Next-level galleries. Cool brewhouses. Al fresco markets. LA summer has arrived.
This Echo Park diner isn't dishing out your basic buttermilk pancakes and crispy bacon. Executive chef Jeremy Strubel, formerly of Rustic Canyon, serves up egg toast dotted with nduja sausage and covered in melty raclette cheese, roasted root vegetables flavored with al pastor spice, and a shaved cauliflower salad accented with parmesan and lime. The coffee is La Colombe, the aguas frescas change seasonally, and the pastries – including a bruleed caramel rye brownie – are the work of former République pastry chef Leslie Mialma.
Hauser Wirth & Schimmel
As if we needed more evidence of LA’s booming art scene. International powerhouse gallery Hauser & Wirth has teamed up with Paul Schimmel, former curator at MOCA, to bring contemporary art to downtown LA. Housed in a former flour mill, the 100,000 square-foot complex will include two airy art spaces, a restaurant focused on locally-sourced dishes, and the first ARTBOOK store in the city.
Highland Park Bowl
This 1927 bar and bowling alley has been restored to its original glory (and then some). Aside from the eight vintage lanes, the venue has an open-air kitchen where pizzaiolos sling Neapolitan-style pies, two glossy horseshoe-shaped bars and a massive forest mural painted during the Arts & Crafts Movement. If you need to loosen up before hitting the lanes, order The Dude Abides, a White Russian riff made with horchata cream.
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Arts District Brewing
This 15-barrel craft brewhouse, is a beer lovers dream: there's an expansive bar area complete with 32 taps (half of them reserved for original ADB beers), vintage Skeeball machines, ping pong and cornhole, as well as a 90-seat outdoor patio. Try a glass of Velveteen Rabbit Oatmeal Stout, then wash it down with a jalapeño-chicken dog or ham fries made with Vermont beer-cheddar from the brewery restaurant, Fritzi.
Culver City’s new luxe retail complex, Platform, has a prime location next to the Metro Expo Line, which connects the Westside to Downtown LA. Inside, you'll find boutiques like Aesop and Linda Farrow, plus a revolving cast of pop-up tenants like ADay, Freda Salvador/Janessa Leone and Cult Gaia. When you need a retail break, make your way to Blue Bottle Coffee's gorgeously designed shop or the beer-and-meat focused NYC import The Cannibal.
Cape Seafood and Provisions
No one in LA knows seafood quite as intimately as chef Michael Cimarusti. It makes sense, then, that he’d open a shop on Fairfax selling the freshest seafood available from sustainable fisheries. Everyday products range from live spot prawns to east and west coast oysters to king salmon. If you'd rather purchase something to go, there's lobster rolls, chowder, crab cakes, and house-smoked fish.
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This is not your average gamer’s paradise — at Button Mash, you can sip natural wines, drink craft beer, and snack on Vietnamese bar snacks while playing three decades worth of vintage arcade games (including Frogger and Mortal Kombat). The menu, designed by Nguyen and Thi Tran (formerly of the pop-up Starry Kitchen), features everything from double-fried tamarind chicken wings to crispy tofu balls with Sriracha mayo.
Anyone who’s been to NYC knows about the original Brooklyn Smorgasburg, a massive roving outdoor market that serves food by the city's top chefs. Now LA is getting in on the action. Starting June 19, Smorgasburg is setting up shop every Sunday at the Alameda Produce Market on the edge of the Arts District downtown, wit LA heavy-hitters like Guerrilla Tacos, Carnitas El Momo, The Jolly Oyster, Bub & Grandma's bread, Donut Friend, and Rucker's Pie – so come with an appetite.
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Everson Royce Bar (E.R.B)
The brainchild of former Silverlake Wine owner Randy Clement and Mozza chef Matt Molina, ERB has an expertly curated wine list – think citrusy Txakolina from Spain and Willamette Valley rosé – and a beer menu that includes local favorites like Three Weavers and AleSmith. As for the bar grub, Molina crafts an immaculate burger from super-prime chuck, Tillamook cheddar, and housemade dijonnaise, and tops his spicy-and-smoky potato taquitos with an avocado-tomatillo salsa. The best place to indulge is on the spacious patio out back (complete with bocce court).