The vast city of Los Angeles can be hard to navigate without a local friend--this town is filled to the brim with secrets, adventure and culture. The City of Angels was built up as much on its roots of Hollywood glamor as it is on its large population of immigrants and it takes some exploring to really appreciate it all. This LA issue of the Koio Weekender will help you get a feel for the many sides of this beautiful city.
Friday night in Downtown
To kick off your night, grab a tasty meal at Genwa Korean BBQ in the center of LA. This modern eatery stays true to the classics with an amazing selection of high quality meats and unlimited “banchan” or Korean side dishes, ranging from spicy kimchi to traditional egg pancakes.
After satisfying your stomach, head over to downtown LA, which has turned around in the past decade and is now boasting some of the best rooftop bars in the city, along with a fantastic view. The Ace Hotel (www.acehotel.com) is a unique place to stay, with some real Hollywood history. The hotel is located in the historic United Artists building which served as one of the first film studios and the flagship UA movie theater. The original theater is still open for movie viewing.
The rooftop bar at the Ace hotel is equally impressive. The rooftop pool becomes a hot tub at night, the DJ plays lounge music and the view of the lit up skyscrapers makes the evening here complete. If you’re looking for a good cocktail, no need to see the menu here. Just have a chat with the mixologists at the bar and they will whip you up something delicious.
Between midnight and 1 am head over to Exchange LA. The venue pays homage to its rich Art Deco past and spins great electro all night. The most famous DJs from all around the world have come here already and turned the place upside down. Check out the lineup online (www.exchangela.com) and enjoy an unforgettable rave on your Friday night. If you’re craving food after the party, you will find LA Cafe - open 24 hours - right across from the club. End your night with a lobster grilled cheese and get some rest.
Joan's On Third
Saturday in Hollywood
After a fun first night in downtown, it’s time to do what Angelenos do best--brunch. West 3rd Street, in the center of LA, contains probably the most brunch spots per block in the entire city. Joan’s on 3rd (www.joansonthird.com) is one of the most unique brunch spots in a street where so many casual brunchers are soaking up the sun. The indoor portion of Joan’s is a small local market, selling artisan cheeses, breads, and composed salads. Brunch is ordered in the market - line up on the left side for a variety of delicious and healthy prepared foods or choose the line on the right side for the classic brunch menu. Seating is completely outdoors, as the best part of LA is the perfect weather all year long.
West 3rd Street is also an up-and-coming designer district including Douglas Fir (upscale menswear dedicated to simplicity in design) and Liberty Fairs Concept, a creative space that rotates retail concepts from clothing to grooming goods on a monthly basis. Just a few blocks up from 3rd street is the storied Melrose Avenue. This shopping street starts just east of La Cienega with Melrose Place serving as a contemporary fashion hub with French jean haven A.P.C., a Marc Jacobs Men’s flagship, and Bottega Veneta. Further down along Melrose Ave becomes a more casual retail feel, with John Varvatos sitting next to a vintage t-shirt shop.
The Gents Closet
The next shopping spot on the list is a must--the Gents Closet (www.gentscloset.com) on Sunset Boulevard is our first Koio stockist on the West Coast! This men’s boutique specializes in creating unique styles.
After picking up a fresh pair of Koios and a new outfit to match, take a slow drive west on Sunset Boulevard as you pass through Rock n’ Roll history. The Viper Room, the Roxy, the House of Blues--you can feel the music cruising down Sunset at sunset. Very LA.
For dinner, reserve a table at the legendary Chateau Marmont (www.chateaumarmont.com). You are guaranteed to run into more than a few celebs as this place was, is, and always will be, a Hollywood favorite. The restaurant lives up to its name through the food, the service, and the unique atmosphere. Dress to impress and remember that no pictures are allowed inside!
Hollywood Forever Cemetary
After dinner, experience one of the most unique events that you’ve never thought of doing--catch a classic movie in Hollywood’s Forever Cemetery. This summer series takes place outdoors, literally among the headstones of the famous resting place, and invites you to picnic, dance, and relax in the unlikeliest of places. Book tickets at www.cinespia.org.
Good Times at Davey Wayne’s
If you're looking to go out after the movie, we recommend you head to Good Times at Davey Wayne’s. At this local bar, a fridge door is the secret entrance that leads you into a small space with wooden floors. Upon entering you will feel like you are back in the 70s. It's a fun, eclectic spot, that is very different from the rest of Hollywood. Do yourself a favor and check out this speakeasy, but be prepared for extreme amounts of good times and to relive the 70s!
Paradise Cove Cafe
Sunday at the beach
Don’t get up too late after a very full Saturday--a weekend in LA is certainly not complete without a trip to the beach. While there are too many beach spots to even count, driving out to Malibu is well worth the trip.
Start off with brunch at the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe (www.paradisecovemalibu.com). This laid back beach bungalow is on the sand and is BYOB--one of the only places that alcohol is allowed onto the beach! The view is impossible to beat and you could end up relaxing there all day.
View from High Rooftop Lounge
Heading back south down Malibu’s stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway, spend your early afternoon at the Malibu Pier and watch some amazing locals ride the waves. If you’re itching to get your feet wet, rent a paddleboard and get in a great workout. After enjoying the refreshing ocean water, head to Venice Beach to catch the amazing California sunset.
Hotel Erwin, a small boutique hotel along Venice’s main drag, has a fantastic rooftop bar called High Rooftop Lounge and an unbeatable view of the sunset. Good music and even better cocktails create the perfect vibe for the early evening.
Following the sunset, head across the street to Abbot Kinney, a great local spot for food, drinks and art. Gjelina, consistently one of the most talked about restaurants in west LA, serves up unique New American fare. Pizza lovers are in for a treat with their up-scale artisan pies such as the mixed mushroom or shaved asparagus pizzas. Oysters here are also a must! Make sure you reserve your spot days in advance.
And with that, you have a very full weekend of LA, encompassing classic Hollywood, relaxing oceanic paradise, and more than a few good drinks.
Los Angeles sunset