Establishment neighborhood
GST Body
7562 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
If you’re typically sore after workouts—and wished they involved more stretching—this is the studio for you. Totally devoted to optimizing the health of your fascia, GST founder Anna Rahe and instructor Stefanie Bernhard lead classes that range from cardio-focused to sculpt to hourlong sessions designed to increase flexibility and range of motion. They all feel like you’re giving yourself a full-body massage. You can book one-on-one sessions with Rahe, too, which are great for an initial assessment and game plan.
Mama Shelter
6500 Selma Ave., Hollywood
LA abounds with rooftop bars, but even Westsiders will make the pilgrimage east for a night at Mama Shelter. There's just something about it. Maybe it's the direct view of the sun setting over the Hollywood sign, maybe it's those rainbow-striped loungers you sink into, or maybe it's the tunes spun nightly by the DJ. Arrive before dusk—especially on particularly balmy LA nights—and take over a corner with a crowd of friends. The barmen are some of the best in town (Y Tu Mama' Tambien is the spicy mezcal cocktail to order), and those panoramic views will keep you spellbound until last call.
Petit Trois
718 N. Highland Dr., Hollywood
Tucked into the tail end of a Hollywood strip mall (across the street from Nancy Silverton’s Mozza empire, if you’re lost) is one of the most sublime French bistros outside of France. Chef Ludo Lefebvre has clung on to his Burgundy culinary roots—and his accent—despite more than twenty years in Los Angeles. The dining room, a small, narrow room that seats maybe twenty, has antique mirrors running the length of the wall reflecting the dim lights and open kitchen. Small stools and slivers of table space force diners to sit close; French rap makes the vibe as appealing as the food. A plate of garlicky escargots and half a warm baguette—never sliced, just torn with your hands—the confit-fried chicken, and a carafe of house red is the perfect order. Petit Trois doesn’t take reservations, but a much bigger sister restaurant has opened in the Valley, and honestly, an aperitif at the tiny bar while you wait is half the pleasure.
Baroo (Closed)
5706 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
Next time you drive past one of Los Angeles’s many, often tumbledown, strip malls, look closely. Nestled between the laundromat and the questionable massage parlor might be one of the city’s best restaurants. Petit Trois, Sushi Gen, Jitlada...all in strip malls. Baroo is no different, and for chef Kwang Uh—a Noma alum—the choice of location is deliberate. Affordable rent means more research trips abroad for fresh ideas and new ingredients. The dishes at Baroo are hard to describe: experimental, deeply savory, and Asian-inflected. Pickles take center stage to the point that the only decoration in the otherwise sparse space is jar upon jar of Uh’s fermentation projects. Surrender and roll with the chef’s recommendations, although we’re partial to the Amira basmati rice, coated in a ton of herbs, coconut, dried shrimp, and pickled things. Most of the menu is vegan, it’s all under fifteen dollars, and the house-made kombucha is essential.
Salt’s Cure
1155 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood
Formerly crammed into a tiny space on Santa Monica Boulevard–where it quickly became known for both amazing oatmeal griddle cakes and long waits for brunch—the new Salt’s Cure has found a happier home. A few miles east on Highland, it now has a much larger, more relaxed dining room and really good cocktails. The menu stays true to the restaurant’s original ethos: Animals are bought whole, directly from California farms; seafood is sustainable and caught by local fisherman; produce comes from LA-area farmers’ markets. Make a reservation in advance if you can, for brunch especially. (If you want less fanfare with the best of the morning offerings, stop by Breakfast by Salt’s Cure, which recently opened in the restaurant’s original space.)
Dream Hotel Hollywood
6417 Selma Ave., Hollywood
Sitting at the foot of Runyon Canyon, the LA outpost of the Dream Hotel can’t be beat for convenience. Aside from the on-site restaurants and bars, which are great, the most notable takeaway is the hotel gym: not the usual handful of treadmills and sad weight station, but rather a custom Gunnar Peterson–designed workout space with every bell and whistle you could want. In true LA fashion, there’s also a rooftop pool with views of the hills. The entire place is bright and green, with natural wood furnishings throughout. The guest rooms are on the modern side, with huge beds (by hotel standards, at least), roomy seating areas, and beautiful bathrooms with glass-encased rainfall showers and the plushest bathrobes. The LA Metro is a few steps away, but for anyone in a rush (or with kids) the complimentary car service is a godsend.
Casa Perfect (Closed)
When The Future Perfect first opened in Williamsburg, it made waves by selling contemporary, well-designed furniture and small home goods by young, totally unknown designers. Nowadays, the store has grown up a bit and moved to Manhattan (and added a location in San Francisco, too), highlighting the work of talented designers both burgeoning and established, mixed together and contextualized in a home-like setting. The new LA showroom, Casa Perfect, is no exception: Housed in a classic, mid-century LA villa (pool included) decked out in TFP’s finest, you'll find not only a showroom for the latest and greatest designers and discoveries (outdoor furniture by Christian Woo, vessels by ceramicist Eric Roinstad, and lighting by Lindsey Adelman), but a veritable oasis that can actually be lived in. Take note: visits to Casa Perfect are appointment-only—you’ll get the exact address for the private shopping experience, tucked in the Hollywood Hills, after you book a slot. Photos: Lauren Coleman
Stella Barra
6372 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
Stella Barra's draw is the pizza, made from handcrafted dough, sized somewhere between a personal pizza and a pie, with a fairly crisp crust and addicting, soft center. First-timers should start with the Bloomsdale Spinach & Kale white pizza—and the Italian chopped salad is a solid side. A pro of the Stella Hollywood location (there's also a restaurant in Santa Monica) is that it shares the same parking lot as the Arclight theater, which makes it an obviously good date-night spot: After dinner, stop at the bar in front for salted chocolate chip cookies, and then head into your movie.
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