Gateway to the west: Union Station & Tara Thomas

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There are so many things you learn about a city in a short span of time. Los Angeles is a place where the glamor of Hollywood, the somewhat pretense of sophistication, and the warm California sun all meld into the “City of Dreams." But hidden under that persona, under the shadow of the greatest film industry, is a city that exudes vibrance and persistent splendor for more reasons than glitzy lights.

I remember the first time I walked into Union Station. A friend and I were in Old Town Pasadena and took the Gold Line back downtown. After walking up the stairs of what appeared to be a regular subway station, I walked into a hallway where – for a second – I felt as if I had stepped into the '30s. The arches, floors, ceilings and tiles grabbed my attention. I instantly knew I wanted to explore this place.

Tara Thomas is a restauranteur and has been one for over 20 years. She is a native Angeleno and a key figure at Union Station. Her restaurant TRAXX is one of the best in the city and was established in the station in 1997. She seemed like the kind of person who might know the ins and outs of this architectural wonder – and she did.

Listen to Tara and I on our tour of Union Station, celebrating its 75th anniversary in our own way.

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