October 6, 2011

Stay In: Spiffy to Ritzy

Slowly but surely, the former glory of downtown is being restored piece by piece and if you follow my night out, you can taste for an evening how simply grand it can be. This is a STAY IN meant to transport you to a different era in Los Angeles, where the time was as rich as any other gilded city and the lights burned low with a bit of mystery, a bit of magic and a lot of good fun. But just remember, don't get too splifflicated and take any wooden nickels now, you hear?

EAT: Sitting at 15 stories above Pershing Square in the aptly named Pershing Square Building, Perch is a majestic eatery where you can experience the 1920s history of the building. With arched windows, a prime terrace and a menu that is a throwback to the Jazz Age, feed yourself well with the Perch au Noisette (perch in a butter bath with spring peas and tomato carpaccio), an Apple Tart Napoleon and a French 64 Cognac. 

DRINK: Tucked away in the back of Cole's, The Varnish is a true speakeasy where the drinks are taken seriously and the art of conversation is king. Sitting in one of the dimly-lit booths, you can order up a drink based on your taste whether you're feeling a bit lemony, a bit dark and stormy or if you want, let the bartenders to take the lead and whip you up something special.

STAY: Occupying the 10th-12th floors of the 131-year-old Los Angeles Athletic Club, the hotel is gloriously decorated in rich grays and warm browns with leather chairs that beckon you to cozy up and beds as big as some New York City apartments. But the real gem of staying here is getting to spend a Sunday taking a dip in the Plunge, the Olympic-sized azure pool that was home to, well, 1932 Olympians. Secret: Go to the 5th floor and walk away from the locker room, turn left and go to the end of the hall. There you'll find a small window that looks into the pool where coaches sat to assess the dives of games-bound divers. 

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