Photo of the day: Lone bench on our hike in Griffith Park. Photo credit: Aaron.
We caught up on some work this morning, then decided to hang around Los Feliz today. First, we had lunch at Alcove Cafe and Bakery. It had a large patio, so it was a great place to soak in some sun while enjoying our lunch. The service here was great. We ordered at the counter, then found our own seats but the staff were very attentive when bringing us our food and utensils. The serving sizes here are huge! We ordered a guacamole to share, then a sandwich each and we knew as soon as they arrived that we should’ve just ordered one to share. The guacamole was probably good to feed 4 people. The sandwiches were the size of 2 regular-sized sandwiches. I had the brie and apple panini and they were very generous with their brie. There were 1 cm thick slices of brie with multiple layers of sliced apples. The taste was not bad, since you can’t go wrong with brie and caramelized onions but I think I prefer the taste of brie with pear vs. apple. Aaron had the tuna melt and it was very tasty, going very well with the sourdough bread, even though I’m not a sourdough fan. These came with sides, which were not the most impressive. I had onion rings with a very soggy and thick batter and Aaron had the caeser salad which was lacking in taste.
After lunch we checked out Skylight Books and found some pretty interest books to add to our to-read list. We then chilled and read at Maru Coffee. I’m absolutely in love with this cute cafe! It has a very simplistic design with minimal seating. They had large windows and I loved sitting by the window with the sun shining on me while enjoying a cup of iced matcha with a good book. I wish we stayed there longer but we had plans to do some hiking and it was getting late.
We got changed and arrived at Griffith Park around 6pm. The paid parking was so congested. We weren’t planning to park in that lot but was forced to drive through it in order to get to the free street parking on the other side of the road. Similar to Runyon, there were many people here hiking along the trails. Unlike Runyon, there were many different trails to take, so it was pretty awesome seeing people in the distance on different trails as we were hiking up to Mount Hollywood. This trail doesn’t take us up to the famous Hollywood sign but it does get us a pretty good view of it. Apparently it is illegal to hike directly to the sign. The best you can do is to hike behind it but still blocked off by a fence. The trail itself was pretty easy. You can challenge yourself further by going up some shortcuts. The terrain is again very sandy so you need to be careful going down especially if you chose to take these shortcuts. Some trails lead to you walking on a narrow ridge and these can be scary for those afraid of heights as there are deep valleys on either side. The view is magnificent though, much nicer than the ones at Runyon.
After hiking around 2 hours, we came down just in time to catch the sunset at Griffith Observatory. The view here was gorgeous. There are also telescopes in the front, which you can look through to see Jupiter. There is also a large telescope upstairs as well but the wait was at least 1 hour. We decided to watch the show in the Planetarium instead. There was no admission fee to the observatory but the show was $7 per person, which we felt was very reasonable. The show was very interesting and definitely a treat for those who like astronomy. It was very education and the narrator was very animated. We left around 9:30pm and the place was still full of people. It closes at 10pm. This is definitely a site to visit at night. We were pretty tired and sweaty from all the hiking, so we decided to just pick up some wine and had a hodgepodge meal at home, finishing up our leftover Thai food and sandwiches from this afternoon.