Michelin-rated chef David Myers on his hometown hits
What makes L.A. special?
As a chef, the number one thing I love and appreciate about my home city is that I can visit a great farmers’ market any day of the week. The variety of fresh produce that’s available from across California is just incredible. Something else that’s become increasingly important and valuable to me through the years is the fact that L.A. is a city that is health conscious in so many ways. Living here can really set the tone for a well-balanced lifestyle that includes vitamin D3-rich sunny weather all year around, beautiful beaches for morning runs, and breath-taking canyons for weekend hikes.
My favourite place in L.A.
Although I love the buzz and vibrancy of city life, I am very much an outdoors person at heart. So although I could probably name a dozen iconic places or hidden gems in L.A. which are perhaps more unique and exciting to explore, I am going to have to say that my two favourite places are the canyons for hiking and the ocean for surfing. I live in Venice Beach, so I am right next to the sea which suits my lifestyle to a T.
My favourite places for culture
Something that I really appreciate about my own neighbourhood, Venice Beach, is the edge and culture that has been cultivated by the local art community over the years. This is very much a vibe that represents California well. Another great spot that will truly inspire you is Downtown L.A., in particular its Arts District. This part of town has an array of art galleries showcasing both well-established names as well as up-and-coming artists. After strolling around some of its art spaces, such as the Institute of Contemporary Art L.A., CES Gallery, and Hauser & Wirth, you could also pop over to the nearby Little Tokyo where you’ll find the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.
My favourite places to eat
I love Japanese food so most of my picks are my go-to places when I’m missing my second home, Tokyo. First on the list is Pikunico in the ROW DTLA, a casual Japanese ‘karaage’ fried chicken concept by a good friend of mine. Then for incredible sushi in a completely unpretentious setting I would head
to Hiko Sushi in West L.A. If you’re looking for an authentic yakitori experience I love Yakitoriya on Sawtelle Blvd where they prepare all parts of a chicken grilled on skewers over hot coals. Finally, for a more Californian twist, I like to visit Gjeline in Venice Beach for lunch, brunch, and dinner. They’re a great example of a Californian restaurant that showcases local produce but with global influences across the menu. Their pizzas are insanely good!
My favourite places to shop in L.A.
Since I opened Adrift Burger Bar in Venice Beach last year, I’ve been spending a lot more time on the iconic Abbot Kinney Blvd, a place that is brimming with cool and stylish boutiques. Other areas I tend to visit for shopping are Brentwood Country Mart, Malibu Country Mart and ROW DTLA. The latter has a beautifully curated selection of global brands, including Kinto – a Japanese tableware and glass designer whose collections I frequently use in my restaurants around the world – including at my latest concept, Adrift Burger Bar at Expo 2020 Dubai. Some other of my favourite boutiques to shop in L.A. are Maxfield, a luxury boutique in West Hollywood and Malibu with curated designer and vintage collections, Tortoise, a Japanese store with house wear, styled items and lots of neat knickknacks, and finally James Perse which is my go-to designer for my everyday clothes.
My favourite attractions
Besides the ocean and the mountains that surround the city, some top attractions I recommend are The Getty, a place known for its architecture, mesmerising gardens, and stunning views overlooking Los Angeles, and The Hollywood Bowl, an amphitheatre in the Hollywood Hills. It has been named one of the best live music venues in America by Rolling Stone magazine and is just pure magic! And whether or not you’re into sports, I would highly recommend catching a Dodgers game while you’re in town.
If you do only one thing while in L.A. I recommend…
I’m going to give you a full day’s itinerary to mix things up a little. It begins with a morning hike through one of the canyons to work up a sweat and give you a full view of the city below. Afterwards, you’ll head over to Venice Beach to grab a burger and milkshake for lunch at Adrift Burger Bar, followed by some shopping along Abbott Kinney Blvd. Then in the afternoon you’ll take a slow drive up the Malibu coast to finally park yourself at the iconic Neptune’s Net for some fresh seafood right on the ocean front.
David Myers has opened Adrift Burger Bar in collaboration with Gates Hospitality and Naim Maadad at Expo 2020 Dubai