NATALIE MARTIN

OCCUPATION: Fashion designer and consultant

MY STYLE: Easy, understated, feminine. I like a mix of high + low, boy + girl.

I LOVE L.A. BECAUSE: There is always something fun and interesting to do with your child, whether it’s going to a museum, park, or beach.


Las Casuelas Terraza

This Mexican joint has been a Coachella Valley favorite since the 1950s. We love the casual desert vibe, as well as the fresh and authentic chile rellenos, Oaxacan black bean tostada, and tacos de pescado achiote. And consider yourself warned: Las Casuelas Terraza boasts one of the largest tequila menus north of Mexico. Perfect for a much-needed parents-only night, you’ll have your choice between sipping mezcal or the perfect margarita—made with just about any label imaginable!

Ace Hotel

Hip, Seattle-based hoteliers took over a 1960s Howard Johnson motel to create this unique eco-resort, complete with a saltwater pool, outdoor fireplaces, well-appointed rooms, and the delicious King’s Highway diner (a converted IHOP). When the hotel gets busy with receptions and parties, simply grab a cocktail and head to the hotel’s smaller pool deck, the Commune.

Beverly Hot Springs

These naturally occurring hot springs—the only ones in Los Angeles proper—bubble up from 2,200 feet below. The water’s unique chemical makeup has several healing properties that people claim can solve such health problems as fatigue, arthritis, and high blood pressure. And while the spas themselves are the main attraction, patrons can also indulge in various massage and facial treatments.

OK Store

Our top stop for gifts, this shop stocks beautiful and clever design objects that trend towards mid-century and Japanese styling. We’d have to say the art books, Akari lamps, and Japanese cookware are more than just “OK!” Be sure to also check out owner Larry Schaffer’s blog, oklosangeles.blogspot.com, for a retelling of his adventures in the design world.

Axe

After shuttering for a full year in response to a seasonal fire, this neighborhood staple has quickly regained its reputation as Venice Beach’s best bet for brunch. At Axe (pronounced ă – shay), simplicity is the name of the game. Concrete and natural wood accents keep the minimal décor warm, while a menu of top-notch comfort food (from nine-grain pancakes to grilled pork chop with apple butter) does the same for the culinary selection.

Joan’s on Third

We love Joan’s on Third as much for the chicken tarragon salad as we do for the people-watching. A marketplace that offers salads, sandwiches, charcuterie, baked goods, and other specialty food items, Joan’s is also one of L.A.’s most beloved caterers. During summer months you can custom-order a picnic box filled with your favorite salads and sandwiches, perfect for when you’re heading to the beach.

Osteria Mozza

Talk about the dream team. Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali, and Joe Bastianich have created a sequel to their blockbuster pizzeria next door. This time, it’s decidedly more upscale, with offerings like curricotta with braised artichokes, ricotta gnudi, rabbit, and plenty of Negronis. The best seats in the house are at the bars, one of which wraps right around the mozzarella bar!

La Brea Tar Pits

These naturally occurring tar pits have been trapping animals, plants, and insects for 40,000 years, thus generating preserved fossils as far back as the Ice Age. The permanent outdoor exhibit, part of the Page Museum, shows excavations in progress. You might even see some actively bubbling tar!

Hollyhock House

Completed in 1923, the former home of oil heiress Aline Barnsdall was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first project in Los Angeles. Guided tours of the interior are available midday on weekends, but the grounds (also known as the Barnsdall Art Park) are free, open daily, and perfect for a picnic!

Kings Road Café

Supporting the claim that nobody works in L.A., Kings’ Road Café maintains a hip, thriving scene all day long. While the café is best known for house-roasted coffee and masterfully prepared eggs, our favorite part of visiting involves grabbing some magazines from the King’s Road newstand!

Melrose Trading Post

Each Sunday, nearly 200 vendors pack the parking lot at Fairfax High School to sell all sorts of vintage wares—from clothing and furniture to records and books. We love combing the used book and record stalls for well-priced gifts and one-of-a-kind collectibles.

Nichola Hunt

Cocktail aficionado. Large dog breed lover. Fondness of summer dresses. Hater of pickles. Born in London, based in Bali.

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