Looking for Brooklyn on the West Coast

Los Angeles

First stop is Arcadia’s Arboretum, a little gem tucked slightly outside of LA proper. If you appreciate the grand transformative splendor of Prospect Park, then the twenty-minute drive is worth it to explore a spot that once served as Gilligan’s Island’s lagoons and Tarzan’s jungle. Instead of Lefferts Historic House, the Arboretum offers “Lucky” Baldwin’s Queen Anne Cottage; and instead of a zoo, it has peacocks and cod fish.

After communing with nature, it’s obviously time for retail therapy in the form of vintage Americana. Heirloom, a recently opened Little Tokyo boutique offers a refreshing 70s Army Surplus store vibe to an otherwise fusty block with its diaphanous Harley tees, canvas Converse and leather dog-tag necklaces.

Next, we head to the left coast equivalent of our beloved Bedford Avenue, Sunset in Silver Lake, to peruse the well curated antique-meets-local artists like Jimmy Marble and Gregory Beauchamp at the LA equivalent of Modern Anthology, ReForm School. We revel in beachy influences at Vivier and Bently, the studio space turned boutique from Clare Vivier and jewelry designer Kathryn Bentley. The adobe brick meets hippie surfer sensibility feels like it could be a collaboration between Brooklyn-based Collina Strada and Mary Myer. The tipi-like dressing room wins us over.

Deciding it may be a long night, we preemptively stop at the immaculately designed Handsome Coffee Makers, where the truly handsome baristo explained there was no sweetener present because the coffee is that good; and we got a tour of the Probat roaster in the back from co-founder Chris Owens.

After an exhausting day of total sobriety, it was finally time to dip into the perfectly crafted design and cocktails at Harvard and Stone. The WWII-vibe feels Universal Studios backlot worthy, but paired with the scruffy bouncer, attention to detail and whiskey-based menu, it allows us to recall our dear Maison Premiere or the recently opened St. Mazie. The rotating cast of bartenders composes a new menu in the back R&D bar every night and we witness a special treat as head bartender Matt Wallace uses his smoke machine (!) to add an extra kick to the cocktails.

Beautiful girls in fur stoles and sailor hats gather round the local showcase band; if you’re in on a Saturday you’re audience to their burlesque performances. This is no dive bar, but a beautiful West Coast interpretation of the current nostalgia for Depression-era elegance.

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  1. Thank you so much, Crystal, and Brooklyn Magazine, for the kind words about our place and pie, and for including us in your piece. The description, “cherry pie is near-perfect with iceberg-sized sugar sprinkled on top” confused me a bit, though, until I looked at the picture. That photogenic slice is our Mixed Berry pie with whipped cream. What tipped me off is that we don’t make a cherry pie, never have an never will. Offering high quality food made with local and seasonal ethically-produced ingredients at everyday price is a core value. Cherry pie, with its delicate expensive fruit and all that pitting time would have to cost more than we want to charge for a slice of pie. We would love it if you could correct that so we don’t disappoint future Brooklyn (and other) travelers who read your mag. Thanks so much. Karen Heisler, Co-owner of Mission Pie