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Sophie Elkus

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Three Instagrammable L.A. Spots

Sézane tee, Ramy Brook skirt, Schutz shoes, Saylor dress (similar)Sézane bag, Finders Keepers top/skirt, The Daily Edited clutch

Before you roll your eyes, admit this can be a significant factor in making plans.

Not that it’s the beyond end all, but it helps. I was recently asked to spend a day around the city shooting for Laura Mercier, and I was stumped for a minute on where to go. I like trying new restaurants, but I’m a creature of habit when it comes to my favorite foods. Obviously I needed to pick places that would photograph well, which got me thinking how aesthetics and atmosphere are a major factor in choosing a destination for a lunch or dinner out, or even where to spend a free afternoon walking around. Bloggers aside, all girls (and guys) know that a beautiful atmosphere just uplifts the mood. Read on for the spots you’ll love.

The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker

Meet my new favorite West Hollywood coffee shop. The blue tiled floors, the adorable patio with bright yellow cushions and striped pillows are only half the appeal. Marble tables, string lights, and a washroom that looks like a vintage dressing room is the rest. Sit indoors or out for coffee, baked goods plus a full food menu. Not the mention the name is amazing.

I’ve been pairing a simple graphic tee with a ruffled miniskirt lately and mule sandals and I love the effect; very casual-cool and not too girly. This tee and leather tote are both from Sézane, a gorgeous French brand. I’ve worn this black skirt a lot lately with tees and sweaters – it really works with anything and is a good staple to have on hand.

Superba

If I’m looking for a breakfast spot in Venice it’ll either be Superba or Butcher’s Daughter. Superba has hands down, the best pancakes  (“hotcakes” as they call them) in the city. Quote me. They’re a thick, grainy buckwheat batter with an almost almond-nutty taste and I never ever get sick of them. The restaurant is big with super high ceilings, bright yellow paint and a huge pastry case and coffee station. I love that they have a rack of newspapers for early risers and there’s always a family with a big dog under their table on the patio. It feels local to Venice yet is a recognized favorite in LA. My Sunday ritual is getting up early and going for breakfast and coffee at either of these places, then perusing Abbott Kinney shops.

For a day out I’m drawn to a simple chambray or cotton shirtless that can be dressed up or down. This dress with ruffle detail is elevated for autumn, especially with a chic pair of sunnies.

Catch

I have mixed feelings about adding this one to my list, as I usually like avoid the places where people go mostly to see and be seen (rather than prioritizing if the food or ambiance is good) and this place fits the bill. It’s been the newest and shiniest addition to the area this year and you’ll see paparazzi hanging around outside on any given Thursday or Friday night. I don’t think many of the young girls riding up the elevator realize it’s not the first Catch –  I’ve been to the NYC location for years and always enjoyed it (it seems the NYC location is less of  a scene than LA).

The bar area is packed on weekends with people who come just for drinks and the photobooth, but the space is quite large and has tables inside spilling out on the roof. There are two main reasons why I add Catch to the list; one because it’s one of the only LA restaurants with a big rooftop! You’d think the city would have more; we are desperately lacking them and it’s nice to sit outdoors on a warmer night. The other reason is the entrance, shown below. Once leaving the elevator you’re met with an ethereal garden walkway filled with flowers, greenery and a wooden path built over rocks. I must admit, it’s really lovely and the designers did a fantastic job, hence why so many events are held here and the space is in high demand. I’d say come here for a drink, or make a dinner reservation for the patio if you haven’t seen it yet; it’s worth the trip once even if you’re not into sceney places. The only thing that really turns me off is the doormen and reception people downstairs who watch everyone come in; it feels like a club door to me.  Now realizing this turned into more of a review than a straight up recommendation, but at least it’s honest, right!

This red cutout look is by Finders Keepers, one of my favorite Australian labels. The bell sleeves and criss-cross detail feels unique and once in a while I’ll go for a red dress and red lip to match. I also love this short wine-red dress with much more subtle cutouts, which is foolproof for the upcoming holidays.

A few other spots that should be mentioned are Great White Venice, which just opened and is a cute surfer-shack with a Californian menu, along with Flower Child, a beautiful airy spot in Santa Monica. Bondi Harvest is the best for healthy Aussie breakfast that deserves a photo.  On a separate note, I’ve been wanting to check out Peri.A on Robertson, the newest boutique addition to the area offering mix of designers with a funky, cool but elevated aesthetic.

Find all these pieces worn in the bar below.

Photography by Betsy Newman
Sézane tee, Ramy Brook skirt, Schutz shoes, Saylor dress (similar)Sézane bag, Finders Keepers top/skirt, The Daily Edited clutch

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