Hotel Indigo DTLA
The new Hotel Indigo in downtown L.A. created its design theme based on the five blocks surrounding the property. Throughout the gorgeous venue, you'll see stunning imagery that takes you back to circa 1920s Los Angeles, when the jewelry district, speakeasies and the Golden Age of Hollywood were in full swing. It's a must-visit for locals to grab a bite or a few cocktails before heading out to explore DTLA! http://hotelindigola.com/
Underground L.A: Cartwheel Art Tours
Beneath the hustle and bustle of the city, there are secret underground tunnels and speakeasies! Some of these locations are still accessible, but they are closed to the public, so the only way to see this piece of Los Angeles history is to book a Cartwheel Art Tour. In addition to going underground, they also offer tours about art, architecture, history and various L.A. neighborhood experiences. Join a tour or have one customized for your group: http://www.cartwheelart.com/
A hidden gem in Santa Monica, jAdis is described as a "cabinet of curiosities." The prop shop/museum has a collection unlike anything else. Many items are vintage, early scientific electrical pieces of equipment, and then there are props for film and television, so there is definitely a balance between real and not-so-real. jAdis is open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., or by appointment.
Tinfoil Secret Deli
Hidden behind a Highland Park liquor store, you can find Tinfoil, a deli tucked away in the back of the store. Just mention the secret phrase to the clerk, "Do you sell birthday candles?" and you might just be granted access to one of the most delicious secrets in town. Everything is made from scratch, even the bread is baked daily. Some menu options include the "Cuban Reuben," the "R.I.P. ELVIS" and even a vegan sandwich, the "Jackfruit Daniels." There are also beer pairings suggested for each sandwich, and you can find those beers in the liquor store in front. http://www.tinfoillg.com/
Located in Pasadena, Bar 1886 is known for its handcrafted classic cocktails. They pride themselves on serving drinks like they were prepared during the pre-prohibition era, down to the fresh juices and hand-cut chunks of ice. The bartenders are very knowledgeable, so you might even learn the history of your libation. Bar 1886 offers over 600 off-menu cocktails and if you don't see something you want on the menu, you can request a "dealer's choice" in which your bartender will create a drink just for you based on your personal tastes. The low-key vibe at Bar 1886 makes it a great place to get away and chill. http://theraymond.com/
Sofar Sounds L.A.
It's no secret that Angelenos love music, and Sofar Sounds curates secret, intimate concerts at unique venues across L.A. (think houses, apartments, rooftops, galleries, etc.). Here's how it works: Go to the Sofar website, pick a date and city, then sign up for tickets, which cost $15. The night before the event, you'll get the address to the venue and when you arrive, you'll find out the musical lineup for the night. It's a fun experience for any music lover. https://www.sofarsounds.com/la
Mosaic Tile House is a work of art created by Cheri Pann and Gonazlo Duran over the course of two decades, by taking a small 1940s house and transforming it into a beautiful piece of art. Pann makes and decorates the tiles and then Duran embellishes the surfaces. It has become a neighborhood affair as people will bring broken pottery to contribute to the project. Not only is the house a must-see, but you'll also delight in the sweet interactions between these two longtime lovebirds. http://www.cheripann.com/The_Mosaic_Tile_House.html
Hidden Japanese Village
Another secret of Los Angeles is Peter Lai's Secret Japanese Cultural Village. For over 33 years, the flamboyant fashion designer collected items to build this village. After retiring last year, the Chinese-born Lai turned his 5,000-square foot loft in the Arts District into his dream come true: a replica of a Japanese Village. You'll not only marvel at the charming set ups, a mix of antiques and Japanese kitsch, but you can't help but fall in love with the sweet artist who offers tours of his magical world and might just let you try on some of his very cool Japanese and Chinese costumes. For the entertainment industry looking for authentic props or location scouting, or anyone who's going to an event with an Asian theme, Peter Lai's Japanese Village is one-stop shopping. http://peterlai.design/#
Birds and Bees Bar
Birds and Bees is a hidden bar in DTLA, and we do mean hidden! You have to work to find this one, but it's well worth the search. In the back corner of a parking lot, a bouncer will direct you down a narrow stairway and along a corridor where you will find a mid-century modern dream come true. With low lighting and a low-key atmosphere, this cool bar is set up to feel like you've walked into a 1950s cocktail party. http://birdsandbeesla.com/
Sunset & Vinyl
Sunset & Vinyl is Hollywood's newest hidden '70s-themed cocktail bar. You can only get into this lounge through 800 Degrees pizza restaurant on Vine Street. There are no signs leading to this bar. You just have to know where to go, and we're here to tell you. Once you enter, work your way toward the back and head to the bathrooms, make a left and continue up the stairs and you're in. Make sure you arrive early, though, as this lounge only holds 35 people. The cocktails offered are designed to go along with some favorite albums from the '70s. You can check out Sunset & Vinyl every day from 6 p.m.-2 a.m. If you have any vinyl records at home, they encourage you to bring them to play on their record player.
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