Hooray for Hollywood
The best-known song about Hollywood was introduced in the Busby Berkeley-directed 1937 film Hollywood Hotel. Since then it has become the unofficial anthem for the movie capital of the world, and is even played at the annual Academy Awards ceremonies.
A business and residential district in the city of Los Angeles, the core of Hollywood for a tourist is its three fascinating boulevards: Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Boulevard, and Melrose Avenue. All three are worth seeing. Hollywood Blvd. is known for its entertainment history; Sunset Blvd. for its clubs and nightlife; and Melrose Ave. for its shopping, nightlife, and eclecticism.
Hollywood was founded as an independent city in 1903 and voted to merge with the City of Los Angeles in 1910. That same year also saw the birth of the Southern California motion picture industry when D. W. Griffith relocated his Biograph Company, sparking a westward migration of East Coast filmmakers. As movies exploded in popularity in the 1910s and '20s, the name Hollywood became synonymous with "the Industry." In the decades following World War II, Hollywood's glitz and glamour began to fade as most of the leading film studios moved to other places.
The House Un-American Activities Committee combed through Hollywood in the late 1940s and 1950s and built its “Hollywood Blacklist,” which consisted of screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians and other entertainment employees who were suspected of being affiliated with the Communist Party. HUAC called on hundreds of “suspected” communists with in the industry to testify, many rolled over and named names, but some, like the “Hollywood Ten” refused to incriminate themselves in a crime they did not commit and were arrested. By 1952, the Hollywood Blacklist rejected over 300 people from working in the industry. It was not until the late 1950’s that the blacklist stopped terrorizing Hollywood.
In the 1980s, Hollywood was considered one of the worst neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The 1990s, however, saw the beginning of community redevelopment efforts, and today Hollywood is once again one of the region's most vibrant areas.
Paramount is the only major studio still headquartered in Hollywood, but the area nonetheless remains an important center of the entertainment industry with its myriad production and broadcast facilities. Other affiliated businesses include Sunset-Gower Studios, Hollywood Center Studios, Raleigh Studios, Jim Henson Studios (a subsidiary of Walt Disney Pictures), and KTLA Studios (the local CW affiliate, housed on the original Warner Bros. lot). The other major studios are located to the north in the Universal City-Burbank corridor (Universal, Warner Bros., Disney, ABC, NBC, and DreamWorks). Most of the rest are to the west: Century City (Fox, MGM), the Fairfax District (CBS), and Culver City (Sony).
If you want to see where films are shot, take a tour at one of the major studios: Universal  "bundles" a full amusement park with its tour, while several other studios offer smaller, but interesting tours. In reality, most films are shot in warehouses and sound stages in Burbank and elsewhere.
If you want to see celebrities, pack your patience or be prepared to play the role of boulevardier. The chances of bumping into a celebrity are very low (mainly because most of the celebrities who live in Hollywood usually do not go out in public) unless you're willing to do a lot of "hanging out" at expensive restaurants in Beverly Hills, on Sunset Plaza, or in Malibu.
You can easily see where they live by taking a tour or buying a star map for about $10. (Do you remember Tatum O'Neal in The Bad News Bears?) You might also try the Book Soup bookstore or the Viper Room bar, both on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, or a number of other locations in the area where the stars live their day-to-day lives.
A recommended place to see stars in Hollywood is Griffith Park Observatory, which appeared in Rebel Without a Cause and many other movies.
The Greyhound station that used to be at 1715 N Cahuenga Blvd. was closed in July, 2011. The best bus option now is to take one to the station in North Hollywood, then catch the Metro Red line (see "By rail" below).
Hollywood is close enough to the Westside to make car trips there relatively easy. If you are beginning your trip in Downtown Los Angeles--the proverbial center of Southern California's intricate freeway network--you can head north on US Highway 101 and exit on Hollywood Blvd. or Gower St. If traffic is a problem, and it will be during 1 -6PM, consider an alternate route by noting that many Los-Angeles Area freeways form concentric rings around the Downtown center. You might also consider surface streets: Santa Monica Boulevard is a major throughfare that links Hollywood with Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.
Hollywood's location is central to most other popular attractions. The Red Line subway stations at Hollywood/Vine and Hollywood/Highland can connect you to cross-town areas accessible by rail, and the stretch of Hollywood Blvd between Highland and Vine serves as a major terminal for the bus system.
Visitors from Orange County, home of Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, can get to Hollywood by taking Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner or Metrolink's Orange County Line to Los Angeles Union Station and then transferring to the Red Line.
Hollywood is served by Los Angeles International Airport (LAX ) or the slightly closer Bob Hope Airport (BUR ) in Burbank. Shuttle Van from LAX is $15 per person (one way, ask to be directed to the attendant at the Airport and give plently of notice to be picked up).
The main east-west streets of central Hollywood are Hollywood Blvd. and Sunset Blvd., intersected by the main north-south streets of La Brea Ave., Highland Ave., Cahuenga Blvd., Vine St., and Gower St. Any location within a few blocks of these intersections is likely to be a satisfying choice. Night-time pedestrian activity in this area is focused on Hollywood Blvd.
The main areas of Hollywood are walkable, and you could walk all the way from Hollywood Blvd. to Melrose, but most people would probably drive.
If you are lucky, you could see tapings of several TV shows, in fact most of America's TV shows are taped in the Hollywood area. However, it must be either a game show or a comedy show. If you want to see dramas and reality TV programming (unless it is about talent like American Idol), then you are out of luck.
Travelers planning to visit multiple attractions may benefit from Hollywood CityPASS, which grants admission to 4 Hollywood attractions within 9 days of first use for a much reduced rate. The included attractions are: Red Line Behind-the-Scences Tour; Starline Tours of Hollywood; Madame Tussauds Hollywood and an Option Ticket with choice of either a 30-minute Kodak THEATRE guided tour or admission to The Hollywood Museum.
Griffith Park Observatory, 2800 East Observatory Road, ☎ +1 213-473-0800, . Tu-F Noon-10PM, Sa-Su 10AM-10PM, closed Mondays. Reopened in 2006 after a long remodel; reservations are no longer necessary. Popular tourist attraction that features an extensive array of space- and science-related displays. The outside offers a beautiful panorama of the city of Los Angeles, especially stunning at night.
Grauman's Chinese Theater, 6925 Hollywood Boulevard, ☎ +1 323 464-8111, . The most famous movie theatre in the world, Grauman's Chinese Theatre opened in 1927 and is home to the cement footprints, handprints, and (in some cases) otherprints of many of history's most famous movie stars. The theatre is also a former home of the Oscars, and today hosts many movie premieres. The forecourt that showcases the star's prints is free to all visitors. Movies are shown for $10, and half-hour walking tours are available for $5. The theatre completed an extensive renovation in September 2013 adding an IMAX screen. The 932 seat auditorium is be the largest capacity IMAX theatre in the world.
Madame Tussauds Hollywood (Madame Tussauds Hollywood), 6933 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028, United States, ☎ 323-798-1670, . Meet Hollywood’s biggest stars at Madame Tussauds Hollywood, located next to the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre and the Walk of Fame. The famed attraction is Los Angeles' premiere Hollywood destination offering guests the world's only opportunity to interact with over 125 incredibly lifelike iconic figures from the celebrity worlds of film, TV, music, sports and politics.
El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California (across the street from the Hollywood and Highland Shopping Center), ☎ +1 818-845-3110, . Originally opened in 1926 by the same team that created the Egyptian Theatre and the Chinese Theatre. A much needed restoration was completed in 1991. The theatre is home to first run Disney films and Disney premiers. The theatre is complete with a fully restored Wurlitzer pipe organ.$10-$20. (34.101111°N,118.339722°W)
Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, 1650-1654 McCadden Pl & 6706-6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, Los Angeles, California (on Hollywood Blvd. Between N. McCadden Pl and N. Las Palmas Ave.), . Opened in 1922 by Sid Grauman in an Egyptian Revival theme. It was restored and reopened in 1998. Tours are offered at least one Saturday per month (see the calendar on the American Cinematheque website.) The theatre also shows a myriad of classic films on a regular basis.$10-$20. (34.101111°N,118.339722°W)
The Hollywood Heritage Museum in the Lasky-DeMille Barn, 2100 North Highland Avenue (across from the Hollywood Bowl), ☎ (323) 874-2276 (museum@HollywoodHeritage.org). Noon-4PM Wednesday-Sunday (often closed during Hollywood Bowl events). A quaint museum showcasing the early days of Hollywood as a budding movie town. Housed in a barn that was relocated from Selma and Vine. The barn was used to film some of the first silent movies produced in Hollywood.$7 Adults, Children (under 12) Free.
The Hillcrest Stairs (DeKeysor House and Freeman House), Between 1907 & 1915 N Highland Ave. A public staircase featuring two hidden Hollywood architectural marvels. Between the two houses (or former houses now home to businesses) at 1907 and 1915 N Highland you'll find a cement path next to a tall pine tree. While you'll feel like you're trespassing you are on a public sidewalk. You'll walk a short but challenging climb past the Samuel Freeman House built in 1924 by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and the DeKeysor House built by Rudolf Schindler in 1935.
The Hollywood Sign. Hollywood's most recognizable landmark is easy to spot high up on Mount Lee in Griffith Park. The best views of the sign in downtown Hollywood are from the walkways near the back portion of the Hollywood and Highland Shopping Center. You can hike as close to the sign as you are allowed to by driving to the end of N. Beachwood Dr. Park alongside the road (chances are other people will be parked there as well) climb up the dirt paths until you see signs warning you not to go any further. You can get some amazing close photos of the sign from here. Be warned: They're not kidding about trespassing near the sign. There are cameras everywhere. If you go someplace you're not supposed to be a police helicopter will swoop down and advise you to turn back. The views of the sign from Lake Hollywood Park (sometimes called simply 'Nice City Park') at 3100 Canyon Lake Dr are also very nice. Another unconventional yet awesome viewing spot is from the top of the Home Depot parking structure at 5600 Sunset Blvd.
Runyon Canyon Park, 2000 N Fuller Ave. A large park with trails around a canyon. The park has a major off-leash dog area and a grassy yoga area. If you can make it to the top of the canyon you will find panoramic views of the city. On a clear day you can see snow in the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The park gets very busy on weekends. The best time to visit is early in the morning. This is also a great place to spot celebrities doing their morning workout.
Hollywood Wax Museum, 6767 Hollywood Blvd (located along the Hollywood Walk of Fame), ☎ +1 323-462-8860, . 10AM-midnight. The Hollywood Wax Museum is the longest running wax museum in the United States, with more than 45 years of continuous operation by the same owners since 1965 and featuring over 180 figures of celebrities.Adults (13+) $15.95, children $8.95, 5 and under free. Discounts online.
Los Angeles Fire Department Hollywood Museum 27, 1355 N. Caheunga Boulevard, ☎ +1 323 464-2727, . Sa: 10AM-4PM. This museum is in the old Los Angeles City Fire Station 27, opened in 1930. It is fully restored to how it appeared in 1930 and contains historic fire apparatus.
Cinerama Dome, 6360 West Sunset Boulevard, ☎ (323) 464-1478, . A unique movie theatre built in a geodesic dome. The theatre is popular for movie premiers because of it's impressive acoustics and ultra-wide screen. The rear courtyard entrance is a great place to to spot celebrities attending a film.$15-$20.
Jim Henson Studios (formerly Chaplin Studios), 1416 N. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90028. Sadly tours of this iconic Hollywood landmark are not currently available. Opened in 1919 by Charlie Chaplin. He filmed many of his classics there including The Kid (1921), The Gold Rush (1925), City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936), The Great Dictator (1940), Monsieur Verdoux (1947), and Limelight (1952). Currently it's home to the Jim Henson company. A large statue of Kermit the Frog dressed as Chaplin's iconic Tramp is atop the building's roof. Definitely worth a walk by.
Jane's House, 6541 Hollywood Boulevard (a few blocks East of the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd.). Queen Anne/Dutch Colonial Revival home that takes you back to Hollywood at the turn of the century. Saved from demolition this historic building has been home to different restaurants and trendy nightclubs. Currently vacant the home is a triumphant feature of the aptly named Janes Square Landmark Shopping Center.
The Las Palmas Hotel (aka the Pretty Woman hotel), 1738 North Las Palmas Avenue Hollywood, CA 90028 (1/2 block off Hollywood Blvd. toward Yucca St.), ☎ (323) 464-9236, . The hotel featured in the final sequence of the film Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.
Ripley's Believe it or Not, 6780 Hollywood Blvd, ☎ +1 323-466-6335, . Musuem that focuses on the odd, the unusual and the unbelievable. Features interactive illusions and a gallery.
Walk of Fame, along Hollywood Boulevard and also Vine Street, . The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of a series of stars embedded in the sidewalk to commemorate famous movie, radio, theatre, and TV personalities. Since 1960, over two thousand stars have been immortalized; the schedule for upcoming star ceremonies is listed on the Walk of Fame's website.
Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90028 (1/2 block East of the intersection of Hollywood and Vine), ☎ 323-468-1770, . Opened in 1930 the theatre has been host to the Oscars and the Emmys. It is now home to top notch live theatre.
Ennis-Brown House, 2607 Glendower Avenue. An amazing and beautiful textile-block house built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Currently under renovation by a private citizen, but visible from the street.
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens (LA Zoo), 5333 Zoo Drive, ☎ (323) 644-4200, . 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. The L.A. Zoo has been welcoming visitors since 1966. As much a botanical garden as a zoo, the grounds are thick with mature shade trees from around the world that help cool its visitors and new habitats. The zoo's latest attraction is the Rainforest of the Americas, a new habitat which opens in the spring of 2014 and features more than 20 different animal species and plants which exemplifies the extraordinary diversity of life on our planet. Other recently added attractions include the LAIR (Living Amphibian, Invertebrates, and Reptiles) which opened in 2012. Elephants of Asia, which tracks the history and culture of the animal through Cambodia, China, India, and Thailand debuted in 2010 and Campo Gorilla Reserve, a habitat for seven African lowland gorillas that closely resembles their native West African homeland. There's also the Sea Lion Cliffs habitat, where visitors can view the saltwater habitat from an underwater glass viewing area; the Jane Goodall-approved Chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains habitat, where visitors can see plenty of primate activity; and the Red Ape Rainforest, a natural orangutan habitat. Kids will also enjoy the Winnick Family Children's Zoo, which contains a petting area, exhibition animal-care center, as well as taking a spin on the Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel, or any of the zoo’s other kid-hip exhibits and activities.$14-$19.
Dolby Theatre, 6801 Hollywood Bld, ☎ +1 323 308-6300, . Located at the Hollywood & Highland Center (see "Buy" below). Hosts a wide range of live performances, including the annual Academy Awards.
Hollywood Bowl, 2301 North Highland Avenue, ☎ +1 323 426-2829, . America's most famous outdoor theatre hosts the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra as well as numerous other concert events. Traffic and parking can be a nightmare, so the $5 round-trip public shuttles  are highly recommended.
Cemetery Movie Screenings, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd, (email@example.com), . Saturdays at 7PM, May-September. The Cinespia film society screens creepy older movies (recent showings include The Shining, Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Invasion of the Body Snatchers) every Saturday during the summer in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, with most proceeds going toward cemetery restoration. Crowds can be huge, so arrive prior to gates opening if you want a good vantage point. Most people bring a picnic dinner, blanket and jacket, and a DJ plays music prior to the showing to create a fun outdoor atmosphere. Parking is free within the cemetery, but a $10 donation is required for each person.
Mulholland Drive, Mulholland Drive (Hollywood Hills). If you have a car, it is worth driving up to Mulholland Drive - the home of the stars. Apart from star seeking, the views across Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley are breathtaking.
Hollywood Blvd. has countless urban clothing stores. Walk around and find stores with the latest LNG, Phat Farm, Timberland, Sean John, and many more. Melrose Avenue is the to go to place to feel like a star. Start by browsing through vintage clothing stores to maxing out the credit card at chic boutiques.
Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Center. This shopping center includes 200 stores over 8 different levels. Great view of the city from the top floor of the mall.
The Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, ☎ (888) 315-8883. Shopping and entertainment complex that will appeal to tourists that want to shop, while locals stop by to pick up fresh produce from the nearby Farmers Market.
Hollywood & Highland Center, 6801 Hollywood Boulevard, . Home of the Dolby Theatre (where the Oscars are held) and Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the 387,000-square-foot Hollywood & Highland center is also a major shopping destination.
Amoeba Music, 6400 Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1 323-245-6400, . The country's largest independent music store, Amoeba has three locations including Hollywood, Berkeley and San Francisco. Prices are slightly higher than at the discount stores, but the selection is enormous and just about any obscure record you could imagine is to be found somewhere on the shelves.
Decades, 8214 Melrose Ave, ☎ (323) 655-1960. This Melrose Avenue shop is the place to go for vintage 1960s and 1970s couture and accessories.
Frederick's of Hollywood, 6751 Hollywood Blvd., ☎ (323) 957-5953. During the golden years of Hollywood, all the superstars were wearing Fredericks, from Greta Garbo to Mae West to Marilyn Monroe. Today, the store is a lot less polished but still a good place to pick up glamorous lingerie.
IPED Foot Spa, 6767 Sunset Blvd Suite 22 (Sunset & Highland), ☎ 323-466-1038. 11am-10pm. 6767 Sunset blvd (cross road highland). Easy to reach location. If you are tired of walking a long day in Hollywood. Iped offers 1 hour foot massage for as less as $25.25+.
Monsier Marcel, 6333 W 3rd St, ☎ +1 (323) 939 7792, . If you enjoy cheese and wine, then you'll love shopping here! Monsier Marcel is a delightful French deli in the Farmers Markets on 3rd Avenue where you can stock up on a range of gourmet produce, but most importantly there's over 500 vintage of wine on offer with a range of experienced staff to help you make your decisions.
Pink's Hot Dogs, 709 N. La Brea Avenue, ☎ +1 323-931-4223, . Su-Th 9:30AM-2AM, F-Sa 9:30AM-3AM. Serving the most famous hot dogs in Los Angeles since 1939, their chili dog will set you back just $2.50. Open every day from 9:30AM to 2AM or later. Expect a long but fairly fast-moving line.
Scoops, 712 North Heliotrope Dr, ☎ +1 (323) 906 2649. M-Sa. 12PM - 10PM Sun. 2PM - 6PM. There's nothing quite like a giant cone of ice cream on a hot summer's day in LA, and scoops does all your favourite flavours plus some innovative creations like black currant lychee and brown bread!
In-N-Out Burger, 7009 W Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA, 90028, . This hugely popular Southern California burger chain has a surprisingly basic menu, but serves up some of the most popular burgers around, and does burgers well.
Yai. By general learned agreement, the most authentic Thai food in the States can be found at "the Thai restaurant behind the 7-11 on Hollywood Boulevard by the 101." That's how it is known. If you are not from L.A., this can also serve as an introduction to L.A.-style directions. (The cross street, by the way, is Taft Avenue.) The Pad Thai here is light and perfumed and the curries hot enough to kill. And by authentic, that's exactly what is meant...don't expect any catering to tastes here.
Palms Thai Restaurant, 5900 Hollywood Blvd, ☎ +1 323-462-5073, . 11AM-2AM. Home of the infamous Thai Elvis, who will serenade you through dinner. The decor's authentically cheesy and Elvis sings the hits. While plain dishes such as fried rice or pad Thai are nothing to write home about, the curries (duck and panang), pad prik king, and anything off the "wild things" menu are excellent choices.
Paru's, 5140 W Sunset Blvd. (just west of Normandie Ave.), . M-F 4-10PM, Sa-Su 11AM-10PM. Head here for excellent South Indian vegetarian food in a charming garden. Especially wonderful masala dosas.
Blu Jam Cafe, 7371 Melrose Ave (Melrose at Martel in the middle of all the best shopping), . M-F 8AM to 6PM. Good food with options for everyone. Even some Czech items.Almost every meal is under $10.
Little Armenia. East Hollywood's Little Armenia district has a few excellent cheap food options. Falafel Arax at 5101 Santa Monica Blvd. has excellent Falafel and Shawerma. Sassoun Bakery, at 5114 Santa Monica has great Lahmejun (Armenia pizza), boregs, zahtar (thyme) and tahini breads. Zankou Chicken at 5065 W. Sunset Blvd. has popular rotiserrie chicken with great garlic sauce. Carousel at 5112 Hollywood Blvd. has an amazing mezze (appetizer) selection, and great food.
Travel south to East Hollywood and you can find countless "pupuserias". These thick, hand-made corn tortillas come with quesillo (Salvadorean cheese), pork, chicken, rice, beans, or "queso con loroco" (cheese and vine flower bud). Just look for signs that say "pupuserias." They usually run around $1.50-$2 a pupusa. A very delicious food.
101 Coffee Shop, 6145 Franklin Ave (at Vista Del Mar Avenue), ☎ +1-323-467-1175. 7AM-3AM, 7 days a week. Previously known as the Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop, this place has been popular for years, and the new owners have only improved it. Great selection of sandwiches, burgers, sweet potato french fries(!!), coffee and tea. It's not unheard of to spot celebs here.
Ammo, 1155 N. Highland Ave, . Great for lunch or dinner, excellent and fashionable food.
Cheebo, 7533 W. Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1 323-850-7070, . Everyone loves the Cheeb! A play on "cibo" (Italian for food), this place has great and creative food and a fun atmosphere. All-day breakfasts, excellent sandwiches, salads, pizzas by the foot and nice dinners to boot. Eat here for breakfast and you'll be back for lunch.
Electric Karma, 8222 1/2 W. 3rd St., ☎ +1 323-653-2121, . Su-Th 11:30AM-10:30PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-11PM. The "Most Romantic Indian Restaurant in Los Angeles" offers authentic Punjabi cuisine at reasonable prices for lunch and dinner; a beautiful, candle-lit dining room and open-air courtyard; unique cocktails; and warm, professional staff.
The Griddle Café, 7916 Sunset Blvd (east of Fairfax Ave), ☎ +1 323-874-0377. The Griddle Café is the best breakfast experience in LA. It features pages of every type of pancake you can imagine, which also happen to be twice as large as any pancake you've ever had, and still manage to be fluffy-thick and light on the tummy. Coffee is fresh, in a french press, and the menu features more than just breakfast. Short story: Food is awesome, service is great, but its always crowded. Don't worry though, they serve fast and you will feel the wait is worth it.
M Café, 7119 Melrose Ave, ☎ +1 323-525-0588, . M-Sa 9AM-10PM, Su 9AM-9PM. One of the hottest new places in Hollywood. If you've been infected with Organica or Macrobiotica, head here now. It's often impossibly crowded and parking's a nightmare. They've got lots of premade things that are handy if you're short on time, otherwise it's better to order fresh, considering how far you'll be set back.Most mains hover around the $10-15 range.
Mel's Drive-In, 1660 N. Highland Ave, ☎ +1-323-465-3111, . Su-Th 6:30AM-3AM, F-Sa 24 Hrs.. Come here for traditional diner fare: cheeseburgers, french fries, and milkshakes. Part of the chain that opened in San Francisco in the late '40s. There is another location on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.
Musso & Frank Grill, 6667 Hollywood Blvd, ☎ +1-323-467-7788. For a taste of old Hollywood, this is the place. It's been famous for generations.
Rainbow Bar & Grill, 9015 Sunset Blvd. (between N. Doheny Dr. and Hammond St.), ☎ +1 310-278-4232, . This vintage lounge offers great appetizers (especially the calamari), pizza, pasta, burgers, and pricier steak and seafood dishes in a hard rock atmosphere. If you like the '80s L.A. metal scene, there's no better place to spot rock stars (and lesser lights like Ron Jeremy.) A $10 cover charge comes with two drink vouchers. The Roxy is next door. A crowded outdoor smoking patio is available for the real rockers.
Sushi Ike, 6051 Hollywood Blvd (in a mini-mall on the corner of Gower), ☎ +1-323-856-9972. A small and moderately-priced authentic Japanese restaurant with a great sushi bar and friendly chefs--one of the best this side of the 101.
All' Angelo Ristorante, 7166 melrose ave. - los angeles - CA 90046, ☎ +1 323 933-9540, . Lunch - Friday: 12 - 2:30PM / Dinner - M-Sa: 6 - 10:30PM / Closed Sunday. This authentic Italian eatery combines the relaxed atmosphere of a Los Angeles restaurant with a menu that's as close to a ticket to Rome as you can get without a passport. Their seasonal menu includes mouth watering timbale of cauliflower, authentic tripe, gourmet pastas, and hearty entrees. The owners bring a warm Italian sensibility to fresh dishes that would please any palate. This place is perfect for that special occasion!
Yamashiro, 1999 N. Sycamore Avenue, ☎ +1-323-466-5125, . This Japanese restaurant is perched above Hollywood, and on most nights provides an unbeatable view of the city, from downtown to Palos Verdes. The food is excellent, the gardens and architecture are elegant, and the restaurant has a fascinating history (the story's on the menu). Look for the small sign just west of the Magic Castle; valet parking only.
Geisha House, ☎ +1 323-460-6300 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Su-Th 6PM-1AM, F-Sa 6PM-1:30AM. Geisha House is a Modern Japanese Restaurant, Sushi Bar and Sake Lounge that embraces the flavor of traditional Japan while catering to the hip, sophisticated clientèle of Los Angeles. Don't be surprised by celebrity clientèle either.$31-50.
Katsuya, 6300 Hollywood Blvd (at Vine St), ☎ +1 (323) 871-8777, . The newest restaurant from acclaimed chef Katsuya Uechi, designed by Philippe Starck. Mouth-watering Japanese menu, destined to be a new Hollywood institution. His other restaurants around the LA area are rated as some of the best in the city.
The Ivy, ☎ +1 310-274-6300. M-F 11:30AM-11PM, Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 10:30AM-10AM. The Ivy is a Los Angeles mainstay and is frequented by celebrities. As for the menu, think comfort food, like fried chicken, Cajun prime rib and fish and fresh corn chowder. Request a seat on the famed patio for the best people watching.$31-50.
ceFiore, 6922 Hollywood Blvd #107, ☎ +1 323-465-9097, . Everyday 11AM-11PM. Right across the street from Grauman's Chinese Theatre you'll find one of LA's best places for tart Italian non-fat frozen yogurt and yogurt smoothies. Choose from 4 different frozen yogurt flavors: Original, Blackberry, Raspberry-Pomogranate, and Green Tea, along with a wide variety of fresh fruits and dry toppings. They also offer smoothies, herbal teas, and coffees.
Pinkberry, 7123 Melrose Ave (just west of La Brea), ☎ +1 323-730-9889, . A new, overly-hyped and rapidly spreading frozen yogurt chain. Choose from vanilla or green tea yogurt, and a great assortment of toppings from fresh berries to Cap'n Crunch.$2-5.
The Juice Fountain, 6332 Hollywood Blvd (between Ivar and Vine), ☎ +1 323 464-8986. One of the best juice places in LA, it recently moved from its old location on Vine St. The juices are fresh and delicious, and its run by a sweet Hispanic family. Don't mess with the grandma!$3-5.
Street life in Hollywood remains lively later than in most other areas, making the district a satisfying location to come home to. In fact, the best time to see Hollywood is in the evening, since the district serves along with the nearby Sunset Strip, as the regional center for clubs and nightlife. The Cahuenga Corridor (along Cahuenga between Sunset and Yucca) has several bars and lounges for bar-hopping.
Cat & Fiddle, 6530 Sunset Boulevard, ☎ +1-323-468-9045, . A large and reasonably authentic British pub, the Cat & Fiddle always has a fun crowd, a good selection of beers and British pub food, and darts in the back room. The outdoor area is extraordinarily nice but fills early, while the inside of the bar is spacious but gets crowded in the evenings. Prices are reasonable given the location and decor, with beers from $5 per pint and food starting around $8.
Roosevelt Hotel Lounge, 7000 Hollywood Boulevard (across the street from Grauman's Chinese Theatre), ☎ +1-323-466-7000 (infoHRH@thompsonhotels.com), . The lounge in this historic hotel is an upscale hotspot where one is likely to find Hollywood elite enjoying cocktails on weekdays, and a hipster party scene on weekends. Plenty of leather couches, candles, and a classy staff provides a sense of how the "other half" lives. Expect Hollywood prices to go along with the Hollywood atmosphere.
PowerHouse, 1714 N Highland Ave Los Angeles, ☎ (323) 463-9438. One of the most laidback and relaxed bars in town, head here for cheap beer, darts and classic rock. Come as you are, and you will be glad you're here.
Boardners, 1652 N Cherokee Ave Los Angeles. Power through the packed crowds and grab yourself a spot at this bar, where the drinks are strong and there's good people watching to be had.
Cinespace, 6356 Hollywood Boulevard (2nd Level), ☎ 1-323-817-3456, . A movie-themed dance club that was touted by Playboy Magazine as LA's best bar. They also occasionally offer dinner in front of a large movie screen with reasonably good California cuisine for around $25 -$40 per person.
The Well, 6255 W Sunset Blvd. Make out as if you're a local and head to this so trendy it has a secret entrance door (hint, the entrance is on … Argyle, even though the address is on Sunset). While the crowd can be posey, its one of the better clubs in the area, and still manages to remain intimate and cosy.
Velvet Margarita Cantina, 1612 N Cahuenga Blvd, ☎ (323) 469-2000, . open til 4AM on weekends. Dark lounge inspired by Dia de los Muertos. Lots of tequila, beer, and of course margaritas.
L'Scorpion (Scorpion Lounge), 6679 Hollywood Blvd (Las Palmas Blvd), ☎ 1-323-464-3026, . open Monday - Friday & Sunday 6 PM - 2 AM, Saturday 1:30 PM - 2 AM. Dark lounge with stripper pole in the back. Tequila, beer, margaritas served. $$.
This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
$100 - $200
Hollywood offers a wide range in price and quality of accommodations. The modern Renaissance Hotel and the antique Roosevelt Hotel provide an upscale choice, though the latter has a reputation for frequently closing its pool for private parties. There is a full range of standard motel chains including Travelodge, Motel 6, and Best Western. There are also a few well-located hostels.
Motel 6, 1738 N. Whitley Avenue, ☎ +1-323-464-6006 (fax: +1-323-464-4645), . This is part of a budget model chain. It offers clean rooms in a convenient location.$70 for a double/twin.
StayON Beverly Hostel, 4619 Beverly Blvd, . checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11AM. A private room hostel with free WiFi internet access, featuring great, comfortable and secure private rooms on a hostel budget. Located on the edge of Korea Town at the intersection of Beverly Blvd and Western Ave. All rooms have 1 full-size memory foam mattress, a work table and a secure wall safe. The hostel features modern bathrooms, a print cafe with WiFi printer and AirPrint for your iphone or iPad, even a loaner laptop and a Keurig coffee maker a large selection, free WiFi in all rooms.$50 per night single occupant. (34.08278,-118.31639)
USA Hostels, 1624 Schrader Blvd. (2 blocks from greyhound, or 5 blocks from metro off Hollywood Blvd.), ☎ 1-800-524-6783, . The #1 rated hostel in Los Angeles (by hostelworld guests) in 2007 and 2005, USA Hostels is in the heart of Hollywood off Hollywood Blvd on a quiet side street. This 150-bed hostel offers female and mixed 6- and 8-bed dorms and private rooms, free all-you-can-make pancakes, free coffee and tea all day and free wireless internet. The hostel runs many free and discounted activities and tours and a free shuttle three times per week to Venice and Santa Monica beaches. Dorms from $30, private rooms from $90.
The Standard, Hollywood Hotel, 8300 Sunset Boulevard, ☎ 323-650-9090, . A contemporary boutique hotel located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, CA, near area attractions. Offers rooms & suites, a sundeck pool, two lounges & a 24-hour restaurant.
Hollywood Heights Hotel, 2005 N Highland Avenue, ☎ +1-323-876-8600, . This boutique-style hotel is relaxed, comfortable, and uniquely personal with 160 rooms fitted with amenities including FACE cosmetics and flat-panel TVs. Starting in March 2012 this hotel will be rebranded as the Hilton Garden Inn.$99+.
Orange Drive Hostel, 1764 N Orange Drive, ☎ 323-850-0350, . checkin: 3:00 PM; checkout: 10:00AM. Located in the heart of Hollywood, in the middle of all the action – a two minute walk to the World famous Chinese Theater, Walk of Fame, Views of the Hollywood Sign, transportation, the best nightlife, shopping and restaurants in Hollywood! This unique hostel is known for its old Hollywood glamour, originally a manor home built in the 1920’s. The hostel offers 4 to 6 bed dorm rooms and private rooms (en-suite rooms available) Free breakfast of pancakes, oatmeal, free tea and coffee all day, free WiFi, free lockers, laundry facilities available, parking available.Dorms from $30, Private rooms from $74..
Saharan Motor Hotel, 7212 Sunset Boulevard, ☎ 323-874-6700, . The Saharan Motor Hotel features deluxe rooms and suites, luxury amenities and excellent service.$100+.
Vagabond Inn Executive Hollywood, 1133 Vine St. Hollywood CA, 90038, ☎ 323-466-7501, . checkin: 3:00 PM; checkout: 11:00 AM. Vagabond Inn Executive Hollywood offers a swimming pool, free continental breakfast, family suites, free WiFi, and other services.
The Mondrian Hotel, 8440 Sunset Blvd, ☎ 1.877.477.8006, . The Mondrian is a hip, sophisticated, West Hollywood hotspot. By day, the pool is a sea of beautiful people and by night, the same crowd fills the famous in-hotel restaurant Asia de Cuba, as well as the Sky Bar. Accommodations are luxurious. $395.
Loews Hollywood Hotel, 1755 N. Highland Avenue, ☎ +1-323-856-1200 (fax: +1-323-856-1205), . This hotel has a stylish, modern hotel full of trendy charms such as contemporary art, a Zen garden, and an abstract lobby. Bright and vibrant colors are splashed around the rooms and accentuated with crisp white linens and bath products from Lather and Lather. Staff are multilingual and professional, and for a room with a view, pick one above the 10th floor.$300-420 (Doubles).
The Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Boulevard, . A boutique hotel right in the center of the action offering spacious, well-appointed rooms and suites with luxury bed and bath linens, bath products and state-of-the-art in-room technologies. It is a Hollywood legend, and was the location of the first Academy Awards ceremony.$300+.
Sunset Tower Hotel, 8358 Sunset Blvd, ☎ 323-654-7100, . The Sunset Tower is perched high on the Sunset Strip. Built in 1929, this hotel was recently and beautifully renovated. Staff is excellent and the rooms are feature floor to ceiling windows. Swimming pool has sweeping views of Los Angeles. In the evening, the pool area is converted into an extension of the popular Tower Bar. Celebrity sightings!$350.
For almost a century, Hollywood has been a magnet for thousands of hopeful runaways from all over North America with big dreams and not much talent. They are inspired by the legends of movie stars who were discovered by accident (e.g., accompanying a friend to a movie set, working in factories, throwing tantrums in public, etc.) and went from zero to hero. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them immediately discover that they have no chance against the thousands of professionally-trained actors fighting for jobs in L.A.'s cutthroat labor market and end up joining the homeless on Hollywood's streets. Thus, if you visit Hollywood, be prepared to deal with many homeless people and the petty crimes they commit: pickpocketing, mugging, scamming, etc.
A few internet cafés are dotted around town, but a better (and cheaper) option if you've got a laptop is to take advantage of the free wireless internet at the numerous coffee shops along and off of either Hollywood Blvd or Melrose Ave.
Caffe Etc, 6371 Selma Ave, ☎ +1 323 464-8824, . Everyday, 7AM-11PM. Free wireless internet (if you've got a laptop), decent coffees and teas, and sandwiches and desserts to snack on.
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