No Smoking!, Los Angeles
In case you didn't know, you cannot smoke indoors in any public place anywhere in California and thank god. It's not much of an issue in LA, because most bars and restaurants have outdoor smoking areas or patios for dining and drinking cause of the warm weather. The upside for you smokers is that the smoking areas are pretty much a nice place to meet folks and chit chat over a cigarette. It's very social.
Smoking is not allowed in most public buildings, including restaurants. A lot of restaurants have outdoor seating areas, and some of those accommodate smokers. The minimum age for buying alcohol is 21. Proof of age is often required. Liquor may not be purchased, served or consumed in public establishments between 2 am and 6 am.
Not really cultural tips, more legal tips: There are rules not enforced in other states or countries, but are strictly enforced in L.A.. Have an idea of these rules. Some of them are: Seatbelt law (all drivers and passengers must use their seatbelts), No Smoking in buildings and restaurant, respect pedestrians crossing while driving (unlike New York drivers - - sad but true), watch out for Speed Limits (trust me, the cops do hide well). No use of 'illegal' drugs (sorry, this isn't Amsterdam). There is a legal age for drinking (it's 21). In short, be responsible while having fun in L.A. and anywhere for that matter.
Smokers and Europeans:
- As smoking indoor in restaurants is not allowed, find yourself a place on the terras. Being polite as a smoker and paying attention to the rules is highly appreciated by the Californians.
- Europeans, beware: when in a bar, restaurant or alike, it is forbidden to take beer or other alcoholic beverages outside. When holding an opened alcoholic drink, you must remain on the premises of the bar in which you are.