Eat, Stay and Play in LA for Women's History Month

Hotel Figueroa
Hotel Figueroa  |  Photo:  Yuri Hasegawa

There’s no better way to celebrate Women’s History Month than supporting women-owned businesses. Enjoy food and beverages from James Beard Award winning female chefs and pioneering female brewers, and explore shops from female artists, artisans, and designers. Los Angeles is proud to be 凯8娱乐官方网站home to the second highest number of female-owned businesses in the country.

"Self Care" by Shyama Golden at the Hotel Figueroa
"Self Care" by Shyama Golden | Photo: Hotel Figueroa
"Diasporic Dreams" by Shyama Golden at the Hotel Figueroa
"Diasporic Dreams" by Shyama Golden | Photo: Hotel Figueroa

Stay: Hotel Figueroa

Guests who check in to Hotel Figueroa are in for a treat. In Feb 2018, Hotel Figueroa re-opened following an extensive renovation. The Downtown LA property first opened in 1926 and originally served as an exclusive women's hostelry by the YWCA. According to an LA Times article, the hotel was "financed, built and operated by and for femininity" and served as a haven for women travelers. Maude Bouldin was the hotel’s first managing director and is also recognized as the country’s first-ever female managing director.

SHYAMA GOLDEN
In keeping with Hotel Figueroa’s female-centric ethos, the hotel has tapped acclaimed LA-based visual artist, Shyama Golden as the property’s 2021 Featured Artist. Her new show will debut at the hotel on March 20, 2021. The hotel’s collaborative Featured Artist program includes a rotating onsite art exhibition and special event programming throughout the year. Shyama’s collection offers an immersive world where the mundane collides with the fantastical, and explores our connection to each other even during a time of isolation.

RHYTHM & RELEASE YOGA (MARCH 8, 2021)
On International Women’s Day (Monday, March 8), the Hotel Figueroa invites guests and locals to "glow with the flow" during a one-time-only Rhythm & Release Yoga class hosted by fitness instructor Pamela Johnson of The Bridge Mind Body Movement and fellow Yogi, Theresa Rhodes. Participants will celebrate their inner goddess through a series of rhythmic movement and creative expression with non-toxic glow-in-the-dark body paint, freely painting their bodies and tap into their primal senses. Taking place from 6–7:30pm, the experience will be a celebration of femininity and empowerment, which aims to honor all women and their limitless inner—and outer—strength. Sign up at the Hotel Figueroa website.

Guerrilla Tacos
Guerrilla Tacos  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Dine: Regarding Her

In November 2020, nine female restaurateurs in Los Angeles formed the nonprofit Regarding Her (RE:Her) as a response to the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the restaurant industry. Get to know the RE:Her founders and their LA restaurants.

 

BRICIA LOPEZ - GUELAGUETZA
Located in Koreatown, Guelaguetza is much more than a restaurant - it’s a Oaxacan cultural center with a performance stage, Mezcaleria and boutique market. Guelaguetza is owned and operated by Bricia Lopez and her siblings, Paulina and Fernando, Jr. Guelaguetza’s Oaxacan cuisine has earned local and national acclaim, including the prestigious James Beard America's Classics Award in 2015.

BRITTNEY VALLES - GUERRILLA TACOS
The longtime managing partner of Guerrilla Tacos, Brittney Valles became the sole owner when Chef Wes Avila left the business in 2020. Brittney has managed Guerrilla Tacos from its early days as a taco truck to the opening of its brick-and-mortar in the Arts District.

DINA SAMSON - ROSSOBLU & SUPERFINE
Dina Samson describes herself as an “unexpected restaurateur” when she opened her first restaurant, Sotto, alongside husband/chef Steve Samson, in 2011. Following Sotto, the couple headed to Downtown LA with two concepts in the Fashion District: Rossoblu, inspired by memories of summers in Bologna; and Superfine Pizza, which features the best of Neapolitan and New York pizza styles.

HEATHER SPERLING - BOTANICA
A popular restaurant and market in Silver Lake, Botanica was opened in 2017 by Heather Sperling and her business partner Emily Fiffer. Featuring an all-female management team, Botanica has garnered praise for its vibrant, wholesome cooking and ambitious natural wine program.

KIM PRINCE - HOTVILLE CHICKEN
A third generation restaurateur, Kim Prince moved back to Los Angeles from Nashville and launched her Hotville Chicken pop-up in 2016. She collaborated with Greg Dulan (Dulan's Soul Food) to open a brick-and-mortar eatery in 2019. Fans from near and far come to Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw for the Nashville Hot Chicken that's "brined to burn."

LIEN TA - ALL DAY BABY
Lien Ta is the co-owner of All Day Baby, a "feel-good restaurant with the soul of a diner" that's located in Silver Lake. All Day Baby is currently open for takeout and delivery, along with a small market offering wine, pastries, provisions, ADB apparel, and more.

MARY SUE MILLIKEN - BORDER GRILL & SOCALO
Mary Sue Milliken is a James Beard and Julia Child Award-winning chef best known for the Mexican-inspired eateries she's opened with her business partner Susan Feniger: the colorful Border Grill cantina in Downtown LA; and Socalo, a California canteen and Mexican pub in Santa Monica.

SANDRA CORDERO - GASOLINA CAFE
Sandra Cordero opened the Spanish-influenced Gasolina Cafe in 2015. Located on Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills, Gasolina Cafe has become a hub for the community and reflects Sandra's passion for local farmers and their produce, with an unbridled enthusiasm for the food of her 凯8娱乐官方网站homeland.

SYLVIE GABRIELE - LOVE & SALT
Helmed by Sylvie Gabriele, Love & Salt has become a stalwart of the South Bay dining scene since its opening in 2014. Sylvie spearheaded the transformation of the former Cafe Pierre space, located steps from the Manhattan Beach Pier, into a modern bistro serving Italian cuisine with SoCal soul.

Genever bar and lounge in Historic Filipinotown
Photo: Genever

Sip

BARS

  • Located in the heart of Downtown L.A., the Euro-style Bar Franca offers fine drinks and hospitality to visitors seeking an alternative to the expected. Owner Rachel Thomas put her set design skills to good use and opened Bar Franca in 2018.
  • Opened in 2018, The Mermaid features the relaxed vibe of a cozy neighborhood bar with a kitschy nautical theme. Industry vets Katie Kildow and Arelene Roldan set out to create a safe and comfortable space for people of all genders to relax and enjoy tropical cocktails in Little Tokyo.
  • Genever is an Art Deco oasis located in Historic Filipinotown. Founded by three Filipinas - Roselma Samala, Patricia Perez, and Christine Sumiller - with the help of a Kickstarter campaign, Genever is a stylish, gin-forward lounge that offers a peak cocktail experience for fans of vintage glassware and local ingredients. 

BREWERIES

  • Co-founded by Ting Su in 2009, Eagle Rock Brewery is a pioneer in L.A.’s craft brewing scene and continues its vital role as a community organization. In 2011, Su started the Women’s Beer Forum, a monthly meeting for women to explore and learn about different styles of beer and the brewing industry.
  • Three Weavers Brewing Company was founded by 凯8娱乐官方网站homebrewer Lynne Weaver in 2014 with “the mission to promote a positive sense of community through our passion for craft beer.” From perfectly balanced IPAs to an intense Imperial Stout to traditional styles such as an ESB and a light-bodied porter, brewmaster Alexandra Nowell can’t seem to go wrong.

WINE

  • Browse hundreds of unique, handpicked bottles from the world’s best female winemakers at Vinovore Wine Shop, located in burgeoning Virgil Village. Shoppers are encouraged to discover their own quirky wine personality based on their flavor profiles of choice.
  • Jill Bernheimer opened Domaine LA on Melrose Avenue in 2009. Tucked in a corner strip mall, the store carries 400 natural, organic, biodynamic wines with a concentration on grower-producers predominantly from Europe, Australia, and Chile, plus local boutique wines.

COFFEE
These Black women-owned coffee shops serve up much more than your daily caffeine fix - each one is an integral part of the community they serve.

  • Opened in June 2019 by Shawn Farrar and her daughter Eviana, Nimbus Coffee is a must for Harry Potter fans. Named for Harry's first broom, Nimbus Coffee features vegan options and a themed decor with artwork that reimagines African American icons as wizards - LeBron James, Prince as Snape (aka the "Half-Blood Prince"), and Morgan Freeman as Dumbledore.
  • Established in 2017, Sip & Sonder's flagship location is the first specialty coffee house in Inglewood. With a coffee roaster, creative studio, and multi-purpose event space on site, Sip & Sonder is much more than a coffee shop—it's a Black women-owned entrepreneurial and creative hub where coffee, community, and culture connect.
  • Vanessa Butler opened VanillaBlack with her best friend Justine Zimbron in December 2017. Since then, VanillaBlack has become a vital part of the Echo Park neighborhood - the coffee shop received an outpouring of support in the wake of the George Floyd protests.
Shopping at Palisades Village
Photo: Palisades Village

Shop

HEIDI MERRICK
Los Angeles based designer Heidi Merrick creates flawless collections that epitomizes the classic California style. Launched in 2006, Heidi Merrick operates as a modern American fashion house producing responsibly and definitively made clothing. As a global lifestyle brand with a customer base spanning over 27 countries, Heidi’s unique West Coast ethos extends into all facets of her sophisticated brand. 

 

HONEYWOOD VINTAGE
Nestled in Highland Park, Honeywood Vintage is a bohemian lover's paradise. This gem features a covetable collection of vintage and in-house designs for men and women. Owned by visionary designer and curator Vanessa Dingwell, Honeywood boasts vintage ethnic embroidered clothing from romantic Victorian pieces to handcrafted pieces from Mexico and Guatemala.

 

PALISADES VILLAGE
For the best in luxury and retail, there is no better place to visit than the Palisades Village by Caruso. Proudly offering a five-star experience with sophistication, the Palisades Village is a one-stop destination for sought-after names and houses an array of popular brands and local designers in clothing, beauty, and more. The majority of businesses at Palisades Village are female owned and operated - read on for a few of the highlights.

  • A.L.C. collections are known for bold prints, versatile dresses, and modern tailoring. Shop Andrea Lieberman’s first West Coast store for clothing that's chic, stylish, and wearable.
  • Anine Bing thoughtfully curates each piece in her monthly collections that are inspired by the fusion of Scandinavian heritage and American spirit. Offering luxurious staples, wardrobe basics and timeless pieces, Annie Bing offers everything from high-quality clothing to 14K fine jewelry.
  • Carbon38 was founded on the belief that a woman’s wardrobe should meet the needs of her individual lifestyle. Palisades Village is the first-ever permanent brick-and-mortar location for the L.A.-based luxury activewear and lifestyle brand, featuring over 100 athleisure designers, along with coveted Carbon38-branded collections.
  • Cuyana was founded by Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah with a simple philosophy: “Fewer, Better Things.” Each piece reflects the brand’s core of integrity and kindness, using only the highest-quality materials and craftsmanship from around the world.
  • Flannel opened its new location at Palisades Village at the end of 2020. The Australia-based brand began with Kristy Lawrence’s simple silk slip, which became Flannel's signature piece and underpins every collection.
  • Jennifer Meyer has opened her first and only brick and mortar, featuring her beautiful, classic designs, along with limited-edition collections exclusive to the store.
  • Tamara Mellon knows what women need and what they want, and brings them luxury footwear by working with family-run factories in Italy. No caveats or markups—just time-honored craftsmanship and killer heels at direct-to-women prices.
Flask & Field founder Miriam Yoo at ROW DTLA
Flask & Field founder Miriam Yoo | Photo: ROW DTLA

ROW DTLA
Retail, culinary and art aficionados must visit ROW DTLA. Originally known as the LA Terminal Market in the 1920s, ROW DTLA has been thoughtfully reimagined into the cultural hub it is today offering the finest in experiential culinary, retail and wellness. Currently on hiatus, Smorgasburg LA is a popular outdoor food, design, craft and vintage fair hosted at ROW DTLA and is the permanent 凯8娱乐官方网站home for over 40 different collectives.

Nearly half the restaurants and retail stores at ROW DTLA are female-owned - read on for a few highlights:

  • A+R was founded by Rosa Apodoca and is a leading lifestyle and design boutique offering global designs in modern furniture, accessories, lighting, and 凯8娱乐官方网站home décor. Featuring a large repertoire of more than 80 brilliant designers, A+R has been thriving since its fall opening in 2005.
  • Dylan Lex brings innovation to the arena of jewelry design. Owned by designer Drew Ginsburg, the intricate jewelry designs have become a staple for star-studded fashion lovers worn by big names such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, and Kendal Jenner. Each piece is thoughtfully designed and meant to be timeless, yet edgy to help women feel empowered.
  • Flask & Field was founded by entertainment attorney Miriam Yoo who was inspired by the lack of places to shop for spirits and supplies. With a love for wine, hospitality and design, Yoo created Flask & Field where wine, spirits, art and design merge. Aimed towards providing patrons with a unique shopping experience, Yoo enables customers to discover bespoke 凯8娱乐官方网站home and personal items during their quest to find the perfect bottle of wine.
  • LCD started as a Venice-based online boutique in 2012 by former music industry executive Geraldine Chung. LCD opened its first storefront at ROW DTLA and focuses on emerging new designers. LCD’s mission is to discover and support up-and-coming independent designers from around the world with a likeminded attitude, unique point of view and quality craftsmanship.  
  • Makers Mess is a L.A. based creative art studio founded by Brandy Lewis that offers art and design classes for kids and adults. The studio also supports artists by cultivating opportunities for them to share their knowledge in an array of opportunities such as workshops, events, parties, and much more.
  • The Things We Do, a beauty concept bar created by Vanessa Lee opened on Feb. 2, 2019. The skincare bar and beauty store shares a space with Nova Arts Salon and offers holistic treatments and modern practices including facial treatments, acupuncture, cryotherapy, Botox and cupping.
  • tokyobike is a small, independent bicycle company founded in 2002 in the quiet Tokyo suburb of Yanaka. Based on the concept of "Tokyo Slow," their bicycles are designed to explore the places we love and call 凯8娱乐官方网站home. With a tokyobike, it is as much about the journey as the destination.