June 26, 2024

Table of Contents

Photo: Courtesy of Lauren Valenti

If you’re out in Venice, plan a cozy date or group meal at Casablanca. The old-school ambiance (it’s tribute to Bogie’s Casablanca from top to bottom, need I say more?), delicious Cali-Mexican food, and relaxed atmosphere inviting you to while away the hours…it encompasses so much of what I love about dinners out in L.A. My go-to order is their signature seafood brasero, which is brought out in a grand hot clay pot, along with one-too-many margaritas served from their well-stocked roving cart. — Lauren Valenti

It’s notably tricky to get a reservation here, but it’s worth the wait. Nestled in the Arts District, Bavel pays tribute to its owners’ Middle Eastern roots in an earthy multi-room space. From the first course spreads to the nightcap cocktails, you can’t go wrong here—if you can get in. — Eliseé Browchuk

Come lunchtime, I often head to Honey Hi (like the Fleetwood Mac song), a tiny sidewalk café in Echo Park with health-minded, yet hearty and flavorful offerings to explore across the board. I usually go for the fig jam and sourdough toast or miso bowl with its addictive ginger dressing and pair it with one of their uniquely-spiced drinks, like the dragonfruit lemonade. — Lauren Valenti

Admittedly I have a really bad sweet tooth, so my first trip to Salt & Straw doubled in a single day. The handmade yogurt never fails to be the perfect cool down before heading back to the beach. — Cassandra Pintro

Gjelina is the reason people changed their minds about ordering pizza in Los Angeles. Naturally, this Abbot Kinney staple ferments its dough in true Californian fashion. Don’t forget to order a dozen oysters and a side of grilled veggies with your za. Trust me, it’s the norm. — Eliseé Browchuk

Humberto Leon’s family restaurant in Eagle Rock is one of my favorite meals in Los Angeles. The Dan Dan Mian is so good I wish it delivered to New York! — Steff Yotka

What do Judge Judy, Ellen DeGeneres, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen have in common? They all ate dinner on the same night as me at Craig’s–a restaurant embraced by Hollywood’s A-list. Can’t get a reservation? You’ll probably have luck finding a seat at the bar. Though I can’t guarantee Judge Judy will be there. — Molly Barstein

Where to Shop

Courtesy of Eliseé Browchuk

On Lincoln Boulevard, bouquets of dried florals and fresh blooms greet you at the doors of Flowerboy Project. Order a specialty latte and a donut before exploring their eclectic selection of local and imported goods. There’s something for everyone at this one-of-a-kind boutique from home decor to fine jewelry.  — Eliseé Browchuk

Dries Van Noten’s Los Angeles store is always my first stop after landing in L.A. He’s created a gorgeous environment complete with archive rooms that sell vintage pieces from past collections. It’s impossible to visit and not buy something. — Steff Yotka, Global Director of Social Media

Part gourmet grocery store, part bookstore, part post office, part interior design destination, part high jewelry home, this multi-boutique complex is not your average country market. With retailers like Christian Louboutin, goop, and Doen, the Brentwood Country Market offers a little taste of elevated everything in a casual setting where you’re likely to spot a celeb mom or model off duty. — Eliseé Browchuk

As a vintage-obsessed, few vintage stores go as far back with their objects as I would like them to. Call me old-fashioned but the Aughts don’t classify as vintage. Thankfully L.A. (and its old Hollywood roots) understands this and this city’s vintage shops, vintage means vintage! Top of my shopping list is Happy Isles. Location in Beverly Hills, it’s a well-curated spot where 1950s prom dresses intermingle with 1980s sharp-shouldered blazers and where I’m in heaven. — Lilah Ramzi

Looking for a Mugler mini dress from the 80s? A Halston gown from the 70s? A Christian Dior suit from the 60s? Look no further than The Way We Wore, one of the best vintage experiences in the United States. The incredible selection allows for sartorial time travel.  — Ian Malone

Goodies has a marble, ceramic, or wood solution for all of your homeware needs. This specialty store on Santa Monica’s Montana Avenue makes shopping for your kitchen needs actually enjoyable. Did I mention that everything is under $25? — Eliseé Browchuk

Despite Emily Bode’s Brooklyn base, the brand feels right at home in California. The patterned, patch-work, and hand embroidered pieces are perfect for the city of angels. The recently opened West Coast flagship offers the entire current collection, as well as exclusive pieces. Bode is a closet necessity for any cool boy (or girl). — Ian Malone

The department store elevates retail to experimental heights with its L.A. location. The 11,000 square-foot building, designed by Sir David Adjaye, is encased in signature pink concrete. The spectacular curation of clothes in the futuristic setting will satisfy the most discerning customer and inspire the most jaded sophisticate. — Ian Malone

Disguised as your everyday quick-mart, this concept store showcases some of the most sought-after streetwear brands. Amongst off-brand cleaning supplies and produce staged as props, you’ll find pieces from CVFF finalist Reese Cooper, Junya Watanabe, Engineered Garments, and Comme des Garçons. — Eliseé Browchuk

What to Do

The view from Cinespia

Photo: Courtesy of Lauren Valenti

Among the most memorable experiences I’ve had in L.A. are my trips to Hollywood Forever Cemetery for Cinespia’s impeccably curated outdoor film screenings, which run the gamut from classics to delightful deep cuts. From trekking out with your picnic supplies (always bring more wine and blankets than you think you’ll need) to finding a spot on the open field, it’s a very communal, very L.A.-feeling experience. Be sure to get there in time to watch the full sublime sunset! — Lauren Valenti

It wouldn’t be a trip to L.A. without a visit to the Griffith Observatory. Not only was it the site of Adele’s “One Night Only” performance last year, but it offers one of the best views in L.A. It’s a romantic spot, too; if you’re traveling with a special someone, it can be a great place to bring them for a picture-perfect moment. — Julie Tong 

This three-room institution is the first-ever stand-up-only comedy club. It’s seen all of the greats like Robin Williams, Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Bob Saget before their glory and continues to stage some of the best comics from across the country. If you’re lucky, an industry legend might pop in for a surprise set. — Eliseé Browchuk

There’s an abandoned Nazi Camp in Santa Monica and it’s an interesting way to get a piece of history folded into your workout. And it’s indeed a workout; the hike involves a staircase that feels like forever. Elsewhere, the remaining bits of infrastructure are covered in graffiti and overgrown greenery. Built in the 1930s by Nazi sympathizers who sought refuge in the Pacific Palisades, Murphy’s Ranch is work the hike, or at least a Google. — Lilah Ramzi

If you’re looking for an immersive art fix look no further; LACMA holds some of the most experiential modern art the sunny state has to offer. But if you don’t arrive early, your only experience may be a long line of impatient onlookers. — Cassandra Pintro

Unbeknownst to me at the time, The Spa at The West Hollywood EDITION was where I enjoyed my last massage before the pandemic shut-down. Luckily, it also happened to be one of the best spa treatments I’ve ever had, which went some way to tiding me over for the next 18 months. The CBD+ Sticks and Stones massage was indulgent, included a hydrating lip and eye mask and felt suitably “LA wellness” in its vibe. The spa itself is a tranquil, calming cream stone oasis tucked away from the buzz on Sunset Boulevard. When I visit during awards season, I plan to book in for the EDITION Custom Facial which promises a red carpet ready complexion and is the longest treatment I could find on the menu. Any excuse to linger! – Laura Patterson, Senior Director of Experiences