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Los Angeles City Guide

Make the most of your stay with a room on Sunset Strip, a dinner at Bestia and a hike in Griffith Park.

Where to Stay  /  Where to Eat and Drink  /  What to Do  /  How to Get Around

Where to Stay

The Line

Photo: Adrian Gaut

The Line

For the minimalist design

Holding its own amid the high-rises of Wilshire Boulevard, the 12-storey Line hotel has 388 rooms – concrete boxes brightened up by Aztec-inspired furnishings, original watercolour works by local artists and floor-to-ceiling windows (ask for a view of the Hollywood Hills). There’s also a fleet of Venice’s own Linus bikes available to guests.

3515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 213-381-7411, thelinehotel.com

The Standard, Hollywood

Photo: Spencer Lowell

The Standard, Hollywood

For the nightlife

Located on a prime block of West Hollywood’s iconic Sunset Strip, this boutique hotel is a mishmash of modish, mid-century details, from the lobby’s thick shag carpeting to the blue Astroturf that flanks the rooftop pool. On-site amenities include a full-service food and drink program devised by the hotel’s critically acclaimed restaurant Alma, a not-so-secret nightclub on weekends, and spectacular city views.

8300 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-650-9090, standardhotels.com

Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles

Photo: Lauren Coleman

Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles

For the cinematic history

Since opening in 2014, the hotel’s purposefully shambolic design and rooftop pool and bar have made it a hipster haven. But the real draw is the theatre: Built in 1927, it was the flagship for Charlie Chaplin’s United Artists film studio. Today, the 1,600-seat venue, masterfully restored and over-the-top ornate, is a hub for live music, film and the performing arts.

929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, 213-623-3233, acehotel.com/losangeles

The Beverly Hills Hotel

The Beverly Hills Hotel

For the Hollywood guest list

Nicknamed the Pink Palace, this rose-coloured stucco tower has been a hideaway for the well-heeled and celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor and John Lennon, for over a century. The hotel’s Polo Lounge, with its upholstered green booths and plush carpets, was featured in The Way We Were. Kick back in a poolside cabana, complete with flat-screen television, Wi-Fi and frozen mojito lollipops (different refreshments are doled out daily).

9641 Sunset Blvd., 310-276-2251, Los Angeles, dorchestercollection.com

Andaz West Hollywood

Photo: Hyatt Hotels

Andaz West Hollywood

For the rooftop pool

This hotel has been witness to some serious rock ’n’ roll history: It was once known as the Riot House, and the late Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham, was rumoured to have driven a motorcycle through the hallways. Today, the Andaz strikes a subdued and sophisticated note in the heart of the Sunset Strip. Head to the rooftop pool deck before dark, where you can get a glimpse of L.A.’s mid-century marvel, the Stahl House.

8401 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-656-1234, westhollywood.andaz.hyatt.com

Hotel Covell

Hotel Covell

For a stylish stay

Each of the well-appointed rooms in this Los Feliz hotel has been fashioned to reflect an episode in the life of the highly acclaimed and completely fictitious writer George Covell. The spacious rooms include Malin+Goetz toiletries, Smeg refrigerators and Parachute bedding. For a nightcap, head downstairs to Bar Covell.

4626 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-660-4300, hotelcovell.com

Where to Eat and Drink

Langer’s Delicatessen and Restaurant

Photo: courtesy of Langer’s Deli

Langer’s Delicatessen and Restaurant

For the pastrami sandwich

An Angeleno institution for over 70 years, this family-owned deli in MacArthur Park has built an international reputation as one of world’s leading purveyors of pastrami. Sink into a well-worn vinyl booth and order the legendary #19: a mountain of hot pastrami topped with coleslaw, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing served on double-baked rye.

704 S. Alvarado St., Los Angeles, 213-483-8050, langersdeli.com

Broken Spanish

Broken Spanish

For modern Mexican fare

This eatery offers fresh takes on traditional Mexican staples. Chef Ray Garcia prepares dishes like oxtail quesadilla and chicharrón with elephant garlic mojo and radish sprouts, served up in a clean-lined space with cognac-hued tufted banquettes, hardwood floors, hanging plants and concrete accent walls.

1050 S. Flower St., Los Angeles, 213-749-1460, brokenspanish.com

Bestia

Photo: Sierra Prescott

Bestia

For critically acclaimed Italian

Conceived by husband-and-wife duo Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, this rustic Italian go-to in the Arts District specializes in handmade pasta, pizza and charcuterie. Inside a repurposed warehouse, exposed brick walls, industrial bar stools and tan leather booths serve as the backdrop for inventive dishes like roasted bone marrow with crispy breadcrumbs.

2121 E. 7th Pl., Los Angeles, 213-514-5724, bestiala.com

Clifton’s

Clifton’s

For a unique dining experience

This 47,000-square-foot dining complex originally opened in 1935. The iconic establishment reopened its doors in 2015 after a five-year, multi-million renovation and houses an Art Deco style cafeteria, six bars, a ballroom and a coffee shop. Inside, you’ll find updated versions of Clifton’s original curiosities, from manmade waterfalls and wildlife murals to a faux, three-storey redwood tree.

648 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, 213-627-1673, cliftonsla.com

Dinosaur Coffee

Dinosaur Coffee

For third-wave coffee

Los Angeles has no shortage of clinically precise caffeine labs, but if you’re looking to stay a while, this sun-filled coffee counter in Silver Lake is a cut above the rest. Serving strong pours of San Francisco’s famed Four Barrel Coffee, Dinosaur’s casual atmosphere and ample seating make it an ideal spot to feel like a local.

4334 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, dinosaurcoffee.com

Upstairs at Ace Hotel

Photo: Dylan + Jeni

Upstairs at Ace Hotel

For panoramic views

Resembling an urban resort with sweeping city views, this popular spot located on the rooftop of Ace Hotel in Downtown L.A. features one bar, a concrete pool, Moroccan tile and canopy lounge chairs. Mingle with the Hollywood crowd while sipping on a Tetanus Shot cocktail, a mixture of blended Scotch, Cynar, Averna and orange bitters.

929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, 213-623-3233, acehotel.com/losangeles

Tacos Tumbras a Tomas

Photo: Mike Baker

Tacos Tumbras a Tomas

For the carnitas

Tomas Martinez, taquero and co-owner of Tacos Tumbras a Tomas, has been serving tacos in downtown L.A.’s Grand Central Market since 1995 and is responsible for some of the best carnitas in the city. Order one of his $3.50 tacos and get a generous piling of tender meat on two corn tortillas (plus two extra on the side).

317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, 213-620-1071, grandcentralmarket.com

E.P. & L.P.

E.P. & L.P.

For late-night bites

This West Hollywood establishment – whose name stands for “extended play, long play” – features an Asian restaurant and a rooftop bar. At L.P., sip concoctions such as the Walk This Way cocktail, made with vodka, lychee, coconut water and tropical fruit pearls. For a late-night bite, choose from organic tofu fries or the pastrami bao with sliced pastrami, ginger, scallions and smoked chipotle.

603 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-855-9955, eplosangeles.com

What to Do

Griffith Park

Photo: Griffith Observatory

Griffith Park

For a breath of fresh air

This 4,210-acre reserve is home to infinite hiking trails, a swimming pool, hidden gardens, tennis courts, a candy-striped carousel and even the original Batcave. Head to the Griffith Observatory to gaze through telescopes, explore cosmic exhibits and enjoy some of the best views of the city.

4730 Crystal Springs Dr., Los Angeles, 323-644-2050, laparks.org/griffithpark

The Broad

Photo: Bruce Damonte, courtesy of The Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The Broad

For the contemporary art

The honeycombed hive of contemporary art is the brainchild of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad – billionaire art buyers whose private collection alone includes over 2,000 major postwar and contemporary works from artists such as Takashi Murakami and Kara Walker. Admission is free, and advance tickets to the museum’s permanent collection are available online or via the same-day standby line.

221 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, 213-232-6200, thebroad.org

Upright Citizens Brigade

Photo: Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

Upright Citizens Brigade

For the laughs

The undisputed epicentre of L.A.’s thriving comedy scene, UCB’s first West Coast outpost plays host to a nightly mélange of stand-up, improv and sketch comedy in an intimate, 92-seat theatre. Sit stageside as sitcom A-listers and tomorrow’s top talent spin their latest yarns, all for $12 or less. Many shows sell out weeks in advance, but there are usually a few standby tickets at the door.

5919 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, 323-908-8702, franklin.ucbtheatre.com

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

For family-friendly fun

For a taste of SoCal’s coastal culture, head west on Interstate 10 toward Santa Monica State Beach. The world-famous Santa Monica Pier bisects a 5.6-kilometre stretch of sand and features a full-service amusement park, arcade games, a hands-on aquarium and a hand-carved carousel.

Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles, 310-458-8901, santamonicapier.org

Amoeba Music

Amoeba Music

For crate digging

The largest independent record store in the world, this Hollywood musical landmark occupies an airplane-hangar-size space on Sunset and Cahuenga. Its collection of new and used CDs, LPs and DVDs is a collector’s paradise.

6400 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-245-6400, amoeba.com

Tortoise General Store

Photo: Sean Hazen

Tortoise General Store

For a souvenir

Located on Venice Beach’s Abbot Kinney Blvd., the retail utopia of the Westside, this Japanese housewares store is a much-loved destination among L.A.’s design obsessives and locals alike. Shop the curated collection of high-end, minimalist essentials, from enamel table- and cookware to bookends and paperweights.

1208 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-314-8448, tortoisegeneralstore.com

Assembly Los Angeles

Assembly Los Angeles

For the fashion finds

Anchoring the more mannered end of Melrose Avenue’s shopping district, this upscale NYC export stocks a selection of vintage and designer clothing for men and women. Shop cult fashion brands like Femail, 69 and Comme des Garçons alongside pieces from the store’s house line and far-flung vintage finds you won’t see anywhere else in town.

7977 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-746-5090, assemblynewyork.com

How to Get Around

Getting from the Airport

Taxi service from the airport to downtown Los Angeles costs a flat rate of $46.50, plus tip, while rideshare services like Lyft and Uber average around $30. (Rideshare pickups are restricted to the departures deck.) If you’re on a budget, hop on the LAX FlyAway, a regularly scheduled shuttle service that serves six major L.A.-area locales for $8 to $10.


Public Transportation

L.A.’s public transportation system is notoriously unwieldy, but with some patience, you can get just about anywhere via the city’s six Metro lines and multiple bus routes with a $7 day pass. metro.net


Taxis

There are a number of certified taxi companies offering metered transportation throughout Los Angeles, but curbside hailing isn’t especially common. Uber and Lyft are also available.

Independent Cab Co: 800-521-8294
LA City Cab: 888-725-8277

Beverly Hills Cab Co: 800-273-6611

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ADVENTURE TRAVEL     CALIFORNIA     CITY GUIDE     HOTELS     LOS ANGELES