City Guide: HOLLYWOOD
Hollywood, California: the city of lights, stars, elegance. The hotels are nicer, the drinks are stronger, and the food is more delectable. Hollywood is a place of glitz and glamour, hence the nickname Tinseltown. It’s a lifestyle not like any other. Within walking distance are luxury hotels, a rare record shop, a speakeasy, and theatres. There views of the Hollywood sign and the Hollywood Hills are spectacular. Everything a person could want is near one iconic intersection, Hollywood and Vine and we spend the day exploring some of its coolest attractions. It doesn’t matter if you’re a tourist or a local; Hollywood is the place to be if you want the best of the best.
The W Hollywood Hotel
6250 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
In the ideal location of Hollywood and Vine, The W Hollywood Hotel is a mesmerizing, upscale hotel that embraces the heart of Hollywood. Right across the street from Pantages Theatre, driving distance from Capitol Records and the Hollywood Bowl, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame right outside the door, every guest is sure to feel like a movie star. The lobby, with its pink and black accents, is exceptional, yet inviting. Guests can relax at the rooftop pool or enjoy the L.A. air while dining outside. The W Hollywood Hotel has numerous rooms, but one of the highlights is the Marvelous Suite. The Marvelous Suite sleeps two on a European-style platform king size bed. It includes a living room with a semi circular couch, a window seat to take in the views of Hollywood (including the iconic Hollywood sign), a spa-like bathroom, and a wet bar to wind down (or turn up) for the evening. It doesn’t matter if one is a local or a tourist visiting Los Angeles, The W Hollywood Hotel is the place to stay in Hollywood.
It’s rare nowadays to find a true, old-school record store, except in Hollywood. Amoeba Music, located on Sunset, is one of the few brick and mortar record shops in the U.S. With rows and rows of CDs, movies (including VHS, DVD, and Blu-Ray), vinyls and more, there’s something for everyone. To say there’s a large selection would be an understatement. The selection is ever-changing, so there’s always something new to find. Patrons spend hours upon hours at Amoeba, shopping for the perfect music. The best-selling items are LPs and CDs. In addition to music and movies, Amoeba carries great memorabilia. For those looking for a free live show in Hollywood, look no further than Amoeba Music. Often times, the artists are small-time and local. Other times, though, more famous artists will perform. The shows are pretty mellow, and are on first come, first serve basis.
No Vacancy, located inside Hotel Juniper, is the perfect bar for decadent Hollywood cocktails and that classic Hollywood vibe. Housed inside a Victorian-style house, No Vacancy is a dim-lighted speakeasy complete with burlesque dancers, a tight rope show, and live bands. There are multiple bars, so drinks are ordered and made at rapid speed. The China Doll, a crowd favorite, is made with Caprock gin, jasmine water, lemon juice, coconut jasmine cream, and egg white. For something more masculine, try The Professor, which consists of Bols Genever, Blood Orange liqueur, Aperol, and dashes of fig bitters. Other noted cocktails are the Madame Lou and The Royal Swizzle. Be sure to make reservations (or show up right at 8 p.m.), as No Vacancy fills up quickly. Also, shiny shirts, shorts, sports gear, logos, flip flops, most hats, and loud colors are highly discouraged.
The Redbury, a luxury hotel on Vine St, offers some of the most mouthwatering Middle Eastern cuisine in Southern California. Cleo is an in suite eatery with a dynamic and intriguing atmosphere, complete with delectable dishes by Chef Danny Elmaleh. Cleo was beautifully curated by photographer Matthew Rolston and gives an intimate dining experience. Patrons can feel comfortable sitting in an elegant booth or stand-alone table, in a great setting of bright lights and neutral tones. Fan favorites at Cleo are the Branzino (cauliflower cous cous, currants, and pine nuts), Duck Bastilla (crispy phyllo filled with glazed duck), and Artichoke Flatbread (potato, wilted arugula, provolone, and gruyere). Small plate are also available such as babaghanoush, cucumbers and yogurt, and various kabobs.
After enjoying dinner at Cleo at The Redbury, and before drinks at No Vacancy, check out Rooftop Cinema Club on the roof of the Ricardo Montalban Theatre. Rooftop Cinema Club is unlike any other cinema experience. After four sold out seasons in the United Kingdom, Rooftop Cinema Club expanded to Hollywood, the home of film. It’s a film club quite literally on a rooftop, right above the famous Walk of Fame. Every night at 6 p.m., Rooftop Cinema Club opens its doors. Farm-to-table food is catered from Farmer’s Belly Café, offering fresh food to patrons. Drinks, including cocktails, can be purchased at The Montalban Bar. Food and drinks can be enjoyed while relaxing on comfortable beach-style chairs, with complimentary blankets offered if it gets too chilly. Each patron receives a pair of wireless, noise canceling headphones to hear the movie while blocking out the city noise below (which are returned at the end of the evening). Movies like Casablanca, The Godfather, and Pulp Fiction play on a large screen starting around sunset. Rooftop Cinema Club is for patrons 18 years old and over, and the bar is 21 and over only.
“From film choice to what flavor popcorn we have on the roof, our customers are involved. We love them and we hope they recognize this and continue to come back time and time again to enjoy their favorite films.” – Gerry Cottle Jnr. (Rooftop Cinema Creator)
“We have unique elements like our wireless headphone which immerse our customers into the film and also cancel out the noise of the bustling city below. And best of all it removes the pesky noise of rustling sweet packets of the person sitting next to you. Cinematic bliss!” – Gerry Cottle Jnr.
“The thing that really makes us stand out is that we are on a roof which means you can experience film like never before in this completely unique urban environment.” – Gerry Cottle Jnr.
The Pantages Theatre, formerly known as RKO Pantages Theatre, is an art deco theatre owned and operated by The Nederlander Organization. It was designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca and is the last theatre built by Alexander Pantages. The Pantages Theatre is one of the leading live theatres in Los Angeles and showcases some of the biggest musicals in Broadway (think The Lion King and Wicked). Music concerts have also been performed at the Pantages Theatre. It truly is one of the most iconic venues in the U.S., and has been wildly popular since Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Newsies is touring at The Pantages Theatre through Sept. 4.
The Monkees – Good Times: The 50th Anniversary Tour is Sept. 16.
Written by Lyndsay Marvin
Photography by Angelo Sgambati
Wardrobe by FEA
Produced by Kiley Coleman
Makeup & Hair by Amy Weisserman