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Short Stories is a hotel and restaurant on Fairfax Avenue deserving of its long history and impeccable location

The lobby and entry to the pool area. Photos here and throughout by Stefan Merriwether.

After a decade working with some of the most lauded names in hospitality in Los Angeles — including SBE, Sydell Group and Kor Group — interior designer Kevin Klein has completed his first solo project, the recently opened Short Stories Hotel and Restaurant on Fairfax. Located just across the street from The Grove, it combines bright, well-designed rooms with a beautiful restaurant and an inviting courtyard. 

Formerly The Farmer’s Daughter, the space was developed in partnership with Leo Grifka of The Grifka Group, the team behind Palihotel Culver City and breezy French bistro, Simonette. 

Welcome to Short Stories. Photo by Stefan Merriwether

Formerly, The Farmer’s Daughter, the exterior has been whitewashed; its interior has also undergone complete overhaul, lightened and brightened to reflect its Southern California location. “We completely reimagined the entire property,” says Klein. The new name is a play on the history of the neighborhood—many of the screenwriters under contract for the studios had their offices in this area—the small stature of the main buildings and the limited duration of hotel stays. 

Despite the tight timeline, Klein managed to hit all the the right beats. “From project conception to the time we opened the doors was almost exactly one year,” says Klein. “We wanted to create a space that was light and airy, sophisticated but not too serious, and also sexy with a vibe to it,” he says. 

The well-choreographed rooms belie their slender footprint; though just under 300 square feet, they feel expansive. “Leo was adamant that they needed to have functional workspaces,” Klein recalls. With that directive, each room combines a comfortable sofa with a table that doubles as a desk. A plethora of beautiful textures and thoughtful details—from crisp white bedding, terrycloth robes and parquet floors, to marble-topped tables, boucle ottomans, Tufa wall mirrors, brass accents, and black and white spotted terrazzo flooring in the bathroom, poured on-site—wash these rooms with a hint of luxury. “In the north building, the bathroom’s vanity and sink was visible from the seating area,” says Klein, who is fastidious in his attention to details. To hide the view, he designed a curved closet, washed in the hotel’s signature blue, that provides a sculptural solution.

A room in the South Building. Barn doors separate the bathroom and closet from the main room. Photo by Stefan Merriwether
“Leo was adamant that the rooms needed to have functional workspaces,” says Klein. Photo by Stefan Merriwether

With the help of Rolling Greens, Klein turned a barren asphalt parking lot into a leafy courtyard. Under a canopy of three perfectly matched trees, hung with Contardi fixtures from Italy, checkerboard marble floors, white banquettes, wicker chairs, bubbling fountains create a surprisingly quiet oasis in which to enjoy Ricardo Zarate’s Spanish and Latin American-influenced cuisine. “I wish people could see the old courtyard,” Klein says. “It was a big transformation.” 

It’s current incarnation is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. 

The inviting dining patio. Sunday brunches often include live music. Photo by Stefan Merriwether
Inside Short Stories restaurant. Photo by Stefan Merriwether