Loz Feliz

Los Feliz - USA

Built on personality, this Californian city-within-a-city offers artistry, a slice of LA cool and a culinary scene that’s at the top of its game. Fleur Rollet-Manus takes a bite

Travel Time 11hrs 30min

Why go?

Los Angeles is a city made up of micro cities, each with their own vibe. In the hilly east, Los Feliz champions locality and is abuzz with creativity. It’s most visible in its independent boutiques, bars and coffee shops along Hillhurst, and in the thriving culinary scene that has Angelenos clogging up the freeway in a bid to keep Friday-night dinner reservations. It may not boast the same brash declarations of fame as other parts of Los Angeles county – Hollywood, we’re looking at you – but it certainly isn’t without its famous anecdotes. Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse in his uncle’s garage here, Leonardo DiCaprio grew up here (there’s a room in his name at the local library) and the likes of Angelina Jolie call the neighbourhood home. Unlike the rest of LA, Los Feliz is walkable, too. Visiting in January ensures pleasant temperatures, and makes strolling between art deco movie theatres, vintage emporiums on Vermont and the verdant Griffith Park hills a breeze.

What to do

Green space abounds in Los Feliz. It’s bordered by both Barnsdall Art Park barnsdall.org and Griffith Park laparks.org – the latter home to miles of hiking, walking and cycling paths, galleries and cafés. Follow the West Griffith Observatory trail to one of the city’s most iconic structures griffithobservatory.org – it takes about two hours, and you’ll be well-rewarded on reaching the top with a bird’s-eye view across the LA cityscape. Panoramics of Downtown and the iconic Hollywood sign come as standard, while mid-century mansions, colonial-inspired bungalows and art deco gems sit side by side on the tree-lined boulevards below. One such jewel, Vista Theatre vintagecinemas.com is a single-screen theatre that shows movies on their original film reels in homage to the Golden Age – ideal for afternoon matinees. Elsewhere, Vermont Avenue houses a cluster of independent boutiques and eclectic vintage shops. Pop into Skylight skylightbooks.com – touted as California’s favourite bookshop – for its storied collection of rare finds, well-thumbed classics and works of poetry.

Where to stay

East LA’s borders are blurry – ask locals where Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Echo Park start and finish and you’ll get several different answers. Straddling the invisible intersection between them, Hotel Covell 00 1 323 660 4300, hotelcovell.com is a nine-suite, mid-century bolthole equipped with turntables and a buzzy wine bar next door. The 1927-built former home of Dracula director James Whale, Med-inspired mansion The Villa Sophia 00 1 213 300 9055, thevillasophia.com offers views across the Hollywood Hills, an alfresco dining area and south-facing swimming pool ideal for soaking up the 284 days of sun. Slightly further out, but still walkable from all of Hillhurst’s haunts, Silver Lake Pool and Inn 00 1 323 486 7225, palisociety.com takes elements of the California cool aesthetic and mixes it with Mediterranean Sixties chic. Think The Beach Boys if they’d summered in Ibiza.

Where to eat and drink

Coffee shop by day and date-night hotspot after dark, All Time alltimelosangeles.com epitomises Los Feliz’s laid-back charm. Order the focaccia smothered with burrata and tomato, or tender pork shoulder complete with DIY taco starter kit. With its retro-Italian vibe, Little Dom’s littledoms.com is a local institution. The rice balls oozing with mozzarella will cause mouths to drop, as will realising that you’re dining next to Ryan Gosling (he’s a regular). Share the thin-crust pizza enriched with sunny-side-up eggs, as the portion sizes are huge. Hidden down a back alley, Atrium atriumlosfeliz.com serves excellent veg-centric dishes amid a pretty interior. Go for the grilled cauliflower shawarma drizzled with pistachio zhug – a Yemeni hot sauce carrying herbaceous undertones. Also loved for its bold Middle Eastern flavours is Kismet kismetlosangeles.com whose natural wines list is also well worth exploring. Finish with a highball in Pinky’s pinkyslosfeliz.com – a gorgeous, palm-printed, gold-gilded bar from the Atrium team.

Time running out?

Delve into the area’s architectural history with a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s pioneering Hollyhock House, in the heart of Barnsdall Art Park. barnsdall.org/hollyhock-house


Travel Information

Travel Information

Currency is the United States dollar (USD). Time is 8 hours behind GMT. Flight time from London is 11.5 hours.

Getting There

Air New Zealand has regular flights from London Heathrow to Los Angeles International Airport. airnewzealand.co.nz

Norwegian Air International offers flights to LAX from London Gatwick. norwegian.com


Discover Los Angeles is the official tourist board and its website provides plenty of recommendations on what to see, eat and do in Los Feliz and beyond. discoverlosangeles.com

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