Travel | Los Angeles, CA: Eats + Stay

Monday, February 5, 2018

"This chapter of my life is called happiness."

2018 is here and I am ready to fully manifest my dreams into reality. For the majority of my adult life, one of my goals has been to travel as much as possible. I love going to new places, seeing new things, trying new food, and having new experiences. Luckily, my opportunities for travel have been increasing over the last few years and I anticipate quite a bit of frequent travel in 2018. 

In January, I visited LA for a whirlwind 30 hour trip. I love LA so much, even if it's for a super short trip. Below is my recount of the food I enjoyed and place I stayed. 

Eats

Eko Eats | When my flight arrived at LAX, it was about 4:30 PST, or 7:30 EST. Considering the fact that my normal dinner time is 5:15 EST, my first thought was that I needed to get food into my belly as soon as possible. Luckily, I had a game plan based on my amazing experience last year with Eko Eats via Uber Eats. When I was about five to ten minutes away from the hotel, I ordered Eko Eats via Uber Eats while still in a taxi. Once I arrived, I checked in, went up to my room, and waited for about 10 minutes before receiving a call from the delivery guy that he was waiting in the lobby with my food. Talk about service! 

Just as last year, I ordered the vegan bibimbap, which is a Korean rice bowl with tons of veggies including kale, zucchini, bean sprouts, shitake mushrooms, lotus roots, burdock, seasoned crispy seaweed, sesame seeds, and a side of kochujang (Korean pepper paste). I also opted for a side of their vegan potato salad, which has apple slivers and is very flavorful. Both dishes were delicious.

Although Eko Eats is not exclusively vegan, they have a ton of vegan and gluten-free items, which are clearly indicated on the menu. Not only is their food delicious, but it is definitely on the healthy side. I always appreciate when brown rice available (which was the base of my bibimbap bowl), especially since many Asian restaurants only offer white rice. Additionally, their delivery is simply superb. In a city that is plagued by tons of traffic, it is nice to have a restaurant with fast delivery you can depend on when you are super hungry.

10/10


Azla | I was a bit taken aback when I arrived at Azla. I had expected it to be a restaurant but it is actually located in a stand alone building with a food court. I was hesitant at first to stay, but decided to leave my comfort zone even more and give this place a shot. I am so glad that I did.

Azla is 100% vegan and gluten-free (and healthy!) Ethiopian food. Ethiopian food is a something I have always wanted to try, but have never gotten the opportunity. Although there are Ethiopian restaurants in Philly, the majority are located in West Philly, which is not an area I frequent.

Once I got to the counter, I alerted the server that I was new to Ethiopian food and wanted to try as many options as possible. She suggested I get six half servings, for the price of three servings. I chose a variety of dishes/stews: misir (red lentils and spicy berbere), kik (curry split peas), yatakilt (curry potatoes, carrots, and cabbage), gomen (kale, collards, and garlic), spicy sweet potato (sweet potato and berbere), and kale salad (with pickled onion, curry chickpeas, and dates). My plate also came with a side of injera bread. This entire plate was only $9.95, which is definitely inexpensive for healthy vegan food in LA and perfect if you are on a budget.

I cannot emphasize how much I enjoyed this meal. Three of the dishes were especially spicy, but spicy in a way that didn't overpower the other flavors. I appreciated the juxtaposition of the various flavors and textures, and savored every bite. I also loved the injera, which is a spongy bread that you are supposed to use to scoop up the various stews, rather than use traditional utensils. However, I still used utensils since I was at an expo all day, touching products and shaking people's hands.

After eating at Azla, I was definitely bitten with the Ethiopian food bug and will definitely be on the lookout for more Ethiopian restaurants to experience.

10/10

Stay
Luxe City Center Hotel | This hotel is located across from the Staples Center and Downtown LA City Center. It's a wonderful location if you want to be in the thick of the action or have tickets to an event that is located in this center. The hotel is clean with friendly staff. Upon check in, you are given a 16oz water bottle. There is also a small store in the lobby that sells water, snacks, etc. as well. A new to me experience was that you can only access the elevator with your room key. I appreciate this extra level of safety.

Although my room was small, the bathroom was comfortable with a beautifully tiled glass shower. I typically love taking baths when traveling (I know, I'm weird), but I did not miss my bath experience at all. This shower was so luxurious, I could have stood in it forever. I also appreciated that the shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and soap offered was from a cruelty-free company.

In the morning, free coffee was offered in the lobby and there was also a glass water container infused with fruit available all day. The hotel kindly held my bag during the day since I only stayed one night and was going to be at an expo the following day. When I arrived back at the hotel, my bag was promptly returned to me. I was also extremely thirsty and definitely took advantage of the fruit-infused water.

There are two issues I had regarding the Luxe Hotel and my otherwise lovely experience. First, the valet parking is $45 per night. If you do not have a car, this expense will not be an issue. However, I had a friend visit me the night I arrived and was surprised by the high price. Second, in the middle of the night, the maintenance workers were making a ton of noise in the hallway. It sounded like high-powered suction, which kept waking me up over the course of a couple hours.

7/10

1 comments:

  1. Ohh that Ethiopian food is making my mouth water...

    ReplyDelete

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