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Trip Ideas

13 Hottest Spots in LA Now

From swank bungalows by the beach to hip Hollywood hideaways to cool industrial downtown cafés and shops, David A. Keeps has the 411 on the 310, 323 and 213.

See recent posts by David A. Keeps

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Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Santa Monica

To the storied seaside hotel where Greta Garbo and Marilyn Monroe once sought seclusion, Los Angeles interior designer Michael Berman has brought his signature blend of movie star glamour and laid-back California beach style (think turquoise pillows and lamp stands, and plush white bedding) to 32 bungalows that look out onto the ocean or the pool. Enjoy the solitude of your room, but don’t miss out on the action at Bungalow, the hotel’s Baja-inspired cocktail lounge by club king Brent Bolthouse.


Mama Shelter, Hollywood

Opening July 1, Thierry Gaugain’s cool and affordable Mama Shelter brand has arrived in L.A.’s downtown. The rates start at just $149, but the minimalist rooms don’t skimp on amenities (free WiFi and mini-fridges) or design; playful Gaugain details include bold black and white tile floors, old-school Trimline telephones, and Sesame Street–inspired bedside lamps.

Courtesy of Mama Shelter

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Hotel Covell, Los Feliz

Diehard East Side habitués have long complained of the lack of places to stay between Hollywood and downtown. Thankfully, Dustin Lancaster, the owner of Silver Lake’s L&E Oyster Bar, has opened the five-room Hotel Covell above his Hollywood Boulevard wine-beer-and-bites destination, Bar Covell. Decorated with vintage and locally made furniture and ranging in style from Midwestern to Moroccan, the atmospheric guestrooms are equipped with kitchenettes. This summer expect a guests-only rooftop sundeck with eye-popping views.

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Plant Food and Wine, Venice

Fancy a nice biodynamic wine to go with your vegetarian entree? The flagship modern-rustic restaurant of plant-based and raw-food superchef Matthew Kenney adds a healthy gourmet dimension to the dining on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. It’s an ideal spot for a brunch pick-me-up before you hit the laid-back, fashion-forward street’s dizzying array of shops, which sell cutting-edge and local designers, vintage housewares and bohemian treasures.

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Cassia, Santa Monica

Chef Bryant Ng, who has worked with Daniel Boulud and Mario Batali, made his name with robust Southeast Asian fare, including short rib curry, jellyfish salad and crispy daikon cake, at the former Little Tokyo hot spot the Spice Table. Since it closed, foodies have been champing at the bit for his new restaurant to open. Cassia is set to debut this summer in a glamorous Art Deco landmark building with a patio and full bar. In August the team behind the Santa Monica eatery Rustic Canyon will launch a wine bar and shop in the same building.

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Photo by Joshua White


Jon and Vinny’s, Midcity Los Angeles

After kick-starting the snout-to-tail carnivore trend with Animal, and the West Coast version of a Cape Cod seafood shack with Son of a Gun, chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo have opened this namesake Italian-accented restaurant, housed in a former pizzeria on Fairfax Avenue. The casual cool Jon and Vinny's, in the heart of a melting-pot strip of Jewish delis and hip-hop/skate/street art clothiers, whips up hearty breakfast plates like fried egg BLTs, and decadent pizzas and pastas for lunch and dinner.

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Guisados, West Hollywood

Where this taqueria goes, crowds follow. Known for homemade tortillas slathered with savory — and muy caliente — stews, Guisados’s casual decor, counter service and tacos-only menu have folks lined up out the door in its original location in Boyle Heights and new locations in downtown L.A. and Echo Park. At the brand new outpost in the heart of gay Boystown, Guisados has upped its game with a handsome streetside patio and brick walls lined with the works of local artists — and a beer and wine license, too.

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Sambar, Culver City

Right around the corner from her already famous namesake eatery, Akasha, chef Akasha Richmond is bringing a new California take on Indian food to artsy Culver City. Don’t expect standard fare like chicken tikka masala; think puri with avocado filling, uttapam pancakes made with black quinoa, and classic American comfort food like burgers and wings, not to mention craft cocktails — all jazzed up with Indian spices.

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McConnell’s, Studio City

Pinkberry may have been invented in L.A., but the city is not fueled by fro-yo alone. Ice cream junkies can rejoice with a scoop of Iranian rosewater at Mashti Malone’s, savory sorbets at Salt & Straw, Guiness Chip at ICDC and horchata at Sweet Rose Creamery, in the groovy Brentwood Country Mart. But at 70 years old, the Santa Barbara–based McConnell’s is Southern California’s heritage brand, offering five dozen flavors, including sea salt cream and cookies, and lemon-marionberry. With its first L.A. branch opening this summer, McConnell’s is set to sweeten life in the Valley.

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APC, Downtown

Yes, you can find this fab French denim in many places, including swanky Melrose Place, but the brand’s latest store gives you an excuse to check out the scene on lower Broadway, which has a true A-list of must-visits: the Ace Hotel, Acne Studio, Aesop, and the Scandinavian fashion and design outpost Austere.

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Wittmore, Downtown Arts District

The graffiti-strewn industrial Downtown neighborhood has become a hotbed of independent shops, and it’s especially good for urban guys. Joining established spots including the clothier Apolis, Alchemy Works and the home decor and apothecary shop Hammer and Spear, is a second outpost of Wittmore, a specialist in cutting-edge men’s fashion, in the mixed-use development building One Santa Fe.

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High Rose, Midcity Los Angeles

The city’s hottest new dining and shopping mecca traces an “L” across Highland and Melrose avenues. The highlights: antiquaries Blackman Cruz and J.F. Chen, blue chip galleries like Regen Projects, midcentury furniture and crafts at Reform, and vintage and contemporary home decor at the newly opened Lawson Fenning.

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Photo Courtesy of FringeTV


Hollywood Fringe Festival and Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood

Los Angeles may be the dream factory for movies and TV, but its offerings in theater and music are every bit as exciting. The Hollywood Fringe Festival (June 11 to 28) hosts hundreds of productions including such Broadway musicals as American Idiot, solo performances, dance, cabaret and comedy. For a classic open-air treat, the Hollywood Bowl’s summer schedule includes Ed Sheeran, Sing-A-Long Sound of Music, Carmina Burana, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Diana Krall and closing night with Grace Jones and Future Islands.



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