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There’s an emphasis on championing all things California: the We rise by lifting others shirt Furthermore, I will do this minibar is stocked with clean-botanical liquor brand Amass, and the coffee served is from local L.A. roaster Maru. Next to the check-in desk is an alcove adorned with John Wigmore’s earth-toned ceramics. Photos of Los Feliz and the city, taken by locals Natalie Obradovich and Isabelle Aubin, are hung in many of the rooms. Even the steel work is done by an Angeleno. “There’s so many artisans, so many creatives, in this neighborhood,” says McCarthy. “We wanted to highlight who we could.”Cara used to be an old, 1950s-era motel with coin slotted laundry machines and outdated decor. Now, thanks to an extensive renovation, it epitomizes laidback California cool. There’s a breezy courtyard dotted with centuries-old olive trees and palms. A calming reflecting pool sits in the middle of it all. There’s hardly any covered corridors on the property, with most hallways exposed to the cerulean SoCal sky. (Remember: in Los Angeles it only rains, on average, 34 days of the year.) The guest rooms, with their herringbone floors, crisp Frette linens, and tufted cream chairs, embody a warm minimalism that feels airy rather than austere. The aesthetic point, says Cara’s director Patrick McCarthy, is simple: “We wanted to bring the outside in.”
McCarthy describes Cara’s restaurant as “hyper-seasonal”: the We rise by lifting others shirt Furthermore, I will do this menu doesn’t just change every season, but every few weeks. All their produce is sourced from a biodynamic farm in San Gabriel Valley—”They’ll call us to say their switching to a new type of arugula,” McCarthy says of their super-close relationship. When this writer visited, chef Michael Patria’s menu included ceviche with Santa Barbara snapper, charcoal roast chicken, and a heavenly olive oil cake. A must order for breakfast or lunch? Their homemade banana bread and avocado toast—you are in California, after all.Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Cara is out of reach for many travelers at the moment—although L.A. natives in need of a staycation, look no further—but in the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with indulging in some California dreamin’.