How Tommie Hollywood Became the New “It” Hotel in Los Angeles

A rambunctious rooftop bar and Wes Avila restaurant are just the beginning

May 24, 2022 8:00 am
The lounge and stage at Desert 5 Spot, the destination rooftop bar at Tommie Hollywood, Los Angeles's new "it" hotel
It's not just the nightlife, the dining or the rooms. It's the whole shebang.
Michael Mundy

Though it’s flanked on all sides by giants of hospitality, Tommie Hollywood has quickly transitioned from newcomer hotel to L.A. hotspot in the span of a few months. With both a signature restaurant from acclaimed chef Wes Avila at Ka’teen, and the rambunctious rooftop Desert 5 Spot — a Western-inspired retro lounge with a personality all its own — this property feels more like a small collective than a formal guesthouse. But despite their emphasis on food and beverage, don’t underestimate the high-aesthetic rooms here, either. 

Tommie is the brainchild of Relevant Group, which has worked on other projects in the area in conjunction with Ten Five Hospitality, like the rooftop Bar Lis at the neighboring Thompson hotel and the soon-to-launch Mes Amis restaurant on the ground floor of that property. Presenting as something like the Thompson’s younger sister, Tommie officially launched in December 2021, and both its beautiful design and separate bar and restaurant entities speedily turned it into a nightlife destination. 

So what does a night at the city’s latest “it” hotel look like? Here’s a rundown of all the best elements in this brand new space.

Guest room at the Tommie hotel
A guest room at Tommie
Michael Mundy

The Rooms: Everything You Need, Nothing You Don’t

Stripped of outdated amenities — and decked out instead with sleek oak floors, black accents and textured stone — these rooms are small but elegant. Think of the room size at The Hoxton when you’re contemplating a stay at Tommie: The idea behind this new hotel trend is that guests are less interested in massive rooms and sprawling suites, and more interested in gorgeous lobbies with coffee bars and fireplaces, rooftop pool decks with hotspot bars, and on-site dining. 

What the rooms lack in space they make up for in style — and the dark fixtures, light flooring and floor-to-ceiling windows privilege clean lines and minimalism over overwrought indulgence. “Tommie Hollywood’s mid-century modern aesthetic was inspired by the Los Angeles case study homes of the late 1950s and 1960s,” Dan Daley, CEO and cofounder of Ten Five Hospitality and COO of Relevant Group, explained. The design was all executed by the L.A.-based firm Studio Collective, and their expertise is evident everywhere on the grounds.

Kal'Teen at Tommie
Ka’Teen at Tommie
Michael Mundy

Ka’Teen: One of the Best New Spots in the City

Helmed by legendary L.A. chef Wes Avila, Ka’Teen is the third iteration of his dining style that we’ve seen so far, and each of them is excellent in their own way. His hit food truck-turned-mainstay Guerrilla Tacos helped usher in a dining scene in the Arts District that’s still blowing up. Next, Angry Egret Dinette in Chinatown is Mexican comfort food mashed up with classic diner fare. Ka’Teen goes in a different direction entirely, though Avila’s knack for left-field proteins and traditional preparations is intact.  

A destination in its own right, the restaurant’s entrance is just to the left of the hotel’s main door, down a long, gorgeous tunnel that beckons guests with a romantic glow. The plant-filled, outdoor spot feels like an oasis from big city chaos, and cocktails like the Witch Doctor — mezcal with lime and burning sage — are basically medicine on a long, hot night in Hollywood. Please, try the lamb neck barbacoa even if you don’t like lamb, along with the Cochinita Pibil, or pork with chiles and orange cooked in banana leaves. These preparations are used for a reason: They yield the most tender, flavorful meat you’ll have in the city all year.

Desert 5 Stop
Desert 5 Spot
Michael Mundy

For Late-Night Hedonism, There’s Desert 5 Spot

Where to start with this completely blissed-out nightlife heaven? Though it can be hellish to take the elevator down, exit the hotel and then re-enter through the venue’s own door to take the correct elevator up, this rigmarole is more than worth it once you’re inside the club. With stunning views of the sunset — later, the lit-up Los Angeles skyline — and nightly sets from the excellent Johnny Travis Jr. and the Desert 5 Band, this hotel rooftop transforms into the hottest club in town, with all the vibes of a rescued roadside motel or Joshua Tree sanctum. Honky-tonk is in, tripped-out country classics even more so — grab a table and shell out the necessary dough for a cactus-shaped pitcher filled to the brim with strong margaritas. This place is literally what we dreamed about while stuck in quarantine, and if “Deputy Sheriff” — aka bar manager Chase Manhattan — takes a turn at the mic with his incredible vocals, then you’ll know it’s really a hot night in the desert.

Pool at Tommie
The rooftop pool
Michael Mundy

The Pool, Complete With Vintage Umbrellas and a Mural

If you’re more of a day lounger than a late-night dancer, the pool at Tommie will do just fine. Located around the way from the bar, but still connected by a throwback Desert 5 mural, the area is on the smaller side, so grab a yellow chaise for sunning while you can and lather up with plenty of SPF. On Sunday mornings, the multi-use roof space gets transformed once more when a DanceBody workout class takes over. Perfect for sweating out the previous night’s debauchery, or getting a little sculpting in before pool time, these sessions are complimentary for guests. But if you skip the class and go straight for more margaritas by the pool, don’t be surprised if you end up sticking around for another night at this Hollywood oasis.


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