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SHOP West Third is an oasis of strollable boutiques in a city-size desert of drive-to destinations
Within a square mile you’ll find two major malls—the Beverly Center ➊ (8500 Beverly Blvd., 310-854-0070. Beverlycenter.com) and the open-air The Grove ➋ (189 The Grove Dr., 323-900-8080. Thegrovela.com)—and a string of great boutiques, not to mention the Farmers Market ➌ (6333 W. Third St., 323-933-9211. Farmersmarketla.com). Blend a bespoke perfume at Le Labo ➍ (8385 W. Third St., 323-782-0411. Lelabofragrances.com) or take home this modern alchemist’s L.A.-themed Musc 25 scent ($260 US). Pyrrha ➎ (8315 W. Third St., 323-424-4807. Pyrrha.com), the celeb-favoured Vancouver-based jewellery line, recently opened an airy space to showcase its wax-seal pendants. The InStyle crowd shops at Kitson ➏ (115 S. Robertson Blvd., 310-859-2652. Shopkitson.com), the hipper-than-thou trend temple owned by Canadian Fraser Ross.
EAT Dial up a retro meal at storied joints like The Ivy and Mr. Chow. Or shine with a new cast of stars in luxe rooms featuring molecular marvels and sharable small plates
Alongside West Coast locations of New York big guns (Tom Colicchio’s Craft ➊, 10100 Constellation Blvd., 310-279-4180. Craftrestaurant.com; Mario Batali’s Pizzeria Mozza ➋, 641 N. Highland Ave., 323-297-0101. Mozza-la.com), we love homegrown stars like Suzanne Goin, whose high gastronomy honed at Lucques finds a more affordable home at chic A.O.C.➌ (8022 W. Third St., 323-653-6359. Aocwinebar.com). The black rice with squid and saffron aioli is a must.
Take Spanish immersion at The Bazaar ➍ (465 S. La Cienega Blvd., 310-247-0400. Thebazaar.com), chef José Andrés’s temple to molecular gastronomy at the luxe SLS Beverly Hills Hotel. The $65 chef’s tasting menu brings anchovy-stuffed olives in a tin with “olives” (spheres of liquefied olive, held together by an edible membrane and a dash of genius)—plus a dozen other mind-bending small courses and desserts. A reliable favourite for celebrity spotting and killer spicy tuna on sticky rice is Katsuya ➎, a chic sushi chain with four area locations (we like 6300 Hollywood Blvd., 323-871-8777. Sbe.com/katsuya). Still the best place to spot a hungry celeb at 1 a.m. is the In-N-Out Burger ➏ in Hollywood (7009 W. Sunset Blvd. In-n-out.com). Order your fresh-made burger and fries in the off-the-menu “animal style” variation—trust us.
Feeling retro? Cop a kitschy Shirley Temple vibe at The Fountain Coffee Room ➐ in the Beverly Hills Hotel (9641 Sunset Blvd., 310-276-2251. Thebeverlyhillshotel.com), where you’ll perch on a pink barstool and order your French toast from a circa-1949 uniformed server. Lunch should be taken on the patio at The Ivy ➑ (113 N. Robertson Blvd., 310-274-8303 ), a preserved slice of 1980s shabby-chic California where the star quotient is still high (we saw a table of Lakers) and the Cobb salad is still great. Do drinks at Jamie Foxx hole Mr. Chow ➒ (344 N. Camden Dr., 310-278-9911. Mrchow.com) where the food ain’t great but the haute-chinoise vibe is. Dine at Dan Tana’s ➓ (9071 Santa Monica Blvd., 310-275-9444. Dantanasrestaurant.com), serving checkered-tablecloth Italian to the likes of Clint Eastwood and George Clooney. Close the night by 3 a.m. at Pink’s Hot Dogs (709 N. La Brea Blvd., 323-931-4223. Pinkshollywood.com), serving the same chili dog in the same spot for over 70 years.
STAY Sure, you could stay at the Best Western (especially the great Sunset Plaza location, for less than $200 a night). But these three spots will make you feel like a star even in the unlikely event you don’t actually see one.
The Standard Downtown LA550 South Flower St., 213-892-8080.Standardhotels.com ➊ The hotel that kick-started the hipification of downtown is still the epicentre of cool. A basic Medium room is a pleasingly white and spartan 300-square-foot arrangement of queen-size platform bed, long wall-side desk, and peekaboo glass shower; Humongous, at nearly double the price and square footage, buys you a king-size and a sitting room to boot. Stay here if your main purpose in L.A. is symphony or sports, or you don’t mind taking the clean, quick, and cheap subway (nearest stop: one block away) to West L.A. for more entertainment and dining options. Best spot The Rooftop Bar (guests get guaranteed access) offers red waterbed-pod seating, DJs, and cultural events like Filter magazine’s Culture Collide Festival (October 7 to 10) Rooms Medium from $245; Humongous from $400
Thompson Beverly Hills 9360 Wilshire Blvd., 310-273-1400. Thompsonbeverlyhills.com➋ This sleek, sexy Beverly Hills boîte attracts a power-business crowd and Brits with big shopping bags. Splurge for a suite, which has a full kitchen, low-slung leather seating in the living room, infinity-edge soaker tub in one of the two bathrooms, and a divine Sferra-fitted king-size bed. Stay here and you’ll be in the only area of L.A. you can remotely call walkable, within striking distance of great shopping and hot restaurants. Rooms from $449
The Roosevelt 7000 Hollywood Blvd., 323-466-7000. Hollywoodroosevelt.com ➌ This icon housed Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable back in the day, and has been packing in the cool crowd again since its 2005 renovation. Black-and-white portraits line hallways and guest room walls; heavily tattooed musicians and their teeny-bikinied companions flank the David Hockney-designed pool. Mini-bar treats include candies in pharmaceutical pill bottles (wink wink). Stay here if you seek the dark and slightly louche feel of a true Hotel California, and if you don’t mind finding your oasis of cool in the middle of tourist central. Best spot Poolside Room 100 in the low-rise Tropicana wing Rooms from $319
PLAY Equal parts glam and grunge, there’s still a Los Angeles out there for music lovers.There are glitzier, grungier, and more storied rooms—from The Troubadour ➊ of the James Taylor/Tom Waits era (9081 Santa Monica Blvd. Troubadour.com) to the Johnny Depp-owned Viper Room ➋ (8852 W. Sunset Blvd., 310-358-1881. Viperroom.com). But The Largo at the Coronet ➌ (366 N. La Cienega Blvd., 310-855-0350. Largo-la.com) has an authentic laid-back vibe and regular gigs by musicians like Jon Brion and comics like Sarah Silverman.
If you want to make music, not listen to it, book the studio beneath the Sunset Marquis, where the likes of Jeff Beck and Aerosmith have recorded at NightBird ➍ (1200 Alta Loma Rd., 310-657-8405. Nightbirdrecordingstudio.com). Get ready for your solo at Westwood Music ➎ (1627 Westwood Blvd., 310-478-4251. Westwoodmusic.com), where owner Fred Walecki has served nearly every significant American band of the last three decades.