Yowzer, The Line is a brave hotel. Los Angeles is a city that divides opinion, and this place in Koreatown is likely to do the same, for while competitors are retreating to the sanctuary of early 20th Century elegance and vintage comfort, Sean Knibb‘s guest rooms and public spaces send The Line headlong the other way. Foot to the floor, cigarette in mouth and one raised finger out of the window to the shocked bystanders.
Prison chic was the term that sprang to mind when looking at the corridors, a canvas of pockmarked concrete – admittedly cheered by the floor graphics – which continues into the rooms themselves, where natural fabrics and artworks go some way to softening the edge. You can file The Line’s charges under edgy urban rather than sumptuous luxury, but different strokes for different folks (these are most certainly our kind of strokes), and if you can keep in mind that you’re walking to the elevator and not the exercise yard, you have to applaud the courage of The Line’s convictions. There is some of that vintage style to be had at the Houston Brothers’ on-premises nightspot Speek, and other notable selling points include the lovely flower strewn wet-look Korean hot pot restaurant Pot helmed by Ray Choi (check the promo vid), and a Poketo outlet selling the cool design-driven things from husband and wife Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung. Kudos to The Line for daring to be different.