Los Angeles Time

NYC is my home, but Los Angeles owns a part of my home, too. I was born there, and I did an internship there in college. My brother and his family live there, and one of our kids lives there. We have such important people in our lives who live there, and I could not live there full-time, but I love our LA trips.

Years ago, we went on a trip to Stockholm, a gem of a city, and we kept running into someone with whom Fred had scheduled to have coffee at one point. He is American but, at the time, was living in Stockholm. What stuck with me is that he was leaving right before Christmas to go on the annual family ski vacation, and it was evident that he had a close relationship with his family, although they lived pretty far away.

Unless you were ridiculously wealthy, keeping those connections would have been challenging twenty years ago. Today, you can keep connecting with family and friends no matter what you are in the world. Our kids are in three different cities right now, one in NYC, one in Amsterdam, and one in LA, and although they are not in our hometown, we talk, we FT, and we see each other more than a few times over the year, and we are all living our own lives. It doesn’t have the feeling of being so far away as it did decades ago.

Here are the highlights from two weeks in LA; obviously, I am a NYer at heart because I did not go on a hike and kept very busy when I wasn’t on Zoom with Gotham. The first night is always Echigo; we can’t help ourselves, Echigo first, and then the Bigg Chill for a soft ice cream cone. We ended up going twice!

One night, we had dinner at Vito, an old school spot in very old LA, with the family, and then we had a fantastic paella that my brother whipped up one night.

We went with Emily and her boyfriend to the Frederick R. Weisman house; this was my second time. It is worth going to. He amassed quite an art collection, and it still hangs in the house today as it did decades ago.

That night, Fred and I went back east to Si! Mon is a new spot in Venice that has delicious food. That is not the norm in Venice. These fried chicken drumsticks, using flavors from Central America, are delicious! I will be happy to return.

We made a pilgrimage to Dover Street Market, a fan fave, and went to a Clippers Game.

After the game and some Oscar-watching, we drove to Bistro Nas‘ in the San Gabriel Valley, where Emily had pre-ordered the Peking duck. San Gabriel Valley has countless Asian restaurants, and many are going upscale. The duck and fried shrimp are a must. The place feels a bit like an old Manchurian palace.

The other highlight is meeting Emily for a spa morning at the Olympic Spa and then having lunch at Cookbook. There is nothing that a good scrub can’t wash away. Cookbook is the best combination of LA meets Europe. I love the small local shop filled with everything you need for your home and kitchen, but you can also have a meal. It’s just perfect.

Our last two outings were to Anajak in Sherman Oaks—an exceptional Thai spot on multiple levels. The hip-hop music creates the setting the second you walk in. It is not a down-and-dirty Thai spot but a place between high-end and low-end. The wine list is exceptional, and there are boxes of wine placed around the restaurant to create separation. The tablecloths are identical prints as you would find on plastic in a Thai spot, but here, they are made of cloth with a glass top over them. The owner, who returned to the family biz after his father passed, like the Bear, created what we all need: good food, music, and wine with casual elegance.

Last night was at La Dolce Vita to celebrate the birthday girl. A perfect end to a few weeks in LA!