Brooklyn Creative Beatrice Helman's #VolterreVoyage Guide to LA


Bea wears the Dunes 002.

Beatrice Helman, or Bea for short, a Brooklyn-based writer and film photographer who's been published by cool-girl outlets like Man Repeller, Sunday Girl Magazine, and Accidental Discharge. has an eye for all things low-key-cool. She's also no stranger to giving killer travel guides, so we knew that when Bea set post in the PaliHotel Melrose for her vacation to LA last summer, we had to see where she'd take her film camera and her Dunes 002 frames.



Gjusta is the sister of Gjelina, the permanently packed restaurant, and it’s a perfect early breakfast to late lunch spot. It can definitely get crowded but if you time it to miss the morning crush then it’s completely manageable, and the food is worth the wait anyways, since you can see and be seen. The apple juice is unbelievably sweet and the salads as fresh as can be. The tomato confit sandwich is definitely something people might miss but is a menu highlight.  Sqirl is the place that everyone says to go but for good reason. The turmeric tonic can heal anything and there’s options for the meat eaters and veggie eaters. The sorrel bowl and the breakfast sandwich are family favorites. Get the veggie tower at Botanica and If you’re in the mood for ramen, Silverlake Ramen has it covered. Dinosaur Coffee has the big tables and sandwiches to keep you working all day, and if you’re on the other side of town, in Malibu, stop for a juice and salad at Sunlife Organics. For all your small and adorable grocery store needs, go to Cookbook in Echo Park, get a hummus and a coffee and soak up some sun.


If you need more coffee, LA is definitely the place to be. The coffee shop options are overwhelming, and most of them are really, really good. Intelligentsia, which has locations in Venice and Silverlake, is a classic spot, beloved and with their signature blue tiled floors. Verve is the well stocked stay all day option, and the location in West Hollywood has one of the best outdoor coffeeshop spaces around. Plus, it’s next to Gracias Madre, the best vegan Mexican food in town. For celebrity sightings go to Alfred’s in West Hollywood, and for coffee in Culver City, go to Bar Nine, a spot of quiet. If you’re in Koreatown, head to The Line Hotel for an open air lobby and coffee, or to Document Coffee Bar for latte art. G&B in Grand Central Market has the cutest counter top and special coffee options during the holidays. In Echo Park you can go to the Blue Bottle, or try something different at Eightfold Coffee, which is airy and has coffee and matcha and pastries and everything you could ever need.


Topanga is the kind of magical place that makes people want to move to LA, and I’ve found more than a few of my favorite slips at Hidden Treasure, the classic vintage store beloved by stylists and people in search of purple velvet flares. Lily Ashwell has some of the cutest dresses in town, and General Store has everything you might need to bring home, from pins to local beauty products, to vintage books and ceramics. Shop Super Street has everything from fashion to home goods to art objects, and has been beloved since it opened, as has Decades, the famous vintage store that’s always worth stopping in to look at, just for fun, because it has some of the coolest clothes around. For records, for the biggest selection, go to Amoeba Music, where they have signings and shows, and where you can waste hours on a rainy day. For books, head to Skylight Books, and for kind of off the beaten path dresses, go to Myrtle. And last but not least, Ooga Booga is my favorite place to stop for zines.


When it comes to doing things in LA, there are a few things everyone should spend time doing. Going to the beach in Malibu is one of those things; if you’re lucky there’ll be a kids surfing competition going on and you can watch kids surf waves better than most adults. The Griffith Observatory is stunning for its ability to exist in the middle of LA and be so enormous, so giant and remarkable, and is worth the line of cars and potential walk up the hill. Everyone should spend time walking the Venice canals at least once, and while the boardwalk can be overwhelming, the skate park is a classic Venice way to pass the time. The Santa Monica Farmer’s Market is famous for its produce options, but if you aren’t nearby, the Silverlake Farmer’s Market has the vintage clothes and all the strawberries a person could ever want. The Hollywood Bowl truly lives up to its reputation as one of the best places to see a show, if someone you like is in town, just like Runyon Canyon lives up to its reputation as one of the best places to put on your sneakers and take a walk, or hike, or run, as does Griffith Park. Being outside is one of the best things about LA, so whether it’s sitting outside at a coffee shop, sitting outside at The Bungalow or The Standard with a drink or watching a rollerskating show at Good Times At Davey Wayne’s, enjoy it.

“LA is one of those places that is so packed full of places to go and things to eat and waves to run through that it can be hard to prioritize. I fell in love with LA early, and I’ve only grown more and more attached to it. It’s kind of a magic place, full of canyons to explore and donut shops that are actually worth stopping at. It can be really hard to figure out what’s worth driving forty five minutes for, so here are a few things that I think are pretty worth it..”

Been to any of these LA spots? Got any other must-do's in LA? Share your #volterrevoyages and check out @beahelman on Instagram.