Northwest Los Angeles is a region of the city that roughly comprises the neighborhoods of East Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silverlake, Echo Park, Elysian Park and Westlake/MacArthur Park, as well as the spacious Griffith Park.
For the last several decades these areas have been occupied mostly by low-income Hispanic families. Many areas had fallen into disrepair, but over the last few years skyrocketing rents and the increasing cost of living has pushed a younger population further and further east and towards Downtown. Area neighborhoods are changing rapidly, and rents are increasing to reflect this. Hip new restaurants and shopping boutiques open regularly as the property owners renovate and raise rents, pushing the immigrant communities further east and south.
The area is roughly bounded by an inverted triangle created by the 101 freeway to the west, the 5 freeway to the east, and Griffith Park to the north, and both freeways have multiple exits into the area. The 2 freeway begins/ends in Northwest Los Angeles. Major streets that serve the area include Vermont Avenue and Sunset Boulevard.
The Metro Red Line passes through East Hollywood, with stops at Hollywood & Western, Vermont & Sunset, and Vermont & Santa Monica. Further north on the line will take you through Hollywood and terminating in the North Hollywood Arts District. Further south will take you into Koreatown and eventually Downtown LA, terminating at Union Station. Both the Red and Purple Lines stop at Westlake/McArthur Park station, between Downtown and Koreatown.
Major streets in this region include:
- 3rd Street: Runs east-west between Beverly Hills and Downtown. Served frequently by Metro Lines 16 and 316
- Alvarado Street: Runs north-south between Pico-Union and Elysian Heights. Served frequently by Metro Line 200
- Beverly Boulevard: Runs east-west between West Hollywood and Downtown. Served frequently by Metro Line 14
- Echo Park Avenue: Runs north-south in Echo Park. Served frequently by the Pico Union/Echo Park DASH.
- Los Feliz Boulevard: Runs east-west through Los Feliz and Atwater Village. Served frequently by Lines 180, 181 and Rapid 780.
- Glendale Boulevard: Runs east-west in Echo Park and Silverlake. Served by Line 92.
- Silverlake Boulevard: Runs through Silverlake. Served by Line 201.
- Sunset Boulevard: Runs east-west between West LA and Downtown. Served frequently by Metro Lines 2, 4, 302 (limited) and 704 (rapid)
- Temple Street: Runs east parallel to the 101 freeway in the Rampart District. Served by Metro Line 10
- Wilshire Boulevard: Runs east-west between Santa Monica and Downtown. Served frequently by Metro Lines 20, 720, and the Metro Purple Line
- Angelino Heights. A historic neighborhood between Echo Park and Downtown which contains many Victorian residences that are nationally or locally registered as historic places.
- Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd. A small hill with sweeping views and a Frank Lloyd Wright complex on top serves as an art park for the community.
- Echo Park. A nice lakeside park, recently reopened after a major renovation, with views of the Downtown skyline. There's a major fountain at the center of the lake and paddle boats are available for a ride on the lake. The park is very popular and good for picnics, though often crowded. The surrounding area is a hub for underground/indie culture and houses a number of venues. OK Go fans might recognize the park as the setting for their time-lapse music video for the song End Love (however, the goose from the video has since been relocated to the L.A. Zoo in Griffith Park, listed below).
- MacArthur Park. This park has been famous for a long time, starting with Charlie Chaplin, who made several films at the lake here. In the 90's its reputation was tainted by violence and drug use, but the park has been cleaned up over the last few years, and is once again a decent place to visit. Take a paddle boat out on the small lake or watch one of the ever-present soccer matches.
A large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Feliz, the park covers 4,210 acres of land, making it one of the largest urban parks in North America. It has been referred to as the Central Park of Los Angeles, but is much larger and with a much more untamed, rugged character. Griffith is a great place for hikes, picnics or hanging around with friends. The hiking trails lead up to Mulholland Drive, and provide great views of the city. One of the main hiking trails is located on Bronson Avenue; The street ends at the trailhead. Griffith Park has several attractions for kids, most of which are located along Crystal Springs Drive on the eastern side of the park: the L.A. Zoo, the Travel Town Museum, the Autry National Center, train rides, pony rides, a golf course, driving range, horseback riding, a merry-go-round, and a Christmas light display in December (expect traffic).
- Griffith Park Observatory, 2800 E Observatory Ave, ☎ +1 213 473-0800. Tu-F noon-10PM, Sa-Su 10AM-10PM, closed M. A popular tourist attraction which appeared in Rebel Without a Cause and many other movies and features an extensive array of space- and science-related displays. The outside offers a beautiful panorama of the city of Los Angeles, which is especially stunning at night, as well as some of the best views of the Hollywood Sign. The planetarium shows are entertaining, with a live narrator. Admission to grounds and building is free; planetarium shows $7 adults, $5 seniors/students, $3 children.
- Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, ☎ +1 323 667-2000. Tu-F 10AM-4PM, Sa-Su 10AM-5PM. A combination art/history museum, with continuing and changing exhibitions of art from the American West, a major collection of Native American art, and historical artifacts of the West, including a permanent firearms gallery. $10 adults, $6 seniors/students, $4 children, free for active military personnel, veterans, peace officers and park rangers..
- Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, 5333 Zoo Dr, ☎ +1 323 644-4200. Daily 10AM-5PM. A classic zoo at the northern end of Griffith Park. Popular exhibits include a chimpanzee complex, a gorilla area, a large elephant complex, a newly built rainforest exhibit, a reptile house, and a children's zoo. There's also a few animal shows, including a bird show, elephant training, and a rhino feeding; check the website for times. $19 adults/teens, $16 seniors, $14 children, children under 2 free.
- Travel Town Museum, 5200 Zoo Dr, ☎ +1 323 662-4253. M-F 10AM-4PM, Sa-Su 10AM-5PM (open until 6PM on summer weekends). A free exhibition of historic trains from Southern California, including locomotives, cabooses, passenger cars, and streetcars, as well as model trains and an exhibit hall with old automobiles. Trains rides for children on a miniature railroad are also available Free; train rides $2.75.
- Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum, 5202 Zoo Dr, ☎ +1 323 662-8030. Sundays only, 11AM-3PM. Run by a local group of railroad enthusiasts, this museum is essentially a large scale model railroad, with miniature train rides for children and a few historic train cars. Most notable among the historic exhibits is the actual workshop owned by Walt Disney that he used to make his backyard model railroad (only open on the third Sunday of each month, when volunteers from a local historical society are available). Free, donations accepted.
- Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave, ☎ +1 323 224-1507. Who wouldn't want to grab a Dodger Dog and enjoy watching a game of baseball? This venerable stadium, in the hills north of Downtown near Echo Park, opened in 1962 and is home to Major League Baseball's 6 time world champion Los Angeles Dodgers. For $35 you can get all-you-can-eat hot dogs, sodas, and nachos at the Right Field Pavilion. Behind-the-scenes tours of the ballpark are available at 10AM and 11:30AM on days when there isn't an afternoon Dodgers game. Ballpark tours $15 adults, $10 seniors/children/military.
- El Cid Theatre, 4212 W Sunset Blvd. Built around turn of the century and, after several reincarnations, offers one of the only dinner theater options left in Los Angeles. The menu is heavily Spanish and the shows differ depending on the night and range from flamenco performances to tongue-in-cheek burlesque.
- Greek Theatre, 2700 North Vermont Ave. An outdoor amphitheater, opened in 1930 and so named because the stage is modeled after a Greek temple, set in Griffith Park and regularly used for concerts. Parking can be a problem as it is on a hill in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
- LA Derby Dolls, 1910 Temple St. LA has revived a sport that peaked in the 1970s, and tickets to roller derby matches can be purchased by those 21 and over. The sport is probably best summarized with a quote from the Derby Doll's own site: "Quad Skates. Short Skirts. Scars." $15.
- Silver Lake Reservoir. A scenic lake encircled by a nice walking and jogging path. Just over 2 miles long, it offers a beautiful way to get outdoors.
- Vista Theatre, 4473 Sunset Dr, ☎ +1 323 660-6639. An LA landmark large cinema with one screen, typically screening popular films.
- Los Feliz Village. A hip and trendy strip of N Vermont Ave, with shops such as X-Large, Weltenbuerger, and Squaresville.
- Sunset Junction (in Silverlake, roughly Sunset Blvd and Santa Monica Blvd). Has long been known for cheap furniture and antique shops, and now is home to several trendy clothing stores and some good restaurants and cafés. It's also the center of a summertime street fair of the same name known for its indie rock shows.
- The Time Travel Store, 1714 Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1-213-413-3388, e-mail: TIMETRAVELMART@826LA.ORG. Th-Su noon-6PM. Apparel, supplies, and sundries for the discriminating time traveler. You got your canned Mammoth Chunks, your robot repair parts, and the ever-popular Viking Odorant. (All proceeds from sales go towards the shop's real reason for being: the 826LA writing workshop program for school-age students.) There's another location in Mar Vista.
In East Hollywood you can find countless "pupuserias". These thick, hand-made corn tortillas come with quesillo (Salvadorean cheese), pork, chicken, rice, beans, or "queso con loroco" (cheese and vine flower bud). Just look for signs that say "pupuserias." They usually run around $1.50-2 a pupusa. A very delicious food.
East Hollywood's Little Armenia district has a few excellent cheap food options. Falafel Arax at 5101 Santa Monica Blvd has excellent Falafel and Shawerma. Sassoun Bakery, at 5114 Santa Monica has great Lahmejun (Armenia pizza), boregs, zahtar (thyme) and tahini breads. Zankou Chicken at 5065 W Sunset Blvd has popular rotiserrie chicken with great garlic sauce. Carousel at 5112 Hollywood Blvd has an amazing mezze (appetizer) selection, and great food.
- Falafel Arax, 5101 Santa Monica Blvd, ☎ +1 323 663-9687. Tu-Sa 10AM-8PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Hole in the wall with what many consider the best falafel and best shawerma sandwiches in Los Angeles. An institution among Armenians. $8.
- Sassoun Bakery, 5114 Santa Monica Blvd. 7:30AM-6:30PM daily. Incredibly good Lahmejun (a super thin crust Armenian meat pizza - under a dollar), plus great boreg and zahtar bread. Have a tahini bread for dessert. $4.
- Carousel Restaurant, 5112 Hollywood Blvd, ☎ +1 323 660-8060. 11:30AM-8PM, later on Sa, closed M. Truly fantastic Arabic and Armenian food for cheap. The mezzes (appetizers) alone can make an amazing meal. $9.
- Alegria on Sunset, 3510 W Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1 323 913-1422. A fresh and delicious take on Mexican cuisine. Good veggie options and fantastic moles.
- El Chavo Restaurant, 4441 W Sunset Blvd. 4PM-midnight daily. El Chavo Restaurant serves traditional Mexican fare ranging from sweet green corn tamales to the infamous "El Chavo" Butterfly New York Steak. $9-12.
- El Siete Mares Restaurante, 3131 W Sunset Blvd. As the names suggests, a Mexican restaurant specializing in seafood. Great ceviche tostadas. Eat in the restaurant, or outside on a patio next to their take-out stand.
- El Taurino, 2306 W 11th St, ☎ +1 213 738-9197. Utterly delicious and authentic Mexican fast food for those on a budget, and a favorite hangout of the locals. In a lower-income neighborhood on the corner of Olympic & Hoover; a good place to eat if passing near USC. Looks questionable from the outside, but don't let that deceive you; El Taurino is the real deal.
- Fred 62, 1850 N Vermont Ave. This hipster diner features a diverse range of foods from Udon to mac and cheeze balls, with Thai cobb salad and chicken pot pie in between. Their Bearded Frenchy (french toast covered with corn flakes and then deep fried) are a late night/early breakfast favorite for stoners or sweet tooths alike. Most menu items end with $.62.
- House of Pies, 1869 N Vermont Ave, ☎ +1 323 666-9961. Su-Th 6:30AM-1AM, F-Sa 6:30AM-2AM. A diner in the extremely hip Los Feliz/Silverlake district where you're likely to see and be snubbed by the stars of your favorite up-and-coming indie bands. Has a huge selection of delicious pies along with a typical diner menu. Sandwiches and breakfast items are great, too. Anything else can be hit or miss.
- Langer's Deli, 704 S Alvarado St, ☎ +1 213 483-8050. Known citywide for its pastrami sandwiches and other deli delights.
- Mama's Hot Tamales, 2124 W 7th St, ☎ +1 213 487-7474. A good selection of tamales and other Mexican food. Visit their carts along the sidewalks around MacArthur Park on the weekends.
- Nicky D's Wood-fired Pizza, 2764 Rowena Ave, ☎ +1 323 664-3333. A cozy pizza (and pasta) joint with a nice deck out back for warm LA nights.
- Original Tommy's, 2575 Beverly Blvd (at Rampart), ☎ +1 213 389-9060. 24 hours daily. A Los Angeles landmark since 1946, Tommy's is a can't-miss for any hamburger lover. Although they have 30 locations across Souther California, you cannot miss the atmosphere of the 1st Tommy's (especially late at night on weekends). Serving hamburgers, French fries, hot dogs, and tamales with their "secret blend" of chili you will always find a line for food at all hours, especially late night/early mornings.
- Paru's, 5140 W Sunset Blvd (just west of Normandie Ave). M-F 4PM-10PM, Sa-Su 11AM-10PM. Head here for excellent South Indian vegetarian food in a charming garden. Especially wonderful masala dosas.
- Pho Café, 2841 W Sunset Blvd (at Silver Lake Blvd), ☎ +1 213 413-0888. Great for cheap cold or hot Vietnamese noodles in a hip atmosphere. Also try the Vietnamese iced coffees. There's no sign, it's in the middle of a strip mall, a few doors to the left of Rambutan Thai retaurant. $7-10.
- Scoops, 712 N Heliotrope Dr, ☎ +1 323 906-2649. M-Sa noon-10PM, Su 2PM-6PM. There's nothing quite like a giant cone of ice cream on a hot summer's day in LA, and scoops does all your favorite flavors plus some innovative creations like black currant lychee and brown bread!
- Taco Zone Truck, On Alvarado just north of Reservoir (Parked next to the Vons grocery store on the northbound side of Alvarado). One of the best taco trucks on the east side, with delicious tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. Be prepared to wait if there is a crowd, and there usually is, but the homemade salsas alone are well worth it. Opens most evenings around 8-8:30PM.
- Yai, 5757 Hollywood Blvd (at Taft Ave), ☎ +1 323 462-0292. By general learned agreement, the most authentic Thai food in the States can be found at "the Thai restaurant behind the 7-11 on Hollywood Boulevard by the 101." That's how it is known. If you are not from L.A., this can also serve as an introduction to L.A.-style directions. The Pad Thai here is light and perfumed and the curries hot enough to kill. And by authentic, that's exactly what is meant...don't expect any catering to tastes here.
- Elf Cafe, 2135 W Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1 213 484-6829. W-Su 6PM-11PM. Excellent vegetarian food in a teeny and suitably hip setting.
- Figaro, 1802 N Vermont Ave, ☎ +1 323 662-1587. Su-Th 8:30AM-10:30PM, F-Sa 8:30AM-11PM. Simple French food in a pretty cafe setting with outdoor dining as well. Great place to have a drink and watch people walk by.
- Gingergrass, 2396 Glendale Blvd, ☎ +1 323 644-1600. Su-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-11PM. Excellent Vietnamese food with good vegetarian options.
- Malo, 4326 W Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1 323 664-1011. M-Th 11AM-11PM, F 11AM-midnight, Sa 10AM-midnight, Su 10AM-11PM. A very cool bar and restaurant with good Mexican food, best known for its giant selection of tequilas and mojitos. Valet parking.
- Palermo, 1858 N Vermont Ave, ☎ +1 323 663-1178. W-Th,Su 11AM-midnight, F-Sa 11AM-1AM, M-Tu closed. Popular "old school" Italian restaurant in Los Feliz Village, next to Fred 62. Best known for its pizza.
- Rambutan Thai, 2835 W Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1 213 273-8424. Su-Th 11:30AM-10:30PM, F-Sa 11:30PM-midnight. Delicious Thai food, moody atmosphere, really popular and open late on weekends. Mains $10-15.
- Pacific Dining Car, 1310 W 6th St, ☎ +1 213 483-6000. 24 hours daily. Don't be surprised if you run into a city politician or other public figures in this LA landmark that is located partly inside a railway train car, and has been open since 1921. Ask for the breakfast menu any time, day or night, for a more affordable and quite delicious menu.
- Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea, 3922 W Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1 323 663-6173. Su-W 6AM-8PM, Th-Sa 6AM-11PM. Popular Silverlake cafe, which makes some of the best coffee in LA. It's prime location and free wifi keep the limited seating pretty full.
- H Cafe, 1750 hillhurst ave, los feliz, ☎ +1 323 660-9930. Neighborhood cafe attached to the popular Home Restaurant. Nice sitting areas indoors and outdoors, good coffee, free wifi.
- 4100 Bar, 4100 W Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1 323 666-4460. 6PM-2AM daily. Once a leather daddy bar, this has turned into one of the newer hip bars in the area.
- Akbar, 4356 W Sunset Blvd (at Fountain Ave), ☎ +1 323 665-6810. It's long been popular with a mixed crowd for its decent drinks and good jukebox. The addition of a hot and sweaty dance club in the back room has recently brought in the hip gay crowd. No cover for the bar, $3 for the back room.
- Chavito Lounge, 4441 W Sunset Blvd (Chavito Lounge is located directly next door to El Chavo Restaurant. Look for the Pink Light!). 6PM-2AM daily. This hip lounge is filled with sexy lighting and the perfect cocktails. There's a juke box full of music from Sergio Menendez to Santigold to the Silversun Pickups. Resident Dee Jays Kave-In & J-Mo spin everything from Soul, R&B and Jazz to Garage & French Pop... every Sunday Night. Join in on the party every Monday night where Dee Jay Karrie K spins all 60's Psychedelic Vinyl. Drink specials and appetizers served every day $3-12.
- El Cid, 4212 W Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1 323 668-0318. W-Su 6:30PM-1:30AM. Very mediocre Mexican food and tapas, but more popular for the rock/punk shows that it hosts at night.
- Gold Room, 1558 W Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1 213 482-5259. Noon-2AM daily. Divey bar with a mix of Echo Park hipsters and Latino immigrants. The interior looks like the inside of a limo from the 80's. On certain nights they offer $5 beer+tequila shot specials.
- Red Lion Tavern, 2366 Glendale Blvd, ☎ +1 323 662-5337. 11AM-2AM daily. Kitchy Bavarian-style pub that serves sausages and steins of German beer. Downstairs is darker and more mellow; upstairs is more raucous with a great outdoor patio.
- The Short Stop, 1455 W Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1 213 482-4942. 5PM-2AM daily. Once popular with off-duty cops, the Echo Park trendophiles have taken it over in the last few years. One of the best jukeboxes in the city with a variety from rock, current/classic hip-hop, 80's, Hi-NrG, country, etc. The bar is owned by Greg Dulli, former lead singer of the Afghan Whigs and now The Twilight Singers.
- Tiki Ti, 4427 W Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1 323 669-9381. W-Sa 4PM-2AM. "Tiki-tastic" this tiny tiki bar is full of all the fun and booze a tiki bar should have.
- Ye Rustic Inn, 1831 Hillhurst Ave, ☎ +1 323 662-5757. M-F 11AM-2AM, Sa-Su 9AM-2AM. Friendly Los Feliz dive bar with strong drinks and a good mix of people. They also have a pretty solid food menu with tasty wings. Can get loud and crowded on weekends.
There's a surprising lack of decent hotel accommodation in the area, but downtown has a handful and is a short drive away.
- Comfort Inn, 2717 W Sunset Blvd, ☎ +1 213 413-8222.
- Holiday Inn Express Downtown West, 611 S Westlake Ave (at 6th St), ☎ +1 213 483-6363, toll-free: +1 888 465-4329. A block from MacArthur Park.
- Hotel Solaire, 1710 W 7th St, ☎ +1 213 616-3000.
- El Tres Inn, 4439 W Sunset Blvd (above El Chavo), ☎ +1 323 666-6351. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. An urban hideaway located in the heart of Silver Lake, and probably the coolest option in the area. Deluxe suites with private balconies, large flat screen TV's, turntables stocked with vinyl, iPod docks, kitchenettes, free parking and Wi-Fi. $150-225.
- Downtown LA - Located to the southeast of Northwest LA, Downtown Los Angeles has been revitalized in recent years, and is now home to the impressive architecture of Disney Concert Hall, sporting and concert events at Staples Center, and a variety of dining and lodging options.
- Wilshire District - Located to the southwest of Northwest LA, the Wilshire district is home to Koreatown, as well as attractions that include the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Peterson Auto Museum, and the world-famous La Brae Tar Pits.
- Hollywood - Bordering Northwest LA to the west, the epicenter of the motion picture industry is a must-see for almost every visitor to LA.
- Burbank - Northwest LA's northern neighbor is the "Media Capital of the World", home to the studios of Warner Brothers and Disney.
- Glendale - The third largest city in Los Angeles County is notable for the influence of Armenians on its food and culture, and also for the massive Forest Lawn Cemetery where a multitude of Hollywood stars are interred, including Walt Disney and Jimmy Stewart. The city is located to the north of Northwest LA.
- East LA - The Eastside of LA is home to several neighborhoods that date back as far as the late 19th century and includes Heritage Square, a historic collection of old buildings moved from other parts of LA. The Eastside is east of Northwest LA.
|Routes through Northwest|
|Sacramento ← Glendale ←||N S||→ Downtown L.A. → Santa Ana|
|Santa Barbara ← Hollywood ←||N S||→ Downtown L.A. → END|
|Santa Monica ← Hollywood ←||W N||→ Northeast L.A. → Glendale|
|North Hollywood ← Burbank ←||W E||→ Glendale → Pasadena|
|Santa Monica ← Hollywood ←||W E||→ Downtown L.A. → Barstow|
|North Hollywood ← Hollywood ←||N S||→ Downtown L.A. → END|
|END ← Koreatown ←||W E||→ Downtown L.A. → END|