Living YSE(ly)

We Planned Your Weekend in LA So You Don't Have To

Written by Elizabeth Gehl

So you’re stumped on your LA itinerary? 

It’s not just you. Every “Guide to Your LA Weekend” claims it’s the best of the best, yet its contents are most likely the antithesis of the one you read before it. Truth is, Los Angeles is a beast where no neighborhood is the same. We’re talking Venice Beach to the cityscape of DTLA, hipster hubs like Silverlake to your Beverly Hills classic. In desperate times like these, sometimes you just need that one amazing friend with fantastic taste and unlimited laps around the block to trust with telling you where to stay and what to do.

(’s us, we’re the amazing friend). 

We know there’s endless ways to do it, but this is how we tackle the LA weekender… the YSE way


A stay on the westside offers the perfect balance between the breeze of a beach town and the hustle of a city – and that modern funk that only LA can emanate. Thus, we’re giving our gold star to the Proper Hotel in Santa Monica. Why, you ask? Walk into the hotel lobby and look around – you’ll understand.

Designed by Kelly Wearstler in 2019, the Proper tells a coastally-distinct story through its organic architecture and monochromatic eclecticism (and this hotel somehow makes those two things coexist). Pluses include an award winning spa, Aesop products in each bathroom, and a location just a stroll from the sand. Take the elevator upstairs though, and you’ll find the cherry on top… the Calabra Rooftop. The only rooftop pool in West LA with a breezy mediterranean restaurant to its right, we’d spend all day here eating baba ganoush and reapplying Skin Glow if the world stopped – but we’ve got plans! 

 YSE Beauty
Sunset Tower Bar and Giorgio Baldi – Dinner Menus


Friday is the ideal day for a classic dinner date – that of which you can find at LA’s favorite child, Giorgio Baldi. Amongst the swarm of trendy pop-up restaurants, GB has survived its location for over 30 years, its food and atmosphere proving its case. The restaurant sits on the edge of the Santa Monica coastline, covered with an oversized hedge that courteously shields their high-profile regulars from the outside world. The dining room is set up like an old school Italian trattoria with tightly neighbored tables seating intimate parties of two to large family celebrations. Pasta, vino, romance… done deal for you. 

Saturday night, you’re booked at Tower Bar. Sophisticated yet swanky, this iconic restaurant in the Sunset Tower Hotel is serving ambiance no matter the time of day. The dimly-lit, attentively hosted dining room has frequent celebrity attendees, so if you’re in on the right day, you might have a good sighting – but take your glance and make it count, because photography inside the restaurant is against policy. If you have some extra time, take a seat in the new bar by the terrace for a drink before your reservation is ready.  Oh, and do yourself a favor and order the pigs in a blanket for the table… they’re on that menu for a reason.

Mustn't we forget the brunches and lunches along the way! We love The Draycott if you’re keen for a mimosa (with a side of brunch) while your kids run laps on the grass lawn. If you’re more in for a cheeky salad and midday people watching, the Polo Lounge is your spot – and of course, the Ivy at the Shore… because it's iconic. Sorry. 

 YSE Beauty
The Palisades Village and Brentwood Country Mart – photos courtesy of Architectural Digest and Brentwood Country Mart


If you’re our type of girl, you have extra room in your suitcase and plan on filling it. So wherever the shopping goes down, you gotta make sure it’s scenic. The Palisades Village is the outdoor shopping center of your dreams with eye-catching storefronts by our favorite brands – classics from Toteme, fun finds at Elyse Walker and Misa, our favorite jewelry at Jen Meyer and swim from Eres. And if your counterpart is the type to get restless in the shoe section, send them next door to Buck Mason, Alo or Vince (and thank us later).

Our other favorite stop, perhaps the sister of the Palisades Village: The Brentwood Country Mart. This historic west side gem has some of our LA faves including Sézane, Jenni Kayne, Capitol, Dôen and more. Step into Farmshop for a pastry or a quick bite, and shop its retail corner for an artisanal kitchen come-up, or the best olive oil you’ve ever had. 

 YSE Beauty
Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy and The Getty Museum – photos courtesy of The New York Times and West Side Los Angeles


Lets not forget – this is a vacation, and at least one tourist activity is required. The Getty is a bucket lister, so you might as well get it done. You may check out the Getty Villa off of PCH for a panoramic view of the coast, or go straight to the Brentwood museum center where Van Gogh and Rembrandt await you. The collection itself stands alone, but it could be the architecture and landscaping that sweeps you away… or perhaps the view. Because it's breathtaking

And for a modern art experience, check out the Luna Luna exhibit in downtown LA. This immersive amusement park was built over thirty years ago in Germany to then be shipped to the US, and forgotten in Texas… for decades. And now, it's conveniently landed in our backyard. Conceived by André Heller with works from artists from Basquiat to Haring and Dali, this is no boring hall of canvases. Prepare for carousel rides, ferris wheels, carnival galore. It’s worth the ride down the 10 freeway, we promise.

A morning sweat with a side of scenery is an LA staple as well – we recommend hiking Will Rogers Park in the Palisades. There’s both inclined trails for fitness freaks and breezy paths for the nonchalant wanderers, so if you choose to head down an easier route, at least bring your Vacation Glow highlight to fake the sweat. If you are looking to tackle the park on horseback, you can book trail riding sessions at JigSaw Farms. One way or another, make sure to find the view – you’ll be able to see aerials of Downtown and Century City, and it might even help you debunk the infamous puzzle that is LA’s geography. But if you’re still confused, no shame.

And finally, to check off a beach-front landmark from your list, a stroll down the Malibu Pier is a lovely choice for an afternoon stop. Check out the coastal retail collection at Ranch, watch the fishermen at work, or grab a quick bite at Malibu Farm. And if the line isn’t looking so quick, have someone save your place and run to the bar to grab a cocktail for your wait. That's how the YSE ones do it, anyways.