If you’ve been following along with I’m Taking Off since I started this blog last year, you may have gleaned a few things about me. I’m obsessed with Paris, I love to eat and I love books! Keeping those last two passions of mine in mind, I decided to start a new feature on ITO where I highlight a restaurant and bookstore that I frequent, whether here at home in Los Angeles or while I’m traveling. So this will be the inaugural post for Pages + Plates! Ideally the restaurant and bookstore I’ll highlight will be in close proximity to one another so that should you ever find yourself in the areas I mention, you too can visit them with ease! First up in the series is Dialog Café & Book Soup, two West Hollywood staples that are popular for good reason.
Dialog Café, 8766 Holloway Dr., West Hollywood, CA 90069
Dialog Café is quaint restaurant that sits on the corner of Sunset Blvd and Holloway Drive so you can’t miss it. Once you stand in line to place your order, you have your choice of indoor or outdoor seating on their covered patio and if weather permits I would definitely choose outside! Because the patio was full, I sat indoors in a space that’s not quite spacious but I would describe it as intimate rather than crowded. They have a very simple, reasonably priced menu to choose from that includes your standard breakfast and lunch, pastries and beverages. I opted for the traditional omelette and a sea salt caramel latte. The omelette was really good and filling without being heavy like typical diner food but the highlight was the latte! My newfound love of coffee may be making me say this, but it was delicious. I like coffee that is sweet with a kick but not too strong and this was just that! Food and drinks aside, what I enjoyed most about Dialog Café was how welcoming of a space it was and that’s largely due to that staff that runs it. As a family owned business, it runs with a certain smoothness and familiarity that makes it a neighborhood favorite. It seems like the kind of café where the cashier knows your “usual”. An older gentleman by the name of Raphael, who I believe may be the owner, was very charming and inviting. He checked on customers, delivered food to tables himself, and made sure everyone’s experience was up to par. That is the kind of customer service that will have me return time and time again.
Book Soup Bookstore, 8818 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069
A few steps down from Dialog Café, you’ll find Book Soup, Hollywood’s largest independent bookstore. Aside from a vast collection of books, you will also find vinyl records, souvenirs, and bookish merchandise. The towering bookshelves are filled to the brim with interesting titles, many of which come highly recommend by the staff. You can tell which titles are recommendations from the brightly colors laminated cards that line the shelves. Although Book Soup is a relatively small bookstore, the maze of bookshelves leave you wondering if there are any areas you forgot to explore. Should you find yourself asking this question, feel free to take another lap or two like I did. I know bookstores don’t seem to find their way on to too many travel itineraries, but I strongly encourage you to give it a second thought. We often talk about immersing ourselves in culture and seeing how locals live when we travel and I strongly believe book stores give us that chance. Walk into a bookstore and see what area gets the most traffic. Are you in a city where the popular genre is romance or a town full of history buffs? Actual books aside, some of the most amazing architecture I’ve seen has been bookstores and libraries! If you’re not convinced yet, stay tuned because everywhere I go, I will bring you more recommendations!
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