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City of Los Angeles

Updated January 2006

Los Angeles is a huge sprawling city, yet you'll be surprised to find that staying in a hotel in the right neighborhood can give you a sense of place and a unique insight into what it might be like to live in LA as well as opportunities for experiences that you cannot have anywhere else!

Favorite Hotels

The Standard is one of the hottest hotels in Los Angeles and when you see the hip decor and the perfect location right on the Sunset strip, you'll understand why!  Not only is the hotel cool, but rooms, starting as low as $99 are also reasonably priced.

The Mondrian is a serious contender with the Standard for the hottest hotel rooms in town - with interiors designed by Phillipe Starck, the hotel has a clubby feeling with Hollywood industry heavyweights hanging out at the trendy Skybar.

Four Seasons Los Angeles offers a more grown up environment with some of the most comfortable beds and best service in town.  If you stay at the Four Seasons, stop into the windows lounge in the afternoon or evening for a drink and an opportunity to see some of Hollywood's biggest names.  The hotel offers free limo service to Rodeo Drive

The Westin Bonaventure, close to the Los Angeles Convention Center is a fascinating place to stay if you're interested in architecture or movie trivia.  The hotel, with its distinctive towers, is reputed to be one of the ten most photographed buildings in the world and has been a set in many major motion pictures.  Like all Westin hotels, this hotel features "heavenly beds."  The hotel also has a kids club which provides helpful amenities like coloring books, crayons, bath toys, and a phone line dedicated to bedtime stories.

Favorite Restaurants

141 S Grand Ave (213) 972-3331
Located in the architecturally fascinating new Disney Concert Hall, Patina offers delicious seasonal menus.  The menu changes frequently, but we found both seafood and meat dishes to be delicious.  Save room for the cheese cart at the end of the meal - it's one of the best on the west coast with some very rarely seen French cheeses.  Dressy, reservations required

624 S La Brea Ave (323) 938-1447
Featuring grilled food and fresh bread from the famous La Brea Bakery, this restaurant turns common sounding dishes into works of art featuring subtle fresh flavors.  Exceptional wine list.  Reservations required.  If you're not up for a fancy, sit down meal, grab a bite at the La Brea Bakery at the same location.

339 N Fairfax Ave (323) 951-0039
Delicious Maroccon food without the belly-dancers.  Savory duck and sweet almond b'stillas are a special treat, but everything on the menu is wonderful.

401 North La Cienega Blvd (310) 659-7708
Expect inventive (but not extreme) dishes combining novel flavors and using fresh ingredients.  The menu changes constantly!

Beacon, An Asian Cafe
3280 Helms Ave, Culver City (310) 838-7500
This casual and inexpensive cafe features food that you'd expect to find at a much more expensive restaurant.  Expect dishes like a salad of crisp green beans and smoked tofu dressed with Banyuls vinegar and sesame

Shamshiri Grill
1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles
Traditional Persian food at its best!  Our favorite is the enormous platter of kabob with one skewer of ground beef and one order of filet minion.  We also love the crispy rice topped with stew (tahdig)... ask your waiter to give you two or more types of stew with this dish. 

Mashti Malone's Ice Cream Parlor uses Middle Eastern ingredients to create delicious and interesting ice cream flavors.

Want to soak up the sun? See our Palm Springs guide and Orange County guide.

Questions and Answers

What is the best way to get around LA - should I hire a car - I am there for about 7 days in early November this year?? Wendy

In Los Angeles, the distances between sites are long and public transportation is poor. Renting a car is the best way to get around the city.
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