No matter what your taste is in housing and neighborhoods, you can usually find something you like in Los Angeles. One common misconception is that you have to drive to get anywhere in LA . . . but there are many tree-lined single-family residential neighborhoods where you can still walk to the local bakery, movie theaters, and restaurants. Some of these include Beverlywood, the Melrose District, Beachwood Canyon, Larchmont Village, Los Feliz, Mid-Wilshire, and Westwood.
If you want more isolation and privacy, the hills of Los Angeles are one place you will find it. Besides the most well-known, like Bevery Hills and Bel-Air, there are beautiful homes in Laurel Canyon, Beachwood Canyon, and the hills of Los Feliz, where prices are often more affordable.
Here is an informative site with information about many of the neighborhoods you can find in Los Angeles: Los Angeles Neighborhoods
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While we work throughout Los Angeles, a few of the neighborhoods we spend a lot of time in are the Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Laurel Canyon, Nichols Canyon, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Beverlywood, Beverlywood Adjacent (including Picfair Village, Carthay Circle, and Faircrest heights), Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, Melrose, and Larchmont Village. Below is some information about these areas, in no particular order:
It is notable for its views of Los Angeles, and its expensive homes and celebrity inhabitants. It also has several recreational areas and a rich history as the home of many members of the movie pictures industry.
Given its central location, The Hollywood Hills neighborhood is conveniently located for people who work at the studios in Burbank and the San Fernando Valley, and also to all the restaurants, shopping, and nightlife options in Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Studio City.
Beverlywood Adjacent is comprised of a number of small neighborhoods, including Picfair Village, Carthay Circle, Crestview, and Faircrest Heights. Most of the homes in these neighborhoods were also built between 1920 and 1950, and most are single family residences of the Spanish Colonial style, with clay tile roofs. You can easily walk to many of the shops and restaurants on Pico, including our favorite LA diner, Nick’s Coffee Shop and Deli.
While this is technically part of both the Beverly Center/ Miracle Mile and West Hollywood areas of the MLS (Melrose lies right on the border), the Melrose area is a distinct neighborhood, largely centered north and south of the Melrose Avenue shops and restaurants, between Fairfax and La Brea. This area is a great place to live if you like to walk to shops and restaurants . . . so you can leave your car behind. The Melrose area is also within walking distance of the Grove and the historic Farmer’s Market, with numerous shops and restaurants, and a large new movie theater. The Melrose area has some streets that are comprised of only single-family homes, and others that are mixed with multi-unit buildings. (Nice ones . . . many of these are grand old multi-unit buildings with courtyards where residents mingle . . . kind of like a show we remember called “Melrose Place.” Coincidence? We think not)
To the North of the Melrose Area is Runyon Canyon, a favorite place to take a hike with the dogs, who are allowed off-leash in much of the park. The park used to be a private residence, owned by businessman Huntington Hartford, an heir to the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company. Many Angelenos erroneously believe this was Errol Flynn’s estate- a friend of Hartford’s, he actually only lived here for a short time, renting out the pool house. The city of Los Angeles bought the 160 acre estate in the 1980’s and turned it into a public park. The hike up will get your heart beating, and the view from the top is one of the best in LA.
Beverlywood is largely comprised of single-family homes that were built between the 1920’s and the 1950’s, many in the Spanish Colonial style. Many of the homes are part of the Beverlywood Homes association, which is considered to be one of the most influential home associations in Los Angeles. Unlike surrounding areas like Palms and West Los Angeles, the Beverly Homes Association was able to fight off the up-zoning that occurred in the 1960’s, which helped Beverlywood maintain its residential character. Homes that fall within the boundaries of the association generally sell for higher prices than those outside of it. The boundaries of the association are roughly Airdrome Street on the north, Robertson Blvd. on the east, Cattaraugus Ave. on the south, and Rancho Park on the west.
The neighborhoods directly outside of the association’s boundaries are often referred to as Beverlywood as well. In general, the boundaries of “Beverlywood” are roughly La Cienega Boulevard on the east; the Culver City limits on the south; Beverwil Drive and the Hillcrest Country Club on the west; and Sawyer St on the north. Beverlywood's major area thoroughfares are Venice, La Cienega, and Robertson Boulevards.
Laurel Canyon is a residential area of the Hollywood Hills, roughly bounded by Laurel Canyon Blvd on the east, Mulholland on the north, Sunset Blvd to the south, and Sunset Plaza to the west. The area is almost entirely single family homes, and is filled with winding tree-lined streets.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s the area was home to many of the musicians that were intriguing the youth of the country, including Jim Morrison and the rest of the Doors, David Crosby, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Frank Zappa. Today Laurel Canyon continues to be a favorite amongst young Hollywood movie and TV stars, musicians, and anyone else that likes to get away from it all while still being in the center of the city. We can’t do justice to the great (continuing) history of Laurel Canyon, but we can direct you to a site that does: The Laurel Canyon Association. They have a detailed history of the area along with many historic pictures.
While you can’t really walk to restaurants here, the hiking is great, both on streets like Wonderland And Lookout Mountain and on trails in Fryman Canyon, just off Mulholland. There is still some wildlife here, and you may see owls, rabbits, and even coyotes, which you can often hear howling at night. The Canyon Country Store has been around forever- Jim Morrison used to live next door- and has all the essentials you may need. Each year Laurel Canyon residents gather at the Country Store for a community picture – look for them on the walls. In the same building as the Country Store is Pace which is a great small restaurant that we talk about in detail in our “eat” section. You can walk here if you live anywhere near Kirkwood and Laurel Canyon.
Laurel Canyon is also home to one of the nicest dog parks in the city - Laurel Canyon Park, with a huge, fenced, grassy off-leash area for dogs.
You know that Hollywood Sign you have seen in countless TV shows and movies? That was originally put there to advertise “Hollywoodland,” a residential community built in the 1920’s in the hills north of Hollywood. While the sign has lost a few letters and has come to represent much of Hollywood and the film industry, this small community still has a very residential feel, with a café and market tucked away in the “town.” At the top of Beachwood Canyon there is even a horse ranch, the Sunset Ranch and miles of trails to ride on, hike, or walk dogs (on leash-in deference to the horses) in Griffith Park.
This is another neighborhood that makes you feel like you have left Los Angeles, but is only minutes away from both Hollywood and Burbank-the home of Disney, NBC, and Warner Brothers, where most movie and TV production now takes place. Due to its proximity to “the lots” and its bucolic, private, small town feel, this is a popular place to live for many in the film and TV business.
Most of the best dining options can be found on the 1-block stretch of Franklin between Bronson and Tamarind Avenues, directly across from the Church of Scientology Celebrity Center- a massive castle-like enclave for Tom Cruise and his friends. La Poubelle is a popular place for young Hollywood, serving up escargot and a great chicken marsala, pommes frites, and serious French attitude from waiters like Francois, who will tell you in no uncertain terms if you are ordering the wrong dish. It also has outdoor dining and a very popular long wooden bar.
Larchmont village probably has more outdoor dining options in one small area than any other part of the city. On a warm summer night you can walk down Larchmont and see scores of people sitting outside at numerous eateries that include a few Italian options, French, Pizza, ice cream shops, and our personal favorite, Le Petit Greek. This is of course a great place to bring your dogs along for dinner- it often seems like almost every restaurant has outdoor seating. This is technically part of MLS area 18, Hancock Park/Wilshire district.
Los Feliz is one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in Los Angeles. It maintains a small town feeling while also serving up many of the options you expect in a big city. If you live near Vermont or Hillhurst you can walk to many great restaurants and even a movie theater that still feels like it was relocated from smalltown USA. Fred 62 is a great 24 hour diner, with a retro-chic interior and brown leather(ish) booths.
A few new, more upscale restaurants like Vermont are emblematic of the neighborhood’s turn from gritty urban hipster oasis to an area full of varied options. On Hillhurst Mexico City is quite possibly our favorite Mexican restaurant in town, with a mole sauce that would make your abuela proud. Once again, no need for a car here if you live close by… and of course the homes close to these two streets command top dollar. Besides Beachwood Canyon, this is also the closest you can live to beautiful Griffith Park.