Wally’s. Celebrating 55 years, Wally’s seduces with its gentleman’s club vibe and sophisticated clientele who come for the more than 8,000 handpicked varieties of wine, spirits, beer, and gourmet snacks. The store’s surfeit of top-drawer booze and food is an aphrodisiac in itself. L.A. matchmaking expert Pattie Stanger’s take: “You wanna know where the millionaires go? They go to Wally’s. Men are impressed by women who know about wine. So if you say, ‘What are [you] gonna eat tonight?’ and he says, ‘Steak,’ you respond, ‘You know, I kind of want a Duckhorn with that.’ He’s gonna be like, ‘What?!’ ” 447 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, and 214 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica.
Weho Dog Park. With views of the Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood’s vest-pocket dog run is packed with a wide range of the young and old, gay and straight, professional and not. All are out to let their canine friends have a day in the sun and check each other out, which inevitably leads to meet-cutes among owners when Spot and Princess take a shine to each other. Stanger’s take: “If you’ve been walking your dog forever and you’ve never met anyone, that means that they’re not your type or you’re not their type. So take your dog for a walk in the neighborhood you want to live in.” 647 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood. Honorable Mentions: Silverlake Dog Park, 1863 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake; Laurel Canyon Dog Park, 8260 Mulholland Dr., Beverly Crest.
Connect with potential mates by volunteering—it’s a great way to meet those with similar interests and make a direct deposit into your karma bank. Stanger’s take: “I think Project Angel Food is probably the best one. And Meals on Wheels. At both, you’re working in the kitchen with people you don’t know, and interacting. Union Rescue Mission is amazing downtown. Serve holiday dinners at The Laugh Factory. Sean Penn’s charity, Core, is helping communities in crisis.
If you’re gay, you want to go to the GLAAD Media Awards or AMFAR Gala. And events for Heal the Bay.
Equinox, West Hollywood. The gym of gyms is where you’ll find models and actors and well-off men and women—or at least those who claim to be while spending $300 a month for a membership. Stanger’s take: “That gym is great. It’s a matchmaking dating club. You’d be surprised what shit goes down.” Runyon Canyon Park is the place to get your outdoor fitness on with the most incredible views of the city—and of hot hikers, too. Stanger’s take: “Runyon is the number one gold standard in the singles community. And you can bring your dog.” Topgolf, the luxury sports entertainment complex in El Segundo, is where guys and dolls work on their swing, golf-related and otherwise. Stanger’s take: “It’s a great way for girls to learn golf because it’s very much a man’s sport. Especially if you’re standing at the range and you’re like, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing.’ He’s like, ‘Let me show you how to hold the club.’ ” Equinox, 8590 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Runyon Canyon, 2000 N. Fuller Ave., Hollywood Hills; Topgolf, 400 Pacific Coast Hwy., El Segundo.
Eleven percent of married couples say they met their partners in church. Nondenominational churches like Mosaic and Agape make it easier to break the ice. Stanger’s take: “If you are gonna go to a Catholic church and you’re not Catholic, good luck to you. The nondenominational ones like Agape, that’s really the way to go. Go to the church you have interest in; don’t go to a church just because you heard the hottest men are Catholic.” Mosaic, 7107 Hollywood Blvd.; Agape, Saban Theater, 8440 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills.
The Getty Center is one of the most iconic buildings in Los Angeles, and architect Richard Meier’s multiple travertine patios and view-grabbing nooks offer plenty of opportunities to turn chance encounters into romance. Even the tram that carries you and a carful of strangers from the parking garage to the musuem is fair game—why not strike up a conversation and see where it leads? Stanger’s take: “I had my second date of my last relationship there, and it was really romantic. We were drunk on boxed wine, and he threw me against the wall and made out with me. It was kind of sexy. ” 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood. Honorable Mention: The Broad, 221 S. Grand Avenue, Downtown.
Far from being mere places to sleep, hotels in L.A. are often where the action is, with some of the hottest bars and restaurants—not to mention townies. Stanger’s take: “The Maybourne in Beverly Hills, on Thursday night and on Sundays, has a huge singles scene because a lot of people go to avra across the street. Another one would be the Polo Lounge, especially at lunchtime, and the pool at The Roosevelt in Hollywood. Also the penthouse restaurant at The Huntley. In Santa Monica, Casa Del Mar and Shutters on the Beach still crank. Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes has a big scene in the summer and spring. So does the rooftop deck at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills—Jean-Georges there has great food. Surf Rider has a seductive bar scene in Malibu; so does Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club.”
Love is always in bloom at the Huntington Botanical Gardens. The Desert Garden there is where urban naturalists meet and love can take root. Tip for singles angling to go steady: 1919 Cafe, a hangout for local literati who work on their laptops while working the room. Stanger’s take: “You get both sides of the street here: male, female, gay, straight, people who are very cultured.” 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino
Since 1948, WeHo’s beloved Log Cabin has served as the locus for countless 12-step programs—and, inevitably, romantic rendezvous. “I met my first boyfriend at the Log Cabin,” says a 32-year veteran of meetings there. Besides providing “love, compassion and kindness from strangers,” he adds, the cabin’s Saturday night meetings can feature get-down trappings complete with disco lights and DJs, “like a full-on party in recovery.” 621 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood
Music and passion are always in fashion at Amoeba Music. The vinyl mecca has been the scene of a whole lotta love since it reopened on Hollywood Boulevard in 2021. Management confirms that “multiple couples who met here or had their first date here have come back to take engagement photos.” (One dude popped the question while the store cranked the lovebirds’ favorite Led Zeppelin tune.) Amoeba patrons who’ve been hit on say the musician-branded clothing section is where the most sparks fly. 6200 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.
Getting lost and found in the stacks is still a thing. At the Last Bookstore in downtown L.A., one employee met their future spouse amid exemplary customer service. At Vroman’s in Pasadena, SoCal’s oldest bookstore, the SRO crowds at the new Tepito Coffee cafe encourage flirty bookworms to share tables. With its proximity to the Sunset Strip and perennially hot 1970s L.A. vibe, Book Soup continues to be the sexiest bookstore in Los Angeles. And, truly, what is sexier than mingling with hotties who actually read books? The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., Downtown; Vroman’s, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena.
Dockweiler is one of the few local beaches that allow alcohol, bonfires, and dogs—the dreamy trifecta for those looking for a love match amid Southern California’s classic romantic atmospherics. Even the roar of jetliners taking off from nearby LAX serves as a reminder that the opportunity to find love is often fleeting and life won’t wait.
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