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Los Angeles/Wilshire

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Greater Wilshire is an area of Los Angeles. Its boundaries are Melrose Avenue/Hollywood to the north, Fairfax Avenue/West Hollywood to the west, the 10 Freeway to the south, and Vermont Avenue/Westlake to the east.

Koreatown is a major attraction and extends along Olympic Blvd. from about Alvarado west to Western Av. The majority of residents in this area are actually Hispanic, however practically all businesses are Korean.

Get in[edit]

Apart from the easy to understand but crowded road system, use a Metro train or one of the many bus routes to get in and around this pedestrian-friendly region of Los Angeles.

By train[edit]

Metro Purple Line trains (marked for Wilshire/Western) run from Downtown Union Station through stops at Westlake/MacArthur Park (near Wilshire & Alvarado), Wilshire/Vermont, Wilshire/Normandie and terminate at Western Avenue (Koreatown).

Metro Red Line trains (marked for North Hollywood) share the same tracks from Union Station to Wilshire/Vermont, where they turn north to Hollywood.

By bus[edit]

Of the many routes that cover the region, the Metro Rapid 720 is good for east-west coverage along Wilshire Boulevard. The 720 starts in Santa Monica and runs down Wilshire through Downtown to East Los Angeles and Commerce, stopping only at major intersections. For local service along Wilshire, consider the less-frequent Metro Local 20.

See[edit][add listing]

Head over to Hancock Park for a peek at LA's wealthiest (but least-well known) neighborhood. Once there, walk along Larchmont Blvd. and look into the overpriced but homey boutiques along Hancock Park's main street. For local Oaxacan & Salvadoran culture, walk along Pico Blvd between Vermont & Normandie (the "Byzantine Latino District") and investigate Latino Catholic imagery & icons at one of the numerous local markets before heading over to Papa Cristo's for Greek. If you're over on La Brea between 1st and 2nd, walk a block over to Sycamore to see gorgeous Art Deco homes and apartment buildings. Walk along the busy, multicultural Wilshire Blvd, the Champs Elysees of Los Angeles, between Hoover and Wilton before checking out Korean nightlife on 6th Street and Oaxacan nightlife on 8th.

Museums[edit]

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, +1-323-857-6000, [1]. M/T/Th: 12:00pm-8:00pm, F: 12:00pm-9:00pm, Sat/Sun: 11:00am-8:00pm. Has great permanent and changing exhibitions. $15.  edit
  • Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits, 5801 Wilshire Boulevard, +1-323-934-PAGE (7243), [2]. 9:30AM-5PM daily. Displays fossils of animals – including saber-toothed cats, dire wolves and mammoths – that got stuck in tar pits during the Ice Age 10,000 to 40,000 years ago. Visitors can watch fossils being prepared. The Pleistocene Garden in Hancock Park, outside the Museum, has life-size replicas of extinct mammals. Adults $11. Free 1st Tu of the month, except July and August.  edit
  • Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Boulevard, [3]. Tu-Su: 10:00am-6:00pm. Has a great display of rare cars. Adults: $12, Seniors (62+): $8, Students: $5, Children (5-12): $3, Active Military (w/ ID), Children (-5), Museum Members: free.  edit

Photo galleries[edit]

La Brea Ave has a string of great photo galleries with changing exhibitions - a great place to see excellent photography, and if you can afford it, to buy some. Wilshire and Beverly Blvd also have several dotted around.

  • Apex Fine Art, 152 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90036, +1-323-634-7887, [4].  edit
  • Fahey/Klein Gallery, 148 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90036, +1-323-934-2250, [5]. Home of some great photographers, such as Herb Ritts.  edit
  • Jan Kessner Gallery, 164 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90036, +1-323-938-6834, [6].  edit
  • Paul Kopeiken Gallery, 138 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90036, +1-323-937-0765, [7].  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

Shop along La Brea between 1st & 2nd for a good selection of vintage as well as expensive jeans.

Eat[edit][add listing]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under $10
Mid-range $10 - $20
Splurge Over $20


Eating one's way through Koreatown is an adventure that could take years. Korean restaurants tend to specialize in one thing or another and are pleasantly surprised when outsiders show up and take an interest. Koreans in Los Angeles and in the mother country are now affluent enough to explore their own specialty foods and regional cuisines. This evolving scene seems less formal and more accessible to outsiders than Japanese or Chinese counterparts. Local Channel 18 (KCSI) runs foodie shows that are often captioned in English.

Apart from the ubiquitous Korean frozen yogurt shops (most famously, Pinkberry) and the numerous soju & norebang(karaoke bars, try one of the Korean BBQ places at Chapman Market along 6th a few blocks west of Vermont Ave. for delectable Korean meat.

Budget[edit]

  • The Corner Place, 2819 James M. Wood Blvd., Koreatown (just east from the corner of Vermont), +1 213 487-0968. 11AM-10PM, closed Sundays. Good Korean BBQ at a really great price (around $20 is enough to stuff two people). The decor isn't as fancy as more expensive places, but it has charm. The menu is family style, so one order is enough to feed two people. Like most Korean BBQ places, servers bring the meat out for you to cook at your table (but that doesn't mean you shouldn't tip!) With your meal comes a variety of traditional Korean side dishes and a plate of julienned scallions to enjoy with your freshly grilled meat. For finicky eaters or those new to Korean food, the bulgoki (marinated beef) is always a good choice. On warmer days, or whenever you want a lighter meal, try their cold noodle soup (white somen noodles in a cold soup of clear, mild kimchi) with your meal instead of rice.  edit
  • La Brea Bakery Cafe, 624 South La Brea Ave, +1 323-939-6813, [8]. Excellent bread, sandwiches, cookies, pastries and coffee.  edit
  • Toast, 8221 W 3rd St, +1 323-655-5018. Serves traditional American breakfast all day for a reasonable price. Also great lunch food! Popular with famous people.  edit
  • Vegan Glory, 8393 Beverly Blvd., [9]. Offers a variety of soy meat-substitutes & tofu choices in the entrees. Also veggie burgers, salads, soups, and noodles. Recommend the papaya salad, spring rolls, spicy eggplant, and yummy carrot cake. The lunch specials are good bargains (soup, salad, spring roll, brown rice, and choice of entree). Friendly service in a casual, clean setting. Open daily 11am-10pm. Parking available in the lot and on the street.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • BCD Tofu House, Western and 9th; Wilshire and Kingsley; ('various locations in Koreatown, Downtown, and Greater Los Angeles'), [10]. The menu includes various types of soon tofu stews (at around $8) and combination meals including other traditional Korean entrées (Korean BBQ, bibimbap, etc.) along with a small bowl of soon tofu stew (at around $11-$14). Each order comes with a bowl of rice and the standard array of traditional Korean side dishes. Service and atmosphere are always great. The décor at the location on Wilshire is particularly nice. For those new to eating soon tofu, particularly at BCD Tofu House, there is a certain order to follow in eating your meal (such as cracking the optional raw egg into the stew while it's still boiling). Don't be afraid to wave your server down and ask questions. (Many Korean restaurants have implemented bells at each table in case you have a particularly hard time getting the attention of any servers). Several locations (including the 2 in Koreatown) are open 24 hours.  edit
  • Buddha's Belly, 7475 Beverly Blvd, +1 323-931-8588, [11]. Tasty California-style Asian food.  edit
  • Canter's Deli, 419 N. Fairfax Ave, +1 323-651-2030, [12]. Awesome Jewish deli on Fairfax, a few blocks north of 3rd. This place has been around for over 70 years and you'll know why if you stop by. It's 24 hours too.  edit
  • Cobras & Matadors, 7615 W. Beverly Blvd., +1 323-932-6178. Great for Spanish tapas over a glass of Spanish wine, which you must buy from the wine shop next door since C&M don't have a license to sell it at this location, only to serve it. Another branch in Los Feliz.  edit
  • El Cholo, 1121 S. Western Ave., Koreatown, [13]. One of the original LA Mexican restaurants is wildly popular, especially for their green corn tamales, when they're in season.  edit
  • El Coyote Cafe, 7312 Beverly Blvd., (323) 939-2255, [14]. Known for its margaritas, fun atmosphere, and cute/tacky decor, this Mexican restaurant opened in 1931 at First and La Brea, and in 1951 moved to its present location on Beverly Blvd. It is the restaurant where Sharon Tate and her friends ate their last meal before being murdered by the Charles Manson family in 1969.  edit
  • Guelaguetza, 3337 W. Eighth St., Koreatown, +1 213 427-0779, [15]. For the best mole this side of Oaxaca, go to Guelaguetza in Koreatown. The interior is charming, often with a Mexican band is playing. But the star is the mole -- three types are on offer. Try them all, and from then forward when you are stuck eating an everyday lunch, you will dream of Guelaguetza.  edit
  • Nick's Coffee Shop, 8536 West Pico Blvd (corner of Pico & La Cienaga), +1-310-652-3567. Located in the same location since 1946, this classic diner has a six-page menu with several hundred items for all tastes. American diner fare is combined with Mexican specialties for a mind-numbing variety of meal options, and portions are generous. Prices are reasonable, service is amazingly fast and friendly, and the decor is guaranteed to have you waxing nostalgic. $10-$15 per person.  edit
  • Swingers Diner, 8020 Beverly Blvd (at Laurel Ave), +1 323-653-5858. Overly trendy and very popular for an update on diner-style food. Great for breakfast at anytime of the day... and salads, sandwiches, a large menu. Prepare to be assaulted by hipness.  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Animal, 435 N. Fairfax Ave, (323) 782-9225, [16]. Somewhat of an anomaly in an increasingly vegetarian Los Angeles, Animal does what it does extremely well. Jon and Vinny (Two Dudes Catering, Iron Chefs) have finally opened their first restaurant, and their hard work and determination most certainly shows up in the super tasty and creative cuisine. Pescatarians will do just fine with the daily fish, but vegetarians beware, there's not much here for you. Mains ~ $30.  edit
  • AOC, 8022 W. 3rd St, +1 (323) 653-6359, [17]. Fantastic food in every way, in an elegant atmosphere. Great cheeses, great wines, great desserts. The dishes look reasonably priced at a glance, but they arrive in tapa-style proportions, and quickly add up, making it a great place to splurge.  edit
  • Campanile, 624 S. La Brea Ave., +1 323-938-1447, [18]. It's been around for years, and its Italian menu just keeps getting better.  edit
  • Grace, 7360 Beverly Blvd., +1 323-934-4400, [19]. French-inspired, unique and delicious.  edit
  • Jar, 8225 Beverly Blvd., +1 323-655-6566, [20]. Popular for yummy steaks and an inventive menu.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • El Carmen, 8138 W. 3rd Street, +1 (323) 852-1552. Tequila's the order of the day here, tasty margaritas, greasy tacos and a chill atmosphere.  edit
  • Brass Monkey, 3440 Wilshire Blvd, (213) 381-7047, [21]. Mon-Sun 10 am - 2 am. Dive-y lounge featuring karaoke  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Beverly Laurel Motor Hotel, 8018 Beverly Blvd, +1 323-651-2441. A popular hotel, next door to Swingers. (34.0758020,-118.3644440) edit
  • Four Season Hotel, 300 S. Dohenv Dr, +1 310-273-2222. Luxury accommodation.  edit
  • Le Parc Hotel, 733 North West Knoll Drive, +1 310 855-8888. Sizable and stylish rooms in West Hollywood.  edit
  • Sunset Tower Hotel, 8358 Sunset Blvd, +1 323 656-1622. A beautiful landmark hotel in West Hollywood. This historic hotel was built in 1929 and still provides luxurious accommodations in the perfect location.  edit

Contact[edit]

  • C&C Internet Cafe, 3500 Wilshire Blvd, Koreatown (at Normandie Ave), +1 213-251-0150.  edit
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