Australians setting up shop and home in Los Angeles

Nicknamed the ‘City of Angels’, Los Angeles is America at its glittering, show-stopping best whose bright lights, Hollywood glamour and revamped neighbourhoods are attracting more and more Australians to its shores.

The Australian Consulate-General in LA estimates there are about 60,000 Australians in California, with about 44,000 of them in the greater Los Angeles area. The E3 visa, a two year renewable visa only for Australians, has made it easier than ever for Australians to work in the US without sponsorship. And direct flights from Australia’s east coast makes it an accessible and familiar move.

Los Angeles has experienced a cultural renaissance in recent years which has seen run-down neighbourhoods such as Downtown LA and West Hollywood (WeHO) converted into artist studios and fashion districts, encouraging new business and ideas.

These Aussies have taken a slice of Australia to Tinseltown and now call Los Angeles home.

Bondi Harvest, Santa Monica

The Aussie creators of Bondi Harvest, Guy Turland and Mark Alston took their popular Sydney cafe to Santa Monica where they bring laid-back Aussie surf vibes to breakfast and lunch with a whole food menu based on locally sourced produce, cooking seasonally and eating healthy along with an exceptional coffee offering to match.

“Bondi Harvest is a food reflection of both Bondi and the LA lifestyle — a nice paradox of green smoothies and exercise in the morning, followed by dinner and cocktails with good mates in the evening,” says Guy Turland.
The one thing you would recommend to Aussies on a trip to LA?

“If you’re a lover of great food and super fresh produce you have to check out the Santa Monica Farmers Markets. They’re on every Wednesday and Sunday and the produce is direct from the growers making it a food lover’s dream. Take a picnic basket, chat to the farmers, explore the stalls and then sit on the beach and eat your food bounty while the sun sets,” says Turland.
Your favourite thing about living in LA?

“I love how diverse LA is, with so many cultures come such a variety different food experiences. As a chef it’s like a culinary playground — if you know where to look.”

Where to get the best coffee
“Apart from our new cafe, Bondi Harvest Santa Monica, I’m also loving The Butcher’s Daughter in Venice for my morning piccolo,” he says.

E.P + L.P., West Hollywood

One of the hottest restaurant in Los Angeles right now, E.P. + L.P. in West Hollywood opened in May 2015.

The modern multi-level Asian eating house and rooftop showcases contemporary takes on Southeast Asian fare from Australian Executive Chef, Louis Tikaram. Louis previously headed up the culinary team at Sydney’s Longrain restaurant, but this isn’t the only Aussie connection.

Australian restaurateur and Melbourne DJ, Grant Smillie developed the concept and opened E.P. +L.P. last year.

The one thing you would recommend to Aussies on a trip to LA?
“Everyone will tell you to do the Runyon Hike, check out Abbot Kinney in Venice and the Walk of Fame … but you can definitely leave the Walk of Fame off the list. I would say that you need to do one of the following: Check out a Lakers/Clippers game, catch a wave at Zuma, go celeb spotting at Soul Cycle and then join us at E.P. in West Hollywood for a rooftop cocktail,” says Smillie.

Your favourite thing about living in LA?
“The lifestyle is unrivalled — coming from an outdoor loving community in Australia it’s very easy to slide into the Cali lifestyle of sunshine, beaches and hikes. You never tire of the blue skies that’s for sure.”
What do you miss most about home?
“Hailing from Melbourne, I miss the laneway culture that builds creativity and culture. The laneways made the CBD a vibrant place to visit and there is no shortage of restaurants, bars, pop ups and galleries that are hidden away from the main streets. LA being so spread out does not have this density which Melbourne does which would allow this kind of activity. I also miss my bar in the middle of the Yarra River — Ponyfish Island, it was meant to be a pop up but it just hung around.”

Where to get the best coffee
“There’s great Aussie coffee at Paramount Coffee Project on Fairfax and Alfred Coffee on Melrose place in West Hollywood is a great spot for a coffee and people watching! They just opened the Alfred Tea Room as well on Melrose Place and for those Matcha lovers this place has you covered.”

Disrupt is a design your own sports equipment platform. The founders behind chose Santa Monica to set up a US office for a few reasons:

1. It was close to an active designer and sports community — their current customers.

2. The lifestyle – they’re all mad into sports so being close to the surf, the beach and people with similar values is great

3. Booming start-up scene, San Francisco is still considered the heart but lots of fashion, sports and lifestyle start-ups are choosing LA and Santa Monica to be close to customers, so it’s got a really good local and expat community.
The one thing you would recommend to Aussies on a trip to LA?

“Take trainers — you’re now in fitness territory. There’s few other places you can run in the morning, do yoga at lunch, surf in the day, and skate at sunset,” says Gary Elphick, CEO, Disrupt.

Your favourite thing about living in LA?
“The people. It was an adjustment, spending a large portion of my time in LA but in reality Santa Monica is Bondi Beach but with accents. There is good healthy food, people are friendly, open and will talk to each other. There is a tech-boom which for a geek like me is amazing and I get to be close to our local US manufactures.”

What do you miss most about home?
“‘Home’ an interesting one, I grew up in the UK & lived in Australia for seven years. I love being able to travel and work and the definition of ‘home’ is blurred. For me, home is somewhere you feel content and grounded and for me that’s in a few places. I miss baked beans from the UK and Tim Tams from Australia. They have pretty much everything else here.”

Where to get the best coffee
“Oh, it’s the second question from any Australia. Coffee in America in general is terrible so you have to be in the know. One of the local artists on the Disrupt platform introduced me to Funnel Mill — it’s kind of swanky, individually brewed coffee but was great. And Brendon (another Aussie) from Shoes of Prey showed me an amazing place on Montana and 7th, it will remain nameless — you’ll have to go there to find it for yourself ...”

Eveleigh, West Hollywood
Nick Mathers and Nick Hatsatouris, are the Australian restaurateurs behind The Eveleigh on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, named after the Sydney suburb of Eveleigh.

The Eveleigh has a local, farm-to- table and market-driven menu and has become one of WeHo’s celeb hot spots. Nick and Nick pride themselves on bringing the ‘Australian Spirit’ to all of their restaurants including food driven by season and great service in a laid-back setting.

The one thing you would recommend to Aussies on a trip to LA?
“I think every Aussie should take a stroll down Abbott Kinney to shop and eat, and drink,” says Hatsatouris.

Your favourite thing about living in LA?
“I love the diversity of LA. The weather is great, you can eat well, and live a really healthy lifestyle but there is a lot more to the city. We obviously have Hollywood, but there is a really rich Mexican and Latino culture, strong Asian communities, a great food and beverage culture built on fresh produce, a great art scene. Over the time I have been living in the city, I have seen different parts of the city really start to develop their own personality. I think in the past the lifestyle was a lot more destinational, but people don’t want to get in their cars as much as before and that has led to some really unique neighbourhoods.”

What do you miss most about home?
“My family of course. Then the amazing city beaches and breakfast culture. Aussies have a great cafe culture and do a killer breakfast.”
Where to get the best coffee
“I don’t drink a lot of coffee but like what they are doing over at Paramount Coffee Project on Fairfax.”




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