Hitching in the Californian city of Los Angeles (LA) can be very difficult with the problem of many vagrant and "dangerous" looking individuals using this as a way to move around. You know- train bums traveler kids. I dunno, if you don't wanna be lumped in their boat you may want to take public transportation part of the way. I'm fine with being lumped in that boat, how bout u?
Really, L.A. basically sucks bigtime because it is full of incredibly superficial people with perfect suntans and shit. Hollywood, you get the picture. Getting rides is hard and plus it's hard to hitchhike out of because of sprawl. The bag ladies here are cool.
The only cool place in L.A. (if you're a moderately or even slightly dirty by nature) is Venice and specifically Venice Beach. And Venice Beach is a trip. 50% of the people in Venice Beach are floridly schizophrenic. There are certain streets where you can just camp out and smoke pot openly, whatever... Ask where Sonia is- she's this amazing crazy woman with a mustache who gives constant monologues- insane Shakespeare. You can't talk to her she won't stop talking to herself.
Go to Mao's kitchen in Venice Beach, 1 meal costs $10 but feeds 3 people. Amazing tasting & incredibly vegetarian friendly ("what's your protein" etc.) And this person Sonia might still be living in front of it.
You may want to take the Metrolink train north to Oxnard and try hitchhiking along Highway 101 from there.
You can actually smell the city (or rather, the city's smog) when you get there.