ANGE January 2014 : Page 72

from design to dining and everything in between, here are l.a.’s most exciting offerings for 2014. by the editors, with contributions from lesley balla, Kelsi borland, britt collins, nadine Jolie courtney, elina fuhrman, ashley fultz, shontel horne, Jessica luza, roopika malhotra, susan michals, maile Pingel, Jessica ritz, sandi turner and sari anne tuschman best of tHe city

Feature Best Of The City

Lesley Balla

FROM DESIGN TO DINING AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN, HERE ARE L.A.'S MOST EXCITING OFFERINGS FOR 2014.<br /> <br /> CULTURE<br /> <br /> HOMETOWN GLORY<br /> <br /> when the city's major sports franchises left the Forum for the Staples Center in 1999, it marked the end of an era for the famed Inglewood arena. Fast-forward 13 years and in comes music exec Irving Azoff and the Madison Square Garden Company's James Dolan, who acquired and renovated the space for a hefty $100 million. With a laser focus on creating a premier music venue, the revamp features theater-style red velvet seats, images from rock 'n' roll photographers like Henry Diltz and Neal Preston, an exterior painted in the venue's original vibrant red from the 1960s, and a sleek backstage area courtesy of designer extraordinaire Waldo Fernandez and Irving's wife, Shelli Azoff. "I designed the space with musicians in mind," says Fernandez, who collaborated with local artist Retna to do artwork for the doors of the nine dressing rooms, as well as the game room and gym. The duo also worked to make sure the space was comfortable yet practical for musicians. Says Shelli, "We want to make the artists feel like they don't need to leave." 3900 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, 212.465.6741, fabulousforum.Com<br /> <br /> CENTER STAGE <br /> <br /> The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is itself a masterpiece, but the Beverly Hills gem will soon host another. England's revered Kneehigh Theatre takes the stage at The Wallis for Noel Coward's Brief Encounter. The classic and gripping work chronicles an illicit love affair as it unfolds within the walls of a train station. Drawing upon Coward's Still Life and the play's 1945 cinematic adaptation, Noel Coward's Brief Encounter is also an artistic cross-section of sorts, melding film and dramatic acting. The end result is as multifaceted as the story, and still relevant more than a half-century after the original work's debut. "That is the power of a great and enduring story," says director Emma Rice. "We can all own it and feel it, and find something of ourselves in it." During the limited engagement, patrons of The Wallis will do just that. Feb. 15-March 23, $49-$89, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.746.4000, thewallis.org<br /> <br /> TOP FIVE: MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES<br /> <br /> 1 Viva Italia! Housed in the oldest building from L. A.'s original Little Italy, the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles is gearing up for a winter 2014 debut. To enhance the collection, which boasts vintage photographs, cookbooks, musical instruments and Wwii-era letters, the center will employ oversize digital panels that change based on the featured exhibit. 125 Paseo de la Plaza, L.A., 213.485.8432, italianhall.org <br /> <br /> 2 Get Glowing caught in limbo since shutting its downtown doors in 2011, the Museum of Neon Art plans to reopen in winter 2014. The shimoda Design Group is tasked with mapping out the new digs, as the museum focuses on preserving neon signs and promoting new interpretations. Glendale, 213.489.9918, neonmona.org <br /> <br /> 3 Food for Thought head fork first into Museum Tamal, an innovative culinary experience from Playa and Rivera chef John Rivera sedlar, set to open later this year. Savor authentic Latin fare while learning about ancient cooking techniques, rare ingredients and cross-cultural influences. 1155 S. Grand Ave, LA, 213.493.4320, museumtamal.org <br /> <br /> 4 The Call of the West Ditching its beloved Manhattan space for the West coast, the Von Lintel Gallery is scheduled to debut this month in hopes of ushering in a new wave of experimental art from the likes of catherine howe and stephen Ellis. Fans of the Munichborn, Nyc-raised gallery can expect daring collections with an L.A. spin. Vonlintel.com <br /> <br /> 5 Where the Art Is Adding to DTLA'S art epicenter is the all-new Francois Ghebaly Gallery. In the same vein as its culver city sister location, the new space resists the norm with irreverent, visceral works. Expect a showing from Joel Kyack when the space opens next to Night Gallery in mid-January. 2245 E. Washington Blvd., L.A, 323.282.5187, ghebaly.com<br /> <br /> The living legend vs. the new Star <br /> <br /> two L.A.-based celebrity photographers, one classical and one controversial, have new books showcasing their styles.<br /> <br /> The LIVING LeGeNd douglas Kirkland has been a prominent hollywood photographer for six decades, capturing everyone from Marilyn to Meryl. He is honored this month at Photo L.A. and recently published his 16th book, A Life in Pictures: The Douglas Kirkland Monograph.<br /> <br /> What do you try to capture when photographing “Hollywood”? <br /> <br /> I want people to look good. I really, truly do because i like people. There is a certain luster that should come from people in front of the lens because that’s what the movie industry is putting out. Most iconic photograph? Everyone wants to know, ‘What was Marilyn really like?’ she loved shooting still photos as well as doing movies. Why? She could participate, and create with the individuals taking the pictures. With a still camera, you can be with the photographer and living it as you go along. Dream subject? I don’t mean to be a cliché, but it is the person that’s in front of my lens. I’m concentrating and my whole heart is with them.<br /> <br /> The NeW STAr Most [in]famously known for photographing a birkin he set on fire, Tyler Shields doesn’t shy from controversy. His new book, The Dirty Side of Glamour, features many young hollywood darlings of today.<br /> <br /> What do you try to capture when photographing “Hollywood”? <br /> <br /> It’s never this thing of making really boring people interesting. You take interesting people and you make them more interesting. Then you have something that people can’t duplicate. You can have the most beautiful girl in the world—if she’s got no talent other then being beautiful, it’s gonna be boring. Interesting is interesting. Dream subject? Floyd Mayweather. I like him and he’s one of the best at what he’s done his whole life. Most iconic photograph? I had no idea how big the birkin thing would be. I paid for it. I understood it was a very expensive product, but i had been doing a whole series; i sawed a pair of Louboutins in half and set a Louis Vuitton bag on fire. Those got good reactions, but the birkin was on another level. The bag was already made. I didn’t kill the crocodile. I just bought the bag and did what i wanted to do with it.<br /> <br /> Page-turner <br /> <br /> Senior exhibition developer Karina White had just one goal when she set out to reimagine the Main Exhibition Hall of the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens: prove that libraries are exceptionally relevant in a hyperdigital age. A new, permanent exhibit called Remarkable Works, Remarkable Times: Highlights From the Huntington Library features 12 anchor pieces (including Shakespeare’s First Folio and a Civil War-era letter from Abraham Lincoln) that serve to thematically organize the splendid space. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, 626. 405.2100, huntington.Org<br /> <br /> SHEAR BEAUTY <br /> <br /> With clients like Cat Deeley, Carey Mulligan and Diane Lane, Benjamin with Negin Zand is a salon, but one more akin to the 19th century salons of Paris, where intellectuals and artists congregated to talk art, politics and gossip. In addition to creating enviable ‘dos, the space, owned and operated by British expat Benjamin Mohapi, has an eclectic art collection—with works for sale by the likes of Curtis Kulig, Joshua Petker and Shepard Fairey—that rotates every nine months. “Th is time around, I chose to curate the works as a mix of old and new,” says curator Sonja Teri. “The idea was to showcase the salon’s eclectic yet sophisticated attitude, and hopefully show clients that they can achieve the same look with their own art collection.” 8910 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 424. 249.3296, salonbenjamin.com<br /> <br /> noteworthy neighbors<br /> <br /> Longtime beverly hills salon fixture José eber is upping the beauty ante with two new stylish second-floor tenants. <br /> <br /> Lashdip for women looking to enhance their lashes without a showgirl look, the search is over. LashDip, a damage-free, semipermanent eyelash treatment that uses baby-fine silk inserts and gel-based lash coating, will give lashes a lustrous, natural look that lasts about a month. Private, customtailored appointments take place in the brand’s glam new flagship suite on the salon’s second floor. $150- $500, 360 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, 310.858.4000, lashdip. Com esnail Known for freehandpainted custom nail art, the Japanese-trained technicians at esnail can handle any request— simple gels, studs, designer logos or unique custom creations—and take their time to make sure the end results are perfect. A second location recently opened in beverly hills, attracting the famous hands of chanel iman, Jaime King and Kim Kardashian. 360 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, 323.655.5800, es-nail. Jp/us<br /> <br /> All tHe trImmInGS <br /> <br /> The Ranch at Live Oak, a weeklong, up-to-10-hours-per-day fitness retreat in Malibu, has been a go-to for those seeking an intense health overhaul. Its brand-new program, R4.0, is still aggressive, but more palatable: Guests power through four days of mountain hiking, fitness classes, diagnostic fitness testing and a VO2 metabolic test. Now for the indulgences: cooking classes and meals prepared using fresh, local ingredients, a stay at the Four Seasons Westlake, with access to the world-class spa, and much-needed massages and naps. 888.777.2177, theranchmalibu.com<br /> <br /> Made the Cut <br /> <br /> Red-carpet and fashion-week fixtures Johnny Ramirez and Anh Co Tran have joined forces to open their new salon, Ramirez Tran. Tucked in leafy Beverly Hills, it offers highly personalized, tailor-made color and cuts in an all-white, loftlike space. “I always wanted a work environment that can almost be compared to Andy Warhol’s Factory,” says Tran. “Somewhere you can come in and be among other artists to create and collaborate.” Their clients, including Kirsten Dunst and Miranda Kerr, flock to get highlights by Ramirez, the man behind the ombré revival whose take on color is all sun-kissed subtlety and sophistication, and cuts by Tran, famed for Coco Rocha’s dramatic pixie cut. Color from $350, cuts from $300, 8912 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.724.8167, ramireztran.Com<br /> <br /> MISE EN SCÈNE <br /> <br /> Enjoy coffee, wine or Champagne while perusing an impeccably curated selection of labels—Jac + Jack, Saturdays NYC and Orlebar Brown—at Mise en Scène, a perfectly appointed new shop on Abbot Kinney. The offerings also include handcrafted Globe-Trotter suitcases, exclusive L:A Bruket and Ursa Major bath products, and hard-to-find magazines like Lula and Monocle. “We wanted to showcase brands that share a similar philosophy with us,” says founder Andrew Pollard. Soon, Mise en Scène’s own line of wellmade, timeless essentials will be sold in-store, as well as on its website. Exposed brick walls, midcentury furniture, teak shelving and rock ’n’ roll photographs ensure the boutique doesn’t disappoint visually, either. “The concept was to create an experience that tells a story. I want to play with all the set-dressing elements—product, furniture and lighting—and mix them with a narrative.” Th is is a tale worth telling. 1638 Abbot Kinney Blvd., 310.452.8700, miseenscene.CoM<br /> <br /> All wrapped up say farewell to the hoodie. The creative minds behind poncho purveyor Señor Tyrone have invented the perfect alternative without sacrificing an ounce of style, and they would know. The brand was founded by award-winning documentary photographer Robert Rosenheck and fashion veteran cindy capobianco, who has lent her style sensibility to the fashion departments at Vogue and Marie Claire, and, was the vice president of global marketing for Gap. Conceived by the husband-and-wife duo after a trip to ecuador, the ponchos are made exclusively in the Andes and loomed from ultrasoft vegan fibers using a traditional, centuries-old technique. Wear it as a poncho; mold it into a cape or scarf; and never be chilly or frumpy again. $125, Pergonlina, 10139 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake, 818.508.7708, senortyrone.Com<br /> <br /> Designer to watch: Juan Carlos obando <br /> <br /> “I wasn’t necessarily thinking about being a fashion designer,” says Colombian-born, L.A.-based designer Juan Carlos Obando (jcobando.com), who is proving to be a powerful force in fashion. A former advertising executive, Obando, 36, has no formal design training, but the sophisticated silhouettes he creates could convince you otherwise. The knack for turning out effortless dresses has already made JCO the red-carpet choice for some of Hollywood’s most stylish stars: Cate Blanchett, Freida Pinto, Rose McGowan, Miley Cyrus and Jena Malone. Obando says his Latin roots and the images and music of the ’70s party scene influence his collections. His muse is a woman at a party “smoking on the balcony with the guys, or on the dance floor dancing… a woman who loves being bold and somehow has that undertone of sensuality.” His vibrant use of color injects feminine sensibility into clean shapes, making his perfect-fit designs fresh yet timeless. The winner of 2013’s Fashion Fund, Obando attributes his success to living in L.A. “[A] big part of my success as a designer is 100 percent attached to the fact that I am in Los Angeles,” he says with a smile. “You have the Hollywood aspect of it; you have the music. I have the time to sit down, seclude myself, and then pack it up, go to New York and show.”<br /> <br /> Designing woman With a client roster that includes actress Kate Hudson, X-Men director Bryan Singer and Latin crooner Luis Miguel, interior designer Natasha Baradaran is a shining star in her own right. Her family may hail from Tehran by way of Milan, but she’s a born-and-raised Angeleno. In fact, she grew up in the Brentwood house made famous by The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Raised with an international mindset and a jewelry-designer mother whose clients include Sophia Loren, it’s no surprise that Baradaran melds a global aesthetic and a meticulous eye with ease. “My mom taught me everything I know,” she says. “But I appreciate different aesthetics. I like the challenge of doing something new.” This winter, the designer launches her first line of furnishings at Jean de Merry on Melrose Place. “It’s a chance to realize my own artistic expression,” she says. What else fills her roster in 2014? Projects in Como, London, Vietnam and Dubai—and here at home, of course. Catch her if you can. 310.278.6003, natashabaradaran.com<br /> <br /> A Fine line Although born in Vienna, architect Richard Neutra will always be associated with L.A., the city that became his home and muse for most of his prolific career. The modernist master created countless iconic residences throughout Southern California, often filling them with his equally innovative and minimalistic furnishings. Now, more than 30 years after his death, L.A. is welcoming the reissued Richard Neutra Furniture Line. A collaboration with German company VS, the 28-piece collection—with classics like the 1945 Boomerang chair and 1951’s folding Camel table—will debut Feb. 20 at the A+D Museum with a 10-day exhibit. All creations will also be for sale through VS’s Silver Lake showroom. 2902 Rowena Ave., L.A 310. 384.9553, vs-network.Com<br /> <br /> QuIltInG mAde modern <br /> <br /> For those who think of quilting as a pastime for the over-80 set, it’s time to reconsider. For evidence, look no further than Hopewell Workshop, the quilting and textile collaborative founded by visual artist Claire Oswalt and art director Eliza Kenan. Based out of a new studio and showroom in Hollywood, the duo create stunning handmade home accessories that appeal to anyone with an appreciation for bold geometry and sharp design, regardless of generation. “Claire treats it like painting, and I’m more about the technical side of quilting and precision,” says Kenan about the team’s creative synergy. Popular items include the Tectonic Slate quilt, made from hand-painted fabric; linen coasters; and one-of-a-kind, limited-edition cotton blankets crafted with a midcentury graphic sensibility and an unmistakably handmade touch. Abstract modernism never felt so cozy. 1947 Cahuenga Blvd., Suite 103, Hollywood, 323.378.5357, hopewellworkshop.com<br /> <br /> So Very Kerry <br /> <br /> the new year is shaping up to be a big one for interior designer Kerry Joyce, whose work has graced every magazine from Elle Décor to Lonny. From his silver Lake studio, the lauded aesthete and emmy-winning set designer will launch a host of new collections: rugs with Mansour Modern, furniture with Dessin fournir and lighting with Palmer hargrave. Joyce is also debuting new textiles, including flower Power. “the design makes me happy. It’s a celebration of a time when peace and love was the mantra,” he says. Kerryjoyce.Com<br /> <br /> Beyond the beach <br /> <br /> Kelly Wearstler has an uncanny ability to capture all that is equally laid-back and luxurious, and her newest offering, the Mulholland Point wood surfboard, is no exception. Inspired by her love of Malibu surf culture, the handcrafted board (available in March) features an angular pattern reminiscent of the famous road’s twists and turns. An array of gorgeous woods— including white oak, Russian birch, cherry and koa—make up the board, which is as stunningly decorative as it is functional. $9,500, 8440 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323.895.7880, Blanket Statement kellywearstler.com<br /> <br /> SoutHeASt (ASIA) meetS weSt <br /> <br /> While their restaurants served different cuisines and sat on opposite sides of L.A., the sensibilities of Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan (Rustic Canyon, Huckleberry, Milo and Olive and Sweet Rose Creamery) and Bryant and Kim Ng (Spice Table, recently closed) are very similar: great food with focus, seasonality, local fl avor and a knack for creating the perfect setting. So having the four collaborate on a new, yet-to-be-named restaurant is both big news and a no-brainer. Set to open this summer in a Santa Monica art deco building on 7th Street near Arizona, the menu will have notes of the Ngs’ Singaporean and Vietnamese heritages, with Nathan overseeing desserts and pastries. “Josh and I are a lot alike in temperament, and so are Kim and Zoe,” says Bryant. “It’s eerie and awesome at the same time, sort of like being in a partnership with yourself.” Additionally, there will be a wine bar and shop next door, where you can sit and sample or buy to go.<br /> <br /> Spring on Spring <br /> <br /> sometimes, a space is all it takes to inspire a restaurant. Yassmin sarmadi and Michelin-starred tony esnault, owner and executive chef of church & state, respectively, saw the unused atrium at the historic Douglas building on spring and third streets downtown and just knew it had to house their next project. So, before summer, they’ll open Spring, a foliage-filled dining room with a gorgeous glass-and-steel skylight, the perfect setting for esnault’s french-Mediterranean fare. “the atrium on the ground floor has never really been used,” sarmadi says. “And as far as we know, there isn’t a restaurant focusing on southern french cuisine in L.A. it just made a lot of sense.” the french-born esnault, who garnered praise for his refined cuisine at Patina, will create menus at spring that are lighter than the rich bistro fare served at church & state, with an emphasis on seasonal, local, organic produce and sustainably sourced meats, poultry and fish. The bar and lounge will follow suit with handcrafted cocktails, along with a marketplace for take-home gourmet goodies. 257 Spring St., L.A.<br /> <br /> Written in Stone handsome Aussie celebrity chef curtis stone—you’ve seen him hosting Top Chef Masters for the last three seasons—plants roots in beverly hills this month with Maude, an intimate, cozy restaurant for hyperseasonal cuisine. Named for his grandmother, the space is warm with leather banquettes, stone countertops and dark woods, and serves tasting menus that will change monthly. When asked why he’s settling here and why now, stone has his priorities straight: “i’ve always loved working in the restaurant environment, and from as early as i can remember, it has always been my dream to open my own,” he says. “but most importantly, i fell in love with a gorgeous girl who just happens to live here.”<br /> <br /> Restaurant renaissance in malibu <br /> <br /> Although Malibu certainly has its perks—exclusive beaches and gorgeous views included—delicious dining options have not been at the top of the list. But in recent years, there has been a resurgence in the Malibu dining scene. The famed Café Habana opened in 2010, and then things really picked up steam in 2013. Nikita, located next door to Nobu Malibu, opened in July, and Helene Henderson’s Malibu Farm followed in late summer, at the end of the pier. V’s, an Italian concept in the old Charlie’s space on Pacific Coast Highway, quickly joined them. Now, rumor has it that two new establishments will join Malibu Farm at the pier’s entrance. In September, Lark Creek Restaurant Group, known for the Michelin-starred One Market in San Francisco, announced a search for a general manager for two new spots—a currently unnamed restaurant and a bar—so start planning on enjoying farm-fresh fare and cocktails on Surfrider Beach in 2014. For winding down, the hotly anticipated Nobu Hotel will provide a stylish respite on Carbon Beach (opening date to be determined). If Malibu’s low-key surfer vibe is more your speed, chef Kathy Escobar Harvey has recently taken over the lease of the historic Malibu Inn to open Casa Escobar at the Malibu Inn. She intends to continue the long tradition of live music at the venue, serving it with a side of the Mexican fare famed at Casa Escobar, her Westlake Village eatery.<br /> <br /> toP FIVe: beVerly HIllS SuPerFACIAlIStS<br /> <br /> 1 Cristina radu’s beauty wizardry includes transdermal treatments and electric stimulation that leave skin glistening and visibly improved. At her clinic, Radu uses gentle hydrating creams, collagen and serums—not peels and acidic treatments—to make the skin firmer and more radiant. From $300, 310.855.0888, cristinaradu.Com<br /> <br /> 2 Sonya dakar’s buzzed-about, cuttingedge treatment, Venus freeze, is a one-stop solution for tired skin that uses radio-wave energy and magnetic technology to immediately reduce wrinkles. She also offers a snake Venom facial that’s rumored to replace botox. From $500, 310.553.7344, sonyadakarclinic.Com<br /> <br /> 3 Louise deschamps’ Placenta facial at Lancer Dermatology uses a protein- and amino acid-filled serum from sheep’s placenta to tighten skin and leave the face hydrated, plump and baby soft. She combines this with LeD light therapy and a micro needle tool for jawdropping results. From $350, 310.278.8444, lancerdermatology.Com<br /> <br /> 4 Loreta Simanskiene of bella Lora spa has a custom DNA Repair facial that lightens and brightens based on your skin’s needs. For ours, a powerful serum cocktail and ultrasonic skin spatula reduced pores; and red LeD light therapy evened skin tone and created seemingly sharper cheekbones. From $250, 310.858.7932, bellaloraspa.Org<br /> <br /> 5 Dallas Port’s Pure Marine collagen facial at the four seasons beverly hills stimulates and transforms your skin by infusing it with marine collagen and algae. A seaweed mask eliminates toxins and provides nourishment, leaving your face plumper, dewier and ready for its close-up. $225,310. 273.4444, fourseasons.Com/losangeles/spa/<br /> <br /> toP FIVe: new And uPComInG boutIqueS<br /> <br /> 1 Iro opening two spaces in March (in beverly hills and Venice), this chic french label—a favorite of Kate Moss—was launched nearly a decade ago by two Parisian brothers, and includes sexy, edgy pieces like two-toned leather jackets and zippered short shorts. 325 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills; and 1319 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, iro. Fr/ en<br /> <br /> 2 The row in 2006, sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley olsen created this fashion-forward line of tees, buttery leather bags and starlet-worthy eyewear coveted by editors and celebs alike. The brand’s first brick-andmortar store will open later this year. 8440 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, therow.Com<br /> <br /> 3 Etro having just opened in mid-December in the iconic two Rodeo complex, this family-run italian line’s brightly patterned, boho-chic shirts for men and flattering dresses for women are a perfect antidote to the gray(er) days of winter. 9501 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.248.2855, etro.Com<br /> <br /> 4 Helmut Lang and Theory is brentwood experiencing a shopping boom? We think so, now that these classic-with-a-twist lines —perfect for work or weekend—are moving into adjacent spots at brentwood Place in May. 1303 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood, helmutlang. Com; theory.Com<br /> <br /> 5 Oak With stores in downtown New york city and brooklyn, indie retailer oak is known for a supremely well-edited collection of black, white and gray basics. Stock up on the brand’s signature line of separates, geek-chic saint Laurent sunnies and in-your-face Unif statement tees when the shop opens in DtLA this year.Oaknyc.Com<br /> <br /> toP FIVe: Home StAGerS<br /> <br /> 1 Meridith Baer home With a 100,000-square-foot warehouse space for her furnishings collection, Meridith baer can deliver any style a client wants. It’s no wonder hollywood comes calling for this 15-year veteran, who has staged homes for Amy Adams, Robert Pattinson and Michael c. hall. 310.204.5353, meridithbaer.Com<br /> <br /> 2 Stage to Sell Annie Pinsker-brown of culver city-based stage to sell transforms houses into homes with her signature warmth. In addition to working on shows like bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, she also finds time to help habitat for humanity with some of its local projects. 310. 384.1084, stagetosell.Biz<br /> <br /> 3 Interior Illusions the design firm known for its high-end styling also offers staging, headed by chris hallisey. Clients, including beyoncé and charlize theron, have employed his modern, approachable look to help sell their homes. The firm is currently at work on its own reality show. 888.463.3744, interiorillusionshome.Com<br /> <br /> 4 Modern Mecca Run like an upscale design firm, Modern Mecca offers home staging on a boutique level. Claudia Andrade-Desbiens, the mastermind behind the business, only takes on a few projects at a time, ensuring impeccable interiors in keeping with L.A.’s modernist spirit. 310. 245.6097, modernmecca.Com<br /> <br /> 5 Platform sarah brady and cordelia Reynolds are behind Platform, located in highland Park. The duo bring a craft aesthetic to their installations and are launching a furniture line based on their vintage finds. They’re also at work on a youtube channel that will deliver staging tips and tricks. 323.364.3847, theplatformexperiment.Com<br /> <br /> toP FIVe: new lIFe For tHe nIGHt<br /> <br /> 1 Honeycut one of downtown’s newest bars has two things going for it: incredible drinks from Death & co.’s Alex Day and Dave Kaplan; and a multicolored, lit-up dance floor a la Saturday Night Fever. Choose a room— one for sippers and some piano music, and the other for Djs, live bands and on-tap cocktails that will definitely get you dancing. 819 S. Flower St., L.A., 213.688.0888<br /> <br /> 2 DBA this gallery space, nightclub and cabaret pushes boundaries with its edgy art exhibitions and performances. Partially owned by cardiff Giant (the group behind the churchill and the hudson), the hot spot has guest curators take over every few months to change the entire space. 7969 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, dbahollywood.Com<br /> <br /> 3 The Powder room you know the recession is over when a $500 milkshake is on the menu. The one at this new hollywood lounge comes spiked with high-end booze, edible gold leaf and a swarovski Nirvana Montana crystal to keep. 1606 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, 323.469.5001, powderroomla.Net<br /> <br /> 4 Dirty Laundry Rumored to be set in Rudolph Valentino’s speakeasy, Mark and Jonnie houston’s new spot has a “secret” door policy—a code that’s announced daily on twitter is required for entry. Drinks, like Pop Rocks-topped juleps and Manhattan slushies, are as flirty as a skirt. 1725 Hudson Ave., L. A., 323.462.6531, dirtylaundrybarla.Com<br /> <br /> 5 The Speek the houston brothers keep it coming with yet another project, the speek, debuting shortly at the Line hotel. The brothers certainly have a way with atmospheric, nostalgic places, which pretty much describes the space, a tucked-away midcentury lounge and bar where cocktails (and cool) are king. 3515 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., 213.381.7411, thelinehotel.Com

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