Ricardo
BEACHFRONT

STAYCATION IN L.A.
TRIP GUIDE

CALIFORNIA LIFESTYLE
30 NOVEMBER 2016

COLLECTION

MAR VISTA 2.0

Gritty to glitzy and everything in between, Los Angeles has got it all. Instead of falling back on a tried-and-true weekend getaway to San Fran or Vegas, consider sticking close to home and doing the cool things you’ve always meant to do! (Getting around L.A. using public transport is challenging at best, so if you’d like your city-break to put the brakes on driving, consider Uber or Lyft.)

The L.A. neighborhood of Mar Vista, the inspiration for our chic new Mar Vista 2.0 collection, has become a bona fide destination in its own right. Cozied up to the more famous neighborhoods of Venice, Culver City and Santa Monica, Mar Vista is a Westside gem where Mid-Century Modern architecture (the famous “Mar Vista Tract”) meets a hip, burgeoning arts and retail community that includes offbeat shopping, tantalizing restaurants, and a lively Sunday Farmers’ Market.

Check out a few of our favorite L.A. hotspots below, including some Mar Vista highlights, then get acquainted with the Ricardo Beverly Hills’ Mar Vista 2.0 luggage collection – many pieces pair perfectly with a Los Angeles staycation adventure.


CALIFORNIA LIFESTYLE

WHERE TO STAY

THE GARLAND

4222 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood

Clean mid-century lines, retro-chic décor and comfortable furnishings make this family-friendly boutique hotel a favorite with in-the-know adventurers. For a modest fee you can even bring your pooch, made to feel welcome with a toy, mat and bowl. The hotel also supports many green initiatives, so you can do your part for the planet when you stay.

AVALON HOTEL BEVERLY HILLS

9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills

A stunning MCM look pairs with all the modern conveniences in this handsome hostelry, making it a must-visit for anyone with a penchant for all things “Mad Men.” Cabana-like nooks flank the hourglass pool; light-hued wood, bold geometric graphics and a sophisticated color palette create soothing surroundings. With the added options of on-site dining and in-room spa treatments, no one would blame you if you didn’t stray far from the premises.

SLS BEVERLY HILLS

465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles

Splash out on a stay at this modern masterpiece, which includes a glamorous rooftop swimming pool and cocktail lounge, a relaxing spa, pool tables on every floor, and on-site dining options helmed by award-winning chef Jose Andrés. The rooms are mood-lit and sophisticated yet comfortable, and the five-star service always rises to the level of the breathtaking Philippe Starck design. (FYI: “SLS” stands for “Style, Luxury, Service.” Now you know.)

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WHAT TO SEE

THE BROAD

221 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

For a bit of highbrow culture, make a beeline to this distinctive honeycomb-inspired building that showcases the private collection of Eli and Edith Broad (rhymes with “road”). The Broad features works by more than 200 contemporary artists, including Jean Michel Basquiat, Cy Twombley and Cindy Sherman. It’s only been open since fall 2015, so you can still be one of the cool kids by visiting before everybody knows about it. (Bonus tip: The Broad is also home to a venue for live theater, dance and music performances throughout the year.)

BRADBURY BUILDING

304 S. Broadway, Los Angeles

Architecture mavens flock to the Bradbury, opened in 1893 and L.A.’s oldest landmarked building. If you didn’t know it was there you could walk right past its undistinguished façade, but the interior (often featured on screen, perhaps most notably in “Bladerunner”), from its cathedral-like atrium to its ornate iron fixtures, is a natural light-flooded wonder to behold. Even if you pop in for only a few minutes, you’ll never forget it.

WHERE TO GO

GRIFFITH PARK

4370 Crystal Springs Dr., Los Angeles

Escape the urban bustle without leaving the city by heading to this sprawling municipal park situated at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. Home to the famous Griffith Observatory and The Greek Theatre, one of L.A.’s best outdoor music venues, the 4,310-acre park offers breathtaking viewpoints and excellent hiking trails, so you can walk off breakfast or work up an appetite for dinner.

MAR VISTA TRACT

3533 Moore St., Los Angeles

If you love Mid-Century Modern architecture, take a quiet wander through this historic development. Comprised of 52 “Modernique” homes, all still virtually intact, the tract’s structures are distinguished by flat roofs and open interior spaces that can be customized through sliding and folding panels. One beautifully restored example came on the market in 2015 for $1.3 million, considerably higher than the $12,000 original price that was considered steep in 1948.

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WHERE TO EAT

GWEN

6600 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

For a splurge, make reservations at this new offering from charismatic celebrity chef Curtis Stone. Walk-ins can hit the bar and outdoor patio to sup off the à la carte menu, but couples should consider the multi-course, meat-centric tasting menu offered in the sophisticated-yet-romantic dining room. Wherever you end up, the adult beverages are outstanding.

THE CURIOUS PALATE

395 Santa Monica Pl., Los Angeles

A visit to Mar Vista should include a stop at this “food lover’s paradise,” a market, catering kitchen and café with an expansive menu that will tempt omnivore and vegetarian alike. Meat lovers shouldn’t miss their famous “Muffaletta Stromboli”; regarding the chocolate chip cookies, resistance is futile.

SIX TASTE FOOD TOURS

Various locations

Can’t decide on a restaurant? Become one of the thousands of locals who have experienced new flavors through a Six Taste tour. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic guides lead you on a multi-hour informative stroll through different neighborhoods of L.A., during which you’ll enjoy generous samples as you go. Plan on pre-booking one of the open weekend tours, such as the original Downtown L.A. food tour.

WHERE TO SHOP

SHOP SUPER STREET

458 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles

Take a little of the dosh you saved by not flying somewhere exotic and indulge in a fun memento, plucked, perhaps, from the carefully curated mix at this hip retail mecca that doesn’t take itself too seriously. From designer fashion to cult streetwear, objets d’art to clever home goods, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy.

THE LAST BOOKSTORE

453 S. Spring St. – Ground Floor, Los Angeles

A bibliophile’s idea of heaven, this huge retail space – all 22,000 square feet of it – is California’s largest used and new book and record store. In business since 2005, it’s one of the last great places to touch, browse, buy, sell and trade actual books and recorded music. The store also has a spacious audience area and plays host to a wide variety of events, not just author readings.

MAR VISTA FARMERS’ MARKET

Sundays 9am to 2pm
Grand View Blvd. at Venice Blvd., Los Angeles

The Farmers’ Market recalls a time when Mar Vista was known as the “Lima Bean Belt of the Nation,” and, as well as being a source of fresh, direct-to-market produce, is now a hub of local pride and family-friendly activities. Shop the offerings from 50 farms, then nibble your way through a roster of around 30 food stalls. Closed major holidays.

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WHERE TO GO AFTER DARK

THE UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE THEATRE

5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood Hills

The Laugh Factory and The Comedy Store have been around forever, but ever since the “UCB4” (Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh) turned their same-named Comedy Central network sketch show into an improv school and comedy venue, the laughs have gotten bigger, funnier and longer. If you’re a live comedy fan and haven’t been, what are you waiting for? An engraved invitation?

GALLERY BAR AND COGNAC ROOM

506 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles

Replete with old-world elegance, this high-ceilinged room, housed in the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, is a fine destination for free live jazz at the weekend. The vibe is “Roaring Twenties,” the drinks have a pre-Prohibition flavor (Singapore Sling, anyone?), and even certain noshes – such as Cobb Salad and a shrimp cocktail served in original hotel silver – hearken back to a more opulent era.

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