Best of LA 2013 - Los Angeles magazine
 

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  • Downtown LA Bicycles

    Forlorn, neglected rides can rejoice. The technicians at this bike repair shop will get those pedals turning once more Read more

    • Santa Monica
  • Cal Blend Soils

    Cal Blend Soils has long been the go-to source for landscape designers making over posh estates, but it’s happy to offer mounds of fertile earth for the casual DIY-er Read more

    • Irwindale
  • Mood Designer Fabrics

    The hefty square footage houses roll upon roll of retro cotton prints, silk crepe de chines, and fabrics from designers like Rebecca Taylor, Anna Sui, and Donna Karan Read more

    • Hollywood
  • London Sole

    If it ain’t flat, it doesn’t make it through the door at London Sole Read

    • Santa Monica
  • Potted

    The converted bungalow sells plant containers (glazed ceramic, cast stone, steel, fiber-reinforced concrete), fountains (ornate or streamlined), fire pits, rugs, pillows, wind chimes, birdhouses, and anything else your garden needs in styles that range from bohemian to midcentury Read

    • Los Feliz
  • Tweak

    While Tweak is a godsend for those needing gifts in a hurry, one is hard-pressed to leave without having some fun Read

    • Beverly Grove
  • Adamm's Stained Glass Studio & Art Gallery

    This lively gallery off the 3rd Street Promenade showcases fragile masterpieces of more than 175 glass artists from North America Read

    • Santa Monica
  • Larchmont Beauty Center

    If you prefer a homier place to test and buy mid-range to high-end makeup, you can't do better than Larchmont Beauty Center Read

    • Larchmont Village
  • Intelligentsia

    This sleek space is the Chicago coffee purveyor's first café to offer meals with its high-grade caffeine Read

    • Silver Lake
  • Tortoise General Store

    Thank your host for fretting over that roasted chicken with a token of gratitude from Tortoise General Store Read

    • Venice
  • Jewelry Appraisal Services

    Behind the frosted glass of her tiny and immaculate Jewelry Appraisal services near Pasadena City Hall, the eagle-eyed expert, Gina D'Onofrio assesses the value and provenance of forgotten and neglected gemstones and timepieces Read

    • Pasadena
  • Kimonoya

    Guys and gals will revel in the exhaustive mix of cotton and synthetic, new and vintage styles Read

    • Downtown
  • The Way We Wore

    Exquisite vintage silk numbers, hand-picked by owner and L.A. Frock Star Doris Raymond, channel Old Hollywood glamour Read

    • Hollywood
  • Practical Props

    This North Hollywood operation, which has been renting and selling vintage lamps to the entertainment industry since 1991, stocks a multitude of styles, from reproduction art deco sconces to Sputnik-style chandeliers Read

    • North Hollywood
  • Makeup & Go

    Given the popularity of blowout bars, it's no wonder that salons specializing in cosmetics application have become the next big thing Read

    • Beverly Hills
  • Lacoste

    Nothing says “clean-cut” like an alligator appliqué Read

    • Beverly Hills
  • Parke & Ronen

    This menswear brand has you literally covered, offering suits in inseam lengths ranging from two to eight inches, along with more daring briefs Read

    • West Hollywood
  • Topman

    For dudes who can't be bothered with hand washing (or with paying more than 50 bucks for shorts), Topman trunks can be tossed into the machine and cost around $44 Read

    • Beverly Grove
  • Vilebrequin

    Suits start at $185 and come in whimsical prints, from Hawaiian to Where’s Waldo? Read

    • Beverly Hills
  • Color Me Green

    Booking a side-by-side appointment is relatively easy, and the staff wielding the brushes are suckers for tykes, propping them up with pillows in oversize chairs Read

    • Manhattan Beach
  • Room & Board

    The 40,000-square-foot Helms Bakery showroom maintains a year-round spot for outdoor furnishings Read

    • Culver City
  • Ballard's Artwork Framing

    Should your print require an artist's eye and a craftsman's touch, head to Ballard's Artwork Framing in Echo Park Read

    • Echo Park
  • The Starting Line

    The Starting Line's selection is strong, and you won’t feel compelled to buy until everyone’s confident which kicks are the ones for you Read

    • Marina del Rey
  • Rosali Suede and Leather

    Rosali Suede and Leather in North Hollywood can breathe new life into your scuffed designer handbag, tackle a skirt that’s seen better days, and remove water spots from jackets Read

    • North Hollywood
  • Jet Rag

    Suede and patent choices for both sexes occupy racks by the dozens at prices that won’t tan your hide Read

    • Mid-City
  • Second Time Around

    For nearly 40 years Second Time Around has been adorning the wrists of timepiece collectors Read

    • Beverly Hills
  • Country General Store

    Van Nuys’s 57-year-old Country General Store makes us wish we had a hoedown on our calendar, or better yet, a cowboy or cowgirl on our arm Read

    • Van Nuys
  • Dean

    Dean, the leather accessories store at Silver Lake's Sunset Junction, puts an edgy spin on the typical shoulder bag with its handcrafted briefcases and messenger totes as well as weekenders in office-appropriate black and chocolate brown Read

    • Silver Lake
  • Aladin Sweets & Market

    At Aladin Sweets & Market, folks stop in for glasses of milky tea with honey-dipped fried pastries, though savory dishes are the main draw Read

    • Downtown
  • Tavern

    The doughnut's airier Southern cousin reaches its local peak at Suzanne Goin's Tavern, where the crème fraîche beignets are supremely moist and finished with fragrant vanilla sugar Read

    • Brentwood
  • Secret Squirrel

    Sold in 16-ounce glass containers, the brew is meant to be diluted with water (and milk and sugar, if you like), creating a cup of joe that’s strong as an ox and soft as cashmere, with just enough bite to remind you that you’re drinking the good stuff Read

    • Downtown
  • Tacos Villa Corona

    For 20 years this family-run taco hut has rolled the best breakfast burritos in town. Lard-free flour tortillas are stuffed with a perfect amalgam of scrambled eggs, low-fat mozzarella, grilled potatoes, onion, cilantro, and house-made salsa Read

    • Atwater Village
  • Freddy Smalls

    Long maligned, brussels sprouts have been getting a lot of love lately. It's the version at the Westside's rockin' Freddy Smalls (bring your earplugs) that really tests our manners: We don't want to share a single bud Read

    • West Lost Angeles
  • Sweet!

    At L.A.’s ultimate candy store, sugar is only part of the rush Read

    • Hollywood
  • Eagle Rock Italian Bakery

    When we need our Italian treats to go, which is when we say, “Ciao, Eagle Rock Italian Bakery!” Read

    • Eagle Rock
  • Circa

    Barman Julian Cox's cocktail program at Circa in Manhattan Beach boasts four dedicated spouts, which gush forth such rotating libations as this spring's spot-on mai tai Read

    • Manhattan Beach
  • Urban Adventures

    While our city makes it possible to get tastes of the world, let’s face it: There are some restaurants where a chaperon—or just a translator—would be beneficial Read

    • Koreatown
  • Harold & Belle's

    For Creole-style food—a mélange of French, African, and Native American flavors—Harold & Belle's is as close to the Dirty Coast as you'll come on the West Coast Read

    • Jefferson Park
  • Moon Mart Kabab

    This dish could be devoured beside a caravansary campfire; in reality you're sitting beneath an awning in Glendale, drinking hot tea Read

    • Glendale
  • Kae Sung Market

    Situated in the heart of K-Town, Kae Sung Market stocks a constellation of kimchi to go, but it’s the jar of sliced Chinese cabbage that takes top honors Read

    • Koreatown
  • Paiche

    A gingery bite keeps kale, Asian pear, and green apple extracts from going down too easy Read

    • Marina del Rey
  • 1886

    The building that houses 1886 stood proud during Prohibition, when folks swilled fancy drinks minus the hard stuff Read

    • Pasadena
  • A.O.C.

    At A.O.C. Christiaan Rollich's salad-in-a-glass comes in a vodka version but tastes just as fresh with chamomile tea, basil, arugula, jalapeño, cucumber, and lime Read

    • Beverly Grove
  • Cliff's Edge

    On Wednesdays Matt Biancaniello moonlights at Cliff's Edge, where he concocts potables inspired by the farmers' market. Our favorite stars Surinam cherries, curry leaves, and lavender water Read

    • Silver Lake
  • Las 7 Regiones de Oaxaca

    Oaxacan cuisine is the new black in what we could start calling “Oaxacalifornia,” and that’s largely due to the Mexican state’s unparalleled mole negro Read

    • Pico-Union
  • Chado Tea Room

    Few cultural institutions can claim as essential a dining experience as the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo Read

    • Downtown
  • Natural Wine Store

    The fruitiness of an Isabel cuvée from Berkeley’s Donkey & Goat is all rosé halftones; the high-alcohol flash of a Russian River Poco a Poco zinfandel is a snapshot of one grape in one season in one dusty place Read

    • Hollywood
  • Fishing With Dynamite

    Manhattan Beach’s intimate and wryly named Fishing with Dynamite showcases David LeFevre’s expertise with seafood, honed during his years at Water Grill downtown Read

    • Manhattan Beach
  • Sotto

    The restaurant's unabashedly earthy paean to pig meat is a glutton's dream: fatty, tender pork perfumed with salt, myrtle, fennel, and garlic and encircled by a layer of gloriously crisp skin Read

    • Pico-Robertson
  • Marino

    At Marino, which has occupied the same spot since 1983, the chianti is aged, the Rat Pack is evoked (without irony), and diners across generations lean in for a story well told Read

    • Hollywood
  • Son of a Gun

    Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo earned their stellar reputation with Animal, a casually spare room where they injected mirth and irreverence into the nose-to-tail discussion Read

    • West Hollywood
  • Yang Chow

    Hordes show up here for Mandarin and Szechuan cooking Read

    • Downtown
  • Il Pastaio

    At Il Pastaio brothers Giacomino and Celestino Drago treat the dish with all due respect, following their grandmother's recipe from the Messina region in Sicily Read

    • Beverly Hills
  • Mel's Fish Shack

    Our loyalty belongs to Mel’s Fish Shack, which for decades has fried up such swimmers as catfish, sand dabs, and buffalo fish—a bony, old-time favorite Read

    • Baldwin Hills
  • Underwood Family Farms

    The 100-acre ranch grows more than 70 crops (where else can you pick fresh verdolaga or kohlrabi?) on a year-round schedule. The profound satisfaction of pulling an iridescent red beet from the ground is not to be under-estimated Read

    • Moorpark
  • Crossroads

    All the things we love—butter, eggs, bacon—seem like ingredients we can't live without. It turns out we can, and atop white tablecloths to boot Read

    • West Hollywood
  • Babita Mexicuisine

    Boisterous chef-owner Roberto Berrelleza gladly shares his recommendations, while his wife, Elba, refills your sangria glass Read

    • San Gabriel
  • Round 1

    This well-kept, noise-filled neon arcade puts even the most tricked-out rumpus room to shame Read

    • City of Industry
  • Heartbeat House

    Many instructors around town focus on the sensuous choreography of Bollywood dance, but you’re interested in getting in shape, not appearing in a musical (or are you?) Read

    • Atwater Village
  • X Lanes

    The 50,000-square-foot X Lanes is the kingpin of bowl-o-ramas Read

    • Downtown
  • Spruce Grove Trail Camp

    The woodsy ascent presents waterfall views; once you reach the camp you’re treated to a placid streamside location, fire pits, and picnic tables Read

    • Arcadia
  • Healing Hands Wellness Center

    Just one block north of Larchmont Village’s cafés and boutiques is Healing Hands Wellness Center, an unadorned refuge where the cost-conscious can shed the weight of the world—at least temporarily Read

    • Larchmont Village
  • Central Library

    The second-story rotunda at downtown's Central Library can induce awe in the most jaded youngster, and the library's collection can't be beat Read

    • Downtown
  • Chamber Music in Historic Sites

    How civilized: classical music in an intimate setting followed by discussions with the musicians and a repast Read

    • Beverly Hills
  • Rosie's Dog Beach

    If canine heaven does exist, it might look like Rosie’s Dog Beach Read

    • Long Beach
  • Wagville

    The Glassell Park facility is well maintained, staffed by serious dog lovers, and offers competitive pricing: $25 for half days, $35 for full (cage-free boarding is also available) Read

    • Glassell Park
  • Sepulveda Basin Off-Leash Dog Park

    Water fountains, bowls, and shade are abundant in three fenced-off sections, each of which is designated for pups of different sizes and temperaments Read

    • Encino
  • Altadena Golf Course

    Altadena Golf Course has you teeing off on a putting green of natural grass that’s been recently upgraded along with the café, cocktail lounge, and shop Read

    • East Pasadena
  • KidsPark

    When last-minute appointments or ailing babysitters disrupt your plans, KidsPark, in Northridge, is a blessing Read

    • Northridge
  • Boone Children's Gallery

    While grown-ups stroll through LACMA’s galleries and clink glasses at the free outdoor concerts, kids can make their own art at the museum’s Boone Children’s Gallery Read

    • Mid-City
  • Greystone Park

    The 1920s former mansion of the oil-rich Doheny family oozes opulence, as do the grounds Read

    • Beverly Hills
  • Vermont Canyon Road

    Head to Griffith Park about an hour before sunset, and take the unmarked trail that starts right off Vermont Canyon Road (it’s about 100 yards south of the Greek Theatre) Read

    • Griffith Park
  • Hyatt Regency Century Plaza

    The turquoise pool at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza isn’t open to the public, but it is to guests of the Spa at Equinox Read

    • Century City
  • Moksha Yoga LA

    When you’re dripping with sweat as you strain to entwine your calves in the eagle pose, you’ll be thankful that Moksha Yoga LA serves a dose of mindfulness with your workout Read

    • Mid-City
  • Wi Spa

    Of all the K-Town day spas that peddle the healing powers of a hot soak, Wi Spa has the prettiest setup and the most soothing atmosphere Read

    Korean Spa

  • Lesley Logan Pilates at In Line Pilates

    Classes are popular with rush hour-averse commuters who’d rather strengthen their bodies than risk road rage Read

    • Westwood
  • Pilates Studio City

    Beginner-friendly sessions are led by hands-on teachers who offer guidance while classic rock keeps time Read

    • Studio City
  • A Club Called Rhonda

    It’s all about dance-floor desegregation, with legendary DJs and about-to-blow-up acts attracting a diverse crowd Read

    • East Hollywood
  • Lacy Park

    A good picnic must have certain basics: a wicker basket, cute edibles in mason jars, and booze disguised as an innocuous libation. Lacy Park in San Marino has all this in spades Read

    • San Marino
  • Casey's Irish Pub

    Kind on your wallet, the quiz at Casey’s Irish Pub takes place every Monday during happy hour Read

    • Downtown
  • Irish Times

    Kind on your wallet, the quiz at Casey’s Irish Pub takes place every Monday during happy hour Read

    • Palms
  • O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant

    Wednesday nights at O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Restaurant have been the secret domain of former Jeopardy! contestants for years Read

    • Santa Monica
  • Verdugo Bar

    Large booths and one of L.A.'s best beer lists balance out the Monday-night roster of questions about everything from Real Housewives to heavy-metal bands Read

    • Glassell Park
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    For a rare peek into a fully functioning space center complete with bona fide rocket scientists, no spot has more gravitational pull than the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena Read

    • East Pasadena
  • Carroll Avenue

    Boasting the city’s highest concentration of Queen Anne and Eastlake-style Victorian homes from the late 19th century, Carroll Avenue in Angelino Heights is a gabled architectural oasis Read

    • Echo Park
  • Sacred Fools Theater Company

    Some of L.A.’s most entertaining and economical theater flourishes in 99-seat venues Read

    • East Hollywood
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