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Ten Things You Absolutely Need To Do In Hollywood and Los Angeles

Los Angeles and Hollywood have captured our imaginations for decades – there’s just so much there to see and experience. With Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood triggering our Hollywood lust again of late, we’re on the hunt for some of the city’s most iconic and must-see moments.

Take our lead here with 10 of the best things to do in Hollywood and Los Angeles.

#1 The Hollywood Roosevelt

 

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If only the walls could talk – few hotels come more iconic, or more dripping with legacy than The Hollywood Roosevelt. The lofty suites of this chic, modernised deco landmark is the prime place to soak up the area’s historic and tale-fuelled scene.

Sip cocktails by the palm-laden poolside under a dusky LA eve, live like Marilyn in the hotel’s hidden speakeasy, get lost in a book-case enclosed magic theatre, and relish in this old dame’s unparalleled zest for stardom.

#2 Miceli’s

 

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Every town embraces its iconic Italian bistro with ceilings and walls stuffed with as many paintings, stained glass trimmings and up-cycled chianti jugs as is decently possible. In Hollywood, Miceli’s is the go to: a stand-up joint with all the classic Italo-American accoutrement one could hope to expect, and an ambiance fit for Don Corleone himself.

#3 Musso and Frank Grill

 

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You’ve probably ogled Musso and Frank Grill in countless Hollywood films without realising – especially the Tarantino latest where Leo DiCaprio and Al Pacino sip boozy martinis over a late morning nosh. The cocktails here are as dry and strong as they were when the joint opened in 1919. A century in the game, Musso and Frank is still a bona fide Hollywood icon.

#4 Angel’s Flight

 

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Who doesn’t love a cheeky ride on a funicular railway? Though it’s not quite of the ‘Scandinavian thrill-ride’ variety, downtown LA’s Angel’s Flight is a cute vintage lift: the shortest funicular in the world (and likely the least hair-raising). For a buck, this narrow gauge, two-way shuttle traverses 91 metres to a platform above, from which one can soak up countless Hollywood moment, not least of all the park scene from 500 Days of Summer.

#5 El Coyote

 

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Few LA locals will deny that the city’s strongest margaritas lurk here: La Brea’s cherished neon-soaked Mexican diner, and freshly minted Once Upon a Time in Hollywood icon. El Coyote is everything you could want in a good time: Christmas lights, hearty grub, colourful kitsch, landmark status, and rocket-fuel tequila beverages to keep the night burning hotter than Rick Dalton’s flamethrower.

#6 Barber Surgeons Guild

 

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Shave and a haircut? How bout a stiff whiskey too? For the fellas, Barber Surgeons Guild is West Hollywood’s number one old school-turned-new school barber house, complete with stocked bar, Bulgarian lavender facemasks, and Prohibition-era prescriptions for booze and opium on the walls. These guys are absolute professionals (make sure to tell Blake to show you his Toy Story tattoo).

#7 Katsuya

 

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Sultry, sexy, spectacularly delicious: for some of the best modern Japanese in LA, make your reservation and relish in chef Katsuya Uechi’s umami euphoria. Tempura shrimp with kewpie-sri ra cha, buttermilk-fried striped bass, wagyu fried rice, and melt-in-your-mouth tuna sashimi is the way forward here (paired naturally with your choice of top shelf Japanese-inspired cocktail).

#8 Grand Central Market

 

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It was only recently that downtown LA became a thing, and with a decent buzz surrounding the district these days there’s every reason to check out the latest goings on. As the gateway to, and shining exemplar of, the area’s recent revamp, Grand Central Market is your first port of call: a thriving, neon-ified food hall bustling with all the multi-cultural cuisines of LA, from Filipino rice bowls, to South American ceviche, to the unmistakable brioche experience of ‘Eggslut’.

#9 Yamashiro

 

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If you’re looking to sizzle on a first date, or meet up with your future casting agent, Yamashiro is the place. Perched 250 feet above Hollywood Boulevard, this ‘Mountain Palace’ once housed deluxe antiques from the Orient – today, its koi ponds, pagodas and lush gardens encapsulate a swanky So-Cal sushi food and cocktail experience, with breathtaking sunset and twilight views of the LA sprawl. Sip a few Okinawa Woodpeckers, and go ‘sharesies’ on the city’s most bulbous fortune cookie dessert.

#10 Starline Tours

 

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Y’know, there really is too much to see in this sparkling old film-mad town. What better way to take it all in than through a full or half day tour with some the best guides in the city? Starline Tours do a mean open-top ride through some of LA and Hollywood’s most enthralling moments.

Cruise down Sunset, check out the latest in downtown, and bellow from the lofty heights of the Griffith Observatory. (NB: Make sure to ask for Brian – few guides in the world are as remotely nice, savvy or enthusiastic about the Hollywood scene!).

The writer visited as a guest of Visit California and Discover Los Angeles, with support from Qantas