Christina Xenos

Correspondent

  • Los Angeles, California, USA

Christina Xenos is a correspondent who lives in Los Angeles and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. As the Web editor for Where Los Angeles magazine, she scours the city for the best dining, entertainment, shopping and nightlife. Her early career was shaped abroad studying fine art in Spain, and chronicling international developments and cultural affairs in Greece, while working for the Associated Press. When Xenos isn’t gallivanting through Tinseltown, you might find her pondering an insightful Rhône blend in the Santa Ynez Valley or sipping raki on the southern coast of Crete.

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  • On November 26, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    How do you get a reservation at CUT Beverly Hills?

    To ensure your seat inside CUT Beverly Hills inside Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel), reservations are necessary. You can call the restaurant directly to inquire about availability, or book online through OpenTable.com. Weekend nights are coveted times for dining out in Los Angeles, so if your sights are set on a table during a prime Friday- or Saturday-night slot, make sure to book at least a week or two in advance. The Beverly Hills steakhouse is also the place to been seen during awards season in L.A., so note that if you want to grab a table around the time of the Academy Awards or Golden Globes, you will need to reach out to the restaurant even further in advance.
  • On November 26, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What is the dress code at CUT Beverly Hills?

    When it comes to your attire for your CUT experience, dress to impress for a stylish night on the town. Dining in the heart of Beverly Hills at the famed Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel) doesn’t get more high profile. With its contemporary design from Richard Meier, acclaimed architect of L.A.’s Getty Center,  the dining area and CUT’s open kitchen are the focal points in the airy floor plan. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck often stops by, hopping from table to table to greet his guests, and you’d hate to be underdressed for such an occasion. CUT is also a renowned favorite among the Hollywood A-list, so you never know who you might see sitting next to you sinking their teeth into a slice of Wagyu beef.
  • On November 26, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    Where is CUT Beverly Hills located?

    Wolfgang Puck’s CUT is located on Wilshire Boulevard, in the heart of Beverly Hills in the Wilshire Wing of the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel). Once you’ve dropped your car off at valet, CUT’s airy, 104-seat contemporary dining room will be your first destination upon entering the hotel. Whether you arrive early, or are planning to stay late, allow some time to grab a cocktail, light bites or dessert in adjacent Sidebar. You can also stroll through the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel to The Blvd Lounge, where you can kick back on lush sofas and find some of L.A.’s best people watching, live music (Thursday through Saturday), and drinks at the 18-foot illuminated onyx bar.
  • On October 29, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What’s the best time to visit The Langham Huntington, Pasadena?

    With its onsite amenities, dining and spa options, The Langham Huntington, Pasadena is a great year-round destination to escape everyday life. However, if you want to focus on certain offerings, the seasons may come into play. The pool is a focal point of the property, and while Los Angeles weather can accommodate swimming any time of the year, the best season to lounge poolside is the summer. The Langham also is a good spot to celebrate any holiday. The restaurants and Huntington Ballroom host decadent brunches and dinners for Christmas, Easter and Mother's Day, among others. One thing to note: The Pasadena hotel is situated in prime Rose Bowl territory, so if you want to visit in the New Year during the Tournament of Roses, plan well in advance.
  • On October 29, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What restaurants does The Langham Huntington, Pasadena have?

    The Langham Huntington, Pasadena offers a variety of dining experiences throughout the day in its restaurants and lounges. The Terrace restaurant is your destination for upscale California cuisine for breakfast (huevos rancheros), lunch (fish tacos) and dinner (lobster pot pie). The restaurant's patio affords views of the adjacent pool and Picture Bridge.

    At The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse, chef Anthony Zappola offers a selection of USDA prime cuts, Australian Wagyu and Japanese Kobe beef cooked over a wood-fired grill that burns white oak and other seasonal woods to lock in maximum flavor. The restaurant also has seasonal seafood and vegetable dishes, along with picturesque views of the luxury hotel’s Horseshoe Gardens.

    For more casual bar fare, head over to The Tap Room, which serves a premium selection of beers from around the world on tap, crafted cocktails and a curated wine selection all in an ambiance stylishly appointed with comfortable couches and places to lounge, including a patio. Those who want a more refined experience can opt for the Pasadena hotel’s daily tiffin afternoon tea and the ever-indulgent Sunday chocolate afternoon tea in the Lobby Lounge.
  • On October 29, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What is the design style of The Langham Huntington, Pasadena?

    While it has a long history (it was built in 1906), The Langham Huntington, Pasadena boasts a classically updated ambiance, which seamlessly incorporates elements of the Orient, reflecting hotel brand’s Asian origins. Immerse yourself in European luxury as you meander through the corridors and ballrooms gazing at fine art, Asian vases, fresh flower displays and crystal chandlers, which were made by the same atelier who supplied the palace of Ludwig II, the "Mad King of Bavaria."

    On the grounds, stroll through the impeccably manicured palm-lined lawns of the Horseshoe Garden, and among the terraced ponds and gently cascading waterfalls in the Japanese Garden. A comforting warm color palette extends from the lobby into the guest rooms, inviting you to relax and enjoy your stay.
  • On August 7, 2013
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  • On July 28, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What are the five best romantic restaurants in Los Angeles?

    Whether you're looking to woo your special someone over an epic tasting menu, candle lit ambiance or in a sprawling Italian grotto, you'll find plenty of inspiration at these romantic Los Angeles restaurants.

    Melisse
    Setting the bar for upscale contemporary French cuisine and service, Five-Star rated Melisse is truly a destination to impress your special someone. Dine in perfect ambiance on selections prepared by chef Josiah Citrin, who shops the Santa Monica Farmers Market and serves you the very best from it teamed with top French technique.

    AOC Wine Bar and Restaurant
    Chef Suzanne Goin and her business partner Carol Styne had their eye on the new West 3rd Street location for quite sometime. When it finally became available in early 2013, AOC 2.0 opened complete with an expanded bar and dreamy open-air patio. Grab a table in one of its quiet corners and enjoy a menu of comforting California-French selections complete with a stellar wine list and new cocktail program.

    Piccolo
    Just a few steps from Venice Beach, Piccolo's cozy candle lit ambiance is the perfect setting for a romantic dinner of Italian cuisine. Dine on housemade pastas with fresh truffles, daily seafood selections and decadent desserts. Hit the boardwalk hand-in-hand for a post-dinner stroll.

    Little Door
    Once you pass through the "little door" of the Little Door, you feel as though you've been transported to a sprawling grotto. Reserve a table on the patio where you sit by candle light in the shadow of trees. You can also opt to dine in the whimsical winter garden or one of the other low key rooms set off the patio. The seasonal Mediterranean menu is the perfect compliment to the surroundings.

    Cliffs Edge
    Silver Lake offers this indoor outdoor restaurant that feels like you've been transported into the setting of a Midsummer Night's Dream. Twinkly lights flicker all through the outdoor patio where you'll want to reserve a table to dine on contemporary American fare. Inside is dimly lit so you can also opt to grab a corner spot for an intimate affair.
  • On July 28, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What are the five best things to do on a romantic trip to Los Angeles?

    With picturesque surroundings of surf, sand and epic views, it doesn't take too much effort to set the mood on a trip to Los Angeles. Here are five ways to inspire romance in the City of Angels.

    Evening Stroll and Planetarium Show at Griffith Observatory
    Perched atop Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in the county, the Griffith Observatory is a naturally romantic destination. With some of the best panoramic views of the L.A. basin, 2-inch Zeiss refracting telescope and planetarium shows, you'll have limitless ways to explore the depths of the Universe with your beau. Get their early and enjoy a sunset hike on their 53-mile network of trails.

    Photo Opp at LACMA's Urban Lights
    Sweep your special someone off their feet and head to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. One of their outdoor artistic installations—Urban Light—is a large scale collection of 202 restored street lamps, perfect for capturing in photos with your sweetheart. The pictures don't lie, it has quickly become one of the most instagrammed places in the world.

    Wine Tasting In Malibu
    You don't have to travel to Napa for a romantic day of wine tasting. Malibu is brimming with dreamy locations to sip and savor and snuggle up with your lover. Malibu Family Wines is a sprawling outdoor area where you can lay down a picnic blanket, grab a bottle or a tasting flight and nosh on some cheese for a perfectly blissed out afternoon. Sip Malibu is a low-key cozy and rustic tasting room that offers a delicious selection of wines from the Cielo vineyard to the tune of classic rock. Set amid picturesque Calamigos Ranch, Malibu Cafe is the perfect place to stop for lunch and enjoy a variety of wine selections from Malibu vintners.

    Lunch in Malibu, Trip to a Near-Private Beach
    Impress your beloved with stunning views of the coast over delicious California cuisine on the breezy patio at Geoffrey's Malibu. After lunch, break out your beach umbrella and look for the coastal access sign a few yards west of the restaurant. Open the gate and head down a flight of stairs to Escondido Beach, a romantic stretch of sand, deserted for the most part aside from the luxury homes that surround it.

    Poolside Cabana at the Beverly Wilshire
    The pool at this Four-Star property may look familiar — Sophia Loren’s private villa in Italy inspired its design. With a bird’s-eye view of Rodeo Drive, you can sunbathe with your special someone while sipping champagne or enjoying Pool Bar & Café’s offerings, such as freshly squeezed juices, bento boxes and a mega banana sundae. If you really want to go all out in the romance department, make reservations for a VIP cabana. The option includes a private cabana, Dom Pérignon champagne, canapés, a three-course lunch for two, a pedicure or manicure for two and complimentary Wi-Fi and television.
  • On July 28, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What are the best things to see and do in Los Angeles?

    Los Angeles is a city with limitless possibilities on what you can see and to between the beach and downtown.

    One of my personal favorite things to do in L.A. is visiting the Griffith Observatory. After closing for four years and undergoing a $93 million renovation, it reopened in the fall of 2006, and features a 12-inch Zeiss refracting telescope, planetarium shows, some of the best panoramic views of the L.A. basin, and more. The observatory is situated in the middle of Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, so you can pair your visit with a hike. The park has a 53-mile network of trails, some allowing you to get stellar views of the Hollywood Sign, the Hollyridge trail will take you above and behind it. If you'd rather explore Griffith Park on horseback, you can saddle up with a variety of horseback riding tours at Sunset Ranch.

    Other hiking trails in Los Angeles include Runyon Canyon where Hollywood and West Hollywood types hike up the steep incline and socialize—dogs in tow. Farther toward L.A.'s west side, trails at Topanga Canyon State Park and Temescal Canyon Park offer stellar views of the Pacific Ocean and west side of Los Angeles.

    You'll find sunshine and 70-degrees at the minimum nearly year-round in Los Angeles, and that will make you want to hit the beach. Although sometimes its too cold and breezy to swim, you can always stop by the Santa Monica Pier which is also home to the iconic Ferris wheel and carnival atmosphere of Pacific Park, or head north to Malibu's Zuma Beach where you can watch the surfers and kite borders, or jump in the waves for yourself.

    Museums in L.A. are about as eclectic as the culture. Soak up diverse art offerings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Getty Center, Getty Villa and MOCA. Check out classic cars at the Petersen Automotive Museum. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County recently opened a new dinosaur hall with 300 real fossils, and 20 complete dinosaurs and ancient sea creatures, including the T. rex growth series—the only trio of different aged T. rex specimens in the world. Tour the the retired Space Shuttle Endeavour insdie the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion at California Science Center.

    You also can't plan a trip to L.A. without taking time out to shop. Hit your favorite luxury boutiques on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. You'll find a mix of luxury and casual shopping at centers like the Beverly Center, The Gove, Santa Monica Place and the Third Street Promenade. For more luxury boutiques, hit Robertson Blvd., West 3rd Street shopping district, Sunset Plaza, Melrose Ave. and Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice.
  • On July 28, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    Where can I go to watch sports in Los Angeles?

    The epicenter of watching sports in Los Angeles would be to catch a game at Staples Center downtown between LA Live and the Los Angeles Convention Center. The arena is home to the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and LA Kings and when their seasons overlap sometimes you can catch two games back-to-back. You can also catch other sporting events there like boxing matches and WNBA games. If you missed out on box seats, but still want to watch a game in style, HYDE Lounge Staples Center is an exclusive club on box level that let's you watch the game and have a nightlife experience all in one.

    My all-time favorite spot to watch a game however is among the palm trees and festive fans at Dodger Stadium on Chavez Ravine. When the Los Angeles Dodgers are playing at home you can flock to the stadium along with 50,000 other fans and set up for an afternoon or evening of America's National Pastime. After recent ownership change and $100 million in renovations, Dodger Stadium boast new LED boards, improved wireless connectivity and more delicious food options; must haves are Dodger Dogs and garlic fries, but if you really want to get crazy opt for the "Doyer Dog" (named for the Spanish-language pronunciation of Dodgers) which is a beef hot dog topped with melted cheese, jalapenos, onions and tomatoes.
  • On July 28, 2013
    Christina Xenos answered the question: Christina Xenos

    What is Los Angeles’ cultural scene like?

    Often overlooked by those who set their sights on more high profile offerings in New York, San Francisco and Chicago, Los Angeles has quietly become a cultural force offering world-class museums, theater and performing arts.

    Museums
    Two crown jewels of the Los Angeles museum scene are the collections at the Getty Center and classical Greek and Roman art at the Getty Villa. Both locations also offer gardens and perfect photo-worthy views of L.A. Over in mid-city, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art features a diverse collection that ranges from classical to contemporary. A visit to LACMA would not be complete without seeing Chris Burden's Metropolis II, a mini car racing masterpiece that involves an elaborate system of 18 roadways, including one six-lane freeway, HO scale train tracks and 1,100 custom manufactured mini cars. Burden also created Urban Light, a large-scale instillation of 202 restored street lamps, which has quickly become one of the most instagrammed places in the world. You can also interact and take your photo with Levitated Mass, a 340-ton boulder created by sculpture Michael Heizer.

    Theater + Performing Arts
    Moving toward performing arts Los Angeles is home to the Center Theater Group that produces a range of offerings from experimental programming to Broadway musicals on three stages around the city: the Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum downtown and the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City. Lead by Placido Domingo, the Los Angeles Opera features a yearly season of explosive stage productions. The Los Angeles Philharmonic and it's much adored conductor Gustavo Dudamel delight audiences during performances at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Hollywood Bowl during the summer season.

    Cultural Venues
    Los Angeles is also home to a multitude of cultural venues. Most notably, Grand Park downtown not only offers an urban oasis catering to the diverse cultural makeup of the city but also has regular weekly programming like outdoor concerts and actives throughout the week, especially in the summer.