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The best places to flirt (and find a boyfriend) in Los Angeles

Laurel House is a Dating Coach, Flirting Expert, and MTV’s MADE “It Girl” Coach. She just completed her 5th book- "Screwing The Rules: The No Games Guide to Love."

When it comes to flirting, where can you go to up your chances of a real conversation, maybe creating a substantive connection, that could even lead to a relationship?

Los Angeles is a city very much based on first impressions. Translation: LA is a city very much based on superficial impressions.

More than anywhere else, everyone has a schtick. We are attracted to the glitz and glamour. We have an attitude of "on" and are attempting to extract "what can you offer me?" It's ingrained in the LA DNA, which shouldn't be a surprise considering how many people come here to be "discovered" based on their face, an instantly gratifying one-liner or a three-minute sales pitch. But in the same breath, not everyone is shallow. It's just that getting past the facade and finding the depth can take a little more work. And here's the thing: If you skip the BS from the onset, and go the authentic approach, you're already memorable. Yes, despite the exterior layer of fake, we truly are craving a genuine connection, a real conversation and ultimately a relationship with whom we can finally let down our guards and be seen and loved for who we are (not who we pretend to be).

Where can you go to up your chances of a real conversation, maybe creating a substantive connection, that could even lead to a relationship?

Bars/restaurants:

  • The Bungalow at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica: This is the ultimate singles scene for people seeking fun. The indoor/outdoor bar has ping pong tables and several spaces, each with a different feel. You will run into a celebrity or two, as well as a drunk guy/girl looking to get lucky or 75.
  • Casa del Mar: You will find a slightly older crowd at the bar at Casa del Mar where the scene is more refined and less rowdy, but can get equally crowded. The live music on the weekends is a huge draw for both singles and couples.
  • Father's Office in Culver City: if you like craft beers, high quality but simple food and interesting conversation with techies, entrepreneurs and low-key intellectuals, this is your place. Men congregate in groups, making it a great place for women to find high-quality potential dates.
  • Laurel Hardware: This West Hollywood hot spot is a popular destination for Hollywood's business executives, but they tend to leave the glitz at the office. The indoor/outdoor bar has twinkly lights outside and stiff drinks inside.
  • Soho House: If you have an in at this Hollywood private club, take it. This is the spot to rub elbows with the true LA elite, not the BS'ers, because of the strict membership requirements and, no, being "just pretty" or "on the verge of a breakout film" isn’t enough. People don't have to flaunt anything because wealth and status are expected.
  • Faith & Flower: Downtown LA is slowly becoming foodie central, where restaurants and bars serving up craft cocktails and farmers market food are a main draw. Faith & Flower is a perfect spot to flirt in the expansive bar with plenty of wall candy as conversation starters, then maybe even move into the main dining room for an on-the-fly date. Talk about immediate gratification.

Amazingly different:

  • Festivals: There is always a festival happening in LA, which is the best opportunity to flirt and meet lots of locals with similar interests. Of course, when food and alcohol are involved, your chances of dropping your guard and making a real connection are increased. LA Food & Wine on Aug. 21-24 is the next big attraction where you are pretty much guaranteed to leave with a full stomach and a few numbers. And even there you can hone in on your type by choosing something more upscale, like "I Heart Champagne & Caviar" or low key like "Junk Food & Killer Wines." http://www.lafw.com/index.cfm/events.htm
  • Whole Foods Market, particularly the Venice market on the corner of Lincoln and Rose: If you are remotely health conscious, Whole Foods Markets are amazing meat markets where you will find attractive people in a relaxed atmosphere and whose guards are down. The salad bar is an especially great spot. And after chatting each other up for a few minutes in the market, suggest moving over to the in-store bar to grab a quick drink and get to know each other. Transition by saying, "you know, I'm really thirsty and it has been a long day. I'd love to buy you a drink at the bar."
  • Urth Cafe: Like Whole Foods Market, Urth is often filled with real people who are in a relaxed headspace and generally have some time (i.e. writers, actors, entertainment) to indulge in relaxed conversations without feeling the need to put on a show.

Fitness focused:

  • Westridge Hiking Trail in Santa Monica Mountains: This 8-mile round trip fire road hike can feel like a highway of healthy people and dogs on weekends, but it's a great place to meet like-minded singles who choose this spot over some of Hollywood's equally crowded but highly showy "see and be seen" trails.
  • The Santa Monica Stairs: Streams of exercisers march up and down this outdoor mecca for LA’s hard-core healthy locals.
  • Soul Cycle: Yes it's a spinning gym, but it draws both men and women who use the place both as a workout and as part of their social scene.
  • Silver Lake Reservoir: The gardens, floating lotus blossoms and popular walking/running path makes this outdoor recreation center central to the daytime flirting rituals of locals from Silver Lake, Los Feliz and Echo Park. Whether they are strolling with lattes in hand or running with dogs on the leash, there is always a conversation ice breaker to be found.

Not sure how to flirt? Come out and flirt with me!

Photo credit: Giorgio Magini/iStock/360/Getty Images
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