Tales From LaLa Land

By Filip Terlecki

Okay – I’m officially nominating this photo as the dorkiest ever. Sorry, but excitement often leads to embarrassment…

For the past two weeks I’ve been in Los Angeles on some film and TV biz. It’s my first time here. Prior to coming, I wasn’t sure what to expect (you hear a lot of good and bad things about L.A.) so part of the reason why I wanted to come here was just to experience it for myself.

I’m glad that I did because L.A. is great.

I love the people, the weather and the geography. And I’ve heard of the “Hollywood Hills” but it never occurred to me that Los Angeles is actually surrounded by mountains.

Every morning, I make my way to a park called Runyon Canyon where I replace my regular jog with a hike. I don’t run because this is not your ordinary park. It’s a big ass hill. And on my way to the top these are some of the views…

That's downtown L.A in the background.

Pretty crazy, right?

Now, whenever you travel abroad, it’s always nice to have a bit of an inside scoop on the restaurants to hit up.

Guidebooks and Internet recommendations are okay but there are a lot of unreliable mixed tastes, so it’s nice to have a trusted voice show you the way. Luckily, Ursula, my always-prepared wife, joined me for the first couple of days with a copy of Gwyneth Paltrow’s travel tips for L.A.

Gwyneth (no, we’re not on a first name basis, but “hey”) runs a blog called Goop that shares recipes, travel notes, shopping ideas and wellness tips. And Ursula is a devoted follower. So, whenever we wanted to hit up a good lunch or dinner place we just used Gwyneth’s L.A. hit list as our guide.

The list has some great suggestions and I have made it a habit of visiting the following two places for my coffee and lunch intake.

For morning coffee: 

Joan’s on Third, 8350 W. Third St. (323) 655-2285 www.joansonthird.com

For lunch:

Trails Cafe
, 2333 Fern Dell Dr. (in Griffith Park) 
(323) 871-2102 

I highly recommend the avocado sandwich – best I’ve ever had.

I’ll shed some further insight into this strange land in subsequent posts. But until then, cheers from my “Escape to L.A.”

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