No one can agree on what constitutes “Eastside” Los Angeles, but whatever your definition, the neighborhoods of Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Echo Park, and Frogtown are redefining L.A.’s casual-cool aesthetic. Four spots, scattered across the area, stand out.
Offering postcard-perfect views of the Hollywood sign and Griffith Park, this Los Feliz attraction was the brainchild of oil heiress and philanthropist Aline Barnsdall, who commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build an artistic complex atop an olive-planted hill she purchased in 1919. Though Wright only succeeded in constructing Hollyhock House—her stately Mayan Revival residence—at its crest, Barnsdall’s vision was realized decades later with the opening of Barnsdall Art Center and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery next door. Inside the latter, the current exhibition, “Condemned to be Modern,” features the work of 21 contemporary artists who question the history of modernist architecture in Latin America (4800 Hollywood Blvd.).
Angelenos may bristle at the mention of yet another New York transplant to L.A., but the arrival of Zebulon might be an exception. Next door to the wildly popular Mexican restaurant Salazar in up-and-coming Frogtown is Zebulon’s new home—complete with its original bar hauled all the way from Brooklyn. The venue made a name for itself by never charging a cover and a penchant for noisy jazz. Tickets are now sold at the door, but the musical tastes that brought indie rock bands like Dirty Projectors into the limelight remain (2478 Fletcher Dr.; 1-323/663-6875).
A mainstay of the Eastside, Mohawk General Store outfits chic local residents from its digs on Silver Lake’s Sunset Junction. Local designers and crafts from all over the world are showcased here, with uncommon furniture imported from the Netherlands, cult brands like A.P.C. and Rachel Comey that can help put your L.A. look together, and sundry home goods including rare LPs and Astier de Villatte incense holders (4011 West Sunset Blvd.; 1-323/669-1601).
Emily Fiffer and Heather Sperling both spent a decade as food media editors before branching out to create their own restaurant, so it’s natural that this all-day dining venue and market would come equipped with its own digital magazine. While online recipes allow you to eat à la Botanica long after your visit, the breezy space offers standouts like Turkish eggs served with sheep’s-milk yogurt and Aleppo-Urfa butter. The perfect accompaniment? A glass of biodynamic wine or a cocktail inspired by seasonal ingredients from the garden (1620 Silver Lake Blvd.; 1-323/522-6106).
This article originally appeared in the October/November print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Eastside Story”).