Map by Michael Newhouse
It was only a matter of time before the strip of Hollywood Boulevard between Hillhurst and Vermont avenues—where you’d go for a U-Haul rental or Goodwill duds—would begin to reflect the gentrifying neighborhood. The storefronts once occupied by traffic schools and tax offices are giving way to urbane restaurants and boutiques, many of them specializing in vintage or vintage-inspired goods that look right at home on young Los Feliz residents fixing up their 1920s-era duplexes and bungalow courts. The grit remains (there’s still a topless bar), but the credit card parking meters aren’t the only shiny new faces.
1. Hotel de Ville Vintage Eyewear
The selection of dead-stock vintage frames includes Christian Lacroix, outsize Gucci, and Jackie O favorite Nina Ricci. The far-out collection of new eyewear takes its design cues from decades past. » 4624 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz, 323-664-1462.
2. Umami Burger
Our loyalties to In-N-Out have been tested of late by the gourmet burgers at this restaurant, one of five outposts of the local chain. Toppings like port-caramelized onions, roasted peppers, and Italian truffle cheese perch on thick, juicy patties. Don’t expect to be too mobile after eating—the offerings are heavier than thou. » 4655 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz, 323-669-3922.
3. Everything’s Jake
The Rat Pack photographs adorning the walls at this men’s store telegraph its style principles. Classic American menswear from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s (eyeglasses to ascots, cuff links to cardigans) is displayed alongside vintage paraphernalia (books, typewriters) that could have been lifted from the set of a Hitchcock film. Owner Jonathan Harrison Kanarek (above) understands how to make old-school trends work for today, and an excellent tailor helps him realize the vision. » 4644 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz, 323-662-5253.
4. Soap Plant/Wacko/La Luz de Jesus Gallery
More is more at the 40-year-old kitsch emporium, one of the area’s hipster pioneers. Shelves overflow with books on tattoos and tantric sex, prank toys we haven’t seen since third grade, and candles for every saint. » 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz, 323-663-0122.
5. Fresh Pressed
The DIY screen-printing shop’s staff of graphic artists helps customers conceive and execute riginal designs on anything that can roll through a press (printed tees cost $40). Machines are tricked out to look like vintage Westinghouse dryers, and a vast font database and plenty of nontraditional inks are available. » 4646 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz, 323-663-7374.
6. Di Carlo
The newly opened back patio of this neighborhood pizzeria, with its red umbrellas and crimson walls, seems made for summer evenings in Napoli. The restaurant recently changed its name from Il Capriccio di Carlo, but an original owner remains and wood-fired pies prepared with fresh ingredients are just as crisp and tasty. » 4518 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz, 323-644-9760.
7. Covell Wine Bar
The neighborhood hang is unpretentious and timeworn, and it only opened in June. Kibitz with knowledgeable bartenders while sipping selections that change daily (eight beers are on tap). » 4628 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz, 323-660-4400.
8. Vacation Vinyl
The owners of the cult Silver Lake comic book shop Secret Headquarters opened this record shop last year. It sells all genres, but the emphasis is on heavy rock. Weekly in-store performances draw lots of locals. » 4679 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz, 323-666-2111.
9. Sweeney Todd’s Barber Shop
A fixture on the boulevard since the ’60s, the barbershop got a face-lift (and a new name) a few years ago, courtesy of its current owner, the inimitable Todd Lahman. It retains its original spirit, however, with the old red, white, and blue pole, vintage tile floors, and of course, those iconic barber chairs. It’s a guy’s domain, to be sure—greaser types thumb tattered copies of Playboy while enjoying clipper cuts and straight razor shaves—but women are graciously accommodated (try the electric scalp massage). » 4639 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz, 323-667-9690.
Photographs by Mindee Choi