L.A. has long been defined by neighborhoods. Santa Monica equals yoga moms, Silver Lake equals painfully hip hipsters, Hollywood equals Midwest transplants living in cookie-cutter apartments and taking acting classes in the Valley.
But lately, even these neighborhoods have begun to splinter into micro-sections. Within the ‘hoods, blocks are emerging with their own style, their own aesthetic, and the potential to redefine the meaning of “hyperlocal” in Los Angeles. Here are three standouts:
1200 Block of Sunset in Echo Park
Echo Park isn’t exactly news anymore, but the 1200 block — just past the newly inducted Vin Scully Avenue heading east — is redefining the area’s hipster style. Anchored by the somewhat recently-installed Eightfold Coffee, it’s also home to a new outpost of Oakland’s Ali Golden, which joins Kucoon, Big Chief Trading Co., Collection, Esqueleto and the Ampal Creative. The look on the block is minimalist, industrial and sparse; think structured black-and-white design and clothing, birch and pine wood furniture, and not a single fat cell in sight.
13000 and 14000 Blocks of Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks
Two years ago, the stretch of Ventura Boulevard running through Sherman Oaks known as Restaurant Row began revamping itself, kind of out of the blue. The opening of eateries like the Tipsy Cow and The Woodman, as well as arcade bar The One Up, meant that this stretch of the Valley was no longer where your married friends go to die, but rather, where you go to live. More recently, make-your-own Neopolitan pizza joint MidiCi has moved in, as well as meat-heavy The Sherman, and the dive-y Mr. Furley’s bar.
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4600 Block of Hollywood Boulevard
This is arguably the OG block to be self-defined rather than being defined by association with a particular neighborhood. That might be because it’s essentially the ‘taint of Hollywood Boulevard — it’s really neither here nor there – but it also represents some of the best mingling of weird and hip that L.A. has to offer. You’ve got legendary taco joint Yuca’s; legendary breakfast taco joint Home State; definitive L.A. gallery La Luz de Jesus; definitive bizarre gift shop Soap Plant & WACKO; one of the first few Umami burger franchises; and of course, the always epic Cheetah’s Club.