Barrel and Ashes! Black Market Liquor Bar! The original Sugarfish?! Studio City has always been an eclectic neighborhood, but it's no secret that over the last few years, it has become quite the destination for young Angelenos looking for some good shopping, food, and late night cocktails. With amazing restaurants lining Ventura Blvd, and new boutiques popping up all the time, Studio City is worth some serious investigation. So if you're from the valley, or you don't mind occasionally visiting, here are some ideas for how to spend a perfect day in the Studio City neighborhood.
11:00 AM: Brunch
1. Joan's On Third: This popular Westside brunch destination has made its way to Studio City, and man is it beautiful. White tile, wood tables, and a gourmet market uphold its trendy eatery status, while the creative menu boasts the kind of fantastic food that made Joan's famous.
3. The Six: If you're looking to start out your day with a little boozy brunch, look no further than $15 bottomless mimosas at The Six. With the kind of guilty pleasures that have allowed The Six to expand to 3 locations, The Six is the perfect locale for that hungover brunch.
1:00 PM: Shopping
1. Soto Lifestyle: An off-shoot of the popular Soto boutique from Topanga Canyon, Soto Lifestyle features a plethora of affordable, trendy, and boho pieces that are perfect for the home and closet.
2. William B: Another store that boasts multiple locations in LA, William B now has its own line of cool denim, cozy tees, maxi dresses, and trendy accessories. Come to the studio city location for an intimate experience and a great selection of home goods and cheeky books!
3. Dungarees: If you're looking for denim, then go no further than Dungarees. An activewear boutique specializing in denim, Dungarees epitomizes LA fashion, featuring brands like AG and Joie.
4:00 PM: Primping
1. The Facehaus: Part of the new trend of fast-beauty salons (à la Dry Bar), Facehaus offers all kinds of mini facials for 30 minutes and $45. Come in for a break from the day for a no-fuss, quickie maintenance facial, or get fancy with their $85 "Dr. Lancer's Polishing Act"-- this includes gold-infused serums, microdermabrasion, and oxygen.
2. The ColorBar at dpHUE: Another quickie beauty salon, The ColorBar does full service color and highlights on the fly. You can also have a quick, 15-minute consultation with one of their in-house colorists, who will help you choose which dpHUE take home color is right for you! Services range from $15 to $60, and include conditioning treatments and all over color.
3. Pure Nails Organic Spa: If a facial or hair color change seem like too much of a commitment, then you can always go for the standby mani-pedi. At Pure Nails Organic Spa, you'll get a clean environment with single use files, buffers, and more, as well as good quality polish and natural or organic products.
7:30 PM: Dinner
1. Barrel & Ashes: Who would've thought that a BBQ joint in Studio City, helmed by Chefs trained by Thomas Keller at Bouchon and French Laundry, would become one of LA's hottest restaurants? With communal style seating and an extensive list of beers and cocktails, go with a big group and don't be afraid to get messy.
2. Asanebo: It's no secret that we're big fans of Asanebo in Studio City. Serving a mix of simple, traditional sushi and the kind of creative dishes that earned it a Michelin star in 2008, Asanebo is a perfect spot for an upscale sushi experience that is truly one of a kind. A must? Try the omakase menu!
3. Girasol: A refined, rustic restaurant from Executive Chef CJ Jacobson (of Top Chef fame), Girasol is all about local, seasonal cuisine. Aiming for a friendly, warm, and approachable atmosphere, come here to escape some of the more scene-y restaurants of the westside.
10:00 PM: Drinks
1. Black Market Liquor Bar: Sure, Black Market Liquor Bar serves fun, creative comfort food. But we come here for the drinks. Quickly becoming The Valley's best destination for craft cocktails, BMLB is another Top Chef-owned Studio City resto (hello, Antonia Lofaso!), with an interior that recalls centuries' old cave-like European wine bars. A favorite cocktail is the Red Hot and Bothered: a spicy concoction of house-made Jalapeno-infused vodka, strawberry, blood orange, agave, and ginger beer.
2. Laurel Tavern: A favorite watering hole of born-and-bred Valley kids, Laurel Tavern is a cool, casual hangout with good drinks, good food, and an upscale-yet-unfussy interior. Though there's usually a line on weekends, come early for some food, grab a table, and stay for drinks. But be warned-- you might just run into everyone you ever knew from high school.