Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Los Angeles is one of the best placed on the
planet—if you know how to do it right.
Take these tips from a native
Angeleno, and not the sights that are safe to skip.
Many Angelenos have blissfully allowed the outside world
to think of our city as overrated, but I'm going to let you in on a little
secret: it's pretty much the best place on the planet—if you know how to
do it right.
That means avoiding tourist traps at all costs, indulging like a
local, and adhering to the advice of a native.
Here are some of the places to
avoid in Los Angeles at all costs, as well as some excellent alternatives to
check out instead.
1.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame Unless you're a celebrity getting your
own star, Angelenos wouldn't dare step foot anywhere near Hollywood Boulevard,
especially during awards season.
If you want to get a better handle on our
city and its tastemakers by foot, try one of the amazing walking tours that
celebrate historic architecture, like the L.A.
Conservancy walks through
Downtown's Art Deco buildings, instead.
2.
Pink's Hot Dogs Having grown up in L.A., it always blows my mind how
long the line is at this La Brea Avenue dog shop.
It doesn't matter what time
of day it is, there's always a wait.
And while in a major metropolis I value
the consistency, there could hardly be anything more over-hyped than these
wieners.
You'd get better sausages at Korean-inspired Seoul Sausage or BierBeisl
Imbiss, which serves Austrian bangers, both of which are much more
representative of the multicultural patchwork of L.A.
Better yet, opt for a
Danger Dog, L.A.'s official signature street food—made by wrapping a hot
dog in bacon and smothering it in grilled onions and red peppers—after a
good show at one of the city's great music venues.
3.
Santa Monica Pier Though the beaches on the Westside are certainly
better than nothing, the Santa Monica Pier, especially in the summertime, is
the epitome of a tourist trap.
Save for the Malibu Farm outpost, pier food is
mediocre at best.
If you're staying in SaMo, opt for a ride down the Strand,
riding through for a pit stop on ultra-hip Abbott Kinney and then southbound
toward Manhattan Beach, where there's a pier and some great new bars and
restaurants.
4.
L.A.
Live To Angelenos, this eyesore is the equivalent of New York
City's Times Square.
There's no good reason to eat at any of the chain
restaurants or bars there, unless there's a great show going on at the Club
Nokia, or you've got courtside seats to a Laker game.
There are so many
other great spots for live music and comedy in DTLA, like the Orpheum or the
Ace Hotel's United Artists Theater, which also offers incredible 1920s
architecture.
And the same goes for Universal City Walk: Avoid it at all
costs.
5.
Umami Burger It might come as a bit of a shock, considering our
reputation as a city full of health nuts, but L.A.
has always had a strong
burger culture.
This is the birthplace of In-N-Out, after all.
While it's
impressive that Umami has become a national chain since its inception in 2009,
the burgers have never truly been as epic as those at Plan Check (get the
blueprint burger, with smoked blue cheese, pig candy, fried onions, roasted
garlic steak sauce, and peppercress), The Oaks, or Oinkster.
Be sure to give
those a try when you're in town, too.
6.
Chinatown While this corner of Downtown L.A.
has certainly seen a
renaissance as of late, with restaurants like Pok Pok, Chego, and Burgerlords
opening up shop, if you want real, authentic Chinese food, head out to the San
Gabriel Valley: it's worth the trek up the 110 Freeway.
Brace yourself for
the best dim sum and dumplings you can find outside the motherland.
7.
Rodeo Drive Big box luxury brands abound on this iconic street in
Beverly Hills, but if you want to shop where the upper echelons do, it's not
in 90210.
Spend your wad over in Silverlake or Abbot Kinney.
And if you're
really after brand names—you know, the kind that celebs really wear—head
down Robertson Boulevard for some window-shopping.
8.
Sunset Strip There's nothing that pains me more than hearing
someone complain about our nightlife scene based on their trip down the
Strip.
Sure, our bars might not stay open til 2 a.m., but most of the credible
nightlife and bar action has moved to DTLA and the Eastside.
If you must visit
this godforsaken park of our city, please, please do not do it on a Star Tours
bus.
Krista Simmons is a culinary travel writer and native Angeleno.
You can
follow her adventures bite-by-bite on Instagram.
Want to know what to skip on your trip to L.A.? Consult this
list of the city's most overrated things.

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