Welcome to InStyle ♥ Los Angeles! Throughout the month of March, we'll be highlighting the bounty of new boutiques, restaurants, and hotels worth braving the city's infamous traffic for. See everything we're loving about L.A. right now.
An afternoon on Melrose Place means shopping at some of Los Angeles’s chicest retail storefronts—from Isabel Marant, with its enviable succulent garden, to the tucked away Oscar de la Renta atelier, to the Irene Neuwirth shop, set up like a living room and filled with colorful jewels and trinkets. Plus, who doesn’t love peeking at the lacy delicates in luxe lingerie boutique Kiki de Montparnasse?
The quiet, tree-lined sidewalks of Melrose Place are a refuge from the busy streets that surround it, making this stretch of retail gold a mini oasis in the middle of West Hollywood. Home to fashion houses like Marni, Chloé, Carolina Herrera, Bottega Veneta, and Monique Lhuillier, the street also accommodates boutiques that specialize in elevated basics like Equipment, Vince, and A.P.C. Add Aussie-export Zimmermann (beloved by Kate Middleton), which recently set up its flagship here, making visiting Melrose Place a no-brainer.
But before you go, know that there are hidden gems nestled out of plain sight: Storefronts behind storefronts, courtyards, alleyways, second-levels, and bell ring-only entries. Take note of our favorite secret spots if you want to venture beyond the ivy-covered walls:
2. The Apartment by The Line
The serene, sun-filled concept shop specializes in pared-down, scaled-back luxury. It’s laid out like a modern living space and everything’s for sale, from the vintage Moroccan rug in the bedroom to the J.W. Anderson top hanging in the enviable walk-in closet. Find the shop on the second level of a non-descript building with its entrance on Alfred St.
8463 Melrose Pl., 2nd fl.; 323-746-5056; theline.com
3. Kate Somerville
This celeb-loved skincare clinic means business: go in for a Dermalquench facial, light therapy teatment, or Laser Genesis; come out looking buffed and brand new (or ready for the red carpet). It’s tucked away just above Alfred Coffee.
8428 Melrose Pl.; 323-655-7546; katesomerville.com
4. The Row
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s high-end line, The Row, sits pretty in a tucked-away courtyard next to Violet Grey. No dipping in the pool, but doesn’t the space look so relaxing? Instead, browse through the lustworthy racks of MK & A-approved duds. Everything is for sale from the vintage jewelry to the hand-selected furniture pieces, as well The Row footwear, eyewear, ready to wear, and handbags.
8440 Melrose Pl.; 310-853-1900; therow.com
5. Croft Alley
This eatery sits in the alley behind Melrose Place (just past Alfred Coffee and Kate Somerville). The setting is charming and rustic, while the fare is simple, but oh-so delicious. We recommend ordering the vermicelli noodles (Vietnamese-style noodles with cucumbers, lettuce and carrots) topped with a side order of turkey sausage patties. Don’t skip out on the triple-chocolate cookie afterwards.
8428 Melrose Pl.; croftalley.com
6. Alfred Coffee + Kitchen
Although Alfred Coffee + Kitchen is in plain sight on Melrose Place (the super-cute street signage and outdoor seating give it away), most people don’t realize that it has another location, Alfred in the Alley, with shorter lines just one block away on Melrose Ave. Skip through the alley and get your cold brew in a flash.
8428 Melrose Pl. and 8509 Melrose Ave.; 323-944-0811; alfredcoffee.com