Travel

Hancock Park

Establishment neighborhood
The Gallery Hair Salon and Creative Studio
5770 Melrose Ave.,
It’s uncanny: Stress dissolves the minute you walk into this hair salon/art gallery/photo studio. You can always spot cofounder Joe Espinoza, across the room—he’s the majestically tall hairstylist and colorist with the cool hair (last time we visited it was a sophisticated navy blue). Some of Espinoza’s clients come to him for wild color, but he’s also a master of more conventional styles. There’s a bit of wellness woven in, too. You can choose to listen to meditation sounds while you get your hair or makeup done (there’s an in-house makeup artist)—they also sell essential oils, smelling salts, and the goop pink salt scalp scrub. Pieces from local artists cover the walls, energizing the entire space. “We dreamed of this place being a spot for local artists to show their work,” explains cofounder Drew DeMartinez. “Instead of just doing highlights and beach waves, we wanted to bring an element of art into hair, to make the salon experience less transactional and feel like more of a collective.” Images courtesy of Jenae Lien.
Salt & Straw
240 N. Larchmont Blvd., Hancock Park
The small-batch ice cream business cousins Kim and Tyler Malek launched out of a single neighborhood ice cream parlor in Portland has grown into a family of shops, including two in LA—the original on Larchmont, and a second on Abbot Kinney. The focus at S&S is on inventive flavors: salted caramel cupcake, pear & blue cheese, avocado & strawberry sherbet. On the flip side, the single-origin vanilla is some of the best we’ve ever had. For those who aren’t fortunate enough to live near a shop, the seasonal Pints Club, which sets you up with five unique pints every month and delivers them right to your door, is an excellent option.
Odys + Penelope
127 S. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park
This relative newcomer focuses on Brazilian churrasco, i.e. grilled meat. Accordingly, the back of the restaurant is outfitted with a wood-fired grill that churns out some of LA's best steaks, done in a traditional South American style. The menu is noticeably concise, to accommodate frequent changes based on availability, which means that the appetizers take full advantage of California's rich produce with seasonal salads and inventive vegetable dishes. This is the second, and more formal restaurant, from nearby Sycamore Kitchen's Quinn and Karen Hatfield; since Karen's manning the oven, the desserts here are not to be skipped.
The Nanz Company Los Angeles Showroom
318 N. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park
Based in New York with showrooms around the country, Nanz works closely with architects and designers to get their custom work just right, providing pretty much any custom hardware you can think of for your project. Highly professional—and armed with great aesthetics—we’d recommend them, and their work, for any restoration need. They also have a massive online catalog, which is an excellent tool if you’re looking for ideas. The office is in Midtown and we also love the appointment-only showroom in Soho.
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