Words + photos by Sage Battad
Location: Los Angeles, California
This past school year was filled with all sorts of craziness, and for that, I was craving the much needed “me-time” to finally relax and unwind. A week after I graduated high school, I took two week-long trips to the sunny Los Angeles, California. Here are some highlights from my trip:
- Exploring LA (Arts District): I got to explore different parts of Los Angeles during the first few days of my stay, such as Downtown, Los Angeles (DTLA) and the hustle and bustle of LA’s Fashion District. Pictured above is a mural located in the Arts District, which is on the eastern edge of DTLA. The Downtown Arts District is the new up-and-coming scene for every kind of artist out there. From the local cafes to the pop-up art showcases, it is a very urban and trendy area for travelers and especially photographers! If you are a Kaka’ako native, you would love this area as the two are very similar.
- Vegan Food (Cafe Gratitude): Now I am a type of person that loves their meats and eats rice like it’s my religion, so trying vegan food was stepping onto very, VERY unfamiliar territory. There is no meat involved AT ALL and everything is raw. After exploring the Downtown Arts District, I was eager to try something at Cafe Gratitude, a nearby restaurant serving strictly organic food. I ordered their version of “spring rolls,” the much more healthier alternative to the original deep-fried dish. Looks wise, very Instagram worthy. Taste wise, not my cup of tea. I NEED MY MEAT. But it’s good to try something new once in awhile!
- Indian Food (Electric Karma): I had also never ate Indian food before, so it was another region of unfamiliar territory. Indian food is quite popular with California locals, so it was definitely a must-try! My Aunty recommended Electric Karma in Beverly Grove, her favorite stop for Indian food. Stepping into the restaurant was like stepping into a different world. The atmosphere and decorations felt very authentic to me, but maybe it’s just because I’m a tourist. There was so much to try, and quite honestly I didn’t even understand the menu. I had help from the waiter to order for me. Unfortunately, I forgot the names of the items ordered, so I can’t give you a great recommendation of what to try, but everything I ate here sure was delicious. I even tried lamb for the first time! Trying Indian food was a much better experience for me than vegan food.
- Santa Monica Pier: 90210 anybody? Or Forrest Gump? Anyone who has ever watched any Hollywood film or television episode will recognize the famous Santa Monica Pier. Besides starring in countless classics, the pier is the hot-spot for both locals and tourists. The beach? Check. Restaurants? Check. A carnival? Check. It’s a triple threat! It’s a great place for a girls-night-out or even a fun date. I recommend seeing the pier at night. I won’t tell you why, just trust me!
- Pasadena (Pasadena City Hall): Pasadena is more famously known for the hosting the Rose Bowl and its Rose Bowl Parade, but the town itself is beautiful. Go to Pasadena City Hall and be amazed by the Spanish architecture, or go to the Gamble House where the Back To The Future series was filmed!
- “Top Of The World”: I spent my one of my last days with a sight of the whole Los Angeles on “Top Of The World,” a secret low-key spot only the locals know. It’s like their version of our Tantalus. Seeing the sunset transition into night was a great way to end my California adventure. If you ever find your way up there, bring something to eat. Nothing is better than eating crispy rice with spicy tuna while watching the sunset!
Immersing myself in a new place was something I needed for the longest time. It was the time that I needed to soul-search and gain new perspectives. With that said, I’ve decided to start a new life in California. And while it’s sad to leave beautiful Hawaii, it’s time to start an exciting adventure in Los Angeles!