As the first boutique hotel in Koreatown, the Line might have been able to get away with cutting a few corners while still attracting a cool clientele. It probably didn’t need to get the hottest young Korean-American chef in L.A. on board (to run one of the most comprehensive and exciting restaurant and bar networks yet seen, by the way), nor did the Sydell Group—the arbiters of cool behind the Nomad Hotel in New York—have to put their stamp on it. The hotel would have been nice enough had the concrete midcentury building not been entirely reimagined and decorated by the Knibb Group, known for designing half the cool spots in L.A. and more than a few celebrities’ homes. There didn’t need to be a desert greenhouse–inspired pool deck that’s become a hangout for beautiful people at all hours, nor did the famously trendy Houston Brothers (of no Vacancy and Harvard & Stone) have to throw in a midcentury-inspired cocktail bar. Nor did the typical hotel gift shop have to be reimagined as a design and lifestyle store curated by Poketo. The rooms and suites would have been just fine had they not been turned into artsy, industrial-style lofts, outfitted with original commissioned artwork, a minibar of Korean and Western snacks, and Baxter of California toiletries. Of course, all of this did happen, and now Koreatown is home to one of the hottest hotels in L.A.
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At the corner of Wilshire and Normandie, the Line is right in the heart of Koreatown, a neighborhood especially popular these days for its many authentic Korean restaurants. Within a few blocks of the hotel are excellent spots including Kobawoo, for bo ssam, and Palsaik Samgyupsal for Korean barbecue. Trendy bars such as the speakeasy-style Lock & Key aren’t far, either. If tooling around on the hotel’s Linus bikes doesn’t get guests far enough, the hotel is also down the street from a metro station, which can get them to downtown easily. Silver Lake is just a quick drive or bike ride away, too.
Need to Know
Rooms: 384 rooms, 10 suites. From $219. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The hotel’s five eateries are run by renowned local chef Roy Choi, who made his name selling Korean barbecue tacos out of a food truck, so it’s no surprise that he’s infused the dining experiences at the Line with heavy doses of nearly every culture in L.A. Pot, the main restaurant, serves both traditional and inventive Korean cuisine—most popularly, the eponymous Hot Pot—in a minimalist, unpretentious dining room. A lively scene with nightly DJs from Wednesday to Saturday and a melting pot of internationally inspired craft cocktails, the lobby bar is sleek, sexy, and only a precursor to Speek, the tucked-away, midcentury-inflected cocktail lounge. Grab breakfast (and other treats throughout the day) at Café, a delicious combination of Taiwanese bakeries, Seoul food markets, and El Salvadorian and Mexican panaderias—and $1 LaMill coffee. Next to the outdoor pool, Commissary serves fresh fruit- and vegetable-focused dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from its second-floor greenhouse space; open to the public, it turns the pool area and dining room into a trendy, relaxed scene. Even room service here is thoughtful, served in tiffin boxes wrapped up into a colorful fabric package. Spa and gym details: The pool isn’t large, but a modern and well-equipped gym is open 24 hours daily. Linus bicycles are also available to borrow for three hours at a time, and they come with saddlebags, helmets, and a lock.
Who's it best for: Cosmopolitan hipsters, foodies, and design lovers. Our favorite rooms: Every room at the Line is a designer’s dream, but the Hollywood Hills View rooms (which come in all sizes) complete the picture on all sides, thanks to a wall of windows that allows for unobstructed views over the city’s rooftops, all the way to the hills. Plan ahead: The oh-so-cool Poketo boutique on the ground floor holds regular events with brands they like; previous events have included a weaving-loom workshop with textile artist Janelle Pietzrack and a de-clutter workshop with Bneato Bar. Book tickets well in advance, as they tend to sell out.