LA tourist, Day 3: Eastside

Yesterday, we spent a lot of time on the Eastside of town. Started our day off driving to Highland Park for Donut Friend. I’ve wanted to check this place out for awhile now, and taking out-of-town guests was a good excuse. Traffic was not bad at all – we left the Westside around 9:50 AM, and arrived by 10:30am. There’s parking in the back of the building, or even on the street. York Street gets busier at night, as it is home to The York, a popular neighborhood gastropub. Met up with a couple of my Eastside friends there – Danielle and Allison (with her daughter Daisy). Donut Friend is a cute little place where you can customize your donut or choose from their favorite combinations. My brother got the “(A)pple Pi(E)” donut (A traditional donut stuffed with caramelized apples and cheddar cheese, topped with a caramel glaze and toasted peanuts), I got the “Gorilla Biscuit” (A traditional donut filled with fresh bananas and dulce de leche, topped with powdered sugar), and my niece got “Chocolate Crypt” (A chocolate cake donut topped with chocolate glaze, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and chocolate shavings), but minus the cayenne pepper. Because my daughter ate 1/4 of my donut, I also bought some donut holes. Overall, it’s a fun place to create-your-own-donut or try some unique combinations. I still prefer classic flavors and donuts that are cakier, but this novelty donut shop was worth the visit.


Yes, that is a vegan donut you see on the right.

The Hat, was on my brother’s list of places to eat. So we drove to their Pasadena location to pick up some “world famous pastrami sandwiches.” Good thing we got there early, because the parking lot was full when we left. I like pastrami and these were solid sandwiches. Everything is big here, so my niece and I split a sandwich, which was more than enough for the both of us. They also have chili cheese fries, and one order is enough for 4 hungry people (or more).


We drove to Travel Town at Griffith Park to enjoy our sandwiches. Travel Town is a great place to take kids – you can climb into a few of the trains, ride on the little train that goes around the perimeter (for $2.75, children under 18 months ride for free!), and visit the small, but interesting museum.  I love visiting Travel Town during the week because it can get very crowded on the weekends. It is a popular spot to book a party because you can actually book the space inside a vintage railway car! It’s also a fantastic location to shoot photos. Here is a favorite photo of the ones I took yesterday:

Aria at Travel Town

Aria at Travel Town wearing PaigeLaurenBaby

After Travel Town, we were pooped. Made it back in time to squeeze in a quick nap for my daughter before heading out again for dinner at Umami Burger in Santa Monica. I ordered the limited-edition José Andrés Burger. Yes, it was as amazing as it sounds.