It’s virtually impossible to pick the “best” east side neighborhood in Los Angeles. They’re all pretty spectacular, but with Silver Lake and Echo Park in the limelight for some time now, it makes Los Feliz that much more lovable. The hidden gem boasts a wide range of art and outdoor attractions, stellar eateries, and some of the best vintage shopping around town. While it houses Griffith Park and the Observatory – the mother of all mega parks in LA that attracts one of the largest crowds of locals and tourists alike – the neighborhood still manages to maintain its indie edge.
Savannah Sjostrom, designer of SJO Jewelry, is a Los Feliz local with a deep affinity for her hood. She was generous enough to share her secrets with us so we can explore the area like a pro. Here, she shares her list of top picks.
(Featured image by Tom Brickers)
A wonderful, homestyle Italian restaurant which holds a special place in my heart because it's where I went on my first date with my now fiance. It is a staple in our life - we still eat there a couple times a month. It's no fuss, great ambience, wonderful service and delicious food! I recommend the Penne alla Norma and their Arugula e Pomodori salad.
1978 Hillhurst Avenue \ Los Angeles, CA 90027
I love sitting outside Figaro Bistrot on a Sunday afternoon with friends, a charcuterie plate and a bottle of wine. The Parisian style seating offers excellent people watching and they make beautiful pastries!
1802 N Vermont Ave \ Los Angeles, CA 90027
(Pictured. Image courtesy of redhotsociety.com)
I am not an ice cream person, but I am OBSESSED with Jeni's. We usually stroll down there after having dinner at Farfalla. My fave is their riesling poached pear sorbet - it is out of control good! And let's not forget their homemade waffle crisps.
1954 Hillhurst Avenue \ Los Angeles, CA 90027
(Pictured. Image courtesy of Jeni's)
Absolutely a guilty pleasure, but I maintain they have the best chocolate bar in the greater Los Angeles area, rivaled only by a donut shop in the town where I grew up called Donut Delite (which in my opinion will never be beat).
1908 Hillhurst Avenue \ Los Angeles, CA 90027
One of my favorite night spots in all of LA. The vibe is very old Hollywood lounge - they have these great round booths and super dim lighting. Cocktails are great and it's always a treat to see the Dresden's resident musicians, Marty and Elayne play!
1760 N Vermont Avenue \ Los Angeles, CA 90027
(Image by Gijs van der Most)
A fantastic local book store with an excellent auxiliary art section. They carry hard to find artist books and zines and I always love reading their staff picks. They also have a very cute shop cat, so that's a big plus! ;)
1818 N Vermont Avenue \ Los Angeles, CA 90027
(Pictured. Image by Jakob Layman)
A great little vintage store where you can score some serious finds! I love digging for treasures and this spot always yields something fun!
4516 Hollywood Blvd \ Los Angeles, CA 90027
Barnsdall is one of those places that's hidden in plain sight. Nestled between Hollywood and Sunset Blvds, it is home to one of the most spectacular buildings in LA, Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House. There's a beautiful grassy park at the top of the hill with views of the city, and they host wine tastings with tours of the Hollyhock House a couple times a month. Definitely a hidden gem!
4800 Hollywood Blvd \ Los Angeles, CA 90027
(Image by Jamie Poster)
Living next to Griffith Park is one of the best things about my neighborhood. There are so many fun things to do - hike up to Griffith Observatory to grab lunch and check out panoramic views of the city, or visit Trails Cafe for coffee which is accessed via the Fern Dell Drive entrance. On the northeast side of the park (near Crystal Springs Drive), there is a beautiful old carousel that's been there forever and the abandoned former LA zoo site, which is super fun to explore.
4730 Crystal Springs Drive \ Los Angeles, CA 90027
(Image by Bonnie Gruttadauria)
The Greek is definitely my favorite place to see live music in Los Angeles. It's an amphitheater in the hills of Los Feliz (right at the base of Griffith Park) and the ambience is very romantic. Watching your favorite band play under the stars is pretty amazing. And there isn't a bad seat in the house!
2700 N Vermont Avenue \ Los Angeles, CA 90027
(Image courtesy of The Greek Theatre)
ABOUT SAVANNAH SJOSTROM
Raised on a ranch just outside of Los Angeles, SJO JEWELRY designer, Savannah Sjostrom, has always had a flair for the whimsical. Growing up surrounded by a very creative family (her grandmother is a painter, her late grandfather, an accomplished writer) Savannah was encouraged from a young age to explore her artistic side.
After studying fashion at Otis College of Art and Design and Art History at UCLA, and with stints at Rodarte, Jeremy Scott and the Hammer Museum under her belt, Savannah founded her jewelry line in 2014. The epitome of playful elegance, each SJO piece is a celebration of self expression and joy. Always inspired by the beauty found in different cultures, Savannah incorporates elements from around the world in her designs, creating exuberant and whimsical statement pieces. Each piece is a unique labor of love, individually hand crafted by Savannah in her studio in Los Feliz. Just like their wearers, no two pieces of SJO JEWELRY are ever exactly alike.