City of Stars
My parents recently came for a visit during Oscar weekend. When they expressed interest in going to Hollywood Blvd. to see where the awards would take place, I thought…you have got to be kidding. We Angelenos find Hollywoood Blvd. completely insufferable on a normal day—never mind when it’s blocked off, more impossible to park, and even more full of tourists trying to get a glimpse of the red carpet. That said, there are times when you’ll find yourself there, whether you have friends in town, or you are the friend in town that wants to see the stars! For those times, here is my guide to the hidden gems and secret tricks in and around Hollywood Blvd. that will make the experience way more enjoyable.
1. Valet at the Roosevelt Hotel by way of taking Sunset Blvd. to Orange. You’ll avoid the Hollywood/Highland traffic and awful parking structure, and the Roosevelt itself is a landmark. But more to come on that soon!
2. Make your way to the Tropicana Bar by the pool for some liquid courage before make your way through the crowds. It’s open from morning to night. You can also get a parking validation here!
3. If there is a good movie playing at the Chinese Theatre, it is still fun to do, especially with a group. Or if you have kids, head to the El Capitan, for the newest from Disney.
4. One of my favorite off the radar shoe stores in LA is the Brazilian brand Carmen Steffens at the Hollywood/Highland complex. So since you’re parked, you might as well shop.
5. Skip the tourist traps like the wax museum, and head to the Museum of Broken Relationships, which opened last year. The exhibit is a collection of stories and physical objects submitted from people with broken hearts from all over the world
6. If you’re looking for food within walking distance of the Chinese Theatre, you have a few good options: Ricardo Zarate’s casual new Peruvian restaurant Mamacita just opened in the Hollywood/Highland complex. This is a surprise leading up to his much-anticipated Rosaline coming soon to Melrose. Loteria Grill (Mexican), 25 Degrees (Burgers), or Musso and Frank (old school and very legendary).
7. If you’re ready to get back in the car, but need a great option for lunch dinner that isn’t too far, head over to Birch, which is one of our local favorites. Or, head back to the Roosevelt to the ultra cool Spare Room or sexy Library Bar (coming tomorrow on the blog!).
8. You aren’t far from the Hollywood Bowl, so with a little advance planning, you can make a night of it in Hollywood. Grab tickets here.
Most importantly, get that star shot on the walk of fame!
PS. If you’re looking for a luxury extended stay, you must know about Villa Carlotta!
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