I'm Going to LA in a Few Days

Original Poster
Joined: Jun 2004
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I'll be staying for about a week. For those who live in the area or have visited before, what should I definitely do or definitely not do?

Best places to eat?

Best movie theater? Plus any special movie events going on (We originally planned to see The Last Airbender, but I'm starting to rethink that)?

We're thinking of doing a studio tour, any suggestions on which one?

Are there any local events between the 3rd of July and the 11th?

Sights to see?

Anything to see, do, hear, eat, etc... I'm interested in.

---

We also plan on maybe taking a day trip down to San Diego, so recommendations are welcome there as well.
Jun 30, 2010 4:42 PM
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You must go to the UCB theatre. And then, right next door, eat at Birds. You ALL CAPS MUST do both of these things.
Jun 30, 2010 4:46 PM
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Snot Boogie;18445645You must go to the UCB theatre. And then, right next door, eat at Birds. You ALL CAPS MUST do both of these things.

Are the Death-Ray comedy acts typically unknowns or do they get the big dogs of Death-Ray to perform?
Jun 30, 2010 4:53 PM
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Freebirth;18445661Are the Death-Ray comedy acts typically unknowns or do they get the big dogs of Death-Ray to perform?


If it's a live show, then typically they'll get the big dogs. But it depends on what you mean by big dogs. Also, the WTF show should be pretty good and the free Assscat show is always awesome.
Jun 30, 2010 5:00 PM
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Heino has been to Los Angeles frequently once and has a couple of interesting "must sees."

Not many people know about it, but along the Hollywood Boulevard sidewalks there is something they call "the Sidewalk of Fame." Set into the cement there are plaques featuring the names of various stars from various movies and televisions - anyone from Joan Crawford to Fonzie. Highly recommended, if not a little bit on the offbeat side.

As far as food goes, there is an amazing hot dog stand called Pink's - I forget where - but just a half block away there is a restaurant called "Denny's," if I remember the name correctly now, and let me tell you, the food is very fantastic and it is also open late. They will also serve Mexicans here, just in case you are Mexican.

Los Angeles is also the home to many famous movie locations. Heino recommends the legendary Golden Gate Bridge - as seen in Vertigo and The Poseidon Adventure. If you visit the park below you can see where Kim Novak fell into the water and got her tits wet.

Just let me know if you would like any more "insider" scoops!

_________________
Jun 30, 2010 5:25 PM
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Hello Heino;18445713Heino has been to Los Angeles frequently once and has a couple of interesting "must sees."

Not many people know about it, but along the Hollywood Boulevard sidewalks there is something they call "the Sidewalk of Fame." Set into the cement there are plaques featuring the names of various stars from various movies and televisions - anyone from Joan Crawford to Fonzie. Highly recommended, if not a little bit on the offbeat side.

As far as food goes, there is an amazing hot dog stand called Pink's - I forget where - but just a half block away there is a restaurant called "Denny's," if I remember the name correctly now, and let me tell you, the food is very fantastic and it is also open late. They will also serve Mexicans here, just in case you are Mexican.

Los Angeles is also the home to many famous movie locations. Heino recommends the legendary Golden Gate Bridge - as seen in Vertigo and The Poseidon Adventure. If you visit the park below you can see where Kim Novak fell into the water and got her tits wet.

Just let me know if you would like any more "insider" scoops!

_________________


:up:
Jun 30, 2010 10:03 PM
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Freebirth;18445638I'll be staying for about a week. For those who live in the area or have visited before, what should I definitely do or definitely not do?

Best places to eat? Food is hard to recommend in LA. Lots of good places, but they're scattered around the city and vary in price. Any range / location you were thinking?

Best movie theater? Plus any special movie events going on (We originally planned to see The Last Airbender, but I'm starting to rethink that)? Arclight (Hollywood) Cinemas at Sunset and Vine. For older films, check out the American Cinematheque website and see what the Egyptian (on Hollywood) or the Aero (in Santa Monica) is playing.

We're thinking of doing a studio tour, any suggestions on which one? Universal's is part of their theme park and you just ride around in a trolley. I've heard good things about the Warner Bros tour, but I've never been on the tour, just the lot itself.

Are there any local events between the 3rd of July and the 11th?

Sights to see?

Anything to see, do, hear, eat, etc... I'm interested in.

---

We also plan on maybe taking a day trip down to San Diego, so recommendations are welcome there as well.

/
Jun 30, 2010 10:08 PM
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Also, avoid Pink's at standard lunch or dinner times unless you want a 90 minute wait minimum. It is also cash only, so be sure to carry some with you at all times, especially if you plan on walking around Compton at night.

Don't do that.
Jun 30, 2010 10:10 PM
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The arclight and landmark are easily the best theaters in town but they are pretty modern. Maybe try some of the remaining single screen theaters. Majestic Crest and Regency(formerly Mann) Village are stunning.
Jun 30, 2010 10:17 PM
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[quote]Best places to eat?[/quote]

In-and-Out, Pink's, Jerry's Famous Deli...if you're stopping in the Valley, I know a lot more places there. Some good bars in Hollywood include Red Rock, Happy Ending (beer pong tables!), and Cat'n'Fiddle.

[quote]Best movie theater? Plus any special movie events going on (We originally planned to see The Last Airbender, but I'm starting to rethink that)?[/quote]

Arclight, AMC Imax at Universal, the Sunset 5 (indies!), the Egyptian (oldies!).

[quote]We're thinking of doing a studio tour, any suggestions on which one?[/quote]

They're all kinda dull, but Universal has the new King Kong 360 attraction, and its Mummy-coaster is pretty good, and its CityWalk (two block of restaurants and bars) has some good eats (Bubba Gump Shrimp) and drinks (Howl at the Moon).

[quote]Sights to see? Anything to see, do, hear, eat, etc... I'm interested in.[/quote]

I like a lot of the cultural stuff, so the LACMA, the Getty Center, and the Griffith Park Observatory are all pretty dang cool. The latter is usually very busy, though. Santa Monica Pier's usually crowded as hell, but hey, it's the beach. If you want a more secluded beach, Point Dume is twenty miles west of LA, and you'd be driving the Pacific Coast Highway, which is always beautiful. If you love LP's or discount CDs, Amoeba Music is heaven on Earth.

[quote]We also plan on maybe taking a day trip down to San Diego, so recommendations are welcome there as well.[/QUOTE]

The Zoo's pretty nice. That's all I got.
Jun 30, 2010 11:02 PM
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surprised that no one has mentioned the New Beverly theater! the coolest place in LA, a 70's style revival theater with random double features every night for seven bucks, triple features on many weekend nights. candy is a dollar...

it's now owned by Quentin Tarantino, and I sat behind him there just a few weeks ago. not uncommon to see him there.

here's their schedule for the next week, looks pretty good: www.newbevcinema.com

good location too, right outside hollywood, central to a lot of sites recommended so far. a block away from Pink's, etc.
Jul 1, 2010 12:49 AM
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high above Hollywood Blvd - Yamashiro
Jul 1, 2010 1:01 AM
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Jul 1, 2010 1:09 AM
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Your agenda is fortuitous. You can knock out a lot of things at once if you like.
Best theater is The El Capitan in Hollywood which fortunately for you is across the street from Mann's/Graumanns Chinese theater and the Kodak theater, home of the Academy Awards and American Idol.


The downside is you will have only one choice of Movie. Toy Story 3. But there will be exibits from Pixar and a fun Toy Story Zone to hang out at after the movie. Here are two score of pictures of The El Capitan I recently posted. I am fond of saying just watching the curtains open alone is worth the price of admission. Its probably worth the price to buy the VIP tickets if you like popcorn for the seating benefits. If interested there are ways to save money on tickets.

The shrewd visitor will park beneath Universal Studios at the Metro Station and take the Red Line over the hill which will drop you between the Chinese and the Kodak. Where either before or after the show you could do The Universal Studios Tour which is going to be the only theater tour to take. The good news on that is Peter Jackson's King Kong Experience was just added to the tour. The bad news is its really short. Like 90 seconds tops which totally sucks. Universal Studios does not take the whole day. Its almost a better thing for locals because for one dollar more you can hang out there all year. If a local friend buys the tickets you save fifteen dollars. Outside of Universal Studios is Citywalk, where if you watched Conan or Jay Leno this was typically where they would do their public stuff.
Citywalk is a romantic notion of what being in Hollywood is supposed to look like. There are cute fun shops. I always visit Dark Horse Comics for the memorabila and incredible vinyl figures. I doubt you would have time and the luck but seeing any concert at the Gibson Ampitheater up there is mind blowing. The sound pressure levels vibrate every bone in your body including your skull. Its unbelievable. The smart whole day thing to do would be again parking at the Metro station, taking the tram up the hill to Citywalk. Do a little CityWalk, Do Universal. Take the tram back down the hill to the Metro and take the train over the hill to Hollywood Boulevard. See the Chinese, See the Kodak theater and watch Toy Story 3 at the El Capitan.
If Toy Story 3 is out of the question then take the Metro to Vine and walk down to Sunset to the Arclight theaters which include the historic Arclight Cinerama Dome.
The Arclight is modern posh. There is a sit down bar and a bookstore. Usually there are exhibits. And its the theater in Hollywood you are most likely to encounter a celebrity. Across the street is Amoeba records where you will see one of the largest collections of vinyl, DVDs and CDs from around the world. That's plenty to do in a day.

There are no shortage of good places to eat at Citywalk. The Yamashiro restaurant recommended above is just a block below Citywalk. But if I were taking a friend to eat around Universal I would take them to either Poquito Mas and have some good Mexican Food, or right across the street from Poquito Mas is Micelli's which is an Italian restaurant that is really fun because either the waiters or the locals will suddenly break out into song in the middle of your meal. The food is very reasonable.
3701 Cahuenga Blvd.
West Studio City, CA 91604 (Near Universal Studios)



(818) 760-8226

Micellis has a second also great location within walking distance of the El Capitan.
1646 N Las Palmas Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Phone: (323) 466-3438

The Metro is optional and only suggested because driving in Hollywood can be harrowing or frustrating and expensive to park in if you choose the wrong venue. You would have to drive to eat at Pinks
709 N. La Brea Ave., L.A., CA 90038.




Pinks is near Melrose Blvd. which used to be an awesome place to walk at night but like Citywalk, because of the economy, the sidewalks tend to be rolled back at 7PM.
The last vestige of open air nightlife is the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
One place you might eat there is the Kings Head Pub where you can order fish and chips and fish sticks are as big as your arm. I went in there once and it was so packed I could barely move.

You would be by the ocean. There are lots of theaters and street entertainers.

Like Sports and have cash to burn? See something at The Staples Center eat around LA Live.



If I could do one thing I have never done in LA that I should have done by now is see something at the Disney Concert Hall. What an amazing building to look at from the outside and the Concert Hall is said to be among the best anywhere in the world.


Which also leads me to the most obvious thing to do is go to Disneyland. Now no longer just Disneyland, but Disneyland, plus Downtown Disney, plus Disney California Center. If visiting Downtown Disney go in the big safari themed hotel. Amazing.
Jul 1, 2010 2:30 AM
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Ace
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Basically all of what Atomic Cow just said.
Jul 1, 2010 2:47 AM
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I can't tell you how to do San Diego but my favorite place to hang out is the gaslamp district particularly at night. I love it especially because there are two hostels in the gaslamp district where you can stay for 17 dollars a night. Its not luxurious. You share a room and its clean and fun. There is the quiet one and the ecclectic party one which is full of young travelers and bohemian decor. Its within walking distance of the massive convention center where they hold Comiccon. Or stay in luxury at a resort hotel.

Gas lamp has just scores of awesome places to eat. A nice multi tiered open air mall with theater and lots of atmosphere. Go dancing. Smoke a hooka at the hooka bar. Ride a horse drawn carraige or hire a rickshaw Not too far is San Diego harbor for atmospheric maritime shopping. Its always been outrageously expensive and its been ages since I've been there but I did enjoy Sea World a lot. And cheaper by far is the San Diego Zoo. One of the best zoos in the world but it is a zoo. Its a ton of walking and you have to really enjoy animals. I was working in San Diego for a while and it alway seemed I missed a million things to do. Museums and parks. You can board the aircraft carrier "The Midway" and some Tall ships if boats appeal to you. The typical tourist thing to do it take the San Ysidro trolley into Tijuana.



Personally I didn't care for it much because I don't do any meaningful gambling. But some people in San Diego like to go to the Barona Indian Casino. It appears to have improved since I was there 7 years ago.

Jul 1, 2010 3:18 AM
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Pink's is overrated garbage.
Jul 1, 2010 8:45 AM
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Wow. Thanks guys. Especially you, Heino and your knowledge of the little known treasures.

But seriously, all of these recommendations are appreciated. DaMU, thanks for all the cultural stuff. I didn't even think of the Getty, and wasn't aware of the observatory. I'll definitely be checking both out. And I forgot all about In-and-Out. Something, as a midwesterner, I've always wanted to try.

Cow, thanks for including pictures and links. I'm fairly certain we're going to go to the El Capitan now as well as one or both of the Universal retaurants (though we might take the Micellis location near El Capitan). The Disney Concert hall looks awesome, but I don't know if we'll have the funds. Depending if I eventually move out to the area, I'll have to check it out.

Obviously there is some contention on Pink's. I've got a friend whose brother lives in LA and he seemed to think it was a long wait for "just a hotdog." So, I'm pretty iffy about it.
Jul 1, 2010 11:30 AM
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I just got back from L.A. myself a few weeks ago. The most entertaining thing I did was the Warner Bros. studio tour. You get to go on a number of familiar indoor and outdoor TV and film sets, see where they manufacture props and backgrounds as well as see a number of famous movie and TV props and automobiles (I won't go into specifics so it will all be a surprise for you if you decide to do it). The best restaurant I went to was a small Italian place called Dominick's. All of the food is very fresh and authentic.
Jul 1, 2010 11:42 AM
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I heard the Warner tour was pretty good, but I was stunned at the price. I worked at Warner this year and last and thought about taking it just for fun but figured it was only about 12 bucks or so. When I saw it was 50 bucks my jaw dropped. What are they showing people? I drive around the lot constantly and aside from the teeny downtown area and neighborhood sets I wonder what they are showing people. I hear its different every day and some tours see tv shows like Ellen. Only a few productions are active on any given day. People definitely show up for it so I guess it must have some word of mouth. I am just kind of baffled about what makes it great. I do adore being on the lot. Its like the happiest place on earth for me.
Jul 1, 2010 6:04 PM
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