A red blinking light atop a 13-story building sends a signal out to the world every few seconds. In morse code, the light flashes. Its message has been the same since 1956—Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood.
You know this town. Everyone knows this town. No one can deny this place is iconic.
Yet as worldly that this place is, we’re welcomed by the local community of chefs, botanists, and budtenders. Hollywood, here we come.
First up, brunch at République with Ellen Hancock, actor, entrepreneur and female cannabis activist. We walk into a beautiful long room filled with tables and a bar with a woodfire oven. As they stroke the fire, the aroma of smoke from the cherry wood fills the entire space.
This is a shared plates kinda place, so we get the smoked salmon tartine, shakshuka, and arugula salad. The tartine is light and peppery with spicy olives and radishes, while the shakshuka has a burst of flavor from the mint leaves. Then running that fresh bread through the tomato and egg is just absolutely delicious. Finally, the arugula salad with creamy goat cheese, it’s perfectly dressed and complemented by the burst of juicy peaches.
Ellen tells us about her love for cannabis and her advocacy through her instagram @stoner_girlfriend; she started it to shine a light on women in the cannabis industry.
A van pulls up outside of the popular community dispensary, Herbarium. We meet up with Maddy, who tells us they’re beginning to bus people in from the Chinese Theater area and give them a ride to their store. She explains that, for many of the customers, this is their first cannabis experience and to cater to that audience, they’re revamping their space to be more like a cannabis museum.
Maddy takes us in the back and shows us the grow facility they’re building and says they’re going to have long windows for people to see how the plants are grown. Before our next stop, we grab some goods from the warm and friendly budtender, Lyli. Ellen opts for the Rest Pen for our lazy afternoon ahead.
We decide to grab a drink, but before we do, we head over for some fresh air in this city of automobiles. Founded in 1980, Mickey’s Plant went from “collecting cactus, succulents and handmade macrame to an eclectic garden oasis in the heart of Los Angeles.” As you walk through the sea of greenery, you take in a breath of fresh air that you didn’t even know you were missing until you’re surrounded on all sides by beautiful plants.
Time for a more bird’s eye view. We head just down the road to a rooftop bar sitting on top of Mama Shelter Hotel.
Yes, there’s a view of Hollywood — a killer view, might we add — but the best view is of the open blue sky above as you laze in long colorful day beds. To really enjoy, we get something refreshing to drink…perhaps garnished with a flower, watermelon, or cucumber wedge.
Time for, you guessed it, tacos. Oh, and margaritas. And a michoacán rum drink served in a pineapple filled with crushed ice, topped with dried pineapple and a hollow lemon. The carved out lemon’s filled with cinnamon and soaked in lemon extract which, of course, they light on fire before serving it up.
If you haven’t gathered by now, Petty Cash is extraordinary.
The tacos were out of this world. An octopus taco, fresh avocado mixed with the fresh tortilla is chewy goodness and the bit of pickled red onions give a great zing. But the carnitas taco stole the show, with an almost mintiness from the cilantro and the melt-in-your-mouth meat. Definitely coming back.
After some delicious tacos, it’s time to get our bowl on. And we’re not just talking your regular ol’ bowling alley. We walk off the star-studded street of Hollywood Boulevard into The Spare Room at The Roosevelt Hotel. (Fun fact: artist David Hockney painted the bottom of the hotel’s pool, which is considered one of the city’s greatest art pieces.)
The Spare Room is a high-class bowling alley that slings cocktails as fast as you knock the pins down. We sit back, sip our drinks, and enjoy ourselves as the night slides by.
Until next time, Hollywood.