Of all the things that make West Hollywood unique, we can’t find that one thing that tells its story the best. It could be the colorful and vibrant people, the internationally acclaimed restaurants, the multitude of shopping choices or, let’s be honest, their Annual Halloween Street Party (see below for details). No, it’s not Hollywood. No, you won’t find the Hollywood Walk of Fame here. It’s WEST Hollywood and there’s something for everyone, just take a look and see. We did.
… where to crash and get some R&R
It’s where the A-listers come out to play – and stay. Yes, it’s home to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party every year, but more than that, Sunset Tower Hotel is a luxurious (yet pricey) take on old Hollywood charm. And did you know it’s a Hollywood landmark? Designed in the 1920’s it’s housed many famous celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. The staff is excellent. The rooms are cozy and inviting. And be sure to venture downstairs for a pre-dinner cocktail at The Tower Bar and then head over to The Terrace for a lovely dinner with views that are well worth the price. Cha-ching!
Nestled on a little street called Cynthia Street in a residential neighborhood in West Hollywood, Petit Ermitage is a breath of fresh air amongst its Hollywood hotel competitors. This boutique hotel is an all-suite hotel with large and comfortable rooms. One of our favorite things about this little gem of a hotel is the gorgeous rooftop with expansive views of the city. Not only are the views spectacular there’s also a beautiful pool and private cabanas, a lovely garden, fire deck and the Butterfly Bar. Perfect for an evening out under the stars.
We love everything British. And The London Hotel is no exception. Like its New York counterpart this hotel never fails to exceed our expectations. The suites are large and really fantastic (and often the price begins at $379 which is a steal in LA). The rooftop is one of the best in town with 360-degree views of the city and a gorgeous pool. We don’t often promote eating at hotels when there are so many outstanding restaurants in LA but we love Anthony Keane’s California style seasonal small plates dinner menu at his restaurant there. Before dinner be sure to venture upstairs to the Rooftop West Bar and Lounge for a sunset cocktail. And for breakfast Boxwood Café offers a complimentary Boxwood Breakfast Table to all hotel guests that includes pastries, cereals, breads, cheeses and much more.
…where to chow down and then unbutton the top button
Where do I begin? Well, in a nutshell, Ysabel is simply amazing. That is, if you can find it. Located in a discrete concrete building just off of Fairfax Ave., Ysabel is where the beautiful people go to enjoy a beautiful al fresco setting and delicious food. Brought to us by Mario Alberto, the same owner as Laurel Hardware located just a few miles away, Ysabel serves up decadent food and drinks in a sexy and inviting venue. Some of out favorites from the menu include their scrumptious brussel sprouts (we also thought Brussel Sprouts were so last year but these will make you think otherwise!), mouth-watering Yellowtail and unbelievable pastas. No need to rush out after dinner, guests can stick around and get cozy on their steps and drink the night away.
This uber sexy West Hollywood hotspot is another “see and be seen” restaurant that serves up creative and delicious Mexican food. The food is delicious, the tacos are fresh, but there’s more than just tacos - there’s sexy people too. For dinner some of my favorites include the Enchiladas De Suizas, the Chilean Sea bass and you can’t leave without trying the Churro Ice Cream Sandwich. For all your vegans out there (and there’s no shortage in LA) they have a fabulous vegan brunch and offer a tasty vegan brunch including Churro Waffles and their take on Chicken n’ Waffles. And you mustn’t leave without trying one of their house made specialty drinks and a shot from their expansive tequila list. Dress to impress and enjoy!
If you lived in LA in the 90’s you remember the old Campanile restaurant and its famous grilled cheese nights. Well, that place is gone. Enter, Republique. This restaurant is brought to us by acclaimed chef/owner (formerly Patina’s Executive Chef) Walter Manzke, and it is beyond astonishing. Just the venue itself – with its high ceilings, mosaic floors and inviting charm make you feel like you’ve at home. Well, not quite at home – even better. We love everything about this place – the cheese plates are delish, the handmade pastas are divine (Spaghetti Carbonara is our fave) and beef short ribs are cooked to perfection. But don’t just go for a meal, starting at 8:00 am daily, the bakery next door (which is under the same ownership) serves up fresh pasties, breads and coffee that delight all of the senses.
If you’re into places to see and be seen we have just the place for you - Cecconi’s. Not only is it great for people watching and mouth-watering Northern Italian food, but the design of this indoor/outdoor restaurant is simply breathtaking thanks to Waldo Fernandez (who also designed LA’s Soho House). This modern day Italian restaurant whose flagship is in Mayfair London, is quintessential luxury chic - and the food is superb too. Cecconi’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner so any day and any time is the right time to visit. For dinner, make sure to get the Ahi Tuna Tartar (made right at your table), we love the Crab & Corn Ravioli, any of the pizzas are fantastic and the Chicken Pillard is delish.
Note: Right around the corner is another “see and be seen” restaurant. Craig’s is a local watering hole for all celebs (A-D). Paparazzi are permanently camped out here – so if you’re looking for Kris or Caitlyn, this is a great spot to try.
…where to drink up and get down
The H.Wood Group has done it again with The Nice Guy. From the same folks who brought us Henry’s (below), The Nice Guy is a refreshing take on every other Hollywood lounge. Yes, there are still douchbags who go there (think Lord Disick) but the décor is lovely (elegant, mafia chic), the food is decadent (Cheddar & Fontina Mac n’ Cheese, Short Rib Parpadelle), the people are pretty and the music is dynamite. The perfect combination for a fun Hollywood night out.
It seems like every hotspot in LA is boasting that it has the best views in LA. Well, EP & LP might actually win the prize. The views are beyond and the drinks are strong. There’s not much more we can say about it. We love a good rooftop bar so if you wanna come to enjoy the views while you enjoy a drink, look no further.
Henry’s, formerly known as Hooray Henry’s, is one of West Hollywood’s after dark lounges that’s actually fun. That is, if you can get in. On any given night, there’s crowds of ladies swarming and fellows drooling to enter this LA hotspot. On our last visit (from what we remember) the music was dope, the DJ on point, and the drinks were flowing. Beware, if you’re a girl 30 or older you may feel like the oldest person in this place because no one looks over 25. That said, it’s still worth well a trip.
ANTS IN YOUR PANTS
…what to do when you can't sit still
It’s not secret that West Hollywood is the epicenter for LGBT in Los Angeles and that’s why we love it. There’s so much to do here right on Santa Monica Blvd -- like visiting trendy outdoor eateries such as The Abbey and Lisa Vanderpump’s new restaurant PUMP, well-known musical venues like The Troubadour, and lovely little parks. And every October 31st, Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, is transformed into a Halloween wonderland with its Annual Halloween Street Party. This Halloween extravaganza attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year and is the largest Halloween Street Party in the United States.
Ok, we’re stretching it a bit here. LACMA (Los Angeles Museum for Contemporary Art) is a little outside of West Hollywood but its still worth a visit. LACMA houses over 150,000 works of art and some of the coolest exhibits in LA, including works from Frank Gehry, Islamic Art and much, much more. You’re probably familiar with the glowing “Urban Light” lamppost installation that’s outside this famous museum. But in back be sure not to miss the famous “Levitated Mass” installation – basically a huge rock levitated over the ground (that’s really cool, actually). And if you smell something funky while you’re visiting, you’re not alone. LACMA is located right next to the La Brea Tar Pits and the tar pits smell. Sorry guys, hold your nose. It’s worth the trip.
If you’re a design junkie you’ll certainly want to visit the Pacific Design Center, just off of Melrose in West Hollywood. No, the PDC is not for everyone. Yes, we know from the exterior it does look like oversized, colorful Legos and the interior sometimes feels like an empty mall from the 80’s. All that aside, if you’re into design it’s worth it just to stop by. For over 40 years the PDC has housed some of the most well known showrooms and designers’ brands that carry everything from home furnishings, floor coverings, wallpapers, design books to so much much more!
Note: Across the street from PDC is the newly openly RH store on Melrose Ave. It looks more like a hotel than a furniture store, and, as a plus, has a lovely little rooftop. Grab a coffee at Urth Caffé on Melrose and head upstairs at RH for great views of the city.
I JUST BOUGHT THESE PANTS
…where to nab the best threads
This trendy outpost located amongst the hustle and bustle of La Cienega is where fashion is inspired by the founders Humberto Leon’s and Carol Lim’s love for fashion, art and travel. Much like its Tokyo and New York counterparts, Opening Ceremony carries amazing brands like Acne Studios, Altuzarra, Rodarte, as well as their own Opening Ceremony line.
A Los Angeles shopping institution for decades, Fred Segal on Melrose is where LA shoppers go for laid-back luxury. Denim is Fred’s trademark, but Fred Segal houses much more than jeans, including clothes for men and women, children, plus home and beauty items. On your way out, stop by their little café for a quick bite -- and you may just spot a celeb!
Stick around on Melrose Avenue and you’ll find lots of other great shopping from the desginer brands like Marc Jacobs, Theory and Alexander McQueen. Go further east on Melrose and the shops get more rock n’roll and punk chic – even if you’re not in the shopping mood there is great people watching here.
You may have seen this store and its owners on the Bravo show “Dukes of Melrose” (which has, sadly, been cancelled). But owners Cameron Silver and Christos Garkinos still bring the fashion and bling to this Melrose mainstay. This famous luxury consignment store carries over-top the top vintage and couture pieces dating back from the early 1920’s to today. You’ll find loads of designer brands including Chanel, Hermes, and Tom Ford. And if its awards season, you may even catch a celebrity or two prepping for the red carpet!
Want to know where the paparazzi go? Well, look no further than Robertson Blvd. This famous street is where celebrities go when they know they’ll get their picture taken. There’s plenty of shops for an all day outing including Chanel, Zimmerman, All Saints, Intermix and Reiss. Be sure to stop off at the charming restaurant, The Ivy on Robertson, for a champagne lunch and tons of celeb sightings!