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The Perfect L.A. Weekend

Today’s blogger: Janet Lee, Shape’s deputy editor

I just got back from a five-day West Coast vacay. I always look forward to going to Los Angeles: I have several good friends in the area; I love the food scene and fantastic fresh fish; and working out there is always fun instead of drudgery. The first thing I did after picking up my rental car on Thursday was check out the new Equinox Fitness in Manhattan Beach. After sitting on the plane for six-plus hours I was in dire need of a workout and I wanted to kick off my weekend on a healthy note. While the location is difficult (you have to battle freeway and Costco traffic to get to the building), I love the layout and the locker-room is palatial!


Friday a.m. I drove over to my favorite street in Santa Monica, Adelaide. This beautiful road boasts serene views of the ocean and Pacific Palisades—plus, it’s one of the area’s workout hotspots. There are two sets of stairs (cement and wooden) here that are regularly swarmed by locals: The cement steps are steeper and the wooden set has more give. I did the cement version—all 189 steps, if my count was correct—five times then hobbled back to my car (I’m not a regular on the stairclimber). Another check on my workout to-do list!

I spent my last day in town back in Manhattan Beach and treated myself to a morning run along the strand. I used to live in this gorgeous beach town and I’ve always loved running along the water and then stretching while watching all the volleyball players and surfers. The one thing I noticed this time was stand-up paddle surfing is huge out here! I spotted close to 10 people doing it and kicked myself for not making an appointment to take a lesson. I’ll put that on my list for next time.


In between workouts, I had some stand-out meals in L.A. Two of my faves were at Cecconi’s (Melrose and N. Robertson) and Osteria Mozza (Melrose and N. Highland). The latter has a mozzarella bar that serves up some of the most decadent burrata around (cheese fans: You haven’t lived until you’ve tried burrata). At Cecconi’s, I ordered the heirloom tomatoes with fresh mozz to start and the dollop that arrived was simply dreamy in taste and texture. Cholesterol be damned—I will definitely be going back!


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