Jackson Market and Deli in Culver City

Hidden Gems in Culver City

11/29/2014

Esther Tseng

From its inception and then incorporation by Harry Culver in the early 1900s to the renovation and revitalization of its downtown that began in the 90s, Culver City is a city rich with motion picture, television and aviation history. Metro Goldwyn Mayer built their studios there in the 1920s; the facility later became Sony Pictures Studios. Howard Hughes opened his Hughes Aircraft plant in 1941 - at one time it was the largest employer in Los Angeles. Sony Pictures Entertainment is Culver City’s largest employer to date.

Iconic films such as "The Wizard of Oz," "Gone with the Wind," a portion of "Grease" and the Tarzan series were filmed in Culver City. By the early 2000s, parts of the Hughes empire had been purchased by or merged with General Motors, Boeing, NewsCorp and Raytheon, but Culver City’s imprint on aviation is evident throughout Martin Scorsese’s biopic, "The Aviator."

Read on to learn about the lesser-known destinations worth seeking out in “The Heart of Screenland.”

River Rock at Sportsmen's Lodge

Hidden Gems in Studio City

10/27/2014

Esther Tseng

Formerly known as Laurelwood, Studio City is located on the north slope of the Santa Monica Mountains. It was part of the Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando, a Mexican land grant, and named after the area's studio lot, opened by Mack Sennett in 1927. That studio is now known as CBS Studio Center. As a community that was born out of the entertainment industry, Studio City is regarded as the "Jewel of the Valley," attracting actors, musicians, and writers and serving as a hub of the San Fernando Valley and a gateway to the Westside and Hollywood. Read on and discover hidden gems in Studio City that are worth checking out.

Taiko drummer at Nisei Week in Little Tokyo

A Walking Tour of Little Tokyo

09/25/2014

Discover Los Angeles

With roots dating to the 1880s, Little Tokyo is a major cultural and civic center for Japanese Americans living in Southern California. Little Tokyo is a Downtown L.A. area of about five city blocks, bounded on the west by Los Angeles Street, on the east by Alameda Street, on the south by 3rd Street, and on the north by 1st Street, including the block north of 1st and west of Alameda. One of only three official Japantowns in the United States, Little Tokyo is the home of the annual Nisei Week festival, and was declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1995. From museums to restaurants and bars, read on for a walking tour of Little Tokyo, one of L.A.’s most historic and popular multicultural neighborhoods.

Victorian manors on Carroll Avenue in Echo Park

Hidden Gems in Echo Park

09/23/2014

Esther Tseng

Flanked by Elysian Park, Elysian Valley, Silver Lake and Chinatown, Echo Park is a historic and diverse neighborhood where you’ll find everything from Dodger Stadium, the home of our beloved Los Angeles Dodgers, to Echo Park Lake, which reopened recently after a $45-million renovation. Locals and visitors alike enjoy paddle-boating around the lake, while the surrounding area continues to experience a retail, recreation and restaurant renaissance. Read on to find out more about Echo Park hidden gems, and discover an entirely different side of the neighborhood.

Girl dancing at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes

A Three-Day Los Angeles Itinerary for Latino Culture

08/11/2014

Wiebke Schuster

The past, present and future of Los Angeles have been shaped by the rich diversity of its cultures. Nearly half of L.A.'s residents can trace their roots to Latin American origins, from Mexico and Peru to El Salvador and Costa Rica. Each year from Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, Angelenos and visitors of all backgrounds celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, which honors the cultural heritage and traditions of the Latino population.

Los Angeles was officially founded on Sept. 4, 1781, centuries after European explorers first arrived in the region in 1542. The cradle of L.A. is El Pueblo de Los Angeles, a historic district located in the oldest section of the city. The area includes landmarks such as Los Angeles Plaza, La Placita Church, and Olvera Street, the lively outdoor Mexican marketplace where visitors can find anything from handmade leather goods to custard filled churros.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to experience L.A.’s vibrant and diverse cultures. The following three-day guide explores historic and modern Latino culture in Downtown, then takes you west to Museum Row and West L.A.

Hidden Gems in Los Feliz

06/26/2014

Esther Tseng

Whether it's the Hills, Estate, Knolls or Village of Los Feliz, this neighborhood is proudly inhabited by a diverse cultures, ages and incomes. Along with Griffith Park to the north, Los Feliz made up one of the first land grants in California, to Corporal José Vicente Feliz.

With Hollywood to the west, Silver Lake to the south and Atwater village to the east, the hillside neighborhood is home to some of the most outstanding architecture in Los Angeles County, but also the birthplace of many a motion picture and TV studio. Read on and discover the must-see, hidden gems of Los Feliz, from an architectural landmark to a red-hot dining destination.

Hidden Gems in Silver Lake

05/30/2014

Esther Tseng

Silver Lake is one of L.A.'s most featured neighborhoods, named after one of two reservoirs around which it was drawn. Sunset Junction, Silver Lake's urban center, is located at the intersection of Santa Monica and Sunset Boulevards, two main L.A. streets that otherwise run parallel all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Until the mid-1950s, the Junction served as the site of the branching of two inter-urban railway lines. The neighborhood was also home to Walt Disney's first large studio from 1925 to 1939, located at Hyperion Avenue and Griffith Park Boulevard. Since then, the area has become renowned as a community that’s continuously in flux, home to a population that is diverse even by Los Angeles County's multicultural standards. Despite all the recent Silver Lake media coverage, it can still be hard to find the lesser known places worth visiting. Read on to discover Silver Lake’s must-see hidden gems.

Mothershucker Platter at Fishing with Dynamite

Hidden Gems in the Beach Cities of Los Angeles

04/27/2014

Esther Tseng

The three sister Beach Cities in the South Bay of Los Angeles - Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach - represent a unique L.A. beach culture that can only be experienced in the flesh. The real estate in the area is consistently ranked as some of the most expensive in the country, thanks to spectacular coastal views and its proximity to the ocean. Aerospace, maritime and other industries fuel the economy here, but visitors will be privy to a beach community focused around activities taking place along The Strand, on beautiful beaches, and bustling piers located in each of these cities. Whether you're into biking, beach volleyball, sunbathing, surfing, swimming, body surfing, paddle boarding or simply walking and sightseeing or dining, the Beach Cities offer a slice of Southern California that you just can't miss. Read on and discover the hidden gems in the beautiful Beach Cities of L.A.

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