“Young people started moving to East Hollywood because they couldn’t afford anywhere else,” explains entrepreneur Dustin Lancaster. “Rents are affordable—that’s what’s made East Hollywood the new ‘It’ neighborhood.” Lancaster opened the area’s first boutique hotel, Hotel Covell, eight years ago, in what’s since morphed into a neighborhood Los Angeles calls “EaHo.” The 2.5-mile enclave is bound by Western Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard and the 101 freeway and encompasses Thai Town and Little Armenia. Notable landmarks: the Vista Theatre (soon to be revived by Quentin Tarantino), Barnsdall Art Park and Children’s Hospital. The stretch of stores, bars, and restaurants on Hollywood Boulevard from Hillhurst to Vermont have all sprung up in the last few years. “East Hollywood is so robust with art, flavors, cultures,” says Nicole Dougherty, co-owner of Tabula Rasa bar. “Our block is happily now one of the most walkable blocks in L.A.”
Esqueleto Gallery. Owner-jewelry designer Lauren Wolf opened a shop in her studio in Oakland in 2011. Now, five stores later (New York, San Diego, Echo Park, East Hollywood), all Esqueleto locations carry unique art, jewelry, crafts, and decorative objects. Wolf’s vendors are indie artisans—everything is handcrafted and individualized. The jewelry varies in price point but tends toward the artisanal; many necklaces and rings are built for stacking, including unique engagement and wedding rings for rugged individualists. 4618 Hollywood Blvd., shopesqueleto.com.
Starday Vintage. Starday’s co-owners, retro-tressed-and-dressed redhead Nicole Bernstein and husband Ben McCarthy, tool around town in two 1950s Buicks as authentically vintage as their wares: pedigreed pieces for women (Rudi Gernreich! Giorgio di Sant’Angelo!) and men, costume jewelry, handbags, hats, lingerie, snoods, California pottery, dishes, phones, and clocks. “Our collection ranges from 1920s to 1990s,” says Bernstein. “We go looking for anything old and try to save it.” Attention music buffs: one corner’s jam-packed with vintage guitars and vinyl. 4665 Hollywood Blvd., stardayvintage.com.
Sōgo Roll Bar. Devour flavorful sushi rolls while they’re warm, suggest co-owners Dustin Lancaster and Sarah Dietz. “We toast the nori before we make them (yellowtail, scallop, lobster, and more); the outside’s crunchy, the rice is warm.” Order sets of three, four, five, or six. If rolls aren’t your thing, try avocado crispy rice or donburi (rice bowls with fish). “ ‘Sōgo’ means mutual in Japanese,” says Lancaster. “We locals needed some serious sushi around here.” There’s a long bar inside and outside tables for more leisurely dining. 4634 Hollywood Blvd., sogorollbar.com
Little Giants. “Lame Parents Stay Away,” warns a red neon sign at Little Giants, a chic store opened in 2021 by the Brooklyn original. But tykes and toddlers are welcome: the space is full of groovy goods for pint-size hipster newborns through ten-year-olds. The upstairs event loft (baby break dancing, anyone?) has a behemoth red S-curved slide that leads little feet into a pile of plastic balls on the first floor. There, parents and progeny can peruse Little Giants camo bucket hats, toys, books, tees, kicks, sweats, hoodies—even wee onesies. 4675 Hollywood Blvd., wearelittlegiants.com
Tabula Rasa Natural Wine Bar. The popular natural-wine bar’s been home to poets, musicians and artists for six years now, opening at 2 p.m. every day so creatives can work at the bar with the help of a glass of red, white, rosé, or orange wine. “Natural wine,” explains Nicole Dougherty (co-owner with Zach Negin) “is from family farms, handpicked, non-manipulated—like traditional wines were made.” Tabula Rasa holds wine events and live jazz as well as weekly DJs and poetry readings featuring some of the friendly bartenders. 5125 Hollywood Blvd., tabularasabar.com
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