The London List Abroad: New West Hollywood cocktail spot, Bibo Ergo Sum, has a three-part menu inspired by ‘the prestige’The London List

By Sam Bathe on 21 Nov 2017



Described by designer Oliver Haslegrave as “Memphis meets Secession”, Bibo Ergo Sum is the coolest new spot in West Hollywood. Literally translated “I drink, therefore I am”, Bibo Ergo Sum opened just last week and is the second collaboration between Arclight Cinemas’ Tait Forman and cocktail specialists, Proprietors (The Walker Inn, Honeycut). The menu is split into three parts, each corresponding to the three acts in every magic trick, and includes both clever takes on the classics and Proprietors’ own spectacular creations. Open 5pm-2am daily, Bibo Ergo Sum is worth the trip just to see stunning Art Deco interior alone, though you’d be a fool to not try out the cocktails too.

Bibo Ergo Sum, Robertson Plaza, 116-120 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048

The London List Abroad City Guide: The best things to do in West Hollywood, Los AngelesThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 15 Nov 2014

The sprawling metropolitan city of Los Angeles is completely unique, its relaxed West Coast lifestyle offering so much diversity and so many things to do. To make the most of your time in LA, we always bunch our itinerary into neighbourhoods, so we’ve broken our city guide down too. Read on for our favourite West Hollywood hotspots, stores and eateries, and check out Downtown, Arts District, Venice and our favourite Attractions in the rest of the guide. Show the rest of this post…

Opening Ceremony Los Angeles (above)
One of the best stores in the city, Opening Ceremony’s LA boutique is situated in one of Charlie Chaplin’s former dance studios just north of the Beverley Centre. Across two floors, with a separate building for footwear, downstairs you can explore the full OC range and any recent partnerships, while upstairs a mini-mall concept gives dots of space to a series of designer shops-in-shop, from Acne and Alexander Wang to D.A.P.
451 N La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048


South Willard
On the thoroughly rejuvenated West Third Street, South Willard is a carefully curated menswear store, carrying items from the likes of Band of Outsiders, Gitman Vintage and Frank Leder, plus exclusive collaborations with Crescent Down Works. A small but tightly edited shop, South Willard also stocks local ceramics, books and homeware accessories.
8038 W Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048


ArcLight Hollywood
The flagship of four ArcLight cinemas in the city, ArcLight Hollywood has the spirit of an independent but the range of a multiplex; ArcLight don’t show commercials before movies, only trailers, and their “black-box” auditoriums keep distractions to a minimum. Across 14-screens, films showing range from big budget blockbusters to smaller, speciality releases, now in the adjoining – and iconic – Cinerama Dome too.
6360 W Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028


Mel & Rose
One side a fine wine and spirit merchant, the other a speciality foods store and Italian deli counter, while you might leave with a bottle or two in hand, Mel & Rose is one of the best quick-stop lunches in LA. Offering a range of homemade pasta, soups and salads, the deli has no right to be this good, though our tip would be the sandwiches. The “Nissay” with a huge herbed chicken breast and Monterey Jack, and the “Cantina” with meatballs, mozzarella and a marinara sauce, have had us lining up for years.
8344 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90069


American Rag Cie
Across one big warehouse-style shop floor and neighbouring denim bar, American Rag Cie has all the bases covered. From hip designer labels to vintage, shoes, accessories and jewellery, it’s difficult to drop in and not walk out with a buy. If you’re bored of waiting for your partner, you can always pop into adjacent Cafe Midi for a slice of pie too.
150 S La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036


Umami Burger Hollywood
Our favourite burger in LA, Umami is named after the fifth basic taste and doesn’t over do it with a menu that focuses on flavour and reserved touches of flair. The signature “Original” burger is the star in the pack; a unique blend of beef topped with a parmesan crisp, roasted tomato and Umami house ketchup. With outdoor seating in their sunny courtyard space, head to Umami’s Hollywood location, where you’ll also find the restaurant exclusive, and equally delicious, “Pastrami Mami”.
1520 N Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028


Beautiful wardrobe staples from plain tees to linen shirts to pastel chinos, Unis’ well-crafted essentials are a dose of understated luxury. Their LA store – the first outside of New York – is a minimalists’ dream, stocking much of the unisex collection and the recent introduction of gender-specific outerwear. Unis’ shoes and accessories are excellent too.
138 S La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Check out our favourite Downtown, Arts District and Venice hotspots, plus our favourite Attractions in the rest of the guide.

The London List Abroad City Guide: The best things to do in the Arts District, Los AngelesThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 15 Oct 2014

The sprawling metropolitan city of Los Angeles is completely unique, its relaxed West Coast lifestyle offering so much diversity and so many things to do. To make the most of your time in LA, we always bunch our itinerary into neighbourhoods, so we’ve broken our city guide down too. Read on for our favourite Arts District hotspots, stores and eateries, and check out Downtown, West Hollywood, Venice and our favourite Attractions in the rest of the guide. Show the rest of this post…

Blue Bottle Coffee (above)
Formerly Handsome Coffee Roasters until Blue Bottle bought the popular local upstart in April 2014, the Arts District café and roastery is a one of the success stories of the burgeoning LA coffee scene. Offering a range of beans and blends, cold brews, espresso and iced coffees, everything locals used to love about Handsome is still there, plus now Blue Bottle’s organic supply can be enjoyed at the ever-popular window bar and outdoor benches.
582 Mateo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013


Though it’s more in Chinatown than the cool-again Arts District, concept store iKO iKO feels right at home alongside the rejuvenation happening east of Downtown. Carrying a buzzy line of original jewellery, fashion pieces and accessories, the store model centres on change, creating the perfect context for their own lines and other carefully selected labels. iKO iKO is much more concerned with refurbing the old rather than the man-made new and it makes for a shopping experience that’s just as fun as the products themselves.
1727 N Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012


The flagship for fantastic arts and design purveyors, Poketo, the Eastside store from husband-and-wife team Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung, is staffed by fantastically knowledgable, enthusiastic and friendly staff. Carrying much of the stationary and fun homeware stock from their site, plus some in-store exclusives, Poketo is one of our favourite store across the whole of LA and recently opened a concession stand within the Line Hotel in Koreatown too.
820 E 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013


Apolis: Common Gallery
Inside the industrial-chic store, Apolis’ carefully curated seasonal range goes someway to defining the modern LA look. Also hosting regular talks, exhibitions and evening screenings, plus an espresso bar for a mid-afternoon kickstart, their clothing is muted and reserved, perfect for a smart-casual look at work or lazy Sundays around town.
806 E 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013


One of a number of trendy new restaurants within the Arts District, Bestia’s bustling dining hall and tasty, creative menu means it quickly lives up to the hype. We’d recommend the Beef Cheek Agnolotti, though driven by local fresh ingredients you can’t go wrong with anything off the menu. Be sure to make a reservation if you have a large party, but otherwise the bar seating is just as good a spot to enjoy cocktails while you wait for a table.
2121 7th Place, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Check out our favourite Downtown, West Hollywood and Venice hotspots, plus our favourite Attractions in the rest of the guide.

Kinfolk’s short documentary of John Moore and Hannah Henderson’s beautiful life in Venice Beach will fill you with envy

By Sam Bathe on 25 Sep 2014




Stepping into the lives of Venice Beach couple John Moore – who helped found the Hollister brand and also runs The Pop Studio and designs menswear line M.Nii – his partner Hannah Henderson – who runs General Store, a home goods shop in Abbott Kinney – and their children, Kinfolk might just fill you with envy. Meandering through their hippy home and idyllic Venice streets, the charming interiors and backyard space give a good look of life on the West Coast. Directed by Chris and Sarah Rhoads.

The London List Abroad: Local legend Roy Choi explores the Los Angeles culinary scene in new CNN webseries ‘Street Food with Roi Choi’The London List

By Sam Bathe on 23 Sep 2014



Credited with kick-starting the food truck explosion across North America, owner of the famous Kogi BBQ, local legend Roy Choi’s new CNN webseries explores the Los Angeles culinary scene. Featuring influencers including Anthony Bourdain, Michelle Phan and filmmaker Jon Favreau, Street Food with Roy Choi visits their favourite joints around town and examines the culinary trends of the LA food scene. The eight-part series debuts October 13th on

The London List Abroad City Guide: The best things to do in Venice, Los AngelesThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 2 Sep 2014

The sprawling metropolitan city of Los Angeles is completely unique, its relaxed West Coast lifestyle offering so much diversity and so many things to do. To make the most of your time in LA, we always bunch our itinerary into neighbourhoods, so we’ve broken our city guide down too. Read on for our favourite Arts District hotspots, stores and eateries, and check out Downtown, West Hollywood, Arts District and our favourite Attractions in the rest of the guide. Show the rest of this post…

Venice Canals (above)
Arguably more beautiful than the more famous canal system in Venice, Italy, LA’s Venice Canal Historic District is a network of man-made canals built in 1905 by local legend Abbot Kinney. The four parallel canals, connected at each end, are an idyllic neighbourhood of picture-perfect homes and plush Californian greenery. On the National Register of Historic Places and undergoing extensive renovation work in recent decades, you could while away your whole afternoon walking around the beautiful neighbourhood, before ending up on the phone to a local realtor about available plots.
Venice Canal Historic District, Venice, CA 90292


Moon Juice
It’s fair to say cold-press juice bars have taken over LA in the space of 12 months, but taking up residence in Venice pre-craze, Moon Juice is one of few in the business that’s actually worth your dime. Prepared fresh daily from mostly local ingredients, their cold-press juices and nut milk drinks – our favourite is the Date Shake – are the perfect detox treat or sunny refreshment. Moon Juice have beautiful stores in Venice and Silverlake, plus a stand at the Downtown Ace Hotel and a travelling “Moon Rover” truck.
507 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291


Tortoise General Store
On the must-visit Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Taku and Keiko Shinomoto had been selling Japanese goods at no. 1208 since 2003, but expanded in 2010 to become the Tortoise General Store. Now including a studio in the rear, Tortoise sell traditional craft and homeward items, plus a wealth of ceramics, pots and utensils for the kitchen, all Japan-related. Their cast-iron ornaments and recycled glassware make for perfect gifts too.
1208 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291


A relaxed space with a great ambience at breakfast, lunch or dinner, Gjelina’s lauded New American cuisine takes in both small sharing plates, larger dishes and fantastic pizza. A bazaar of vegetable dishes mean Gjelina is perfect for vegetarians, and don’t leave without trying the Butterscoth Pot de Crème to finish.
1429 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291


The Tasting Kitchen
As you might have guessed from the name, The Tasting Kitchen invites guests to dip in and out of its dishes and share a number of plates with friends. Though the menu includes an inciting range of charcuterie and cheeses, we’d recommend the hand-made pastas, with no two dishes too alike. The Tasting Kitchen are as equally well known for their cocktails, so if you’re on the tipple, don’t hold back with drinks at the table either.
1633 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291


Jack Spade
Another New York label that feels right at home on the West Coast, Kate Spade’s menswear line welcomes customers into their beach house-style store with a table tennis table and bicycle parking on the front lawn. Inside, the range is both utilitarian and stylish, from office essential shirts to casualwear and men’s accessories as the brand has comfortably filled out its collection after first launching with just one travel bag.
1136 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291


The surf and skate brand’s flagship store, Insight in Venice is almost too hip, with art in the back and a mezzanine overlooking the shop floor. Whether you’ll be on a surf board or not, their tees, shorts and t-shirt shirts are perfect for the beach, and you won’t feel out of place if you walk in without a deck under your arm.
1501 Main Street, Venice, CA 90291

Check out our favourite Downtown, West Hollywood and Arts District hotspots, plus our favourite Attractions in the rest of the guide.

The London List Abroad: Roi Choi’s Commissary opens at The Line Hotel in Los AngelesThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 12 Aug 2014

The latest Los Angeles restaurant from Roy Choi – famous for his Kogi Korean BBQ truck – Commissary takes up residence at the city’s coolest new hangout, The Line Hotel. Joining POT, Lobby Bar and Cafe at the location, Commissary is actually housed in a ginormous greenhouse on the rooftop deck, with the menu focused on fruits and vegetables, even if they wouldn’t class themselves as a classic vegetarian eatery. Set beside the sunny pool, the restaurant is an homage to the local SoCal farmers, who work so hard to produce such wonderful, fresh produce to California. The atmosphere is laid back, but if you want to ensure you get a table, you make a reservation through their site.

Commissary at The Line Hotel, 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

The London List Abroad City Guide: The best attractions in Los AngelesThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 30 Jul 2014

The sprawling metropolitan city of Los Angeles is completely unique, its relaxed West Coast lifestyle offering so much diversity and so many things to do. To make the most of your time in LA, we always bunch our itinerary into neighbourhoods, so we’ve broken our city guide down too. Read on for our favourite Arts District hotspots, stores and eateries, and check out Downtown, West Hollywood, Arts District and Venice in the rest of the guide. Show the rest of this post…

Bergamot Station Arts Centre (above)
Housed in an old railroad station, the Bergamot Station Arts Centre opened its own doors in 1994. The campus-like complex is home to 35 galleries – including the Santa Monica Museum of Art (pictured) – meaning visitors can find everything from traditional or modern art, to photography and sculpture. Scheduled to open in 2015, a stop on the new Expo Line light rail between Los Angeles and Santa Monica will serve the centre too.
2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404


Eames House
An absolute must for anyone with even a passing interest in architecture or design, the Eames House is a National Historic Landmark of mid-20th century architecture. Constructed in 1949 by husband-and-wife design pioneers, Charles and Ray Eames, the building served as their real-life home and studio. Your visit includes a tour of the building’s exterior – the interior is off-limits though doors are left open and curtains pulled so you can peer in – and wider plot by the on-hand Eames Foundation experts. Though it’s a good couple of miles, the walk from Santa Monica through the Palisades is well worth it for the stunning palm tree-lined residential streets. The stepped path down to Adelaide Drive will also make you laugh for the endless stream of local fitness junkies. Be sure to make a reservation at least 48 hours before your visit as visitor numbers are restricted within hourly slots.
203 Chautauqua Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272


Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Home to a number of rolling featured exhibitions as well as more than 120,000 objects in the gallery’s private collection – highlights include Chris Burden’s ‘Urban Light’, Henri Matisse’s ‘La Gerbe’ and David Hockney’s ‘Mulholland Drive’ – the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is the largest art museum on the West Coast. For the more popular exhibitions, book in advance to avoid disappointment on the day.
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036


Walt Disney Concert Hall
Frank Gehry’s striking Walt Disney Concert Hall draws comparisons to the Sydney Opera House and is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic – for whom John Adams acts as Creative Chair – as well as visiting artists and orchestras from around the world. If you are unable to get tickets to a performance, the impressive complex is well worth the visit alone, just to take in Gehry’s remarkable stainless steel structure.
111 S Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012


Film studio tours
Giving guests a behind-the-scenes tour of a working studio lot, the Paramount, Warner Bros. (pictured) and Sony studio tours might be a big tourist cliché but they’re still a thrilling couple of hours for any film or TV fan. Exploring day-to-day working sets, you’ll see filming from afar and even spot a few stars on the lot. Deciding which tour to take might depend on your own personal preference or where you’re staying in LA, but taking just the one is probably enough as they all cover much of the same ground. To get a taster, the Sony tour includes the ‘Breaking Bad’ RV and ‘Ghostbusters’ car, sit on the the ‘Forest Gump’ bench and explore faux “New York” streets are on the Paramount lot, and the Warner Bros. tour now includes a Batman exhibit and the original Central Perk ‘Friends’ set.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour, 3400 W Riverside Drive, Burbank, CA. 91505
Paramount Pictures Studio Tour, 5555 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Sony Pictures Studio Tour, 10202 W Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232

N.B. The Studio Tour at Universal Studios theme park isn’t a studio tour per-se, more a theme park ride, though if you are visiting the park it is included in the admission ticket and so makes for a good supplementary experience.


Getty Centre
Sitting high up the Santa Monica Mountains with breathtaking views out over Downtown LA, the Getty Centre is one of the most iconic attractions in Los Angeles. Home to the J. Paul Getty Museum and Robert Irwin’s Central Garden and sculpture park, the Centre exhibits some spectacular pieces of art including ‘Irises’ by Vincent van Gogh, ‘The Portal of Rouen Cathedral in Morning Light’ by Claude Monet and ‘Christ’s Entry into Brussels’ by James Ensor.
1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049


Monday night music residencies
Monday is free residency night in LA, with the Satellite, the Echo and other venues in and around Silverlake inviting bands to takeover their Monday line-ups for a month. With a different support band each week and no cover charge, it’s a great chance to experience the local music scene.
Check out the weekly line-ups on:

Check out our favourite Downtown, West Hollywood, Arts District and Venice hotspots in the rest of the guide.

The London List Abroad Review: Le Meridien Delfina Santa MonicaThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 6 Jul 2014

Perched just four block away from the beachfront of Los Angeles’ more metropolitan city, Santa Monica, Le Meridien Delfina offers a great vantage over and access to, the big draw of western LA. Show the rest of this post…


Slightly east of the main downtown area, Le Meridien Delfina is perfectly placed to explore all that Santa Monica has to offer. Barely a 10 minute walk to the shops, cinemas, bars and restaurants of the Third Street Promenande, everything in Santa Monica is easily accessible by foot.


The sandy Santa Monica beach is just as close, spanning miles north past the Palisades and south past Venice to Marina del Rey. For those happy on their feet, walking the beach boardwalk is a must, taking in the famous muscle beach and quirks of Venice beach. Walk back via the gorgeous Venice Canals and Abbot Kinney Boulevard for some of the best shopping in the area.

A stone’s throw from the Santa Monica freeway, it’s easy for drivers to reach wider Los Angeles from Le Meridien Delfina, while local buses also cover the surrounding area. Set for completion in 2015, the Metro Rail Expo line is currently under expansion works to extend the line to reach Santa Monica, taking riders directly into Downtown LA, plus wider Los Angeles via connecting lines.


We stayed in an Ocean View Room, on the ninth floor of the hotel. Facing out towards the sea, the room had its own balcony with glorious views of Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean, perfect for breakfast in your room or a romantic nightcap. Inside, the room was just as impressive.



With the whole hotel quite recently refurbished, the plush bed and in-room furniture felt luxurious and accommodating. We had a wonderful few nights’ sleep, collapsing into the supremely comfortable king-size bed while the floor to ceiling windows still kept out every murmur of Santa Monica down below.

Oversized, custom headboards made sitting up in bed an excellent alternative to eating out on the balcony, while there was ample cupboard room for clothes, Illy in-room coffee (with takeaway cups) and, of course, a flat screen TV.



Our modern bathroom was stylish and spacious, featuring a shower-bath and fluffy robes and towels. Wide mirrors and long counter tops mean two can easily share the dressing space, while good quality hotel products mean you can leave your shampoo and shower wash at home.



Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica really comes into its own with its amenities. In sunny Los Angeles, the Delfina’s pool is popular amongst hotel guests but will never feel overcrowded. Showered with sun throughout the day, the pool isn’t large enough to do lengths but the perfect size for a dip to cool down. For those wanting to enjoy the pool but stay out of the sun, mini-marquees run around the out edge of the space offering guests a covered alternative to sun chairs.



The hotel’s gym is open 24 hours-a-day and features an excellent range of traditional treadmill and cross-trainer equipment, plus floor space for yoga or stretching and weights for more serious training.

For business travellers, Le Meridien Delfina’s conferencing capabilities are superb. With a number of different sized rooms available for hire, both on the top floor and the upper restaurant area, events of all sizes are catered for. The real jewel in the Delfina’s crown is the Penthouse Ballroom, featuring breathtaking coastal panoramic views and spotless decor. The club room and pool area can also be hired for events and weddings.



The hotel also offers bike rentals for guests and free Wi-Fi in the lobby downstairs, although disappointingly a fee is charged for internet access in the rooms.


Le Meridien Delfina offers a number of options for guests to dine in the hotel. The Zest Kitchen offers a French-inspired continental breakfast and lunch, including pastries and breads plus a grab+go service for those in a rush.

The Longitude Bar + Restaurant at the back of the lobby also offers a wider selection of continental breakfast and is the hotel’s main restaurant for evening dining. The delicious filet mignon comes recommended, although the chefs were perhaps a little too liberal with a cream sauce.




Le Meridien Delfina is an excellent choice for those wanting to explore the wonderful metropolitan area of Santa Monica. While the beach, shopping and nightlife are just a few minutes walk away, the Delfina is an escape from the hustle and bustle, ensuring a perfect night’s sleep and relaxation by the pool. A room with a sea view and balcony is more than worth the extra expense, while the hotel’s conferencing capabilities make Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica a standout choice for business travellers too.

For reservations and more, please visit:
Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica, 530 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

The London List Abroad: Artist Alfredo Barsuglia has built a secret swimming pool somewhere in the Mojave DesertThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 5 Jul 2014

A few hours drive from LA and a long walk from the road, artist Alfredo Barsuglia built a secret swimming pool in the middle of the 25,000 square-mile Mojave Desert. The pool is free to use, you just need to pick up the GPS coordinates of its location and a key, if it’s available for the day, from the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in West Hollywood. The 11ft x 5ft project is titled Social Pool and for the artist “is about the effort people make to reach a luxury good” and uses solar power to run its filter and chlorination systems. Visiting season runs through to September 30th but try to go early as apparently it fills up by noon.

MAK Center, Mackey Apartments, 1137 S Cochran Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

FAN THE FIRE is a digital magazine about lifestyle and creative culture. Launching back in 2005 as a digital publication about Sony’s PSP handheld games console, we’ve grown and evolved now covering the arts and lifestyle, architecture, design and travel.

We’ve been featured on the front page of Reddit and produced off-shoot club night Friday Night Fist Fight, launched a Creative Agency and events column The London List.

FAN THE FIRE is edited by founder, Creative Director and Editor-in-Chief, Sam Bathe. Site by FAN THE FIRE Creative.

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