Best of LA: 2013
It’s all about dance-floor desegregation, with legendary DJs and about-to-blow-up acts attracting a diverse crowd.
Neighborhood: East Hollywood
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.
This lively gallery off the 3rd Street Promenade showcases fragile masterpieces of more than 175 glass artists from North America.
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
At Aladin Sweets & Market, folks stop in for glasses of milky tea with honey-dipped fried pastries, though savory dishes are the main draw.
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.
Neighborhood: East Pasadena
Nestled in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it suburban storefront, San Gabriel’s Babita Mexicuisine finds the gracious middle ground with such daintily presented dishes as green cilantro margarita sorbet and tequila-soaked salmon sopes.
Neighborhood: San Gabriel
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.
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.
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.
Neighborhood: Echo Park
Few cultural institutions can claim as essential a dining experience as the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo.
How civilized: classical music in an intimate setting followed by discussions with the musicians and a repast.
Neighborhood: Beverly Hills
Silver Lake’s candlelit grotto recently brought on James Beard-nominated chef Benjamin Bailly (Fraîche, Petrossian), whose farm-fresh menu is tasteful but doesn’t punish the pocketbook.
Neighborhood: Silver Lake
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.
Neighborhood: Manhattan Beach
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.
Neighborhood: Van Nuys