LA is such an amazing place! This city reflects perfectly the idea of California: palms tree, beach, chilled people, sun, great atmospherea!! The only bad thing is that it's too big. Of course it is an expensive city.. But that's just like every big city! I would raccomend to stay in the beach city and then go to visit the other neoghborhoods.
Insider Tip:If you need to go somewhere far, the cheapest way is Uber, specially for 2-3 ppl (I paid 30$ from Santa Barbara to North Hollywood and I was by myself).