Travel / December 5, 2013

Sisterhood Adventures: A Guide to Downtown Los Angeles and Much, Much More

Wine Sisterhood at Wine Riot Los Angeles

Every time we visit Los Angeles we make it a goal to explore new things; whether it be a neighborhood, restaurant, beach or activity.  This latest trip was no exception.  Interested?  We thought so!!!

The Lobster Roll Rumble

Lobster Rolls seem to be an occurring theme here at the Wine Sisterhood (do you remember the Lobster Roll Scavenger Hunt we did in Boston?)  So when we found out Tasting Table was hosting the 1st Ever West Coast Lobster Roll Rumble we of course bought tickets.  The event featured ten chefs battling for the title of “2013 Best Lobster Roll: West,” and helped raise funds for the official Rumble beneficiary Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit fighting to end child hunger in America.  The best part, the favorite chef wasn’t chosen by a panel of judges, it was awarded by the “People’s Choice”…and we got to vote.

Here is the criteria we used to judge the Lobster Rolls:
1.  Lobster Meat (quality, sweetness, texture)
2.  Roll (freshness, crispness, butteriness)
3.  Preparation (mayo, butter, added flavor/spice)

After reviewing all 10 rolls we decided our favorite was from the Hungry Cat in Hollywood, CA.  The People’s Choice Award went to Cousins Maine Lobster, which has a restaurant in Pasadena, CA as well as two food trucks in both Los Angeles and Orange County.

Want to see some pictures from the event?  Search the #lobsterrumble on Instagram.  Send us pics of your favorite Lobster Roll adventures – upload pics to Instagram, tag @winesisterhood and use the #ladiesluvlobster hashtag.

Discovering DTLA (Downtown Los Angeles)

Downtown Los Angeles was once a place you wouldn’t want to visit: home to Skid Row and shuttered store fronts.  But in recent years the area has slowly started to revive and get its bustle back.  There are award winning restaurants, Speakeasy’s and a great Central Market which has been serving DTLA since 1917. Lucky for us, we’ve explored this neighborhood on a previous visit, so were excited to what was new.

Wine Sisterhood’s DTLA Eating Guide:

Water Grill (Seafood), 544 S Grand Ave:  Love retro Seafood dishes like Cioppino and Lobster Rolls?  This place is a long time favorite for elegant surf-and-turf.

Alma Los Angeles

Alma (Modern American), 952 S Broadway:  Hands down one of the best meals we experienced in 2013.  Thanks Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appetit magazine for making this the #1 Best New Restaurant in America this year.  You led, and we followed!

Mo-Chica (Peruvian), 514 W 7th St.:    We loved his Peruvian inspired restaurant Picca in Beverly Hills.  So giving this outpost a try was a no brainer.  The cuisine is modern takes on Peruvian comfort food.  The result – delicious!

Eggslut Los Angeles

Egg Slut (Breakfast/Brunch) 317 S. Broadway (Grand Central Market):  What started out as a West Hollywood food truck has morphed into a brick-and-mortar breakfast must!  It’s all about the incredible, edible egg!  Get the Fairfax, it is life changing.

For more places to eat in Downtown LA and other locations in Los Angeles check-out our Guide on Urbanspoon.

Getting to know Los Angeles from the Eyes of a Local – An Interview with the Original Middle Sister

While in town, we interviewed THE original Middle Sister and Los Angeles Aficionado, my real life middle sister, Erin Wassum. She has given us the inside scoop about some of her favorite things to experience in Los Angeles.  

How would you describe LA?

LA is everything it is infamous for:  excessive, money driven, and spread out.  From beach cities to cultural pockets, this cosmopolitan city has everything to offer.  Always be prepared for a warm, sunny day, even in January… sunblock, scarves, and sunglasses are a must!   Beauty reigns… so book your spa appointments in advance, from lavish five-star spas to hidden gems like the Olympia Korean Day Spa.  Even though there is a juice bar on every corner, don’t  let SoCal’s heroin-chic scare you from indulging in some of the finest dining experiences in the country.  My new favorite is ‘Alma’  located near downtown’s 7th Street Restaurant Row.  

What part of LA do you call home?

I live in the Fairfax District, close to West Hollywood, and a few miles from the Hollywood nightlife.  Along Fairfax one can spectate up and coming skaters practicing their dare devil tricks, as they shop for fresh produce among the Russian based convenience stores.  Perpendicular to Fairfax, is infamous 3rd street, known for its small boutique shops, and eateries.  Stop for a bite of gelato at Joan’s on 3rd, and make dinner reservations  at Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s “Son of a Gun.”  A must order for those not juicing or cleansing, is the Fried Chicken Sandwich,  a cheeky play on a classic chicken sandwich.

Where do we find the best coffee in LA? 

If you need a morning pick-me-up, ‘Cubano’ reigns supreme in my barista vocabulary.  A mixture of dark espresso, sweetened cream, with hints of cinnamon, is an Angelino cultural obsession on it’s own.  Within the Fairfax/ West Hollywood District you can sip on your favorite ‘Cubano’ at Sycamore Kitchen, 143 S. La Brea, and Coffee Commissary, 801 N. Fairfax Ave. 

Where’s your favorite seaside spot to relax?

With private beach access reminiscent of a tropical Hawaiian Cove, ‘Paradise Cove,’ offers seclusion, privacy, and tranquility… one of the most beautiful places in L.A.  Enjoy sunshine, on a pristine, picnic friendly beach, while sipping your favorite wine or beer in the sand.  Yes, it’s legal!  Don’t worry those of you not in the picnic mood, a Paella Seafood Shack sits steps away from the ocean.

Where’s your favorite place to take a hike?

Definitely Runyon Canyon… It’s native, natural setting represents  L.A. in the Raw, pre-civilization façade, rivaled only by the stark contrast it draws to the great, world-famous, metropolitan city of Los Angeles. This contrast transforms from the figurative to literal at the summit of the hike, where cliff side gives way to the Great Basin of Los Angeles, encompassing the entire city.

Los Angeles Playlist, from the Original Middle Sister

And because you spend a lot of time in the car getting from place to place in LA, you need to make sure you have a lot of good music to listen to. Here is a playlist of our favorites as we were driving around!



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