Answers from Our Experts (5)
I think I like Venice right now, definitely. But I also like where my restaurant is in West Hollywood. I like all the different neighborhoods. That’s the thing about L.A. that’s so cool. There’s so many different little areas and different reasons to go to all of them. It’s not like it’s one giant city where everything feels the same. You can go to the beach. You can go downtown. There’s Japantown. There are so many different places to go here now.
Super partial to Venice — got to give it the biggest shoutout. I love Santa Monica. I love Malibu; I’ve been getting to know it better, but not the town part of Malibu as much as the beach area and the little bit farther north. Ventura is fantastic. I really love going down to Manhattan Beach and walking around down there. I would say pretty much the West Side. That said, I really give a huge shoutout to downtown. There’s just some great stuff going on down there. It’s not where I want to live, but I love spending time there. I can’t forget Culver City, also.
L.A. is a little more difficult to travel in than some cities because we don’t have a downtown in the way that other cities do. I don’t think that there is a heart of L.A. I think there are tiny little pockets all over Los Angeles. One of the best ones to go to is Venice. Venice is pretty special. Also the Venice Pier — it’s not like the Santa Monica Pier; there aren’t any shops. I think everybody goes to the Santa Monica Pier, but I recommend the Venice Pier. Abbot Kinney is amazing, but then the beach is just two or three blocks away. Abbot Kinney got so big that now there are a couple surrounding streets around there that are starting to grow.
Picking a favorite neighborhood in Los Angeles is like choosing a favorite pet, or child; secretly everyone has one, but it would be unfair to admit it because you would be ignoring all the other stellar qualities of neighborhoods around the city.
Los Angeles as a whole is going through a dining and cultural renaissance with acclaimed restaurants, theaters and artistic spaces opening up all the time all over the city. Downtown is currently the epicenter of this. The 12-acre Grand Park recently opened in the heart of downtown offering ongoing cultural programming like concerts, movie nights and lunchtime yoga. Chefs from all over the city open outposts in downtown like Ricardo Zarate’s Mo-Chica, John Sedlar’s Rivera, Wolfgang Puck’s WP24 and Joachim Splichal’s Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Patina and corresponding restaurant empire that has many outposts in the neighborhood. Downtown L.A. is home to acclaimed cultural organizations like the Center Theater Group, LA Opera and Walt Disney Concert Hall, the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
To be fair, not everything happens in downtown. Other top L.A. neighborhoods include the boho oases of Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Echo Park; ritzy shopping and world class dining and hotel accommodations among the tree-lined boulevards in Beverly Hills; the colorful streets and amped up nightlife in Hollywood and West Hollywood; and breezy seaside wonderlands of Santa Monica, Malibu and Venice.
Sprawling Los Angeles is a city of ‘mini cities’ that can be considered some of the best neighborhoods anywhere. Here are a few to explore. South Pasadena, a few miles away from the world famous Rose Bowl—and annual Rose Parade—is one of Los Angeles’ best suburbs. The quaint community is nestled among the foothills of the epic San Gabriel Mountains, and its lush scenery and great family shopping harken back to a simpler era.
West Hollywood is arguably the vibrant heartbeat of Los Angeles, playing host too much of the entertainment industry, tourist attractions and some of the cities most essential nightlife and dining.
Santa Monica is a living, breathing postcard. From its beautiful beaches and proximity to Venice Beach, and its famous family attractions like the Santa Monica Pier and great shopping at the Third Street Promenade make this one of LA’s most sought after neighborhoods to live in.