I woke up at 6AM, suffering from jet-lag. I was staying in Ginger Rogers’s old house in Beverly Hills, that overlooked LA. The walls surrounding the tennis court were covered in a mural of people watching a match. I had 12 hours in LA and I didn’t have any time to dilly-dally. I had a list of thrift stores and addresses that I had researched before my trip, and was ready to sift through racks of grandma’s clothes. My mother and I organized the stores by area and set off. We started off at the Goodwill, the un-curated consignment shop untouched by the people of LA. It was unlike my Salvation Army in Brooklyn. It wasn’t organized and there were no price tags on the garments. There was more than one skirt in the men’s section. I still managed to find a few good pieces. I bought a vintage red jacket for five dollars, my kind of price. We moved on to the Council Thrift, which was smaller than the Goodwill and was filled with Grandma Edith’s old sweaters and heels. I bought a black ski sweater with white nordic patterns on it for eight dollars. After that tour, My mother and I jumped in the car leaving the consignment shops behind us.
We were off, ready to be awed by the beautifully curated vintage clothes of LA. We went to the Way We Wore. The store is organized by decade. I was looking for a dress, which ranged from the 20’s loose waisted shifts, to minis with bright patterns from the 60s. The store was majestic. The sales woman led me through the racks of historical art pieces. They somehow knew just what I was looking for and pulled out a beautiful silk dress, which, when I tried it on, fit like a glove. The fabric knew just where to hug me and just where to fall. It was five-hundred something dollars–way out of my price range. I left my long lost love behind, hoping that someone would appreciate it the way I did one day. Although the prices are insane, The Way We Wore is worth experiencing, just to fawn over the original pieces.
Thrifting is a tiring past-time and I was in need for a pick me up. I went to the famous In and Out Burger on Sunset Boulevard. I was curious to see what the fuss was about and skeptical that it would be as good as people say. My brother Dante swears by this burger. As I entered, the sweet smell of freshly baked buns and burgers filled the air The lettuce, tomato, and onion are fresh and crispy, a real improvement from the one lettuce leaf, and razor think slice of tomato you get at Shake Shack. The prices kick the Shack’s ass; an In and Out single burger costs $2.20 and a Shack Burger costs $4.60, not including tax. But not even a freshly baked bun can beat the Martin’s potato bun fried in butter that Shake Shack uses. I can’t say which is better. But don’t miss the In and Out Burger if you find yourself in LA.
I can’t write about the burgers of California without talking about the tacos of East LA. I went to a place called Guisados in Echo Park, and the tacos were mind-blowing. I got the sampler of six baby tacos with two variations of chicken, pork, and beef. I couldn’t tell which taco was which, so each one was a surprise in itself. Each taco featured with a well seasoned, generous dollop of stewed meat. My favorite was the Chicken Mole Poblano, with it’s rich sauce and dusting of queso blanco. My least favorite was the Chicharron, which was basically stewed pork fat. Each taco had a rich depth of flavor. The handmade tortillas underneath, and the crowning of fresh avocado on top, definitely made them that much better. I washed it all down with an overly sweetened hibiscus ice tea. The people who work there are so friendly and nice, we felt right at home.