Background: Showaround Local Disha has been a nomad since she was young – she was born in South India, but lived in Dubai and Cairo when growing up. Disha is a Mechanical Engineering student, so not only can she show you around the city, but she can also give tours of the UCLA campus and the college town of Westwood. As Disha is a passionate traveller who has lived in many different places, she is well-equipped when it comes to understanding what would be of interest for travellers to see and do in her hometown. Whether it’s biking in the historic canals of Venice Beach, enjoying the sights of the Amusement Park or taking a walk in Downtown LA, Disha will always find the best suggestion for your tour.
Showaround: Why did you decide to become a Showaround Local?
Disha: I became a Showaround Local because I have always loved exploring new and vibrant places around the world. I am a well-seasoned traveler and have had incredible adventures and met wonderful people in the 23 countries I have been to, and being a nomad, I feel at home in every single one of them. I like to share my enthusiasm, zest for life and travel, and my talent for exploring the hidden jewels of a city with others, and being a Showaround Local seemed to fit my friendly and outgoing personality!
Showaround: Name three super local things to do in the city?
Disha: Los Angeles is unbelievably diverse. There is just something here for everyone - in fact, there is so much to do that it can be very overwhelming to try to consolidate as much as possible in one day or even in one week. But three things that cannot be missed is a visit to Malibu - a seabound city well known for its beautiful coastal waters, surfing and warm Pacific sun. The hiking trails here are really wonderful especially the Point Dume point - a famous proposal spot where you are literally on top of the ocean, listening to the sound of crashing waves, and if you're lucky, you may even see whales bobbing in the distance.
Downtown LA is also an eclectic spot to walk through, being able to marvel at the art-deco forms of architecture, visiting the Bradbury Building or enjoying a free concert at Grand Park, bar hopping, or visiting the wonderful Last Bookstore. Every second Thursday of the month, the area comes alive in a vibrant blend of art, community, culture, and food known as the DTLA Art Walk.
Venice Beach has long been a hub for artistic and musical creativity, harboring the hippie movement of the 70s and being a major source of inspiration for artists like Jim Morrison of The Doors. The boardwalk by the beach has hundreds of street vendors to peruse through, performers to gape at, and an outdoor skatepark and Muscle Beach to work those biceps and beach tans. A well-known surfing spot as well. Just beware of con artists and pickpockets! The adjacent Abbot Kinney Boulevard houses lovely boutiques, and top-end restaurants and bakeries.
Showaround: Favourite restaurant?
Disha: Baco Mercat. Josef Centeno's trademarked baco sandwich is famed across the city. It is a cross between a pizza, taco, and gyros. Everything about this restaurant is top notch from the friendly and knowledgeable staff to the lighting and ambiance, to the food itself of which the oxtail back is just out of this world. This Spanish-fusion fare restaurant is not to be missed. Walk just a few buildings down for dessert at the Peddler's Creamery where the maple pancake ice cream will change your world.
You can't miss a visit to foodie paradise Grand Central Market. Crowds flock to this spot especially for a taste of the beautiful egg and brioche bread sandwich specialties from Eggslut. A gobsmacking start to the day!
Showaround: Best place for a drink?
Disha: Angel City Brewery is a hip little spot in the Arts District of LA with a really neat history. It is the hub for a revival of the city's artists, musicians, hustlers, and craftspeople. They host everything from taco and trivia night to karaoke nights.
Showaround: What about the nightlife?
Disha: LA is a city that doesn't sleep. From low-key bars to roaring night clubs to strip clubs and nighttime mansion pool parties, the city has it all. The Roof on Wilshire, Jumbo's Clown Room, and The Lincoln are examples of bars and clubs that reel in the crowds even on weekdays. On Monday nights, there are free concerts galore everywhere from Bootie LA in the Echoplex to the Bootleg or the Getty Center.
Showaround: How would you describe the local people of Los Angeles?
Disha: Since the city is so large, it is comprised of so many different pockets and Burroughs of culture that it is near impossible to put a label on the Angelenos. But Los Angeles lends a fast-paced style of living and so the Angelenos are a vivacious, energetic bunch. Since LA is such a popular destination, it tends to garner a whole bunch of unfortunate stereotypes. What locals will always advise you to do is to rent a car so that you can explore the city at your own pace, on your own terms. You'll find friendlier people wherever the crowds don't go - so hit up neighborhoods like Echo Park or Silverlake. You'll make new friends wherever you go off the unbeaten trail!
Showaround: Thank you, Disha, for your answers!