Burbs guide – West Hollywood
GEOGRAPHY – West Hollywood is bordered on the north by the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles,on the east by the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, on the south by the Fairfax district of Los Angeles, and on the west by the city of Beverly Hills.]The West Hollywood borough of Los Angeles or “WeHo” as it is sometimes known is a city in its own right. ,
Quick History- West Hollywood was once known as the town of Sherman. It was also the location of the main railroad yards for the Los Angeles Railroad during the 1800s. In the early 1900s, Sherman decided against incorporation into the City of Los Angeles. It wasn’t until the ’20s that Sherman became known as West Hollywood. Yet it still remained unincorporated. At that time, prohibition having been repealed, night clubs like the Trocadero started cropping up on its soon-to-be-infamous Sunset Strip.A few decades later, in the ’50s, West Hollywood also became home to denizens of the design and decoration industries (more specifically the neighborhood near Beverly and Robertson–which continue to attract those sorts of retailers today). But it wasn’t until 1975 that design’s architectural crown prince—the Pacific Design Center—was built, solidifying the association between West Hollywood, and the arts and design. In the last decade, the City of West Hollywood has undertaken projects to strengthen its economy, including revitalization of the City’s East Side and approval of a plan to promote quality development along historic Sunset Boulevard. The arts are so very much incorporated in today’s West Hollywood that you will see and experience them on the street as you’re driving, walking or bicycling by. Such initiatives include ‘Guitartown,’ for which over 25 fiberglass Gibson Les Paul guitars measuring ten feet were strategically placed around the city. Speaking of walking or bicycling by, West Hollywood is known for its bike paths along Santa Monica Blvd., as well as for being a pedestrian-friendly quarter. West Hollywood Sites and Historical Buildings West Hollywood Restaurants and Bars Dan Tana’s Rainbow Bar and Grill The Viper Room Duke’s Coach & Horses The Whisky Hugo’s Restaurant The Silver Spoon Hamburger Mary’s Bar Marmont Chin Chin Asia de Cuba Talesai The Troubadour Clafoutis Famous Residents of West Hollywood Frank Sinatra Charlie Chaplin Howard Hughes Katherine Hepburn Marlene Dietrich Schools in the West Hollywood Area Fairfax High School West Hollywood College Prep School Pacific Hills School Maimonides Academy Larchmont Charter School West Hollywood West Hollywood Elementary School Center For Early Education West Hollywood Children’s Academy ABC Little School West Hollywood Preschool Holloway School Doheny School The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute Academy of Couture Art Places to Eat and Drink
Good Coffee; Top Coffee Places in West Hollywood 1. Lilly’s Coffee Cart Located in the heart of Laurel Canyon, in front of the Canyon Country Store, Lilly’s is a well-known hub in the neighborhood. It attracts all sorts of characters from the vicinity and is home to some of the richest, tastiest coffee in town. Croissants and other pastries are also available. It is unfortunately sometimes closed on rainy days (since it’s an outdoor thing). During the week you can park in the store lot. However, be warned that this irritates one of the owners on weekends (during which you should park on ‘little’ Laurel Canyon instead).Open: daily, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 2108 Laurel Canyon Blvd. (cross street: Kirkwood) 2. Vintage Enoteca Formerly Abbot’s Habit, this gem of a spot is primarily a wine bar. They serve delicious Groundworks coffee, and have a breakfast menu, and a nice choice of bagel varieties. Another plus: free parking in the back. It’s so pleasant to sit in this clean and tastefully decorated place and have a rich coffee, read the paper or work on your laptop as there is free wi-fi. Open: 8 a.m.-12 a.m. daily 7554 W. Sunset Blvd. (between Sierra Bonita and Curson) 3. Fresh Bite, sOnce again, this is not purely a coffee joint. New-ish to the neighborhood, Fresh Bites is actually a health-conscious restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They just happen to have extremely tasty organic coffee as well. If you wanted to sit here and linger you probably could but the vibe is more like a lunch room or casual dinner spot. It’s very friendly and clean. It’s located on the ground floor of a ‘coming to LA to become famous’ dorm style apartment building but it’s a super-great coffee (and smoothie) spot. You can park in the structure on Hayworth for free with validation. Open: daily, 7 a.m.-12 a.m. 7950 W. Sunset Blvd. (between Hayworth and Laurel) 323-822-2900 4. Caffe PrimoThis place is going for a full service European cafe sensibility–think cafe in Rome. So it naturally has things like gelato and crepes on a giant menu that lords over its central bar. In that same vein, it has the kind of rich, flavorful coffee you’d expect from a European cafe. I’m personally not fond of sitting in here with my coffee and reading or working (as they play loud late ’80s style music), but I have seen others camped out with laptops in the morning taking advantage of the free wi-fi. Free parking with validation in the lot on Alta Loma. Open: Mon.-Thu., 7 a.m.-12 a.m.; Fri. 7 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sat., 8 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sun., 8 a.m.-12 a.m. 8590 Sunset. Blvd (between Alta Loma and Sunset Plaza) 310-289-8895 5. Peet’s CoffeeAs far as chain coffee places go, Peet’s is one of the better ones. The coffee’s good and the service is friendly. This location isn’t the most charming one. If you sit outside, for instance, you feel like you’re having coffee on a highway, and the front of the building looks laborious and utilitarian. But there is free parking with validation right next to Peet’s, and they open bright and early. Open: Mon.-Fri., 5 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 6 a.m.-8 p.m. 8833 W. Sunset Blvd. (cross street: Larrabee) 310-492-0490 6. The Coffee T Bar One of my fellow scribes turned me on to this place, which has the quirky plus of also offering hookah pipe rental. The interior has all the charm of a doctor’s waiting room. But the coffee is good. They use those pre-made syrups but if you ask you can get the sugar-free variety. They also offer a full menu of sandwiches and salads. But my favorite part of this place is the friendly atmosphere. The gal behind the counter is a sweetheart. They don’t harass you. You can sit for hours enjoying coffee and free wi-fi before anyone even notices. And, attention writers and insomniacs: they are open 24 hours! Open: daily 24 hours 7509 W. Sunset Blvd. (between Sierra Bonita and Gardner) 323-963-5474 7. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Some people are worshipers in the cult of ‘the Bean.’ I’m generally not one of them. The coffee is not as weak and tasteless as Starbucks’ but it’s not great. However, I discovered this particular Coffee Bean branch when I was on my ‘early to rise’ kick and appreciated that it was open at 6 a.m. and had free (albeit limited, space-wise) parking. The DGA Coffee Bean down the street, apart from being a poseur scene, has limited one-hour parking (and when you go over the limit it’s highway robbery). Unfortunately, the Horn Dr. Bean doesn’t appear to have free wi-fi yet (as does the DGA Bean).
ARCHITECTURE – West Hollywood bosts some of the finest homes the world has to offer. Homes that defined the lifestyles of several generations through books and movies are found here. Architect Rudolph Schindler built his first home here at 835 North Kings Road and is a wonderful example of modernism. Other wonderful homes are such as the Stahl house by Pierre Koenig. Some great additions to West hollywood architecture are as follows; The Pacific Design Center ,The Annenberg Space For Photography, Rocky and Bullwinkle Statue Sunset Tower Hotel Chateau Marmont West Hollywood Farmers Market