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The LA Summer 25

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The LA Summer 25

Summer in Los Angeles. It’s a time for after-hour taco runs, impromptu picnics, and forgetting which lot you parked in at the beach. Even with all the sunshine we get, it’s your duty to make the most of this hallowed season. Here are 25 hacks to doing Summer 2023 right.

Summer in Los Angeles. It’s a time for after-hour taco runs, impromptu picnics, and forgetting which lot you parked in at the beach. Even with all the sunshine we get, it’s your duty to make the most of this hallowed season. Here are 25 hacks to doing Summer 2023 right.

Some people run cross-city marathons. We prefer the Olympics of Olympic Boulevard, otherwise known as the Boyle Heights taco crawl. Gather your friends and some stretchy pants, then hit this iconic four-taco loop: Los Cinco Puntos for stewed chicharrones, La Unica for smoky goat birria, Mariscos Jalisco for a salsa-doused shrimp taco, and El Momo for glistening carnitas. -Sylvio Martins

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photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Bonding experiences are healthy for every friend group, whether it’s book club, intramural dodgeball, or sweating over spicy stir-fried chicken feet. If that last option sounds like quality time, your crew belongs at Hanshin Pocha. This high-energy pub on the second floor of a Koreatown mega-mall has plenty of seating, doesn’t require reservations, and serves fun drinking food like crispy pork belly pancakes that will keep the soju flowing all night. -Sylvio Martins

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The Ktown Group Feast image

photo credit: Nicolas Zhou

The coconut-based ice cream sold from Awan's tiny West Hollywood window, spun to a thick gelato-like consistency, is so decadent you’ll forget it never came close to a cow’s udders. Get the Gaviota strawberry if they have it: the explosion of fruity sweetness makes us fantasize about picking juicy red berries in a secret backyard garden. -Nikko Duren

The Scoop To Plan Your Day Around image

photo credit: Nicolas Zhou

The human body can only consume so much Trader Joe's popcorn at the beach before it craves something more substantial. So make a stop at Lady & Larder first. This Santa Monica charcuterie board specialist a few blocks from the water has a semi-secret sandwich menu featuring funky imported cheeses, salty cold cuts, and dreamy farmers market produce like roasted beets and sweet summer nectarines. -Sylvio Martins

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

One glass of trebbiano led to another, and suddenly you’re waking up to a text from “Elise Ruby Fruit” asking if you’re still down to record that podcast on Tuesday. Don’t be alarmed. That’s what happens when you stick around long enough at this lesbian bar in Silver Lake, where pet-nat-fueled crowds spill out onto the sidewalk, and even the parking lot, on a nightly basis. -Brant Cox

photo credit: Kim Fox

Yes, the Hawaiian-themed, tourist honey pot on PCH in Malibu is, in fact, the place to be this summer. Strategy is important. March past the host stand, past the shoobies waiting for tables, and sit yourself down at the bar. The ocean views are practically 360 degrees, the fish tacos aren’t bad, and the mai tais are very good. Oh look, a whale. -Arden Shore

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Picnic tables filled with big groups of friends drinking wine. Plumes of smoke wafting above lamb chops, bok choy, and tiger shrimp on a giant Santa Maria grill. No, you aren’t at a friend-who-can-actually-cook’s backyard barbecue, you’re on an asphalt lot in Santa Monica, wondering why more restaurants in LA aren’t like Le Great Outdoor. -Brant Cox

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

A $67 grilled fish that feeds three hungry adults should be enough to convince anyone to join you at this upscale Mexican spot in Frogtown. If it isn’t, consider unfriending them. We should also mention that this particular pescado zarandeado comes with rice and beans, tortillas, avocado, various salsas, and unlimited quesadillas (if you ask nicely). Hook, line, and sinker. -Brant Cox

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Cheetah-print carpet, illuminated horse busts, fringed pink lamp shades. These are items Liza Minelli would decorate her house with and things you’ll spot at La Dolce Vita. This windowless room in Beverly Hills is our favorite place to eat veal parm and drink ice-cold martinis right now, specifically their silky, savory LDV Gibson. It’s garnished with a giardiniera skewer and three drops of black garlic oil, carefully dosed out tableside by your server. -Brant Cox

photo credit: Matt Gendal

You made it clear before you sat down: One glass of riesling and then you have to go. But then the bread and butter arrived. And then the most beautiful plate of anchovies you’ve ever seen. Oops, here comes that other bottle your server wanted you to try. Three hours later, you’re still at this packed Melrose wine bar wondering if there’s a bedroom in the back you can rent. -Brant Cox

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Your friend has built an entire personality around their bicoastal lifestyle and it's exhausting. They rarely leave Silver Lake (they went to Venice once), yet claim LA “sucks.” Acceptable dinner options are limited. Voodoo Vin might be the closest thing you'll find to a wine bar in Bushwick, and we mean that in a good way. We dig both the snacky plates of beef tartare and the clog-wearing, tote bag-slinging crowds. -Sylvio Martins

The Place To Take Your NY Friend Who's Subletting On The Eastside image

photo credit: Jakob Layman

Sometimes an impromptu trip along the coast (even just for lunch) is crucial for maintaining your sanity. Our escape of choice is Bell's, a new-wave French bistro up the 101 in idyllic Los Alamos. A lot of that has to do with their excellent steak frites, uni-caviar crepes, and egg salad sandwich with pickles. But also because it feels great being in a town with a single stoplight. -Brant Cox

photo credit: Jakob Layman

We've been in search of the perfect summer aperitivo spot since the great Aperol spritz boom of 2017. And we found it at Capri Club. Roll through this retro Eagle Rock bar around 6pm to experience an amaro party in full swing, with strong vermouth tonics, vegan arancini to soak up said vermouth tonics, and a sidewalk where you could befriend a theremin player named Raúl and get existential over negroni slushies. -Sylvio Martins

The Aperitivo Moment image

photo credit: Matt Gendal

Booking a table at Funke takes planning, and you can barely remember to take a multivitamin. But anyone can waltz up to Funke’s no-reservations rooftop for a last-minute bite in Beverly Hills. They don’t serve pasta up here, but you will find a life-changing tomato martini and anchovy breadcrumb focaccia. Enjoy views of famous palm trees surrounded by other people too impatient for the wait downstairs. -Nikko Duren

The Place For When You Don’t Want To Wait For A Reservation At Funke image

photo credit: Matt Gendal

It’s 1:15am, you’re sipping a crisp $6 draft beer, some burly dude with a Lynyrd Skynyrd tattoo is singing "Purple Rain" in the corner, and an overstuffed pastrami sandwich is on its way over from Canter’s next door. You’re at Kibitz Room, and right now, life is good. -Brant Cox

The Last Stop Of The Night image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

We never imagined snacking on smoked trout dip and sipping orange wine near a giant concrete trough could feel so magical, but Lingua Franca casts a spell. This Frogtown spot’s cozy dining room has a candlelit glow and a breezy back patio that turns sitting 20 yards from the world’s largest water freeway into a perk. -Nikko Duren

photo credit: Kim Fox

Like wild gazelles descending on a watering hole, the influencers of West Hollywood come to Community Goods to drink salted maple cappuccinos and be seen. If you need an excuse to wear that new outfit or simply want to brush past a Kardashian-adjacent celebrity, this is undoubtedly the place to live, laugh, latte. Also, the coffee's good. -Sylvio Martins

The Coffee Shop Where Your Outfit Matters More Than Your Drink image

As much as we appreciate cornhole and nine different hazy IPAs, most LA breweries feel about the same. Not Homage Brewing in Chinatown. Here, thumping basslines of Jersey Club beats vibrate the stainless steel brewing tanks, technicolor light beams swirl overhead, and art school dropouts with pilsners in hand bump shoulders on the dance floor. -Nikko Duren

The Brewery That Makes Breweries Cool Again image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Reports from our Instagram feed show that Europe remains a popular summer destination. But until we can find a deal on Google Flights, we're getting our taste of white linen and wine buzz at Barra Santos. Squint your eyes and the blue Portuguese tiles and weathered oak counter give "romantic bar in Lisbon" instead of Cypress Park. Order some fat garlicky prawns with your chilled vinho verde and call it a vacation. -Sylvio Martins

photo credit: Kim Fox

Everyone knows that the best part of seeing a show at The Bowl is typically the picnic beforehand. And the picnic during. Everyone also knows about the agonizing gridlock afterward. So be a hero and show up with a cheese plate and a bunch of dips and salads from Sightglass, then afterward herd everyone to nearby Power House for a drink while the crowds die down. -Brant Cox

The Hollywood Bowl Hack image

photo credit: Brant Cox

Echo Park’s legendary Latin club is one of the few places in LA where people show up ready to go all out on the dance floor. Live salsa bands and old-school cumbia tracks keep the crowd sweating on most nights, but the massive room really fills up for Stud Country—the weekly queer party where strangers in Stetsons line dance in unison like a Western-themed flash mob. -Nikko Duren

The Dance-All-Night Spot image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

You don't need to explain yourself—here's the cure for what ails you. Head to this daytime mariscos window attached to Loreto in Frogtown, which specializes in the kind of salty, spicy, and mouthwateringly fresh seafood cocteles necessary to mend a raging headache and severe case of dry mouth. Sit under a shaded table, chug an agua fresca, and stay hydrated, friend. -Sylvio Martins

photo credit: Brant Cox

We’ve seen things at Apt 200: Kaytranada partying in a full Gucci suit on a random Thursday. A Miu Miu model lighting a cigarette in the bathroom line. Imagine the most salacious parts of #fashiontok blended with a few vodka sodas—that’s this cramped, apartment-themed nightclub in Weho, where you’ll almost certainly have to wait in line, and maybe even claim to know the DJ, to get in. -Nikko Duren

The Place To Turn A Look image

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

You just finished the three-and-a-half mile trek to Calabasas Peak, your calves are on fire, and all those photos you snapped of the Malibu coastline came out blurry. At least you can recuperate at Endless Color. This quirky pizzeria hidden in Topanga Canyon has leopard-spotted pies, a tiny shop with natural wine and vintage vinyl, and a shaded patio where you can kick off your Tevas under a disco ball. -Nikko Duren

photo credit: Matt Gendal

Sorry to all the street dog carts—the pita-wrapped beef and lamb combo at Sincerely Syria (formerly known as Hollywood Shawarma) is the only reason you should make eating on the Walk of Fame after midnight a priority. This Syrian-owned walk-up counter is somehow open until 3am on weekends, making it one of the tastiest late-night options not just on Hollywood Boulevard, but the entire city. -Nikko Duren

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