Whenever I go to a new city, I like to ask a local the best places to go. I’ve only been in LA seven months but when I got here a “local,” and a friend, recommended a lot of these places to me, and I would also recommend them to someone visiting LA.
For HOTELS, and a great time, I recommend the Chateau Marmont. It’s hard to describe, really. You step in and sort of feel whisked into another time and are immediately in the mood for a party! When I went to visit a friend there recently, I knocked on her door and two other people in rooms close by opened their doors. Turns out they were both expecting people. At the other end of the spectrum is Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica. Unlike the Chateau Marmont, Shutters has a tranquil and relaxing environment. It has a beautiful interior done by Michael Smith (Michelle Obama had him decorate their living space in the White House) with stunning views of the ocean. On Thursday nights they have champagne tastings and people gather in the candlelit lobby and around the fireplaces. It’s wonderful and reminds me a bit of the East Coast.
For RESTAURANTS, I love The Ivy for the great food, the scene and location. My favorite is the one on Robertson. Cecconi’s is delicious for dinner. The interior is really nice, mostly black and white with touches of teal. I enjoy sitting at the bar where I have their thin crust pizza, it rivals any pizza I’ve had anywhere. For COFFEE and TEA, The Urth Cafe is a must! There is a line out the door most of the time, probably because it’s the best coffee ever.
For SHOPPING there are a ton of options, it is LA! On Robertson you have every imaginable boutique all in one place. There is also The Grove which is really magical at the holidays when it’s all lit up. It’s fun for a family outing with ongoing events year round. I’m taking my son to the tree lighting there next week and a Lego workshop this weekend. There is also a great children’s reading room at Barnes and Noble, a green trolley that will take you from one end to the other and a Farmer’s Market. For vintage and resale stores, do some research as there are a ton of good ones but I like Decades and Wasteland on Melrose.