This popular commuter route, which cuts through the Hollywood Hills to the San Fernando Valley, presents a sleepy face to passing drivers. But the stretch of Cahuenga between Sunset Boulevard and Franklin Avenue and its surrounding neighborhood is rich with retail destinations and enough dining and nightlife options to keep it hopping after dark. On Sundays Ivar Avenue is home to one of the city’s most celebrated food gatherings, the Hollywood Farmers’ Market.
On a terrace decorated with olive trees, succulents, and a rustic fireplace, diners nosh on such fare as chicken and waffles, skirt steak, and charcuterie. The happy hour cocktails are a bargain at $7.» 1835 N. Cahuenga Blvd., 213-261-3687.
The Hollywood outpost of this local roaster sports a sign forbidding entry to, among other creatures, “goldfish, ferrets, llamas, emus or turtles.” The humans come for the frothy mochas, strong espressos, and free Wi-Fi. » 1501 N. Cahuenga Blvd., 323-871-0143.
Space 15 Twenty
Anchored by an Urban Outfitters, the warren of retailers includes a Hennessey + Ingalls and an Umami Burger along with such standouts as the Pharmacy Board Shop and the Hairroin Salon (right). The stage in the courtyard is used for nighttime concerts and the occasional daytime fitness class. » 1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
The Sayers Club
Park yourself on a leather sofa, and if you’re feeling VIP, order table service (the lounge is owned by the nightlife consortium SBE, after all). In the performance space you can catch new artists and the random star (think Prince).» 1645 Wilcox Ave., 323-871-8416.
A simple exterior fronts the slick bistro of Jason Travi and Joshua Rabbie, who smoke their own trout and pork. During the oyster happy hour, from 5 to 7 on weekdays, the bivalves and Molson beers are $1.50. » 1600 Wilcox Ave., 323-465-3675.
The Burgundy Room
Established in 1918, the darkly lit bar is one of Hollywood’s oldest watering holes. When there’s no DJ spinning rock, punk, or metal music, the jukebox takes over. » 1621½ N. Cahuenga Blvd., 323-465-7530.
Ball & Chain
All manner of meatballs are served alongside more than 20 beers on tap in a space that evokes a modernist Metro station. Select a carnivore or vegetarian option and a sauce. Can’t decide? Go for the meatball flight.» 1643 N. Cahuenga Blvd., 323-465-2255.
Stella Barra Pizzeria
The casual Italian restaurant inside the ArcLight complex is frequented by moviegoers in search of a fine pie (try the mushroom and fennel bianco)and a glass of wine for pre- or postscreening refreshment. » 6372 W. Sunset Blvd., 323-301-4001.
Lost & Found
Located on the ground floor of an art deco office building, the cluster of six boutiques specializes in high-end imported men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry, toys, gifts, and housewares. » 6320 Yucca St., 323-856-5872.
For more than three decades the shop has outfitted fans of hip-hop attire with goods that range from the latest footwear to oversize T-shirts. On weekends the doors stay open until 10 p.m.» 6376 Hollywood Blvd., 323-468-1881.
Why I Love it Here
Owner, Hairroin Salon
I set up shop nine years ago, first across the street where I took over a failed salon, then in Space 15 Twenty. I was as green as could be. Now we get clients from all over the Valley and Pasadena—our best-loved ones come from the fancy old folks’ home up the street. My favorite thing is being able to step outside and see the Hollywood sign. One day is never like another on this street. Cahuenga is for the hard-core Angelenos who keep the city weird. I’m here to stay. As long as a Starbucks stays off our block, I’ll be happy. 1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Ste. 2, 323-467-0392
Street parking is scarce, so choose one of the Selma Avenue lots between Ivar and Wilcox avenues, which charge between $5 and $10.
Savvy farmers’ market shoppers head down the alley behind the St. Felix lounge for spice, tea, and soap stands.
Tom Waits, Bette Midler, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are among those who have recorded at the Sunset Sound Factory on Selma.
Photographs (2), (6), and (8) courtesy facebook.com. All other photographs by Jessica Sample. Illustration by Nigel Buchanan.