Things To Do

20 Fun Things To Do In West Hollywood If You’re In The Neighborhood

December 7, 2016 by Sheryl Craig

West Hollywood, or WeHo as it’s known to the locals, is one of those L.A. ‘hoods that always seems to be buzzing with fun things to do. Known for its diverse culture and situated halfway between the beach and Downtown, West Hollywood appeals to locals and tourists alike. Within its compact 1.9 square miles, there is lots to discover, from off-the-beaten-path theater and world-famous comedy to socializing on rooftop bars and more.

Below is a rundown of some of the best of the best things to do next time you’re exploring the neighborhood.

Andaz WeHo Rooftop

Andaz WeHo Rooftop Pool. Credit: Andaz West Hollywood

1. Drink at a Rooftop Bar

Perch upon a rooftop bar while sipping cocktails and admiring breathtaking views. Grab drinks at The Andaz’ Riot House rooftop bar known for its rock ‘n roll vibes. Go to the Mondrian SkyBar for some Hollywood glam. And IVORY on Sunset by Brian Malarkey delivers on good eats, crafty cocktails, and a killer view.

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[RELATED: The 10 Best Rooftop Bars in Los Angeles]

2. Get a Ticket to Eclectic Stage Performances

The independent Coast Playhouse engages its audience with innovative plays and musicals in a 99-seat theater. From the Tony-nominated producers of Million Dollar Quartet, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder, and Rock of Ages, Heartbreak Hotel is the newest musical to hit Coast. Other shows that have graced the Coast stage include The Penis Chronicles and No, I Won’t Take You To The Airport.

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3. Indulge Your Inner Game of Thrones Nerd

The innovative MACHA Theatre Co. is offering Games of Thrones: The Musical in February 2017, from the same crew who created Lost: The Musical and Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera. Established to bridge straight and gay communities of diverse backgrounds, the MACHA Theatre Co. showcases originality, creativity and often, sensuality. The $30 theater ticket is well worth it.

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4. The Morrison Hotel Gallery at the Sunset Marquis Hotel

Where “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll” is no stranger, Sunset Blvd. has its share of cool art venues, including the Morrison Hotel Gallery located in the lobby of Sunset Marquis Hotel. The gallery is home to hundreds of fine-art photography from world-class music and sports photographers, along with archives dating back to the 1940s. It’s a must for any music fan who wants an up-close and personal experience with images of music icons.

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5. Visit a bookstore

Yes, a bookstore. Book Soup is truly one of the coolest traditional booksellers in L.A. Recognized for its astonishing floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, Book Soup has a rare book collection and sections devoted to art, culture, and photography. Check the Book Soup calendar — they host many book release events and readings by renowned authors.

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6. Explore the West Hollywood Library

West Hollywood Library is a unique public space worth checking out. This public space includes a municipal art gallery, with rotating exhibitions which have featured original artworks from Jean Cocteau, Annie Liebowitz, and Clive Baker. All exhibits are free, and there is free validated parking in the structure.

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[RELATED: 19 Awesome L.A. Art Galleries Every Angeleno Can Explore For Free]

7. See a Show at the Troubadour

At the legendary Troubadour club, the greatest of musicians have performed, including Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, James Taylor and Elton John, as well as more contemporary artists and bands like Prince, Coldplay, John Legend, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Still one of LA’s best destinations for live music to this day, you never know who may make a surprise appearance.

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8. Get Your Laugh On at The Comedy Store and Laugh Factory

Since the early 70s, The Comedy Store has been a platform for emerging and established comedians. Check out its all-female produced The “C” Word Show with up-and-comers in the Belly Room, or national headliners in its Original and Main rooms. And Jamie Masada’s Laugh Factory continues to nurture new talent and welcome famous names like Tim Allen, Dave Chappelle and Whitney Cummings.

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9. Visit the Pacific Design Center

The Pacific Design Center is a home-design mecca. Serving decorators, interior designer, architects, and consumers, this “campus” has more than 100 boutiques and showrooms dedicated to interior and exterior furnishings and accessories. Guests need to visit with an official designer, and PDC will happily set you up. Just call to make that happen.

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10. View art at MOCA at the Pacific Design Center

Delve into the world of architecture and design at MOCA at the Pacific Design Center. At this, MOCA’s third location — the other two are in DTLA — admission is free, and the exhibits focus on some of the most cutting-edge art of our time.

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Pacific Design Center

Fountain outside the Pacific Design Center. Photo by Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

11. Wine Tasting at V Wine Room

V Wine Room has a unique tasting room that offers exclusive wines and beers not otherwise sold in the area. V works with local boutique winemakers and handcrafted breweries from Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. Guests can also grab small bites and shop for gifts.

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12. Bottomless Brunch

Bottomless brunch is always an excellent WeHo weekend activity. A few destinations to brunch and booze at include Taste on Melrose, renowned for its mimosas and laid-back vibe; Bar10 and its excellent seasonal brunchy fare, and Terrine, which impresses with its casual brasserie ambience coupled with all-day rosé.

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Connie And Teds Lobster Roll

Credit: Connie & Ted’s on Facebook

13. Put Some New Restaurants on Your Radar

New hot spots can be crowded, and if you want to eat at a reasonable hour, rezzies made in advance are recommended. Connie and Ted’s pays homage to New England seafood dishes like lobster rolls, fish stew and fish and chips (and so much more). At E.P. & L.P., chef Louis Tikaram’s culinary direction is an amalgamation of his Fijian-Chinese heritage, native Australian roots, and extensive travels throughout Southeast Asia. And Norah, where eclectic American fare is entirely “made from scratch,” offers a tasting menu and chef’s table.

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14. Relax at a Park

West Hollywood Park and Plummer Park are clean and offer ample space for chilling, playing, and walking your pooch. A walking path that loops through both parks will net about five miles or 10,000 steps on your fitness app.

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15.  Check out the Hotel Marmont

Enjoy a taste of Hollywood by hanging out at the historical (it opened in 1929) celebrity haunt Chateau Marmont and Bar Marmont on the Strip. Yep, Jim Morrison took up residency for a bit in this landmark. Classic cocktails (pisco sour, sidecar and bellini) and the time-honored setting give you a glimpse of another era.

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Chateau Marmont

Chateau Marmont. Image via Wikipedia Commons / Public Domain

16. Happy Hour in WeHo

If you love happy hour, West Hollywood is calling your name. Monday to Friday, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., caviar lovers can delight in Petrossian’s signature small bites and a caviar martini made with Luksusowa vodka, Maurin vermouth, a caviar-stuffed olive and CaviarCube. Head over to Marvin, a French bistro on Beverly Boulevard., for happy hour featuring oysters, pomme frites, steak tartare, and jamon tomato toast in addition to wine and beer. Say yes to Fig & Olive’s Mediterranean-inspired apertivo happy hour specials, with wines by the glass, champagnes, classic cocktails, and fantastic crostini.

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[RELATED: 22 Superb Spots for the Best Happy Hour in Los Angeles]

17. Visit the Veterans Memorial

Named after WWII Purple Heart recipient and former WeHo City Council member Sal Guarriello, the Veterans Memorial honors veterans in an urban setting featuring green space, a water feature, and laurel trees.

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18. Explore the Schindler House

Built in 1922, the Schindler House is a local landmark. Designed by architect Rudolph M. Schindler, this stunning structure is known for its very modern take on home design. The Schindler House features an open floor plan and utilizes ahead of its time modern construction methods.

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19. Go To Local Farmers Markets

Both the Helen Albert and Melrose Place Farmers’ Markets have a beautiful selection of local, organic farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, fresh fish, flowers and artisan goods. Helen Albert runs every Monday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., while the Melrose Place market is open on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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20. Do Something Kid-Friendly

West Hollywood is not just a playground for adults. Hang with your kids at Jessica Biel’s Au Fudge for playtime in its Creative Space (games, crafts, music,and learning activities in the $10-$25 range). Au Fudge also invites parents to hand over kids to the Au Fudge Au Pairs while they dine in the Au Fudge dining room. Put your cake decorator hat on at Duff’s Cake Mix for a drop-in to decorate cupcakes or a cake.

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12 Spots to Get The Best Thanksgiving Pies in Los Angeles

November 17, 2016 by Sheryl Craig

Fact: The dessert pie is an essential tradition to any Thanksgiving feast.  Fact: It may end up being  you who is selected to bring said pie(s) to the table. But are you up for the responsibility?

Baking can be quite a commitment, and for those who prefer to sleep in on their Thursday day-off, lounge in pajamas all day while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or catch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on Netflix, ordering your Thanksgiving dessert pie is going to be the likely choice.

Thankfully there are many Los Angeles restaurants make it easier than ever to show up to your host’s home with a world-class pie in hand. Whether you need classics like pumpkin, pecan, or apple, or something more specialized such as s’mores, Ube, or a even a vegan option, they’re all just a phone call away.

To aid in your  T-Day pie ques we’ve compiled a list of the best, most unique options in L.A. for 2016 below (listed in no particular order, numbered only for reference).

Hope it helps!

[RELATEDThe 17 Best Places to Eat Out on Thanksgiving in L.A.]

Creme LA Pie

Image via Creme Caramel LA

1. Crème Caramel LA

Kristine de la Cruz’s beloved bakeshop is in full prep for its holiday pie season. Crème Caramel LA’s signature custard-based, Upside Down Pies topped with a brûléed graham cracker crumble crust is at the top of Angeleno’s dessert lists, especially when your intel informs you that the classics are already covered. De la Cruz’s Filipino roots can’t be missed as she works with many ingredients including Ube (Purple Yam), Buko (Young Coconut) and Pandan (pandan leaves) inspired by her background. Pumpkin, chocolate, and vanilla custard flavors are also offered, as well as gluten-free pies (upon request). Get your order in soon as online ordering has already started. Pick-up is only available at the bakery during the week of Thanksgiving. A 9″ pie is $30.

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2. Playa Provisions

“Top Chef” alumna Brooke Williamson (catch her on the upcoming season, airing December 1) and hubby Nick Roberts of Playa Provisions, the Playa del Rey four-in-one restaurant concept are offering four classic pie flavors for take-out. Just like “mom” makes it, Playa Provisions’ pumpkin pie ($25) is smooth and velvety in a golden-brown flaky crust, and in traditional Southern-style the bourbon-pecan pie ($30) is unmissable. Buttery pecans are mixed in a sweet bourbon filling. Accentuating seasonal ingredients, the restaurant is featuring an apple-cranberry pie ($30), which is a harmonious balance of sweet and tart with hints of cinnamon and clove, and a pear brown butter tart ($25) baked in a sugar cookie crust. Order online by November 21, and pies will be available for pick-up from the 22nd to the 24th (Thanksgiving Day!).

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3. Huckleberry Cafe & Bakery

Huckleberry Café & Bakery is offering co-owner and baker Zoe Nathan’s famed desserts for your holiday table. The neighborhood bakery will be churning out a take and bake gluten-free orange cranberry (cranberries fresh from Fat Uncle Farms) pie topped with an almond crumble. It’s so faux-homemade that Huckleberry provides a Pyrex baking dish — you could probably get away with it looking like you baked all day. Call the bakery today or before Saturday, November 19 at 5 p.m. (310) 451-2311 for Pre-ordered catering pick-up will be available on Thursday, November 24 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Desserts to-go range from $10 to $65.

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4. The Cannibal Beer & Butcher

Pastry Chef Kelli Nehls of The Cannibal Beer & Butcher is preparing delicious Thanksgiving pies that will make the Thanksgiving feast complete. Choose pumpkin or Dutch apple topped with a bacon streusel, which adds a unique dimension to the dessert. The Cannibal is making customers feel good about ordering pies-to-go from its kitchen – the restaurant will donate $5 from every order to Chef’s Cycle for No Kid Hungry. Order deadline is November 18, for pick up between November 21-24. To order, email [email protected] or call (310) 838-2783. 9″ pies $30 each, serves 8.

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5. Beaming

Beaming is known for its dedication to organic plant-based foods, but did you know they’ve got a lineup of holiday pies?Pumpkin maca pie is Beaming’s new holiday dessert obsession. Gluten and dairy free, of course, the pie is delicate in texture and flavor and layers a raw superfood crust with raw pumpkin filling and fall spices. The finishing touch is a coconut whip cream topping. It’s a double the pleasure kind of dessert – healthy and indulgent. As long as your order is in by Monday, November 21st, your pie will be ready for in-store (Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Brentwood) pick up by Thanksgiving.  Beaming is L.A.’s hot spot for nourishing salads, mineral rich soups, immunity elixirs, superfood smoothies, gluten and dairy free baked goods. The pumpkin maca pie is 9.5″, serves 8-10 slices and is $40 each.

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6. Valerie Confections

Tis the season for satisfying your holiday sweet tooth with a decadent pie from Valerie Confections. Valerie Gordon the mastermind behind Valerie Confections has dessert covered for Thanksgiving. Her to-go menu includes a winter luxury pumpkin pie with a Valerie twist. This pie embraces a roasted and caramelized pumpkin flavor, which is made with Windrose Farm pumpkins. She also has an apple & salted caramel pie, which is To. Die. For. Pies-to-go can be picked up on Wednesday, November 23 at any one of the three Valerie locations including her newest boutique in South Silverlake. Place your order by Friday, November 18 by emailing [email protected] or via phone at (213) 739-8149. 9″ pies are $30 each.

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Mini pies make the best party favors. #valeriehq #valeriegordon #madeinla #piesfordays

A photo posted by Valerie Confections (@valerieconfctns) on

7. Paley

The Paley Hollywood baking team has a spectacular selection of sweet treats for the grand finale of your Thanksgiving feast. A Dutch apple pie ($35), a gluten-free hazelnut brown butter cake ($30), gluten-free pecan cookies ($24) are among the seasonal dessert choices baked to order. Paley is also offering to-go Turkey Day sides like stuffing, potatoes and veggies, for easy entertaining. Orders can be easily placed by calling the restaurant at (323) 544-9430 by Monday, November 21.

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8. Cafe Gratitude

Tasked with bringing pie to your Thanksgiving dinner this year that will satisfy everyone, including those with gluten-free, sensitive, vegan diets? Cafe Gratitude’s Thanksgiving pies to-go has your covered. Chef Dreux Ellis is creating signature pies including pecan, pumpkin and chocolate coconut with 100% organic and plant based ingredients. The Cafe Gratitude pies serve 4-6 guests, and must be ordered by Monday, November 21st. Pick up is available at the restaurant on November 23 between 1  and 10 p.m. Pies are $35 each.

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Cafe Gratitude Pie

Image via Cafe Gratitude

9. Craft

Eating a Thanksgiving meal at Craft is like going home for the holiday, which is why this restaurant is the ideal choice for taking dessert-to-go. Pastry Chef Shannon Swindle is offering an amazing selection of pies this year — you are going to want to taste them all. Here’s the menu: Bourbon pecan, pumpkin, and chocolate hazelnut cream and farmer’s market apple cranberry streusel. Swindle is a fan of mixing tart and sweet apples and a few of his favorite varietals are pink pearl, Gravenstein, Anna, Belle de Boskoop, Gala and Russerts. If you order by 5 p.m. on Monday, November 21st, Craft will have pies ready for pick up after 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 23 or by noon on Thanksgiving Day. 9″ pies are $45 each, and serves 8-10. Call the restaurant at (310) 279-4180.

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10. TART

How can you not resist a sweet potato pie from TART, the residing restaurant in the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel. A popular choice in the Southern parts of the United States, the sweet potato pie originated during the mid to late 1800s by Abby Fisher, who was an African slave and eventually freed. She is known for documenting the first recipe in her book, “What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Southern Cooking.” Emphasized with sweet and warm spices, TART’s sweet potato pie will be offered in full and available for take-away beginning Monday, November 21st through Thanksgiving Day. Orders can be made by calling (323) 556-2608 or emailing the restaurant at [email protected] The price per pie is $30.

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Tart Sweet Potato Pie

Image via Tart

11. Little Dom’s

This Los Feliz Italian-American eatery is hosting a Thanksgiving takeout menu. Pastry chef Ann Kirk is preparing
several pies this season — pumpkin, apple crumble, coconut cream and chocolate cream. Kirk is always anticipating the end of the meal by offering menu favorites such as daily-made gelatos, the classic Italian affogato and her take on the torta della Nonna. Pies are $35 each, and orders can be placed by calling (323) 661-0088. All orders and changes must be made by 11 a.m. on Tuesday, November 22, and orders can be picked up between 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

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12. Patina Catering

Do Thanksgiving like Hollywood this year — Patina Catering, the catering division of Master Chef Joachim Splichal’s Patina Restaurant that has catered the Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards Governors Ball, has holiday pies for any size dinner you are hosting. Pumpkin, apple, s’mores ($19 each) and pecan ($22) pies will be available to order and pick up Downtown (three locations: Market Cafe South Park, Market Cafe Wells Fargo or Concert Hall Cafe), before Thanksgiving Day. Order by Friday, November 18 online.

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