LA’s Pocket Neighborhoods

Santa Monica | September 13, 2023

The Newest Trends in LA’s Pocket Neighborhoods

To get a pulse for what’s next in Los Angeles, head to its vibrant, up-and-coming pocket neighborhoods, where emerging culinary, fashion, and art scenes are gaining ground.  


Glassell Park, the East Side’s creative cocoon  

 Wedged between Silverlake to the west and Highland Park to the east, Glassell Park in northeast LA has slowly begun attracting a mix of East Side families, artisans, designers, and creatives of all kind, including woodcarver Stefan Bishop and ceramic LGS Studio. The neighborhood’s most delicious epicenter is likely Bub & Grandma’s, a bakery-restaurant headed by talented Andy Kadin, who for years supplied sourdough loaves and baguettes to some of the city’s trendiest restaurants and coffee-shops before opening its own brick and mortar, diner-style café where you can enjoy egg sandwiches, granola, and big farmers’ market salads.  

 Next door, Dunsmoor restaurant, housed in a 1929 Spanish Revival building, serves rustic, creative American cuisine at communal tables. Nearby, enjoy the second half of the evening at The Grant, home to classic cocktails and natural wines. Just a few paces away, the dapper yellow Verdugo Plaza offers a perfect lunch spot, with Lemon Poppy Kitchen as a rallying point. Most recently, Philip Martin Gallery has relocated here, with programming featuring surrealist, abstract, and psychedelic art exhibitions.


Frogtown, buzzing on the L.A. River  

 Already amid revitalization ahead of the 2020 pandemic, the L.A. River-adjacent Frogtown is bubbling with activity. Here, find a headquarters for weekend cyclists, who come to refuel or rent bikes for the day at Spoke Bicycle Café or enjoy coffee at La Colombe Coffee Roasters.

 While you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by the cozy, mural-filled Justine’s Wine Bar, the newest venture from Justine Hernandez, whose vegan restaurant, Just What I Kneaded is a local staple. For more dining options, enjoy Mexican cuisine on the Salazar patio, or the newly-opened, trendy spots Loreto and Lingua Franca.  


West Adams, a bastion of L.A. culture

 West Adams, an extension of Culver City, has played a central role in the L.A. Black community since the 1930s, and serves as one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. West Adams was once home to singers Ray Charles, Johnny Otis, and Oscar-winning actress Hattie McDaniel, as well as the Catch One nightclub, which is still open today.    

 Today, the neighborhood is experiencing a refreshed new chapter— in late 2018, the gallery Band of Vices opened, a space dedicated to the work of Black artists. West Adams is also home to a range of new dining options, including Mediterranean cuisine at Mizlala, and California soul food at Alta. You’ll also find café fare at open-air Tartine, all-day dining at Vicky’s, and a curation of outdoor & workwear men’s fashion at Brother Brother.  


Sycamore District, fashion and art village 

 Located south of Hollywood between Willoughby and Romaine, the Sycamore Avenue strip—a former film business district in the 1930s-40s once occupied by a number of industrial warehouses—has become one of L.A’s most fashionable neighborhoods. 

 Here, find creative & fashion pioneer Just One Eye, which left its former Art Deco digs to occupy a new space on Sycamore in 2019. Inside the art gallery-like boutique, find founder Paolo Russo’s curation of major luxury labels, jewelry, designer furniture, and fragrances. Sycamore Avenue is also home to several art spaces, including Jeffrey Deitch’s contemporary gallery and the Lisson Gallery; the offices of Jay-Z and Beyoncé; coffee-shop and co-working space Sightglass; the restaurants Tartine, Mr T., and vibey bistro Gigi’s. In 2023, new fashion and beauty labels joined the creative retail battalion, with the arrival of boutiques Nili Lotan, Jacques Marie Mage, and Officine Générale. 


Lincoln Heights, art and world cuisine 

 Lincoln Heights, one of Los Angeles’ oldest neighborhoods known for Victorian architecture and deeply steeped Latino history, has emerged in recent years a new destination for creativity and community, including the artists’ studios at the Keystone Art Space, and ceramics workshop of artist Jonathan Entler.  

 Nestled into Lincoln Heights, you’ll also find a number of new restaurants, including Israeli vegetarian fare at Mazel, and Arroz & Fun, a counter with a hidden patio from designer Humberto Leon, known for his work with restaurants Chifa and Monarch. Looking ahead, be sure to check out Zizou, serving up Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine. 


Melrose Hill, art galleries  

 Between Little Armenia and Koreatown, the quiet and family-friendly community of Melrose Hill boasts some 40 colonial revival homes built in the early 20th century. The neighborhood’s main thoroughfare, Northern Avenue, is now home to art galleries replacing the furniture warehouses that once dominated the area.  

 After the opening of the Morán Morán gallery in 2021, last year saw the opening of Sargent’s Daughters X Shrine, a New Yorker contemporary art gallery born from a collaboration between Allegra La Viola, founder of Sargent’s Daughters in the Lower East Side in 2014, and Scott Odgen, founder of Shrine gallery. The art craze continues with the recent arrival of the David Zwirner art gallery and its three exhibition spaces, and the atelier-boutique of women’s ready-to-wear brand Co. recently opened on the site of its warehouse. 


Virgil Village, the new cool 

 This pocket of East Hollywood, bordered by Los Feliz on North and Silver Lake on the East, has (in just a few years) become the spot for a new generation of creative minds.   

 Along the district’s main thoroughfare, Virgil Avenue, find trendy café Sqirl and the monochrome blue jewelbox Alma’s Cider and Beer, Cuban-inspired cocktail bar Bolita, and French-style bistro and wine bar Voodoo Vin. A little further down the road, expect lines around the block at favorite Courage Bagel, as well as vintage clothing finds at Virgil Normal and along Hoover Street at Recollection

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