The locals’ guide to Los Angeles

WT Writer
Jun 7, 2018
There’s no shortage of chic restaurants, bars and boutiques to explore in the City of Angels – in between doing yoga and sipping cold-pressed juices, of course  
Homme Depot founder Levi Sawyer shares his favourite sartorial haunts, from edgy boutiques to vintage markets.

American Rag Cie (as pictured above) (150 South La Brea Ave) is a true Los Angeles staple for both established ready-to-wear as well as some of the best vintage around. Here, you can find everything from Vivienne Westwood to Commes des Garçons. It also boasts a massive denim bar with an amazing curation of Japanese and American pieces and a killer shoe selection. It’s been my go-to for classic bowling shirts and Levi’s for over a decade. 

Maxfield is another famous LA boutique that’s known for all things luxury and of the moment (8825 Melrose Ave). The price tags are higher so it’s more of a special occasion shop with the best of runway and street-style brands like Gucci, Off White and Balenciaga. The space is ultra chic and located in the hip West Hollywood neighbourhood with endless food and bar options nearby. 

If I could have any shop at my fingertips at all times it would be Opening Ceremony LA (451 N La Cienega Blvd). The selection of emerging and established brands like Kenzo, Acne Studios, Sankuanz and Y/Project keeps me coming back every season. The store has a way of inspiring amazing street-style looks right off the runway. It helps that the merchandising is always colourful and quirky, an aesthetic that aligns with my own style. 

If you’re looking for affordable designer options or a last-minute holiday look then Wasteland will more than likely have what you need (7428 Melrose Ave). Known for resale and secondhand finds, it handpicks passed-down designer pieces and sells them at a more desirable price. Located off the trendy Melrose shopping district, it’s always a great spot to find a worn-in leather motorcycle jacket or a good pair of Saint Laurent boots. 


AAA, 2016 by Nancy Lupo at Hammer Museum’s Biennial Made in L.A. 2018


Anat Ebgi, owner of the eponymous Arts District gallery, shares her five favourite LA-style art immersions

The Mistake Room (1811 E. 20th Street) is a non-profit gallery located in a former garment factory in Downtown LA. Directed by César García, TMR is dedicated to the discovery of projects imagined by an international community of contemporary artists. This summer they will be screening films by Sky Hopinka and Karrabing Film collective, which examine indigenous histories though personal archives.

Hauser & Wirth (901 E 3rd St) spans an entire city block of LA’s Arts District, featuring works by local and global artists such as Louise Bourgeois and Mary Heilmann. This summer I’m particularly excited about the Larry Bell retrospective. A key West Coast Light and Space movement figure, it will include his original minimalist glass cubes.

The Huntington Botanical Gardens in Pasadena (151 Oxford Rd, San Marino) is a gorgeous setting for a stroll through its one hundred acres of flora, especially the Japanese Garden and Desert Garden. A classic lunch at the Rose Garden Tea Room can be followed by a visit to the Huntington Library Art Collection, with its exquisite collection of 17th through to mid 20th-century European and American art. 

Every two years the Made in L.A. Biennial returns to the Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Blvd). An exciting showcase of LA based Californian artists, this year’s iteration (3 June to 2 September) includes works by landscape filmmaker James Benning and painter Celeste Dupuy-Spence. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of outdoor concerts, screenings and performances.

While most of the art world shuts down for the summer, Los Angeles is still quite active. Located on the main drag of La Cienega Boulevard, the galleries in The Culver City Arts District are a hotbed for great art viewing. It’s one of the rare areas in Los Angeles where you can park your car and walk to about a dozen excellent galleries on foot.

Flea market finds

The Rose Bowl Flea Market (1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena, is one of California’s best, with a
45-year history.

Chef, author and founder of Silverlake hotspot Sqirl, Jessica Koslow knows all the best places to go to taste the local culinary highs                                                                   

Rustic Canyon (photo by Rick Poon)


 What makes LA great is the diversity and uniqueness of the culinary landscape. The jade noodles from Sapp Coffee Shop (5183 Hollywood Blvd), the hickory burger at Apple Pan (10801 W Pico Blvd) and the koji’d meat at Shibumi (815 S Hill St) are just some of the dishes that bring the LA food scene to life. 

When I’m not working I find myself at Proof Bakery in Atwater Village (3156 Glendale Blvd). Baker Na Young Ma started this quaint and technically perfect bakery in 2010 and the canelés are the best I’ve had in the States.  

There are many chefs in this city that I respect and look up to. David Schlosser of Shibumi – a 40-seat Japanese restaurant in Downtown LA – is a gentle giant from Santa Monica whose food is deceptively simple yet nuanced. His vision as a chef resonates strongly with me. Suzanne Goin (Tavern/AOC/Lucques) has created a culinary empire in Los Angeles and I value her entrepreneurial manner. 

My go-to restaurants when I have visitors in town are: Rustic Canyon (1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica) where my friend chef Jeremy Fox is pushing boundaries in the kitchen. Located close to the water, Gjusta (320 Sunset Ave, Venice) offers clean, fresh food and smartly designed space. Lastly, Ori Menashe of Bestia opened his new restaurant, Bavel (500 Mateo St), in April and it’s a total slam hit. He offers a take on Middle Eastern food that’s so flavourful, you’ll wonder why shrimp, eggplant and even hummus has never tasted this good. 

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