We asked an L.A. local to walk new residents through the most important things to know when living in Tinsel Town.
Los Angeles is such a big vacation destination that it’s hard to image there’s anything else to do there besides take a studio tour and see Hollywood. But last year we got to spend some time in Tinsel Town, with friends of ours who lived out there, and we got to see a very different L.A. than the one we’d expected. Incredible food, charming neighborhoods, windy canyons: It had us thinking something we never thought we would: Maybe we should move to L.A.
But a long weekend definitely isn’t enough time to earn a local’s knowledge of a city, so we turned to someone who’s lived there for a few years, and has seen all sides of it. What follows are his five most important insider tips to know before moving to Los Angeles.
1. The Secret Menu at In-N-Out Burger
This Southern California-based fast food chain is enjoyed for its simplicity and consistent yumminess in a world of meh. But only locals seem to know about the magic that is their secret menu. Exhibit A: “Animal Style Fries” — their famous thin-cut fries smothered in grilled onions, cheese and special sauce. Ask what else can be found. You won’t be sorry.
2. You Can Hike Up to the Hollywood Sign!
I speak the truth! Following the allotted hours of Griffith Park (sunrise to sunset) one can hike their way up to the Hollywood Sign via several different routes, with a stunning view of the city. It’s a free, active way to enjoy the beautiful historic sights below. On a clear day, you can see forever — or at least until Malibu.
3. Grab a Drink at the Chateau!
Exclusivity comes with bragging rights in L.A. Some bars may be a little too exclusive in the city, but Chateau Marmont allows non-guests to peruse their infamous lobby and enjoy overpriced-but-delicious beverages with the who’s who of Hollywood elitism. You can be fancy, too!
4. Galco’s Old World Grocery Store
If you’re heading toward Pasadena, stop by Galco’s in Highland Park. It’s one of L.A.’s little known gems and a haven for candy and soda lovers alike. The “old world” grocery store self-proclaims itself as devoted to the art of soda pop, carrying more than 700 different flavors of soda, beer and old timey candies. Support this local business and treat yourself to a flavored root beer or an old fashioned sarsaparilla!
5. The Last Bookstore
In the heart of downtown there is a magical bookstore with book sculptures, shelves organized by color, and an art gallery above. This is the Last Bookstore, and by far the most whimsical bookstore L.A. has to offer. Check out the calendar for all sorts of interesting events from popular comedians to open mic nights.