Our two weeks in California all started with an amazing stay in Torrance. It’s located right in the heart of Los Angeles County with a 15 min drive from LAX, 20 min drive from downtown Los Angeles and 5 mins from their quiet beach. We highly recommend checking out Torrance for its great accommodation options, amazing food and lots of activities.
Best Western Plus Avita Suites
Perfectly located in the middle of Torrance is the Best Western Plus Avita Suites. We checked in as soon as we landed. Parking was free and convenient. Our check-in process went smooth with the friendliest front desk who offered us cookies and water upon arrival! Cookies = happy camper! There was also a coffee station located in the lobby filled with Starbucks which was available at all times. We stayed on the 4th floor which also has the hotel gym and guest laundry.
Our room was a well-sized suite fully equipped with a kitchen area including a fridge (not full-sized yet not mini), sink and microwave. It also had a big sectional couch and a big desk. The bathroom was split into two areas with the toilet and shower with a locked door and the sink on the outside. The sink area had a big countertop with storage underneath. This design of the bathroom is always welcomed when there are two or more in the room! It’s extremely convenient and cuts time in half while getting dressed. The room has a big deep closet as well as a large dresser. The beds were very comfortable with electrical sockets well placed on the sides.
The breakfast was included and was my favorite part! I was expecting a regular continental breakfast with limitation but I was completely wrong. Cafe Avita had every single thing a person could ever need in a breakfast. Make-your-own breakfast sandwich station with rounded out eggs and sausages, also other stations for make-your-own waffle, pancake, granola, bagels. They had options for sausages; pork, chicken or turkey. Any style of coffee drink you could want. I was very impressed.
Things to See/Do
Del Amo Fashion Center
Located only a few minutes from our hotel is the 3rd largest mall in America, the Del Amo Fashion Center. We needed an Uber just to get from one side to the other side of the mall. It was super quiet on a Thursday night and they had every single store you could ever need. We had dinner inside at Din Tai Fung and had some dessert at Cinnabon afterward. Right in between the two is a fun virtual reality ride but they were closed by the time we got there.
Old Torrance is beautiful in the evening. Strings of lights draped over the two main roads. There are big wide sidewalks and room for bicycles. Most of the best eateries and bars are located in Old Torrance so it’s a perfect spot for a night out. You can take walking tours of the Historic Old Torranceas as well as many museums.
Torrance State Beach
Torrance has the perfect beach. Only 5 mins away from the hotel we arrived at an amazing quiet beach. Some people were exercising, lounging and simply enjoying the great weather. There was plenty of parking. We walked down to Perry’s Cafe & Beach Rentals. It was possible to rent bicycles, surfboards, beach chairs, and umbrellas. We highly recommend biking along The Strand which starts at Torrance Beach and ends up in Malibu! The Torrance beach was beautiful with the hillside on the left and the endless stretch of sand to the right. We got a delicious lunch at Perry’s Cafe, they have great service and decent prices. We ordered the breakfast burrito and fish tacos. We also tried their iced tea and milkshake. It was all made fresh and was delicious.
Where to Eat & Drink
If you are looking for places for a quick bite, we highly recommend King’s Hawaiian Bakery. They have a great selection of baked goods and donuts. They are known for the famous King’s Hawaiian Rolls and Buns which you can buy fresh. We headed their first thing in the morning and it was already busy! The staff was super friendly and we devoured all the sweet items we got.
Torrance also has an In-n-Out for Canadians that have never tried it. I am sure everyone has heard of the In-n-Out franchise that is so famous in North America but you can only get in the West Coast States. This location of In-n-Out surprisingly didn’t have a long line up as most locations do and the burgers were delicious for a late-night bite.
Mexican food is a must when visiting anywhere in California and we heard that Madre! Oaxacan Restaurant and Mezcaleria were the best in Torrance. It was the first meal of our trip and we were super excited. Located in Old Town Torrance, this restaurant had a great menu. We were just in time for their happy hour specials which had great prices. They specialize in mezcal cocktails so we had to try the Smokey Mule, Paloma & Smokey Margarita. We ordered the Shrimp Cerviche Tostada and the Lobster Quesadilla which were delicious.
Local Kitchen is a good place to go for great ambiance and food. It’s also located in the center of Old Torrance. It’s got oversized tables and chairs and TVs on every wall. The decor was fascinating with a vintage yet comfy feel. It’s got a huge mural dedicated to Torrance along the side of the bar seating area. The best part of this restaurant was the staff; I’ve never seen a group of people be so friendly and so effective in their work! We weren’t too hungry going in yet we finished all the plates we ordered; that’s when you know the food is really good! We had their skillet guacamole, shared a grilled prime flat iron and ended with a delicious chocolate chunk skillet that put us into heaven! We highly recommend this restaurant for its atmosphere, great staff, and awesome food!
A perfect spot for dinner is a famous Michelin star franchise located inside the Del Amo Fashion Centre is Din Tai Fung. We had an incredible experience at this restaurant. Walking in, we passed by a room where you can watch them make dumplings. We were lucky we only had to wait 5 mins for our table; by the time we left the restaurant, there was a huge lineup! Their bar area was super nice with the bartender explaining how the menu worked and their suggestions. When we got a seat at the table, there was a card with instructions on how to eat soup dumplings properly which I found to be a very thoughtful idea! We had their Braised beef noodle soup, spicy chicken wontons, shrimp Xian Long Bao and a side of garlic broccoli. I also had a red bean bun. All items were insanely delicious! Everything tasted fresh and high in quality! Din Tai Fung is a must-eat!
Torrance has got a large selection of breweries and taprooms so we needed to try a couple out!
We arrived at Yorkshire Square Brewery thinking it would be a basic British pub but were surprised to find out it was much more than that. They carried cask ale, which is hard to find. They also carried a large variety of stouts. We were able to sample a few before picking the ones we wanted. The taproom is spacious and comfy with a fireplace. It’s also got a great patio area with games and heat lamps.
We also checked out Smog City Brewery which was very similar to breweries in Toronto. Inside, there was a seating area that is surrounded by all the barrels of brew. There is also a clean, new, and modern patio with an adjacent food truck. It wasn’t too busy as it is back home and they had plenty of seating available. They had a large selection of craft beer in which we had the Little Bo Pils, a Czech style pilsner. Every beer they craft has got its unique label design which adds to the personality of the brewery. Fresh and crisp beer, and clean fun vibe, we recommend Smog City Brewery!
We were super happy in experiencing Torrance’s impressive selection of eateries and breweries, such as Din Tai Fung, Local Kitchen & Yorkshire Square Brewery. The city’s got some unique things to see/do like the Alpine Village and one of the largest malls in America, Del Amo Fashion Center. I would recommend at least 3-4 days to enjoy Torrance, with one full day spent at the beach and biking on The Strand bike trail. It’s a great place to get away from the constant traffic of the rest of Los Angeles and pretty close to the airport. If you are ever planning a trip to California, we highly recommend staying and exploring Torrance!