The excitement leading up to my pre-planned solo date was pretty intense. Then again, it always is. I try to balance the demands of life with little local get-aways that allow me solitude and self-care. Usually, I go for lunch and a movie or visit a bookstore and a cafe. This time, I decided I’d explore my own neighborhood: Playa Vista.
Having lived here for the better part of 10 years, I’m certainly familiar with the area. However, it’s rare that I have time to leisurely walk around and do exactly what I want to do. I got an early start with a vigorous workout so that I could justify a guilt-free indulgence or two. Finally, my day was clear and my solo date was underway!
First up was the Playa Vista Farmer’s Market. We come here as a family all the time and always enjoy the great selection of fruits, vegetables, flowers and more. But I was excited to visit some of the vendors I usually miss while chasing after my 3-year-old. There were four different jewelry vendors. I browsed each one and ended up buying a pair of elegant-yet-edgy teardrop gold earrings made by jewelry designer Sonya Monique. New earrings in tow, I set out for the highlight of my solo trip: lunch at a newer eatery, HomeState.
In Playa Vista for a little over three months, HomeState has become the talk of the town. This is evidenced by the long line that often spills out of the restaurant and through the patio area. While waiting in line, I reviewed the menu and shamelessly checked out other people’s food.
My original plan was to order tacos and a margarita. But while I was in line, I noticed someone eating a salad that looked amazing. I also noticed that in addition to the margarita, there was another blended drink option – a Spicy Paloma! I decided to give it a try based on the description of a grapefruit tequila cocktail with a kick. This was definitely the way to go. I placed my order for the kale cabbage salad with chicken and a brisket taco.
As I focused on not overdoing it with my drink before the food came, I struck up a conversation with the general manager, Lorrena Magaña. She and the staff were super friendly and hospitable. I ran the salad choice by her and got a thumbs-up just as my food was arriving. It came with a lime vinaigrette dressing that I never even tried because the salad was abso-lutely amazing without it. Magaña mentioned that the kale was massaged with the vinaigrette and the chicken had a bit of a kick. Between the salad, the service and the Spicy Paloma, I was in heaven. I never even made it to the taco.
On my walk home, I passed the shops in Runway Playa Vista and decided to stop in Tripli-Kit. I’ve seen this store a million times but never visited. I knew that it was owned by Top Chef alum Brooke Williamson and her husband, Nick Roberts, and that the focus seemed to be culinary items with a few extras. Inside, I discovered an array of so many cool things – from marble mortar and pestle sets to various types of bar and cocktail accoutrements and cookbooks. I fell in love with a crystal ritual oil by Tiny Bandit that smells divine.
As I walked home, I couldn’t help but smile at the fun I had mere steps away from my front door. I’ve always enjoyed how family-friendly Playa Vista is, but this solo date showed me that there really is something for everyone. The other, and possibly the main, reason for my smile was the brisket taco I’d brought from HomeState and would be cracking open before the night was over.