There are many blogs that inform you of what the best restaurants, museums, activities, and other attractions there are to do in Los Angeles. Honestly, it’s a little hard to pick good places since there are so many good places. This article is going to focus on activities that you might not have thought of before. Not all of these activities might be for you, but keep an open mind, and your life might be changed from reading this article.
If you are from out of town, you really need to visit Universal. See how movies are made! See live shows for all ages about the movie industry. Experience what it is like to be in a subway station that gets suddenly flooded! Go on a back lot tour as well and see what a real studio complex looks like! There are lots of rides there too. There are other studios in town that have tours for visitors. Universal is my first pick, but try the others too.
Church of Scientology
This is one of the strangest places I’ve ever been. On the surface it is a normal building, with better than average people visiting. You can take courses and study programs there as well. But, once you get involved with their classes, you will begin to discover how bizarre their teachings are. This is a great place if you want to explore the philosophically unknown!
Los Angeles Metro has several really cool streets to hang around in. 3rd Street Promonade in Santa Monica, Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, Sunset Strip, Melrose, and Westwood Village. Westwood Village is unique from these other cool locations because they have a University in the neighborhood, and this is where the students hang out! There are endless cool restaurants, shops, and coffee houses, not to mention two very popular hookah lounges with a hip mix of Middle Eastern music and hip hop.
If you love gardens, there are the Descanso Gardens, and Huntington Gardens. I’m not sure which is better, but I have been to Huntington more times! Huntington is very stately with a following of very old school people who look like the old rich. There are gardens of many varieties including Japanese, Chinese, Desert, Italian, and more. I enjoy the Australian trees quite a bit. You can enjoy the museum if it is not under renovation, and they have a cafe as well. Enjoy!
This is the most famous Thai restaurant in Los Angeles. Their traditional food is excellent, but I don’t care for their experimental fusion. One reason this restaurant is popular with the guys, is that they attract amazing looking women. There are many knock-outs who work as waitresses there, but the customers include many beautiful ladies as well. It just seems like a custom to be beautiful at Chan Dara. By the way, the seafood pad Thai is my favorite dish!
Go for a night hike at Griffith Park. Go in a group of course. There are regular Sierra club group hikes at night. See the city from the hills. The observatory is wonderful at night by the way! Make sure you are in reasonable shape, because the hill is steep. Usually, the moon and stars do a good job lighting the park at night, but bring a few flashlights just in case. If you see eyes looking at you in the dark, it’s probably a deer.
This is a great little cafe in Silver Lake. Not only do you get to try a great cafe with amazing Latino pastries, but you get to see this hip artistic enclave in the middle of Los Angeles. Enjoy Napoleans, popovers (their specialty,) tiramisu, and other types of European and Latin American goodies along with coffee.
The Unurban Café
This nutty place is loved by many. There is a regular crowd that has been going there for years. They just hang out all night, and they typically know each other. Go on comedy or music night to see amateurs doing their thing. The artwork there is really off-beat too. I just love the picture of the Leave it to Beaver family in the bathroom — so quirky! This cafe is on Pico in West Los Angeles near the border of Santa Monica.
Kabbalah is based on traditional Judaism via the traditional text — The Zohar, which was lost for over a thousand years and found by a Spanish Jew in the middle ages. However, the Kabbalah folks keep their doors open to those of all faiths. It is common to see Christians, Muslims, blacks, Asians, and other (presumably) non-Jews there. It is not uncommon to see black orthodox Jews walking down the street in that neighborhood, not to mention blacks who have Jewish lineage such as the Ethiopian Felasheem who are nearby on Fairfax. Even Madonna studied Kabbalah at one time! Kabbalah Center has a class for beginners that is a sort of introduction class. There are many lectures, activities, talks, and other fascinating events there including Friday night Shabbat dinner! What I like about Kabbalah center is that they are not only spiritual in their philosophy, but welcoming, fascinating, and fun. I met many interesting people there, and you will too. Check out their book store!
I am a huge fan of Kogi’s korean tacos. If you can catch the food truck on one of their stops, that is great. Their burritos with hashbrowns and kalbi are the best. See their twitter account for details on their Los Angeles locations. But, there is a bar in Venice that serves many of the items on the Kogi food truck menu. It gets crowded in there as it is a hip and popular place — even on a Tuesday night! Parking is not that great, but not that bad. Just go early, so you can get a seat.
This is a favorite hang out for me in Larchmont, a block South from Chan Dara! The staff at the Bungalow is really friendly, and their food is an unusual mix of egg dishes, entrees, cafe items, etc. I love their Moroccan iced coffee. It keeps me palpitating. Their specialties are their cakes which include Red Velvet, Chocolate Moose, and cakes of various other colors. You gain 10 calories just by looking at their dessert display. Bring a friend, hang out, and share a dessert. You can sit on the street, inside, or on the side or back decks at this fun cafe. If you go at a popular time, it can be packed. I even saw one of the Kardashians there once, but don’t tell anyone I said that!
Comedy Club Improv night
I went several times with friends. It is a very unusual place with some unusual people. It’s on Franklin in Hollywood. You need to pick the night and the event. I went and saw amateurs once, but on a different night saw Jack McBrayer from 30 Rock, and boy was he good. He is just the same in real life as on the show — always happy, smiling and funny. I start laughing just looking at him because he radiates funniness! The crowd there loves comedy and loves the film industry. Many of them are from around the world and many have interesting stories to tell.
In the mood for a night club? I have been to the Mayan many times. They have live bands and played mostly salsa when I used to go there. It is downtown, and it is a large club. There are some regulars who are amazing dancers, so come prepared to see some action! In any case, go there sometime before the end of the world!
Dine in 1920’s Los Angeles at The Pantry. The first time I went there, the elderly male waiter looked like he had just stepped out of the 1920’s. This is a popular spot downtown with those who work the night shift. Their menu is classic American. There is nothing amazing about this restaurant other than it brings you back to a very different time. It also brings you right into the financial district downtown.
I hoped you liked my tour. There are many other places to visit in Los Angeles. When guests come to visit from far away, I like to take them to as many different types of neighborhoods as possible, so they can get a feeling for the city. If you are doing a tour of the city, you might enjoy my picks, but don’t forget to visit Sunset Strip, Koreatown, Malibu, or some of the other great places in Los Angeles County.