Bob Roberts Spotlight Tattoo
5859 MELROSE AVE
LOS ANGELES, CA 90038-3717
Artists: Bob Roberts, Charlie Roberts, Baby Ray, Juan Puente, Marco Cerretelli
The difference between Spotlight and a lot of the other shops out there is evident as soon as you walk in. “Most shops in LA, or the world even, just have Xeroxed shit on the walls,” gripes artist Charlie Roberts. But at Spotlight, Roberts points out, “We’ve got original flash.” Much of that flash, it’s important to note, was hand-painted in the ’70s by Charlie’s own father, Spotlight proprietor (and living tattoo legend) Bob Roberts. Ultimately, however, it’s the quality of the artists that separates Spotlight from the pack. “I’d put my team against anybody’s,” boasts Roberts. “There are maybe only one or two other teams in the world that even come close.” Originally opened in Manhattan before moving to Los Angeles in the early ’80s, Spotlight shines as one of the truly great establishments on either coast if you’re looking for traditional American color work.
Eat: Marino Restaurant, 6001 Melrose Ave., 323-466-8812; This intimate family restaurant feels like a little piece of New York right on Melrose. Expect to find well-executed traditional Italian fare, and be sure to save room for il dolce— rumor has it their tiramisu is the best in the city.
Drink: Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce, 5574 Melrose Ave., 323-465-4242. Sit back and enjoy the show at this retro burlesque lounge. Just make sure to call ahead and make reservations first; a small space, live jazz band, and hot, hot performers translates to a packed house.
Spend: Amoeba Records, 6400 Sunset Blvd., 323-245-6400. Round up your record collection and see what cool, new import you can swap it for at Amoeba. They boast the largest collection of used records in the world and also stock a wide selection of new and used DVD and CDs.