L.A. Weekly Best of L.A. 2017 – Best Podcast About L.A. History
Los Angeles Magazine’s Best of L.A. – Best True-Crime Tours – “Esotouric [has] built an empire on exposing L.A.’s grim underbelly with twisted joie de vivre and nerdy zeal…. The four-hour outings fly by, leaving you with a dozen open Wiki tabs and a thirst for more armchair sleuthing.”
“For the bookish fan of the macabre.” – The New York Times… “Brilliantly dark.” – Vice… “The city’s most interesting bus tour. This city has a lot of bus tours. So this is saying something.” – Los Angeles Magazine
“The closest thing to a day with the late great Huell Howser that California travel buffs will ever have.” – Pasadena Weekly
“One ride on the Esotouric bus reveals an L.A. you didn’t know existed… witty and intellectually stimulating… Over four hours on Saturday, L.A. came alive like a 1940s noir movie…. I will never view the place of my birth the same way again.” – Bill Johnson, L.A. Register
“You can learn a lot from Kim Cooper and Richard Schave.” – LAist
“100 Things Every Angeleno Should Do At Least Once.” – Los Angeles Magazine
“Coolest First Date Spots in Los Angeles ” – Complex City Guide
“[Esotouric] has turned tawdry L.A. stories into its very own brand.” – L.A. Times
“Esotouric might be the coolest bus tour company out there. ” – Time Out Los Angeles
“The kings of oddball motorcoach outings.” –The Rundown / “Best Way to Stroke L.A.’s Underbelly “ – Frontiers
“They should be the official greeters for all new arrivals to the city; you need people like this to get newcomers acclimated to L.A.’s rich history, real and imagined.” –Barry Grey, Movie Places in L.A. blog
“A perfect guide to the world of Bukowski, Cain, Chandler, and Fante, [Richard] Schave is a native Angeleno. He eats, sleeps, drinks, and thinks like a character in a noir film circa 1945, or perhaps more like a noir director, say Billy Wilder.” –BOOM Magazine
“Discover LA’s lurid and fascinating underbelly on these hip, offbeat, insightful and entertaining tours.” – Lonely Planet
“The polar opposite of those double-decker tourist traps that schlep rubes past Tom Cruise’s house and the Hollywood sign.” – Girls Gone Wild Magazine
“A wonderfully varied menu of some of the most offbeat and well-researched tours in Los Angeles.” – San Francisco Chronicle
“A brilliant idea, appropriate to a city saturated with cultural and seedy social history.” – Spike Magazine (U.K)
“If you’re looking to recapture the Los Angeles of the 1930s and ’40s, Esotouric has you covered.” – Antelope Valley Press
“One of those things that makes me love L.A.” – So. California Travel Examiner
The most fascinating bus tours in Los Angeles… one of our favorite tour companies nationwide. – USA Travel Guide
Since 2007, Esotouric has built a reputation for the most in-depth crime, literature, architecture and social history tours in the Southland, with feature stories in The Los Angeles Times, Pasadena Weekly (cover story), L.A Alternative Press (cover story), Globe Trekker, G4-TV, CourtTV.com, BBC News, Pasadena Star-News, KNX News Radio, International Herald-Tribune, Toronto Star, Christian Science Monitor and two “best of LA” nods from Los Angeles Magazine, Best Downtown Tours from the editors of The Downtown News and “best of the weekend” from LA Daily News.
A passenger raves: “This was one of the most wonderful events I have ever experienced in Los Angeles. I cannot say enough about the level of understanding of history, the deep respect and passion these folks have about all the wonderful facets of Los Angeles. I want to take more tours with Esotouric because my feeling about Los Angeles just went up a hundred percent — what a rich city with interesting stories and people and intrigues — the literary component of the John Fante tour was inspired and engaging. I think everyone who comes to LA should go on a tour to get a foundation of understanding of neighborhoods, how they sprang up, and the politics behind the city. Amazing and I am super excited to go on another one with Esotouric!!!” – Samantha Weaver, passenger on “John Fante’s Dreams from Bunker Hill”
Los Angeles Magazine: Enjoy the Most Eccentric Tour of the City – From literary hot spots to scenes of the crimes, this one is not for the average tourist!
Los Angeles Magazine 2017 Best of L.A. issue – Best True-Crime Tours
Fodor’s rates The Real Black Dahlia one of the 10 Creepiest True Crime Tours in America.
EYE ON L.A. Best ways to celebrate Halloween in SoCal.
Los Angeles Times feature on our special event tour with Detective Mike Digby about the 1910 bombing of the newspaper.
Fodor’s: David Smay shares insights gleaned from watching Downtown Los Angeles gentrify over ten years of Tom Waits bus tours.
Kim Cooper talks with KPCC’s Take Two about the Black Dahlia murder on the 70th anniversary.
Vice Munchies digs our Blood & Dumplings crime bus tour.
Hooray for Hollywood! A Day with Esotouric – Retrolandia
LA’s Most Notorious Crimes with Kim Cooper – Citizine interview.
The Lady Novelist meets the Black Dahlia, finds it a refreshingly respectful ride.
Our dark Downtown crime tours are featured in the Lonely Planet guide to quirky LA.
“At Last, an L.A. Tour Company For the Morbidly Curious.” – Travel + Leisure digs our atypical excursions.
Esotouric’s Kim Cooper & Richard Schave talk with the 99% Invisible podcast about the magical Bradbury Building.
Emma E. Kemp gets under the hood of David Smay’s Tom Waits bus tour.
L.A. Morgue Files digs the Wild Wild Westside tour.
Pasadena Weekly says our Route 66 tour is “the closest thing to a day with the late great Huell Howser that California travel buffs will ever have.”
BOOM Magazine writes of literary shrines, and calls our Richard Schave “a perfect guide to the world of Bukowski, Cain, Chandler, and Fante.”
On our Raymond Chandler bus for L.A. Review of Books, Tyler Dilts is “struck by how thoroughly and effectively the tour has deconstructed Chandler the writer and replaced him with Chandler the man.”
A. Wolfe says our Pasadena Confidential tour is “a full-immersion campfire story.”
Esotouric’s Kim Cooper discovers a lost comic operetta by Raymond Chandler, gives TheGuardian the scoop.
Michelle Mills gets her kicks talking about our Route 66 bus adventure.
Bill Johnson of the Los Angeles Register is “more than a little blown away” by our Raymond Chandler tour.
Esotouric’s Kim Cooper and Richard Schave shared some L.A. lore on the Delta Bravo video podcast.
Reed College alums dig us: “Esotouric changed my life. Its tours are museums on wheels. Owners Kim Cooper and Richard Schave are art historians, archivists, writers, and information detectives. Their brains are encyclopedias; they know everything about Los Angeles, much of it arcane, all of it fascinating. They are serious about their subjects (crime, noir, art, architecture, city planning), but present it with flair, style, and humor.”
Complex City Guide calls Esotouric one of L.A.’s coolest first date spots.
At Maximum Fun, Colin Marshall tunes in to our podcast, and finds that “for seemingly every square mile in and just beyond greater Los Angeles, no matter how marginal, they know a story uniting the historical, political, social, and architectural layers that lay sometimes above but mostly beneath it.”
Which Way, LA?’s Lisa Napoli rides along on our Skid Row history bus.
Kate Linthicum of the Los Angeles Times rides our Boyle Heights & San Gabriel Valley cultural melting pots tour.
Carlton Davis recommends our Raymond Chandler bus “If you love LA, or are just interested by this shining, colorful, full of sin city.”
PureWow notes “Podcasts make traffic jams fun” and singles our weekly show out for praise.
Richard Schave’s free Broadway walking tours for LAVA are featured in Mike Sonksen’s KCET Departures report, “Punk Rock, Poetry, and Public Policy.”
Silver Birch press gives our Bukowski bus a most auspicious rating.
The Jewish Journal calls us “Docents of downtown’s dark side.”
Our Richard Schave talks about Grand Central Market on KCRW’s Which Way, LA? (section starts 11:27).
Barb Cabot rides our Raymond Chandler bus.
Gillian Jacobs of Community recalls a ride on our bus on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast.
The 2013 edition of our once-a-year Tom Waits tour is L.A. Weekly’s Go >> L.A. pick of the week.
CNN previews Cecil Hotel death lore from our Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice tour.
Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice tour creator Kim Cooper talks about the Cecil Hotel’s grim history on CBC Canada (link), on CNN (link),on NBC4 (link), on KNX (link),in The Sun (link) and in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (link).
Los Angeles Magazine says “History buffs, sync up your iPods” as our podcast debuts.
Los Angeles Magazine digs our year-end historic preservation list.
Toni P thinks Esotouric offers “the most exciting guided themed events in Los Angeles.”
Sarah Spitz says “there’s one couple dedicated to a deeper appreciation of Los Angeles, its social history, crimes, literature, architecture and more.”
Michelle J. Mills discovers how morbid laziness inspires the Blood & Dumplings crime bus tour.
Leonie Cooper of The Guardian got an emotional weather report on the once-a-year Tom Waits bus adventure.
Alissa Walker (KCET’s The Nosh) soaked up the atmosphere at the LAVA Salon at Musso & Frank.
Gary Singh digs the LAVA Salon at Musso & Frank.
“The sold-out [LAVA Salon at Musso & Frank] crowd spoke to our hunger for a Southern California literary history.” – Larry Wilson, Pasadena Star-News
Ashedit rides The Birth of Noir bus.
L.A. Weekly asks Is Musso & Frank the True Crossroads of Hollywood and Literature? Richard Schave Wants to Find Out.
NBC takes note of the 65th anniversary Real Black Dahlia tour.
Sanden Totten from KPCC’s Madeleine Brand show tags along on the Pasadena Confidential tour (video feature).
CNN recommends our literary tours as an alternative the usual Hollywood excursions.
Barb Cabot loved the Birth of Noir tour.
Creepy LA gives Esotouric two enthusiastic gangrened thumbs up (their highest honor).
LA Weekly interviews Charles Bukowski tour host Richard Schave to compile a list of L.A. sites that were important to the writer.
Flavorpill calls the Charles Bukowski tour a “City Gem” and “a poetic journey full of rare insight into the life of a man who’s come to represent the ghettoized contingency of the City of Angels.”
Slake wonders if the Charles Bukowski tour is “‘Fawlty Towers’ on wheels.”
Tripified “is dying to take” Crimebo’s Pasadena Confidential tour.
Barry Gray is “in heaven” on the Raymond Chandler tour.
Hollywood Patch covers the Raymond Chandler tour.
Venice Magazine gets a handle on our downtown crime and social history tours.
Spike Magazine digs our literary tours.
San Francisco says our occasional Tom Waits bus adventure is “worth the drive.”
Dave’s Travel Corner climbs aboard the Weird West Adams tour.
The Daily Beast’s Sean Macaulay takes a ride on James M. Cain’s nightmare express.
Novelist Anna Stothard explores the hidden gems of Los Angeles for the London Guardian, including our Bukowski tour.
The Idea Generator rode the Blood & Dumplings bus.
Annenberg News Radio covers our Charles Bukowski tour in a video/slideshow.
Curating L.A. takes our East Side Babylon tour.
Pasadena Weekly picks Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice to click.
Daily Mail: My search for the La-La land of Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep
Whole Life Times: Maja D’Aoust’s Spiritual Day Trippin’
Meet Crimebo the Clown: “Crime-Loving Clown Shows Off LA’s Top Murder Spots”
LA Weekly rides the Tom Waits bus.
Allon Schoener explores The Lowdown on Downtown.
Travelin’ Local on the blog-ish birth of Esotouric.
Noela Hueso of Pasadena Weekly gets up close and personal with Crimebo on Pasadena Confidential.
Chinashop rides The Real Black Dahlia.
Hipster Travel Guide: Walking in a dead woman’s heels (The Real Black Dahlia).
Toronto Star: “Dorothy Parker once described Los Angeles as 72 suburbs in search of a city. Thanks to Schave and his friends that may finally be changing.”
USA Travel Guide: Murder, greed, lust, gangs, ghosts, backhanded deals, cover-ups, Chinese food – whether it’s LA lore or certifiable fact, Esotouric tours have the skinny that only years of research could realize.”
Travel & Leisure blog: L.A.’s Dirty Secrets Found on Bus: “You can have your Homes of the Stars tours, but you’ll find me on another bus, looking for vestiges of a less-documented city where grifters, platinum blonde widows, lonesome detectives, and career girls once trod.”
Marco Mannone on the Charles Bukowski bus: “Four hours after we departed, the tour drops us back off at Philippe’s. This is a terrible way to simplify the tour, filled with so much wit and insight into not only Bukowski, but lost parts of Los Angeles.”
Girls Gone Wild took the Charles Bukowski bus.
Gary Singh rode the John Fante tour.
Jason Burgess says “Esotouric re-introduce LA in a way most bus tours fear to lay their tread.”
Mary McGrath rides the South LA architecture tour .
AP feature: Tour keeps spirit of author Raymond Chandler’s L.A. alive.
PopMatters: Mikita Brottman on the Special Bus.
Who Walk In Brooklyn interviews Kim Cooper.
Palisadian-Post feature on Raymond Chandler’s Bay City.
The U.K. Guardian reveals LA’s top 10 cult locations, Esotouric-style.
Zach Mroczkowski rides the Bukowski bus.
John Flinn of the S.F. Chronicle rides the Rock History Tour.
52PerfectDays rides the Rock History Tour.
Daily 49er: In search of the ultimate barfly, Charles Bukowski.
Terence Lyons of the Santa Monica Mirror on Raymond Chandler’s Bay City.
Michelle Mills on Pasadena Confidential: Sinister past emerges in an unsolved mystery tour.
DaBelly rides along on the Blood & Dumplings San Gabriel Valley crime bus tour.
National Post (Canada): More than just mystery, murder and mayhem lie on the seamier side of L.A. history.
Downtown News feature “The Unordinary Tour Company: Esotouric’s Smart, Dark and Funny Excursions Into Lost Downtown”.
Frank Stoltze’s KPCC radio feature on Weird West Adams.
Worldhum interview “Touring Literary Los Angeles: City of Chandler, Bukowski and Fante”.
L.A. Times feature on the John Fante tour: “Author’s bygone L.A. comes to life for fans on walking tour.”
BBC 5 Pods & Blogs radio interview on The Real Black Dahlia tour.
The Christian Science Monitor rides along on the Raymond Chandler tour.
AP feature: Crime tours take passengers through LA’s criminal past.
Pasadena Weekly: Killer Ride (cover story).
L.A. Times: Perfect Year for a Slay Ride.
L.A. Times – Steve Harvey’s Only In L.A.: Past Horrors Await Bus Tour, Provided Today’s Don’t Intervene.
Copley News Service: Wheels of misfortune, Bus tours Dahlia haunts.
Here are some recent comments from Esotouric passengers:
“The West Adams Crime Tour was an edifying and energizing odyssey through local Angeleno history, one of the best tours that I have ever experienced anywhere.” (Maurice Kane) – “Just wanted to once again compliment you (and your crew) on yet another wonderful, interesting, thought-provoking, exciting and entertaining tour! Today’s Magical Excursion showed me parts of L.A. that’s I never knew existed, expanded my horizons and opened my mind to exciting new people and experiences…. some of which I plan to revisit on my own. Thank you for the hard work and attention to every detail that makes your tours a fun and unforgettable experience.” (Holly Witham) – “Your tour was wonderful!!! I learned more about my home town last Saturday that I ever expected to know. Richard Schave is not only exceedingly knowledgeable, but has the grace and ability to make each guest feel special and recognized. Everyone associated with this tour became perfect hosts for our group. I appreciate the work you are doing for our downtown and am quite grateful. Thank you for one terrific job!” (Joie Magidow, StarLine Tours of Hollywood guide c. 1979) – “What an interesting way to see the city.” (Jennifer Smith) – “Thoroughly enjoyed the Pasadena tour. It was really fun, thought-provoking and interesting.” (Sheryl Smith) – “We had a great time and are looking forward to more Crime Bus Tours as they become available.” (Jill Black) – “Folks like you make this city great.” (Randy Lakeman).