Walking(!) around LA

I got into LAX at 10am and was left to my own devices while my friends were at work. I decided to go to Downtown LA in the hopes that it was somewhat walkable. It was very walkable and I got to see a lot of cool stuff and ate some really delicious food while I was there.

To get from LAX to downtown, there’s a superconvenient flyaway bus that costs $9 and drops off at Union Station; it stops at every terminal so just look for the bus sign when walking out. I was headed to the OC on Amtrak later in the evening so I conveniently left my luggage at the Amtrak luggage check for $4 per piece. It’s for ticketed passagers only but you can buy a ticket for $8 so it’s still a pretty good deal if you decide not to use the ticket.


Unencumbered of luggage, I made my way to Little Tokyo from Union Station by foot. Many drivers passed by me incredulously and some even offered to give me a lift. Who knew that using my legs to get around would be such a novelty!

Once I got to Little Tokyo, I put my name down for lunch at Sushi Gen. The wait was about 20 minutes so I walked over to Dulce to get myself a sweet treat (Life is short, eat dessert first!). They have lots of tasty buns here but they are known for their delicious donut holes. I got one topped with fruity pebbles which made me nostalgic for my childhood.

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tasty, tasty donut hole from Dulce

My next stop was Nijiya Market to get some green tea Kit-Kats (Japan gets way more and way cooler Kit-Kat flavors than we do; see the NYT article here) before going back to Sushi Gen for my delicious sushi lunch. Sushi Gen is a little factory-like in its execution but you get really good quality sushi for $17. The sushi deluxe featured fatty tuna, yellowtail, squid, shrimp and tamago.

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Sushi Deluxe at Sushi Gen

I was super full after that lunch so I decided to walk around downtown a bit. Sadly I was too full to eat anything at Grand Central Market but it was a great place to people watch and check out all the taco stalls amidst the trendy stalls such as eggslut. The Last Bookstore is about a block away from the market and totally worth walking around if you love books or records. The space is very large and there are cool nooks and crannies like a book tunnel and a vault.

The Last Bookstore | Los Angeles
the last bookstore (1)

It was getting a little hot so I walked over to the Children’s Amphitheatre at the Walt Disney Concert Hall to take a short break (take the stairs to the left of the main before walking in to get here). If you walk a couple of steps further, you’ll get to the Blue Ribbon Garden, which has a peaceful assortment of trees and plants. If you’re here in the summer, be sure to go and check out the organ inside the Concert Hall, which is crazy beautiful.

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Walt Disney Concert Hall (2)

My next stop was the entirely free Broad Museum. I didn’t plan ahead so I had to wait in line for about 20 minutes to enter but you can skip the line and reserve a spot here. The design of this building is pretty neat. The escalator ride to the top floor feels like you are going through a tunnel. The exhibits here are not too overwhelming and it’s a lovely space to walk around and enjoy for a couple of hours.

 

Takashi Murakami at the Broad Museum, Los Angeles.
the Murakami exhibit at the Broad Museum (3)

 

Just before boarding my train, I stopped at Daikokuya for a small ramen bowl. I know, I’m a pig. The half-size ramen came with perfectly buttery kurobuta pork and springy noodles. Service was quick and efficient, allowing me plenty of time to board my train to the OC, where I continued eating my weight in food…

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porkalicious ramen at Daikokuya

 


(1)by chris.alcoran under creative commons
(2)by Omar Barcena under creative commons
(3)by Kathy Drasky under creative commons
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