This next post comes from my dear friend Nicole, also known as the official cali correspondent for bubbles + bisous!
Nicole hails from New York, but has since ventured west to explore greener pastures in San Francisco and now L.A. Whether you’re planning a trip or live in the L.A. area, I know you will love her recommendations! AND as an added bonus, she has compiled an amazing L.A. inspired playlist — you should definitely check it out, she’s got some serious Spotify skills!
What’s your dream?
City Guide | Los Angeles (part I: Hollywood and West Hollywood)
As a native New Yorker, I know I’m supposed to hate on L.A. Like it should be in my DNA. Because almost everyone from New York does. And at first glance, the two cities seem like polar opposites, so how could I possibly like it?
There are no seasons in L.A.
People drive everwhere. Traffic is everywhere.
Public transportation, while it exists, is a foreign concept to most.
It’s rare to find a skyscraper outside of downtown or Century City.
If you wear all black, you immediately stand out as a foreigner.
But as I’ve started to spend more time in L.A., I’ve come to realize New Yorkers and Angelenos have more in common than they’d probably like to admit. Both are cities of dreamers. Almost anyone that comes to either has this “if I can make it here, I’ll make it anywhere” attitude. And that unique blend of naive optimism, “fake it ’til you make it” superficiality coupled with a real, palpable intensity known only to the most earnest of dreamers unites the two.
With that, please enjoy Part I of my 20-Somethings Guide to L.A.
First things first. If you are an outgoing 20-something who enjoys the scene and being seen, there is one word you need to know: We-Ho. Repeat. We-Ho.
We-Ho (aka West Hollywood) has sprung up in recent years as a still-pretty-cheap-but-also-increasingly-more-awesome place to live. The best part? It’s surprisingly walkable. NB: This is rare in LA.
- Joan’s on Third – LA’s answer to Dean and Deluca… but, better (please don’t tell anyone in New York I said that). Great for weekend brunch, lunch and breakfast. Sit outside for amazing people watching.
- Mercado – New to We-Ho, amazingly trendy Mexican. Think: kale salad sides with corn shell tacos. Part of a group of sister restaurants. The bar scene on a recent Taco Tuesday was packed.
- The Little Door – Unbelievably romantic French / Moroccan. Kind of $$$ so you may want save this one for a special date.
- Izaka-ya – The younger sister to the super celeby sushi spot Katsu-ya. The baked crab roll is out of this world.
- The Churchill – Just down the street from Joan’s. Great weekday happy hour and is totally a “locals bar”. The weekend boozy brunch scene is uber chill. Hanging on the outdoor patio will likewise grant you access to the best people watching.
- The Tower Bar – At the Sunset Tower Hotel. The perfect chaser to your dinner date at the Little Door…
I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Hollywood. Hollywood Boulevard reminds me a lot of Times Square with the insane crowds of tourists and stunt men dressed up in costumes charging you $5 for a photo. There are only a handful of things I’ve discovered that I like in Hollywood (so far, at least!):
- The ArcLight Hollywood – Very cool movie theater with assigned seats and kettle corn (what? we are talking about Tinseltown, after all).
- The Hollywood Bowl – Incredibly famous and awesome live music venue. If your favorite band (or even a band that you sort of like) plays here, you owe it to yourself to check it out. For the classists among us, the L.A. Philharmonic plays here sometimes too.
- The Pikey – London meets L.A. A British pub concept in the middle of Hollywood. I swear, you will truly feel transformed to a London pub. Amazing Pim’s Cup (that’s a given) and other cocktails.
- Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – I saved the best for last! This place is STEEPED in movie and Hollywood history. And, more recently, TMZ history. The cabana / pool scene is legandary. Beacher’s Madhouse has been one of the hottest clubs for a while (on the basement level). The Spare Room is one of the coolest bar concepts I’ve seen in a while, with a bowling alley built into the bar. The lobby bar has an amazing happy hour special and you can order awesome late night burgers from the 25 Degrees diner on the first floor!