Reasons to visit Los Angeles in 2017

Author: Besha Rodell

Breakfast: Destroyer

Chef Jordan Kahn's minimalist and modernist café is producing some of America's most Instagrammable food. Located in the Hayden Tract area of Culver City, which is full of fantastical, modern architectural oddities, Destroyer's highly structural style fits right in. Spiced bread might come with a layer of crème fraîche topped with columns of blackcurrant and elderflower, and something as simple-sounding as an egg with crisp potatoes will arrive as a wild tangle of flowers and greens and crisp potato slivers with a runny egg buried somewhere in the depths of the wide bowl.

3578 Hayden Ave, Culver City

Destroyer's rhubarb and flowers.

Power lunch: 71Above

Taking up the entire - you guessed it - 71st floor of the US Bank Tower downtown, 71Above is that rare grown-up restaurant in a city that can often feel casual to a fault. Chef Vartan Abgaryan serves a two-course lunch for $US35 with choices that include ricotta gnocchi with sweet and sour carrot and chorizo, or pork loin with parsnip, pear and black walnut. No offence to Abgaryan's elegant food, but the real star of the show here is the stunning view of Los Angeles that lies beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows, visible from every table.

633 West 5th St, Los Angeles

Dinner: Felix

After stints at Rustic Canyon, Bucato and a lot of time in Italy, LA's master of pasta Evan Funke is back, this time on Venice's main drag. At Felix, Funke has brought the pasta-making literally to the forefront, in a temperature-controlled room in the middle of the restaurant. Pizze, antipasti and an incredible focaccia are part of the experience, but you come here for the handmade pasta. There are plenty of classics, but also some uncommon specialties such as the busiati di farina, made with a rare dark wheat flour from Castelvetrano in Sicily.

1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice

Drinks: Black Rabbit Rose 

Brothers Jonnie and Mark Houston are known for their intensely theatrical nightlife venues, and this latest venture is no exception. Located in the heart of Hollywood, Black Rabbit Rose is both a bar and a theatre, where guests catch magic shows and burlesque performances while sipping drinks such as the Zig Zag Lady, a mixture of house-blended rum, blackcurrant juice, lime and ginger, with a Sichuan peppercorn rum. Most exciting, perhaps, is the chance to order food from the adjacent Crying Tiger takeout window, run by the folks behind one of LA's best-loved Thai restaurants, Luv2Eat Thai. Magic, booze, Baroque furnishings and face-melting Thai food? Yes, please.

1719 North Hudson Ave, Los Angeles

Hotel Covell bathroom

Sleep: Hotel Covell

Located above the excellent Bar Covell in Los Feliz, Hotel Covell is just about as boutiquey as boutique gets. Designed by Sally Breer of Co-Mingle Design Group, each of the five suites (named Chapter 1 to 5) are meant to represent stages in the life of a fictional proprietor named George Covell. So, Chapter 2 is designed to look like a flat in 1950s New York City, while Chapter 3 evokes a Parisian atelier - a hotel as an immersive and luxurious work of fiction.

4626 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles

Coming soon: NoMad

This is the year of the great invasion of Los Angeles as chefs and hoteliers from New York, San Francisco and beyond vie to set up shop in the entertainment capital of the world. The most exciting of the invaders might be the Sydell Group - behind London hotel The Ned - which is opening a version of New York's beloved NoMad Hotel and restaurant in downtown LA later this year.

649 South Olive St, Los Angeles







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