Los Angeles is a world-beating city. Home to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, pristine beaches, high-end shopping, and much more. However, what if you’re not a millionaire movie star, what is life like in LA? We caught up with hospitality graduate, Matthieu Dyen to get the low-down on life in La La Land.
How can you find a job in LA?
Matthieu came to California to complete a dual degree in American Hospitality Management and International Business at Vatel Los Angeles. Thanks to his program, Matthieu landed a job as an in-room dining supervisor at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.
As Matthieu mentions in his interview, it can be tricky to get a visa and find work in the USA, although, he did let us in on how many of his friends were able to get a taste of the American dream. They turned to International Trainee Network (ITN) to facilitate their visa, job placement, and housing. If you’re looking for a truly immersive experience in the States, make sure you check out ITN. It has been working with the J-1 Visa Exchange Program for more than 15 years so you know you’ll be in great hands.
⭐Did you know LA is a first-class destination for hospitality students? It’s the sixth largest hotel market in the USA and contains more than 1000 hotels!
On Hosco, we have a heap of job opportunities in Los Angeles. And, according to our database, the three most desired hospitality profiles in Los Angeles are F&B, guest services manager, and training managers. Even if these profiles don’t apply to you, we have job opportunities for 96 other hospitality profiles in LA so every base is covered. Sign up now and enhance all aspects of your hospitality career for free.
Where should you live?
To an outsider, the sheer size of the city can be intimidating as it’s spread over 1,302 square kilometers, divided into 16 regions, and then split up into 270 neighborhoods! However, each region has its own distinctive vibe which makes the sprawling metropolis a bit more approachable.
Matthieu lives in Koreatown and recommends that you check out apartments there, and in Park La Brea or Brentwood. They’re great areas to live in as they’re affordable and have lots of local amenities. In these areas, a one-bedroom apartment ranges from $1,200 to $1,500 per month. A perk of living in this sun-kissed city is that a lot of apartments have a swimming pool, jacuzzi, and gym in the complex. If you’re looking for an apartment, take a leaf out of Matthieu’s book and ask your classmates on your hospitality course or use websites like Craigslist and WestsideRentals.
How should you move around LA?
To put things into perspective, there are actually more automobiles than people in LA! It’s a pretty astonishing fact, despite this, Matthieu advises us that it’s best to get a car due to the immensity of the city. As he points out, a California driver’s license only costs $50 so it’s a great investment. If you don’t have a license or hate driving then the good news is that the public transportation is cheap (just $1.50 from downtown LA to Santa Monica) and it’s slowly but surely improving the quality of its service.
Where should you eat and drink?
You’d think that in a city filled with mega rich movie stars that you’d be able to party from dusk till dawn, right? Think again, bars and clubs close surprisingly early in LA, clubs at 2am and bars even earlier so make sure you begin your night a little earlier than usual. However, it’s not all bad news, Los Angeles is actually home to lots of A-list bars and restaurants; and to a booming food truck scene. Here are some of the local gems according to Matthieu:
In-N-Out Burger - 💲
The quintessential California fast-food. In-N-Out Burger is a must for anyone visiting or living in Los Angeles. You can currently find 25 of these super popular burger joints across the city.
About Kinney Food Trucks - 💲💲
Keep the first Friday of the month free as you’ll be spending it on Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice Beach. You’ll chow down on classic dishes and also indulge in new and exciting flavors from around the globe!
Grand Central Market - 💲💲
Grand Central has been a downtown LA staple since 1917. A covered food emporium where you’ll find everything from ramen to oysters.
Gracias Madre - 💲💲💲
A hip Mexican restaurant that sources local and organic produce and transforms it into mouth watering dishes.
République - 💲💲💲
This is a high-end French-inspired café, bakery, bar, and restaurant. It’s also Matthieu’s pick for brunch.
Laurel Hardware - 💲💲
A super cool West Hollywood spot for enjoying feel-good food and a few innovative cocktails.
Good Times at Davey Wayne’s - 💲💲
This retro bar in Hollywood is like a time machine back to the ‘70s. It boasts an awesomely “cool” secret entrance; and an exterior area with hamacas and a bbq!
La Descarga - 💲💲
This Cuban speakeasy-style bar is Matthieu’s choice for dancing. Due to the nature of the bar, it also has a secret entrance, however, the live jazz band and dancers make it more lively than the average speakeasy!
What are the pros and cons of LA?
The pros of living in Los Angeles are the permanent sunshine, diversity, and the amazing job opportunities at the best hotel chains. The cons of living in the City of Angels are the hellish traffic, the cost of living can be quite high, and you don’t get a lot of vacation time which is a common drawback across the USA. Despite the city’s very few downsides, it’s still a pretty extraordinary place to live. So, if you’re an aspiring hospitality student or professional, why not try to make it big out in Hollywood?
*All information provided was accurate as of October 2018.