Bambi Recommends: Los Angeles Spring 2018

I was sad to hear that the Museum of Broken Relationships has become the Museum of Illusions. There’s some symbolism there but an Instagram-trap-of-a-museum is probably more appropriate for Hollywood Blvd anyway.

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Petersen Automotive Museum
I’m not a car pro but I can appreciate the history and beauty of automobiles as far as design and legacy go. The Petersen is a curated collection of cars but the visit is nothing without adding the extra ticket to the Vault. There, you will get an in-depth walkthrough of their private collection in the basement plus all the juicy stories that go with them. Keep an eye out for the glorious Bugatti that was gifted to the Shah by the USA. If you don’t want to fork over the extra cash though, there’s a Porsche exhibit currently on display on the entire ground floor that will be on until early 2019.

And although I really wanted pizza, the burrata at the museum’s restaurant, Drago, is quite pretty and delicious. If you sit on the bar, you can watch the chefs make all the dishes and see each pizza as it’s pulled out of the brick oven while the cheese bubbles.

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Crumbs & Whiskers
A cat cafe located on Melrose Avenue, Crumbs & Whiskers welcomes walk-ins or you can book a 70 min session ahead of time. I say book a spot and go park early. Window shop through the vintage shops and check out the graffiti that litter the street until your appointment. Don’t drink at Starbucks. You can get a latte when with the kitties. All the proceeds go to saving them from euthanasia. There’s another C&W in DC too.

Wasteland isn’t your standard teeny vintage venue but it has got some good finds if you have the patience to dig. There are 3 other locations as well.

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Pasadena Antique Mall
Speaking of digging, this shop across from the city’s convention center is a treasure trove of reclaimed goodies. Another place that requires a keen eye and patience to inspect each vitrine, you will at least be entertained in the quest even if you’re not looking for anything in particular.

You can also have lunch at Le Grande Orange Cafe, an eatery housed in the restored Santa Fe railway station. I love trains.

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LA Conservancy: Union Station Walking Tour
Speaking of trains, I checked in with the LA Conservancy again to see what walking tours were left to do and found the one dedicated to Union Station. The structure that’s a Spanish Mission revival with Art Deco elements, the Union Station combined 3 main railways into one in order to be the hub of Los Angeles transportation. Acoustic cement tiles line the walls and the ceiling so no sound escapes and light pours into the main ticketing area through fogged glass panels. It’s a wondrous mix of marble, tiles, and geometric symmetry and there are art pieces in the newer half that are dedicated to the diversity of LA.

The Fred Harvey restaurant housed there is under renovation and will be converted into a brewpub. Our docent used it as an example of how the LA Conservancy is successful in preserving landmarks: giving them a new contemporary purpose while keeping their original design rather than just being saved and costing the city money on “wasted” real estate by being left empty without actual use.

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Egyptian Theatre Tour
The theatre on Hollywood Blvd is one of Sid Grauman’s film babies. They occasionally give guided tours of the property so you can hear what the eccentric man had originally planned for the space versus what came to fruition like how it was supposed to be a Spanish style but he shifted to Egyptian just a few weeks before Tutmania gripped SoCal thanks to the discovery of King Tut’s tomb.

Before seeing a TCM film there, try to align it with a lecture by Kimberly Truhler. She’ll deep dive into a decade as part of her Style Essentials series so you can appreciate the connection between film and the fashion world. It will usually correlate with the film being shown that day. We got to see Top Hat, a Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers classic.

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Anaheim Packing House
Similar to Napa Valley’s Oxbow Public Market, this is a food court/market. It’s also in a restored citrus packing warehouse. There’s fatty, fried goodness or the more healthy Aleppo kitchen where you can get some legit tawook with rice, tabbouli, and hummus. Sometimes there’s live entertainment too.

ROADTRIP RECOMMENDATION
Daou Winery in Paso Robles

About a 3-hour drive from LA or SF, Paso Robles is the new up-and-coming wine region of California. Impressive cabernets are coming from the soils there but if you want Lebanese hospitality, food, and a full-bodied beauty, head to the Daou Vineyards tasting room. Having a seat out on the patio is enough to make you forget all about the drive.

Try the wagyu beef skewers with a glass of Mayote. Mom would say Eye of the Falcon but why pick one? If you can’t make it all the way out there, you can always stop by Wesley’s for a bottle of their Chardonnay. WINK WINK.

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