With the Oscars on Sunday, now is as good a time as any to explore the birthplace of the silver screen and all it has to offer. Needless to say, beyond Hollywood culture, there are endless options when it comes to your L.A. story. Herein, our favorite tinsel town spots to dine, drink, and hedge your bets on this year’s Academy Award nominees.
Friday afternoon: You’ll be close to the action at Kodak Center—but not too close—when you stay at the swanky LINE Hotel in buzzy Koreatown. From the team that brought you the Ace and NoMad hotels, this Condé Nast Hot List winner offers a range of inventive dining options by chef Roy Choi—from POT Pizza Joint’s munchy-friendly menu to the 80s-themed bar Break Room 86 (don’t miss the spiked push pops).
Friday evening: Once you’ve gotten settled, hit the road for drinks and bites at rooftop eatery PERCH, which offers panoramic views and, thankfully, given L.A.’s uncharacteristic cold spell of late, a fire pit. From there, try a transformative dinner and cocktail experience at the Freehand hotel, where Rudolph’s tea cocktails and The Exchange’s excellent international, Israeli-leaning fare await.
Saturday morning: Rise and shine for breakfast in the hotel at Commissary on the second floor—housed in a lush, sunlit greenhouse. Fuel up for an active day ahead; while the stars at the Academy Awards may stun, they’ll pale in comparison to the real stars you’ll find when you hike up to the Griffith Observatory.
Saturday afternoon: After a healthy dose of physical activity, head to celeb favorite Abbot Kinney Boulevard, where you can easily spend the better part of a late aternoon and early evening. First stop: Shuhari for the best matcha in town.
Saturday evening: After your matcha break, wander over to Gjelina for an unforgettable dinner experience worth the fight for a table. As an equally stellar alternative, Wabi-Sabi down the street offers innovative Japanese fare and expertly composed cocktails.
Sunday morning: For a last hurrah before Oscars madness begins, find your zen with a mini roadtrip to the 1,000-acre vineyard and avocado grove Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu—a real-life neverland boasting restored airstreams, vintage cars and a menagerie of animals (llamas, camels and zebras included). But that’s nothing compared to the zoo surrounding Kodak Center during the Academy Awards; if you choose to brave it, we recommend the viewing party at the Hollywood Roosevelt, where the very first Academy Awards were held. This year, the Roosevelt’s iconic bar will celebrate the women who have been nominated in the “Best Director” category, with five cocktail creations including the “Lady Bird” for Greta Gerwig (Tanqueray Ten, chartreuse, maraschino and fresh limes) and “The Piano” for Jane Campion (Hennessy, Chambord, fresh lemon and blackberries).
Main image: Griffith Observatory © Buick