Based in Los Angeles, Josh and Rafi of FORM Design Studio are at the forefront of modern, sustainable living, but still take time to appreciate the allure of the Old Hollywood glamour in their city. Don’t forget to check out our collaboration with FORM after you read about their go-to spots in LA!
Where to Stay
- Favorite Hotel: Château Marmont, because classic is always “in.” The Château, as it is called, offers a taste of Hollywood at its finest. For locals, this is a picturesque and quiet spot to meet friends for a drink, a meal, or some people watching.
Where to Eat and Drink
- Casual Dining: This is a toss-up between Din Tai Fung in Arcadia and Mozza in Hollywood.
- Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese dumpling house. We must confess, it is a chain, but the dumplings are made in-house and by hand (you can watch from the huge window that looks into the kitchen). There is something so clean about this food; you can taste every ingredient in each dumpling. The simplicity is what makes it so special. It’s now become a phenomenon, so line up early!
- At another end of the culinary spectrum, there is the marvel that is Pizzeria Mozza, the brainchild of partners Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. This place is the distillation of the best parts of each of the owners’ talents. If you are in Los Angeles and you want to challenge the wisdom that the best pizza in America is in New York, give it a shot. Neither of us eats dairy or wheat, but we eat pizza at Mozza.
- Fine Dining: Our favorite upscale restaurant is a small spot that has recently wriggled its way into our hearts: Orsa & Winston. The degustation menu is ever-changing depending on the available fresh ingredients (and in Los Angeles, the parameters are as broad as they come). The food is magnificently conceived and deftly offered and the service is impeccable. The wine pairing is “just so,” working seamlessly and symbiotically with the chef’s creations. This is a great date spot.
- Favorite Bar: This is an easy one: Augustine Wine Bar. This gem is in Sherman Oaks and it has become our go-to for all things celebratory. Not only is the food spectacular (you can expect anything from a simple plate of artisanal charcuterie, to a beautifully charred octopus or a perfect duck confit), but the wine offerings are remarkable. What these guys are doing is offering really wonderful, vintage wines by the glass in a super sexy setting to a wide variety of wine enthusiasts. We have had warm, intimate evenings together there as well as raucous nights, meeting some real characters at the bar. The staff is knowledgeable, kind (we’ve made good friends), and always ready to chat about the more esoteric experiences one can find in the bottle.
What to See
- Our favorite museum in LA is The Getty Center. The never-ending parade of world class exhibits that move through The Getty are not to be missed, but the permanent collection is of extraordinary merit itself. The grounds are breathtaking along with the structures themselves, which were designed by Richard Meier. The museum is, purportedly, the world’s largest installation of travertine. With its fountains, sculptures, and gardens, The Getty offers visitors more than one could absorb in a day. The restaurant there is one of the most civilized locations in all of Los Angeles, drawing much more of NY crowd than anything else and the view at sunset is something to write home about.
- We would say that in the “attraction” category, there is no better place than the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. Being there is like slipping into Alice’s Wonderland! If you weren’t a botanophile (we are having some debate as to whether or not that is a word) before visiting, you certainly will be afterwards.
Thank you for sharing your Los Angeles favorites with us, Josh and Rafi!
Where are your favorite destinations to visit in Los Angeles or other cities around the world? Discover our Jet Set Collection to inspire your next trip and use the #DestinationDempsey hashtag on social media to share your travels.