Nina Harada
Nina Harada
Los Angeles, California, USA
California girl, through and through

Visual LA: The Best Places to Feast Your Eyes

We are visual creatures, so it's no surprise that aesthetically pleasing hotels, restaurants, stores, and galleries make us happy. These are some of my favorite places in LA to feast my eyes.
Jennifer Hong Skyscanner

Mohawk Bend

2141 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026

This is my go-to spot for just about everything-- Celebrating my birthday? Check. Watching the basketball game? Check. Pizza craving? Check. Drinks with the girls? Check. Date night with the boyfriend Check. This place really works for all occasions, which is hard to find! Great food, tons of vegan options, extensive beer menu that supports local breweries, bar area or dining area or patio (my fave) and all in gorgeous space. The building used to be a Vaudville theater for the longest time so the ceilings are high and the space still very theatrical.

Wurstküche Restaurant

800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA

If you're craving sausage or beer or both this is the place to go! The downtown location is perfect for hanging out with a group of friends at one of the long picnic style tables. But go early because this place fills up fast. The space is super sleek with wood beams and exposed bricks, the perfect downtown vibe. And the sausages, which come in different flavors, are delish!

Gary Soup flickr

Intelligentsia

3922 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

Seriously, some of the best coffee you'll ever have. Granted, you may have to wait in a ridiculously long line. But it goes pretty fast, and there's tons of great people watching and rotating art displayed in the cafe to keep you plenty occupied.

I'm a sucker for all things alfresco and Intelligentsia does well in the patio department. Enjoy your coffee in the heart of the Sunset Junction under the covered Mediterranean style patio with its gorgeous (and iconic-- many a instragram photo has been taken) blue and white tile floor.

Swingers

8020 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

This is a classic LA joint. Built in 1963 the diner is totally retro with cozy plaid booths and at-the-counter seating. I used to come here all the time when I lived on the west side. Solid food, available til the wee hours of the morning in a super cool setting makes for a great sobering up spot.

Karen Lily Skyscanner

The Edison

108 W. 2nd St. #101, Los Angeles, CA 90012

This space is amazing. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first came here a while back-- the place is huge!! Two levels with multiple nooks and cranny's to snuggle up in with a date, or to get totally lost in. Edison totally has that speak-easy vibe, with dim lighting, and red furniture. Many nights they have live entertainment. I was here once for live salsa music, which was a blast. It's the kind of bar that makes you want to get dressed up just because.

jeffreyw flickr

Tavern

11648 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

This place is pure class. Tavern has a stunning dining area with exposed brick walls, high ceilings, and tons of natural light. The food isn't bad either! It's definitely on the pricier side, but if you want to treat yourself it's totally worth it.

Tara De Lis Skyscanner

Chateau Marmont

8221 W. Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

The Chateau Marmont is like an oasis in the heart of the city, except for the fact that it's no secret. Definitely an attraction for tourists and celebs alike, the hotel is always busy. But how can you blame them? The grounds are beautiful, the pool area a mini retreat, and unique individual bungalows that are more like retro condos. The hotel itself is stunning as well, with quite a celebrity history. Dare I say it, but the Chateau is "so LA". (I mean that in the best way possible!)

Harold Skyscanner

The Standard Downtown LA

550 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

The Standard is known for its sleek minimal design, using geometric shapes and select bright colors amidst its favorite, white, without losing comfort. The Downtown location is great because of its location. The rooftop pool has a stunning view of the city, as you are right in the middle of it all!

Tara De Lis Skyscanner

Hotel Bel-Air

701 Stone Canyon Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90077

I have such fond memories of the Hotel Bel-Air as it's one of my mom's favorite places is Los Angeles. If ever comfort, luxury and homeyness could merge it does so effortlessly in the Hotel Bel-Air. The hotel grounds feel enchanted, with so much greenery and a magical little pond. The rooms are white and airy and oh so relaxing, but also have great interior design that pleasantly remind you you're in a five star hotel.

Bergamot Station

2525 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Bergamont Station is one of my favorite places in LA; the perfect place to go when you're itching to do something but don't feel like spending money. I'm surprised at how few people know about it still because it's such a gem! Basically, its an art complex comprised of 30 or so diverse galleries all featuring new art. Check out their open houses when all the galleries open their doors and serve free wine and snacks!

Ruth L flickr

Pasadena Museum of California Art

490 East Union Street, Pasadena, CA, United States

I went for my first time a couple of months ago and I was so surprised! First of all, I never knew there was a museum of California art, and as a Cali girl (born and raised) I was quite excited to explore the museum. They feature very interesting artists, some more established than others, but all who in some way are connected to California whether through their work or personal lives (which, in turn, influences their work). Even the parking garage is cool here-- the walls are covered in huge, colorful murals.

brewbooks flickr

Getty Villa

17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

It seems like when people say the Getty they're always referring to the one atop Mulholland. But when I hear Getty, I always think of The Getty Villa in the Palisades as it was actually the original museum. The architecture and property really do remind you of a roman villa. The amphitheater located on the museum property is a sight to see in itself. Similar to how the Romans and Greeks must've consumed their theater back in the day, the Getty's amphitheater is on a bluff overlooking the Pacific ocean. Absolutely beautiful!

Jaak Treiman Skyscanner

Griffith Observatory

2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027

I'm all for cool, free things to do in LA and this is one of the best! The Observatory is an amazing piece of LA architecture with an even better view. It also has a cool history as it became the iconic film location for Rebel Without A Cause's climactic scene. The exhibit inside the Observatory is also pretty interesting. And did I mention it's free?

Jaak Treiman Skyscanner

Pacific Design Center

8687 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, United States

All art and design lovers have to make a stop at the PDC in West Hollywood if not to purchase anything, but at least to see what the mega complex has to offer. Yes, there are many wholesale furniture, lighting, etc. showrooms but there are also independent artist galleries doing interesting work. And they are all under one room. Of course the building itself is pretty neat architecture as well.

Selena Mo Skyscanner

The Last Bookstore

453 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013-2013, United States

I love how this place just keeps on evolving. The Last Bookstore may not be the last bookstore but it certainly is one of a kind. The building, which used to be a bank, is stunning with high ceilings and old vaults converted into reading nooks or art installations. Upstairs, it's like you were just dropped into the world of Alice in Wonderland with a maze of books, some color coded, some on shelves that are really a secret door, and some made into little windows. You could spend hours here just marveling at the space and design. And then, of course, there are the books!

Last updated at May 01, 2015