By Santiago Arana

Santiago480x480As a real estate agent who spends most of my week traversing the city, going from home to home and meeting to meeting, I really look forward to a day off, when I can simply stay in the Pacific Palisades and spend the entire day with my family.

I usually start the day by going with my wife and kids to have breakfast at the delicious Maison Giraud, which is very family-friendly. My favorite dish is the salmon plate; the kids love their chocolate croissants. From Maison Giraud, we can watch the colorful farmer’s market right next door. After we eat, we like to stop by for some fresh fruit and veggies, and to pick up some fresh flowers to take home.

Then we like to hit the beach. Will Rogers Beach is a beautiful Palisades beach not far from home, where the kids can play and I can go on a run if I like. Another alternative is mountain biking in the hills above the Palisades, which I love to do, or hiking with my family in Temescal Canyon. The Pacific Palisades are great for outdoor activities.

My favorite spot to have lunch is Café Vida. They have good soup, green juices (try the Alkalizer.) and an amazing chicken jalepeño melt. If we’re in the mood for seafood, we sometimes go to Gladstones.

In the afternoon I usually play sports with my kids in the Palisades Park. They have well-maintained tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and both indoor and outdoor basketball courts. It’s pretty amazing for a community park. In the evening I like to work out at Spectrum Club. Sometimes my wife and I take a yoga class there too.

My family has a few different favorites for dinner. If we want to stay in, we order Indian food from Taj. If we go out, we really like The Pearl Dragon for sushi. They have an amazing chef named Ryo. A couple other favorites are The Hungry Cat and Giorgio Baldi – our favorite for Italian food.

Giorgio Baldi is also nice because it’s right near SHOREbar. There aren’t too many bars in the Palisades, and this one is great. If my wife and I want to go out for a drink, this is the spot. Usually, though, we just go home with the kids and have a relaxing evening in. We’re pretty spent after our day out in the Palisades.

What is your idea of a perfect day on the Westside? Share with me on Twitter at @santiagoarana.


Santiago Arana, a principal at luxury real estate brokerage The Agency, has gained a reputation as one of the top real estate agents in Los Angeles and has been recognized on a national level by NRT and The Wall Street Journal. His sales have established new price records in Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades. Santiago lives in the Palisades with his wife and two children.