The La Haute Guide to Los Angeles
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The La Haute Guide to Los Angeles

Our Go to Spots Right Now in Los Angeles

La Haute Staff Writer | March 14, 2019

“Los Angeles is like a beauty parlor at the end of the universe.” Emily Mortimer

Los Angeles is a hundred different cities in one. There are the more-or-less clearly defined neighborhoods—like Koreatown, DTLA, Venice, and West Hollywood—and there are the neighborhoods of the imagination. These places don’t exist on a map but in the mind. Think: old-world Hollywood, new-age la la land, and hipster art houses. We love it all, and we love that it’s always changing. In no particular order, here are a few personal favorites, places where we’ve lived the LA high life.

At Hedley’s in West Hollywood, order a farm-to-table salad with a side of artisan-made bread.

Favorite Restaurants

For old Hollywood glamour, go to Tower Bar (in the Sunset Tower Hotel) and sip on a dark and stormy or a moscow mule while taking in views of West Hollywood. If you’re in the mood for a more modern meal, head over to Hedley’s (in the same neighborhood) and order a farm-to-table salad with a side of their own artisan-made bread.

In Beverly Hills, stop by the Fountain Coffee Room at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The iconic 1949 diner was a favorite of Marilyn Monroe’s, and they serve a mean pancake platter. Italian all-day restaurant Jon and Vinny’s is equally good for an espresso and nutella pastry in the morning or a pizza at night, and its Fairfax location makes it a great stop for lunch while shopping.

The Ivy has two locations (one in LA and one in Santa Monica) and the Robertson Blvd. cafe is great for brunch and celebrity sightings. In Venice, Felix is a favorite for negronis and the best pasta ever. When you find yourself in Malibu, visit Malibu Farm for memorable views. If you can’t get into the restaurant, just grab a coffee or a quick drink at the cafe.

Iconic Martinique Wallpaper at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Fountain Coffee Room.
Weekend vibes at Permanent Vacation in Brentwood.

Shopping Sprees

We’re frequent visitors at Empty Vase, a West Hollywood florist with shelves full of seasonal flowers, potted plants and—of course—vases. For clothes and gifts in the same neighborhood, we love RTH, a Southwestern-style trading post full of handmade ceramics and leather bags with the perfect patina. In Brentwood, check out Permanent Vacation for everything you’d want in your dream suitcase. Pick up a weekend’s worth of clothes, then pack up for Palm Springs.

Guilty Pleasures

LA is spa city, and there’s no shortage of new high-vibe healing centers, but we love to keep it old-school at the Olympic Spa in Koreatown. Serving ladies-only for 30 years, it’s the place to go for scrubs, soaks and reflexology. For facials, head to Arcona Studio, get a deep cleanse and pick up some of their products in their clean, calming shop. Skip the overpriced massage centers and go to Stretch Lab for inexpensive, personalized “flexology” that leaves you feeling loose and limber. Shapehouse is another way to burn calories and release toxins without much work. At this “urban sweat lodge” you lie on an infrared bed, sweat, and leave glowing.

The Broad Museum is a favorite LA landmark. Check out their Summer Happenings for late-night performances, music and art.

Must-See Museums

The Getty Center is amazing, but we’re true fans of the Getty Villa at the end of the Malibu Coast, in the Pacific Palisades. J. Paul Getty started the gallery as an extension of his home, then expanded it into a museum modeled after an ancient Roman villa. Recently renovated and reorganized, the collection tells the story of Greco-Roman art within a lush LA landscape. The Broad is a don’t-miss from a different era, with masterpieces from A-list contemporary artists like Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Barbara Kruger. The collection is so huge and diverse, there’s something for everyone.

Best Bars

Walk through the refrigerator door entrance and step into the 70s—Goodtimes at Davey Wayne’s is the ultimate throwback bar, complete with striped couches, shag rugs and stiff cocktails. Under the same ownership, No Vacancy at Hotel Juniper is a swankier bar, inspired by Prohibition-era speakeasies and located in the historic 1930s Janes House. In Koreatown, the Prince serves deep-fried chicken and 1980s cocktails like Long Island iced teas and mai tais. For the perfect dive bar, head to Chez Jay in Santa Monica. The Rat Pack hung out there back in the day, and the decor hasn’t changed since. Think: captain’s wheel and giant clamshell.

LA beaches are great for people-watching, lazy lunches and a dip in the ocean.

Beach Day Go-To’s

For a posh experience, a private beach club is the best. Hands-down, our favorite is the Santa Monica Beach Club, founded in 1923. Not into membership fees? Grab a sandwich at Bay Cities, then head to Big Dean’s Oceanfront Cafe for sun, sand, and day drinking. In Venice, we love Hinano Cafe for burgers and beers. After you’ve sobered up, drive the Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu at sunset for unreal views in every color.

LA Summer Nights

The best place to catch a classic movie in LA is the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Watch a screening on Fairbanks Lawn’s open field, then take a walk and search for your favorite stars’ graves. Concert-goers have lots of options, including Santa Monica Pier Concerts and iconic open-air performances at the Hollywood Bowl. For art lovers, Friday Flights at the Getty are the best. Interdisciplinary “happenings” bring together LA artists to create new experiences, and the gardens are transformed into surreal, sometimes-psychedelic spaces.

What tops your LA edit?

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