the grove

Everything you love and hate rolled up into a well-branded outdoor mall

Let’s get one thing out of the way. The Grove was made for you and your most basic self. It checks off all the boxes, accommodating all levels of basic. There’s a Cheesecake Factory, a Pressed Juicery, a Dylan’s Candy Bar and a Ladurée. There’s a Sprinkles tucked away in the corner for fuck’s sake. There’s that one Italian restaurant bar that my 19-year-old self thought was the bougie-est place ever that I would someday go to. There’s a Barney’s, a Nordstroms, a Banana Republic and an Anthropologie. I’m not sure what’s sadder, the very obvious selection of stores or the fact that I just listed these off from memory. 
For all intents and purposes, I hate The Grove. It’s always filled with people, you can barely get around the fountain, even at 11am on a Tuesday. The parking structure is plastered with Warner Bros movie posters. I have wasted too much of my life going up and down those parking structure escalators. 
But here’s the weird thing. I don’t actually hate The Grove. I hate that I don’t hate it. I hate that the magic somehow works on me. Maybe some of it is nostalgia. It used to be an easy escape from school, my friends and I practically know the way from Westwood to the parking lot by muscle memory. It’s mildly embarrassing how many times I’ve been to the Cheesecake Factory there. On the other hand, it should be somewhat impressive that I’ve only ever paid for parking there once. 
Nowadays I only brave the parking lot with purposeful intention: to return something, to pick up emergency pastries from Dominque Ansel, to go to the Apple Store, grab lunch at the Farmer’s Market or to escape work (if you’ve ever worked in Mid-Wilshire or on Melrose, you’d understand). And sure, it’s still mildly hellish at times, but even I, a Cynical Angeleno™, can’t deny the magic of The Grove during the holidays.

the details


Address189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA
Hours10am – 9pm Sun – Thu 
10am – 10pm Fri & Sat
Price$$ to $$$ depending on where you shop / eat
Aestheticpolished, a little too pruned, but always primed for photos

good to know

Go here for: a shit show, or to get back in touch with you and your most basic self 

Don’t miss: whatever free pop ups are happening on the grass

Amount of time to spend: 1-2 hours, you can’t really get in and out under 30 minutes, but also only the first hour of parking is free without validation

When to come: honestly, during the holidays despite the crowds. But if you can, try weekday mornings

Parking: lot, validated (it’s the best thing about this place until you remember it can actually be the worst)

Other things to note: 

  • Enter the parking lot on Beverly or Fairfax (but keep driving in)
  • Note that the farmers market parking lot and the grove parking lot are different, and different places validate for each (ie: Zara, The Container Store validate for the farmers market parking lot while Apple, Barnes and Noble validate for the Grove parking structure)
  • Nordstrom validates for an extra hour (2hrs total), and the validation machine is on the ground floor

Last visited: March 2019

Last updated: August 2019

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