Getting there Major airlines fly from the UK to Los Angeles, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Continental Airlines also has daily flights from London Heathrow via Newark or Houston as well as daily services from five other UK airports. Its BusinessFirst service features the new, extra-wide, 6ft 6in, flat-bed seats. Taxis into Downtown Los Angeles take about half an hour.
Business climate LA may be best known as Tinseltown and for being home of the film industry, but 11 per cent of the city's business is in manufacturing while nearly one-fifth is devoted to transport, utilities and trade. Property, technology, and fashion are also key sectors.
Etiquette Californians have a laid-back approach. But because LA is almost 10 times the size of Manhattan and freeways are often in gridlock, punctuality is particularly appreciated as it shows you've allowed time for the traffic. Los Angelenos also eat early so although business hours are 9am to 6pm, don't be surprised to be invited for lunch at 11am or 11.30. At dinner time, many restaurants will wind down by 8.30 or 9pm.
Don't miss Hollywood Boulevard, with its celebrity hand-prints on the Walk of Fame and the Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the panoramic views from the Griffith Observatory, a concert at the Hollywood Bowl or the spectacular Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall. Also worth a trip is the J. Paul Getty Museum, housing a world-class art collection in the Malibu villa where the tycoon lived.
Where to stay There's a broad range of good hotels in each of LA's main districts. In Downtown, the new JW Marriott (sister hotel to the Ritz-Carlton in the same sky-skimming building) is over the road from the LA Live entertainment and sports complex. In Hollywood, the W Hotel is the celebrity-filled new kid on the block, while those seeking out-of-town tranquillity head to the five-star Langham Huntington in Pasadena.
Eat like a local LA claims to have a diversity of cuisine to match London or New York. The Water Grill in Downtown serves excellent seafood and is a favourite for power-broking lunches and dinners, as is Bouchon in Beverly Hills—one of the city's top French restaurants. House of Blues Gospel Brunch on Sunset Boulevard hosts an uplifting Sunday brunch with all-you-can-eat Southern food and gospel music. Traditionalists will love Canters Deli, a Hollywood institution with red-leather banquette seating and friendly waitresses serving epic-proportioned chopped-liver sandwiches and salt beef.