Showtime’s The L Word took the early ‘90s trending of lesbian chic and made it into a full-fledged television series from 2004 to 2009. The soapy show was (and still is) the only one of its kind, completely focused on lesbian and bisexual women. Although largely shot in Vancouver, the setting of Los Angeles played a significant role, as Bette, Shane, Alice, and Co. weren't the kind of queer women homebodies you hear about, sitting around with their partners, knitting their cat sweaters. They were constantly getting together and going out, whether it was to their favorite hang, The Planet, or a strip club for a night out.
While some of The L Word locales were fictional, many were not, and some of them are even around now. There are also plenty of options for women who might want similar aesthetics to the onscreen settings they’ve come to see as the L.A. lesbian lifestyle.
Here’s a guide to living your best L Word life in Los Angeles. There's no better time to do it than now, as the show prepares for a reboot on Showtime. I hope you fare better than Jenny Schecter.
Coffee and food
On the show: The Planet was the go-to coffee and nosh spot that turned into an event space at night. First owned by Marina, Kit later took over and created a women-centric place for karaoke, live music, drag performances, community fundraisers—and illicit bathroom make out, of course.
IRL: Silver Lake’s LaMill is a fixture for locals glued to their laptops and latest screenplays, and Hannah Hart, Taylor Schilling, and Orange is the New Black scribe Lo Morelli have all been seen there. The queer-owned and focused Hi Cuties! coffee bar is poised to become the next Planet, however, once it opens in August. Their pop-up events have proven successful in community building and highlighting both the want and need for LGBTQ-specific spaces.
On the show: When not at The Planet, the women of The L Word loved eating out elsewhere. Some of the locales featured include Mandarette Chinese Cafe and Yamashiro, which prompted one of Jenny’s best lines: “She inspired you to fuck my girlfriend on the balustrade of Yamashiro?”
IRL: Add to that list a few places Dana’s lesbian chef love Lara might now be working at, including Gracias Madre (a Kristen Stewart and Stella Maxwell fave), n/naka (from out chef Niki Nakayama), and the new Hot Hot Food, offering hipster-friendly Mexican-Chinese fusion from former The Must owner Coly Den Haan.