As y’all know by now, I’m a resident of New York City and can’t really purport to be an expert of the West Coast. That’s why when I head out there I always am sure to get input from my friends who live out there. As you know, while I like hitting the must-see areas and attractions, I also enjoy (probably more so) visiting those spots that only the “in-the-know” locals know about. So I checked in with Sarah Carrillo Riswick who told me about an area I had never even heard of–the Miracle Mile.
If you’re visiting Los Angeles, you’ve probably already researched places to explore by the beach in Santa Monica or Venice, found some new bars in downtown to check out or picked out the Hollywood or Beverly Hills hotspots you’ve got to visit, but Sarah clued me into a neighborhood I wouldn’t have otherwise considered, the Miracle Mile. Located right in the center of Los Angeles, it’s a small area with plenty going on. Here are her picks for a romantic day in the heart of LA.
If it’s a nice day outside, head to The Roof of The Hotel Wilshire. First reason, the amazing view of the city (remember, you’re right in the center of it all). Two, the delicious food from chef Eric Greenspan. The brunch menu is divided into “The Lean” if you’re feeling virtuous, or “The Mean” if you want to splurge. Personally I think the Orange Brandy French Toast is worth going mean.
Tucked above Privé Salon on Beverly Blvd., Ona Spa feels like you’ve entered another world. The Asian décor and tranquil atmosphere will make you completely forget you’re in busy LA. Ona will let couples do any of their signature massages or body treatments side by side and if you ask in advance you can also take advantage of their outdoor shower (bet you didn’t expect that in the middle of a busy city!).
Time for a little culture, and yes, LA does have some. Spend an afternoon wandering around the galleries at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), or if you’re feeling a bit lazy after your massage you can relax on the grass behind the museum. Don’t forget to snap a few photos together in the Urban Light exhibit outside (that would be the hundreds of lampposts out front, you can’t miss it). When you’ve had your fill of art, cozy up to Stark Bar outside for one of their signature cocktails, which are basically drinkable works of art themselves. I’d tell you my favorite, but every drink I have there seems to become my “new favorite,” so you really can’t go wrong.
It’s been called the “best romantic restaurant” in LA and for good reason. The Little Door is a quiet, low-key oasis with tucked away tables, a magical outdoor patio and Mediterranean cuisine that’s exquisite. You can easily while away an evening here cuddled in a booth with a bottle of wine.
When you see the shabby-chic décor and precious antique china plates and cups Milk Jar uses to serve it’s goodies you’ll begin to understand why I love this place. But it’s when you bite into one of their soft, fresh-from-the-oven cookies and follow it with a little gourmet ice cream that you’ll really start to get it. This tiny little storefront is an adorable place to finish a romantic day together, although you may want to get double cookies and ice cream so you don’t end your night with a fight over who gets the last bite!
A huge thank you to Sarah Carrillo Riswick for her amazing tips! I now cannot wait for my trip to LA! Sarah is the editor of Destination42.com, a website dedicated to honeymoons and destination weddings. In addition to poring over photos of gorgeous weddings, she enjoys traveling the world in search of the perfect beach and the perfect margarita. She’s pretty sure she’s found both, but it never hurts to keep checking …
Katie is a luxury lifestyle expert. She runs luxury lifestyle sites, KatieLara.com and Smartypanties.com. But she's not only a luxury lifestyle blogger, she's also a freelance writer for The Huffington Post, Fodor's, Forbes, Pursuitist, Just Luxe and She Knows. She's also a professional photographer and her photos often appear alongside her writing.