On a day-trip venture, my friend an I drove to East Hollywood for a trial run of Sqirl, a cafe noted for their jams, jellies, and preserves made from the produce of local farmers...and also for just good breakfast and lunch fare in general. There was a line out the door when we arrived, a sign of a good place. Although you might wait a while to place your order, might have to aggressively stake your claim on a seat, and may wait a bit longer yet for your food to be delivered...it's well worth it all, so despair not. The seemingly more popular items, and those we'd recommend highly, include: Brioche with jam of your choice (bread is thick, moist, with just the right amount of sweetness...you need a fork and knife for this one), the kokuho rose brown rice bowl (sorrel pesto, french sheep feta, black radish, hot sauce, lemon, poached egg), khabbouleh kale (with cauliflower, sumac, currants, aleppo pepper), and hot tea (served in a glass vase with a white porcelain cup).
Next, we set off to The Last Bookstore. Located inside an elaborate-looking building, you'd almost miss it if you weren't looking for it. Hidden inside is bibliophile wonderland: shelves for every genre imaginable, shelves for days and an upstairs complete with a labyrinth of books, shelves color-coded by book-sleeve hue, a tunnel of books, themed-book rooms, and the smell of musty pages and dust all about.
I could have stayed there for several lifetimes. Our favorite spot was this forgotten nook upstairs, next to some long-gone-unclean windows. We sat there in silence for a while, lulled by the sound of muted city-sounds below us.
We walked a few blocks down to the Grand Central Market, wishing we weren't still full from lunch because there was quite a selection to chose from. After pursuing produce and considering consumption options, we headed back to our car (there are several lots for $5 for all-day parking). As we enjoyed some glimpses of historic architecture on the way, we marveled how or half-day in LA felt much more like traveling to Portland, New York City, and Seattle in one fell swoop...a novel travel indeed.
Day trip well spent and enjoyed.