West Hollywood is a city located on the West Side of Los Angeles, sandwiched between the Hollywood and Fairfax districts of Los Angeles to the east and Beverly Hills to the west. West Hollywood is home to the famous Sunset Strip, with its nightlife and its rock-music history, many prominent design institutions, and to the largest gay nightlife district in the Los Angeles area.
Sunset Boulevard through West Hollywood is the famous Sunset Strip, with its flashy billboards, nightclubs, and hotels famous for their Hollywood history. However, the main commercial area of West Hollywood lies along Santa Monica Boulevard, with many small shops, restaurants, and the center of the city's gay community. Though well known for its population of gay men, "WeHo" also has large numbers of Russian immigrants and a large Jewish population.
In the late '60s, West Hollywood welcomed music clubs such as the Whiskey A-Go-Go and the Troubadour, venues that eventually became renowned launch pads for many famous musical acts. More music clubs soon followed, establishing West Hollywood as a linchpin of the music industry.
It's worth noting that the area of Los Angeles immediately adjacent to the southeast of West Hollywood, the Fairfax District, contains some attractions mistakenly thought to be in West Hollywood (like Canter's Deli); that area is covered in that article. Similarly, the area surrounding the Beverly Center mall and the La Cienga corridor to the north is commonly thought of as West Hollywood despite technically being mostly in the city of Los Angeles; this area is included in this article, technicalities notwithstanding.
From I-405 or US 101, take Santa Monica Boulevard about five miles. From I-10, take Fairfax or La Cienega north about two miles.
By public transit, West Hollywood is served by many frequent Metro bus routes. Frequent east-west routes include the 2 on Sunset Blvd, 4 and Metro Rapid 704 on Santa Monica Blvd, 10 on Melrose Ave, 14 on Beverly Blvd, and 16 on 3rd Street. Frequent north-south routes include the 30 along San Vicente Blvd, the 105 and Metro Rapid 705 along La Cienga Blvd, and the 217 and Metro Rapid 780 along Fairfax Ave.
- West Hollywood's main tourist draw is the Sunset Strip, a section of Sunset Boulevard lined with flashy billboards, restaurants, nightclubs, and hotels famous for their Hollywood and rock-and-roll history. Take a walk or cruise along the Strip and see what there is to see.
- 1 MAK Center for Art and Architecture, 835 N. Kings Road, ☎ . W-Su 11AM-6PM, closed M-Tu. Changing exhibitions of experimental contemporary art within the Schindler House, built in 1922 and considered one of the earliest examples of a modernist house, with exposed concrete and glass panels. $10, $7 students/seniors, free for children under 12.
- 2 Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Avenue (Melrose Ave and San Vicente Blvd), ☎ . M-F 9AM-5PM; MOCA M-F 11AM-5PM, Sa-Su 11AM-6PM. A large design complex consisting of three massive interconnected buildings clad in blue, green, and red glass that house dozens of interior design, furniture, and architectural showrooms. The blue structure has often been referred to as the "Blue Whale" for its outsized nature. Also on the campus is a branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) which hosts changing design exhibitions. Free.
- 3 Stahl House (Case Study House #22), 1635 Woods Drive, ☎ . Even if you don't recognize this place by name, chances are you've seen it in pictures or movies. An iconic example of modernist architecture, this glass and steel house is perched high above the city with breathtaking results. Tours are available, but must be reserved well ahead of time through the website and space is very limited. Afternoon tours $60 for 1 person, $35 each for for 2 or more persons; evening tours $90 for 1 person, $50 each for 2 or more persons.
- LA Pride. Taking place every June during Pride Week, this is one of the nation's largest LGBT festivals as well as one of its oldest. The three-day long festival has lots of live music, art, and food, followed up by a massive parade down Santa Monica Boulevard.
- , Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny Drive and La Cienega Boulevard.. October 31 from 6-11PM. The world’s largest Halloween festivity draws half a million people with live music and entertainment on multiple stages along Santa Monica Blvd. Entertainment includes bands, DJs, dancers, artists, and painters. Nominally free, but a parking space is typically $20 (if you can find one). De-facto, an adult event as small children and pets are at risk of being trampled by crowds.
- 1 The Comedy Store, 8433 Sunset Blvd, ☎ . A long-running Sunset Strip venue that's legendary for giving rise to many major comics back in the 70s. Today it still plays host to the occasional famous act as well as emerging talent, with three separate stages.
- 2 Laugh Factory, 8001 Sunset Blvd, ☎ . A well-known comedy club that regularly features famous stand-up acts, with the occasional surprise celebrity guest.
- 3 Largo at the Coronet, 366 N La Cienega Blvd (at Oakwood Ave), ☎ . A notable music and stand-up comedy venue that plays host to a lot of top-name acts. Since the early 90s, the Largo club has been the stomping ground for many big name comics and people who went on to have major careers (Tenacious D got their start at the old location). Largo's current location, the historic Coronet Theater, was a major art and experimental movie venue after its opening in the mid-20th century.
Robertson Blvd. runs through West Hollywood and is a trendy shopping district. It's famous for its many boutiques and for its celebrities and the trailing papparazzi.
- 1 Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Center. This shopping center includes 200 stores over 8 different levels. Great view of the city from the top floor of the mall.
Many of West Hollywood's favorite restaurants line Santa Monica Boulevard. Many of these are as much about "seeing and being seen" as they are about food.
- 1 Mel's Drive-In, 8585 Sunset Blvd (Sunset at La Cienega), ☎ . , (for to-go orders)Open 24 Hours. Opened on the Sunset Strip in ’97, Mel’s remains happily caught in a time warp; it’s 1950s drive-in style décor and 24-hour home style cooking mirrors the San Francisco original, which opened way back in the late ‘40s and was made famous by filmmaker George Lucas who used the carhop eatery as a centerpiece for his now classic film American Graffiti. The West Hollywood outpost features a 50-seat outdoor patio that is nice for soaking up the sun and people watching. Inside it’s tabletop jukeboxes, classic movie photos on the wall, ‘50s tune blaring through the stereo and, most important, great diner food; the famous ‘Melburger,’ chili fries, milk shakes and really just about everything else. It’s one of those Los Angeles places locals and tourists alike flock to. Formerly "Ben Franks" (mentionrd by Frank Zappa, among others), it's long been one of the most famous spots in the city, as far as restaurants go.
- 2 The Flowering Tree, 8253 Santa Monica Blvd (A couple blocks west of Crescent Heights), ☎ . A great vegetarian restaurant popular at lunchtime. Great soups, sandwiches, and veggie tacos, washed down with free cucumber water.
- 3 Real Food Daily, 414 La Cienega Blvd, ☎ , fax: . Sun-Thu: 11:30AM-10PM, Fri-Sat: 11:30AM-11PM. Vegetarians and vegans from the world over swear by Real Food Daily. Watch your favorite health and eco-conscious celebrity seal a deal over a seitan stir fry before darting off in their Mercedes SUV. Branches in Santa Monica and West Hollywood.
- 4 Garden of Taxco, 1113 N. Harper Ave (cross street is Santa Monica Boulevard), ☎ . "Eees not hot, eees spi-i-i-i-cy." You may be surprised that this restaurant doesn't have a menu, until the waiter comes to perform the menu for you. They have beef, chicken, fish, or vegetarian entrees, usually three or four of each.
- 6 The Newsroom Cafe, 120 N. Robertson Blvd (at Beverly Boulevard), ☎ . A great place to refuel when hitting the shops on Robertson Blvd. Eclectic menu features tandoori chicken salad, Maui veggie burger, various smoothies, wheat grass shots and so forth.
- 7 Rainbow Bar & Grill, 9015 Sunset Blvd (between N. Doheny Dr. and Hammond St.), ☎ . This vintage lounge offers great appetizers (especially the calamari), pizza, pasta, burgers, and pricier steak and seafood dishes in a hard rock atmosphere. If you like the '80s L.A. metal scene, there's no better place to spot rock stars (and lesser lights like Ron Jeremy.) A $10 cover charge comes with two drink vouchers. The Roxy is next door. A crowded outdoor smoking patio is available for the real rockers.
- 8 Saddle Ranch Chop House, 8371 Sunset Blvd (at La Cienega), ☎ . Daily, 8AM-2AM. Western-style steakhouse features a huge, ‘country’ bar and even a mechanical bull for those ready for a faux bull-riding adventure. The menu is vast and surprisingly inexpensive. And again, the saloon is a longtime trendy destination along the Sunset Strip for raucous good times.
- 9 Sunset Beach, 8240 W. Sunset Blvd (at Roxbury Road), ☎ . Housed in a mega space on the Sunset Strip, formerly home to the uncomplicated, Irish watering hole known as Dublin’s, the glitzy, beach-themed restaurant and lounge features sunset colored walls, white plastic furniture, a sand pit and many other ocean-related décor. Menu offers modern American cuisine, but the buzz-worthy ‘scene’ is surely what will draw patrons initially. The grand opening party was held November 28 (’06), so word of mouth on the food and the experience has just begun to matriculate.
- Knoll, 733 North West Knoll Drive, ☎ . This intimate bistro serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with entrees that range from truffle grilled cheese to lobster ravioli to herb crusted salmon.
- 10 Ago, 8478 Melrose Ave (at La Cienega Boulevard), ☎ . Chef Agostino Sciandri – with a Hollywood assist from Robert DeNiro, among others – continues to delight with his chic, Italian trattoria. A sophisticated interior with blond wooden tables, white tablecloths and cozy, rustic décor add an authentic touch. Chops, pasta and fish underscore the menu. House specialties include mixed fried fish, Tuscan-style chicken and Bistecca alia Fiorentina. Allure still thrives since its ’97 debut as evidenced by the crowded bar scene and bustling dining room.
- 11 AOC, 8700 W. 3rd St, ☎ . Fantastic food in every way, in an elegant atmosphere. Great cheeses, great wines, great desserts. The dishes look reasonably priced at a glance, but they arrive in tapa-style proportions, and quickly add up, making it a great place to splurge.
- 12 Asia De Cuba, 8440 W. Sunset Blvd (inside the Mondrian Hotel), ☎ . Unashamedly post-modernist, with Latino/east-Asian cuisine and a choice of white-party indoor dining or outdoor seating among the oversized flowerpots.
- 13 Koi, 730 N. La Cienega Blvd, ☎ . An indescribably trendy Japanese restaurant, popular with young hot celebs and those who want to be them or at least catch a glimpse. Reservations are recommended, as is dressing the part.
- 14 BOA Steakhouse, 8462 W. Sunset Blvd (at La Cienega), ☎ . Upscale, post-modern steakhouse located inside The Grafton Hotel - smack dab in the middle of the Sunset Strip. Classic steakhouse cooking fills up the menu.
- 15 BIN 8945, 8945 Santa Monica Blvd, ☎ . A European-style wine bar and bistro care of restaurateur David Haskell. The dark and inviting 35-seat café features a six-stool bar and 13-foot wine cellar; they offer 80 wines by the glass. The cuisine is a blend of modern European emphasized with Caribbean and North African flavors; blackened catfish on risotto and jerk chicken with pineapple chutney are two tasty examples. There is a traditional five-course tasting menu, with the option of a wine pairing, for just under $100.
- 16 Dan Tana's, 9071 Santa Monica Blvd (at Doheny). Open Daily 5PM=1:30AM. Since 1964 this revered, Italian eatery has been packing them in – from Hollywood powerbrokers and cinema stars to anyone that craves exquisite food in one of the coolest hangouts in Los Angeles. The waiters all look to have been there from day one, so a patron knows they’re in for a great culinary experience. The tiny bar in front of what is a tiny restaurant is often crammed three deep. It’s still a place one could be having a drink next to a movie star or ‘someone of note.’ Cocktails flow as waiters rush by carrying popular menu items such as linguini, spaghetti carbonara, steamed clams and a 16oz. New York steak dubbed the Dabney Coleman (an actor). The joint is always crowded and serves late into the night; a reservation is a must save for heavyweight Hollywood types. Excellent service, red banquettes, a classic atmosphere and delicious food – that’s a recipe for success and why Dan Tana’s remains a consistent favorite.
- 17 Il Sole, 8741 Sunset Blvd (at N. Sherbourne Drive), ☎ . M-F: 12PM-3PM, 6PM-11PM; Sat: 6PM-11PM; Sun: 5:30PM-10PM. Located in the always-bustling Sunset Plaza on the Sunset Strip, Il Sole is an unfussy and cozy Italian eatery that attracts an abundance of celebs and the like (happy to avoid a big crowd), as well as anyone who desires an unpretentious, neighborhood restaurant for good pasta and a glass of wine. Menu highlights include linguine with shrimp in spicy tomato sauce, spinach-ricotta ravioli and wild Mediterranean Sea bass. Reservations highly recommended.
- 18 The Ivy, 113 N. Robertson Blvd, ☎ . M-F 11:30AM-11PM, Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 10:30AM-10AM. Fantastic food, but known even more for it's endlessly famous clientele. The Ivy is a Los Angeles mainstay and is frequented by celebrities. Many a power deal has been made over a bowl of corn chowder. As for the menu, think comfort food, like fried chicken, Cajun prime rib and fish and fresh corn chowder. Request a seat on the famed patio for the best people watching. $31-50.
- 19 Katana, 8439 W. Sunset Blvd (at La Cienega Boulevard), ☎ . Designer Dodd Mitchell’s sleek, Japanese-style bar/restaurant on the Sunset Strip mixes Hollywood glitz and inventive cuisine. The sushi bar is crowded. The robata bar is crowded. Women are scantily clad. Men ogle. The outside patio is crowded and the scene is distinctive Hollywood hip. No longer one of the ‘buzz-worthy’ destinations on the restaurant scene, Katana remains a solid choice for appetizing Japanese fare with an equally stylish clientele and interior design.
- 20 Lucques, 8474 Melrose Ave, ☎ . Excellent, California-style cuisine in an upscale atmosphere, widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in the city.
- 21 Urth Caffé, 8565 Melrose Ave, ☎ . Grab a healthy bite to eat at one of three locations and run the chance of spotting a celeb. Great salads, sandwiches, coffee and teas. Very popular, and additional locations can be found in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills.
- 22 Sweet Lady Jane, 8360 Melrose Ave, ☎ . Mon-Sat: 8:30AM-11:30PM, Sun: 9:30AM-4:30PM. The best dessert place in the entire world, and on the tongue of every Angeleno. If it's your birthday party, your wish is to have the biggest 3-berry cake that your host can afford. But try them all. Coffee as well for those dining in.
- 1 Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd. One of the clubs in WeHo that also functions as an event venue for local and popular music. The Rolling Stones and Elton John played here before they got big. Small and cozy. Fantastic venue
- 2 Whisky a Go Go, 8901 Sunset Blvd, ☎ . Another club/music venue, one of the more famous ones in Los Angeles.
- 3 Barney's Beanery, 8447 Santa Monica Blvd, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A semi-sleazy but popular restaurant and bar, popular with the straight college crowd.
- Bar 1200 at Sunset Marquis, 1200 Alta Loma Rd (inside the Sunset Marquis hotel), ☎ . 8PM-2AM. The lounge and outdoor patio provide an ultra-private, laid-back environment, where, on any given night, musicians recording in NightBird studio have been known to sample their latest tracks for Bar 1200 patrons. Exclusive portraits taken by esteemed rock photographers Ross Halfin & Robert Knight featuring Chris Cornell, Roger Daltrey, Chris Robinson, Billy Gibbons, Billy Bob Thornton, Ozzie Osbourne and others grace the walls.
- 4 The Viper Room, 8852 W. Sunset Blvd, ☎ . This 21+ entertainment venue hosts mainly metal, punk and alternative rock acts. With a capacity of 250 it is a fairly intimate setting given the quality of acts that sometimes perform. The bar is best known for being the site of River Phoenix's tragic death in 1993, as well as for the Hollywood elite who have been regulars, including former owner Johnny Depp.
- 1 Mondrian Los Angeles, 8440 Sunset Blvd. Features Jeffrey Chodorow's Asia de Cuba restaurant, the Seabar, the outdoor Skybar, the Agua Bathhouse, pool and outdoor living room, penthouse suites and meeting and banquet facilities.
- 2 Le Parc Hotel, 733 North West Knoll Dr, ☎ . Sizable and stylish rooms.
- 3 Le Montrose Suite Hotel, 900 Hammond St. Tucked away in a quiet hillside residential neighborhood, just a couple of blocks below the Sunset Strip and a couple of blocks above the Santa Monica Boulevard nightlife district, and an easy walk from either. The rooftop pool is marvelous, the rooms are unique and plush, the service is first class, and you will often see music industry people and some celebrities gracing the premises.
- 4 Chamberlain West Hollywood Hotel, 1000 Westmount Dr. A sophisticated all-suite hotel designed to cater to style-conscious business and leisure travelers, and well-suited for short or extended stays.
- 5 The Standard Hollywood, 8300 Sunset Blvd, ☎ . Opened in 1998 on the Sunset Strip, this 139 room hotel features a 24 hour restaurant, shag carpeted floor-to-ceiling lobby with nightly DJs and video art, and an offbeat but stylish sensibility. $160+.
- 6 Chateau Marmont, 8221 Sunset Blvd, ☎ . Modeled after an elegant Loire Valley castle, the famed Chateau Marmont is a local landmark with a long Hollywood history, having been the stomping ground for many a celebrity. Carefully restored in 1990, the hotel's 63 generously proportioned suites and bungalows are set amidst lush private gardens and offer stunning, panoramic views of Los Angeles and world class service. $370+.
- 7 Sunset Marquis, 1200 Alta Loma Rd, ☎ . A Four-Diamond, all suite and villa hotel surrounded by five acres of lush gardens which include two separate pool areas with private cabanas, SPA, indoor-outdoor restaurant, Bar 1200, a Presidential accommodation, photo studio, NightBird recording studio and tour bus parking. Hidden in a quiet neighborhood steps from the Strip.
- 8 Sunset Tower Hotel, 8358 Sunset Blvd, ☎ . The Sunset Tower is perched high on the Sunset Strip and is the sight of regular celebrity sightings. Built in 1929, this hotel was recently and beautifully renovated. Staff is excellent and the rooms feature floor to ceiling windows. Swimming pool has sweeping views of Los Angeles. In the evening, the pool area is converted into an extension of the popular Tower Bar. $350.
- 9 Andaz West Hollywood, 8401 Sunset Blvd, ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. One of the trendiest hotels in the greater LA area with amazing views, a rooftop pool, stylish white rooms and an outstanding restaurant. 250 USD+.
- Hollywood. West Hollywood's more famous neighbor to the east.
- Beverly Hills. West Hollywood's more famous neighbor to the west.
|Routes through West Hollywood|
|Santa Monica ← Beverly Hills ←||W E||→ Hollywood → Northwest L.A.|
|Santa Monica ← Beverly Hills ←||W E||→ Hollywood → Downtown L.A.|