Hello from Los Angeles!
No really – we’re here. Right now, RIISE’s founder and CEO, Sara Bell, and deputy CEO, Elizabeth Roberts, are in LA. Don’t worry, this isn’t our cryptic way of telling you that we’ve abandoned our Australian offices and relocated to the west coast of America (though a dual set-up is definitely on the cards this year).
Honestly, we made the casual trip to LA for standard reasons: to meet with people working in the TV industry (necessary when you have two shows in pre-production and two more in development), scout new brands for our ecommerce platform and scope out a space with a nice view for our soon-to-be LA-based editorial team. (OK, maybe not that standard.)
While this has hardly been a leisurely trip, it hasn’t been all work and no play. For our latest 24 Hours In, we’re showing you how RIISE spends a day off the clock in LA. Just one because, seriously, that’s all the downtime we’ve had here.
When we’re looking for great restaurants and new places to eat, if we can’t ask a local for advice, we go to Hana, RIISE’s head of audience and unofficial food expert.
As per her recommendation, making a pastry and coffee pit stop at République in Mid-City didn’t disappoint. Owned by chefs Walter and Margarita Manzke, the cafe and bakery are located in a historic building that was originally constructed by Charlie Chaplin in 1929. The stunning brickwork facade, which also houses a bar and dining area, has passed through a few hands since it first became a restaurant in 1989. But it feels like the Manzkes’ gastronomic vision for the space is here to stay.
“République was seriously so amazing and the pastries were out of this world,” Liz says. “They also did great coffee and even had soy milk, which has been a surprisingly hard find in LA.” Because there is so much to choose from (what a dilemma to be in), Liz recommends dining in for breakfast and choosing a few freshly baked pastries to go. “We had the chia seed pudding and avocado on toast with whipped miso tofu. Then we left with a crème brûlée bomboloni, cream and berry filled croissant and French madeleine. Absolutely no regrets.”
No stay in Beverly Hills is complete without a browse down Rodeo Drive, the iconic shopping district famous for designer labels and haute couture fashion. But if you’re looking for a more sustainable shopping experience, we recommend heading 15 minutes down the road to visit The RealReal and Reformation stores.
The RealReal is the world’s largest authenticated luxury resale marketplace. It sells consigned clothing, fine jewellery and home decor from designers like Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada. While this is mainly done online, it does have several bricks-and-mortar stores, including one on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. “What The RealReal has done so amazingly well is show how to create desire for preloved fashion,” Sara says. “There’s nothing about the store or experience that feels used or second-hand. It’s just as luxurious as buying new, but with a much lower environmental impact.”
Also in Melrose is another RIISE favourite, the Reformation store. Reformation began as a small vintage clothing storefront in LA in 2009 and has since grown to become one of the most well known sustainable fashion operations in the States. “I’ve been a fan of Reformation for a long time, but, as I live in Australia, I’ve only ever been able to buy online,” Liz says. “It was so nice to actually visit the store and see their full collection in person.”
Of all the places in LA we could tell you to go for lunch, you better believe we’re about to direct you to the Whole Foods Market in West Hollywood.
It’s perfect if you’ve got a lot to see in one day – or if you need a quick post-retail refuel. “We’ve been going to different restaurants and places all week for lunch and dinner meetings, so, on our day off, we just wanted something easy and low-key,” Sara says. “Plus Whole Foods is kind of its own experience.” One that includes a make-your-own salad bar and an enormous range of environmentally responsible products in the one place. “Which, when you think of it in terms of a mainstream offering, is pretty amazing to see,” Liz says.
When one of your CEOs has an art history degree and the other grew up in Europe (then spent most of her life living overseas), visiting a new city’s museum or art gallery becomes a standard activity. Which is why we dedicated a whole afternoon to the Getty Center.
Located in the hills above West Los Angeles, the Getty Center is home to the personal collection of businessman and art collector J. Paul Getty. His collection includes hundreds of pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings and sculptures, and 19th-, 20th- and 21st-century photographs. “I was particularly excited to see Van Gogh’s Irises and the current photography exhibition, A Retrospective by Imogen Cunningham,” Liz says.
“The photography was extraordinary,” Sara adds. “I’d previously seen Imogen’s work online and heard about her when I was in San Francisco last. Definitely a must-see exhibition for anyone currently in LA.”
Chateau Marmont is one of those classic Hollywood establishments that has been on the map forever. But hey – you only get to be a newcomer to LA once and we wanted at least one quintessential Hollywood experience on this trip.
First opened in 1929, Chateau Marmont has a loveable, nostalgic vibe and the kind of decor (see: velvet couches) well-suited to people watching with a cocktail in hand. “I highly recommend the spicy margarita and mushroom risotto…and saving room for dessert,” Liz says. “We saw our table neighbours order this trio of cookies so decided to get one too. Was not disappointed.”
When the first cocktail you see on the menu is called One Too Many, you know you’ve come to the right place for a nightcap after a busy day in LA.
Catch LA is located in a prime West Hollywood position, perched on the corner of Melrose and San Vicente overlooking downtown Los Angeles and the hills. It does great food (shout out to the crispy cauliflower dish) and amazing cocktails (for health reasons, Detox Retox is our pick) and is a vibe no matter the hour you’re visiting (open from 11am for brunch on the weekends and dinner every night of the week).