The air we breathe
Sea Ranch Lodge, rooftop cocktails, Melrose Place shopping, Saltie Girl, Perfumehead, Maybourne Cigar and Whiskey Lounge, MORE
GETAWAYS • Sonoma
Wood and water
Last summer, the historic Sea Ranch Lodge completed a multi-year renovation, offering travelers another reason to visit the idyllic Sonoma coast community it anchors.
Incorporated in the 1960s with the notion of “living lightly on the land,” Sea Ranch comprises 10 miles of rugged coastline, redwood forest, and hundreds of distinctive timber-framed homes designed to meld with its surroundings. The oasis for nature, design, and architecture heads is remote — an hour and 45 minutes’ drive from Sonoma County Airport and a solid three hours from SFO — but the trip’s well worth it.
Rooms at the revamped lodge are decked in red cedar, oak, and fir, with plush furniture and big windows looking out onto the Pacific. In place of TVs, a fireplace, a set of binoculars, and a pair of walking sticks. Outside, the coastal bluff trail winds past tide pools, windswept flora, and clusters of private homes.
The Lodge is also home to a bar, lounge, restaurant, and café, the only food and drinking establishments in Sea Ranch proper. If one tires of the middle-of-the-road fare, there’s a trusty seafood shack in Gualala, one town north, in addition to a weekend barbecue stand outside Surf Market.
With its cozy, convivial atmosphere (the bar is a popular haunt for locals), the Lodge is a fitting shelter for first-time visitors. For return visitors, a Sea Ranch home rental to fully immerse in the pleasures of this tranquilizing community might better do the trick. –Emily Wilson
→ The Sea Ranch Lodge (Sea Ranch, CA) • 60 Sea Walk Dr.
GETAWAYS LINKS: Snow drought torments California ski mountains… but an active pattern is brewing • Why more Americans are ditching US resorts and skiing in Europe • Cake season arrives this weekend in New Orleans • Six Senses announces plans for first Mexican resort, along Pacific Coast • Checking in to the new Le Grand Mazarin in the Marais • As Michelin gets set to add hotel rankings, what are they looking for?
BARS & RESTAURANTS • The Nines
Elephante (Santa Monica, above), breezy Italian lounge with idyllic sunsets
Calabra (Santa Monica), Mediterranean at The Proper
Terra at Eataly (Century City), pasta, wine, gelato, nearly 360-degree city views
Bar Funke (Beverly Hills), pink quartz bar beckons with Funke-branded Negronis
Dante (Beverly Hills), award-winning martinis amid Beverly Hills’ best vantage
Harriet’s Rooftop (Sunset Strip), retro decor, expensive drinks, killer views
Mother Tongue (Hollywood), health-conscious Michael Mina joint atop members-only athletic club
Bar Flores (Echo Park), women-owned cantina with margaritas, flowering vines, and pop-up tacos
LA Cha Cha Chá (Arts District), second-story bar offering Mexico City-inspired fare
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LA RESTAURANT LINKS: Why so many LA restaurants closed in 2023 • After 35 years, bakery Sweet Lady Jane permanently closes all six locations • New Italian pasta spot coming to Melrose • What drink trends should disappear in 2024? • Are the onion rings at newcomer Uchi the best in LA?
GOODS & SERVICES • Microhood Report
Melrose Place still has it
While this tiny, tree-lined stretch has seen a fair bit of turnover over the years, Melrose Place remains a prime shopping street. Once-neophytes like The Row, Violet Gray, Santa Maria Novella, and Irene Neuwirth are now mainstays — at least compared to this set of luxe newcomers testing their mettle on Melrose alongside them:
→ Maria Tash (8441 Melrose Place): LA has fully embraced the Maria Tash megastore, from its onsite piercing parlor to the array of diamonds, including daith, helix, and all sorts of rare gems.
→ Maison Margiela (8451 Melrose Place): Insiders love Margiela for their edgy designs, while TikTokers favor the brand’s Tabi boot. Its spacious Melrose Place shop boasts an especially strong selection of fabulous bags.
→ Biological Recherche (8461 Melrose Place): Beauty aficionados know the importance of this opening, which brings a dedicated spa and storefront for the cult French skincare brand, makers of the famed P50 exfoliator.
→ Caviar Kaspia (8475 Melrose Place): Yes, that Caviar Kaspia. The iconic Parisian hot spot was reimagined for LA by design firm Nightpalm, and is now nestled in a coveted address (previously home to Russian chic-show Mari Vanna). It’s the ultimate splash-out spot.
→ Malbon (8478 Melrose Place): The ultimate upmarket golf brand cool enough for non-golfers, too.
→ Grown Briliance (8483 Melrose Place): The opening of the lab-grown diamond retailer cements Melrose Place as a go-to destination for jewelry buys.
COMING SOON: Gucci snagged the ivy-clad piece of corner real estate formerly home to Marc Jacobs. And Lashify, which mainstreamed DIY lash extensions, readies its foray into retail on Melrose Place too. –Zoe Schaeffer
WORK • Thursday Routine
The mermaid’s call
KATHY SIDELL, owner, Saltie Girl
Neighborhood you live in: West Hollywood
It’s Thursday morning. What’s the scene at your workplace?
In the morning, I typically go into the restaurant to catch up with everyone. I take a look at the books to see who’s dining with us that day, chat with our chef and GM, and say good morning to my son, Ben, the restaurant’s pastry chef.
What’s on the agenda for today?
To plan, taste, and photograph (for social) the dishes and desserts on our new winter menu.
Any restaurant plans today, tonight, this weekend?
Adam Perry Lang's BBQ pop-up. It can be up to a two-hour wait, but it's worth it — it's close to the best we've ever tasted. Then, we’re meeting cousins at Chi Spacca. They are steak people, and we all agree that the steak there’s one of LA’s top options.
Sunday night, I'm cooking a big family dinner. So I’ll stop at all my regular haunts and collect the things I need. I start early at the Hollywood Farmers' Market to see what veggies are super fresh, and pick up some fresh herbs and flowers. I get bread from Jyan Issac in Santa Monica, because they have the best and it’s worth the drive. I'll get meat from McCall’s on Montana, and, finally, I'll head to Eataly to pick up beautiful chicory, endive, and fresh burrata. I also love swinging by the Original Farmers' Market at Third and Fairfax for the beautiful nuts from Magee's House of Nuts for bar snacks.
How about a little leisure or culture?
Our idea of family fun is going to Alhambra on a food crawl. The current places on my list include: Chengdu Taste, Sichuan Impression, Shanghai Dumpling House, Ji Rong Peking Duck, Lunasia Dim Sum, Yang's Kitchen, Kang Kang Food Court, Jiang Nan Spring, New Mandarin Noodle Deli, Xiang La Hui, Ai Wei Ju, Bistro Na's, Luyixian, Hui Tou Xiang's and Thumbling for dumplings, and Bistro 1968 and Taste of China for dim sum.
Any weekend getaways?
I love to go to Bell’s for dinner in Los Alamos. Typically we’ll stop at Super Rica in Santa Barbara on the way for some tacos, then head inland. After Bell's we go to the one bar that stays open later, The Depot, and shoot darts and pool until it closes. We spend the night at The Inn at Mattei's Tavern or Skyview, and in the morning, wake up and get the pecan roll at Bob’s Well Bread Bakery! On the way back to LA, lunch at Bar Le Côte, their seafood-focused sister restaurant in Los Olivos.
What was your last great vacation?
In July, I went to Sicily for the first time. It was magical. We stayed near Mt. Etna where the vineyards and pistachios are plentiful. We took a boat with friends to Siracusa, which has sun-kissed whitewashed walls dating back to 700 BC. For lunch, we brought on board some of Sicily’s best paninis and salumi from Caseificio Borderi. Then we drove to Noto where we had a wonderful walk through the village and a coffee and gelato at Caffè Sicilia in the center of town. And closed it out with dinner just outside of town inside an ancient palmento (where grapes were made into wine) from the end of the 18th century, called Manna Noto — taralli with almonds, stuffed pastas in sauce, risotto in a crisp cake, peach sorbet that tasted more like peach than a fresh ripe one, and butter cookies to cry for. –Photo: Mike Cotrone
LA WORK AND PLAY LINKS: How LA housing prices are expected to change in 2024 • Falling mortgage rates lend a hand to LA home buyers • But 49% of LA homes are still selling above asking price • SoCal’s priciest real estate deals of 2023 • Rivian beats 2023 vehicle production estimates • Hyperloop One is shutting down • Clippers new home, Intuit Dome, rising quickly in Inglewood.
GOODS & SERVICES • FOUND Object
A top shelf bottle
Luxury fragrance usually hails from France while hip scents are crafted in Brooklyn, but Perfumehead is an LA brand that manages to blend old-world-chic with an edgy, modernist vibe. Their latest scent, Xanaboud, is woody, ambery, and deeply sexy, in a bottle as display-worthy as they come. –Zoe Schaeffer
→ Shop: Xanabound (Perfumehead), $425.
CULTURE & LEISURE • Sat Night
Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy, the world’s first art amusement park, (Downtown), Sat @ 7p, Moon Pass - VIP, $85 per
Mozart's 'Prague' Symphony, Walt Disney Concert Hall (Downtown), Sat @ 8p, front orchestra, $216 per
The Eagles, The Kia Forum (Inglewood), Sat @ 730p, section 108, $341 per
BARS • First Round
Wisps and whispers
In some cities, the art of creating dimly lit lairs ideal for cigars and clandestine meetings is practiced with... a certain flair. London boasts timeless haunts like the Fumoir at Claridge’s or No. 10 Cigars. Similarly, Doha offers its own enigmatic spots, such as the Blue Bar at Raffles and the Library at the Four Seasons, where overheard whispers might reveal the details of an arms deal.
Los Angeles, the embodiment of brightness, health, and optimism, typically falls flat in this pursuit. And yet, The Cigar and Whiskey Bar at the Maybourne Hotel has emerged as an unexpected haven for those inclined towards intrigue and/or a leisurely smoke.
The bar is deliberately secluded, a bit of a walk from the hotel lobby, and requires reservations. The payoff is a subtly lit room with wood paneling and comfortable seating, a treasure trove of cigars, and an impressive selection of cocktails and spirits, served by a congenial bartender. Noteworthy is the array of Suntory’s Yamazaki whiskeys (despite eye-wateringly high prices) and a particularly well-crafted penicillin cocktail.
In a city like LA, sometimes indulging in a dark room feels just right. And for when the swirling smoke is too much for those Angeleno sensibilities, the bar’s bright, airy terrace beckons. –Colin Nagy
→ The Cigar and Whiskey Bar (Beverly Hills) • 225 North Canon Dr. • To reserve, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 310.906.7218.
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