where to eat i n LA

LA In A Flash

[trip style = sun + urban + beach}

It all started with a canary yellow 2011 Camaro. The next 30 hours in LA blazed by at the speed of light, partly thanks to our rental car's 312 horsepower engine. In row K, stall number 871 we expected to find a Toyota Matrix, but instead there was a barely driven Camaro. I wasn't sure whether to be excited or horrified. Seriously, yellow? C'mon.

Trip Styler Tip :: Like airlines, many car rental agencies are moving towards self check-in terminals. It takes 5 minutes or less and you can avoid waiting in line!

With my iPhone stocked with TomTom's GPS app in one hand {my top travel app for US travel} and an envelope full of suggestions from Trip Styler contributors in the other, we set out to conquer corners of LA we'd never seen---a pretty easy task in a sprawling and coastal cool metropolis embracing the next trend like Kim Kardashian's latest paparazzi photo op.

First stop: Venice Beach

Heather, Trip Styler's Fashion Friday writer, told us that if we're staying at LAX {more on this in Friday's Roam+Board}, it was non-negotiable, we had to explore Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice and eat at Gjelina, a corner bistro too cool for a sign {pictured above}. Cruiser bikes were attached to every street pole, and home decor, vintage and minimalist boutiques and galleries lined the street; we came for bit and stayed for awhile. How could we not? Venice is part stroll-worthy and part beachy-keen. The closer to the beach we drove, the more hanging wetsuits and upright surfboards we saw on every balcony. And then, the pièce de résistance, the California sunset you dream of: beams of orange backlighting palm trees and lifeguard stations as if they'd been stamped on an image. Perfection.

Second stop: Silver Lake

Continuing the quest for quintessential LA before jetting back to Vancouver, we drove to Silver Lake based on a suggestion from Lauren, Trip Styler's Travel Beauty writer. After 30 minutes of weaving through six-lane interconnecting highways, we arrived at LAMILL. Sitting al fresco and staring at palm- and midcentury modern home-covered hills, I sipped a coffee topped with vanilla bean panna cotta and brunched on a gruyere, egg and bacon breakfast sandwich. The modern glam eatery is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner was busy every second. More than worth the drive from LAX!

Yes, the brighter than bright, yellow Camaro commanded attention---the kind we didn't want with people trying to race us at stop lights---but I realized it's LA, and everything commands attention. In retrospect, with only 30 hours, perhaps the flashy muscle car was the perfect method for muscling our way through LA traffic to explore the city in a flash.

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[photos by @tripstyler, except for yellow camaro & indoor shot of LAMILL sourced from web]