I’ve been to Los Angeles recently with two missions: 1) – Write a review about the City of Angels to Casa de Lola and, 2) – Go on tour on the West Coast and work on becoming a rockstar…(smiles)
Well for the first part, it’s been a pleasure and a wonderful adventure going out on the town trying to find the hottest and coolest spots in such a wonderful city, blessed with the bluest sky and a gorgeous sunny weather. As for the second part, well… I guess being a rockstar is more like a lifestyle, who you hang out with, how you express yourself through fashion, what you read and what you listen to and the places you choose to go out; and a star is definitely how you feel like when you’re hanging in Hollywood.
As you start organizing your trip, the first thing you have to be aware of is where you’ll be located and especially if this is your debut in LA, you definitely should stay in West Hollywood. As you, Casa de Lola’s friends might know, Los Angeles is a very spread out city where everyone, I mean everyone, has to have/drive a car. It’s very rare finding yellow cabs on the streets and the city isn’t surrounded by subways as we see in NYC, Paris and other big international cities, but don’t question, just go rent a cute or a fancy car, this is LA’s style anyway.
West Hollywood is basically the heart of the city and you can easily have a less than 10-minute-drive to Beverly Hills and a half an hour drive to the great Venice beach. You will be very close to Melrose Place (where stores like Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Carolina Herrera, Alexander McQueen and restaurants like Fig & Olive will be located); you’ll be also close to the top hotels like the legendary, movie stars favorite Chateau Marmont (it’s hard to book a room, but you can always hang at the Bar Marmont for drinks or dinner).
Anyhow, an amazing city can be very overwhelming, so much to do and to see, so I made a list of my favorite places to make that easier for you. I had a really great time; LA is the kind of place that welcomes you from the first moment. You feel surrounded by the magic, golden and glamorous feeling of Hollywood in contrast with the wonderful locals who, either low key or superstars wannabes, bring some sparkling uniqueness to a very exquisite and special city.
Book a hotel: Any hotel in the West Hollywood area is going to be a wonderful experience, but there are a few I would recommend:
Le Parc Suite- very cozy, great swimming pool, beautiful people, large rooms.
The W Hotel West Hollywood- amazing scene and an incredible jazz bar. Don’t be surprised if you bump into Stevie Wonder just hanging around and eventually playing a little bit, just for fun:) I highly recommend this beautiful hotel.
The Standard Hotel- Nice hang out, great swimming pool scene, great bar and nice and cool rooms, Andre Balazs style.
L’Ermitage Beverly Hills Hotel- Amazing and unique atmosphere, closer to Rodeo Drive and Robertson Boulevard, very charming, dope bar and pool, I highly recommend it too.
Mondrian Hotel- Very famous and just as good the one in Miami. Really beautiful and cool vibe/atmosphere + beautiful people walking around.
Sunset Marquis- Very nice hotel with a gorgeous swimming pool, cool and friendly people, very West Coast style, you can get a villa for a great deal.
Chateau Marmont- My very favorite, gorgeous place, interesting people from the film, fashion and music industry, great place for lunch, dinner or drinks.
Urth Caffe- is more than adorable, healthy food, happy environment, great service and soft music. It gets crowded all day, be careful with the insane desserts that they have on display, if you’re a sugar lover, you’re gonna crave them all! They have the best coffee ever, and you can choose if you want your cappuccino American or Italian style. Fabulous!
Joan’s on Third- is also in West Hollywood, highly recommended by a friend of mine. It’s a surfer’s and model’s hang out, so be ready to see beautiful people enchanting the atmosphere. Amazing coffee, salads and desserts as well!
Sunset Plaza: Please save your time to take a walk on Sunset Plaza! Amazing place for dinner, they have so many amazing restaurants right next to each other that’s going to be hard to choose. You can try:
Le Petit Four- it’s always packed, great and easy food, beautiful people.
Caffe Primo- Especially for lunch; very cute, feel-good environment.
Eveleigh- owned by the same NYC boys Ruby’s and Kingswood, amazing food and unbelievable drinks! Gorgeous clientele of course.
Sunset Boulevard: for great live music scene. Two of my favorites:
Robertson Boulevard: carries so many great restaurants like the Ivy and the Newsroom Cafe. It has delicious stores that girls always go crazy for, like Intermix, Chanel, Alice and Oliva, American Apparel and the very LA, West Coast style Kitson.
Melrose Place: Great stores, high end and cool fashion all mixed, located in a couple of blocks all together, like Carolina Herrera, Chloe, Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Furstenberg and for the cool crowd Helmut Lang, Theory and Vanessa Bruno. I love/dig those last three stores by the way.
Beverly Center: The largest mall in town and a great option if you’re with your mom or if you want to go shopping and see a movie, away from the hot weather. From Prada to Macy’s it’s very, very complete.Kitson
Dinner:Partying Rock’n roll style:
Paul & Andre- Paul Sevigny and Andre Saraiva, who made NYC and Paris history with Le Baron, Beatrice, Kenmare and Don Hill’s, just opened this very secret, private spot in Hollywood, just as amazing as the other ones, keeping the low key, punk-rockstar vibe, with graffiti on walls and a very smoky room. Really amazing!
The Williamsburg feeling:
Silver Lake is more like Williamsburg meets Soho with adorable cafes and restaurants, like Blair’s Café, Red Lion Tavern and Millie’s Café. Home for the LA artsy scene, musicians will be hanging all over the hood as well as all kinds of artists. If you’re a downtown person, that’s definitely your spot.
A few other places to visit:
LACMA: basically the LA museum of modern art, it’s hosting the Tim Burton exhibit lately:
The Kodak Theatre: Worldwide famous for hosting the Oscar’s, will be hosting Iri’s Cirque du Soleil this summer. It’s worth taking a walk at Hollywood Boulevard and see the Walk of Fame and all that stuff.
Rodeo Drive: The movie Pretty Woman has immortalized this beautiful block, with a hint of European fresh air; everything is clean even perfect. Glorious hotels, amazing restaurants, and the most famous designers are located in this very elegant area. Completely worth spending a lovely afternoon walking on those wonderful streets.
Santa Monica Piers: The most inspiring sunset you’ll ever see. They have a little fair and it feels a little bit like Coney Island, so adorable! 20-minute-drive from West Hollywood, bring a date with you!
Hope you like it and save time to see it all,