This Must Be The Place

The city’s hippest ladies join us for some urban exploration

By The Editors
February 13, 2017 9:00 am


Ever look around and wonder where all the cool, pretty girls hang out?

You ain’t alone, mon frere.

Luckily, your pals here at InsideHook know a few (cool, pretty girls, that is). And we also know that the best way to figure out where they congregate is to, you know, ask them.

Hence: This Must Be the Place, in which a stylish lass-about-town schools us lads on the best spots in L.A. to eat, date, shop and more.

First up: Aimee Santos, the brains behind Swellmayde, on her go-to sunset spot, the sweater you might want to keep out of your sartorial rotation, and a can’t-miss gift option for the special lady your life.


Alright, Aimee, tell us: What’s the best place in Los Angeles …

… to relax and decompress?
The Griffith Observatory

The views overlooking the city from every corner are completely breathtaking. I always lose all sense of time and really just embrace the moment. When I leave, I feel refreshed and inspired.


… to take my favorite lady for a “treat herself” day?

Nail Box LA. It’s my favorite spot in LA to get my nails done. I love the decor and ambiance, and the owners are so great and accomodating.

… to make my new local spot?

My favorite tea shop is Pearl’s Finest Teas!

On buying a lady a tea …
“Start with a sincere compliment
and then maybe ask for recommendations on the menu.”


… that you associate with a memorable date?

The Japanese Garden. I remember walking hand in hand and being in awe of the scenery. It was like I was taken to the other side of the world.


… to hang out outside on a bluebird day?

Zuma Beach. I love to sit on the sand and watch the sunset. It’s the best way to to end the day.


Socially Driven

Live in a city long enough and you forget how to explore it. And that familiarity breeds boredom. We find that the best way to break that cycle is to drive on someone else’s roads, so to speak. It’s the reason we asked Aimee Santos to show us around today. It’s also the reason Mercedes-Benz just launched Socially Driven, a new platform where users can create, share and unearth parts unknown in their zip code of choice. Ready to rediscover your city?


… to brunch?

Dinette and Gjusta are my go-to spots. Brunch is my favorite time to catch up with my girlfriends. I think a date could be fun, too.

… that ladies go to meet a cool and debatably handsome guy like me?

Upstairs at the Ace Hotel.

On how to pick out flowers she won’t hate …
“Just tell them her favorite flowers and they will create something beautiful. This always puts a smile on my face. My favorite flower shops in LA are Twig & Twine and Birch & Bone. They have the best arrangements.”


… to take someone visiting from out of town?
Grand Central Market

LA is such an amazing melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities and at Grand Central Market, it really exudes the beauty of this diversity. They offer delicious tacos, falafels, curries and everything in between.


… to take a pretty girl who I am very keen on and really want to impress (but not heavy-handedly so) for a meal?

I would choose sushi from Sugarfish. The sushi is delicious and I’m completely addicted. Try the Nozawa Trust Me, which includes a variety of sushi and handrolls.

… for a guy to pick up a new outfit for a date, assuming he only has time to hit one shop?

Definitely Barneys. It has such a wide selection of my favorite men’s designers, from Acne to VETEMENTS to Gucci.

On what to get at Barneys …
“It really depends on the guy’s personal style. If he’s more street, I would dress him in Fear of God or VETEMENTS. But if he likes the more tailored look, I would dress him in Saint Laurent. Personally, I have this thing against guys in turtlenecks. Lol!”


… to unassumingly show off my knowledge of cool stuff to do in the city?

I recommend staying up to date with free museum days. Many museums in Los Angeles have at least one day a month, or sometimes one day a week, where they offer free admission. I love to go to LACMA and The Broad.


… to furnish the apartment I just moved into with a lady who may or may not have the same taste that I do?

Modernica, H.D. Buttercup, West Elm and the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Look for inspiration together before shopping and hopefully you can find a style that you both feel great about.


… to get in a quick romantic getaway outside of the city?
Palm Springs

It’s just a short drive from LA, and I feel instantly relaxed when I’m there. They have cutest hotels, where laying by the pool with a great book is a must and there are also so many amazing restaurants throughout the city.