HOLLYWOOD Facts and Helpful hints for Tourists from Locals

OlivesMom

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
This is a long shot, but if you ever have the chance and are invited, go to the Magic Castle in Hollywood - http://www.magiccastle.com/

I have been twice and it is amazing. Very "Scooby Doo" creepy too. The food was super (mine was a vegetarian meal, my co-workers loved theirs as well) and the desert was fantastic. Dress code is quite strict, but it is very fun.

You have to be invited by a member to go, otherwise this would be part of my trip plans for the next vacation.
 

Cris

<font color=red>DVC member<br><font color=green>Co
Joined
Aug 17, 1999
Thanks for all the great info, could you do a WeHo review?
 
  • fairycat

    <marquee><font color=deeppink>Modern Disney Prince
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2007
    Miracle Mile

    So Beverly Hills has been mentioned a few times in this thread so I thought I would give some more details of what to do in the area

    From the 405 freeway you can get off on Wilshire and head into the city. You will pass many classic old stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks with their Vallets and very fancy items. The Buildings are beautiful.

    You will continue and pass Rodeo drive, its on your left and you can take a drive right along it our get out and walk the street. One thing to know though is that some shops are by appointment only and will not let you in. That includes many of the jewelry stores, but you will still find many shops to check out if you want.

    If you are a car person look around you will see some of those famous high end models and if you miss them on the street no worries. Up Wilshire is Lotus, Porsche, Lamborgini and other high end car dealers. Feel free to window shop, maybe you can have them wrap one up for you :wizard:

    As you head up further you will come to the Museum Row there you will find

    LACMA- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles_County_Museum_of_Art
    Its a modern art museum but often has great special displays like the King Tut one that was very popular.

    Next door is La Brea Tar Pits- This one is great to do with the kids. There is lots to see and do and a real tar pit!

    Peterson Car Museum is great for the car lover with its interesting displays and more

    California Craft & Folk Art Museum and Carole and Barry Kaye Museum of Miniatures are also there.

    There is also theaters like the El Rey and Wiltern on Wilshire and lots of fun restaurants, clubs (like the stars go to) and more.

    You can find parking structures with the museums or in other areas. Street parking can be tough here and you don't want to risk a ticket.
     

    fairycat

    <marquee><font color=deeppink>Modern Disney Prince
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2007
    Thanks to the amazing Corpse Bride I decided to finally stop putting it off and went to Yamishiro's after seeing Sweeney Todd at the Ahmanson Theater in LA last Sunday.

    The restaurant is right off of Highland Ave between the Freeway and Hollywood Blvd. on Franklin. It is just past the very famous Magic Castle. You will see a tiny sign and take a little road up into the hills past many houses. It is pretty, steep and very little but worth the trip. Up on the hill sits the restaurant.

    We arrived just before the place opened so got a great chance to look at the small gardens and AMAZING view! You could see the Observatory, Hollywood Sign, Downtown LA, Beverly Hills and lots more. The view was just wonderful, I am so mad I didn't have my camera.

    We didn't have a reservation so were told to pick a spot inside or in the Garden and we went for the beautiful garden. It was so beautiful with the plants and Koi.

    The food is CalAsian so as a Vegetarian I was very happy! We decided to have all side dishes since so many looked yummy. I started with a Pom. Martini that was tasty. DH had Jasmine Tea. I had a beautiful Miso Soup with oyster mushrooms YUM! Cucumber Rolls and shared butter lettuce leaf tofu wraps with DH. DH had two specialty sushi wraps. Everything was very yummy!

    Then we had to decide Pinkberry or dessert here after we saw the menu it was an easy choice the peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies with Creme de Leche ice cream OMG!!! I also added a Blooming Floral tea that was also very nice.

    The service and food was all great and the atmosphere was also excellent. And if you don't want to set in the garden the view from inside is also beautiful looking out over the whole city. I would highly recommend it, I can't wait to go back. Why did it take me so long? Silly me!
     

    mjh8955

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 10, 2001
    Fairycat, I just wanted to thank you. All your posts were incredibly helpful as we are getting ready for our trip to L.A. We have only one day available to sightsee and you have described the exact areas we targeted. We start at Embassy Suites north of LAX on Saturday morning, drive to Santa Monica Pier, then to Beverly Hills, then to Hollywood, then Griffith Observatory (if there is time) then to Anaheim to check in and register for a conference by 8:00 PM. We are traveling with two teens; daughter 13 and son 17. Any advice for lunch and dinner spots that would appeal to them and be moderate in price? Thanks again!
     

    fairycat

    <marquee><font color=deeppink>Modern Disney Prince
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2007
    Fairycat, I just wanted to thank you. All your posts were incredibly helpful as we are getting ready for our trip to L.A. We have only one day available to sightsee and you have described the exact areas we targeted. We start at Embassy Suites north of LAX on Saturday morning, drive to Santa Monica Pier, then to Beverly Hills, then to Hollywood, then Griffith Observatory (if there is time) then to Anaheim to check in and register for a conference by 8:00 PM. We are traveling with two teens; daughter 13 and son 17. Any advice for lunch and dinner spots that would appeal to them and be moderate in price? Thanks again!
    Johnny Rocket's on Melrose or at Hollywood and Highland for burger's in a 50's style diner. On Melrose you can sit on the seat and people watch.

    Pink's Hot Dogs are very famous and around the corner the famous Pinkberry for this funky special asian stye frozen yogurt. Its big with the stars.

    I eat a lot of ethnic foods and there are tons in LA. My favorite is TOI on Sunset Blvd by Guitar Center, but it might be out of your way.

    Also a big deal here is In n' Out, a very California Fast Food place.

    There is lots of great food here and you can find lots of options.
     
  • OlivesMom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2008
    I know this is going to be expensive, but here goes.

    I need to get to Hollywood no later than 2pm on a Tuesday. Our first show is at Highland/Hollywood Blvd at 3pm at El Capitan's. Then dinner at the diner. Then we have to get to the second show at Arglye/Hollywood Blvd. Wicked starts at 8 but we have to be there by 7.

    So...Do I park by the Pantages and walk down to El Capitan? Leave the car the whole day near Pantages? Or is that too far to walk, and is it safe enough to walk (just me and my 5 year old daughter).

    Or do we park near El Capitan and then move the car to another garage by the Pantages? I can't really tell if it is too far. I've also read that El Capitan is validating parking but it is hard to get out of lot the during rush hour (right when I need to move).

    I'm just really not sure about the distance (can we make it on-time and will it kill me to do this right in the middle of DL vacation) and the safety. Of course a cheaper/safe lot is super :-)

    Thanks!!!
     

    fairycat

    <marquee><font color=deeppink>Modern Disney Prince
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2007
    My only worry for you is what time the lots open. I suggest finding from Pantages what time their lots open, and if they have all day parking. If they do, park there and then walk to Hollywood and Highland (El Capitan is in that block) and then take the subway back for speed (its one stop).

    If the lot opens later then park at Hollywood and Highland if you buy something (girl's love the Hello Kitty/Sanrio shop :) ) you get validation and they do have a reasonable maximum per day parking. Then I would walk to the theater and take the Subway back to the car. Cause though safe enough it will be late and you will be tired after the show so you might prefer the subway.

    Its $1.25 for an adult fare and children under 5 are free. Here is a link to the timetable http://www.metro.net/riding_metro/bus_overview/800_899/802.pdf You would use the Hollywood/Vine stop for the theater.

    Walking and the Subway are probably quicker and easier then moving the car and you can see more of the sites. But if you really want you can move the car but to save money park at Hollywood and Highlands lot (it is right before Hollywood Blvd. on the right you will see the Renaissance Hotel and a mall like complex park there. Its clean, easy and like I said they validate on food and purchases. But if you decide to eat there use that validation over a shops since some places offer longer validation then others they will tell you though. Then go over to Pantages, that lot will charge you a set amount most likely $8-$12.

    I hope that all makes sense if you have any other questions feel free to ask!
     

    mousiemom

    48th wdw trip
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2005
    we are planning on taking a grayline tour of hollywood. i know that we will have some time to shop, and eat and i would like to go to Yamashiro!!! if we are on foot, is it easy to get to the restaurant? you mentioned it was up on a hill and i didn't know if that would be easy to get to? can you make reservations so i can make sure and get a window seat?
    thanks,
    mousiemom
     
  • fairycat

    <marquee><font color=deeppink>Modern Disney Prince
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2007
    we are planning on taking a grayline tour of hollywood. i know that we will have some time to shop, and eat and i would like to go to Yamashiro!!! if we are on foot, is it easy to get to the restaurant? you mentioned it was up on a hill and i didn't know if that would be easy to get to? can you make reservations so i can make sure and get a window seat?
    thanks,
    mousiemom
    Personally I would say it would be a hike. I would suggest taking a cab its not that far from Hollywood and Highland that it would be too expensive, but with dealing with the traffic and the very narrow and steep trek up the hill it woould be worth getting a cab. (you will have to call ahead for a cab since they are not always on the street but you should get one quickly).

    Yes make reservations! I know they accept them since they only had a few tables for those of us without reservations. We didn't make them since we decided last minute to even eat there but we are very happy we did :) I am sure they let you chose the garden view or the city view. Though I have to say both are equally nice. But since I see the view all the time I liked watching the Koi much more!
     

    mousiemom

    48th wdw trip
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2005
    thanks for the advice. we are planning on doing a combo tour to universal studios and a LA by night tour so we will probably not have time to eat dinner there but i would love to. we do have a free night and we might try to go there then. thanks a lot!!
    mousiemom
     

    RudemanRB

    New Yawker in Los Angeles
    Joined
    Jun 9, 2008
    in reading alot of the posts it just seems like there's something missing.

    it's the Historic Farmers Markets.

    Just South of Hollywood on Fairfax avenue at 3rd Street is the market.
    and an area called "the Grove"

    If you've ever been to MGM studios in FL. and have seen their mock up of the Fairfax Market. then you have to stop in and see the original.

    If your planning on visiting Hollywood and the walk of fame, this is a short drive away 5-10 mins

    here's their official website. http://www.farmersmarketla.com/


    Rudy
     

    mr.bungle

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2008
    you know, i went to school for almost a year on sunset blvd between highland and cahuenga. i ate that the in n out burger next to hollywood high A LOT! never once saw a celeb there haha.

    honestly, star sightings are sooooo random. my fiancee and i were at this pizza place (name escapes me) on sunset between the roxy and the whisky. we noticed that cuba gooding jr. was at the table next to us. mind you this is like a 5 table place. all of the sudden the owner or manager hands him a sharpie and he reaches over next to my fiancee's head and autographs the wall! that was pretty neat. i have noticed more celebs in the area where i grew up (thousand oaks) but also a lot in malibu and the valley.

    hollywood has some cool places both new and old. it's so crazy traffic wise and people wise out there, i don't go too often anymore unless i'm going to see a band or something. it's truly an experience walking around there! when i was going to recording school out there, i would have 8 hours of class but with 4 hours inbetween and living 50 miles away, it was not worth it to just go home. so we would go to Amoeba and buy cds and stuff. Amoeba Music on sunset and cahuenga is AWESOME for any music or movie lover. the arclight is over there too and pretty neat.

    if music is your thing also maybe check out a weeknight at the roxy or whisky or troubadour (santa monica and doheny). get a sense of the history that was made there. i've been lucky enough to play on the stages with bands. the same stages where the doors and elton john got their starts. it's awesome!

    i'm kind of typing my thoughts as they come so i apologize for my most likely incoherent ramblings.

    take a drive through laurel canyon. awesome houses up in there and if i remember correctly, harry houdini's house is in the canyon somewhere.

    ok well i will add more when i remember it. it's kind of hard for me to be a tourist in hollywood because i always go down there for a reason. used to be school, or to see a band etc...
     

    johnmason09

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2009
    I would check out all the local costume/vintage clothing stores like Aardvarks etc.

    There are some cool and fun clothes you can find
     

    BitsnBearsMom

    <font color=green>We sure are lucky that way<br><f
    Joined
    May 15, 2004
    Great thread - Can someone suggest a good 'base' hotel for us (2Adults, 15yo and a 9yo) or what area we should be looking at - we are heading down there in August and will spend probably 4 nights in the LA area so we can see the sights - Universal, Hollywood, Griffith observatory before heading to DL for 3 nights then on to San Diego for another 4 nights.
     

    MAH4546

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2005
    Great thread - Can someone suggest a good 'base' hotel for us (2Adults, 15yo and a 9yo) or what area we should be looking at - we are heading down there in August and will spend probably 4 nights in the LA area so we can see the sights - Universal, Hollywood, Griffith observatory before heading to DL for 3 nights then on to San Diego for another 4 nights.
    Anything around Hollywood/Highland; Hollywood/Vine; Hollywood/La Cienega would be good.

    If it's in your price range, the Renaissance Hollywood is the best choice.
     

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