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West Hollywood: definitive guide of where to eat, sleep and do!

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Located at the base of the Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood is less than 2 square miles but home to incredible eats and fun things to do.

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West Hollywood is home to a large gay community

The food scene in West Hollywood has something for everyone whether you want Vegetarian, Mexican, Seafood, Italian and tried and true favorites. An advantage of staying in West Hollywood is that the hotels are less pricey than LA and Santa Monica counterparts. You can and should Uber everywhere. Most rides were under $10 and far less than any cab would be. Hotel parking costs around $40 per day so this was an added benefit of not having to pay that expense or pay for any restaurant valets.

Wondering where you should stay when you visit West Hollywood? The Grafton on Sunset

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The Grafton Hotel – Boutique hotel in West Hollywood

This boutique hotel is situated in the middle of West Hollywood. With reasonable pricing, it has views of LA and is in walking distance to many of the best West Hollywood restaurants. Several of the nights we stayed there we returned to our hotel from dinner to have a very talented vocalist belting out great tunes. I wish we’d known about this free entertainment ahead of time so we could have taken better advantage of this intimate performance at our West Hollywood hotel.

Gracias Madre restaurant in West Hollywood

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Delicious Vegan eats are readily available at Gracias Madre

This vegan restaurant, serves up fantastic cocktails in a beautiful, bright and airy restaurant. Get the salsa trio with tastings of pineapple, mango and pico de gallo. Although the table salsas (a green verde salsa made with zucchini is quite delicious too. They’ve got a terrific drink list and the Purista margarita with a slight kick is the perfect cocktail to pair with your meal.

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Purista Margarita at Gracias Madre

Tortilla Republic is another great restaurant to dine in West Hollywood

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L: Ceviche, R: Ancho Salmon at Tortilla Republic in West Hollywood

While the restaurant is cozy and welcoming with its three rooms: a patio, main dining room or back “rope room” with a lovely huge rope display hanging above it, it is hard to decide if the staff is full or more warmth or the food. Sidestep the traditional margarita in favor of the Cucumber Lavender made with tequila, Fresh Agave Lime, House Made Lavender Syrup and Muddled Cucumber. Happy hour is really 3-7 pm most days with incredible specials. Don’t miss the Ceviche with chunks of Swordfish and shrimp or the Huarache (flatbread) with mushrooms and truffle oil. For mains, duck confit enchiladas and or Ancho Salmon hit the spot. The herb infused rice and spicy habanero carrot sauce.

The Polo Lounge in Los Angeles / West Hollywood is a must visit

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Beverly Hills Hotel

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Classic dishes like the beef tartar and Waldorf salad are prepared table side and some of the most popular menu items.

If it is classic Beverly Hills you want to experience, then head to The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel. You can dine the main dining room and you can wander around the hotel viewing that classic banana leaf signature everywhere. Order the classic Waldorf salad. Insider tip: there’s a classic diner downstairs serving up amazing food as well.

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These Buscemi shoes (left) with the signature banana leaf from the Beverly Hills Hotel retail for $1,000.

Ceccino’s – a staple in West Hollywood

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Cecconi’s in West Hollywood is the perfect spot for a late lunch of pasta and wine.

This modern Italian restaurant hails from Venice. Although pastas are standouts, Cecconi’s fresh seafood dishes like Octopus give it a mix of Mediterranean and Italian flair. Cocktails are refreshing and the perfect way to pass the time if waiting at the bar for your table. The roasted broccoli is a delicious and healthy start to the meal.
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A second appetizer, is the light and lemony Octopus. The portion is just right for a couple to share, especially if you plan on getting a heavier dish like pasta for your main. I followed this up with the lamb ragù cavatelli, though I’m dying to go back again and have the lobster spaghetti with chili, saffron, basil.

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Octopus appetizer at Ceccenoi’s restaurant in West Hollywood

Connie and Ted’s (we saw Gordon Ramsey at this WeHo hot spot) 

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Killer cocktails and seafood dishes await at Connie and Ted’s WeHo

This classic restaurant has been around since 1940. They have a wide selection of oysters as well as fresh seafood like Bluefish, Halibut and Salmon. If they have the special Sea Urchin make sure to order it before it sells out as it does on many evenings. The restaurant has a large craft beer list as well as excellent cocktails like the Born in East LA, made with tamarind lime and mole bitters. Lobster is a specialty here as well either the whole lobster or a lobster roll. While we were too full for an entire lobster, the lobster roll was quite delicious. We even spotted Gordon Ramsey dining there.

Top things to do in West Hollywood

Greystone Mansion

By far, one of the coolest things I did when I visited WeHo was take a drive out to Greystone Mansion. Did you know? Lots of famous movies have been filmed at Greystone Mansion. The home itself has quite a sordid and sad past. You should know that if you want to visit Greystone Mansion, you’ll need to be part of tour (at least that was the rule at the time of this post. Even so, the outside gardens are often open to the public and would liken the beautiful outdoor space to a mini Versailles. Check out my visit to Greystone Mansion here.

Getty Museum

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Definitely visit the Getty Museum when you are in West Hollywood / LA

Another thing you should absolutely put on your list when you are visiting LA or WeHo is a visit to the Getty Museum. I’ll be the first to tell you I am not a huge museum person, but I can tell you that this is absolutely stunning on the inside.

Santa Monica Pier

While you’re in WeHo you are not that far from the Santa Monica Pier. There are plenty of good instagrammable spots you won’t want to miss, so make sure you go there. We took a bus and it was easy enough to get there. You don’t want to try and drive as parking can be hard to find. While you are there, take a ride on the ferris wheel.

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It is a short bus ride of West Hollywood to the Santa Monica Pier

Visit the witch house

Sure you just happen to walking around in Los Angeles dreaming of what it would be like to own one of the homes in this city or one of the neighborhoods like WeHo and you stumble upon this house! What would it be like to live here and have this house on your street? Maybe it wouldn’t be the ideal choice, but if you are visiting definitely snap a picture outside.

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You can’t go inside, but you can get a very instagrammable photo at this WeHo witch house

 

 

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About the author

Malika Bowling

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!