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Love Local
Image: Time Out

Love Local: Support the independent businesses that make us love L.A.

It's never been more vital to keep buying from the city's unique shops, makers and food and drink outlets.

Michael Juliano
Edited by
Michael Juliano
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We don’t want to jinx it, but L.A. has reopened enough of our favorite things that this city is finally starting to feel familiar again. But it’s also clear that we’re not all the way there yet, and so even as our favorite watering holes and cinemas swing their doors open again, they can still use your help.

Our editors have been seeking out the best of city life since 1968, when Time Out launched in London. We know that our cities are nothing without their restaurants, cafés, bars, theaters, music venues, nightclubs, movie theaters, art galleries—and all the other local, independently run places where people come together to eat, drink, laugh, think, create, cut loose and fall in love.

We love our neighborhoods and local culture just as much as ever, so that’s why we’ve launched our Love Local campaign to share some love and shine a spotlight on them—and we hope you will, too.

This month, we’re also asking you to vote for your favorite venues in L.A. for the Time Out Love Local Awards.

The latest on Love Local

  • Art
  • Art
  • price 0 of 4

 The works of James Turrell were not made for TikTok. Nor are the 78-year-old light artist’s works made for Instagram, or any social media platform offering up the attention span equivalent of hors d’oeuvres. Instead, the exhibits are designed to be savored over minutes and hours, the full impression of them only apparent to you only after a slow, gradual change in your own perception. Quite likely, you’ve seen the direct impact of Turrell without even knowing it. Despite his decades-long visionary status in the fine art world, the artist’s sway over the cultural mainstream generally recedes into the background, sometimes literally, as in the case of Drake’s “Hotline Bling.” In the 2015 music video, moody shades of bright pink, blue-purples and Drakeposting yellow intermittently bathe the rapper and his backup dancers, not entirely unlike the Breathing Light room at the artist’s LACMA retrospective, which ran from 2013 to 2014.  “I fuck with Turrell,” Drake later told Rolling Stone, directly citing the Light and Space Movement pioneer as inspiration while preparing to enter one of the artist’s Perceptual Cells at the same exhibit, where I also first encountered Turrell as a high school art student. Though the immersive metal sphere shrouded the viewer—in this case, Drake—in a 12-minute mixture of colorful lights and atonal sound, many of Turrell’s other works restrict their manipulation of perception solely to light, time and space. While you can’t currently view his work at

  • Restaurants

Since 2020, you're probably no stranger to ordering takeout and delivery from the city's best restaurants, who have converted white tablecloth fine-dining plates, date night fare and other dishes normally eaten while dining at a restaurant into travel-ready takeout fare. Now, we've updated this guide to include both longtime takeout and delivery favorites, as well as a few other restaurants who have kept their to-go programs around in conjunction with on-site dining.  Whether you're not feeling well, exhausted after a long week or simply want to grab a delicious meal, turn to these excellent L.A. restaurants and cafés for nourishing food that travels well.

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  • Things to do

Like a typical marine layer morning, things started out a little gloomy in Los Angeles this year, but slowly and steadily the city we know and love started to shine through again. New restaurants continued to open, movie theaters and museums welcomed back visitors for the first time in a year and you could even have a drink at a bar again, regardless of whether it was an outdoor bar-classified-as-a-restaurant or just an actual indoor bar. So for this year’s Best of the City Awards, our editors wanted to take a look back at the venues, events and people that really stuck out to us. California’s mid-June reopening more or less split the year into two chapters, and we’ve recognized favorites pulled from both timeframes, plus that messy period in between. Regardless of where they fall in L.A.’s reopening timeline, we’re proud to bestow all of these picks below with Best of the City Awards—and we hope you’ll be just as excited, too. Disagree with our choices? You can still vote for your most beloved venues in our Love Local Awards.

  • Shopping

'Tis the season for Christmas shows, festive holiday lights and, most of all, shopping, shopping and more shopping. Back to tempt your wallets this winter are a number of holiday markets and craft fairs featuring local, handmade goods for extra special gifting. Find everything from apothecary goods and handwoven handbags to artisan jewelry, candles, prints and more. Even if you’re not sure what to get family and friends on your gift list this season, these annual fairs are a treasure trove of inspiration—you’ll likely walk away with more goodies than you ever knew you needed. Support small businesses and head to the best holiday markets in Los Angeles. RECOMMENDED: See more Christmas in Los Angeles

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  • Things to do

Sure, there’s the weather and the beaches, but L.A.’s local businesses really make this city amazing. Maybe it’s the little coffee shop that always makes your morning better. Or that fantastic local indie cinema, with the community vibes and events. It could be a fantastic food spot that you recommend to incoming friends and fam. Or a bold local gallery or theater, a community-spirited garden-cum-café, a vintage shop, a cheesemonger, a bar or music venue—or even all of the above. Time Out recently asked you to nominate your most-loved spots in L.A., and now it’s time to vote. See a few of your favorites in the running? Cast your vote for them in the Love Loval Awards. And, as it’s been a tough 18 months, we’ll offer your most-loved spots—the Time Out Love Local Award Winners of 2021—a free marketing and advertising package to help them thrive. Let’s share the love! Michael Juliano, Editor, Time Out L.A. // window.beOpAsyncInit = function() { BeOpSDK.init({ account: "5f69f55f46e0fb0001fde886" }); BeOpSDK.watch(); }; // If you are a business owner, or simply want to see your favorite venue listed on Time Out, you can submit venue details to the Time Out L.A. website by sending us your information. Have questions? Check our Love Local Awards FAQ.

  • Things to do

It’s time for the annual Time Out Love Local Awards: your chance to vote for your favourite local small businesses and independent venues. If you have questions about how the process works, how to vote for it, when voting closes, or anything else about it, read on… What are the Time Out Love Local Awards?They’re a chance to nominate and vote for your favorite local and small businesses in your city: bars, cafés, restaurants, music venues, galleries, you name it. Anywhere that you think deserves some recognition for what it does. Can I still nominate a business or venue?No, sorry. Nominations for 2021 closed on November 7. What happens then?All the places that were nominated get added to a “long list” of nominees. Time Out city editors then take a look at all the businesses and compile a shortlist of the most-loved ones. Then you get to vote on them. In 2021, voting takes place from November 11, 2021 until December 17, 2021. Do I need to create a Time Out account to vote?If you are a regular Time Out user, you can use your normal login on www.timeout.com to vote. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one, which only takes a minute and is free. Can I change my vote(s) once I’ve submitted it/them? No, sorry. So choose carefully! Can I vote by email or phone?No, sorry.  I actually am a local venue, can I vote for myself and can I get my customers vote for me?Totally. You can vote for yourself, and get all your devoted regulars to vote for you too—click here for an 8

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

Look, Los Angeles isn’t always the easiest place to live. The traffic is painful, fire season is persistent and you’re pretty sure that there’s a higher likelihood of the Big One hitting than of ever owning a house here. But we swear, we’re actually here to talk about the good stuff: Because it’s all of the local gems—the late-night taco truck, the hidden garden, the hole-in-the-wall comedy club—that make life in L.A. fulfilling. Now we want to hear about them all. Time Out is launching its annual Love Local Awards today. They’re your chance to tell us about your favorite music venues, galleries, bars, restaurants or anything, to give it the exposure it deserves, to show it the love. You can nominate as many venues as you like, of whatever type. Once the nominations are in, you’ll get a chance to vote on the ones you think are the stars of Los Angeles. We’ll feature the most loved ones in Time Out, and those outstanding small businesses—the Time Out Love Local Award Winners of 2021—will receive a valuable free marketing and advertising package to help them thrive. They, like many of us, have had a truly awful 18 months, after all. Launching simultaneously in 14 cities across Europe and North America this year, the Love Local Awards are part of Time Out’s commitment to inspire connection and joy by capturing the soul of the world’s greatest cities and support independent businesses, while offering them a platform to give them the recognition they deserve. The 2021 Love Local A

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  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Sure, we had cocktails to-go and patio spots serving drinks, but until this past spring it had been nearly a year since Angelenos could sink into a stool and chat up a bartender. That’s a whole lot of time for your bar etiquette to collect cobwebs. On top of that, just when we thought life was approaching something normalish again—surprise!—things swung in the opposite direction. Combine the shifting rules and safety regulations (both self-imposed and county-mandated) with supply chain and labor shortages, and a night at your favorite watering hole might still look a little different than it did during the before times. So we talked to the owners, managers and bartenders behind some of L.A.’s best bars to find out what you need to know before you open your tab. Bring some extra patience “Due to the pandemic a lot of people are short-staffing to save on labor costs, and the employees that are working are expected to carry the same workload as before. So guests should know and expect that they will have to wait a bit longer for service and that they should not get mad about it.” —Cari Hah, Hakkasan Group “Everyone needs to be aware that there are a multitude of reasons places are short-staffed, so please be patient and kind to those that have showed up. We’re doing our best!” —Kelso Norris, Genever “There has been a mass exodus of staff. Either from a resolve of moving away from a career they never were really that committed to, or being completely burnt out from having to comp

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

If you’re filling up at the Shell station on the corner of Arroyo Parkway and Del Mar Boulevard, make sure to stop inside to pick up the gas station convenience store staples: some lotto tickets, a bag of chips and, oh, a hazy double IPA, a pastry sour and a rice lager. Pasadena has its share of gastropubs, taprooms, big-box liquor stores and a couple of small bottle shops, but the food mart at Arroyo Shell has them all cornered when it comes to the curation of chilled cans and bottles of beer. The cans go up for sale as soon as they come in, and owner Shibli Haddad resets the fridges multiple times a week. There’s always something fresh to keep repeat customers interested (he’ll tease new releases on the shop’s Instagram), but there’s a balance between flavor-of-the-month brews and reliable lagers, pilsners, IPAs and Kölsch. Anaheim’s Bottle Logic is the only steady fixture, though 903 and the Brewing Projekt are often in stock, as are some local entries like San Gabriel’s Ogopogo and Glendale’s Paperback. It’s all wrapped up in a setting that, yes, is still unmistakably a gas station convenience store, but one with artist-commissioned murals, a chalk wall that might have surprised Pikachu one month and parched SpongeBob the next, and a feel-good playlist that jumps from Frank Sinatra to the Strokes. Photograph: Time Out/Michael JulianoShibli Haddad As you might expect, it wasn’t always like this. Haddad’s father owned the station until his death in 1998, when the family l

More ways to support local businesses in L.A.

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