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417 Norwich Dr., West Hollywood



WELLNESS + BEAUTY Out of Town Hidden Gem to What's New in West Hollywood

FASHION The Project of a Lifetime: West Hollywood Fashion Designer Stanley Hudson


COVER The Making of Billie Lee


DESIGN Redefining Realty



Finding the Beauty with Chaz Dean Crumble Catering Reflects on the Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party


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VIP Dining Booth, Casey Lane – Kimpton LA Peer Hotel, West Hollywood


PORTFOLIO Brandon Boyd: The Eternal Optimystic


FEAST La Peer Showcases Casey Lane Passion Project Tesse & Boutellier Brightens Up Sunset Boulevard


TRAVEL Portugal Is Ready For A Close-Up: The Best Way to Navigate Europe’s Hottest Country


HOTELS West Hollywood’s Top 15


OUT + ABOUT Events Around Town

Farmhouse Opens at the Beverly Center Employees Only: New York’s Iconic Bar Hits West Hollywood New + Exciting East Coast Transplants


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Publisher Mia Dinelly


Carole Dixon

Creative Director Jenny Bondi

Copy Editor Lynne Simon

Contributing Writers Richard Bence Leigh Beecham Shana Nys Dambrot Carole Dixon Carly Lancaster Raha Lewis Mar Yvette

Contributing Photographers Emilie Baltz Haha Danesh Jesse Fiorino Wayne Ford Jeffrey Grossman


Model: Billie Lee Photographer: Jeffrey Grossman Camera Assistant - Brian Lipps Digital Tech: Sam Cornwall Stylist: Joaquin Aristides Flores Hair: Cassandra Kayla Lowery Make up: Ko Willis Spray Tan: Be Bronze Studio

DISPLAY UNTIL JUNE 30, 2018 8581 Santa Monica Blvd. #367 West Hollywood, CA 90069

(323) 475-8502

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the publishers or management of West Hollywood Lifestyle. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Publication of the name or photo of any person or organization in West Hollywood Lifestyle should not be construed as an indication of that person’s expressed opinion or sexual orientation. Advertisers and their agencies assume responsibility and liability for the content in their advertisement in West Hollywood Lifestyle. Photographers work that is published in any advertising or editorial content within West Hollywood Lifestyle agrees to indemnify and save harmless the publishers from all liability, loss and expense due to a photographer’s failure to gain a model release.


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For Richard Bence, West Hollywood is both muse and home to the British-born culture journalist. Bence’s mission is to chronicle and unearth the hidden stories of Los Angeles with a special focus on travel, art and style—and his credits include Monocle, Rhapsody and The Guardian. He has a passion for preservation, loves all things midcentury and enjoys getting close to nature on canyon hikes or lapping up the architectural riches of the city he calls home. For this issue, Bence reports on the Sunset Team in our Design section.

Jenny Bondi has worked with advertising agencies, nonprofits and Businesses both individual and corporate. A few well-known brands she has designed for include: Abbott Laboratories, Chicago Transit Authority, Tastee Freez, the University of Chicago, Wienerschnitzel and Yogurtland. Bondi has designed for a variety of markets including restaurant and hospitality, pharmaceuticals, health and fitness, real estate and theatrical industries. Bondi is currently the creative director for West Hollywood Lifestyle magazine.

Baha H. Danesh is a multidisciplinary artist, photographer, and photojournalist who focuses on Southern California's artistry of events and portraiture. From blue-chip art galleries to celebrity clientele, Danesh captures the artistic side to all occasions. For this issue, Danesh shoots rock star and artist Brandon Boyd. For more information visit her website at or join the conversation at

Wayne Ford is a lifestyle and architectural photographer who has called West Hollywood home for more than 10 years. He works with some of the top luxury real estate agents in Los Angeles to tell the visual story of a home or commercial property through beautiful forward-looking imagery. When he’s not shooting photos, he’s probably dreaming up his next world travel adventure. In this issue, Ford shoots 417 Norwich Dr., for our design column.


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Raha Lewis is a U.S. native (by way of a study detour in Sydney, Australia), and is an influencer of all things fashion, pop culture and entertainment. An eveningwear designer who was a lawyer in a past life and who’s written for publications such as the Los Angeles Times and People magazine, Lewis is always on top of the latest news in the world of celebrity and is often seen touting exclusives on camera for the likes of E! News, Good Morning America and Showbiz Tonight. In this issue, Lewis writes the cover story on Billie Lee.

Shana Nys Dambrot is an art critic, curator and author based in Los Angeles. She is currently L.A. editor for Whitehot Magazine, arts editor for Vs. magazine, contributing editor to art ltd., and a contributor to L.A. Weekly, Flaunt, Huffington Post, Palm Springs Life, and KCET’s Artbound. She studied art history at Vassar College, curates one or two exhibitions a year and speaks in public with alarming frequency. In the Portfolio section of this issue, Dambrot reports on artist, Brandon Boyd: The Eternal Optimystic.

Jeffrey Grossman is a photographer of many nuances. One of his specialties is fashion. Originally from Los Angeles, now based in New York and traveling back and forth for many photography projects, Grossman has his own vision – and a beautiful one at that. He has created a name for himself shooting Fashion Week in New York in addition to editorial and specialty projects that take him places beyond both cities. In this issue, Grossman shot Project Runway All-Stars cast member and fashion designer, Stanley Hudson and Vanderpump Rules cast member, Billie Lee.

Mar Yvette is a TV host, trend expert and lifestyle writer best known for her fun and eclectic segments on the Good Day LA morning show. She's a regular on Extra, E! News and Fox News Latino, and she covers everything from food and fashion to travel and celebrities. In addition to her blog, she has a new social site and podcast called Homegirl Talk for women who keep it real. In this issue, Yvette covers fashion designer Stanley Hudson.


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LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER Winter can’t last forever. It’s time to welcome spring—nature's way of reminding us that every day is worthy of celebration! And in this issue, I believe every page is worth celebrating. On our cover, we bring you Billie Lee, a LGBTQ activist who is shedding light on the issue of prejudice directed at transgender men and women. Formerly a celebrity stylist and makeup artist, she is now the newest cast member of Vanderpump Rules. I encourage you to read this inspirational story that highlights her journey from childhood to adulthood and how she found herself along the way. It also gives me great joy to have fashion designer, Project Runway All-Stars cast member and West Hollywood resident Stanley Hudson grace our pages as the subject of our fashion story. Not only is he an amazing designer and an amazing person, he has been one of my closest friends for well over two decades. His story is an inspiring one, combining his creative background with some trials and tribulations mixed in. His message to the world: If you apply yourself, you are capable of anything. As far as design goes, we welcome back another brand-new beautiful West Hollywood home located at 417 Norwich Dr., which recently hit the market and took just over three years to build. I am sure many of you have driven down San Vicente at Norwich and asked, “What’s going in there?” Well, you will find out in this issue. In addition, the Sunset team talks about this beauty of a home along with how the firm has played a pivotal role in L.A.’s cultural renaissance—especially in residential properties—since they formed here 20 years ago. Also in this issue, we sit down and talk to West Hollywood’s celebrity hairstylist Chaz Dean, the Crumble Catering founders and chefs who have been the force behind the delicious cuisine served at the Elton John Aids Foundation Oscar party for the past 15 years, and Brandon Boyd, lead singer of Incubus, shows off his latest body of artwork in our Portfolio section. Lastly, WHL Editor Carole Dixon travels to Portugal, which has become a European travel hot spot. Dixon also covers the very, very hot dining scene taking place in West Hollywood. Enjoy the issue!

Mia Dinelly Publisher


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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Welcome back to the spring issue! If you’re working on your summer bod, you might want to avoid West Hollywood, because the restaurant scene could not be hotter with so many East Coast newcomers and a few old friends opening in the area. We spoke to Casey Lane about lasagna, Sascha Lyon about woodfired vegetables, Raphael Francois about pâte and Dushan Zaric about pairing cuisine with cocktails, to name a few. If you do want to seriously work on that beach body, we went farther afield in wellness and beauty to bring you the hidden gem of Cal-a-Vie in San Diego County. Not only will you feel like you’ve escaped to Tuscany or the South of France, in under 90 minutes, but there is a slew of new technologies on offer to help you achieve any of your weight loss—or inner peace—goals. And, speaking of inner strength, I also had the pleasure of getting to know Chaz Dean while visiting a few of his hillside homes including his now famous cluster of salon bungalows in Hollywood, for our Profile section. While he has created a hair-care and beauty dynasty, he is much more spiritual than the person you see on Flipping Out (with his pal Jeff Lewis) or QVC. For Travel, we visited one of the hottest countries of the moment: Portugal. We didn’t just go to Lisbon but ventured down to the coastal area of the Algarve to chill and also to Sintra to live like royalty amid the palaces and castles. Yes, we love the cobblestone capital and all the Michelin-starred chefs, but consider trying our schedule if you’re planning a visit anytime soon—and you should. Back in West Hollywood, we also welcome The Kimpton La Peer to the Design District, along with Knoll’s first West Coast flagship—as seen in our party pages. Until next time, happy grazing!

Carole Dixon Editor


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WELLNESS + BEAUTY Out-of-Town Hidden Gem to What's New in West Hollywood

By Carole Dixon

Cal-a-Vie Health Spa: The best kept California wellness secret. If you can’t make it to Southern Europe this spring for a much-needed wellness renewal journey, we highly recommend a trip to the hills of Vista. That’s right, North San Diego County. Cal-a-Vie is the hidden Provencal-style gem frequented by celebrities such as Oprah, Anjelica Huston, Paula Abdul, Russell Crowe, Shailene Woodley, Tom Ford, Tyra Banks, Natalie Portman and Valerie Bertinelli. While the A-List has been flocking here for 30 years, this enclave still remains a relative secret in many travel destination circles, and even some of the most savvy spa trekkers have not been inside the gated grounds. What you will find in the 500-acre inner layer is a world-class anti-aging spa, beauty treatments, more than 160 metabolism-boosting fitness classes, 25 hikes, complimentary nutrition assessments, lectures and guest speakers in a setting that immediately puts you in a South-of-France state of mind. There is an astounding 5-to-1 staff-to-guest ratio, 32 private villas, a stargazing observatory and an adjoining country club with an 18-hole golf course. Cal-a-Vie is the first health spa in the U.S. to introduce the new WellnessFX technology, which allows guests to digitally manage, understand and improve personal health through advanced blood testing analysis, consultations with progressive health practitioners and intuitive online habit tracking from the convenience of their smart phones or computers. Guests are also given tips and tools for behavior modification and lifestyle choices that will help them maintain the program once they leave. There is also a revolutionary new Styku 3-D body scanner at the spa, designed to monitor body shape changes in seconds. This works by capturing true measurements of the human body using harmless infrared light and a Kinect 3-D camera. Guests will receive a personalized report that will also identify imbalances and risks, provide an estimated body fat percentage, posture analysis as well as comparisons by demographic. The resort will also maintain records for guests to access during future visits to the spa to monitor their progress. Cal-a-Vie is also the first destination spa in the U.S. to offer Muse: the brain-sensing headband. The spa now offers biweekly classes for guests to master fundamentals of applying the lightweight wearable that uses electroencephalography (EGG) sensors to provide real-time feedback on brain activity during meditation practice. As part of the new “Scattered-to-Focused” brain-training classes, guests can learn how to maintain a state of focused attention and quantify progress through consistent use of the Muse brain-sensing wearable.


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Cal-a-Vie – Pool

Cal-a-Vie – The Chapel

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Cal-a-Vie – Five Star Cuisine Your mind—and body—will tend to wander while ensconced in the beautiful surroundings. There is a stunning 400-year-old chapel and L’Orangerie with imported stone from Dijon on the lavender-strewn grounds next to the vineyards—yes, vineyards—that yield a house sauvignon blanc and merlot so your spa detox will include a Tuesday night wine tasting whether you are on a three-to-four day package or a full week. The food is also delicious, and no matter which caloric plan you choose, you will not go hungry. Cal-a-Vie’s typical menu items include large omelets for breakfast, hefty salads at lunch, hearty soups, truffle ravioli, roast chicken and dessert in the evening, and there is a bounty of fresh veggies, fruits and herbs grown right on the property by a culinary gardener. There is even a daily hors d'oeuvres hour when you can mingle with other guests and compare vigorous morning workouts or spa treatments that take up most of the relaxing afternoon program post lunch. Cal-a-Vie has a full-service European-style kitchen, where Executive Chef Curtis Cooke hosts cooking demos. The demos are very interactive and participants cook right along with the chef. Guests are also shown a basket of ingredients with healthy substitutes, and they will leave the classes with recipes, shopping tips, an ingredient list and a lot of useful information. As if that were not enough, at every turn, guests encounter tasteful displays of handpicked antique furnishings. And you can also take a piece of this paradise home with you. There’s a treasure-trove-packed antique store exclusively available to guests on the property that you can visit during a leisurely walk.

Cal-a-Vie – Suite


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Cal-a-Vie – Labyrinth

Cal-a-Vie – Yoga Studio

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WELLNESS + BEAUTY in West Hollywood Unplug Meditation Opens in West Hollywood Unplug Meditation originally opened in Santa Monica in 2014 and was one of the first studios of its kind. Now it has a new outpost in West Hollywood on Melrose and La Cienega. The goal is to improve overall health, productivity and mood with 30-minute sessions you can even do on your lunch hour. Unplug is also breaking down a few unobtainable myths that have been unfairly associated with meditating for years. According to founder and former fashion editor Suze Yalof Schwartz, the three biggest myths of meditation are: “I can’t do this.” If you can close your eyes you can meditate. The second one is: “I can’t sit still.” You don’t have to sit still you can move in meditation. The third: “I don’t have time.” The truth is, if you have time to wait in line at Starbucks, you have time to mediate.” Keeping all that in mind, how does one get started practicing mindful thinking and clearing all thoughts for inner peace? First your posture should be alert but relaxed; you want to be in touch with the present moment by anchoring your breathing and cultivating positive emotions through stillness. Don’t be too hard on yourself if zoning out for an hour a day doesn’t come naturally. As Schwartz explains, “You can accumulatively meditate—while you’re stuck in traffic or putting on your mascara. When you’re starting out, you can do just one minute a day and work up to 20 minutes in the morning. Start your day slowly, as this will help you become proactive in your day rather than reactive.” The idea is to remain present in the moment until you can incorporate this practice into your everyday life. As Schwartz explains, “The trick is to let go and hit the blank empty space where you are floating. That is all meditation really is.”

Unplug Meditation

YogaVibe Weho Leading independent alternative and holistic yoga studio from Los Feliz, YogaVibe, now has a branch in West Hollywood on Santa Monica Boulevard. Check the revolving schedule and experienced teachers from around the globe for private lessons, sound bath therapy, restorative with a massage, or our personal favorite: vino and vinyasa on the fourth Saturday of the month.


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F A S H I O N 32

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Designer - Stanley Hudson; photography by Jeffrey Grossman

The Project of a Lifetime: West Hollywood Fashion Designer


He shares a name with a fictional character from the hugely popular TV show The Office, but fashion designer and Project Runway star Stanley Hudson has lived a life that is as real as it gets. Born into a creative family with a mother who was the family’s “seamstress and designer” and a father who worked with furniture and owned an upholstery shop, Hudson knew from an early age that his life would be an artistic one. But it wasn’t until he was 15 years old that fashion became the focus. “I thought I was going to be a musician because I loved music, and I played the trumpet and guitar,” he muses. “But the fashion bug bit me when I was a freshman in high school. I was with a bunch of friends, and we went vintage shopping. I bought some clothes and different fabrics, and I just started creating and never stopped. It consumed me from that moment on.” That obsession has since led Hudson on a path to professional success that has been beyond his wildest dreams yet tempered by personal tragedy. After leaving his hometown in Pomona on a scholarship to Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, Hudson worked as a visual merchandiser at department stores throughout the city and tried his hand at being a stylist. But the real turning point came when he landed a job with legendary fashion designer and costumer Bob Mackie, dressing iconic women such as Cher, Carol Burnett, Diahann Carroll, Charo and Diana Ross. “Just being around these women taught me how to behave, how to act,” Hudson reveals. And working with Mackie was invaluable to the young designer. “He sketched everything first, so I realized that you need to be able to draw—even if it’s a simple thumbnail sketch—to convey your ideas. I’m an illustrator, and everything I do is by hand. That’s something I learned from Bob.” Soon, Hudson was working on television shows including Desperate Housewives and Criminal Minds. Then, in 2012, he was cast on season 11 of Project Runway, where he would eventually finish as third runner up. It would prove to be the best of times and the worst of times. “I got cast on the show, and then my sister passed away. I couldn’t believe it,” he recalls. “My sister was my best friend, so I had to go through that entire process of grieving on TV. I felt that she would’ve wanted me to do the show because she was an artist, so I put myself in a creative space to do the work.” Adding to the pain was the fact that his father had died five years earlier. “I just had to get through it day by day. It took me probably two years before I could actually watch the show.” Upon returning home to West Hollywood, Hudson’s career as a fashion designer continued to move forward, but personal turmoil persisted—his partner, Steve, had begun struggling with addiction to pain medication he was prescribed for an injury. For the next several years, Hudson was repeatedly asked to appear on Project Runway All Stars in New York, but he wasn’t ready to commit. Finally, in 2016, he agreed to do the show. “It was tough, but I was hopeful,” he reveals. Then, in July 2017, Hudson was hired as a costumer on ABC’s hit show Black-ish, which films in L.A. and stars Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne.


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Designer - Stanley Hudson, photography by Jeffery Grossman


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Designer - Stanley Hudson • •

“We do a show a week, and we have 25 shows in a season, so it goes really fast, and we are always working,” he shares. “Head costume designer, Michelle Cole, is such an incredible person both as a boss and a friend. She’s a true talent, and it’s a really good group of people to work with.” As it turns out, that group is decidedly female. “There are 10 women in my department, and then there’s me. And everybody talks—the morning meeting is like The View but with 10 people!” It’s a refreshing fact, particularly in the time of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, that Hudson finds himself in a workplace led by women. “We’re already seeing women gain more power and rise to the top,” he reveals. “It’s been empowering to watch the women take charge on set. In fact, Tracee is directing an episode for the first time, and we recently had Eva Longoria direct an episode as well.” Unfortunately for Hudson, it wasn’t long before tragedy struck again. In December 2016, his beloved partner of 23 years, passed away. “Struggle is either going to make you or break you. And it’s up to you. Just being in this work environment has given me so much more confidence and energy and life. Some days are harder than others, but you have to remain positive. I decided to start living from the inside out and be my true, authentic self. Once you do that, you begin to flourish. I hope sharing my story can help others who are going through hard times, no matter what it is.” Although life hasn’t fashioned the easiest road for him, Hudson exudes a warmth and optimism that can’t be faked. And his creative flow shows no signs of slowing. Currently he can be seen on the sixth season of Lifetime’s Project Runway All Stars, and his new fall collection launches this spring along with his new website,, which aims to be a fun destination for fashion advice, style and beauty. “As far as my brand, I just want to remain true. I call it ‘nerdy chic.’ It’s for a woman who knows who she is. She’s educated, and even though she can be the most gorgeous woman on the outside, she still has that nerd thing going on inside. She loves sophisticated clothes, but she’s quirky, and she mixes them up. She can pair a dress with tennis shoes or a combat boot as easily as she would a heel.” As he sees it, “I don’t want to just sell online, I want a real place where everybody is welcome—all races, sizes and shapes. I want people to come in and feel the clothes, have a good time and get a Hudson!”

Designer - Stanley Hudson


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C O V E R 40

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Stylist: Joaquin Aristides Flores, Hair: Cassandra Kayla Lowery, Makeup: Ko Wills, Be Bronze Studio

The Making of

BILLIE LEE By Raha Lewis Photography by Jeffrey Grossman

In April 1990, a 6-year-old boy went to an Easter egg hunt with his parents in the small town in Indiana where he was born. The rules were, if you found the golden egg, you would be able to choose any prize you wanted from either the red “boys” section or the pink “girls” section. The stakes were high; this family was very poor, and there was a bike in the prize section that Billie Lee had his eye on that his parents (dad was a roofer and mom stayed home with the kids) probably couldn't afford. As luck would have it, he found the golden egg. Brimming with excitement, Lee made his way to claim his prize, but he was quickly ushered past the pink tent where the pink bike was and told he had to pick a “boy” toy. The devastation set in, and that is when he knew he didn’t see the world the way most others do. Today, Billie Lee—who kept her original birth name—is no longer being ushered past what she wants in life. She bravely began to transition from male to female about a decade ago and undertook a full sex change operation to become the woman she is today: an activist shedding light on the issue of prejudice toward transgender men and women, a former celebrity stylist and makeup artist, and now the newest cast member of Vanderpump Rules. Lee is just getting started, and she is ready to make some noise. By the time Lee was in high school, it was obvious to her and the other students that she was not like other boys. “I was very feminine. My energy, the way I carried myself—I was very girly,” she says after our photo shoot in a modern architectural home tucked away in West Hollywood. “I was attracted to feminine things. Sometimes I would paint my nails or wear makeup, and that would cause a lot of rumors.” It wasn’t just the rumors that were hard. At that age, insecurities were too many to count, and she carried an unfair amount of fear. “I was very fearful of going to the bathroom, all the writing on the walls were about me,” she says. “And they were really negative things.” That’s the thing with trans kids—we’re just trying to pee in a safe place. There is not one case of a trans teen in a school abusing someone. It’s not about that. It’s about trans kids wanting to feel safe when they go pee. And I didn’t feel safe.” Learning how to feel safe and be confident has not come easy for Lee. She has put up with a lot of rejection, especially from men she has tried to date. “My first boyfriend at 17 didn’t like that I was feminine,” she said. “It was really hard for me and my self-esteem [to have] my own boyfriend, my first love, tell me not to wear makeup, not to shave my legs and not to raise my feminine energy.” Even today, dating is a science that has taken Lee a lot of heartache to perfect. “Society puts a lot of pressure on the masculine energy. You could be considered homosexual if you are attracted to a trans woman, which is not true, it’s not the case,” Lee explains. “Men get in their heads, and they get scared because they don’t want to be bullied. They don’t want to feel negative and not accepted by society.” Then there is the gladiator-type battle that goes on in her head, deciding when to tell men that she’s trans, which has thankfully become a no-brainer after much turmoil she experienced in the past trying to hide it. “I would literally bottle it up, hide it away and not talk about it. The first guy I told after dating him for six months left me,” she said. “It was devastating. I was crying on my kitchen floor for like two days. I did that two or three times, then I was like ‘This is insanity.' Now I am literally like, ‘Hi, nice to meet you. I’m trans.’”


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Billie Lee – Faux Fur Jacket by Unreal Fur

If you’re wondering how a man could not notice that Lee was trans after six months, Lee credits her sex change surgeon. “I have a really good vagina,” she says. And that only came after a grueling yearlong recovery from surgery that was financed by one of her most trusted confidants at the time, Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester. The two met right after a dark period for Lee, who was suicidal and prostituting herself to make ends meet. “We met at Pride in West Hollywood. We were like instant best friends. We were just there for each other.” Meester also employed Lee to bring her out of that dark zone. “She was like, ‘You should do my hair, you should do my makeup,’ She totally got me a job,” Lee says. “She really saved my life. We’ve traveled the world together.” First stop? Thailand. “That’s where I got my vagina,” Lee says, recalling how Meester stood by her throughout her difficult recovery. “Leighton was there with me through all of the surgeries,” she said. “Through my transition, I was hormonal, I was a mess. Especially after my surgery. My hormones were trying to balance, and I was emotional and needy. I lost friendships because I was going through such a time that I was in so much pain and suffering. It took me a year to heal from the surgery. It was so painful.” Now Lee is in a great place physically, mentally, spiritually and financially. She considers her most recent job at West Hollywood restaurant SUR a blessing from one of her guardian angels, Lisa Vanderpump. “She’s my fairy godmother. Spread it everywhere, all over the news,” says Lee. “I’m so grateful to Lisa for giving me the opportunity. If you have the power to hire someone, if you work at a clothing store, shoe store, hospital—even if you know someone that’s in a position to hire someone—find someone trans or be open to it. If they come in, give them a chance and don’t be scared.” Decreasing unemployment rates among the LGBTQ community is a cause Lee proudly champions. The reason she thinks it’s so hard for transgenders to find work is because of common stereotypes around the trans community. “People believe this stereotypical trans experience of what society has painted,” she says, “which is [that] we’re prostitutes, we are homeless or we steal.” Lee believes education around the subject is key, so that fear does not consume potential employers. “Maybe you’re afraid because you don’t know what pronouns to use, maybe you’re afraid how to approach the person,” Lee said, imploring employers to “approach [trans people] with kindness, love and just say, ‘I want to help you.’” Being able to work allows members of the trans community to also fight homelessness, which was an issue Lee struggled with when she first moved to L.A. and lived in her car—a pink jeep that she painted herself to fulfill that 6-year-old’s dream. “I lived out of my Jeep in West Hollywood with a baseball bat because I was so afraid,” she said. “I had my U-Haul, and I would just go [to] different hotel parking lots.” She was later given her first job at LASC clothing store on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood and was able to rent a place with some cash her mother sent her. But it doesn’t change the fact that Lee feels more resources need to be dedicated to helping members of the LGBTQ community who move to West Hollywood and are completely alone. “Right when I moved here, I was so scared,” she said. “I could not get a job because I looked in the middle; people thought I looked awkward. The LGBT has a center. We need to focus on that more. I think we need to have more programs when people first move here, so they have a safe place to go, even if it’s just to show up and talk to people or have resources to get a job.” Lee doesn’t take it for granted that she has a job that has landed her a place in the spotlight on Vanderpump Rules. The crew has eased Lee into the role with a lot of support—particularly when she had a panic attack before filming a dating scene because she was scared of being rejected on camera. “I was so afraid and had my breakdown,” she says. “The producers were so great. They’re like, ‘This is real. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s OK to feel that way. Just live your life.’ They really helped me and never pressured me into doing anything. I really honestly could say that I don’t think I would ever be able to do a different show. They were just so amazing to me.” Coming into her own and accepting her reality, which includes her past as a boy, the fact that she can’t have biological children and that she will inevitably be rejected by a lot of men has not deterred her from being a voice for the rest of the world that deals with otherness and prejudice. “I went on a journey of loving myself. I did ceremonies. I put up pictures of myself as a boy, and I lit candles. I just prayed and loved the boy that I used to be who got me where I am today,” she said. “I fell in love with myself, I fell in love with my trans experience.” Her future is bright now. “I know that I am here to adopt. I know there are so many kids out there who need the love, acceptance, the home,” she says. “We’re sitting in this beautiful house right now, and I am manifesting this house with all these kids running around, and they're my kids—and hopefully a husband upstairs. A family is important to me.” Lee’s life is much more than her physical existence. “A lot of people are stuck, and it’s because of society in the physical realm,” she says. “I see your body, I see your skin, I see that you’re female, that you’re black or white, and that’s where we’re at,” she says, hoping that this will not always be the case. “I know that we’re spiritual beings having a human experience. I need to go to deeper levels and have deep conversations. That’s what really feeds me. People are waking up. It’s just going to take a while, but it’s going to happen and just keep happening.”


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D E S I G N 46

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417 Norwich Dr., West Hollywood

REDEFINING REALTY By Richard Bence Photography by Wayne Ford

For alchemy to occur, the stars need to align. Then you need a bit of magic for the dream to happen. Enter The Sunset Team. With a fine pedigree in sales and development, this avant-garde real estate boutique has consistently remained at the top of its field for nearly 20 years. The Sunset Team specializes in West Hollywood, the Beverly Grove and the Hollywood Hills, a playground for high-end real estate sellers, buyers and developers. Led by Alex Lombardo and Roberto Seixas, the firm is known for its innovative thinking and leading-edge designs. Combined with the marketing acumen of Mina Azami, the level of service–from their initial preview of a property, to the photos taken for the listing, and to the showings and ultimate close, is exemplary. Their knowledge of the market is unparalleled, while their savvy legal and negotiation skills are something to behold both as a buyer and seller. In the 20 years since they formed, L.A. has dusted itself off and transformed into a global art metropolis. The Sunset Team has played a pivotal role in L.A.’s cultural renaissance with a burgeoning art, fashion and food scene that has become irresistible to the culturally attuned. The firm’s contemporary Californian aesthetic is emblematic of a dynamic moment in Los Angeles’ cultural history. “I think we’ve been a big part of the boom, especially in residential,” says Azami. Balance and harmony are watchwords for the team that started out restoring Spanish homes. “We were successful at that, and we graduated into doing brandnew construction with the contemporary moderns,” says Lombardo, a forward-thinking entrepreneur with strong negotiation skills. “We really believe in a balance between development and restoring homes,” he says. “I think it’s important to have brand–new construction but also to save homes. We’re very aware of that,” proffers Lombardo. Always at the cutting edge, the Sunset Team embraces its green credentials, offering forward-thinking solutions to water and solar power wherever possible. Listening to the environment is essential, but listening to the community is, too. Developers are mostly only interested in the bottom line. They find a formula and they repeat that formula. The difference is the people who really think about the way the neighborhood is developing. “Instead of doing more brand-new constructions, we went back to our original formula, which was restoring homes. We’re doing something for the neighborhood. If we think we can restore it, we will restore it.” For Lombardo and his team, personal taste doesn’t come into it. “We work with the developers and the flippers to guide them in the direction they need to go,” says Lombardo. “With the flippers, it’s how to flip the property in the best way possible, and we end up getting crazy prices for sellers.” As the direct contact between the seller and the market, they also work with sellers by staging their homes to get the best possible price. “We try to show the soul of the house,” says Lombardo. The Sunset Team offers a holistic service that starts from the outside in. “We start with the backyard because that’s going to be one of the main points of the house,” says Lombardo. Typically, when working on a new project, the first thing is not just to throw in a pool but also to focus on the landscaping to create the “California living” experience. The team is now listing a rare and exquisite urban architectural home on the coveted stretch of Norwich Drive, with one of the largest lots in the area that cannot be duplicated with the new West Hollywood zoning laws. The grand main floor rooms of 417 Norwich Drive open to a spectacular backyard with a swimming pool and spa, offering complete privacy. “We see a shift in the way people are living, which is more open,” say Azami. “People want an open kitchen and a living room that’s near the kitchen or the backyard for entertaining.”


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Living Room

Dining Room + Lap Pool

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Kitchen + Dining Room


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Living + Dining Room

Master Suite

This modern oasis masterfully blends cool contemporary design with lush greenery that affords the chic indoor/outdoor lifestyle Southern Californians crave. The entertainer's kitchen, outfitted with four wine coolers, looks onto the dining and living spaces. No detail has been overlooked in this 4-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom residence. Centrally located in prime West Hollywood West, you can leave the car charging, and take a short stroll to zinque, Cecconi’s or Gracias Madre, to name a few. Developer Alex Vance and architect Robert Crockett are the creative talent behind 417 Norwich Dr., a pioneering pair that has played a significant role in creating the look of today’s L.A. This 8,000-square-foot lot, located in a unique pocket south of Melrose, used to be a garden. The house was shaped for the lot in a triangular way giving it graceful lines. The windows are strategically placed so you see greenery and views of the Hollywood Hills. Crockett utilizes big sliding doors to create a conversation with the street from the upper deck that allows you to feel connected to the azure blue sky. Alex Vance was personally in charge of the interior design and material selection, and was intimately involved with every commission that went into the residence, working closely with the crafts people “because buildings are essentially large pieces of cabinetry for living.” From little details on the kitchen cabinets to making sure the doors are flush to the walls, 417 Norwich Dr. is a bellwether for the kind of high-end design that is making Los Angeles a glittering utopia for architecture once again. Of course, this being L.A., there needs to be a bit of razzmatazz. And 417 Norwich Dr. isn’t short on mod cons and “wow” factors, with a home automation system, floating staircase and a triple-height front door adding a sense of drama. From certain angles, the building is reminiscent of a giant spaceship, an aesthetic that adds a futuristic feel, fitting for a city that is so devoted to reinvention. But this is very much a living structure, with strategically placed skylights in the closet so you’ll never get lost in the dark. And the big windows wash the interior with light, making it an ideal space to display works by up-and-coming local artists. This is a true Los Angeles landmark, and an iconic addition to the built environment of West Hollywood.


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P R O F I L E S 54

Finding the Beauty with

CHA Z DEAN By Carole Dixon

Dean is celebrating 25 years since opening his first salon, saying goodbye to shampoo and creating a revolutionary haircare dynasty in a cluster of Hollywood bungalows. Driving up a long and winding road deep into the hills of Loz Feliz while whizzing by estates recognizable from Bravo TV’s Flipping Out, I was relieved to find Chaz Dean completely relaxed and charming in his open-air Zen home with two lounging blond labs at the very peak of the canyon—and his career. It’s hard to tear your eyes away from the stunning view of downtown L.A. from Dean’s latest refuge. It is filled with light, giant Buddhas, towering healing crystals, wood artifacts from Bali and so many bowls of fresh fruit in the kitchen that he could open up a stand at a farmers market. The colorful cornucopia of produce mirrors the lifestyle Dean has created with his Wen haircare line and just “saying no” to using harsh chemicals, bleach, traditional conditioner and even suds-inducing shampoo on your hair. His products embody the sweet bounty of nature from a list of ingredients that includes everything from goji berry and cranberry to kiwi and pomegranate, and many more. A staff member presents me with a signature lemonade-cucumber green tea and agave drink (they add pear vodka at night) that smells fresh, clean and delicious—just like the beauty products that are stockpiled in the powder room. Growing up in Simi Valley, Dean moved to Arizona with his family when he was 17. “In high school, I took photography for two and half years. It was connecting and drawing out the beauty—whether it was a person, the wood, nature—it was finding the beauty within something. That is what I really liked about it,” he says. After graduation, Dean continued to study photography but also beauty, as he had the ingenious idea of adding hair and makeup to his repertoire so he could create the complete look he desired in his photographs. Back in L.A., in the late 1980s, Dean landed at Carlton Hair International in the Beverly Center as an assistant. “It was crazy, wild, fun energy—like going to a party,” he says. The company had its own product line, but he noticed deepconditioning products were being purchased from a beauty supply line. At the tender age of 21, “they set me up with a lab to help them create one. Because I asked that question, it opened up a door for me, and I love to experiment.” The company launched the “Reconstructor” to great results. About a year later, Carlton enlisted Dean to help create a natural production line. He created the Primrose Shampoo, Sage Conditioner and Rosemary Conditioner for Fashion Formulas, which later became Big Sexy Hair. Unfortunately, the owners only offered him one penny per bottle manufactured. Dean was also an unpaid manager at the salon. The owners only bestowed that job for the title, so he made ends meet by cutting hair. He resigned from management and moved to the Bel Air salon in the Beverly Glen Center. “It was all exmanagers from other Carlton salons,” he laughs. It was buzzing and busy, but Dean longed to work in an environment that had structure, so he started managing again, to gain back some control over the products he used and vibe of the salon. “I never used curling irons or bleach unless it was for a show,” he said. Eventually, the owners offered Dean the option to buy the salon. His first thought was “hell no,” but it was an amazing location and a great opportunity. “I barely had any money, but I renovated and spruced it up, changed the name to Chaz Dean Studio and had a huge opening party—1993.”

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Chaz Dean – Photo: Jesse Fiorino

Dean made a name for himself as a stylist and then started creating his own line that same year, which caused buzz and also controversy by not using shampoo but a conditioning cleanser. Dean stands firm on keeping traditional conditioner off your scalp and hair. “It’s filled with poly binders, fillers, waxes, chemicals, and it weighs the hair down,” he says. “When you have a cleansing conditioner, it has antioxidant and strengthening properties along with hydration to treat your hair.” According to Dean, it’s the harsh chemicals in shampoos that alter the color of your hair and weaken and damage the shaft. The water is also very important. “People are finally starting to pay attention. I use bamboo or sprouted water in my products. Seventy percent of what you put on your body topically is absorbed into the skin,” he warns. “I haven’t used lather on my body in 25 years. I used to have lines and wrinkles even on my hands that would crack and bleed because of shampoo. I want people to be more aware, note the ingredients and pay attention,” he says. The celebrities soon followed, starting with Nicolette Sheridan and her then husband, Harry Hamlin. Later Lisa Rinna (Hamlin’s current wife and star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) became his client, then Tori Spelling, Shannon Doherty and Julianna Margulies, among others. But word soon got out, and what was once a tucked-away celebrity haven and an escape became a glass storefront fish bowl with prying paparazzi. “I was at risk of losing my clients,” he says. “I wanted the salon to be in a home and private.” Dean retreated to his room set up for prayer, meditation and his vision board, and began clipping fountains and flora out of Veranda magazine while asking for spiritual signs. After a long search, in 1997, he was presented with a property on Fountain and Wilcox. The area was sketchy at the time but also populated with beautiful Craftsman homes with a lot of potential. Dean was reluctant about his clients traveling so far from Bel Air, and the homeless person passed out on the back patio of the 100-year-old property didn’t help. “My partner [at the time], Chris, said, ‘If this is the place we are meant to have, let that homeless person be sitting up smoking a cigarette [when we go back],’” And that is exactly what they saw upon a second inspection. On top of that, the homeless person’s name was Spirit. “It was listed higher than I could afford, but I knew that this was the place,” he says. Dean had asked for signs—and he got several. The escrow closed on Friday, June 13—his mom’s birthday. She had passed away more than a year prior from cancer. And what became of Spirit? “Spirit became part of our family; she was my angel. I renovated for a year, and she stayed there. Every night, I made dinner at home in the Valley and brought it to her,” recalls Dean. She was the most calm, loving, gentle peaceful person that I had ever met in my life.” Dean lived on the property for 10 years (as did Spirit) while running the salon—a true live work environment, but it wasn’t always easy for others to appreciate. “One of my clients said, ‘Do you know you have a bum in your parking lot?’ I said, ‘That person’s name is Spirit, and it could be you or me or any of your family members. She’s a person with a heart and feelings as well.’ That client didn’t come back for a year, but when she did, she said hello to Spirit. If [Spirit] changed one person, that would have been worth it.” “I believe a big part of who I am today is because of my parents and because of Spirit and the experience that I had. I pay attention to signs. I’m very alert.” Dean also closed escrow on his first Hollywood Hills compound (now used primarily for family, parties and a yoga studio), on June 13, this time at the exact same time that his mother had passed away in hospice years before—12:13. “I’m a numbers person like crazy. I should play in Vegas.” But the numerology goes even deeper. Dean has plans for a flagship salon in a landmark building in Greenwich Village in New York City in about a year from now, which will have a blowout bar. Turns out the lot number on the compound he purchased is 613, which he found out after the fact. Dean has lived in his current L.A. home, designed by Tim Campbell, since 2014. It has three floors plus a roof deck and an office level. “I like creating. I’m always in construction. It’s like progress and moving forward.” This was a factor in Dean currently filming season 11 of Flipping Out on Bravo TV with Jeff Lewis, who has become a good friend. The two reality stars met when Dean was looking at Lewis’ Valley Oak house during season 1. “He was intense and crazy [on the show],” recalls Dean. But, what I liked about him is that he was so particular. He was focused, and he was tough, but it had to be perfect. When he showed me his house, he was so meticulous [with his] attention to detail, and that is what I love.” So, he called upon Lewis when he was looking to remodel the salon in Hollywood. “I interviewed three people, but I ended up hiring Jeff because I know he is precise. We started the renovations, when Jeff approached me about being on the show. I had been on QVC for four years already, and I didn’t know if it would help me or hurt me with them,” but Lewis talked him into it. “We have our battles, but we respect each other,” says Dean. “There is not any scripting whatsoever. They mic you and walk through. They don’t even ask you to repeat anything if they missed it,” confirms Dean, who finally had his first one-onone sit down last season.


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Chaz Dean Studio

Dean is also the godfather to Lewis' baby girl, Monroe. “I’m glad that I’m in Monroe’s life because I think I’m the one who’s going to keep her grounded and centered. They are great parents [Lewis and his partner, Gage], but he teases and pokes a lot. She’s intense—a mini-Jeff—and he knows it. I’m like, ‘She’s gonna give you a run for your money, mister!’” Even with the product creation and television gigs during the week, Dean is still in the salon Thursday through Saturday and loves being hands-on. For the product lines—now up to a massive 570 variations, including skin care and fragrance—he still shoots all the images for every label, picks out the fonts, trim and boxes. His latest line is called Bella Spirit, which includes an exfoliating lip scrub with lemon peel and black rice seeds, and he’s working on a day-and-night intensive skin moisturizer. “Sunday’s are my only off day, so I cherish them. Just to be home with nature, the doors open, the angels and the dogs are all I need.” Chaz Dean’s West Hollywood I can’t wait for Bottega Louie. I hope it’s as good as downtown. I Love Gracias Madre’s skinny margarita with muddled oranges, and you would never know that their crab cakes are not made with real crab. I love SUR for the food, and PUMP is like a party when you go. I know all the people, and it’s a fun atmosphere. Lisa [Vanderpump] is a friend, and we share our love of animals. I’m pescatarian now because of the “No to Dog Meat” campaign that I became involved with again about two years ago. People said it should be all meat so I took that in and saw [just a few minutes of] Food, Inc., and that did it for me. I feel lighter and have more energy.

Chaz Dean Studio


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CRUMBLE CATERING Reflects on the Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party By Leigh Beecham

West Hollywood Park in West Hollywood, was the scene for this year’s Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards viewing party, and Crumble Catering, once again, kicked it into high gear, preparing more than 1,000 five-course meals in a massive undertaking seamlessly executed by some of the top chefs in the industry. As the official caterer for the annual event for the past 15 years, Crumble is tasked with serving and pleasing the palates of Hollywood's biggest A-listers. This year, thanks to BBVA Compass, Crumble’s chef and co-founder Wayne Elias teamed up with Chef Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca, a Michelin threestarred restaurant located in the medieval city of Girona in Catalunya in Northern Spain. The talented chef and his brothers, Jordi and Josep Roca, are masters in their respective art of cuisine with Joan handling primary chef duties, Jordi as patissier and Josep as sommelier. Their food is complex, incorporating cuttingedge techniques and a variety of ingredients to create highly stylized plates. Their dishes are designed to evoke memories, emotions and the landscape of their hometown in Northern Spain. “We collaborate every year with a celebrity chef that the EJAF Foundation brings in to work with [Chef Elias],” said Diamond. “This helps give the fundraiser big visibility and an amazing dining experience with something different and new every year.” This year, the A-listers were treated to a Spanish-themed menu paired with red and white varietals from Domaine Bertaud Belieu, Presqu'île de St Tropez including a Rosé Cuvée "Initial" vintage 2015. For a start, the crowd was served a chicken truffle crepe, vegetable consommé with fresh East Coast scallops stuffed with Italian black truffle. For the main course, it was filet mignon in a red wine sauce with a pastry galette, mashed potatoes and baby vegetables, pan sautéed sea bream with Chardonnay sauce and gnocchi with lemon, hazelnut and truffle. Dessert was an apricot ice cream with molecular gastronomy pebbles and sabayon. When it comes to creating mouth-watering and inspiring cuisine, Chef Elias and Chris Diamond, his business partner of 27 years and co-founder of Crumble Catering and the Los Feliz restaurant Rockwell Table & Stage, are veterans in the field. Diamond commented, “Going into our 15th year working with the Elton John AIDS Foundation on its annual Oscars soiree has been nothing short of an absolute dream come true!” The planning for this year’s party literally commences at the conclusion of the previous year. Chef Elias works hand in hand with Diamond, the Roca brothers and the rest of his team on a one-of-a-kind-menu for the most discerning group of assembled VIPs and donors. But an undertaking of this magnitude is not without its challenges. “We have had many issues through the years, mostly with weather conditions,” confirms Elias. “Doing this event in tents that are formed into a village at WeHo Park can sometimes work against us with leaks in the kitchen and dining tents, [and] wind being a factor to mess up the structure.” And, let’s not forget there is a time constraint, “We run this event during the viewing of the [Academy Awards ceremony], and we must serve 1,000 guests a five-course dinner in three hours,” he said. “Dessert must be on the table by the end of the Oscars presentation. With these creative and gourmet menus that we serve, it is a challenge to cook and plate and serve in a timely manner without going off our timeline. That alone is my biggest challenge of the evening.” For the event, West Hollywood Park is transformed into a city within a city, with a sprawling array of custom-built pavilions featuring sparkling décor, state-of-theart lighting, projection and displays. It takes an army of 150 servers and bartenders, and 70 kitchen staff to make the evening flawless.


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Chris Diamond, Sir Elton John, David Furnish + Chef Wayne Elias

For Chef Elias, being such an integral part of this event is an honor, remarking, “It’s a true test of nerve and skill having to prepare such a large number of courses for some of the most recognizable people in the world. It takes a village, and I am proud to serve alongside my hard-working team.” “Chris and I treat this event as if it is the first year we are doing it,” says Elias. “We do not get relaxed or say this is the same as last year. It is never the same, and the process and logistics are the basics, but the execution is the challenge, to serve 1,000 guests and make everyone happy.” From its humble beginnings in 1992, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has raised more than $400 million over the past two decades to challenge discrimination against people affected by the epidemic, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS.


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BRANDON BOYD: The Eternal Optimystic By Shana Nys Dambrot Photography by Baha Danesh

When Brandon Boyd—best known as the lead singer of one of the biggest rock bands in the world, Incubus—opened his pop-up show of paintings and drawings at West Hollywood art gallery 101/Exhibit in December, the world was introduced to a whole new side of this hard-rocking seeker. In fact, Boyd has been making, publishing and showing his dreamy, sensual, meditative, liminally psychedelic paintings, prints, collages and drawings for many years. But even those who were previously clued in to his parallel life as a visual artist were presented with a whole new depth and direction in the work itself. Perhaps because a lot of the paintings were made during the writing and recording of Incubus’ latest album (for which the band recently launched a globespanning concert tour), as well as during the welcome retreat and regroup that followed its production or perhaps because Boyd, like everyone, was simply evolving and growing as human, the paintings, especially the emotional, thoughtful portraits, spoke to a perspective of responding to the outside world, its characters and stories—in contrast to the more introspective, abstract work of Boyd’s previous work. “When it rains it pours!” he laughed. “And I’ve never been one to try and categorize when art was supposed to happen. I’ve learned to merely let it happen. In many ways, I just do my best to clear the lane and let the stuff come through. I sort of just follow my nose through a larger maze, and rather than focusing so much on attempting to make my way out of it, I linger in the middle as long as I can.” Boyd found himself wanting to connect with friends, and, as he put it, “see if I could find some kind of an aesthetic link between the kooky linework I’m so fond of getting carried away into and the figurative watercolor stuff. I think the narrative that starts to come through is a kind of unfolding or an untying of knots.” This is where Boyd’s mystical side makes itself felt, as he goes on to explain that people are essentially free, spiritually and cosmically. “The knots we so desperately attempt to untie throughout our lives are really just illusions that become very convincing after enough time. But zoomed in on an individual life, the knots feel very real, and, though painful and vivid, they end up defining us in certain ways. They also tie us to each other—in that we all have events, circumstances, journeys, battles, etc., that we wrestle and/or dance with. So, I was sort of hoping to be able to capture some of that by combining the linework with the people I’ve been painting. I say all of this in retrospect though! I have no idea what I’m working on while it’s actually happening!” Boyd also made a new series of small (only 5 inches by 5 inches), lively and abstract watercolors he calls “Portals” while he was on the road during the summer tour. Unsurprisingly, those became extremely popular, and he’s been making more in advance of his forthcoming exhibition at Cape Town, South Africa’s Gallery One11—for a version of Opti-mystic timed to coincide with the Incubus tour. Boyd also unveiled an exhibition of his prints at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, pegged to Incubus dates there in February and March. “I’ve been finding that the more I allow for this strange kind of creative polyamory,” Boyd says, “the more each of the mediums thrives!” A little-known fact about Boyd was that he was well on his way to attending art school—at the venerable CalArts in fact—when Incubus got picked up by a label, and he, then a teenager, chose a musical for himself. But of course, he never gave up his other calling. As time progressed, he found himself continually inspired by the world he was seeing on tour and the deepening perspectives on the human experience, and the transcendence this afforded him manifested itself in the studio—of both the music and art variety. “As I’m typing this,” he relates, “the men are singing from the minarets here in Jakarta, calling everyone to prayer. It’s so wild to be in this massive, bustling metropolis and hear the sounds of such an old, complicated tradition rooting millions of people in their culture. That has nothing to do with what we were talking about but, anyway … I’m very much looking forward to the Cape Town concert and the pop-up gallery! I just need two more of me, then everything would be able to go off without a hitch.” It looks to us like he’s making it work just fine. •


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Artist Brandon Boyd – West Hollywood Art Gallery, 101/Exhibit


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Brandon Boyd, Allie Enveloped

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T S A E F 68

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Viale dei Romani – La Peer Hotel, West Hollywood

LA PEER SHOWCASES Casey Lane Passion Project By Carole Dixon

The West Hollywood Design District is the lucky new home of Kimpton Hotels’ first five-star property, La Peer, which also showcases Viale dei Romani—an equally top-level dining experience by Chef Casey Lane of the Tasting Kitchen in Venice. The French-Moroccan restaurant fare was conceived by Lane, along with the entire concept of the space, which includes a swanky bar and courtyard. Lane is of French-Moroccan descent and has strong family ties to the region, so his menu, “trips through the heritage of Southern Italy, Southern France, Monaco and the Moorish occupation of those areas in 1800 to 1900s, so a lot of the spice cabinet is being used,” he says. You can try wood-roasted chicken and clementine tagine and a frothy white Russian cocktail, which could be dessert, but one of the stand-out dishes on this menu is the layered lasagna. “We make a traditional Bolognese with 85 percent veal and braise that into tomato sauce with milk on the stovetop, so about 50 percent the traditional method, then bag it and sous vide it for several hours to break down the proteins for a luxurious, soft mouth feel. Then we blanche pasta sheets, let them cool, then layer in the Bolognese. We bake off about 70 to 100 layers then slice it into pieces to cook on the piastra [a hot sheet of metal], until we get the caramelization on the corners.” So, every bite has the crispy corner texture of a lasagna pan dish. Lane has been a longtime resident of West Hollywood and took on this labor of love more than three years ago. Why? “The truth is, it’s my favorite neighborhood and one of the top five neighborhoods in the world. We have had a great local reception, and I think every restaurant should be a great neighborhood restaurant; they are really a part of the fabric [of the city]. While the 105-room La Peer hotel has a cutting-edge European sensibility designed by Gulla Jónsdóttir, the restaurant was constructed by New York City-based Parts and Labor with bright yellow velvet banquettes and gold ceilings that give it a modern glamorous feel. Just outside by the pool, the bar showcases an installation by renowned graffiti artist Retna, and you can order a truffle or Ipswich clam wood-fired pizza.

Outdoor Bar & Lounge – Kimpton La Peer Hotel, West Hollywood


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Viale dei Romani – Pizza and Small Bites

Viale dei Romani – Oysters and Ceviche

Viale dei Romani – Kimpton La Peer Hotel, West Hollywood

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TESSE & BOUTELLIER Brightens Up Sunset Boulevard

This spring, restaurateur Bill Chait, along with managing partner Jordan Ogron, acclaimed chef Raphael Francois and pastry chef Sally Camacho Mueller, will bring us the rustic-contemporary Tesse to the AKA and Fred Segal complex on Sunset, which is already flourishing with a café and bakery inside the shopping mecca. Francois, the Michelin-starred and French-Belgian-born chef formerly of The Connaught in London, LeCirque in New York and his own restaurant, Le DeSales, in Washington D.C., has been bicoastal while working out the details of his first West Coast venture. “America has always been a dream. I really love it here. You have so much diversity and nature—the most beautiful scenery in the world. I wish I had been here 10 years ago.” Now that the chef is finally here, he’s not wasting any time, “I do a lot of charcuterie,” says Francois. “We do a pâte with duck and smoked almond. I call it délicatesse (which in French also translates to delicate or fine), but we decided to name [the restaurant] Tesse.” Chef Francois will also be rolling out a smoked bourbon pâte, boiled ham and duck prosciutto. Some of the bounty will be ready right away, such as terrine, but other proteins will take six months to cure inhouse. “Instead of the bar just having drinks, it will be meats hanging with my charcuterie, cheese and pickles,” he confirms. Under the direction of Jordan Orgon, there will also be an exclusive wine store adjacent to the restaurant called Boutellier, which was the title given to the person in charge of the king’s wine hundreds of years ago in 18th-century France. The global list will include rare finds such as Abadía Retuerta—an award-winning winery in Spain’s Douro Valley. “We’ll be the only store in the entire world that is able to sell that wine. I have been traveling for more than two years, exploring these unique partnerships with wineries all over the world,” Says Orgon. By evening, the store will transform into a private dining room for Tesse patrons that can accommodate up to 40 guests for special events or pairing dinners. Francois is also aiming to clear up a misconception about his homeland cuisine. “When you say French food, most of the time [Americans think it’s] steak frites or steak tartare. But French food is so big and diverse,” he says. “You can have a family-style bistro and a sauce that you can find in Mexican food. It’s always based on European roots, but then it will be twisted with what you can find here. I don’t like to call it modern, rustic can sound old, but it can also mean feeling comfortable, easy, casual and sharing food.” One classic signature dish from the chef that will make the menu’s final cut: crab simplissime, with whisked mashed potatoes on top and fresh tarragon that adds a kick of anise flavor. The flesh of the crab, along with shallots, is cooked in warm in duck fat and pureed. “In classic food, we always say that you can’t whisk a mashed potato, but on this occasion, we do it. We don’t follow those rules with family, rustic style,” confirms the chef. In keeping with that thread, the space will feature a patio where you can sit outside (Alexis Readinger of Preen Inc. is behind the contemporary design concept), where basil and fresh thyme will grow near an open kitchen with a big grill and a rustic table with copper inlay facing the kitchen. Award-winning pastry chef Sally Camacho Mueller—formerly of Wolfgang Puck catering and the Four Seasons hotel (among others) and who has been busy at café producing pot de crème, bacon quiches and sinful chocolate chip cookies–is now ready to “piggy-back” on chef Francois’ creations. “No one can get enough of our produce, so I’m working off of that. The food will [feature] French technique but with some of my ingredients thrown in, like green tea and ube with puff pastry or a Napolene you would find in France but allumente style. Camacho is also a fan of duck fat and it’s higher smoking content, which melts much faster than butter. “I put it in brioche and dough for flavor. I also don’t like to use a lot of sugar. My pecan pie is not sweet at all but has more of a brown butter flavor.” Rustic bread that you can tear apart with your hands will be made with dried fruit for the charcuterie. “It’s a social experience and a very family environment. It’s supposed to be a good time.”


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Tesse - Dining Room

Boutellier - Wine Room

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FARMHOUSE Opens at the Beverly Center

It’s hard to fathom, but the Beverly Center is shaping up to be the epicenter of some of the city’s best food. Long gone is the typical tacky mall food court. Now, the ground floor has two flagship restaurants of considerable pedigree. First, Michael Mina opened the Mediterranean-themed haven Cal Mare with Chef Adam Sobel. Now, Nathan Peitso, a second-generation farmer of Kenter Canyon Farms, is bringing FARMHOUSE to the mix. In an interesting twist, the owners will place an executive farmer at the helm to collaborate with the region’s top farmers. The plan is to grow and harvest ingredients that will dictate the dining destination’s dishes. Led by Peitso, the restaurant will provide seasonal farmtraceable “seed-to-plate” cuisine from Southern California’s agriculture community. Growing up, Peitso’s mother grew specific varieties of greens for culinary legends Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck. Through those relationships, Peitso witnessed at a young age the birth of the farm-to-table movement and has since dedicated his life to supporting farm-traceable food. “We operate in such an exciting time here in Southern California. Looking back to the ’70s and ’80s, whether here or in France, the culinary world experienced a significant turning point with a larger focus on utilizing fresh ingredients. Now, the revolution is evolving once again—as seen in the demand for quality over volume and low pricing—opening opportunities for small farms to impact how we eat today,” Peitso comments. “I am thrilled to showcase many of my [farmer friends] through the restaurant and introduce a variety of products that are oftentimes unavailable with large-production farms.” FARMHOUSE dishes showcase ingredients at their peak each month—all grown and harvested through ethical farming standards—produce that includes nutty squash, dense baby romaine lettuce, ripe heirloom tomatoes, sweet melons, fresh basil and mint. The opening menu will debut with a focus on peas from Kong Farm and carrots from Weiser Family Farms. “The less manipulation the better—straight from the soil is always the best,” says Peitso. As a nod to his personal dedication to the “never ever” farming methodology, responsibly farmed meat, poultry and sustainable seafood will also be hand selected by Peitso and simply cooked on a woodfire grill or oven. The family’s newly opened Roan Mills Bakery will be brought into the mix for all aspects of the wheat program—including the planting and perfecting of the harvested heirloom wheat through grain-specific milling techniques. Variations of wheat will be used for the restaurant’s pasta flour, which utilizes the ancient grain durum separated from its natural semolina through a specialty sifting process personally perfected over many months by the mother-son duo. For the daily-produced brioche, they will use Sonora Gold, known for its deep, nutty flavor. The beverage program specializes in a handpicked selection of small-batch wine, spirits and kombucha as well as craft beer exclusively brewed in Los Angeles. The 7,000-square-foot space will include a large open kitchen lined with shelves of canned and preserved items evoking a farmer’s pantry, along with seamlessly divided intimate areas including a “living room” with a marquee fireplace, a “greenhouse” atrium with floor-to-ceiling windows and a “farmer’s table” enclave. From Farm-to-Table to Mediterranean Drawing on the Mediterranean and plant-based way of life that is sweeping town, Jaffa is a welcome addition to West Hollywood. The name comes from the ancient neighborhood in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, which blends in well with the casual, walkable vibe on West 3rd. The team of Chef Anne Conness, Executive Chef Santos Navarro, Pastry Chef Natasha MacAller, Lead Bartender Aly Iwamoto, along with restaurant partners Nancy Vrankovic and Brad Conroy have seamlessly brought the Old World flavors of Israeli dishes into this modern California-centric menu. Don’t miss the tahina with charred eggplant, pomegranate and pistachio; the pull-apart kubaneh rolls with grated tomato or the whole roasted branzino. Start or end with shots of Arak—a traditional anise-flavored liquor—or one of the craft cocktails.


• •

Nathan Peitso – FARMHOUSE

Of course, Cleo by sbe and Executive Chef Danny Elmaleh was one of the first to bring this modern style of Med cooking to the forefront in L.A. The brand’s latest branch is located inside The Orlando Hotel, also on 3rd Street. A good move here is to stop by for the “social hour” from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and have an array of hummus, feta and lebaneh dips, mushroom flatbread with truffle, lamb sliders and the brik pastry cigars filled with spicy beef while you sip jasmine margaritas. One of the Cleo chefs, Hovig Agop, has gone farther afield to open a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant with a sleek supper club vibe in Highland Park called Checker Hall. The restaurant features traditional dips, small plates such as borek, puff pastry stuffed with a mixture of chives, garlic and specialty cheeses, grilled meat skewers with Middle Eastern spices, Merguez sausage with Moroccan lamb, and a standout Daurade fish with carrot puree. And, who doesn’t love a candy bar in their cocktail? Try a “Johnny the Giant,” with roasted peanut-infused whiskey, honey syrup, orange peel, bitters and peanut brittle for a fun twist that you won’t soon forget.

Jaffa -- Dinner Selection

• •


EMPLOYEES ONLY New York’s Iconic Bar Hits West Hollywood The expansion from the East Coast continues with an L.A. version of Employees Only opening this spring in the old Baby Blues BBQ space on Santa Monica Boulevard. Co-founder Dushan Zaric will bring his skilled team of barsmiths together with one of L.A.’s best classically trained chefs, Sascha Lyon, last seen bringing acclaimed California-meets-bistro fare to the kitchen of Commerson on La Brea.. Lyon and Zaric first met in 1997 when they were both in the trenches at Balthazar in New York with Keith McNally. “We both share the same sentiments with hospitality,” says Lyon, about the partnership with Zaric. “There are no restrictions, and access to something shouldn’t keep you from being able to enjoy food at the bar. You should be able to have the same degustation as at the table—just like other great dining establishments." For the L.A. version, there will be two bars—a first for Employees Only. There will be a main dining room and a reservation-only 38-seat private bar called Henry’s Room—a nod to original co-founder and mentor Henry LaFargue from New Orleans. “It will be a speakeasy within a speakeasy,” says Zaric, with a kidney shaped bartenders table in the center of the room with a back bar, and there will be tableside cocktail preparations. “We are elevating the mixological or cocktailian level in this room,” confirms Zaric. Design touches include a working fireplace with loveseats where you can dine thanks to John Sofio of Built, Inc. (Delilah, The Nice Guy), who is bringing the concept to life. “This will look very appropriate for the West Hollywood area,” says Zaric, “Very high end, with upmarket finishes but with a connection to our 1920s and 1930s New York vibe.” Lyon is most excited about the Italian wood-burning-oven upgrade. “I love to cook with wood. It’s an exciting medium because of the intensity of the heat and control you have.” There will be at least four to five EONY classic dishes that will make the West Coast cut including the tableside steak tartare, lamb chops and bone marrow poppers. Lyon will take the California abundance of market-driven fish and veggies—his favorite ingredients to cook with—to new heights with the menu. “There is nothing like veggies cooked at 900 degrees because you can coax the best out of them. Also, halibut, shellfish and spot prawns—they are so delicate and normally cooked at low heat, but it’s [another level] when you can smoke and impart flavor.” The menu will have plenty of oysters, local lobster and abalone, with pork and beef in small doses. “My job is to pair food with the cocktails,” says Lyon, “not for Dushan to come up with cocktails that taste well with food.” While most foods are made with wine in mind, the flavor profile here will shift. “It’s about how I can fuse kitchen and bar together so we are creating a single, unified dish that gets the benefit of both,” he says. With other franchises of the brand in Singapore, Hong Kong and Miami, this is Zaric’s first foray in which he is the only partner from the original founders to run and manage this outpost, and he plans to carry on the quest of the original New York City location: a safe house and refuge for industry employees. “Who is going to value you more than when serving other professionals? When they accept you, it’s a stamp of approval that you are really doing things right,” he confirms. “This is my creativity, my hospitality, my heart. I needed a home base, and the energy felt right to do this,” says Zaric. “West Hollywood is the only place where people eat and drink every night. I can’t be downtown just because the rents are better or it’s hip,” he says. “I need that restaurant to be full every night with all kinds of people because EO is all about energy. For a concept like ours to work, we need that volume.” As for a backlash to all of the East Coast establishments opening in L.A. so rapidly lately, don’t mistake EOLA for another transplant. “EO Los Angeles will be EOLA—it’s a different culture, flavor, and taste to the air and dynamic in how people communicate with each other and the pace of life,” says Zaric. “I want to give L.A. its own EO.” Zaric is well aware that the area is already saturated with high-end food and concepts, but he has the key ingredients to keep his clientele coming back for more: “Everything has to function and has been integrated so that the experience at the end is what will keep people coming back. I want people to go back because they feel amazing in that place.”


• •

Employees Only, NYC – Photos: Emilie Baltz

• •


New + Exciting East Coast Transplants Updates Around Town The East Coast migration out West has reached a pinnacle with the NoMad Hotel downtown. Thanks to restaurateur Will Guidara and Chef Daniel Humm, it’s perfect for a culinary staycation. The lobby of the historic Giannini Place building is the spot you’ll want to hang out all day for lunch with a carrot tartare salad— originally from Eleven Madison Park—along with a lemon pepper crab tagliatelle, which is our favorite from the NoMad New York location. Look down on the crowd milling in from the balcony for dinner with the decadent truffle stuffed chicken for two. Both floors have great bars, but don’t miss the all-day patisserie with separate entrance for the most buttery chocolate croissants, duck sausage quiche and lemon tarts. While you are day-tripping, stop by David Chang’s first L.A. outpost, Majordomo, on the outskirts of Chinatown for the skate wing fried rice or crispy pork belly on the patio. Around the corner is yet another New York institution: Apothéke, which is also one of the most beautiful indoor-outdoor bar spaces we’ve ever seen. Who needs to head back East? Not us.

Duck – NoMad Hotel, Downtown Los Angeles


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T R A V E L 80

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Presidential Suites Outdoor Dining – Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort


IS READY FOR A CLOSE-UP The Best Way to Navigate Europe’s Hottest Country By Carole Dixon

Once considered an afterthought on a Southern European travel itinerary, Portugal has crept into a top destination spotlight in its own right—and we have the perfect plan for your visit. When you land in Lisbon, don’t hit the ground running in the capital. Instead, head down south to the Algarve region to ease into the country. The perfect place for a little rest and relaxation can be found at the first Anantara hotel in Europe, Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, which just won the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award for the fifth best hotel in Europe and is part of the Minor Hotels group. One of the major assets of this property is the spa with an Olympic-size swimming pool that has views of the rolling hills and gardens. Another asset is the hotel’s Spice Spoons signature cooking school. You can accompany the chef on a visit to the charming village of Loule about 30 minutes away. After strolling through the local market and picking up fish and vegetables from the stands (you can also find great souvenirs of sardines, port wines, ceramic serving dishes and soaps) you will engage in a hands-on class back at the property. Your inner Julia Child will help make a traditional brothy Portuguese local white fish dish with potatoes and prawns while indulging in a few local wine pairings. Overseen by Executive Chef Bruno Viegas, the new onsite seafood restaurant, Ria, is also a wonderful place for an extravagant multicourse seafood menu along with rice and local veggies. The fine-dining restaurant, Emo, offers a varietal pairing master class with wine guru António Lopes, who will take you through local regions including Vinho Verde and Douro. When you are refreshed and have a feel for the local terroir, hit the recently renovated grand dame of Lisbon, the Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa Hotel. Originally built in 1933, it is newly reopened after a $17.7 million face-lift that included a plush Zen basement spa. It’s located right in the heart of the city on the wide main stretch where all the top designers and fashion houses—from Prada to Gucci—are located. Lisbon is made up of seven hills, so you can take in plenty of walking as well as breathtaking vistas over the terra cotta rooftops looking out onto the sea. One way to navigate the hilly cobblestone streets while having the time of your life is to hire a Tuk-Tuk tour led by Tiago at Eco Tuk Tours. There will be a few whiteknuckle twists and turns, but you’ll see all of the top peaks and parks along with the Augusta Street Arch and under-the-radar shopping gems—from custommade gloves to luxury linens—with a humorous guide who knows his way around the city. If you’re lucky, Tiago will take you back to his café, Carapau de Corrida, on the hip Rua de São Bento for a slice of chocolate cake and a shot of ginja cherry liqueur—the local “gin and juice” that is available at walk-up stands all over the old part of the city.


• •

Outdoor Pool & Golf Course - Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort

Cantina Peruana - photo: Jose Avillez

Lobby – Tivoli Avenida Lisboa Liberdade Hotel

Bairro do Avillez - photo: Jose Avillez

Lisbon is home to world-class monuments and museums but has also become a breeding ground for Michelin-star chefs. One such haven can be found in the upscale Chiado region at Bairro do Avillez by Chef Jose Avillez, the newest restaurant by Portugal’s most famous chef. It’s worth an evening visit to check out all of the different rooms and food options at this enclave, featuring everything from taberna counters with hanging hams and an array of cheese to spicy one-pot seafood stews served tableside, earthy pâte platters and plenty of bar areas for imbibing. Another fun stop for the best of Portuguese flavors can be found at the Time Out Market downtown (yes, by the same institution as the city guides), where more than 24 different top restaurants and eight bars can be found under one roof for a great afternoon of sampling wines or grazing your way through the gourmet bounty. Back at the Tivoli Avenida Lisboa Liberdade Hotel, you must also dine at the ninth-floor rooftop restaurant Terraco, which is helmed by MasterChef host and Michelin-starred chef Rui Paula. The restaurant has a captivatingly romantic view of the city from the patio and one of the best coastline lobster and stewed rice dish “for two” to be found in the country—but it’s really large enough to feed the whole table. At Olivier Avenida restaurant behind the property at the Tivoli sister hotel AVANI, Chef Olivier da Costa is an entertaining character with such enthusiasm and energy, you will want to try everything on his Attitude Cuisine contemporary Portuguese concept menu and then hit the town to try one of seven other venues for dining, drinking or dancing.

• • Terraco Restaurant – Tivoli Lisboa Avenida Liberdade Hotel


Terraco – Tivoli Avenida Lisboa Liberdade Hotel

Nobel Hall Dining – Tivoli Palacio De Seteais

Dining Delight – Tivoli Palacio De Seteais

Lisboa Gardens

Colares Wine Room – Tivoli Palacio De Seteais

End your Portuguese journey in grand style at the jewel-box-like Tivoli Palacio De Seteais, an 18th-century heritage palace and hotel in Sintra–a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, about 30 minutes outside of the city and where Portugal’s royals once summered. The first thing you need to do is take a tour of the historic grounds and interiors, which are decorated with frescos painted by the Jean-Baptiste Pillement and Flemish tapestries. All of the 30 accommodations and common areas are decorated with antique gems—from a 16th-century Spanish cabinet with secret compartments for jewels to a gilded German piano from the 19th century that the staff has reportedly heard playing in the wee hours. If ghostly stories are not your jam, there is also a small spa on the property with an adjacent fragrant herb garden, and the nearby outdoor patio at Seteais restaurant was made for a long lunch with local wines. Don’t miss the Caesar salad with suckling pig or the duck confit on a bed of mushroom risotto. The property has also added a cozy wine-tasting room if you want to continue the after-meal indulgence with a guided expert. Sintra is known for grand national palaces, and, fortunately, one of the most interesting ones in the area is a stone’s throw from the Tivoli Palacio: the Quinta da Regaleira. Stroll the bucolic grounds that feature a chapel, tower, fountains and Labyrinthic Grotto. It’s also worth taking a half-day trip to visit the Gaudi-esque Pena Palace, then try dinner at local restaurant by the sea. Casual Nortada specializes in whole grilled fish to be savored along with the restaurant’s spectacular view. One thing is certain: The charming villages, fresh fish, friendly locals, relatively inexpensive excursions and open, uncrowded landscapes will put Portugal on your must-visit European map for life. TAP Air Portugal offers many connections from other European capital cities you might be visiting, or fly direct from New York. L.A. routes will be added later this year.


• • Tivoli Palacio De Seteais

• •



The Charlie Hotel

8401 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069

819 North Sweetzer Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069

800.233.1234 | 323.656.1234

323.988.9000 |

An iconic L.A. hotel once referred to colloquially as the Riot House for its

The Charlie consists of 14 private bungalows and is available for both overnight

rock ’n’ roll parties hosted by the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Who and the

and extended stays. The landmark upon which The Charlie resides today was

Rolling Stones, Andaz West Hollywood has evolved into a sexy urban oasis

first built and established in 1924, and was owned for many years by Charlie

with a touch of vintage glamour. The modern boutique hotel is nestled

Chaplin. Movie star legends such as Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable called

between the Hollywood Hills and the world-famous Sunset Strip, and features

the grounds home at one point or another. Threatened by redevelopment, the

complimentary amenities such as a glass of wine at check-in, free Wi-Fi, non-

landmark was acquired and underwent a multi-million dollar renovation that

alcoholic minibar and complimentary morning coffee and wine tasting each

preserved the historical details while incorporating modern technology and

evening. The hotel boasts the highest rooftop pool in L.A. __________________________________________________________________

standards of comfort. The lushly landscaped grounds have been designed for

Best Western Plus Sunset Plaza

maximum privacy and resemble an English countryside. __________________________________________________________________

8400 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069

The Grafton on Sunset

800.421.3652 | 323.654.0750 |

8462 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Luxurious yet affordable, the Best Western Plus Sunset Plaza is ideally

800.821.3660 | 323.654.4600 |

located amid famous clubs and attractions on the Sunset Strip, and it’s just

Fueled by the electricity of the legendary Sunset Strip, The Grafton on Sunset

minutes from trendy areas like the Melrose and Robertson shopping avenues.

is in the heart of the city’s perpetual buzz. The central location enables guests

Hotel amenities include a complimentary hot breakfast and an outdoor

to take advantage of the numerous music venues and tourist attractions in the

heated pool. __________________________________________________________________

area. Or take a break from it all in the Mediterranean garden, the saltwater

Chamberlain West Hollywood

pool, the four-star Oliver’s Prime steakhouse or the new lobby lounge. __________________________________________________________________

1000 Westmount Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069

The Jeremy Hotel

800.201.9652 | 310.657.7400 |

8490 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Located on a residential tree-lined street in West Hollywood amid the exciting

310.424.1600 |

Sunset Strip and bustling Santa Monica Boulevard, this eclectic boutique

The Jeremy West Hollywood Hotel rooms and suites offer a simple and

hotel offers the perfect combination of style, comfort and impeccable service.

sophisticated design to make your L.A. visit feel effortless. Stay precisely in

Step into the glamourous 1980s with avant-garde décor complete with

the center of Sunset's most vibrant hub while enjoying thoughtful amenities,

intricate brass detailing, cool hues with rich gold and chocolate accents,

complimentary Wi-Fi and stunning, panoramic views of the city and the

and a retro chic feel.

Hollywood Hills from the event space or the Pool Deck + Lounge. For dining, visit Etcho lobby café with Cali-fresh cuisine or an elegant dinner at Joao. Don't miss the rotating art installations or transportation services for a night out.

The Jeremy Hotel Bar


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Viale dei Romani at the La Peer Hotel

Kimpton La Peer

Le Parc Suite Hotel

627 N. La Peer Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069

733 N. West Knoll Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069

800.373.6365 | 855.239.4324 |

800.578.4837 | 310.855.8888 |

Tucked between famed Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, La

Le Parc Suite Hotel is a true boutique hotel with its own unique character,

Peer Hotel is an intimate enclave in the heart of West Hollywood’s Design

style and the highest levels of personal service. Amenities include the intimate

District. The neighborhood’s incomparable symphony of art, architecture

and charming Knoll restaurant, the rooftop Skydeck with its heated swimming

and fashion are reflected throughout this design-forward hotel, evoking a

pool, cabanas, hot tub and tennis court, and complimentary house car service

quintessential West Hollywood style. La Peer Hotel features 105 guestrooms

within a three-mile radius. __________________________________________________________________

and suites, a rooftop event space, pool and more than 12,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor dining and lounge spaces. __________________________________________________________________

The London West Hollywood

Le Montrose Suite Hotel

800.996.3426 | 310.854.1111 |

900 Hammond Street, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Orchestrated by famed interior designer David Collins, The London West

800.776.0666 | 310.855.1115 |

Hollywood’s richly appointed and spacious suites set a new standard in

Nestled in a quiet neighborhood just steps away from the constant motion of

modern comfort. In Collins’ unique, imaginative and refined style, English

the famous Sunset Strip, Le Montrose Suite Hotel is designed with privacy

country flirts with California sun and dances with Hollywood’s golden age.

and comfort in mind. From the exclusive Privato Lounge and rooftop pool with

Feel welcome at every turn with unpretentious, seductive style. From the

panoramic views to the stylish studio and one-bedroom suites, each element

whimsical Boxwood restaurant to the garden-inspired pool deck and private

of this hotel is beautifully detailed.

terraces, each element of this hotel invites guests to experience Southern

1020 N. San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

California’s ideal climate.

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WEST HOLLYWOOD HOTELS Ramada Plaza Hotel 8585 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069 800.845.8585 | 310.652.6400 | Sitting near the end of famous Route 66, the Ramada Plaza Hotel sits on the site of the former Tropicana Hotel and Motor Lodge on Santa Monica Boulevard. The famed rock ’n’ roll refuge with the black-tiled swimming pool, “The Trip” was where Jim Morrison and Tom Waits both lived, where Andy Warhol filmed Heat, where Janis Joplin partied. Given its provenance, it’s understandable why the Ramada Plaza still draws the music and entertainment industry. __________________________________________________________________ The Standard, Hollywood 8300 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069 323.650.9090 | 323.650.2820 | The first of André Balazs’ Standard Hotels, the Standard Hollywood is a true original. The hotel caters to a young, spirited clientele that appreciates the hotel’s “timeless modern” design and offbeat sensibility. Hotel features Pool Deck at The Standard on Sunset

include an iconic floor-to-ceiling shag-carpeted lobby lounge, a live DJ at the front desk, a poolside dessert café, an ongoing video art exhibition and live performance art. The pool deck, covered in cobalt blue Astroturf, is the

Mondrian 8440 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069 800.525.8029 | 323.650.8999 | Mondrian L.A. is a parallel universe of perpetual possibility. Rejuvenated by Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, this luxury boutique hotel in the heart of West Hollywood captures everything the Sunset Strip stands for — excitement, invincibility and glamour. With its newly opened Herringbone restaurant, the legendary Skybar, and its fabled Sunset Boulevard address, Mondrian

quintessential Hollywood destination, renowned for its Ping-Pong, power lunches, sun bathers, pool parties and the best people-watching this side of the 101. The Standard Hollywood is anything but standard. __________________________________________________________________ Sunset Marquis Hotel 1200 N. Alta Loma Road, West Hollywood, CA 90069 800.858.9758 | 310.657.1333 |

is a sophisticated, modern urban resort that totally reinvents the hotel

The semi-official private sanctuary of Hollywood’s A-list and the epicenter of

experience. __________________________________________________________________

famous, the infamous and the nearly so. Set in almost 5 acres of verdant,

Palihouse West Hollywood 8465 Holloway Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069 323.327.9702 | 323.656.4100 | Palihouse is a luxury, extended-stay property that celebrates the best of home and hospitality. Discriminating tastemakers and world travelers are empowered to experience residential-style dwelling without having to compromise on location, style, amenities or service. The hotel features Palihouse Courtyard Brasserie and a luxurious lobby lounge, which brings guests, residents and

rock ’n’ roll history, the Sunset Marquis has served as a safe refuge for the peaceful gardens containing 4,000 plants and trees, it is more akin to a visit to a private tropical estate. The villas and suites at the Sunset Marquis are one of the world’s best-kept secret havens — which is quite remarkable considering that this garden oasis is a mere champagne bottle’s throw from the excitement of the world-famous Sunset Strip. With two heated outdoor pools, the finedining Cavatina restaurant, the iconic lobby bar and a full-service spa, you may never want to leave. __________________________________________________________________

neighbors together for signature cocktails, food and more. The new Sunset

The Sunset Tower Hotel

Lounge offers sweeping panoramic views from the rooftop. __________________________________________________________________

8358 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Petit Ermitage 8822 Cynthia Street, West Hollywood, CA 90069 800.835.7997 | 310.854.1114 | Nestled in the foothills of West Hollywood and protected by sculpted evergreen walls of fragrant jasmine and ligustrum, Petit Ermitage is an entirely new genre of hotel that is wildly eclectic and absolutely unpredictable. An homage to the haute French bohemian retreats of the 18th century, the hotel’s dramatic color pallet and Provence bohemian furnishing inspired by Renaissance art is revolutionary and reinvented for the 21st century. The rooftop saltwater pool and garden is not to be missed.


• •

800.225.2637 | 323.654.7100 | Recently renovated, this landmark 15-story building was designed by architect Leland Bryant in 1929 and has served as a residence for everyone from Errol Flynn, Claudette Colbert, John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Howard Hughes. With its chic restaurant, fabulous spa and unrivaled views of West Hollywood, the exceptional environment of the Sunset Tower Hotel offers its guest every comfort and amenity. Rooms range from standard rooms, spacious suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, to spectacular penthouses with separate living and boudoir areas, wraparound terraces and deep-soaking tubs.

• •


Cadillac Oscar Party at Chateau Marmont


Cadillac kicked off Oscar week with its annual cocktail party to celebrate the 90th Academy Awards. Held at the iconic Chateau Marmont, the exclusive event brought together some of the industry’s top insiders in addition to Oscar nominees Allison Janney (I, Tonya), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Bryan Fogel (Icarus), Benj Pasek (The Greatest Showman) and Katja Benrath (Watu Wote: All of Us), along with Tiffany Haddish, Sarah Silverman, Joel McHale, Dan Stevens, Elizabeth Perkins, Angela Bassett, Aisha Tyler, Kathryn Hahn, Missi Pyle, Will Arnett, Mamie Gummer and more. Cadillac is a proud sponsor of the Oscars for the fifth consecutive year.

Elizabeth Perkins

Eric Rutherford

Angela Bassett

Leonardo Nam

Francesca Eastwood

Riccardo Simonetti

Natalie Zea

Joel McHale

Mamie Gummer

Chace Crawford

Viviane Geppert

Barrett Foa

Tiffany Haddish

David Permut

Melissa Bolona

Allison Janney

Anders Holm

Tom Kaulitz and Bill Kaulitz of Tokio Hotel, Viviane Geppert, Riccardo Simonetti + Michael Michalsky

Missi Pyle + Jason Collins Ben Robson


Aisha Tyler

• •

Colin Egglesfield

Sarah Silverman

Lukas Sauer

Jared Lehr + Cisely Saldana

Photos: WireImage/Cadillac

Kari Feinstein Gifting Suite at Andaz Over the span of two days, the annual Kari Feinstein gifting suite at the Andaz in West Hollywood hosted Oscar nominees from Pat Healy of The Post to John Kapelos from The Shape of Water. Sponsors included: Maidenform which was handing out sexy shape-forming lingere; Votivo had a new candle line; Babor shared select vials of hydrating and anti-aging face serum; HOKA ONE ONE (athletic footwear), Petcube, – for keeping track of your pets, cool flip-flops by Samba Sol; Honig Wine (from Napa); Moon Palace Jamaica; Swanky Retreats; Mane & Elizabeth Ho + Audrey Moore

Tail hair care and Pinkbox Doughnuts.

Brett Dier, Haley Lu Richardson + Caitlin Carver

Julia Kelly

Katrina Law

Kevin Alejandro

Ali Fazal + Richa Chadda

Yara Shahidi

Pat Healy

Jillian Murray

Kyra Santoro

Nina Agdal

Thomas Doherty

Taye Hansberry

Serayah McNeill

Renée Victor

Marissa Winokur

Valerie Estrella + Melissa Rodriguez

Allison Holker

Marque Richardson

AnnaLynne McCord

John Kapelos

Margaux Brooke

Sam Ozkural

Heidi + Chuck Liddell

Booboo Stewart

Kellan Lutz + Brittany Gonzales

Ashley Greene

Cody Nickson + Jessica Graf

Chef Alina Z + Fernanda Romero Photos: AP

• •



Knoll Home Opens in Design District Knoll Home Design now has a West Coast location in the heart of the West Hollywood Design District. The modern-living flagship, pioneered by Florence Knoll, captures the spirit of total design for residential interiors. Designed by L.A.-based Johnston Marklee, in collaboration with Knoll design director Benjamin Pardo, with interior space by Barbara Reimelt of NinetyNineGroup, the shop features contemporary ideas and palettes for living influenced by modernist ideas. This location also showcases products by mid-century masters including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, Marcel Breuer, Harry Bertoia, Warren Platner as well as work by contemporary architects such as David Adjaye, Joseph D’Urso and Frank Gehry alongside popular Knoll designs now available in the U.S. for the first time.

Michael Arlotto, Daniel Valewink, David McNamara, Andrew Cogan, Brian Bailey + Nick Siemaska

Fernando Bracer, Andrew Spraggs, Shea Sprague + Darcy Iseman

Margaret Chen + Joel Chen

Carlo Caccavale + Steve Tanner

Colleen James, David Schutte + Liz Needle


Erik Perez + Meg Touborg

• •

Andew Cogan + Mike Benigno

Elisabeth Wagner + Clive Wilkinson

Bill Hildebrand + Michael Arlotto

Steven Johanknecht + Roman Alonso Photos: Owen Kolasinski

Kimpton LaPeer Ribbon Cutting The Kimpton La Peer Hotel celebrated its grand opening with a jam-packed ribbon cutting provided by the West Hollywood Chamber. To celebrate the only luxury propery in the West Hollywood Design District. The crowd included the mayor of West Hollywood, John Heilman; Keith Kaplan, chairman of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce; Genevieve Morrill, president/CEO of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce; along with general manager of the hotel, Nick Rimedio; Kimpton CEO Mike DeFrino; designer Gulla Jonsdottir; and resident hair color expert Marco Pelusi, who all nibbled on charcuterie and cheese from in-house restaurant Viale dei Romani.

Nick Rimedio, John Heilman, Joe Long, Mike DeFrino + Keith Kaplan

Gulla Jonsdottir + guest

Marco Pelusi + friends

Nick Rimedio, GM + Gabriella Monte, assistant GM

Joe Long, managing partner of KHP Capital Partners; John Heilman, mayor of West Hollywood; Mike DeFrino, CEO of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants; Keith Kaplan, chairman of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce; Genevieve Morrill, president/CEO of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce; Nick Rimedio, general manager of La Peer Hotel

Joe Long + Mike DeFrinos

Keith Kaplan + Nick Rimedio

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Bodvár Rosé Wine Pop Up at Cuvée Bodvár—House of Rosés held an exclusive event recently at Cuvée Restaurant on Robertson to celebrate the unveiling of the Bodvár Rosé Wine Pop Up Bar, the first of its kind in the United States. Founder Bodvár Hafström and Cuvée Restaurant’s Sylvia Diaz invited guests for an intimate evening to experience the Bodvár Rosé Lifestyle. Joining Hafström were Wanda Acuna (former Miss Puerto Rico International), Alice Amter (The Big Bang Theory), Aaron Brown (Dancing with the Stars Sweden), Maria Darkina (Get Married or Die), Eugenia Kuzmina (Bad Moms), Lars Roos (Swedish pianist), Amy Shi (Miss China L.A), Agnes-Nicole

Bodvar Hafström, Alice Amter, Andreas Öberg + Marco Rakascan

Winter (Real Housewives of Sweden) and Ilia Yordanof (actor).

Lars Roos + Hafström Amy Shi + Guests

Aaron Brown + Hafström

Sylvia Diaz + Hafström

Agnes-Nicole Winter + Bodvár Hafström

Photos: Kerstin Alm

Sharon Stone and Ferrari at Petersen Automotive Museum Petersen Automotive Museum, Ferrari Beverly Hills and their Chicago-based friends Lake Forest Sportscars, teamed up to support the Combat Wounded Coalition, a nonprofit organization assisting special warfare veterans with their transition to civilian life. The night featured a star-studded guest list, music and a live auction proctored by Sharon Stone. The evening also included

Jason “Jay” Redman

a reception in the Bruce Myers family room, opening remarks by Rick Mancuso, of Lake Forest Sportscars, and a presentation by retired Navy Seal Jason "Jay" Redman.

Sharon Stone


Sharon Stone with Toy Ferraris

Shaun Phillips, Larry English + Quintin Primo III

Cort Wagner (Race car driver, second from left) + guests

Rick Mancuso

Jay Redman, Dave Meadows (SEAL) + Guests

Guest, Jay Redman, Frank Mancuso Sr. + Rick Mancuso (owner Ferrari Lake Forest)

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Photos: Darcy Fehringer­-Mask

Round Hole Square Peg LGBTQ Photo Show The 50 winners of this year's Round Hole Square Peg LGBTQ Photo Show were on display at the opening of West Hollywood's Plummer Park, Great Hall/Long Hall exhibition. Curated by Phil Tarley, this show was one of the biggest queer photographic group exhibitions ever staged. DJ Paul V from Dragstrip 66 was spinning , and international drag queen and TV personality, Sham Ibrahim, hosted and sold photo art raffle tickets for the Trevor Project. Food was provided by Locali, West Hollywood and beverages by Unite energy drink. West Hollywood Lifestyle photographer Jeffrey Grossman was at the show with two Karl Lagerfeld portraits. One sold and one was donated to the Trevor Project raffle. Sponsored by The City of West Hollywood's Weho Arts Program, and West Hollywood Lifestyle magazine, this is the third edition of Round Hole Square Peg, which is presented every two years. The winners were culled from hundreds of images entered from nine countries.

Jeffrey Grossman

Sham Ibrahim

Jenny Bondi, Jeffery Grossman, Mia Dinelly + Anna

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Beaches Weho Bar and Grill Beaches Weho Bar and Grill recently opened its doors at 8928 Santa Monica Blvd. near Robertson in the old Skynny Kitchen location. The opening night party in February had quite the turnout of locals and familiar faces. This new 3,500-squarefoot addition to West Hollywood offers cocktails and light fare. Flaming cotton-candy, Coney Island

What have become quickly popular at this new hot spot are their alcohol-filled drinks from a slushie machine. Hint: try the Waikiki in a classic tiki mug with the Beaches trio of sliders or the pastrami beach fries.

Hot Fried Chicken Sandwich with cole slaw, pickles + herb mayo in a brioche bun with fresh cut fries

Beaches Guests, Maria Carta (3rd left) + Logan Carta (right)

Andrés Rigal, Chanel Perrillo + Matt Flinn

Waikiki + craft cocktails

Beaches handmade sliders

Austin Lawrence + Misty Violet

DJ Aaron Colbert + Luke Nero

Rene Carta + John Bakalar

Cake Moss

Benjamin Fernandez + Johnny Wujek

Matt Flinn + Bobby Trendy

Marco Marco + Shaun Vadella

Roel Ciubal, Jacob Show + Devon Saxon

Beau Byron

DJ Aaron Colbert, DJ Sam Child + DJ Brynn Taylor

Michael Vail, Danny Richmond + Ivdan Vargas Maria Carta + Julio Carta


Jenny Bondi + Mia Dinelly

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Aaron Schwartz + Aidan Demarest + Luciano Costa

Dan Cotton + David Ratcliffe

Event photos: Christine Solomon + Food photos: Matt Flinn

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Profile for Mia Dinelly

Spring Issue 2018  

West Hollywood is a magnet for creativity and trend-setting professionals who exert a powerful influence in the highly prized Los Angeles de...

Spring Issue 2018  

West Hollywood is a magnet for creativity and trend-setting professionals who exert a powerful influence in the highly prized Los Angeles de...