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24 Things People From Los Angeles Always Have to Explain to Out-of-Towners

Los Angeles Insider Guides
by Pamela Chan Jun 17, 2016

1. It’s “THE 101,” not “101.” “THE 5,” not “5.” And “THE 405,” not “405.” You get the gist.

And there is plenty of good reason for that.

2. Did we mentioned that THE 405 is every bit as horrendous as it’s been made out to be?

Sorry. But, unfortunately it is.

3. The Hollywood Sign is not a place for photo-ops. No matter how FAB you feel you may be.

Don’t even dare try hopping that fence. Or any other creative attempt to get up close and personal. Just don’t.

4. Chinatown does not house the best Chinese food. Try the SGV.

Dim Sum, anyone?!

5. Rainy days equate to East Coast snow days.

Once that water starts showering, we Angelenos opt to stay home, stay indoors, and avoid the splish splash of muddy puddles at all costs. If you do happen to be stuck outdoors, you’ll likely find panicked drivers wreaking havoc.

6. Half your days are spent sitting in traffic. No, really, we’re serious.

7. Expect some of the best sushi to be had outside of Japan.

Where else would you find the perfect California Roll or the most decadent tuna ngiri not made in Tokyo? How about a Dragon Roll, a Kamakazi Roll, a multi-ingredient Spider Roll, or an uber Crunchy Tempura Roll?

Go ahead and slurp up plenty of thin, curly noodles from a rich, almost creamy, pork broth before topping it off with a couple of pastel-colored mochi bites in Little Tokyo. It’s the local haven for traditional and adventurous made-to-order handrolls. There’s even kaiten-zushi, aka conveyor-belt sushi.

8. Venice Beach is every bit as weird (or wonderful) as it looks in the movies.

9. Parking tickets and pink slips are just part of life.

LA citywide parking laws are ridiculous. Road signs and restrictions are confusing even to locals, and for out-of-towners, it’s even more of a massive nightmare. Navigate the streets super-duper carefully. Park with extreme caution. Better yet, just be prepared to pay some sort of hefty price for handling any sort of vehicle.

10. Mexican food is king and everybody has at least one favorite taco truck.

La Estrella. Tacos La Fonda. Leo’s Tacos. Tacos Arizas. TacoZone. Every local has a favorite truck and a favorite order. Bean burritos and carne asada fries are totally the thing. So are endless tacos, sopes, mulitas, and quesadillas. Vamos a comer.

11. Those protruding ups in the road surrounding neighborhood homes are not “bumps.”

They’re called “humps.” Why? Ask LA officials.

12. Summer’s in October. And most of November. And also January all the way through April.

So why not just lose the Patagonia puffy vest and Ugg boots all together? The sun shines aplenty in the City of Angels. 365/24/7.

13. Disneyland is NOT in Los Angeles.

Umm… more like Orange County. Don’t you dare get the two areas mixed up or you’ll be sorry.

14. Any temperature below sixty degrees means it’s time to break out that winter coat.

Angelenos are too used to beautiful weather — even the slightest breeze has got us bundling up. If you’re rocking out in a flimsy white t-shirt and tattered jean shorts on a windy day, it’ll pretty much be obvious that you’re not from around here.

15. No, there’s not isn’t a horrendous auto accident up ahead.

Or roadwork. Or a big event. Or a police investigation. Nope, sorry, it’s just 4pm on a Wednesday afternoon.

16. That half-hour, free sitcom taping is actually going to take five+ hours.

Yes, you’ll be sitting through the same joke at least sixteen times. It’s definitely worth the chuckle though and way better than being stuck on the couch with a bag of stale potato chips.

17. Careful now, cause jaywalking tickets are really a thing.

Local cops are notorious for punishing pedestrians for even the pettiest of crimes, especially those “foolish rural people who are unfamiliar with city ways” — aka, ‘Jay.’ Don’t be one of them.

Not only is it super embarrassing, but you’ll end up having to pay an infamously hefty fine that’s quadruple the amount of an illegal parking citation. You’ve been warned.

18. No, you won’t see Ryan Gosling or Jennifer Garner in Hollywood.

Face it. Actors do not hang out in Tinsel Town. And especially not at Hollywood & Highland. So so true.

19. Despite the severe drought, lack of rain, and seemingly endless heat, LA is not a desert.

It just isn’t. That’s a truly outdated or very inaccurate definition. Trust us.

20. There are two San Vincentes, and two Rodeos.

You definitely don’t want to end up on the wrong ones. Because you’ll be lost. We’ve all been there.

21. Better bring your own bags to the grocery store.

Or else, you’ll find yourself paying ten cents for a tiny brown paper bag and hauling around a boatload of just purchased items as you take a long walk of shame. Plastics bags are a thing of the past, my friends. So just be ready.

22. No disrespect to Missing Persons but we are, in fact, a city full of pedestrians.

L to the A was designed as a city for walking. Really. Where do you think all these staircases came from?

23. Flip flops can be worn anywhere, anytime, and on any occasion.

Well, maybe except all the nightclubs… unless you want to be sporting a big old stubbed toe come dawn.

24. There’s only one way to order an In-And-Out burger.

Animal style, anyone?!

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