Or listen on iTunes
Need a change of scenery and some new brunch options? Grab your wallet and sneak out from behind the Orange Curtain for a little sight seeing in the world famous City of Angels.
Runyon Canyon Park is a super popular hiking destination for LA’s beautiful people which makes for excellent people watching and increased likelihood of spotting celebrities in their natural habitat.
This hike will most certainly reward you with expansive views from the Hollywood Sign all the waaaaaaaayyy out to Catalina Island on a clear day but don’t hold your breath for one of those. Just go for it and try to think of the beautiful multicolored layers of smog as a dreamy soft lens over Los Angeles. We do.
Runyon Canyon Park Hike
Start out early to avoid the heat and up your chances of finding a parking space in this residential neighborhood. You can’t park before 8am on most streets in this area and the diligent efforts of the Parking Police lurk around every corner so keep your eye on the street signage. Runyon has a total of 5 entrances so these directions start from our preferred gate, the southern most entryway at the end of Fuller St. just north of Hollywood Blvd.
If you have a choice, take a small car to increase your chances of fitting into a neighborhood parking spot or any other parking in LA for that matter. Our FJ Cruiser has had its fair share of roof rack scrapes in the low lying parking garages so prevalent in this town which is ironically home to largest concentration of giant SUV’s in the world.
If you get stuck in an LA Parking Garage with your humongous SUV just let some air out of the tires.*
*Not a guarantee
To start the trail take a left turn at the first “Y” intersection. If you keep heading forward – which would appear to be the obvious path – you’ll be climbing UP multiple sets of uneven stairs. Some folks might dig this kind of exertion but we actually found that this direction is too much torture on our old-lady knees so we recommend choosing the path to the left for a gradual but constant walk uphill.
When you reach the second “Y” intersection continue on to the right.
Continue to the right when you reach the third “Y” intersection and you’ll soon encounter the best viewpoint for all of Hollywood and Los Angeles.
By traveling the trail clockwise you get to make your way DOWN through the obstacle course of misshapen unruly stairs instead of UP. You’re welcome.
If you don’t like free range doggies then stay away. Most of the trail is designated as an off-leash area.
Once we make it down the gauntlet of stairs, its time to hike back to the car and head off to our victory celebration brunch! And we are not kidding about the hike back to your car.
Brews & Chews
Breakfast or Burger? If it’s Sunday then we’ll have to pass on the awesomeness that is Irv’s Burgers with their darn cute personalized paper plates since they’ll be closed. So we’ll hit up the Salt’s Cure for a quality hipster breakfast of house cured sausage and a stack of oatmeal pancakes that will blow your mind.
If the wait is too long and noon is approaching, make a mad dash to The Golden State on Fairfax for one of our favorite burgers in LA. They serve up a fat juicy Harris Ranch beef patty with thick applewood smoked bacon sitting atop a toasty brioche bun and a garlic aioli to dip the side of sweet potato fries and a rocket cucumber salad to cool it all down. Legendary Scoops ice cream is also on hand here and the brown bread ice cream BEER float is a uniquely pleasing flavor combination that you must trick someone into trying at least once.
Grand Central Market
Got picky eaters or veg heads tagging along, then head downtown to the city’s largest and oldest public market, the Grand Central Market in a historic 6 story building on Broadway and dazzle them with choices.
EggSlut, DTLA Cheese, Berlin Currywurst, Wexler’s Deli and too much other good stuff to even mention. You can definitely taste the global rainbow here so take our advice and do a preliminary walk through before commiting to one place. Still can’t decide? Make it a tapas day and grab a small plate from your top five and start sharing.
Tucked away out back with a view of Angels Flight, the worlds’ smallest railway, you’ll find open air patio seating at the Horse Thief BBQ. Satisfy your smokey meat cravings here and quench your thirst with the only two beer choices on tap at the market. One regular, one rotating craft tap. We didn’t see anywhere else that you could grab a beer with lunch so we hooked it up here while sampling a couple of twice cooked duck sliders and a side of broccolini fries from Belcampo. They raise, butcher and prepare their own meat for an authentic farm to table experience delivering an old-fashioned sense of quality and pride with every bite.
Parking in DTLA will cost you a few bucks and even though the market has a small lot on the adjacent corner for 5$ it was full at lunch time so we paid 9$ at the next lot over. Clean bathrooms can be found downstairs but it will cost you a quarter or the patience to wait for someone to exit first.
Tip: Pack a soft sided cooler with an ice pack to hold your perishable loot for the ride home through LA’s ever present traffic.
Before heading out of town, stop by a few galleries like the La Luz De Jesus Gallery on Hollywood Blvd to catch a low-brow taxidermy art opening and check out their unusual store chocked full of collectable toys and tons of other stuff you don’t really need but can somehow totally justify purchasing.
We stopped by Subliminal Projects on Sunset Blvd. just in time for the closing weekend of Shepard Fairey’s 50 Shades of Black show featuring record cover inspired Obey art along with vintage turntables and a sampling of Fairey’s own record collection.
Thirsty again? Try finding the Beer People at Eagle Rock Brewery on Roswell St. Look for the orange delivery truck next to the warehouse. The tasting room opens at 4pm Wed-Fri and at Noon on weekends. Be friendly cause seating is limited in this popular tap room featuring a slew of super tasty microbrews. Too crowded? Grab a growler or some 22’s from the cooler and enjoy in the comfort of your own living room. Cheers!
Do you call SoCal home? Then show off some of your locally grown expertise by sharing your favorite backyard adventure suggestions here in the comments section below.
Can’t think of anything right now? You can still help us keep moving in the right direction by leaving us a 5 star review on iTunes or Stitcher.
As a big ol’ “Thank You” for your comments & reviews we’ll give you a great big shout out during our next podcast so please don’t forget to include your own website or blog info for us to share.