Los Angeles, CA: Art, Beer and Art Deco Architecture Near La Brea
Anyone who knows me will tell you that, more often than not, you’ll find me wandering the museum grounds at The Getty. I love art, and I love places that make me feel like I can cross continents and time periods through art. My second favorite art mecca? The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, otherwise known as LACMA, or that place with all the lamp posts. The only downside to going there is the fact that, unlike The Getty, which is free to the public, non-LACMA members have to pay up $25 for entry. It’s fine by me, because there’s just so much to love about the museum, and I do feel like it’s worth it. Not to mention, I can’t get enough of the cappuccinos they whip up at LACMA cafe.
Aside from coffee, there’s also Ray’s & Stark Bar, a gourmet farm-to-table restaurant helmed by Chef Fernando Darin, who, I’ve heard, has really crafted a menu of delicious, and appropriately, very artistic-looking noshes. Personally, whenever I find myself in that part of town, I take my hungry stomach and trek out to Wirtshaus German Restaurant & Beer Garden. It’s just a little more casual, a little more my speed, you know? The beer is phenomenal, the food is always just what I need—ah, the sausage platter is divine—and there’s always a table stacked with board games to keep me occupied until my food arrives.
Last time we popped into Wirtshaus for lunch, we ended up playing ping-pong for a solid hour. (Yes, there’s a table near the patio!) It’s just a fun place to be, especially if you bring a posse of friends, order a boot of beer and just hunker down for the afternoon. After experiencing the thrill of winning, I’d suggest walking down and making a left turn onto West 1st street. There’s an apartment building there that I just love ogling. And I know what you’re thinking. Apartment building? Really? If you’re anything like me and love everything Art Deco, then you’ll find this building to be somewhat of an architectural gem!
I have a soft sport for historic buildings. I’ve written several pieces on historic preservation, including this article I penned back when I worked as an associate editor at Arkansas Life magazine. All to say, I’m always happy to see old buildings properly maintained and cared for. (That said, I haven’t really been inside and can’t comment on the state of the interior).
The brick-and-stucco structure was built back in 1929, and, at one point, in the late 1970’s, it was owned by Sonia Suk. According to a 1996 article by LA Times, Sonia was the “chairwoman or president of more than 60 Korean American organizations locally and nationally, and worked to help found Los Angeles’ enclave known as Koreatown.”
In addition to its history, I love the Gatsby-era lettering spelling out “100 North Sycamore” on the building’s facade. I love how the roof is adored with parapets and the zigzag ornamentation that run along the sides and the corners. We strolled through that neighborhood, stopping for a few photo ops, and I know what we were thinking, even though we didn’t articulate it. With LACMA a short drive away and Wirsthaus just around the corner, 100 North Sycamore seems like a darn good place to live.
“I’m head-to-toe in Zara here. I love how dramatic this top is, and the color pops so beautifully. It’s definitely the perfect thing to wear when roaming around LACMA! I typically have a lot of trouble finding pants that hug my waist just right, but this pair fits like a glove.”
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