Expat Q&A: Jodie Fried, co-founder Armadillo & Co (Venice, LA)

Want the lowdown on Venice, Los Angeles, from an Australian expat in the know? 

LA resident for almost a decade Jodie Fried, Co-Founder and Creative  Director of Armadillo & Co, will send you in the right direction. 


Where are you originally from?

I was born in Adelaide and then studied and worked in Sydney for 15 years.


Where are you living now?

Venice in Los Angeles.


How long have you been there?

Nine years.


What is best thing about living where you do?

Having the beach on our doorstep, living in a community of like-minded creative friends from all over the globe and the availability of sensational and obscenely healthy food.


What’s one thing people should do when they visit that only a local would know about?

Definitely visit the Eames House in Santa Monica, you have to make a reservation weeks ahead but it is well worth it.


Where is the best place to get a coffee? Why’s it a favourite?

Gjusta Bakery in Venice, although I prefer to get an almond milk chai! The atmosphere and food is incredible.


Your favourite place/s to eat and what’s the best thing on the menu?

Both local Venice haunts; I love Wallflower, incredible Indonesian street food with unforgettable cocktails. The architecture and design of the restaurant is also very impressive and it has a great happening vibe; the best thing on the menu is the nasi goreng with a Siam Sunset cocktail. Just a few blocks down is Cerveteca, which I love for its Mexican baja fish tacos and five-spiced pulled pork sandwich.


Where do you go shopping?

For fresh produce, the local growers’ markets in Venice and Santa Monica are always a great experience. I love supporting local Californian and Venice artists and designers, so some faves are The General Store, Parachute, Stahl + Band and Aviator Nation just to name a few. For really special items I hit Melrose Place to have an exceptional retail experience.


What’s your favourite place in the city?

I love the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. It is an amazing way to get a great perspective of the city as well as seeing world class exhibitions. The garden and architecture is breathtaking and every time I go, with the change of each season, it looks and feels different.


What are the best neighbourhoods to hang out in/explore?

I love Downtown for the happening arts scene as well as urban cafes and restaurants. Exploring the westside coast by bike is always a favourite, as well as heading up to Malibu for the beaches and hikes through the canyons.


What would you recommend doing for the perfect Sunday?

Brunch at Gjelin followed by spending the day at Leo Carillo State Park Beach swimming, surfing or exploring the beach caves until the sun sets. It’s a magical place with lots of dolphins!


How has living there changed your life?

My life is so rich living here because of all the incredible people we have met and the cultures we have been exposed to. LA is a real melting pot of creatives and cultures from all around the globe.



Check out these other Australian’s living abroad:

– Expat: Lisa Chedanne, Director-designer of Lilya label

– Expat: Alissa Jenkins, Freelance travel and Lifestyle Journalist

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This article appeared in issue 30

Our annual "100" issue (Sep/Oct/Nov 2017) features: 

  • 100 Awesome places to see before you turn 100
  • Spain's ancient Camino de Santiago
  • Galapagos Islands by boat
  • The Northern Lights from the Scandinavian Arctic
  • Morocco's Blue City
PLUS we spend 48 hours in Abu Dhabi, find luxury in NZ's Bay of Islands, take a peek at UK's unique Lake District, and much more!