A close look at downtown Los Angeles, the freeway-encircled nexus where a handful of skyscrapers rises from the suburban tundra, reveals a business district on the verge of a swanky metamorphosis, thanks to a cadre of ambitious hoteliers, loft developers, and restaurateurs. And now the area’s got an acronym, DTLA—a distinction that usually equates to NBT (next big thing) status.
Long story short, my boyfriend and I have two different versions of the iPhone, and on a recent road trip, his battery died and I had the only car charger that would work for it as he left his charger at home. My phone was fully charged, and we were keeping up with each other on the highway, so I offered to switch phones with him for an hour, charge his up, and then pull off the road and switch back. He thought about it a second, then said, "No, that's okay.
On a recent trip to Brooklyn, I caught up with SF’s own Elizabeth Falkner at Krescendo, where she was manning (or shall we say womanning) the ovens for owner and native Brooklynite Nancy Puglisi (of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach). After shuttering the famed Citizen Cake and Orson, and in between gigs on reality shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef America, Falkner relocated and turned her attention to classic Italian dishes and Neapolitan pizza.
I’m sure Pasadena has its share of gourmet restaurants, given its wide leafy lanes, pristine old town, and upscale school district. But for some reason, whenever I pass through—which is often—I end up eating at a taco stand or a pizza place that proves so satisfying, I return again and again. Here then, are my non-fancy favorites in a fancy little enclave.
I’m no vegetarian, but now that I’m living the Los Angeles lifestyle—and surrounded by Sienna Miller lookalikes at every turn—I’ve gotten on board with the veggie-loving hordes and taken up a new hobby: Finding meat-free dishes I crave so much that I’d choose them over a burger regardless of the health benefits. No, seriously.
I must confess, when I lived in San Francisco I didn’t may much attention to Dine About Town, the annual January promotion designed to lure people from their EnviroLog-brightened living rooms into the city’s restaurants. But now that I dwell in Los Angeles, it’s different, and the reason is simple: Dine LA’s 250-plus restaurants include several of the city’s top-tier A-listers—you know, the restaurants that don’t have to participate because they’re booked solid anyway.
Everyone knows about the stellar yoga to be had on the west side of Los Angeles—Vinnie Marino, Shiva Rea, and Bryan Kest draw A-list celebrities to the mat within a stone’s throw of the ocean. But the east side has its own quiet vinyasa scene going on. Here are the top spots to get flowing without hopping on the 10.
Los Feliz is by far the prettiest neighborhood on the East side of LA, hip enough to provide a culture fix but moneyed enough to avoid the grit of its highly touted neighbors, Silverlake and Hollywood. Its two main tree-lined avenues, Hillhurst and Vermont, run parallel to each other, and are easily navigable on foot.
You’d think Atwater Village would be overrun with hipsters after gaining attention from The New York Times this past year. But the little pocket of northeastern Los Angeles bordering Griffith Park, just a stone’s throw from both Silverlake and Los Feliz, is still uncrowded and neighborly, even though Details magazine named it one of the six best emerging neighborhoods on the planet.
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