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The Hot 5: The SLS Hotel's Los Angeles

The Hot 5: The SLS Hotel's Los Angeles

As concierge for the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, Alex Niezgoda stays one step ahead of the guests on what’s hot and fashionable in LA right now.

As concierge for the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, Alex Niezgoda, stays one step ahead of the guests on what’s hot and fashionable in LA right now. His picks for the season:

1. Staying Fit -- Barry’s Bootcamp (1106 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; 310-360-6262). Here in Tinseltown, fitness is serious business. Shake off your jetlag with celebrities and soon-to-be celebrities burning 800-1000 calories per 60-minute high-intensity session (free weights, cardio, core and ab exercises; $20). With thumping dance music, hot eye candy, and dim lighting, it won’t even feel like a workout…at least not until you reach bicep curl number 40! Afterwards, gays in-the-know head down Santa Monica Boulevard to Body Factory (8591 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; 310-358-5552) for their signature protein-packed BodyFuel smoothie.

2. Epicurean Oddities -- The Bazaar by José Andrés. Spanish delights with more celebrity than the diners: cotton candy foie gras; Brussels sprouts with lemon purée, apricots, grapes, and lemon air; Jalé Berry cocktail with fresh blackberries, gin, Cointreau and a slice of jalapeño. Reservations a must. Luckily they’re located in our hotel. 465 S. La Cienega Blvd.; 310-246-5555

3. The New Friday Night -- LA is a polyglot city-state by day, but its vast expanses (and expensive cabs) create a decidedly homogenous affair at night. Except once a month when Fuzzy at Hollywood’s Three Clubs bridges LA’s Great East-West Divide between plucked-and-bronzed West Hollywood and grizzled Silver Lake, sans the Boystown cliquey-ness or hipster smugness. The East West Hot Pockets packs the dancefloor with DJs StrangeMachine and Dingo, where it’s not uncommon to hear Two Door Cinema and Usher in the same set. Just remember cab fare for the morning. Every second Friday; 1123 N. Vine St., Hollywood; 323-462-4411

4. Downtown Dining -- Church & State. LA’s new urbanity and restaurant scene future is reflected in this French-Californian bistro that would be at home in NYC's Meatpacking District (it's located in the loading dock of the former National Biscuit Company). No valet parking, no velvet ropes, just fresh, locally sourced ingredients and warm service and toothsome dishes like the smoked herring and potato salad, braised beef short rib in red wine sauce, and Loup de Mer. 1850 Industrial St.; 213-405-1434

5. Essential Activity -- Out & About Tours. Not your typical star maps gawking route or a pre-recorded drone pointing out where they filmed Pretty Woman, gay history (from LA’s original inhabitants, the Tongva tribe, to West Hollywood’s incorporation as a city in 1984, and beyond) comes alive through actors, audience participation, and a great soundtrack. For instance, did you know LA had its own riots outside a gay bar that pre-dated Stonewall by two years? My favorite part: a visit to The Other Side in Silver Lake, the last gay piano bar in one of LA’s first gay neighborhoods. The open-top bus runs every Sunday through winter because, well, there is no winter in LA!

Check in:The SLS Hotel. Hot, novel and infused with energy by owners/nightlife masterminds SBE (they of The Abbey) and cutting-edge design from Philippe Starck, it’s a sophisticated hub for style- and luxury-seekers. The Ciel Spa, rooftop pool deck, and room service menu by José Andrés is unparalled in the area. Rooms from $349. 465 S. La Cienega Blvd.; 310-247-0400; SLSHotels.com

For more picks on LA’s hotspots, check out our Out City Guide: Los Angeles.

SLS_Hotel_LA_Alex_Niezgoda_Gay_Top_Picks
As concierge for the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, Alex Niezgoda, stays one step ahead of the guests on what’s hot and fashionable in LA right now. His picks for the season:

1. Staying Fit -- Barry’s Bootcamp (1106 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; 310-360-6262). Here in Tinseltown, fitness is serious business. Shake off your jetlag with celebrities and soon-to-be celebrities burning 800-1000 calories per 60-minute high-intensity session (free weights, cardio, core and ab exercises; $20). With thumping dance music, hot eye candy, and dim lighting, it won’t even feel like a workout…at least not until you reach bicep curl number 40! Afterwards, gays in-the-know head down Santa Monica Boulevard to Body Factory (8591 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; 310-358-5552) for their signature protein-packed BodyFuel smoothie.

2. Epicurean Oddities -- The Bazaar by José Andrés. Spanish delights with more celebrity than the diners: cotton candy foie gras; Brussels sprouts with lemon purée, apricots, grapes, and lemon air; Jalé Berry cocktail with fresh blackberries, gin, Cointreau and a slice of jalapeño. Reservations a must. Luckily they’re located in our hotel. 465 S. La Cienega Blvd.; 310-246-5555

3. The New Friday Night -- LA is a polyglot city-state by day, but its vast expanses (and expensive cabs) create a decidedly homogenous affair at night. Except once a month when Fuzzy at Hollywood’s Three Clubs bridges LA’s Great East-West Divide between plucked-and-bronzed West Hollywood and grizzled Silver Lake, sans the Boystown cliquey-ness or hipster smugness. The East West Hot Pockets packs the dancefloor with DJs StrangeMachine and Dingo, where it’s not uncommon to hear Two Door Cinema and Usher in the same set. Just remember cab fare for the morning. Every second Friday; 1123 N. Vine St., Hollywood; 323-462-4411

4. Downtown Dining -- Church & State. LA’s new urbanity and restaurant scene future is reflected in this French-Californian bistro that would be at home in NYC's Meatpacking District (it's located in the loading dock of the former National Biscuit Company). No valet parking, no velvet ropes, just fresh, locally sourced ingredients and warm service and toothsome dishes like the smoked herring and potato salad, braised beef short rib in red wine sauce, and Loup de Mer. 1850 Industrial St.; 213-405-1434

5. Essential Activity -- Out & About Tours. Not your typical star maps gawking route or a pre-recorded drone pointing out where they filmed Pretty Woman, gay history (from LA’s original inhabitants, the Tongva tribe, to West Hollywood’s incorporation as a city in 1984, and beyond) comes alive through actors, audience participation, and a great soundtrack. For instance, did you know LA had its own riots outside a gay bar that pre-dated Stonewall by two years? My favorite part: a visit to The Other Side in Silver Lake, the last gay piano bar in one of LA’s first gay neighborhoods. The open-top bus runs every Sunday through winter because, well, there is no winter in LA!

Check in:The SLS Hotel. Hot, novel and infused with energy by owners/nightlife masterminds SBE (they of The Abbey) and cutting-edge design from Philippe Starck, it’s a sophisticated hub for style- and luxury-seekers. The Ciel Spa, rooftop pool deck, and room service menu by José Andrés is unparalled in the area. Rooms from $349. 465 S. La Cienega Blvd.; 310-247-0400; SLSHotels.com

For more picks on LA’s hotspots, check out our Out City Guide: Los Angeles.

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