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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Eat Your Way Through Multicultural East L.A.

Skip the clogged freeways and hop on the expanded Metro Gold Line, which makes it easier than ever to find authentic Mexican eats and explore the area’s diverse history.


1. Where to Stay

Enjoy deluxe rooms on the top floors of the Los Angeles Athletic Club.   

Check into the downtown boutique O Hotel (from $139; Metro: 7th Street/Metro Center), with 67 stylish rooms that pair dark leather furnishings with cherry-red walls. Cozy up to the bar for a Restoration Road (tequila blanco with lime juice and raspberries; $10), crafted by New York’s Death & Co., which took over the food and beverage programs here in November 2010.

Sleep on top at the Los Angeles Athletic Club (from $159; Metro: 7th Street/Metro Center), where the hotel rooms occupy the three highest floors. Opened in 1880 as the city’s first private club, its 72 spacious rooms underwent a handsome $2 million renovation in late 2009, but the real draw is free access to the club’s athletic facilities, as well as daily Pilates and “Dance Blast From the Past” classes.

Practice your breaststroke over the David Hockney pool mural and sip a Negroni ($15) under a palm tree at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt (from $189; Metro: Hollywood/Highland), which hosted the first Academy Awards in 1929. Part of the Thompson Hotels chain, the rooms are trendy, if a bit small, but it’s hard to beat the central location on the Walk of Fame.

Published on Jan 27, 2011 as a web exclusive.

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