The convivial bar at Mama Shelter Los Angeles — Photo courtesy of Mama Shelter Los Angeles
Mama Shelter Los Angeles is the newest outpost of the popular boutique hotel chain that began in France (Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Bordeaux), expanded to Istanbul and has now come to the U.S. in this Los Angeles incarnation.
Located in the heart of Hollywood, this chic six-story, 70-room hotel designed by Thierry Gaugain and owned by the Trigano family (of Club Med fame) is built on the idea of affordability and comfort, combined with a welcoming social scene that swirls throughout the lively lobby area.
You'll check in right in the midst of the Mama Shelter social scene. The long bar is to your left; the huge foosball table made for multiple players is on your way to the stylized front desk; the restaurant is to your right; and the whole thing ties together with the low black-slate ceiling that is decorated with chalk-art drawings by local artists – all celebrating their mamas.
Look up to see those, and then be sure to check out the other art installations tucked into every nook and cranny.
The restaurant, with its wildly decorated roof, at Mama Shelter Los Angeles — Photo courtesy of Mama Shelter Los Angeles
Settle in for a delicious dinner, and be sure to sample Mama Shelter's signature specialties, like the avocado hummus served with pita bread.
We loved the white sea bass with forbidden black rice and corn salsa, a chewy delight. And we found the Le Royale with cheese burger a sly nod to Tarantino.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, while the bar has a happy hour and serves up beer and wine for $5, as well as sangria pitchers for $20. Once you're properly lubricated, take some photos, and they'll likely end up on the ever-changing social media wall nearby.
You can watch the chefs at work with the open kitchen in Mama Shelter Los Angeles' lobby restaurant — Photo courtesy of Mama Shelter Los Angeles
The ultra-mod rooms at Mama Shelter Los Angeles come in three sizes: Medium Mama, Large Mama and XXL Mama. Each offers a king-size bed and 27-inch iMacs with free TV, radio, Internet and Skype, as well as free adult movies and a mini fridge. The XXL comes with all that and a lounge area as well.
Every room has silly masks to play with and a Christian Bible by the bedside.
As Mama says, "There are other 'sacred' texts in the room as well, including Keith Richards’ memoir and various LA-centric scripts, such as 'Pulp Fiction,' 'The Big Lebowski' and 'LA Confidential.'"
The hotel is a hipster hangout as well as a reasonably priced place to call home; rooms begin around $195, with the XXL going for around $320.
At those prices, you can't afford not to stay here when you come to Hollywood!
A Medium Mama room at the Mama Shelter Los Angeles hotel — Photo courtesy of Mama Shelter Los Angeles