Off to... Los Angeles! // ALB's LA City Guide
ALB’s City Guides are not your typical tourist itineraries, they are your invitation to travel like ALB.
Travel is such a fundamental component of life. Your mind and body, feel, smell, hear, and taste the sounds, sights, and cultures of the world. Reading is a very similar form of fantastical wandering, but when you are physically in that “somewhere else,” you transform. You see how other people live and your mind and world surge.
“Instead of getting mired in the tunnel vision of your imagination, by looking out into the world you improve the acuity of your peripheral vision,” says Wharton's Top Professor, Adam Grant, in Originals.
If you are daydreaming about escaping somewhere, or already have a Los Angeles trip planned, consider visiting ALB's favorite spots. You will not regret it!
Le Petit Hermitage // A true sanctuary in the heart of bustling West Hollywood. // 8822 Cynthia Street, West Hollywood.
Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel // Nestled on Rodeo Drive between Rolex and Michael Kors, you get the experience you expect from a location like this. Rooms are comfortable and elegant, caressing you to a restful night sleep steps away from the Rue Saint-Honoré of the West Coast. // 360 N Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills.
Mr. C Beverly Hills // Cipriani in Los Angeles. The name tells New Yorkers and Italians what to expect. Everyone else, you will not be disappointed. // 1224 Beverwil Drive, Los Angeles.
The Beverly Hills Hotel // ALB's favorite. Nothing is more Beverly Hills than this. You feel like a princess while staying at The Pink Palace, especially if you are staying in one of the newly-renovated bungalows, such as the one inspired by Frank Sinatra’s Palm Springs home. Spend the day in a private cabana by the pool, or have the hotel car drop you at the beginning of Rodeo for afternoon shopping. // 9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills.
Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills // Be one of the first to experience the classic Waldorf experience in Beverly Hills. The grounds were broken on June first and boast the illustrious characteristics of the iconic Manhattan grounds. This new location is everything you expect in the 90210. // 9850 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills.
Farmshop // The inspiration for Meryl Streep's bakery café in It's Complicated, Farmshop is a significant stopover. Situated in the quaint Brentwood Market, brunching here is ideal for a day of zigzagging in and out of the stores and candidly enjoying yourself. A charming and tasty enclave. // 225 26th Street #25, Santa Monica.
Gracias Madre // Plant-based Mexican? Sounds weird, right? It is, because it is SO good! If you are a wellness-phobe, you will not even realize that the food is good for you. GM may even cajole you into becoming vegan! ALB loves the Bowls (especially Bowl Tres). Available to reserve on OpenTable. // 8905 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood.
Malibu Farm // Although LA traffic can test your patience, the drive out to Malibu on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway for you Eastern folk) is worth it! On your way to Nobu or Soho House, park oceanside and walk to the end of the Malibu Pier to Malibu Farm. It is such a quintessential Cali spot, and is neither touristy nor overrated. The food is excellent and so are the vibes and the view! // 23000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu.
Moon Juice // This is not your ordinary juice bar. All products, juices, milks, dusts, and crackers use “plant-sourced alchemy to nourish and elevate body, beauty, and consciousness.” Everything taste delicious — even the green juices that are often difficult to exhaust — and truly works. ALB swears by their Moon Dusts: the Beauty and Brain Dusts are her favorite! // 8463-3 Melrose Place, Los Angeles // 507 Rose Avenue, Venice // 2839 Sunset Boulevard, Silver Lake.
The Polo Lounge // The most iconic Hollywood hotspot that never, ever goes out of style. Sit in the banana leaf garden for breakfast and lunch, or in the mood-lit dark bar for dinner — notice how the light intentionally casts shadows as to not be able to decipher exactly who is who. You will feel like a star worthy of the attention and impeccable service. And that is what you get. Hit all the stops and order their delicious guacamole, salsa, and chips; be sure to try their acclaimed soufflés. Chocolate soufflés are served every night in addition to a daily flavor. ALB’s favorite is Friday evening’s pistachio; she likes to do half and half! And keep your sunglasses on, even after sunset. That way you can scout who is walking in and no one will know! Available to reserve on OpenTable. // The Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills.
Rawberri // Maybe not the original home of the açaì bowl, but definitely the one of the most buzzed about. Rawberri even caught onto ALB's favorite motif, the Martinique banana print! It is a feast for all your senses! Customize a pitaya bowl (made with dragonfruit, which has less [natural] sugar than açaì) and people watch in the heart of West Hollywood. // 8582 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood.
Sqirl // One of the longest lines in Los Angeles. But it is worth it. Founder Jessica Koslow, amante of jams and preserves, expanded her realm to a cosmopolitan farm fresh breakfast and lunch cuisine. Humbly bragging that you went to lunch at Sqirl is like saying you had dinner with Jay-Z. You will regret not waiting in line. Tip: this is the place to order green eggs & jam. // 720 N Virgil Avenue #4, Los Angeles.
The Tower Bar // Located in the back of the hotel on the most frivolous point of Sunset Boulevard, there is a reason the Tower Bar is on this list. Two words: Jennifer Aniston. Just kidding. But really, if this is her go-to, then it is a must! The food, service, and ambiance are fantastic. It is very similar to the Polo Lounge, but different. You will see why. And, that Sundae Menu you see A-Listers sharing on their Instagram Stories? This is where it is from! Available to reserve on OpenTable. // Sunset Tower Hotel, 8358 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood.
Hike // A very cliché LA activity. I am not one for doing “what everybody else does,” but this is an exception. Besides the obvious fitness and heath benefits of hiking, there are certain places that you cannot not climb. There are over 125 mountains, hills, paths, and courses in Southern California. Runyon Canyon, the Griffith Park Trails, Topanga State Park, and Malibu Creek State Park are the most popular. Go walk and revel in the sun rising or setting on Los Angeles.
SoulCycle // SoulCycle is everywhere now. But, the notorious Angela Manuel-Davis is not. Well, if you are lucky, you can find her in the Hamptons a few weekends in the summer, but otherwise you have to travel West to catch 45 minutes with this self-proclaimed Fitness Evangelist. Part guru, part spiritual leader, part athlete, mother, wife, and friend, Angela is unlike any other fitness instructor. Her class is unlike any other workout class, let alone SoulCycle, you will ever take. The closest may be Conor Kelly’s Greenwich or Manhattan class, but that is because Angela is his guru, too. // SoulCycle West Hollywood, 8570 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood.
Tantris Yoga // Compared to Wanderlust, Tantris is its own fantastic beast; Russell Simmons’ beast. Deepak Chopra hosted last week’s Soul Sunday hour, and the studio features some of LA’s most talented guiding yogis. Simmons’ goal is to “elevate the practitioner to the state of yoga.” He does just that. // 9200 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood.
Wanderlust Hollywood // This is the current epicenter of all yoga events; the home base of the life-changing Wanderlust festivals is in Hollywood. Three lusciously welcoming cosmic rooms host between 12 and 15 classes daily: kundalini and vinyasa, hot restorative yin and meditation. Find your true North. But really, if you cannot summon your inner-yogi while you are in Los Angeles, where else will you be able to do it? Start somewhere! // 1357 Highland Avenue, Los Angeles.
9021-OM // Saturday morning yoga at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Yoga dominates this activity list because it is very LA, but also because the city offers an assortment of yogic experiences. Regardless of if you are a guest at the Beverly Hills Hotel, you are invited to join Amy Rose for an hour practice in the delectable banana leaf gardens. Practice is held every Saturday morning at 9:30. Remember to wear your favorite Martinique print leggings! // The Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills.
Brentwood Country Mart // A charming New England “shopping center” in Los Angeles. Brentwood Country Mart feels like home. Wander into Sugar Paper, Intermix, and Diesel (the cutest neighborhood bookstore) and out of Farmshop and Sweet Rose Ice Cream. You will feel like a child again; it will be great! This summer, enjoy a classic movie every Wednesday evening at 5:30P. How much cuter could it get? // 225 26th Street, Santa Monica.
Disneyland // No one is too old for Disney, ever! And if you want to practice your potion making skills, take the Hogwarts Express to Universal Studio’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Just make sure to not take any Amortentia (the most powerful love potion), otherwise you will never want to leave! // Disneyland Drive, Anaheim.
Melrose Place // When most 90s children and Millennials hear “Melrose Place,” they think of the 1992-1999 and 2009 shows, respectively. The real Melrose Place, however, eclipses that. Start wherever and peruse the palm-laden strip. Drop in and out of Moon Juice, Violet Grey, and Zimmerman, and grab a matcha latte at Alfred Tea: the perfect spot for a ‘gram! Do not forget to swing around the corner to Melrose Avenue, too! // Melrose Place, Los Angeles.
Olive & June // Want to #OliveYourMani, too?! Book a mani/pedi at the Beverly Hills location to truly get weighed on hand and foot. There are over eight services from which to choose, including the organic Margot manicure and pedicure. And, if you want nail art, be sure to ask for ALB’s one and only nail artist, Sam, aka @nailartfairy! // 430 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills.
Monday // CLOSED
Tuesday // 11A – 5P
Wednesday // 11A – 5P
Thursday // 11A – 8P
Friday // 11A – 8P
Saturday // 10A – 8P
Sunday // 10A – 6P
The Broad // Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room, that famous magical LED-lit room that you have seen on everyone’s Instagram — Kourtney Kardashian and DVF included — is at this fabulous new contemporary museum. The Broad opened in September 2015 and the crowds still make it feel like a newbie. However, despite the lines, entrance is easy and, best of all, admission is free! // 221 S Grand Avenue, Los Angeles.
Best time to visit // All year round! As evident in The OC, it is always sunny and does not rain often in Southern California. Note that April-July is the off-season, so aim to travel during this time to take advantage of the best hotel rates.
Transportation // If you plan on moving around more than lounging poolside, renting a car is a ideal. Otherwise, Uber is widely available.
Weather // December through March are the coldest months, with an average of 67°F (19°C). August is the hottest month with an average temperature of 79°F (26°C). Although rain is infrequent, February is the most precipitous month of the year.
Language // English; with that rad Cali vibe.
Electric // Type A (two-prong plug) or Type B (three-prong plug)
Currency // United States Dollar ($)
May you experience profound wanderlust and have safe travels!
Please note that I have no relationship with any of the brands or locations mentioned in this article. I support them all personally.