Archive for the ‘LOS ANGELES’ Category



LA photo booths | designlovefest

one of my favorite things on earth. PHOTO BOOTHS! i have waaaaaay more strips than i can count. so many funny memories. make out sessions. tipsy times. traveling adventures. they capture such great times, don’t they?? here’s a list of some of our favorite photo booths around LA!

LA photo booths | designlovefest

THE EDENDALE: a great silver lake spot for casual birthdays. a cute back patio to gather all of your friends and snap away in the photo booth with a cocktail in hand.

LA photo booths | designlovefest

THE CHA CHA LOUNGE: it’s dark, it’s hipster. but it can definitely be fun if you’re in the mood for big booths and bad beers. fun fact, natalie met her husband there! ps. i always liked the coloring best in their photo booth.

LA photo booths | designlovefest

THE ACE HOTEL: this weekend, have a mimosa brunch here and then spend a little too much $ in their lobby photo booth. it’ll be fun.

LA photo booths | designlovefest

MOHAWK BEND: i would say to go here after dinner for beers and photos. it’s a 100-year old transformed theater!

LA photo booths | designlovefest

THE CHURCHILL: great spot for post-work drinks, or have dinner at son of a gun down the way and come here after for a picture and a cocktail. their outdoor patio is cool, too.

LA photo booths | designlovefest

THE DARKROOM: more low key then most of the bars in this area, they have surprisingly good food and there is space to spread out and hang out. eat, drink and be merry!

LA photo booths | designlovefest

THE SHORT STOP: a true dive! let your hair down and DANCE at this hole in the wall, it gets packed so be prepared to wait. and it’s grimy but that’s all part of the fun.

LA photo booths | designlovefest

and remember when i did a birthday photo booth crawl three years ago HERE with a bunch of crowns for all my friends? that was the best. learn how to make the crowns here.

LA photo booths | designlovefest

you might also be into this 10 LA COCKTAIL BARS POST



we’re picky when it comes to our drinking establishments, especially if we’re going to spend $12+ on a cocktail. and that’s why we solicited the los angeles cocktail king, talmadge, for his recommendations on the best bars for making out. talmadge owns the cocktail operation pharmacie so we know he won’t lead us astray.

about town cocktail bars | designlovefest

Just look for the Bar sign on 6th in Koreatown. Sophisticated, yet unpretentious cocktails, big, cozy leather banquettes and a little side alley for sneaking in kisses.

SONNY’S HIDEAWAY | highland park
It’s easy to miss this gem on busy York Blvd, but well worth the U turn, when you drive past it. It has a vaguely 60’s feel with Tiki Inspired cocktails and dark corner booths to get lost in…

about town cocktail bars | designlovefest

The speakeasy located inside The Normandie Club. You’ll need reservations, an open mind and an adventurous palate. But you won’t be disappointed. The cocktails and service will make you feel swanky and romantic.





i would say the #1 question we get from friends and family traveling to LA is where should we STAY?! it’s an important question, especially when it comes to los angeles because this town is so spread out. you can’t just hop in a cab across town, or jump on the metro. LA takes strategic planning when it comes to location. here are some of our favorites, places we’ve stayed the night on staycations or with visitors. we know there are a lot of options when it comes to los angeles lodging but these are our personal recommendations.

about town hotels | designlovefest

THE LINE HOTEL | koreatown
this place is hip but laid-back. the rooms have huge windows, so splurge on a hollywood hills view room if you can. the pool is small but if you get there early in the day you can get a seat. they have a cute coffee shop in the lobby, a great bar in the back and a good korean restaurant too. but one of the best things about this place is that it’s close to a metro stop and also very walkable to all of the korean bbq places that have impossible parking.

about town hotels | designlovefest

THE ACE HOTEL | downtown

i’ve stayed here for a weekend staycation and it’s perfect. you almost don’t have to leave the hotel at all. between the fun rooftop bar, the great breakfast downstairs, the photo booth, and the cool rooms…you’re all set. and the price won’t break the bank. sure, the pool is more like a giant fountain, but hey, sometimes you can’t have it all.

about town hotels | designlovefest

THE PALIHOUSE | west hollywood

if you find yourself in los angeles for an extended period of time the palihouse is the perfect place to make your home away from home. apartment style suites have kitchens and the walkable location make it easy to feel like a local. and if you’re ever not in the mood to cook the restaurant offers reliably good food and service in a picturesque setting and the cocktails are not to be missed.

about town hotels | designlovefest

this iconic los angeles hotel will cost you a pretty penny but it is certainly a classic. the pool and bungalow restaurant are strictly for hotel guests so it doesn’t feel overly crowded. if you’ve seen pictures of a hotel that is almost entirely pink and green, this is the one. also, if you are looking for another spot with an old hollywood vibe, check out the bar or restaurant at the chateau marmont! (you’re bound to spot a celeb if you hang out there long enough)

about town hotels | designlovefest

HOTEL COVELL | los feliz
this tiny little gem of a hotel almost feels like you’re staying at your coolest friend’s house. 5 suites to choose from this place is perfectly situated above bar covell which happens to be one of our favorite wine bars. you can stay the night in one of their rooms and have breakfast from the next door tex-mex place, home state, delivered to you. and in the summer their outdoor roof top patio is the perfect place to hang.

photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

also see our favorite LA coffee spots
and favorite LA date spots!



about town ice cream | designlovefest

thanks for all of your enthusiastic responses to the last posts! we loved hearing your suggestions and we’re excited to continue the series. now, we’re talking about ice cream. there are so many places to try across the city and we’re highlighting our favorites. as a note, this is a round up of shops that serve primarily ice cream and not frozen yogurt or gelato. although, we have nothing against those things it’s an important differentiation. and we know it’s cold most places in the US right now, but LA still has it’s very warm days, perfect for ice cream. – joanie 

about town ice cream | designlovefest

DIDDY RIESE | westwood
fresh cookie ice cream sandwiches made on the spot with your pick of cookie type and ice cream flavor for $2, need i say more? plan to wait in line and it’s cash only, but worth it.

SCOOPS | east hollywood, chinatown, westside
i’m not going to pick a favorite but this place definitely has some of the best ice cream in the city. unique flavors that are changing all the time, free sprinkles to put on top and several non-dairy options. note: this place is cash only.

JENI’S SPLENDID| los feliz
mint chip or the salty caramel are favorites or if you’re feeling really indulgent the tin roof sundae which could easily be shared.

CARMELA |pasadena and beverly grove
you can really taste how fresh the ice cream is here. and it’s amazing. i love that the have a pasadena location that is off the beaten path. their homemade waffle cones are delicious and so is every single one of their flavors. i don’t normally like sorbets but their lemon basil is excellent but cacao nib is my all time favorite.

about town ice cream | designlovefest

MILK | mid-city and silver lake
their macaroon ice cream sandwiches are one of my favorite things, ever. they have so many different types of ice cream concoctions but get the ice cream sandwich or the coffee crunch milk shake.

SWEET ROSE CREAMERY |brentwood, mid city, studio city, santa monica and pacific palisades
their location in the brentwood country mart is a great place to stop on your way home from the beach (if you’re taking sunset blvd). ice cream always tastes better after a long hot day in the sun. their flavors change seasonally but their coffee flavor is a classic, always available and really good.

MASHTI MALONE’S | hollywood
laid back, classic hollywood joint that even has a few parking spots in front of their store (it’s in a strip mall). lots of flavors ranging from the classics to rosewater and friendly staff.

McCONNELL’S | downtown
tucked inside the grand central market downtown this place is known for their smooth creamy ice cream and crowd pleasing flavors like salted caramel chip and churros con leche. three scoop sampler is probably the way to go, it’s $5.50 but can satisfy two.

about town ice cream | designlovefest

SALT AND STRAW | larchmont
i love the idea behind this shop and i think they must have the highest butter fat percentage around because their ice cream is seriously creamy. they get really experimental with their flavors but don’t be afraid to try them, i had one with tomato water in it one time and it was enjoyable. the line can get really long here.

it’s worth a trip the the sf valley for their super unique flavors like thai tea and honey lavender. top it off with delicious rose sugar crystals!

image credit: 1, 2, 3, 4



eating out at restaurants. can we call this a hobby? it’s definitely a huge part of our lives over in the designlovefest office. we get these two questions a lot, so we figured we would answer them here in our new LA column. and please answer below in the comments with YOUR two faves so we can try some new spots!

date spots LA | designlovefest


joanie: brunch at the commissary at the line hotel. i love that you get to sit inside the greenhouse and that it’s right next to the pool. feels like a mini – vacation

bri: for dinner, i would say speranza for pasta and wine and a patio full of plants. i’ve had many looooong friend conversations on that patio. they make their own pasta there too! i love the linguini with clams. ps, make sure you get the free almond cookies at the end.

date spots LA | designlovefest

erika: the rooftop bar at the ace hotel. it’s a great way to show them the city with a good view. plus, there’s live music from time to time.

wendy: chado tea room, cute place to experience a fun tea tasting where you’ll select your favorite tea flavor as you pair it with their delightful sandwiches, scones and dessert. perfect for a party of two!

natalie: the edendale, they have food if you feel like you need to eat without having to do a sit down dinner (but they have that option too) and there are lots of different areas to post up and have a conversation.


date spots LA | designlovefest


bri: little beast. this is my NEW favorite date spot. it’s in eagle rock, the food is great and it feels like you’re dining in someone’s cozy house. mushroom risotto, whole chicken, beets and burrata. good for the soul.

joanie: put your name in at silver lake ramen, walk next door to thirsty crow for happy hour cocktails (the old fashioned and the fizz are my favorites).

wendy: maru santa monica. ideal location to go for amazing french and japanese inspired dishes, their dimly lit atmosphere creates the romantic mood while the scrumptious desserts complete the night. highly recommend the chocolate bread pudding, order two, you won’t regret it!


natalie: eat at the taco truck or pizza at two boots and then work it off on the dance floor at funky soul at the echo.

erika: mohawk bend. it’s a restored 100-year-old movie theatre and they have a TON of beer taps that are all $6.50. good beer = happy guy.

(photos: 1 and 2)

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