Editor’s Note: Sending Our Love to You

It’s easy to lose sight of the good things in life. Work stress, money stress, the relentless onslaught of anxiety inducing headlines out of Washington D.C. — that’s important stuff, sure, but not as much as loving connections with other human beings.

This year’s Best of the Westside theme is a whirlwind romance between a scion of Silicon Beach and a true believer in the imaginative spirit of Venice. They’re like Montagues and Capulets of Westside life in 2018, only with a happier ending.

Their story takes us through the winners of our annual readers’ poll: restaurants, bars, shops, activities, organizations and landmarks that our readers value and support. Let them be a reminder that there’s still plenty of goodness to go around.
— Joe Piasecki

A Westside Love Story

Travis: A young tech executive who lives by the work hard, play hard mantra. He’s a business ace but also a friendly, fun-loving guy. We meet him on our cover at The Brickyard in Playa Vista.
Played by Brandon Claybon.

Emily: An artist who thrives on the creative, eclectic energy of Venice. She’s serious about her work, but also exudes the fun, free-spirited and effortless cool of beach life. We meet her on our cover at the Venice Art Walls, voted Best Public Art Installation.
Played by Kaylenne McClure.

The Blonde: We know she likes to sing, but who is she?
Played by Claire Berger.

Cover and feature photography by Ashley Randall (ashleyrandallphotography.com)

Photo story concept and design by Michael Kraxenberger

Brandon Claybon and Kaylenne McClure appear courtesy of Brand Talent (brandtalent.net).

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT appears courtesy of W.I. Simonson Mercedes-Benz, 1626 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica (wisimonson.net).

Links to Winners Listings

Best Of the Westside: Nightlife & Entertainment

Best of the Westside: Beauty & Style

Best of the Westside: Health & Fitness

Best of the Westside: Dining

Best of the Westside: Shopping

Best of the Westside: Services

Best of the Westside: Art & Rec

Link to Best of the Westside Editor’s Picks