In this episode, I’m joined by podcasting sensation and good friend, Chris, of the Faces and Aces Las Vegas podcast. Chris is an LA native and helps guide us on a budget-friendly tour of the city. Below are the extensive notes Chris provided for us. He rocks.
Beach Cities (The Westside)
Places to Hang Out / Things To Do:
Santa Monica Pier – santamonicapier.org
Third Street Promenade – https://www.santamonica.com/santa-monica-neighborhoods/downtown-santa-monica-third-street-promenade/
Venice Canals – https://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/things-to-do/venice-canals
Malibu Wine Safari – https://www.lasafaris.com/
Place to Grab a Drink
The Bungalow (Santa Monica) – http://www.thebungalow.com/sm/#
Where to Eat:
So many great places to eat in Venice on Abbot Kinney Blvd. It’s kind of a “foodie” Mecca.
Places to Hang Out / Things To Do:
Hollywood Walk of Fame – https://www.walkoffame.com/
Shop at Hollywood Highland where the Oscars are held every year – http://hollywoodandhighland.com/
TCL Chinese Theater where you’ll see the footprints and handprints in cement – http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-chinese-theatre-handprints-celebrity-20170518-htmlstory.html
Drunk History Tour of Hollywood – https://www.viator.com/tours/Los-Angeles/Drunk-History-of-Hollywood/d645-20367P4
Scum & Villainy Cantina (A Star Wars Themed Bar) – https://scumandvillainycantina.com/
Lono (Named after the Hawaiian god of agriculture and rain, Lono is a tiki bar & restaurant) – https://www.lonohollywood.com/
Black Rabbit Rose – A cool bar that features magic performances – https://la.eater.com/2017/2/9/14562154/black-rabbit-rose-magic-theater-hollywood-houston-brothers-los-angeles
Comedy Clubs – Laugh Factory (http://www.laughfactory.com/clubs/hollywood), The Improv (https://hollywood.improv.com/), The Comedy Store (http://www.thecomedystore.com/) and UCB Theater (https://franklin.ucbtheatre.com/).
Show Tapings – Jimmy Kimmel Live, Ellen and The Price is Right all tape in L.A. Visit sites like On Camera Audience (http://on-camera-audiences.com/) and 1iota (https://1iota.com/) to get free tickets.
Podcast Recordings – Podcasters Kevin Smith (http://www.smodcast.com/events/), Doug Benson (http://douglovesmovies.com/), Adam Carolla (http://adamcarolla.com/events/#/91602-north-hollywood/all/today) and more often record live shows in Hollywood. Check your favorite podcaster to see if there’s a live show when you’re in town.
Hollywood Bowl – In the summer, the L.A. Philharmonic has open rehearsals at the Hollywood Bowl. Enjoy free music without the crowds and hassle. (http://redtri.com/los-angeles/free-hollywood-bowl-rehearsals/)
Where to Eat:
Lots of great places to eat in Hollywood. I’ll keep it simple here and just name my favorite burger place in Hollywood. Located in the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 25 Degrees (https://www.thehollywoodroosevelt.com/about/food-drink/25-degrees/) has killer burgers
DTLA is mostly known for its contemporary art museums The Broad (https://www.thebroad.org/) or MOCA (https://www.moca.org/visit/grand-ave). While there are some fun oddities to check out like The Last Bookstore (http://lastbookstorela.com/), unless you want to dig into LA historic places, there’s not much to do here besides eat.
For food, if you’re looking for something nice, trendy and upscale casual (yet still somehow expensive), check out Bestia (http://bestiala.com/). For terrible cafeteria food, but great drinks, check out Cliftons (http://www.cliftonsla.com/). If you want to sample a lot of great food in one location, Grand Central Market (http://www.grandcentralmarket.com/) is a must! It’s the home of the original Egg Slut (http://www.eggslut.com/) and PBJ LA (https://www.pbj.la/).
One more fun fact about DTLA. There are two rival eateries claiming to have invented the French dip sandwich, Philippe’s (https://www.philippes.com/) and Cole’s (http://213hospitality.com/coles/). The bitter rivalry carries on to this day.
If you happen to be in LA during the summertime, there are countless “outdoor movie” events all over the city. A fun one, in particular, happens at The Ace Hotel in Downtown LA. This one takes place on Monday nights at their rooftop bar and they pair cocktails to the movie they’re showing. (https://www.acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/monday-movie-nights-upstairs-et)
The Valley is a suburb of Los Angeles and has been made fun of on tv shows like Entourage. However, if you’re looking to save a little money on where to stay, you might want to consider it. The hotel prices can be about 25% cheaper than staying in Hollywood or the Westside. Look for hotels in Studio City, Burbank, Universal City or Valley Village. All of these neighborhoods are safe and relatively close to Hollywood and DTLA.
Other Highlights of the Valley
Universal Studios (https://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/)
Universal City Walk (https://www.citywalkhollywood.com/)
Warner Bros Studio Tour (https://www.wbstudiotour.com/)
Getty Center Museum (http://www.getty.edu/) – Not technically in the Valley, but worth checking out!
Other tips for L.A.
– If you rent a car, be prepared to pay for parking at your hotel and everywhere you go in Los Angeles.
– The struggle is real with L.A. traffic. Load up your phone with plenty of podcasts and music to keep yourself entertained in traffic.
– If you want a uniquely LA experience, in the winter, go skiing in the morning (https://www.bigbearmountainresort.com/winter/mountains/mountains/bear-mountain/bear-mountain-winter) and hang out at the beach at night.
– Koreatown is a great place to get the most authentic Korean food outside of Korea. Some say it’s better than the food in Korea since Los Angeles has access to a wider variety of ingredients than Korea does.
– Gourmet Food Trucks: The food truck revolution started in Los Angeles in 2008 with the Kogi BBQ truck. Growing up in Los Angeles, the diverse cultures of DTLA inspired Chef Roy Choi to create the amazing Kogi taco. You can find where the truck will be by downloading the app, following it on twitter (@kogibbq) or by visiting the website (http://kogibbq.com/).
Let us know if you have any other spots you think we should check out!