Final Day of Santa Monica

Athena ScalziAnd what a glorious last day it was! My friends said they wanted to give me what they consider “the TOUR” of LA, or at least enough of it to fill about six hours. I had no idea where we were going, but I had a strong suspicion that the first stop would be coffee. I was correct.

When people speak of hidden gems, usually they don’t mean literally hidden out of sight, but in Dayglow’s case, it really is obscured from the passerby’s eye. Which is a shame because it’s an extra cool, hip little cafe with a ton of personality, and really fantastic drinks. It’s built right into the side of another building, and you have to go down some stairs into what is basically a little alley to get to it. But you’ll know it when you see it, thanks to their neon lights.

A coffee shop menu made out of green and blue neon lights on a white wall. It reads as the following:

Besides a friendly staff and cool decorations, you can also get incredibly cool drinks, like this one called “Totoro”!

A glass cup with the word Dayglow in bright green down the side. The cup is filled with a super dark liquid, almost black, and there's a green straw in it.

This was some kind of sesame, blood orange, vanilla, coffee drink. I’m not entirely sure, but it was so good. I’ve genuinely never had any drink like it before. It tasted like sesame candy, but was cold and creamy. I loved the cup, I wish I could’ve bought one! I was going to try the “Howl’s Moving Castle”, but they were out of it.

After getting our day started with a tasty drink, we headed to a bookshop called Skylight Books. I was specifically on the hunt for a postcard that said “California” or “Los Angeles”, and my friends told me they had them here.

The bookstore was super cute. It felt very cozy, and had some neat stuff besides books, like stationery. I ended up getting this sticker sheet and my highly sought after California postcard.

A sticker sheet full of different types of leaves next to a postcard that says

After that, it was time for lunch, but the place we were originally going to go to wasn’t open until dinner time, so we went to another cafe. This one was called “Go Get ‘Em Tiger”, a local chain with almost a dozen locations all across LA! We went to the one in Highland Park, and it was so cute! It was like in a little glass box inside the indoor part of the structure, and then you would leave the glass box to go sit in the seating area, either indoors or outdoors.

They had a display case of baked goods, but I could not get the glare off the glass, so here’s a picture, full of glare:

A glass case full of baked goods, including muffins, breads, cookies, and what appears to be scones.

I opted to get something a little more nutritious, so I got this soft scramble with avocado on an English muffin:

A white plate with a toasted English muffin, thinly sliced avocado topped with flaky sea salt, and a pile of soft scrambled eggs with chives on top.

This was undoubtedly the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had from a restaurant. Every time I make scrambled eggs, they come out as like, rubbery individual little pieces, rather than being a soft, cohesive pile like this. Plus, the flaky sea salt on the avocado was a really great addition. This was around twelve dollars, I think, and I also got a housemade iced chai which was a little over six dollars:

A plastic cup filled with beige liquid, the iced chai.

The chai was definitely on the less sweet side, which is fine but not my preferred version of iced chai, though it was still good, especially if you’re not really an over-the-top sugary person.

They also had a cute mobile order pickup station outside their glass box! Seems convenient.

A multi-shelf wooden structure with an iced coffee sitting on one of the shelves, ready to be picked up. A white sign with black letters on top of the shelves says

Following the super yummy lunch, I got to see the Hollywood sign! Though, only from the car, so I didn’t get any good pictures. Not that I really wanted to get out and try to walk to see it. It’s not something that has ever seemed worth it to me to hike up a literal mountain for. But it was still pretty cool.

Then, we decided it was high time for another sweet beverage (I’m kind of obsessed with sugary drinks if you couldn’t tell by now). So we went to Boba Guys, a boba place in Hi-Fi.

A grey building with a white sign that says

The inside had a clean sort of simple look to it, with a pleasant atmosphere and nice music. I thought the menu/display area was cute, too.

A wooden and black floating shelf display of merch, plants, and teas for sale, with four black menu boards above it listing how to order and all the different things you can order.

My usual order for boba is either brown sugar milk tea or Thai tea, which my friend actually did get:

A plastic cup filled with orange liquid and ice, and black boba pearls at the bottom.

But I had just had boba the day before, so I wanted to try something a little different, and was shocked to see that this place offered horchata. So I had to get it.

A plastic cup filled with beige liquid and ice, with the Boba Guys logo on the front.

This horchata was so sweet and creamy, and had the perfect amount of cinnamon in it to spice it up. I felt good in my choice to try something different, as this was some of, if not the best, horchata I’ve ever had. It was so much lighter than boba would’ve been (not that I don’t love boba, because obviously I do).

I also snapped a pic of a stranger’s drink when it was ready on the counter, because it looked amazing. It was the strawberry matcha drink.

A plastic cup filled with pink liquid, then white liquid, and topped with green liquid. It's sitting on a white counter.

I also got this pin (ten dollars) and this (free) sticker!

A sticker of the Boba Guys logo with a pride flag above it, alongside a Boba Guys pin of a hot air balloon. The pin is shaped to look like a stamp.

I am obsessed with anything that looks like a stamp that is not a stamp, including stickers, pins, washi tapes, anything along those lines. I have several stamp-style washi tapes and stickers, but this is my first pin of that style.

Also, I love hot air balloons. So really this pin is a total win in my book.

That was everything we got up to on our tour, but on the way back, I saw this cool painting.

A giant wall mural of a pop-art style girl about to kiss a pop-art style guy in a suit that looks like Frankenstein's monster. She has a tear on her face and bright red lips, along with purple hair.

I would be very interested to hear the story behind this painting.

So, yeah, my last day in LA was super fun! I got to be driven through Hollywood, Silverlake, Hi-Fi, Little Bangladesh, and see so many cool things, plus have some really fantastic food and drinks!

If you’re from the area, have you been to any of these places before? Let me know in the comments, and have a great day!


14 Comments on “Final Day of Santa Monica”

  1. Information on the street art:
    Fans of the English street artist know that D*Face’s works may be found in several places in Los Angeles. This mural of a couple sharing a wretched kiss, which dominates the street-facing side of the Six Point Harness building, might be the most accessible, easily seen from a busy section of Glendale Boulevard. His work has always been thought-provoking, and this one’s no different. It even bears his signature wings, in case there was any doubt this is his.

    Found this information at

  2. Sounds like fun. I’m obsessed with Thai Tea and purposefully do not know any place near me that has it. I’m weak and I know it.

  3. My family and I did a one-day tour of LA in 2016. Our guide drove a charter bus all over the city. I was extremely impressed that he managed to parallel park it.

  4. “I am obsessed with anything that looks like a stamp that is not a stamp.”

    Harold Nicholson:
    “I could not have believed that anything not an egg could have looked so like an egg as d’ Annunzio’s head.”

  5. No way I could go to L.A. without a chili cheeseburger from the Original Tommy’s, but otherwise, sounds like fun.

  6. The other secret to creamy scrambled eggs part from slowish cooking is to stop just before they look done, the heat in the pan, and in the eggs themselves will complete the cooking by the time you sit down to eat them. It feels really wrong doing this, but if you can manage it it really works.

  7. Not so sweet chai? How do we get this miracle imported to NE Ohio? Because every place I go seems to think chai should have more sugar than a soda twice its size. I’ve resorted to making chai at home, but it’s never quite the same.

  8. Also, any place that derives their drink names from Ghibli movies AND makes good drinks would get my business, if they were to ever open a branch in Ohio of course.

  9. Athena, I have REALLY enjoyed reading about your trip! The pictures and descriptions of all the food and drink have been really interesting. I may have to try some of them, and be more adventurous in ordering. Thank you for taking the time to do this!

  10. Okay – I haven’t heard of D*Face, as your first responder mentions.

    But the wall art is very clearly influenced by Roy Lichtenstein, who is basically the second most famous Pop Artist after Andy Warhol. Look up Lichtenstein. His signature style is to create blow-up paintings of comic strip pictures, usually complete with speech bubbles and named after the most prominent thing being said.

    See for example this image of “Whaam!” which came up on a bing search.

  11. You missed The Apple Pan, which is unfortunate if you wanted to have a burger at an “Old LA” landmark. But there are a gazillion places that qualify as that, so unless you’ve got two weeks there you’ll inevitably miss a lot.

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