Stop 1: Where the Oil Came From @ The La Brea Tar Pits
Kids scurry past their families while couples mimic “My Girl 2” along the Museum Mile stretch of Wilshire Blvd. Your attention is hard pressed to not focus on the excitement of the park but you’ve come here to soak up the black stuff. As you walk towards the famed lake of darkness you take in your first whiff of methane. Mmmm. Both startled and surprised this ancient scene is so close to the modern day hustle and bustle you start reading the posted signs while taking instaworthy selfies. Your curiosity bubbles as you wander from pit to pit eventually discovering the curious bright green cones on the lawn. Placed above mini spouts they seem hardly like a deterrent as you somehow get tar on your hands. Eventually landing at the dig site of Pit 91 you catch a few workers meticulous sweeping up bits of rock and dirt while also having their way with the tar. After you’ve learned your way through the oil history of LA head to a more futuristic to kick your feet up.
Stop 2: Fuel for Your Mind @ Ray’s and Stark Bar
The afternoon museum crowd hustles from exhibits to photo ops in the center of the LACMA quad. You pass the urge to join the lemmings and pop in to the patio of Ray’s and Stark Bar. Minimalistic vibes and mod furniture make for a stylish afternoons respite from the museum bustle. The perfect companion to your shaded perch may be a gin and tonic or a minted frosè cocktail. Regardless of your route the destination becomes all the same as you happily sip your afternoon away. When you’ve built up your energy for the next round of historic habitats it’ll be time to live life in the fast lane.
Stop 3: How the Oil is Used @ Petersen Auto Museum
The red and silver flowing lined building of the Petersen Automotive Museum towers over the Wilshire and Fairfax intersection like an iron giant. Easily passed on your morning commute you’re all too eager to walk inside once you’re in first gear. Instantly you find yourself reveling in the beauty of the fantastical and functional vehicles in the lobby. Once you pay the pauper and receive your “P” sticker you’re given the green light to race around the 3 floors of automotive history. Starting at the top you slowly wander the floors discovering everything from hundreds years old historical wagons to ridiculous rides literally built for princes. Imagining yourself cruising the streets in a low rider or race car it’s easy to get lost in the fantasy of the real world whips. When you think you’ve seen it all you finally land on the first floor, and the grand finally doesn’t let down. A litany of vehicles from Hollywood’s hottest films you relive the moments you remember this time up close and personal. From Mad Max to Clockwork Orange and Batman you’re dazzled with the incredible imaginations inches from your hands. Exhausted without the exhaust you’re ready for fuel good thing there’s a filling station across the lobby.
Stop 4: Fuel for your Body @ Drago Ristorante
You cross the finish line into Drago Ristorante with a welcoming reception. Passing by the beauty of a pizza oven and gorgeous dining room you happily exit into the hidden patio. The iron ribboned exterior acts as your umbrella while you settle into the simple yet pleasantly open setting. The friendly waiter pleasantly discusses the handmade pastas and selections on the menu while you order a round of wine. Discussing your favorite car from the bunch you soak into the surroundings while an orchestra of classic tunes and the hum of traffic make the moment. When your food arrives you’re pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the presentation but blown away by the taste. Boar sauce ravioli or spinach risotto with seared scallops either way you take bites from each other’s plates with no remorse. Eventually you’re licking your plate clean and downing your last drop of wine as the sun’s bending beams glide over the flowing building above. With the oil below you and the iron behind you step onto Wilshire Blvd witnessing LA traffic in a whole different light.