Travelling LA in styel with Ali Barter

First trip to LA? You’re in luck! Ali Barter has the ultimate guide for you

Following up her brilliant AB-EPAli Barter jetted off to LA to continue writing and recording with producer Harlan Silverman. The first of those new songs is Far Away. If you’ve ever felt like heading to LA for a holiday but aren’t sure where to go, Ali has a few recommendations based on her time there.

guide to LA

After bunkering down in LA to record Far Away, Ali Barter is now your helpful tour guide to navigate the city of angels. This is her guide to LA.

1. Casbah Cafe in Silver Lake –

Ate/drank – Avocado salad and bottomless filter coffee.
Date – My friend Chris Mulhall (keys player for Vance Joy) and my dear friend Sarah who put me up in LA.

Apparently this is a place eeeeeverybody goes to and it was lovely. Run by an older guy and his wife I think. They sold quiches with side salads and cold drinks. I loooove how America does bottomless filter coffee. No matter how many ‘magic’ latte’s you throw at me, I’m a sucker for this shit. It really GETS ME GOING. Hung out with me ole mate Chris Mulhall, he plays keys with Vance Joy. Weird to think that we used to busk at the Daylesford markets together; now he’s playing stadiums in the US of A.

2. Rockaway Records in Silver Lake

Date – Boz Boorer – the musical director for Morrisey. I had been writing songs with him over in LA and London.
Purchase – Queen’s Hot Space for my partner Oscar.

This place was great. So many records! It’s an institution in LA so I was glad to get there. I could have spent all day looking through their stuff. Lucky I had no money left otherwise I would have bought waaaay to much – instead, I overdrew my account to buy Oscar a Queen record – it’s (literally) the least I could do.

3. Blue Bottle Coffee in Echo Park –

Ate/drank – Iced americano and poached eggs on toast.
Date – Sydney Wayser AKA Clara-Nova, singer songwriter based in Echo Park.

This place had a Melbourne cafe vibe – whatever that means. I think it means – take-home-in-house-roasted-coffee-beans, clean fit out, tiny food in cabinets and a softly-spoken Nordic-looking buttoned-up shirt graphic-design-business-on-the-side dude with a man-bun behind the machine. The coffee was really nice and the food was simple and good. Nice place to hang on a sweltering summer day in LA. I had been writing tunes with Sydney for the previous couple of days, and we thought we’d catch up as ‘friends’ to talk about boys and drink lattes. She’s a babe.

4. Blue Plate Taco in Santa Monica –

Ate/drank – Fish tacos, corn on the cob and Mexican slaw.
Date – A family that I babysit for in Aus who happened to be in the States.

The food was delicious. Santa Monica can be a bit touristy but this had a really nice vibe. I lost myself in a blackout and accidentally ate too many corn chips and guacamole when we first arrived. America seems to do appetisers, mains and then dessert as a rule, and I rarely found myself getting through the appetiser phase.

5. Intelligentsia in Venice

Ate/drank – Iced americano and a croissant.
Date – My friend Sarah from Aus.

Sarah wanted to show me some good coffee places in LA (we met working in cafes in Melbourne). We drove to Abbot Kinney Road, which is so gorgeous, and bought takeaways from Intelligentsia. This also had a Melbourne vibe. Lots of beakers and cold drip paraphernalia around the place. Oh, and electronic music playing. Very cool, very hip, very noooooww. Coffee was awesome and I ate the croissant in a blackout. I assume it was good.

6. Starbucks at VONS supermarket in Santa Monica

Drank – Iced americano, camel cigarettes, ‘Fage’ 2% Greek yoghurt and fruit.
Date – Myself.

So I went to all these fancy cool places in LA to get coffee and food and be seeeeen, but really my fondest memory of LA was waking up on the couch of Sarah’s house and walking across the road to VONS to get a dirty Starbucks iced americano and stand in the sun in the carpark smoking a cigarette. It’s the simple things, you know? The coffee was cheap and good and I’d get some yoghurt and a punnet of blueberries for breakfast after. So depressed to find that greek yoghurt is like 50% cream but fuck the system.

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