My best friend and I will be in Los Angeles from February 21st to March 4th
We will be at I.T.T.S for a three day tactical carbine course.
It’s not our first stay in L.A., but we need some advises:
Where are the best place to buy optics (ACOG and EOTECH) and others guns-related stuff like holsters, Blackhawk or Eagle gear, 5.11 etc?
Where are the best places to have fun?
We also have to bring back some American apparel like Ralph Lauren, Timberland for our friends. Where should we go?
And what's the weather like in that season?
JohnParis: After consulting with my sister, who is a world-class shopaholic, she suggests going to the outlet mall in Cabazon (off Interstate 10, heading towards Palm Springs) for the Timberland stuff.
For Polo (Ralph Lauren?), she suggested the Carlsbad outlet mall (off Interstate 5, heading towards San Diego). Check the Web site (www.chelseafactoryoutlets.com). Most are within two or three hours of Los Angeles, I believe.
Locally, I don't know of L.A.-area shops that carry a good selection of the gun stuff you're looking for. I do know, however, that you could probably order from SMG Lee off his Web site www.cltactical.com and arrange to pick it up or meet, though you'd have to arrange that ahead of time; I don't want to speak for him. He has a nice selection of stuff as well as competitive pricing.
Though I haven't taken an ITTS class, several of my shooting friends have, and all give it high marks.
As for fun, what kind of fun are you looking for? If you want to ride dirt bikes, there are plenty of places to go within two or three hours of L.A. Same goes for off-roading/4WD. Miles of great roads in the mountains if you feel like a spirited drive in your hire car. Excellent mountain and road biking in SoCal as well.
Weather should be very good--on the cool, crisp side at night and in the morning but sunny most of the day. Usually not much rain.
If you can come over earlier, you might want to check out the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.
You should be able to find all the vendors for the equipment you mention there.
If you don't happen to be 'afiliated' with the firearms business to register, you might try to party with Eric Danis (DANTEC) who's coming in from France for the show. (dantecfrance(a)wanadoo.fr)
Lots of shopping malls in Las Vegas and on the way to California later!
You probably won't be able to buy stuff off the floor at the SHOT Show.
With one exception, I can't think of any good storefronts (shops) where you can find optics and stuff like that, but you might want to think about a gun show. The only gun shows in California during your trip are San Francisco on 18-19 Feb and Fresno on 25-26 Feb, plus a show in Phoenix, Arizona, on 25-26 Feb. None of these places are very close to Los Angeles, but there are usually vendors like Bay Area Shooting Supplies selling lots of reasonably-priced optics.
The exception is Quantico Arms in Oceanside. I've never been in there, but I believe they have a lot of nifty tactical gear. Oceanside is about a two hour (or more) drive from Los Angeles, depending on traffic.
My wife is also a Frenchie who likes to shoot, so feel free to drop us a line if, when you get tired of training with 5.56mm, you want to do some recreational shooting of real rifles like M1s and M1903s at Angeles Ranges (where ITTS trains): firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to thank you all for your responses.
That’s why I love this site so much. Great people here!
Reading your messages, I remember how BIG your city (and country!) is. Everything is two hours, three hours DRIVE from where you are...
I live in Paris: 6 miles North to South, 8 miles West to East. In summer, I take my bike to visit friends at the opposite side of the city...go figure!
Unfortunately, we cannot come over earlier or come back later.
We have not planned anything yet, except of course our three days course. May be we will drive to Vegas for two or three days, that’s what we have done last time. We stopped at a big shopping mall off the highway...
May be this time we will check Kato4moto’s sister addresses!
For gun related stuff, I think that we will have to order on line from dealers associated to this site, for a delivery at our hotel.
Regarding the fun:
When we came in 2004, we asked the rental agency about off road driving: Forbidden, no insurance. We were upset!
Otherwise...we will act like perfect tourists!
Last time we went to Chinese theater, drove on Mulholland, ran on Venice beach, walked on Rodeo drive in Beverly hills, drank at the Coyote Ugly in Huntington Beach – a lot of hotties there - and so on...
This time we don’t know yet. Are there some places we should see? Your favourites restaurants or bars? Incredible landscapes in the area? Sunset over the ocean from the hills? Local LEO for a ride-along?
Tell us about anything you really love in your city!
Here are a few restaurant recommendations:
Katsu-ya sushi on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City. Good lunch spot, near the studios. Very high chance of spotting a celebrity there at lunchtime. If you get there when it opens at 11:30 a.m., they can usually seat you without a reservation; any later than call ahead first.
Cafe Beujolais in Glendale. Not sure if you want to go to a French restaurant when you're in L.A., but this one is pretty good with reasonable prices, and the waiters will speak your language too.
Langer's deli is a famous old restaurant near downtown L.A. that specializes in pastrami sandwiches. Outside it seems like you're in Mexico or some other third world country, but when you go into the restaurant it feels like you've stepped back in time in L.A. Very popular lunch spot for local businessmen, etc.; my dad used to take me there when I was a kid so I have good memories there. I wouldn't want to spend too much time in the surrounding neighborhood after dark, though. You can take the metro there (Red Line) or park in a lot a block away.
As far as shopping goes, try the Grove:
This is a newer outdoor shopping center that's actually very well done. It's right next door to the Farmer's Market which is a famous old L.A. landmark. You will pay full retail here though. Good people watching and a decent selection of chain restaurants.
My wife really likes the Carlsbad outlets, we usually go there when we take our kids to Legoland:
Carlsbad is about a 1 1/2 to 2 hour drive from L.A.
The only spot I can think of to shop for tactical gear is Botach Tactical; they have a bad rep for internet sales but I believe you can buy stuff directly at their warehouse. It's in South Central L.A. which is not the best neighborhood:
Weather is kind of unpredictable around the time you'll be here. Make sure you bring rain gear to your carbine course. Although it could be hot and sunny; bring sunscreen too.
That's all that I can think of at the moment in the immediate L.A. area!! Have fun in your carbine class.
Edited to add: If you're near the airport at LAX and have some time to kill, have some burgers at In 'n Out burger, which is right next to the runway at LAX, sit outside, and watch the planes land:
The South Bay beaches are close to there (Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach); both Manhattan and Hermosa have bars, single women, etc., Hermosa is probably a better choice for that.
Thank you for all the addresses, I think that we are going to test most of them!
Cafe Beujolais for sure, because it’s always funny to eat in a French restaurant abroad...just to see if it’s a real one! I remember the Paris restaurant in Las Vegas, it was funny as hell!
And Hermosa because Californian single women are the most attractive girls in the world, except those from Paris...may be. We must check!
Eh, I think you had it right the first time.....
JohnParis, contact me.
I might be at ITTS for a day class on sunday 19th for my KM instructor course. I live in L.A. as well, on the west side.
Cafe Beaujolais is no Taillevent but it's not bad at all! By the way, I made a minor mistake in my first post, Cafe Beaujolais is in Eagle Rock which is not Glendale (but it's basically next door).
two days before arrival...any other idea?
Come down south to Disneyland and get some souveniors for the kids. About an 45 min. drive south on 5 Freeway.
If you take 10 Freeway east toward Palm Spring you will get to Desert Hills Premium Outlet Mall in Cabazon. They have both Ralph Lauren and Timberland outlet stores, plus few other high end brands like Versace and Armani. There's also an Indian casino nearby. If you want the latest and greatest, go to Beverley Hills.