The Best of Los Angeles, 2016 Edition

Here are all your favorite stories from the past 365 days

By Reuben Brody

The 16 Best People, Places and Things We Covered in LA in 2016
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29 December 2016

For at least a few minutes, let’s collectively cease our griping and grousing about 2016.

Yes, it was a tense year. But there were also a lot of bright spots.

From Navy SEAL self-defense training to surf trips with the pros, from a conversation with LA's most decorated restaurant critic to a book full of models in hotel rooms, here are all the best things we covered in Los Angeles in 2016.

We couldn't have done it without you, our readers.

So thanks for reading. Here's to your health and happiness in the New Year.

We got better, faster, stronger.
This year, we took 25 breaths and held 'em in with Wim Hof, aka the Iceman, who taught us how to manipulate our focus and withstand cold morning showers. Result: improved circulation, stamina and concentration. We were introduced to Wim's methods by Laird Hamilton, who recently put us through our paces in a pool workout class. Then we headed to a sprawling new L.A. athletic facility to learn how the Navy SEALs do self defense. Naturally, all this activity called for some R&R, so we hit the hidden California spa the Rat Pack used to frequent to unwind. Here's to taking it that easy in 2017.

We traveled well.
This was the year of specialized travel with a white-glove touch. Mansa Vida started doing surfing and skiing trips with pros. Puckett Excursions arranged glamping trips into the lesser-known sections of our national parks, And then we cruised the coast in search of the 50 best hotels on the PCH.

We appreciated the finer things.
Two boutiques opened that made shopping caveman-easy by supplying singular looks that can be worn year-round: Magasin and The Lost Explorer. A luxury club called 8760 took flight, offering its members access to dead legs on private jets, box tickets to pro games and concerts all over the country (they just added access to the best vacation homes on earth for good measure). L.A. aftermarket king Jonathan Ward spoke to us about his 12 dream cars, and the Petersen hosted the largest Bugatti exhibit on record. Speaking of records, we mapped the best places to shop for vinyl. We also now have Models in Hotel Rooms (see above) on our coffee table.

We cleaned up our eating and drinking habits.
The guys behind The Thirsty Crow and The Big Foot Lounge restored the oldest bowling alley in the county to a splendorous state. If you haven’t been to Highland Park Bowl yet, make it a top priority in 2017. Meanwhile, some our city’s most talented chefs moved the vegetable from side dish to main course. It wasn’t a full-blown vegan thing going down (except at the exceptional Erven), but plants are having a moment, and given the state of health and the environment, it’s a welcomed shift. And the incredibly well-produced Desert Trip elevated festival food to a sensational level, from pop-up dinner party Outstanding in the Field to a VIP section where you could eat small bites from L.A.’s best chefs.

 



 

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