Southern California is full of must-visit cities. Sip wine in Ojai and Santa Barbara, surf the waves of San Diego or set up a tent for camping in Big Bear. For the rest of us who want to feel like we’re stepping out without breaking the gas tank, a quick getaway can happen right here in Los Angeles. Several areas across the city offer the right mix of shopping, food and entertainment to keep someone busy for the entire weekend.
The neighborhood of West Third Street, technically named Mid-City West, is primarily concentrated along the strip between Fairfax Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard. The Grove and The Original Farmers Market and The Beverly Center, respectively, exist as anchoring landmarks that signify a section of town full of cafes and restaurants, bars, bakeries and stores.
A true staycation would not be complete without a place to stay, and The Orlando offers a sophisticated resting place within a boutique hotel. The family-owned hotel has been on West Third Street for just under 30 years. Over the last year, more than six million dollars were invested in a makeover of the exterior, fitness center and guest rooms, as well as an upcoming expansion of the sun deck surrounding the outdoor saltwater pool.
The Churchill, operated by the same team behind The Hudson, opened in the fall of 2011, guaranteeing a popular spot for residents to eat, drink and merry any time of the day. The restaurant just hired a new General Manager, Patrick Cabido, and head mixologist, Mia Sarazen, to revamp the food and cocktail menus. The restaurant is open late with a daily happy hour from 3:00 pm-7:00 pm and Sunday and Monday nights from 10:00 pm-12:00 am.
The Churchill is just one of many restaurants and eateries along West Third Street that offer a variety of food for any taste. Joan McNamara’s Joan’s on Third is credited as being the honey that attracted so many bees to West Third Street in the first place. The crowded cafe is a mainstay for local regulars, celebrities and visitors. In addition to Joan’s, Toast Bakery Cafe is a popular spot for breakfast, The Little Next Door is perfect for breakfast, and AOC Wine Bar and Restaurant and The Little Door deserve their spots in everyone’s dinner rotation. Sushi Roku, Simplethings Sandwich and Pie Shop and D’Amore’s Pizza–related to but not the same ownership as D’Amore’s in The Original Farmers Market–rank high on the list as well. Don’t forget L.A.’s Magnolia Bakery, the New York transplant with one of the best banana puddings in the business.
There’s only so much time one can spend eating. Explore the small businesses up and down West Third Street, and you’ll find a number of unique stores selling almost anything you could ever want. Trina Turk, Douglas Fir, Alexis Bittar and Lotta Stensson are well known designers with shops along the street. Show Pony, BedHead Pajamas and Polkadots & Moonbeams also stand as unique and beautiful shopping options for garments and accessories. Stop into Le Labo to purchase specially designed fragrances, candles and even detergents that can be found nowhere else. Pyrrha sells pressed 19th century wax seals strung on chains or attached to bands to create one-of-a-kind necklaces and rings, respectively. Each piece has significant meaning that make them classic and memorable tokens for the recipient. DL Rhein, owned by artist and designer Deborah Rhein, is a must-see for its collection of furniture, tools and accessories for men and women, as well as a collection of home goods that will add distinct character to any room.
Everyone relaxes in his own way. A beauty treatment may be on the list. Stript Wax Bar, Taboo Hair Salon and Benefit Cosmetics Boutique are ready to beautify anyone who walks through the door. If you enjoy planning your next trip, pick up a few travel necessities at Flight 001 or sit down and read gorgeous and intriguing manuals and novels inside The Traveler’s Bookcase. The latter is the one of the very few remaining travel bookstores in the country earning it, and owner Natalie Compagno, a reputable place in the travel industry. Physical activity is always a great balance to a trip full of food and drink. West Third Street’s proximity to Pan Pacific Park near The Grove is perfect for an afternoon walk. It’s the hike up Runyon Canyon in Hollywood, though, that presents a challenge with views of the city, and occasionally the Hollywood sign, as reward for hard work. If your idea of relaxation is releasing all plans to someone else, dial The Grove’s Concierge service. The friendly and accommodating staff can establish a full day of activities and services for anyone, not just patrons of the shopping area. Allow yourself to feel famous for a day, and let someone else do all of the hard work for you.
West Third Street is not only a suitable getaway option for locals and visitors, but it is also a welcoming location for small business owners. The West Third Street Business Association (WTBA) is a non-profit organization supporting the community, acting as a voice for businesses within the city and providing activities and events for locals. On December 6th, the WTBA will host its annual holiday party with music, shopping, discounted specials, food and drink. For more information regarding this year’s holiday party and future events or to learn more about the historic area, visit the WTBA website and sign up for the newsletter.