Your Destination Guide to Los Angeles

Destination Guide LA - Your Destination Guide to Los Angeles, CA

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© Charlie Nguyen

As an area, Westwood can be defined by several standout attractions, one of which is Westwood Village, a cross section of streets that boasts a great variety of restaurants and shops. Head east on Wilshire Boulevard to Westwood Boulevard where you may turn left to drive down the Village's main drag and survey the scene. Located just south of the UCLA campus, Westwood Village is a series of streets and avenues that contain more than 90 eateries and nearly a dozen theaters.

Westwood's theaters have been the site of film premiers since the 1930s and continue to roll out the red carpet for big budget blockbusters as well as smaller independent films. Mann Village Theater has recently premiered films starring current Hollywood mainstays like Denzel Washington and Johnny Depp and is the same theater that previewed Billy Wilder's "Some Like it Hot" in 1959. Wilder's comedy classic starred Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemon, and Tony Curtis and was one of the director's most famous works.

The Hammer Museum in Westwood, which features a wide range of art exhibits as well musical performances, opened the Billy Wilder Theater in 2006 in honor of the legendary film maker who was also a Westwood resident. The Hammer is located just outside Westwood Village at the corner of Westwood and Wilshire (see its website for tours and exhibit information).

The various shops and restaurants in Westwood are also fun to explore. Shoe, clothing, and accessory chains such as DSW and Urban Outfitters are in residence, as well as smaller boutiques. Restaurants in Westwood Village run the gamut from the affordable Mexican food chain Baja Fresh, and the college student favorite Bella Pita, to the restaurant du jour EuroChow – this neighborhood has an eatery to please every palette and pocketbook.

To catch a glimpse of some prime Westwood real estate, drive east from Westwood Village to Wilshire Boulevard where you will find a two mile stretch with luxury apartments stacked to the sky. Called the "Millionaire Mile", the average price of an apartment in these swanky high rises is a cool one million dollars (hence the area's title).

Paying respect to a favorite film star from years gone by is also possible in Westwood, as it is the home of the Pierce Brothers Memorial Park cemetery, where many Hollywood legends are laid to rest. The grave sites of Marilyn Monroe, Donna Reed, George C. Scott, and Truman Capote can all be found at Pierce Brothers. Located on Glendon Avenue, this cemetery is just blocks from the Village theaters where many starlets and actors attended premiers decades ago. Do note that the entrance to Pierce Brothers can be accessed only from Glendon Avenue (Wilshire Boulevard does not provide access).

A hybrid of Hollywood history and modern commerce, Westwood reveals yet another unique corner of the City of Angels.

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