Dec 30, 2021
9 min read

A Guide to Quintessential LA: Westside

Covering all of Los Angeles in one guide is, we’d argue, a disservice to the city. This is because LA is the equivalent of several small cities – who met, dated for a while, broke up, and are now as cordial as possible when they run into each other at a yoga class. This is why we’ve respectfully split our guides to LA up, so you’re not stuck in traffic on the 405 for hours.
From startups to tech giants, and emerging designers to established artists, the landscape of LA has certainly diversified in the last decade – though the backdrop of Hollywood and its entertainment industry will always reign supreme. Beyond that, what this part of the city is consistently known for is the excellent food, art, and fashion.
Read on for our take on the Westside of Los Angeles. 
Los Angeles

Where to stay in Los Angeles, Westside

Palihouse, Santa Monica

With locations in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, Palihouse defines itself as “not a boutique hotel and not a luxury residence.” In other words, it’s the best of both. The Santa Monica location is three blocks from the beach, with gorgeous courtyards – and we particularly love the bar here.

Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach House, Malibu 

Set on a private ranch in Malibu wine country 
 with an exclusive beach club, Calamigos Ranch encompasses all of the best that Malibu has to offer. It’s just a short drive from the city, but when you’re there you feel worlds away. 

Where to eat in Los Angeles, Westside

Gjelina, Venice

Though this spot is very much not under the radar, you should still go, because it’s great. Order the pizza, the mushroom toast, the squash blossom, and burrata… or anything else on the menu.

Gjusta, Venice

Brought to you by the people behind the above Venice mainstay, plus their takeaway shop 
, and Japanese fusion spot, 
, Gjusta is one of our favorites. Everything is great aside from the seating, which is usually taken at all hours of the day. Go anyway, and buy some peach jam to take home as a souvenir. 

Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica

Jeremy Fox is a legend in the vegetable world, and Rustic Canyon is his flagship. This is everything you want in healthy, inventive Californian cooking. The menu changes daily based on what is in season, and their wine list is as good as the food.

Loqui, Culver City

There will be a line at this taco place, and there will also be a lot of people taking photos of their food. If you can move past that situation (figuratively and literally), then make sure to order the homemade flour tortillas. And as Loqui is located in The Platform, you can peruse the stores afterward. 

Father’s Office, Culver City

You’ve might have been to the Montana location, but the Culver City spot is bigger and better and hands down our favorite burger in LA. 

Bay Cities, Santa Monica

This place does a great Italian sandwich. Pick one up to take with you for a day at the beach. 

Where to drink in Los Angeles, Westside

The Lincoln, Venice

The Lincoln does a lot for us. It’s large enough for bigger groups. It’s loud enough for a good atmosphere, but not so loud that you can’t have an intimate conversation. The music is good, as are the drinks. It’s arguably the coolest bar in Venice. 

Neighbor, Venice

Neighbor is technically a restaurant, but we have never come here for dinner. It’s the perfect spot to meet someone at 4 pm on a Wednesday, when you want to chat over a glass of wine and maybe a small plate. The space looks like it was decorated by 
 magazine; ask for a seat on the patio if the sun’s out. 

Hinano Cafe, Venice

This old-school Venice bar is not the place for craft drinks or cocktails, but great for a no-fuss beer after surfing, plus a burger if you’re hungry. 

Where to get coffee in Los Angeles, Westside

Bar Nine, Culver City

Bar Nine is a beautifully minimal, industrial-looking cafe in Culver City. They roast their own beans, pride themselves on sustainability, and offer all kinds of kinds of milk. Our order is a latte with hazelnut milk, and a pastry to go. 

Primo Passo Coffee Co, Santa Monica

Right on Montana Avenue, Primo is one of our favorite coffee shops. It isn’t necessarily the place that you would go to work all day, but their coffee is great and you can buy a bag of beans to take home.

Rose Cafe, Venice

This Venice staple is always a good choice for an afternoon snack. Though you could go for a full-blown lunch and be just as happy, we prefer to sit in the cafe area with our laptop, a coffee, and one of their homemade pastries. 

Moon Juice, Venice

Moon Juice is our favorite juicery in LA. With locations in both Venice and Silverlake, we can’t get enough of their mylks. 

Best bars for a date

Old Lightning, Marina Del Rey

Scopa Italian Roots
 you’ll find Old Lightning. There is only room for about 30 people at any given time, which helps to keep this place hush-hush. The rum and tequila cocktails are their specialty.

Blind Barber, Culver City

You’ve probably heard of Blind Barber, however, the team behind the “bars behind the barber shops” consistently makes you feel like you’ve stumbled upon something no one else knows about. Even when they do. 

Point Dume, Malibu

While Point Dume might be one of the more popular places, the staircase down to the cove is not. If you’re looking for a secret romantic spot, head down the staircase (it’s a bit of a trek, but totally worth it) around sunset with a bottle of Californian Pinot, and enjoy.

Where to shop in Los Angeles, Westside

General Store, Venice

This beautiful boutique in Venice carries a handful of our favorite designers and perfect CA-inspired home goods. Pick up cedar-roped incense, the perfect ceramic bowl or a beautiful woven basket to hold all the blankets you’ll need when you are sadly no longer in California. 

The Platform, Culver City

The Platform is an outdoor mall of sorts in Culver City. They have rotating pop-up shops that keep things interesting (previously hosting LA art gallery 
Tappan Collective
) and mainstays like Reformation and Frida Salvador. 

Christy Dawn, Venice

LA-based designer Christy Dawn opened her first brick-and-mortar store here a few years ago. If you’re looking for the perfect boho dress to explore Topanga Canyon or Malibu in, you’ll find it here. 

MedMen, Venice

Marijuana is legal to buy in California, and MedMen is the place to get it in upscale surroundings. They curate their selection carefully and though things are very
focused on branding, they do stand by the products they sell.

Flowerboy Project, Venice

Part cafe, part flower shop, and part boutique, there are very few things you can’t get here. A dream store, really.
Flowerboy Project

Where to buy gifts 

Burro, Venice

Burro stocks good quality and well-priced homeware, jewelry, and books – for a stylish piece of LA to take back home.

Tortoise General Store, Venice

This place specializes in Japanese homeware and we wish we could buy everything – but usually settle for something that fits in our carry-on.

Where to get a hit of culture

Eames Foundation, Pacific Palisades 

Head to the Pacific Palisades to check out this landmark of mid-20th-century modern architecture. The Eames House, or Case Study House #8 as it’s officially called, is some of his best work. Make sure to make a reservation beforehand.  

The Getty Villa, Pacific Palisades 

If we are being honest, we go here mostly for the villa itself, rather than the collection – for that, we prefer the 
Getty Center
 in Brentwood. The villa is basically what happens when a very rich oil tycoon loves art so much that he builds a “gallery” modeled after the most luxurious house known to the Roman world. It’s incredible.

Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach

Yes, Long Beach is on the cusp of Westside Los Angeles, but we promise this will be worth it. The Museum of Latin American Art was built in 1996 and is the only museum of its kind in the US (there should definitely be more, but until that happens, let’s celebrate this one wholeheartedly).

Where to workout in Los Angeles, Westside

Go hiking 

Los Liones
 trail will take you all the way to Topanga for a beautiful hike. If you’re looking for a short morning route, take 
Temescal Canyon
 trail’s basic loop which is about 2.6 miles. Or, if you’d rather have a flat route, take a walk or a jog along 
Palisades Park
 in Santa Monica.

Love Yoga, Venice

This yoga studio offers flow, prenatal, restorative and more. The bright and airy studio is unmistakably Californian, with bright blue floors and lots of hanging plants hanging. Head to 
Superba Food & Bread
 for after-class coffee and snacks.

Sweat Pilates, Mar Vista

These classes seriously kick your ass. We recommend starting with a “Classic” class, to get to know the basics, then working your way up. Most of the classes are on a reformer and some involve cardio, too. Good luck.
Where to Workout

The best remote office in Los Angeles, Westside

Little Beach House, Malibu

We realize this is a very exclusive “office”, but if you are a Soho House member, or can get a day pass, this is absolutely the best place to work from. With a prime location right on the beach and an open-air interior, you won’t even feel like you’re missing out on a holiday. Little Beach House has valet parking, a buffet at lunch, and in the evening, the music switches up the vibe – stay all day. 

Groundwork Coffee, Venice 

If you can’t get into Little Beach House, head over to Groundwork Coffee. It’s an LA staple with multiple locations across the city, and the Venice location is great. With long communal tables, healthy food for lunch, and power outlets, it’s an ideal remote office. 

Superba Food & Bread, Venice

Superba is the kind of place you show up at 9 am to get some work done and find yourself still there by 4 pm. You can use your laptop for most of the day in certain areas, and a sunshine-filled patio is a nice place for a meeting. 

What else to do in Los Angeles, Westside

Will Rogers State Beach, Pacific Palisades

This is a great, clean beach when you don’t have time to drive all the way into Malibu, but want to get away from the Venice crowds. Keep in mind that parking is tricky, but there are a few paid options to try.

Mercado Sagrado, Topanga Canyon

Mercado Sagrado is the craft fair to win all craft fairs. It usually takes place every November, so get tickets if the timing of your trip coincides. There’s a beautiful curation of design and art, plus music and food. The focus is on community, ethical commerce, and well-being – it’s a feel-good festival.

Santa Monica Farmers Market, Santa Monica

There are tons of farmers' markets to choose from in LA, this is one of our favorites. It has all the organic produce you could dream of and great food stands, too.
Santa Monica Farmers Market
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