Got some time on your hand? Why not explore locally?
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
TIME DURATION: 7.5 hours
TRANSPORTATION MODE: Metro system
OVERALL: Exploring LA made simple using through the Metro system
So on Thursday, my friend and I decided to go on a Los Angeles Day Trip. Knowing that traffic and parking are problematic in the city, we decided to take the convenience of the metro. Here are some places we went to, and I hope that they will bring you some ideas and point of interests as you travel to L.A.
10:30 A.M.: SIERRA MADRE VILLA STATION
On board the Gold Line from Sierra Madre Villa Station. The Day Pass cost $7, which is a steal since you are able to hop onto any metro services. You will need to buy the tap (transit access pass) card at the TVM (ticket vending machine) for $1.
11:00 A.M.: UNION STATION
You will arrive at the Union Station aka the center of all Metro services. Here you can get onto Amtrack, light rail services, and bus services. I suggest you take a look around this main railway station as it is filled with many historical features.
After looking around, follow signs for the Red/Purple Line (there are 2 entrances). The Red/Purple Line is a bit different from the Gold Line since it is a heavy rail subway, and there is not much to see out of those windows. If you prefer to see the streets of L.A., taking the bus would be a better option.
Head down the escalator and onboard the Red line towards North Hollywood.
11:45 A.M.: GRAND CENTRAL MARKET
It takes about 6-7 minutes to get to Pershing Square Station. From there walk to Grand Central Market. My friend and I headed to the Market for lunch.
Hearing so much great praises and seeing over 1,000 reviews, we went ahead and gave Eggslut a try. Waiting in line for 30 mins (which is not too long compared to the 1 hour waits other people experienced), I got to try Eggslut’s Fairfax. As I stood in line, my friend kindly went to look for a spot to sit (because there is limited seating!)
FAIRFAX: This $7 of goodness was delicious. It truly did uphold the hype it created. It contains “soft scrambled eggs and chives, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and Sriracha mayo in a warm brioche bun”. The brioche bun was soft and fresh. The ingredients simply just melts in your mouth with every single bite! It was amazing. You just have to go try it out yourself. SERIOUSLY. You will not be disappointed.
1:00 P.M.: BRADBURY BUILDING
After devouring (ok..maybe not like that crazy) the sandwich enjoyably, we went across the street to check out the famous Bradbury Building. This historical landmark is one of the oldest building located in the city’s center. You can read more of its history on the spot. It has also been used in many works of fiction and has been the site of many movie and television shoots and music videos. Have you see 500 Days with Summer? Well this Victorian-inspired building was used in the movie!
1:30 P.M.: CITY HALL
We head towards City Hall’s observatory deck. After passing through security we went went to the 27th floor to get a 360 degree look of downtown L.A. This floor contains a hall of past mayors. There is also descriptions of each mayor’s background and accomplishments. It was pretty nice exploring L.A.’s history.
City Hall is a great place to read about the important people who help make the Los Angeles the way it is now today, while providing a spectacular view. It’s okay if you don’t know what buildings are what…each angle of the deck has a plaque that labels each building you see. So no worries!
3:00 P.M.: LITTLE TOKYO
After resting for a bit at the City Hall, we went to Little Tokyo, which is about a 5 minute walk. There are many boutique shops and cafes.
We stopped at the infamous Mikayawa for their mochi ice cream for our “mini break”. They have lots of different flavors and quite a few menu options (mochi ice cream, mochilato, ice cream, etc). My friend ordered the mango and raspberry mochi, while I got the pistachio (because it’s green…it reminded me of green tea ice cream…yumm…okay not relevant)
PISTACHIO MOCHI ICE CREAM: For $1.55 each, it may sound a bit pricey for this small mochi…but I assure you it’s worth it (at least once). It has such a good texture to it and good flavor! If you are in Little Tokyo, you must try their mochi or mochilato.
3:30 P.M.: MUSICIANS
We headed back to the Gold Line (right across the street from the Plaza) to catch the Purple Line at Union Station. From the Purple Line (heading to Wilshire/Normandie), we went straight to Koreatown.
4:20 P.M.: KOREATOWN
We accidentally went a stop farther then we should have gone and got off of Wilshire/Western. Luckily, we caught Bus 18 (heading to Montebello Station) without any wait time. We got off of 6th/Alexandria, which is right in front of City Center on 6th. Our destination, EMC Seafood & Raw Bar, is conveniently located right inside this center. Since we made it to their happy hour, we were able to get their oyster special ($1/each)!
EMC SEAFOOD & RAW BAR’S OYSTER: $1 each = AMAZING!! This was my 2nd time eating oysters. The first time was at Hog Island Oyster Co. and that was so so good. So with high expectations for oysters, I was pretty satisfied with this place. They are delicious and definitely not little! Oysters will vary daily according to the chef (type and flavor-wise). We ordered 2 rounds of oysters and calamari. It was really good!
After leaving semi-full and with very happy taste buds, we went to Cake House to get some pastries to bring back home.
6:00 P.M.: HEAD BACK HOME
We traveled back to Wilshire/Normandie Station to ride the Purple Line back to Union Station. From there, we transferred to the Gold Line back to Sierra Madre Villa Station. And that concludes Los Angeles Half Day Trip!
I hope you found some tips and ideas for your next L.A. trip! Don’t be afraid to take the Metro. It’s really easy and convenient! Be safe and have a wonderful trip! Let me know how it goes!