@HopefulForLittleOne: What’s your price point for hotels? I highly recommend the Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles. If you stay there, make sure to check out their lounge on the top floor. It revolves, so you get to see the whole LA skyline. It’s super cool!
Other hotels – I love the Millenium Biltmore in downtown. It’s a very art deco hotel, and I swear someday I will get married here! They have an afternoon tea which is very delicious.
If you’re into swing/jazz music, check out the Edison Downtown. No cover on Thursdays, I think. They do have a dress code. Their food is also pretty yummy.
Also in downtown, check out Bottega Louie. It’s a very loud restaurant, but if you love pastry or macarons, you must try theirs! The restaurant is stunning, in all gold and white. They have towers of macarons that are just gorgeous.
In Pasadena, I recommend Cafe Santorini (Mediterranean food). Their balcony overlooks part of downtown Pasadena, and at night, they have market lights above the balcony. Utterly romantic.
In Koreatown, there’s this sweet little cafe that serves the best white chocolate mocha, and they have cake from Sweet Lady Jane (I like the chocolate, the triple berry, and the hummingbird). It’s a block to the east of 6th/Western. It’s so romantic – they have velvet cushioned seats, and twinkle lights. Oh, it’s called Loft.
If you’re into gourmet sandwiches, I highly recommend Mendocino Farms. They have locations in downtown and Hollywood. There’s one on Fairfax and 3rd, right by the Grove.
Speaking of which, the Grove is my absolute most favorite place in LA. They have a 3 story Barnes & Noble, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters (I think), World Market, Nordstrom, an Apple Store, and SO MANY designer stores, it’s unbelievable. They also have a decent theater – Pacific Theaters – but they mostly show mainstream movies. My favorite place to eat there is Marmalade Cafe. There’s also the Farmer’s Market right next door, which is pretty cool.
For more indie movies, I recommend the Arclight on Sunset Blvd nearVine and the Landmark on Pico/Westwood.
For museums and such, I recommend the California Science Center near USC. They have a space shuttle there on display. It’s really cool! Also, LACMA has a few great exhibits, and they have a square with tons of lights – it’s really cool to take pictures at night. The Griffith Observatory is amazing, and they have some good hiking trails too.
And of course, there are always the touristy places like Hollywood Blvd, the El Capitan, the Chinese Theater. They’re okay, but very crowded.
Hope you enjoy your trip out here!