NFT Los Angeles Miracle Mile / Mid-City

Miracle Mile / Mid-City

"Miracle Mile" is the stretch of real estate on Wilshire Boulevard between La Brea and Fairfax Avenues. Once a snappy, Art Deco-influenced shopping destination, this area has become a bit scruffy with age. You can still see the Art Deco, but now Miracle Mile draws traffic for its Museum Row, including the La Brea Tar Pits, the Peterson Automotive Museum, and the Craft and Folk Art Museum. Check out the LA County Museum of Art, recently renovated and expanded and now officially a world-class attraction.

We hesitate to tell you this, because we don't want to see it overrun, but Saturday night trivia at the bring-your-own-food See more.

>Little Bar is a nearly perfect way to spend a weekend evening. Where should that BYOF come from? Versailles has crazy good garlic chicken. Not feeling trivia? Look to The Mint for a night of music or comedy.


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Yoga Happy LA

By Lori Kozlowski
Yoga: All it takes is a blanket/mat/springboard. But the feeling it engenders will last a lifetime. Yoga: Do you know where your chakras are?


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Rob Tallia
Photo:  Rob Tallia

Nyala Ethiopian Cuisine
I can't speak to whether or not Nyala is the best of the "Little Ethiopia" restaurants on Fairfax; I can only state (after having eaten Ethiopian food in New York, New Jersey, Seattle, DC, Philly, and now LA) that it's as good as any other Ethiopian food I've had in the US. The kitfo (beef tartare) is just perfect; the yebeg wet (marinated lamb) is nice and spicy; and the service is ridiculously friendly (although when was the last time you went to any African restaurant that wasn't friendly?). To sum up: I like it here. I'm coming back. Go Nyala!

Posted By:  Brian La Belle
Photo:  Brian La Belle

La Brea Tar Pits
How can you not check out a real-life place referenced in Flinstones episodes--the La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum represent an urban treasure in the heart of LA. Just blocks from movie studios and posh shopping you can stand in a spot where an ice age animals, birds and sometimes people would find themselves trapped in the sticky asphalt that still rises to the surface today. The park is clean and well maintained with lots of green space but the smell of oil and gases can be a little nauseating. If you visit in the summer don't miss Pit 91 where you can watch the excavation of fossils by scientists and volunteers. Parking is available behind the museum for $6, but grab a free non-metered spot on 6th Street. The pits are open to the public and no admission is charged; it will set you back $7 for the museum to see some outdated displays and movies, but the price is worth the admission to learn interesting facts, see animals dating back tens of thousands of years and the chance to see scientists working in the 'fish bowl' laboratory.

Posted By:  Rhea Lewitzki
Photo:  Rhea Lewitzki

Rahel Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine
Rahel is 100% vegan and proud (it’s ebulliently written all over their signs, menus and business cards). And honestly, their vegan promotion worked, especially since the exterior was nothing to stop the car for, and neither was the interior, except for maybe the giant green umbrellas hanging from the ceiling (okay, those were really cool). However, once my meal arrived (after I had breathed in heady amounts of incense for twenty minutes), I was so happy to have gone vegan for the hour. If you’re unsure of what to order, try any of the platters, particularly the Veggie Paradise Combo Special for two (about $20). It’s made up of nine different veggie stews called wot, each carefully arranged on a piece of injera, the pancake-like, sourdough flatbread. Each meal is accompanied by a basket of more injera, which is used to scoop up and eat the food. Complete the experience with a postprandial coffee ceremony. Rahel leaves you with leftovers, and keeps you full for hours afterward, which in my experience, is usually not the case after eating a bunch of vegetables.

Posted By:  Rin-rin Yu
Photo:  Rin-rin Yu

Finally, a restaurant/ lounge that fits in better with its surroundings (medical clinics and office buildings). Decorated straight out of a West Elm catalog in dark brown and lime green hues, the restaurant makes a fusion attempt to please the palettes of the 9-5 crowd who would otherwise opt for the lunch chains. And they succeed to a certain degree with their mojito skewers and the blended grilled cheese, but don’t expect any kitchen wonders that you haven’t already tried when fusion first hit the scene. The spacious interior and living-room seating takes people out of their cubicles for a good lunch hour or happy hour and sets them into a more social, but proper, mood (after all, they’re still among colleagues). There’s a full bar and dinner menu as well that works well for client meetings or even just an evening with friends.

Posted By:  Rin-rin Yu
Photo:  Rin-rin Yu

Who knew pumping gas could be so, well, hip? Apparently the people at BP decided the people of LA warranted a fashionable outfit to go with their pride and joy: their cars. Suddenly, on the corner of unexciting Olympic and Robertson comes a very exciting futuristic gas station a la space station. The project is a Frank Gehry-inspired design, an angular stainless-steel futuristic structure that does more than just sell gasoline. Its purpose ironically encourages “green” use and has 90 solar panels on the roof, recycled glass in the concrete, and a rain-collection area to water plants nearby. For consumers, it has special information cards printed on very recycled postcards (there are flower seeds in the paper, which will grow when planted in the ground) and “green” videos built into the pump while you fill up. At night, a low-energy light show illuminates the station with glow-lights changing from yellow to green, a vague resemblance to the art light at LAX. Prices are even on the lower side, but just the strangeness of the new icon is enough to bring customers to fill up.

Posted By:  Beth Deitchman
Photo:  Beth Deitchman

Feldmar Watch Co.
Hey—wanna buy a watch? Are you sure? Because the Feldmar Watch Company is for people who are serious about watches. A friend who wanted to buy a watch for his girlfriend went to Feldmar only to turn tail and run, claiming to have been overwhelmed by so many choices under one roof. Truth be told, Feldmar's inventory can be daunting, especially if your knowledge of watches begins with Timex, veers off for a detour with Swatch, only to settle into a comfortable groove with Fossil. First and foremost, Feldmar is a purveyor of fine watches and timepieces. Among the brands carried are Swiss Army, Tag Heuer, and Breitling. But Feldmar also can fix just about any timepiece, from your grandfather's Rolex that won't keep the time to your twenty year-old Mickey Mouse watch with the dead battery. The Feldmar family has been in the business for almost a century, having built its reputation on the stopwatch (with about twenty different stopwatches carried in the store), and they've been at this Pico Boulevard location for fifty years. They'll probably be there for the next fifty. Set your watch by it.

Posted By:  Beth Deitchman
Photo:  Beth Deitchman

The choices we Angelenos have for Chinese restaurants is dizzying. Do we want the fancy one with the celebrity chef? The one with the quasi-Jewish name and the live acoustic music? Or do we just want to go where everybody knows our name? Fu's Palace is that kind of place, reminiscent of an East coast neighborhood joint, the place where your parents probably ordered spareribs for you before you were brave enough to try "exotic" foods like Moo Shu Pork and wonton soup. The restaurant doesn't have a ton of ambiance, but owners Gary and Margaret Fu make up for that in spades. Give them a few visits to study your likes and dislikes, and your dumplings will be steaming before you even take off your coat. Said dumplings are deliciously simple, while another standout is far more complex—Crispy, Spicy, Sweet & Sour Aromatic Shrimp. That enough adjectives for you? They almost grudgingly offer a Chinese chicken salad, but the rest of the menu is traditional fare—lo meins, chow meins, and moo goo gai pan. So let the Austrian chef toss you a salad, but let the Fu's cook you a meal.

Posted By:  Rin-rin Yu
Photo:  Rin-rin Yu

For an alternative to the lunch-hour rush, Caffé Latte is a cozy hideaway in the bustle of LA’s office-rows sandwiched between Fairfax and La Cienega. Though unfortunately situated in a strip mall setting, the café inside feels more like the homey dining room of a bed-and-breakfast. Neighborhood regulars drop by for one of its high-rated cups of coffee, whose beans they roast on-site, and can be smelled for blocks. The café’s muffins, nuked in the microwave for a goodness-gracious breakfast bite, are the reason no one can distinguish the muffin from a cupcake (especially the chocolate ones). The food menu is equally tasty, with fresh-sounding salad plates, pastas, sandwiches, and breakfast items. Complimentary poppy-seed muffins are why many customers keep coming back. Patrons enjoy lunch at a slower pace, but not slower service–the wait staff is aware of the one-hour limit. Served in a rustic, sun-drenched space with natural wood tables, old photos of Los Angeles and celebrities, and with a friendly staff, this spot gives the overworked office types a little home-away-from-home break in the middle of the day.

Posted By:  Carolyn Patricia Scott
Photo:  none

Its style blows in from North Africa, the bread comes to the table with hummus then the choices seem endless, but the best bets are the shrimp tagine, grilled kefta or the bestila. This Moroccan eatery is the brainchild of former Water Grill employees Christopher Angulo and chef Abdessamad “Ben” Benameur in partnership with actor Ryan Gosling.

Posted By:  Edoardo Ballerini
Photo:  none

There’s yoga, and then there’s Bikram yoga. Don’t bother coming if you think your practice should be gentle or a good way to socialize. Bikram yoga is founded on the principle that muscles relax better in high temperatures. The room is practically a sauna and you will sweat—a lot—through 26 carefully choreographed poses lasting 90 minutes. By the end of your fi rst class, you will believe in a higher power. It may only be the water fountain, but you will pray to something. You’ll also wonder if it’s good for you. It is.

Posted By:  Edoardo Ballerini
Photo:  Edoardo Ballerini

Mexican food is everywhere in Los Angeles, but Cuban food is not. For a taste of Havana, Versailles is the spot. It’s one of those gems you almost don’t want to tell your friends about in case it gets more crowded. But if you get there and see a line, don’t worry, the food moves fast. And it is worth the wait. Moreover, the prices are cheap, and the laid-back at-mosphere has absolutely no pretensions. The garlic chicken in citrus marinade is the house favorite. Don’t miss it. Just make sure you get a side of plantains.

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