Cruising through Los Angeles

LA-based journalist Linda Clausson finds inspiration while driving through her hometown, cruising past the lit-up skyscrapers in downtown or watching the ocean along the Pacific Coast Highway. She shared her best tips to LA and we can’t wait to visit them all.

You live and work as a freelance journalist in LA. What do you love most with the city?

I love that LA is so vast, it’s almost like a little country. And each part has its own vibe which means you can experience new things pretty much all the time. Like when you go on a city weekend and explore different neighbourhoods, living here feels like that all the time.

What’s your favourite area?

I always have a good time in downtown, whether it’s nightlife, shopping, art or eating. It has a big city feel that you don’t find anywhere else in LA. And I really enjoy going to Beverly Hills, it’s so clean and also a little surreal. They even have speakers in the streets playing background music, it feels like you’re in Clueless.

What’s the biggest myth about LA according to you?

One of the big misconceptions about LA is that people here are shallow and vacuous. While people here do put a lot of effort into their appearance, they also care a lot about their inner lives and are very open to new thoughts and experiences. There is also an awareness of work/life-balance that I haven’t seen in other cities of this proportion.

Where do you go for dinner?

The Tower Bar at the Sunset Tower Hotel. Not for the food – it’s good but nothing to write home about – but for the amazing ambience and old Hollywood glamour. And the A-list clientele makes each visit extra thrilling. 

What’s your top choice for healthy indulgence?

Vegan food has become the new normal in LA and even if I won’t be jumping on the plant-based train completely I love the Mexican fare at Gracias Madre. It’s so good you forget it’s vegan.

And for an unhealthy treat?

For burgers it’s In-N-Out and for a serious calorie splurge I go to Roscoe’s where I have fried chicken and waffles drenched in maple syrup. I’m surprised this combo hasn’t taken off outside the states, it’s delicious.

Where do you go for brunch?

I will happily join the hour-long line outside Sqirl any Saturday morning. You’ll need that hour to make your mind up on what to order anyway. Torn between their sorrel pesto rice bowl and ricotta french toast, I usually end up ordering both. And the malva pudding cake. And a side of bacon – it’s the best in town.

Where do you go to get away from the city buzz?

It’s easy in LA, we have both the beach and the hills. But if I want to disconnect completely I go to Palm Springs where I stay at The Parker, Colony Palms or Ace. I try to not leave the hotel apart from driving up to Pioneertown to visit Pappy & Harriet’s. It’s a saloon-style bar in the middle of the desert with good steaks and live music.

Where do you go shopping? Any favourite shops at the moment?

Melrose has everything that you won’t find at the mall. On one end you have Melrose Place with fancier stores like Isabel Marant and A.P.C. as well as new favorites Outdoor Voices and Glossier. Further east they have some great vintage and second hand stores and the Melrose Trading Post-market each Sunday.

Where do you go for a good art experience?

I recently discovered The Marciano Art Foundation. It’s housed in the Freemasons old temple which makes it feel kind of creepy. The exhibits are often LA-related with new and upcoming artists. I also like to stop by the Gagosian gallery in Beverly Hills, they always have something cool on display and their openings are the best for people watching.

Do you have a place you avoid?

Like most people who actually live in LA I tend to avoid the hugely popular outdoor mall The Grove and anything in its proximity on the weekends. It’s not worth the traffic jams.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I get a lot of inspiration while driving. Traffic in LA is terrible but sometimes, like late nights or early mornings, it just flows and it can be really meditative. I love cruising past the lit-up skyscrapers in downtown or watching the ocean along the PCH.

Do you have a favourite LA-person we should check out on Instagram? 

For lifestyle and fashion I like Haley Boyd @haleboyd, the founder of shoe brand Marais USA. Her retro style is a nice change from the ubiquitous beachy yoga pant look. For ideas on stuff to do I follow Caroline Juen (@loveandloathingla), I doubt that anyone in LA is having more fun than her.