ask Rae Ann about
beach club • museums • boutiques • beaches • canal • picnic spots • live music bar
What do you do and why do you do it?
I'm a multimedia journalist interested in travel, food, tech, dogs, avocados, cars, the ocean, sleep, and basically all else blessed by my millennial generation.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
Feel good songs with dance beats to get me up and moving, songs that I enjoy singing along to, and amped up hip hop and rap about being on top of your game. Oh, and I'd definitely throw in some podcasts! Preferably comedy podcasts because laughing is great medicine, and #GirlBoss, news, and tech podcasts because it feels good to be inspired.
What are the best TV shows of all time?
I'm a sucker for shows that make me laugh. Seinfeld, the "show about nothing" is definitely one the best comedy shows of all time and I know that for a fact because it's a show my parents love, I love, and many of my international friends love (and apparently use to learn English). Then, there's Broad City. As exaggerated as the show may seem, it can be super relatable! I'm also a big animation fan. Big ups to Bob's Burgers and Adventure Time.
Name some spots in Los Angeles that are good for a Tinder date.
The Bungalow along Santa Monica's Ocean Avenue, Finn McCools in Santa Monica's Main Street, Cliff's Edge on Sunset Blvd, James' Beach in Venice, Nighthawk in Venice, and basically anywhere along the Pacific Coast.
Who’s your hero and where in Los Angeles would you take them out for a serious hang?
This probably sounds so cliche, but my parents are my biggest heroes haha. I'd most likely take them to any of LA's best museums like the Broad, LACMA, or Getty. Museums are great bonding places!
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
I love shopping areas that have unique vibes. Fairfax Avenue for example is a street I've been going to since I was a kid and its transformed into an international street style mecca! Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade has a lot of the common shops you'd find in any mall, but its outdoor location by the beach is what makes it special, along with great food options and people watching opportunities! Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice Beach has this modern bohemian beach vibe going on with cute boutiques, eateries, and cafes. And then there's DTLA where its Arts District has been going through a trendy rebirth.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Walking the Hollywood Walk of Fame... It's one of those things you do once, and don't really need to do again. There are many other fun things to do in Hollywood though!
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Camping! Believe it or not, but Los Angeles does have pretty camping spots!
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Los Angeles and where did you get it?
Not necessarily extreme, but others may find it to be! I've taken some friends out for Filipino street food before where you pick up your own skewers of things like battered quail eggs, chicken feet, chicken intestines, balut (bird embryo), pork blood, etc... Those are the more extreme items, but there are of course more palatable items like turon (banana egg roll), barbecue chicken, veggie spring rolls, and fish balls. What's fun is that after paying, you bring your skewers to one of the many grills and grill them yourself.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Los Angeles that you particularly like?
Dwit Gol Mok (or DGM)! It's like being transported to a back-alley bar in South Korea. The walls are covered in graffiti, the noise is loud, the drinks are cheap, and the snacks are authentically Korean.
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 Malibu, as heard in rap lyrics by Drake, Kanye, and Future, is a fun place to go to if you want to class it up. Dishes range above $25 with their omakase menu going from $100 to $200. I'm such a sucker for sashimi so of course, I got their tuna sashimi salad with matsuhisa dressing which was $28. You'll want to splurge on their dessert menu as well! I got the Kamameshi halo halo out of excitement that they had halo halo on the menu. It was definitely a classier version of the common halo halo you find in Filipino eateries, but I thought it was great. The menu prices it at $16 which is like getting maybe 4 normal ones.
What restaurant in Los Angeles looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
Swadesh is a small Bangladeshi market that serves food in the back. It's a popular place for taxi drivers and isn't a restaurant that would immediately catch your eye, but their fish curries are delicious! Anthony Bourdain seemed to like it too.
Where would you take your partner in Los Angeles if you wanted to really pamper them?
Bungalow & Breakfast along the Venice Beach Canals.
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
Not necessarily a snack (unless you want it to be), and you can only really find it in California and a few other lucky states, but In-N-Out!
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Los Angeles?
Hollywood Blvd's Walk of Fame. It's one of those been-there-done-that places.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in Los Angeles?
Sawtelle Blvd aka Japantown, hands down. It's a popular spot for locals, but it's rarely on a tourist's itinerary and I don't think I mind letting people know about it.
What are the Los Angeles spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Definitely Santa Monica. No visit is complete without a visit to the beach and Santa Monica is great for first time visitors because of its views, food options, people watching opportunities, outdoor activities, etc. It's also a metro ride to another first-time visitor must, Downtown Los Angeles. DTLA is great for experiencing other cultures from Chinatown, to Little Tokyo, and Olvera Street. It's also home to a great art's district.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Los Angeles. How do you spend it?
A sunrise hike at any of LA's best hiking spots with my dog, breakfast at the Butcher's Daughter, couple of hours at a few of LA's museums, a stop at 365 to curate a late lunch picnic at Palisade's Park, skating along the beach until sunset, ramen or udon dinner at Sawtelle, a late night view of the city from any of Hollywood's hill tops or from the Griffith Observatory.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Currently? It's a tie between Siargao and Paris. So different from each other, I know. Siargao because it's a laid back beach/surf town full of ocean lovers both local and international. Paris, especially around the 4th Arrondissement, because I love a good walkable city full of great food, great cafes, and art!