Summer 2013 Happenings


Discover Los Angeles

Universal Studios Hollywood’s ‘VIP Experience’ Combines Private Guided Theme Park Adventure with Unprecedented Behind-the-Scenes Access

Universal Studios Hollywood has raised the bar for its star-treatment "VIP Experience," granting limited parties of guests expanded behind-the-scenes access to previously "off-limits" areas of the famed Hollywood dream factory. Guest will be pampered with an elegant continental breakfast at a VIP Lounge, offering unlimited food service at favorite theme park locations and ushering them to the front of the line at such world-famous attractions as "Revenge of the Mummy -- The Ride" and "Jurassic Park -- The Ride."  The additional access to key Studio production areas now allows "VIP Experience" guests the opportunity to see the machinery of the filmmaking process in its entirety, including sound stages and standing sets, post-production bays and craft support facilities, as well an up-close view of an authentic Academy Awards® Oscar statuette®.  Only in recent years, in response to growing demand for a "luxury" studio experience, has the program been offered to the public and never before with these new enhancements.

Chefs Behind Popular Pop-Up LudoBites and Meat-Centric Animal Collaborate to Create Hot New Restaurant Concept

This summer the hottest ticket in town is to Trois Mec, a 26-seat restaurant that operates via a pay-in-advance ticketing system with reservations that are leaked once every two weeks. Diners are clamoring for the highly coveted experience of bellying up to a five-course chef’s table experience prepared by three of LA’s top celebrity chefs: Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. Trois Mec, which translates to “three guys” in French. Trois Mec posts daily open reservations on its Facebook page, great for visitors looking to snag a last-minute seat. Visiting food lovers unable to score a reservation can delight in knowing that the city is a treasure trove of good eats. Explore LA’s dynamic dining scene by visiting

Grand Central Market Reinvents Itself as the Iconic Steward of LA Street Food

Celebrating the cuisines and cultures of Los Angeles since 1917, the historic Grand Central Market food arcade is an unparalleled eating and shopping experience showcasing the best local chefs, culinary purveyors and entrepreneurs. Grand Central Market, located in Downtown Los Angeles, reaffirms this tradition with the spring and summer openings of Sticky Rice, LA’s first Thai comfort food restaurant; Valerie at Grand Central Market, offering a modern interpretation of the coffee shop counter experience; G&B Coffee, an award-winning coffee bar that just completed a seven month pop-up within Silver Lake’s SQIRL Café; Horse Thief, connoisseurs of central Texas-style BBQ; and The Oyster Gourmet helmed by Christophe Happillon, the only Master Ecailler (shellfish master) in Los Angeles. 

PUP Program Brings Dogs to LAX to Help Weary Travelers Unwind

Passengers at LAX are now greeted by a new breed of furry Airport Volunteers — dogs! PUP, started as part of National Volunteer Week (April 21-27), aims to create a less stressful airport experience for travelers. Trained dogs with special handlers will roam through the gate areas on the departure level of each terminal and visit passengers awaiting flights. The service is provided by Therapy Dogs Inc., which has been spreading smiles and stress relief to people in hospitals, special needs centers, schools and nursing homes since 1990.

On the horizon for LAX is the New Tom Bradley International Terminal. The $1.7-billion new Tom Bradley International Terminal will create a world-class terminal that offers better passenger convenience, amenities and services and solidifies LA’s role as an international gateway. The West Gates and a Great Hall featuring dining, shopping and other passenger amenities are scheduled to open in summer 2013 and East Gates, security and U.S. Customs and Immigration areas set for completion by the end of 2013.

Top Korean Barbecues in Los Angeles


Matthew Kang

The sizzle and smoke of the tabletop Korean barbecue is one of the definitive features of the LA dining scene. The abundance of well-priced American protein and a rabid following of diners has created a critical mass of restaurants specializing in grilled meats, nearly overshadowing the love of barbecue in the motherland itself. Through the years, barbecue restaurants have segmented into various categories – premium, all-you-can-eat, and middle-ranged a la carte, with each place trumpeting a particular specialty or stand-out side dish. Still other places emphasize the grilling devices and methods, where some employ charcoal for a smokier experience and others rely on special grates for more direct heat.

Barbecue is best enjoyed with a glass of ice cold Hite, a simple Korean lager, or a chilled shot of soju, the national spirit of choice. Think of Korean barbecues almost like more affordable steakhouses, where it's easy to get together with friends and family for a casual lunch or evening to celebrate the variety and quality of great beef, pork, and banchan. It's hard to go wrong with that formula.

The Best Restaurants in Pasadena


Joshua Lurie

The Pasadena dining community is expanding in both breadth and depth. As noted in the LA Times, Pasadena has more restaurants per capita (550 eateries and counting) than New York. No longer is Old Pasadena limited to chain restaurants, and no longer is Pasadena dining limited to Old Pasadena. Now the unofficial capital of the 626 area code has drawn international influences and top culinary talent to help complement the city’s rich history.

The Best Afternoon Teas in Los Angeles


Leslee Komaiko

Meeting for coffee is well and good, but afternoon tea is a treat. It’s a special occasion with tiered trays, porcelain pots, and adorable miniature sandwiches and sweets that look almost too good to eat. Almost. While Los Angeles is an ocean and a continent away from London, there are a surprising number of local spots that offer excellent afternoon tea. Whether you’re looking for a civilized way to spend quality time with your BFF or a venue for a wedding shower, there’s a hot pot of tea with your name on it.

L.A.'s Best Restaurants, Museums & Gardens for Weddings


Esther Tseng

It's hard to measure just how special a couple's big day is, but we can all agree that every wedding is as unique as the wedding couple, their wedding party and guests. We've got the venues that will make your ceremony and reception perfect, tailored to make your vows and celebration unforgettable. Whether you've dreamed of magical gardens, a Gehry-designed music center or Old World charm in Downtown Santa Monica, there's the perfect setting for your big day.

Words from Wooden - May 2013


With spring upon us and summer coming fast, the continuing strength of LA tourism and its role in keeping our economy and our community thriving give us ample reason to celebrate our industry.

WHAT’S COMING - May 2013


Discover Los Angeles

Please join us for the May Member Mixer from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15 at Le Ka Restaurant located in Downtown. Network with other LA Tourism members and industry peers while enjoying a complimentary signature cocktail and delicious hors d’oeuvres.  As always, there will be a drawing for a great prize.

LA Tourism At Work - May 2013


Discover Los Angeles

Around the world, in town, and on the web, LA Tourism and Convention Board is working to help grow and support the Los Angeles tourism community and keep the world coming to LA.

March 2013 Lodging Metrics


Discover Los Angeles

Los Angeles ranked 10th place among the Top 25 Markets with an Occupancy rate of 76.2%, up +0.2% compared to the same period last year (76.0%).