Weekend Getaways

Los Angeles Tour: Brentwood

1 The Getty Center

Since L.A. lacks the piazzas and promenades of other major cities, the Getty Center is more than just a museum. Occupying an isolated, hillside perch, the giant multi-terraced art complex has become one of L.A.’s great urban spaces, where visitors can stroll and admire views over the city. Inside the billion-dollar, Richard Meier-designed creamy travertine museum is a collection of awesome breadth, displayed in galleries with generous natural lighting. From van Gogh’s Irises (purchased for an undisclosed price estimated to be well over $50 million) to a dazzling collection of French furniture from the reigns of Louis IV-XVI, there is one remarkable exhibit after another. If you have time, head over to the Getty’s Malibu location, the Getty Villa, which has a stunning collection of ancient Grecian, Roman, and Etrurian art, as well as a beautiful Roman-inspired garden.

2 Tavern

Suzanne Goin’s breezy 2010-opened restaurant-café-food shop in Brentwood is precisely the sort of place where unadventurous diners order salads as a main course. They don’t deserve one this good: a platter of sweet Dungeness crab, poached shrimp, avocado, and bright-green leaves of market-fresh Little Gem—a crisper, nuttier butter lettuce—with a dressing redolent of tarragon, anchovy, and chive. The virtuous never had it so good.

3 Skirball Cultural Center

This vibrant museum and cultural center uses the history of the Jewish experience as a starting point to tell larger stories about multiculturalism in America and the progress of democratic ideals throughout the world. In addition to permanent and rotating exhibitions, it also hosts expertly curated world music, theater, comedy, film, and literary programs. Families with kids will especially love the interactive Noah’s Ark model filled with whimsical animals.

4 Brentwood Country Mart

5 Bar Toscana

A recent, next-door edition to Toscana (a celeb-beloved trattoria and neighborhood institution), Bar Toscana is a sleek, Milan-inspired lounge specializing in Italian cocktails and stuzzichini (small plates). Highlights include bites like the stuzzichino toscano—burrata cheese, roasted spicy pepperoni, and tomato jam with Italian toast—and seasonal, aromatic sips like the Brentwood’s Garden—fennel-infused vodka, celery bitters, and artichoke liqueur. Though the vibe is younger and more relaxed than in Toscana’s main dining room, the bar still draws a beautiful crowd who comes as a prelude to a glamorous night out or as an end in itself.

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