Consider Griffith Park.
With 4,310 acres of rugged terrain, it makes NYC’s Central Park look like your mom’s vegetable garden. Hell, there’s a mountain lion living there.
How many major U.S. city parks can claim a free-roaming apex predator among their fauna?
So today, we’d like to honor our city’s verdant heart with a weekend itinerary that’ll do the body good.
On the docket: a great cup of joe, a little-known but strenuous hike hiding right under your nose, and a healthy new burger that’s impossibly delicious.
It’s going to be hot this Saturday afternoon, so get an early start (but do be mindful of the big cat and bring a flashlight and loud voices).
Go Get Em Tiger
One of L.A.’s best local coffee shops just opened an outpost in Los Feliz, near Griffith Park. Their standard cup of pour-over joe and the soft scrambled egg sandwich (not filling, tastes great) will get you going. Read the news or get some right-swipes in on the expansive, white patio.
4630 Hollywood Blvd (map)
Northside Loop in Griffith Park
The Observatory, the Hollywood Sign and the Greek take all the plaudits, but the Northside Loop, a seldom traversed trail that overlooks the Valley and the San Gabriels, is Griffith’s real gem. At nearly seven miles, it’s not for the weary: there’s even a section that requires some boulder-scrambling.
Bee Rock and the Old L.A. Zoo
If the previously mentioned hike is too Lewis and Clark for you, the hike to Bee Rock loops back through the Old L.A. Zoo. It’s just under four miles and will take you two hours. It’s also not crowded, so you’ll feel less trail pressure. That said, you’ll still reach a peak with great panoramic views of the city and the San Gabriels, and the descent through the Zoo is a trip. You can actually climb around the lion dens and hop on the still-in-use 1926 carousel.
Crossroads Kitchen: The Impossible Burger
Silicon Valley money and some supremely talented chefs have teamed up to make the Impossible Burger, a new plant-based patty that tastes like the real deal. It even bleeds. It’s also unprocessed and made with just five ingredients: potato protein, coconut oil, wheat, soy and — most importantly — heme. Impossible’s comes from lentil roots, which have the same iron you’d find in beef. It sizzles like meat, too. For now, you can only try one at Crossroads Kitchen, because chef/owner Tal Ronnen is one of the minds behind it. They’re serving it In-N-Out style with crispy truffle fries. It’s as delicious as a burger and won’t leave your body misshapen.
8284 Melrose Ave (map)