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Agnes Lew's Top Choices for Places to Go in Los Angeles

By Melody Yuan

June 15, 2017

Agnes Lew, East West Bank's senior vice president and director of wealth management, leads a team of financial advisors that provide financial and investment advice, ranging from retirement to estate planning.

Given the level of trust involved and the friendships that form, clients often ask wealth managers to share some of their favorite places to eat, sleep and visit in cities around the world.

"Our team of private client advisors offer recommendations that are customer-centric and tailored to each client’s unique needs and interests,” says Lew. “As such, I end up answering the real hard questions like what are the hottest restaurants in town!"

With years of experience introducing high-profile clients to the most attractive places from Hong Kong to New York City, Lew shares some of her A-list spots, starting in Southern California, where she lives and works from East West Bank’s headquarters in Los Angeles.

 Agnes Lew, East West Bank’s senior vice president and director of wealth management

About Agnes Lew

Agnes Lew, East West Bank's senior vice president and director of wealth management, leads a team of financial advisors that provide financial and investment advice, ranging from retirement to estate planning.

More about Agnes

Downtown Los Angeles

The scene downtown—or, as the locals call it, DTLA—is chic, modern and hip. With many cultural centers, museums, concert halls, gourmet restaurants and swanky bars, visitors can get overwhelmed if they try to visit all of the attractions. Lew narrows it down for her clients with recommendations for the best things to do and places to eat.

Night view of downtown Los Angeles
Exterior of the Walt Disney Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall

"I am on the Board of Overseers at the LA Philharmonic Orchestra, which is a nationally renowned orchestra," says Lew. "They have a broad range of concerts at the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall."

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of the most iconic architectural buildings in the world. With stainless steel curves and a hardwood auditorium, the concert hall is a place where anyone can visit and enjoy. There are a number of musical performances happening year-round that can be found on their website.

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Exterior of the Broad Museum in Los Angeles

Broad Museum

Adjacent to the Walt Disney Concert Hall stands the Broad Museum, which houses some of the best contemporary artworks from artists like Andy Warhol and Yayoi Kusama. Despite opening almost two years ago in 2015, long lines that snake around the building can still be seen on a daily basis. With rotating art collections and interactive exhibits featuring pieces from the personal collections of Eli Broad himself and visionaries from around the world, the museum has become a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike.

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Exterior of Otium restaurant behind the Broad Museum

Otium

Behind the Broad Museum stands one of the hottest restaurants in downtown: Otium. The restaurant's theme is elegant rusticity, making visitors feel welcome in every aspect, from the open kitchen, to the quality food served by Chef Tim Hollingsworth. Ingredients used in his dishes are local, with much of the fresh produce coming from the restaurant's own sustainable garden. Given the popularity of this restaurant, we highly recommend making reservations well in advance to secure this dining experience.

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Colburn School

Just across the street, where students of all ages can be seen going in and out of the doors, is the Colburn School, one of the most prestigious performing arts schools in Southern California. "Growing up under the eyes of a tiger mom, I had to learn various instruments and attend choir," says Lew. Through her musical training, Lew found an appreciation for music and says, "Kids in Los Angeles are so lucky to have the best music education on the West Coast at their fingertips." You can find many performances each week on the school website.

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Hollywood

Moving west for film aficionados and celebrities, Hollywood is the quintessential hub for LA’s razzle and dazzle. Visitors can stroll down Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, which showcases the city’s rich history, starting with the legendary Charlie Chaplin, and going all the way to modern stars like Scarlett Johansson and Johnny Depp, or catch a performance at the iconic Hollywood Bowl outdoor amphitheater.

View of the Hollywood sign
Man with two suitcases walking through the lobby of Hollywood Proper Residences

Hollywood Proper

"For my movie industry friends—and yes, a few movie stars are amongst them—the ‘it' place to stay is the Hollywood Proper Residences developed by power couple Brad Korzen and Kelly Wearstler," says Lew. A luxurious apartment complex in the heart of Hollywood with fully furnished rooms and penthouse suites, this residence is a symbol of modern luxury living. To add the cherry on top, Lew adds that "the newly opened rooftop has one of the best views of the city."

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Inside the Kelly Weartstler design store on Melrose in West Hollywood

Kelly Wearstler

In relation to Hollywood Proper, among the many stores in Hollywood and West Hollywood, Lew recommends visiting the stylish interior design store by Kelly Wearstler on Melrose. Despite the many unique and stylish boutiques along Melrose, Wearstler's store will undoubtedly catch your eye. With its modern, minimal and elegant design aesthetic, it will be hard to resist a shopping spree.

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Chef April Boomfield and Ken Friedman

The Hearth & Hound

The Hearth & Hound will open in iconic Hollywood late this summer and will mark celebrated chef April Bloomfield and partner Ken Friedman's first foray into LA's dining scene. The restaurant will have about 100 seats indoors and another 100 seats outdoors in a charming garden courtyard. With a fountain, fruit trees and herbs that chef Bloomfield will add to her cooking, this is a place that you won't want to miss when it opens.

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Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills, a name and place synonymous with the rich and famous, is only a few minutes away from Hollywood. From Rodeo Drive, to the Beverly Gardens Park, this quaint area is where iconic designers, models and celebrities have walked, shopped and dined. If you’re lucky enough, you may come across one or two going about their normal everyday lives.

Palm trees and the blue sky in Beverly Hills, California
Interior of Four Seasons Beverly Hills

Four Seasons Beverly Hills

"I travel a lot, but I must say that the beautiful Four Seasons Beverly Hills ranks among the very best," says Lew. "Not counting the list of celebrities who go through the lobby every day, the hotel is a destination for people-in-the-know." The hotel boasts myriad amenities: restaurants with stunning views and equally beautiful dishes, rooms with large terrace windows, a full-service spa, and a crystalline pool surrounded by lush trees. "The landscaping is magnificent because the hotel owners, the Cohen family, come from humble beginnings selling flowers at the very location where the hotel stands," says Lew. Today, Robert and Joseph Cohen have retired but still curate a large garden at their home.

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Florist and artist Jeff Leatham with a bouquet of flowers behind the floral installation

Jeff Leatham

"Speaking of flowers, I couldn't be more excited about celebrity florist extraordinaire Jeff Leatham being back at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills," exclaims Lew. "He's splitting his time between the Four Seasons George V in Paris." That just goes to show the dedication to detail the Four Seasons pours into maintaining its high standards. A visionary artist who creates floral installations that complement any setting, Leatham has been commissioned by many luxury brands and clients around the world. Enjoy his floral work at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, or find his exhibits at one of the many events and locations around Los Angeles.


Pasadena

Nestled at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains just northeast of downtown Los Angeles, the city of Pasadena is known for its history, iconic architecture and events that are characteristic of Los Angeles' culture. Despite being the ninth-largest city in LA County, the city still holds on to its original character and charm. From the Rose Bowl Parade, to shopping in Old Pasadena, the city has much to offer.

The dome of Pasadena City Hall in Old town Pasadena
Langham Hotel in Pasadena at night

The Langham Hotel

"When I bought my house, I made sure it was within walking distance to the historic Langham Hotel in Pasadena," says Lew. "This way, whenever my friends and family would visit, they could receive five-star services. The beautiful pool next to the Japanese Garden is the perfect place to soak in sunshine."

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Two women sitting at a table and smiling at a waiter at Julienne Fine Foods restaurant

Julienne Fine Foods and Celebrations

In terms of dining, within walking distance from the Langham is Julienne Fine Foods and Celebrations. "It's quite the place, offering power breakfasts, to brunch with friends," says Lew. "You feel like you've just teleported to a European cafe—without the jetlag."

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