There is a fair number of things to see if you're visiting LA. The Getty. Hollywood sign. Venice Boardwalk. Universal Studios. Huntington Gardens. Disney Concert Hall. Third Street Promenade. The list goes on. But somehow visitors often end up at a place called "The Grove," and, not only that, they really enjoy it.
The Grove is an outdoor mall, not far from the dumpy Beverly Center. The Grove is new, spic and span. For lack of a better description, imagine what a mall would look like if it were designed by people from Disneyland and The Truman Show. It's a little world unto itself. A nice, sweet oasis of a fake town, smack in the middle of otherwise chaotic and sprawling LA. There's a trolley that runs through town. There's a Bellagio-esque water fountain that spouts to theme music. The shops are at "street level," and there are windows above the shops masquerading as people's apartments or something. It's a weird place.
Still, people love it. It's not because the shops are that great (they aren't). I think it must be because much of LA is run down and not very pleasing to the eye. And to come to The Grove is to see something new, clean, a touch suburban. That must be comforting.