Thanks to everyone who reminded me to share this home rental from our recent Los Angeles trip! And if you’re new to Airbnb, here’s my invite code for 15% off your first booking. We’ve had hit or miss rentals before but this was hands down one of our best experiences to date. The host was super responsive and the home was newly renovated, spacious, clean and comfortable for our family to stay in (and did I mention it was decor goals?). I took mental notes and loved that most of the pieces were affordable from World Market (like this stump coffee table) or Ikea.
All 4 bedrooms had a king sized bed, and the host had a baby pack & play and high chair set up for Nori prior to arrival. She even dropped off a box of SK donuts outside the door during our stay! Note this home is located in a residential neighborhood and not a bustling urban area with tourist attractions that you can walk to. We had a rental car so the location wasn’t an issue, and as a bonus for Nori, there were two parks with playgrounds within a 10 min walk!
Where we Ate
The diverse options in LA never disappoint!
1. Korean Hand Cut Noodles
We’ve eaten a lot in LA Koreatown across our visits and have tried most of the popular noodle places, including the good and always packed Hangari Kalguksu. But on this past trip we discovered Sinulang All Kelang (or Sisters Dumpling), and even though it’s not as popular as the other spots it’s one of the best we’ve had! The seafood broths were really flavorful, and the homemade noodles had a great chew to them. Plus, the dumplings were surprisingly good!
2. Han Bat Sul Lung Tang (Korean Bone Broth)
They serve just one thing: oxtail bone soup. It comes with your choice of meat, a bowl of white rice, and kimchee. You season the rich bone broth to taste with salt and add scallions yourself. This was the 1 spot in LA that my mom really wanted to go back to, and it’s pure Asian comfort food for both the older and younger generation.
There’s high chairs, and they made Nori a complimentary little bowl of broth with rice and vermicelli noodle which she slurped down! Side note, I’m not sure how much truth there is to it but several people have suggested beef bone broth for Nick and Nori to help with their eczema.
3. Leo’s Taco Truck
Nick always always always needs his Mexican food fix anytime we’re back in Socal. There are great taco trucks all over LA, and this one happened to be close by. Note: this is not a designy hipster food truck, it’s a well-oiled, cash-only machine in a gas station parking lot. Tacos are small and cheap. The Al Pastor is very good, as are the innards if you are adventurous. Nick thought he’s had better carne asada elsewhere.
4. Grand Central Market
My grandparents actually used to shop at the fruit vendors here back in the day but now it’s mostly all vegan ramen joints and artisanal PB&J sandwich shops. Everything is a bit overpriced but the variety of foods is nice. Nick loves to grab coffee here in the mornings and a beer on his afternoon strolls with Nori, and then a carnitas taco for a pre-dinner snack (be warned it’s easy to fill up here because they give such generous taco samples!).
4. Sari Sari Store (Grand Central Market)
This Filipino food stall should maybe just be called the Buko Pie Store because no LA trip of ours is complete without grabbing a slice (or three). Maybe the best pie crust I’ve ever had, combined with decadent coconut filling. While we were there, two Filipina aunties were eating pie slices at the counter and then ordered more slices to-go before they were done. Their halo halo shaved ice also looks amazing, but we haven’t managed to save enough room in our bellies to try it yet!
5. The Grove
This outdoor mall has nice and spacious family friendly spaces, and easy parking validation at Nordstrom. I imagine it can get busy and touristy during peak times. We were finally able to try the famous cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery (thought the DKA pastry was better, though). We also ventured over to the adjacent Original Farmers Market, which isn’t much of an actual farmers market anymore but a collection of food stalls and shops. Our families tried food from a bunch of places and everything was just okay, to be honest. In particular we waited in line for Brazilian BBQ at Pampas Grill but all the meats we got were so tough/dry they were inedible – maybe we went on an off day.
6. Dulci’s Korean Bakery
We love Asian bakeries but wanted to try a mom and pop shop in K-Town as opposed to the ubiquitous 85C and Paris Baguette. This little place definitely held its own. Nick and I both agree: best red bean sesame ball we’d ever had, and I’m not usually a fan of this Asian sweet. They also had nice, chewy sugared donuts and fluffy white bread filled with either savory sandwich fillings or sweet butter cream.
7. Pine & Crane
Last but certainly not least – we usually take my grandparents to Din Tai Fun for an upscale Chinese meal, but we finally decided to try this busy Silver Lake counter-service restaurant that has a more farm-to-table approach to traditional Taiwanese dishes. The beef roll was very good, and we actually preferred the Zha Jiang noodles over their popular Dan Dan Noodles. The staff and service were great and accommodating for our large group with both baby and elderly. We stopped by lovely Echo Lake Park on the way back to downtown to walk off the dumplings and watched the swan boats!
Click here for my Los Angeles food diary from our previous visit!