Los Angeles Tour: Sunset Strip
Notorious during Prohibition for its unpoliced speakeasies, the Strip has stayed true to its hedonist roots—today it’s lined with rock clubs, glam hotels, and velvet-rope lounges.
At just a mile-and-a-half long, the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles is surrounded by swanky hotels, rocking music halls, and restaurants for every occasion. Spend the day at one of the city’s rooftop pools before heading down to Griddle Café for a sky-high stack of pancakes (varieties like “Mounds of Pleasure” live up to their name). Wrap up the weekend with a meal fit for a celebrity at Laurel Hardware, whose dinner categories are broken out into “greens,” “proteins,” and “pizza.” What more do you need?
London West Hollywood
Plant-lined arches line the outside of this British-themed hotel, which is located just south of the Sunset Strip. The interior has gilded accents throughout, and all of the 223 suites have textured walls, flowing drapes, and mismatched lounge seating. No room is smaller than 750 square feet. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay helms his signature, namesake restaurant at The London, along with more casual Boxwood Café. The dining room is outfitted with pink banquettes, golden chadeliers, and many mirrors; dishes might include gingered shrimp tortellini or herb-crusted Chateaubriand. There’s also a 24-hour fitness center, though the London’s standout feature may be the rooftop pool, which has 360-degree views of the surrounding city.
The Griddle Café
On Sunset Boulevard, wake up with a breakfast suited for champions, not carb-conscious celebrities. There are 18 over-sized hotcakes to choose from on the all-day menu, from basic buttermilk to sugar bombs topped with whipped cream, streusel, and caramel. The "Saturday Morning Fever" is swirled with Baileys and Kahlua, while "Scotch on the Rocks" is filled with coconut, pecans, and butterscotch chips. And French toast fans have just as tough a decision to make when ordering. Don't leave without a trucker hat, apron or, even thong undies graphically emblazoned with the Griddle's signature stack.
Best sides: Cinnamon apples or bananas baked with brown sugar.
The Standard, Hollywood
The contemporary Standard Hollywood is set on L.A.’ s famed Sunset Boulevard, with spare, retro-chic rooms similar to its Downtown sister. Features include art installations, mood lighting, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, minibars, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Splurge for a room with balconies that look out onto the Hollywood Hills or the pool, but take note: this property is not kid friendly.
Laurel Hardware has a healthy and delicious kale-and-feta salad.