The Eastside of Los Angeles roughly comprises neighborhoods such as Los Feliz, Silverlake, Echo Park, and MacArthur Park. Not to be confused with "East L.A.", which is east of the 5 freeway.
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 sky-rocketing 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 to the West, the 5 to the East, and Griffith Park to the North. Both freeways have multiple exits into the area.
The Metro Red Line runs roughly north and south through the area, with stops at Hollywood & Western, Vermont & Sunset, Vermont & Santa Monica, and Vermont & Beverly. Further north on the line will take you into the fringes of Hollywood and terminating in the heart of the North Hollywood Arts and Theatre District. Further south will take you into Koreatown and eventually Downtown LA, terminating at Union Station.
LA Derby Dolls, 1910 Temple St., . LA has revived a sport that peaked in the 1970's, 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.
Echo Park is another nice lakeside park which is good for picnics, but is frequently very crowded with Echo Park's predominantly low-income Hispanic population. The area is a hub for underground/indie culture and houses a number of venues.
El Cid Theatre was built around turn of the century, and after several reincarnations, offers one of the only dinner theatre 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.
Griffith Park is 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 also been referred to as the Central Park of Los Angeles, but it is much larger and with a much more untamed, rugged character.
MacArthur Park has been famous for a long time, starting with Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin made several films at the lake here, which was one of his favorite places. More recently its reputation was tainted by perceptions of violence and drug use , but the park has been cleaned up over the last few years, and is once again a nice place to visit. Take a paddle boatsout on the small lake or watch one of the ever-present soccer matches.
Silver Lake Reservoir is encompassed by a nice walking and jogging path. Just over 2 miles long, it offers a beautiful way to get outdoors.
The Vista Theatre, an LA landmark, is a large cinema with one screen, typically screening popular films.
Los Feliz Village is a hip and trendy strip of N. Vermont Ave, with shops such as X-Large and Squaresville.
Sunset Junction (roughly Sunset Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd.) in Silverlake 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 known for its indie rock shows.
Falafel Arax, 5101 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029-2479, ☎ (323) 663-9687. Open Tues-Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 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, Los Angeles, CA 90029. 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. 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., ☎ (323) 660-8060, . 11:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., later on Saturday, closed Monday. Truly fantastic Arabic and Armenian food for cheap. The mezzes (appetizers) alone can make an amazing meal.$9.
Alegria on Sunset, 3510 Sunset Blvd., Silverlake, ☎ +1 323 913-1422, . A fresh and delicious take on Mexican cuisine. Good veggie options and fantastic moles.
El Chavo Restaurant, 4441 West Sunset Boulevard (El Chavo is located at the Historic 5 Point Instersection at the point where Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard meet. Located between the bustling East Side Neighborhoods of Silver Lake & Los Feliz.), . 4 pm - 12 am. Historic El Chavo Restaurant serves Traditional Mexican Fare ranging from Sweet Green Corn Tamales to our infamous "El Chavo" Butterfly New York Steak. We offer a full bar specializing in Hand-Crafted Margaritas. Our dining room is a great place to entertain an intimate dinner to a large group of friends and family. We also have a gorgeous outdoor patio to enjoy El Chavo under the stars.$9 - $12.
Auntie Em's Kitchen, 4616 Eagle Rock Blvd, Eagle Rock, ☎ +1 (323) 255-0800, . Very popular breakfast spot in Eagle Rock, great food in a homey environment.
Burrito King, 2827 Hyperion Ave. (at Sunset Blvd., Silverlake). A low-rent burrito stand, well known for delicious and cheap burritos well into the night. Come here for a cheap lunch or to satisfy late-night cravings after last call.
El Arco Iris, 5684 York Blvd., Highland Park, . Good Mexican food and margaritas in one of LA’s oldest neighborhoods.
El Siete Mares Restaurante, 3131 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, . 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 West 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., Los Feliz. 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. 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. Opens at 6:30 AM and closes at 1:00 AM Sunday through Thursday; open until 2:00 AM on Friday and Saturday.
Jade Café, 1521 Griffith Park Blvd.. A small, casual yet elegant space decorated in simple modern decor. Raw Fusion vegetarian cuisine is carefully prepared and beautifully presented. Unique flavors. Menu is small but interesting.
Langer's Deli, 704 S. Alvarado St., MacArthur Park, ☎ +1 213 483-8050, . Known citywide for its pastrami sandwiches and other deli delights.
Mama's Hot Tamales, 2124 W. Seventh St., MacArthur Park, ☎ +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., Los Angeles, ☎ +1 323 664-3333, . A cozy pizza (and pasta) joint with a nice deck out back for warm LA nights.
Original Tommy's, 2575 W. Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90057 (On the corner of Beverly and Rampart just west of Downtown Los Angeles), ☎ +1-213-389-9060, . Open 24 hours/7 days a week. 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.
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.
Chichen Itza, 2501 W 6th St, MacArthur Park, ☎ +1 213 380-0051, . M-Th 11:30AM-9PM, Fr-Sa 11:30AM-11PM, Su 11:30AM-9PM. A new Mexican restaurant across from MacArthur Park specializing in Yucatan cuisine. Live music on Fridays and Saturdays from 7-10PM, beer and wine available.Mains $10-15.
Cobras & Matadors, 4655 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz, ☎ +1 323-669-3922. While the sangria is to be avoided, this place features delicious Spanish tapas with some great Spanish wines. As tapas are usually served in small portions, this place can get very expensive very quickly for those who are hungry.
Elf Cafe, 2135 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, ☎ 213 484-6829. Excellent vegetarian food in a teeny and suitably hip setting.
Figaro, 1802 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, 90027, ☎ 323 662-1587, . 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., Silverlake, . Excellent Vietnamese food with good vegetarian options.
Malo, 4326 W. Sunset Blvd., Silverlake, ☎ +1 323-664-1011, . A very cool bar and restaurant with good Mexican food, best known for its giant selection of tequilas and mojitos. Valet parking.
Rambutan Thai, 2835 W. Sunset Blvd, ☎ (213) 273.8424, . Su-Th 11:30AM-10:30PM, F-Sa 11:30PM-12AM. Delicious Thai food, moody atmosphere, really popular and open late on weekends.Mains $10-15.
Tantra, 3705 W. Sunset Blvd., Silverlake. Delicious and well-prepared Indian food in a trendy setting.
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 and the best in the neighborhood! Cheap 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 around 8-8:30 pm
Casbah Café, 3900 W. Sunset Blvd., Silverlake, ☎ +1 323 664-7000. A great Moroccan cafe serving authentic Moroccan mint tea, coffee and other drinks and snacks. Attached is a little store selling items imported by the owner.
Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, 3922 W. Sunset Blvd., Silverlake, ☎ +1 323 663-6173, . The Chicago-based company recently launched its Silverlake store, which makes some of the best coffee in LA. It's prime location and free wifi keep the limited seating pretty full.
4100 Bar, 4100 Sunset Blvd, Silverlake, ☎ +1 323-666-4460. 7PM-2AM. 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 West Sunset Boulevard (Chavito Lounge is located directly next door to El Chavo Restaurant. Look for the Pink Light!), . 6 pm - 2 am. 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, Echo Park, ☎ +1 213-482-5259. 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.
Mixville (at the Edendale Grill), 2838 Rowena Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90039, ☎ +1 (323) 666-2000. A slick New York style bar in a converted firehouse. A great spot for summer weeknights (gets a little crowded on weekends) since you can sit out on a front or back patio, where there's a fountain. You can also order food from the adjoining restaurant.
Red Lion Tavern, 2366 Glendale Blve., Silverlake, ☎ +1 323-662-5337. 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.
Shortstop, 1455 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, ☎ +1 (213) 482-4942. Once popular with off-duty cops, the Silverlake 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.
Tiki Ti, 4427 Sunset Blvd, ☎ (323) 669-9381, . Wednesday -Saturday 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, Los Feliz, ☎ (323) 662-5757. 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.
Ramada Los Angeles - Downtown, 611 S. Westlake Ave, Westlake (at 6th Street), ☎ +1 213 483-6363, . A block from MacArthur Park.
Comfort Inn City Center, 1710 West 7th Street, Westlake, ☎ +1 213 616-3000, .
El Tres Inn, 4439 West Sunset Boulevard (above El Chavo), ☎ +1 (323) 666-6351, . checkin: 3 pm; checkout: 12 pm. An urban hideaway located in the heart of Silver Lake, and probably the coolest option in the area. Deluxe suites with private balconies, large flatscreen tv's, turntables stocked with vinyl, iPod docks, kitchenettes, free parking and Wi-Fi.$150-225.
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