Tips from 35,000 Feet: Los Angeles

By: Katie Manning

January 11, 2013

A visit to the City of Angels should always be a dramatic affair, and there’s no better way to start the show in our opinion than paying a visit to Ammo. The chef Daniel Mattern is a true craftsman in the kitchen and his menus change based on what’s seasonally available or grown locally. We always go for the pork loin chop with polenta, braised greens, grilled bacon and peach jam, if it’s available. Ammo’s proximity to the Paramount lot means that it’s often bustling with actors, creative-types and executives on a power break, making it the perfect place to people-watch, too.
Ammo Cafe | Los Angeles
Ammo Cafe © Ammo

Everyone who visits Los Angeles wants to get a good look at the famous Hollywood sign. You can’t actually drive up there, but you can take the Mt. Lee hiking trail to see those iconic 45-foot-high letters from Beechwood Drive and Hollywood Drive. Before we do the hike, however, we always spend a little time in Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in the Unites States. It’s a great place for a picnic and we always try to fit in the LA Zoo, which is located in the park. We definitely recommend checking the schedule for Griffith Park’s large outdoor amphitheatre, as it’s hosted the likes of Stevie Wonder and Radiohead in the past.

Hollywood Sign from Mt. Lee hiking trail © Glen Scarborough

It’s not surprising, what with the sheer amount of A-listers roaming the streets, that LA has some pretty spectacular hotels on offer. Rather than going for the most famous (think Beverly Wiltshire and Pretty Woman), we like to stay somewhere a bit more low key. Petit Ermitage has been thriving on word-of-mouth alone, and it’s easy to see why when you get a look at its old world, bohemian suites. Petit Ermitage is just a few blocks from the Sunset Strip, yet the private rooftop pool and bar are nothing if not an oasis from the madness. But what we love the most are the quirky, yet luxurious packages, like The Writer, The Gypsy and Shop Hollywood, where you receive absinthe and pencils, red wine and wild flowers, VIP discounts and event invitations respectively.

Permit Ermitage | Los Angeles
Petit Ermitage © Petit Ermitage

Los Angeles nightlife is of the energetic, casual and beautiful kind – rather like the local Angeleos really. One of our favourite stops on a night out is La Descarga, an underground bar modelled after the classic Havana nightclub. Entering this speakeasy-style rum haven must be done through a coat closet (that’s right) and the Dark and Stormy cocktails are both musts. We love the soundtrack of salsa and samba, as well as the live shows on the hour. It’s a good idea to reserve a table on their website, as the place understandably gets crowded quickly and, trust us, you do not want to be turned away here!

Where are your favourite places to hang out in LA? Any celeb spots?


Katie Manning

Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning

Categories: Our Places