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Esotouric: Los Angeles’ Less Sunny — But Ever More Interesting — Side

Last Updated on August 9, 2023

Exterior of the Rock Store, a biker bar in Cornell, California.
The Rock Store’s history dates back to the time of Cecil B. DeMille, who frequented the establishment when it was a hot springs resort.

There are days I want to skip town and never look back. And then there are days that remind me why my planned three-year stint in Los Angeles has lapsed into just over a decade. The pure seediness and myriad just-below-the-surface stories and neighborhoods that I continue to uncover keep me from hightailing it to an even warmer clime like Hawaii. And now, as if they’d done it just for me, someone’s made a tour that showcases all the best of LA’s worst.

Esotouric doesn’t cater to the shiny, smiling out-of-towner hoping for a real-life glimpse of a celeb teen tragedy. Instead, this only-in-LA tour company takes passengers through the various underbellies of the city’s many-storied past. The new Blood & Dumplings tour careens past notorious crime scenes and the hideouts of various ne’er-do-wells like neo-Nazis and murderous lesbians — all topped off with a tasty bite from Alhambra’s 101 Noodle Express, one of Jonathan Gold‘s 99 sanctioned area joints (with vegetarian options for yours truly). Where the Action Was gets hip to the once-happening rock landmarks, including Rodney Bingenheimer’s now-defunct boite. They even cover my beloved Route 66.

Who wants to tag along?


  1. I do, I do! (as soon as I recover from this nasty cold)

  2. OH my GOSH!!! I totally found this website like a month ago and have been telling Eric about it! I want to go sooooooooooo badly!!!! I REALLY want to go on the Black Dahlia tour where you get to eat Black Dahlia ice cream!!!! SO AWESOME!! Or the Charles Bukowski tour where you get to drink in a bar he once frequented!! We are all over it if you go!

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