The Road to Outside Lands, Part 3: 24 Hours in Los Angeles
Today, I'll embark on the final leg of my excursion to Outside Lands: a two-day drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, from Los Angeles to San Francisco. But first, click through for a recap of my afternoon in Los Angeles, and at the end of the slideshow, I'll give you a rundown of everywhere we ate on this leg of the trip.
I only had one afternoon to explore, so I asked my friend and Los Angeles native, Stinson Parks, what I should do with my time. He said:
"Go to the Getty - that's pretty much a definite. But if you don't spend the whole day (which you easily could, AND you could picnic in their beautiful gardens), then head to Venice Beach, act like you're Hank Moody, stroll around the canals and shop on Abbot Kinney."
Unfortunately, I didn't make it to Venice, but I did spend a chunk of the afternoon at the Getty Center.
I spent most of my time at the Herb Ritts exhibit, which will run through September 2. My favorite piece was Djimon with Octopus, Hollywood (1989). The caption reads:
"What may appear at first glance to be dreadlocks or a tribal headdress are in fact tentacles. While the thought of having a cold, slimy octopus on one's head may inspire horror, the way in which the sea creature is draped on Djimon Hounsou's head makes for a picture of unexpected beauty."
The exhibits were impressive, but the museum grounds were tremendous (literally and figuratively). The sprawling 1.2 million square foot property had surprises at every turn, from their beautifully kept gardens to the ridiculous views.
The museum had all sorts of terraces and balconies, making it easy to steal away for a quiet moment. Here, my brother Moulay identifies points of interest visible from the West Pavilion, including Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Brentwood, and Malibu.
One of the best ways to explore a city is to lead with your stomach, so here's a quick rundown of where we dined and drank. If the list seems to skew heavily towards the Beverly Wilshire, it's because that's where we stayed during our visit.
CUT Beverly Wilshire, 9500 Wilshire Boulevard / 310-276-8500
Wolfgang Puck's acclaimed Michelin-rated steakhouse (pictured, above) was designed by Richard Meier, the architect behind the Getty Center. The menu obviously focuses on steak, but there are a few standout vegetarian items, particularly the Burata salad with nectarines.
The Roger Room 370 North La Cienega Boulevard / 310-854-1300
This cocktail bar was my friend Laura Hahn's pick, but I've been there a couple of times. The Roger Room embodies the elements of a good speakeasy -- an unmarked door, impeccably dressed bartenders, and of course, top-notch cocktails. I had the Tijuana Brass, which is probably what I had the last time I visited, but the tequila-based cocktail was - and still is - a winner. Prices are fairly reasonable at $12-$14 for a cocktail.
Sidebar Beverly Wilshire, 9500 Wilshire Boulevard / 310-276-8500
Just across the hall from CUT, Sidebar serves its own menu of bar snacks, as well as the full menu from CUT. I had the Pepino's Revenge, another tequila-based cocktail, which was smooth, refreshing, and perfectly balanced. Cocktails cost a little more ($17), but it's well worth it.
The BLVD Beverly Wilshire, 9500 Wilshire Boulevard / 310.385.3901
Anthony Bourdain once said that no establishment makes their hollandaise sauce fresh for breakfast, but maybe he just hasn't tried the Eggs Florentine or Eggs Elegante at The BLVD. The breakfast menu is extensive enough to please any picky eater, and the restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner.
We also checked out Katsuya and Moonshadows, but those reviews will have to wait until we hit the next internet checkpoint on our road trip.