Photography by Trevor Smith

Katherine Tsina Bird & Andrew Bird

Designer and Singer-Songwriter

| Los Feliz

When we ask Andrew Bird to name LA’s best-kept secret, his response is nearly immediate, “The guitar and record store, Old Style Guitar Shop— it’s a hub for musicians.” Funnily enough, the same could be said of the soulful singer-songwriter’s own home, a Los Feliz hacienda he shares with his wife, Katherine Tsina, and their son, Sam, and the site of his “Great Room” series: a streaming video series in which Bird invites interesting musicians to jam with him in his living room (think guest appearances by everyone from Fiona Apple to actor/musician/comedian John C. Reilly). Walk into the very next room and the couple’s home doubles as a creative space for Tsina Bird too: the classical-dancer-turned-fashion-designer has a working studio outfitted with clothing and tiny treasures from her nearby Atwater Village boutique, Avion Clothier. Named after her men’s and women’s label, the shop showcases her made-in-New-York collection of elevated basics including oxford shirts, tunics and tennis dresses; as well as special pieces by other discerning brands like Makie children’s wear and Eshelman Pottery ceramics (Tsina Bird is a wonderful champion of quality design in all aspects). Indeed, between the duo’s idyllic California lifestyle and their shared calming demeanor– both Bird and Tsina Bird radiate a quiet, albeit poignant nobility– it’s hard to believe that the former New York City couple only recently began calling California, “home.” Here, they sit down with CITIPHILE to reveal their little black books on LA.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: KTB: Pine and Crane in Silverlake (MAP IT, x) with my son for dumplings.
AB: Dune in Atwater (MAP IT, x) for avocado toast with boquerones.

COFFEE OR TEA: Coffee from Proof Bakery (MAP IT, x)— it’s great for meetings with a friend or for work.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Petit Trois (MAP IT, x)— if it’s on the menu, get the dover sole with rice pilaf. Also, A.O.C.’s (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) garden [is lovely] if we are in that area.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: KTB: Natural wines. Lou Wine Shop (MAP IT, x) hosts great tastings in the evenings.
AB: Beer from Eagle Rock Brewery (MAP IT, x).

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: We just went to Kismet (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) with our friends and it seems like a good place to go early for dinner and drinks; it was delicious.

DINNER WITH FRIENDS: We really like to shop the farmer’s market, pick up meat from McCall’s Butcher (MAP IT, x) and wine at Lou Wine Shop, then cook a big meal at home for friends.

WHERE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS: Little Dom’s (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for breakfast, Griffith Park (x) and Trails Café (MAP IT, x) were the first places we frequented when we moved to LA because each made us feel at home. Also, the farmer’s markets are fun to explore over the weekend.

MUSIC PICK: We don’t have a favorite kind of music; but, our friend, Flannigan’s place, Largo at the Coronet (MAP ITx), has a good mix of comedy and music (the pre-show dj is great too). Every night, the show is different because of it’s special guests.

MUSIC IN LA: AB: Having so many great musicians near by or passing through, it’s inspired collaboration. I didn’t move here for the “scene,”  but that’s been an unexpected perk.

BEST BRUNCH: Sqirl (MAP IT, x) for breakfast or brunch (but, you have to go early if you don’t want to wait in line).

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel (MAP IT, BOOK ITx).

HEALTHY STAPLE: KTB: I really like Honey Hi (MAP IT, x) which recently opened in Echo Park. It has delicious, healthy rice bowls and matcha with coconut milk.
AB: Forage (MAP IT, x) for salmon and market salad sides.

GUILTY PLEASURE: Ice cream— from Jeni’s (MAP IT, x) or Scoops (MAP IT, x).

LA’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: KTB: For all NY transplants, you don’t need to drive on the freeway, you can take surface streets if you’re patient…
AB: Old Style Guitar Shop (MAP IT, x)— it’s a guitar shop and record store that’s a hub for musicians. Also, DTLA has a lot of places you can stumble upon that surprise you (like beautiful old theaters).

FIRST THING WE MISS WHEN WE’RE AWAY: The sunshine and our home.

REGULAR AT: Cookbook in Echo Park (MAP IT, x)— we go almost every day. It’s a lovely, small, green grocer with prepared foods and fresh farmer’s market produce. We like to shop and cook every day. Try the Mast Brothers frozen cookie dough and their popsicles in the summer!

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: The bar at Little Dom’s for a drink and a small dinner, then a nice walk home.

DELIVERY GO-TO: Café Gratitude (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) for the vegetarian bowls and juices.

TO GET INSPIRED: KTB: I’m still exploring all the galleries and museums here.
AB: The trails of Griffith Park by mountain bike.

TO ESCAPE AND UNWIND: Malibu Zuma Beach (MAP IT, x).

GO-TO GETAWAY: Inverness— we like to stay at Manka’s (MAP IT, x) for a sleepy getaway to rest, read, hike and have some quiet time to work.

CLOSET CHECK: KTB: Our styles are classic with subtle details; we both seem to gravitate toward good tailoring and quality fabric. I make most of Andrew’s shirts and my own daily uniform clothing at my store, Avion Clothier (MAP IT, x), but I also like Scout (MAP IT, x) for interesting vintage things. We both like to shop at Barneys (MAP IT, x) for some special pieces if we are over in that area, but we tend to have have more time to explore and shop when we are traveling (which is pretty often!). 

BEST HOME DÉCOR: Our home is mid-century with clean lines and some sculptural details. For home accents, Garde on Beverly (MAP IT, x) is great. Also, we just bought a beautiful sculptural lamp from artist Carmen D’Apollonio.

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: Nickey Kehoe (MAP IT, x) and Heath Ceramics (MAP IT, x).

GIFTS FOR HIM: KTB: Alias Books in Atwater Village (MAP IT, x) for first editions and art books.

GIFTS FOR HER: AB: Chariots on Fire (MAP IT, x).

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: KTB: I wish I could make more time for this stuff; if I’m lucky, I’ll go to Raven Spa in Silverlake (MAP IT, x) for a massage with Chai.

FIT PICK: KTB: Pilates and gyrotonics training at Pilates Metro in Atwater Village (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) with Alison or Phithsamay.
AB: Hiking and mountain biking in Griffith Park.

ULTIMATE LA MOMENT: KTB: My first dress collection I made [when I was] just out of school was bought by a store here in LA. The order was only for six dresses, but coming right out of Parsons, I barely had enough resources to even make that. For one of the dresses, I ended up just sending the sample and it happened to be bought by a really lovely actress who later decided to wear it to the Venice Film Festival. She got photographed in it and made the “Best Dressed” lists which then helped me land some new retailers. It was total luck for a new designer and it could only have happened here in LA. I always felt very grateful to LA for that.
AB: Probably the Great Room streaming series I’m hosting in my living room when I am not on tour. It’s great having great musicians (who live here or are passing through) come over and play music with me. It feels like something that could only happen here. CP

Katherine & Andrew’s LA

From L to R: First Row: Rice Bowl from Honey Hi; Oxford Shirt from Avion Clothier; Coffee from Proof; Cafe Gratitude. Second Row: Zuma Beach; Ice Cream from Jeni’s; Heath Ceramics; Dover Sole from Petit Trois.


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