Whistles Neighbourhood: Los Angeles
Situated amongst the cinematic views and cliff-front houses, our Whistles Bloomingdale’s LA concession hosts a considered edit of our womenswear collection, plus our Bloomingdale’s exclusives. Discover where to stay, what to see and where to let your hair down in the City of Angels.
Recently voted the number 2 restaurant in America by Bon Appétit Magazine, Gjusta is an all-day café that defies categorization. In equal parts coffee shop, artisanal bakery, deli counter, smokehouse, juice bar, pizza joint and salad bar, it’s a delight to the senses and the taste buds. Housed in a light-filled warehouse space in Venice Beach, place your order at the counter and enjoy your meal in the backyard dining space, alongside the hippest patrons in Venice.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a sprawling campus of pavilions set in Mid-Wilshire. Devoted to collecting art works that span both history and geography, it’s also a big supporter of local LA artists. Spend an afternoon exploring its many buildings and collections, including the iconic Chris Burden street light sculpture, and enjoy sundowners at the museum’s outdoor bar.
An independent bookstore with two locations in Los Feliz, Skylight is a local favourite. It specialises in books on the cutting edge of culture, from the best of literary fiction to music, art, film, theatre, regional culture, history and political theory. It’s the type of bookstore you don’t think exists anymore – it’s light and tranquil space makes you comfortable enough to pick up a book and get lost in it. The in-store cat only adds to its charm.
Melrose Trading Post
Perusing the Melrose Trading Post flea market is the perfect Sunday activity. The weekly event is held at Fairfax High School in mid-city and attracts an eclectic local crowd. Shop for vintage clothes, furniture and records, as well as artwork and new designer wares.
Commissary at The Line
Driving down Wilshire Boulevard in Korea Town you might spot the unlikely spectacle of a greenhouse on the roof of a hotel. The greenhouse is actually the Roy Choi helmed Commissary, one of the famous chefs signature restaurants at boutique hotel The Line. With an emphasis on vegetables and salads, the menu is as unexpected as the setting. Kitsch little touches, such as miss-matched cutlery and napkins, and cocktails served in plastic containers, make it a fun and unique experience.
The Chateau Marmont needs little introduction. The iconic hotel is a designated cultural monument whose history is that of Hollywood itself. Built in 1929 and modeled after a Loire Valley castle, the hotel has played host to the best and the brightest in the worlds of film, music, fashion and art (as well as scandal or two). It even played a starring role in the Sofia Coppola film, Somewhere. Stay in one of their famous bungalows, enjoy dinner on the garden terrace or stop by for a drink to experience the place where Hollywood legends are made.
Musso & Frank
Musso & Frank is classic Hollywood. Little has changed about the restaurant since it opened in 1919. Featuring elegant worn leather booths and a mahogany bar, it was – and is – a place for the movers and shakers of its day. In the ‘30s it was a literary hangout, attracting names such as Raymond Chandler, Dorothy Parker and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo and Marilyn Monroe were also patrons and today it’s still a place where contracts are signed, scripts discussed and deals made over their famous Musso martini. Old Hollywood at its best.
Tortoise General Store
Tortoise General Store is a little piece of Tokyo in Venice. Specializing in Japanese homewares, it’s a design-lovers paradise, stocking Japan-made kitchenware, stationary, ceramics and textiles. Make sure you don’t miss the back building behind the main store, an exhibition space which showcases work by Japanese artists, including ceramics and sculpture.
The David Kordansky Gallery
The David Kordansky Gallery is one of the best galleries in LA for championing cutting-edge young artists. Established for 11 years, it recently moved to its largest location yet in mid-city. The light-filled space – which used to be a car dealership – is actually split into two equally sized galleries, all the better for showcasing the work of contemporary artists, including many LA-based talents.
Tucked off Hollywood boulevard in Los Feliz, Hotel Covell is a discreet, charming and intimate boutique hotel, the first of its kind in the neighbourhood. Located in the 1930’s building that also houses the popular Bar Covell, the space features five uniquely designed rooms – think classic Americana with a modern twist. Merging the appeal of a style hotel with the experience of living like a local, the space is a welcome addition to the area.
Mohawk General Store
Located in Silverlake, Mohawk General Store is one of the best independent shops in LA. The owners exquisite taste level can be seen everywhere, from the selection of brands – including Acne, Carven, Dries Van Noten, Isabel Marant and Alexander Wang – to the mid-century modern furniture displayed around the store. Scented candles, beauty products, ceramics and textiles – all expertly curated – are also worked into the mix, making it a one-stop dream lifestyle shop. For the guys, there is Mohawk Man, a dedicated menswear store two doors down.
Olive and June
Modern and stylish, Olive & June elevates the nail salon experience. Situated in Beverly Hills (but with a new location recently opened in Pasadena), it was founded on the principle that getting a manicure and a pedicure should be “downright lovely”. With its attention to detail – from the chic tan leather and blond wood furniture and flowers hanging from the ceiling to its super attentive staff – it definitely delivers.
When owner Jessica Koslow opened her café Sqirl on a nondescript corner on the outskirts of Silverlake a few years ago, she not only revitalized that part of the neighbourhood but revolutionized LA food. Her unexpected combinations, which mix Mediterranean, Asian and American influences, have garnered her numerous awards, as well as queues around the block. Signature dishes include the sorrel rice pesto bowl, crispy rice salad with mint and lemongrass and her famous burnt brioche toast, topped with ricotta and Sqirl’s own signature jams. A must for foodies. Go early to get a head start on the queue.
Outdoor summer screenings at the iconic Hollywood Forever cemetery are an LA institution. Since 2002 film organization Cinespia has been showcasing the best of cinema to packed audiences. The expertly crafted schedule offers something for everyone, from black and white classics to cult movies, indie flicks and blockbusters. Go with friends and take a blanket, a picnic and a bottle of wine – when the sun goes down the movie starts. It’s a magical Hollywood experience not to be missed.