10 top tips from our Los Angeles correspondent

December 10, 2017

Stars in the sky and on the silver screen, trips to the beach and a cemetery, plus a stroll with a local actor who calls himself the people walker LA delivers the very best for our west coast writer

Hollywood movie magic

Watch a movie at the Aero in Santa Monica, or the Egyptian in Hollywood: both are part of AmericanCinematheque, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting Americas indigenous art form the moving picture. It has an old-style ambience and eclectic choices, and after screenings there are often Q& As with the movies directors and stars. You can see top talent, particularly in autumn the run-up to awardings season when Oscar hopefuls come out to lobby.
americancinematheque.com

See the real stars

Garvey
Garvey Ranch Observatory in Monterey Park. Photograph: Lawrence K/ LA Times/ Getty

Garvey Ranch Observatory, 10 miles east of downtown, hosts telescope build and mirror-making sessions, as well as public stargazing every Wednesday night. The presence of Caltech, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Space X, plus UCLA and USC, builds Los Angeles quite the physics hub so you find top boffins and technologists coming here to play astronomer.
Garvey Ranch Observatory, 781 Orange Avenue, Monterey Park,
nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov

Futuristic food

Five
Dishes at Baroo

Some of LAs best food is found in nondescript-looking eateries on bland strip malls. These include Baroo, wedged between a 7-Eleven and a hair salon. Named after the rice bowls that are one of the few possessions Buddhist monks are allowed, it is a shrine to fermentation. Chef and co-founder Kwang Uh attains passionfruit kraut and fizzing pineapple tepache ($ 3 ), kimchi fried rice seasoned with fermented pineapple and a herb-strewn grain dish called noorook ($ 12 ), sluiced with pureed beets and a variation of koji the fungus used to construct sake and studded with nuts and grains. The LA Timess food oracle, Jonathan Gold, raved: Noorook tastes like nothing you have ever feed. But it does taste a little like the future.
baroola.strikingly.com

Hire a people walker

Chuck
Chuck McCarthy, the People Walker

For$ 7 a mile Chuck McCarthy, an underemployed actor who came up with this sideline, will accompany you on foot. Calling himself the People Walker, he started it as a gag, then discovered a market. He is based in Los Feliz, near the Hollywood Hills, and has colleagues dotted around other neighborhoods. Having expended an afternoon with Chuck I recommend him. Hes affable, wry and knowledgeable about local lore.
facebook.com/ thepeoplewalker

Stroll among the tomb of Hollywood

Grounds
The Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Photo: Alamy

Forever Cemetery is the resting place of Cecil B DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks and hundreds more superstars. Its on the National Register of Historic Sites, and deservedly so. There are concerts year-round and outdoor screenings of classic films and modern blockbusters in summer, when people bring rugs, food and wine. I watched Sunset Boulevard here , not far from Gloria Swansons grave. Not at all creepy. I guess shed have approved.
hollywoodforever.com

Take the Expo line to Santa Monica

Expo
Expo line light rail develop. Photo: Ted Soqui/ Corbis/ Getty

Six decades after the last Pacific Electric red car streetcar left Santa Monica, a new rail line connecting it to downtown Los Angeles opened in March 2016. For $1.75 one style, its a new way to see and experience a city that most visitors navigate by vehicle. The Expo line is not fast all overground, it stops at traffic light, taking 50 minutes to cover the 14 miles but that dedicates is high time to soak in the cityscape and fellow passengers who can be executives, skateboarders, maids, techies and hipsters.
metro.net

Rent a bike

Cyclists
Cyclists using LA Metros Bike Share programme. Photo: Marcus Yam/ LA Times/ Getty

LA may still be the worlds car capital but bike-friendly initiatives, including new motorcycle lanes, have built much of the city viable for those on two wheels. The city is largely flat, with a blessed climate, so theres no excuse. There are rental stores all over the city but a good alternative is the city-run Metro Bike Share, which has thousands of green motorcycles parked all over the place. If youre going to use it just a handful of periods, the walk-up rate is $3.50 per half-hour. If you plan on riding more than six periods during a visit, plump for a $20 monthly pass. Check whether you overlap with one of CicLAvias occasional fun cycling events. Or, if feeling adventurous, join one a wolf pack hustle organised group rides and races around the city.

Celebrate the sundowner at Hotel Erwin

Sunset
Sunset at Hotel Erwin, Venice Beach. Photograph: Alamy

Its in every guidebook but for good reason: have a sundowner on the Erwin hotels rooftop bar in Venice. After mixing with the artists, buskers, exhibitionists, hustlers and tourist hordes on the boardwalk, youll need a drink and theres no better position than the sun sinking into the Pacific. The hotel has been a Venice landmark since the 1970 s: a funky, architectural survivor amid the gentrification that has transformed the rest of the neighborhood. Try a blood orange julep for $15, an average cost for the area.
hotelerwin.com

Check out improv slapstick for $16

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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