Most LA transplants and natives believe they have seen and been to it all. It can be a little hard to impress and excite the cynical ‘been there done that” types. So I decided to give it a go. I’ve put together a few secret spots that I’ve only heard of via word of mouth. I mean, how else would you know about the bar that is only entered through a fridge door?? Sparked your curiosity ?? Well continue reading below…
Looking for a unique date night or just trying to score some major brownie points with your man? Meltdown Comics is not only an excellent comic book store but they host a lot of events that range from stand-up comedy to horrible movie nights to being a part of a live audience for Dan Harmon’s podcast, Harmontown. Not only that, but they have a wide variety of figurines, comics, posters, oddities, etc. Wednesday nights are a true Los Angeles secret. Famous comedians come to test their material in a safe, intimate space before bringing it to a larger stage. If you find yourself on the Sunset strip stop in, look around, and see what they’ve got going on that night! It is definitely a place worth checking out. Find their calendar of events at: Meltdown Comics Calendar
THE SPICE STATION
You’ll have to go down an ally if you want to find the store that was once a furniture shop selling antiques. It won’t be too hard to find considering that the minute you round the bend you are overwhelmed by the intense smell of all the wild and wonderful spices that you’ll forget what part of the world you are in. There are an incredible 400 plus spices, salts, herbs peppercorns, sugars, chilies and custom blends. From Indian fenugreek, Canadian coriander, Egyptian dill weed, Syrian Aleppo pepper, Granada nutmeg and Szechuan peppercorns. – the list is dizzying and inspiring all at the same time.The experience will take you back to the authentic dish your mom used to cook or make you want to book that ticket to India. I’m truly a better foodie because of this store. Go take a peek and let it change your cooking life.
MASHTI MALONE’S ICE CREAM
Ice cream places can be a dime a dozen especially in Los Angeles when winter temperatures are quite often in the high 70’s. With ice cream stores always a stone throw away, sometimes they can be quite run-of-the-mill. That is, until you hear (secretly), about the hidden strip mall where the only advertising done is by the people who accidentally find it. With flavors ranging from Cucumber Sorbet to Saffron Rosewater w/ Pistachio to Sour Cherry Sorbet w/ Rice Starch Noodles, Turkish Coffee… the list of obscure flavors that seem unnatural to a palate’s desire will leave you wanting more than your fair share. With too many flavors to try, you’ll find yourself returning one too many times in a week. But don’t worry, for those not willing to step too far out of their comfort zone, the chocolate rocky road and strawberry chunk will satisfy everyone.
EL MATADOR STATE BEACH
Tired of going to the same boring beaches? You know the ones I’m talking about; lots of people, sand for days, volleyball nets for college kids, and nothing to make your family beach vacation feel extra special. Yeah, those beaches. El Matador beach is the perfect solution. Next time you find yourself in Los Angeles, be sure to put this beach at the top of your ‘to do’ list. When you arrive, you are looking down on the beach from the top of a cliff. After you hike down a small trail you come across a large set of stairs that take you straight to one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been on in California. There are giant rocks that you can walk underneath and climb on top of, caves to sit in as you watch the sunset, and hours of fun to be had with your loved ones. You will not regret making the extra drive out to El Matador.
32350 El Matador Beach Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
Located on Beverly Blvd near the New Beverly Cinema, lies one of the most prestigious restoration establishments in the U.S. It’s name is Brooks Restoration and they specialize in antique restoration and repair porcelain, crystal and fine art objects.. They are so unbelievably good that the royal family are know to be past clients. They offer free estimates and their restoration prices are based on the complexity of each project. They are the only people I would let touch any of our antiques. I promise you once their work is done, you won’t be able to find where you broke it!
ECHO PARK TIME TRAVEL MARKET
Only in Hollywood would there be a cover business, of an oddity shop, selling unusable items for peoples imagination where all proceeds go to a non-profit organization(826LA) dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills. Oh, how awesome you are Hollywood! Time Travel Mart ( located in Echo Park and one in Venice) is a convenience store for a collection of curiosities. (say that three times). Selling ingenious and lighthearted products such as fresh dinosaur eggs, Mammoth chunks, Primordial Soup In a Can and a vast collection of books. Enter through the secret back door and you’ll find the tutoring classroom. Something really cool to know? If you come up with an interesting idea for a product that you’d like to sell in the mart, the employees will help you figure out the design and sell it to the public. I love you LA!
Kim Kardashian and Beyonce have a little LA secret that they don’t want you to know about. For if you did, this place would become more of a paparazzi trap and less of a relaxing foodie experience. This family run restaurant is called The Carousel and it’s located in a very unassuming strip mall somewhere in Little Armenia in East Hollywood. It is packed every night, which is impressive, considering their advertising is only done by people in the know. Serving the most flavorful traditional Middle Eastern fare and Lebanese cuisine, the Carousel restaurant is really one of the best authentic food restaurants in LA. Just promise that if you go, don’t tell too many people. It’s our little secret. Shhhhhhhhhh.
THE ONE UP
If you’re looking for a fun night out with friends, The One Up bar is the place to be! Step back in time inside this arcade style bar, with games that include Mortal Kombat, Ms. Pacman, centipede and more. Be aware that it can get pretty crowded as the night goes on but if you arrive around 9:30 you and your friends can hop on a machine and release the inner 12-year-old you’ve been dying to let loose. The beauty of this place is that while you feel like a kid inside (video games, yes) you can indulge in the perks of be an adult (alcohol, double yes). You get the best of both worlds from this bar.
GOOD TIMES AT DAVEY WAYNE’S
Step back in time at this secret LA bar. Davey Wayne’s is a 70s themed bar dedicated to Mark and Jonnie Houston’s father, David (Davey) Wayne Houston. This bar is a MUST for your next night out. My favorite feature of the bar is that you enter it through a refrigerator! How amazing and retro is that?! My suggestion would be to arrive early, around 7:30 or 8 and hang out on the beautiful back patio. Once 9pm rolls around the line to get in is ridiculously long and rightly so, everyone wants a chance to get in on this funky little spot in town.