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Nathan Michael’s City Guide

Los Angeles

What are the best places to visit in LA? This is a question we get asked constantly, and often times, we like to defer to our guests. Recently, photographer and graphic designer Nathan Michael stopped into the city from Chicago for a sunny getaway at Freehand. He and his wife hit some of their favorite spots to visit when they are in town — which happen to be some of our favorite places as well (admittedly, some of them are Freehand spots, but we love them!). We thought we’d share his list. Below, Nathan on the best of Los Angeles:

 

Drinks

Rudolph’s Bar & Tea

“Hotel bars are often known for being generic, but Rudolph’s Bar and Tea is anything but ordinary. Each experience will make your senses spark with curiosity, and if you’re lucky, a new friend. Centered in the lobby, this bar is a must stop for travelers or in-city dwellers.”

Apotheke

“This bohemian style cocktail lounge is tucked away in Chinatown. Don’t let the location keep you away traveling off the beaten path though. Their cocktails are as tasty as their design aesthetic.”

In Sheep’s Clothing

“This speakeasy is filled with great vibes and a generous list of Japanese Whiskey, amongst other tasty libations. Expect to be serenaded by their amazing sound system.”

 

Eats

The Exchange Restaurant

“Being the first restaurant in California designed by the team at Roman & Williams, this restaurant was destined for a good time. Balancing LA’s multi-cultural flavors with a Latin spin, The Exchange Restaurant is a hotel’s haven, offering spirited bites with a notable drink menu.”

Guerilla Tacos

“Over the past few years, Wes Avila has made his mark on the LA food scene by slinging tacos from his humble food truck. He now has set up permanent residence at his first brick and mortar location. This is a must stop.”

Otium

“This contemporary restaurant, adjacent from The Broad, is an appeal to all senses. You’re welcomed with a beautiful mural designed by Sagmeister and Walsh, and romanticized with their unique take on the food and beverage industry the rest of your stay.”

Pikunico

“Free Range, Gluten Free, Japanese Fried Chicken. Yes, you read that correctly. All the things the millennial generation has hoped for is finally here.”

The Manufactory:

“San Francisco’s famous Tartine Bakery has finally landed in Southern California and is populating the area with it’s delicious baked delicacies. They also have an amazing bar, soft serve stand, and general store for quick gifts or pantry items.”

 

Shops

The Good Liver

“The Good Liver is all about the good life. Well, if you can afford their version of it. This general store is curated with a keen eye and filled with unique oddities and goods from all over the world, including: German cutely, Japanese tableware, and even California made toolboxes.”

The ROW

“DTLA is making some serious progress with its recent development of the ROW. Filled with entrepreneurial innovators, the ROW has 65 food and retail locations that are all dedicated to moving LA’s culture forward in the most aesthetically pleasing, and tasty way.”

Dandelion Chocolate

“Hailing from San Francisco, Dandelion is one of the leaders in bean-to-bar movement. Packing each bar by hand, these small batch chocolates are worth every penny for each bite.”

Flask & Field

“An independent wine, beer and spirit shop that also has a wide selection of fun lifestyle gifts if you’re in need of a quick party favor.”

Hightide LA

“Office supplies and stationery produced by Japanese brands. This shop has a nostalgic street vibe that will leave you pleasantly entertained.”

Kinto:

“Not to get too personal, but I have a slight obsession with this brand. Their lifestyle and tableware products are that good. If you’re looking for unique, beautifully designed tableware, look no further.”

Scent Bar:

“Looking for a fresh scent? Something that’s unique to your body’s chemistry? The Scent Bar is an amazing experience where they categorized scents into fragrances notes, allowing shoppers to shop by tonalities vs. design. It’s a great way to find the perfect scent that’s unique to you.”

 

Museum

The Broad

“DTLA’s contemporary art museum is sight for sore eyes, creating a landscape of beauty, both inside and out.”