Best of LA: 2012
A flaky crust, the dense sweetness of vanilla pudding, a billowing crown of whipped cream, and the rush of tropical fruit come together in the banana cream pie at Jongewaard’s Bake-N-Broil in Long Beach.
Neighborhood: Long Beach
From jeggings to bathing suits, Justice has the styles your not-so-little girl wants—and you won’t veto.
Neighborhood: West Los Angeles
The Kitson name may be tarnished by too much publicity and Ms. Lohan. But when there’s a newborn, a four-year-old girl, and a 12-year-old boy on your list, Kitson Kids delivers.
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
LaMill is still the only place in town to enjoy siphon-brewed estate-grown coffee while sitting on a faux crocodile-skin chair.
F. Scott Fitzgerald drank here. So did Faulkner, Fante, Bukowski, Chandler, Saroyan, Huxley, and Isherwood.
Step off La Cienega into this red-walled cocoon and through the smoke haze of the enclosed patio, and you’ll feel a lot closer to Paris.
Light Bulbs Unlimited in Sherman Oaks has a helpful crew that explains the distinctions between LEDs, halogens, and fluorescents (some you might actually like) and guides you through aisles of contemporary and antique-style bulbs, Christmas twinklers, solar lights, and hard-to-find fittings.
Neighborhood: Sherman Oaks
Flinging winged projectiles at a round board is a sport best practiced at Little Bar.
At this spin-off of the West Hollywood fixture Dominick’s, Los Feliz locals come for high-end basics with northern Italian and California influences.
Even if becoming an occultist isn’t on your bucket list, a lecture by Maja D’Aoust can be spellbinding.
Whether you can’t figure out how to use bronzer or want to brush up on your contouring skills, Make Up For Ever Recording Studio will show you how.
Croquet is lovely, but we want a sport where cursing in Italian is mandatory.
Tired of endlessly circling parking meters in search of a spot, only to return five hours later to your sun-baked car?
Neighborhood: Manhattan Beach
We played tourist on this one and joined guided groups in museum foyers around town.
Neighborhood: Exposition Park
They talk to kids in their language, and newbies are welcome at the three-year-old school, which also holds a summer camp.
Plumber Luther Haws invented the drinking fountain in 1906 and installed the first one at a school in Northern California.
Neighborhood: San Pedro
Near Anthony C. Beilenson Park in Van Nuys, the Los Angeles River is unrecognizably beautiful, with thickets of trees clinging to its earthy embankments.
Neighborhood: Los Angeles
Don’t fight for space on the sand; rent one of three cabanas at Paradise Cove, next to Bob Morris’s Beach Cafe.