Each month we share five unmissable things to see and do in the Golden State. You heard it here first.



Tennis’ Top Players Storm the Desert Once Again

Naomi Osaka. PHOTO: Courtesy BNP Paribas Open.

This month, tennis phenoms Elena Rybakina and Carlos Alcaraz return to the desert to defend their championship titles at the BNP Paribas Open from a star-studded list of challengers, including the two current world number-ones (Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek) and the highly anticipated returns of Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka. The sprawling tennis gardens are also looking to score hospitality points with a slew of upmarket SoCal eateries setting up shop. Porta Via, the longstanding Beverly Hills establishment, headlines with a Cali-inspired bistro and bar overlooking the action in Stadium 1, while Nobu maintains its prime position over in Stadium 2, where onlookers can watch the action over a yellowtail jalapeño. With off-the-court activities like a performance from legend John McEnroe’s Johnny Smyth Band, it’s no wonder this event is the best attended tournament on tour. March 3–17; K.M.

Hollywood’s Temple to Roman Cuisine Gets a Cocktail Bar

LEFT: PHOTO: Dustin Genereux. RIGHT: PHOTO: Robiee Ziegler.

Hidden behind Mother Wolf is the just-opened cocktail lounge MARS, a somewhat secretive spot from Giancarlo Pagani tucked behind the award-winning Roman restaurant in Hollywood’s historic Citizen News Building. Beckoning the aprés dinner crowd with principal cocktails — including the Freezer Martini, a ready-to-pour blend of gin and vodka infused with the house’s proprietary seasoned olive oil, and the Apple Martini, poured tableside with frozen apple granita, vodka, Lillet blanc and lemon — MARS is open to public and also has a membership program. Members have access to rare spirits, priority bookings, and individual spirits lockers, where they can store bottles from their personal cellars. The vibe echoes Mother Wolf’s old-world Italian glamour with red velvet walls and couches, Italian-inspired murals, brushed-mirrored ceilings, and gilded chandeliers. It may be just what the neighborhood needs to revitalize its legendary nightlife scene. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. 1545 Wilcox Ave., L.A.; marshollywood.comK.M.

A Riverside Lodge Reinvented in Central Coast Wine Country

Once upon a time, Theatre Drive, a dusty turnoff between Templeton and Paso Robles, was home to a classic drive-in movie theater. For many years, two retro motor lodges on the street sat vacant, until the River Lodge — overlooking the Salinas River with a retro red MOTEL sign out front — caught the eye of the Nomada Hotel Group (Granada Hotel & Bistro in San Luis Obispo, Hotel Ynez, Skyview Los Alamos, and the nearby Farmhouse Motel). The team at Nomada painstakingly preserved the property’s Googie heritage (Googie is a type of futurist architecture influenced by car culture, jets, the Atomic Age, and the Space Age that started in Southern California in the 1930s). Brimming with the charms of yesteryear, the property boasts a pool, hot tub, and full-service restaurant, and the 28 rooms are furnished with pieces from Nomada Deco, a new housewares line from Nomada’s cofounder Kimberly Walker. Although the old movie theater might be gone, private patios attached to each room are designed to take in nature’s shows, or guests can hop on one of the Linus bikes on hand to explore the area’s nearby wineries and farms. Taking reservations in April. 1955 Theatre Dr., Paso Robles, 805-221-7377; K.M.

Where to Find a Trove of Treasures for Your Home

Following the wild success of a two-month pop-up down the street, Dawn Salzmann is making things official with the opening of Ancient Moderne’s permanent brick and mortar on a coveted stretch of Melrose Avenue. SoCal aesthetes should follow fans like landscape designer Scott Shrader and producer Ryan Murphy to the store for pedigreed pieces and a museum-worthy collection of architectural antiques, including patinated stone urns and vessels, columns, wrought iron gates, and sculptures plucked from the abbeys, monasteries, cathedrals, and chateaux across Europe. Salzmann, who was a decorative artist in San Diego before she opened her first (now shuttered) showroom C’est si Bon in 2015, acquires pieces with a curatorial discernment. “The constant thread throughout my life has been collecting anything that speaks a beautiful language…whether it be prized antiques or mossy sticks in the forest covered with lichen.” 8632 Melrose Ave.; K.M.

Rimowa Wheels Into a New Home on Rodeo Drive

Luggage innovator Rimowa is putting down permanent roots in Beverly Hills even as its gleaming aerodynamic luggage continues to roll across the newly refreshed 1,400-square-foot boutique. The interior — formerly a pop-up housing the German-engineered suitcases alongside nylon backpacks, totes, and weekenders — is now lined in floor-to-ceiling recycled wood with deep grooves echoing the aviation-inspired lightweight aluminum designs the company first pioneered in 1937. Also inside is a counter for personalization and repairs to keep the famously durable trunks, vanities, pilot cases, and carry-ons in ship-shape condition. All the latest collections are here, including the Original and Classic with its one-bottle and 12-bottle iterations for oenophiles. The lightweight polycarbonate Essential designs also join Hybrids made of aluminum and polycarbonate and leather-covered Distinct luggage. Rounding out the mix are Signature bags made with regenerated nylon and emblazoned with the maison’s monogram inspired by its historic headquarters in Cologne. 201A N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-304-0305; E.V.

L.A.’s Finest Galleries Descend on Frieze for a Fifth Time

Frieze Los Angeles is back at the Santa Monica Airport for a second year, this time housing its annual confluence of international blue chip and renegade galleries inside one bespoke Kulapat Yantrasast tent. Director Christine Messineo says she’s striving to foster discovery and connections to works from emerging and less traditional backgrounds through the new layout during the fair’s weekend-long run from February 29 to March 3. Local stalwarts including Regen Projects, Blum, Various Small Fires, The Box, Hannah Hoffman, L.A. Louver, Nonaka-Hill, and Jeffrey Deitch join David Kordansky, Lisson Gallery, Karma, Matthew Marks, Sean Kelly, Hauser & Wirth, Gagosian, and Lehmann Maupin on the sprawling site, where 95 galleries show a cross-section of influential contemporary art surrounded by site-specific works curated by Art Production Fund and eateries organized by nonprofit Regarding Her. 3027 Airport Ave., Santa Monica; E.V.


March 2024

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