have a fantastic trip. There’s nothing better than a business trip that gets you excited that also allows lots of play in fabulous cities! It’s pleasurable and it’s also a business write off which some of us love! I just returned from Europe doing just this- it’s work that is fun because we planned it this way! Congrats on the book-be sure to savour the experience!

  • Reply 11studio June 30, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Hi Holly,
    My favorite place in L.A. to eat is RFD (Real Food Daily) in Santa Monica or West Hollywood. They specialize in organic vegetarian/vegan food and everything is AMAZING! Hope you try it! Have a great trip!

  • Reply Lindsay Nohl June 30, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    I SWEAR – the best place to go for bubble tea is T Kettle on St Marks in the East Villiage!

    The Original Milk Tea is the best bubble tea I have ever had, and I’ve had a bazillion of them!

    and if you want some great Japanese Food –
    Momofuku is right around the corner!

    Have Fun!!

  • Reply the fabled needle (jen) July 1, 2010 at 12:08 am

    i vote for either mozza restaurant (osteria and the pizzeria); my husband proposed at osteria mozza and we had our wedding dinner there with the parents. if they still have their olive oil gelato you must try it!

  • Reply Amy Gail July 1, 2010 at 7:40 am

    I say forget Manhattan and stick to Brooklyn. Brooklyn Flea in Clinton Hill on Saturday ( has been mentioned and is a must. Its one of the best curated flea markets I’ve ever been to. The food vendors are amazing, too. There are also some amazing restaurants right there, like Olea.
    Someone mentioned wandering up Smith & Court in Cobble Hill, which is also very picturesque. Williamsburg, 5th Ave or 7th Ave in Park Slope all have great streets for a wide variety of local favorite restaurants, local fashion and interior designers and neighborhood personality.
    If you are in Soho, a great off the beaten path, hip spot to eat or have some sangria and tapas is Cafe Noir ( Quiet during the day, the DJ starts in the late afternoon, when it turns into a scene.

  • Reply Miriam July 1, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Ladybird Bakery in Park Slope has the best cupcakes–and I have tried ALL of the above(but not in one day). Also visit More and More Antiques on Amsterdam Ave and 78th St. when you’re on the Upper West Side. I also think the Italian food at Coppola’s on Amsterdam and 79th is great. Do you know about the garden in Riverside Park at about 91st street? Also the whole waterfront on the west side just north of the cruise ship piers.
    (Can you guess where I live!)

    I really enjoy your blog. Have a good trip

  • Reply FOXOX July 1, 2010 at 10:57 am

    L’Ecole French culinary school restaurant in Soho!! Make sure you book in advance!

  • Reply Torrie @ a place to share... July 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Sorry, I’m checking in a little late, but definitely agree with the suggestions of Pizzeria Mozza. …wonderful!!!!!!

  • Reply Katharina July 1, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    the rose bowl flea market in Los Angeles!!!!

  • Reply Tina in Boston July 1, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Holly! I love Kinokuniya and always try to visit there while in NYC. I also try to make it to Le Pain Quotidien for breakfast or lunch. Check out Mood Fabrics (of Project Runway fame). They have nice home decor fabrics, too! If you are in the Rockefeller Center area, check out Anthropologie. It’s huge! I used to live in LA, but that was awhile ago, so I don’t know any new places, but Louise’s Trattoria was my all-time favorite!

    I am jealous. I wish I could go with you to NYC and LA! Have fun!

  • Reply Tawny July 2, 2010 at 12:01 am

    I’m so excited for you and all the amazing places you’re going to go & see! :)

    LA is def one of my fave cities! Some of the must visits:
    Paulette in Beverly Hills for the best macarons ever
    Milk in West Hollywood for delicious desserts
    BLD (really close to Milk) for wonderful food
    Bulan has the best vegetarian Thai food I’ve had

    The list goes on, but those are just a few of my favorites!
    Enjoy your trip & happy (almost) weekend to you!

  • Reply jeannine July 2, 2010 at 8:42 am

    re LA, I third (or fourth or fifth!) hungry cat–it’s my go-to place, excellent cocktails. I also wanted to suggest the amazing Hatfields, which is likewise in the hollywood area. It’s pricey, but has a lunch menu that is more affordable. You might also get a kick out of Street, which is a “global street-food” place on Highland, near Melrose.
    Also on the more affordable side is 3 square cafe on abbot kinney–it’s surprisingly cheap given how absolutely delicious it is (they also have a bakery, the pretzels are fantastic, random, I know).
    Finally, if you want to go to Mozza, you might think about making reservations a week or two in advance as they get pretty full up and, in my experience, it’s a little too noisy to sit at the bar and eat.

    Cannot wait to see the fruits of your travels in the decor8 book!

  • Reply amy lowrey July 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    hi holly-
    L.A. eats around santa monica
    {I think you mentioned you wanted to stay around SM}-
    Capo would be perfect for a romantic dinner with your hubby. It’s my all time favorite restaurant for a nice occasion, while still being quaint and unstuffy.
    1810 Ocean Ave.
    Santa Monica

    Another great little place for casual yummy dinner is the Blue Plate Oysterette. Also in Santa Monica.
    Blue Plate Oysterette
    1355 Ocean Ave.
    Santa Monica

    Sushi Roku is also on the corner of Santa Monica and Ocean and a great sushi spot. There is another location in West Hollywood that’s great but if you’re staying near SM they have the same menu and sushi selection here.

    have fun!!

  • Reply amy lowrey July 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    also, if you find yourself in the Culver City arts district {Helms Bakery Area},
    grab a burger at My Fathers Office. It’s a fancy burger, in a great space. {best i’ve ever had.} This is also just a great area to take a look around.
    HD Buttercup and some other little furniture/design stores.

  • Reply Darcy July 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Another vote for Magnolia here. I live in California now but I am drooling at the thought of their cupcakes. There is nothing trendy about them. They are just damn good cupcakes!

  • Reply Isadora July 3, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Some more things to add to your LA list:
    Vanilla Bakeshop in Santa Monica, hands down the best cupcakes in town and pretty too.
    For a romantic dinner, try Geoffrey’s in Malibu, a little pricey, but with gorgeous views of the ocean, great food, it will definitely set the mood.
    For cool design shops, head to Beverly Blvd in Miracle Mile and to Silverlake.
    Soolip paperie in West Hollywood has well edited papergoods and Wanda the owner is just coming out with a book on gift wrapping… I’m sure they’d love to share with you.
    Good restaurant with possible celebrity sightings, Next Door, or try Little Next Door for more casual bistro.
    For GREAT food try Sona and Hatfield’s both serving spectacular cuisine.
    There’s also a trend in LA for “gourmet” food vans… Look out for them. Definitely not something you get in Germany.

    Have a great trip.

  • Reply Jane July 4, 2010 at 3:14 am

    -Bergamot Station in Santa Monica
    -Turpan in the brentwood country mart
    -Venice: Tortoise General Store

    -Caffe Luxxe (delicious coffee and lovely interior)

  • Reply Justina Blakeney July 4, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Hey Holly. Exciting trip! I have some East-side LA recommendations. Don’t miss the new-ish TAVIN boutique in Echo Park ( Also, in Los Feliz there are great shops and restaurants on Vermont and Hillhurst. Both strips are within walking distance from each other. Figaro Cafe is awesome for a romantic brunch and on Hillhurst I love Little Dom’s: best Frech toast ever– and their bloody mary’s don’t mess around either.
    Also, a little insider LA tip. Rent bikes. Since LA is so flat and the weather is amazing– getting around on bikes is so fun and less stressful than the driving scene. I recommend strolling up sunset on bikes, stopping on Vermont, Hillhurst, and heading up to sunset junction– great shopping, food, quaint movie theater (you cant come to LA without going to the movies) cutest furniture stores etc. Have a fun and productive journey!

  • Reply nichole July 4, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Tai Pan bakery for bubble tea! Right on Canal.

    A must.

    Welcome back to the states!

  • Reply Ashley July 5, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Hi Holly,

    My top pic for a romantic dinner, and where we’ll be going for our anniversary dinner this July too, is JAR restaurant. It has a modern interior, low light (if that doesn’t bother you), and AMAZING food. It feels intimate and yet a bit masculine, which my guy tends to enjoy; the service is excellent as well.

    Also, someone mentioned the Rose Bowl swap meet in Pasadena – and you really must go. It is the best in California. (its true) Pay the extra fee to get in early.

    For other restaurant recommendations, from Cuban to Salvadorean food, check out my yelp picks here:

    Violet’s cupcakes in Pasadena are great, but their hours are a bit off. I like them much better than Sprinkles and Dots.

    My final recommendation is to take one of the LA Conservancy historic walking tours in downtown LA. The architecture during the historic core tour is amazing!

  • Reply Rosa July 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Holly,

    Some weeks ago I was in NYC and LA too, and highly recommend Egg in Williamsburg for breakfast or lunch, Stumptown Coffee in Ace, Blue Bottle in Williamsburg ( and Bakeri in Williamsburg for breakfast (
    In LA THE place for coffee is Intelligentsia Venice (, their interior is wonderful too!

    Have a great time!!


  • Reply theresa July 5, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    When in LA I love to check out the happenings at Urban Craft Center. Lots of cool people, books (new and old) they are always working on some cutting edge sewing/crafting art.

  • Reply michelle July 6, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Are you still gluten free?? If so you have to check out Baby Cakes. I’m generally suspicious of vegan/gluten free desserts but the salted caramel cupcake I had there was out of this world. If you’re hanging in the LES Barro Chino, about two blocks from Baby Cakes, is a fun little Mexican place though I’ll admit they have better drinks than food. But the drinks are really good… mango mojitos, jalapeño margaritas, yum!

  • Reply Kimberly July 6, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    LA Info:
    So it seems the previous posts have you covered on LA food, GOOD.

    Here are a few more places not to pass up…..
    Always helpful:
    – Checkout Los Feliz/Silverlake/ Echo Park

    If at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea market: Great Design, wine and food

    Not to miss: Beautiful and Yummy AND Great space and bar, Must dress up

    Not sure if you are here for this, but Fun Fun: OR

    Enjoy your time in Los Angeles!

  • Reply Ana July 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Hi Holly! I just visited NY last week and I was at least as excited as you were! :) I also visited Purl Soho and loved it. Unfortunately I´m not a local and cannot make any recommendations, but I wanted to share the feeling. :)

  • Reply Heather July 8, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Holly! I hope you have a great time in LA! We love to eat on the patio at Aroma Cafe on Tujunga Blvd in Studio City. It also has a cozy little bookshop and is on a block with some really cute shops and an awesome gelato place. Hugo’s and The Pita Kitchen are also two of our favs. If you’re looking for something a little fancier and romantic, try Il Cielo! Have a wonderful trip! Looking forward to reading about it!

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