Vista LA: Where to experience authentic Spain in SoCal

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- If you've ever wanted to see, taste and experience the old world - it's closer than ever! From food to entertainment, we're exploring Spanish traditions right here in Southern California. Then we're traveling to Madrid for a taste of authentic Spain with the stars.


Early architecture from Spain is alive and well in downtown L.A. at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel. It was originally the United Artists Theatre, built by Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith. Designer C. Howard Crane brought in the opulence of Hollywood when it was built in 1927. Pickford and Fairbanks honeymooned in Spain and were inspired by the Segovia Cathedral, where we actually got to visit to see the similarities in person.

Subsuelo fuses Flamenco with hip-hop, electronic, Cumbia and other tropical sounds in a style that's uniquely East L.A. This music collective performs throughout Los Angeles, with special residencies at Caña Rum Bar in downtown L.A. every Sunday in the summer, as well as Eastside Luv Bar in Boyle Heights once a month, throughout the year.

For authentic Spanish delights such as Manchego cheese, savory meats and robust wines, this small business has become one of the biggest importers and distributors of Spanish staples in the L.A. area. They serve the most amazing authentic paella. But they only serve it on Saturdays, and you have to call to pre-order by 9 a.m.


The last Gothic Cathedral built in Spain and the inspiration for the historic Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Downtown L.A., the Segovia Cathedral is located in the Castile-Leon region of Spain and is about an hour drive from Madrid. Stared In 1525, the ornate exterior is a classic example of late Gothic architecture called Flamboyant. The cathedral's elegant interior contains various items from the old Cathedral, like its Gothic cloister and choir stalls.

The Platino Awards, known in Spanish as los Premios Platino del Cine Iberoamericano, are Ibero-America's annual film awards. The ceremony takes place annually in July and awards are given to films produced during the previous year.

Known for its hospitality since 1912, the iconic Palace hotel is conveniently located in the center of Madrid. It's in the "Triangle of Art", within walking distance of the city's most prestigious museums including Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia Museums. Because of its location in the Las Letras neighborhood, it is also the place to enjoy gastronomy (like we did with Edward James Olmos and their amazing paella), leisure and shopping in the heart of Madrid.

Actress Jackie Cruz (from "Orange is the New Black") joined us at Ke Flamenka for a lesson in flamenco dancing from instructor Amalia Hornero. Ke Flamenka is a small shop and flamenco studio located in the heart of Madrid, where they specialize in flamenco dancing costumes, rehearsal skirts and flamenco dresses, and exclusive designs of handmade clothing.

Platea is a unique gastronomic leisure space, a magical place, where the excitement never stops. It's a place to relax, enjoy yourself and meet friends in a setting that marries both entertainment and gastronomy in all their splendor. It's also where we met up with actress and TV Producer Patricia Maya ("Real Rob" on Netflix) and actress Monica Huarte ("40 y 20").

You can find the best city views of Madrid from the roof of the emblematic Circulo de Bellas Artes. We enjoyed authentic Sangria and learned a lot about the origins of this punch-like beverage along with Bolivian actor Reynaldo Pacheco ("Our Brand is Crisis").

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