Part 2 // Los Angeles
Welcome to the City of Angels. Place where dreams come true. City of stars, celebrities and mysterious ‘moonlighters’ — where a diner waitress could be a future popstar, dancer or a talented musician, and the guy at the bar has just directed an independent movie or the next Hollywood blockbuster.
For those who are planning a trip to the US, or live in the ‘Land of the Free’ — Los Angeles is a hotspot to visit and explore, not just to see where the magic of cinema was born, but also to feel the intoxicating vibe that exits here: a very calm and — simultaneously — thrilling atmosphere of this place.
Go to Venice Beach to surf and watch the sunset, walk to Santa Monica pier to hear street musicians — and, of course, don't forget to drive on Boulevard Sunset to feel the grace and beauty of the Golden Age of Hollywood movies come to life before your eyes as you cruise that famous palm-tree lined promenade, top down, sunnies on — and soaking up that glamorous life in sumptuous style.
The only bad thing about Hollywood, is that sooner or later you will have to leave.
This is our handpicked shortlist of favourite hotspots in Los Angeles — tried, tested, and approved by INK.
California is a place where everything is tasty, a paradise for your receptors, a melting pot of cultures which combines pizzaz and perfect climate, and where the local cuisine incorporates elements of Latino, Spanish, Asian, and Oceanian food traditions, sometimes married together as ‘fusion’.
Most restaurants in LA use only fresh products grown in California, so you will never get a dull, lifeless dish, and healthy options abound — so whether it’s organic, gluten-free, vegan, pescatarian, soy milk (or any other vegetal variety), rare ingredients, spices, vitamin additions or allergy subtractions that you’re after — the restaurants here have you covered, and it’s all done deliciously.
The driving/car culture here also lends itself wonderfully to the food truck trend/phenomenon — and the ocean-set vibe mixed with Mexican roots makes fish tacos and the like an absolute pleasure to try — it’s all super fresh and prepared quickly with a smile, and you can find any number and variety of food trucks around most main street corners.
The celebrity population here has also fuelled a plethora of high-end hotspots, haute cuisine establishments and star chefs, so if you’re after luxury dining — you won’t be disappointed. Everyone from Beyoncé and Jay-Z to Taylor Swift, Cindy Crawford, David Copperfield and David Beckham dine here in several restaurants across the city, and one of the most famous — The Restaurant at the Chateau Marmont — has regularly hosted the brightest stars in Hollywood and beyond, including some of our dearly departed such as: Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, and John Lennon.
It’s not all glitz and glamour though — there are plenty of cosy cafés, al-fresco terraces and rooms with a view where you can simply get a great meal and chill — so here’s our list of the places we rate when we want some good grub in the City of Angels.
Great Italian food with a very welcoming atmosphere. Felix is inspired by the deeply-rooted culinary traditions of regional Italy and enriched with ingredients grown by some of California’s greatest family farms.
Lunch by the ocean? Nobu is definitely the best place to find your zen and enjoy Japanese cuisine. We hate to say this, but — charge your camera/iPhone — and don’t forget about photos, it’s hands-down one of the most Instagrammable places in California.
Address: 22706 CA-1, Malibu, CA 90265
Grand Central Market
The perfect place for an American style ‘cheat day’. At Grand Central Market you’ll find almost every type of cuisine, from burgers to raw bar delicacies. In a nutshell: An all-round street food smorgasboard for your tastebuds senses.
The Nice Guy
A modern Mafia-era inspired bar and restaurant, where you’re likely to end up eating your burger next to Kendall Jenner. Tip: This place works only for dinner, so it's best to hurry and get your reservation in if you want to take a bite out of this one, if you’re only visiting for a short time.
You are in LA! Mecca of cinema and art.
The written history of Los Angeles city and county began with a Spanish colony town that was populated by eleven descendants of Spanish families which were known as "Los Pobladores" who established a settlement in Southern California. The place then changed little in the three decades after 1848, when California became part of the United States… that is, until the “Overlanders” arrived.
The influx of namely white Protestants from the Lower Midwest and South altered California and the landscape of Los Angeles for ever — and soon, Hollywood had made the area famous across the world, and people started flocking to this now sprawling metropolis for their shot at the limelight and a look at the glamorous life of the celebrities that had already made it big there.
The city also grew in terms of culture, music, art and more, and is now home to a great number of museums, festivals, expos, markets and art installations — both street-set and in beautiful locations — with many of them free or offering low-cost admission on select days.
So don’t spend much time on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — it’s now more about street dancers, stragglers and tourist crowds than about cinema itself. We have another cultural program for you. Here’s what we do when we’re out and about on a weekend/day trip or long haul in LA.
The Griffith Observatory
This observatory located in the hills has one of the most incredible views of LA. You can just call an Uber to get there, but we think that little hiking is way more more exciting. Don’t forget that you’re in LA — sport is a kind of religion here, so go with it if you can.
Rose Bowl Antique Market
Like fashion, history and meeting interesting people? Then you definitely have to visit the Rose Bowl Flea market. Here you can find almost everything — and most of the items sold here are also in a really good condition, so free one of your mornings, and go on a treasure hunt!
Address: 4515 E 59th Pl, Maywood, CA 90270
Otherwise dubbed the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, this is the largest art museum in the western United States, and one of the first places you have to visit if you’re in LA. This place not only presents an incredible collection of modern art, but the building and the spaces are a piece of art in themselves.
When it comes to LA parties and bars — it’s not just something you do on a Friday night — it’s a bonafide lifestyle.
Rooftops, R&B clubs, electro beats, dim-lit cocktail joints, classy establishments, classic American pubs or jazz bars — there are no shortage of places to get a good (alcoholic) refreshment or dance the night away.
What’s more — in any club, bar or local drinking hole you could come face-to-face with a movie star, your very own American ‘Prince Charming’, or Pretty Woman — or to end up at a private after-party with a new rock band — so be prepared. The world is your oyster when you’re out burning the midnight oil in the City of Angels, in league with the stars.
These are a few of the key places where you’ll find us relaxing with a martini and a G&T, or nursing a hangover by fighting fire-with-fire when we are in this stellar US city.
What could be better than a summer rooftop pool party? Broken Shaker is the perfect place to have fun and get a tan at the same time — so hurry up, get there quick to reserve your sun-bed with a killer view — and just chill.
Address: 416 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
The place to go for LA cool kids — and one of the most legendary night clubs in America. You’ll never be bored here with the same music or basic crowd. Enjoy your night and don't forget who is playing live tonight — the guest star could be a future rock icon in the making!
The best medicine for after-party detox drinks. Moon Juice is a new step in juicery industry. It’s a shop and bar of adaptogens (super herbs and super mushrooms, like Ashwagandha, Cordyceps, and Reishi that basically help to make you super human) — made for every state-of-mind and created to solve any health problem. A fresh style of drinking you should definitely try while in town.
Lock & Key
Blame it on the climate, but people in LA are generally always in vacation mode. So it’s highly possible that after the tempo of another big city trip (like NYC), you’ll have to wait a couple of days to slowly get used to the chilled atmosphere.
Many houses here are — understandably — absolutely IMMENSE, seeing as they are owned by some of the richest people on the planet: movie stars, celebrities socialites, superstar singers and artists, and heirs to multi-million dollar fortunes.
You can, of course — splurge and probably get your hands on a huge condo that was once rented or owned by some celebrity, as most of the massive complexes here have been — but if you’re not loaded, or can’t find a group of friends to share the enormous space with, then there are also other options.
The best places in that category, where you can rest after a long (road) trip around California (highly recommended!) or beyond, is of course a hotel — so here are our top picks of those to stay in when on the West Coast. Enjoy!
Chateau Marmont Hotel
A pricey but historical palace located in West Hollywood, and star-studded venue for all the flashiest fashion and cinema events. This is the perfect place to stay if you want to be immersed in the Golden Age of Hollywood atmosphere and spot a celebrity of your own — or 10.
The Ace Hotel
An ultra-modern hotel built in a historical LA building, where you can enjoy Ace Theatre plays or drinks on its rooftop, with a city view. *** This year, the hotel is also celebrating its 20-year anniversary, so you can book a room with a 20% discount this August! Winning. ***
Every Soho House is designed in a way that seems to aim to remind you of a piece of heaven on earth. The most interesting thing about this chain however, is — of course — that it’s all about being part of the ‘in crowd’: you can’t even enter the rooftop garden of this hotel if you don't live here or if you don't have a V.I.P membership. But, if you can swing it to get a pass, and you want be surrounded by a very limited selection of hand-picked people from Soho House , then it’s absolutely the perfect choice.