Here is the city guide of my friend Nicole Cari!

In the last few years I’ve fallen in love with the LA lifestyle (only thing is I am still not used to the idea of having to have a car…) but this is definitely a city where I’d love to go spend a few months one day. In the meantime, I ask my friends for their best adresses and each time I go there, I discover a new treasure!

How would you describe LA to a New Yorker?
The complete opposite of New York. The weather is consistently sunny, the city spreads wide not tall, and it’s all about staying in and not out.

Just about everyone complains about the traffic in LA, but is there one spot you don’t mind being stuck in traffic?
The PCH. At least the traffic comes with an ocean view.

Will I survive if I don’t drive? How?
Not gonna lie, you need a car in LA. But once you learn to drive, the key is keeping your world small. Live near where you work and close to friends.

What neighborhood do you live in?
Silver Lake.

How would you describe it?
Silver Lake is often described as hipsterville and compared to Williamsburg, but I just find it to be a nice place to live because there’s great food, coffee & juice, a nice farmer’s market, beautiful sunsets and walks around the reservoir, and lovely little homes in the hills. You escape the Hollywood crowd and most of the negative characteristics LA gets a bad rep for. I also like that it’s near downtown, Pasadena, and the 101.

What hotel do you recommend to friends from out of town?
Beverly Laurel Hotel for somewhere on the cheap, or Beverly Hills Hotel for pricey and amazing.

And what restaurant? (…And what should they order?)
The Fountain Coffee Room for silver dollar buttermilk pancakes, bacon and a milk shake.

Little Dom’s for brunch. The prosecco mimosas and/or their Bloody Mary, blueberry ricotta pancakes and the breakfast proscuitto pizza. It’s always a good idea to get the rice balls for the table too.

Forage for the salmon bowl or chicken with cavalo nero and arugula salad and chickpea and beet salad with cumin yogurt.

M Cafe for lunch, get the M Chopped salad or grilled tuna burger.

Pace for Zeus pizza and any pasta.

El Compadre for dinner, margs and enchiladas.

Where should you go to spot a celebrity?
Tower Bar or Giorgio Baldi.

…And to avoid them?
Stay in Silver Lake.

What is your favorite place for…

A date night: Cafe Stella.
A dinner with friends: Speranza.
A work meeting: Sqirl Cafe.
People watching: Chateau Marmont.
A girls night: At someone’s house, or Gjelina.

Where do you get your hair done?
Chris McMillan Salon.

And nails?
I bite, don’t do.

Best spot for a day of pampering?
Thibiant Spa for facials with Lidia.

Best spot for a fresh juice?
Beverly Hills Juice & Pressed Juicery.

Do you have a favorite hiking spot?
Fryman Canyon for a casual stroll, “the witches teet” on Runyon Canyon for a crazy work out, and Temescal Canyon for beauty.

The best place to watch the sunset?
Soho House or Barnsdall Art Park.

Where do you shop?
Scout, Creatures of Comfort, Lake, Lawson Fenning, Mohawk General, g. Colton, and the shops on Melrose Place.

Where is the best place for vintage?
Resurrection, Tavin, Scout, Rose Bowl Flea Market, and The Way we Wore.

Favorite beach?
El Matador in Malibu or Rincon in Ventura .

Where do you get your coffee fix? Is The Coffee Bean really the best?
Intelligentsia, but I usually make it at home. Not sure I’ve actually been to a Coffee Bean… Is that a thing?

How do you get around the city?
Prius party.

What is one touristy spot you still love visiting?
Staples Center for Clippers games and concerts.

How do you stay fit? Do you go to a gym? Spin class? Trapeze class?
Spin! (at YAS). A bit of yoga too. Lot’s of walking and a little running around the Silver Lake Reservoir.

Should we go to the Chateau?
Yes. They have a yummy cheeseburger.

The best movie theatre?
The Arclight. Assigned seats and kettle corn.

Describe your ideal day in Los Angeles…

An ideal weekend day for me in LA is sleeping in, making coffee and enjoying it in a ceramic mug instead of a to-go container, going for a run around the reservoir or walk through the Silver Lake Hills with a friend. If it’s Saturday I might go to brunch at Little Dom’s and enjoy some daytime drinking and pancakes, if it’s Sunday I like to grab a pastry at Proof Bakery and then go to the Atwater Farmer’s Market. At the moment we have a pool, so an ideal afternoon is spent swimming, reading and having some neighborhood friends over for Modelo Especials and a bowl of guacamole. I also love grabbing a loaf of olive bread at Cook Book in Echo Park, and toasting it up with avocado for lunch. The avocado factor is huge here, and a prominent reason I live in California.

A great Friday or Saturday evening is started with a cheese and wine picnic w/ friends at the Silver Lake Meadow, and then dinner out at Cafe Stella or Speranza. Sunday is usually reserved for making a big meal at home and enjoying it by the fire.

Nicole is wearing Band of Outsiders (that’s where she works!) and I took that picture on the terrasse of my room at the Standard (I know, amazing view, if one day I was to write a book, I would just do it there)…

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