OK, so it could be considered cheating when StyleTails’ first ever pet-lovers city guide is for Los Angeles – possibly the most pet-friendly and all round dog-mad place on earth. Apart from being the city where everyone is either in a film, making a film or writing a film, LA is also the pioneer of the ‘tiny pooch in handbag’ look and home to an estimated 1.5 million dogs. For those of you travelling with pets, StyleTails went stateside (it had nothing to do with London weather – promise), to bring you the best bits of LA, from pet-friendly hotels (where your pooch gets it’s own bed), places to dine with your dog and a nice helping of art and culture thrown in too.
The W Hotel – Hollywood
Leave it to the super-slick W Hotel group to take it to the next level. Their W Hollywood hotel is not only pet-friendly but offers a special package for your travelling pet -Pets Are WelcomeTM (P.A.W.) See what they did there?
Check-in is always boring, but never fear, your pet will be welcomed to the hotel with a toy and a treat. Nice! Once you’re up in your room thinking about which sparkly number to wear that night, your pet can enjoy a custom W pet bed, food and water bowl as well as a special treat at turn-down. It doesn’t end there though – why would it? You and your pet have access to a whole host of services including dog-sitting, dog-walking, veterinarian, grooming and even a birthday cake for your fury friend’s special day.
Should your pet feel that they have packed badly (let’s face it, we’ve all been guilty of bringing those orange shoes that don’t go with anything), The W Hollywood’s ‘Whatever/Whenever’ service can also help out with leashes, toys, waste removal bags and treats. That’s everything sorted then!
Price for P.A.W: Room rate plus $25 per night and a $100 cleaning fee (pet must be under 45lbs)
W Hotel Hollywood, 6250 Hollywood Boulevard, www.whollywoodhotel.com
StyleTails Best of the Rest:
The Standard: Locations in West Hollywood and Downtown LA – The Standard allows pets under 20lbs, $100 per stay www.standardhotels.com
The Chateau Marmont: Favourite of the rich and famous as well as their pets it seems. The Chateau Marmont, $100 refundable deposit and no weight restriction www.chateaumarmont.com. I bet they’ve had some corkers in their time.
The Georgian, Santa Monica: This vintage Santa Monica landmark allows dogs and cats up to 25 lbs for a $100 fee per stay of seven nights or less www.georgianhotel.com
The All American Breakfast – Nick’s Cafe – Downtown L.A.
Like a lone island floating on the side of the Interstate (we found it by accident while getting lost), Nick’s is suitably grungy from the outside and All American Diner on the inside. No frills but plenty of tasty grub, Nick’s comes complete with a huge breakfast bar, swivelling stools, re-fillable coffee and plates over-flowing with waffles, pancakes, eggs, bacon and real maple syrup. The place was packed including outside seating where at least three pooch’s were spotted enjoying a lazy Saturday morning. The blueberry pancakes and SoCal spicy breakfast omlette with sausage were the order of the day, served by Julie – possibly the most enthusiastic waitress ever.
Nick’s Cafe, 1300 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90012, www.nickscafe.net
Lunch: Urth Caffe – West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Downtown and Santa Monica
Made famous by those lads about town, the boys from Entourage – the award winning Urth Caffe is perfect for a casual lunch and a spot of celeb-wathcing with your pooch in tow. Apart from their certified organic range of coffees and teas, they have a hearty menu of salad’s, sandwiches and naughty deserts including Pumpkin Pie. Their massive ‘Urth Salad’ with grilled chicken is winner, washed down with a healthy Green Tea Boba.
Urth Caffe, Four locations across LA – www.urthcaffe.com
Something Sweet: Sprinkles Cupcakes, Beverly Hills
Lauded by Oprah as the best cupcakes in the world (ker-ching!) and holding the title as the world’s first ever cupcake bakery (move over Magnolia), the original Sprinkles Cupcakes can be found on South Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Their assortment of treats run the gamut of yumminess from ginger lemon to chocolate marshmallow as well as doggie cupcakes for your pooch. Made from all-natural, human grade ingredients, minus the sugar and with yoghurt frosting, these little woofy treats are a hit with the hounds of Hollywood. Sprinkles have now also created a Cupcake ATM outside the store to feed your cravings 24 hours a day. DANGER ALERT!
Sprinkles Cupcakes: 9635 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90210, www.sprinkles.com
It only takes a short stroll through the streets of Beverly Hills to see that dogs are very much part of the shopping experience everywhere in L.A. Unlike London where you would struggle to take your pooch into most shops, let alone high-end designer boutiques, here in LA they are welcomed with open paws. Should your pooch get bored of watching you shop, there are also a huge array of pet boutiques from your standard affair to those providing anything from spa treatments, to parties and holistic remedies.
Pussy & Pooch, Downtown L.A.
Pussy and Pooch, opened in 2007 by Janene Zakrajsek and her husband Rob is a must-see. At this stylish Downtown pet mecca, your pussy or pooch can dine at the Pawbar® – feasting on freshly prepared nutritional meals, explore the Meat Market – brimming with premium foods including raw and organic, spend a few dimes on some stylish furniture or fashion in the Pethouse Boutique or just soak away the day at the Bathhouse.
Since the major re-development of commercial space into luxury apartments and lofts, Downtown LA is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance. Thousands of people who previously only commuted Downtown are now full-time residents and by the looks of it, just about everyone Downtown owns a dog! Having lived and worked downtown for years, Janene saw the potential to create something really special for pets and their people in the area. ‘Downtown is a really thriving area again. There’s so much art and culture happening here. It might seem like an unlikely place to have a pet because there’s very little green space, but since it’s been re-developed, most buildings are pet friendly and there’s no breed or weight restrictions, so it’s pretty ideal’, she says.
Apart from offering stylish and sleek pet solutions, Pussy & Pooch are also keen educators, hosting regular sessions on anything from nutrition and wellness to adoption. ‘After the pet food recall in 2007, we’ve seen that owners have become much more aware of what they’re feeding their pets. If we’d have known more about pet nutrition then perhaps I wouldn’t have had cats suffering with diabetes or cancer. We believe that if you wouldn’t eat it, then why should your pet?’. It doesn’t sound like the pets need much convincing though. ‘The Pawbar has become so popular with our customers that their pets head straight over there when they come in and wait for the good stuff to arrive!’ says Janene.
Pussy & Pooch is also a firm part of the downtown pet scene with their regular ‘mutt mingles’ and meow mingles’, where people are encouraged to bring their pets into the store. ‘We even have people that come into the store twice a day as part of their walk with their pet. It’s a joke that we host more events here than a night club!’ she says.
Pussy & Pooch LA – 564 South Main Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90013, www.pussyandpooch.com
Silver Lake Art, Craft and Vintage Flea Market
If the designer scene of Beverly Hills isn’t your style (or budget), head to the Silver Lake Art, Craft and Vintage Flea Market. Held on the first Saturday of every month in the grounds of Micheltorena Elementary School in the bohemian area of Silver Lake, this market is bursting with wild and wonderful finds.
Silver Lake Art, Craft and Vintage Flea Market is on the first Saturday of every month from 10-4pm, 1511 MICHELTORENA STREET, Los Angeles, www.silverlakeartcraftvintage.com
Art Walk – Downtown L.A.
On the second Thursday of every month, the Downtown area plays host to ‘Downtown Art Walk’ – a free public art phenomenon and all-round hive of creative activity. Bound by Main and Spring streets between 2nd and 9thstreets, Downtown Art Walk is a showcase and celebration of the best galleries, artists, photography, restaurants, bars and shops located in Downtown Los Angeles. Launched with around 20 Galleries and a handful of participants in 2004, Art Walk now attracts over 30,000 people from the US and even abroad to more than 50 galleries offering up anything from street art to sculpture, photography, culinary arts and mixology. More like a carnival atmosphere with live performances, street food and music, Art Walk attracts every man, woman and dog.
Devil’s Night Drive-in
Sadly, drive-in’s or ‘passion pits’ as they are affectionately known in the US (on account of the heavy petting by horny teenagers), seem to be a thing of the past. Who knows why, because quite frankly, they rock. Devil’s Night Drive-in have brought this tradition back to Downtown LA. The year-round drive-in (twice monthly screenings in the summer) can be found on the roof of a car park on West 4th Street in Downtown L.A.
Beamed onto a massive inflatable screen from the roof of a ’56 Oldsmobile, we watched 90’s classic Dazed and Confused about the last day of school for a bunch of crazy kids in the 70’s. If you don’t have a car, you can sit on the astro-turf right down the front. Order a burger or hot-dog from the Devil’s Night Car hops and it’s BYOB so don’t forget to stop by the shop for your stash of booze. Because the event is outside, you can also bring your pooch along.
Upcoming screenings this summer include Donnie Darko, The Big Lebowski and Pulp Fiction.
Devil’s Night Drive-in: 240 W. 4th St. (at Broadway) – 2nd Floor, Downtown Los Angeles, http://devilsnight.com
Like they say in LA…….. ‘Awesome right?’