Take a trip to Venice Beach. Avoid the cheesy sunglasses and bong tchotchke vendors to come here for an amazingly refreshing acai bowl after a run along the sand. If you're looking for a local gift or souvenir, get an "Hecho in Venice" coffee tumbler!
Abbot Kinney is a street virtually became trendy overnight. Somehow everyone got the memo that Venice is awesome so they decided to put a bunch of cute stationery, boutique, and coffee shops along it. It is essentially the equivalent of Valencia Street in San Francisco or Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn--a gentrified haven in an area that used to be a little sketchy that you sort of hate to admit you love.
You can't go wrong with sausage and beer. The flavors and fillings of the sausages in this place are always different and delectable. There are also a few fun additions like sour kraut and pretzels that are totally worth trying here. I love the modern architecture of this place too. They have a vast and fantastic German beer selection; whenever I order a beer I haven't tried before, I always look forward to the surprise of the weirdly shaped glass it will come in.
Tito's is a West LA institution, and something I look forward to every time I come home. This place has one of the most straight forward menus I have ever seen: tacos, burritos, drinks. That's it. No frills classic Mexican American food. I usually get 3 tacos with tons of cheese and cover it with a heaping tablespoon of their free salsa. It's fantastic. When you've recovered from your taco hangover, check out Johnnie's Pastrami next door for the best pastrami in LA.
This will always be my favorite view of Los Angeles. Hike up here after a big meal, it will probably be the first time you've stepped out of the car anyway. The hike is super vertical, but very doable as far as urban hikes go. You're rewarded at the end with a breath-taking view that will reveal just how vast an urban sprawl Los Angeles is. You can see all the way from Santa Monica to Downtown and beyond. If you squint real closely in the direction of where the I-10 meets the 405, you can see my house :)
143 is the DJ trifecta of Partytime, siik, and SOSUPERSAM. Every last Wednesday of the month, they play the sweetest and most nostalgic 90s hip hop/R&B hits that you can't believe you forgot about. Vibe out or get down with a nice cocktail with them wherever they spin (sometimes they come to NYC!).