Photo credit:

9:00 A.M.

Prepare your body for a day of exploring with breakfast at the Parisian-chic Bottega Louie. On weekends, the souffle-style “Le Pancake” ($25) offers a sophisticated sugar rush, while the more vegetable-inclusive farmers market breakfast ($22) provides delicious nutrition via poached eggs, Tuscan kale, peppers and fennel. And sure, macarons may feel like a circa-2012 kind of treat, but these delicate meringue cookies are the real deal: grab a sleeve to snack on in the hotel later.

Pretty Good Boy is the spot to source your designer dog gear. Photo courtesy of Row DTLA
Bodega is an immersive streetwear-shopping experience—worth a visit for hypebeasts and homebodies alike. Photo courtesy of Row DTLA

10:00 A.M.

Row DTLA in downtown Los Angeles may technically be only six square blocks, but it feels like a whole mini city. The creative compound brings independent boutiques and foodie destinations together into one super-walkable hub—take your time exploring here. Hightide is chock-a-block with giftable stationery and tsotchkes from Japan; Pretty Good Boy sells beautifully designed pet gear. But in between artisanal coffee shops (snag an espresso “cocktail” from Go Get Em Tiger) and high-end vintage co-ops (find sequin everything at Arcade), you might discover a few only-in-L.A. hidden fashion destinations… like Bodega, a sneaker-and-streetwear speakeasy disguised as a loading dock, or Apt. 4B, which displays wares in an environment designed to look like an apartment from 1997.

Lucky Bird’s fried chicken sandwiches are worth braving the crowds at Grand Central Market. Photo credit: Jakob Layman

1:00 P.M.

If you didn’t fill up on snacks at Row, make a pit stop at Grand Central Market to refuel. The bustling food court has been open since 1917, and continues to offer something for every palate. Moon Rabbit slings katsu sandwiches; vegans flock to the plant-based soups at Ramen Hood; Lucky Bird is “dedicated to the art of fried chicken.” Overstuffed strawberry treats from the Donut Man are worth the lines.

MOCA offers a walk through an incredible collection of contemporary art. Photo credit: Jeff McLane
The Broad brings out its extensive Keith Haring collection this month. Photo credit: Joshua White/

2:00 P.M.

What L.A. lacks in walkability it makes up for in free gallery admission. In the downtown core, the Broad and the Museum of Contemporary Art are across the street from each other and provide an excellent way to hide from the heat. The Broad’s current Keith Haring exhibit pulls the iconic street artist’s work out from the extensive archives and into the high-ceilinged gallery. At L.A.’s MOCA, Long Story Short is the focus this fall—it’s a presentation of MOCA’s collection from the 1940s to present day.;

Angry Egret Dinette

6:00 P.M.

Chase your afternoon of contemporary art with a next-level meal at Angry Egret Dinette*. Hidden in a Chinatown courtyard, Egret is an oasis—one that thankfully features battered rock fish tacos wrapped in a perfect flour tortilla ($16) and topped with housemade tomato molcajete salsa. (Dinner service on Friday and Saturdays only.)

*Editor’s note: Unfortunately, the Angry Egret Dinette closed in early 2024. For nearby burgers in the park, try Cargo Snack Shack.

Bar Clara brings pool vibes and top-notch cocktails. Photo courtesy of The Ingalls

8:30 P.M.

Toast a successful day in the most L.A. of fashions: by catching the sunset from a poolside, rooftop perch at Bar Clara, ideally with spicy-sweet Bees cocktail (Ford’s gin, honey, habanero tincture, mint, lemon; $16) in hand.


Photo by J Torres on Unsplash

8:00 A.M.

Pace yourself with breakfast today—you’ll be embarking on a food tour later this morning. But a coffee certainly won’t hurt. Grab an oat milk latte (and, okay, a flaky, pistachio-stuffed mezzaluna pastry) at Cafe Ora.

10:00 A.M.

You packed walking shoes, right? Culinary Backstreets is about to take you on a five-and-a-half-hour stroll from Chinatown to Little Tokyo to Downtown L.A. and the historic Mexican district, so you’ll need stamina of both the appetite and cardio kind. Insightful guides will share history alongside irresistible local treats: cream puffs from cult-fave Chinese bakeries, modern egg-salad sandos from cool-kid lunch spots, fruit mochi from historic Japanese confectionary shops and more.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

4:00 P.M.

In a land of glitz and glamour, the Museum of Jurassic Technology is an unassuming oddball—but that’s just what makes this strange art experience, designed by MacArthur fellow David Hildebrand Wilson, so enticing. Walking through the dingy, narrow hallways of this curious exhibition, it takes a beat to notice that everything is just… off. The inventions on display aren’t real; the reverently framed documents and charts are works of fiction. It’s an intriguing experience—impressively dense and detailed—that bends reality and quietly pushes visitors to contemplate their own relationships with museums and history.

Beverly Hills Spa

5:30 P.M.

Sluff off the delightfully toasty afternoon with a treatment at the sumptuous Beverly Hills Hotel Spa. Of course a Hollywood-adjacent spa offers plenty of youth-preservation facials and high-tech skin techniques, but you’re here to relax: go with the UMA oil aromatherapy massage (from $290) for a treatment that simultaneously awakens and unwinds.

Aqua Viva. Photo credit: Conrad Los Angeles

7:00 P.M.

When you’re in California, it actually is a crime to not consume at least one meal a day on a rooftop. Agua Viva is chef José Andrés’s newest L.A. restaurant, and it provides both an upscale, Spanish-inspired menu and beach-club vibes alongside sunshine and 10th-floor views of the city sprawl. Share platters of croquetas de cangrejo—decadent crab fritters ($24)—and fried sea bream ($94) with mojo verde and citrus. 


Where to Stay

For the Hollywood Hipster

Mama Shelter

Mama Shelter is an upscale, rock-and-roll concept hostel that came to L.A. from France: the Hollywood locale is designed by Thierry Gaugain. Crisp, modern private rooms feature king-sized beds, but get out and into the eclectically decorated communal spaces; here, a sprawling, paint-splattered word-art mural covers the ceiling to crisscross the colourful bar, lounge and diner.


For the Downtown Dilettante

Hotel Per La. Photo courtesy of the Ingalls

Located in a former Bank of Italy, the neoclassical-cool Hotel Per La contrasts with the, uh, gritty vibe of downtown L.A. An ornate gold ceiling and dramatic columns are punctuated with colourful PoMo furniture pieces—an old-world-meets-new vibe that makes for a perfectly welcoming home base.

For the Luxury Lover

The Beverly Hills Hotel is both famed and acclaimed for a reason: the iconic striped entryway and red carpet lead to world of pure luxury. Marilyn Munroe and Frank Sinatra were regulars here; bungalows take design cues from their famous former inhabitants. The turquoise pool, surrounded by candy-striped umbrellas and lounge chairs, makes for an ideal perch from which to spot more modern stars.

This story was originally published in the September 2023 issue of Western Living Magazine.