Since I am not from the Los Angeles area, I made it my goal to do as much exploring of LA as possible while at USC. I have not even seen half of what I would like to see in LA, but from what I have seen, here are some of the highlights!
My favorite restaurant is a small café called Aroma. It’s about twenty minutes from USC, and it’s so cute! They have about every kind of food you can think of on their menu, but my personal favorite is the Asian Chicken Salad. What they are known for are their desserts. They have some of the best pastries I have ever had! Their peanut butter mousse on top of a chocolate cookie is probably one of the best things that I have ever eaten.
I also love Aroma because this is where I had my first celebrity sighting in LA! Well, I don’t know if this person could really be called a celebrity, but I was excited anyways! I sat down at a table right next to Matt Kazmierczak, a dancer from So You Think You Can Dance Season 9. So You Think You Can Dance is my favorite TV show, so I thought that seeing him was pretty cool! No one that I was with had any idea what I was talking about when I got excited, though.
My favorite beach around is Manhattan Beach. I love Manhattan because it is really calm and clean. It isn’t an extremely touristy beach, which is nice when you just want to relax to the sound of the waves. The area surrounding Manhattan Beach is also really nice! It is a little town full of fun beach restaurants, and there are always people out walking around. My cousin lives in Manhattan Beach, so I love visiting him for the weekend to de-stress from school.
I was skeptical about the hiking in LA coming from Washington, but I gave a few places a shot. Seattle hikes definitely have a different atmosphere than LA hikes, but I ended up loving the hikes in LA! Runyon Canyon is my favorite of the ones that I have done, but I am looking to branch out and find some more good hikes in the area.
Another cool place in LA is Amoeba Records. It is a store packed full of records and CDs from every artist you can imagine. Amoeba has an awesome atmosphere, and I bought a few great CDs, like Washed Out’s Within and Without album. I would definitely recommend going to Amoeba if you have some time to spare while in LA!