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Style Agenda: LA’s East and West Sides

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We’re not against being tourists in our own city, especially during the holidays. (A walk along the beach, followed by ice cream at Salt & Straw? We’ll take it.) One major benefit of living in LA is the diversity of its neighborhoods: Downtown LA is constantly changing, having recently evolved into a vibrant destination known for its inventive food scene and cool lifestyle shops; whereas the West Side can’t be beat with its easy access to the beach, family-friendly activities, and charming neighborhood blocks. Here, what to do (and wear) should you find yourself on either part of town.

WEST SIDE

  • Brentwood Farmers’ Market

    Brentwood Farmer’s Market

    741 S. Gretna Green Way, Brentwood

    Head to this neighborhood farmer’s market early on Sunday morning (stands open at 9 a.m.), and check out all sorts of organic prepared foods, like gluten- and dairy-free treats from Coco Bakes, hummus from Mom’s, and amazing fresh tamales. Should you need to stock the fridge for the week, there are top-notch seasonal fruit and veggies too.

  • Gjusta

    Gjusta

    320 Sunset Ave., Venice | 310.314.0320

    Chef/owner Travis Lett is known for making the kind of impossibly gratifying California food you want to eat every day. Sister bakery/deli/café to the much-adored restaurant Gjelina, Gjusta literally does a little bit of everything. They also smoke their own fish, which means the cured and smoked mackerel, salmon, and trout—served open-face on fresh-baked bread or bialy-style—taste amazing. At the other end of the spectrum is the chicken parm—light, cheesy, and addictive. The sailcloth-covered patio (formerly, outdoor dining consisted of milk crates as tables and chairs in the parking lot—it was charming, we swear) now has ample seating. There are plenty of little takeaway treats too—house-bottled jams and loaves of bread, which Lett and team are up at 4 a.m. making fresh in their open-kitchen every morning.

  • Ice at Santa Monica

    Ice at Santa Monica

    1324 5th St., Santa Monica | 310. 260.1199

    Just a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean, this 8,000-square-foot rink is a crowd pleaser for kids—and adults too. The rink offers skate rentals, lessons (great for littles), and private cabana rentals for larger groups. On most nights through January 16, the rink is open until 10 p.m.

  • Shopping on Rose Avenue

    Shopping on Rose Avenue

    Rose Ave., Venice

    While Abbott Kinney tends to attract all the weekend foot traffic, it’s worth venturing a few blocks north over to Rose Avenue, where a handful of shops have popped up in recent years. Of particular note, Parachute Home, a home linens boutique chock-full of design inspiration (a rose gold-colored mirror, potted cacti, and leather-and-copper chairs from Eric Trine). Bonus: newly opened Parachute Hotel upstairs, which is available for overnight stays, will also play hosts to special events, like a seasonal wreath-making workshop, throughout the year. A few other favorites in the neighborhood include: Lily Ashwell for pretty ceramics and vintage dresses and Moon Juice for a midday pick-me-up.

EAST SIDE

  • Hauser Wirth & Schimmel

    901 E. 3rd St., Downtown | 213.943.1620

    While the Arts District gets buzzier by the day, the arrival of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, the massive new spin-off of the Swiss gallery Hauser & Wirth, has transformed the neighborhood. Here, occupying a block-wide stretch of 19th-and 20th-century buildings that previously served as a flour mill complex, the space feels anything but a traditional white-box gallery. The international gallery tapped Paul Schimmel, formerly the chief curator of LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art, as a partner. Look for pieces by important local artists like Paul McCarthy, Mark Bradford, and Richard Jackson. Through the end of the year, catch a survey of Austrian painter Maria Lassnig. The multi-use space also includes an education center, ARTBOOK shop, and even a community garden.

  • Shopping on E.3rd Street

    Shopping on E. 3rd Street

    E. 3rd St., Downtown

    The intersection of E. 3rd and S. Santa Fe in the Arts District remains one of the area’s more walkable stretches. An ideal afternoon here would be spent perusing the shelves of art books at Hennessey + Ingalls, picking out a piece of made-in-LA menswear or a burlap tote (great for the farmer’s market) at Apolis, and grabbing a coffee at Alchemy Works, before stocking up on colorful notebooks at Poketo. New to the neighborhood: Shinola’s latest boutique and The Smile’s di Alba, an off-shoot of the beloved New York City café, which is set to open a to-go outpost helmed by chef Nina Clemente.

  • Manuela

    Manuela

    907 E. 3rd St., Downtown | 323.849.0480

    Named for Hauser Wirth & Schimmel co-founder Manuela Wirth, the focus at this sprawling new restaurant is farm-fresh produce with a bit of Southern charm. (Look no further than the kitchen’s own on-site vegetable farm, which provides seasonal herbs, fruits, and veggies–there’s even a chicken coop.) The raw, industrial space looks out onto the gallery’s artwork-dotted courtyard, and features brass and marble fixtures, long banquette tables, and vintage furnishings. Chef Wes Whitsell’s Texas roots translate to shareable dishes like hushpuppies with molasses butter, charred okra with confit tomato and black olive, and smoked half-chicken served with dirty rice and apple chutney.

  • Perch

    Perch

    448 Hill St., Downtown | 213.802.1770

    Wind down the evening on the terrace bar at Perch, which overlooks Downtown’s Pershing Square, the home of several prime examples of classic LA architecture, including the Art Deco building it tops. It has a French, bistro-themed restaurant and all the cocktails you’d want, though the real draw here is the view.

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