Los Angeles, United States
Ariana, 29
Restaurant Consultant
see her Los Angeles city guide

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hidden bars brewery swimming pools hole in the wall wine bar

What do you do and why do you do it?

I help restaurants get their ordering and marketing online and consult on growing their brand and revenue. I love helping small businesses flourish, especially when food is involved!!

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Moody, wintery-sounding guitar stuff like Ben Howard, early Bon Iver and John Mayer.

What are the best TV shows of all time?

Archer and Veep

Name some spots in Los Angeles that are good for a Tinder date.

Block Party in Highland Park for super casual but cool outdoor drinking and games.

Who’s your hero and where in Los Angeles would you take them out for a serious hang?

I think Michelle Obama and I should do a morning hike at Runyon Canyon and then hit up bottomless rosé brunch.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

80% of what I'm wearing at any point comes from the fancy thrift stores like Wasteland and Crossroads. These are chains, of course, but the localized pickings in LA are incredible because you get all the new-with-tags castoffs from rich Beverly Hills kids and designer sample sale items that didn't fit.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

The Bungalow on a Saturday. So basic.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

Go to the beach! It's too brisk in the winter, too touristy in the summer, and even a short drive is too much of a drive for the weekend. But if I can wrangle a weekday off and head over, there's hands down nothing that beats that perfect Californian moment.

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Los Angeles and where did you get it?

The breakfast burrito from The Rooster foodtruck. It has all the things one would normally expect in a burrito, plus the addition of a side of tater tots, all rolled up within. It keeps you fed for days.

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Los Angeles that you particularly like?

Break Room 86, where you wait by a hotel loading dock for a guide to come show you the way through the service hallways and through a secret door--inside is an 80's themed, MTV-esque dancefloor. Their cover band does an EPIC "Purple Rain," and there are also karaoke rooms for rent if you're feeling really inspired by all the throwback jams.

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Los Angeles? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

Nobu in West Hollywood for a chef's tasting of all these tiny sushi and sashimi plates, washed down with champagne. I did not look at the bill.

What restaurant in Los Angeles looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

Los Angeles is a city of great restaurants in unassuming places, and nowhere is this more true than the unmarked restaurant Mh Zh. It occupies the space of a takeout counter inside, but spills out onto the sidewalk with wobbly tables and milkcrate seats. The Mediterranean menu, handwritten on the back of a grease-stained brown paper bag, has maybe 10 things on it depending on what's in season, but all of them are worth traveling across the city for.

Where can you get the best cocktail in Los Angeles? Which one do you like?

At The Edison, a subterranean vintagey lounge housed in an old electricity plant, flapper girls will rove the dance floor with trays or carts of tiny bottled cocktails for sale. The one with absinthe is a necessity.

Where would you take your partner in Los Angeles if you wanted to really pamper them?

Animal, the very carnivore-centric restaurant that keeps getting rated Best in LA.

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

It may be an obvious one, but In-N-Out is the first thing I'll have after coming back home from a trip. Say "Double double animal-style" when ordering and see what happens.

What’s the one place you think is overrated in Los Angeles?

Don't go ANYWHERE near Hollywood Boulevard. It's horrendous.

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Los Angeles?

The neighborhoods just above the Hollywood Hills. Technically this is "The Valley" which has an outdated rep that's hard to shake, but there's a fantastic food and bar scene in Studio City that skips the prices and lines of anywhere downtown.

What are the Los Angeles spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

The Getty Museum, especially if you can time it for sunset on the terrace overlooking all of LA to the ocean, and Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice for windowshopping and peoplewatching.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Los Angeles. How do you spend it?

I've never actually made it up to the Hollywood sign, so I would finally do the proper all-day hike to get there.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Georgetown, on Penang Island in Malaysia. As far as I'm concerned it's the street food capital of Asia, and I spent a week eating only from vendor carts on the sidewalk and had the best food of my life, for never more than $2 a meal.

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