What’s hot in LA
Read up on the best places to eat out, spot stars and soak up the awards season glitz.
Fly with British Airways and enjoy award-winning service, excellent value for money and no hidden charges:
Los Angeles is the perfect winter escape with its consistently warm temperatures and low-key beaches. As the stars descend on Hollywood for the Oscars, Golden Globes and Grammys, the beginning of the year is one of the most exciting times to be in the city.
Along with ‘awards season’ buzz, there are plenty of festivals and events from January to March. Beyond the endless sunshine and movie-star glamour, LA offers culinary innovations, a world-class cultural scene, vibrant nightlife and style to spare.
One of this season’s new foodie magnets is Terroni’s, a polished pizzeria housed in a stunning 1924 bank building with soaring gilt ceilings and high-arched windows. Or opt for a sea view table at Nikita’s, a new Malibu beach shack hanging over a sandy shore and crashing waves. The Powder Room is an intimate new late night diner and cocktail bar in Hollywood; dripping in atmosphere, it serves inventive cocktails and a $500 milkshake spiked with edible gold leaf. The recently unveiled nightclub, exhibition space and music venue DBA (“doing business as”) is where hipsters are heading for music, art and film screenings.
After recent sold-out shows at the Fonda theatre, rising British singer-songwriter Jake Bugg returns to LA at the Wiltern (24 January), while Grammy-winning jazz great Herbie Hancock plays his brand of bluesy, folksy jazz at the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall (9 February). Featuring the former frontman of influential 90s indie band Pavement, Stephen Malkmus & the Jinks take the stage at Pappy & Harriet’s (30 March).
Sneak in a little culture and modernist architecture at The Broad, the much-buzzed-about new public museum showcasing billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad’s 2,000-piece collection of contemporary art. It’s all free and next door to another modernist gem, Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall on Grand Avenue. See film clips, paintings, photographs and posters from the golden age of Mexican cinema at Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa – Art and Film at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art until 2 February.
Celebrate New Year’s Day at the 125th annual Rose Parade in Pasadena – a whirl of floral floats, musical performances, brass bands and the crowning of the fresh-faced Rose Queen. Fireworks and lantern processions will light up the skies and streets of Chinatown to mark the year of the horse on Chinese New Year weekend, 1-2 February.Blessing of the Animals, which takes place downtown on the last Sunday in March, is an unmissable California institution.
With awards season madness in full swing from mid-January, you’ll want to get involved in the festivities. Oscar night is the biggest party of the year in LA. The Academy Awards ceremony is held on a Sunday at the Dolby theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, where fans queue for days for a spot overlooking the red carpet. Chateau Marmont, the legendary showbiz haunt on Sunset Strip, is still the best place in LA for guaranteed star sightings, while Laurel Hardware is the current late night choice for young Hollywood.
The Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, a 182-room hipster boutique hotel, is now taking reservations for its hotly anticipated 15 January opening and beyond.Hot on the Ace’s heels comes the arty Line Hotel in edgy Koreatown. Inspired by the vibrant 24-hour thrum of the neighbourhood, the hotel is set to be something of an all-hours social club, with a rooftop pool, late-night restaurant Pot serving hotpot-style street food, a vegetarian canteen, bakery, newsstand and a nightclub all open into the wee hours.
Hugh Laurie shows us that this beautiful city offers much more than the brash Hollywood stereotype.