LA is a city very much based on first impressions. Translation: LA is a city very much based on superficial impressions.
More than anywhere else, everyone has a schtick. We are attracted to the glitz and glamour. We have an attitude of “on” and are attempting to extract “what can you offer me?” It’s ingrained in the LA DNA, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering how many people come here to be “discovered” based on their face, an instantly gratifying one-liner, or a 3 minute sales pitch. But in the same breath, not everyone is shallow. It’s just that getting past the façade and finding the depth can take a little more work. And here’s the thing: if you skip the BS from the onset, if you don’t attempt an overplayed pickup line and instead take the genuine approach, you are automatically in the lead. Despite the exterior layer of fake, we truly are craving a genuine connection, a real conversation, and ultimately a relationship with whom we can finally let down our guards and be seen and loved for who we are (not who we pretend to be).
(Need help on HOW to flirt? Click here and I will teach you… xx Laurel)
Who you know, what you drive, what you do, where you live, where you dine, what you wear, and more than anything else- “what can you do for me?” is a stereotype for a reason. LA tends not to be a city about discretion. We show off our money through material things. But that’s because of the innate nature of the beast, where we are often measured by what we have, viewing material things as a sign of success. In a city where so many people are “producers,” “actors,” “writers,” “models,” “directors,” and “entrepreneurs,” actually having expensive “things” is a sign that you’re telling the truth and that your self-proclaimed success isn’t just being used to seduce someone into bed.
Where can you go to get away from that “scene?”
There are definitely sceney restaurants, bars, clubs, and even hiking spots and farmers markets where you should expect to see and be seen. Many of those places are in Hollywood and West Hollywood. But there are hidden gems throughout the city where the “locals” go to get away from the Hollywood who’s who. And while you should expect that people are putting effort into their appearance pretty much everywhere (because you never know where you will be “discovered”), there are hundreds of spots where real people flock. A great place to start is Jonathon Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants Guide where aside from a few LA institutions /celebrity hangouts- like Spago and Matsuhisa, the list is made up of foodie favorites looking to have a real experience that is devoid of BS hype.
There are also certain areas within the city that have a higher concentration of authentic, less sceney people. Silver Lake is great for hipsters and artsy types, Santa Monica for the laid back attitude, Culver City for a does of simple goodness, and Venice for a bit of funk are better bets than Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. Still, there are some true gems in Hollywood and complete scenes in Santa Monica.
Where are the best places to flirt and meet someone?
-Whole Foods Market, particularly the Venice market on the corner of Lincoln and Rose- if you are remotely health conscious, Whole Foods Markets are amazing meat markets where you will find attractive people in a relaxed atmosphere and whose guards are down. The salad bar is an especially great spot. And after chatting each other up for a few minutes in the market, suggest moving over to the in-store bar to grab a quick drink and get to know each other. Transition by saying, “you know, I’m really thirsty and it has been a long day. I’d love to buy you a drink at the bar.”
-Soho House- If you have an in at this Hollywood private club, take it! This is the spot to rub elbows with the true LA elite- not the BS’ers, because of the strict membership requirements and, no, being “just pretty” or “on the verge of a breakout film” isn’t enough. People don’t have to flaunt anything because wealth and status are expected.
-Silver Lake Reservoir- The gardens, floating lotus blossoms, and popular walking/running path makes this outdoor recreation center central to the daytime flirting rituals of locals from Silver Lake, Los Feliz and Echo Park. Whether they are strolling with lattes in hand or running with dogs on the leash, there is always a conversation ice breaker to be found.
-Westridge Hiking Trail in Santa Monica Mountains- this 8 mi round trip fire road hike can feel like a highway of healthy people and dogs on weekends, but it’s a great place to meet likeminded singles who choose this spot over some of Hollywood’s equally crowded but highly showy “see and be seen” trails.
-Casa del Mar- You will find a slightly older crowd at the bar at Casa del Mar where the scene is more refined and less rowdy, but can get equally crowded. The live music on the weekends is a huge draw for both singles and couples.
-Father’s Office in Culver City- If you like craft beers, high quality but simple food, and interesting conversation with techies, entrepreneurs, and low key intellectuals, this is your place. Men congregate in groups, making it a great place for women to find high quality potential dates.
-Laurel Hardware- This West Hollywood hot spot is a popular destination for Hollywood’s business executives, but they tend to leave the glitz at the office. The indoor/outdoor bar has twinkly lights outside and stiff drinks inside.
-The Santa Monica Stairs- Streams of exercisers march up and down this outdoor mecca for LA’s hard core healthy locals.
-The Bungalow at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica- This is the ultimate singles scene for people seeking fun! The indoor/outdoor bar has ping pong tables and several spaces each with a different feel. You will run into a celebrity or two, as well as a drunk guy/girl looking to get lucky or 75.
-Soul Cycle- Yes it’s a spinning gym, but it draws both men and women who use the place both a workout and as part of their social scene. This place attract exercisers who want a little bit more, who want to dig a little bit deeper, and have a fuller experience- one that is almost spiritual, as the teachers dole out lots of calming and empowering tips though out the sweat session.
-Urth Café- Like Whole Foods Market, Urth is often filled with real people who are in a relaxed headspace and generally have some time (ie., writers, actors, entertainment) to indulge in relaxed conversations without feeling the need to put on a show.
-Faith & Flower- Downtown Los Angeles is slowly becoming foodie central, where restaurants and bars serving up craft cocktails and farmers market food are a main draw. Faith & Flower is a perfect spot to flirt in the expansive bar with plenty of wall candy as conversation starters, then maybe even move into the main dining room for an on-the-fly date. Talk about immediate gratification!
-Festivals!- There is always a festival happening in LA, which is the best opportunity to flirt and meet lots of locals with similar interests. Of course, when food and alcohol are involved, your chances of dropping your guards and making a real connection are increased.