THE INSIDERS WEST HOLLYWOOD
GO: West Hollywood, affectionately known as WeHo, is everything you love about Los Angeles in three square kilometres, as the promo says. While there’s plenty to see and do, talking with a local will help you get just why this part of the city is so cool. For movie and TV buffs, it has a fabulous history. The Lot studios, which I head, was developed in the early 1920s by Mary Pickford and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks. Renamed United Artists in 1927, truly great films have been made here. It’s fascinating to see places you recognise on the screen. Entourage fans get a real kick out of visiting Urth Caffe; visitwesthollywood.com; urthcaffe.com.
STAY: You can’t go wrong with Sunset Marquis, tucked away on a quiet residential street, yet just steps from all the action on the Sunset Strip. I dig the hotel’s rock ’n’ roll history; it has been home to stars old and new (including Bob Marley and Bruce Springsteen) and even has a recording studio where dozens of Grammy-winning records have been made; sunsetmarquis.com.
EAT: While WeHo has some of LA’s most sought-after restaurants, there are plenty of low-key places to enjoy a good meal. I often go to Jones Hollywood, located just across the street from the studio. It’s a locals’ hangout with an old-school Hollywood feel that serves Italian favourites and strong house cocktails; joneshollywood.com.
DRINK: If you’re a dive bar kind of person and enjoy meeting friends over a beer, The Surly Goat is a good go-to with more than 25 craft beers on tap, including many local Californian brews. Rock & Reilly’s on Sunset also has a pub-like feel and impressive whisky list; surlygoat.com; rockandreillys.com.
PARTY: I tend to keep it mellow these days — young at heart but a lot of mileage. But some impressive industry parties have been held at the iconic Sunset Tower Hotel’s Tower Bar and it sure is worth checking out; sunsettowerhotel.com.
SHOP: I almost never wear a suit, but prefer jeans, blazer and sneakers for work. Rag & Bone on Melrose Avenue suits my style. There is also a John Varvatos store a few blocks down that has helpful staff and a good selection of boots; rag-bone.com; johnvarvatos.com.
Greg Harless is managing director of The Lot, a West Hollywood studio for TV, film and commercial production. More: thelotstudios.com.
Graham Erbacher Graham.Erbacher@news.com.au