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West Hollywood, Los Angeles

24 March 2016

Words: Marina Chetner / Images: Vincent Long

West Hollywood, one of Los Angeles’ more creative neighbourhoods, enjoys a fabled past. John Wayne ran amok in his onetime home, Sunset Tower hotel (rumour has it that he kept a pet cow on the balcony); Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack dominated Dominick’s Restaurant; and The Doors were discovered on the Sunset Strip, a flashy stretch of Sunset Boulevard that doubles as West Hollywood’s northernmost border.

Bound, ever so cooly, on either side by Hollywood and Beverly Hills, WeHo, as locals call it, is a coveted zip code among high-profile residents – Cher, Elton John, Courtney Cox and Sandra Bullock have all lived in the famous Sierra Towers at one time or another. Top fashion brands stand shoulder to shoulder on Melrose Avenue, not far from The Pacific Design Center, whose showrooms have been the go-to for interior decorators since 1975.

WeHo is where artists get noticed, celebrities set trends, and well-heeled denizens flock to see and be seen. It attracts the best in fashion, music, dining and wellness. Here’s our carefully curated guide to the neighbourhood...

INK RESTAURANT

Ink keeps good company on Melrose Avenue with Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, and Herve Leger. Step inside and the spotlight shifts to the food. Owner Michael Voltaggio, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Season 6, is known for fusing creativity with play, and his personal stamp is all over the small-plates menu. Tender octopus on a bed of ink pasta shells is elevated by paprika. The cauliflower chips served with crispy-skinned branzino are moreish. Deliciously aromatic charcoal potatoes sprinkled with salt and spritzed with black vinegar is a hardy side dish.

As for dessert, order the white chocolate ganache hazelnut financier with macerated peaches, if they’re in season. For ‘Classic’ cocktails read ‘edgy’, yet the coconut rum daiquiri mixed with angostura bitters is unexpectedly good. You’ll want to linger – this polished, industrial-esque spot draws a convivial crowd well into the night.

8360 Melrose Avenue #107

Los Angeles

CA 90069

Tel: +1 323 651 5866

mvink.com



Also in the area...

Kelly Wearstler
A beautiful collection of vintage pieces for the home, from a woman who styles A-list residences.

8440 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood
CA 90069
Tel: +1 323 895 7880
kellywearstler.com

BOOKMARC

At the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Melrose Place is a sweet, ivy-covered bookstore called Bookmarc. Named after quirky designer Marc Jacobs, its quaint interior is lined with shelves stacked with books so artfully arranged, they look like a gallery installation. Rows of colourful attention-grabbing covers bear portraits of Frida Kahlo, a Warholian Debbie Harry, Elvis Presley, Ingrid Bergman in monochrome, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Only then do the bold names of titles and authors come into focus: George Orwell; Dreaming in Cuban; Sylvia Plath; Lunch Poems; and Grace by Grace Coddington (American Vogue’s creative director’s memoir). Browsing the selection of coffee table books on music, photography, film, art and literature feels like a celebration of print. Actress Chloë Sevigny held her self-titled book’s signing here, as did Incubus’ Brandon Boyd – the line to autograph So The Echo extended down the block.

8409 Melrose Avenue

Los Angeles

CA 90069

Tel: +1 323 944 0575

marcjacobs.com



Also in the area...

Urth Caffe

The food is consistently good and as well as kale salads, you’ll find Reuben sandwiches and smoked salmon topped pizzas.

8565 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood
CA 90069
Tel: +1 310 659 0628
urthcaffe.com

TROUBADOUR

In the decades since it opened in 1957, Troubadour has been a launching pad for artists’ careers: Joni Mitchell made her debut in 1968; two years later, Elton John was introduced to the US by Neil Diamond; and Franz Ferdinand played their first-ever LA show in 2004. History was made when Led Zeppelin jammed here for almost three hours after playing at the LA Forum in 1970; it’s also where Jim Morrison made the live record, It’s Too Late To Stop Now, in 1973.

The small venue – standing room only with some balcony seating, a bar, and a kitchen serving American fast food – can list a bunch of ‘best music venue’ accolades, yet it’s an embrace of the indie scene and the constant performances by legendary artists like Rod Stewart, Coldplay, Ringo Starr, Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails that assert its place as a must-visit for live music shows.

9081 Santa Monica Boulevard

West Hollywood

CA 90069

Tel: +1 310 276 1158

troubadour.com



Also in the area...

Sally Hershberger Hair Salon

Celebrity clients such as Demi Moore abound, and Sally takes appointments every six weeks.

760 N La Cienega Boulevard
West Hollywood
CA 90069
Tel: +1 310 854 4922
sallyhershberger.com

SOULCYCLE

Angelenos joke that yoga is offered on every corner, but the indoor-cycling trend has taken root all over town as well. Not long after New York-based Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice launched SoulCycle, their spin classes attracted a cult following. Celebrities such as David Beckham, Olivia Wilde, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga love it; the WeHo studio – which opened in 2012 – packs a crowd from dawn to dusk.

The genius behind the 45-minute calorie-burning sessions is that they’re held in a club-like setting, where the instructor-cum-DJ motivates cyclists with light dimmers, uniquely choreographed routines, a killer playlist, and positive affirmations to push through high-resistance peddling. Hand weights are incorporated to balance upper body fitness. This flagship studio is a great spot for a sweat, especially at 7am when the Sunset Strip is asleep. Afterwards, cool off in the outdoor courtyard.

8570 Sunset Boulevard

West Hollywood

CA 90069

Tel: +1 310 657 7685

soul-cycle.com



Also in the area...

Ole Henrinksen Face/Body Spa

This jewel-box of a spa is a respite from the thrum of Hollywood.

Sunset Plaza
8622 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles
CA 90069
Tel: +1 310 854 7700
olehenriksen.com

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