I moved to New York from Los Angeles late spring 2013. In the first year, I went back to LA about five times. However, I only returned to LA once in my second year. Due to some flexibility of work and my parent's schedule, I was able to book a flight the day right before--this was last minute even for me, but my family & friends didn't even blink an eye when I told them that I'd be in town.
After a year of being away, I had a lot of catching up to do with my beloved Los Angeles. Here are some of the places I went during the first week of my two-week trip in May/June. For a more comprehensive guide, take a look at my Essential Los Angeles Guide.
VERVE COFFEE ROASTERS Known for their coffee, tea, and juice (get their juice flight!), their downtown location is beautifully designed with plant walls and unique furniture.
EGG SLUT So very, very yummy. Try to come at an off hour as it can get packed, and it closes at 4PM so don't be too late! It's located in the Grand Central Terminal, which is also worth a small tour.
BRADLEY BUILDING Very close to Egg Slut & the Grand Central Terminal, this architectural gem is definitely worth a visit. I would love to work here or live here just so I can soak up its beauty daily.
SUL & BEANS A new favorite dessert spot in Koreatown for shaved ice/snow. I love all their flavors and their extremely soft ice. Parents and I stopped here after our third stop at CGV (the korean movie theaters).
MANHATTAN BEACH One of the quieter, cleaner beaches with a lot of cool restaurants, bars, brunch spots.
ACE HOTEL ROOFTOP BAR Downtown LA has really been undergoing a modern renaissance, and I love this chill rooftop with great drinks and great deign
DOCUMENT COFFEE BAR They might possibly have the most delicious ice coffee ever. I love their unique furniture (a lot of it was hand-built by the owner!)
SANTA MONICA PIER An obvious, touristy favorite, but I return here at least every year with my parents. It reminds me of my childhood and this year my mom insisted on riding the ferris wheel for the first time.
RUNYON CANYON HIKE One of the must-do's in Los Angeles. Can get crowded, and you'll see a lot of people stopping to take pictures, but there's a good reason for that. Has one of the best 360 views of LA.
ALFRED COFFEE "But first coffee" lives here and probably all of LA's hipsters congregate here. But the coffee is great, so is their iced chai tea latte.