To call San Pedro overlooked is putting it mildly. Many recent transplants to Los Angeles don’t even know what to call it all (it’s pronounced 'Pee-dro’), let alone how to get there. That’s unfortunate, because this town is an unmined gem, gleaming humbly along the Pacific. The busiest port in the U.S. - by a significant margin - has seen its fair share of sailors and midshipmen for nearly a century now. That they have a hallowed history with hooch should surprise no one. Here you’ll find some of the city’s oldest dive bars, countless waterfront watering holes, multiple breweries, and a faithfully-recreated English-style pub. They even have a respectable wine bar.
When LA Fleet Week sets sail in September, San Pedro assumes center stage, welcoming sightseers from across the globe. But it’s also the perfect time for locals to check out what they’re missing, right in their own backyard. Drink your way through San Pedro at these outposts, representing the wide berth of options available in L.A.’s bustling port city.
When David Cooley decided to open The Abbey in 1991, the bar scene in West Hollywood looked much different than it does now. Cooley, an Ohioan by way of Las Vegas, moved to the city in 1981, at the start of the AIDS crisis. "When I was coming to bars on Santa Monica Boulevard, it was not as open," he says. "There were no front patios where you could have a cigarette. It was all behind closed doors and through back alleys."
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Two of L.A.'s top hotels are conveniently located across the street from the Wilshire/Normandie station. The 388-room Line Hotel opened in January 2014 at the site of the former Wilshire Hotel. The Line combines its Mid-Century Modern heritage with an industrial-chic twist. Following a $5-million restoration, the Hotel Normandie's 91 rooms have been restored to their original Roaring 20s flair, with new, vintage-inspired furnishings, fixtures and tile work of the era.
Served by both the Red and Purple Lines, the Wilshire/Vermont station is accessible to educational institutions such as Southwestern University and Robert F Kennedy Community Schools. Above the station is a mixed-use transit village development, with apartments and retail space in a building designed by architecture firm Arquitectonica. Dedicated platforms for eastbound trains are located on the upper level and westbound trains stop on the lower level.
Korean BBQ favorites like Soowon Galbi and Soot Bull Jeep are located a half-mile from the station. The Prince is as famous for its Korean-style fried chicken as it is for its classic decor and appearance on Mad Men.
Howard Johnson Los Angeles is conveniently located a block from the Wilshire/Vermont station.
Currently the northern-most station on the Red Line, the North Hollywood station also acts as a connector to the Orange Line, which was opened in 2005 and acts as transport into the San Fernando Valley.
The NoHo Arts District, which has many theatres and art galleries, North Hollywood Park, and many shops and restaurants are all accessible from the North Hollywood Station. The Federal Bar, Laemmle's NoHo 7 (which shows many indie, foreign and art house films), Idle Hour, Little Toni's, and the historic El Portal Theatre are a short walk away from the station.
Wine lovers rejoice! There are plenty of restaurants, bars and one-of-a-kind venues in Los Angeles that are sure to fulfill your inner-oenophile, whether you’re looking for a tasting, a rare bottle or a truly unique touring experience. Here are the top places in Los Angeles to get your wine fix.