the sparkly life: Here's How I Spent 36 Hours in Los Angeles

Friday, July 27, 2018

Here's How I Spent 36 Hours in Los Angeles

alyssa hertzig
the jeremy west hollywood
the jeremy west hollywood
The Jeremy at night
My days are typically filled with school dropoff, errands, vet visits, and logging hours in front of the computer. But this week, I had the coolest experience and wanted to share it with you guys! Garnier invited me and a handful of other beauty editors to fly to L.A. to have a facial with their celebrity esthetician Shani DardenIt was a whirlwind--I was basically there for 36 hours!--but I made the most of it. Here's what I did. 

First, we stayed at The Jeremy, a new hotel in West Hollywood, which I really liked and recommend if you're going to be heading out there. The location--on Sunset Boulevard at La Cienega--was fantastic. You can walk to lots of great shopping, restaurants, bars, and it's a short $5 Uber ride to other cool areas like Melrose or 3rd street. They have a rooftop pool (FYI, it's gorgeous, but small--not very many chairs), and a great casual coffee shop/restaurant off the lobby. (I recommend the Hollywood Market salad if you eat there. So fresh, healthy, and delish!)

orange wine

orange wine
At The Eveleigh, from left: Gwen Flamberg of Us Weekly, April Long of Glamour, Erica Metzger of Better Homes and Gardens, and moi

Speaking of food, I ate so much and so well. Night one, we ate at The Eveleigh, which was amazing. The food was delicious and the restaurant itself was beautiful. (It also had this cool retractable roof, so it totally felt like you were eating outside.) We ordered nearly everything on the menu to share (and I'm not exaggerating). Everything I ate was awesome, but my very favorites were the ricotta and stone fruit salad and Sunday sauce pasta. I also discovered the joys of orange wine there! Have you guys had it? It's very summery and refreshing, so kind of like rose, but with a little more depth. So yummy!


best mexican food los angeles
Our spread at Tocaya Organica

Day two, we ate lunch at Tocaya Organica, which I am now obsessed with. (In particular, I'm obsessed with trying to find a way to bring one of these to NYC! We have nothing like it.) It's a chain of beautiful "fast casual" Mexican restaurants with incredible tacos, salads, sides, etc, all made with organic, very fresh ingredients. It's surprisingly affordable ($10 gets you two tacos, two huge sides, and one of their fun homemade drinks like watermelon limeade). My favorites were the chips and salsa, the carne asada Cali Green taco, and the Mexican street corn. But it was all amazing. 


best italian food los angeles
The spicy fusilli at Jon & Vinny's. (Disclosure: This is actually the only photo here that's not mine. I'm not kidding when I say that we were so busy stuffing our faces there that I completely forgot to take pictures. This one's by @racheldeckerr.)

Day three dinner was the very best of the whole trip. We ate at Jon and Vinny's, a tiny Italian hotspot in the Fairfax district. Truth be told, I wasn't that excited about doing Italian (it didn't seem very "Cali" and we certainly have no shortage of great Italian in NYC and Hoboken), but it ended up blowing me away. Once again, we ordered like crazy people and got way too much, but it was all out of this world. Truly some of the best Italian food I have ever eaten! 

It feels impossible to pick favorite dishes here, but if I had to, I'm going to say the bruschetta with ricotta and orange honey (drool), the caprese salad (there were like five different types of tomatoes in it--heaven!), the gem lettuce salad (this was possibly the second best salad I have ever eaten in my life), the shaved zucchini and arugula salad (and this might have been the very best one!), Little Nats pepperoni pizza (yep. again, one of the best pepperoni pizzas I've ever had), the spicy fusilli with vodka sauce (this is amazing and is one of their most famous dishes, but just FYI: it's not at all spicy!), and the polenta with six-hour bolognese. And to top it all off, they have soft serve ice cream for dessert! I got the chocolate-vanilla twist and it was sooo good. Honestly, this restaurant was absolutely incredible. If you are in L.A., GO.

alyssa hertzig
With superstar facialist Shani Darden
And while the food was great, the absolute highlight of my trip was my facial with Shani Darden. I'm honestly not typically a facial person (basically I rarely feel like they do anything and if I'm going to a spa, I'd always rather get a massage), but this one completely changed my mind--and my skin! Shani typically (literally) only sees celebrities (think Chrissy Teigen, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, her actual BFF Jessica Alba, and Emmy Rossum, who walked in right after I left!). She works out of this adorable, very private Spanish-style bungalow on an unassuming street in Hollywood. The living room is the waiting room, what would have been the master bedroom is the treatment room--it was the cutest. 

And the facial itself was incredible! Shani customizes every treatment for the individual client with a bunch of machines (for me it was vibration therapy, microcurrent, and red and blue LED lights), thorough extractions, masks, and more. My skin was blindingly glowing when I left, and it felt plumper and more hydrated than it ever has in my life. (I've been wondering ever since if I've been walking around in a perpetual state of dehydration, because my skin just does not feel that plump and juicy and good normally!). Shani even texted me the next day to check up on my skin and offer a few product recommendations. I wish I could see her again, but unfortunately, I'm probably going to have to become an A-list star to make that happen! (Shani only sees her existing group of celeb clients. The other editors and I were very lucky, temporary exceptions!)

drybar
miniluxe
The nail polish display at Miniluxe
The rest of my time was spent window-shopping (Fred Segal, Melrose Place, etc), getting a blowout at Drybar West Hollywood (I mean, obvs, right?), and getting a manicure at Miniluxe, a super cute (and crazy clean) salon on Sunset. Inspired by the perfect L.A. weather, I went with sunny yellow nails that felt so right in California...and now feel a little off here in Jersey!

Oh well. Guess I'll just have to go back soon. ;)

This trip was short, but seriously amazing. Big thanks to Garnier (Kylie, Donna, and Ali--mwah!) and Shani for having me. Little something you might not know about me: I have a long history/love affair with Los Angeles. My dad grew up there, so when I was a kid, we would go every year to visit my grandparents. And I always dreamt of living there! I finally moved to L.A. in my early 20s and lived there for two years. I left to go to grad school, always intending to come back, but then I moved to New York, met my husband, and the rest is history. But this trip rekindled my love for L.A. I truly love and miss it so much, so it was almost emotional to be back there. I'd move there in a second if we could!

The good news: I'm actually heading back to L.A. in about two weeks with my family! More on that soon. ;)


5 comments:

Unknown said...

Such an awesome trip! Makes me want to go back to Cali!

Cheers!

Tessa Cadena said...

This looks like such an awesome trip! The food, the places, all of it. Great post! I feel like I was with you and want to visit all at once haha!

Unknown said...

Looks like an amazing girls trip. We need time away to get recharged. So fun.

Chelsae and Eric Lund said...

I have never been to the west coast but it is on my list! This looks like a great trip and the food and drinks look spectacular.

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