When I say Silver Lake you might say hipster, and you may be right, but…..it’s a great place to hang out for a weekend, especially if you have kids. Why? Affordable (for LA). Great food. Quick access to downtown, K-town, Hollywood, West Hollywood, and other cool neighborhoods. Don’t underestimate the previous sentence because when in Los Angeles “quick access” is a big deal. Anyway, we had an awesome 48 hours and we would like to share how we did it and how you might even be able to do it better. First thing’s first, let’s discuss dem’ oysters.
L&E Oyster Bar
If you know us – you know we like oysters. I can’t say enough about our experience at L&E Oyster Bar. The service was great, the wines are carefully selected and pair well with the food, and the oysters were some of the best we have had. Clean, briny, buttery, ocean-y, and whatever else makes the perfect oyster – these were that. They also have some delicious house-cut French fries which we ordered for Preston but which I ate 80% of. Next door is milk where Jenny took an awesome photo of our son and paid $1.00 for a damn good cupcake the size of a ping pong ball.
Grand Park: Pocketbook friendly fun with the Kids
We Googled ourselves dizzy trying to figure out what to do with the kids during the day. We stumbled upon the idea of Grand Park which turned out to be perfect for Preston. There is a huge splash pad with fountains that kids can run around in for as long as they like – free of charge (although it is in the heart of downtown so you may incur some parking costs). There are tables everywhere so it’s a great spot for a picnic as well. It is located between the music center and city hall.
Rice Bar: the best Filipino Rice Bowl you’ll ever have
After Grand Park Jenny and I immediately pondered our next meal (naturally) and decided to get take out from Rice Bar, which is also downtown, before heading back to the house. Rice Bar is one of our favorite places to eat in Los Angeles right now. At Rice Bar it is all about delicious, hand crafted, price friendly, Filipino rice bowls. Former Patina executive chef Charles Olalia runs the kitchen. You know it’s going to be good when a chef leaves the Michelin starred world to open a 275 sq ft restaurant with about 8 seats in order to cook the cuisine of his heritage. We opted for the house-made pork longanissa sausage with heirloom rice, pickled papaya, and a fried egg. Amazing.
Night + Market Song: Thai Food with Huge Flavors
There are 2 locations of Night + Market Song which is the hottest Thai restaurant right now in LA and for good reason. The flavors are pretty mind blowing and definitely push the envelope. The menu writing keeps it real and easy to understand. For instance the description of the photo above “pork toro: grilled fatty pork neck, salty like bacon, with “jaew” northeastern chile dip.” Ordered!
H Mart: The Disneyland of Korean Supermarkets
One of the things Jenny and I were most looking forward to on this trip was the morning we were planning to leave when we would go to H Mart in Koreatown and grab a bunch of amazing ingredients that we would then stuff into a (not big enough) ice chest in order to bring home to Fresno. H Mart is a huge grocery store will all of the drinks, snacks, dry ingredients etc. that you could ask for but the meats, seafood, and prepared food are really where it’s at for us. There is an expansive selection of whole wild fish, wagyu and other high quality beef and pork, every traditional Korean soup you can imagine (we parted with yukgaejang which I had been craving since Jenny made it for the first time at home) and restaurant (or better) quality sashimi. For you LA locals I would recommend the H Mart in Torrance which is larger and has more to offer.
Other Recommendations in and around Silver Lake:
Where we’ve been:
Intelligensia Coffee: If you want to indulge in a pricey-but damn good cup of direct trade coffee this is a great place to do it.
Where we would like to go:
Squirl: Breakfast and lunch. Hard core seasonality throughout the menu. Re-imagined classics.
Where we stayed:
We found an awesome, very kid friendly 2 bedroom house via Airbnb for about the same dollar amount we would have paid for 1 hotel room! If you haven’t used Airbnb before you can sign up here and get $40 off your first stay.