West Los Angeles is an area of the city of Los Angeles within the larger area of the West Side of Los Angeles County. The area includes the neighborhoods of Bel-Air, Brentwood, Century City, Cheviot Hills, Mar Vista, Palms, Sawtelle, West LA, and Westwood (the neighborhood around the University of California, Los Angeles).
Located in a nondescript spot off of Venice Boulevard, this tiny establishment packs a lot of character into its four walls. The food is all New Orleans-inspired, with the famous Kalua pig Monte Cristo egg rolls as a favorite and specialty. Several drinks on the menu are made with honey harvested from beehives on the restaurant roof, and the ice cream is made fresh with flavors that change daily. The vibe is a cross between sports bar and casual restaurant, the staff is friendly, and there is generally street parking available, albeit with overzealous meter maids on patrol. Happy hour is Mon-Fri from 5-7PM, and Saturday noon-5PM.
Right off Beverly Glen Blvd., tucked away in a small, though fashionable strip mall in the canyons of Bel Air, is Sushi House Unico (shu), a restaurant that boasts an eclectic menu best described as a fusion of Japanese, Latin and Italian flavors and cuisines. The space is contemporary and refined, but not too overbearing. Shu's owner, Giacomino Drago, is also the familiar restaurateur and chef of several restaurants including Il Pastaio and Piccolo Paradiso in Beverly Hills. Signature dishes included halibut carpaccio with sun-dried tomato, Kobe Beef sashimi and albacore sashimi with shaved truffles.
Dynamic fusion of steakhouse and jazz club from music legend Herb Alpert makes for a night of great cuisine and musical entertainment. The expansive supper club-like dining room is intimate and bold in design and color with beautiful paintings adorning the walls. The menu is impressive, with an array of modern American fare. The bar draws an eclectic gathering of jazz lovers, socialites and trendy nighthawks. This is Bel-Air after all. Situated almost out of sight in a classy strip mall at the top of Beverly Glen, Vibratto retains a certain, "in-the-know" status. But it's well worth the discovery.
A UCLA-affiliated institution which houses changing exhibitions of contemporary, modern, and classical art, with a particular focus on Los Angeles-based work. The basis of the museum's collection is a set of significant European works collected by the institution's founder, Armand Hammer, however this collection will not be viewable until renovations on the gallery are completed in 2017. The museum also holds many free public programs, including lunchtime "Art Talks" every Wednesday at 12:30PM.
Ideal for celebrations, special occasions or anything even remotely romantic, The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air is the archetype of elegant dining, replete with innovative, 'French-California' style cuisine care of chef Douglas Dodd. There are two beautiful dining areas; a more formal dining room or outside in the relaxed bougainvillea-draped Terrace. The roast rack of lamb is considered a favored entrée. Teatime at the Bel Air Hotel is a nice relaxing time and a great way to break up a day.
In the hills above Sepulveda Pass is this expansive contemporary facility devoted to Jewish heritage. Among its libraries, classrooms, conference rooms and gardens is a museum with a permanent collection of historical artifacts, artwork, and interactive exhibits on Jewish history and culture, with an emphasis on the Jewish-American experience. A highlight of the museum is a large children's area modeled after Noah's Ark, with animal puppets and figurines that kids can play with.
Focusing on the history of the Holocaust, this museum contains many interactive exhibits designed to challenge visitors to assess their own levels of tolerance. Many of the exhibits are meant to engage kids (about 10 and older), and you may find your kids asking you about things such as racial and economic tensions. A highlight of the museum is live testimonies by Holocaust survivors who serve as museum volunteers.
Sunnin recently moved into a much bigger facility across the street from its previous location and prices increased as well as the floor space. It's not the dirt cheap bargain it once was, but the food is still moderately priced and excellent. Try the Kefta Kebab wrap and the Kebbeh Bil Saynieh. Sit at the counter and watch Toni, the owner, run her kitchen like a drill sergeant!
Located in the same location since 1946, this classic diner has a six-page menu with several hundred items for all tastes. American diner fare is combined with Mexican specialties for a mind-numbing variety of meal options, and portions are generous. Prices are reasonable, service is amazingly fast and friendly, and the decor is guaranteed to have you waxing nostalgic.
Legendary among denizens of Los Angeles as one of, if not the best deserts you will find anywhere. Just $0.30 per cookie, or $1.50 for an ice cream sandwich. Expect to wait in long lines during peak hours, but their cookies are not to be missed. Be warned that you should eat quickly, as the cookies will not taste as good overnight, or even a few hours after purchase.
The art-deco Fox Village Theater (now operated by Regency) is a throwback to "Old Hollywood" that has survived into the multi-plex era, and is often the site of red-carpet premiers. Though the decor reflects it's historic roots, the seating, projection, and sound are excellent and have kept upgraded to meet and exceed modern quality standards.
Apparel, supplies, and sundries for the discriminating time traveler. You got your canned Mammoth Chunks, your robot repair parts, and the ever-popular Viking Odorant. (All proceeds from sales go towards the shop's real reason for being: the '''826LA''' writing workshop program for school-age students.) There's another location in Echo Park.
A cultural museum that hosts changing and permanent exhibitions featuring art and archaeological artifacts, with a particular focus on non-Western cultures. A number of striking artifacts from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas are on regular view, including tribal masks, religious figurines, headdresses, and a Chinese hand puppet.
Excellent food at giant portions - you'll be buying dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. Try the Tachin (chicken, basmati rice and redcurrant casserole), Bademjan (lamb shank and aubergine (eggplant) stew) or Shirin Polo (roast chicken on top of rice pilaf with almonds and orange zest).
Persian-style ice cream (similar in consistency and flavour to Italian gelato) in unusual flavours, such as date, rosewater, redcurrant, pistachio and cucumber(!). They have half-pints, pints and quarts to take home, but ask the owner for help because the labels are in Farsi only.
A pedestrian friendly shopping district adjacent to UCLA. Features '''American Apparel''', '''Bel Air Camera''', '''Buffalo Exchange''' thrift store, '''Target''', '''Trader Joe's''' market, '''Urban Outfitters''', '''Whole Foods''', and a selection of smaller shops and services.
One of the few closed-roof malls remaining on the West Side. Anchored by '''Macy's''' and '''Nordstrom''' department stores. The 12-screen '''Landmark Cinema''' often features Limited-release films and special screenings, to complement the more expected mall appurtenances.
Created as an experimental garden of rare and exotic plants for the university's botany program, this garden makes for a tranquil retreat from the urban landscape, with many tropical and subtropical plants as well as a stream running through the middle of the garden.
A Japanese supermarket with several locations in the US, boasting a collection of Japanese food shops in its food court such as '''Santouka Ramen''', '''Tendon Hannosuke''' tempura, '''Sanuki Sandou Udon''', '''Misasa''', and '''Daikichi Sushi'''.
A Japanese market located in the 'Little Osaka' neighborhood. Can be a slightly pricier option, but the selection and variety are good. Their produce department is a good place to start when looking for harder-to-find fruits and ingredients.
Like it's big brother, the Fox Theater across the street, this is a fully modern cinema that still has the ambiance and style of an earlier era. The art-deco marquee, canopy, and box office are little changed from when it opened in 1937.
In the middle of Century City is this otherwise nondescript postmodern skyscraper that's notable for being the headquarters of 20th Century Fox and will be instantly recognizable to ''Die Hard'' fans as the fictional Nakatomi Plaza.
Rancho Park Golf Course is a municipal course with discounts for LA residents, but is open to the public. Tee times are in high demand and are subject to availability, so make reservations well in advance if planning a round.
See the final resting places of some of Hollywood's most famous celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, Natalie Wood, Jack Lemmon, and Don Knotts, just to name a few, in a compact two and a half acre cemetery.
Innovative variety of vegan foods, featuring salads, veggie burgers, rice and noodle bowls, pizzas, and desserts. Uses an original recipes for tempeh and seitan. Indoor & outdoor seating. Accept credit cards. Open daily.
Taiko is a casual little Japanese restaurant located in the Brentwood Gardens. The service is very friendly, and the unique variety of dishes will satisfy anyone's tastes. The ''Nabeyaki'' udon is not to be missed.
A good choice for Indonesian, a cuisine that is strangely and unfortunately rare in the States, given that Indonesia is the world's 4th largest country by population. Tasting menus available for the novice.
American cuisine with a luxury taste at a moderate price. Atmosphere is relaxed and clean, with good ambient lighting. Go upstairs and are some theaters. Catch an arts film or the newest blockbuster.
In the middle of the arts and social sciences section of campus, this noted sculpture garden showcases dozens of modern and contemporary sculptures from masters such as Calder, Matisse, and Rodin.
Trendy bar that maintains a dive bar atmosphere. Happy hour is lively-to-loud with prices that are budget-friendly. They may be a line on peak nights, so visitors are advised to plan accordingly
A small shopping on the border of Brentwood and Santa Monica. The motif may be rural, but the shopping is less 'shabby', more 'chic'. Features boutique shops and the Farmshop market/restaurant.
Semi-hidden sushi gem not far from the Santa Monica border. Despite its unobtrusive street presence, the small dining area often has a line during peak hours, but the wait is well worth it.
An upscale shopping center in the Century City neighborhood, featuring an '''AMC 14 Cineplex''', '''Bloomingdales''', '''Gelson's Market''', and '''Macy's'''. Underground parking garage.
Mexican taco stand offering tacos, burritos, sopes and the like. Adventurous eaters can try tacos de lengua (beef tongue), cabeza (beef cheek), tripa (tripe) and buche (beef esophagus).
An authentic Italian experience in an unexpected location (upstairs in a mini-mall), but the great food and personal attention of the staff erase any lingering doubts about the venue.
A small public art gallery dedicated to photography. Often, but not exclusively features exhibits with entertainment and music industry themes.
A UCLA-owned theater company that is noted for their original productions hosted in an intimate space in a historic Westwood building.
The only kosher restaurant on the Westside. Serving delicious, homemade American-Israeli cuisine for to-go or delivery.
This picturesque, five-star hotel is a popular destination for weddings, as well as a playground to the affluent.
A sports bar with 40 beers on draft and 160 bottled beers that has had locations in Los Angeles since 1920.
Known for its chili and the Combo, which is a hot dog and hamburger all in the form of a hamburger.
Hawaiian shave-ice with an embarrassment of different flavors, fillings, and combinations.
European style bakery and cafe specializing in French pastries and tartes.
Featuring Japanese pop-culture toys and merchandise.
West Los Angeles is made up of a set of very distinct neighborhoods, ranging from wealthy suburbs to prominent business centers to communities where you'll find a mix of ethnicities that would make the United Nations proud. Perhaps the most prominent West L.A. community is '''Westwood''', an area somewhere between a neighborhood and a city that surrounds the main campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Most of the area's businesses cater to the college population, with a number of used and new bookstores, art movie theaters, inexpensive restaurants and coffee houses. While the main village of Westwood had its heyday from the 60s throughout most of the 80s, it is currently picking up in popularity again as a trendy hangout for local teens and students of UCLA. Despite an increasing number of homeless people, Westwood is still known as one of the safest neighborhoods in the city, albeit with some of the worst traffic. South of Westwood are the densely populated and highly diverse neighborhoods of '''Sawtelle''', '''Mar Vista''', and '''Palms''', where you'll find many established ethnic and minority communities with plenty of local shops and restaurants catering to these local populations. The other prominent economic center in West L.A. is '''Century City''', a small but dense collection of highrises adjacent to Beverly Hills that was built around the headquarters of 20th Century Fox. To the south of Century City is the affluent neighborhood of '''Cheviot Hills''', with lots of parks and large suburban homes. On the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains to the north of Westwood are the fashionable and famous neighborhoods of '''Bel-Air''' and '''Brentwood''', both of which are full of mansions overlooking the city, some of which have been the home of celebrities.