A once rough-around-the-edges area between Sunset and Hollywood boulevards, the newly christened Vinyl District is emerging as Tinseltown’s hippest hub.
In its previous life as a recording studio, Grandmaster Recorders hosted the likes of Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, and L.A.’s own Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now, as a buzzy Italian-Australian restaurant with a retro cocktail lounge and rooftop bar, the century-old building serves as an epicenter of the up-and-coming Vinyl District, the hottest spot in Hollywood these days.
The area’s turnaround was signaled by the arrival of hip French hotel chain Mama Shelter in 2015, but the last year has seen a new flurry of new openings. A block west of Grandmaster Recorders, the Thompson Hollywood (doubles from US$329) debuted in August with a look that combines sleek Californian modernism with a touch of old Hollywood glam. The Côte d’Azur–inspired Bar Lis, set on the roof, is a chic spot for summery cocktails and gorgeous sunset views; Mes Amis, the hotel’s hotly anticipated French restaurant, is expected to open before July.
Next door, the art deco former headquarters of the Hollywood Citizen-News newspaper is now home to chef Evan Funke’s Mother Wolf, a swanky Italian brasserie dedicated to Roman cuisine. Wes Avila of Guerrilla Tacos fame has also made his mark with Ka’teen, which channels the flavors of coastal Mexico. Situated around the corner at the Thompson’s months-old sibling hotel Tommie Hollywood (doubles from US$249), it’s a lush, mostly outdoor space with a Yucatán-leaning menu, punchy tropical cocktails, and an irrepressible vibe that seems to capture the essence of this burgeoning corner of Hollywood. Hurray to that.
This article originally appeared in the June/August 2022 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Hollywood’s New Groove”).