West Los Angeles is an area of the city of Los Angeles within the bigger area of the West Side of Los Angeles County. The area includes the neighborhoods of Bel-Air, Brentwood, Century City, Mar Vista, Palms, Sawtelle, West LA, and Westwood (the neighborhood around the University of California, Los Angeles).
Like the rest of the city of Los Angeles, West LA is a mix of ethnicities that would make the United Nations proud. Because of the presence of UCLA, there are a number of used and new bookstores, art movie theaters, inexpensive restaurants and coffee houses. Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, it enjoys a cooler climate, especially in the summer, than the rest of Los Angeles.
Westwood is an area somewhere in between a neighborhood and a city that surrounds the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Most of the area's highlights cater to the college atmosphere. While the main village of Westwood had its heyday from the 60s throughout most of the 80s, it is currently picking up in popularity again as a trendy hangout for local teens and students of UCLA, which is on the far side of the area. Despite an increasing number of homeless people, Westwood is still known as one of, if not the safest neighborhood in the city, albeit with some of the worst traffic. Expect to spend for ever or pay a high price finding a parking space, but once you park the village is easy to walk around.
Bel-Air, part of the self-styled "Golden Triangle", which includes equally trendy locales Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills, was founded in 1923 by Alphonzo E. Bell, Sr. The fashionable district is located about 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles and is situated between the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains and the north side of the nearby UCLA campus.
|Daily highs (°F)||67||67||68||70||70||73||77||79||78||75||71||67|
|Nightly lows (°F)||51||51||51||53||56||58||62||62||62||59||55||51|
Data from NOAA (1981-2010)
Interstate 405 passes through West Los Angeles just south of the Sepulveda Pass. The area is noted for high levels of congestion, especially during rush hour.
Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX) is about 20-30 minutes away, and has a very large number of flights to and from the airport. The LAX FlyAway provides a shuttle service from Westwood to LAX for $10.00 each way; UCLA provides parking in Lot 32 for a fee.
On the west side, local transit is provided by three main carriers.
- Big Blue Bus primarily serves Santa Monica and UCLA/Westwood (and the major streets between), but also has a network of routes that serves just about every neighborhood in the area, as well as routes that head out to Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Venice, and an express route (#10) along I-10 to Downtown L.A. Additionally, the #3 bus reaches the LAX Airport Transit Center, making it a handy way for air travelers to reach the Westside cheaply. The standard fare on all buses (except #10) is $1.
- Culver City Bus primarily serves Culver City, but also runs buses to UCLA/Westwood (#6), Century City (#3), and LAX (#6), thus also serving as a primary carrier of tourists from LAX to the UCLA area. The base fare is $1.
- Metro is the major operator of bus and rail services in Los Angeles County. Prominent bus routes that pass through the area include the Metro Rapid 704 (Santa Monica Blvd), Metro Rapid 720 (Wilshire Blvd), and the Metro Rapid 733 (Venice Blvd). Additionally, the Metro Rapid 728 connects Century City to Downtown L.A. via Olympic Blvd, and the Metro Rapid 734 links Westwood with the San Fernando Valley via the 405. Metro fare is $1.75.
- Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Dr (Metro Bus 734 from Westwood or Van Nuys), ☎ +1 301 440-7330. Tu-Su 10AM-5:30PM (Sa till 9PM), closed Mondays. One of two locations of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Center is unquestionably one of the finest museums in the nation, with a collection of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present set against a backdrop of dramatic architecture and tranquil gardens. Located at the top of the Santa Monica Mountains, there is a spectacular view of the L.A. basin and the Pacific Ocean. The other museum location, the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, is about 11 miles to the west via Sunset Blvd and covers the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. You can visit both the same day (Wednesday through Sunday) and pay the parking fee only once (save your ticket stub), but don't expect to have any time left over for other activities. Free; parking $15.
- Museum of Tolerance, 9786 W. Pico Blvd. M-F 10AM-5PM (close 3:30PM F in winter), Su 11AM-5PM, last tickets 3:30PM (F 1PM). This amazing museum features comprehensive, powerful exhibits on the Nazi Holocaust. An interactive experience, the museum challenges visitors to look inside themselves and assess their own levels of tolerance. This is the antidote to theme park burnout: the museum is highly interactive and engages kids (about 10 and older). Find your kids asking you about such things as racial and economic tensions. A highlight of the museum is priceless, live testimonies by Holocaust survivors. The Museum is a unique experience, creating the best kind of memories and interactions for families. Adults $15:50, seniors $12.50, students, children (-12) $11.50.
- Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Culture Center, 10899 Wilshire Blvd (in the Occidental Petroleum Building on the corner of Westwood Blvd), ☎ +1 310 443-7000. Tu, W, F, Sa 11AM-7PM, Th 11AM-9PM, Su 11AM-5PM. The museum houses a continual changing number of both modern and classic exhibits. A recent highlight was an exhibition of modern American cartoon work. The Museum also holds a lunch time "art Talk" every Wednesday at 12:30PM. Free on Th, otherwise adults $10, seniors $5, free to students with ID, and kids 17 and under.
- Bel-Air. Fraught with beautiful estates with many covering large portions of land. However the general consensus is that the higher up the mountain, the smaller the home. Still, the stellar views from up higher include the Los Angeles Basin and Catalina Island.
- Century City. Conceived of as "a city within a city" by its developers, Century City is a collection of highrise buildings on the eastern edge of the area, bordering Beverly Hills, that's notable as the headquarters of 20th Century Fox. The most famous building in the district is Fox Plaza, on the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars, that will be instantly recognizable to Die Hard fans as the fictional Nakatomi Plaza.
- Annenberg Space for Photography, 2000 Avenue of the Stars. 11AM-6PM, Wednesday to Sunday. A small public art gallery dedicated to photography. Often, but not exclusively features exhibits with entertainment and music industry themes. Free entry, Parking $3.50 (with validation).
- Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park, 1218 Glendon Ave., ☎ +1 310 474-1579. 8AM-Dusk.. See the final resting places of several major Hollywood stars and other celebrities in a compact two and a half acre cemetery.
- Have a picnic in the beautiful garden at the Getty Museum. Very relaxing.
- Teatime at the Bel Air Hotel is a really nice relaxing time. A great way to break up a day.
- Regency Bruin Theater, 948 Broxton Ave, ☎ +1 310 208-8998. Like it's big brother, the Fox Theater across the street, this is a fully modern cinema that still has the ambiance and style of an earlier era. The art-deco marquee, canopy, and box office are little changed from when it opened in 1937. General Admission $11.75.
- Regency Village Theater (Fox Theater), 961 Broxton Ave, ☎ +1 310 208-5576. The art-deco Fox Village Theater (now operated by Regency) is a throwback to "Old Hollywood" that has survived into the multi-plex era, and is often the site of red-carpet premiers. Though the decor reflects it's historic roots, the seating, projection, and sound are excellent and have kept upgraded to meet and exceed modern quality standards. General Admission $11.75.
- Rancho Park Golf Course, 10460 W. Pico Blvd, ☎ +1 310 838-7373. Rancho Park Golf Course is a municipal course with discounts for LA residents, but is open to the public. Tee times are in high demand and are subject to availability, so make reservations well in advance if planning a round. Green Fees: $38-$48 (discounts available), Cart: $16-$24.
- Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th St (San Vicente and 26th). A small shopping on the border of Brentwood and Santa Monica. The motif may be rural, but the shopping is less 'shabby', more 'chic'. Features boutique shops and the Farmshop market/restaurant.
- Giant Robot, 2015 Sawtelle Blvd, ☎ +1 310 478-1819. 11:30AM-8PM, noon-7PM Sunday. Featuring Japanese pop-culture toys and merchandise.
- Mitsuwa Marketplace, 3760 S. Centinela Ave (Venice Blvd. & Centinela Ave). A Japanese supermarket with several locations in the US, boasting a collection of Japanese food shops in its food court such as Santouka Ramen, Tendon Hannosuke tempura, Sanuki Sandou Udon, Misasa, and Daikichi Sushi.
- Nijiya Market, 2130 Sawtelle Blvd, ☎ +1 310 575-3300. 9AM-11:30PM. A Japanese market located in the 'Little Osaka' neighborhood. Can be a slightly pricier option, but the selection and variety are good. Their produce department is a good place to start when looking for harder-to-find fruits and ingredients.
- Westfield Century City (Century City Mall), 10250 Santa Monica Blvd, ☎ +1 310 277-3898. Mall Hours: 10AM-9PM, noon-7PM Sunday. An upscale shopping center in the Century City neighborhood, featuring an AMC 14 Cineplex, Bloomingdales, Gelson's Market, and Macy's. Underground parking garage.
- Westside Pavilion, 10800 West Pico Blvd, ☎ +1 310 470-8752. Mall Hours: 10AM-9PM,10PM-8PM Saturday,10PM-6PM Sunday. One of the few closed-roof malls remaining on the West Side. Anchored by Macy's and Nordstrom department stores. The 12-screen Landmark Cinema often features Limited-release films and special screenings, to complement the more expected mall appurtenances.
- Westwood Village (Blvd. and Weyburn Ave.). A pedestrian friendly shopping district adjacent to UCLA. Features American Apparel, Bel Air Camera, Buffalo Exchange thrift store, Target, Trader Joe's market, Urban Outfitters, Whole Foods, and a selection of smaller shops and services.
- The Time Travel Store, 12515 Venice Blvd, ☎ +1-310-915-0200, 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 Echo Park.
|This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:|
|Mid-range||$10 - $25|
West LA has a wide variety of food types and pricing. Westwood Boulevard features numerous restaurants of Iranian, Indian, and Pakistani cuisine, while Sawtelle Boulevard features many Japanese restaurants. There are a number of Indian and Pakistani restaurants along Venice Boulevard in Palms, mostly offering North Indian cuisine. Westwood Boulevard between Pico and Wilshire is filled with Persian restaurants, serving the largest Iranian population outside of Iran (which is concentrated in Westwood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica). There is a small cluster of (mostly) Japanese restaurants colloquially known as Little Osaka on Sawtelle Blvd (just west of 405) bounded by Santa Monica Blvd to the north and Olympic Blvd to the south.
- Marty's Hamburger Stand, 10558 W. Pico Blvd (on the corner of Prosser and Pico Blvd), ☎ +1 310 836-6944. Known for its chili and the Combo, which is a hot dog and hamburger all in the form of a hamburger.
- Saffron and Rose Ice Cream, 1387 Westwood Blvd, ☎ +1-310-477-5533. 11AM-9PM. Persian-style ice cream (similar in consistency and flavour to Italian gelato) in unusual flavours, such as date, rosewater, redcurrant, pistachio and cucumber(!). They have half-pints, pints and quarts to take home, but ask the owner for help because the labels are in Farsi only.
- Tacos A La Flama, 2404 S Barrington Ave (Olympic Blvd and Bundy Dr, in strip mall next to Subway and Leeds Mattresse). Mexican taco stand offering tacos, burritos, sopes and the like. Adventurous eaters can try tacos de lengua (beef tongue), cabeza (beef cheek), tripa (tripe) and buche (beef esophagus).
- Versailles, 10319 Venice Blvd, ☎ +1 310 558-3168. Cuban food.
- Pizza Station, 8965 West Pico Boulevard, ☎ +1 310 276-8708. 11am-7:30pm. Low.
- Bombay Bite, 1051 Gayley Ave, ☎ +1-310 824-1046, e-mail: email@example.com. Open daily 11:30AM-2:30PM for lunch and 5PM-10PM for dinner.
- Habayit (Kosher), 11921 West Pico Blvd, ☎ +1 310 479-7173. The only kosher restaurant on the Westside. Serving delicious, homemade American-Israeli cuisine for to-go or delivery. $10.
- Hara Sushi, 12222 Wilshire Boulevard #101, ☎ +1 310 820-1021. Semi-hidden sushi gem not far from the Santa Monica border. Despite its unobtrusive street presence, the small dining area often has a line during peak hours, but the wait is well worth it.
- Louie's of Mar Vista, 3817 Grand View Blvd, ☎ +1 310-915-5300. M-F: 5PM-midnight, Sa-Su: 11AM-midnight. Located in a nondescript spot off of Venice Boulevard, this tiny establishment packs a lot of character into its four walls. The food is all New Orleans-inspired, with the famous Kalua pig Monte Cristo egg rolls as a favorite and specialty. Several drinks on the menu are made with honey harvested from beehives on the restaurant roof, and the ice cream is made fresh with flavors that change daily. The vibe is a cross between sports bar and casual restaurant, the staff is friendly, and there is generally street parking available, albeit with overzealous meter maids on patrol. Happy hour is Mon-Fri from 5-7PM, and Saturday noon-5PM.
- Native Foods, 1114 Gayley Ave. Innovative variety of vegan foods, featuring salads, veggie burgers, rice and noodle bowls, pizzas, and desserts. Uses an original recipes for tempeh and seitan. Indoor & outdoor seating. Accept credit cards. Open daily.
- Ramayani Westwood, 1777 Westwood Blvd. A good choice for Indonesian, a cuisine that is strangely and unfortunately rare in the States, given that Indonesia is the world's 4th largest country by population. Tasting menus available for the novice.
- Sunnin, 1776 Westwood Blvd (just north of Santa Monica Blvd, next to Sherwin Williams Paints). 11AM-9PM. Sunnin recently moved into a much bigger facility across the street from its previous location and prices increased as well as the floor space. It's not the dirt cheap bargain it once was, but the food is still moderately priced and excellent. Try the Kefta Kebab wrap and the Kebbeh Bil Saynieh. Sit at the counter and watch Toni, the owner, run her kitchen like a drill sergeant!
- Shamshiri, 1712 Westwood Blvd, ☎ +1-310 474-1410. 11AM-10PM. Excellent food at giant portions - you'll be buying dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. Try the Tachin (chicken, basmati rice and redcurrant casserole), Bademjan (lamb shank and aubergine (eggplant) stew) or Shirin Polo (roast chicken on top of rice pilaf with almonds and orange zest).
- Sushi House Unico, 2932 1/2 Beverly Glen Circle (at Beverly Glen), ☎ +1 310 474-2740. Right off Beverly Glen Blvd., tucked away in a small, though fashionable strip mall in the canyons of Bel Air, is Sushi House Unico (shu), a restaurant that boasts an eclectic menu best described as a fusion of Japanese, Latin and Italian flavors and cuisines. The space is contemporary and refined, but not too overbearing. Shu's owner, Giacomino Drago, is also the familiar restaurateur and chef of several restaurants including Il Pastaio and Piccolo Paradiso in Beverly Hills. Signature dishes included halibut carpaccio with sun-dried tomato, Kobe Beef sashimi and albacore sashimi with shaved truffles.
- Taiko, 11677 San Vicente Blvd, ☎ +1 310 207-7782. Taiko is a casual little Japanese restaurant located in the Brentwood Gardens. The service is very friendly, and the unique variety of dishes will satisfy anyone's tastes. The Nabeyaki udon is not to be missed.
- Westside Tavern, 10850 West Pico Blvd (at Pico and Westwood Blvd in the Westside Pavilion Shopping Mall), ☎ +1 310 470 1539. 5PM-11PM. American cuisine with a luxury taste at a moderate price. Atmosphere is relaxed and clean, with good ambient lighting. Go upstairs and are some theaters. Catch an arts film or the newest blockbuster. $15-25.
- Enzo and Angela, 11701 Wilshire Blvd (Upstairs), ☎ +1 310 477-3880, fax: +1 310 473-2760. An authentic Italian experience in an unexpected location (upstairs in a mini-mall), but the great food and personal attention of the staff erase any lingering doubts about the venue.
- Napa Valley Grille, 1100 Glendon Ave.
- The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air, 701 Stone Canyon Rd, ☎ +1 310 472-1211. Daily 7AM-10PM. Afternoon tea seatings M-Fr 3PM-4PM, Sa 3:30PM-4PM. Ideal for celebrations, special occasions or anything even remotely romantic, The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air is the archetype of elegant dining, replete with innovative, 'French-California' style cuisine care of chef Douglas Dodd. There are two beautiful dining areas; a more formal dining room or outside in the relaxed bougainvillea-draped Terrace. The roast rack of lamb is considered a favored entrée.
- Vibrato, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle (at Beverly Glen), ☎ +1 310 474-9400. Dynamic fusion of steakhouse and jazz club from music legend Herb Alpert makes for a night of great cuisine and musical entertainment. The expansive supper club-like dining room is intimate and bold in design and color with beautiful paintings adorning the walls. The menu is impressive, with an array of modern American fare. The bar draws an eclectic gathering of jazz lovers, socialites and trendy nighthawks. This is Bel-Air after all. Situated almost out of sight in a classy strip mall at the top of Beverly Glen, Vibratto retains a certain, "in-the-know" status. But it's well worth the discovery.
- Amandine Cafe, 12225 Wilshire Blvd, ☎ +1 310 979-3211. European style bakery and cafe specializing in French pastries and tartes.
- Brian's Shave Ice, 11301 W. Olympic Blvd, ☎ +1 310 231-3450. Hawaiian shave-ice with an embarrassment of different flavors, fillings, and combinations.
- Diddy Riese, 926 Broxton Ave, ☎ +1-310-208-0448. Legendary among denizens of Los Angeles as one of, if not the best deserts you will find anywhere. Just $0.30 per cookie, or $1.50 for an ice cream sandwich. Expect to wait in long lines during peak hours, but their cookies are not to be missed. Be warned that you should eat quickly, as the cookies will not taste as good overnight, or even a few hours after purchase.
- Barney's Beanery, 1037 Broxton Ave. A sports bar with 40 beers on draft and 160 bottled beers that has had locations in Los Angeles since 1920.
- Good Hurt, 12249 Venice Blvd. Hospital-themed nightclub with waitresses dressed as nurses. Offering music, pool and dancing seven nights a week.
- Mom's, 12238 Santa Monica Blvd, ☎ +1 310 820-6667. Trendy bar that maintains a dive bar atmosphere. Happy hour is lively-to-loud with prices that are budget-friendly. They may be a line on peak nights, so visitors are advised to plan accordingly
- Ohara's, 1000 Gayley Ave.
- Palomino's, 10877 Wilshire Blvd.
- Hotel Palomar, 10740 Wilshire Blvd, ☎ +1 310 475-8711, fax: +1 310 475-5220. 4 star luxury boutique hotel.
- Sky Hotel, 2352 Westwood Blvd, ☎ +1 310 475-4551.
- Holiday Inn Express West LA, 11250 Santa Monica Blvd, toll-free: +1-800-308-5432.
- Hotel Bel-Air, 701 Stone Canyon Rd, ☎ +1 310-472-1211. This picturesque, five-star hotel is a popular destination for weddings, as well as a playground to the affluent.
- The "W" Hotel, 930 Hilgard Ave. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon.
- Santa Monica. Best known for its famous pier, Santa Monica is a must-see destination for most tourists, and home to many restaurants and bars frequented by locals.
- Culver City. A neighboring city and the home of Sony Studios that in recent years has been undergoing a rebirth and now has an increasing number of food, shopping and entertainment options.
- Beverly Hills. Home of 90210, fabled shopping, and the upper crust of Hollywood's elite.
- Wilshire. Home to Koreatown, LA's museum district, and the famous La Brea Tar Pits.
- Sherman Oaks. Located among the hills between the coast and the San Fernando Valley, Sherman Oaks is a mainly-residential neighborhood that offers numerous food, shopping, nightlife, and lodging options.
|Routes through West Los Angeles|
|END ← Santa Monica ←||W E||→ Wilshire → Downtown L.A.|
|North Valley ← Sherman Oaks ←||N S||→ Culver City → Long Beach|
|END ← Santa Monica ←||W E||→ Beverly Hills → Northwest L.A.|
|END ← Santa Monica ←||W E||→ Beverly Hills → Downtown L.A.|