Rising to fame as a rapper and actor (he starred in 2002’s Infernal Affairs, the basis for Martin Scorsese’s Oscar winning The Departed), the Hong-Kong- Canadian Edison Chen is today all about pan-Pacific fashion. With Kevin Poon, in 2003 he founded the lifestyle label CLOT: a distinctive marriage of Eastern and Western streetstyle, which made its debut at New York Fashion Week last year. An L.A. resident since 2007, in 2018 Chen opened the newest branch of JUICE — the retail arm of CLOT — in Downtown L.A. Ryan Lowry shot Chen there, and Chen shared some of his favourite spots across his adopted hometown.
Shops at Abbot Kinney
Abbot Kinney Blvd
Originally the center-piece of millionaire Abbot Kinney’s canal-filled “Venice-Of- America”, this once-scrappy strip is today a place where international flagships from the likes of Le Labo and Aesop coexist easily with businesses true to Venice’s hippie and surfer heritage: mushroom masters Four Sigmatic and, for vapes and cigars, The Greenhouse Smokeshop. Edison’s favorite spot is Burro, an ingeniously curated gift shop helmed by native Californian Erinn Berkson, which overflows with keepsakes by local artisans, gourmet snacks and intriguing tomes. Nearby, there’s an abundance of world class coffee and juice bars for a fuel for the day.
Basketball Courts at Pan Pacific Park
7600 Beverly Blvd
Next to The Grove and the historic Farmers Market, Pan Pacific Park is 28 acres of exercise-friendly landscape in this most health-positive of cities. Opened in 1935 as the site of the now-burned down Pan-Pacific Auditorium, the park boasts paths for running and cycling, tennis courts and a public pool. As an ardent NBA fan, Edison’s highlights are the outdoor basketball courts. Book and play, or just watch for the next Kobe Bryant.
The Original Hoy-Ka Hollywood
5908 Sunset Blvd
Literally translated as ‘Dangling Legs’, the titular Hoy-Ka noodles served at this family-run restaurant originated in Thailand, where they were served on planks above the Naan River of Ritsanuloke province. Alongside curries and rice dishes, the signature Hoy-Ka noodle soup features a distinctive blend of shrimp, fish cake, pork, vegetables and chili in a soothing, sour broth. If that sounds more like a late-night treat than a lunch you’re in luck: the place is open daily until midnight.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino
Founded in 1919 by railroad tycoon and bibliophile Henry E. Huntington, the Huntington, for short, is a veritable wonderland of art, books, nature, and architecture in the tony San Marino neighborhood of Pasadena. Wandering the grounds could easily be a day long diversion, but if pressed for time, don’t miss Mary Cassatt’s tender Breakfast in Bed (1897), strikingly modern Ghirlandaio or Thomas Gainsborough’s iconic 1770 The Blue Boy, in the painting collections.
7660 Beverly Blvd A
Nowhere does Los Angeles’s bohemian and glamorous spirits come together more effortlessly than in cult grocer and cafe Erewhon. Founded as a pioneering Boston macrobiotic store in, Erewhon today has four locations across Fairfax, Calabasas, Venice and Santa Monica. From staples to superfoods to eco-friendly household products — everything stocked here is checked according to an exacting ‘Erewhon Standard’ (no corn syrup, no refined sugar, no artificial colors or flavorings - for a start), which draws everyone from health-conscious families to Hollywood starlets. A perfect spot to people-watch, pick up a snack, or find a souvenir for home.
Lakers at Staples Center
1111 S Figueroa St
Naturally! A Lakers game at the city’s iconic Staples Centre is an Angelenos’ bucket list experience. There are no games during Frieze Week, but those arriving early, or staying on, can book tickets - courtside will set you back a few hundred dollars, but there’s a range of seats available. Edison’s’ favorite player? Lebron James. “I’m a season ticket holder”, he says, “right behind the bench.”
2121 East 7th Pl
428 East 2nd St
To unwind, head to Little Tokyo. A table at Bestia, a trailblazing Italian in a converted warehouse, is one of the most sought-after on the West Coast. A stone’s throw away you’ll find The Mermaid. A new dive bar, it boasts not just a creative cocktail menu but all the oddball flourishes that make a place worth discovering: from a snow cone machine to a trompe l’oeil view of mermaids swimming by — courtesy, like many things in this city, of a little movie magic.
Main image: Edison Chen at JUICE, 801 Mateo St. Portraits by Ryan Lowry