Fashion Forward Fun

In Los Angeles, where trendy fashion shops are as pervasive as your everyday Starbucks drive-thru, it can be hard to differentiate between the truly unique ones and the normal, less noteworthy ones that you could find anywhere. Find all of the best shops to drop money at, whether it be a cocktail dress for a party, or an all-organic, nostalgically scented candle.

Creatures of Comfort

Perhaps the most well-known on this list would be Creatures of Comfort, which became so popular that owner Jade Lai created another store in New York. However, the original location still takes the cake for that unabashedly cool, bohemian spirit that LA calls its own. With sophisticated brands from near and far, like the chic Isabel Marant and Claire Vivier, this store carries the patterned blouses and slouchy handbags that every "cool girl" needs in her wardrobe.

Mohawk General Store

This general store, curated by husband and wife Kevin and Bo Carney, hosts brands and items from all around the world. The clothes are beautiful and expertly crafted (try their in-house, al cotton clothing line Smock), but what really catches the eye are the accessories: Mariage Frere Vert Marco Polo tea, Katherine Whitaker sunglasses, and necklaces are only a few. Browse their book section: design, art, and architecture books are par for the course. 

American Rag Denim Bar

American Rag is one of the most LA shops there is: funky patterned Hawaiian shirt? Distressed Levi shorts? A Comme des Garçons shirt? You name it, they have it. In addition to a wide variety of clothes, they also have substantial home and food options. Take no more than a few steps for a bite at Cafe Midi, known for their delicious salads.

General Quarters

Hoorah, Blair Lucio has finally succeeded in creating a store that guys want to spend time in! It has a retro, vintage military vibe that men and women alike flock to for its unique design and style. Find brands like Levi's, Malin+Goetz, and Indigofera at General Quarters, manufactured for the true hipster.

Decades

The store graciously dubbed "one of the best-known institutions for vintage decor" certainly lives up to its high reputation. However, in addition to unique clothes, they have a completely eclectic collection of shoes from brands like Miu Miu and Louboutin. Even if you can't afford anything, it's worth a trip to see all of the most trendy couture. 

Opening Ceremony

Visit Opening Ceremony for an uber futuristic take on fashion: filled with platforms and the dresses found on every red carpet, you'll be sure to enjoy shopping with such wide range of options (their many collaborations with other brands like Disney are especially notable).

Classic Restaurants That Define LA

This beautiful city of 3.9 million has one of the most illustrious food histories in the United States. But whether or not Hollywood movie stars frequented these restaurants, they cook the classics and start the trends that make LA the culinary hotspot it is today.

Dan Tana's

This is the restaurant for you if you want to have a fun restaurant eperience, get a little tipsy, and eat way too much pasta. The food is delicious, and by the end of the night you're inevitably best friends with your server. The red and white checkered tablecloth and absurdly named dishes are homages to simpler times, and no LA trip is truly complete until you have a meal at a homey, family-owned restaurant like this one.

Pacific Dining Car

This staple has existed since 1921, when Mae West was a regular. It's rather uncommon in LA to get a steak shaped like a baseball, so take advantage of this rarity and visit during the 10pm to 6am menu, when everything is half off or less. It is renowned as one of the only places to get an eggs Benedict at 3am, and for making you feel as if you're living a gangster movie.

Chateau Marmont Restaurant Patio

Indulge in you movie-star fantasies and people watch at this rather pretentious 86-year old hotel. The food is extremely good, albeit simple (and very expensive), with a short menu including a burger, bolognese, broccolini, and french fries. If you are looking for a hint of that Hollywood glamour during your LA trip and are willing to shell out some cash, this is most certainly the restaurant for you.

Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles

This is the pinnacle of soul food in LA, and is loved by some of the most healthful fitness junkies. It has been known to serve golden fried chicken and perfectly chewy waffles to Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, David Beckham, and even Barack Obama. Sign me up!

Urth Caffe

Many say Urth Caffe is the birthplace of other more modern, instagram worthy coffee shops like Intelligentsia. But with their all-organic, miles-long menu and delicious food, it's easy to see why it's become such a staple in today's Los Angeles lifestyle.

The Apple Pan

Founded in 1947, this restaurant was one of the first to serve today's iteration of the cheeseburger. In addition to having the supreme retro vibe, this classic, old-timey diner also claims the title for the best pies in town for those with a sweet tooth (banana cream and apple are especially recommended).

Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market, even a century after its debut, still drives locals and tourists to the variety of delicious food they offer, from simple eggs (the restaurant accordingly deemed "Eggslut") to bento boxes and bratwursts.

Animal

Who knew a meat-centric restaurant could thrive in a juice-cleanse obsessed, all organic culture such as LA's? Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo apparently! They launched Animal in 2008 with inventive menu items like a hamburger with foie gras, spam, and a quail egg on top. It might sound heavy, but no one can pull it off better than these two chefs.

Quintessential Los Angeles Hikes

It is commonly known that an integral part of Los Angeles is in its scenery and beautiful nature. One of the best ways to experience this is on the many serene hikes and trails, many of which happen to be in the vicinity of the Box House. Today, we will be sharing some of our favorite hiking spots to visit and adventures to embark on when we stay at the Box. Get ready to burn some calories, stretch your legs, and get to know LA in its splendor.

Hollywood Sign Trail

Perhaps one of the most well known and instagrammable on this list is the Charlie Turner Trail to the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park. It’s about 40 minutes (or more) of walking on the way up, but it’s certainly worth the beautiful view: San Fernando Valley, the tall building scraping the skyline, and of course, the Hollywood Sign right beneath your feet.

Address: 2800 E Observatory Ave

Hours: 5am–sunset.

Parking: Griffith Observatory has many lots that you can usually find a spot in. If there’s nothing or its just too busy, look for street parking along Observatory Avenue. Both cost $4 per hour.

Dogs allowed on leashes!

Length: about 3 miles

Time: 90 mins

 

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook in Culver City

This destination doesn’t seem like the typical state park, with oil rigs studding the mountain, the arid landscape, and existing in the city’s industrial area. However, what really makes this hike unique is the steps: there are 260 stone slabs that leave even the most fit winded. Though grueling, these steps lead to a beautiful view of the entire city.

Address: 6300 Hetzler Rd, Culver City

Hours: 8am to dusk

Parking: Jefferson Boulevard.

No dogs allowed :(

Length: Less than 1 mile, but very steep

Time: 30 mins

 

Wilacre Park in Studio City

This beautiful hike is popular with locals because of the easy parking, good workout, and capability to bring their pets along. With a moderate incline and a loop of three miles, it’s the perfect spot to relax and take in nature with the locals.

Address: 3431 Fryman Rd, Studio City

Hours: 6:30am to 6:00pm

Parking: You can easily park in the very large parking area at the intersection of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Fryman Road. It costs $3.

Pets are allowed!

Length: about three miles, but you can shorten or lengthen depending on the path

Time: again, depends on the path

 

Runyon Canyon

In terms of proximity, this is one of the most ideal hikes on the list! From the Box, it’s only ten minutes with little to no traffic. A mecca for fitness gurus and relaxed yoga enthusiasts alike, you can always find a multitude of people on this trail. It is a gradual ascent with a beautiful view of Downtown Hollywood, the Hollywood Hills, and many architectural masterpieces. We highly recommend this hike at the Box!

Address: 200 N Fuller Ave

Hours: Dawn to dusk

Pets are allowed on leashes, and off leash in designated areas only.

Length: As long as you want it to be, though around 1.5 miles at minimum for a good view

Time: From 45 minutes to an hour

 

Escondido Falls

If you are up for a challenge, this 3.8 mile hike begins off of Pacific Coast Highway on blacktop (weird, right?). Once you go uphill on roads for about a mile, you begin to go downhill and follow a dirt path. The nature makes this hike even more unique: hopping over small creeks and descending though fennel and mustard, the sheer amount flora and fauna (especially the wildflowers) will shock you.

However, the true draw to this hike is the set destination: a beautiful waterfall. Lower Escondido Falls offers a calming pool of cool water and a gentle, trickling water cascade. However, for many, the steep climb to upper Escondido Falls, a huge and powerful waterfall, is most certainly worth it. You can even climb up behind the waterfall (at your own risk: you are responsible for your own safety).

Address: 27807 Pacific Coast Highway

Hours: N/A

Pets are allowed

Length: around 4 miles

Time: depends on how long one enjoys the waterfall

Best Art Gallery Visits in Los Angeles

We love art at The Box House.  If you love art as much as we do, here is a list of our favorite places to go in Los Angeles:

Marciano Art Foundation

Located in a former Masonic temple in Mid-City, this is our favorite place to see art at the moment.  Out of the multitude of art galleries and exhibits in Los Angeles, this one places an emphasis on hometown legends and up and coming local artists. 

Hauser & Wirth

A cutting edge take on the arts scene and a definite must-visit.  This gallery is a sprawling complex of viewing opportunities and is associated with a restaurant, outdoor garden, and one of the best art bookshops in Los Angeles.

Regen Projects

This art institution, originally founded over thirty years ago, continues to be a prominent player in the exhibition of local contemporary art. Visit this art museum for a modern, minimalistic take on both art and architecture. 

Night Gallery

A scenery rich contemporary art stop known for their late-night openings, free libations, and an outdoor patio. Reviews praise its refreshing simplicity juxtaposed against the bustling location, both of which create a relaxing yet eclectic ambiance.

BBQLA

A migrating art installation.  Look at their website (http://bbqla.net/) to find out where to find the next intriguing show. 

Moran Bondaroff

Interdisciplinary, conceptual and though provoking art space. It displays works with a variety of subject matter and theme and many different mediums, including painting, drawing, installation, video, photography and sculpture.

Matthew Marks Gallery

Featuring the best of modernist and formalist works of painting, photography and sculpture.

Blum & Poe

A Culver City hot spot for art.  After visiting this anchor of the arts district in Culver City be sure to visit our favorite art book store (Arcana: Books on the Arts).  The best one two punch for any art junkie.

Space 15 Twenty

Hollywood hotspot where you’ll find a maze of retailers and creative art pop-ups.  The best part of visiting this scene is the opportunity to peruse Hennessy + Ingalls, the largest art book store in the Western United States.

Art Museum Musts:

The Getty and Getty Malibu, LACMA, The Broad, MOCA, Art Center College of Design and The Hammer Museum on the Campus of UCLA.

Other Interesting Art Stops:

Skirball Cultural Center, Christies Auction House, Sotheby’s in Beverly Hills, Gagosian in Beverly Hills, and Bergamont Station in Santa Monica.  For a slice of weird, visit The Museum of Jurassic Technology.

Our Favorite Emerging Local Artists:

Milano Chow, Eddie Fake, Liz Glynn, Dianna Molzan, Lee Relvas, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Andrew Norman Wilson.  

New York Times Captures Essence of Sunset Strip

Words by Steven Kurutz, photos by Jake Michaels and production by Eve Lyons of The New York Times do an amazing job of capturing the beauty and essence of the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.

Check out the article here to learn more about the iconic Sunset Strip.

There are so many things to explore along this 22 mile stretch.  The Box House, located in Laurel Canyon is located near the most historic part of the strip. 

Fun awaits with access to multiple entertainment venues, night clubs (music and comedy), shopping, and many infamous historical landmarks from yesteryear and the present.

The exciting new luxury shopping addition of Fred Segal on the Strip and access to a Soho House  (if you are a member or a friend of a member) for your business meetings and creative networking is the proverbial cherry on top.   

 

Los Angeles Culinary Hot Spots

Dialogue |  1315 3rd Street Promenade | Santa Monica | DialogueRestaurant.com

Felix |  1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd  |  Venice  |  FelixLA.com

MTN |  1305 Abbot Kinney Blvd  |  Venice  |  MTNVenice.com

Kismet  |   4648 Hollywood Blvd |  Los Felix |  KismetLosAngeles.com

Rossoblu  |   1124 San Julian St  |  Downtown  |   RossobluLA.com

Vespertine |   3599 Hayden Ave  |  Culver City  |  Vespertine.LA

Rosaline  |  8479 Melrose Ave  |  West Hollywood |  RosalineLA.com

Botanica  |  1620 Silver Lake Blvd  |  Silver Lake  |  BotanicaRestaurant.com

Cosa Buona |  2100 W Sunset Blvd |  Echo Park |  CosaBuona.com 

Mh Zh  |  3536 Sunset Blvd  |  Silver Lake  |  323.636.7598

Honorable Mention:  Providence, Otium, Spago, Odys + Penelope, Petit Trois, Trois Mec, Republique, Wolf, Fishing with Dynamite, Lucques, Maude, Bastia, Cassia and The Cannibal.

 

 

 

California Dreamin’

The Box House is located in historic Laurel Canyon.  In the 1960’s and 1970’s, just as San Francisco was having its own Summer of Love, this famous canyon at the heart of Los Angeles was also in full bloom with songs that would define the moment and written by bands that would define a generation.  

Laurel Canyon drew a group of musicians and “hippies” who would combine folk and country influences into rock and roll and change the history of music forever and serve as an incubator for a “golden age” of popular music.

The song “California Dreamin’”  by The Mamas & The Papas would come to identify this Laurel Canyon movement and spread throughout the entire music culture within California, the United States and around the World.

You can listen to the past and present sounds of Laurel Canyon on Laurel Canyon Radio or read this insightful Vanity Fair article about the musical history of the canyon.

 

 

 

Stairway to Heaven

We call the steps leading up to The Box House the stairway to heaven because once you walk in the house you feel a sense of privacy, peace, and relaxation - a zen state of mind.  Los Angelenos are crazy about stairs too. They flock to them for fitness and to enjoy the beauty of our City of Angels.  Here is a list of where they flock and you should too:

Music Box: In the Oscar-winning short, The Music Box, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy wrestled a piano up this flight of 133 steps in Silver Lake. 923-925 N Vendome St

Baxter: 231 steps straight up an Echo Park slope get steeper as they ascend, but downtown views at the summit are worth it the climb. A sunset Instagram is a must. 1501 Baxter St

Beachwood Canyon: 861-step network of staircases in the community originally known as Hollywoodland.  Most of the steps are cut from granite. 2800 Beachwood Dr

Culver City: 282 irregularly shaped risers, formed from recycled concrete, lead to a decommissioned hilltop reservoir at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Outlook.  The record sprint up is two minutes, nine seconds. 6300 Hetzler Rd

Santa Monica: Twin staircases - one wooden (170 steps), one concrete (199 steps) - have turned Santa Monica Canyon into the best people watching and celebrity spotting workout in town. 4th St and Adelaide Dr

Castellammare: 518-step chain of staircases rising from the Pacific Coast Highway crisscrosses up and down a bluff in the Pacific Palisades, offering ocean views at every turn. This beautiful hike ends on the beach. Breve Way and Castellammare Dr

Welcome to Los Angeles

In 1908, Charles Lummis, a former Los Angeles Times editor and outspoken regional booster, launched a public campaign to stop English speakers - as he saw it - butchering the pronunciation of Spanish place names, especially Los Angeles.  He summarized his case in a brief rhyme, which publications across the nation printed with some amusement:

"Our Lady, The Queen of the Angels" The Lady would remind you please, her name is not Los Angie Lees, nor Angie anything whatever. To spare her fit historic pride. The G shall not be jellified. O long, G hard, and rhyme with "yes" and all about Loce Ange-el-ess.