LA Hot Spots! (…that also love your dog!)

The Best of Dog-Friendly Hollywood

By: Aliya-Jasmine Sovani (@AliyaJasmine)

For the past decade, I have been privy to the hottest spots Hollywood had to offer: from the chic vegan Mexican restaurant where Katy Perry had her album listening session to the backroom speakeasy that hosted Kanye’s award show VIP after party. Amid my many glittering years rubbing shoulders with tinsel towns most sparkling stars as a host & producer for MTV, I managed to construct an unyielding travel guide of recommendations for friends and colleagues detailing where to go when visiting LA. But it was not until I moved to the city of angels with my senior mutt, George Hamilton, that I gained a superfluous appreciation for the coolest places-to-be that were equally electrifying and dog friendly. Allow me to navigate the hottest spots in LA…that also, love your dog!

Hollywood History…

The pool at The Beverly Hills Hotel. One of the most iconic hotels in the world with its iconic shade of pastel pink famous banana-leaf wallpaper, the Beverly Hills hotel pool has played backdrop to some of the most legendary photos – and stars – in tinsel town, including Grace Kelly, John Wayne, and Elizabeth Taylor. Grab a drink at the Polo Lounge and ask the bar tender for stories about when Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack regularly sat in the chairs you’re occupying. Visit the gift shop, which carries a ton of pet gifts bedazzled in the hotel’s quintessential pink and leafy prints.

Love the signature pink and green!


The restaurant at Chateau Marmont.
The legendary hotel and residences infamously banned Lindsay Lohan, was home to Jim Morrison, a workplace for Hunter S. Thompson, inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald, and death place of John Belushi. The Chateau Marmont’s restaurant (not to be confused with Bar Marmont next door) if you’re lucky enough to get a reso, has an incredibly pricey menu of delicious food and wine, a table next to the likes of Jared Leto (a regular), and top notch hospitality to both human and furry restaurant guests alike.

Va-Va-Vegan…

Café Grattitude in Venice Beach and Graçias Madre in West Hollywood have been celebrity magnets for years, and let’s face it, there is nothing more LA than eating vegan. The restaurants have been subject criticism over the past year as news spread among the vegan community that the restaurant owners started raising and slaughtering cows on their farm. If you are able to put aside the owner’s personal moral choices, then these two spots remain the most incredible vegan kitchens in the city. Gracias Madre specializes in Mexican cuisine, including nacho cheese made of cashews…yes, as in cashews! While Café Gratitude’s dishes are all listed as affirmations, which your waiter will repeat to you: “I am intuitive.” “Yes, You are intuitive.” Translation: You ordered french fries. Tip: The gluten-free/dairy-free deserts are divine! Leave room in your tummy.

Sweat out the stars…

Runyon Canyon. From Matt Damon to Matthew McConaughey, those sexy shirtless hiking photos that populate gossip magazines are taken on the trails of Runyon Canyon. The hike is an insta-favorite for every social influencer passing through town, but bring water for Fido – the trails were recently renovated and the new pavement can get warm for your pooches paws in the summer months. Best to wake up early and take advantage of the cooler temperatures, the early alarm clock will be well worth the view…not to mention burning off that vegan desert from last night!


But first, coffee…

Tom’s flagship store. Yes, as in the philanthropic shoe brand! These feel-good slip on shoes have an incredible store/coffee shop/communal work space in a prime location on Abbot Kinney. The coffee is delicious, and when you walk past the espresso bar through the indoor/outdoor shoe store, you will venture into the large (yet, remarkably hidden) outdoor workspace carpeted with bright green Astroturf and designed to accommodate lots of seating for humans and K9 companions. The workspace packs up during the week, as Venice Beach Locals pile in for coffee and meetings in this cool wifi-enabled space. Local pups who come in to the store regularly get their polaroids taken and pinned to the “community wall” instantly becoming a small part of Venice history. This is truly a favorite spot among locals.


The Flower Boy Project. Also a Venice hot spot, located on busy Lincoln Blvd, you can order an Instagram-friendly coffee and pick out a personalized bouquet of flowers while you wait! Check out @flowerboyproject.

Cold beer in the hot sun…

Angel City Brewery. For decades the downtown core was the wasteland of LA: A concrete jungle full of half empty office buildings contrasting the rest of the city’s palm tree lined streets. Except in recent years it has become a hipster hub for artists, chefs, and fashion – even the elite members-only ‘Soho House’ is building a new club in the downtown core. So book yourself into the Arts District walking tour to take in some of DTLA’s street art & architecture, before walking over to the Angel City Brewery for a cold pint. Situated in a graffiti covered warehouse, the large open space houses communal tables covered in 80’s board games. While there’s no gluten-free beer options (don’t ask, they are very snobby about their brew!) your pup will find the perfect resting place after today’s walk in the cool shade under your bench.  Social Media bonus: a mural painted with the angel wings you see in your LA-based-influencer feeds.


Venice Ale House. If having a beer in the ocean breeze is more your thing, the patio at Venice Ale House at the corner of Rose & the boardwalk is a great local spot and hands-down the best people watching in the city. Venice Beach is famous for its interesting characters: from beautiful bikini clad roller bladers to buff weightlifters on muscle beach, not to mention the questionable street musicians and eccentric artists. Venice Ale House is the perfect spot to watch them all, take in the sights and sounds, and even enjoy an incredible gluten-free beer called Omission (no seriously, it’s actually delicious!) the food is really good too. Tip: plan your visit for sunset.

What exchange rate…

Rag & Bone on Melrose. While most of the shops on trendy Melrose Avenue are dog-friendly, Rag & Bone is notorious for being nicer to its furry customers than human ones! The upscale denim and casualwear shop has a strict no photos policy, which is great for their celebrity clientele, but a pity for your Snapchat goals of documenting your puppy getting cuddled and nuzzled by the stores staffers, feeding on a selection of dog treats, or drinking from the engraved Rag & Bone bowls. You’ll just have to enjoy this shopping experience the old school way: IRL.

High-Low Model Diet…

George gets his very own Puppy-Patty at In-N-Out Burger!

Little Beach House Malibu. This member-only beach house is a surfer’s paradise. Situated next to LA’s hottest sushi spot, Nobu, LBH is the ultra-exclusive version of West Hollywood’s Soho House. Sitting right along Malibu’s breath taking coastline, regular celebrity patrons like Bono, Alessandra Ambrossio, and Kendal Jenner enjoy regular sightings of dolphins and whales while sipping on rosé. While LBH turns into a hot spot in the evenings, it’s truly a great work-from-home space during the day, and I find it the perfect backdrop for brainstorming creative ideas with media industry colleagues – particularly because George Hamilton can sit on my lap and take meeting notes!


In-N-Out Burger. The ultimate LA fast food joint! Obvi, I don’t have to tell you about In N Out Burger – but I will let you in on a little known item from their “secret menu”: the Puppy-Patty. For less than 99 cents you can get a tiny beef patty, that’s unseasoned and contains zero salt – with a cup of water on the side, of course! The perfect drive-through meal for you and your best friend.

 

Photographer: Alexandra Petruck
Coordinating Producer: Lisa French