Guide to Los Angeles: Where to shop, eat and stay

Article by Simply You


Kiwi actress Hannah Marshall shares her favourite places in the City of Angels.

What do you love most about living in LA?
The weather is pretty amazing – year-round sunshine is hard to beat.

What makes it special?
You can’t be in LA and not feel the influence of Hollywood. There is so much movie history and magic here it’s exhilarating whether you’re in the industry or not, and because it’s such an entertainment hub, there’s incredible access to events and acts from all around the world.


Sassafras bar


What is your must-see tourist tip?
Hike up to the Hollywood sign. It is a little off the beaten track and you need GPS, but it is well worth it.

What is LA’s best-kept secret?
If you’re here on holiday use Uber all the way. This car service is half the price of taxis, easy to use and makes navigating the freeways a non-issue. The Pasadena Rose Bowl market takes place once a month and it’s amazing – but be sure to get there early.

Best place for coffee?
Alfred Coffee & Kitchen in Melrose Place for sure, or Intelligentsia in Silverlake. Coffee here used to be rubbish, but it’s finally getting the New Zealand and Australian influence.

Best bar?
Sassafras Saloon in Vine Street does great cocktails in a chilled-out atmosphere. The décor is awesome.


Tacos at Gracias Madre


Best restaurant?
Gracias Madre is a vegan Mexican restaurant on Melrose Avenue with incredible food and a fun vibe. Eveleigh on Sunset Blvd has amazing views of the city and serves great seasonal, local farm and market produce.

Best department store?
Nordstrom Rack is great for checking out the sales without the crowds.

Best shopping destination?
The Grove in Beverly Hills is open until 9pm and has some great stores including J Crew, Zara, Diane Von Fürstenberg and Coach. Go to Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice for a more boutique shopping experience.


Frederic Fekkai hair salon on Melrose Place.


Best hair salon or spa?
Frederic Fekkai on Melrose Place for hair and Voda Spa on Santa Monica Blvd.

Best shoe store?
I’d go to Nordstrom for serious shoe shopping.

Best city view?
The view from the top of Runyon Canyon Park during the day or Mulholland Drive at night.

What is your favourite hotel and why?
Palihouse in Santa Monica has huge rooms and a beautiful courtyard. It’s near the beach and the décor mixes kitsch with an antique flavour. The Grafton Hotel in West Hollywood has great shopping on its doorstep, a fantastic breakfast and fab pool.

What’s your favourite way to spend a day in LA?
Take a picnic and a large umbrella and head to Zuma Beach in Malibu. There is a quiet little end to the beach where you can perch, watch dolphins and eat Trader Joe’s. It’s pretty spectacular.

From the editors of Simply You Style.