2316 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
I've never had this easy of a time buying any piece of furniture. Period. You walk in, all the models are out on display, you look and sit and test, and then you customize. The service couldn't have been better. Distant when I obviously wanted space and attentive when I obviously needed help. They helped me customize every last detail down to the nail head -- literally. I ended up with an extra deep, velvet tufted sofa. It's the center piece of my home. I'd recommend this place to anyone. I just wish they made beds and tables too.
Larchmont Village Wine
223 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004
This place is great for many reasons. The first is the wine shop. The owner can help you out with anything. Give him price, taste or even the items you happen to be cooking with and he hits every time. But... more importantly, you have to go for the sandwiches. The turkey sandwich is unbeatable and the caprese is a great veggie option. Snag a bag of chips and some olives from the check out register, and you'll come back a thousand times. You just may have to wait 20 minutes to get in and out.
1652 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
You may have passed this place a hundred times and never known it. It's tucked into the edge of a micro-strip mall on Ocean. It's a red checkered gem with maps of Italy as place mats. The service is friendly and the food is great. The Chicken Vesuvio is quite possibly the best I've ever had (sorry Gramdma Francesconi) and the pizzas are delicious. If you're lucky, you'll stumble in when a group of regular speed chess players bunker down in the back corner over hot pasta.
20 Olvera St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
This is, straight up, the best crunchy taco on the East Side and arguably all of Los Angeles if not for Titos. Get three shredded beef tacos and a side of guacamole (maybe a cheese enchilada if you're famished). Don't be swayed by talk of the perfect taquito at Cielito Lindo next door. Get the tacos here and don't look back. The guys in the kitchen and behind the register are friendly every single time you go. Enjoy.
1013 Alpine St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
You know the moment you're in a place with (only) cops and construction workers that you've landed somewhere good. Wait in the line and get the #7. Do it. You're ordering roast beef that's been soaking in au jois, piled atop corned beef that's been soaking in marinara, covered in green peppers and provolone cheese. Before you get to a table, add parmesan, pepperoncinis and red pepper flakes and allot time for a two-hour nap.
Red Rock Bar & Cafe Inc
8782 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
What can I say, it's where I go at the end of a week for a drink with the colleagues. The atmosphere is great, the drink prices during happy hour are incredible and the food, as far as bar food goes, is really good. They've got a good tap selection and we get a bowl of fries every time.
1818 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Skylight is definitely my favorite bookstore in LA. With the recent expansion, their selection is even bigger -- the entire second space is dedicated to art, fashion and photography including a great graphic novel corner and magazine rack. The employee selections are helpful and trustworthy guides whenever you might need a recommendation. Their dedication to exploring and exposing local authors is definitely commendable.