DMV Survival Guide: West Hollywood


So you have to go to the DMV, which pretty much guarantees you’re going to have a terrible day, right? Wrong! Why not use it as an excuse to explore the neighborhood? In this DMV Neighborhood Survival Guide series, we’ll show you how and where to treat yourself, before or after your visit to that special section of Hades called the Department of Motor Vehicles. This week, we’ll explore West Hollywood. All of these spots are within walking distance or a short drive from the DMV office.

DMV Field Office 936 North Formosa Avenue, West Hollywood, 90046
Neighborhood: East WeHo

Coffee + Breakfast Fratelli Cafe || 7200 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046

Fratelli not only serves up a decent cup of coffee, but its breakfast offerings are generous and hearty. You’ll need the sustenance before hitting the DMV, just a few blocks up Formosa Avenue. All of the seven different kinds of breakfast burritos will give you all the energy you need to fight the bureaucracy, but we recommend The Abraham’s, with eggs, chicken breast, avocado, romaine lettuce, and kalamata olives.

Snack Pink’s Hot Dogs ||709 N La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, 90039

This 75-year Los Angeles institution is a must-try, and not just for its kitsch-factor; the dogs are actually really good. Get there early, before lunch time, to avoid an hour-long wait. With upwards of 40 dogs to choose from, many of which are named after celebrities or Hollywood landmarks, it’s tough to choose a favorite. However, we’re often swayed by the “Ozzy Spicy Dog,” a spicy Polish dog topped with nacho cheese, American cheese, grilled onions, guacamole & chopped tomatoes. It’ll tide you over and then some.

Lunch Salt’s Cure || 7494 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046

The simple décor of Salt’s Cure is mirrored in its menu, with lunch offerings like Smoked Fish on Toast, Oatmeal Griddle Cakes, a Ham, Egg and Cheese Sandwich, and a burger. But that burger isn’t just any burger: it’s the most delicious bacon cheeseburger we’ve ever had. We do not exaggerate. Juicy and decadent, with a nice crunch provided by the perfectly fried bacon, it will knock right into a most euphoric food coma, mellowing you out just in time for your visit to the DMV.

Happy Hour Formosa Cafe || 7156 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046

Formosa Café was a favorite haunt of 1940s Los Angeles film stars, due to its proximity to the studios (just one block east used to sit Samuel Goldwyn’s Pickford-Fairbanks Studios Lot). Its dark, reddish trolley-car interior and Chinoiserie booths still possess a film-noirish allure, and its bartenders know how to make a stand-up cocktail. Its food menu has gone through more changes than an It-Girl, but it isn’t a bad idea to give it a try at least once. Formosa Café is just a few short blocks from the DMV, so run on over there after your appointment to piece your dignity back together.

Dinner Jones Hollywood || 7205 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046

Jones Hollywood, known as much as a hopping, scenester bar as it is a restaurant, is named after the slang term for addiction or craving. You know, “jonesing.” It walls are lined with photographs from Rodney Bingenheimer’s infamous Sunset Strip nightclub, English Disco, and its late-night crowd still has a similar sensibility of clubbiness about them. But, earlier in the evening, when the clientele is slightly less raucous, it is possible to get an incredibly decent meal. The ahi tuna entrée with wasabi mashed potatoes is drool-worthy, and the Hendrix, a pear basil margarita, will erase away any dull residue from your day at the DMV.