Los Angeles Greater Area
When an LA Times art critic lists it among his most anticipated exhibits, you know it’s a knockout. As enchanting for grownups as it is for kids, the museum’s award-winning 8,000 square foot wooden ark immerses visitors in a wildly creative hands-on adventure, surrounded by fanciful animals hand-crafted from recycled materials and everyday objects. It’s an unforgettable voyage, now open again.
The beloved Rose Garden Tea Room may be closed for renovations, but there are still plenty of charming dining alternatives. You can preorder tea for two at the 1919 Cafe, or enjoy tasty grab ‘n go meals on the patio. Savor pot stickers, orange peel chicken and more at the new Jade Court Cafe. Or drop by the Red Car coffee shop for an espresso, fast lunch or warm bakery treat.
Where else would this show turn up after Europe? LA, of course, where Floyd wrapped and mixed The Wall and first played it live. A collaboration with entertainment architects and the band’s longtime stage designers, the immersive exhibit explores the group’s story through 350 items—instruments, artwork, lyrics, props and more—many shown for the first time.
A: Um, Los Angeles. Based on research into its Instagram hashtag count, DTLA’s The Last Bookstore captured more iPhone eyes than anyplace on earth. Surprised? Head to the old bank building at Fifth and Spring and try to resist the urge to whip out your own phone. (Not to mention walk out with an armload of books.) At 22,000 wildly creative square feet, no wonder it’s an IG dream.
San Francisco Bay Area
The hottest Oakland restaurant
The cheekily named, Hi Felicia, is an East Bay original. Run by a 25-year-old Black chef, the semi-secret supper club is set all outdoors perched in the Oakland hills. Heads up: The chef loves her food spicy, and specialties include a padrón pepper with olive oil, salt, chile oil, and Sichuan spices, and a lamb enchilada with cherries, cherry tomatoes, and pickled habanero crema.
The contemporary food hall started in dense urban centers, but it’s a concept quickly spreading to the suburbs. The latest example is the 20,000-square-foot State Street Market, which is set to bring several restaurant concepts and nearly a dozen smaller food vendors to Los Altos on the Peninsula. Among the acclaimed chefs launching projects there are Traci Des Jardins, Srijith Gopinathan, and Meichih and Michael Kim.
Feel like sipping world class wine and then crashing in a vintage camper in Guerneville? How about a yurt in Sebastopol? Maybe a gingerbread house in Geyserville? For those looking for a more offbeat Wine Country adventure, check out this list of cool, unusual, and unique places to stay the night in Sonoma County.
Mission Chinese gets all the headlines. But star chef Danny Bowien’s famous Sichuan-influenced Mission district eatery was partly inspired by a popular, under-the-radar Chinese restaurant in the Inner Richmond. Click here to read the story behind Spices and its fiery menu of Hunan and Sichuan specialties, including spicy cumin lamb, mapo tofu, and the outrageously pepper-filled fish in flaming chili oil.