It might not be the original location, but for sheer selection, you can't beat the Hollywood outpost of Amoeba Music. Hailed by the owners as the "biggest, broadest, most diverse collection of music and movies ever seen on under one roof," this massive store occupies a full city block, and offers two floors of media goodness. Inside, you'll find row after row of CDs, movies, and, of course, plenty of vinyl, as well as one of the most knowledgeable staffs of any store anywhere. As you'd expect from a record shop this size, it also serves as a venue for live bands and release parties, having hosted The Flaming Lips, The Roots, The Raconteurs, and many other artists over its 10+ years of operation.
Ever heard the phrase "never trust a skinny cook"? Well, that won't be a problem at Fat Sal's. This West Coast purveyor of delicious, greasy East Coast sandwiches was founded by the namesake chef and his two friends, one of whom just happened to play Turtle on Entourage. The menu is filled with fat sandwiches, which are basically entire meals on a bun, as well as more reasonable sandwiches, burgers, wraps, hot dogs, salads, and "fat fries", which come in variations from plain to Philly cheesesteak- or Carne Asada-topped. And if you're really feeling brave, you can try to tackle the Big Fat Fatty, a 27-inch sandwich topped with cheesesteak, cheeseburgers, pastrami, chicken fingers, bacon, mozzarella sticks, fried eggs, jalapeño poppers, fries, onion rings, chili, marinara, and "fat sauce" — it costs $50, but it's free if you can scarf one down in 40 minutes or less. Good luck with that.
In a town that's created more than its share of villains — both real and imagined — it only makes sense that they'd have their own bar. And while you won't find Lord Voldemort or Dr. Evil holding court at Villains Tavern, what you will find is a fittingly ornate interior, a cocktail menu of carefully-prepared drinks — several of which are on tap — and a short but satisfying food menu. Out on the patio of this Arts District establishment, you'll find a circus-like canopy, seating, and a stage that frequently plays host to local up-and-coming artists.
Like the Koreatown neighborhood in which it sits, The Line Hotel doesn't slow down just because it's late. Inside the walls of this new 388-room property — a modern building that dates back to 1964 — you'll find Speek, a mid-century-styled lounge from the Houston brothers that stays open until the wee hours, a late-night bakery, a Poketo store that's open 24-hours, Korean restaurant Pot from chef Roy Choi, with an adjoining bar, Commissary, a fruit and vegetable-focused greenhouse/restaurant, and a delivery service that promises to pick up anything in the neighborhood and bring it right to your door. And then there's the rooms, which feature modern decor, exposed concrete walls, Baxter of California bath goods, curated minibars, and free Wi-Fi.
As stores go, it's hard to get more manly than Deus Ex Machina. The Venice depot of this killer company is a treasure trove of awesomeness, offering in-house custom built motorcycles, hand-shaped and -glassed surfboards, self-branded clothing and artwork, coffee from Handsome Coffee Roasters, and a variety of goods from the likes of Baxter of California, Makr Carry, Raen Optics, and others. Not too bad for a building that's served as both a gas station and flower shop.
At most markets, you're lucky to find a handful of stands offering interesting handmade goods. At the Renegade Craft Fair, you'll find nothing but. Held every Summer and Winter in Austin, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and London — and with upcoming dates scheduled in all six cities — this curated independent craft marketplace features a huge array of goods from talented artisans, spanning everything from clothes and jewelry to furniture, lighting, and artwork. Food and drink will likely be on offer as well, so all you really need to bring is yourself — and your wallet.
Pizza might not be the first thing you think of when you're by the ocean, but it'd be a shame to overlook the pies at Stella Barra. Located not far from the pier, this sleekly-decorated eatery churns out hundreds of the circular treats per night, offering a range of toppings for their salty, puffy crusts that stretched from a shaved mushroom with gruyere to a traditional margherita. The drink menu — created by Proprietors LLC — is also strong, as are the small plates, salads, sandwiches, and baked goods, the latter of which are available from the breakfast counter at the front of the joint.
The menu might be short, but my, is it tasty. Milk Jar Cookies is a Miracle Mile shop serving up freshly-baked homemade cookies, glasses of milk from a local dairy, and ice cream from a local creamery. Over a dozen varieties are available — including the classic chocolate chip, chocolate peanut butter, and a gluten-free chocolate chip for the wheat-adverse — and as you may have guessed from the ice cream being served, nearly any combination can be combined to create and ice cream cookie sandwich that's as delicious as it sounds.
Masaharu Morimoto. Thomas Keller. Rick Bayless. Grant Achatz. Giada De Laurentiis. Michael Mina. Edward Lee. Leave it to the glitz of LA to attract all-star talent. The Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival is a three-day event — scheduled for August 22-25 — that will see cooking demonstrations, tastings, lunches, cocktail demonstrations, panels, and more from the names listed above and a huge number of other talented chefs and mixologists. Particular highlights include Giada's Festa Italiana, lunch at Scarpetta with Michael Mina and Scott Contant, the Lexus Grand Tasting, and Bacon & Bourbon with Edward Lee.
Remember the movie Barbershop? Ever wished you could visit a place just like it? Legends The Barbershop is about as close as you're going to get. Not only did it serve as the basis for the shop in the film, but the owner, Brian "Goose The Barber" Davis, was the basis for Ice Cube's Calvin. Back in the real world, you can expect colorful banter, good music, a diverse crowd, and, of course, terrific haircuts. Appointments recommended.
Breweries are great places — after all, they're where beer comes from. But breweries that actually serve beer on site? Even better. LA's Golden Road Brewing is one such place, offering a pub next to its brewery that serves up the best of the brewery's own brews, as well as a selection of the most interesting beers from their craft brewing brethren. Apart from getting your mug, glass, or growler filled, they also serve a short menu of food that ranges from burgers and fries to jackfruit tacos and IPA-battered avocado fritters — which go great with the beer itself.
It's not the fantastically cool Craftsman-style bungalow that makes Alternative Apparel worth the stop — but it certainly doesn't hurt. No, its the goods on sale inside this house-turned-store that keep us coming back. Their mens lineup includes tees, button-downs, sweaters, hoodies, jackets, pants, bags, hats, and more, most of which are available for less than a Benjamin and many of which are sustainably made using organic cotton, recycled polyester, and man-made fibers derived from sustainable raw materials. Not heading to Venice anytime soon? Stop by their (only slightly less-cool) Larchmont location, instead.